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About Vlad

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  1. Bit of a longer break between updates, I haven't spent quite as much time as I would have liked working on this. I also pig-headedly pressed on with a badly misbehaving (close to running out) pot of light grey, so it took multiple coats to get an acceptable appearance, and still not great in places. I'm including a close-up of the turrets, without the WIP compliation, mainly to share how I do blast bags. The turrets themselves are unmodified apart from scraping off the 20mm positions and drilling the barrels. Personally, I think the turrets in this Tamiya Repulse kit are the best OOB Royal Navy 15" twins you can get, and I'm a big fan of the finely molded on blast bags. The blast bags are first painted white, then heavily dry-brushed with the same oak colour I use for the decks. Finally, some of the larger folds get a pencil line in them. Despite the struggles I did get around to finishing the majority of the painting. I'm leaving this one fairly clean, though there is an almost imperceptible dry-brush of an even lighter grey than the base coat just to make corners and edges stand out a bit. I usually try to avoid ploughing ahead, completing and gluing major assemblies like this, because the ship looks finished and it's hard to motivate to then do all the tedious small parts that remain (boats, searchlights, smaller weapons etc.). I'll try to slog through these quite quickly, should be finished in a week, max two.
  2. That's not something I've done, but it might go up to 1/350. How good it looks depends to a large extent on the quality and finesse of the scribed planking on the kit.
  3. Excellent work! I recently bought one of those Longest Day dual combos and was watching your cockpit build-up with great interest to see what to expect. I've built Eduard before, PE and all, but not a Spitfire and their cockpits are always fiddly. How is the fit of the painted parts? I'm terrified of painting cockpit parts on the sprue like you've done (and like most people seem to do) because usually the paint stops them fitting together properly, especially on something so cramped and multi-part as a Spitfire.
  4. So, the rest of the build is fairly straightofrward. "OOB" for lack of a better word, now that all major reconstruction is complete. I'm not planning on doing a super-detail job here, I feel I've spend the effort I wanted on this project where it really needed to be spent and now want to complete it as cleanly and neatly as I can before my inspiration runs out. However, that doesn't mean no more updates. As I said, not doing anything super special but some may find some of my techniques interesting, particularly brush painters. I always start painting my ships with the deck, and for a wood deck that means getting out my trusty tub of Humbrol 71 for the base coat. I use coloured pencils to make a wood deck effect. First, a fairly even (but not too even) rub with a yellowish ochre colour to bring out the scribed planking. Then more deliberate localised rubs with dark brown and grey; the aim here is not to draw on individual planks, but just to create the overall effect of an itermittent light/dark pattern. As a last touch, since I don't like masking except as an absolute necessity, I use a mechanical pencil to trace the edges of large deck details such as barbettes, breakwaters, superstructure bulkheads and the edges of the wood planked area. This will act as a guide and physical barrier to paint running when I paint these details. And finally, I use my trusty 00 detail brush (of which I clearly need to buy a new one) to paint all deck details freehand. I also took the opportunity to paint the boot stripe. This one will be masked to get a straight edge when I paint the hull sides later. Since Repulse and Renown sat quite low in the water after their various 1920s refits, the Tamiya hull is just tall enough that the boot stripe would be showing. So painting it on is necessary despite this being a waterline model.
  5. Mine may be a little too prominent, but there you go I had quite a productive weekend again, nothing like spending a Saturday morning drilling, eh? I completed the hull yesterday, ended up having to fill some portholes at the bow that Tamiya seems to have put in the wrong place. Drilled out the lower row of portholes just above the torpedo bulge and added the small plate details on the bulge itself (again, I'd appreciate if someone helped me understand what these actually are). I noticed while doing this that the torpedo tube hatches, that I had so carefully made sure not to damage when removing the Repulse 6" armoured belt, are in fact removed on Renown in this time period and plated over... so I fixed that too. I also tried my hand at scribing the deck planking where there was none on the kit and is now visible due to not using Repulse's large hangars and sanding off the catapult. I've never done this before, so I tried to keep it light. Won't know for sure how good it looks until it's painted, but fortunately for me this is the boat storage area so it will be mostly covered up anyway. Today I finished the scratchbuilding on the central shelter deck and bridge. Main elements are the searchlight towers on the aft funnel, the hangar and the additional control position atop the chart house that I missed in the earlier bridge work. Some of the deckhouses around the funnels are recycled from the kit parts (but not necessarily placed where they would have been) rather than entirely scratch build. That leaves the major components of the model ready to paint! Since questions about build and paint order crop up very often with regards to ship models, I've included an on-off picture. This shows the full silhouette of the complete conversion work on the ship, and the extent of sub-assembly breakdown I would normally work with and be comfortable painting on a project like this.
  6. Thanks! As Arnold said, they are the pulley blocks for the boom rigging. Often these come as a single photo-etched piece with the rigging included but I didn't have one like that in my spares box, and it may not have fit Renown's mast height, boom length and the angle I wanted it at anyway. So I just cut up some spare photo-etched pulleys and glued them on. I might rig it later, but usually I don't rig in 1/700. The blocks themselves are clearly visible in pictures, expecially since they're painted black along with the adjacent sections of the tripod and starfish, but the rigging is often very faint.
  7. No airbrush required. Brush techniques look very convincing in small scales like 1/72. They get less usable as the model gets bigger. The basic technique is to use a small stiff brush (trim one if you need to), dip in paint then mostly brush off, and poke the spot you want a blotch until you get the desired effect. Essentially you're dry-brushing a small area with the brush at 90 degrees to the surface, building up slowly to get a more solid colour in the middle and fading to the edges. It works best on a matte surface, but I've done it with gloss as well. Note this destroys brushes very fast, but it works best with cheap brushes anyway. Depending on the size of the spot you can start with a small solid blob then work around the edges to get a mottle. Incidentally, this also works to soften edges in camouflage schemes and get an airbrush-like effect by hand. It's something you might want to practice a bit before going at it on an actual model.
  8. Moving on to the other end of the ship, I had quite a productive weekend essentially finishing the aft end of the shelter deck and stern deckhouse. Generally, I made some small compromises to maximise re-use of the existing kit parts. Again, most of the work is removing unnecessary material, such as shortening the aft deckhouse. Though in this case there was a bit of additional scratchbuilding, such as the splinter shields either side of the removed midships 4" mount (with adapted PE braces), small shelter at the base of the main mast and the armoured conning tower of the torpedo control position. Some modifications to the mast itself, including lengthening the legs to meet the deck where the aft deckhouse was shortened, and of course adding the main boom. I also dug through my spare photo-etch box to dress up an area Tamiya has left severey lacking in surface detail, and drilled portholes.
  9. That is a privilege and with that kind of personal connection it is a build choice that makes a lot of sense. I actually already have a 1941 Repulse in 1/700, and a 1942 Renown... and a 1/350 Repulse backdated to 1923/4 Empire Cruise fit. I have something of a long-running obsession with the class, if money/time/shelf space was no object I could build half a dozen more covering various guises. Realistically I won't do that many, but this definitely isn't my last build of the class either. In particular, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of removing the armoured belts from the Tamiya kit, making an as-built conversion a very real possibility in my long-term planning (although these kits are very expensive for the scale, I tend to stalk Ebay for deals on them).
  10. You know when sometimes you need a quick win? I put the hull aside for now and went and built the bridge. Fortunately for me, nearly all the work is removal of plastic from the existing kits parts. Unfortunately, this possibly doesnt make very interesting viewing. However, I did decide to go above and beyond for the compass platform. My original plan was to use the kit solid windows, but once I had it all cut up I couldn't resist adding the raised compass platform floor, finding some spare PE and leaving it open properly. There are a couple of small details to add such as an additional control position Renown had on top of the chart office (between the tripod legs) but that shouldn't take long. P.S. if anyone can tell me what those "bumps" either side of the front of the compass platform are for, I would appreciate it EDIT: I'm told the small compass platform extensions are cubby-holes that contain chart tables. You learn a new thing every day!
  11. Indeed, I would not want to be waterlining something that came as full hull while trying to remove a torpedo bulge and external armour belts in the process! A slightly easier backdate would have been a 1920s fit. It's the best of both worlds since she already had the bulges and armour (so no hull surgery), but no hangar yet and retained the open bridge hence most of the as-built look. Unless you were specifically after the equal heigh funnels, which I would not blame you for . Tamiya's Repulse hull, despite being waterline only, has a lot of internal bracing too! Once built up to the main deck it feels as solid as a resin block hull. Having said that, I removed the armoured belts from each of the hull halves before doing anything else with them, as that let me lie them flat while using the chisel fitting on my scalpel to scrape away. They're easily thick enough to take this punishment and build up fine afterwards. The waterline plate itself is actually unmodified, and I used it as a guide to get the corect curvature when fitting the Renown style bulges. Tamiya's kit is an excellent starting points for other reasons too - all the holes for various AA tubs Repulse got late in her career are not pre-drilled, and there are no locating helpers for the new deckhouses under the aft 4" mounts (in fact the deck planking is continuous under them!). This means a lot less deck cleanup!
  12. Sorry chaps! I know now what went wrong there, should be fixed now.
  13. No, there are no typos in that title An alternate title for this post could be "what can I do in a weekend if I really put my mind to it". The answer is take a scalpel and sandpaper to a perfectly good kit to transform it into something else. Nearly all ship kits aim to represent the subject at some pivotal point of their career: a great battle, some high point of the design evolution or the circumstances of a tragic loss. This is completely understandable, but unfortunately means kit makers and modellers alike often gloss over long and interesting peacetime careers that indeed produced some of the most graceful and aesthetically pleasing versions of certain ships. And so it is that I pick my current subject: not rebuilt, cluttered with AA and overwhelmed by camouflage; rather just an imposing, clean lined battlecruiser proudly flying the flag on a foreign station, keeping the Pax Britannica. The very image of a great Naval Empire in one gorgeous silhouette. And with a name and motto to match that image, here's hoping I do her justice. Antiquae Famae Custos "Guardians of Ancient Renown" Starting point: Tamiya 1/700 HMS Repulse Work so far: armoured belts removed scratchbuilt torpedo bulge removed shelter and upper deck sections added during Repulse's 1930s refit scraped off catapult and a few other superfluous deck elements scratcbuilt missing shelter deck sections to restore pre-refit condition for Renown Next steps: small bracings on the torpedo bulge drill lower row of portholes fill some now unused locating holes in the main deck scribe some deck planking where it's missing or was damaged in other work carry on up the superstructure!
  14. The paint itself is stinky regardless of any additional fluids in use: can't just put a freshly painted model down on the desk and leave it there (my desk is in the lounge). Nor just casually pick it up and continue working on it 30 minutes later if that's what I feel like. I really hope you guys do an Acrylic range some day by the way.
  15. From a pure painting point of view (brush painting this is), enamels offer several advantages in coverage and self-leveling that sometimes make me wish I was still using them. For a long time I was reluctant to switch to acrylics until I was forced to due to using 3D printed parts that enamels don't interact well with. The reason I don't want to go back is because trying acrylics was a revelation. I realised that before switching, painting had become a huge chore, with me dreading the smell of the strong chemicals for thinning and brush cleaning, and having to plan builds around paint sessions when I could be bothered to deal with all that. With odour free water based paints, I can just have my work area set up in a corner of my desk next to the PC, sit down and paint something whenever I have a spare 10 minutes, and not need to dread opening a bottle of white spirit if I missed something for a touch-up. Not needing to worry about any drying time interrupting the flow of a project is another huge bonus.
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