Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cromwell figures done

Well the figures are about done, and pretty much all that I need to do is give them a sealer coat, and add them to the Cromwell. Not my best, but defintely not my worst. Overall I'm very happy with the results, but feel that I need to improve my technique a bit more...which of course means I needs to build, paint and buy more! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just a quick update

I haven't had as much modeling time of late. My wife and I had our fifth wedding anniversary to celebrate, and autumn has arrived with lots of weekend chores. That being said, I have chosen the figures for the Cromwell, blocked in the colors and started the detail painting. There still a little bit of work to do, but AB Figures are just so easy to paint. I should have them done soon, and can finish up the Cromwell, and get to work on a little diorama base for it.

The figures are painted with Vallejo Game Color and Model Color. I painted the uniforms Game Color Bonewhite (34), followed with several thin coats of Model Color British Uniform (921/141) mixed Vallejo Glaze. The result was pretty good by itself, but I followed up with a mix of Bonewhite and British Uniform. Faces where painted with various Vallejo Game Color flesh shades (Elf Flesh, Filthy Brown, and Dwarf Flesh). Then I used a thin glaze mix of Beasty Brown (43) to provide depth and shadows. I've still got a little cleanup to do on the faces & uniforms, and I have to paint badges on the berets.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

AB Figure galor

Here's a sample of the AB Figures I picked up the other day, and boy do I love them. The detail on them is very impressive. Each fgure has it's own personality, the poses are natural, and the sculpting lends itself to easy painting. I can't wait to pick four out, clean them up, prime them and paint them.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A little Sherman madness

I haven't touched the Cromwell since my last post. I've been waiting for the AB Figures to arrive from England. before I finish it. The figures arrived Tuesday (I only sent my order in via Air Mail 10 days before!), and I picked them up at the Post Office Friday. I went a little crazy and order a bunch of US and British tanker sets, since my stash of allied kits is quite large. I'll try and shoot some pictures and send to On the Way! as previews, since they're celebrating 10 years on the web. Then I'll pick four figures for the Cromwell, paint them up and at least have the Tank finished.

Today also brought a package from Luck Models, with six decal sheets from Bison. Unfortunately two sheets were out of stock (US Shermans in Normandy, and US Tanks in NW Europe '45), but I can get to work on several other kits, mostly British Shermans. So the AB Figures will come in handy.

My wife and I have been camping several weekends over the summer, and I've taken various kits to work on when we aren't hiking, all Dragon Shermans (Firefly Vc, M4A1 76mm, M4A3 105mm, and M4A1 75mm). It allows me to do the gross assembly, and keeps me from going too nuts with the after market stuff. The Vc will probably be a Kiwi Firefly from Italy, I still have to look over the Bison decal options for one that tickles my fancy. Overall it's been a very nice kit to build, with only the 3 piece drive housing offering any trouble. I've added a cast texture to the drive and turret using liquid cement.

I've also done a little more work on the M4A1 76mm by Dragon. It's almost ready to prime, just needs the photo-etch parts added.

I've been working on the M4A1 75mm most recently, over the Labor Day camping trip. I can't say it's my favorite Dragon Sherman. Dragon included a cast texture that was too heavy and course for my taste, but fortunately only required a few minutes with some wet/dry sand paper to subdue to a more realistic texture for 1/72 scale. I'm leaning towards using the kits decals and building it as "Derby." As near as I can tell, you can build it out of the box with what in the kit (correct running gear), although there is some question as to whether it had open spoked or solid spoked road wheels (a result of several hours of google searches, and paging through various Concord Sherman books...I sad and pathetic I know).

Monday, August 31, 2009

Decals are on

...and the weathering has begun. Decalling was relatively uneventful, although I'm not 100% happy with the star on the turret roof. It laid down perfectly, but looks very distorted over the vent. The entire model recieved a coat of Tamiya Gloss, followed by decals, small details where hand painted with Vallejo Game Colors, then another lite coat of gloss with a diluted drop of Tamiya Buff. This was followed by a pinwash, lite gloss again, then I used the "oil dot" method that is currently in vogue, blending the colors to add more depth and character to the finish. This was followed by one more lite gloss coat, which is what the pictures bellow show.

I looked in my figure box and to my surprise I had no British tankers on hand. So I'm waiting on a set (or two) of AB Figures on the way. I'm thinking of doing a little diorama based on the photo. I see a rubble pile, French resistance fighter with sten gun, bicycler, and woman awith to dogs in the crowd, that would make a great little scene.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cromwell deja vu

It seems like I just painted and decalled this thing not too long ago. I'm finally ready to re-decal it. I changed my normal OD mixture to match the British OD mixture Steve Zaloga used in his Road to Falaise diorama (Military Modelling Volume 35 Number 8, 2005) , adding a drop of XF-18 Medium Blue to the 50%-50% mixture of XF-62 Olive Drab - XF-60 Dark Yellow Tamiya mix, to give it the greener hue of British OD. The lower hull trcks and running gear were sprayed with XF-72 Brown (JSDF), followed by mottled XF-59 Desert Yellow and XF-57 Buff.

While surfing the web I discovered that Aleran Decals made a copy of the division marking that Revell got wrong on the kit sheet. I found Aleran decals dirt cheep at a wargaming store, and went ahead and ordered several differnt sheets. The scan bellow shows the green over blue 45 marking darker than they actually are on the sheet. I'll be decalling the Cromwell one the gloss has had another day or two to harden up, it's pretty humid on the east coast USA right now.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Cromwell progress

Well the old Cromwell is about ready for the paint booth again....seems like I just painted it a short while ago...oh yea I did.

Here's a list of the modifications I did, king of fun to try and do once you've assembled the kit!
  • Opened up the gunners/loaders turret hatch, and replaced with Evergreen sheet stock
  • Added bolt detail to commander's hatch
  • added searchlight wiring and handholds
  • added perscope visors
  • opened the driver's hatch and replaced with Evergreen stock
  • opened drivers visor and replaced with part cast off another kit
  • opened auxillary gunners hatch
  • replaced grab handles with brass wire
  • added fender headlights and wiring
  • sawed off left front fender
  • added drivers corner aid
I've still got to scrounge up some helmets to put on the lift rings, a bren gun to set on the roof, and a box or two to put on the back fender, then it will be ready to paint.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Oh the humanity!!!!!

When I was finishing the M4A3 I used Vallejo Model Air Flat, and noticed a slight frosting to the finish that is common to many flat coaits. So when it was time to flat coat the Cromwell I decided I would use my trusty Polly Scale Flat. It's never failed me, and always gave me a dead flat finish. The only trouble was I couldn't find my trusty bottle of flat coat. So it was off to the hobby shop to pick up a fresh bottle! Well I sprayed on a light coat mixed with distilled water, and bam! The worst fogged milky white finish I had ever had!!! I tried all the tricks I could think of let it dry...maybe it would clear...nope...try various thinners....nope....try a light coat of gloss it will clear it up....nope. I ended up putting in my ultra sonic clear with some soapy water, and still nothing helped....I had finally had had enough of the it's current condition.
I wasn't happy with the way the model had turned out
  • The front number on the kit decals was too small.
  • The unit markings, while correct stood out too far from the surface of the kit because of the number of layers
  • a fellow missing-lynxer pointed out that the left front fender was missing on the actual tank

I didn't know I had a picture of the actual tank in my reference till well into the finishing stages. The picture would make a great little diorama, but I had missed way too much detail (for a really anal modeler like me that is). Hatches are open all over the tank, there are small headlights on the fenders, the side toolboxes are missing some subtle details. All small things tat I could have easily included into the kit. Then it hit me this could be a message from the big model guy is the sky. I've got a spare set of markings from a second kit (don't tell the wife I have multiples of almost everything).

So it was back to the ultrasonic cleaner, this time in a bath of 409. Boy did that do the trick, I was back down to the Tamiya Fine Grey Primer in 10 minutes! I've started carving the left fender, plan to open the driver and co-driver hatches, along with the other turret hatch. Then there are the fender headlights, wiring for the searchlight, detailing the toolboxes, helmets on the lift hooks. There looks to be a Bren Gun on the turret roof, anyone know where I can get a Bren Gun? Most can all be done with Evergreen plastic. More to come soon....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Corrected Cromwell markings

A friend on the missing-lynx braille scale discussion group informed me that the marking in the kit were wrong, and the unit markings square should be green over blue with white numbers, not red. So I breathed life into my old Alps printer, and managed to print up a the new markings. However, I wasn't very happy with how they looked, so I wipped out the old paint brush and Vallejo Game colors and hand painted the markings. It's far from perfect, but should work fine one the weathering and chipping is done.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cromwell Progress

The Revell Cromwell has been sitting on the shelf waiting for me to finish it. I seem to have gotten some modelling mojo back with the Panzer IV group build, and M4A3 finished, so on Monday I pulled it off the shelf, painted the wheels and tracks, and shot a coat of Future on it. Yesterday I decalled it, and I shot another coat of Future tonight. I used the kit decals, and am reasonably happy with how they turned out. I used my trusty Waldron Punch set on the top turret star, punching out the center ring that fits over the turret intake. It took a heck of a lot of Mr Mark Softer to get it to lay down right. I finished off the star by touching up the arms with Vallejo Game Color Bone White. I did have one small mishap while decaling. I nicked the front glacis paint right by the "Black Bull" decal, but I just lightly sanded it out shot a coat of Future over it, put a few drops of lightened OD in the airbrush and touched it up.

Next up a flat coat and let the weathering begin!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sherman Finished!

Well I finally finished another one! This is shaping up to be my most prolific year yet! It might be a lame total by other modelers standards, but 2009 is shaping up to be quite the modelling year for me. At this rate I mite complete my stash....that is if I live to be several hundred years old, and stop buying more kits. Both are very unlikely variables.

Oh well, here's the completed M4A3 Sherman. The figure are by AB Miniatures, painted with Vallejo Model Color. I made the stowage/tarp and id flag using Apoxie Sculpt. The tank was painted with Tamiya and Vallejo acrylics, and weathered with Mig Pigments and oil washes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

BSMC Panzer IV build done!

.....well sort of. ;) I still need to do some figures, but for the BSMC monthy group build ther're done!  I had hoped to get four kits done, but it was obvious a couple of weeks ago that I didn't have a prayer to finish all four.  So I decided to set the Panzer IV Ausf. J and Nashorn to the side, and concentrate on the Jagdpazer and Stug.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Missing-Lynx Panzer IV contest

It's the home stretch of the missing-lynx Panzer IV contest. I was trying to build four kits for the contest, but it looks like I'll only finish two in time. I can't say I'm particularly pleased with how they turned out so far, but I haven't started the weathering yet, so they might turn out better once they're done.  I decided to do a hard edge camouflage on both kits, as it's more interesting then just plain panzer yellow, and easier to apply than soft edge.  I used "blu-tack" [technically yellow blu-tack] as the masking medium.

It's the first time I've tried using blu-tack. It's a little tedious, but over all it turned out fairly well. The Jagdpanzer was the first one I tried it on, I learned a little bit after the first model, and am happier with the second [the stug].