Saturday 15 March 2014

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.

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