Posts Tagged ‘Grass’ »
The 1/20 Scale Falke from Hasegawa is completed. Overall a very fun build without any major problems. Parts fit was great and painting/weathering went smoothly. The base was fun as well. So nice to work with Celluclay at this scale rather than the large base for Dagobah. I used plaster rock molds from Woodland Scenics, gravel, dirt, and celluclay. I filled the bottom of the base with rocks and plaster for weight, but it wasn’t needed as the Falke is very light. To make the Falke look like it was flying very close to the ground on a ‘nap of the earth’ flight I made a tree trunk from wire and celluclay. Two wires stick up from the trunk to hold the Falke up. Then rotts were added to simulate the tree being broken by the Falke as it flies over it. This gives the illusion of flight. Jute was used for the grass.
02.26.08 » Source, Concepts &
I’ve wanted to do a walker version of the KV-2
for some time now. When I bought my last KV-2,
I did so with the intention of making it into a walker, but
decided instead to built it as is and get some armor experience.
This time I have a group-build at the Mig Productions
forum to inspire me to give it another go. Thanks to Nick
Cortese, who sent me a spare turret, I can get started on
this. First up is my initial sketches and some sillouetted
concept art for the build.
As you can see, I did a bunch of little rough
sketches, but through them all something was missing. Finally
I figured out what it needed which was a larger tilted rear
powerplant and a smaller turret under the midsection that
supports the legs. Doing the sillouetts helped finalize the
overall feel and look.
Once I got the turret and finished my last project
I immediately got started on this. So far I have roughed up
the shapes for the powerplant and midsection. These will be
cleaned-up and detailed using scratchbuilt and various armor
kit leftover bits.
The powerplant so far is a large box made from
styrene sheet and square tubing for inner support. It’ll be
detailed more as the project progresses. To keep the powerplant
from being a big boring box, the underside will have some
exposed engine detail. Practical? No. Visually interesting?
The midsection is made from styrene tubing for
the 4 leg attachment sections and the bulk of the midsection
is a plastic wire-spool which had it’s middle shortened. This
happened to be just the right size and shape for my needs.
I layered the outside of it with bent sheet styrene. Here’s
02.27.08 » Powerplant Detailing
Since the last update I’ve worked on detailing
up the rear powerplant portion. I used sheet and strip styrene
and various armor detail extras from an Academy M-10 kit such
as hinges, latches, and bolts. Not to mention a nice big screen
piece from that same kit which I use for various detail bits.
I also made an external long-range fuel tank and the exhaust
stack similar to that on my Dune
Hopper. ( both to be duplicated by casting for the other
The midsection had its hollow center filled
with resin and I started capping off the hollow leg attachment
tubes with sheet styrene. Later those jutting pieces will
be cut and sanded down to the same curve as the cylinder.
Here in spot “A” I’m debating on adding
torch-cut lines like was done for my other KV-2. I like the
look but am deciding on whether to do it or to let the end-modeler
do it themselves. That space could also have weld-beads too/instead.
02.29.08 » She’s Got Leg…
Now for the fun part, the legs! Well, ‘leg’
actually since I only need to make one then have the other
3 replicated when this is casted. I thought for a bit on how
a leg like this would function and what would be simple and
“look” right for the 1940′s time period. Leave it
to road construction to provide the answer… BACKHOES!
The armature for the hoe would lend itself well for leg design
so that’s what this leg is based upon. This leg has four points
of articulation. The swivel joint at the connection to the
midsection, two points for leg extention, and one for the
Pistons will be added next and I plan to make
them “movable” so that the legs can be positioned
freely later. The tubes at the articulation points are temporary
and better designed joint caps are coming. I also am working
on two armor sections for the leg. One for the front of the
foot which contains “tread” to help in muddy areas
and the larger one to be attached to the front of the leg.
Below you can see the eventual piston placement to control
leg movement. And I’ll of course be adding more detail to
these legs to match the rest of the design.
03.01.08 » She’s Got Leg…
Today I did the leg armors and a few of the
pistons. The reason for the split leg armor is to give a little
extra protection to the ankle joint, but to also make another
“foot” for the leg. This second foot used tread
from the KV-2 to dig into the ground for extra support on
soft ground. The pokey foot would make for less contact with
the ground leving far less of a trail… and looks cooler
and more bug-like. The pistons are made from styrene tubing.
03.05.08 » That’s All… for now…
Here’s the last shots of the build. Now I just
need to find a caster to do the casting for this project.
I have a couple leads so hopefully I’ll find one soon. I have
12 interested modelers (including me) and am only going to
have 20 or so made in the initial run so let me know if you’re
First up are the main body parts. One of everything
will be caseted for the kit except for the fuel tank and smoke
stack of which there will be 2 of each. The blue you see is
magic marker that seaps through the primer.
And below are the leg parts. Each kit will need
4 of each part seen here.
Attachment sides of leg-armor plates.
Underside of hull.
Underside of hull with fuel box and stack attached.
Upper hull. You can see the 3 plugs on each
leg connection point for the piston hydraulic lines.
Side vuew with leg attached. Note white pin/plug/pegs
to hold pistons and joints in place. These were made from
styrene rod which I’ll include in the kit with these
instructions I created on how to make them.
Front view of assembled KV-X2. Note smooth flat
upper midsection to place any turret assembly on. Or use it
as a mount for weapons such as flak cannons.
Assembled mech with my old KV-2 turret temporarily
on top for show.
06.12.08 » First Parts Back From
Here’s some shots of the first KV-X2 conversion
set I got back from the caster. The parts are tinted gray
which is great on the eyes when doing clean-up. Joint-pins
were made with styrene rod heated into rivets. It builds pretty
quickly (I spend 3 hours today on what you see below) with
only a few minor clean-ups needed as is usual with resin kits.
So far I have about 40 requests for this kit.
I have a list of everyone that requested and in the order
in which they requested. I will contact those on the list
when the kits arrive from my caster. The first
run will be 25 kits then another run of 25 will be done. If
there’s still interest after that then I’ll consider a 3rd
Final price will be $60 USD. (send
no money until I contact you) Included in the kit will
- 58 kit parts in gray resin
- 1/8″ Styrene Rod (large joint-rivets)
- 1/16″ Styrene Rod (small joint-rivets)
- Thin Steel Wire (D-rings, ladder
- Coated Black Wire (hydraulic lines)
Turret parts not included.
06.30.08 » Painting Begins
While waiting for the casts to come back I’ve
started painting up my first copy. I’ll be going for a winter
white wash over a green basecoat for this. First up though
I’ll be doing more of the hairspray technique (as seen on
my zeon jeep tutorial)
to create the paint chips as well as the latter white wash
To begin I’ve primed all of my parts with Duplicolor
self-etching primer. Why that? Mostly I wanted to test it
on resing and it’s pretty decent. Afterwards I gave it a coat
of really dark gray-brown followed by a random coating of
a rusty color. This will give me an uneven color base for
chips and leave more rust-color variety in the end. After
the paint I gave it a coating of Gloss FFA.
Next up will be hairspray and the green paint
07.01.08 » Paint Chipping
Today I sprayed 1/2 the rusty parts with hair
spray then with JGSDF Olive Drab as a base-coat and a lightening
coat of JGSDF Dark Green over that. I cut a paper mask for
a star and sprayed that onto the sides of the turret starting
with a light gray then red over that. If I did straight red
it wouldn’t have showed up as well or as bright.
A little later I began wetting the parts and
chipping away the green paint with pieces of styrene strip,
brushes, and skewers. Tomorrow I’ll do the other 1/2 of the
parts. I took more paint off of the armor plate parts on the
center as I want them to look like they were painted poorly
as an afterthought and as such rusted out quicker. The later
whitewash will tie it all together better.
07.02.08 » First Discoloration
Today I did the oil-discoloration on the first
1/2 of green chipped parts as well as chipping on the 2nd
1/2. It remains to be seen whether I wasted my time with this
step, but it’s better to add it just in case than wish I added
it later. Before the discoloration I applied a satin coat
of FFA. Here’s some pics.
Pardon my “fuzz”. ^
07.03.08 » White Wash Part 1 and
Next up I applied some liquid mask over the
stars on the turret then gave the turret and chassis 2 thick
coats of hairspray which is twice as much as I usually do,
but I wanted easier chipping for this step. Afterwards I sprayed
on thin transparent streaks of very thin Tamiya flat white.
Following that I sprayed a little very thin Tamiya flat earth
color for general grime.
After letting that sit for an hour or so I began
using several soft and medium bristled brushes and water to
remove the white wash in heavily worn areas. After a sealing
satin clear-coat I’ll apply some white oils and washes to
create a splashed on and varied whitewashed surface. These
oils will also whiten the look in spots since right now it’s
not very “white”.
07.04.08 » White Wash Part 3 and
Lastly for the whitewash I blended in white
oil paint to lighten up the white in spots. A little thinner
on an old ratty brush was then used to streak it to simulate
paint brush strokes and rain-streaks. After that a satin coat
was applied the discoloration and a thin pin-wash was applied
to the KV parts.
07.07.08 » Legs, Figures and Base
Since the KV is almost done, just needs a flat-coat,
pigments, mud, and hydraulic lines, I started on my base and
figures. The figures are Trumpeters ‘WWII Soviet Tank Crew
Ammo Supplied Team’ for use with WWII Russian tanks like the
KV’s. It comes with 4 figures a rooster and a chicken. I’m
just using 2 of the figs and no poultry.
The base is a scrap of wood with green floral
foam glued onto it for the masic slope. Plaster rocks from
rock molds, celluclay, and rocks and grit were applied. A
good trick when working with celluclay on groundwork is to
“stipple” the surface with a round stiff bristled
brush to press the grit/rocks into the surface, flatten peaks,
and give the surface a rougher texture. I’ll be doing this
exact same base for any future mars bases. This one will have
ammo crates, barrels, mud, grass and maybe a light dusting
Oh, and this is the first I’m showing the legs
done too! They went together very easily and without any modifications
fit the sloped surface quite nicely.
07.13.08 » Tutorials, Legs, Mud,
This might be my last update for this project
before final photos. I hope you’ve enjoyed the build-up and
I can’t wait to soo what you guys do with the conversion kit
once it’s released!
First up is the base-work. While doing this
I created two tutorials in my blog. One on building
the groundwork and the other on creating
the grass. Pleae check them out for more info on these
steps. I still haven’t added the snow to the base as I want
to finish my figures first. The crates were made from very
thin birch plywood from the craft store.
Next up is the construction of the legs and
the addition of the hydraulic cables. Note the thin wire D-Rings
used to run the cables. The leg parts were painted individually
until it was time for the whitewash where they were then assembled
with their pins.
And finally, completed images of the KV without
the base! I aquired the Mig DVD on pigments which really helped
me to understand the use of them more. I actually waited till
it arrived to do the mud and pigment effects and I’m glad
that I did. It’s a great flick and I highly recommend it!
It helped me really up my game for the rusty panels, general
dust and the mud effects. The mud basics (also based on a
Mig tutorial from the FAQ book) are discussed on my Type-74
article. The only difference being the addition of Jute
fibers (same stuff from my grass
tutorial) mixed in for effect.
This tutorial is on how to create tall grass from 3 Ply Jute (aka Yute) from Darice Craft Designer (TM). I purchased this either at Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics. It’s been a while and frankly I can’t recall where it was. All I know is that it was cheap and I didn’t buy it for modeling purposes, but for a Halloween costume.
First you’ll want to cut some 3″ pieces of the Jute and soak them in a grass-green wash of cheap acrylics (Apple Barrel, Liquitex, Americana, etc…) thinned with water. Soak for a minute or 2 then dry on some paper towels which will draw away the excess. This will give you green fibers later on.
Now take a 3″ strand of the raw Jute and fray it out with a wire brush. Without removing the fibers from the brush split 1 of the 3-ply cords from the green Jute and fray that out. You’ll now have two potential bunches of grass. One neat bunch and one from the frayed brush-stuck material.
Take the brush mass and give it a few pulls to get it straightened out into more of a strand. Set aside. Take the green and natural “neat” strands and pull them together to make a second strand. See below:
Now fold each strand in half and using scissors, trim the bottom to be flat. You’ll have two clumps of grass now ready to be glued to the groundwork. The neat is good for the middle of a grassy area where the messy brush-gathered clumps work best as borders.
Hold a clump of grass in your hand and apply white glue to the flat trimmed underside. Press this onto the base and use some tweezers to pull the clump apart and slide it around a bit so that you don’t have a badhair plug-look, but a more natural random setting. Add the next clump as above and let dry.
Once dry you can tease the grass and blend it into the adjacent clumps. You can also use scisors to trim longer straglers too. Mash down a little grass where it meats trails or the edge to hide the glued-down “roots” and to create a nicer more natural edge.
Below is this grass applied to the base for my KV-X2. You can use different lengths of clumps to get a nice random and natural effect. Be sure to blend the clumps together to avoid the bad hairplug look.
^Above: Jute grass used in conjunction with Silflor grass and other natural materials to create a natural, random look. In that scene, far less natural colored Jute was used since it was for spring/summer.
^ Above: Jute grass as shown in this tutorial applied by itself for a grassy brush-strewn field in winter.
I had already started the groundwork for my KV-X2 when Maschinen Kreuger posted his great tutorial on making groundwork with textured gel medium and trees. I loved his tutorial and ended up integrating some of his techniques into this build. I made some changes such as starting with Celluclay (I bought a HUGE brick of it a while back and need to use it up eventually) which he really dislikes. Anyway, this tutorial is not to step on his toes, but to show his methods used a slightly different way for those of us using Celluclay.
Start by finding a good supporting base to work on such as a finished wooded plaque, scrap wood to be later finished with a basswood outer wall , or as in this example the bottom of an Italian Ice container. If you’ll be creating a sloped or tiered/stepped surface, create that first using foam, wood, balls of foil or whatever. The idea it to try and get as much of the basic shape down BEFORE applying the Celluclay since you’ll want to apply the Celluclay as thin as possible.
To mix your Celluclay for groundwork, start by throwing out the instructions. We’ll be mixing in a few things and using less water. First take a clump of dry Celluclay from the bag and place it into a container. Next drizzle some white glue on top of that like icing on a cinnamon roll. The glue will help it stick to the base better and help prevent warpage later. Next get a cup of water and mix in a little dish soap. Add just enough water to the mix to make it clay like. Less water will help it dry faster which in turn will prevent warpage later.
Once mixed, apply in as thin as possible onto your base. Try to apply it no thicker than 5-10mm. Use wet fingers to smooth it as flat as possible. The Celluclay will still go on lumpy which is desirable, but you want to avoid peaks. Now sprinkle the surface with small rocks and grit (sand, crushed talus) and press it in with wet fingers. Now take a 1″ paintbrush and wet it. Stipple the surface of the groundwork creating a pocked texture and further blending in the rocks and grit. This works the celluclay into the base and helps in drying. Place in a warm spot or in front of a fan to dry. The faster it dries, the less likely it’ll warp or crack.
Next up we prime the base. I used a dark gray Krylon primer.
When the primer is cured, airbrush the base with Polyscale Dirt paint thinned with a little water.
Now we take some acrylics and paint some of the rocks in various grays.
Then again we give it a spray of the Polyscale Dirt. Spray in very thinly just to tie in the rocks with the groundcolor. Rocks are dirty afterall!
After that is dry I dusted the surface with some MIG Pigment > Russian Earth. This darker color is to help simulate wet soil. If your soil is to be dry or even sandy, lighter pigments can be used.
Now we drill a small hole and glue in some dried dead roots from the backyard or dead dried plants. This is to simulate leafless brush.
Next we apply some grass made from Yute (Jute) twine. My next entry will be on creating grass with this material.
To help make the soil look moist and to add a little more variance in the tones I thinned some black oil paint and worked it into the visible dirt which was first wet with a little thinner. Blend this in good and apply it randomly. Note the difference between the above and below images.
Now we can stop here OR we can continue and apply some light snow. Let’s do a little snow! First take some Prepared Matte Medium(matte medium thinned with water) and airbrush it all over the top of your base. You want to spray straight down (impossible so tilt you base instead!) and get it damp. Don’t overdo it and soak it. Immediately sift a little baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) straight down over the damp surface and let dry completely. You’ll want snow on the top of the brush, but not clinging to the underside. That’s unnatural! For a light, windblown snow sift unevenly over the surface. This will let some of your earth show through.
Once dry, tip it upside down and tap off the excess powder. I didn’t like how much snow gathered on the grass. I wanted it to look a little more windswept and moving/blown grass wouldn’t collect much snow. So I took a brush and brushed around the grass to dust off the excess powder. To create the footprints I took a damp brush and swept it away in the footprint shapes.
This can be modified and further combined with Maschinen Kreuger and other techniques. Check the Help > Dioramas section of my forum for more! Below is the base for my KV-X2 done up to the point right before applying snow. Once I apply snow, I’ll add an image to this post.
01.24.08 » Source, Concepts &
I’ve been wanting to make a lighthouse for quite
a while now. One of my original ideas for my Griffon dio was
to place it flying near one. After receiving the UC Hardgraph
Cyclops Set, the idea came back to me. This diorama will feature
a young boy standing off against a team of Zeon soldiers sent
to secure the family lighthouse as a strategic lookout.
This diorama, like my Fireball
one, will take advantage of the vertical space in my display
cases. The base will be small, but the setting will reach
near the vertical limits of my display. I’m estimating this
to be roughly 13-14 inches tall when done. The base is made
from some scrap lumber and will have the lighthouse, rocks,
foliage, derelict rowboat, nautical junk, and other materials
added on top of it.
01.24.08 » The Lighthouse and
The lighthouse is being scratchbuilt using an
old drinking cup and spraypaint lid as a base. These were
epoxied together and coated with a layer of stucco texture
get to give the surface tooth for the next step being the
large stone facade. The stones are slowly being added in sections
with Amaco Marblex air-drying clay. Thin slabs are being applied
to the outside then the brick pattern sculpted in. The bricks
don’t need to be too detailed as I’ll later apply the mortar
and a layer of in-scale-stucco to the outside.
arched door and boat are made from thin basswood. I used some
techniques I learned from Chuck
Doan’s website to paint and detail it to this point. I
still need to make some black iron hinges and handle to the
door and oar supports to the boat. The boat is based on plans
single-sheet plywood rowboat here. I scaled them down
for this dio.
After cutting the wood and gluing it into shape,
I applied a few washes of black india ink thinned with water.
This gives the wood objects an old weathered look.
When that is dry you ready the color of acrylic
paint you want to apply to the objects. I used liquitex and
apple barrel acrylics here. Apply a wash of thinner (I used
mineral spirits) to the wood surface. Just apply to a section
at a time. When that begins to dry, brush on a thin coat or
two of your acrylic paint.
When that dries in a minute or two, apply sticky
tape to the painted surface and pull it off. This lifts the
paint from the wood giving you a great chipped paint on wood
look. Afterwards you can weather it further such as the water
damage added to the bottom of the door.
01.24.08 » PVN.3/2 Zeon Technical
The Cyclops set jeep is small, but has a lot
of detail. The wheels are a vinyl material which have no flash,
but will need the sprue marks sanded down. The front wheels
are “steerable” which is a nice touch and the underside
is nicely detailed. A hatch in the back conceals the tarp
roof and the front hood hatch contains a spare tire. The engine
is located in the rear of this vehicle. The driver and other
figures, like the jeep, are molded in color and are nicely
detailed. The faces are a little soft in the detail area,
but if you wanted you could replace the heads with aftermarket
The jeep is a quick and easy build however.
What you see above took all of 3 hours to cut, sand, and put
01.24.08 » New Stones
I was messing around with a large piece of plaster
I poured the other day… carving some stones into it. The
stones look so good that I’m pitching what I have so far on
the lighthouse and starting over with an all-plaster version.
To do this I’ve poured plaster into the same shape cup I was
using on the first. Then later I’ll carve the stones into
it with dental tools, then tap with a wire brush. It’s easy
to carve, looks MUCH better/more real and has inspired me
to do a natural stone lighthouse instead.
To paint the stones I thin some india ink and
various Apple Barrel acrylics. First I brush on a thin layer
of the paint, then a thin layer of the ink. Less-thinned ink
makes darker stones. More thinned paint and ink makes for
lighter ones. For the mortar between I just rescribe into
the bare plaster to reveal the natural white, then paint the
bare plaster with a thin india ink/paint mix to tint it. Follow
it all up with a coat of prepared matt medium and viola!
01.29.08 » Blistering Heights
After 4 days of carving then roughing up with
a wire and nylon brush, the lighthouse tower is complete.
And I havea few blisters from all that carving to prove it!
Here’s pics. Next up is the upper deck and light components.
01.30.08 » Top of the Tower
Today I finished painting the stones and started
work on the top part of the lighthouse. After looking at several
lighthouse photos I decided to go with a decagonal (10-sided)
shaped top. The thin I-beams will hold clear plastic for the
window panes. The T-beams around the outer perimeter are the
supports for the balcony floor which will be wooden planks
like a deck. You can also see that I have one of the 2 windows
installed on the tower.
02.02.08 » Land Ho!
Happy Groundhog Day! How appropriate then that
this update deals with the groundwork for this diorama. As
seen above, the base is pieces of scrap lumber glued and stacked
to make a sturdy platform. Added to this was rocks made from
plaster. These were made using the Woodland Scenics rock molds
purchased at my LHS. They look great and paint up beautifully.
Once the rocks and such were glued in place, I covered the
base in celluclay to blend in the ground to the rocks and
make several sloped areas such as the slope for the stone
steps. These too were made from plaster.
Over the celluclay I sifted a mixture of dirt,
sand, plaster and small rocks. There were pressed into the
celluclay and brushed off of the rocks. Larger pebbles were
added afterwards and pressed in. I then steamed the plaster
coating using my iron to add moisture via a very fine mist
rather than spraying it with a spray bottle which usually
makes drippy messes, pits, and craters for me. Once this dries,
I’ll paint it up and apply some washes and folliage.
02.07.08 » And now some green…
Once all of the plaster/dirt/celluclay had dried
it was time to add the dirt coloring and some greenery. First
I gave all of the plaster/dirt a coat of Prepared Matte Medium
to lock and seal it. Then once dry, I painted the base in
a mixture of real dirt I sifted and water. Basically, paint
with mud. Once again I gave that a coat of Matte Medium thinned
with water aka Prepared Matte Medium. When dry I dusted it
all with various pigment powders such as Russian Earth, Dry
Mud and Beach Sand.
I spent a day or two experimenting with creating
moss. The moss
and lichen tutorial can be seen here. My moss
mixture was applied thinly in spots that are shady and would
recieve some water. I also applied some lichen to the rocks
for added texture/color.
Wooden dows were cut, weathered, mossed and
inserted as supports for a rope railing. The rope is beige
crochet string which was perfect for this. The plants are
a mixture of acrylic-colored and teased out hemp rope, real
sheet moss, real lichen, woodland scenics fine-leaf foliage
and silflor spring grass and flowering meadows. And that’s
just for what’s seen there so far. I plan on raiding the spice
cabinet for some other folliage and litter.
Lastly, here’s the top of the lighthouse so
far. The light cylinder is clear PVC, large styrene tubing
and brass sheet. It sits on the small servo which will spin
the whole thing to reflect the light 360 degrees.
02.07.08 » BRING ME A SHRUBERY!
Nnnnnee! Nee. I needed some small bushes to
fill out some of the dio and bring it to life. Again I turned
to research and found that applying spices (parsley especially
works nice) or dried crushed up green tree leaves to brown
lichen brushed with white glue works especially well. Using
different mixtures of spices or crushed leaves to produce
different colors on different bushes makes for a more random/more
organic look. Unter the bushes I shoved crushed brown leaves
and brown bits of dried moss for the dead stuff from prior
The ground leaves also work well for recreating
small creeping plants. My rear driveway ends up with small-leafy
plants that spread out over the asphault, in sidewalk cracks,
and everywhere else that’s bare. Just apply some thinned white
glue where you want these planst then sprinkle the leaves
on it and blow away excess. Kinda like adding glitter to a
I also added the veneer to the outside of the
base to finish that off. I used a 1/32″ birch plywwood
from Michaels. I stained it with thinned black ink then applyed
some white drybrushing. When barely dry I then sanded it down
to get a nice old greyed wood look. I think I’ll add rusty
nails to the corners for the final touch. This makes it match
the rest of the nautical/rustic scene nicely.
02.13.08 » Rust Chipped Paint
Since I want this lighthouse to look somewhat
dilapidated I decided to have the paint for the top peeling
and chipping due to rust and harsh weather conditions. To
achieve this look I first primed then painted the parts with
a Tamiya Acrylic drark gray then random coats of Nato Brown
and a rust mixture through my airbrush. Then I gave it a coat
of FFA and let it sit for a day to cure. The next day I sprayed
it with several coats of Hairspray and painted the white.
A few hours later I used water and wet brushes to loosen the
water-soluable hairspray under the paint and create the chipped
02.14.08 » Jeep Painting Part
I’ll be doing this as a step-by-step tutorial
in my blog later, but here’s what I’ve got on the jeep so
1: Primed jeep via airbrush with Mr Surfacer
1000 thinned with lacquer thinner and a few drops of Mr. Retarder
2: Sprayed jeep with gray then random swaths
of Nato brown and a rust mixture. All Tamiya Acrylics. Later
this will show through as random rust and primer coats under
3: Clear-coated and sealed jeep with Future
Floor Acrylic (FFA) thinned 50% with Tamiya Thinner.
4: 24 hours later 3 thin coats of hairspray
(hair lacquer) were applied.
5: Jeep was sprayed with Olive green then parts
were highlighted with JGSDF Olive Green which is a little
6: A few hours later, using clean water, various
brushes were used to wet the model and loosen the water-soluable
hairspray undercoat. This makes the topcoat of greens unstable
temporarily so that they can realistically be chipped away
with the wet brushes. Other implements (toothpicks, styrene
card shards) can be used on the unstable surfaces to create
line-scratches. Larger areas of paint can be removed as well
as I did on the fenders. Remove as littler or as much as you
02.16.08 » Jeep Painting Part
8: Now that the chipping is done, it’s time
for decals. Normally I would coat the whole kit in gloss Future
Floor Acrylic. This time however I just brushed a few thin
coats where the decals would end up. Note the gloss on the
9: Decals were applied and tools, dashboard,
seat cushions, and other hand-paint-necessary bits have been
painted. Mirrors and lights were painted with silver. Later
clear Tamiya was applied where necessary based on the light
10: Now a satin coat of FFA was applied. This
seals the topcoat from firther chipping attempts, accidental
or not and seals the surface for the solvent-based weathering
11: Next up, three applications of filters have
been applied to all the jeep parts. Filters are kind of like
a wash, but not really… they’re hard to explain, but add
a lot to the depth of a model. For this filter I mixed up
a pale blue-green oil-paint mix with some turpenoid. This
alters the color slightly and blends colors together between
the various colored parts. It also “seasons” or
tooths the surface slightly for the next step, discoloration.
Note also as I go, more and more of the jeep gets put together.
This is based on what needed painted when and with minimal
02.19.08 » Jeep Painting Part
12: Once the filters have dried/cured for 24
hours, it’s time for the discoloration. This technique involves
applying small dabs of various oil colors then blending them
in with a thinner dampened brush. This gives the surface more
variation in color and a more realistic and deep appearance.
13: After the discoloration has dried, about
24 hours, a wash is applied. This wash is a mix of oil paint
to a dirt-color then thinned with turpenoid. This thin wash
is applied to the whole vehicle and all external parts such
as wheels, seats, etc… While it’s drying you might notice
pools or water (thinner)-lines. These can be blended out with
a stuff soft brush before the wash fully cures. Another 24
14: Next up is pre-dusting with the airbrush.
For this I’ve mixed Tamiya Flat Earth with Flattened FFA to
make a semi-transparent dirt-mix. This is sprayed in very
light mistings where larger amounts of dust would collect.
Side skirts, underside, and the rear pannel. More specific
dusting effects will be added next with pgment powders.
02.19.08 » Jeep Painting Part
I didn’t expect to finish this today, but here
15: The windshield was masked off where the
window wipers would hit. Then the windshield was lightly sprayed
with my Tamiya Flat Earth + Flat FFA mix.
16: The tires were painted in flat black then
had a satin finish applied. Pigments were dusted onto the
wheels and then rubbed off with rubber gloves. This removes
all the pigment except for what’s around raised edges and
in the treads. A little bit of pigments were then brushed
around the road-hitting edge of the tire since it’s been running
on a dirt road and would pick that dirt up.
17: The machine gun was painted in flat black
and given a flattened FFA coat. Powdered graphite was rubbed
over the weapon to give it its gunmetal sheen. After it was
attached to the jeep it had just a little disty pigment applied
since the weapon would generally be removed and kept very
clean and maintained.
18: Pigment powders were applied dry with various
brushes. Thinner was applied to these dry pigments to affix
them to the surface better. The end result is still fragile
and should not be handled much, especially not with bare hands
as that could leave fingerprints in the finish. The underside
and rear panel recieved a lot of pigment, while the rest just
got dust added in specific places. A little powdered graphite
was rubbed onto the floor grates and sides where the crews
feet would rub/polish the surface.
02.21.08 » Lighthouse Details
While doing everything else, I’ve been painting
the figures. These take a while since I’m using oils so it
ends up being a process of paint one color or paint some highlights,
then set under a heater vent till tomorrow. All I have left
now is shoes/boots, a little more eye detail, straps/equipment,
and uniform details. There’s decals for some of it that I
can apply then add oils on top of to blend. The red neck detail
and the insignia are decals. There’s also some yellow parts
on the soldiers uniforms that need painted as well.
Lighthouse-wise I added the painted/weathered
door details (minus the bolts for the foor hinge parts), some
chain (since BK liked that in a ref pic) fishing net, and
my buoys. The buoys were made from styrene rods and spheres.
I still need to lay the rest of the grass and flowers.
The fishnet is made from some nylon mesh material
used for wrapping party/shower-favors… can’t recall the
name. (edit: called tulle!) I wasn’t going to use it, but
everything else was way too thick. I wanted something I could
drape, but this wasn’t it. Instead I had to make it into a
roll with some painted beads used as floaters.
The top of the lighthouse is complete except
for the wiring. Waiting on an LED order to finish that part.
02.23.08 » Grass and Bird Poop
At this point the figures are about finished…
just a little drying left before their flat coat and discolorations.
While waiting on them I’ve planted all of my Silflor grass.
This diorama uses 3 different types of Silflor and bunches
of my own home-made tall grass. The Silflor used is “SF72221
Dandelions & White Clovers”, “SF71021 Spring
Short 2mm Lawn”, and “SF72021 Spring High Pasture
8mm Lawn” from the Flowering Meadows and Spring Assortment
sampler packs. These were mixed-and-matched to get a natural
random clumping between the heights and flower density.
In randoms spots I added some of my tall grass.
This was made from short 2″ pieces of hemp-rope which
were dipped/soaked in various water-thinned green acrylics.
After these bits were dry I took a wire brush to them to thin
them out and seperate the clumps. Then they were snipped with
scissors at various angles to randomize the lengths of grass
in the clumps. After that the bottom-side was cut flat across,
dipped into glue and placed on the scene. When the glue is
dry you can ruffle up the grass clumps to get them looking
bushy and blended into the scenery. Using these different
colored clumps within the Silflor makes it more random and
There’s still a few pieces of grass that are
drying, but while the glue dries, sprinkle the grass with
real sifted dirt. Lightly brush this in so that it settles
on top of and hides the white glue used to hold the grass
down. Later you can press the dirt in more. I found that sprinkling
the grass with crushed leaves/spices makes for some nice random
litter/small plants thrown in.
In this pic you can see some heavy rope resting
in the grass. Glue the rope down first, then plant grass around
it. This gives the rops the look of weight on the grass. Also
in this pic, the grass hasn’t been dirted or teased out yet
so between the flowers and plain grass there’s a definite
line. When the glue dries, this will be teased/blended. The
small hole in the wood is to insert a nail or something to
press the on/off switch for the lights/motor.
And what seagull-ridden natural scene would
be complete without bird poop? I made a small nest using the
same hemp rope cut into small bits. Small plastic Britta balls
were painted and used as eggs and white oil paint with dabs
of gray/black were used for bird poop. You know you’re into
the small details when scale poop is added. You’ll notice
it throughout the scene… that “crap” is a pet-peeve
of mine as I always have to clean that “shit” off
of my kids toys/swingset all summer. Grr.
02.24.08 » Last but not least…
So this will be the final update for this in-prog
thread. At the moment the entire piece is completed except
for the wiring of the motor and LED. Unfortunately I didn’t
oder any LEDs until this past week so I have a few days until
they arrive before I can finish it. In the meantime, here’s
some final images of the figures which are done. Gun-straps
were made from lead foil and boots have since been dusted
lightly with pigments..
I used some Lifecolor Tensochrom “oil”,
“fuel” and “kerosene” to add some fuel
stains to the engine caps.
And here’s a final teaser before wiring and
06.08.2007 » Concepts/Initial
can’t describe how glad I am that Bandai started
doing a 1/35 scale Gundam line of support vehicles
and ground troops under the Universal Century
Hardgraph (UCHG) name. Really fantastic releases
so far and lets me do Gundam and 1/35 armor at
the same time which just rocks. Best of both worlds!
I’ve had my UCHG releases on my shelf for a little
while now while working on other projects and
planning for this one. This project will be a
diorama of the Type 74 Hovertruck and the Zaku
All of my recent projects have allowed
me to test certain elements of the terrain and
building that I’ve been planning for this amd
now I get to put them all together. The terrain
will consist of a dirt road, a grassy slope and
a rocky stream. The hovertruck will be sitting
on the road while the severed Zaku head will be
resting half in the stream. This will give me
the chance to do some nice rusty effects to the
head. The figures will be resting and taking a
break while on the road delivering supplies or
maybe just making camp for a few days while out
on maneuvers. Below is a diagram I did to map
out what I’m planning. As usual the actual terrain
will probably be modified and shifted as I adjust
to fit the elements into place. Each square is
1 inch so as you can see, this will be a rather
I started on the hovertruck first
as I think that’ll take the longest to complete.
I decided to add an interior to this since the
kit does not have one. Pretty surprising since
there’s so many openable hatches and doors. I
found some reference pics of the interior from
the anime and source books thanks to some helpful
folks on the forum. I’m using these mostly as
rough guides and am not going to kill myself making
it anime-accurate. There’s really no need since
the hatches in which you can view the interior
are actually not that big. I guttet out a wall
that had been placed between the driver/nav area
and the rear communications/gunner areas of the
interior as it wasn’t there in the refs and would
allow more visibility of all the work I’m doing.
Here’s some images of where I’m at. Mostly I’ve
got rough parts and areas installed and will detail
them up more later. I had to order some diamond-plate
textured styrene sheet from the LHS since they
were out so much of my next steps are waiting
on me installing the flooring. The chairs in the
front are leftovers from my 1/35 Cobra since I
got resin updates for them.
Lastly is the stowage I’ll be adding
to the rear bed of the truck. I only had 1 of
each of the 2 gas cylinder sizes you see below
so I ended up making molds so I could cast a bunch.
While I was at it I made molds for some other
resin stowage bits and radio equipment from armor
kits to use on the truck.
06.14.2007 » Base
I finished most of the part removal
and nub-sanding for the hovertruck and zaku head.
Still some seams to sand down however on the HT.
For now though I’ve been focusing on the base
as I need it partially ready before I can start
the damage mods to the Zaku head. I started with
some scrap plywood for the base and added some
other scraps to build up the base for the roadway.
Leftover sprue and citrus netting was used to
make a frame for the hillsides and then paper
mache towels were added. Rocks are temporarily
in place until I add the rest of the celluclay.
I used Balsa sheet for the sides of the base and
stained them. I’m in the process of adding the
successive coats of polycrylic to seal them. Once
that’s done I can add the rest of the celluclay.
You can also see how I’m using some wood molding
glue to partially seal the inside of the balsa
from the future wetness of the additional celluclay
which may warp it.
While for now it just looks like
a boring HT and Zaku head, I think it’ll be the
modified figures and their actions that will make
this very interesting. That and the rocky stream.
That’ll be VERY fun and challenging to create.
Here’s some pics:
06.17.2007 » Base
I’ve been making some simple one-piece
molds to create additional stowage for this project.
There’s a lot of room in the truck bed for stuff,
but most stowage sets available for armor don’t
really have what I want, enough of what I want,
or just plain don’t fit right. The Italeri Modern
Battle Accessories set had 2 different sizes of
gas cylinders, but only one of each. Growing up
I lived near a Corning Glass Plant and saw many
trucks carrying loads of gas cylinders. They always
intriqued me so I wanted to recreate that here.
I first made a mold and cast 4 cylinders. Then
I took those 4 (of each) and made another mold
so that I could cast a bunch at one time. I added
a barrel and some small canisters too to fill
up the space. The hovertruck also came with 2
large ammo boxes. They have openable lids, but
for my needs that wasn’t necessary. I took one
and glued it shut and filled in any gaps. I made
a mold of it (and a beer and water bottle) and
made a bunch to use here and for later projects
as well. These are large enough to look good on
1/20 MaK projects too. The beer and water bottles
will be cast in clear resin, having made a new
mold to cast a bunch at once. Then I can paint
them with clear green or brown and the water bottles
will have just a clear blue lid. The resin I’ve
been using mixes clear and dries white. What’s
great is that you can see any air bubbles in these
simple molds and tease them out with some wire
before it sets. Below you can see my truck bed
Also I finished applying the celluclay
to my base. Now I can start on the damage to the
06.19.2007 » Figs
Next up for this in-progress report
is the Zaku head damage and the figures. I’ve
used figures from a few different sets for this
project. I’ve used the squatting figure from the
Hovertruck (unaltered) and the “relaxed”
figure who will have a new head (gotta sculpt
a new neck) who is laying on a rock. I used two
figures from the Dragon Afrika Korps set as well.
As far as modifying them, they both have caps
that match the Hovertruck figure (included in
the Afrika Korps set, but for the other 2 figs)
and the one who is fishing has a new right hand
that will hold the pole better. The fishing poles
will be scratchbuilt. The tan figure from the
Tamiya German Tank Loading Crew set will be carrying
bags of ice and has had his hair removed. The
box below him will have a tarp inside, and bottles
of beer, bottled water, and ice.
The Zaku head is almost done now
too. I just need to clean up the “d-rings”
and add a rough cast texture. I might dent up
the “nose” too. To make the damage I
used a Dremmel, candle (to bend the plastic out),
and pliars. I made a dent on the top left of the
head by heating that part with a candle and pressing
it in with the handle of my pliars.
Painting and Weathering the
06.21.2007 » Head
After the primer on the head had
cured I began the painting and weathering process.
The process of weathering and painting the head
to look rusty and damaged will be a little more
complex than what I do for normal vehicle weathering.
First the parts were primed/textured with a dark
gray Krylon primer. After that cured I sprayed
it unevenly with a rust colored mix of Tamiya
When that dried enough (a few hours)
I applied mapping and drybrushing with Tamiya
XF-12 J.N. Grey. What is mapping? It’s creating
larger areas of paint and stains to give a multi-dimensional
look to the weathering. Imagine that you’re basically
painting small islands on a map. Below you can
see wone of these spots/islands. Later when I
apply more effects, washes, discoloration/fading,
etc… they won’t be so pronounced. You begin
blending these in by drybrushing around and on
them with the same color.
After the XF-12 mapping I applied
another coat of mapping, but this time with Tamiya
XF-71 Cockpit Green (IJN). This has a great Zaku-esque
color to it and contrasts the rust nicely. This
time the mapping and drybrushing was applied with
bits of sponge where the prior coat was applied
with a few different brushes. After the XF-71
green had dried I drybrushed some more XF-12 over
it to dull the look and help blend it in. Then
small brighter spots of XF 12 were applied much
like negative paint chips here and there. These
greens will basically be whatever paint is left
on the Zaku after the initial damage and sitting
in the rising/falling water for a few years.
And lastly for this update I applied
a gloss then satin coat of Future to seal it,
an earth colored wash, and a flat coat of Future.
Next up is more washes and staining to bring out
the rusty effects and blend in the leftover green
07.02.2007 » Head
The head is pretty much done. After
applying some oil paint rust streaking, a wash
or 2, and a flat coat, I applied the pigment powders.
I still think it needs some more, but I wanted
to get it affixed to the base first. Here’s some
07.04.2007 » Busted
The head rusting is pretty much
done. I tweaked it a bit and added more light
rust streaks. I also added some waterline dirt-marks.
They’re not showing up well in the pics however.
Next up is the scary part… pouring the water
and potentially ruining the head. Scary scary
Painting and Weathering the
Hovertruck and Stowage
06.21.2007 » Primed
Here’s some shots of the primed
interior of the hovertruck. When the primer is
cured I’ll be painting this in Tamiya Deck Tan
and weathering it up. I’m using the light deck
tan so that once it’s all closed up you’ll have
a better view since it’ll be a lighter color.
That’s the hope anyway! Plus a lot of real armor
have very light colored interiors. Here’s the
06.25.2007 » Such
What a shame… what a shame. The
interior of my Hovertruck is all painted and weathered.
It looks great! The shame is that now I’ll be
closing it up and you’ll only be able to view
it through some little windows. I airbrushed the
entire interior with Tamiya Deck Tan. Then I hand-painted
all of the little details, consoles and such with
various colors. After a gloss coat of FFA, decals
and a satin coat of Future, I applied the paint
chips and then gave it all a light earth colored
wash. Then I gave it a flat coat and added some
stowage, water bottles, maps, modeling mags, and
the Mig FAQ. Here’s a bunch of pics.
I also painted and weathered all
of the stowage since I needed to add some inside
before closing it up. I think all of my recasted
gas cylinders, barrels, and ammo boxes turned
out great. The large wooden box was scratchbuilt,
while the others were from a Tamiya set. Those
were also fun to paint and weather. Overall I’m
very happy with the results. The various colors
and tones of the stowage will add a nice bit of
visual interest to the piece.
07.02.2007 » Fish
The hovertruck has been painted
using Tamiya Khaki Drab as a base then lightening
the panels with a lighter mixture of the khaki
drab + khaki + white. After that was done, a gloss
coat and decals were applied. Then a light green
filter followed by the paint chips. I still have
some paint chips to do yet then onto the fading/discoloration.
Since this is a truck/utility type vehicle I want
it to look somewhat “broken in” and
07.03.2007 » More
The chips are all done. The scraping
on the front part of the HT was done first with
a brush, then with a sponge. The longer thinner
scrapes are done by drybrushing with the same
07.03.2007 » More
The fading and wash is done for
the hovertruck. The first pic shows just the fading.
The second two show the hull after the wash. The
wash is a dirt color and not real heavy. The dusting
effects with pigments will show off the dirt and
07.07.2007 » Weathering
Now that the wash has cured, a final
flat coat has been applied and weathering with
mud and pigments has begun. First I did a pre-dusting
using a mixture of Tamiya Flat Earth and Buff.
Then I mixed some my my sifted dirt that I used
for the base with some water and used a thick
old brush to spatter it all over the underside
andwhere else that the turbines might blow mud
and water. And finally I’m in the process of adding
dusting here and there with pigment powders. To
do the crew footprints I made a mold of one of
the Hovertruck crew’s feet which have treads molded
in. I then poured more silicone in that mold and
made a “foot stamp”. What’s cool is
that it “erases” or places pigments
depending on where you use it. It erased from
the bed and the collected pigments from that it
released when placed on the roof.
07.08.2007 » Pretty
The truck is pretty muc done except
for a few minor things like painting the rest
of the lesnes and applying the mirrors. I think
I’m going to use some chrome window tint for the
mirrors. It’s thin sheets and thinner once the
film is peeled from the clear backing. The stowage
is all added and the weathering is all done. The
stowage adds a fantastic and much needed splash
of color and visual interests to the monochromatic
scheme. Here’s pics:
Display Base, Figures, and
06.25.2007 » River
I finally, after much searching
and testing found the perfect cheap and nicely
scaled river rock for my creek/river bed. I had
first tried dyed cat litter and it looked okay,
but not perfect. Talus and ballast was too uniform.
But then my neighbor had his driveway paved. The
pavers had poured construction sand all over the
asphault which at first I paid no mind to. However,
after a good rain, all the littlest sand particles
had washed away and what was left was what you
see below. I went to Home Depot and for under
$3.00 got a 50 pound bag of the stuff. After some
sifting through fine mesh to remove the sand,
all that was loeft was the rocks. About 5 cups
of sand yeilded 1 cup of rocks. Below is a pic
of some in a Crystal Light cup which I save tons
of and use for mixing washes/resins.
07.02.2007 » Figs,
Ducks, and More Rocks
First up is the base progress. I
applied the dirt using my dirt tutorial to the
base. I sorted the riverocks via a strainer into
a small and large sized rock piles. Then I started
adhering the river rocks by first pouring on the
larger rocks and then over them the smaller ones
filling in the gaps and such. I wanted larger
ricks near the shore and the smaller ones out
in the actual water so that under the water they
look smaller and deeper. I didn’t go all the way
up the slope with them since that’ll be grass
and such. The Zaku bullet casings were also added
on the shore as if they were washed up by waves/floods.
The weathered Zaku head was attached to the base
using 5-min epoxy then more rocks were applied
around it to make it look more sunken in. The
rocks were then given drops of “prepared
matte medium” from ScenicExpress.com. I applied
it using an eyedropper and applied it liberally.
Now the rocks are set and are not going anywhere
without some effort.
I’ve also been painting the figures
using oil paints over an acrylic base coat. They’re
just about done. They need a little of the fading/discoloration
technique, a little bit of a wash here and there
just to pop certain things, and a flat coat. The
eyes also need done. Also, a few days ago I was
thinking about the guy squatting at the shore
and why he’s right on the waters edge looking
in. I decided that he needs to be looking at some
ducks swimming in the water. Maybe he’s wearing
the gloves to try and catch one for dinner. Who
knows? So I started sculpting some small ducks
today. Here’s the progress so far.
07.03.2007 » Duck,
Duck, Duck, Duck…
No geese. Ducks are about finished.
Just need to clean up the males beak a bit.
07.04.2007 » Water
Here’s my tests of the resin over
the past few months. Basically any time I knew
I’d be pouring clear resin I had a test ready
for the leftovers. The first tests were to see
how different glues would work to hold down the
rocks which in the beginning were going to be
colored cat litter. Later I tested colors mixed
in the resin to check for reactions. And finally
I checked my final glue and water color mix. Lastle
is the ducks sitting on my final test. The ducks
will be sat into the resin a bit in the end. THe
resin I’m using is called Castin’ Craft.
07.06.2007 » Tests
can’t account for everything.
Well, just when I thought that I
knew just about everything that could go wrong
with the water pour, took measures against such
disasters, and believed all went well… of course
there was a problem this morning. Let’s start
from the beginning on the pour process…
First I followed the advice in the
Mig FAQ and used clear tape to make a wall to
hold in the resin. This worked well when pouring
the first layer of resin as seen below:
The tape wasn’t tall enough so I
added more and poured the second layer. This also
went well, but the tape started to warp a little.
No biggie as It wasn’t a look I was against as
it looked liquidy.
I poured the final layer and waited
for it to firm up some so I could to the ripples.
I had practiced the ripples on the previous 2
layers so I knew that part would go fine which
it did. After the resin began to firm up I added
the ducks. Again, all was good at this point.
A few hours later the resin felt hard enough to
remove the tape which I did. I had noticed a small
fissure between the resin and the base in the
front and didn’t think too much of it. I covered
the water/base with a box to keep out dust untim
it was no longer the slightest bit tacky which
can take a few days sometimes. This was all yesterday.
This afteroon I checked on it and noticed the
fissure had spread and that the side of the water
opposite the head had come up. I can only assume
this is due to shrinking of the resin during curing.
At the front corner it’s raised about 1/8″
or so. Grrrr. The side of the head didn’t raise
up and I can only assume that the head which was
anchored to the base VERY securely held the resin
in place. Next time I’ll add a few small d-rings/staples
under the water to keep it down all over. Lesson
learned and passed on. Enjoy! Also if I ever have
the need for water like this again (which I certainly
will) I’ll try the Andreas Miniatures water instead
of the Castin’ Craft as I hear it’s supurb.
Now, I could sit around and be pissed
off about it, but I have an easy fix. I was contemplating
adding another wood boarder around the base as
a decorative feature, but decided not to. Well…
now I have to. I bought some thin basswood and
just finished staining it. When that’s finished
I’ll glue the strips around the outside edge.
This will add some nice edging to the base and
cover up the gaps. Whew. Glad it’s not a round
base! Here’s the pics. Next I’ll add some ripples
on the sure and around the head using gloss gel
medium and FFA.
About The Kit »
This awesome mecanical creation is a resin kit designed by Luca Z at Kallamity.com. At 1/35 Scale this kit is a massive beast standing at around 10″ tall and made from around 170 resin parts. Some parts were simply huge and almost the size of a baseball.
I went with a custom camo scheme for use in Autumn. I scratch-build a large gun that mounts on the hip and midified several 1/35
scale figures to go with the kit.
About The Kit »
Another armor model from me instead of mecha and Gundam. This is the old Tamiya JGSDF Type 74 model kit. Accompanying it is figures from the Tamiya JGSDF Iraq Humanitarian Assistance Team and one head from a Trumpeter model kit of the Type 87. I’d go on about what I did to the JGSDF Type 74, but instead I did a lengthy and well detailed/documented in-progress page. Click here to see it. It’s intended to be a guide on how to model in 1/35 scale so there’s hundreds of images.
Reference for Type 74 »
Below you’ll see the pages from which I got my reference shots.
09.10.2006 » Concepts
is a little addictive I’d say. Sure I love my
Gundam model kits, but AFVs are growing on me
more and more. My next venture into the real world
is the 1/35 JGSDF Type 74 Main Battle Tank from
Tamiya. I’ve had to for about a year now and have
finally decided to do it. I searched around for
any after-market (AM) sets such as photoetch (PE)
or resin upgrades. All I found was individual
tracks from ModelKasten. I have them on order
as I have no desire to deal with the vinyl tracks
that were supplied with the kit.
I’ve also decided to do a detailed
and well-documented build-up of this kit from
construction to weathering. I have a lot of detailed
Gundam builds, but nothing for armor subjects.
With Bandai’s new 1/35 Gundam line on the way
and the fact that most of the members at my forum
don’t usually model these subjects, I hope that
this will become a good resource for modelers
new to this scale.
I’ll be painting this tank the same
camo scheme as my JGSDF LAV. This is an official
JGSDF camo pattern and I’ll probably use it later
on my Type 87 and Type 82 as well. The scheme
is a brown and green pattern. Tamiya makes both
colors which are great right out of the bottle.
The first step was of course research.
With some help, I got links to several sites full
of images of the Type 74. This will help me detail
some parts of the tank which are lacking and also
help me with colors and weathering.
09.10.2006 » Starting
I read through the instructions
and started building following the steps in the
instructions. I started putting together some
of the larger elements such as the chassis and
the turret halves without glue just for photos
and fit. I really like the shape of this tank
design. It’s squat and has that rounded older
style turret that was rough cast. In fact the
turret has a great texture molded into it. I will
however have to sand a seam smooth and retexture
along that part.
The first bad thing I noticed was
a sizable gap under the fenders, but above the
road-wheels. I’m not 100% sure what to do here.
I could leave it, but I’d rather not. But do I
fill the vertical gap or under the fenders? Or
maybe both? I have more research to do apparently.
There’s also slots and icons for batteries molded
inside the chassis. I guess this was also sold
as a motorized or RC version at some point. I
think it’s an older kit.
As with any kit, there’s the flash
(A) and the sprue nubs (B) to deal with. I had
flashbacks of the KV-2 and all the sanding I had
to do to the roadwheels and suspension arms flash,
but this kit wasn’t too bad. Good thing too with
20 road-wheel halves and 10 arms! I scraped the
flash off the arms with an exacto blade and then
sanded smooth. For the road-wheels, I filed down
the flash/nubs then sanded smooth. More in-prog
09.11.2006 » Filler
and Grab Handles
A modeler by the name of Alex gave
me the tips on filling in the HUGE gaps in the
underside of the Type 74. First I glued on strips
of styrene to the insides of the chassis. These
will help support the horizontal panels I cut
when glued into place.
I cut several rectangles from sheet
styrene to fit between the strips and the ends
of the fenders. These were glued into place filling
in the hole.
Then after that set-up I cut large
pieces of very thin styrene and glued them over
the glued rectangles. This large pieve fills it
completely and covers all the seams of the rectangles
nicely. I won’t even need any putty now. Very
easy and will make a huge difference when the
kit is all done. Thanks Alex!
Next I needed to do something about
all the “tabs” that represent grab-handles.
Almost every handle is a solid piece on this kit.
I took verious sharp tools and removed the tabs.
After sanding I drilled .024″ holes at the
ends of where the tabs were. Next I took .020
wire and made lots of new handles. These were
made the same size by placing tape on my needlenose
pliers so that I knew where to bend the wire each
Then I took my tweezers and pushed
each bent piece of wire into its holes. Lastly
I added a few drops of liquid glue to secure them
09.12.2006 » Turret
Today I did a bunch to the Type
74. First up I removed the plastic tow cable rather
than sand it and added one I made from wire. I
took 8 thin wires (4 looped) and tied them to
the end of my drill. I held the looped end on
a pencil and ran the drill to twist the wire.
I cut it to length and drilled holes into the
ends of the “hooks” to insert the new
cable into. They were then secured with super
glue. I cut the cable brackets too and filed out
the old plastic cable so that the new cable would
slide in. Again I secured it into place with super
glue. I also replaced the exhaust pipes with aluminum
tube since the kit supplied ones were not hollow.
I also added the tools. These had
the normal faint flash. I removed it by scraping
it with a razor and with minor sanding of the
sprue nubs. They were then glued into place. I
add them now since the tools are generally painted
the same color as the tank. I may opt to adjust
their colors afterwards, but that’s no problem
to hand-paint. Also shown below is the top of
the turret with the periscopes. These have some
flash to take note of and clean-up.
Next up is the infrared sensor.
This comes in many pieces and has to be glued
together. You’ll have to take care of the many
seams afterwards. No gaps though so no worries.
I’ll paint it leaving the 2 front parts off to
insert the clear plastic “window” afterwards.
Also shown is the ammo case for the machine gun
and the 2 mounts for the smoke dischargers. These
both have pin-holes. You can fill these with a
drop of Mr. Surfacer or thinned putty and sand
later. The ammo case is hollow underneath. I filled
it with styrene and will sand flat later.
I glued the 2 halves of the turret
together making certain to place the lower portion
of the stowage rack inbetween before glueing.
When the glue dried I sanded the
seams down. I lost the texture and had a few hairline
gaps. I took care of this by brushing on Mr. Surfacer.
When cured I lightly sanded the edges where the
surfacer meet the plastic. This leave the middle
“rough” to help retain the rough cast
Lastly I glued on the top part of
the stowage rack. Be sure to remove the flash
on this and pretty much all parts. This went on
with a little difficulty as the upper bars did
not hit the holes on the turret. After some putty/glue
I rectified this. I also started attaching the
various parts to the turret such as racks and
09.13.2006 » Wired
Today I started adding all the little
detailed bits to the turret. The smoke dischargers
went on fairly easily with no need for modifications.
The hatches went on with only a few hitches. The
left hatch had one of the hinge tabs too long
so I needed to trim it to fit it in level. That
hatch was glued down. The right hatch above the
periscopes will be displayed open since I’ll have
a figure in there. The inside of the hatch had
a few pinholes to fill with surfacer before attaching.
The IR sensor has some surfacer applied to fill
some tiny hairline gaps after initial sanding
of the seams. The base of the ammo box was puttied
after the styrene was cut flat and the antenna
bases had some pin marks too.
Next up is the headlights. In real
life there’s wires that come from the back of
them and end up below the lights into some holes.
I drilled little holes into the backs of the lights
and inserted wires. The back of the light gaurd
was missing a crossbar so I added them from strip
styrene. I need to add one on the outside edge
Finally there’s a prominant cable
that runs from the IR box to right behind the
left smoke discharger. This wasn’t included in
the kit for whatever reason. I used some wire
and stretched sprue to make the cable and tape
to make the tabs and such. The tape was super-glued
to the turret for extra hold. I love the way this
turret has all this stuff tacked all over it.
Very interesting looking.
09.16.2006 » Antenna
I was working on and finished these
antenna gaurds right before my wife went into
labor. They were made from bent wire inserted
into small drilled holes. Thin strips of styrene
were then glued onto the ends to finish the look.
09.25.2006 » Suspension
One last part of construction is
the suspension to keep the tank level, but keep
the road wheels on the road. I cut all the tabs
in the suspension arms like instructed in the
insctructions. Then I placed a drop of glue into
each hole in the chassis where the arms will be
placed. I propped the tank up level and laid the
tracks down. Then I began placing the suspension
arms with the road wheels onto the chassis. When
the glue dried I removed the supports and viola!
I’ll place the tracks in better obviously when
09.21.2006 » Modelkasten
Type 74 Tank Tracks
For this build I’ll be using the
Modelkasten injection plastic replacement tracks
for the Tamiya 1/35 Type 74 Tank. Product SK-52.
I chose to use these since the vinyl tracks that
come with the tank are just not good. They have
soft detail, are warped, and do not have that
natural sag that the Type 74 track displays. The
Modelkasten tracks are “workable” meaning
that they will bend and sag with their own pins
and such in a realistic fashion.
The tracks come in a nice cardboard
box with a black and white decal wrapped over
the top. Inside the box are around 90 small sprues
of the track plates (inside and outside pads),
hundreds of connecting shafts, 2 idler wheel axels,
and a “jig” for laying out the tracks
when building them.
The instructions come with both
english and japanese text and are well-printed
and easy to understand.
The first step is to cut the “inside
pad” sections from the sprues, sand the nubs,
and place them onto the jig. The jig holds 10
track sections so I’ve been doing this 5 sprues
at a time since each sprue contains 2 tracks.
Next cut out 10 of the connecting shafts and sand
their sprue nubs. Place them into the jig on top
of the inside pads.
Next we cut the outside pads from
the 5 sprues we cut the inside pads from. Sand
the nubs as usual. The next part took me a few
tries and different glues to get right. I decided
on the Testors liquid cement since it is thicker
than the Tamiya Extra thin, Thinner than the Tamiya
Cement and comes in the perfect applicator bottle
for this task. Grab an outside pad with some tweezers
by the outside tread. Apply one drop of glue to
each inside tab (see below) and apply over the
connecting shafts and inside pads. Press down
to set glue and repeat. Wait a few minutes to
remove the whole 10 track sections from the jig.
Now just continue making sections
of 10 tracks with 5 sprues and 10 connecting shafts
at a time. Place the prior sections of built track
at the ends of the jig to connect them into a
strand of 78 tracks.
Below you can see some detail comparrison
shots of the Modelkasten (brown) versus the Tamiya
vinyl (black) tracks. Note the great bend the
Modelkasten tracks have.
09.22.2006 » One Side
I managed to finish one whole side
(78 segments) of track so I snapped some images
to go over a few parts that may be of interest.
When I got to the end of the strand I realized
that I won’t want to connect the two ends together
just yet as that would make placing them onto
the tank later a pain. So I opted for a solution
that would leave 3 segments of track non-bendable.
This isn’t a bad solution though as I’ll made
sure this section is on the ground so that it
doesn’t need to bend. On one end I glued the inside
pads to the connecting shaft. On the other end
I glued the outside pads to the opposite connecting
shaft. This way I can glue them together in the
final assembly and they’ll be unnoticible. See
I also placed this section of track
onto the road-wheels and sprockets to see if there
was good sag. It’s perfect! My only concern is
that I might need to add one more segment to get
the sag after adjusting the suspension to lift
the back-end of the tank up on the base. I’ll
have to test that later. I’ll just make/paint/weather
an extra connecting shaft (for each side) with
inside and outside pads on opposite sides to lengthen
it by 1 if necessary. Better safe than sorry later.
09.23.2006 » All Done!
Whew… it was a lot of work at
approximately 30 minutes/10 segments, but the
tracks are all done. I even had plenty leftover
to make a section of spare track to replace that
supplied by the kit. Below you can see what was
leftover. That’ll go into the spares bin to use
as detail parts or sci-fi stuff. I’ll post the
painting and weathering of these on the JGSDF
Type 74 painting and weathering page.
10.03.2006 » Painting
and Weathering the Tracks
I was going to post this in the
painting and weathering page, but it seemed better
to keep all the tread info in one place.
First I primed the tracks in a Dark
Gray primer. You could prime them in light gray
as well and paint them dark gray later. Afterwards
I airbrushed them with a reddish brown color to
simulate the rust. Obviously this looks too rusty,
but it’s cool since it’ll be covered up later.
Be sure to bend the tracks to get inbetween them.
After the red-brown dried I airbrushed on a predust
shade of Tamiya Acrylics similar to my groundwork
dirt. I mixed this 50/50 with Flattened Future
to thin it. This simulates the dust the tracks
After the predusting dried I applied
a thick wash of MIG European Earth on both the
front and back of the tracks. After that it was
time for some mud. I mixed equal parts of ground
talus (A), dry plaster of paris (B), MIG pigment
powder (C), and a little static grass thrown in
I combined these in an applesause
container then removed half for later. I made
too much dry mix, so by removing some I can use
it later for another kit. I took my mixture and
mixed in a slightly larger volume of Liquitex
Acrylic Matt Gel Medium. This is the same as the
gloss gel medium I use for water, but dries flat
instead of glossy. I wanted it flat to simulate
drying mud. I stirred this up well with an old
brush until I got a nice muddy consistency. This
will dry about the same color as the mix. Pigments
usually dry lighter, but this in my tests did
Using some old brushes I applied
the mud on the outside/ground-side of the tracks.
I worked it into the tracks with a stiff brush
then took my finger and wiped them flat so that
the edges of the track did not have mud… only
the crevases. When the mud had dried I took some
MIG Gunmetal and rubbed it between my thumb and
forefinger. I then rubbed it on the edges of the
tracks that would contact the ground and get worn.
I applied it onto the spokes and where the road
wheels would hit the tracks as well.
Below you can see the finished tracks.
Be certain to bend the tracks while the mud dries
so that they don’t dry in a solid unmovable lump!
09.12.2006 » Painting
and Weathering Concepts
this page I will go into detail with the painting
and weathering steps for the Tamiya JGSDF Type
74 model kit. I’ll be using Tamiya Acrylics as
usual. Plus they have some JGSDF-specific colors
which will be great to use. I’ll use the standadr
JGSDF camo pattern as seen in the image to the
right. The weathering will be as if the tank has
traveled on back-roads and through fields in Japan.
Not sure if they will be muddy or dry fields yet.
09.12.2006 » Priming
I decided to prime the barrel, turret,
and chassis of the tank today to see how everything
looks.Aside from priming to help the paint adhere
better and to provide a uniform base color for
all the paint to cover, it also helps check for
mistakes that don’t show up normally until aftyer
painting. There’s a few minor seams showing on
the turret halves and the barrel, but nothing
that isn’t easily fixed. Everything else is looking
great so far!
09.23.2006 » More
I primed the rest of the tank parts
except for the tracks which were not ready when
I primed. I’ll do them tomorrow. I primed most
of the parts and the figures with Tamiya Surface
Primer. Great stuff that goes on smooth and doesn’t
obscure the details. I also used Duplicolor Dark
Gray on a few parts such as the rifles for the
figures and the suspension arms since they won’t
be seen much being covered in mud and dirt. Why
waste the expensive primer?
To prime and paint I attach the
parts to skewers, sticky tack and skewers, or
popsicle sticks covered in duct-tape (sticky side
09.25.2006 » Tank
The first thing to paint on the
tank is the main camo pattern. I’ll be using the
Brown/Green camo scheme. Tamiya makes specific
JGSDF colors for this. XF-72 and XF-73. First
I painted all the tank parts with the JGSDF Brown
color. Well… a close enough color as I don’t
have XF-72. I mixed Brown with Kahki instead which
is close to my reference colors. Before this I
used some scrap-wood and used double-stick foam
tape to make a handle inside the hull of the chassis
and the turret.
After that dried a few hours I used
some sticky-tack and masked off where the camo
stripes will be for the green. I filled in the
brown areas with tape to mask them. The sticky-tack
gives the camo a soft edge between colors for
a sprayed-on look.
After masking was done I sprayed
on the XF-73 green.
When dry I removed the masking carefully
and viola! Camo complete. Next-up.. painting tools
09.26.2006 » Details
After the camo, it’s all about painting
the tools and other details. For the turret I
painted the cloth cover between the gun and turret
with a lightened kahki color. I painted the box
with XF-74 JGSDF Olive Drab and the strap with
Kahki. The wire for the IR sensor was painted
in german gray.
The tow cable end was painted in
the JGSDF Green color and the cable later (not
shown painted) in a medium gray. The lights were
painted with silver Rub-n-Buff. The small lights
will later be painted over with Clear Orange.
The tools were painted in XF-74
JGSDF Olive Drab and will be paint-chipped and
Speaking of paint chips… Of all
the Type 74s I saw images of, there was very little
in the way of chipping and/or rust. These tanks
are VERY well maintained so I only added a few
chips here and there on high-wear areas and a
few random from tools and such.
After all the little details were
painted and the chips were done, I gave the kit
a coat of Future Floor Acrylic thinned with Tamiya
Thinner. This seals in the acrylic and creates
a gloss base for the decals which will be next.
I wanted to call out the road wheels.
The JGSDF does not camo them, but instead paints
some green and some brown. I brushed on flat black
around the edges for the rubber. Almost pointless
though as these wheels will be pretty muddy when
this is all done!
09.28.2006 » Decals,
Filters, Chipping, and Wash
After the gloss coat had dried I
applied the decals. I followed the instructions
and added the decals for “The 2nd Company,
The First Cavalry Training Corp”. I used
these because I wanted something “general”
and wasn’t thrilled with the other unit marks.
After the decals, I applied a satin
coat of Future. When that cured I drybrushed
a little light gray acrylic on the edges of the
cloth on the turret. Then I applied my first filter
which was a mixture of Ultramarine Blue and White
oil paint thinned with oderless mineral spirits
(KleanStrip from Walmart).
When the first filter was dry I
applied a second of the same colors as the first.
The goal was to make the tones of both colors
slightly bluer and lighter. Below you can see
how it acted as a wash on the road wheels and
see what my filter looked like in the applesauce
tub. I love these tubs and use a lot of them.
Great as a disposable container for washes and
such and holding small parts before painting.
After the filters were dry I decided
to add the paint chips to the tools as well as
doing some “mapping” to the exhaust
pipes. The chipps to the wooden handles were done
by drybrushing Tamiya Buff to simulate chips along
the wood grain. After I used some light gray acrylics
then later red-brown to paint small colored areas
on the shovel and exhaust to give them a more
random colored/chipped/stained look before rusting.
This is known as “mapping” named after
texture mapping from 3D images apparently. I like
to think of it as painting islands and continents
or slightly different colors, like a “map”.
This can be used to simulate stains, repainted
areas, chips, etc…
After that detailing I applied a
wash of UM Blue + Burnt Sienna whick made a dark
gray-brown when mixed. This was thinned with oderless
mineral spirits and applied all over focusing
on panel lines and details. This will be my first
wash and is intended to highlight some details.
After this dries I’ll apply the
fading (dots of oils blended in with thinner)
and then the next wash of the dirt/dust color.
Below you can see the mapping on the exhausts.
Later pigments will be added to strengthen the
09.29.2006 » Fading
Today I applied the fading to the
model with oils and mineral spirits. This is an
effect that I think truely brings out the realism
in a surface. The way it adds subtle color changes
and tones really looks great.
The following 2 images are photoshopped
(and exaggerated)to show the process as I didn’t
have time to photograph them. It’s not a technique
that lends itself to photography time-wise. First
you apply clean mineral spirits to a section of
the tank. Then you apply dots of various oil colors
onto the clean thinner. I used Colbalt Blue, Yellow,
and White. Then you take a soft brush dampened
in clean spirits and blend it into the surface.
For sides and inclines go up and down to simulate
rain-marks/stains. For flat surfaces just swirl
them and blend them in.
Here you can see how it looks on
the model. The staining is subtle and works really
well. Using the blues and whites also help to
alter the color to more of a blue which I wanted.
I used burnt sienna on my Russian KV-2 as well
as the white, yellow, and blue to simulate rustiness
09.30.2006 » Two More
Today I added 2 more washes to layer
the weathering effects on the tank. First I applied
a brown wash which was similar to my dirt color
on the base. After that dried I applied the same
wash, but with more white oil paint mixed in.
This gave me a dusty look similar to many of the
images I’ve seen of the Type 74 on maneuvers.
Next up will either be predusting with an airbrush
or rain marks with water-thinned tamiya acrylics.
Not sure which yet.
10.02.2006 » Rain
Marks and Pre-Dusting
The past couple days have been busy,
so not too much progress. First I applied some
rain marks to the vertical surfaces of the tank.
I mixed some Tamiya Buff and Brown with LOTS of
water and brushed streaks down the vertical and
sloped sides that would have them. As they dry,
the lightness of the marks show up. You won’t
see them when they’re wet if you’re doing it right.
Next I mixed up a shade of Tamiya
Acrylics similar to my groundwork dirt. I mixed
this 50/50 with Flattened Future and sprayed it
where dust would collect. That was a bit dark,
so I mixed in some white and resprayed. The multi-layed
effect looks great. THis was applied to the underside
of the chassis, the road wheels, the rear panel
and front of the tank and in other places.
When that dried I added more rain
marks and applied the tinted window glass which
I cut from clear blister-pack plastic and backed
with black acrylic.
And last for the progress, I started
on some of the mud and grime effects. Below you
can see the first of it which is some mud spatters
on the rear of the tank as seen in some of my
reference. I’ll be adding more of this later i
lighter shades. It was applied by fliching water-wet
pigments with a stiff nylon brush. The cheap Testors
10.03.2006 » Dust
Next up in my layers and layers
of weathering is the mud and dust. First I applied
more dust and dried earth with Mig Pigments. I
used both dark and light to simulate not only
different types of dust, but to simulate that
some of the much is still moist.
After that it was time to make some
mud. I mixed equal parts of ground talus (A),
dry plaster of paris (B), MIG pigment powder (C),
and a little static grass thrown in as well.
I combined these in an applesause
container then removed half for later. I made
too much dry mix, so by removing some I can use
it later for another kit. I took my mixture and
mixed in a slightly larger volume of Liquitex
Acrylic Matt Gel Medium. This is the same as the
gloss gel medium I use for water, but dries flat
instead of glossy. I wanted it flat to simulate
drying mud. I stirred this up well with an old
brush until I got a nice muddy consistency. This
will dry about the same color as the mix. Pigments
usually dry lighter, but this in my tests did
Using some old brushes I applied
the mud on the lower portions of the chassis where
the tank would have pushed through some wet mud
which later dried and crumbled off in spots. I’ll
add lighter dry pigments later to simulate the
This mixture was also applied to
the wheels and drive sprockets.
When the mud had dried I took some
MIG Gunmetal and rubbed it between my thumb and
forefinger. I then rubbed it on the sprockets
(see above) as well as the machine gun for the
turret. The gun was first painted black. Rubbing
the metallic powder on it achieves a great look!
10.04.2006 » Drying
And finally for the weathering and
painting page we have progress shots of the drying
mud. This was basically achieved by dusting the
darker mud with lighter pigments. Looks great!
I also attached the tracks. Love the sag and it
looks great on the base. The tank itself is done
so final photos will be up soon… after the figs
09.12.2006 » Figure
On this page I will go into detail
on constructing, painting, and weathering the
figures I’ll use with the JGSDF Type 74 model
kit by Tamiya. I’ll be scrapping the kit-supplied
figures as they’re… so-so. Instead I’ll be using
a combination of the newer JGSDF Iraq Humanitarian
Assistance Team figures for those on the ground
and JGSDF driver figures supplied with the Type
82 and Type 87 from Trumpeter. More on this later….
09.17.2006 » Figure
I started the figures yesterday
for this small vignette. I’ll be using 3 of the
standing figures from the JGSDF Iraq Humanitarian
Assistance Team. They’ll be standing on the railroad
tracks. The driver for the tank is not shown as
I’m still deciding what to do with it. I know
I won’t be using the figure that came with the
tank. I’ll be using a driver head from one of
the Trumpeter Type 82 or 87 model kits, but an
not sure if I’ll use the body of one of the trumpeter
kits or that of the JGSDF LAV driver. I’ll have
to see how each looks/fits together.
Here’s a shot of what I’ve done
with the standing figs so far. I’ve managed to
get most of the waving figure done, but I cannot
add the misc. bits to the other two figures until
I clean-up the putty and glue on the arms. On
a related note, I have a new background sheet
and place to take in-prog photos. The sheet of
paper matches this site quite nicely!
09.17.2006 » Stand
The standing figs are all done.
Now I just need to do the driver head and an arm
that will be slightly visible pushing open the
top turret. Painting the camo on these should
be a fun challenge.
09.23.2006 » Driver
I picked up my Type 87 and 82 from
Fulcy today and was able to finish the last figure
by using one of the driver heads from the Trumpeter
kit. I needed a figure-head with the driver helmet
that didn’t suck like the old kit-supplied figure.
This went on easy enough with a little shaving
of the neck as it was REALLY long. I primed the
figures with Tamiya Surface Primer.
09.24.2006 » Face
The first thing I needed to paint
was the faces. This is because I’m doing them
in oils and they take a while to dry. Starting
them now will give me the drying time to start
painting the tank. The following techniques are
a combination of my own and what I learned from
Craig Whitaker, another member of my local IPMS
and a great figure painter. He’s got some oil
painting tutorials on Armorama
so look them up!
The first step in my painting is
to apply a base coat of flesh. This was a mixture
of Tamiya Acrylics (flesh + brown + white) and
airbrushed on. Don’t worry about the exact color
as that’ll be fixed later. Just do a basic skin-tone.
Next up was hand-brushing a thin
layer of Future Floor Acrylic (FFA) onto the flesh
parts. This will seal in the basecoat and protect
it during the oil-painting process. Don’t worry
about the gloss as that will be covered later.
Once the FFA cures we can begin
with the oils. I mixed up some White and a little
Burnt Sienna on my pallet. (a lid covered in foil)
I added a touch of yellow to the flesh mix to
get a more Asian tone. Thanks again to Craig for
this simple mix!
Now that the color was mixed I brushed
it onto the flesh-painted parts very thinnly.
If this is applied to thick you’ll get brush strokes.
This is where the base-coat comes in handy as
it lets you apply a thin layer of oils without
the primer showing through. This thin coat of
oils will cover the gloss of the FFA and act as
a blending base for the highlights and shadows.
Next take a small brush and dab
small amounts of white oils where the highlights
would be. Bridge of the nose, upper cheaks, lower
Now wipe that brush on a rag (no
thinner) and blend the white into the base color.
Don’t worry too much if your highlights are large
as we’ll blend them out later.
Now take pure Burnt Sienna and dab
it where the shadows would be. In the face creases,
eye sockets, under the brows and chin, under the
Now again we’ll wipe that brush
clean and use it to blend the Burnt Sienna into
the base color. At this point you can see where
things may beed some more blending to look better.
Do this as needed. After you’re done, set the
figures aside to dry. I set mine into a warm spot
under a lamp (careful not to melt them, just warmer
than room temp) and this will dry the oils quicker.
When these oils dry, we can go back and add more
white and burnt sienna to exaggerate the highlights.
Add a little pink to the lips as well.
09.26.2006 » Camo
Next up for the figures is painting
the JGSDF camoflauge fatigues. There’s a great
little diagram on what colors to use to paint
the camo on the figure box, plus I looked up some
real life references online. After studying the
camo I decided to paint it in the following order:
First I used a 50:50 mix of Tamiya
Buff and Flat Green. I thinned this with water
and brushed on a thin layer. This went on thin
and you could see the primer and flesh tones beneath,
but this is good as multiple thin layers will
minimize brush strokes..
When that layer dried I painted
a second thin coat of the green/buff mix. This
covered the first and left a nice solid green
with very little base coats showing through. I
didn’t do a 3rd coat (but I would had if this
was a solid color fatigue) as the camo will cover
Next I applied Tamiya Red Brown
thinned with water with a pointy brush. According
to the reference, this color is prevalant, but
Next I applied Tamiya Buff thinned
with water. This color was applied more than the
Red Brown and even covers some of the Red Brown
patches as shown in the reference. The Buff color
is only half-done in these images. After double-checking
the refs I need more small “dots” of
I appled more small dots of the
Buff then I added the final camo color which is
sporadic dots of German Gray. After the gray dried
I used white glue to attach the helmets. Next
up is painting equipment, gloves, boots, straps,
09.27.2006 » Gear,
Wash, and Drybrush
After the camo was done I painted
the dose meters (white ipod looking thingies),
boots, vest webbing, gloves, straps, walkie talkies,
After all the details were painted,
I gave the figures a gloss coat of Future Floor
Acrylic to seal in the base painting. After the
clear coat I needed to decide on how to highlight
the figures to show all the webbing, gear, pockets,
etc… Oils probably wouldn’t work since they’re
not very translucent. I opted instead for watercolors.
I first used a wash of olive green on everything
but the dose meters, boots, and skin. For the
boots I used a wash of black + burnt sienna watercolors.
When the washes dried, I did something
I usually don’t do, but thought would work in
this case… Drybrushing. I needed to highlight
the various ridges and such on these figs since
the camo hid everything in it’s randomness. That’s
what camo does though! I used white tube watercolor
and drybrushed it onto everything but the skin.
Lastly I gave the figures a flat
coat of Future. I think they turned out pretty
good and are almost done. Next time I’ll probably
use a very light green instead of white as the
white makes the figures look glossy a bit even
though they’re flat. Maybe I can go back.
Below you can see the watercolors
I used. You can also see the dip I made for tinting
the goggles. The dip was made from Future + 2
drops of blue food coloring. Next I’ll attach
the goggles to the helmets and paint the rims
with semi-gloss black. I’ll also finish the rifles
and attach them. I’ll probably add some pigments
to the knees and boots as well.
09.12.2006 » Diorama
On this page I will go into detail
on constructing, painting, and weathering the
display base for the JGSDF Type 74 model kit by
Tamiya. My plan is for the tank to be resting
on a slight back-road incline and on some railroad
tracks. There will be some brush and a few figures
as well. I got the railroad track idea from some
images I saw in an issue of Xtreme Military Modeler.
The way the tank tracks sag over the tracks is
a beautiful thing to behold.
09.12.2006 » Riding
On the way back from preschool today
I stopped into the model railroad shop a few blocks
from my house. Usually I never step foot in these
as they don’t have much I ever need. This time
however they were the perfect source for a main
piece of this dio. Railroad tracks! They didn’t
have anything in a larger scale with only 2 rails
and the ties so I opted for what I think is an
HO scale length of track. I got 2 feet of it for
$5.00 which wasn’t too bad.
I need to do a fair amount of modifications
to it. Yes… I know… there’s 1/35 scale track
available. I’ve not heard good things about it
though and didn’t want to wait for it to be delivered.
First up I needed to take it apart and cut it
to the length I needed. I slid the wooden ties
off and used a razor-saw to cut the tracks. I
guestimated based on images of people walking
on railroad tracks the width I’d need. I decided
to use the existing ties in the center and use
the cut-off edges for the parts out-side of the
Next I cut a thin piece of balsa
wood that fit into the shallow box I’ll be using
as a base. This will be the base for the tracks
so that I can add them to the base after painting.
I glued the widest pieces of “tie” in
the center and the short pieces ou the outside
with white glue. I can remove the metal track
parts for painting which is nice. When I place
it onto the base when done I’ll fill the gaps
and edges with those little gray rocks called
ballast. That’ll help blend it all in. Also since
the tank will be resting on the tracks, I’ll be
adding some wood or rusted metal dimond-plate
planks as a cheap railroad crossing. This would
keep the tank/normal traffic from damaging the
tracks in real life.
Below you can see the widened track
sitting inside of the base (although when done
the track will be sitting up on a slope an inch
higher) and the “scale fig”.
09.14.2006 » The Grassy
I made some more progress on the
base today since I got my Silflor grass mat. The
weird thing is… I ordered it from Scenic Express
yesterday. I totally did not expect it to arrive
so soon. Express is right! Wow. Anyway, I got
the fall sample set which comes with 5 different
4×6 inch pieces. These will last me a very long
time I think so the $15.95 price tag wasn’t *too*
horrible. They’re very nice though and have a
realistic look. See an image I shot below.
I also started building up the
groundwork on the base. I first used floral foam
and put paper mache over it. Then I added celluclay
over that to get the bumpy base I want under the
grass. I didn’t add any on the “hill”
as that’s where the track section will be placed
and will be covered with ballast. (little gray
rocks) I added styrene around the edge of the
groundwork to section that off flatly. I’ll paint
that black later and also stain the wood.
09.16.2006 » More
I had some requests to show the
entire pieces of the Silflor grass I got from
Express. Here’s all 5 pieces and the description
from the website…
Silflor® Autumn Sampler Pack 5 sheets
4″ x 6″ each as follows: SF71024 Autumn Short
2mm Lawn SF71124 Autumn Medium 5mm Lawn SF72024 Autumn High
Pasture 8mm Lawn SF72124 Autumn High Pasture W/Weeds 8mm
SF73024 Wild AutumnTone Moorland Silflor gives ground cover
a whole new meaning. Silflor’s unique beauty will add subtle
distinctions of texture, length and color to any landscape.
Grass heights are available in 2mm, 5mm & 8 mm lengths.
Choose from a variety of color including spring, early summer,
late summer, and autumn tones and our favorite, wild moorland
texture. A realistic natural scenery can be achieved by
incorporating various sizes of mat, textures, colors and
heights. Take care when mixing and matching colors. Adjacent
periods of the year must be utilized together. Yellow colors
prevail closer to road surfaces while further from the road,
ground surface is often greener. Fields rarely consist of
one type of grass. Some places are wetter, other dryer.
Some places tufts are longer, others shorter, Feel free
to add wild grasses, weeds and flowers for visible variations.
09.18.2006 » Track
My tracks should be here in a day
or 2 so in the meantime I’m working on the base
as well as the figs. Today, since the celluclay
can shrink when it dries, I filled in the cracks
between the styrene sheet and the existing celuclay
with more celluclay. If that shrinks more, then
I’ll use something else for the next cracks. Wood
filler maybe. I also laid my track section down
and poured some ballast onto it. I just wanted
to see how it would look when done. When I do
this for the final, I’ll have to clean it off
the ties and fill in the edges on the ends of
the tracks. Adding a few weeds growing in the
ballast will be a nice touch too.
09.19.2006 » Dirt
The celluclay finally dried so I
was able to get a good bit of progress in on the
base. A few days ago I stained the base with a
dark Red Oak stain from Minwax. When dry the next
day I masked it off from the sides and clay with
blue painters tape. This afternoon I primed the
base in dark gray Duplicolor primer and when that
dried a bit I sprayed the flat sides with a flat
black spraypaint. After that dried for about a
half hour (dry to the touch) I removed the masking
tape and sprayed the whole base with a semi-gloss
clear-coat from a spray-can.
After this clear-coat dried I remasked
the wood and began painting the dirt with craft
acrylics. I mixed a color that was very similar
to Mig Pigments Russian Earth (P034). I painted
it on and left it to dry.
When the acrylics dried (about 20
minutes later) I took some Mig Russian Earth pigment
and placed it into a small container. I then dipped
a medium-sized brush into mineral spirits and
mixed a thick pasty slurry. I immediately brushed
this onto the base over the acrylics. I repeated
the dip, slurry, paint process till the entire
portion of the base I painted with acrylics was
covered. This went on very dark and shiney, but
when dry it lightens and makes a very nice matt
The plain Russian Earth base color
looked good, but I wanted to add some variation
in the tones of the earth to add to the realism.
To do this I dabbed on small amounts of dry pigments.
(Europe Dust P028 and Vietnam Earth P031) I then
worked/blended these into the base pigment with
a brush. This gave me a great overall color similar
to that seen in some JGSDF Type 74 training images
I was sent. See below for images. Next up is the
tracks and ballast.
09.20.2006 » Making
More base progress today. First
I sprayed the tracks, metal plates (styrene rectangles)
and railroad spikes (straight pins) with dark
gray Duplicolor primer. (pictured below) I love
the spray tip of this primer as it produces a
vertical flat spray that keeps build-up to a minimum.
Afterwards I hand-brushed the tracks and such
with a rust-colored mix of Tamiya acrylics.
Meanwhile I used 5 minute epoxy
to attach the track ties to the groundwork. Then
I glued some sprigs of tall field grass in a few
spots next to the ties which will simulate weeds.
When everything dried I glued thetracks in then
the metal plates to the ties on both sides of
the tracks. When that ried I drilled small holes
in the plates with my pin-vice and into the ties.
I cut the sharp ends of the pins and glued them
into the holes. Lastly I poured on the ballast
and applied Future Floor Acrylic with an eye-dropper
to act as a glue to hold the ballast in place.
This larger ballast will be covered
later with a dry, smaller, crushed mixture of
ballasts. This will fill in the gaps and make
a finer looking and more in-scale look. This fine
ballast is mixed with powdered ballast cement.
When I apply water to it, it will glue everything
in place and hopefully be a strong pile of rocks.
I’ll also use pigment powders after this to rust-up
the tracks more. A last step will be to finely
sand the track-tops with fine steel wool to regain
their shine from use.
09.21.2006 » On The
I’ve done a little more with the
track-bed. I applied my finer ballast/dry ballast
cement mix over the coarser stuff. Looks pretty
good. Adding some water mixed with white glue
really set the plie down firm. I added some rust
Mig Pigments to the tracks and later will apply
some dust to the rust to blend it in better. I
also sanded the top of the tracks down to the
natural metal to simulate the polishing wear of
frequent use. As a suggestion from BK I’ll darken
them up a bit with a little bit of oils and then
some powdered graphite. I’ll also vary the tones
of the individual ties with some oil washes. Below
is the latest image and a few reference shots
of train tracks. The first image is very close
to what I’ve been planning.
10.04.2006 » Greenery
I’ve added the Silflor grass to
the base as well as some shrubs. The grass went
on great, but it’s a little shiney so I had to
spray it with a little flat-Future. I didn’t apply
grass where the tracks are so that the tank sits
correctly on the ground.