Monday 23 May 2016

Merkava - Anti-slip finished

Last time (too long ago), I was experimenting with different kinds of sand AND how to attach them to the model. A fellow modeler on Facebook came with the solution : blasting sand (for orthodontic purposes, i.e. cleaning dentures).

You can buy it in dental supply labs. They sell per 10kg, but even then it's not THAT expensive. If you play your cards right, you might walk away with a free sample, as a mere 20-30 grams will be enough to cover an entire model.
It's aluminiumoxide, with 3 grain sizes : 0.05 mm, 0.11 mm and 0.25 mm. My findings are that (in 1/35 scale) the 0.05 is suitable for US Desert vehicles and the 0.11mm is near spot on for IDF vehicles.
The best about it is that the grain size is really consistent throughout the entire batch.

The matter of application was also quickly settled : primer! Small detail : I use Vallejo primer, which is a acryl-polyurethane ... substance, which makes it act comparable to a kind of latex film. There's been discussion enough about whether or not this is a good primer (it's flaky when you sand it and when repriming you never get rid if the ridges), but for this application it's qualities are excellent for keeping the grains of sand in place.

Applying it is simple :
  1. paint the primer with a brush on a single panel (no more, as the primer dries super-fast)
  2. take a bit of sand between thumb and index finger and sprinkle gently(!)
  3. tap the model to remove excess sand
  4. let dry
  5. repeat for all other panels, paying attention NOT to do door handles, levers, ...


I really like the result (even though I must have spend at least 4 hours on it), and it looks even better when painted black. Anxious to see the result in it's final colour.