Saturday, 4 April 2015

1/35 VK1602 Leopard update (Part 5 - completed model! )

Above: I think this is my favourite build thus far. I'll admit, I've not built many models since I picked-up my childhood hobby once more, but yes, this is my favourite.

Above: I was originally going to have this tank depicted as a captured machine and had even hand-painted my white allied star on the hull, however, it just didn't look right to my eyes. I will save this idea for another build.

Above: a mud mixture with grass scatter works well to add some realism, even though my aim is not to try to solely make it look real - which sounds weird, I know, but to create an interesting model which is visually satisfying in its own right, whether or not it looks real or not; a realistic model is, of course, a nice bonus.

Above: I just had to use the lovely photo-etch hinge/bracket supplied with the kit. I used my trusty artist pastels to rust it up and fixed it with thinner - this might be my favourite little area of the tank simply because I love the colour contrast it provides and think it also looks quite convincing as rusty metal.

Above: I added both Mig dry and damp mud pigments to the underside of the hull and behind the tracks/running gear.

Above: cheap jewelry chain from an art shop adds some visual interest to the engine deck. It's weathered using pastels and pigments.  The red-oxide thing to the far left is a scratch-built spare road wheel holder and securing clamp.

Above:  a plain black base 'frames' the model nicely without distracting the viewer from all my hard work.

Above: I did plan to have a spare road wheel/extra armour on both sides, but wanted to have a different look to the model on both sides, thus opted for one to the port side - that meant on the opposite side I could show off my scratch built wheel bracket.

Above: oil and fuel stains finished off the engine deck

Above: using brass wire I added loops to the turret which enabled me to hang any natural vegetation the crew wanted to camo their machine with.

I often find that the little extras like a bucket finishes off a machine nicely and adds a human element, after all, without a human this machine is just a static piece of steel. The exhaust pipes were weathered using artists' pastels fixed with thinner.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

1/35 M4 High Speed Tractor (Part 1)

I must be crazy but I've started another build!  When you feel inspired and excited to start something new, you've got to grab the bull by the horns and go for it - if you don't the ideas could ebb away and you'll be left with nothing.  Anyway, the kit I'm building is HobbyBoss's 1/35 M4 High Speed Tractor.  

The vehicle itself is a very intriguing design, and although used as artillery/anti-aircraft gun tractors during World War II and  Korea, post-war the U.S. Army obviously had many surplus vehicles that made their way into businesses such as forestry, construction, and even airport recovery and fire suppression vehicles.

Although I love the M4 in its olive-drab paint and white stars, it has been done many times before, and what's more, it's been done excellently.  Therefore I see no point in just repeating what others have done, and maybe not doing it as well. With this in mind my idea is to depict a surplus vehicle and my inspiration is below. 

(photo credit-google images-for conversational/reference purposes only)

While I may not depict this actual machine, the colour will most probably be the same on my model and I may or may not have my vehicle abandoned and dilapidated. I did have the idea of building a exploration vehicle, perhaps one that explored  Antarctica or other such hostile environments.  We shall see...........

If you like your sanding sticks and filler, that's good - you'll need them as there are loads of ejector pin marks on the interior.  The fit of the engine wasn't perfect, but it's do-able with a bit of work and determination.  I'm probably going to have my engine exposed so have dealt with any ejector pin marks, just in case. The road wheels are quite fiddly to build up but are nicely detailed when complete, and luckily there are not that many of them.  

The components supplied are nicely detailed.  As with most kits, after-market components are readily available if you want to throw extra money at your build.  

It's slowly starting to come together.  The road wheels can not be glued in position yet as I need to paint the road wheels. The next factor to determine is whether my vehicle will be complete or have missing/extra components.  It's time to decide the final 'look' of my model.

More soon.................

The rear ammunition boxes have a lot of ejector pin marks to fill. I won't have the bottom section with the shell racks on show, although I have filled all ejectors marks.

With the storage container lifted off there's a nice view of all your hard work - I won't glue this part in place. 

The build itself is nearly complete.  I still have lots of photo-etch to attach but am leaving it off as long as possible - you know how delicate that stuff is!