Monday, 20 August 2018

Leopard In Camo & Bulldog Base

Yesterday afternoon was spent spraying the camo on the leopard. I used tamiya NATO black & NATO brown for this. Pleased with how it came out so there will be no paint fading with the airbrush on this one. Rather I'll rely on oils and weathering to add some fading to it.




The bulldog base building has also had some more paint and is coming along nicely.



Sunday, 19 August 2018

The Paint Factory aka My Bench!

Yesterday was a very productive day as I was able to get the base colours on the leopard and AIFV as well as return to the bulldog build. The leopard was the first to get some paint and a good solid coat of tamiya NATO green, XF-67 went on nicely. I'll be adding some paint fading to this next before the black and brown are sprayed on.



The AIFV was next and here I used mr hobby olive drab 2, H78 as the base colour before starting some fading using tamiya flat flesh, XF-15 added to this in small amounts. More fading will be added in due course. 



And finally after the airbrush went away I started blocking in the main colours on the building for the bulldog base. The roller shutter was sprayed a metallic colour and the rest painted with vallejo colours.



Saturday, 18 August 2018

Belgian AIFV In Primer

After a wash and a very quick drying session thanks to the tropical temperature in my conservatory I sprayed the model in primer last night and here's the result. As ever I used badger stynylrez which gives excellent coverage every time. So onto the main colour now! 






Friday, 17 August 2018

VMS Black Track Pro Vs Friulmodel M113 Tracks

With VMS bringing out a new track blackening solution and the need to blacken the tracks for the AIFV it seemed a perfect time today to do a little review for you. The stuff is called black track pro and comes in two bottles, an activating bath and blackening bath. Both bottles have good instructions on them but it's best to watch VMS own video which is excellent and very informative. In fact the video also covers construction of white metal tracks as well as final weathering too.

As with any blackening solution preparation is key so after washing the tracks in soapy water and drying them I followed the video and brushed the tracks thoroughly with styrene glue, any will do be it tamiya extra thin or VMS own glue. The key here is to be thorough. You can then dry the tracks with a hair dryer to make sure all the glue has evaporated. Also minimal handling of the tracks with bare hands is a must.

So in a suitable container I poured all of the activating bath in followed by the tracks. I then agitated the tracks with a brush to remove any air bubbles and turned the tracks after 10 minutes. A total of 20 minutes fully submerged is needed here. An important feature of this system I think is that the activating bath is reusable, you just pour it back into the bottle after use. A very cost effective touch which I like. After 20 minutes the tracks are rinsed under a running tap and dried with a hair dryer.

Sat in the activator the tracks don't look to be doing much at all but in fact they do change colour very slightly and obviously are primed as it were for the blackening bath during the next stage. 




The Blackening bath is actually a concentrate so you will need a suitable beaker or similar to measure out 50 ml of the solution. Then boil the kettle and add 200 ml of hot water to it. Pour into a container and add the tracks. You will see almost immediately that the solution reacts with the tracks and it all starts fizzing. Again using a brush agitate the tracks as you will see a white deposit form on the tracks. The tracks only need to be in the solution for 5 to 6 minutes. Again you remove the tracks and rinse under a tap. 

With this being a concentrate it's very cost effective and you can make 1000 ml of this which works out at four pairs of tracks. Pretty good when you consider most if not all other blackening solutions are one use only. 


Once rinsed you will see a brown deposit on the tracks, this is normal and is easy to remove with an old toothbrush. I found dipping the brush in water occasionally helped to remove the deposit much easier. 


With the deposits all brushed off and after a blast with a hair dryer you are left with a really nice and even blackened effect on the tracks. 



I'm very impressed with the final result, a very even and pleasing colour of the tracks is very easy to achieve and looks super realistic. Also the solutions do not stink to high heaven when you use them. For me also the fact that you can re use the activating bath & that the blackening bath is concentrated makes for a very cost effective way of sorting your metal tracks out, without having to buy a new bottle every time you have tracks to blacken. 

Highly recommended, again another innovative and useful product from VMS. You can see the video on the VMS website or here, 

AIFV Camo Netting Part 2

That's the other side now netted up nicely. Much quicker now I know how to do it! With a small pack also made up from magic sculpt the model is now off for a wash before primer and possibly main colour this weekend.



Thursday, 16 August 2018

AIFV Camo Netting

Since buying the kit and doing some research I've wanted from the start to add some camo netting along the sides. This is something often seen in pictures of the real thing. So after some serious thought as to how I was going to accomplish this I've had a stab at it. 

I started by cutting some gauze netting and fixing to the sides using white glue. As it started setting I moved the netting into position and left to cure. Next I started adding some tetra netting using white glue but found the netting wanted to go back to its default state. A change to CA was called for and I found that attaching the netting to the top of the hull with CA enabled me to stretch and shape it much easier. Many small drops of glue fixed it into place.

I've tried to get a rumpled and lumpy look to it which I think looks pretty good. I may also add some hessian strips once both sides are complete. Hopefully it will look fine once painted, I've never truly mastered camo netting on my models so I'm cuffed with this effort.






Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Belgian AIFV & Leopard In Primer

I've now finished up the commanders & milan stations on the model plus a few more tweaks. The commanders hatch was pretty easy to put together with only a bit of plastic card, bolts and the smallest chain I could find needed to detail it. A suitable .50 cal will be added later when I buy one! 

For the milan  I used the kit supplied item in the end as it more closely matched my references. Also as I wanted to depict one used in training I fashioned a drill round using some aluminium tube. This will eventually be painted a nice bright blue. Now all that's left to do is add the netting and scrim along the sides of the model.









I've also managed to get the leopard in primer and will hopefully get some colour on this weekend.


Monday, 13 August 2018

AIFV More Details

I've now finished adding missing details to the hull and have started to add the resin parts. The mortar tubes which are resin were very poorly detailed and had loads of flaws so I opted to cover them with a canvas. This was very evident looking at my refs so that helped hide them. The eduard rear jerry can racks went together no problem and a couple of cans from the spares box fitted them out nicely.

I now need to work on the commander's cupola and the milan as well as add the netting and scrim to the hull sides. I've still drawn a blank regarding figures so may have to buy some suitable ones to convert soon.