Just a quick update. Some pictures of the diorama base (work in progress) and of the painted minis. I also modified and repainted the turret (no picture of that yet).
I am sorry for the yellowish tint of the photos: they were taken with a different light setup than the one I use normally.
Since I have taken these pictures, I worked a lot on the project and I will be able to post final photos very soon! Yeah!
Not quite a new project (and not a fully completed one too), but I wanted to share some photos of my 1/144th scale Ratte tank.
Of course, it is a “what if” tank, that was never built (the thing would have be totally impractical to construct and operate anyway) but it is an interesting model nonetheless.
I have completed assembly, without adding too much details. Funny enough, I had more fun painting the 2 small Maus tanks than painting the Ratte itself. I am not that pleased with the final look of the red primer turret with the Nazi emblem, so I think I will repaint it.
As you can see from some of the pictures, I started to plan a base for a “diorama”. I also purchased tiny 1/144 German soldiers to put on the deck of this behemoth and on the ground, near the Maus.
Enjoy the pictures!
These terrain pieces were on my mind for years.
For a long time, I collected a variety of plastic plants, turfs, flocking, etc.
Then I recently started to make the bases, and after I received my plastic palm trees ordered on eBay, I started building.
The ruins were made in part with sections of an broken toy found in a garage sale: the Indiana Jones Temple of Akator playset (see picture):
The ruins were modified and completed with sculpted styrofoam. Everything was glued with hot glue and white pva glue. The dead leaves terrain cover was made with a mix of dried herbs (mostly oregano), saw dust and hemp rope fibers.
The large trees were made from scratch: Apoxy sculpt on a copper wire armature. Next, I glued coconut fibers on the large branches to simulate smaller branches and to provide more area for the clump foliage to adhere.
Every trees was then sealed with a homemade fixative: 1 part matt mod podge, 1 part distilled water, 1 part liquitex matt medium + a few drops of dishwasher jet dry.
Overall, I had a blast creating these cool terrain pieces. Hope you enjoy the pictures!
I’ve put my Bt-7 / Panzer III project on hold. I’ll come back to it soon, it’s just that I finally got my hand on a model I wanted to get for a long time: A 1/35 Maus Tank (CyberHobby #9133 kit).
I was so excited to start this build that I completed 99% of the assembly in a week.
I added some minor details (I just can’t help it). It is almost ready for primer and painting now.
The suspension and wheels are a bit of a pain to clean up and put together, and the operation is quite frustrating when you realize that a very small portion of the whole thing will be visible because of the side panels of the hull.
Overall, I have no doubts it will be a very cool model to look at in the end.
Enjoy the pictures!
Tracks are fine. I am considering building only half of them, since the upper part of the tracks will be completely hidden.
Cast texture added on the gun mantlet.
The main deflector was cut in 3 parts (so the panels underneath could be logically accessible). I added weld marks too.
Smal tube added to connect to a fuel line later.
Small handle added to the main access hatch.
Some plastic cement to add texture on the exhausts.
Mosquito mesh was glued under the hull to add detail and realism to the ventilation grates.
12 sub-modules like these make the Maus suspension… mostly hidden in the final constructed model.
Just a quick update on this project.
The sanding/cleaning is done. Small modifications have been made (the muffler was replaced and the stowage bin on the turret was removed).
I did the base coat, color modulation and I applied the decals. The model is now varnished, ready for weathering and white washing (winter camouflage).
I sculpted a new barrel to replace the missing one. It is not 100% accurate, but with the snow and debris I am planning to put on the tank in the upcomming diorama, I guess it won’t matter that much.
I am also currently painting many little accesories to add as stowage on the engine deck (jerrycans, crates, bags, etc.)
So far, so good.
Here are 2 pictures (before/after):
I had an idea for my future Soviet BT-7 diorama: I want it to feature an abandoned german tank (stuck in frozen mud and snow maybe).
I needed a small tank, so it doesn’t grab all the attention away from the soviet tank. A Panzer II would be just perfect.
Since It will most likely be beaten up, half buried in mud and snow, I was reluctant to purchase a brand new model kit for this project.
So, here’s my idea: I happen to have an old broken and badly painted Panzer II in my spare parts box. I will fix it, repaint it and weather it appropriately.
Recycling an old kit!
How old is it, you might ask? The kit was made by Tamiya in 1971. It’s a tank I’ve put together in the 80’s… Yeah, THAT old.
So here is the poor little guy: painted in a disgusting rose-beige color (what was I thinking?), with dark grey “camouflage” and a lot of pure silver paint for chipping.
It was also covered in dust and sand (an early attempt at weathering).
Oh! And the main gun is missing…
I started by cleaning it in soapy water (using a toothbrush). I used some plastic pieces to fill the holes and the underside of the fenders. I drilled the hole in the machine-gun and used a bit of filler and sanding here and there.
It is far from being in an acceptable state, but I find it strangely satisfiying to fix this old piece of plastic.
Anything I do to it will improve it: It sure can’t get in a worst state 🙂
More work on the color modulation for the winter white wash (with oil paints). The effects are subtle, but I think there is more richenesss to the tints.
There is also some lovely dripping, streaking, chipping and accumulations that help selling the idea of a badly weathered winter camo.
I’ll be ready to add mud and dirt!
My favorite part (it’s oddly satisfying to mess-up a good paint job!).
Ain’t life great? 🙂
Yep! It’s improving!
I added some chipping and a dark brown wash. I used white oil paint to correct and improve the contrast of some areas in the winter wash. I also used very light touches of burnt sienna oil paint to simulate rust. Artist’s oil paints are marvelous to work with, but take a long time to dry. I’ll have to leave this model alone for a few days to let the paint dry (it is applied VERY thin, mind you, otherwise it could take weeks or even months to dry).
When the paint will be dry enough, I’ll give the model a clear coat (Tamiya Flat Clear) and I’ll be ready for the next steps (including pigments and mud effects).
So far so good!
PS: The pictures in this post are a bit yellowish because I swapped a del light bulb in my lighting setup for an incandescent light, without adjusting my camera. Doh! Anyway, I think they’re good enough for now…
Just a quick update on my BT-7.
I applied the winter wash and did the chipping effects with hairspray. I am not 100% satisfied with the look of it, but some color modulation with oil paints and some weathering will probably do the trick.
More to come real soon.
A very recent build of mine for the beginning of the year: A 1935 BT-7 Soviet Light Tank from Zvezda.
The tank was easy to put together. I just had a hard time with the engine grill. They are made out of the nylon (I presume) mesh provided with the kit. This mesh is very springy and quite tough, so it was hard to cut it to the right dimensions and bend it to shape. The end result is ok, but I gave up trying to make it perfect…
Another problem with this kit was the tracks. I had to remove half a link to adjust it to the wheels, so I had to cheat a bit to hide the fact that the succession of guiding teeth is not even. It’s a minor detail and probably hardly noticeable but… A bit frustrating anyway.
I added a few details like some missing rivets, clear glass lenses for the headlights (not visible on the photos yet), raised details on the eternal fuel tanks, etc.
For the painting and weathering, I decided to go for a winter camouflage (Defense of Leningrad, 51 Battalion winter 1942/43). I found very little references for this type of winter camo on soviet tanks, but from the sources I had, it looks like it was a field applied white wash. I could be wrong, but I think it will look cool.
For now, the little devil is painted with Tamiya XF-67 Nato green, with subtle highlights of a 50/50 mix of Nato green and XF-4 Yellow Green. A filter of oil paint (Windsor & Newton Oxide of Chromium) was also applied on the whole model to make the green a little bluish.
Decals were applied, as well as one coat of varnish (Future floor finish). It is ready for white wash and weathering!