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Just about finished with the various adornments on the hull. There's some irritatingly fiddly PE on this, which makes the whole thing rather fragile. I think I'm going to have to write an angry letter to Mr Putin complaining about the unnecessary number of bits he has stuck to the outside of his AFV's.

I replaced the grab handles with copper wire as the plastic ones looked way too breakable. The holes I drilled for them were a bit on the big side for the wire I used, but the superglue has filled them for the most part. I'll probably have to go around with a little filler here and there though.

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I've still got the head lights to add, but I'm thinking of painting them separately. I'll have to mask the lens, then remove the masking after painting, and as the lights only attach to a couple of tiny PE brackets, I think I'll just end up pulling them off if they're already attached. Apart from that, and the wing mirrors, it's pretty much ready for paint.

Andy

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So, predictably when I thought I'd just about got it ready for paint, I realised I'd missed a few details. Mainly the aerial bases and the rear light housings. The only bits not on now are the lights, wing mirrors and windscreen shields, all of which will be painted separately and added at the end. It's definitely ready for paint now, and I'll hopefully get it started over the weekend.

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Oh yes... and I've also got to remember to mask the glazing. Best not forget that

Andy

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"...Oh yes... and I've also got to remember to mask the glazing. Best not forget that"

LOL I did that with my Italeri LMV Lince but it was the headlights I forgot to mask...D'OH! :D
Looking forward to seeing this one painted Andy!

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LOL I did that with my Italeri LMV Lince but it was the headlights I forgot to mask...D'OH! :D

Looking forward to seeing this one painted Andy!

Yes, I was reading about your headlight tribulations on your blog. I'm sure it'll clean off fine. I like that camo you've gone with too

Andy

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It's all just so clean & crisp.....Could you mebbe spill some paint or get a fingerprint on it, just to make the rest of us feel better? :shrug:

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It's all just so clean & crisp.....Could you mebbe spill some paint or get a fingerprint on it, just to make the rest of us feel better? :shrug:

I'm more than capable of doing that. Just give me time.

Although, to be going on with, if you look close, the two lower handrails on the right side of the hull are slightly bent

Andy

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At the risk of sounding like I'm "gushing" the way you photograph and build your subjects look like they come straight of a product advertisement shot. As Sgt. Squarehead states, it's so nice, clean and crisp.

I'd love to know what kind of settings your using on your camera. Do you use Photoshop to emphasise the raised detail on the subjects?

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I'd love to know what kind of settings your using on your camera. Do you use Photoshop to emphasise the raised detail on the subjects?

Thanks MH

There's nothing really special about the process. I use a couple of lights, one either side of the model. They've got daylight balanced bulbs, so I switch the camera's white balance to daylight. I use spot metering and take a reading from the model and set the exposure accordingly. I'm normally using an F stop of around 18-20, to give a good depth of field.

I shoot in RAW and develop the pics in Lightroom. After that, I take them into PS and whiten the background, which is what gives it more punch.

It's a pretty simple thing to do (and you can do it with other photoediting software, you don't need PS). Bring up the levels window and at the bottom corner there are three eye dropper icons. One is for black point, one for grey and one for white. Select the white dropper and click on the background (this obviously only works if you've shot on a white background). Doing that will will make the area you've clicked on go pure white. You may have to try clicking on different areas to get the best balance. Avoid clicking on any shadows around the model, as that will make everything go way too bright.

I normally duplicate the shot as a new layer in PS. That way I can balance any changes I make against the original. Apart from whitening the background, I'll do any colour correction that's needed, and add a bit of sharpening as the Sigma lens I use is a bit soft with details.

Andy

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Thanks for that Andy. Can you do the background whitening in Lightroom as well? I've heard good things about it but not yet got it as my current laptop isn't up to par, so it seems a waste of time getting it until I replace the laptop.

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Thanks for that Andy. Can you do the background whitening in Lightroom as well? I've heard good things about it but not yet got it as my current laptop isn't up to par, so it seems a waste of time getting it until I replace the laptop.

You can do it in Lightroom, but it's not as simple. LR gives you much more scope for tweaking things, but it isn't always as intuitive as PS. You do need something with a bit of oomph to run it, especially if you're batch processing. My desktop runs PS fine but can't manage LR, so I have to do all the developing on my laptop which has more memory.

If you do get it, I've got a bunch of pre-sets that I use for model shots, which I'll send you if you want.

So, paint has finally hit plastic.

I mixed up a dark shade colour from Tamiya Dark Green and Rubber Black, and sprayed it around the lower hull and suspension. It's not a pre-shade as such. Just a way of making sure there won't be any bits of grey plastic showing through in some recess at the end. What was left of the mix was misted around the rest of the model, in corners and around the PE parts to give them a light prime. Again, it's not really intended to be a pre-shade, as most of it will be covered by the subsequent coats

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I was originally going to use Gunze 303 Green for the main base colour, as that's what the instructions recommend, and it's what I used on the SS-23. Then I remembered that I'd got a bottle of AMMO Zashchitniy Zeleno, which is a post war Russian green, and it looked like a pretty good match for the green used on these, so that's what I used. This was thinned with Gunze self leveling, which is the best way of spraying AMMO paints

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Like I said, it's a reasonable match. Not perfect, but looking at shots of the real thing, it's pretty close

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The last one's a BTR-80, but it's in the same colours

I'll probably add some highlighting to the upper surfaces, but I won't go mad with it, as a lot will get covered with the rest of the camo

Andy

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I've added a little highlighting to the upper hull. A lot will get covered with the other camo colours, but I'll highlight then to balance it out. It probably looks a little stark right now, but it'll get toned down by the end.

There were three progressive highlights, the first a 50/50 mix of AMMO 083 Zashchitniy Zeleno and AMMO 934 Russian Highlight, the second adding more 934 and the last just strait Russian Highlight

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Andy

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It does look pretty dramatic right now, looking forward to seeing the next bit....Love watching your paintwork develop. :popcorn:

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With the base coat done, it's on to the camo. It was masked off with silly putty, then sprayed with Tamiya buff and highlighted with Tamiya deck tan. This is the reason I'm not keen on adding too much modulation on camo finishes. It's easy to do on the base coat but then you have to repeat the highlighting on all the subsequent camo colours.

Anyway, the sand's on. It's not highlighted as much as the green, but it'll do. Just the black to add now, then I can start on the weathering, and get it finished.

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Andy

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very very nice.... still toying with tacking the PU version later this year... this build is an inspiration

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I am really digging those colours. I must give silly putty a go one day. I've been sticking with blutac and am getting tired of those oily lines that get left behind

As with most of your builds that I've seen, the paint work surpasses expectations

I will need to get better at highlighting panels a bit more but each time I try, it always looks wrong or to obvious. I find it hard to achieve that nice balance that you seem to obtain.

For me it's Practice practice practice....

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Lovely paint work, great tip on the ammo paints and Gunze thinners by the way, I will try that one as so far I've found them to be a PITA!

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Thanks everyone

very very nice.... still toying with tacking the PU version later this year... this build is an inspiration

I wouldn't mind doing that version myself. It looks great with the clothes rail antenna on top. Apparently the kit's not quite accurate, as Trumpeter supply the interior for the PU-12 air defense version which wasn't fitted with the antenna. I can't say it would worry me much. How many people would know what the inside of a BTR-60PU looked like anyway, and if you left the hatches closed it wouldn't matter.

I am really digging those colours. I must give silly putty a go one day. I've been sticking with blutac and am getting tired of those oily lines that get left behind
As with most of your builds that I've seen, the paint work surpasses expectations
I will need to get better at highlighting panels a bit more but each time I try, it always looks wrong or to obvious. I find it hard to achieve that nice balance that you seem to obtain.
For me it's Practice practice practice....

I used to use blutac until I got sick of the residue, and it was always knocking off bits of PE. Silly Putty is so much easier.

Lovely paint work, great tip on the ammo paints and Gunze thinners by the way, I will try that one as so far I've found them to be a PITA!

I never got along with them, until a friend suggested trying self leveler. I didn't think for a minute it would work, but it was fine. I wouldn't say it sprays as well as Tamiya or Gunze, but it's much better than using a regular acrylic thinner.

The other thing I've found with almost every bottle of AMMO I've bought is that there's a huge clump of congealed pigment at the bottom of the bottle which needed mixing up with a brush handle. Most of the time, the ball bearing they include was stuck in this gunk and was useless for mixing the paint.

The last of the camo colours is on now. I used Tamiya NATO black, then added a bit of deck tan to it for highlighting. The black areas also got a light dry brush with a mid grey to give them a bit of a faded look. Going by photos of BTR's in this camo, it seems the sand can wear quite fast showing the green underneath, so I've added a bit of subtle (by my standards) chipping around the hatches, grab handles and bow

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I've got a few bits of detail painting to do, then add the headlights and wing mirrors, then I can get started on the weathering.

Andy

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