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About MajorClanger

  • Birthday 09/10/1968

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    Getting back into modelling after many years; main interest is military aircraft, but will have a go at anything that takes my fancy.

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  1. Revell 5" Star Destroyer kit (as you can see from the markings, which are accurately measured out!) Silliness aside, this was my first experiment at DIY decals, which worked OK although the transparent area is still just about visible.
  2. I recently got given some GM Warhammer 40K kits to build and paint. Apart from a general request on the colour scheme (black with yellow highlights, to go with the donor's other 40K models) I was given free rein to weather them to my heart's content. I don't normally do armour but it's something I want to give a try, so this was a chance to have a go on a kit where real-life accuracy wasn't so much of a concern. GM kits are certainly a bit odd if you're used to more conventional models. There's only detail where you can see it (the underside is plain and the track wheels are just moulded semicircles), and the plastic is both soft and very thick. That said it fitted together fairly well (save for some awkward joins) and was simple to assemble, and in a nice touch the kit came with multiple options as to weaponry and whether the crew were buttoned down or heads out. I was provided with the yellow paint (GM's own Citadel range) which sprays nicely but do clean your airbrush immediately - it sets like bakelite very fast. The rest is Tamiya NATO Black for the most part, with Flat Black for the underside of the turret, and a misting of NATO Black lightened with a small amount of white on top. Shell dents were made with a soldering iron, and were either highlighted with metallic paint to simulate fresh hits or rust to represent older ones. Vallejo Metal Color Gunmetal was used for (surprisingly enough!) the gun barrels. Weathering was mainly via Lifecolor dry pigments (the rust set) and liquid pigments (the detail emphasiser and rain/dust sets). Soot was added via Tamiya Smoke or Humbruol dark modelling powder. The build isn't perfect; there are several places where lots of filling and sculpting would be needed to deal with seams, so I'm just going to say that that's where they'd be on the real thing. The rear ramp folds down so I painted and weathered the interior as well. The interior, before assembly: ...and after: Top view. Certainly an interesting learning experience in terms of trying out weathering techniques. Now I'm tempted to make a suitable display base...
  3. Pictures here - including inside Valiant XD818's crew compartment (after queuing for 75 minutes - well worth it!) https://www.flickr.com/photos/sjbradshaw/albums/72157678518697980
  4. A couple of years ago, after I started airbrushing, I picked up a few Alclad 2 metallic paints. They took a bit of trial and error to get used to, and seemed to need careful surface preparation, but the results looked nice. However, they need good ventilation - I normally use an extractor hood, but advice is to wear a decent facemask as well. I also saw advice to be especially thorough in cleaning your airbrush after use. Then a few months ago I was at a show and saw Vallejo's Metal Colour acrylic range being demonstrated. They looked good, so I bought a couple and tried them out. Again, a bit of care is needed, but the result seemed good and they were far less smelly and cleaning my airbrush seemed a lot easier afterwards. I've since bought several more from the range but thought I'd do a test to see how they and the Alclad 2 paints compared. This is, I must emphasise, a rough and ready test. I sprayed four different primers on some gloss while board I had spare, and then sprayed a range of Vallejo Metal Color and Alclad 2 across them. The finish isn't always good - I wasn't taking my time, and I was more interested in getting good coverage than avoiding any blemishes or runs. However, the results were quite illuminating. Primers, from top to bottom: 1) Tamiya fine white primer, from spray-can. 2) Mr Surfacer 1000, from spray-can. (none - plain white paint) 3) Vallejo gloss black polyurethane primer 4) Alclad 2 gloss black base coat (Ignore the splotches to the left, that was a quick test with some AK True Metal paste) From left to right: 1) Alclad 2 Exhaust Manifold 2) Aclad 2 Magnesium 3) Alclad 2 Stainless Stee 4) Vallejo MC Exhaust Manifold 5) Vallejo MC Gunmetal 6) Vallejo MC Magnesium 7) Vallejo MC Burnt Iron 8) Vallejo MC Steel 9) Vallejo MC Silver 10) Vallejo MC Dark Aluminium 11) Vallejo MC Semi Matte Aluminium Generally (and not surprisingly) lighter and shinier shades benefit more from a dark background. Most to some extent are affected by the nature of the primer; the least affected were the darker or duller shades such as Magnesium or Exhaust Manifold. Vallejo Silver worked noticeably better on a lighter primer. Vallejo Polyurethane Black Gloss primer is noticeably much less glossy than the Alclad 2 black gloss. The latter worked perfectly well as a base for the Vallejo acrylics. The real surprise though was the difference between the two primers when Alclad Stainless Steel was sprayed on top; the Alclad 2 base resulted not only in a darker finish but one that was visibly blue-tinted. That's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you want a hot-metal effect, but it's worth noting. Alclad Stainless Steel is much brighter than Vallejo Steel (but they are aiming for rather different finishes). Alclad Magnesium is somewhat lighter than its Vallejo counterpart; to my mind the Alclad shade is more representative of real-world magnesium, but the Vallejo shade is not unrealistic and I suppose you could use them both for contrast. Slightly to my surprise, Vallejo's Dark Aluminium came out lighter than its Semi-Matte Aluminium. Overall, this has reinforced my view that Vallejo Metal Colour acrylics work very well, but it has also prompted me to hang on to my Alclad 2 paints; they may be smellier to use and require more airbrush cleaning, but their Magnesium is a bit better than the Vallejo equivalent, and the variability of the Stainless Steel depending on the base coat gives the option of achieving some interesting effects.
  5. "On Tuesday 7 February 2017 the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be marking the 10th anniversary of the award-winning National Cold War Exhibition with a special event for aviation fans." "To celebrate the 10th anniversary, visitors are invited to join Museum staff and volunteers for a special event that will see a number of Cold War aircraft opened for exclusive close up access, including the Vickers Valiant B1 and the Handley Page Victor K2." "In addition to the Victor and Valiant, other Cold War aircraft and vehicles being opened to the public for the anniversary event will include the General Dynamics F-111F-CF, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21PF, Hawker Hunter F.4 (nose section), Avro York C1, McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG.1 (nose section) and the Short Brothers Belfast." "This rare opportunity to see inside these aircraft is FREE of charge for visitors. ... The Museum is open from 10am until 4pm and the event will run for the entire day giving visitors up to eight hours to climb on board and peek inside some of the Museum’s iconic Cold War aircraft." Full details here.
  6. Very nice! (Also, your post looks fine on my Mac running Safari.)
  7. Revell's 130mm Level 3 kit of the Imperial Star Destroyer, with a slightly off-the-wall paint job. (Wikipedia: Dazzle Camouflage) Humbrol gloss white from can, then Lifecolor black airbrushed over a lot of fiddly masking, finished with light grey wash to bring out panel lines and surface shapes a bit.
  8. And today, the first flight of Long March 5, China's new heavy booster. Which, to my considerable surprise, was being shown live on Chinese TV, which someone was streaming online. Even more surprising, there was live rocket camera footage showing events all the way up to the separation of the payload / final stage.
  9. One of my friends has asked if I'll be doing a Luftwaffe Tie Fighter next. It's a thought...
  10. This is what happens when I have a free weekend for the first time in ages, a Revell Snowspeeder kit that I picked up for £6 with the aim of practising some airbrush and weathering techniques, and a pile of surplus decal sheets I'd recently sorted through. Decals are mainly from 1/48 Gnat and 1/72 Vulcan. Yes, you can probably nitpick the realism of this scheme or the appropriateness of the serial, but given the subject matter I think we can probably suspend our collective disbelief a little! The kit claims to be 1/52, apparently on the basis that the full-size filming prop was about 5.3m long. It may well have been, but I suspect that, like a lot of props, it wasn't really 'full size' or properly proportioned. From the crew figures, this kit is more like 1/72 or even smaller scale. As a kit it is very easy to assemble, and in fact it lends itself to doing the top, rear and underside (the latter only a single part) separately; I assembled and painted them, and only put them all together for the final stages of weathering. Finally, here she is blatting through the Mach Loop:
  11. Fancy having your own Canberra front fuselage? Double Mamba or Gyron Junior engine? How about a Firestreak missile, or a Martin-Baker Mk 6 ejection seat? BBC: World War Two fanatic puts Worcestershire hoard up for auction Full auction details here, with searchable catalogue. Perhaps of more interest to many, the auction includes a large pile of aircraft kits as a single lot.
  12. Some model shops in the UK have them - Ian Allen books and models in Birmingham (next to New Street station) had them in stock the other day.
  13. I am trying to imagine the decision-making process at Dragon that led to this. Perhaps it went something like the following: BOSS: Good news! We got the Star Wars model licence. We can start planning our new range. MINION: Excellent news, boss. So what do you have in mind? B: Well, we do a lot of 1/35 scale stuff, people love nice big detailed models, so at least one must be at that scale. M: I couldn't agree more! Obviously that should be one of the smaller items, say a snow-speeder or X-wing or... B: The AT-AT! M: .... B: Our customers would love a 1/35 Imperial Walker! M: Um, boss, won't it be a bit, er, big? N: That's just the point! Now, find out how big an AT-AT is meant to be. M: [Pokes at tablet] Er, starwars.com says 22.5 metres high. B: So at 1/35 that will be...? M: [sighs] Sixty-four centimetres. B: Make it so! Ha, that's a Star Wars reference, isn't it? M: Actually, boss, that's Star *Trek*. B: Oh - hmm, how big would a 1/35 USS Enterprise be? M: [Flees]
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