So finally it is here! Model Military International has published my first article. In its April issue you can read about one of my latest projects – T-80U Main Battle Tank from Xact Scale Models. I hope that if you like my blog posts, you will find this article no less interesting.
I have been again quite for few days, mostly because I am doing some modeling work. Since Heritagecon show in Hamilton is just around the corner, I am trying to get few things finished. So you will have to wait just a few days for some surprises….
For all those who live nearby, I hope to see you in Hamilton’s Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum next Sunday. And don’t forget to bring your models…
Here are few shots of the tank as it is now. I had applied light streaking using AK’s streaking product for German grey vehicles. Also I added more highlights using oil paints – again by drybrushing mix of Payne’s Grey and White.
Tracks were replaced with the Friul ones, I just hate cutting zillion single links from sprues and cleaning them and I found set of Panzer I tracks from Friul in my stash. I rusted them using AK’s burnishing solution, it saves quite bit of a time. Layer of dust was applied lightly on top using Mig pigments.
The tank is now nice and clean and ready for some weathering…
Just a short post on painting the wheel tires. Panzer I is one of those vehicles, where painting the wheels is difficult for two reasons – they are just too small in 1/35 scale and because of the design of the running gear, wheels have to be assembled with the other parts composing running gear and are partly covered by it.
For most of the tanks I use stencils to paint the wheels, which of course is not possible here. So this is how I did it: instead of using paint and brushing or airbrushing it, I used modification of the wash technique.
I have mixed heavy wash from the black oil paint thinned with enamel thinner (I have used AK interactive odorless thinner). It has to be thin enough so that it flows on the surface of the models and at the same time thick enough so that the paint in the wash actually covers the surface (i.e. is not transparent). With this mix you just need to gently apply it by brush along the edges of the wheels and let the capillary action of the enamel (or oil) thinner, spread along the edge with the metal part of the wheel. This way you can have a nice delineation between wheel and tire, without the need to carefully paint it. The coverage by the oil wash may not be 100%, but I view this more as an advantage – excessive contrast between tires and wheels is in my opinion one of common modeling mistakes. It is quite noticeable in case of vehicles with German yellow base color. In reality, due to scale effect, this contrast should be toned down either by painting or subsequent weathering techniques.
For all of you diorama fans and builders out there who are looking for some inspiration and know-how on the web – three of my favorite sites, which you should not miss:
Alamedy Diorama - facebook page of a modeler from Iraq. If this guy can can make all those things, the rest of the modeling world should stop complaining that it is too difficult… A lot of great work, focusing on urban scenes and buildings.
Satoshi Araki - Another great modeller, this time from Japan. If you are looking for definition of ultra-realistic sceneries, you don’t need to search any further. It is almost hard to believe you can do this in scale.
The Fos Blog - Primarily aimed at railway modelling, but with tons of useful tips and techniques for armor dioramas. Lots of pictures illustrating the techniques accompanied with detailed descriptions. Check it out, you will definitely learn something.
I have been asked to post more videos from Mike Rinaldi’s workshop, so here is another one, this time showing chipping process.
You can see the previous two videos I have already posted here:
Photo report from the workshop can be seen here:
Application of markings was relatively quick with this piece, mainly because there were not that many of them. To prep the surface for application I have airbrushed layer of Tamiya Semi Gloss Clear X-35. I wanted just a thin layer, but at the end when it came to the application of Micro Sol and Micro Set solution, it was clear that it could have been thinner. The Semi Gloss Clear is good, because it is not so glossy, it has that nice metallic sheen, but next time I will hold my airbrush back.
The decals went down perfectly without any problem and my trusted combination of Micro Set/Sol proved it’s worth again.
One last step that many modelers skip or forget is toning the decals down. To make them less bright I have first airbrushed anothe thin layer of Semi Gloss Clear to protect them and this was followed by mid-tone of the base coat grey colour I have used. This was thinned down 95%, so it was more like dirty thinner, so that you can build the effect of blending decals with the rest of the model slowly and in controlled way.
Today I have found another nice series of photographs that should be appreciated by any armor modeler. Number of different destroyed and rusty tanks from pretty much all the theaters of war are included. There is quite a few from Pacific theater, which I find to be particularly interesting as one does not usually stumble upon many of those.
In addition to the providing reference for replicating damage effects on vehicles, these photographs offer also good reference in terms of the environment – plants, trees, etc. Valuable for any diorama builders.
You can find it on facebook here.
For the wash I have used AK’s wash for grey vehicles. Unlike other models, when I have used AK washes straight from the bottle I felt that the one to be used for this model was a bit too dark. I tested it on the rear of the model and decided to thin it before application on the rest of the model. The model has flat finish and the surface would absorb the wash too quickly for it to be lifted even right after the application. I used AK’s thinner and applied the wash in the same manner as on the other models. Wash added more depth to the finish and added shadows around the surface details. This will still need to be enhanced by oils, but wash provides a good base.
Highlighting was done by drybrushing of oil paints. I mixed Winsor & Newton Payne’s Grey and Titanium White until I achieved the right contrast between the highlighting color and the base color of the model. I then gently drybrushed this mixed oil paint on the edges of the upper structure of the model. This significantly enhances the contrast and brings out all the details.
Having finished construction of this little panzer, I was looking forward to proceed to painting. First was the primer, with the usual pitfalls with priming outside in winter – see my post on the Char 2C here. This was followed by the preshading/base coat and modulation.
For preshading I have gone with the Tamiya German Grey and applied flat uniform coat. To add contrast and highlights and have mixed lighter version of this same colour. In most cases I avoid lighting paints with white as it makes them look bleak, but in this case I was looking to preserve the cooler tone of the German grey. I have applied modulation in two steps with two different paint mixes. First was mix of German Grey and Flat White in ratio 3:5 and then the second, lighter version mixed in ratio 2:5. This was only pplied along the upper edges of the superstructure and upper hull.
I have used old business card to achieve hard edge between the areas of different lightness, mostly along the edges, such as between the front upper hull and front side of the superstructure, which is the most visible one.
I have kept the lower hull area (behind the wheels) darker and applied the first lighter coat lightly.
After I have taken my BMP to Ajax model show and had a good look at it, I was not happy with what I have seen. Pigments that I have applied in the end have killed much of the weathering I applied before and whole model looked rather bland. After some thinking Id decided to give the model a second breath of life.
First I have airbrushed model with a thin layer of lacquer thinner coat, this usually tones down the pigments and makes their look more subtle. Next I have used some AK washes and oils to add some life to the model again.
With AK streaking agent I added subtle streaking effects on the rear of the vehicle. These were then accentuated with oils, using Burnt umber color.
After this has dried I added overall mapping with oil colors to add visual richness and depth. I have used few – Sepia, Winsor Yellow deep (these I have liked the best), Indian Red (this proved to be very strong and rich color, so later I omitted it) and Davy’s Grey (this was on the other hand very weak, so I replaced it with Raw Sienna, which was just marginally better). I applied small dots of these paints on the surface and then blended them with moist brush to get more gradual transition between different shades on the surface, while preserving the contrast. It is important to bear in mind that the effect of the oil mapping will be weaker once the paint dries, so you either have to build this in multiple steps or leave the effect during the application one notch stronger than what you want to achieve.
At the end I was much closer to the look I am after, the one of dirty and worn out vehicle operating in a dusty and muddy terrain.
I have in mind few other steps to apply, so hopefully things will at the end go well.