Friday, 2 November 2018

Fallschirmjager Display - Overloon

This year, rather than fly over for the Scale Model Challenge show in Veldhoven, I decided to take the car and try and visit a few museums along the way. One of the highlights for me was the Fallschirmjager exhibition at the Oorlogsmuseum in Overloon; just North East of Eindhoven near the River Meuse and the German border.

As well as the vehicle exhibits at the museum, they have one of the most extensive displays of Fallschirmjager uniforms and equipment in existence and it has really got me thinking about a future project.
For obvious reasons the exhibits are all behind glass - I shudder to think how much this collection must be worth - and it does make photography a little tricky. So apologies for the quality of some of the photo's but hopefully they are of some use;
















Thursday, 1 November 2018

Alpine Miniatures BAR Gunner

There can't be many in the modelling world that haven't heard of Alpine Miniatures, their extensive range of resin figures has continued to grow over the years and I for one eagerly await their new releases.
This figure depicts a US Army BAR gunner in typical winter dress with a somewhat relaxed pose. I painted this recently and thought it would be a good idea to note which colours I used, not only to share but also to remind me what I did too.

Generally I will use Vallejo paint, on this occasion I also made use of Lifecolor and Andrea Acrylics too. (The Lifecolor references below will start with a UA prefix).
I find that sometimes Vallejo colours will dry with a slight sheen; to avoid this I generally add a small amount of Tamiya Flat Base into the mix; this isn't usually necessary with Lifecolor or Andrea.
You will have noticed I make use of Andrea black instead of the Vallejo one. As I mentioned above, some Vallejo colours dry with a slight sheen and this black is one of them; it is also slightly lighter than the Vallejo black and I reserve the Vallejo colour for when I really need to go dark.
So below is the breakdown of paint colours I used for each of the specific parts of this figure along with a few work in progress shots;


Base - 876 Brown Sand
Highlight - add 815 Basic Skintone
Shadow - add 814 Burnt Cadmium Red


Base - 50/50 mix of 893 US Dark Green and 822 German Camo Black Brown
Highlight - add more 893 US Dark Green, then 988 Khaki
Shadow - add Andrea Black

Helmet strap (Canvas)

Base - UA421 Olive Drab M1943
Highlight - add UA426 Olive Drab Green Tone
Shadow - add Andrea Black

Helmet strap (Leather)

Base - 50/50 mix of 872 Chocolate Brown and 875 Beige Brown*
Highlight - add more 875 Beige Brown
Shadow - add more 872 Chocolate Brown

* You can see here that the base colour is made up from a dark tone; Chocolate Brown; and a light one; Beige Brown; this technique is really useful as by altering the ratios you already have your light and shadow colours without introducing a new colour that may change the tone.

The head is complete here and the jacket has been blocked in with the base colour.


Base - 50/50 mix of 887 Brown Violet and 875 Beige Brown
Highlight - add 845 Sunny Skintone
Shadow - add Andrea Black


Base - 314 Canvas (Panzer Aces range)
Highlight - add UA430 HBT Light Tone
Shadow - add 887 Brown Violet, then Andrea Black

Jacket pretty much complete here, webbing is still in the jacket base colour.

Webbing & Medical Pouch

Base - 988 Khaki
Highlight - add 986 Deck Tan
Shadow - add 822 German Camo Black Brown

Webbing Buckles

Base - 862 Black Grey
Highlight - add 990 Light Grey
Shadow - add Andrea Black

I like to paint buckles in this Non-Metallic Metal (NMM) style, I find actual metallic a little bland for this but that is purely personal preference. Webbing complete here, starting to work up the BAR pouches.

BAR Pouches

Base - UA426 Olive Drab Green Tone
Highlight - add 815 Basic Skintone
Shadow - add 899 US Olive Drab


Base - UA421 Olive Drab M1943
Highlight - add UA430 HBT Light Tone
Shadow - add 899 US Olive Drab


Base - 890 Reflective Green
Highlight - add 845 Sunny Skintone
Shadow - add Andrea Black


Base - 893 US Dark Green
Highlight - add 845 Sunny Skintone
Shadow - add Andrea Black


Base - 50/50 mix of 872 Chocolate Brown & 875 Beige Brown
Highlight - add more 875 Beige Brown then a little 819 Iraqi Sand for the final highlights/scuffs
Shadow - add more 872 Chocolate Brown then Andrea Black for the final outline.
The boots are then glazed with a thinned Chestnut brown ink, Scalecolor in this instance. This imparts a slight sheen to the leather and unifies all of the colours together.
The soles were painted with 862 Black Grey, highlighted with a little 988 Khaki.

BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle)

Metal Body

Base - 50/50 mix of 721 Burnt Iron (Vallejo metallic range) and Andrea Black
Highlight - add more 721 Burnt Iron
Shadow - outlined with Black Ink; Scalecolor here but any black ink will work


Base - 50/50 mix of 703 Dark Aluminium (Vallejo metallic range) and Andrea Black
Highlight - add more 703 Dark Aluminium
Shadow - outlined with Black Ink

Wooden Parts

Base - 50/50 mix of 872 Chocolate Brown and 846 Mahogany Brown
Highlight - add mo876 Brown Sand
Shadow - add more 872 Chocolate Brown
Wooden parts then glazed with Scalecolor Chestnut Ink.

So that about does it, really pleased with how this one came out; these Alpine figures really are a joy to paint - Until next time.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Popski's Private Army - Part 5, Finishing off

Weathering has always been (and still is) a bit of a thing for me, I don't particularly like doing it as I feel it is so easy to mess up all of that hard work with sloppily applied weathering. For a long time I didn't do it at all but there was obviously a big chunk of the final idea missing.

Some time ago I attended a course run by Geoff Coughlin at Scale Modelling Now, an online model magazine that hosts actual modelling workshops by some of the best in the hobby. This particular workshop was run by (to me) the master of dust and weathering, Lester Plaskitt.

I've known Lester for some years so I thought I would go along and try and pick up some tips. And boy did I, the sequential approach and hands-on instruction and guidance was worth every penny. As a consequence, I suggest if you are looking to up your game and want to learn from some of the best modellers around, look into getting yourself on one of these workshops.

Anyway, I digress. You want to know what I learnt. To repeat what I said earlier in the blog;

"Weathering is a layering process; it needs to be considered at every step. Why is that area chipped? What caused that streak? Would that be rusty?  - There is a lot more to it than buying a jar of the latest wonder-product and slapping it on without consideration. Take your time, think it through."

So by way of a reminder, this is the jeep before any dust effects.

Compare that to this shot of the finished piece. Bit different, isn't it? And you can probably see now why I spent years avoiding doing this !!

So to start to tie everything together, the first thing to do is to create a base to work from. This step was to spray a highly diluted mix of Tamiya XF57 Buff over the lower areas of the jeep. This was then repeated on horizontal surfaces, those surfaces that would gather dust. All we are doing here is changing the tone of the paint gradually and in a patchy way, we aren't trying to cover everything in an even coat of dust.

That dust is now worked up into a more opaque layer gradually and by concentrating on the form of the object we are weathering. i.e. Dust gathers in recesses, is removed by wear and can be smeared and moved around. It is anything but uniform.

This process works best if you work on one panel or area at a time, it is easy to gauge progress then and you can alter or refine areas as you go. What it also does is make you think about what you are doing: where would the dust accumulate here? would that area be in constant use? If so, how would it get rubbed off?

For the next stage I mixed up two versions of the following Vallejo acrylics: a thinned version of approx. 50/50% 987 Medium Grey and 976 Buff (mix 1), the second version has a little more Buff added and isn't thinned as much (mix 2). This is the scary bit so I urge you to practice this on an old model first.

Add a little washing-up liquid to water (this breaks down the surface tension and slows the paint drying a little) and brush this on to your desired area. Next, apply some of the thinner mix 1 to this and use your brush to literally "move" the paint around to where you want it. Remember, dust will gather in recesses but it will also leave a trace across the entire surface. Once happy, and when this is dry, (use a hairdryer to speed up this process) you can then enhance the effect by using the thicker mix 2 in the areas of greatest build-up. 

This is a slow process but it does create that build-up of dust that cannot be replicated any other way. True, pigment application is far quicker but it doesn't give you as much control, and that is key. For a final touch, dry pigments can be applied to enhance the effect and I have done this selectively here, using the same pigments I used on the base.

As a case in point, compare these two wheels: one before the dust layer, the other after the application of acrylic only "dust".

So, not forgetting to apply this technique to the lower areas of the figures, all that remains is to mount everything on the base and apply some final pigments to any missed areas.

So does it work? I must admit that initially I thought I had overdone the dust effects but then I looked at my reference photo's again. I'm happy with the end result and this project pushed me through a mental barrier when it comes to a heavily dusted finish. All that remains, then are the final pictures.

Thanks for following along and if you have any questions please drop me a line.