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  1. Mecha Painting & Weathering Sets AMMO of Mig Jimenez Following our review and build review of a Gundam Zaku II of the Zeon Republic recently, we're building on the theme with assistance of AMMO, who produce both a Guide to painting Mechas as they refer to the giant robot genre collectively, as well as a crop of painting and weathering sets to help you achieve the amazing effects that are commonplace in the AFV modelling arena, and transfer well to Mech painting. The acrylic colours are suitable for brush-painting or airbrushing, and they are well regarded as a range of colours, either mixed with their own thinners, water or Ultimate Thinners. In case you haven't a clue what I'm talking about, these giant robots are a regular part of Japanese Anime (cartoons) and Manga (graphic novels) that have become a staple entertainment in Japan, which has spread to the West with the aid of dubbing and subtitles. The industry is worth billions of yen per annum, and there is a wealth of subjects to choose from, with specialist importers such as our friends at Japan:Cool bringing many of the kits into the UK to facilitate your interest! Mecha & Robots Colours (A.MIG.7127) Gundam and their ilk are usually quite colourful, especially on the side of right, with white bodies, colourful forearms, shoulder pads etc., which are more pure colours than the muddied shades you often find in the pre-existing armoury of the military modeller. This set contains six 17ml bottles of acrylic paint, with yellow screw top caps and a dropper applicator inside. The new yellow caps indicate that there is also a stainless steel ball-bearing within each pot that assists with paint mixing. Inside the box are the following colours: A.MIG-048 Yellow A.MIG-049 Red A.MIG-103 Medium Blue A.MIG-119 Cold Grey A.MIG-120 Light Brown-Grey A.MIG-204 Medium Gunship Grey Green Mecha Colours (A.MIG.7149) There's a LOT of green in mech painting, particularly the Zeon folks in Gundam, Zentradi in Macross, and the Gamilas of Space Battleship Yamato. This set is also acrylic like the previous set, but instead of a range of colours you get a range of shades to enable you to colour modulate and adjust the tonality of the finish to your heart's content. Included in the set are the following colours: A.MIG-023 Protective Green A.MIG-045 Gun Metal A.MIG-062 Blue A.MIG-077 Dull Green A.MIG-082 Interior Light Green A.MIG-201 Light Gray Green Chipping Set for Mechas 1 (A.MIG 7428) Unlike the paint sets above, this set is a small three paint set, with two 32ml bottles and one 17ml dropper bottle. The first of the 32ml bottles contains Chipping Fluid that you apply liberally to the surface of the model before painting, while the second is an enamel wash of Engine Grime. The acrylic bottle contains a brown shade to create weathered chip marks with. The chipping fluid is applied before the paint, and when dry the paint is gently agitated using a damp stiff brush to give the desired effect. The Engine Grime is applied as a wash to give a dirtied-down appearance to your Gundam, and can be removed or adjusted by either wiping with a piece of towel, or by dampening the edges with a brush moistened in enamel thinners. Finally, the brown paint is applied with a small brush, taking care to keep the marks in scale. A.MIG-044 Chipping A.MIG-2010 Scratches Effects A.MIG-1407 Engine Grime Weathering Set for Mechas 2 (A.MIG-7429) Another three bottle set, this time with three 32ml bottles, one each of enamel filter, wash to add layers of detritus to your finished model. Layers of filter can be used to subtly change the hue of the underlying light/white colour, while the Streaking Grime is added to areas where dirt would accumulate or be drawn by rain marks, after which it can be faded, adjusted or drawn in the direction of gravity with a brush moistened in thinners. The Dark Earth pigment is added to areas where mud, dust and dirt build-up, then moved about with a dry brush until you are happy with the look, and then fixed in place by a dot of thinners or pigment fixer. A.MIG-1500 Filter Brown For White A.MIG-1201 Streaking Grime For Dak A.MIG-3007 Dark Earth Pigment Review sample courtesy of
  2. Desert Airplanes Panel Line Wash Set AMMO of Mig Jimenez This is a three-pot set of enamel-based panel line washes for desert camouflaged aircraft, which generally have a lighter, sand and brown colour applied to their outer skin. Accentuating the panel lines with a dark brown would result in a stark finish, while these shades will result in much more restrained contrasts and give a more realistic finish. In case you aren't familiar with enamel Panel Line Washes (PLW), they are highly diluted enamel colours with a mild thinners that are designed to be used over an acrylic surface, with a gloss finish giving the best results. They are ready to use after agitation, and rather than sloshing the mix all over the kit, the mixture is touched to panel lines and creases, wicking along by capillary action. Not only does this make your bottle of PLW last a lot longer, but it also minimises clean-up. Once the wash is surface dry, it can be removed with a piece of kitchen towel, drawing back in the direction of the airflow. Any stubborn patches can be removed by adding a little thinners to a brush and pushing it into corners, or removing it with towel after wetting. It offers a high degree of control, and is the perfect complement to any paint modulation technique. Included in the plastic clamshell pack are the following colours in 35ml Polyvinyl chloride plastic bottles with white screw-caps: A.MIG1620 Dust – for green desert colours A.MIG1621 Shadow for Desert Brown – for dark desert colours A.MIG1622 Ochre for Sand Camo – for light desert colours Some of the latest sets have ball-bearings added to aid mixing, but this set must have missed the deadline with my review sample at least. 6mm balls are easy to find online for pennies, however. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Modern Ammunition & Weapons Colours Paint Sets AMMO of Mig Jimenez The releases of new paint sets from the new company harnessing Mig Jimenez's prodigious talents just goes on from strength to strength. Today we see two sets with a tenuous link, both of which arrive in the by now familiar card box, inside which is a clear plastic tray containing six 17ml bottles of acrylic paint with dropper-style screw-off caps. Modern Ammunition (A.MIG7129) This set contains little ball-bearings to aid mixing of the paint, which is handy because it's important for metallic. The ammunition in question is the larger types, shells of various types from the new Discarding Sabot types through shaped charges and standard shrapnel producing shells. The box contains the following colours: A.MIG194 Aluminium A.MIG196 Warhead Metallic Blue A.MIG197 Brass A.MIG032 Satin Black A.MIG081 FS24087 US Olive Drab A.MIG212 FS26373 Silver Grey As always with metallics, you need to shake them vigorously to get full particulate suspension, and you should decant it immediately to reduce settling. The colours are nicely done, with a very fine flake size, which will help with realism. The metallic blue is a particularly pleasant colour to look at, so it's worth buying the set just for that mesmerising blueness! Brass and Aluminium are used in shell casings as well as expansion bands, and the Black, Olive Drab and Grey are often used as colours for warheads. Check your references to make sure you paint, as usual. The box is covered in some useful reference pictures, with more on the rear to assist you in this vein. Did I mention the blue? Weapons Colours (A.MIG7123) The set is without balls, as they seem to be a more recent introduction, but there's nothing to stop you adding your own. The colours are for traditional hand-held weapons such as pistols, assault rifles, rifles and any metal weapon with wooden furniture such as an RPG or bayonet. Inside the box are the following colours: A.MIG192 Polished Metal A.MIG045 Gun Metal A.MIG032 Satin Black A.MIG912 Red Brown Shadow A.MIG913 Red Brown Base A.MIG923 Red Brown Shine Again, there are example weapons printed all over both the front and back of the box, with some suggested uses and mixtures of colours. The three Red Brown shades can be used to weather and texture wood furniture, while the satin black and two shades of metallic can be used to paint the metal parts, adding various shades for wear-marks and so forth. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Black & White Paint Set AMMO of Mig Jimenez I've deliberately left the title vague to draw in the unwary, as if it were called "pre-shading" set, some might switch off, as pre-shading is considered "so last season dahling" by some. This isn't pre-shading per se, but more of a development and refining of the technique by Jose Luis Lopez, to achieve very similar effects to the more recent colour modulation, which attempts to mimic the fall of light on vehicles in a manner to fool the eye as to the scale. This is a pack of six acrylic colours (my art teachers would disagree about black and white being colours) in a handy box set, all of which have a useful ball-bearing inside to help with mixing what is a bit of a tricky bottle shape to mix paint in otherwise – believe me when I say it helps enormously. Also included is an instruction guide to teach you the basics of the technique in eight illustrated steps. In the box are the following colours: A.MIG2016 Transpirator A.MIG024 Washable White A.MIG104 Washable Black A.MIG090 Satin Varnish A.MIG046 Matt Black A.MIG050 Matt White Without going into too much detail, the technique involves apply mixtures from the darkest greys to white over your model after priming, mimicking direct overhead light from dark in the shadows to light on the upper panels and sides, which you then seal in with a coat of the satin varnish provided. After that you "fool around" with the washable black and white to adapt the shading, and add in paint effects such as weather streaking, chipping and so forth. As implied by the washable part, these paints can be removed or adjusted after application by a brush or cotton bud soaked in water, allowing you to control the effect to a high degree. Although it isn't mentioned, I'd add another coat of satin to lock this delicate layer in before continuing, but that's just my opinion. The final step in the process is to mix your AMMO base colour with the transpirator at around 50% of each in your mixing cup. This turns any AMMO paint into a translucent colour, which after spraying will leave an element of the underlying shading visible. You can alter your shading by applying more paint to hide areas you feel you overdid in hindsight, so again the level of control is good. The result should be a highly detailed and shade-rich colour scheme that should draw the eye even before you continue with whatever else you feel appropriate to finalise the weathering – the world is your oyster in that respect, as you can choose what state of distress or otherwise your model will be presented in. Conclusion Although I'm yet to use this set, I feel there are merits to it over the traditional pre-shading, which can appear a little stark if the overlying paint isn't thick enough to cover it, but can just as easily be lost under too much paint. The addition of white to any colour cannot help but change its hue, so the modulation technique can leave you with a chalky looking finish if you aren't adept at varying your mixes, or using a handy set of tones pre-prepared for you. Sure, this set uses white and black to create the shading, but it will all be covered by a translucent layer of paint that should leave you with a non-chalky and highly adaptable paint finish, with no blacks or whites visible, which would please my art teachers. I'll try to remember to post my feelings once I've had a chance to use the technique myself. Recommended as an interesting new take on paint finishing AFVs. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Hart's Tongue & Dry Fern Foliage Sheets 1:48, 1:35, 1:32 AMMO These two boxes of pre-cut paper plants are part of a collaboration between Model Scene and Mig Jiminez's AMMO to bring their products to a wider audience. Creating a realistic looking backdrop involves adding various types of vegetation, otherwise you run the risk of your diorama looking artificial and too structured. Adding in different plants will go a long way to addressing this concern if they are done realistically. Each set arrives in a shallow clamshell box, with two sheets of extremely thin coloured paper inside, one which the patterns for the plants have been laser cut so that they are just barely attached to the backing. They are suitable for use in a variety of scales, but anything below 1:48 would begin to look like your diorama was set in the Land That Time Forgot. There are no instructions with the package, but if you aim for the cover picture as your goal, it's not rocket science to get them posed and ready for action. Hart's Tongue (A.MIG-8455) The Hart's Tongue had three sheets, which I can imagine is easy to do given the thickness of the paper, with each sheet holding six arrangements of six leaves each as the basis of a clump. A few sections of paper need to be cut away to release the arrangement, and once free it is incredibly susceptible to draughts and even your exhalations. For my test picture, I grabbed each leaf in turn with a tweezer, and applied light pressure with my fingertip to the free edge to give the leaf a v-groove, then arranged and distorted the tips to mimic the effects of gravity and passing people/animals. There is a pale green centreline "cut into" the middle of each leaf, but with some very careful brushwork, you could add flecks and variegation as per the box lid. Adding more bunches of leaved would improve the look, but how you arrange your shrubbery is up to you. Dry Fern (A.MIG-8457) The two sheets of fern material are a red brown shade as you'd expect, and each sheet contains around 30 separate pieces of fern of varying sizes, shapes and density of leaves. They are tricky to cut free without tearing, but once out, holding the "stem" between thumb and forefinger while you tousle the loose leaves gives a good effect, although I think I may have squashed mine whilst handling them, looking back at the photos. Again, you could vary the tone by airbrushing parts very lightly, and a nice tangle will give a more realistic effect of the decaying ferns. Conclusion The detail is super on these handy little plants, and with some care and careful application they will add a spot of colour and visual interest to any diorama, but take care to place them only in a suitable environment where they occur naturally, or they could look silly. Best not handled while you have a blocked nose or hayfever! Review sample courtesy of
  6. Cockpit Paint & Finishing Sets AMMO of Mig Jimenez Painting a cockpit is an art, and this includes choosing colours, deciding on how well-used you want it to be, and achieving a level of detail that draws the viewer's eye, giving the impression of depth and size that is only hinted at. These new sets from Mig's new(ish) company AMMO offer the modeller a one-stop pack of paints and finishing powder that takes away at least one of the variables from the equation. Each set includes the basic colour for the backdrop on which either washes, filters or pigments are laid to give the finished look. There are seven sets initially, and I'm sure that the range will grow as time goes by. Each set arrives in a clear clamshell package with package details stuck to the front, and a list of contents under a suitably themed photo of the real thing. Further than that there are no instructions on how to use the system, but detailed information is in the new Encyclopaedia of Aircraft Vol.1, which if it is as informative as Vol.2, will be well worth having. It's not rocket science to take an educated guess at how to use the sets though, and if you're familiar with modern painting techniques you'll already have a fair idea. Each set has a bottle of paint that has been matched to the subject matter, containing 17ml of acrylic paint in a dropper-style plastic bottle, with a helpful ball-bearing inside to assist in agitating the contents. Depending on which set you are looking at, there is also a wash to create depth effects, a panel line wash (PLW) to accentuate gaps, a filter to adjust the colour of the initial paint finish in a subtle manner, or a bottle of pigment to create a realistic accumulation of dust and dirt on the surface. These bottles are all 35ml, and have screw-top lids and wide mouth to ease getting to the contents. The sets are as follows: Early Luftwaffe Cockpits (7430) RLM02 Grau (217), Brown wash for German dark yellow (1000), Rubble pigment (3013). Late Luftwaffe Cockpits (7431) RLM66 Schwartzgrau (218), PLW Deep Grey (1602), Blue for dark grey filter (1509). WWII British Cockpits (7432) FS34226/BS283 Interior Green (219), Interior Wash (1003), Europe Earth pigment (3004). WWII USA Cockpits (7433) FS34151 Zinc Chromate Green (220), Dark Brown Wash for Green Vehicles (1005), Streaking Grime (1203). WWII USA Interiors (7434) FS33481 Zinc Chromate Yellow (221), PLW Orange Brown (1616), Engine Grime (1407). Modern Russian Cockpits (7435) Interior Turquoise Green (223), Grey for Yellow Sand Filter (1505), (dark) NATO Camouflages Wash (1008) US Modern Cockpits (7436) FS36231 (205), US Modern Vehicles Wash (1007), PLW Blue Grey (1613). Mig's washes have been around in many forms over the years, and are an accepted staple of many a modeller's arsenal, myself included. These, filters and panel line washes are all enamel based, so require an acrylic base to avoid any unwanted interaction with each other. You will notice that some of the colour names don't relate to the subject matter, but a rose by any other name smells as sweet, and even though it might say (for example) US Modern Vehicle Wash on the bottle, it will work very well with the base coat. Everything needs agitating before use, as you'd expect, but AMMO have thoughtfully included a ball-bearing in the dropper bottles, which makes mixing much easier. The washes and filters don't have this luxury, and would benefit from the addition because they do settle heavily to the bottom of the thinners over time. You could get yourself a bag of 6mm ball bearings from eBay for under £4 at time of writing, which are impervious to any of the chemicals within the bottles. Of course you'll still need your usual colours for detailing the cockpit, and it would be wise to invest in some additional colours from the AMMO range such as white, yellow, black etc., so that if you feel like modulating the basic colour with your airbrush, you can mix lighter or darker shades at will, further enhancing the effects that you will apply later. Some pigment fixer wouldn't go amiss while you've got your wallet open. Conclusion Handy sets that will fall easy to hand for most mainstream country's cockpit colours and save you searching high and low for the components each time. A brief description of the product's use on the pack would have been more helpful, but the Encyclopaedia of Aircraft Vol.1 will be good to have on hand. Add a couple of ball-bearings to the 35ml jars and they should last you a good few models. Filters and washes do benefit from a good shake from time to time, so you can add that to your exercise diary. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Seems Mig Jimenez is now going it alone. http://www.migjimenez.com/en/?dontshowhmw=yes
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