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Model Mate

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About Model Mate

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  1. that looks fantastic - yes, it'll be a shame to lose it later, but it's still fun to do, right? I'll have to check out these Hobby Boss kits, they look really good.
  2. clever.... well it produced a really neat result.
  3. I knew I should have bought shares in masking tape manufacturers! Excellent result; it must have taken ages!
  4. Very brief update today, as I need to get back to my city bolt-hole to carry on with the AA box, horses and lamp post – it’s a bit tricky working on a diorama when it’s spread over two counties! I bought some very cheap (three for a quid) paintbrushes and snipped off a few tufts of bristles. These tufts were dipped in diluted PVA and shoved into holes in the base. I also mixed some neat PVA with pink and black paint and dabbed on some blackberries and flowers. I think that’s about it for the landscape. I’ll probably run a little green water colour over the dry tufts as they’re a bit too dry at the moment and paint a wobbly tar repair over the road crack, but other than that I’m calling this done. The chaps got their belts and so on painted, and I applied a black acrylic wash over them. These acrylics seem to be ok for what I call a slosh-wash, but dry too quickly for a detailed pin wash. I’ve “Kleared” them, so I can now give them a very thin dark brown oil pin wash and light tan drybrush before a final matt coat. Their uniforms were also starting to “go through at the knees” if you know what I mean, so the klear gives them a bit of protection. Here’s how Caruthers and Smith look now. They're not brilliant, and I'm still very much in the learning phase for figures, but they look ok from a distance. Regarding the Vickers gun, I think I'm going to leave it as it is - it all becomes part of the (unlikely) story.... not only has their engine overheated, but also their gun which they foolishly procured from an RAF stores manager; Milo Minderbinder senior.
  5. He's based on reality - I recall seeing a headstone in a local graveyard that said... "here lies Dick Scratcher, and his beloved wife Fanny" ....Honestly!
  6. I've had reasonable success with cigarette papers in PVA - they're a bit more resilient than tissue paper.
  7. thanks for the tip Selwyn - I may chalk this one up as a "lesson for next time" - I'll have to see; it might be an easy fix, but it's all a bit fragile now!
  8. welcome back - it's looking really good. Try getting some cheap oil paints for washes. If you coat the parts with Klear floor polish before applying washes, they'll sit nicely into details and leave the highlights relatively clean.
  9. top job! the streaky dust looks particularly effective and I always like to see "real" tarps rather than plastic lumps. Well done.
  10. Warp factor 8…. Back to the diorama. I dragged the mosses out of their glycerine baths and left them to dry. I’m rather impressed. The colours look pretty good. The baths were stored away; they should be good for further dunking. That said, I’ve got plenty of preserved mosses now, so it might be a while before they’re needed. Here’s my crew placed approximately where they’ll end up…. Allow me to introduce them: Captain Caruthers – somewhat dismayed and embarrassed that he allowed his AA membership to lapse. Sergeant Smith – has a natural way with animals. Private Dick Scratcher – not the brains of the outfit; futilely pushing the armoured car despite the handbrake being on. His spacial awareness also isn't great, tripping over a large boulder of blu-tack. Private Elvis Dalrimple – way ahead of his time with a hairdo that won’t be fashionable for another forty years, but he’s good with knots. They all still need their boots and belts painting. I didn’t acquire a decent dark brown amongst my recent acrylics paint purchases so I might resort to oils for this – they give a nice leather sheen anyway. So all good….? Well, not quite. The applications of diluted PVA has had a worrying effect of the landscape. What was initially a flat road, now seems to be a fairly deep valley. Note to self – next time, apply PVA to BOTH sides of the insulation board! I (belatedly) remember being advised to varnish both sides of thin timber wall cladding boards to avoid them warping. I decided to take a deep breath and strip the insulation board from the plywood base. I’d fixed the insulation to the ply in an attempt to avoid the warping in the first place but it clearly hasn’t worked. Oops – Ahh well, roads crack, don’t they? I stripped the foil off the back of the insulation and carved a series of knife cuts into the foam to hopefully provide some “give” and allow it to stretch bit. Fresh double-sided tape was applied to the ply and the foam pressed back on. This still wasn’t quite enough, so dabs of araldite were fed into each corner and the whole base was left under a teetering pile of heavy books overnight. I think, and hope, it has worked. The tufts needed teasing back upright, but overall the damage wasn’t too bad. Finally after all this salvage work, I was able to carry on with the foliage. I applied some 4mm static grass (using the static applicator) and followed this with 6mm. As before, I painted wiggly trails of diluted PVA between all the tufts and so on to stick these to. The longer stuff was placed more to the rear, under the bushes to give a bit of graduation. Next came some fake fur. I snipped tufts of bright green, dark green, ochre and brown fake fur and mixed them together. From being wild, bright colours, they amalgamated into a pretty convincing blend – very much like decent quality static grass. Little bundles of this were dipped into diluted PVA and then plugged into holes pushed into the foam base at the fringes of where the bushes are going to go. Lastly the bushes themselves were plopped into place, again onto puddles of diluted PVA. I gave the whole lot a blast of cheap, strong hairspray to provide a little more hold. The results: I’ll add a bit of long, dry grass and maybe blob on some paints for little bramble flowers and blackberries.
  11. glyverine can be used to preserve plants, stopping them from rotting or drying out and losing their colour. Ironically, they tend to lose a fair bit of colour during the process of "glycerining" so having colour dye should hopefully compensate for it a bit.
  12. Go figure…. While my bushes soak, the diorama is on hold, so I thought I’d turn to the figures. I bought a couple of ICM sets a short time ago – British tank crew and British infantry. The plastic is quite rubbery, but glues well and is probably a good idea to stop the fragile bits snapping off. The detail is great for plastic figures. By mixing and matching legs, heads, arms etc. I got four characters to fit in my scene. From left to right: · pushing the car from the rear · holding the horses – his open hand will get a milliput apple as an incitement · tying rope onto the car’s front bumper · perusing the AA box and rueing not keeping up with his membership fee They cleaned up really well with the back of a scalpel blade; again the soft plastic was really good for this and they’ve had a few dabs of tippex as armpit-filler. Some probably need a smear of millput too where their arms are higher than the manufacturer intended. I’ve not done much figure painting, at least not for many, many years. I had a go a little while back using my usual enamels and oils (enamels for base coats and drybrushing highlights, oils for dark washes) but it’s a real pain. The paints take ages to dry so each step is separated by a day essentially and any cock-ups along the way mean rewinding and adding more days. Having viewed a few tutorials on youtube, I thought it high time I joined the 21st century and gave acrylics a go. I bought a selection of 10 colours from a well-known manufacturer (starts with a “V”). Rather than go for any of their packaged combinations (do you really need 8 or 10 colours to do flesh?) I made up my own selection of various colours that I thought I’d be able to mix to get pretty much whatever I’m likely to need. I also got a thin cleaning sponge, greaseproof paper and a shallow plastic tub to make a wet palette. Wow – I’m impressed, this is certainly the way to go! Here’s my first test – A spare Tamiya Tiger commander. Apologies for the poor lighting, it was getting late when I took this. He’s not the finest moulding Tamiya ever produced (I think he might be nearly my age), and he looks like he’s crying, so I’ve a way to go to improve, but he’s light years better (and perhaps more importantly quicker) than I’ve managed before. I can’t wait to get on with my crew!
  13. thanks for the feedback chaps - much appreciated. Throughout this build it's really spurred me on. The WIP continues, with the diorama and figures....
  14. Actually, if you got 3D prints of long lengths of track, you might be able to cut them up where necessary for individual links(?). That would minimise your printing costs
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