Over the past days I was also working on the Ka-Mi in parallel with the JSU, mostly adding weathering and balancing the contrast.
First I have airbrushed a very thin Flat Earth (Tamiya XF-52) along the bottom edge of the hull to simulate dusting. I have tried to keep the effect very muted and I think it looks quite good.
Afterwards I have realized that in the process of weathering I have a lot of the chipping I have done at the beginning, so decided to add bit more of the chips using both localized drybrushing and sponge technique.
One of the last step I have been adding to the Ka-Mi is oil mapping. I am not sure if this is the correct name for this technique, but I use it when referring to it, as I don’t know other name that would be commonly used. In one of my older posts I have linked a site to a similar technique used by Mike Rinaldi, which he christened Oil paint rendering (see here).
Principle is similar – using oil paint break down monotony of the larger surfaces by creating subtle dust & grime “maps” (thus mapping).
As name indicates I am using my trusty Winsor & Newton oils. As a first step I moisten the surface to which this effect is to be applied with oil thinner to prevent marks that oil paints could leave on matt surface. The paint finish most suitable for this technique is satin as the oil paint has to flow on the surface and should not get absorbed by the paint layer (at least not too much).
I was still thinking about how far to go with the weathering of Ka-Mi, when I decided to test AK interactive’s new products. One that I have picked up during my most recent visit at the Hornet Hobbies is Streaking Grime for Panzer Grey. I guess Ka-Mi’s finish is sort-of-panzer-grey-ish, so why not trying it out…
Application of this product is quite straightforward – 1.Shake, 2. Apply with fine brush, 3. Wait, 5. Blend with brush moistened with oil thinner.
I am now in the final phases of this build – weathering. This usually means that things go extremely slowly, mostly because I use oil paints for lot of my weathering techniques and I usually let them dry for at least 24 hours before proceeding. At the same time the process is often iterative, such as with chipping – I add chips, let the paint dry, then add some more, then again and again after I feel I have the desired effect (though part of the excuse may as well be the fact that the weather is warmer outside and there is ton of work to be done in the garden and around the house, you know it…).
So I have spent last few evening adding chipping. I use my favourite mix of Winsor & Newton Ivory Black and Burnt Umber and apply the chips in very controlled, localized dry brushing. I think the effect you can achieve using this technique is by far more refined than by actually painting the chips with fine brush. This is partly because this technique actually replicates the process through which chipping occurs on real vehicles – abrasion of paint layers on places, which are exposed to the movement of the crews (e.g. edged of the hatches and turret) or to the environment and surrounding of the vehicle (e.g. edges of the main body of the vehicle).
Nevertheless, in this case, I am trying to keep chipping subtle. Ka-Mi most likely saw very limited action, so most of the weathering would be the regular “wear and tear”. Now given the fact that the punishments in the Imperial Army were rather draconian for even small infractions of the rules and discipline, one could assume that the tanks would be well maintained…
In the process I have also added last pieces that I kept separate to ease the painting of the model – second half of the turret upper hatch and exhaust grill.
I am now thinking where to go with this model, I still plan to add few more weathering effects, but I am becoming hesitant, as I quite like the vehicle with its current look. So let’s see…
I have added few touches to KaMi some day before my last week’s trip, mostly dealing l with the details.
First I painted the barrels of the two machine guns. For this I used Vallejo paints, which I regularly use to hand paint the details. I used mix of Black and Black Grey – Black is too dark by itself and Black Grey too light, mix of the two seems about right to me. I always add touch of paint retarder, so that I can fix any unwanted overpainting of adjacent areas.
After painting the barrels, I have applied graphite. I do this using following method: I rub a regular pencil on a piece of sandpaper to get the graphite powder. Then I use makeup tool, called angle smudge (it is a kind of sponge brush that is used in makeup application and can be bought in Shoppers Drug mart. The particular one that I use is by Posh brand and I got two of them in a set – the other is called Round Smudge) to apply this to the surface, in this case the metal part of the machine gun. The advantage of this tool is that unlike most of the modelling sponge brushes I have seen, such as the ones by Tamiya, this particular one has sharp edge and can thus be used to reach edge of the surface without touching adjacent areas.
I have spent last few evenings adding few touches to the Ka-Mi.
To tone down the contrast created by preshading and highlighting I applied oil filter. I used my trusty Winsor & Newton Burnt Umber and to keep the wash in balance with the underlying colour I mixed it with Payne’s Grey. I kept the filter rather thin, trying to avoid darkening the resulting paint finish too much. You can always darken it afterwards, lightening is much more complicated. I applied thin layer over all the surfaces.
After letting the filter cure for 24 hours I drybrushed the raised details to make them stand out from the background. Again used the Payne’s Grey, this time mixed with White. After few refinements of getting the mix the correct leve of contrast vs. the underlying color I drybrushed all the rivets, hinges, raised weld lines and similar surface details.
The last paint layer that I plan to apply is the second highlight, to increase the contrast and give the model little bit more “depth”.
For this layer I needed another shade of grey that would be lighter than the first highlight. I picked XF-19 Sky Grey as a base. To blend the colour with the previous paint layer I added bi of IJN Grey, so that at the end was mix approximately 5:1 Sky Grey: IJN Grey.
Tamiya offers quite a wide range of grey colour paints in their acrylics range, so I had to choose which one to choose for the following painting steps.
I decided to use IJN Grey XF-75 as I liked the shade and it was sufficiently lighter compared to the base coat. From my own experience, It is always better to use paints with higher contrast for different layers, as the contrast is usually toned down during the application of filters. If the contrast is small, the colors of the model at the end blend too much and it loses much of its vibrancy.
So, having added last few pieces to the vehicle I decided to give it some paint today (or rather yesterday as it is past midnight already).
To save time I decided to skip priming the model. I wanted to save 24 hours I usually let model stand to have the primer thoroughly dried. I think in the future I will follow my routine and start with the primer, as I noticed that without this, the paint rubbed off especially on the wheels quite easily.
The base coat in this case would act also as a preshading, so I wanted to use darker shade of Grey for this layer. My idea originally was to use Tamiya German Grey XF-63. However, after testing this at the bottom of the model, I found that this color is still too light for what I needed. So I have added Tamiya Nato Black XF-69, so that the mix was 5:2 of German Grey:Nato Black. I thinned the paint as usual with Tamiya lacquer thinner in a ratio 4:1 thinner to paint. To protect the interior of the turret, I masked the opening for the hatch with masking tape from inside. With the above mix I then gave the model thorough coat covering all the surfaces.
For the wheels I wanted to try the new Tamiya paint (as far as I know this is new, maybe not) - Rubber Black XF-82. I wanted to apply this at all the running gear as a base coat and preshading. This paint would also be my main coat on a rubber parts of the wheels, which I would mask when adding following paint layers.
I like this new paint quite, it is really very “rubbery” shade od dark grey/black, I think this paint will be quite often in my repertoire in the future. It is definitely the best choice for painting rubber wheels.
(UPDATED on April 3, 2012 – added some more corrections)
Here comes another recent inspiration of mine.
Having seen this model built by two of my friends (and both very nice models) I decided to give it a try as well. I had planned to build some Japanese armor for some time now, and this kit is perhaps the best to start with.
As was already said few times, this kit might be the best Dragon’s kit yet. It is really lovely. No complicated construction, low parts count, amazing fit of the parts, beautiful details and quality of moulding, you name it. There is decent interior provided for the turret, so it would be a shame to have all the hatches closed.
As usual with the Dragon’s models, you will have to bite through the instructions, which are typical Dragon’s quality (or rather lack of it). To name just a few corrections:
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.
The flurry of good news seem not to be coming to an end so far this year. This one came rather quietly, in spite of it being released three days ago, I only read about it this morning on the track-link.net site (here).
For years Israeli armour fans had to do with old Academy kits and of course Legends conversions, which though detailed and well made were always bit pricey and quite a bit more laborious to put together than a plastic kit.
Now times seem to be changing, after having Merkava IV from Academy and Hobby Boss, the next one coming is Merkava IIID by Meng models. What is interesting, and sets the expectations high, is the fact that Meng has been working on the kit with some experts in the field – Desert Eagle publishing and Michael Mass. Because of this we can perhaps hope that mistakes such as the wrong wheel configuration on the Merkava IV from Hobby Boss will be avoided.
For more information you can read the forum thread at idf-in-scale.com site here.