Thursday 25 September 2014

Painting an entire castle

It was about time I spent some more time on our medieval castle.
The pink interior for the "wizard tower" (female gnome mage with a Hello Kitty fixation) turned out REALLY pink, almost to the point of not being able to look right at it. Since it will be concealed and only visible through the windows, it may not be that bad though. After painting the doors, I closed the tower up and attached it to the main keep.

One of the merlons on top of the battlements had to make room for an extra watchtower. I wanted to avoid it being visible through the narrow window slits. Power tools for the win!

Some serious gaps here and there where attacked with Tamiya putty. I put down tape alongside both sides of the gap (to protect the plastic from the rather abrasive putty), spread putty liberally, then lightly spread it down with a spatula. I removed the tape immediately after, to have a clean line and to avoid breaking the dry putty afterwards.

A couple of hours of cutting and gluing in front of the television (finally watching Numb3rs now), we also have a gatehouse (with functional drawbridge, portcullis and double doors) and a raised walkway.

3-4 hours of priming and painting later, we have the result below. Windows and doors are taped from the inside, to protect the light grey interior. I deliberately sprayed the yellow/grey in uneven layers, to attempt to get some slight colour variation. Under harsh light, it looks a bit weird, but I'm hoping further washes will modify the intensity anyway. I used 70% Dark Yellow and 30% US Grey (Vallejo).

Next up : finding a good colour combo for the roof tiles. I'm thinking a mix of Hull red (which is very brown red) with a few drops of Scarlet red. I try to work with the colours I have available, instead of just keeping on adding more and more different paint bottles that never get used more than 20% anyway.

Detailing Chinook rotors

The Chinook is as good as finished, so I took it to a local IPMS-meeting to show off the scratch-build interior (at least, what CAN be seen through the rear hatch) and maybe get some feedback and/or tips.

One person remarked I did a lousy job on the rotors, while those parts actually look nicely detailed. He was right : I had just lazily sprayed it all black and hadn't put more thought in it.

So, I resprayed the middle in Vallejo black grey, then dry-brushed over the raised details with a lightened shade of German grey. When dry, I applied Black glaze to remove the "Hey, look, we're brand new and unused!" look.
While doing the glaze, I also coated the entire blades with a very thin layer, to make it a little duller. (The same effect might have been achieved with some matte varnish.)

Next up is trying to do some light weathering on the entire kit and attempting to do some exhaust staining behind the engines. I'll be trying to achieve this with oil paint for the first time. Wish me luck!

Below a picture of both rotors. The above one has had the blades treated, the other is still awaiting it's glaze layer.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Belgian Airforce Days!

I haven't seen an airshow in at least 10 years. Come to think of it, about as long ago as when I stopped modelling. Seems like more than one hobby was put on hold at the same time.

A good friend of mine invited me to go see the Belgian Airforce Days at the celebration of 100 years of our Airforce.
In my late teens to early twenties, I visited many shows. It was also my prime source of model kits. I found 2 (TWO!) model kits on the entire event (A Turkish F-16 and an Alphajet). Our hobby is definitely on the decline.

On to the show. Our main workhorse is the F-16. They were accompanied by their Dutch, Greek and Turkish sisters. I can still "feel" the sound of the afterburners as they flew past.

Teams from all over the world (Belgium, France, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Jordan, even the United Arab Emirates) were present, demonstrating impressive skill with up to 10 planes. I don't think I've ever seen this many teams in one show together.

A large number of helicopters (Agusta, Hip, Hind, Apache and a fierce looking Eurocopter Cougar) joined the list.

One of the more memorable moments? The flyby of the Blériot IX - the very first airplane in our force, now 100 years ago - and one of our F-16's. It was touch and go if the Blériot was going to take off at all, as there was a mild breeze. :-)
As the Blériot is doing 50 km/h (~ 30 mph) and the F-16 can hardly do anything slower than 300 km/h (~200 mph) with blaring stall-alarms, it took several passes to get them aligned properly for the camera's.

As we were leaving, a Mig-29 was in the air, displaying a tremendous amount of power and (vertical) acceleration.

A day of awesome impressions deserves a good ending, as we went home in my friend's new Tesla. Suffice to say, this last "show of force" of the day was impressive as well :-).

Check out the dedicated Facebook-page for more and better quality pictures : Belgian airforce days.
I took many pictures, only to discover at home that there was a smudge on the lens. So, all the pictures have the exact same defect in them. You'll see what I mean. Well, I'm not gonna use that as an excuse for not posting them!

Thursday 4 September 2014

Chinook - Almost there ...

Not much left to do now, except a few more antennae, not included as kit parts. The building instructions suggest stretched spure, so that's what I tried.

I had never done it before, but have to say it's easier than I initially feared. For a short antenna (1 or 2 cm), this is really not big a deal. But for the longer one, I found it hard to stretch a part long enough with a consistent thickness.

As I soon discovered I was unable to produce anything good enough, I simply took some Evergreen styrene rod that I just happened to have lying around anyway.

Next step : to weather or not? These are very well maintained machines, so I don't want to overdo it.