LIFE.com has today published series of colour photographs showing destruction of Normandy cities after the liberation battles of June 1944. The photographs were never published before and I believe are quite amazing. They will be most valuable as they give clear perspective about the scale of damage in this area as well as they breath with more life due to the colour, offering something that black and white picture cannot easily convey.
Extremely valuable for all modellers, especially diorama builders…
The next step was dealing with the lower hull, specifically weathering hull sides. Unlike Panthers & Tigers, where you can’t see anything from this part of the vehicle due to the size of the wheels, on Panzer IV this is one of the most visible sections of the tank (unless you are of course building tank with the side skirts).
With this build I wanted to try something new again and weather the sides of the hull more than I used with my previous models. I started with the AK’s wash that I have used before for the top of the vehicle, I just left more of the wash on the model to achieve darker effect. I followed with streaking using AK’s streaking grime for dark yellow vehicles and then airbrushed more of the wash along the bottom edge as well as right below the fender. I still felt this is not good enough as I was looking for stronger, darker effect and more contrast.
Found this photo on Facebook few days ago. Normally I don’t use Lifecolor, partly because their products are not as readily available in local hobby stores but also because I tend to stick to my tried-and-tested palette of tools. And then I occasionally stumble upon picture and think for myself – this looks cool, maybe I should give it a try. So maybe, I will…
Before I move on to the next step in this build, I wanted to add few ideas about the look of this vehicles and the effect from the chipping stage.
Though I have attempted to make the chipping extensive, but as fine as possible, I still feel that the overall effect is quite heavy – only to be used on the vehicle subjected to long service life and a lot of wear. When compared to reference sources – such as the one I posted in one of my older posts here, I feel the effect is simply bit overdone. The use of this technique should be carefully controlled, otherwise the outcome can easily become unrealistic.
With the chipping mostly done I have proceeded to blend the overall look of the tank as I have indicated in the previous post. For this I have again used the AK’s wash solution for modern desert vehicles, which I have used on my M1A1 and with quite a success. This solution serves both as a wash and a filter, but the application method must be such that it can actually achieve both purposes.
After the Battle is already well-known and popular series of publications among the modellers, so I don’t think there is much needed in terms of introduction. I took notice of the publisher already long time ago primarily thanks to their magazine. Then, some time ago they have released the book on Battles for Monte Cassino, which remains to be one of the most extensive resources dealing with this battle and of course this book found a spot on my bookshelf.
I was thus quite surprised few days ago, when I found out that the latest release from this publisher hit the market in March. The main reason for being surprised is the fact that the book deals with the North African campaign – given how popular this particular battlefield is among the modellers, it is wonder that there wasn’t more promotion done about this book, or maybe I have just missed it…
Everything ready for chipping I exchanged the airbrush for a paintbrush and clear water and went on a few day’s chipping spree…
Again, as I have already mentioned, I greatly benefited from the experience of seeing Mike Rinaldi in action and have been ready to solve some of the problems I have encountered before. I have not applied any clear coat before the hairspray nor did I mix any Tamiya Clear into the underlying paint layer. In spite of this, I was able to achieve the chipping effect better than before. The process was simple, though it differed a bit depending on the time passed since the application of the Dark Yellow coat.
After applying the red primer paint layer I proceeded to the next steps – the first one was application of hairspray. I have followed Mike Rinaldi’s technique as described in his book and seen in his workshop. Two thin coats, each dried with a hair dryer were applied rather quickly (see the first picture below).
This was followed by the base coat of the dark yellow. Here I have tried few new things or some that I haven’t done for a while. First, I thinned the paint with the Tamiya Acrylic thinner. I am normally using the lacquer thinner, but for chipping with hairspray this is not advisable as it would be too difficult to chip the paint. My problem with the acrylic thinner, that in the past, I have often ended up with the sand paper-like finish of the paint when using it.
Recently I have written about a new modelling magazine entering the modelling publications world – the Abrams Squad. Always curious, I have ordered the magazine and last Friday (just before I left to spend weekend re-enacting 200th anniversary of the Battle of Fort George, for anyone interested – see pictures here) it has arrived. I was quite pleased as the delivery was surprisingly fast, took only about a week for the magazine to arrive from Spain.
Having now spent few days going through the magazine I can say that I am very pleased with its quality. On the technical side Abrams Squad is top class – high quality paper, professional design, very high quality of photographs – high resolution, nice colour saturation, good lighting and white balance).
Encouraged by the success with stripping the paint on the Panzer, I was quite looking forward to making some further progress on this model. I took the opportunity of having this model ready for painting and decided to try some of the things I have learned during the recent workshop with Mike Rinaldi and replicate few things from his books.
My first step was rather usual – undercoat the kit in dark black color (Tamiya Nato Black). Then I have decided to try something different and applied the coat simulating red primer, for this I have used Vallejo Cavalry Brown (982). The shade looks very nice and is very close to the red primer I can remember from my early years, when I was helping my father painting metal roof on our house. The problem with this paint is that it is Vallejo. I guess the paint is not meant to be airbrushed, so I had to figure out how to do it. Straight from the bottle the paint is simply too thick to spray. I tried to thin it with Tamiya Acrylic primer (I recalled one of my friends saying this thinner should be used with Vallejo paints), however this has not really worked. Regardless of how much I thinned it, I ended up with this oozy muddy mix which got splattered every time I tried to apply it with airbrush.
Few days ago I have found out (thanks to facebook) that there is another modelling magazine coming to the market these days. The name is Abrams Squad and it is magazine to be solely devoted to the modern armour. I find this to be very welcome additions (there is never enough of good modelling magazines I believe…) and judging by the name of authors contributing to the first issue, my expectations of quality are set high. Recent flurry of new models of modern vehicles should guarantee that there is going to be enough of subjects to cover in the future…
If you feel tempted, you can find more information and order the magazine online here (country of origin is this time Spain). I had some trouble to switch the page language to English – the English button was nowhere to be found, until it has mysteriously appeared below the Spanish language button (?).
I am hoping that the magazine could become available in a digital form, as I am progressively becoming more of a tablet user when it comes to modelling magazines.
It is interesting to see this recent trend in the modelling publications marketplace – specialization, going from modelling to armour modelling and then to even more specific subjects as weathering or specific time period. Maybe this is not the end yet…
I have made some progress on the Voroshilovets as I am trying to get it finished. This means all the small things that need to be touched and finalized, so it usually takes some time. In this case I had to add windows on the cargo bed cover. This was quite easy, so I was lucky because not having paid attention to the instructions properly, I did not notice at first that the windows are not the same and that each window fits specific opening (all windows are numbered). As I said, luckily I found this out not too late, so all the windows were fixed as per instructions.
Very interesting announcement came yesterday from Miniart – it will bring us: Tram. Given its huge diorama potential, it is more than surprising that it took so long for a model company to figure it out… But here it is finally, looks good on the pictures. I believe this will be definitely one of the models I will not miss.