Keep your Hetzer on a leash

Greetings one and all!

I know, I know. I promised a blog post a bit sooner, but as usual life and developments within the hobby always get in the way. But alas, we are here! Finally in Autumn. My favorite season and hopefully a break from the very hot weather we have been having. This also ushers in a very busy time of the year with my job. I shall strive to keep going full steam with the models and the blog posts. That being said, thank you to everyone who warmly received the completion of the Mk. A Whippet. That beauty is displayed proudly at the office now. But, before we dive into the status update on my projects, I just wanted to share a couple of items.

Recently, I purchased Morgan (that’s my girlfriend) a model as she has been showing interest in the hobby and has always been extremely supportive of my pursuit of modelling. Anyway, it was Academy’s MCP RMS Titanic 1/1000 scale. This is a basic snap together kit, with appropriately colored styrene, and very fine sprue attachment points. Despite the kit stating you need no tools or glue, I encouraged her to practice with sprue cutters and sanding sticks to start learning some basic skills. The kit went together well with no fit issues. I was impressed with the molding detail considering what this kit is and the price paid for it. Anyway, she did a great job and felt very accomplished with her build. I was quite proud her and she was able to do her work with very little intervention on my part. If you are looking to get someone started on fun, easy-to-build models, Academy’s MCP line seems to be a good introduction.

I highly recommend.

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Such diligence and focus.

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She did a fine job on this doomed ship.

Next up, is something I am very proud to share. Takom featured my Whippet build on their Facebook. I was very honored that they wanted to share my work with their fan base. I used to be anti-Facebook until I discovered you didn’t have to add a bunch of shitty old acquaintances and people you never really liked to your friends list. You can just join groups and discuss modelling, tanks, and ships without the drama and mind numbing stupidity. That being said, I hope I will get the opportunity to be on their Newsfeed in the future.

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I was literally giddy with excitement for most of the day. Thanks Takom!

Finally, I’d like to do a product review. It’s no secret that I am a fan of Ammo of MIG products. However, I am not totally a fan of their primers. I had issues with their primers and its all a bit of a hassle. They do work well, but they do require an extra level of precision and maintenance (gotta shake the every living shit out of them) to get the best results. Recently, a product was recommended to me at one of my visits to Hobbies Unlimited. The product was Stynylrez primer (yeah, I’m not sure how to pronounce the name) from Badger Airbrush. Now, I have used Vallejo primers in the past, which covers great, but really does not sand well at all and I was a bit frustrated with my Ammo primers at this time, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to field test something new. I purchased the black primer and I am very thankful that I did. Without a doubt, the smoothest, easiest to use, and no hassle primer I have ever used. If you are not content with your current primer or are using some nasty enamel/lacquer based primer, pick up a bottle of this stuff. You will be converted! I am retaining my Ammo primers solely as a back-up, but I doubt I will ever use them again. The coverage is awesome with this primer and extremely smooth. It is very forgiving as well. I recommend applying in moderately light coats and then hitting it with just plain air from your airbrush then spraying more. It sands easily and cleanly as well.

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My reaction after realizing the time I wasted with other inferior primers.

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Stynylrez primer is just plain awesome and worth every freaking penny. BUY BUY BUY!

Now, onto the builds!

Tiger I

Things are progressing with the Tiger I build and I am really starting to like the outcome. However, that doesn’t mean the build hasn’t been beset with various “challenges.”  When we last checked in, I had pretty much finished the lower hull of the Tiger I. I can report that the lower hull is now finished, minus a few very minor clean up items. So I began my work on the turret. But then, the unfortunate happened!

Yup, Dragon strikes again. Poor fit ahoy! Well, just another day with a Dragon product. The turret fit was very sloppy and the inside of the turret, which has some detail you can show off, has many nasty deep ejector pin marks. Beautiful. So I got to work with filling, sanding, and gluing. Needless to say, the turret is now together and the interior has been primed. I am planning on spraying the interior with a chipping color, applying some chipping fluid (by Ammo of MIG) and then hitting it with the traditional panzer interior white and then chipping away at the gun and things. Once this is accomplished I will glue the top of the turret into place and finish up mounting the stowage boxes and the like and it shall be done. After that, its straight on to painting. I have some new paints and weathering items arriving soon, so I will be waiting on those. Even with these unacceptable fit issues and slop, it is progressing into a very nice looking kit. I’m extremely pleased with the aftermarket barrel that I got from RB Model. Truly exceptional. The tow cables from  Karaya Models are great too. The resin eyelets provided were not great (very thin casting and actually came broken), so I ended up using the ones from Dragon. And with that said, photos will tell quite a bit more.

Here we go!

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The detail of the barrel is the best I have seen. Thoroughly impressed and can’t recommend RB Model enough. LOOK AT THE GOD DAMN RIFLING!

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Ejector pin marks, much like a flesh eating virus, are not desirable and take a fair amount of work to fix. Strike one!

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Sink marks were filled with Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty, which works really well for filling gaps and bad fit areas. Sands very well. It has a chemical odor, so work in a well ventilated area.

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As you can see here, the fit on the turret was awful. Pure sloppy nonsense. But, what else have I come to expect from Dragon. Strike two!

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What a beautiful seam! And right through the welded on donut. This whole thing had to be filled and sanded carefully. Strike three! GTFO!

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Dragon’s Quality Control team is as stupid as their shitty mascot.

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All my shit talking aside, I really am liking how its coming together. Looks real handsome will the barrel installed. I found the copper cable much easier to work with than the steel, but I still had some fit issues. The clamps provided by Dragon are far too small and dreadful to work with.

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Added some additional track links to each track to allow for a better fit. Its shaping into a really nice looking Tiger I.

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Interior primed. Just waiting to get in there with the old airbrush.

Well, as you can see, some definite progress is being made on this long winded build. I’m happy with it so far and have learned quite a bit. That being said, I know I am going rather slow with this one. Seeing as this is for my friend, I have been trying to troubleshoot and learn on models of my own before I bugger up his. I am very glad I got a few more builds under my belt since starting this guy. I feel more confident that I can deliver a better end result. Look forward to completing the build and painting this beauty up.

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“And this dumb asshole will keep buying our shitty kits! And he will go on his blog and bitch some more and then buy some more!” -Dragon Models Board of Directors

Academy Jagpanzer 38(t) Hetzer Early

Last time I posted, I was seriously debating what my next build would be. I have a decent sized stash of kits right now and Meng and Takom are bombarding the market with some really cool stuff. But, I decided, seeing as I built and reviewed Academy’s Jagpanzer 38(t) Hetzer Early, I might as well go ahead and paint it and try out some newly learned techniques. After quite a bit of back and forth on how to paint the tank, I decided I would go ahead and try out the Ammo of MIG chipping fluid I bought. I proceeded by painting the kit in red oxide primer and barrel heat resistant grey primer. All looked well and good. I applied the Scratches Effects (this is for light chipping) chipping fluid to the model and then proceeded to airbrush Tamiya colors on it. I believe my mistake was laying down too little chipping fluid and attempting to paint too many layers of paint. It also may be that letting the Tamiya paint dry too long, allowed the curing of the paint to become too strong. Who truly knows at this point? Needless to say, the chipping that I achieved was not what I wanted. I was a bit pissed off to say the lease. But this battle was just beginning.

The following day, I decided to try out another technique that I have been really meaning to give a whirl: winter white washing. And seeing as the Tiger I was going to be white washed to a degree, I thought I should test it out on my model first. I touched up the camo scheme that I applied to the Hetzer the previous day with Vallejo colors. After a bit of dry time I applied the Heavy Chipping fluid to the model and proceeded to apply Ammo of MIG washable white. This paint is designed to be removed and faded with the application of water. What resulted was an interesting blended of paint removed and paint fading that turned out rather nicely. I must say I am happy things worked how they did because I have a feeling this kit is going to look superb once we get to weathering. Next stage will be a gloss coat and decals.

As always, let’s have the pictures tell the story:

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I thought this finish came out really well, but unfortunately due to my unfamiliarity with the chipping fluid and heavy handiness with the paint application, this work was sadly wasted.

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After a day a failure, the kit sat in its’ box, looking sad and hardly ideal. I just seem to have a hard time spraying Tamiya paints. More practice is required.

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I decided to touch up the camo with Vallejo Model Air colors and I really like how the color values made the camo pop out.

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In retrospect, the application of the silly putty mask was unneeded and caused some issues. The protected area didn’t blend very well into the surrounding white wash and produced a hard edge.

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My first attempt at winter white wash and I think it turned out pretty good. I will be curious to try this technique out with the non “Washable” paint to see the difference. The washable really allowed the white to be streaked downward and blended nicely.

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The Ammo of MIG Heavy Chipping fluid produced great results. A little water, paintbrushes and a pointed modelling spatula achieved the effects believable effects.

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Note how the wear is different all around. The ability to chip heavily or just change the opacity of the paint was really cool to work with and added depth and variety to the model.

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The wheels and skirt armor also came out quite well.

Well that is all for now. I will be continuing both projects further when my new supplies arrive. I’m also going to be attempting some figure building and painting soon. I really want to get into this whole diorama business.

Thanks as always for reading!

Bonus round! Another picture from my Pearl Harbor vacation.

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I quickly found out the F-4 Phantom is one big son of a bitch. USA #1!

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3 thoughts on “Keep your Hetzer on a leash

  1. Pingback: A Hetzer, a new President and an exhausted Bricker. | Bricker ★ Industries

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