Thursday, 15 June 2017

Life Miniatures bust

After the head was stripped I primed it again and had another go at painting it. I got some very useful advice regarding the size of the eyes although this is the best it's ever going to get. I need to paint the throat mic next then give the head a coat of matt varnish as the black used for the side cap has a slight sheen to it which absolutely kills it.
The eagle on the cap probably needs re-painting too and the tank badge on the side is yet to be done but generally I'm quite happy with it so far.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Life Miniatures German tank commander bust

I started painting the face last night with the intention of just concentrating on the eyes;

Not bad for a first effort so I continued with the rest of the face;
And that's where I left it after calling it a night. Today while looking at  in actual daylight I've decided the flesh tone is a funny colour so it's getting the Mr Muscle treatment;
Once the paint has been stripped it will be re-primed and another colour used for the base coat. A bit of a set back but I'm quite pleased that I can actually paint it after all.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Revell TIE Fighter done

This was a fun little build, even though I just had to re-do the back end as the fit was'nt brilliant;

The base is actually a tin of mints with some lead and car filler put inside to add more weight (the mints were removed first by the way).
The black paper gave some weird reflections in the lens but it worked out well as they look like stars :o)

Monday, 15 May 2017

1946 Flak bunker

You may recall I built a '1946/ what-if/ paper panzer' of a radar turret on top of a Trumpeter E-50 chassis a while back. Anyway the base kit was the flak-panzer version and with using the Paper Panzer Productions Heimdall turret this meant the kit item was destined to go in the spares box, however I got thinking as to how I could use this turret for something else.
It was taken back out of the spares box and I had a play around with it on the bench wondering what to do. I thought the gun sight on the top was a bit naff so I blanked off the hole using styrene sheet and added some bolt heads for a start, this then lead to thinking how the guns would be aimed so after drilling holes I stuck some tubes on either side like those seen on the Heimdall turret.
In the kit is a periscope type sight so this was attached to the inside to act as a gun sight, the turret interior was then further detailed with gun breeches, a seat for the gunner, a turret traverse gear and pedals for the gunner with some personal equipment and an MP44 with ammo pouches fixed to the interior walls. While I was at it I ordered some shiny new gun barrels from RB Models too.
I was stuck on what to mount the turret on and one idea was to get an armoured train car but seeing that this little project was in danger of snowballing out of control I decided on a bunker instead so after drawing a few ideas I cut 0.030" styrene sheet into the various parts and glued it all together and here's where it is so far;

Totally insane! I was only going to stick the turret together for a laugh but of course one thing leads to another does'nt it..... at least with these things it gets your imagination working as you can do anything you like within the 'what-if' genre.

Edit; I was thinking about this again and decided it needs a rear entrance (ooh Matron!) so I made one;

Saturday, 13 May 2017

A productive couple of days!

I've had some time at the bench the past two days and managed to get a couple of projects moved on a bit more. Starting out with the neglected zombie figure and bike rider I undercoated the figures and bike yesterday;

Today the fuel tank and mudguards on the bike were painted, the Revell kit of Vaders TIE fighter was also painted using a mix of Tamiya XF-53 Neutral Grey and XF-8 Blue (near-as-dammit being my guide)

After a pin wash of Mig Dark Brown yesterday the Miniart Personenwagen received a coat of matt varnish today and while I was in the mood it got a blast of a dusty looking Tamiya colour, building it up around the back end;
Quite a productive couple of days for a change!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Life Miniatures tank commander bust

After cleaning the parts in warm soapy water and priming with Games Workshop Chaos Black I applied the basecoat of Vallejo Cork Brown (70843/133). I actually airbrushed it on as previously trying to spray Vallejo has been problematical however this time after a good tip off I thinned the paint with Vallejos' Airbrush Thinner and it worked very well. The only thing is next time I spray it I will add a couple of drops of acrylic retarder as the tip of the needle became clogged a couple of times;
One thing that HAS become apparent in this shot are the areas of shade and highlight on the face and this will be very useful when painting later on. I just really hope I can do this bust justice.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Life Miniatures WW2 German King Tiger Commander

Last year I bought my first ever 1/10 scale bust as seeing the finished model by Sang-Eon Lee inspired me a hell of a lot, however as well as inspiring me it also terrified me as I really felt I could'nt do the model justice. The model sat in the stash until yesterday as while sorting out a few bits and pieces I got it down for another look, had a fondle of the kit pieces then closed the box again.

Today I opened the box again, this time taking a deep breath and began cutting off the mould gates and attached the headphone and throat mic cables.  After a couple of hours I had this;

No going back now! This will NOT be a quick project however I've been encouraged by my attempt at painting the 200mm head the other day so I feel more prepared to tackle this one plus if I mess it up I can always strip it and start again.
The head, binoculars and headphones are separate to aid painting. Wish me luck people! :o)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

RMG 1/35 Leopard tow cables

Another day, another visit by the postie and this time I received these rather splendid 1/35 tow cables for Leopard 1 and 2 tanks from RMG in Portugal.

The towing eyes are cleanly moulded in a light coloured resin and already have holes in them to accept the end of the cable. The cables are very malleable and will stay in shape when you fit them to your Leopard, the colour of the cables means they will just need a rub with graphite to accentuate the detail and you are good to go.
I'm quite looking forward to seeing them on a Leopard now so I suppose I should build another soon-ish!
For more info take a look here;

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Figure painting

Over the years I've dabbled with figure painting to various degrees of being fair to total shit and the bug has bitten me once again. It's been brewing for a while after seeing the work of Man Jin Kim, Sang Eon Lee etc and I even bought a Life Miniatures bust of a German tank commander last year after seeing the picture on the box but chickened out as I felt I could never do it justice;
 So this week I got a few goodies through the post (again) as I need all the help I can get;
I've been looking at getting a wet palette to help stop paints drying out and I could have gone for a branded product but instead went the cheapskate route. I cut the lid off a plastic food box (it did contain some nice cake) and stole a dish cloth and some greaseproof baking paper from the other half and voila! One wet palette!!
For practice purposes I'll be using a 200mm head that I bought from Mitches Military Models as they were selling two for £5 at a model show a year or so ago. I did get some Scale 75 paints for the flesh areas but this time around I'll be using Vallejo;

The head is attached to a holder that was obtained via a Kickstarter project which I find it VERY useful and can be found here;

I used the grip holder for a figure I painted last week for the Personenwagen;
You can see what I mean about getting all the help I need :o)

Edit; I spent a very pleasant couple of hours at the bench and come up with this;
I'm quite pleased with that seeing I have'nt painted in ages

Monday, 17 April 2017

Miniart Personenwagen Typ 170V

The model has been painted and just needs the decals applying before the weathering phase and I've used Mr Hobby paint for this as I did'nt want any of the 'graining' and roughness that I've experienced with Tamiya acrylics of late.
After undercoating with Games Workshop Chaos Black I sprayed the green first a couple of days ago using H303 FS34102. Most Mr Hobby colours are semi gloss but this one is'nt so I added a few drops of Tamiya X-22 Clear and straightaway I was getting a small amount of 'frosting' in a couple of places so I have'nt a clue what Tamiya have done to their paints but Mr Hobby will be the colour of choice in future. In case you think I'm making it up I sprayed some older Tamiya paint that I have in the stash and did'nt have ANY issues with it, also it's noticeable how different the older paint smells to newer stuff.
The red brown was a mix of H406 Chocolate Brown, H72 Dark Earth and X-22 and this was sprayed using my Harder and Steenbeck Infinity that I have'nt used for ages, only because I'm waiting on a replacement seal for my Badger 100. The next colour was the sand so I used H79 Dark Yellow and it all went a bit wrong at this point as the paint went everywhere. For fine lines I really should have used an enamel based paint as I have had more control with overspray in the past for some reason. Anyway after attempting to spray the sand colour I went back over the red-brown and green areas as I kept the paint mixes in empty jars and this is the result;
I'm quite pleased with that!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Airfix C-47 rework

The model has been filled where needed, sanded down, cleaned up and has just been sprayed with primer. Unfortunately while shaking the can of Games Workshop white I managed to break the nozzle off completely which rendered the can unusable so I've had to use Halfords white primer instead.
I've always had reservations about using this stuff over surfaces that have been previously painted but I decided to give it a go and as I suspected it's started to affect the paint underneath;
It's highly likely that this model will be heading for landfill as it's becoming obvious that no matter what I do it will be a waste of time and materials. Shame really as there was a lot of work put into the model but there ya can't win 'em all.
Project pending.....

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Miniart 1/35 Personenwagen Typ 170V

The model is getting near the stage where I need to throw some paint on it so it will be left in three sub-assemblies. I only have some minor parts to stick on then it will be given a wash down in warm soapy water prior to painting;

The bonnet (or hood for my American readers) will be left open on one side and as you can see from the middle picture I've glued the right side down. The radiator grill has been glued between the fenders as the fit of parts is that good I can get away with doing this. Doing it this way allows me to spray the inside of the grill before fitting the radiator too.
Some mould pin marks are present on the inside surfaces of the main body and bonnet parts but luckly they are raised and simple to sand flush without filling. Whilst on the subject of the bonnet there is a mistake on page 10 of the instructions regarding having it open or closed in that option A depicts the closed position and option B the open position, also while on page 10 there are two options for the drivers side mirror but from what I can see only the one on the right was fitted so I had to fill in the hole on the left front fender.
The instrument panel dials are the only let down in the kit as there are no decals, just raised detail that needs painting. Fortunately Archer do a set of rub-down decals (AR35372) which will look far superior;

I think the glazing will be the make or break feature of this kit as the front and rear screens will be fun to fit although I will keep the faith with the fit of parts being so good at the moment.

Edit; Well after an hour or so more at the bench and sticking some more bits on the construction phase is complete and I can now wash it down and start painting it.
Before I glued the headlights on I made black-out covers for them using Tamiya masking tape as these would have been fitted to the real vehicle, also note the very finely etched Mercedes emblem on the radiator grill;

I have to say this has been a very enjoyable build, maybe because it's something a bit different I don't know but I do like this kit.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Miniart 1/35 Personenwagen Typ 170V Saloon

I picked this kit up a few weeks ago as the colour scheme on the box sold it immediately. I like the 1930's cars but all the chrome bits on them put me off as it's very difficult to replicate without it just looking like silver paint so seeing this vehicle in this particular scheme was irresistable;
 After finishing the two aircraft I decided to start the model so I will be posting the progress as it's not been that easy to assemble so far.
Starting with the chassis it is pretty well detailed plus you get a full engine, all that is missing are the HT leads from the distributor to the sparkplugs which I added using 5amp fuse wire;

The chassis required some clean up as there were prominent seam lines present although they cleaned up easily enough;
There are quite a few small and fiddly parts which made assembly 'fun' to say the least and just to add to it I wanted to turn the front wheels which required cutting off the axles, drilling holes in the steering posts and gluing in some 0.88m styrene rod, remembering to alter the track bar;

Miniart has made a very commendable job of the rear suspension springs but I decided to make my own using 15amp fuse wire coiled around a 2mm diameter drill bit;
The chassis is almost finished, the main bits to watch are the attachment of the exhaust as it is held onto the rear via two small strips of etched metal so it will be easily knocked off during handling and the front bumper as it just butt-joins to the front of the chassis and care is needed to make sure it does'nt droop to one side;

The brake lines were made from copper wire, the shape of which I guessed as the instructions are not very clear.
This is my first Miniart kit and so far I'm quite impressed with the model as the detail is very good and the parts layout is pretty sensible too compared to what I have read about their kits, especially their T-54.