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  1. Crossing the reef at the lagoon inlet, Second Element, 19th Regiment (Heavy Reconnaissance) - the much feared Stormwalkers on patrol detachment from Star Destroyer Eradicator during extended anti-piracy operations. With a service life quite different from the Assault AT-AT's which conducted the brief attack on the Rebel Base on Hoth, these Walkers display the very considerable scarring of long-term reconnaissance service. One in particular having been brutally flayed by a four-day hypersonic sandstorm. Base model is the F-Toys pre-painted AT-AT which stands roughly six inches tall. Whilst the replica is arguably the best of all plastic AT AT's which have been available, the main fault is the very stiff pose that assembly without modification obviates. The model can be encouraged to shed its constituent parts at which point the modeller can give all the articulation that a superior model needs. It needs a wee bit of filler and additional detail - not much, but the effort is worth it. Whilst it was released some years ago, they can still be found quite readily on Ebay. http://www.ebay.co.u...984.m1423.l2649 This was my first attempt at the hairspray weathering technique and I was really quite impressed. The dark undercoat is Halford's Vauxhall Hazel Brown, with a bit of overspray splashing with rust red primer. Then hairspray, a coat of mid-grey primer, hairspray again, then overcoated with Humbrol 64 aerosol. After paint chipping etc, the models were then finished off with varying degrees of Tamiya weathering pastels. The base is Trumpeter No. TU09808 http://www.hannants....product/TU09808 The base was given a sheet of kitchen aluminium foil over which I dabbed irregular and semi-transparent blotches of mid blue and green. The sea base is from bathroom translucent sealant The first layer comprised two full tubes of sealant mixed with a couple of thimble-fulls of Inscribe 'Deep Teal'. Whip it all in as if you were making dough and upon reaching a consistent colour, just paste it over the base in a thick buttered layer. Then the models were placed into the soft sealant. It took only an hour for that initial layer to solidify, so the wave patterns, spray and surges could be built up with the second layer shortly after. (This diorama base was started midday sunday 26 August - it was complete as seen by 9pm...). It was topped off with a wee bit of drybrushing with enamel white, which proved about as easy as drybrushing a melting ice-cream... The second layer was coloured more thinly with blue and green food colouring - just a few drops of each - and the paler surging patches had a few drops of tamiya matt white mixed into this thinner-coloured paste. The upper layer needed only around half a further tube of sealant. It remains pliable for shaping for a goodly amount of time, attaches to the under-layer of silicone without complaint and whilst its dextrous qualities for the modeller are very compliant, the shape it is given is immediately and permanently retained - it's a dream to work with. (Naturally, however, it reeks with a very strong, pungent acrid vent-off. If you have sensitive eyes and\or breathing, then I'd recommend you work it outdoors...) The translucent nature of the silicone means that its diorama transparency is very satisfying and when sunlight falls on the base, it gives a very pleasing glowing cerulean blue shimmer, aided by light reflecting back from the aluminium foil on the underside. Hence it will translate nicely to most forms of maritime diorama - with an added bonus that ships with little below the plimsoll line need not be waterlined. Perhaps another important thing I need to mention is that I've never tried this silicone rubber technique before. This was a first, Armed with a few kitchen spatulas and discarded toothbrushes and cafe coffee stirrers (thanks, MacDonalds...), these effects are an absolute doddle to achieve. However, with the material venting off, I won't be closing the display case lid for some weeks, just in case the vapours damage the transparent case itself. I could be wrong, but I'd rather err on the safe side there.
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