Tag Archives: french

Tiger Model 1/35 AML-90 Part 3. All is Dust

 

Part 1.

Part 2.

 

Magnus did nothing wrong, as we know. So dusting it up. I used AK Interactive’s Dust Effects as a base. The tutorial on the AK website is OK(ish) – the usual trick applies: you add the product, wait until it dries to the touch, and adjust it with a wet (using turpentine) brush.

The results are OK, but not good enough – the single tone and the texture alone does not work perfectly. However, as with all effects you need layers and different tones, so it is not exactly a surprise. I looked around my shelf, and took all the acrylic dust products I could find, and went working on the model.

Most of these products could be adjusted and re-adjusted with one prominent exception: once the Vallejo rain marks product hits the surface you have very little time to adjust the effect. (I had to mask the marks on the turret using pigments.)

I will do a short tutorial about the acrylic pencils; the trick is to swamp the surface with water, rub the pencils on, wait until the mess is dry, and then you can adjust with a wet brush, creating puddles, streaks and spots. Rinse and repeat. Or rather, do not rinse, just keep adjusting, maybe adding more pigments.

I am starting to feel quite good about dust; if I have a chance I would like to give Lifecolor’s liquid pigments a try, but these tools are perfectly sufficient to achieve good results.

I wrote a review of this model on Armorama as well… as you can see it has been published quite a long time ago, but the weekly publication schedule caused a considerable slip. (Hence the extra post this week. I want to get it out of the way… Still have ICM’s Leichttractor to do.)

Tiger Model 1/35 AML-90 Part 2. final assembly and painting

Part 1.

The model comes with a very well designed instruction booklet, and a colored page showing the camouflage patterns as a painting guide. The parts are well-moulded, the detail is crisp and fine, and I found no flash anywhere – it is a very high tech plastic model. There are valves, tiny nuts and all sorts of small details present on the model that you actually need a magnifying glass for. All-in-all, it is just a great little model, with just enough parts not to make it an enormous undertaking to build. You get 7 sprues with a total of 266 parts, one of which has transparent parts, 5 vinyl tires, 2 small PE with a total of 19 parts, aluminium and a brass turned barrel for the main gun and the coaxial machine gun, four metal springs and a small decal sheet.

There is a minimal PE but not exactly overdone; the fit is good, and when I dry fitted the hull to see how it holds up, it actually stayed together without glue. The detail both inside and out is good – when you open the hatches, there will be a lot of detail to see.

There is a great option of using either vinyl tires or plastic ones – as someone who does not like vinyl, I really, applaud the inclusion of hard plastic. There is also a metal barrel included for both the main gun and the coaxial machine gun, which is also very much welcome. The suspension has metal springs -they do not work, but they do look realistic. Everything is safely bagged, in color-coded bags for the springs to make the job of the builder simpler – the whole package is just geared for a pleasant building experience. (You can find photos of the sprues in this review: https://www.themodellingnews.com/2019/07/in-boxed-135th-panhard-aml-90-light.html?m=1)

The painting was done with silly putty: I left the Vallejo dark grey primer as black, and applied NATO green and brown in successive steps.

Tiger Model 1/35 AML-90 Part 1.

A nice summary of the roles of the EBR, AML and the AMX-13 -since I have been building models of all three lately. If you want to buy an actual one for reference, then you can do that, too. There was also someone who scratch-built the interior– something definitely to be admired, but not for me.

The model comes in a box that resembles the 1:48 Tamiya kits -and this is a huge compliment. The packaging is great- parts are well protected, and even color coded with different bags to make identification easy. The detail is really good, without the excess part numbers some kits tend to come with.

The building phase -so far- was a joy; my only headache is the usual problem: how to display the gorgeous interior? Are the doors big enough to give an unobstructed view of the car, or should I start cutting parts away?

The age-old question; we will see what happens once I have some time to think about it properly. Any suggestions in the comment section are welcome!

Hobby Boss 1/35 EBR-10 Part 3. -Muddying things up

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The mud was created using Tamiya’s concerete textured paint as a base with lots of earth colored pigments and some static grass and sand added. The first batch was prepared using washable dust by Ammo, though – this represents the dried mud under all the subsequent layers. The next batch was created by adding different (and subsequently darkening) earth colored pigments; after application, as usual, I used a wet brush to adjust the effect, to remove some mud from some places, to move clumps around, and to subtly mix the different layers together. Once the lower hull and the wheels were dirtied up, I glued the wheels on.

The products for the mud I used were the following: Tamiya basing paste (concrete), Vallejo splashed mud, different earth colored pigments and sand with static grass.

(I know it is a lot… I accumulated them over the years, and never really gave them a proper tryout. It is the perfect opportunity I guess.)

If there is one fault of the kit is the tiny connection point between the axes and the wheels. It was really annoying to constantly re-gluing the whells, because the pin holding them was tiny and did not create a strong enough hold.

The last step was adding a couple of mud splashes using the above mixtures diluted with water, and a stiff old brush.

The top of the hull and the turret got some dust (washable dust by Ammo Mig, rainmarks by Vallejo), and pretty much it was it. While I do appreciate the Vallejo weathering products, as they are not solvent-based, they are more difficult to apply properly. The high surface tension of the water in them means they do not spread so easily, and they form tide marks very readily when applied to a dry surface directly. The best way I found to use them was to wet the surface, dilute the products somewhat, and keep feathering the edges of the patches so that the very marked tide-marks do not form. The key is to build up the effect in light layers. Using directly from the bottle will not yield good results.

The middle wheels were painted using AK’s True Metal paint to resemble the worn metallic surface. The same paint was used with dry brushing over some of the surfaces. The model got an overall flat coat (especially the canvas cover on the turret), and the edges were lined with silver pencil.

I did add a lot of petrol spill around the caps, but since the model was over-done, anyway, I really wanted to go the whole nine yards. Always wanted to do one of those over-weathered models… While they are certainly not realistic, they do look good. Mine looks like that the only reason why it does not fall apart due to the extensive rusting, or bursts into flames due to the gallons of spilled gasoline is the incredible amount of mud that holds the whole thing together…

I am not entirely satisfied with the results, but overall I quite like how it turned out.

By the way, the freaking wheels keep breaking off due to the tiny connecting pins snapping every time I handle the model. I gave up and used green stuff to fix them in place.

Hobby Boss 1/35 EBR-10 Part 2. Rust -and a proper tryout of Liquid Pigments by Lifecolor

A nice summary of the roles of the EBR, AML and the AMX-13 -since I have been building models of all three lately.

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Back to the model – building is done, proceeding to painting.

First stages…

I primed the model with Vallejo’s dark grey primer, and sprayed some rust brown over it – it will form the basis of chipping. I am going for the “World of Tanks look” – unrealistically worn armor that looks great and realistic in-game. (Figure that.)

I used the hairspray method for the larger chips – with AK’s Heavy Chipping fluid. I sprayed the fluid over the model, waited until it dried, and went over with PolyScale’s green (the label is too faded, I have no idea what green it is). I deliberately went for a light green, as it would become darker with further weathering. (I am experimenting here, so we are all very anxious of the results.)

After the paint dried I spent an exciting half an hour with some water and a stiff brush to remove some of the paint.

This is the result. It’s a bit rough on the edges, but the look is refined further in subsequent steps. (And do something about the canvas cover on the turret, I promise.)

Next up: Lifecolor’s liquid pigments -rust.

I have played around with this product, but this time I decided to give it a proper tryout. They were very useful to add rusty patches and discolorations to the model; although a lot of the effects were hidden by the subsequently added mud and dust…

As with most products it is difficult to judge the final look while it is wet; the good thing is that you can always adjust it later. If you add the different colors while the previous layers are still wet, they will mix readily; if you want to have a contrast, wait until everything dry before commencing with the next layer.

The best method was the usual one: apply, wait a bit, adjust/remove. The previous layers were very easy to remove if I was not careful; use a brush that is only a little bit wet, and do not wait until the layer you wish to adjust dries completely. (Or you can just seal everything with varnish if you choose to.)

On the top edge of the turret I tried to do some rust streaks – I have to say the liquid pigments worked just great. Once it was dry-ish, I could use a wet brush to feather the streaking a bit, just like with an enamel-based product. All-in-all I quite like these liquid pigments.

Next step -mud

 

Hobby Boss 1/35 EBR-10 part 1

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To help with the tedium of skype conferences, I did some work on a model waiting in the pile… the EBR-10. I became interested in it thanks to World of Tanks (a very common occurence), and since it is a fun little vehicle (which may be killing the game…) I decided to build one.

Since it is simple, I easily did it while listening in to these online conferences I am forced to attend.

Nothing special, really, most things just fell togheter. I am a bit irked by the rubber tires, and also the fact that the canvas cover of the oscillating turret is shorter than it should be, so there is a gap in the front (not on the photos, it was installed after), regardless, a fun little project – the building stage took me about 3 hours total…

 

ACE Model 1/72 AMX-13/75 part 2.

 

Part 1. 

Well, the painting stage was long, protracted and not very well documented; I apologize for that.

 

Regardless: as usual, the model was primed with Vallejo’s acrylic primer, and then I chose a green color that was the closest to the Bolivian scheme I chose from the instructions. (The temptation was high to use a fictional, World of Tanks camo, but this model was for review, so I stuck with a historical one.)

The top of the model got the same green with some yellow added to lighten it up, and form a sort of zenithal lightning.

The canvas was painted with bestial brown by Citadell, and highlighted with buff and bestial brown. The handles were painted in a light green color (the filters lessened the contrast later on). Using sponge and a 00 brush I added some faint paint chips using Vallejo’s German black brown mixed with green on areas where I thought the heavy wear would damage the paint (the thin metal of the tool boxes, around hatches, on the edges, etc.).

After that it was dark brown washes, some highlights added with a fine brush, and then I used a couple of green and brown filters made from oil paints and ZestIt. The dust on the top surfaces and mud on the lower chassis (I did not want to have an overly muddy vehicle) was done using Vallejo’s dust washes and pigments. Again: once applied, you wait a bit, and remove, blend and adjust for a realistic look. Once done I sealed the paint with a flat varnish, and used a silver pencil on the edges to give the model a metallic look.

 

All-in-all, this was a really nice little model with good detail; no complaints at all.

ACE Model 1/72 AMX-13/75 part 1.

ACE has recently issued a 1/72 scale AMX-13/75, which was a welcome news since the only Braille scale models of this tank I know of are a few, quite expensive resin kits which are also quite difficult to get, and an old Heller kit, which is inaccurate and also not easily available. 

 

The AMX-13 light tank had a long service history, produced for over thirty years between the 50s and 80s, undergoing multiple rounds of modifications and modernization. The most apparent of which was the increase of gun caliber from 75mm to 105mm. The full designation of the tank is  Char 13t-75 Modèle 51, referencing the weight (13 tons), and the caliber of the main gun (75mm).

 

This is my second ACE kit; so I was curious how it would turn out.

 

The plastic is soft, but not too soft; it is easy to work with. There is some flash on some of the parts – take care removing it as the soft plastic is very easy to cut. And while the plastic might be a bit soft, the details are most definitely not; I have to say I was impressed with the surface detail. (Except for the 50 cal machine gun; it looks a bit bare.) There are seam lines on every part you will have to deal with, though. 

The model gets PE as well, which is a very welcome addition, as it adds some very convincing detail to the tank: engine grilles, and headlight protectors and a few other details.

The tracks are the rubber band type, but plastic glue works on them. This is something I welcome wholeheartedly; none of that nonsense with tracks that cannot be glued. 

Personally I do prefer plastic link-and-length tracks (or PE…) but these work fine, the detail is somewhat weak, but still OK. 

 

The assembly is relatively quick and straightforward. The fit is great, so there is no complaint there; I elected to fill in a few seams on the connecting surfaces of some panels, but I am not sure they would show up if I had left them as they were. The model is a pretty “old-school” design, so no slide-molds and elaborately shaped plastic parts are present; every complex shape is put together from flat panels. ACE did a very good job designing the model, as at the end you will have a very nice representation of the AMX-13/75.

The oscillating turret is very nicely reproduced -with one serious issue of the kit: the very prominent canvas cover protecting the joint between the two parts of the turret. This had been occasionally removed from the real vehicles, and you can certainly omit it from your  build. If you go this way, be aware that there is detail under the canvas: the seam and the attachment points where the canvas is fixed to are quite visible. (These details are not present in this kit.) As the shape is quite complex, the model’s canvas cover is supposed to be assembled from four parts. The assembly did not exactly go by the book. First, the canvas detail is too big; it should not be this thick and bulging (it also looks very “orderly”; not at all how canvas is folding). It is a thin sheet of canvas, after all. Second, the parts do not connect… (see photos.) They are too short to go around the turret, leaving prominent gaps, which have to be filled. I glued them on as best as I could, and then used putty and green stuff to fill in the missing parts. It does the job, but the detail is still over-emphasised. I think there are two options, really. You either leave it off (as virtually all builds I have seen online did it), and accept that the detail is not perfect, or just make your own using some putty. Since this is a review of the kit, I installed the kit part as best as I could.

 

Here is a very nice photo of the canvas cover on the turret -from a different vehicle, but the turret is identical.

A side note: that driver with his helmet and googles looks like a skull… every time I see this photo it draws my eyes to him.

 

 

1/72 AMX-40 by OKB Grigorov

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This is one of those tanks that definitely has a lot of personality. From absolute obscurity it was launched into the general consciousness* by the online game World of Tanks, which features it as a tier IV light tank. It has a certain notoriety as it is certainly one of the worst tanks in the game, but despite of this it became somewhat of a legend (or a cult, rather) simply due to its quite unique looks. It’s a sort of hipster tank, just like the Churchill Gun Carrier. The WoT community has created several amusing memes around it, and it has its own nickname: “The Duck”. Right now the only mod I run with the game is the “rubber duck” custom paintjob. (See below)

*Well, more accurately, into the general consciousness of a certain gaming community…

The unique look of the tank is the result of its designers taking the idea of sloped armour to its limits. The plans were drawn up in 1940 as a replacement option for the S35 and S40 cavalry tanks, but due to the German invasion these plans did not materialise; no prototypes were ever built. (To be fair it would have probably performed just as bad in real life against panzer IIIs and IVs as it does in-game.) The only contemporary image of this strange-looking tank available online is a drawing. The tank did inspire a lot of online creativity, thought…

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I have been toying around with Blender trying to make a printable model of this tank, but so far my efforts are less than satisfactory. (I’m not giving up, though; if I succeed I will paint it in the Rubber Duck scheme.) Needless to say when I saw that OKB is producing a version of this vehicle I ordered one at once. I quite like this feedback of computer games into the scale model industry; a lot of newer releases (KV-4, AT2, etc.) were clearly inspired by the weirder prototypes, paper panzers popularized by WoT.

The kit comes in a typical OKB box, the parts placed into ziplock bags. The instructions are computer generated and quite simple, but this is a simple model after all. Once you finish the suspension/running gear (I have no idea if they are accurate), you’re essentially finished. It comes with two PE parts, and two transparent resin pieces for the headlights. It lacks the back-mounted machine gun that was planned (that up-pointing gun mounted behind the turret). Other than that it looks very similar to the blueprint, but distinctly different from its in-game representation. (Which is a shame, because the WoT turret with its secondary machine gun turret looks much better in my opinion. It’s absolutely fictional, but looks trump historical accuracy. Well, this is what Blender is for, I guess.)

The model went together without a hitch. The suspension arms fit well, the wheels went on nicely, and the tracks were a breeze to install; that was pretty much the extent of the build, really. Apart from this I had to glue the turret and the gun in place, install the headlights, and add the side-skirts. The building process took about an hour. The only tricky part was to fix the side-skirts onto the curved profile of the tank.

The painting was also pretty easy: I primed the model with the side-skirts off with Vallejo’s German Grey primer, and applied AK’s Chipping Fluid. Once dry, I mixed up the (fictional) blue-gray color from WoT using Tamiya paints, and misted it over the model in several layers. This was followed by some moderate chipping using a wet, stiff brush.

When the model was dry, I used some oil-paint based filters (light brown, blue) to modulate the base color somewhat, and sealed everything with gloss varnish.

Unfortunately there are no decals provided with the model.

After weeks of consideration I decided to test out printing waterslide decals using an inkjet printer. The results were not satisfactory (I used transparent decal paper instead of white, and the colors are very faint), but life is about learning, right? If you want to have faded markings, print decals -that’s my conclusion. The other -bigger problem- is the thickness of the decals; they are just not going onto the surface very well, you can see silvering despite of soaking the whole model in decal softeners, and in general, just being crappy decals. Conclusion? Buy an aftermarket set next time…

The headlights were painted using a chrome pen.

I added the decals, sealed them, and painted on some more scratches and chips. Using Tamiya’s makeup set I added some dust on the lower part of the chassis; and this concludes the painting and weathering phase; the Duck is ready.

Overall the model is nice: well designed, easy to assemble, and unique-looking. The price is moderately high, but affordable; it’s great as a weekend project (or for the true fans of Le’Duck).

1/35 Meng Renault FT-17 part 3.

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Please find part one and two here.

Well, the tank is finally done. It took me a long time to build, it was one of those builds which just did not want to get done; even though the model itself is just amazing.

Last steps: mud and dust… again. I have to admit I did the different stages of muddying the tank parallel to the T-55AM; everything written in part 6 applies here, too.

Quote:

The next step was to apply dust. Dust and mud are the two things I’m not really good with, so this part I put off as long as I could. I settled for AK’s dust products, and mixed my own mud.

AK’s dust comes as a suspension; when you apply it, it goes on thick, and the results are not very pleasing. At least this is what I thought at first. As with everything I realized the secret is not adding stuff to the model, but removing it after. I diluted some of the mixture in white spirit, dabbed it onto the tank, waited some time, and then using a wet brush I removed most of the dust, spreading it around, adjusting it. The key is to be patient: you can always repeat the procedure (in fact, you should), if there’s not enough added. Adding less is always  preferable to adding more.

One the dust was dry, I went on mudding up the lower chassis.

What I failed to realize for a long time is that it’s not enough to buy a product called “mud”, and them smear it onto the tank; just as you can’t just cover a tank with a paint labelled “rust”, and expect realistic results. Obviously the results will be sub-optimal; there are really no shortcuts in mud. (I feel this sentence carries some deeper, more profound meaning.) Even if you buy custom-made products you still have to learn how to apply them, and that’s that. And since you need to learn it anyhow, you might as well save some money and make your own mud.

The first layer was simple pigments suspended with water. I dabbed it on, then after it was mostly dry, removed some using a brush. A day later the procedure was repeated with a different color. The key here is layers; just like Shrek, mud has layers, too. Old mud tends to be dryer and lighter; newer deposits tend to be thicker, darker and placed lower. I dabbed the pigment-water mixture all over the lower chassis, the side-skirts, even on the top of the mudguards (in a much more diluted form).

I also splattered some using a loaded brush and a toothpick onto the side-skirts; any splatters that were out of place (on the side of the turret, for example) was removed with a wet brush using downward motions, leaving a very faint streak behind. I’ve also used Vallejo’s mud product on the side-skirts; it produces quite dark splatters which are quite different from how it looks like on the photo on the bottle.

A day or two later I decided to try something I’ve never done: I made thick mud. I used Mig’s Neutral Wash as a base. I got this as part of a set, and frankly I can’t really find any use for it; it’s too grey to be a “normal” wash. If you know how to use it, please let me know.

It did serve as a good medium, though. I mixed in a lot of brown pigments of different shades, some sand and some static grass, and then offering my soul to the gods of model building, I proceeded to apply the mixture to the lower chassis.

The method was the same application/removal as before; with a brush dampened with white spirit I adjusted the amount of mud on the wheels and chassis. I also added some on the mudguards (and sprinkled some on). The results are actually quite spectacular; I did not dare to hope for such a nice effect.

Once the mud dried (I gave it a week), I used my graphite pencil to give some metallic shine to the edges. The exhaust was treated with different rust colored pigments and brown washes.

The last stage was to take care of the remaining small details. I painted and installed the tools; the PE straps were a pain to add. The painting was relatively easy: the metallic parts were treated with the Vallejo primer and then rubbed some steel pigments to make it look like metal. The edges were dry-brushed with AK’s true metal steel paint. The handles were painted with buff, and then using a stiff brush I gently painted some brown oil paints; this made the surface uneven and gave an impression of wood grains. If you take a look at the instructions you’ll see that the hammer should have been installed under a plastic part during the construction. I left it off deliberately to make painting it easier. Installation was simple: I cut the handle in half…

I painted the straps of the tool box, and the construction was essentially finished.