Friday, 13 September 2019

Call Sign Cobra

After a few attempts I'm reasonably happy with the cobra heads that I've painted on the turret. The commanders side one was the most tricky for some reason and they are not exactly the same. They are close enough to the real thing however and from a distance look OK. 

They certainly add even more colour and interest to the model. Now I only have the call sign boards on the stowage bin to sort out.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Colourful Leopard

I've now done most of the detail painting followed by a gloss using Klear. Once dry, which didn't take long I went ahead and added the decals. These came from the excellent Daco productions Belgian vehicle set and even had the correct unit shield for the turret. The front number plate decal was mounted on a thin strip of plastic card then once all done it was fixed to the mud guard as per my references. 

My next task is to paint the "cobra" call sign marking on the turret by hand. I've already had a practice and think I can paint it without too much trouble, fingers crossed!

Belgian Leopard Paintwork

I'm now full steam ahead with the paintwork after fitting the new tow ropes yesterday. Once I'd sprayed the hull with my saved mix of khaki drab I then went over this and the turret again with progressively lighter mixes using flat flesh. I'm very happy with the fading that although quite stark at the moment will tone down later on. 

I am however struggling to find a suitable figure for the commander, a recurring theme with all my Belgian builds. As you may remember I usually use US figures and adapt but I don't have much of a choice in the stash. I'll hopefully come up with something before the end of the build.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Takom FV432 A Packed Lunch & Job Done!

Another busy day at the bench yesterday working on the 432. I started by making up a packed lunch or in army slang a "horror bag" and a thermos flask to display next to the figure. It helps to tell a story and add something different to the scene. 
I made up the white bag using thin lead foil then plastic was used for the flask, sarnies & chocolate bar. The crisp packet was nothing more than folded up tamiya tape cut to size. Once all painted and the sandwiches wrapped in a tiny piece of cling film I then moved onto the final weathering stages.

For this I used a tiny amount of VMS pigments around the model followed by some fuel and oil stains. Once happy with the appearance the model was fixed to the base and the turret, antennas, figure and his lunch went on and that's job done! It's been a longer project than I anticipated but very enjoyable.
The Takom 432 is a breeze to build and great fun to paint and weather. I doubt this will be my last 432 as there are so many interesting paint schemes and themes to have a go at.


Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Takom FV432 Mud, Dust & Tracks

Last night's entertainment consisted of a session of spraying using heavily thinned tamiya flat earth & buff around the lower hull, wheels & tracks which turned out to be the easy bit. This was followed by a bit of a fight to get the tracks in place. For some reason they just wanted to break at the most critical moment, usually when I was trying to get the top return rollers in place! CA came to the rescue to give any weak links some strength and after a few choice words I finally got the buggers in place!

I will finish off with the bare minimum of pigments on the lower & upper hull areas as I'm not looking for a really dirty vehicle. This will be followed by some fuel and oil staining before fixing on to the base.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Belgian Leopard More Paintwork

Today I've started to add some paint fading to the leopard. I decided to try tamiya XF-15 flat flesh for this as I thought adding more yellow would change the basic khaki colour too much and white would have made it too chalky in tone. As luck would have it the flesh worked really well adding some nice subtle highlighted areas without altering the basic colour too much. I will be adding a couple of lighter shades later on as well.

The gun barrel has also as you can see had yellow bands sprayed on before the main colour went on. With the masking tape now off it adds another nice splash of colour to the model. 

I've also gone ahead and primed the hull. The tow ropes should be here by Thursday and the primer needs to cure for a couple of days so I can just blow them in once fitted. I always like to get them on before priming & main colour if possible. I've sprayed the exhaust grills & engine grill with black primer as too.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Belgian Leopard Paint, Tracks & 432 Basework

Busy at the bench over the last 24 hours with the leopard tracks blackened with VMS track blackener system. These where then lightly burnished and all the track pads painted. Tedious but worth it in the end. I've also got the main colour on the turret, wheels etc using tamiya XF-51 khaki drab. 
Brian used this colour on his M75 last year and it looks very similar to the real Gelboliv colour. I have added a few drops of flat yellow to this just to lighten it for scale effect. More yellow will be added as I continue which will help add some nice highlighted areas. I'm still waiting on the tow ropes and wish they would arrive so i can get the hull painted too.

The 432 base is also progressing well with some static grass applied and sprayed followed by a selection of washes and oils added to the concrete to weather it. A little bit more to do here and it will be finished.

Friday, 6 September 2019


Work has now restarted in earnest on the 432 project with the base ready for weathering and some grass after adding a couple of mud patches just to break up the vast expanse of concrete. I also had a little test of the figure in position and I'm happy with the pose and location. I'll also begin the final weathering of the model this weekend.

The leopard turret, wheels and other assorted parts have also been primed. I'm very happy how the turret came out after the sanding & adding mr surfacer. It looks much better and more like the real thing now. Still waiting on the tow ropes for the hull so will have to wait to prime that. Although I can get on with the tracks and use some VMS blackening solution on them.