All posts by fossiljellyfish

I'm a biologist who enjoys building scale models... I write popular science articles in my spare time, play World of Tanks, and publish scale model reviews in Armorama. I have decided to start a blog to show the work I've been doing; any comments are welcome. Please subscribe to the blog, and give regular feedback; this would greatly help me to improve both my skills and my blog.

Khârn the Betrayer

Here is the pre-Heresy version… And you will know I won the lottery if I have this on my blog.

The armor is pained with red ink sprayed over a shiny gold surface, then sealed with gloss varnish. Pretty spectacular.

Only after taking photos did I see the issues with the axe. (Also: just noticed the grip is supposed to be fabric.) Back to the workbench… although slowly but surely working off the pent-up, half-finished projects.

Mystic Wargames: The Emperor (70mm)

Well, I have an Emperor with a flaming sword already but this one is better. His head looks the right size at least, so cudos to Mystic Wargames.

It is a great model; I quite like the pose and all. Painting went the same way as with the other Emperor: True Metal paints, and oils over acrylics for the non-metallic colors. Even the flaming sword turned out pretty good -much better than I can manage with blending acrylics. The cape is actually quite flat (as it is a fabric), but the lights make it look glossy a bit.

McFarlane Toys: Necron Flayed One

These things are great –giant action figures to paint. (I got the artist’s proof.)

However. This is my first ever vinyl figure, and I did not prime it. Perhaps this is the reason for this thing still being sticky after more than six months. Really, really annoying. I will try to add varnish, perhaps it will seal the stickiness.

The body was painted with AK Interactive’s true metal range – I am quite pleased with the result. The rest were painted with artist’s oils, because I wanted to practice.

Anyhow, off to finish the rest of the pile…

Forgeworld: Chaos Warhound Titan

New Years’s resolution: finish everything on the started pile before starting a new project (which is going to be a Vickers Medium Mk.I with interior).

So I was doing some work on this thing last year. (Currently I call him “Chicken” because it looks quite avian with the torso off.) I always wanted to have one, but the price tag had always convinced me to be sensible. I finally had made a decision to buy one when I get my PhD, but when the time came I was freshly out of postgrad and into unemployment, so that was out of the question. Later the whole idea lost its appeal, since I always had a lot of things to spend on, like rent, wedding, preparing for a child, and so on and so forth. About five years ago I saw one on ebay: some parts were missing (one arm, some pistons, PE – that I know of), some were already started (one leg was glued the other way- hence the current pose), but it was relatively cheap so I bought it.

I have to say, considering the price tag, the fit is abysmal. I wonder how the Warlord titans compare in this department. (That I will never buy. It is cheaper to get a printer and start printing…)

Tried to magnetize the torso to the hip, but even that massive rare earth magnet I used is not strong enough, so the torso easily tips over even without the arms. We will see how it works with them… I glued it to a base, so it is a bit safer, and started to work on the scenery with my 4 years old. (She was in charge of putting cork sheets and random pieces of resin and plastic leftovers in place.) All work in progress.

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce him.

MiniArt 1/35 M3 Grant MkI. with interior part 5.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Interior is finally done. All the small details painted, finished; everything wrapped up. Turret is closed ( was considering cutting a hole on the side to allow a better view into it, but I decided against it -you can see the details quite nicely through the hatch, and looking in from the turret basket.)

Yeah, there are some fit issues with the top of the hull

The engine deck is a dilemma as I want to leave the engine visible. Perhaps leaving it off, or cutting a hole in it – but then it would look strange as it would be the only place with a cutaway.

Onto the exterior, then. I am so not looking forward to adding all the tiny little bits.

MiniArt 1/35 M3 Grant MkI. with interior part 4.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Well, the hull interior is finished, the exterior is mostly done. (The rest will be added once the tracks are installed, but there is some painting and weathering to be done beforehand.)

The issue with this model is the fit – I am sure if you do 100% correctly, it fits like a glove, however, the tiny mismatches will amplify into half-millimeter gaps by the time you get to the end of the build. It would not be a problem if the model was constructed as a “shake the box” model, where all the parts fall into place with extreme precision. Here the attachment points are small, the alignment of parts is not always simple (or even clear where exactly they go), so by the end you will have issues with fitting. There are some gaps where the hull’s sides attach to the vertical parts, and some more gaps on the top of the engine compartment. More annoyingly, the back plate of the engine compartment is slightly bulging outside, because the engine is pushing it. (We are talking about less than a millimeter. I should have shaved some plastic off the engine but did not see the bulge only after I glued the part in place.)

I bought a Mig oilbrusher (dust) to try and used it inside the interior. I have to say I am impressed. You just dabble it on the surface, then use your solvent of choice (ZestIt for me) to adjust. It looks very dusty with a little effort. (Some more adjustments will be needed after looking at the photo…) Overall, not a bad thing to have, but similar results can easily be achieved in other ways. I bought a grime colored one as well – we will see how it performs. (I tried it on the bottom of the turret basket- it really “pulled together” the paint chips and rust.

Oilbrushers are not much different from “regular” oils. What sets them apart are the color choices and the matte surface/ease of use (these two are related somewhat). On the other hand, they are not as flexible, so it is something you need to decide.

But all-in-all, the interior looks great. Perhaps a bit too dirty on the photos, but I can assure you it does not look as filthy in real life. Now onto the turret interior…

The issue with assembling a complex kit like this is that building, and painting are not easy to plan. It also does not help that the instruction manual does the hull interior first, then finishes the exterior, goes on to the turret interior, and finishes with the turret exterior. It makes planning to paint even more of a nightmare if you decide to follow the suggested order. (Which I did not.)

I tried to paint everything before assembly (tried to judge what I need to paint well ahead), but several parts were left out. So once everything is dry, I am going to get my brush and start painting white manually. Not fun.

There are a lot of small pieces that need to be painted before installing them -the PE grid protecting the radio, ammo box in the turret basket, and lots of other tiny, tiny things. Checking the instruction manual, I have to say the woes do not stop once you are done with the interior -the exterior is full of PE…

Photos are great to check where to correct the paintwork.

Well, some intermezzo

OK, I admit – the last week or so I have spent way too much time and money with World of Tanks, and gambling with lootboxes. Which may sound stupid, but hear me out:

No, it is actually stupid. (At least I got two nice tanks as extras plus the gold and premium time that come with these boxes. Not the over-powered BZ, hey, but you can’t have anything.) This whole thing does have some feeling of nostalgia as I used to do this festive tanking with the children of our best friend. (Now they are at the age when they are more interested in less important things, like girls.) They moved on, I kept gambling away – although the gold and other goodies do come useful during the year, so spending some (well…) money on the game once a year is not that bad of an idea.

So all that time grinding some tanks with my limited premium time was not spent on model building. This thing swings back and forth – sometimes I feel like shooting tanks (and sucking at it*), sometimes I feel like it is a waste of time, and rather do something productive, and build tanks, rather than shooting them. There should be a time soon when I decide to finally start learning guitar and drawing in earnest, so I will need to find some extra hours in the day.

*Seriously, the amount of time and money I spent on this game, and I am still so bad at it… horrible. Just horrible.

The point of this post, however, is not this. The point of this post is this video as it is about something I always wanted to see: how injection molded scale models are made. So now I am sharing it with all…

MiniArt 1/35 M3 Grant MkI. with interior part 3.

Part 1.

Part 2.

The hull interior is almost ready, with weathering and small details all but added. The engine compartment is a huge sub-assembly on its own; it would be a model by itself, really. The very thin plastic parts are a bane of the modeler here – the same as with any MiniArt models, really.

Well, time to push this build. This is truly a marathon, and it is very easy to become fatigued with the model or losing interest. It is important to keep motivating yourself; a source of motivation for me is to see it coming together. For the longest time I only had some disjointed jumble of plastic, but now I have something that resembles an actual vehicle. Now the trick is not to rush it because, honestly, I am getting a bit tired with it, and getting very keen on starting a new project. Now that I have a Grant-shaped thing, I am going systematically through the building instructions and finishing off smaller steps I skipped. (When building and painting it is often necessary to re-order the suggested building order.) So once the engine is installed I added a bunch of tubing and whatnot -to be painted later.

Once the engine compartment is done, I add the few missing details to the fighting compartment, and start working on the turret…

MiniArt 1/35 M3 Grant MkI. with interior part 2.

Part 1.

I used Mig’s interior wash as a pin-wash for the model. It has a strange, greyish color, but once applied, it actually works very nicely. (You can also use washes made from oil paints, honestly. Use some dark-brownish color, and you will be fine.)

Part one was really a post to show that I was actually doing something. I kept going with painting stuff white (painful process), and building the interior. I was tempted to go by the “halved tank” build, but eventually I settled on being more conventional. There are so many large openings, it would be reasonably simple to show the interior without any major surgery.

I applied the wash to the details (rivets, small parts, etc), then waited a day and used a moistened Q tip (ZestIt), to remove most of it. I managed to completely clean it off some areas, which necessitates the re-application of the wash, and also created some streaks/filters in this process. I used a fine brush and a little piece of sponge to apply chips with Vallejo’s black brown.

The ammunition was painted with AK Interactive’s gold.

The interior still needs a lot of work: further weathering (some rust, some brownish filters, oil patches, some dirt and dust), and a lot of details that are still missing. Yes, I know tanks were not as weathered, rusty and dirty in real life, however I think heavy(ish) weathering helps telling a story and it creates visually interesting stories. The instructions are quite disjointed as far as the different steps go, so right now I am also painting some panels white, to repeat all the process described above… Lots of planning is needed, that is for sure.

So, somewhat better images: