Friday, June 25, 2021

Visiting an Old Friend

 Almost four and a half years ago, I completed my first 1/35 scale AFV model, Takom's fantastic Medium Mark A Whippet. As explained in my first WIP post on this kit, I'm a huge fan of First World War armor and after being inspired by Andy Moore's build of this kit on The Modelling News, I had to build it. Considering where I was in my modeling journey, I think it was a pretty solid effort. Prior to this, all of my modeling experience had been limited to Warhammer miniatures and Fine Molds and Bandai Star Wars models. I even took it to my IMPS chapter's annual model show where I believe it placed second in the 1/35 armor (WWII and earlier) category, for what that's worth.

Now having let the model sit in my display case these last four years, I decided to take back down to the bench and apply what I've learned these last few years to up the finish on this otherwise perfectly serviceable model.

The steps taken were pretty simple and involved a couple techniques that I have learned in the last few years. First up, I enhanced the mud texture in the mud chutes under the track by both building up the volume and adding a couple of more tones using a few of Ammo of Mig enamels. To increase visual interest on the modulated surfaces, I mixed a light green and highlighted all of the rivets and then went over the all of the hull with an olive green enamel filter. Using the same enamel mud effects that I used in the mud chutes, I added more textures on the track sponsons, both streaking it down from where it would collect on the top and speckling it on across the bottom. I also refined some of the pin washes on the fighting compartment and finally, I rubbed some gunmetal pigment on corners and any edge that I thought would receive wear and tear.

In all, it was pretty fun to go back and revisit the first tank that I ever built. I also discovered that the idea of revisiting builds was quite contentious in a lot of modeling circles; I asked for feedback on what to do in the Scale Modeler's Critique Group on Facebook and most responses were some variation of not doing what I wanted to do for a number of reasons. The most common response was a variation on the idea that it was important to keep older work the way it was when you finished it to serve as some kind of "bookmark" on where you were in your modeling journey. Frankly, I find that to be bullshit, to put it bluntly. I most definitely subscribe to the theory that art is never finished, just abandoned and I don't need a physical reminder of where I was in the past. Most importantly, having the success I had on this Whippet has me wanting to do this on some of my other old builds!

Monday, April 19, 2021

WIP: Arrostias, Myphitic Blight-Hauler


I spent the past weekend working on this Myphitic Blight-hauler for my burgeoning Death Guard army. I think the armor is where I want it to be with regards to weathering and now I just need to finish the base. I tried to strike a balance between a high level of finish and expediency since I have lots of other models in this army left to paint.

Monday, April 5, 2021

WIP: Ryefield Models T-34/85, Part IV


The first round of light colored chipping with a mix of Vallejo paints is done! I also painted the turret markings by hand instead of using the decals or masking and spraying them. This was done to better mimic how the markings were actually applied by the crews. 

Next up is the dark steel chipping that will have to be applied by brush and then I begin the real weathering.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

WIP: Ryefield Models T-34/85, Part III


My initial attempt at two-tone camouflage was an unmitigated disaster, but instead of stripping the whole thing down, I just re-primed everything with black (except for the tracks and road wheels). From there, I went back with MRP 4BO Green as a basecoat, painted grime/shadows with a mix of Tamiya Flat Brown and Flat Black, and then worked in highlights by mixing ever-increasing amounts of AK Real Color 4BO (which is much too desaturated and nowhere close to the real thing) into some MRP 4BO. After that, I highlighted some details with Lifecolor Faded Olive Drab and a fine paintbrush. 

Up next is the turret markings, which I'm probably going to attempt to hand paint instead of using the kit decals.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

WIP: Ryefield Models T-34/85, Part II


What a goddam roller coaster I’ve been on with this model over the last couple days.

I finally got around to priming the model, but for some dumb reason I decided to use an AK spray primer I had laying around because I was too lazy to turn my airbrush compressor on. Unfortunately, it appeared to have crazed the plastic, especially on the turret roof. Why I was debating on whether or not to strip it, I spilled a huge blob of MRP 4BO on the turret due to sheer clumsiness. That pretty much sealed the deal as far as stripping it goes, so off into SuperClean it went!

This afternoon, I pulled it out and scrubbed the paint off as best I could before sanding the shit out of the roof and then giving it a couple coats of Mr Surfacer 500. It’s not perfect by a damn stretch, but it’ll do because I want to move on with the build. I finished up by giving everything a healthy coat of MRP 4BO Green, probably the best out-of-the-bottle 4BO available.

In poking around the internet, I found an interesting camouflage scheme on a T-34/85 that features a base of 4BO with a pale greenish disruptive color over it. My friend and co-host Scott had the idea of using AK Real Colors “4BO” to serve as that color and my initial test shows that it seems to fit the bill quite nicely!

Friday, March 19, 2021

WIP: Ryefield Models T-34/85, Part I


Back in October 2020, my podcast started our first group build based around Ryefield Models new T-34/85 in 1/35 scale. Despite being the one to propose the group build, I dragged my feet in getting it built but I've finally gotten done!

Monday, March 1, 2021

WIP: Tamiya ISU-152


I'm continuing my 2021 journey of transforming my Shelf of Doom into the Well of Potential, this time taking aim at this Tamiya ISU-152 that I’ve had laying around for years. 

I painted this model sometime around February 2018, but it was only done in one color (MRP 4BO Green) and had then applied the decals. It stayed that way until this weekend, when I dug it out to reevaluate it. Taking inspiration from Martin's recent video series on his BMR-3M, I attempted a similar "pre-weathering" approach with my airbrush, taking care to work around the rather large decals.

I think it's in a good place at the moment, and this will be followed up with some earth and dust tones to begin the actual weathering.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

WIP: Takom Mark I male, Part III


Since I'm still figuring out how to handle the dusty weathering on the lower hull, I decided to turn my attention to the sponson crane framework. 

I had long ago decided that the framework would be left as bare steel in order to contrast with the painted hull armor. Thanks to my circle of modeling friends, I've been expanding my library of modeling books, and in the age of digital publications, this has been easier than ever. One of my recent additions was Adam's Armour 2 by Adam Wilder, which aside from showcasing some of Adam's best work, features a chapter on painting bare mild steel.

I started with a grey-brown painted with a mix of Vallejo paints and after carefully masking the the top of the hull—including over the photo etch exhaust deflectors—I gave the frames a couple of coats of Ammo Scratches Effects. I mixed together a blue-grey steel color using Tamiya acrylics, sprayed the frames, and proceeded to chip them to serve as the base steel. On top of that, various rust enamels were blended over the surface and then darker tones were speckled on top of those, blending any specks that appeared too large. After everything dried, I added a couple areas of orangey rust tones using oils and then rubbed the edges with metallic pigment.

Friday, February 19, 2021

WIP: Takom Mark I male, Part II


Since I focused my effort into working on—and finishing!—the 1/48 scale Fine Molds TIE fighter, the Mark I had to take a bit of a back seat after I got the base colors and initial pin wash done. Returning to it now, I started to develop a weathering plan for using a combination of Andy Moore's fantastic build that was featured in The Modelling News and Martin Kovac's equally wonderful desert weathering video.

To begin with, I applied the oil paint rendering technique for discoloration mainly along panels and raised surface details. I primarily used 502 Abteilung Starship Filth and Industrial Earth, which I consider the two most versatile colors available for this kind of work. Following that, I gave the lower areas a predusting with a sandy color thinned heavily and built up lightly in a couple of layers, being careful not to completely erase some of the oil work I had previously done.

After evaluating what I had done thus far, I decided to add more visual interest to the the large vertical hull plates in the form of streaking using Ammo of Mig Streaking Grime and Starship Wash. I also took this opportunity to paint the sponson crane frames using a dark brown-grey that I mixed with a couple of Vallejo paints to serve as a base for a rusted bare steel effect.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

WIP: Takom Mark I male, Part I


I know that the title says "Part I," but I must admit that is a little bit of a lie. The truth is that I've had this kit painted twice before. The original paint, which was water-based acrylic that I attempted and failed to chip, was painted over with a Tamiya mix, but I was again unhappy with it. I was on the verge of binning the entire kit, but decided to strip it and start again. 

This time, I primed it a dark red-brown I made mixing  a couple different Stynylrez primers together, sprayed a couple of coats of AK Scratches Effects, and then gave it a coat of Tamiya Khaki XF-49 to serve as the base drab color and then lightly chipped. This color, of course, is an approximation (I firmly believe that the exact color was lost to history) and that's good enough for me. After a coat of X-22 Clear, I added the handful of decals, four in total, and then went to work on pin wash using Mig Wash for Desert Sand Base and yes, this was applied to every rivet... Every. Single. Rivet.

From here, I'm unsure of what direction to take the weathering. I'm leaning towards adding some post-shading with an airbrush and definitely a nice pass of pre-dusting to kick off the weathering, which will eventually be a dusty and dirty finish (this is one of the eight tanks that were sent to Palestine in December 1916). Regardless, I'm pleased just by getting to this point considering the struggles I've had with this kit. Part of my new outlook of scale modeling has been to "let go," trust the process, and know that the finish will turn out okay. If it doesn't, just chalk it up to learning and move on to the next one. 

They don't all have to be barn-burners after all.