Friday, September 4, 2015

Of Washes and Varnishes

 Over the last couple of years I have become a fan of using washes to pop the detail in figures and models, and make my efforts at painting just look better.

Washed and unwashed.
 My wash of choice has been the various recent iterations of GW brown wash. However, for projects that require lots of wash, this can be rather expensive.

After and before......

I had heard that using the Army Painter dip system could be cheaper - however it is rather thin on the ground in the wilds of my current locale. I had heard that a similar effect could be achieved by using a much cheaper product, but my research initially led only to products that weren't available in NZ.

Spot the difference. Models are all 1/72 Bravo Team M-3A2 Bradleys.
But a chance conversation with an Australian came up with the fact that some modelers over there were using a product available there in local hardware stores as a substitute for the Army Painter dip.

The answer - available for around NZ$20 at Mitre 10.
This refocused my efforts on rather than looking for a particular product, I should hunt for a type of product - a polyurethane stain and varnish - and experiment with that. The methodology was brutally simple paint it on straight out the can (Note: It is a little like molasses, so do a test vehicle first)

The results (so far) on around a dozen tanks, three dozen APCs, and about half a dozen buildings, have been positive. On figures - less so. But I have another experiment planned for that.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Making M-113s Part One

I've been quite busy making a variety of bits of pieces of late, but have been rather slack in actually posting anything. A while back, I started work on some cardboard M-113s  (click here if you want to know more)

A mixture of Bravo Team ready mades (at rear), Esci (unpainted front left), and cardboard model M-113s

The Esci kit was missing a few key pieces that I replaced using the usual methods of bodging out of plastic card, or finding something about right in the bits box.

One of those road wheels is not like the others.....
A wheel and tire from a jeep or light truck is given a outer ring of plastic card in order to make a new road wheel.

The green hatch is a spare from the Airfix M-113 Fire Support Vehicle kit.
I still have three more of the Esci kits to build, and I plan to build them as the straight APC version without any additional stowage. With the cardboard models, I have tried to add clutter and stowage to the vehicles in order to try and disguise any shortcomings in the models, and to see if I could pass them off as vehicles used by support elements, rather than teeth elements, while still maintaining flexibility to use them as such as needed.

Esci vs. Cardboard.

I don't think I have really succeeded in doing this - at best I have made three M-113s that have a certain air of clutter to them. I suspect I need to put more stowage on them, and/or items of auxiliary equipment that will earmark the vehicle into a support role.

Needs more stowage.....
And the tracks aren't quite right....
I could have put more effort into the rear doors, but I figured this was good enough...

On the cardboard front I have benefited from the generosity of Paul from Plastic Warriors sending me three rather nice scratch-built APCs (click here for details)

Esci vs Cardboard part II.
Now for my purposes, these M-113s from Paul being a little large is not a problem, as an imagination background allows for the creation of plausible back stories that can explain away a number of sins.

The fact that there existed earlier APCs, such as the M-75 and the M-44 (click here for details). that were somewhat larger than the M-113, makes it easier to declare these to be a hitherto unknown vehicle of a similar ilk.

Spot the Esci!
That, or field them in force with no other M-113s!