Saturday, July 19, 2014

WW2 Diorama - Part 2

Hi everyone,

Today I continue talking about my new and over due WW2 project in 1/72 scale.  Today, I present the painted King Tiger tank. Before I start, I would like to say that I started this piece in 1/72 scale because I thought in would be easier and cheaper - at test run so to speak.  I was right on the cheaper side of things, but I could not have been more wrong on the painting side.

The truth is that it is quite harder to render a realistic paint job at this scale, than it is at 1/48 or 1/35.  I found myself thinking and measuring and calculating time and again before executing anything in paint or pigment.  A hundred mistakes after I managed to finish the tank.

Well enough prattle, let's get down to business.  The first item on my to do list was to give the tank a good primer and to check for any faults.  I did find some casting errors around the tank which I filled with putty and sanded down.
Afterward, I gave the tank another coat of primer and sanded down lightly.  When I was satisfied I rinsed it under running water and let it dry for the next stage.
After the grey primer, I primed the under-parts with a black primer and the top parts with a white primer to help with the modulation.  Like most late war German tanks, the base coat is Dunkelgelb or dark yellow, and applying this coat was the next step.

To further increase the range of modulation, I added white to the Dunkelgelb, and highlighted the top areas of the body and turret with 2 gradations.
Now for the interesting part - the camouflage pattern.  I was a bit torn here as there are so many to choose from.  Finally I settled for a hard edged pattern since it would be easier to reproduce at this scale.  The first layer of the camouflage was olive green.  I masked the tank with white tack and sprayed the base green, including the highlighted colour as well.

After the green I did the same with the red brown.  With the second step you have to be careful with placing the white tack in order to fit both layers of camouflage coherently. 
The last step is the weathering.  It is also the hardest step as it will make or break the diorama.  The name of the diorama is Germans at Rest, so I had to give the impression that the tank is at rest for some time.  The idea was to have mud at different levels of dryness and the application is not as easy as you might think.  The saying less is more certainly fits as an axiom here, but it is easy to get ahead of yourself and overdo it.

Well the tank is now finished and I hope you like it.  The next step is to paint up the first two Germans that will be accompanying the tank on the elevated part of the diorama.  When these two are done I can start with the ground work on the upper part.  But that is for next time.

Until then farewell and good health as always,


Saturday, July 12, 2014

WW2 Diorama - Part 1

Hi everyone,

Today I taken down another piece from the Shelf of Shame.  This is the WW2 diorama at 1/72 scale I had started several years ago.  I always was interested in this period but never got around to it.  When I did manage to start this diorama, I only built the tank and then something else caught my eye - same old story with me!

I eventually rekindled my interest in this diorama when I started getting into Flames of War - to which I am now hooked.  I remember I wanted to start with something easy and cheap before spending money on the bigger military kits, so I opted for this scale.

To be honest, this scale does not really appeal to me as a modelling project - I prefer the 1/48 tanks by far.  This is the same scale as DUST and very close to 28/30mm scale.  Nonetheless, I am determined to finish this project and cross it off from my resolutions list.

As you can see below, it is a 1/72 King Tiger from Trumpeter. The kit is not super detailed like the Dragon kits at this scale, but neither is it as expensive.  I think it is a good compromise for my first go at this modelling genre.
Below is the completed tank.  It is also were I left off to pursue other shiny things that caught my interest.
The next step then was to plan out the diorama.  I wanted something at rest - without any action.  This is because, at this scale action would create extra complications that I do not want to load on to my schedule.  Besides, this is meant to be an exercise in tank modelling and not in diorama building per-se.

So after I came up with an idea, I started shopping for the appropriate figures.  I was very lucky here as I immediately stumbled upon a set of Germans at rest from Preiser.  These are excellent for what I had in mind.  The poses are casual and relaxed and the sprue is full of accessories, besides the fact that for their scale and material, they are probably the best range out there.
The next step was to build an appropriate base that would comfortably fit the scene I wanted to create. I needed the front of the diorama to show the back of the tank, and the front of the minis.  So I decided to divide the base into two different elevations.  The King Tiger, being the centre piece of the diorama, would get the higher elevation, and the Germans the lower.

After I assembled the Germans and I got the positions right, I continued to work on the base giving it shape and several coats of putty and texture.  The bottom picture gives an idea of how the whole thing will come together when ready.

Well, that is all for now.  See you all again next week for another update on this new/overdue project.

Farewell and good health,


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Minotaurs Vs Lamenters - FINISHED

Hi everyone,

Finally I have finished this long and overdue little vignette, and I am quite happy with the way it turned out.  I have to admit I am more satisfied with myself for putting my act together; that is sitting down and getting the work don3, than I am with the project itself to a certain extent.

I will be making an engraving for this vignette and it will be called:

Mater Lacrimarum
Optera V
Badab War

Mater Lacrimarum is the name of the Lamenter's flag ship that was ambushed and boarded by the Minotaurs and brutally ransacked.  It is what gave me the inspiration for this piece. 

Having said that, let's take a look at the pictures.  After all, I know that is what you all really want to see!

Here is a closer look at the energy effect sparking off the power grille.  I did this with water effects and clear green paint.  I thought that the scene needed something on the left side to balance off the Lamenter to the right.
Well, once again that is all for this week.  Next week I will start posting on my next project.  This is the WW2 diorama in 1/72 scale and is the project that has been languishing the longest on my Shelf of Shame.

Until then farewell and good health,


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Minotaurs Vs Lamenters (Part 7)

Hi everyone,

I'm back with another post on the little Badab War vignette that I have nearly finished.

Today I want to talk a bit about the banner and banner arm with the Chapter insignia.

I have to spit it out straight away, I do not envy gamers who have decided to build a Lamenter army.  I do not envy them, but I sure as hell do admire them.  Painting whole squads of Lamenter shoulder  Chapter insignia with the checkers and the bleeding heart must be a nightmare.  At least that is what it was for me.
It took me several attempts to paint a the checkered pattern to my liking.  In the end, I managed to do it by painting a black undercoat and masking the lines.  Then I airbrushed in the white parts.

The circle is a decal of the Imperial Fists, with the heart painted on top of the fist.  I found this the best way to paint in a perfect circle.

The fitting of the banner was also a bit tricky, and in order to do so I had to determine once and for all where the Space Marine would sit and pin it down.  Only then could I apply the putty to form the shape of the banner.

After attaching the banner and arm to the marine, I continued to finish the painting.  I wanted a metallic finish for the banner to contrast with the matt finish of the Lamenter.
At first, I was going to do a company banner, but in the end, I went for a squad banner.  I thought this was more realistic and suitable for a small vignette. When the green stuff cured, I painted it up in the colours and insignia of the 3rd Company's 2nd squad.
Next post I wrap things up the the presentation of the finished product.  Until then;

Farewell and good health,


Monday, June 23, 2014

Minotaurs Vs Lamenters (Part 6)

Hi eveyone,

I am back again with another instalment for my little vignette of the Badab War, and a step closer to completing another New Year's resolution.

Today I bring you the fallen, yet always noble, Lamenter Space Marine. As you can see, the poor guy has taken a beating, but defiantly holds on to his squad banner - as is expected from this tragic yet illustrious Chapter. Well, you cannot see the banner in this post, since I had to rework it a bit due to modifications to the base.
The hardest aspect of painting this model was the battle damage - not the techniques themselves, but trying to figure out when enough is enough.  They say less is more, and I tend to agree, but I wanted to grasp the feel of a protracted war with this little guy.  Whether I have achieved that or not,  is hard to say.  I like to think that I have come close.  But please let me know what you think in the comments below.
It was also important to aesthetically create a strong visual difference between the Lamenter and the Minotour.  While the Minotaour is cleanly painted, the Lamenter is beaten bloody.  This helps create an 'outer skin' of a story to a vignette that only holds basic poses.
The last pic below gives you an idea of ow the figure fits in to the bigger picture, so to speak.  I think it fits in nicely with the background without getting lost within the complexity of it - at least I like to think so.
Well, that is all for today.  I will be back soon with another blog post on this guy describing the work I did on the other arm and the squad banner.

Till then, farewell and good health,


Friday, June 13, 2014

Minotaurs Vs Lamenters (Part 5) - The Return

Hi everyone,

Maybe you remember this little vignette on the shelf of shame in my man cave.  Well I listed this down as one of my New Year resolutions and here I am making good on that claim. 

So I have been doing a lot of work on this project, but for this post I will focus on the base since I have finished painting it up.  I apologize for the lack of progress pics, but the high season at work has started and my time dedicated to my hobby has been further reduced.

Well, I have to admit that painting the base was even more complicated and complex than the miniatures.  I found a lot of difficulty with the marble on the floor panels and walls, but in the end I think I got a good result.
I had to raise the floor a tad due to fitting problems, and this forced me to redo the Lamenter's banner which was fitted to the previous height.  A bit of a hassle, but it could not be avoided.  Actually it could have been avoided with a bit more careful planning - but that is another story and lesson for another blog post.

On the bright side, raising the floor allowed more of the work under the floor tiles to be seen - and that is definitely a plus, since I put a lot of work into that section.
The part I enjoyed most while painting up the base is the weathering and the effects, namely the rust, dust, blood splattering and the energy effects.

The blood on the floor had to be rearranged a bit as I calculated the position of the Lamenter wrongly - yep more planning!, but with the finished product you will see that it does not really effect the overall composition.

The energy effects on the energy bars have not been done in these pictures except for the green painting.  This is because I wanted plasma streaks to jump off the bars and onto the banner of the Lamenter.  You will be seeing this in a later blog post.

Well that's all for this week.  I will return with another installment of this project featuring the Lamenter himself.

Until then farewell and good health,


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dystopian Wars: Icarus Flyers Pt.2

Hi everyone,

Today its the second part of the Icarus flyers article.  I have to admit that overall I like the shape and form of these models and I hope I did them justice with my quick painting scheme.

Enough talk then - on with the article.  The next step from where we left off last week is the masking for the camouflage pattern.  Like all the other models I did in this fashion, this part is the most time consuming, but the results are worth it in the end.  I kept the colours the same as the Ptolemy bombers, since they are both medium flyers.

 I moved on to painting all the basic colours and metallic parts.  Like all the Dystopian War models in my fleet, I only paint basic colours with very little highlighting unless necessary.  In the case of the Icarus I highlighted the bronze power plant in the centre.

Once these base coats are dry, it is time for the enamel and oil washes. These type of washes let you go back and 'clean up' after application with a q-tip and white spirit.  It gives a very nice tone and depth to the model.

When all the cleaning up is done the next step is detailing.  This consists of painting up the lights, decorations, energy effects, the chimneys and so on. When this step is done, the models are ready to be  fielded.
And several group shoot, as per tradition.  I can't help myself, I just like these kind of pictures.


That's right, this is one of the resolutions I made and now it is complete.  All the models in my COA fleet (the ones I play at least) are now painted up.  That means it is time to move on to a another resolution; that is the Minotaur & Lamenter video.  Another mini-project long over due.

Well farewell and good health from your dedicated blogger - Nightrunner.



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