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....