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  1. So some may be aware that I've embarked on a large, multi-diorama project (gulp) revolving around a fictional conflict in Japan. The planned dioramas include a M1151 Humvee, M2A3 BUSK Bradley, M1A2 TUSK Abrams and a Type 90. The Type 90 is the oldest kit of the group; the others were all bought within the last six months, while the Type 90 is several years old. It was sitting on a shelf in about a 90% completed state, with some parts unpainted or not attached. This particular set also came with the ammo loading crew and accessories, which I never used. So given the overarching theme it seemed like a good opportunity to use all the components together. After mapping out my plan, I embarked on the risky task of masking off the decals already on the kit (they were the most interesting and I didn't want to lose them if I could help it). The only ones lost to the paint were the serial numbers front and back, since they would've been next to impossible to mask effectively (happy accident with masking tape on the stripes; it pulled some of the decals off, but gave them a weather look). I then resprayed the model in black, and for the first time added some white for shade modulation. I then applied the camo (Dark Green (JGSDF) is hard to find ) and clear coated it. From this point on I was in an experimental, uncharted stage. I hadn't done extensive weathering before, nor had I panel lined, not on a tank at least. Using an AK Interactive dark wash I picked up for NATO camo, I gave it a go with this scheme. The result was better than expected. I then applied some AK rain marks, which again turned out better than expected, although the matt coat dulled them a little more than desired (probably because I had them quite faded anyway) and some were lost, but I think it still works. After that it was some mixed up Mig Pigments on the treads, wheels and skirts and lower hull. The diorama base itself posed more issues. The air clay I used to create the terrain had the unfortunate effect of pulling up the centre of my plywood board as it dried, bowing it. The clay then fractured and separated. Not a good start. Luckily, I had some old balsa pieces which I superglued to the bottom to brace it. I then wetted the wood and set about 20kg of weights on top. Success! It worked I then reattached the clay with glue (surprisingly, the clay was completely flat despite having been sitting on the bow). With my base set up I slapped on some Tamiya diorama texture paint and lost some of the imprint detail in the clay because of its thickness. I have something of a plan to rectify this. The texture paint, as it dries, enters a stage where its more or less touch dry but has a bit of malleability in it still. So I may apply some to the area around the tracks and the ammo boxes and then lightly press them into it. Hopefully this will do the trick. I've toyed with adding the paste directly to the treads, but I'm not confident enough in my ability to make it look right, and worry that I could cock it up. I gave the base a spray with some different brown tones and then put down some PVA and scatter grass. The field grass I got doesn't work well with PVA, not for posing at least. The glue doesn't have enough tackiness to hold it upright properly, so I've got some scenic glue on order to do the job. Overall I'm pleased with how the tank came out. The diorama base is starting to look a bit better, but I'll wait and see the final result. I think it needs a surround of some kind, especially if I keep the balsa pieces on. I also bought some 'Green Stuff' to try and make some extra stowage with. Fiddly stuff, and while I made up some tarps, I'm not sure I'll be able to make much more with it (they're currently curing, and I'm waiting to see if they'll end up sticking to the plastic I set them on, or come away nicely to be used. Fingers crossed). So yeah, another text wall from me On to the pics, with some befores and afters (loading crew is done, I just didn't put them on the after test because the PVA was still damp). Gaz
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