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Char 2C Finished (probably)

Well like a lot of other stuff the Meng Models Char 2C has been awaiting completion for a very long time. The last time I mentioned its progress on this site appears to have been March 2019, well a lot’s been going on. There didn’t look like much left to do but of course I was wrong.

So it’s getting there the decals are on now and it’s had a bit of weathering with some Paynes Grey and Burnt Umber oil paints. The tracks have also been weathered with a the same oil wash, dry brushed with some citadel Leadbelcher and I’ve gone round the edges with an HB pencil. After all that the tracks had a very dilute wash of Revell Lederbrown acrylic heavily diluted with water so it dries a kind of reddish / rusry colour. So far so good.

What could possibly go wrong you ask ? Plenty is the answer. I wanted it finished for the armour competition at Chelmsford in June so was in a hurry to finish it. The big problem is that while I’d clear coated the main body of the tank with some Johnsons Klear I must have forgotten to protect the two turrets. So the first problem was that I stripped the paint.

Ok not quite the disaster it ended up being. So I masked the large turret to try and subtly respray and still not having learned the lesson of protecting the finish duly ripped the large Normandy shield decal to bits 😦 was I gutted or what ? So back to basics. Scratch off decal. Repaint black, respray green, both turrets.

Found out that it would only be $2 for new decals from Meng 🙂 BUT it was also $14 postage 😦 so I decided to print my own using an image downloaded from the wikipedia page about Normandy. I had to paint a white background as I only hade clear decal paper and I didn’t place the decal on quite square with the background but it was finally done.

Finally it did the rounds at Chelmsford coming third, Colchester coming second and at the MAFVA nationals coming nowhere, well I didn’t actually put it in for anything anyway.

More disasters next week as I balls something else up. Until then happy modelling.

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Finally Finished Something

You know how it is ? You need something quickly just to put on the table and I needed a plane. All the stuff I have in the stash looked like it would take a while to build so I wanted something quick and simple. After a quick trip to “John Dutfield’s” my local model shop I picked up for less than £10 an Airfix 1/72nd scale Martlet Ml IV (rebadged Grumman Hellcat). Well it looked like there weren’t too many parts and it seemed like it would be an easy build as it’s a modern Airfix kit and they’re usually pretty tidy.

This is what’s in the box.

So I made a start. I made the pilot, painted him and lost him ! I think he ended up in the bin stuck to a piece of masking tape. I had to rob a figure from a Revell Walrus. Not sure if this is the original or the replacement.

I used Tamiya XF-26 Deep Green for the cockpit interior as Grumman had their own colour which was a lot darker than the usual cockpit green. Of course once I’d glued the fuselage halves together I pushed in both windows on the bottom of the plane 😦 I mean who has windows on the bottom of their plane anyway ? After a lot of messing around and being unable to get them out I ended up using clear plastic from Tunnocks Mallows and Micro Crystal Klear to fill in the holes.

The other colours I used were Tamiya XF-21 Sky for the underside. Tamiya XF-25 Dark Grey and XF-65 Field Grey for the topside.

I was given a box of chocolates for Christmas and decided to use it as a base to make it into a caricatured flight deck supposed to represent HMS Formidable in 1942. I made a flight deck from plasticard and put plasticard round the sides too to make it smooth. An undercoat of Vallejo grey acrylic primer was added. I researched the colours , well looked at Malcolm Wrights book “British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII Volume 2” and this showed the flight deck colour and the colour of the stripe at that time, dark green and yellow respectively. I used Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green and XF-3 Yellow for this.

The whole aircraft was given washes and filters using Burnt Umber and Paynes Grey oil paint diluted in B&Q white spirit.

The whole thing looked a bit bare so I added some figures. I did try and find some Fleet Air Arm crew online but there wasn’t a lot doing and anything I did find seemed expensive. After rummaging around in my box of little figures I dug out some thirty year old crew from the Matchbox Flower Class Corvette. Yes these are from the original release. I didn’t think they would be much use but after filling in the holes where they hadn’t been enough plastic they turned out better than I’d expected.

The figures were undercoated the same as the base and then painted with FS 25042 MIG227 Sea Blue. The duffle coats are Revell 88 Ochre and the hat is also Revell white with the duffle coat toggles Revell Beige. All flesh was Lifecolor Flesh 1″ Base UA709. The figures were highlighted with three different Citadel shaded of blue and given a Citadel flesh wash too. The red strut is MIG 121 Blood Red.

I had no idea what colour to paint the Royal Navy personnel so ended up buying a very niche ( nerdy ? ) book “Royal Navy uniforms 1930-1945” by Martin J Brayley. I can thoroughly recommend this book if you’re into that kind of thing, Royal Navy uniforms that is.

I was trying to show the Martlet about to have its second wing unfolded. I’d watched a video of it being done on youtube and thought it look interesting. The man standing near the front has a bar in his hand that he would have used to disengage the wing and the man at the back with the red bar is going to stow this strut that holds the wing steady when folded.

So here are too many photos of my wee plane.

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Some floaty things

Recently I’ve acquired a few ship related kits, all following a bit of a theme. First I got Takom’s 1/72 scale kit of Bruno turret from the Bismarck. It is ridiculous and large but looks like a nice kit with not too many parts and a bit of photo etch.

I then picked up Revell’s 1/350 kit of the full ship, and since I got it for not much more than £25 I felt I could splash out on some photo etch sets for it. I regret it a bit after seeing what’s involved with them, but it will be a long term build! Looking at the single piece deck, this is also going to be very large when out together.

Finally yesterday the third kit arrived, Trumpeter’s 1/700 scale HMS Hood. I had read up on this and it looked to be the best Hood in smaller scale and it certainly looks that way. I like the option it gives of waterline or full hull, although I’ll probably go with the full one. I may pick up some photo etch railings for this one but might leave it as well, since it is only small scale after all.

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Quite a Challenge(r)

Been a while since I posted here too so here’s something I’ve been working on. This is the Ryefield Challenger 2 TES, there are a lot of bits in the box and it’s fairly complex. That being said everything goes together nicely and there’s no really stupidly tiny photo etch so it’s been quite enjoyable to build, if long.

I’ve just about got it to the stage where I’ll need to paint it before I add any more bits on, but I’ve got a lot of parts dry fitted just now just to get an idea of what it will look like when it’s done – it’s a large beast!

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It’s Been Three Months

It’s been three months since I last posted a build update. What on earth have I been doing ? Well the Hobby Boss Vickers Mk1 I’ve been working on has taken forever to finish. I broke the headlights three times and the track countless times. Hobby Boss make 3 or four version of the Mk2 but only one of the MK1. The MK1 first appeared in 1924 and I wanted to build it in as early a version as possible so that meant leaving off the headlight guards, using the earlier headlight brackets and leaving the wheels without the outer strengthening plates.

I tried using the track that came in the box but decided that its would be so much work to try and get to fit together that I used some left over track from my Vickers Independent build a few years ago. For some reason although this Bronco track had been great on the last two projects I had a real hard time with it this time and it kept breaking. This was partly because I had NO spare links and had to use some links that I’d knackered so were a bit weak.

Apart from that it’s a nice detailed kit if somewhat fragile generally speaking. I also broke one of the side bars that holds the idler wheels just by picking it up. There were also a few pieces that held the side bar up that weren’t completely moulded so I had to extend them with some plastic rod.

I used a replacement metal barrel, too short 😦 and replacement metal machine guns which were a great improvement but I don’t think I’d buy either if doing it again.

The green colour is supposed to be Deep Bronze Green No 24 and I mixed it from Tamiya paints using some info on the MAFVA website which suggests a 8 parts XF5 and 5 parts XF63 to which I added about 20% X22 clear to make it a bit glossy and to make it a bit smoother. I may have put on a coat of Johnsons Klear before doing the decals but I’m not 100% certain. I can’t remember what I painted the tracks.

The tank was weathered using oil paints paynes grey, burnt sienna and burnt umber. I eventually gave up weathering it any more as every time I picked it up to do some work something broke hence no highlighting. As my friend Phil said it looks a bit “museum standard” but he meant too clean not that it was that good and he’s right.

So it is what it is but I think it is at least an interesting looking tank. Not sure how to transport it though !

Not sure if I’ll make the MK2 though it would be nice to see the differences. If I do I think I’ll use tracks from a Tamiya Matilda !

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Some British Armour

I’ve been merrily chipping away at a few kits recently, one of which is an old Dragon Sherman Firefly. From what I’ve heard it has a few inaccuracies, but it’s nice enough to build and looks like a Firefly. The only tedious bit is the tracks, which look good but took a fair while. I used the duck bill extenders just to make it look a bit more interesting. The colour scheme is also fictitious, apparently these Polish Shermans wouldn’t have had the black camo or the gun camo, but I liked the way it looked so stuck with it.

I also made a start on the new Airfix 1/35 Cromwell. I really enjoyed building this kit and it has some really nice details like the small photo etch sprue. It also goes together very easily and I had it mostly built within a couple of days.

The colour scheme I’m building for this kit has some winter white wash on the turret sides and I noticed that Mini Art have just released a set of British tank crew in Winter uniforms, so picked the set up to populate the tank. They are nicely moulded figures, however I need a lot more practice painting them! I’ve made a start on one of the faces but not totally happy with it, I’ll revisit it again at some point.

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Another one down

Well I’ve been doing bits and bobs here and there, but I finally got another one done. This is one Rachael got me for Christmas, so to have built it within 4 months is a record for me in recent times!

I’m really happy with how this one came out. I experimented with a few different things, including adding white mottling to the base coat along with the panel lines to give a variation of the flat single base colour. I also used a few different oils for the dirt streaks and exhausts, which I think have come out nicely.

The Airfix kit is also really nice to build, standard new Airfix which goes together well with lots of great detail, particularly inside and you can still see a fair bit with the considerable glass canopy. It’s finished in the colours of one of the Dolittle Raiders, because why not?

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Me Too

I mean I’ve received a couple of things in the last month but not much. Up first is the Airfix 1/72nd scale Bristol Beaufort that I must have ordered last July from Jadlam. I though that it would never turn up but finally !

Secondly a pack of four WW1 British soldiers to go with the many WW1 British tanks I have lurking around.

Lastly an ancient AMT Star Trek K’Tinga class Klingon cruiser. This is supposed to be the Kronos One from the 7th movie but is just the kit from the first movie in a different box ! Oh dear this might require a bit of work 😦

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New Acquisitions

I still haven’t got around to getting together progress shots for what I’ve been building, so thought I’d do a wee update of things I’ve bought over the last couple of months. I think it’s only these 3 kits, so I’ve been quite restrained for me!

The Tamiya 1/48 Lightning is one I fancied for a long time, and I got some Amazon vouchers for taking part in Covid research so put them to good use here. Bit of a plain box but apparently it’s a limited edition and it has loads of detail, plus includes nose weight and canopy masks which is nice.

The MiniArt Panzer IV is another I’ve been wanting for a while, and ordered one as soon as it became available. It looks excellent, but again like the Ryefield Sherman tank the amount of parts is a bit daunting. It even has all 76 odd individual 75mm shells!

Lastly the Airfix Cromwell is one I added the other day to an order just because it looked quite nice. It is totally on the other end of the spectrum from the Panzer, quite simple and not a massive parts count. Detail looks very nice though and it has both rubber or link and length tracks. Believe it or not, it even has a small set of photo etch included, which might be a first for Airfix.

Finally, I made one more slightly less sensible purchase… a 1:1 scale 88mm shell from a King Tiger/Jagdpanther. Utterly ridiculous, but impressive nonetheless. It comes in black plastic in about 4 parts, the round itself, the casing and a couple of parts that make up the base of the casing. It has stencils to paint the marking on which is a nice touch. I’ll get around to painting it eventually once I can do so outside, but it looks impressive even just in the black.

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Put to shame

Well John has managed to put me thoroughly to shame with all his updates. I have done quite a bit of work but it’s been sporadic and on lots of different kits. I’ve also already failed my “1 kit finished a month” challenge. I was hoping to make up for it with 2 completed in March, but that’s starting to look a bit tight now too.

I have at least finally finished one, or done at least as much as I can bring myself to. This is the Bren Gun 1/72 Messerspit, a captured Spitfire that was retrofitted with a Daimler Benz engine (from a Bf110 and not a Bf109, or so I’ve read). The kit wasn’t the best, and I made a few mistakes along the way. The canopy was awful and I ended up buying a vac form one, which was a bit big but at least you can see through it. I also lost a little bit of photo etch that goes along the top of the left side exhausts but oh well.

And a photo alongside an Airfix Spitfire Mk1, just for interest.

After making a bit of a mess trying to spray exhaust staining on other kits, I wanted to try something else. I initially did a tiny test with some oil paints, but immediately didn’t like the way it was going so I stopped with it. I then got out some Humbrol smoke weathering powder, which was a bit more successful. I think the result looks not bad but is subtle, maybe a little variation in colour would be nice but I’ll take it a step at a time.

Anyway hopefully I’ll update a bitore soon, I have plenty of things I could add updates for, I just need to get round to it!