Smart Resin Models: Ethernal Eagle (the Big E himself), WIP 2

I guess He will be a constant participant for this blog, as I have some heads to finish, and I also am waiting for an alternative weapon to arrive (I do not necessarily like the flaming sword).

Anyhow, this is He, the Master of Mankind, at his present state. The sword, for now, is only attached using blue-tac – to be magnetized later. The heads are already magnetized.

I was thinking about doing some object source lightning on the flames, then I just said, nah. I like how he turned out and would not risk ruining it…

If you buy the larger version of the miniature, you can add LED lightning to them as they come in a transparent form.

Forgeworld: Magnus the Red

Finally it seems like the curse has been broken, and I managed to find inspiration to finish Magnus.

As I mentioned the white cape did not turn out well; I repainted the whole thing in French blue (AK Interactive), and did some shading using wet blending methods (so I do not use oils only). I found some of the parchment strips hanging from his coat (I have been with this figure since two years ago, and it has moved countries with me half-painted). I painted the details using water-soluble oils, though – they give a nice, transparent effect.

I tried to give some of the iridescent effect to the feathers; I think they turned out OK. I also played with the skin-tones: I did some shades using purple. I have read a long time ago someone mentioning this -and surprisingly it works.

Anyhow, it is finished, and took its place in my cabinet. Off to finishing off the big E, and the other running projects. God, help me find strength not to start new ones until I do.

Artel W Miniatures: Angron, the Red Angel

Well the last one finish first, I guess. (The Emperor is getting ready, and I have trouble with Magnus‘ cape.)

I worked on his face and arms for a little bit more and decided he was finished. (My approach of painting skin tones is to start with dark, and layer on increasingly lightened skin tones, wash, start over, and keep doing it until something approaches acceptable comes out.)

A bit chaotic method, but it is mine.

I know it is not a Golden Demon contender, but I am really pleased how the armor came out, and I even like the skin on this guy. The mini itself is simply great; it is well-cast, has great detail, easy to assemble, and more importantly: it captures Angron’s rage while does not simply paint him as a monster. You can see his pain behind the rage – unlike in the Forgeworld version where he looks more like Gene Simmons with an alternative facepaint. (The book Betrayer is a great one about his character.)

Artel W Miniatures: Angron, the Red Angel, WIP

I normally do not do WIPs for figures because a.) I am not a great painter b.) they are not the main focus of this blog.

But since I have been working on a few since, well, for a while now, I decided to do three WIPs. This is the third: Angron, the Primarch of the World Eaters by Artel W Miniatures. Who did plently of wrong but he never really had a chance. I like his character because he actually had a reason to rebel, and did not just get a lame “touch a daemon possessed sword- boom, you are corrupted” treatment.

I much better like Artel W’s interpretation of him than Forgeworld’s

It just does not look as good

…not to mention the pose is the exact same one as Kharn’s… They both look like they are in a hurry to reach the end of a queue.

The armor was a combination of AK’s True Metal paints in several layers, with washes and oil paints. The leather was done using different browns, and the skin is left to be painted. (I tried oils on there as well, but they did not stick.) I added some chains to the chain-axes (as a gladiator he chained his weapon to his wrist, a custom that was followed by his Legion -and Sigismud, of all people.)

I just need to finish his skin, and I am all set. (I also have Artel W’s bust of him… back when I had more disposable income :D)

This guy will be featured here for sure. One day.

MINIART WERKSTATT KRAFTWAGEN TYP-03-30 Build Review Part 1

I mean, c’mon. It is really difficult to resist this kit, right? Just look at the photos on MiniArt’s page… So I started it. Sue me.

Anyhow, first impressions…

Well, I have heard of the “MiniArt brittle plastic” and I think now I found it. The plastic is not very good; the extremely thin parts snap like nobody’s business. (While building the streering mechanism I had to swap a part to an evergreen rod; and sometimes I feel it is easier to fashion a replacement part than trying to shave off the remaining sprue gates from the parts.) There is also quite a lot of flash on the delicate little pieces, which is kind of a throw-back to the older MiniArt kits. Quite a big change from the state-of-the-art models I build lately from them. Add to this the tendency of MiniArt to solve every issue with hair-thin and microscopic parts, and you definitely do not have a perfectly smooth ride. The lower chassis is full of delicate, tiny, thin parts which will not be visible anyhow. (It is tempting to leave them out…) In fact sometimes facing the 1-2mm parts that could have been just molded onto the surface I felt the company was just trying to troll the builder.

The other big issue is, well, the design of the truck itself. Normally you would expect a high degree of precision and some help from the designers to make it as easy as possible to align everything perfectly.

Well, no. First of all, the wheels only attach through a 1 mm thick stub to the wheel hubs. OK, that is not a big issue per se, although it is definitely not a robust way to do things. The main issue is, however, aligning the different parts of the running gear: the axles, the bumper, making sure the actual wheels are paralell and do not tilt… it is just flimsy. You have to work very carefully not to have gross misalignments, and it is really hard to judge how everything will align while you build (see below).

The front wheel attachment points are especially bad: you do not even have a stub to attach anything to the axles. The wheel hub attaches using the mentioned square little pegs to the wheels themselves (you can see it on part A23 below), but the whole setup has hardly any attachment points to the front axle. First, while building the axle you literally have to position the whole steering mechanism in the air when you assemble the axle -the orientation of the parts is only guestimated. After that is finished these tiny, fiddly parts should hold the front wheels. A nice, solid piece of rod going through the wheel assembly would be a bit more reassuring when it comes to robustness and alignment. (See step 14 in the instructions you can download from MiniArt’s page.)

I mean, seriously, MiniArt?

Those curved, horn-like things on the front are going to hold the bumper (which in itself is too thin and delicate, so snaps like a charm when trying to remove it from the sprue), which is fine. However, as I said, orienting these parts is difficult, as there are only shallow indentations where they should be going (just as with everything else), so I ended up with a bit of a misalignement when I finally attached everything. One of the front wheels almost touches the bumper, not to mention only three wheels touched the ground… So I had to take it apart and re-gluing, re-orienting everything, because I did not want to make a lowrider.

Same issue with the engine: the cooling fan, for example, just hangs in the air attached to the engine block through a pipe. Where exactly it should be only becomes clear when the whole thing is installed -not to mention the pipe leading to the radiator does not reach it… These parts should be installed AFTER the bigger subassemblies are in place, so you can actually put them in place in situ, instead of worrying if they fit until you try several steps later.

My advice is to first glue the subassemblies together (front axle with wheels, bumper with holder, etc.), and once they are finished, THEN glue them to the chassis- this way you can do the alignment by eye easily while the glue is setting.

Ideally the model should be designed so that such visual alignment is not necessary (Takom’s Panther comes to mind, or even MiniArt’s T-54/55 series), but this model apparently was not designed with this in mind. It feels like they bit a bit more than they could chew, honestly. I do understand that the designers have to balance detail and buildability, but in this case I feel the balance is a bit off. It is not a deal-breaker, but it is certainly not a pleasant challenge like their D7 dozer was.

One great thing is that the wheels are not given with rubber tires… they are assembled instead from thin disks, resulting in a pretty good representation of the real thing.

The model is quite a smart mix-and-match of MiniArt’s smaller kits: a Russian bus plus a ton of accessory sets make up for a tiny little workshop teeming with detail…

…Which has to be assembled and painted. Individually. Every single little wrench, bag of potato and all.

This will be tedious and time consuming. The results will be worth it for sure, but the work itself… well, I guess I signed up for it.

Smart Resin Models: Ethernal Eagle (the Big E himself), WIP

I normally do not do WIPs for figures because a.) I am not a great painter b.) they are not the main focus of this blog.

But since I have been working on a few since, well, for a while now, I decided to do three WIPs. This is the second: The Emperor of Mankind, The Saviour of Humanity, the Epitome of Perfection, who, nevertheless, severely lacked basic parenting skills despite of being, you know, The Epitome of Perfection.

The armor was a combination of AK’s True Metal paints in several layers, with washes and oil paints.

The mini comes with several heads (helmeted, serious, angry, cool -I call him “the Dude”, Space Jesus) and some extras as I ordered the pre-order version; I magnetized them, so they could be switched. (You can order the set in three sizes -this is the smallest, 28mm one. I really wish I had the largest one, but unless I get lucky in the EuroMillions, it will not happen.) I also ordered a set of power claws after the fact to switch it for the flaming sword. (I hope they will come out with a post-heresy version of the Emperor, too.)

I painted the stand using oils on an acrylic base. (Dark primer and blue oil paint.) I am pretty happy with the results – I think I will use oils a lot from now on. The cape is still need to be painted… it is still a bit sticky of the oil paint I used, even though it has been drying for three weeks now- obviously I need to learn a bit more about using oils, and the extra bits also need to be finished. I am pretty happy with the flaming sword- I used oils to make smooth blends here, too. It seems like an easier way than using acrylics.

Forgeworld: Magnus the Red WIP

I normally do not do WIPs for figures because a.) I am not a great painter b.) they are not the main focus of this blog.

But since I have been working on a few since, well, for a while now, I decided to do three WIPs. This is the first: Magnus the Red. Who did nothing wrong. (And I stand by this statement.) This is the pre-heresy form of him; not yet a broken daemon thing with boob-horn-armor.

I left out the whole swirling rubble-thing from the kit because I do not find them convincing; essentially he is done. His knee horn got missing over the years (I started him in the UK a long, long while back), and he has “only” his coat left to paint. Which is going to be challenging, as it has iridescent feathers, and I am not very good with coats anyhow.

I am experimenting with oils for blending.

The armor was a combination of AK’s True Metal paints in several layers, with washes and oil paints.

I quite like how the dark, broken, iridescent glass turned out to be -again, oils dabbed on.

Technical Difficulties

Well, this is definitely something modellers in general, and myself specifically are struggling with. I promise this, however: I am fully intent of finishing the Ferdinand in the next couple of weeks, and then proceed to the couple of 1/72 kits I have started to build, but I had a few Christmas-related things to take care of, and a set of shelves to install, an apartment to refurbish, a couple of Warhammer figures to paint (Magnus is only missing his coat now, as does the Emperor himself), and of course I had to start the MiniArt Werkstattkraftwagen Typ-03-30.

So keep tuned in.

Amusing Hobby 1/35 Ferdinand with interior part 5.1 Finishing the build

Well, finishing up the build… The previous installments:

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Part 5.

OK, now it is ready to be painted. Personally I blame the holidays for the lack of progress.

Amusing Hobby 1/35 Ferdinand with interior part 5. Finishing the build

Well, finishing up the build… The previous installments:

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

So, further difficulties… although not big ones.

The periscopes do not fit into their slots -neither on the driver’s hatch, nor on the top of the vehicle. Bummer.

The mantlet (part number A8) of the gun barrel did not fit into place, either; I trimmed about a mm off from the end to be able to slot it into place.

Because the gun is set off-set, and not centered (I had the bright idea to display it off-centered… talk about self-goals), I can’t fit the roof of the fighting compartment into place. The gunsight gets in the way, unfortunately. I strongly suggest centering the gun, or leave the hatches open so that the gunsight can stick out of the tank. I will have to figure something out; maybe display it lifted.

The tank is essentially done apart from the tow cables and a few minor parts. I will glue the fenders in place once I installed the tracks, and call it a day. I am still unsure about what tracks to use as I am not happy with either options, but I would like to stress something. None of these issues are deal-breaking – the model went together rather well. It is quite a spectacular-looking model, and considering that it comes with a full interior it was not a tour de force to build it. I do confess my love to the MiniArt kits with interior, but a T-54 was a much, much more involved process. This model went together surprisingly quickly. The ease of building obviously does come with some compromise with regards to detail. The question obviously is how much detail you can live without. I am happy to say that this level I am fine with -milage may vary. I am sure there will be a 1kg Voyager update set with PE and resin for the people who wish for more. Perhaps an aftermarket set of tracks would be useful but otherwise I am fine with this model out of the box.

Now I just need to paint the thing.

Scale model building – amateur style