Well its been a few weeks and we have had our grand American holiday of Thanksgiving. I’ve had some time to rest, recover, shoot firearms and keep on modelling.
First some general updates and thoughts:
This Black Friday I decided to load up on some more modelling supplies while the prices were slashed. Copious amounts of Ammo of MIG, 502 Abteilung and Vallejo products are headed my way. I also ordered a couple of extras for the Tiger I build to really make it sing. I did not order any new models as my closet is overflowing with kits right now. I can only hope to complete all that I have before I die in the next half century. But, I have a feeling that 2017 is going to bring us a ton of new and bad ass kits. I think maybe I should look into setting up a blind trust and just have my paychecks feed into it while I work on my modelling backlog. Oh, these first world problems!
I also managed to snag Battlefield 1 for about half price and have been putting the hours away in vast numbers. The game is incredible and probably the best Battlefield game to date. It really makes me hopeful that we can get a good World War 2 game out of DICE in the coming years. So much fun to battle it out with all the old timey World War 1 weaponry. Not to mention that the graphics are simply breathtaking. Go out and treat yourself to some epic battles. Bravo, DICE, Bravo!
I did happen to find a very talented artist on Facebook named Reinaldo (he’s a really nice chap). He specializes in photo-realistic pencil drawings of military vehicles, historical military/aviation figures, aircraft, ships, and much more. Needless to say, his most recent drawing of the mighty KMS Bismarck earned my business. I can not wait to receive this print and framed it. If you are in the market for some stunning drawings to grace your walls, look no further than DIBUJOS CON HISTORIA.
Lastly, I just finished a really good book that is probably the most interesting read that I have had in some time! The book is called We March Against England by Robert Forczyk. I have read several of his books now, including the superb Where the Iron Crosses Grow. Unlike many historians, Robert has a gift for writing in a way that is detailed, yet interesting and well paced. He is a story teller rather than a figures/statistics regurgitator. Anyway, We March Against England goes into tremendous detail about the planned amphibious invasion of England by the Third Reich named Operation Sea Lion. Robert goes into great detail to dispel common misbeliefs, glossed over facts, and general sentiments about this tremendous undertaking. This book hits on every aspect of what was transpiring between England and Germany (and worldwide) during 1940-1941(and prior). I can say without any doubt that I learned volumes of new information for this book and have a completely new understanding of the subjects at hand. Highly recommend!
Now now, let’s get down to business.
Well well, the glacial paced Tiger I project. What’s that? You actually have been working on it? BULLSHIT! Well, now that I have completed enough models to confidently continue this guy, I have actually been striving to get this done.
We last left off with the tank being primed. Once the primer cured and good weather presented itself, I was off to get the base coat on. I had considered using Tamiya German Grey, but thought it might be too dark. I opted to use Ammo of MIG Dunkelgrau (A. MIG-008), which seemed to have a little blue and lighter grey to it.
But first, I finally had an epiphany about what was causing my rough paint texture issues on some of my builds. On all of my prior builds I had been putting the paint in the airbrush, adding thinner and mixing in the color cup. BIG MISTAKE. Now, I had not noticed this causing an issue before because I was mainly using Vallejo Air paints. These seem to spray just fine no matter what you do to them and are very forgiving. However, when I was using Ammo of MIG and Tamiya, a bit of paint on the bottom of the color cup was never getting mixed up with the rest of the mixture. As I was airbrushing, the bottom layer started to turn to sludge and little bits of this would spit out while I was painting. Hence, my issues with the Jeep, Sherman, Whippet and Hetzer where I was having rough textured paint. Needless to say, I got some tattoo ink cups off Ebay and started mixing my paint outside of the airbrush and dropping it in when ready. This issue appears to be totally solved now. I just need to test this with Tamiya to confirm my hypothesis 100%. But, as Ammo of MIG paints are very temperamental, I think the worst of the field test is over. ALWAYS MIX YOUR PAINT SEPARATELY. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES.
Having said all of that, base coating the Tiger I was a true delight! No rough textures, no surface tension issues, just clean smooth spraying. The color came out awesome and I am very happy with it. I then proceeded to apply a gloss coat where the decals are going to go. I decided to do this out of my normal sequence because I will be adding a white wash to the tank. I had some issue on the Hetzer build with masking off where the decals were going, so I thought it would be better to apply them first then white wash around them. Once the decals were on and dried, I applied some matte varnish to seal them in. When good weather and time present themselves next, I will be applying the white wash camouflage, painting the road wheels, and start detail painting. I also decided that the metal tracks are to be burnished with Ammo of MIG burnishing fluid instead of me painting them. We have taken this long haven’t we, why not go a little further?
Let’s take a look at the progress:
I can’t believe I am saying this, but it looks like I actually might finish this damn thing.
Stay tuned, more Tiger goodness to come.
Bonus Christmas Gift Edition
Tamiya M4 Sherman Early Production 1/48 or The Tamiya from Hell
Now, I know what you are thinking: you son of a bitch! You said you weren’t going to pursue any personal projects till that god damn Tiger was done. This is true. This tank is not for me. Its a Christmas gift for a coworker! A coworker that happens to be my main boss. So please forgive me this indulgence.
I decided earlier this year that I would build my coworker a Sherman tank for Christmas. Well fast forward to November and well, I have given myself very little time to build, paint and present this little tank in time for the big day.
Before we get down to the horror to commence, let me preface this by saying that I bought this kit second hand. I don’t know if that makes a difference, but you will see.
Now, many of you know that I love Tamiya. I have praised them constantly on this blog for their great engineered, easy to build, trouble free models. However, I guess sometimes every 300 years at the Tamiya factory, an interdimensional rift opens up. This rift jars the injection mold machines and the injection process is damaged. These damaged parts get boxed up and sent out to unsuspecting buyers. Hell freezes over as a Tamiya kit that is below their legendary reputation of quality is assembled and frustration ensues. I was one of the few that got one of those kits despoiled by brimstone and damnation!
Let me say that this kit was a piece of dog shit! Flash, ejector pin marks, sink marks, terrible seams, and sloppy fit. It was like I had been given a rudimentary Dragon Models prototype kit: all the problems but without 3/4s of the detail. I was enraged! I ran to social media to warn others and complain! It appears that I am alone in my issue as everyone else’s kit (same one) did not have any of these issues. I guess every now and then Tamiya makes a mistake. Regardless, I was not pleased. Issues aside, I got it built and ready for the next step: resin!
Now, as a hypochondriac, the idea of working with after-market resin parts scared the shit out of me. Images of black lung, mesothelioma and other respiratory ailments assaulted my feeble mind. I had read strong warningss about the importance of wearing breathing protection and keeping the dust to a very minimum as it is NOT wise to inhale any. The idea of dying a young death from resin exposure terrified me. But, when I bought this kit, it came with a set of Verlinden Productions resin stowage. Seeing as I did not have the stones to buy resin before, I decided that this was a good trial run. So I suited up head-to-toe as if I was going to go disarm a nuke containing ebola and anthrax. I proceeded by working on a wet paper towel and constantly applying water to the resin parts as I was cutting off the pour plugs and sanding down the sharp edges. Needless to say, with my respirator on and diligent religious use of wet sanding and wet cutting, I do not think I was exposed to any dust. In fact, it wasn’t bad at all! The stowage looks great and I can’t wait to order resin parts in the future. A fear conquered! But, seriously, make sure you protect yourself when working with resin!
After that, I did some detail work: mainly prepping the model surface for the resin pieces to fit properly and applying a cast texture to the Sherman turret with Mr. Surfacer 500. Finally I primed it before running out of strength to continue.
Let’s take a look at the progress thus far:
As you can see, this Tamiya kit of horrors is turning out to look pretty good. I’m going to strive to finish this guy up ASAP. I’m thinking light weathering with some mud and dust. Nothing crazy.
Well, that is all I have got for now! Thanks for reading!
More progress to come!