Category Archives: 1/35

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.

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:

1/35 Zvezda Panzer IV (Sd.Kf.z 161/2) ausf H. part 2

The work on the interior is commencing. It has been a couple of years since I touched this model. (Somewhat disheartening to have all-plastic models come out with full interiors – pnz IV by Miniart, Tiger I by RFM, Tiger II by Takom…) In fact this post was first written before I even built my Takom and RFM Panthers

The Tank Workshop parts designed for the Tamiya kit fit quite well into the Zvezda model; I did use the plastic parts of the base model wherever I could. (The turret basket, gun breach, etc.)

Note to self: I got carried away at the assembly steps: it’s much more difficult to paint and weather the transmission and the instrument panel once you installed them. Oh well.

I cut a hole where one of the inspection hatches were, and I also cut away part of the hull over the driver; I wanted to expose the driver’s compartment a bit better than the driver’s hatch would have allowed it. I do not plan similarly cutting up the turret, since it has two large doors on the sides. I think I overdid the cuts- I will have to find some way out of this hole I dug myself into.

I’m a bit disappointed with TW’s ammo racks; they are just featureless boxes with no ammunition provided. (This just demonstrates how much more detail newer kits provide by default… see Takom’s and RFM’s new Panther with full interior with the DML Panther I’ve built -but not yet finished- with TW’s interior.)

The Zvezda kit was clearly not designed with interior in mind; the mudguards are given as a single part with the two mudguards connected by plastic rods. The front one had to be removed since it was quite out of place with the driver’s compartment exposed. (And the transmission was in the way.)

The other problem I ran in was a serious fit issue: the mudguards/top hull/bottom hull parts do not fit well together. The fit of the top of the hull and the left mudguard is not good: if you position the mudguard so that its surface texture corresponds to the top of the hull (there is a groove for the hull on the mudguard), the front part will be about 2mm to the right. (There is a hole on the front armor plate for the headlight’s cable, and the cable is molded onto the mudguard. They just do not fit; the cable is directly over the inspection hatch instead of over the hole by the inspection hatch.) Apart from that, there’s a 2mm gap between the upper hull and lower hull on the front.

So that’s a big screwup. As I modified the model a bit I’m not entirely sure if these issues exist with the model, or these are the results of my meddling, but honestly I think they are not my doing. This really held up the build – I lost quite a lot of my enthusiasm.

I finished the front of the turret with the main gun and the coaxial machine gun; will have to check a few reference books on what else is missing from the turret interior. TW’s set comes with a lot of water canteens and ammunition pouches, but there are other details, such as cables, extra viewing blocks, etc., that will need to be added.

Since the interior is finished -well, details are still missing- I’ve primed everything with Vallejo’s German grey primer, and then sprayed a few light coats of Tamiya white followed by Hannant’s German tank interior color. (I quite liked the paint, by the way. It went on reasonably well, and was easy to use.)

Once it was done I painted the floor of the fighting compartment and the turret basket in a steel color (reference was a youtube video), and painted the transmission in a grey-blue color. I’m not sure if there was one correct color; I’ve seen photos with dark grey, blue-grey, green (!), and the cream color the rest of the interior was painted with. Since it gives the model some visual interest I’ve decided to go with the blueish one. After some weathering (washes, chips painted on and some pigments) I’ve added the front plate and the mudguard to the model. This is where it stands now. I will need to add the hull machine gun, vision blocks, ammunition, cables and other small details to the interior, and then I can finally move onto the exterior of the tank. I just realized I misplaced the gun barrel, so I will have to order a metal replacement. It’s a shame, really, because the kit part is perfectly suitable. (This build is looking like a cursed one… not one of those models you feel joy tackling.)

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

There are some interesting pages to check out for reference. There is a great walkaround with some interior photos, and an amazing blog building a sister of this model here. I also took a couple of photos of the tank in Bovingdon; you can see them in this link.

You can see the model itself on MiniArt’s page– useful photos of the parts and the instructions are also published there. (Unfortunately Armorama stopped publishing build reviews of MiniArt kits, and the photos are not exactly useful.)

The build is a typical Miniart one- you have to glue together hundreds and hundreds of tiny parts. I quite like these kits -mileage may vary.  The only advice I can give is to consider it as a marathon, not a sprint.

The only thing I take an issue with is the tracks. The tracks took more time to build than the rest of the model. I have no idea why you could not have link-and-length option as well.

dlb81lu

 

So. First part: interior. Due to the necessity of painting it is difficult to know how much you should be building in one go. I tried to get as much ready as possible before the painting step. This year was not kind to me as far as modelling goes – due to the eye operation and the renovation of our place I had no time to do much work. I mainly fiddled with the tracks during boring meetings (blessings of home office).

Then the countless layers of white. This time I did not use my usual method; I tried AK’s third generation white. Well, the coverage is not adequate.

The photo is not very good – took it under a single light at night as I was pressed for time. And right now it makes no difference, really – just a little visualization of this year’s progress. (Christ…)

So next steps: painting the details, weathering the interior, assembly, and then getting on with the rest of the build. Timewise I think if you are finished the tracks, you are at halfway of the build… I will have to figure out how to display the interior -although the tank has huge doors, so it may be not necessary to cut anything.

ICM Marder I on FCM 36 base

If you want to read a review of the model, I published one on Armorama. I only learned about this tank destroyer from World of Tanks where it is an incredibly overpowered tier III premium vehicle.

In short: it is a simple, easy-to-assemble kit of a cool little tank destroyer. If you are a fan of this vehicle in World of Tanks and have no modelling experience, it is actually a model you can build with ease. If it was not a review sample coming with its own paint-set, I would have painted it in the “green grove” camo from WoT. ..

The paints performed admirably; the only issue I have -which might not be an issue at all- is that I find the base yellow (dunkelgelb) provided way too dark. (It is “middle stone” in the paint set.)

What I did was to use it as a base layer and “modulated” it with Mig’s Dunkelgelb…

I used silly putty for masking, and added the other two colors of the camo. The paints performed perfectly well; I had no problem using them with airbrush or brush, although they needed to be diluted with water heavily. (The paint is very thick,) Which is fine as you get a lot actually in those tiny, 12ml bottles.

Weathering…

I started with filters -ochre, brownish, a touch of green.

Then came the chipping, the wear-and-tear and rust inside: the trusty German Black Brown applied with a 0 sized brush. I applied some scratches and whatnot on the superstructure, and added a little bit of rust streak to some of them. (Most of it is hidden by the dust layers…)

Dust and mud were adding using these products mainly. The very light brown “light sienna” was a transformative product (any pigment would suffice, not just Vallejo’s); after all dry mud is almost grey in color. (One of my constant struggle with mud has been the unrealistically dark color.) The structured mud by Green Stuff World is essentially the same thing you can get from Tamiya or Vallejo- a thick paste you can dilute with water, and mix it with pigments, ink or acrylic paints (or anything water-soluble, really). There was no strict order or method – generally I tried to apply the lighter colors on a larger surface (dried, older mud, dust), used a wet brush to remove some of the material using vertical strokes, simulating rain and other effects, waited until it got dry, and went ahead with a thicker, darker mixture on a smaller area. I also applied some splashes using an old brush and a piece of card on the lower hull using several different shades.

MINIART WERKSTATT KRAFTWAGEN TYP-03-30 Build Review Part 6.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Part 5.

With adding some more rust, some dust and filling up the cab and roof rack the with the missing equipment and cargo, I call this vehicle done.

It is honestly great that MiniArt and other plastic model manufacturers venture into the more unique and obscure subject territory. Previously if it was not a Sherman or Tiger (with some exaggeration) you were out of luck -only very expensive kits or conversions by resin manufacturers were available. So while I would love to build the new General Motor CMP C60X by Resicast I will never be able to afford it; this model gave me something similar I actually can. We truly live in a golden age of scale modelling.

MINIART WERKSTATT KRAFTWAGEN TYP-03-30 Build Review Part 5.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Attached the rack to the top, and then painted and weathered all the baggage.

This essentially concluded the building process. Some adjustments here and there are still done, but the model is essentially ready. The smaller details will be added in the upcoming week (or two), and I will post the result. Some oil cans, gas cylinders are missing still, but I think the weathering is finished, so once they are installed, the model will be officially ready, too.

Overall I would say this is an interesting subject, a relatively well designed model, with the caveat of the assembly of the chassis, the running gear and the bonnet.

MINIART WERKSTATT KRAFTWAGEN TYP-03-30 Build Review Part 4.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

The doors were weathered inside and out. I used oils straight to modulate their colors from the inside, some dark and rush washes to make them look used. I chose two of the posters and glued them onto the back door. I used a very faint rust wash on the seams – using rust colored pigments suspended in ZestIt.

The outside got several layers of splashed mud using the same basic mixture of dust colored pigments, AK’s resin thickening agent, and water with other colored pigments added between applications. I used the usual method of splattering this mixture onto the model with the help of an old brush and a toothpick. The secret of realistic looking result is several, almost invisible layers on top of each other; just swamping the surface with a single dust/mud color will make the model look, well, not good, as I experienced it when I started using pigments and other products, expecting to see the same results as can be seen on the packaging.

The top of the bus got a much lighter mixture of dust colored pigments. I used both AK’s pencils and Tamiya’s dust weathering stick to achieve the effect. The good thing about these products is that you can just add them onto the surface with a copious amount of water, wait until they dry, and then use a wet brush to adjust the effect to your heart’s content.

I also dusted up the windows a bit; after all you can’t expect them to be completely clean if the vehicle is dusty.