Saturday 29 March 2014

Come play with me

It's a little quieter here than I would like, but I have good reason. Last time it was Southpark's Stick of Truth, which I finished in a little over 15 hours.

This time, the reason for my absence is Diablo III's expansion "Reaper of souls". It will take more than 15 hours to finish this one, but I'll manage to sneak in some modelling time now and then.
If any of you guys is interested, my battletag is Kosstamodjan#2162.

Sunday 23 March 2014

Revell 1/72 Chinook - Unboxing

Every time I open the closet that holds my little stash, there's this little kit that whispers "Build me!" and today I caved in for Revell's 1/72 CH-47 D Chinook (kit number 04419).

It's one of the kits I bought in a second-hand lot of 11 kits, a compressor and my new Aztec airbrush.

Last time, when I started the Panzerjägerwagen, I skipped my usual first step of washing all the sprues in warm water with detergent to remove possible remains of oil or mould release agent. I don't remember why I skipped it, but I regretted it as soon as I started painting. Paint would pool up in bubbles and refuse to cover certain areas.

So, I went back to my normal routine, and gave the sprues a good soak. There's 3 grey sprues and 1 transparent holding the windows and cockpit. There's 132 parts in total.

The black-and-red decals look intimidating. While I'm sure they can be handled by a skilled person, I have had bad experiences with decals bigger than a few centimeter, especially if they need to conform to irregular shapes, so I have already decided in advance to not even try to get these big slabs in place and just paint the red and black area's.
It also helps to just paint them yourself, in case you need to touch up a few small areas that the decal doesn't cover. It's impossible to match the exact colour of the decal with paint.

Saturday 15 March 2014

M60 - Finished

Revell's 1/72 scale M60 with M9 bulldozer (kit 03175) was the first model I started in over 10 years, now at least a year and a half ago. I got sidetracked into other projects a dozen times already and it kept feeling incomplete until I finally finished it this week.

The barbed wire was placed on the base, I did some final dusting with pigments on the upper surfaces and a heavy application of MIG's pigment fixer on the layers of mud on the lower side. It is now close to how I imagined it and time to call this project finished.

Price : €6
Number of parts : 211
Time spent : 21.5 hours
Project completion time : 19 months (embarassingly long, I know)

Paint : (Vallejo)

  • Black and grey primer
  • Tank dark yellow (71.081) - Base colour
  • Tank green (71.011) - Green camo
  • Black - Camo
  • White (71.001) - Camo
  • Silver and red for head- and taillights

Other :

  • Alclad II clear kote flat
  • Hard plaster for the base (and mixed with pigments for the mud)
  • Insect screen (mesh) for the barbed wire
  • AK 023 - Dark mud (wash)
  • AK 041 North Africa dust (pigment)
  • AK 042 European earth (pigment)
  • AK 081 Dark earth (pigment)
  • Vallejo water effects for the puddles (just an experiment)

And more pictures :

DIY photo booth

Far from happy with my photography skills upp until now, I finally made some time to try and do better. I took a transparent IKEA storage box, placed in a big sheet of white paper and aimed some lamps at it.

My desk lamp is bright and white, but I want light to come from all directions. The little lamps on the sides are also IKEA (we have TONS of IKEA stuff at home). The lamps are supposed to be aimed at the sides of the box, so the light is filtered and diffuse, to avoid lens spots on the model. But their brightness is inadequate for this purpose. 

This setup yielded far better close-up pictures than ever before, so it's definitely a big step forward. I'll just need to invest in some brighter lamps.

It required some fiddling with my camera's settings and I have yet to find the perfect configuration, but I'm very happy with today's results.

DIY barbed wire

Last time I reported progress on the M60 (back in november), the little muddy base was nearing completion. I felt like it was missing something and I decided to try and add some barbed wire. There is some fine photo-etch razor wire to be bought, but if you've been following me for a while, you should know that I try to steer clear of after market addons.

I actually made this in november, assembled it in january and painted it in fabruary. It's one of those slow-progress-projects because I  just can't bring myself to really dive into it.

I've found some DIY guides on 1/35 barbed wire, but in 1/72 scale the wire would have barbs of 0.2 mm long, placed every 2 mm. I didn't fancy actually making spikes in this scale, so I took a piece of insect screen (the thing you put in the window in summer to get fresh air in but keep annoying insects out) and tried several things. On my first attempt (the lower strand in the picture below) I cut the barbs long, and made them pointy, which was a lot of work and not entirely to my liking.
For the second strand, I just cut the spikes as short as possible, by running a hobby knife along the length of the wire.

Why is it curled up? Because I wanted to make a "concertina wire", which is just a big roll of barbed wire (with a diameter easily up to 1 meter), which can be very quickly deployed in the field.
To get it to look like this, I rolled it up tight around a paint brush and aimed a hairdryer at it. Results were mediocre, until I looked up the temperature of a hairdryer. It doesn't (and shouldn't) exceed 50 degrees (Celsius!) as an industry standard to avoid burning your skin.
Boiling water is almost double this temperature, so on my last go I just dipped the brush with the coiled wire in boiling water.

Next step : assembling the wire on some poles, which are just short pieces of iron wire. It didn't look convincing enough, so I added a second strand.

Still not 100% to my liking, as it's not as coiled as I would have liked, but good enough. I airbrushed it with black primer, than natural steel, then some reddish-brown to make it look rusted.

Saturday 8 March 2014

All is quiet

It'll be quiet for a short while longer, while I'm playing Southpark : The stick of Truth.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Panzerjäger - Major SNAFU

The idea was to paint the entire model in "German grey", then use the "hairspray technique" with AK's chipping fluid (as I did earlier with the M48's scissor bridge), go over with the sand-coloured base and green/brown camouflage, then start (gently) chipping away.

  1. The chipping fluid was spraying iffy today. It sprayed on very weird, widely known as "orange peel"-effect.
  2. Free-hand airbrushing, even with the finest nozzle my Aztec has, still gives an insane amount of overspray.
Let's address this last one first. I used the paint unthinned and dialled the pressure to the absolute minimum of around 7-8 psi. With the finest nozzle, I brought the airbrush in really close (about 1-2 cm). I could draw a relatively fine line on a piece of paper, but on the actual model it was rather difficult to 1) keep the paint flowing and 2) draw a line or curve at the same time. 
On the model, there is overspray AND the paint tends to run away. I can only guess that on paper it's easier, because paper absorbs some of the moisture, whereas a hard surface will produce spatters (albeit very small ones). This close up, the pressure seems still too high, as the paint runs away in tiny little spiders, but I can't get it lower than this. The only thing to do is move the airbrush further away, but can you guess what that does for the overspray? Correct!

Anyway, below is the result of my first free-hand camouflage airbrushing session. I'm not sure which parameter to play with to make it better. The green is okay-ish, but the darker the colour, the more obvious the overspray becomes.

On to issue number two. Compared to last time, the chipping fluid wouldn't spray very well, resulting in it going on the model way too heavily. I used 4 different nozzles, but couldn't find an acceptable way of spraying it. I'm guessing I'll need to do something to the fluid itself, i.e. thinning it.
I only realized how heavy the "hairspray" layer was until I started chipping. As soon as the surface became too wet, the paint started to wrinkle. When poked with a brush, the entire layer of paint came off like a snake shedding it's skin.

That's not chipping, but STRIPPING!

On the basket, it's easy enough to remove all the paint and start over, but on the turret I did not fancy doing that, with all those tiny pieces attached. So, I bit the bullet and very carefully chipped away some of the paint. Less is more, when it comes to the amount of water you're using.

The result is .... meh, good if you want to show how this chipping stuff works, but also illustrates it's easy to go overboard with it. I don't want to redo the turret, so this is how it'll be.

I had already sprayed the entire kit with the chipping fluid, but only painted the turret and basket. Seeing the results, I think I'll just give the entire kit a nice bath to remove the chipping fluid and start over, but more carefully.