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With the Sherman build almost finished and the Tiger project well under way i thought it would be nice to make a simple scene for the display of the M4

Also good practice as with like the M4 i haven't done ground work for many years and while my brain remembers how to do it i wanted to be sure the hands could still follow orders:P

So first things first lucky i can visualise what i want as drawing is not a strong point so it was time to cut an appropriate size base and cover it with some black wood effect vinyl....

 

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225mm x 195mm seemed just about right to convey my intentions....

Next job was to construct an armature for a tree as i wanted something at the rear left corner to draw the viewer's eye through the scene.

So time to break out the 0.3 and 0.6mm copper wire

 

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Now time for some twisting 6 pieces 12 inches long of the 0.3mm and the same from the 0.6mm, once twisted gives a good size height and a decent thickness for the trunk.

 

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Next do a basic mock up of the scene

 

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At this point i knew i wanted something in front of the M4 but not as high again to draw the viewer's eye from the front of the scene through to rear but not something that would distract from the subject.

So i decided to make a destroyed Manor- farmhouse wall something that was fitting for a country road in Normandy Google is your friend for photo's of this sort of thing.

On deciding i had a basic concept and style it was time to break out the plasticard to make a basic rectangle box to mold a plate of plaster.

 

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Once the blank was set time to cut it into pieces and start carving 

 

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Pieces cut now time to carve the detail and glue parts together using the same plaster you used for the original blank

 

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Once there ready time to break out the plaster and PVA again so i could lay the basic ground work and position everything......

There were no photos of this part as you have seriously limited time to work with the plaster before it sets.

Once it was laid down i could then position things and mark things out (while the base was drying i finished the wall)

 

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Now i was 100% certain of placement it was time to carve the plaster to seat the M4 the wall and drill a hole to site the tree also at this point the trunk of the tree was coated with the left over plaster..... The branches will be coated later with thinned down Humbrol filler (more durable than the plaster and less prone to cracking of the armature) at that point i will start the sculpting and texturing of the tree.

The next few pictures are of all parts bar the figure and some minor aspects of the ground work in place .

 

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The above image just about shows one of the more important parts of the build ...as you can see there is part of the groundwork already present under the tracks of the M4

This is done so i could place the track marks into the soil and seat the vehicle into the ground work not on it......for me this is important because it gives the M4 weight and a natural seat into the ground work without getting glue and plaster all over the tracks.

 

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Last job for today was to wait for the track seating to dry and then to mix a very thin plaster mix ...This is used to stipple over the surface of the base layer of plaster to give a loose dirt and dust texture ...it's a good backup in case you miss any spot when you move to the next part which in this case will be glueing the first layer of the groundwork down.

 

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And that's where i'm at with it for now...... tomorrow it will be time for the PVA and the groundwork and static grass.

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend guys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quick update ...last night i finished coating the tree......wasn't looking forward to doing the tree as bocage trees have a very gnarly look to them and i just wasn't convinced i'd caught the look but once i finished i was surprised at how well it came out.

Now i have to work out how i'm gonna do the foliage....any ideas?

Also did a few bits to the wall ...added some decoration to the post and later today will be putting a damaged iron gate and hinges in place.

 

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Thats all folks

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Ow do chap?

 

That's all coming along beautifully!

It's fantastic to see others casting and carving plaster walls and buildings and making their own trees. The carving is superbly done, always a bit of a messy chore what with all of the dust.

 

A little tip for you on the subject of plaster dust: I keep it and mix it into washes applied over the walls/buildings to add texture. I use water washes and sometimes varnish washes (with added dust and colour) the varnish  fixing the dust in place more strongly. When dry though, water/dust/colour washes can be reactivated with a wet or damp brush and can be moved around.

If you put it in green washes you get that nice moss/algae effect. Burnt umber washes are good for a sandy mortar colour in red brickwork and black for 'rising damp', mold. or soot.

You have to experiment a bit with the colour:dust::water ratios, because what might look like a very black or dark green wash for example, might become very very pale when dry.  I tend to apply many many washes, and might rub some patches back, before applying more, and building up layers. 

 

I look forward to seeing your tree 'blossom'. I made a large one but used a real  branch with twigs as the armature, wire-cored gardener's twine for the branches and fishing line for the twigs. And another tip for you, I used latex to thicken the trunk and you could use it to thicken branches.  

 

I expect you found them already but if not, here are my current ongoing WIPs.

The first features a farmhouse by MiniArt. I took latex moulds of the kit parts and used them to cast more plaster walls and the roof. I then used those to turn the kit from half a building to a whole building.

 

 

in mind that they are very long, given that habit of planning to do one thing, then at a later date deciding to do something else.. I call it 'evolving'. And on that note.... take an armchair and a dozen cups of tea with you! And somewhere around page 33 (I think) is my scratchbuilt tree.

The second link is to the one I am currently working on , with that ruined farm buidling, Mostly plaster cast walls, but also 'Foamboard that is not foamboard, but is something similar.'

 

 

Rearguards,

Badder

Edited by Badder

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Was up Badder

I found the ever evolving thread and decided to leave reading through properly till the weekend but did read on some of your conversion work on the farm house.

I found it very interesting and you put so much work into it ....it just seemed to get more and more realistic.....but as i said didn't read much further. going to have a more in depth dive later tonight once the family have all gone to bed:thumbsup:

 

thanks for the tips on plaster tips ....i do have a thing i call my scale rock box where i keep shattered bits of plaster that look like rocks but it never occured to keep the dust...what a very good idea.

 

The tree is giving me some headaches so another reason to read into your thread further ...inspiration is a big help hoping for something to spark the imagination.

 

Done more today as you can see below .......(tree needs more thought) obviously we are far from done but it is starting to come together but i need to be completely honest i'm not feeling it at the moment(we can be so hard on ourselves) something is still missing.

 

Still have iron work to do long grass some airbrushing a few rocks and a pile of bricks and debris plus figures so maybe i will start to feel better about it as it starts to fill with the detail (Must remember it's a vignette not a full diorama)

 

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As i said it all feels a little sterile at the moment but good progress today.

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Badder you absolute genius :boom:......i just had a look at your tree tutorial and some of the ideas you had for the foliage is nothing short of inspired ....all excited now.there will be an update shortly ...gonna disappear for a bit and get stuck into my tree.:clap2:

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Well something was bugging me about the above pictures....couldn't put my finger on it until i started putting the debris around the wall and then it hit me......

The wall and all the debris and bricks i had carved were completely out of scale, just far to big.

It was a hard call but decided to scrap the wall last night and rebuild that corner of the scene...started by measuring a few different styles of bricks and then scaling them down...also wasn't happy with the colour palet i used for the bricks.

 

Recast the wall at 6mm thick 12mm for the corner post the bricks are 5mm Lx2mm Hx3mm W, which is about spot on for 1/35 scale (wanted the wall 2 courses deep) then carved a load of bricks and a few pieces of chunks of wall.

 

When it was done i had some fairly substantial repair work to do to the groundwork which went well......finished the rebuild an hour ago.

list of things still to do

Finish the tree 

place in longer grass around various areas of the scene

make a gate door and hinges

make a letter box

paint figures

 

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Now to do the tree.

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Coming along really well.

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5 minutes ago, Ozzy said:

Coming along really well.

Thanks Ozzy

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Posted (edited)
On ‎3‎/‎14‎/‎2020 at 6:03 PM, M3talpig said:

I found the ever evolving thread and decided to leave reading through properly till the weekend but did read on some of your conversion work on the farm house.

I found it very interesting and you put so much work into it ....it just seemed to get more and more realistic.....but as i said didn't read much further. going to have a more in depth dive later tonight once the family have all gone to bed:thumbsup:

hanks for the tips on plaster tips ....i do have a thing i call my scale rock box where i keep shattered bits of plaster that look like rocks but it never occured to keep the dust...what a very good idea.

The tree is giving me some headaches so another reason to read into your thread further ...inspiration is a big help hoping for something to spark the imagination.

Hi Pig,

May I call you Pig? I feel I know you well enough now. Or do you prefer Metal? I know I do! Big Dio fan. (Ronnie James! as well as actual dioramas)

I popped in to see how you were getting on and obviously read your top post first. And obviously I was going to say something like 'The secret to realism, is: if it doesn't look right, or you're just not happy with it, improve it or start all over again! And lo and behold, that's what you did, unprompted. I think WE were all happy with it, but YOU weren't, and that's what matters. And I was glad to read that you were going to look at my 'Tree method', because you had issues with yours (I have no idea what those issues are) The WIP IS very long, with lots of changes of plan, re-doings of things, just as you've now done with your wall, but I always hope that my long in-depth WIPs will prove useful to at least one person, to make all the typing photo-sharing and editing worthwhile... so I was once again happy to see the following:

On ‎3‎/‎14‎/‎2020 at 6:44 PM, M3talpig said:

Badder you absolute genius :boom:......i just had a look at your tree tutorial and some of the ideas you had for the foliage is nothing short of inspired ....all excited now.

THAT single comment had made my year. no the past 6 years of my membership. Not that it is 'praise' of my work, but that my WIP has helped someone greatly enough to make their head blow up! I am now looking forward to seeing how I helped you exactly. Was it the fishing line, or the herbs, or both?

 

Puts on my waiting hat.:cowboy:

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

Edited by Badder

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Badder said:

Hi Pig,

May I call you Pig? I feel I know you well enough now. Or do you prefer Metal? I know I do! Big Dio fan. (Ronnie James! as well as actual dioramas)

I popped in to see how you were getting on and obviously read your top post first. And obviously I was going to say something like 'The secret to realism, is: if it doesn't look right, or you're just not happy with it, improve it or start all over again! And lo and behold, that's what you did, unprompted. I think WE were all happy with it, but YOU weren't, and that's what matters. And I was glad to read that you were going to look at my 'Tree method', because you had issues with yours (I have no idea what those issues are) The WIP IS very long, with lots of changes of plan, re-doings of things, just as you've now done with your wall, but I always hope that my long in-depth WIPs will prove useful to at least one person, to make all the typing photo-sharing and editing worthwhile... so I was once again happy to see the following:

THAT single comment had made my year. no the past 6 years of my membership. Not that it is 'praise' of my work, but that my WIP has helped someone greatly enough to make their head blow up! I am now looking forward to seeing how I helped you exactly. Was it the fishing line, or the herbs, or both?

 

Puts on my waiting hat.:cowboy:

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

Hi Badder nice to speak with you again.

Call me Steve..... It was reading your thread on Ever evolving that made me realise that there was nothing wrong with modifying your game plan mid build (Have to thank you for that) and that changing your mind can actually lead to a better outcome overall.

 

The tree started to become a bigger and bigger problem the closer i got to realising that i had no answer for how to do the foliage without spending a lot of money  which was a problem as my funds are very tight.,,,on several occasions i thought of scraping the tree in favour of a phone pole which didn't sit right with me and felt like a cop out.

 

Reading your thread (still reading) has been a relief as well as informative and a very useful point of reference, as for the tree it was the use of things like the fishing line and herbs that had me smacking my forehead in amazement that something so clever had escaped me. I can't convey enough the feeling of relief i had as i read how you overcame certain problems.

 

Your thread is now a go to reference point for me as my build continues and a constant reminder to look at the world around me for answers instead of looking to spend money on a problem........a mind set that over the years of be inactive with this creative hobby i had lost.

 

More updates to come today and a huge thanks:thanks: to you for your help (whether you knew it or not your thread literally saved this small project and inspired me at the same time)

 

I can only hope as my threads here get better to do the same for a new modeler myself. 

 

Warmest regards Steve 

Edited by M3talpig

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Wow! This is fantastic,  just stumbled across it and I'll need to go over it again.

 

Excellant work going on and great tutorial to-boot!

 

Just starting out on this base lark myself as it really sets the finished model off, I shall be watching with interest. 

 

Thanks

Darryl 

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27 minutes ago, Jasper dog said:

Wow! This is fantastic,  just stumbled across it and I'll need to go over it again.

 

Excellant work going on and great tutorial to-boot!

 

Just starting out on this base lark myself as it really sets the finished model off, I shall be watching with interest. 

 

Thanks

Darryl 

Thanks for the kind words Darryl.

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So this morning has been spent scratchbuilding the remaining door at the wall entrance.

Started with a sheet of styrene the shape of the door i wanted ,then cut the individual planks that make the door and glued them to the pre cut shape.

Then it was time to make the rivets that hold all the pieces together the door handles, hinges, and latch.

The rivets were made by using a candle and pushing a piece of 0.45mm styrene rod gently towards the base of the flame until the end of the rod mushrooms

then trim of from the rod with a small length of the rod to insert into the pre drilled holes add glue and gently press.

 

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The door handles were made from 28g copper wire wrapped around a small drill bit and inserted into the doorknob.

Next job was to add the wood grain to the panels and to rough the ends of the individual planks which was done with an old scalpel blade scrapped over the surface in a random way too add knots and growth rings.

 

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Paint and weathering next then time to move on too the mailbox.

Have a good day everyone

 

 

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13 hours ago, M3talpig said:

Reading your thread (still reading) has been a relief as well as informative and a very useful point of reference, as for the tree it was the use of things like the fishing line and herbs that had me smacking my forehead in amazement that something so clever had escaped me. I can't convey enough the feeling of relief i had as i read how you overcame certain problems.

Hi Steve,

I came up with the idea after looking at some 'model railway' trees a few of which appeared to be made from 'bottle-cleaning brushes', They were all conifer trees, and I thought ah ha! what if they made the fibres crinkly? I have loads of fishing line as I used to be a keen match angler, so I experimented with that. Since making that tree I've had further thoughts, the main one being not to make them so dense! So that tree has undergone one 'pruning' and will ger pruned some more in future. The other idea is to use paper punched leaves rather than herbs. I've not tried it yet, but I'm wondering if its possible to apply paper leaves using a static grass applicator.... hook the tree up to the earth wire, wet it and then sprinkle over it? Possibly the leaves will 'stand' upright' and if they are symmetrical-ish they may all line up nicely the magnetic field, thus saving a lot of time trying to stick them in place manually. That would be a REAL invention!

 

It truly is a pleasure to read that my thread has proven very useful to you. I've had the odd person say 'good idea' and 'I will give that a go' but I never get any feedback if they do! 

 

I have to say your 'barn doors' are superb, especially with those rivets/studs. I confess that I used the same method for making doorknobs. but I haven't gone down to the smaller itemts  I'm thinking I should give it a go at least! So, now you've inspired me!

And on the subject of your doors, I did make some 'rotten' barn doors, but those will be in the Pit Stop WIP.  iI;m guessing your doors will be less aged though.

 

 

I am eager to see your next steps.

KEEP SAFE.

Rearguards,

Badder

 

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1 hour ago, Badder said:

Hi Steve,

I came up with the idea after looking at some 'model railway' trees a few of which appeared to be made from 'bottle-cleaning brushes', They were all conifer trees, and I thought ah ha! what if they made the fibres crinkly? I have loads of fishing line as I used to be a keen match angler, so I experimented with that. Since making that tree I've had further thoughts, the main one being not to make them so dense! So that tree has undergone one 'pruning' and will ger pruned some more in future. The other idea is to use paper punched leaves rather than herbs. I've not tried it yet, but I'm wondering if its possible to apply paper leaves using a static grass applicator.... hook the tree up to the earth wire, wet it and then sprinkle over it? Possibly the leaves will 'stand' upright' and if they are symmetrical-ish they may all line up nicely the magnetic field, thus saving a lot of time trying to stick them in place manually. That would be a REAL invention!

 

It truly is a pleasure to read that my thread has proven very useful to you. I've had the odd person say 'good idea' and 'I will give that a go' but I never get any feedback if they do! 

 

I have to say your 'barn doors' are superb, especially with those rivets/studs. I confess that I used the same method for making doorknobs. but I haven't gone down to the smaller itemts  I'm thinking I should give it a go at least! So, now you've inspired me!

And on the subject of your doors, I did make some 'rotten' barn doors, but those will be in the Pit Stop WIP.  iI;m guessing your doors will be less aged though.

 

 

I am eager to see your next steps.

KEEP SAFE.

Rearguards,

Badder

 

Hey Badder

Working on the tree now......just finished painting the trunk and dry brushing to get the detail to stand up..next thing will be an oil wash to take the tone down a touch.

Next i'm going to use a 3M scotch bright pad and tease it out and start to lay that over the branches...basicly to give some body before i break out the dry herbs.

 

Lets face it even if i make a complete mess of it at least it will smell nice:D

 

Did consider getting one of those leaf punches but never having seen one in person i didn't want to spend cash on one only to find the scale was completely wrong.

At the end of the day the impression that it's a lush green tree will be good enough the leaves don't have to be a particular shape that's why i loved your solution of the dry herbs

 

Finished the half gate door really happy with it even the wood grain looks good...also started the figures for the Sherman, coming along well.

Used AK true metal on the hinges, latch and door handles just waiting for it to set before buffing with a soft brush 

So all in all a productive day at the bench 

 

 

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Gonna catch some zzzzzzz's now and then an early start ...want that tree done by tomorrow night if possible

Nice to speak to ya bud stay well.

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Superb work, sleepy head Steve!

 

With that 'improved' wall and brick debris, and those gates, it's really turning into a nice and busy scene. The tree will create height (der... obviously) and will change the entire character of the dio/vignette beautifully. 

Are you thinking of adding some scattered newspapers, sticking some posters, or maybe a notice board on the wall? I always think such things make a big difference. I'm imagining a poster with a lot of yellow and a bit of black on it, stuck to the wall behind the open gate...

 

 

Rearguards

Badder

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Well the tree was almost launched into orbit....... it didn't go well and i eventually ran out of herbs, i had to come up with another way to do the foliage, my biggest problem is that i am returning to the hobby and my list of glues and materials is limited so i just didn't have what i needed to make a clean job of it.

First try i used the herbs straight from the jar and it looked ok but not uniform enough (i know i know a strange thing to say for a tree) it was far to random and the herbs had clumps of large leaves in some areas and in others it was almost powder...

so stripped it all of had just enough for one more try.

This time i got the leaf size fairly uniform but i screwed up the underlying scotch bright pad placement and again it looked awkward and unnatural

 

Third time i had to settle for just the teased scotchbright pad as i had now run out of herbs and the local shop has been stripped of everything except it's shelves.

so what you see below is what i'm left with for now....not happy but not unhappy

Figures are in the painting process now and should be done soon (bit rusty hands a bit shaky)

 

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Thanks for looking and stay safe everybody

 

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Hi Steve,

 

The tree is looking good, despite the trials and tribulations. Shame about the rarity of herbs, I would have suggested to give the stretched-out pad a blast with hairspray first, then seive your herbs free of dust before sprinkling them over, THEN give everything a spray with dilute PVA. The good news s that's something that can be done at a later date.

 

Looking forward to seeing you figures!

 

Rearguards,

AND TC

Badder

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8 hours ago, Badder said:

Hi Steve,

 

The tree is looking good, despite the trials and tribulations. Shame about the rarity of herbs, I would have suggested to give the stretched-out pad a blast with hairspray first, then seive your herbs free of dust before sprinkling them over, THEN give everything a spray with dilute PVA. The good news s that's something that can be done at a later date.

 

Looking forward to seeing you figures!

 

Rearguards,

AND TC

Badder

Hi Badder 

The second time around i put them through the sieve but i botched the scotch bright. Trees are hard i've never had an easy time with them and for the most part years ago i would just avoid them or cheat and buy them.

 

That's why i'm gonna have a practice and build a few more once i get a few more ingredients.

Figures are coming along just waiting for some cadmium red oil paint to arrive to finish the flesh tones as i had run out.

Will post an update then

 

Stay healthy everybody and keep safe

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Small detail update, Added longer grass to various areas of the scene just for a little depth.

Made from parcel string cut at four or five different lengths and glued with PVA.

 

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Incredible details and looking fantastic! 

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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6 minutes ago, fatfingers said:

Incredible details and looking fantastic! 

 

Regards,

 

Steve

Thank you bud.

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Ah ha! There IS an update! Cool.

 

Hi Steve,

It's all the little details that add up to make a good diorama a brilliant one.

 

Your parcel string is probably made from cotton fibres, although other natural fibres are used. Whatever, all stringy stuff is good for grass,. I've used horse hair in the past. It helps if you have a horse, or pony, but often you can get it from barbed wire fences where they are kept. I do like the wiry grass around the foot of the tree and also the grass which looks like it's been partly squashed up against the wall by the gate when fully open. I'm not so sure about the grass in the corner though. It looks a bit too much like sheaves of hay that have been propped up there. I don't know if you're intending to add shorter grass around it, which would help, but if that was my dio I'd  trim some of that grass right back and down to the ground.

 

Back to the positives, the brick rubble and dust is looking particularly good in that area, very realistic indeed and there's nothing anyone could do to improve it.

You're going to use oils for your figures, so that'll be interesting to see. I tried using them just the once and  completely failed, but only on the grounds of me being too impatient to let it 'set'

 

TC

Badder

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Small update ....Driver and radio operator done, Commander almost finished will update once he is mounted. Faces done with Windsor and Newton oils and uniforms were done with acrylics and the heads are from Alpine miniatures. 

 

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Edited by M3talpig

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Hi Steve,

 

I was hoping that your face-painting would be sub-standard, or 'average' at best, just to give me some hope of matching you when I get around to doing mine.

I am greatly disappointed then, to see that yours are brilliant. I can console myself by remembering that it's always easier to do a good 'face job' when the underlying plastic is modelled and cast beautifully in the first place. But only a bit.

 

You're up amongst the best.

 

Rearguards,

 

Badder

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