Thursday, February 07, 2013

Some Figure Reviews

This is the first of 3 reviews for Vepa Miniatures new line of modern US figures.  The figures are finely sculpted and cast in white metal, and many have separate arms with weapons.  Jordi Velilla of Vepa Miniatures e-mailed me over the Christmas holidays and kindly offered to send me some figures to review on my blog.  I had only recently heard of the company after reading some reviews of their figures on the great braille scale site On the Way.  Vepa currently produces 2 figure lines: IDF soldiers from the 1982 war in Lebanon, and modern US in Iraq 2012.  Jordi also mentioned that they have SOCOM (Marines and Special Forces in Afghanistan) and Modern Russian sets coming out soon!

Vepa sent me three sets:

  • U.S Infantry House Assault (JVP03-06)
  • U.S Infantry MG/Grenade Launcher Team (JVP03-07)
  • U.S Infantry Mortar Team (JVP03-08)

This review will cover the MG/Grenade Launcher Team (JVP03-07).  The set consists of 2 figures: gunner and assistant, a Browning M2 Heavy machine gun,  an Mk19 Grenade Launcher, a tripod, and ammo boxes for each weapon.  Both figures appear to be dressed in the current US Army BDUs, Interceptor body armor, boots and light weight helmets.  The gunner appears to have a Camelback water carrier that was typically seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The detail is very impressive, and cleanup looks like it will be very easy to do without ruining detail.  The only thing that has caught my eye in the set is that the M2 Browning looks a bit small to my eyeball, but I haven't had a chance to measure it yet, and if it is small I have a ton of M2's from various kits that I could use.  I'll follow up on the M2 over the weekend.

I'll try and post reviews of the other 2 sets this weekend, and use some of them in a blog build.  Missing Lynx Braille Scale Board currently has "Middle East 1914-Present" group build going on that these figures are just screaming to be a part of!  So stay tunedm and a big thank you to Jordi and Vepa Miniatures for sending me the figures to review!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

KV-1 Update

Just a quick update on the 48 scale Hobby Boss KV-1.  I've started the weathering.  Here's the KV after I've applied a green filter, faded using the blended oils (i.e. the dot method), and then a wash using AK's Dark Wash.  I'll probably give it a rust wash next, then start adding dust dirt and grime. It's still a bit to stark for my taste, but should tone down quite a bit as the weathering progresses.

One last thing that some might be interested in.  My ever growing paint selection has been driving me a bit crazy lately because I haven't had a good way to store my paints.  In particular I've had problems with the Vallejo style bottles, which tend to get knocked over easily and roll around.  Well I was in Bass Pro Shop the other day, and stumbled across the Plano 3730 Deep StowAway Utility Box, which is part of their Prolatch Stowaway line.  The boxes dimensions are 14"x 9.3" x 3.25" and it comes with adjustable dividers (they also makes 3731 which doesn't have internal dividers).  It turned out to be a perfect fit for the Vallejo and AK paint bottles, and the dividers are spaced almost perfectly to corral 6 bottles in a section.  It looks like I should be able to fit up to 96 bottles, nice and organized into one box!  It should make hunting for that particular color a lot easier, and keep AK's modulation sets together.  All in all not a bad $9 spent.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

I have to admit that I'm intrigued by the current fad in painting and finishing techniques known as color modulation.  Color modulation by itself is too stark, but when combined with various weathering techniques can produce a model that really catches the eye.  I've read various articles by Mig Jimenez, Adam Wilder and others modelers who have popularized the technique to understand the process.  I decided to take the easy route and use the AK Interactive 4BO Green modulation set rather than mix the paints myself.

The set consists of six matched acrylic colors that come pre-thinned for air brushing.  I believe that they are produced for AK by Vallejo.  So in theory they should behave like Vallejo's Model Air line that I've previously used, and be compatible with other Vallejo acrylic products.  For the most part I found this true, and like Vallejo's Model Air, they tend to clog my airbrush quickly.  I have to admit that my airbrushing skills are not the greatest.  Adding Liquitex Flow-Aid help reduce the clogging problem, and an occasional needle cleaning with a cotton swab dampened with airbrush cleaner is all that is needed to get things spraying normally again.

OK, that's enough of a review....on to the model.  Here's my Hobby Boss KV-1 Ekranami using the AK 4BO Green set.  I still need to clear coat it, and then let the weathering begin!  I think I've captured the essence of the technique fairly well.  It's not perfect, but not bad for my first try at the technique.