Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Meng T-90- Close but no cigar for 2014

Well I NEARLY got something finished for 2014 lol! At least the T-90 now has the tracks on and just needs a few things doing here and there and then I can call it done;

I hope that the photo's I've posted have been of help to others building the Meng T-90, obviously there are other modelsout there that are WAAAAAY better than mine but I'm quite pleased with it. The ONLY thing I'm not happy about is the right fender colour where I changed the tone with oil paint, I was hoping the weathering would either lighten it or hide but it did'nt.  Never mind!
I'm not planning on anything for 2015 really, I just tend to pick stuff that catches my eye and probably why I have a loft full of kits :o)
I have a new decal sheet for the Albatros and the SS-23 build is almost complete so there's at least two definites for the new year, anyway Happy New Year to everybody that has looked in on my blog and see you in 2015

Monday, 29 December 2014

Meng T-90-Starting the weathering

The oil paint process worked in a fashion but I was'nt entirely happy as the white spirit was dragging off the acrylic matt varnish plus I've altered the sand colour too much in places, anyway it's onto the pigments and to begin with I've given the whole model a dusty look with Mig's 'Dry Mud';

In the bottom two pictures I've tried to show the contrast between areas that have had pigment applied.
I have to say that at the moment I'm quite pleased with the way it's looking as instead of flooding an area with white spirit I've just been using a damp flat brush to drag the pigment in vertical and horizontal directions, previous results have just ended up as a mess plus the IPA I used to use for this job made the pigment dry funny too.
Next job will be to use different colours of Mig pigment and various AK muddy colours to add to the weathering effect, also I may try depicting wet mud on this model too.
So far so good!
PS; I forgot to say that the paint chipping was done with various Vallejo acrylics before the pigments were applied. Sorry about that :o)

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Meng T-90-Back to it

After the decal issue with the Eduard Albatros I've decided to rescue the T-90 from the Shelf-of-Doom instead. I got as far as the intial wash of dark brown and matt varnishing but that's where the build stalled earlier this year so after seeing the beautiful T-90 by Abilio Grajera it gave me an incentive to finish this one. To be fair it's not THAT far from the finishing post, it's just the dotting with oil paint that will take a while to dry however that is the main reason the oils are put onto cardboard instead of a palette as it soaks up the linseed oil in the paint and that helps it dry quicker.

I use a variety of colours but tend to avoid white as in my experience all it's ever done is leave a chalky finish and some browns can be a bugger to blend in too.
By the way the Maltesers are there for moral support as at the time of writing it's cold and raining outside so it's a perfect day for some modelling with home comforts :o)

Friday, 26 December 2014

Albatros update-that's all folks!

I attempted to put the decals on today but they broke up after being in the water;

I also inadvertantly ripped off half of one of the underwing crosses while handling the model so I removed the other cross before it set.
So that's that for my attempt to finish something before the year ends as I have to source another decal sheet and it won't arrive before then, also there is no guarantee that I'll be able to find decals for the exact colour scheme the model is in so it may need re-painting. Bugger!
The possible cause for the decals breaking up is that it's one of Eduards earlier kits, or at least I hope so as I have quite a few Eduard kits in the stash.
Oh well where's that Meng T-90...

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Albatros painted

That's the main painting done, I just need to gloss varnish the model then apply the decals;

The darker green was a 1:1 mix of XF-58 and XF-26 and the red brown was XF-64 straight out of the bottle, again they were lightened to spray between the rib posts.
One of the inner wing struts has broken off during the removal of the masking tape and that could lead to some assembly problems later especially as the surface area is so small. I may have to drill the struts and fuselage and pin it...bugger!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Another Albatros update

I painted the undersides with a 1:1 of Tamiya XF-23 and XF-2 then masked off the wing ribs with tape cut into 1mm wide strips;

I  lightened the mix again and sprayed in between the ribs then removed the tape;

Hopefully it gives the effect of  fabric stretched over wing ribs (it looks better than the camera phone shows it anyway).
I have to mask the undersides next then spray the camouflage scheme on the upper wing surfaces, once done I'll try to get the top wing on without destroying the model :o)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Albatros update (already???)

 Well I've made a start :o)

As is typical I did'nt have the Tamiya paints in stock for this job so I mixed some Mr Hobby H312 Green and H70 RLM Grau roughly to a ratio of 2:2 and it looks as near as dammit to me, although I will give it some thought (and more reference via the Wing Nut Wings website). Having said that I'm not THAT into finding the EXACT colour as a lot can change during the weathering process so I may leave it.

With 13 days to go until 2015....

It's become painfully obvious that I have not finished a THING this year, in fact the last model I did finish was back in November 2013 (the Spanish Civil War T-26). This has been due mainly to work being done on the house, full time employment and random bouts of apathy, so in a (quite probably futile) attempt to actually complete something for the year I've pulled this off the Shelf-of-Doom;

It's an Eduard Albatross DIII (O.A.W) that I actually started a couple of years ago. I dug it out earlier this year and got as far as the wood-graining on the fuselage then had to leave it to dry (oil paint over an acrylic base) and of course I forgot about it again. Anyway I started masking it off last night and will hopefully get some paint on it this week (don't hold your breath though).
Alongside this the Meng T-90 is also lurking as it just needs the weathering doing so maybe I'll get around to finishing that too as the SS-23 is becoming a chore although the build is close to completion.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

SS-23-Soldering etchy bits

There is a narrow strip that runs along the lower hull sides and it's made up of sections so figuring out that cyano glue would never hold it together I decided to solder the sections instead. Thankfully this has worked so YAY for me :o)

The sections each have a right-angle so this was done using a Hold-and-Fold etchy bendy tool that is absolutely invaluable. Each part was cleaned up where they are to be soldered using a medium grade Wet and Dry paper and using Blu-Tack they were fixed into place on a piece of ceramic tile. A SMALL amount of flux was brushed onto each side of the join then using a 25w soldering iron the solder was run into the joint (again only a small amount) and when cool it was cleaned up to remove excess flux.
Superglue has it's benefits when attaching etch but soldering is really that easy to do and of course makes for stronger joints especially for a job like this.
By the way the stuff I'm using is lead-free solder AND flux that I got from a local DIY shop although I believe that a company called Carrs make products more suited for modelling.

Monday, 24 November 2014 lives!

I glued the suspension on today and fitted the wheels to see if I have a wonky model and I'm happy to report that only one of the wheels is a bit too high, that's why I did'nt glue the wishbones. There's still a fair bit to do but it finally feels like I'm on the home straight;
The wheels are still loose on the hubs and that's why they look out of line but I just needed to take this picture as a bit of a milestone, the 6" ruler gives a sense of scale and yes my bench is always a mess.
Chuffed as we Brits might say :o)

Friday, 21 November 2014

SS-23 suspension ready to fit

I've now got to the stage where I can fit the suspension units and HOPEFULLY the model will be straight and level on it's wheels. The next job will be to make steering linkages, air tanks and pipework for the braking system as these are missing from the kit. Here's a couple of pics of progress so far;

As you can see the yellow bits are the kit items, the white bits are ones I have had to make as they were missing from the kit. The wishbones remain workable to a point and will help getting the model level when I put it on it's wheels, after which they will be glued.
The pieces I made that hold the front wheel hubs on are not very pretty but they were tricky to make, besides which they will be hidden by the wheels.
Once the suspension is on the build will be more or less finished, the next fun job however will be to attach the ton of etch that comes with the kit.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

SS-23 ongoing

Well it looks like Miniman are not going to send the missing suspension parts (it's been nearly a month) so I've had to make my own as time is moving on;

Starting of with styrene sheet a 10mm x 20mm piece was cut out then cuts were made part way through either side and gently bent to make the shape. To get the width of material for the top and bottom three strips of 0.060 (1.25mm) styrene were glued together like a laminate and when fully cured the anchor points for the top and bottom were made.
These are still drying so when they are ready I will cut a hole in the middle for the axle to go through.
They are not the best but they are needed to fix the axle to the suspension assembly and will be mostly hidden by the wheels anyway. The next thing to make are eight suspension struts, add the missing steering linkages, air tanks for the brake system and associated cabling. This ain't going to be finished this side of xmas for definite.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

SS-23...First Blood

To the model anyway! Cleaning up the wheels and the knife slipped into my finger, luckily I had my first-aid kit handy;
Who needs plasters? Now on with the show! :o)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

SS-23...a bit of a milestone

After virtually completing the upper hull (apart from fitting the new missile bay doors) I decided to turn my attention to the suspension and for me it feels like a turning point (excuse the pun) as after this point the biggest job will be adding the etch detail (and there is a LOT of it).
The BIG problem at present is that there are some vital parts missing such as the suspension struts and the bits that fix the front wheels to the suspension for the steering. The struts I could scratch from styrene tube but the steering bits will be VERY tricky so I've contacted Miniman Factory with a grovelling email to see if they can help considering I purchased the kit in November 2013. Fingers crossed!

The units are not fixed in place at the moment and the suspension remains workable to make sure I get all eight wheels on the flat, after which they will be firmly glued. I just hope Miniman Factory come through otherwise I'm screwed.
Edit; Miniman Factory are sending the parts YAY! Miniman have a GREAT customer service as they sent me a new missile bay earlier this year due to the distortion and holes in the original piece

Saturday, 18 October 2014

SS-23 progress...sort of

OK so 'game on' I said in the prior post with the aim of getting this sucker off the bench but it seems to be for every step forward there's a couple back. In this case I test-fitted the missile bay doors and due to my stupidness in removing too much material at the bottom of each part they now have huge gaps....Sooooooo after a brief walk around the house before I drop-kicked the damn model I've decided to replace the doors entirely with 30 thou (around 0.7mm) styrene sheet. The upside to this is the doors will be more of a scale thickness although I'm going to have to fix them in the open position when the model gets finished;

Also the more I look with this kit the more I find wrong when comparing it to the walkaround pictures I have although as you may understand I'm keeping a lot back for the future article. Sorry about that :o)
I think once I've got the main hull sorted it will feel like I'm getting somewhere, especially when I can start fitting the suspension and wheels. At the moment it's slow going and becoming frustrating but there ya go, resin kits for you.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 on!

After a bit of respite from the damned thing I decided to tackle the poor fit between the cab and rear hull tonight. No amount of filling or filing would have resulted in a good fit due to the steps between the two parts so in the end I had to use styrene sheet to build up the right side of the cab. I also had to scratch a new grill as the original had to be removed to be able to fit the styrene.
Even after doing this the cyano glue made the styrene rather brittle and I ended up with a bit missing (yes it was stuck to my bloody finger). After sanding it to shape (more or less) the next step will be to use 500 grade Mr Surfacer to TRY and blend it all in.
Gawd who's idea was it to start this bloody model? Oh yeah it was me......D'OH! :o)

Edit; I did'nt use Mr Surfacer after all, I just used some Milliput instead

Monday, 6 October 2014

Another Luchs update

I had a whole one hour at the bench this afternoon so I glued a few etchy bits on;

Removing the moulded on tool clamps resulted in a couple of breakages probably due to my clumsiness, I was able to glue the axe together but I had to replace the engine crank handle with fuse wire and styrene rod. What was I saying about keeping things simple? I just can't help myself :o)

Luchs update

One thing I noticed about this kit is the lack of a tow cable. On the rear engine deck Tasca have provided the five clamps for one but not the cable so after a rummaging through the spares box and coming up with nothing I made my own using fine nylon thread and some 1mm dia. styrene rod drilled out for the thread to go through.
I estimated a length of 150mm for the cable and if anything it was a little too long but it's staying put. The clamps all face inward but I will carefully twist a couple around to avoid a uniform look.

One thing I am trying to avoid is getting too bogged down in research and super detailing as it can kill a little project like this stone dead but (there is ALWAYS a but) I do have some good references available such as Achtung Panzer No.6 and Panzers at Saumur No.1 and it seems a shame not to use them.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tasca Luchs

Yeah I know I know I've started something else. The SS-23 is proving frustrating and is slow going so I pulled this kit out of the stash just for the hell of it. So far it's been GREAT to put together but then again it is a Tasca kit so enough said :o)
Progress so far;
 This shot below is looking into the model as I put a thick-ish length of styrene under the glacis plate as support at the front.

 When adding the side vision ports be aware that the slot is nearer the bottom. I almost buggered that one up as although there's not much in it there IS a difference.
So far it's been a quick build and VERY enjoyable. I will be returning to the SS-23 AND the T-90 but this is how I roll :o)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

SS-23 teaser pic number 3 (I think)

I bet you thought I'd forgotten all about this one did'nt you?

After a LOT of fettling and sanding the basic hull is all together so it's onto the wheels and suspension when I've finished filling some HUGE gaps. I don't know whether it's my fault or the fact it's just one-of-those-things with resin kits but anyway I've got this far :o)

Of course by the time I've built this model Trumpeter would have released fact there will probably LOADS built before I'm done with this. I can't wait to get an injection-moulded kit on the bench next lol

Monday, 18 August 2014

British Napoleonic Hussar

Just as a break from the Russian stuff and fancying a bit of figure painting I got this out of the box tonight;

I got as far as the gold braid which was painted with oil and of course it takes a while to dry so I left it in a box and forgot about it for six months or so. The gold had been darkened with burnt umber so tonight I used gold paint straight out of the tube to try and create some highlights, I don't know whether it has worked but it's been a nice couple of hours painting at least :o)
Hopefully I can make a start on the breeches and gloves soon and this will be interesting as both items are white so I shall be experimenting with using various greys for the basecoat then using pure white for the highlights.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Meng T-90; The weathering starts here

Here we go with everyones favourite part of modeling, the weathering (well it's my favourite bit anyway).
Initially I've applied a pin wash of Mig Productions Dark Brown wash into all the recesses and streaked some down the vertical surfaces, after which when it's dry the model will get a couple of coats of matt varnish then I can start on applying chipping, mud, dust etc.
I like the dark wash as it does make the detail stand out more.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Meng T-90 update

Just a small one and this is the effort to match the camouflage colours with Vallejo to paint the headlight cables that I forgot to attach before the model was sprayed;

Not too bad and hopefully when the weathering starts the cables will blend in better. For the record I used Vallejo Iraqi Sand (819) mixed with white (951) and Russian Green (894) mixed with black (950). Due to the fast drying time I can proceed with the first weathering stage namely Mig Productions Dark Wash.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Meng T-90....oops!

You know when you get the feeling that you have missed something? Yep me too! After getting the T-90 painted and glossed I remembered the moulded headlight cables on the glacis plate that I had removed during the start of the build and WAS going to replace with 15 amp fuse wire...dammit;

Well I have just replaced the damn cabling but now I have to try and paint them to match the hull colours, although with the weathering process they should'nt look too out of place. I did keep some paints from the spraying session but these are probably dried out by now so I'll try to get a match with Vallejo acrylics.
I must admit the fuse wire certainly looks better than the moulded cabling, shame really that I forgot to put them on before painting. Oh well...

SS-23 Teaser part 2

This is as much as I'm doing with the missile bay so I'm going to undercoat that and the cab interior next;
Progress is painful but I have to fit stuff in around a full time job and DIY around the house

Saturday, 12 July 2014

SS-23 Teaser

I have'nt been able to do much for a while but I was able to get at the bench tonight so here's a shot of the SS-23 missile finished, I just have to build the rest of the vehicle now. Obviously I can't post too much as this is destined to go in Model Miltary International in the near future but I will show some stuff on the way;

So far so good but there are some areas that need improving. I would just like to say thank you to Trumpeter who announced a 1/35 injection moulded kit of the SS-23 a couple of days after I started this bastards! :o)

Friday, 13 June 2014

Meng T-90 camo finished

The camouflage pattern has been applied, more or less to the instructions so now it needs a coat of gloss varnish before the weathering. To recap the paints used were Tamiya with the base coat being a 50/50 mix of XF-61 Dark Green and XF-67 Nato Green, the sand was a XF-57 Buff with some XF-2 White thrown in and the black was a 2:1 mix of XF-1 Black and XF-69 Nato Black. A final touch up of the base coat was done to get rid of any overspray;

Coming along nicely I think!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


While the T-90 was drying I was itching to start another project so after a fairly involved build you would have thought I'd have picked something easy to throw together, which is what I WAS considering but then I got this out of the stash;

It's rather large and made of resin so LOADS of sanding required. Considering it's a resin kit it's going fairly well at the moment;

Detail is pretty good and as you would expect there are some issues to deal with because of the nature of resin but in the whole it's quite an impressive kit. I won't be posting many progress pics as this model will feature in a future edition of Model Military Int'l but I will throw in a few teasers now and again :o)

Meng T-90-Paints on!

I managed to finally get some paint on the model after priming it last week. The base coat is a 50/50 mix of (rather ironically)  XF-67 Nato Green and XF-61 Dark Green and the sand camouflage is XF-57 Buff with some XF-2 White thrown in. The sand looks patchy because I have'nt finished it yet (I just ran out of time tonight and back to work in the morning) plus it was a bugger to get through the airbrush, even with acrylic retarder AND flow improver. I would much prefer to use enamel for this job but it would just get stripped off during the weathering later on.

The wheel mask that came with the kit is very useful by the way :o)
Anyway when I get some spare time in between work and household DIY I'll try and get the camo finished.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Meng T-90 update 28/5/14

The build is now finished and last night I washed the model in warm water and washing up liquid (Fairy Liquid so that my hands stay soft lol) so it is now left to dry. When it is I can get some primer on it to start the painting process.

The build is quite an involved one even straight out of the box but to me the level of detail is very good. As with every kit there are areas you can improve and extra detail you could add but I'm quite happy with the kit as is. The only extra details I've added are mainly rivets here and there (where the fuel tank brackets sit and some on the ERA tiles on the front of the turret plus headlight cables on the hull front).

Monday, 19 May 2014

Meng T-90 build complete...ish

I've finally got the thing built all bar a couple of pieces that need sticking on so here's a couple of pics to show the model before painting;

The crew figure is by TANK and although I wanted the three figures in the set on my model this one is the only one that would fit (it still needs some work to make it fit properly), the head of the driver got in the way of the turret traverse so I glued the hatch shut. Bugger!
Fitting the wheels is something you can leave until last except for the drive sprockets as the side skirts get in the way. I JUST managed to get them on but they will stay there during painting now;

The fit of the smoke discharger unit on the right side of the turret is not clear so here's a pic where they should go;

I replaced the styrene snorkel tube on the back of the turret stowage bin with 5mm brass tube and added a weld bead from stretched sprue. I also added weld beads around the stowage boxes as they are quite prominent in photo's of the actual vehicle;

The next step is to give it a REALLY good wash as it's been sat around on a shelf for months then a coat of primer then hopefully get it painted and finished this year :o)