Since the number of my build log posts is slowly increasing and I plan to focus on adding more, I have adjusted the layout of my workbench page in the menu above.
I changed the page format to make it more gallery-like, so that now you can see what kits are sitting on my bench (or rather some of them) and follow individual logs more easily by clicking on the pictures. Check it out…
After some time I had also laid my hands on the El Alamein Sherman that is sitting on my desk in the final phases of the construction.
One of the last major steps that were in front of me was addition of tools. For this I planned to use Formation set of Sherman tools which I got from my friend Dave Brown loooong time ago. This set contains all the tools that can be found on Sherman tank. It is very finely cast in beige resin. Removal of the tools is rather straightforward – razor saw and then some trimming with X-acto knife. The look of the tools is great, it might not be as perfect as when using the photoetch tie-downs and straps, but given that I had all the tools attached on the model in something over one hour, the benefit is clear.
The resin tie-down straps were little too long, so I had to cut some of those mounted on the right side of the Sherman, as there are four tools and space is at premium.
Given the changes Formations brand has gone through recently I don’t know how easy (or difficult) it is to get this set, but if you have chance, take it. It’s worth its price.
Ferdinand is another piece from my shelf queen collection.
It is Dragon kit, which is relatively new. When it first came out, I wasn’t very intrigued by this vehicle. Then I saw a die-cast model of it and somehow find the shape of the vehicle interesting got inspired. Additional inspiration also came from an article in one older issue of the Model Military magazine, which featured very nice build of this kit.
I have started the build already some time ago, what I liked about this model is that it has magic tracks, so there is no need to get an aftermarket set and the kit also seemed to have quite comprehensive set of photoetch parts. So all in all it sounded like it can be built without much of surprises. You can of course go crazy with your credit card and get complete interior, but frankly there is not much left to see even if you leave all the hatches open, so I decided to skip this.
It might be purely geographical distance, but in Canada one rarely hears about models and modelers from Poland (I guess it may be the same the other way around). However, judging by what can be found on the net, plastic modeling seems to be rather well established hobby in this country. Since I have started this blog, I am regularly looking for inspiration and for interesting modeling sites and in many cases I found these coming from the country of my former neighbours.
Recently I have found two blogs, that offered glimpse into the world of Polish modeling scene and I was quite impressed. Both sites showcase quite a few dioramas that I found to be original in their ideas and perfect in their execution. Well, see for yourself:
I have been also looking at the Dorchester sitting on my desk over the past days.
One thing that I have decided is that I will not paint it in the camouflage from the North Africa as I originally intended, but rather in the colours of the Independent Czechoslovak Armoured Brigade. The reason is simple – as much as I don’t like to admit it, I am bit disappointed with the kit. There are definitely very good parts of it (nice surface details on the walls, very well done photoetch parts by Hauler, very nicely done instruction sheet, very nice resin parts), overall I think I expected more from this kit. Especially given the price.
Since I definitely want to build the African version, I will wait for the AFV kit with that one.
So, having thus changed plans, I have studied what changes on the construction and there is a quite a bit of difference. First of all, very prominent “nose” was added to the front of the vehicle. Not sure what this was for…? This has to be built from the photoetch parts. I decided to use soldiering as a method of attaching the two parts comprising this nose. As much as I had fear of soldering some year ago, I find it actually extremely simple and dare to say even faster than trying to fiddle with super glue.
I also added a door step to the back of the vehicle. More photoetch parts to come… (there is quite a bit of them).
Just a few more shots. Tonight I added chipping to the other parts of the vehicle – metal parts of the cargo bed walls and rear of the vehicle. I think this quite added life to these surface.
I notice that my right and left front fenders have distinctively different look as a result of applying the hairspray-weathered white wash at different times (with quite a time break between them). Will have to fix it a bit with some more weathering.
After the application of the whitewash camouflage using the hairspray method, the finish of the tractor was rather flat. The finish at this time is also rather inconsistent – there is a layer of heavily weathered and chipped white paint, apparently resulting from long period of exposure to the elements, but there is no other sign of “wear and tear” resulting from this exposure. The chipped white paint is also too clean given the prolonged time it must have taken to weather the camouflage paint.
To fix this I followed with the first of multiple weathering steps I will be applying – another layer of heavy wash of oils – I use Winsor Newton artist oils, mix of Black and Burnt Umber heavily thinned, but still strong enough to leave the chipped white visibly darker.
After letting the wash dry for at least 24 hours follows addition of chips. I use drybrushing to apply these, I use small size brush and cover only small areas one at a time. Again using oils, the same mix as above. The advantage is that any mistakes or effects that I don’t like I can fix with a brush moistened in oil thinner.
When applying chipping one has to think about where the chips would occur – e.g. on the doors, they would be on the edges of the side that swings, not the other one. By the way – when applying chipping around the doors I realized that it would have been much easier if I hadn’t glued them in place, hopefully will remember this next time.
The final effect adds quite a bit of contrast to the previously flat finish (though the effect looks somehow exaggerated in the photographs) and makes it much more interesting.
Now, since the cargo bed is not made of metal, I will have to find an alternative method of weathering there.
There are few areas in the armored vehicles world, which are for some unknown reason poorly covered in the 1/35 scale. The first that comes to my mind is French armour. Few years ago it seemed that Tamiya will break the ice, but their B1 Bis was as far as they went in giving French armour fans reasons to rejoice. In the words of Professor Snape: Pity.
The other group, even more obscure and unknown is Hungarian armour. As far as I know, there is no Hungarian AFV currently available in plastic and the choice in resin is not that much better. That’s why I was quite surprised to see two recent announcements made by major brands in the hobby.
First it was during the Nuremberg toy show when Hobby Boss announced Toldi Light tank:
Then, in a flurry of new announcements today Bronco came out, among few other things with Zrinyi assault gun:
Not sure whether the producers are already running out of German subjects, but I am already now looking forward to open boxes of these kits.
It’s been some time since my last post, so just wanted to get out a short update. Aside from working on my 1:1 scale basement, I spend most of my modeling time finishing the project which is still under information embargo. The project’s deadline is on Friday and I am already looking forward to have it out of my hands (after playing with it for more than a year). More should be coming about this project in few weeks time, so stay tuned.
In the meantime I am looking at my stash of half-finished models with a firm resolution to have some of them finished, even though there are many other temptations (how come that Merkava IV is still not built given how long ago I bought it…).
I would like to continue the build series on Voroshilovets and then… well I have to think….