Hello one and all,
Like the proverbial prodigal son, I have returned. My hat in hand, my arms spread wide, I grovel on my knees and self-flagellate for your forgiveness. It has been far too long! Life, to say the least, has been busy. Work is ramping up, weather has been wild, traffic on my commute is worsening and I just finished my over a year long steep in the United States presidential election. My nerves are shot, my eyes heavy, my bowels are liquid and my will to live is ebbing.
In case you weren’t aware, we have been in the midst of an election the likes of which we have never seen before: in summation, a real shit show. As a student of history, policy wonk, and political junkie, I loved every moment of it. Needless to say, it has ended and I am glad its over. I’m hoping that my stamina will return and I can focus more acutely on my modelling. That isn’t to say I haven’t made progress. Au contraire mon capitan! I have been a rather busy chap. Endless cups of coffee (my poor rapidly receding gums) have propelled me through these dark times and I have some great new work to show.
Executive summary: The Academy Hetzer is complete and the Dragon Tiger I is primed.
Now I never claimed to be the fastest Canuck in the West, but when I do a job, I do it damn well. Sometimes a week off from a project yields new insights and different perspectives on problems. I’m finding that taking my time and thinking through different stages of weathering/painting/building is really helping mitigate issues along the way. But, believe me, I still mess up often along the way. It would not be a Bricker build without at least one catastrophic error that makes me want to retire from the hobby. What can I say? Self-loathing, can be productive (at least that’s what I tell myself).
Alright, let’s get down the brass tacks, how much for that ape….I mean, let’s take a look at the model builds.
So where we last left off, I was just about to run off and gloss coat the Hetzer. Might I make a quick aside while we are on varnish: ever since I switched the Winsor and Newton acrylic varnishes from Vallejo varnishes and floor polish my results have been stellar. I am so happy to have found these great products. HIGHLY recommend!
Now, let’s take a photo-safari of the work leading up to the finished model.
And now, its time for the final reveal!
Academy Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer early 1/35
Overall, I had a good time with this kit. Easy-to-build, barely any drama and a lot of fun to paint and weather. Biggest gripe: a little soft on some details. But, sometimes simple is good.
Well, after all the drama I’d been through on the kit so far, I made the final push to fill all the unsightly gaps that Dragon so generously provided. Several hours, Tamiya masking tape, water and some Perfect Plastic Putty yielded a gap free conclusion to this tedious and drama filled build. I am pretty convinced that the vendor that this kit was acquired from stored it in a hot place and thus allowed the styrene to deform and warp over time. I’ll give Dragon a small pinch of “the benefit of the doubt.”
Anyway, I was just happy to finish the damn thing at this point. Although this build taught me a lot of valuable lessons in terms of how to build and deal with sloppy fit, it gets very tedious and soul sapping fighting against the kit the whole time. This is partially why I have delayed the build numerous times. It really is draining to have so many set backs. Another aspect of my glacial pace is due to the fact that I wanted to improve my modelling and painting skills before truly knocking this build out. I can say after the last few builds I have completed, I am feeling much more confident that I can deliver a better model than if I had tried to complete this a few months after starting it. Again, I thank my friend (the person who will be receiving the build when its complete) for his patience.
Let’s take a look at the progress:
So that is what I have completed thus far. I did not work on the Tiger this week/weekend as I am much too fatigued. I hope to jump back into the saddle ASAP.
So what’s next?
Rest assured, I will continue this marathon with Dragon on the Tiger I. But what of other builds? Well, I am not quite sure just yet. I did try to dive into a Trumpeter BMP-3 model I have. Let’s just say the clean up and terrible sprue gate attachment points made me reconsider that build at a later date when I am more rested. Takom, Meng, Tamiya and Trumpeter are all in the mix right now. Kits ranging from World War 2 to modern day. We shall just have to see what strikes my fancy. Anyway, I am looking forward to completing this Tiger and moving onward to new projects.
Well that is all folks. Thanks for giving this all a read! Wishing you all the best and a big thank you for your continued support!