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.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Dragon Fokker E.V/ D.VIII finished

 I managed to finally finish this one at last, it's been ongoing for awhile but time to call it done;

I'm quite happy with it as it's the first ever WW1 aircraft in 1/48 that I have ever finished (The Eduard Albatros went to landfill earlier this year).
I've learned a LOT from this build which bodes well for future WW1 projects. The lozenge pattern camo came as a decal sheet from Aviattic and you need to take a lot of care handling this stuff as it does'nt adhere very well to the surface, in a couple of places where I had to drill holes out for struts, rigging etc the decal came away around the hole and immediately 'silvered' as air got underneath.
I have a couple of ideas to remedy this either putting them down over wet varnish OR thinned down white glue as they are fantastic decals with the way they capture the linen effect in the printing process. The only thing I did'nt like about them is the film the decals are printed on is very stretchy and very difficult to trim, even with a brand new blade.

Onto the Uschi Van Der Rosten wood grain decals and again these were great for replicating the plywood panels on the wing but again the adhesive quality needs addressing with either of the two methods mentioned above.
I used the Uschi rigging thread and again this was a learning curve as the thread tended to curl up when superglue was applied which made it tricky to fasten to such small areas such as aileron and rudder horns. The advantages of this thread though is with being elastic the tension stays unlike heat stretched sprue which can sag. I shall definitely be using it again but it would probably be easier feeding it through small holes, gluing into place, trimming the excess then putting a dab of paint over the hole.
The Spandau machine guns were supplied by Karaya and were VERY fiddly to assemble, especially as there were no instructions (I actually used an instruction sheet found online from ABER). Using after market guns threw up a problem regarding the holes for the ammuntion chutes as these need to be about 1mm or so further forward as the chutes don't match up with the breeches where the ammo is fed. It was far too late in the day to address this so I left them as is but if any readers are embarking on a similar build then this info will be useful.
I wanted to weather the model by applying thin strips of Tamiya masking tape to the fuselage sides where the fuselage framing would be then spraying Tamya X-19 Smoke in between the strips. Unfortunately the tape manage to rip one of the circular decals so I had to repaint the area and decided to leave the weathering. Normally varnish will seal the decals but at some point I used Vallejo gloss varnish and this stuff just lifted off the surface so another lesson learned.
On the whole this is another '4 footer' model like the S-3 Viking (in that it looks great from 4ft) but generally I'm fairly happy with it and has given me a bit more confidence to tackle other WW1 aircraft. These things are definitely not easy to do but it stretches the modelling skills (and patience) somewhat.

EDIT; I've just remembered to include these shots of the wing struts as Dragon got them wrong, the struts from the bottom edges of the fuselage should be blended into the struts from the top edge of the fuselage and not seperate and something I only noticed right at the end of the build;

Friday, 10 March 2017

Dragon Fokker E.V/ D.VIII

With the Viking finished and needing to while away the small hours I put the decals on this;
Once they have set I'll give it another coat of varnish to seal the decals in, a coat of matt varnish then try my hand at weathering a WW1 aircraft which should be a giggle. I'm hoping to get this finished soon-ish too.

S-3B Viking finally finished

It's been a long time coming but it's finally finished. I actually started this project back in 2006 but with the amount of work it was going to need I soon got bored and the project stalled until the middle of last year when I felt the need to finish it.
So here it is, my interpretation of  Lockheed S-3B Viking (BuNo159413) call sign 'Beefsteak Seven-zero-zero' from VS-21 'Fighting Redtails' onboard the USS Kittyhawk during it's 'WESTPAC 99' cruise;

The base is an old Verlinden US aircraft carrier one that I bought years ago and finally opened today :)
The model threw up some challenges during construction and finishing, the one thing I'm pleased about is the tail seeing that the decal broke apart and would'nt conform to the contours. There are a few mistakes on it such as the canopy overhanging on one side (I think the ejection seat was pushing it out) which I did'nt notice until the model had been painted, and some silvering on the decals is noticeable in a couple of places.
Other than that I'm quite happy with it!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Dragon Fokker E.V/ D.VIII

Yet another one pulled from the Shelf-Of-Doom is this Fokker that I started last year and promptly messed up when it came to the wing. Since then I've had a think and made a slightly different approach to the finish.
After stripping the wing back to bare plastic I resprayed it with a white gloss from a Tamiya rattle can and left it to cure for a couple of days before spraying the other side, again leaving it to set completely.
As the particular aircraft I want to model had a white strip around the wing edges top and bottom I masked off the wing using Tamiya tape cut to 1mm width;
Luckily after the last failed attempt of doing the wing I had plenty of wood grain decal from Uschi Van Der Rosten left so this was applied both sides span-wise and done in three sections; outer wings, centre section and ailerons (which had the grain chord-wise). A brand new scalpel blade was used to cut the decal around the masking tape;
The decals are VERY thin and extreme care is needed during application as they are very easy to rip, something I did in a couple of areas as you can see in the picture above and the reason I had kitchen towel underneath.
For painting I decided to use Winsor and Newton acrylic paint rather than oils with Vallejo acrylic retardent to slow down the drying time;
The underside colours were painted first, keeping the paint fairly thin to achieve the streaking effect that was a characteristic of this particular aircraft;
Due to the quick drying time I was able to paint the top surface then remove the tape, taking a LOT of care not to rip the woodgrain decal;
And that's that! Finally!! The wing will be gloss varnished next along with the fuselage and the decals for the markings will be applied and hopefully I can get this finished as it's been a very long time since I had a WW1 aircraft on the shelf.
I still would have preferred the wing in an overall green finish though....