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Gary Brantley

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About Gary Brantley

  • Birthday 12/29/1952

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    Cameron, Texas,USA

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  1. Very cool! Please keep us up to date on his progress too @Maddoxx77!
  2. Hey, I'm still here, and slowly making progress! It's good to hear from you again Peter! I just walked in from the study where I've been working on the Bulldog for a couple hours. I've been modifying the commander's M2 machinegun, trying to get it a bit more realistic, and I've got the radio aerial bases ready for some stretched sprue when it's time for those. Also cut some Tamiya tape into strips for some tarp straps and had another go at making some tissue-paper "tarps". I believe I've found where the trouble lurking was on my last couple attempts. Hopefully, this last round of tarping will be okay to use. Oh, and I've also been experimenting with my crewmen a bit. I did buy a set of resin ARVN figures (commander and driver) for a M113. But I believe they will work fine in the tank too. I only wish I were a better hand at figure painting as these guys do have some nice details. So, with a little luck, I should be able to start the "beginning of the end" soon. I've found it particularly challenging to plan the attachments for all the stowed items; they can't just sit there "as if by magic" with no means of "tying" them down. I need some little 1/35 scale men to get in there and fasten the straps to the tank! Stay tuned for another update, with pics next time! Cheers!
  3. @Maddoxx77, You've got it goin' on now my friend! That beast is really looking good!
  4. I very happy to be the next to say that model is just beautiful Peter! Wow! That gloss red looks immaculate, and the build seems perfect to my old eyes. I love the shot with the Phantom and agree with the other comments regarding the size comparison. Man, what a striking model plane FB!
  5. Al, what an ambitious and entertaining project! You got it going on too; that base, and your whitewashing look pretty damned good to me. But, I'm still an armor novice, just now building my third tank. That Miniart kit does look complicated; I have the Dragon kit of the Panzer IV, in Syrian service, and yes, it has a bunch of sprues/parts too. Heh, heh, I'm saving that one until I get a bit more "hand's on" time building armor. I'm diggin' the armor scene after so many aircraft kits! Please keep the updates coming!
  6. Thanks a lot Peter! I'm so glad to read your kind comments my friend. At this point, I can "smell the water" as the old cowboys would say about their beeves. I can sort of "see" the end now and I really am excited to get the tank all done. I've just returned from our little farm where the spray-foam insulation guys finished the cabin interior's insulation this morning. Those two vatos (dudes in Espanol) did a great job with it and now it's my turn again. I need to get the inside painting done, finish the pine 1x4 floor and install the wood stove. And, the underpinning around the cabin needs finishing too. So, there is still much to be done but most of it had been waiting on the insulation. Now, it's onward through the fog! I'm kinda intrigued about those figures too. I haven't had much experience or luck with painting them before. After all the surgery they're going through, the paintwork might be the least of their problems!
  7. I'm going to enjoy this a lot! I've got the Tamiya Tiger I lined up for my next armor project! So, Build on @Maddoxx77!!
  8. I admit that they need to be added. After all, there are only 16 of the little buggers. Let's see...okay, I lose two, maybe three, for each one I manage to transfer onto the model at the tip of a #11 blade. Not a bad ratio. Nothing to it old chap! Well, we'll just see about that! Thanks for the compliment John! Glad you like her.
  9. That is really some awesome work @vaoinas! Just beautiful model building and really inspiring for me!
  10. Well, it's great to be back @Maddoxx77! Thank you for the comments my friend! They mean a lot to me sir. And thank you as well Ed @edjbartos! What lovely compliments, and I assure you, they are so appreciated! Right now I feel so far, so good...now, if I can just not futz it up somehow. I would also like to thank @Bullbasket, @echen, @Terry1954 and @Stef N. for your "likes" for the tank model. I appreciate your support and encouragement folks!
  11. Okay, now where were we? Finally, I'm back at work on the Bulldog. My two broken toes have healed, and I'm facing some sort of surgery after the new year begins; either a repair of the torn meniscus and replace some lost cartilage (with some from a cadaver!) or just have a total knee joint replacement. I'm still trying to decide which path to take as both have pros and cons regarding rehab and recovery. But, that decision can wait for now with the upcoming holiday season. I get by by wearing a stretchy, compression fit knee brace for now. But after all that trauma, I finally "got that feelin'" again, and headed back to my work table. I had chosen some cast resin stowage items to use on the tank and after minimal clean up, I preshaded them in flat black. I wanted the dark recesses to come through the finish paint so I resorted to using my Sotar airbrush as I could really dial down the paint flow better than I could with my old Paasche H. Here's an after shot: The results weren't entirely satisfactory but still better than prior efforts. I need much more practice with that Sotar! After that step, I tackled the issue of mud. My primary resource photo shows a tank operating in the Cholon section of Saigon. And naturally, there doesn't appear to be that much mud at the time. But, tanks serve in multiple "theaters" and it's likely this tank had previously seen some muddy use. Many color period photos show APVs slathered in reddish mud during the wet season. That red mud turned to reddish dust in the dry season and tended to also get everywhere. So, I wanted to sort of "split the difference" with the weathering. I began by adjusting my Paasche H to spray it's coarsest stipple. Then I cranked up the gas and sprayed the un-thinned enamel, or perhaps should say, I "splattered" the enamel. The idea worked rather well I thought, and with a bit of practice I was able to direct it with some accuracy. I used it to establish a pattern of mud splattered around that would serve as a base for the next step. I added thicker mud to the inner hull sides and some to the running gear, but reasoned that much would've been worn or washed off in urban use. For that, I dabbed on some various AK mud, and some Vallejo Burnt Sienna pigment was sparingly dusted on with a small brush. As seen above, I did manage to attach the vinyl tracks too. That turned into a it of a struggle. I did discover that it was so much easier to join the ends of the track and then work it onto the running gear. It has been 20+ years since my last armor build and I guess I forgot that lesson in the interim. The outer edges of the track had been weathered to a rusty look, but much of that was lost in the handling of the tracks in the attachment step. So, I went back and added a bit of the Vallejo pigment to replace that rust. After redo: This pic shows where I'm planning to place the stowed objects. And a look at what I want to place on the glacis. Obviously, some of the ammo cans need painting. Note the difference in size between the painted and unpainted cans. That painted barrier plank, pressed into service here, needs repainting. I believe the red color was still too fresh to handle and some bled onto the white, rendering a rather pinkish look. I'll probably just mask off the red and mist on some more flat white. I also attached the scratch-built gun mantle canvas cover tie-down clamps. They went on without too much drama. I still don't know if I'm up to the task of adding the tiny Grandt Line bolt heads to each of the 16 tiny tabs. It may well stay as seen here: There is still some work to be done. I haven't started on the commander's M2, or radio aerials, nor have I finished the two crewmen I want to use. I've been modifying them (U.S. GIs) quite a bit in order to more resemble ARVN troopers. I also need to fab up some straps and ropes for the stowage tie-down, and make a tissue-paper canvas tarp. Still, I'm happy to have made some progress here, and with a little luck, may have another update before too much longer. I need to also create a new base for the tank's outdoor photos. I want it to look like pavement, with a bit of rubble strewn about. I've thought of a spot here in Cameron that might do for a backdrop. So, here are some overall pics of the tank (minus the track's rust redo) just to give an impression of sort of how the end will look. Please stay tuned for more progress, and thanks so much for your interest in my Bulldog project! And that's all folks!
  12. Thanks @Maddoxx77! I appreciate your well wishes a lot, thanks for thinking of me. My foot issues have just about cleared up. I'm scheduled to see an orthopedic surgeon in a couple weeks to discuss options for my knee problem. I will be back on this Bulldog soon! Hey @Peter2, thanks for the post! Yep, it's been a helluva summer over here too. I know we passed 55 days of 100*F+ temps a while back. It has cooled off a bit now; 77* now as I type this at 7:40AM. And I'm glad for that! Still have a few weeks of summer left and hopefully we'll have a brief spell of autumn before any cold weather arrives. It can get mighty cold here as well. Witness "The Big Freeze of '21" when temperatures feel to 0*F here and we had close to a foot or more of snow. Here's looking North from my house across our lot. And my 41.5" ice-cycle: Thanks again for the post Peter, I hope I'll soon have an update to share with you guys! Cheers!
  13. Thank you so much @BerndM! Bernd, I'm feeling much better and finally getting a few things accomplished. It has been very hot here in central Texas. Since May, we've had about 48 days of high temperature over 100*F , with almost no rainfall in that period. So, it's been difficult getting outdoor tasks done before the day really heats up. But, hot summers are just a part of life here, and I really am glad that I no longer have to work outside in that heat! I have plans to return to this Bulldog project very soon. Several steps need my attention and I hope to report some further progress soon. Thanks again for checking in Bernd, I appreciate that my friend!
  14. "And outdoor with low clouds and no sun can be fun too!" Indeed!
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