Tag Archives: BTM/3

Trumpeter BTM-3 High Speed Trench Digger part 3

Technical issues: I am slowly running out of space in WordPress, so now I am experimenting. I can insert photos from link, but then there is no option for albums; please let me know if this format works.

Back to the build

Part 1 and Part 2.

WEATHERING! At last…

Usually when I get to this stage I am fatigued of the build, and just rush it. So now I will try to take it slow. (Having several projects running is useful.)

First off: mud.

As I mentioned I am not good at making good-looking mud. I bought several products, several magazines, books on model building, read and watched stuff online, but it just does not work as well as for the professionals. I guess practice and patience; even the ready made products won’t save you from these (so why waste your money on them?) Why indeed.

I liked the above video because it is very useful in getting the right colors -this is crucial. I have several “earth” colored pigments but none of them are ideal when you are looking to get dried mud. Dry mud is light; most earth colored products are very dark (as dark as the real thing, without the scale effect taken into consideration). The second useful thing to learn -as with all weathering- is the matter of layers. Lots and lots of layers. (Since I want a really muddy underside, I used a much thicker mud in the beginning.)

First layer: AK’s resin base to give volume and some earth pigments. The results are not very good looking.

I sprayed earth and sand colors on the top part of the chassis to simulate dried mud. Not very convincing.

More layers using Tamiya’s concrete colored weathering paste and pigments. Getting better.

At this stage I added the tracks (also treated with a thin version of this mix, after painting).

More coloring was added using different, lighter pigments to give it depth, similarly to how the above video is suggesting, and for now the mud is done.

I had some internal discussions about the order of the next steps: paint damage, washes and filters. I decided to keep it in this order.

I started with the paint damage. I really want to show a used (but not overused) vehicle, kind of like an old agricultural tractor. Most of the chipping was on the digger part, but some rust is present on the cab as well. First step: applying patches and scratches of light green with a sponge and a brush.

These are filled out with Vallejo’s black brown with a brush, giving them depth. When all is finished, the edges are rubbed with a silver pencil to give a metallic shine to the whole thing.

The digging buckets received much larger chips painted by hand, as these receive some serious abuse while digging the earth.

The cab area is treated with lighter/brighter rust colors as the metal is much thinner here, and the rust is not polished off by the constant movement. (I don’t think there would be much rust on the digging apparatus.) Because I used pre-shading, chipping fluids are out, so manual painting is in…

I also added a lot of lighter dust color on the top and other parts of the vehicle using pigments, AK’s dust products and AK’s pencils.

The headlight was painted with Green Stuff’s liquid chrome… incredible stuff. It looks like real chrome. I felt it would be a shame to cover it with the transparent piece, so I left it bare.

Trumpeter BTM-3 High Speed Trench Digger part 2

I finished most of the assembly. The design of the digger part is, well, sub-optimal. The main issue is with the frame holding the wheel (a horizontal part going across the diameter of the wheel on the first photo). It is supposed to be assembled from three different sections per side (four parts altogether), and the gluing surface is tiny. You essentially have to lay out the plastic parts next to each other and glue them together where they touch. While keeping the whole thing steady and also straight in three dimensions with a gigantic wheel in the middle of it all (steps 32-36).

I built a rig using blue tac and books to do so. Applied glue to one side only first, waited until the glue has somewhat set and the parts were reasonably firmly attached to each other (but remained still flexible somewhat). I positioned the whole thing on the rig, set it up correctly, and waited overnight for the glue to set completely. Then I attached the parts for the other side. Frustrating.

Painting at last. I decided to do the lower chassis separately – the first time, really. (I know people do that: finish the two halves separately, add the mud and whatnot, and then mate the two together once done.)

I primed the whole thing with a light grey primer, and then added black on the lower parts, and where shadows should be. Then I misted AK’s third generation Russian green in three thin layers, allowing the black to show through. Again, this is also a first: I normally use a dark primer base so pre-shading is going the other direction: from dark to light.

I also worked on the tracks and the lower chassis; it took a while, but this is the problem with individual link tracks… one of the least enjoyable part of model building.

I also lost a wheel, the genius I am. I swapped two wheels with the MiniArt T-54-based APC, and realized I lost one of them. This kit gives the rubber rims separately, and I wanted to depict the MiniArt APC as a wreck. Now I have one wheel less…