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German camo pattern photos

This past weekend, I was in Tulsa and stopped by The Hussar, a great local hobby shop. Mike Davidson runs the place and has quite a few pieces of memorabilia… including some Pea Dot and Oak leaf patterned replica hats. Since I’m working on painting a figure in Oak Leaf, I had to snap some photos. I thought they might be interesting to others. 

By | 2017-05-08T12:17:48-05:00 May 8th, 2017|Research|0 Comments

My local hobby shop (King’s Hobby) here in Austin recently had a sidewalk sale. I picked up a box of Tamiya M36 parts, including three top hulls. I’m actually pretty excited about these…. they’re going to make great paint hulks to test and practice airbrushing on before they hit the real models.

And the best part? They fit perfectly over a can of primer. So using empty primer cans as a holder, I can paint all to live long day. Yeah, it’s the little things…

By | 2016-10-03T22:54:35-05:00 October 3rd, 2016|Modeling thoughts|0 Comments

Replicating metal tracks on plastic

While scratchbuilding may make you feel like a god, making plastic look like real metal is a sign of reaching all-powerful status.

Dramatic? Yes. Well deserved? Yes. Or at least I think so…

I’m working on the Takom Mk. 1 Male and am about to start painting the hull. But with the house up for sale and me spending a lot of time at the fiance’s house, smaller bite size projects tend to take precedent. Such was the case this weekend when I started working on painting and weathering the tracks. (Very nice click tracks, by the way)

Step 1: Primer
I sprayed my standard Touch n’ Tone on the tracks and left them to dry and cure for a few days.

Step 2: Airbrush base color
Using my airbrush, I sprayed a haphazard pattern across the entire run of tracks (repeating all the rest of the steps for right and left side) of Tamiya german gray + hull red. I then went back in and threw a few strips of that base color + buff to lighten it. It looked like a pretty decent patchwork pattern. That’s the point.

Step 3: Brush paint the highlights
My vehicle is going to be painted for the desert, which means lots of sand “polishing” the high points of the tracks. I brush painted Vallejo’s Natural Steel color across all the top of the track link (the high part at the back of each link). In retrospect, I wish I’d done the same to each of the bolt (?) heads too. Most of this gets covered up in the graphite step below, but it would have provide a bit more pop than what the graphite did on it’s own.

Step 4: Washes
Again, in a haphazard, striped pattern, I applied several washes from AK Interactive (Engine grime, dark rust, light rust, and a dark brown). I applied all the washes except light rust, then let them dry for a few minutes. Then I came back and hit the bolts and the edges with the light rust. It was a bit bright, but that’s OK.

Step 5: Graphite rubbing
Taking a pencil and cutting the wood away to expose the graphite lead inside, I used a hobby knife to make a powder. Then using my finger, I rubbed the high spots of each of the track links individually. This gives each track link a slightly different look which helps to make this feel real and inconsistent. Practice this technique first because you can really change the look of the underlying paint job if you’re not careful. That may be fine, depending on the look you’re going for.

Step 6: Polishing
As a last step, I came back with a Q-tip and polished the high spots pretty vigorously. This helps to bring out the realistic metal “shine”.

I’m pretty proud of how they turned out. I look forward to trying them again on other types of vehicles.

By | 2016-10-29T19:09:30-05:00 October 3rd, 2016|Random thoughts|0 Comments

Working away….

Modeling makes my mind calm. There’s several types of activities that help me pull my brain out of the haze and stress of daily life… photography, video games, etc. But there’s something about modeling that’s different, I think because it results in a physical creation.

I’ve been working on the Alliance Modelworks FAMO mit Flak conversion for a couple months now, and I banged out the construction of the Takom Mk. 1 Male and Takom Big Bertha kit over the summer. My house is staged for house showings (it’s for sale and on the market), so having a spray booth/painting setup in the model room has been near impossible. Or at least highly inconvenient. So I’ve not done much painting lately.

But that all changed over the weekend. I actually finished construction on the FAMO and primed and rust/primer basecoated the FAMO and Mk. 1.

I never really realized how dang many bottles of paint and various assorted thinners, weathering products, and whatever else goes with the finishing process!

With any luck, I’ll have at least the Mk. 1 finished completely in the next couple weeks…

By | 2016-10-03T21:57:48-05:00 October 3rd, 2016|Random thoughts|0 Comments

Scratchbuilding makes you feel like a god

In my modeling career, I’ve not done a ton of scratchbuilding. The occasional fix or replacement part here and there, but not full blow scratchbuilding of full units. But this week, I’ve spent several evenings playing around with replacing the poorly molded bench seats for my Sd. Kfz 9 FAMO mit Flak build. It’s not perfect, and I may rebuild this one to get the spacing of the slats better, but I’m feeling pretty great. It’s surprising how creating something out of nothing makes you feel like a modeling god!

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My only disappointment is that try as I might, I couldn’t figure out how to get the “wave” in the bench seat, so I just made it flat instead. (By “wave”, I mean that if you look at it from the side, it’s an S shape)

And so I can remember in the future, I used Evergreen strip and rod in these sizes:

  • Rod #221 – 3/64” diameter
  • Strip #132 – .030 x .040” (wood planks on top)
  • Strip #143 – .040 x .060” (bench supports)
By | 2016-10-29T19:09:30-05:00 September 17th, 2016|Modeling thoughts|0 Comments

Where in the hell did that stash come from?

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Yeah, it was bound to happen sooner or later… my stash is out of control. Given that I’ve only been back in the hobby for 4 years, it seems ludicrous that I’ve gotten to this point. I travel regularly, and it’s too damn easy to stop in the local hobby shops and check out the deals. Add to that purchasing another modeler’s stash… and BAM! Big stash!

I think I’m going to have to start clearing things out, especially considering I’m moving in a few months. But that process sounds even worse than packing up and moving extra stuff.

By | 2016-10-29T19:09:30-05:00 September 13th, 2016|Random thoughts|0 Comments