Monday, June 29, 2015

Merkava Diorama - Part 3

Hi everyone,

A short one this week since I am off for a pre-summer holiday.  Since I work in the hospitality industry, summer is off limits as far as holidays are concerned.

Well, I have continued with the Merkava diorama, but due to my tight schedule I ended up taking shitty pictures.  So I apologize in advance.

The first picture shows the tank undercoated - first with black, then with white on top.  The picture, as I have mentioned above is not very clear, since they were taken near sunlight - but I did not notice at the time
The next step was the basic colour - in this case IDF Sand.  The parts in white were already much lighter than those which were black.  This technique offers a good first colour gradient.
The next several steps were the highlights and shading, also done with an airbrush, as well as a lot of masking.  The effects are not very clear in the picture below due to the over-saturation from the daylight.
I stopped there with the tank, as the next several steps will be done with my trusty paint brush.  Since I still had the airbrush out I did some work on the base.

After putting the scene together, I filled in the gaps with putty and a fine gavel & sand solution mixed with PVA glue to blend the parts together.  At this stage, I did not fix in the smaller building, as it would have caused difficulties in airbrushing later on.  I had left the thing to dry overnight.
The next step was to prime it in black and add some basic colours to the scene. Unfortunately the camera moved without me noticing.  I was in such a hurry that I did not even bother to check the picture!!  Sorry about this, but by the time I found out, this stage had gone!
The last step before getting into the scene with the paint brush, was to add some detailing and shades with the airbrush. My first step was to paint up the rubble.  Then I masked off the rubble areas and airbrushed in the road.  The next step was adding masks in order to paint in the zebra crossing and road line. This was definitely the fun part.

When the lines were done, I added highlights to the road.  After which, I blended the road and rubble areas together with several layers of dusting - everything done by airbrush for now.
The last step was to work on the tall building.  Living in a Mediterranean island, I know how taxing the sun can be on buildings, so I wanted a blanched look.  Hence the several layers o highlights.  I will tone this done with some washes later on.

That is all for this week.  Next week I want to show some more of my 10mm High Elf Army I have finished painting up.

Until then farewell and good health.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

10mm Elf Army- Elites and Monsters

Hi everyone,

I decided to take a quick break from the Merkava diorama, this week to show my latest additions to my 10mm High Elf army.  I mentioned some posts ago that this was to be the year of armies - and I have sidetracked somewhat.

Nonetheless, I have still done work on them, even though on the side.  So today I want to take the time to talk about the 10mm Sword Master of Hoeth unit, my hero on an eagle and some dragons.

First up are the Sword Masters. I have to admit they take the 1st place for me in this post. I gave them a blue look in order to differentiate them from the Phoenix Guard that are in red and the common spear units.  I also gave their armour several washes of Tamiya clear blue.
Instead of just four stands, I opted for six this time. I wanted the option of creating different unit sizes depending on the size of game or scenario.
Next up is the High Elf hero on a giant eagle.  As you can see I have updated its base to a 4 inch radius. I do this in order to be able to play with my models in various game systems - including Kings of War, Hordes of the Things and my own personal game - Dying Wyvern.

The last project for this army I have been working on are the dragons. The models are from the D&D plastic pre-painted model range.  They are called purple and deep dragons, I thing they are perfect for mighty drakes in 10mm scale.

The only thing I have done for now, is put them on bases with some putty work to give them the impression that they are on cliffs.  I think I will paint them in shades of blue and purple.  Overall I think that these colours suit a dragon used by the elves.
As you can see, the 4inch square bases fit the dragons well and they can easily be placed into a unit formation.

That is all for this week.  Until we meet again - farewell and good health.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Merkava Diorama - Part 2

Hi everyone,

Today I want to continue discussing another product I bought for this diorama- the scene.

As I mentioned last week I bought a middle eastern scene set from A Czech company called Black Dog at a sale a sale price from Hannants.

The set is really nice and detailed, but it does have several problems that I will discuss briefly.
The set comes in 4 parts - a base, 2 buildings and a pair of shatters.  They are all well sculpted, but they do need a lot of cleaning.
The highlight of the set has to be the buildings, especially the larger one.  They are simply gorgeous.  Full of detail, character and bullet holes! The separate shutters fit into the larger building.

A view from behind shows that they are not a solid piece and can be used by the creative modeller from the opposite side.
The problems I have is with the base.  The detail is lovely and the buildings do fit in well with only minor tweaking, but the base itself is slightly warped and uneven.
There is also a problem with the casting, as one side is thicker than the other.  As I am placing the base into a frame, I can cover this up, but it would not suit someone just displaying it.  In that case, it would have to be sanded down.
The picture below shows how uneven the base really is.  I asked a friend to make me a frame base and he had to widen the frame.  This way I can fit the base much easier and then just fill in around the base with putty.
The last photos show how the set goes together. You have to admit, it does make a handsome picture.  I sincerely doubt if I could have made something this good, and at this scale, on my own.

So the verdict is that overall, and despite the few problems, this set is well worth the few quid spent on it. I will certainly be looking into Black Dog products in the future, and I highly recommend bookmarking their site.  I can't wait to paint it up.

Well that is it for now.  Next week I will post up some of the painting work.  So until then;

Farewell and good health,


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Merkava Diorama - Part 1

Hi everyone,

Today's post deals with a new project that I have started.  This is a new diorama at the 1/72 scale of one of my favourite tanks - the Merkava.  I have not built a tank in a while now.  My last tank was the WW2 King Tiger, also at the 1/72 scale entitled Germans at Rest.

Since I do not feel confident enough to build the larger scales, I opted for another go at this cheaper scale to hone my skills.  On the plus side, I have always wanted to build this tank, so I decided to get stuck in.

I wanted this project to be light and easy going, and I certainly did not want to get bogged down by the scenery and model modification.  At this scale these things can be very challenging and that is not the purpose of this exercise.

After shopping around, I found a nice middle eastern diorama kit from a company called Black Dog that I found on sale on Hannants, as well as some well designed resin IDF soldiers ready to be painted up. I will post more on these in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I go stuck in to building the tank.  It goes together quite well and the instructions are very straightforward except for a few things like gun placement on the turrent.  That could have been a bit clearer.

As for the fit, it was OK, but I still had a few problems that needed putty and sanding.  One drawback to the kit is the lack of certain details that I felt needed to be added.

A typical example are the exhausts.  These are basically holes in the side.  The designers must have thought that at this scale they would go unnoticed, but I found this oversight glaring annoying. 
I fixed this very easily by adding some plastic tubing, and the whole thing just looked all the better for it.
I also added some clamps to the extra tracks, and sanded down the mud flap protectors.  The flaps were very thick and unseemly, but after a bit of TLC, things fell into place.
The true work was in the turret.  This is the equivalence of a face on a model - it is the focus of attention for the viewer, so I decided to give it more attention. 

Once again I added extra details like clamps, pronounced welding marks, antennas and a whole lot of extras - I might have gone a bit overboard with this, but it was fun to do!

Well, the tank is finished and ready for painting.  Before I start though, I wanted to get some posts in with the other products I bought. So until then:

Farewell and good health,



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