29 November 2015

Lawmaster Mk1 - Prepwork: Intermezzo (1)

WHEW! A busy and productive weekend. All the more given the unforeseen "road conditions" that demanded extensive detours.

I would say that this experience has taught me some valuable lessons, but you can't teach an "old dog"new tricks. I love these kits. . . I love the subject matter--and the interpretation of the same. I love the production values. And I love the passion behind the process that eventually gets them to our benches.

That being said, I will try to be more careful in the future about kits that require above-average 'interaction', whether inter- or intra-. And I will ask more questions before dropping the hammer. But the bottom line is this: I can generally fix/tweak anything that is "wrong" with the overwhelm- ing majority of the kits I acquire. In fact, present manufacturer excluded, I find most kits obvi- ously sub-standard. Hence, one of the reasons I have been steadily distancing myself from this hobby.

As always, if there is a problem, let the manufacturer know! Hound them until they engage in a meaningful--and hopefully productive--exchange. And share your findings with the community-- BUT do so respectfully, objectively, and--above all--accurately. Be specific and be prepared to defend your assertion. And if all else fails, be prepared to walk away from the manufacturer in question without so much as a, "By your leave. . . "

But back to the matter at hand. . . in spite of a difficult 'infancy', the Lawmaster is growing up quite nicely. The remaining 5 weeks of the year will be spent on the engine, reworking the head- lights, starting to assemble Dredd, and general clean-up and pre-priming. If things continue on this timetable, I'm looking at Spring for completion. . . 

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

28 November 2015

Lawmaster Mk1 - Prepwork II: Mold Release and Foot-pegs

Pre-prep is now a fait accompli! The only downside to DWC's castings is that their current pro- ducer is a bit heavy-handed with his mold release. This was the case with Mortis--and most certainly with the present project. 

While annoying to varying degrees, my concern lies with the unwitting miniaturist who knows no better. Every miniaturist/modeller knows to give his model a thorough washing with warm soapy water before letting the paints flow. With styrene kits, this will suffice as the most one has to be concerned with is skin oils from handling, and any production "residue". Resin, however, is signi- ficantly different; and sometimes a "thorough washing" is simply not enough. I suggest the follow- ing process: 1) "curing" the piece/s for 1-2 hrs. in the oven; 2) soaking 2-3 nights in an industrial-strength [purple] degreaser; and then 3) scrubbing down with a non-abrasive cleansing powder--I use Comet. PERFECT!

By the end of the weekend, I hope to have the rear third of the Lawmaster assembled and filled. Once that is done, I can began final assembly and detailing on the engine (carbs, wiring, etc.)... 

Stay tuned!

FOLLOW-UP. . . The rear third has been assembled and preliminarily filled and fitted. I should point out that the rear third was filled with MS before assembling: the mounting peg will be inserted in the rear tire. 

FOLLOW-UP (2) . . . The rear third has been permanently attached to the middle section--save for the front end, we have a 'bike'! This in turn led to checking the fit of the figure on the bike, and it immediately became apparent why we haven't seen more of these finished, featured in build- ups, etc.: the figure does not fit on the bike! Shame. . . While a severe disappointment, there are a number of work-arounds which will be assessed on their relative merits.

FOLLOW-UP (3) . . . After due consideration of the options before me, and an extensive review of the canon art, I decided that the most expedient course would be relocating the foot-pegs. To this end, I have already removed the 'pegs. . .  

UPDATE 29.11.15. . . Footpeg relocation and replacement have been completed! The unevenly cast 'pegs were replaced with brass tubing. The fit of the rider is now approximate -- <1mm off. This unfortunately cannot be finalized until the groundwork is done, and pre-paint staging completed.

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

27 November 2015

Lawmaster Mk1 - Prepwork I: The Radiator

The main focus of these Prepwork entries will be on the work done in addition to the basics. I will start off with the radiator. The Notron (an obvious play on the classic British MC marque, Norton) 4000cc V8 is a water-cooled engine; however the rather prominent radiator has received some- what of a short shrift. In fact, if you were not familiar with the Lawmasters, you wouldn't know it was the radiator! 

To date, I have countersunk/recessed the face of the radiator. Next, I will add coils made from 0.8mm tin solder DONE!, and shield the coils with a PE honeycomb "armoured" grill DONE!!
I will then frame the grill with MS. DONE!!!

Not worth the additional effort? We shall soon see. . . 

FOLLOW-UP. . . I would try to photograph the completed(?) radiator, but given my limited set-up, it would definitely not be worth it. I am delighted with the outcome, as it undeniably raises the bar a few notches; however, truth be told, very little will be readily visible given the size of the tires and the radiator's relative proximity to the fender. Conclusion: a modeller's call; but given that it takes little more than a couple of hours of work, I would strongly urge that it be considered. . . 

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

25 November 2015

The Return of Dredd: DWC’s Judge Dredd on his Mk1 Lawmaster

Hard to believe that it has been well over a year since I last fiddled with the subject kit!

After dealing with the ultimate alphabetical mek, I was in the mood to do more machinery. . . So out came Judge Dredd on his Mk1 Lawmaster. 

As per usual, I had forgotten how much I'd done before "packing" him up! Two-thirds of the Law- master is in the finishing stages, and I have but the rear third to assemble before I can start considering the integration of the three subassemblies.

So far, so good. To date, assembly has been fairly straightforward, though the fact that your assembly medium will be "superglue" will require a measured approach. Work slowly--and only apply the glue when you are absolutely ready to proceed--and commit!

My goal is to have the rear third of the bike assembled and filled within the fortnight. . . certainly by year end! Then I can start final finishing and begin to execute my detailing plans, which conti- nue to to grow!!

So much for the re-introduction. I will not be surprised if this one makes at least one more detour to the storage rack before priming is considered. But by then, the star of this piece, the bike, should be [all but] done!
When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

22 November 2015

Durham Red

Having just finished Hammerstein, it should come as no surprise that I want to do another DWC offering! A "Zed" was definitely a consideration, but I wanted to try something 'new'. So, today I started basic clean-up on Durham Red (some background material can be found here).

The resin kit was 3-D sculpted by DWC stalwart David Richardson, based on the cover art of Empty Suns by Mark Harrison. It is comprised of 7 pieces + the logo-ed base. Unlike every other DWC casting I have had, the casting quality on this one is, ironically, "mortal". Which means it is VG+, but nowhere near exceptional. The fit of the pieces, however, is most certainly the latter: there is but one spot that might require a swipe of putty to get it just right. 

Clean-up is minimal, as we have come to expect; however, there are a few mods on the T-D list that might delay the transferal to the painting bench. . .

More to follow. . .

PS--This is our 1000th posting!!!

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

17 November 2015

Hammerstein - Painting: DONE!!!

The brushes are down and the painting is . . . DONE!

All that remains in the days ahead is punching up some of the detailing, some weathering (pig- ments, etc.), and the final integration of the figure to the groundwork. Actually, I expect to revisit the latter in the months to come just to make sure that everything is just as it should be. BUT. . . other than that, this figure will be off the paint bench over the weekend!

As  I mentioned in my last posting, I am not ready for this project to end. I truly wish there were additional ABC Warriors in the line: Zippo, Mongrol, Joe Pineapples, Deadlock. . . even Black- blood! That would be an impressive collection indeed!! While not very likely, stranger things have happened. . .

This figure represents all that is good about figure painting. It's bringing a character to life using a superbly designed and manufactured kit, and going wherever it leads. It's about letting your ima- gination run wild and doing your best without any concern for anything else simply because the figure deserves it. Thanks to Pat Mills and Clint Langley for their storytelling and consummate art; and to Rin and David Richardson for giving it three-dimensional life. And special thanks to Rin for reminding me yet again how much fun this hobby can be. . . 

UPDATE 18.11.15. . . DONE!!! (as in off the bench and in the cabinet!) Images to follow as soon as possible. . . 

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

14 November 2015

Hammerstein - Painting: ALL-BUT-DONE!!!

I guess I was closer than previously thought. . .  After a very productive day, Hammerstein can be officially deemed ALL-BUT-DONE!

The two remaining items to be done are: 1) the eyes and laser; and 2) the groundwork. Neither will be all that time-consuming, but #1 will certainly be stressful. I will start with the shoulder-mounted laser and then move on to the eyes. Once these are done, final detailing and weathering will commence.

Depending on how smoothly things go, this one should be off the bench by month's end. . .

A parting shot, if I may. . . I am almost sorry to see this project come to an end. As with all of my DWC projects, this represents one of my most enjoyable modelling projects ever! And this one may be at the top of the list due to the fact that it prompted a long-overdue reunion with the Mr. Metal lacquers. Hammerstein will definitely have a very special place in my collection. . . 



FOLLOW-UP 16.11.15. . . Things are moving right along. While the amount of outlining, etc. is considerable, as you might imagine, I'm more concerned with overlooking something. Assuming a semblance of normalcy is to be had from work, I hope to finish the figure itself by mid-week, and the groundwork over the weekend. Photo session targeted for Turkey Day weekend, even though I will have to work Friday. . .

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

13 November 2015

Hammerstein - Painting: Colourizing Plate (cont. 2)

While nowhere near a point where I can deem the figure "all-but-done", I am delighted to report that the main "colourization" of the plate is now DONE! 

Since, as we all know, the "devil is in the detail", I am in for one helluva home stretch! The real trick will be to maintain the cohesive entity that is now before me, while enhancing the points of interest to create a "visual path". The trek begins on the morrow!

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

"Zombie Tank" -- Intro (pt. 2)

A review will be forthcoming, but it may take a while as I am but "piddling" at the moment with this kit.

As I mentioned in my initial posting, the "Zombie Tank" variant is not addressed in the instruc- tions, and very superficially touched-upon in the painting guide. In short, if you want to do this particular version of the Mk. 10, it will be up to you to determine the extent of the mods required. Or. . . you can check on this thread periodically. . .

In the meantime, this "core" list compiled before I ordered the kit should get you started. I will be adding to it as needed. . .
  • Delete searchlight.
  • Delete spotlight/s.
  • Delete right smoke dispenser.
  • Delete cupola MG: replace w/ “M2HB”(prop).
  • Replace L11A5 barrel (including extensive mods to fume extractor; etc.).
  • Delete and/or rework coax MG.
  • Delete and sculpt or rework barrel ‘mask’.
  • Delete PE bow wave-deflector; fill-in locating slot.
  • Texturize metal surfaces (anti-slip coating)
  • Replace solid tie-down brackets on skirts with PE and or wire.

Before closing I will say that the barrel replacement is well-underway! The stock barrel is com- prised of four pieces/two sub-assemblies. The replacement barrel is comprised of two modified sub-assemblies from the kit, two pieces of brass tubing, and a "scratchbuilt" barrel 'mask'. Once the barrel is done, the rest of the kit should be a pleasant and uncomplicated walk in the park!

Stay tuned!!

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

11 November 2015

"Zombie Tank" - Intro

I'm trying to toe the line with respect to the "sidebar projects", especially given the time of year, but what is one to do with Takom's release of a Chieftain Mk. 10?

The Chieftain has always been one of my favourite tanks. It was the first of the "modern" tanks, AFAIC. And once upgraded with "Stillbrew" armour on the turret (Mk. 10), it was a very striking and formidable AFV indeed!

In the premiere episode of The Walking Dead, Rick rides into Atlanta and comes upon a seem- ingly abandoned tank. The tank is painted in modern US desert colors, and unless one is looking very closely, the mind will tell you it's an M1 Abrams. Well, that's what the producers wanted you to think, but in reality it's a Chieftain Mk. 10! The Chieftain had been stripped of its thermal barrel sleeve, the large spotlight on the left of the turret, as well as other bits and bobs to hopefully make it appear more like an Abrams.

Hitherto, the only mainstream Chieftain kits on the market were Tamiya's and Academy's dated entries. If memory serves, both purported to depict a Mk. 5. This year Takom has released not one, but three Chieftains: a Mk. 5, a Mk. 10, and the last of the line, the Mk. 11. Meng has had a Chieftain Mk. 10 in the works since 2012, but I don't know if they intend to proceed with it given Takom's "preemptive strike".

As much as I like the Chieftain, I had no intention of detouring into the world of modern armour. That is until I read an announcement of the upcoming Takom trifecta. Takom took the initiative to include TWD S1/Ep1 Chieftain (Chieftains would also appear in S1/Eps. 5 & 6(?), but with differ- ent markings) as a variant of the Mk. 10 in their full-colour painting guide. They did not provide any additional parts, reference the variant in their instructions, or provide any decals; but it was a noteworthy nod to the popular series and its fanbase.

Needless to say, I was obviously intrigued. One of my favourite tanks as it appeared on one of my favourite shows? This warranted additional research. I will spare you the [boring?] details, but let me just say that I was finally hooked and the project is on the bench as a "filler" while paint dries and putty cures on figures.

More to follow. . .

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

10 November 2015

Hammerstein - Painting: Colourizing Plate (cont.)

  • UPDATE 10.11.15--Phase I of the tracks--MIG and Vallejo acrylics--is complete.

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

Hammerstein - Painting: Intermezzo (2)

Given the free-form approach ("open palette") that will dictate the remaining brushwork, I decided to permanently transfer Hammerstein to its final display base. Not quite in the books yet, but getting close. . . 

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

08 November 2015

Hammerstein - Painting: Colourizing Plate

We are now in Phase III of the painting: applying a chromatic, variegated, multi-media finish to the metallic surface. If my goal was a [semi-]polished factory finish, the figure could be consid- ered all-but-done. But, based on Langley's depiction--or the printing of the same, the finish of the ABC Warriors was decidedly chromatic and selectively textured. The fact that all attempts to source "the vision" behind the finish have been for naught is at once liberating--and frustrating!

This will be the prevailing phase through completion. Even the weathering will be dictated by the necessity to create a cohesive, integrated, visually appealing as well as representative entity. I will strive to keep you abreast of the progress, though the particulars might be a bit sparse as this will largely be a free-form exercise.
  • UPDATE 08.11.15--Right arm has been glazed with light blue-grey acrylic; hammer has been basecoated with Vallejo Metal Gunmetal. Right pauldron has been base- lacquered and permanently attached.
  • UPDATE 08.11.15 (2)--Left pauldron has been base-lacquered and permanently attached: the figure is now completely assembled.
  • UPDATE 08.11.15 (3)--All gold insignia basecoated in a Mussini Casslerbraun glaze.
  • UPDATE 09.11.15--All gold insignia given a light dry-brushing in Mars Yellow. In order to maintain the tonal and graphic quality of the original artwork, I am attempting a quasi-nmm approach to the yellow metals.
When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

07 November 2015

Hammerstein - Painting: Intermezzo

The pauldrons have been primed and are slated to be undercoated tomorrow. DONE!

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

Sister Sonia - Castle Miniatures' Soeur de Charité

Once upon a time, I conceived of a Papal Order of Demon Hunters. The projected series was launched in March 2000 with the 1/8th scale ff of the Captain-General of the Order, Der Vampyr-jäger. Unfortunately, neither the series nor the story progressed much beyond the initial release, and to this day I consider it one of the few items of unfinished business in my life.

One of the characters in the story was a warrior-nun called Sister Sonia. When Castle Miniatures released the subject bust, I was very tempted to bring Sister Sonia to "life". But I managed to resist the impulse, and all thoughts re: this were soon swept away. . .

Until last week when I found out that a live-action film of the Antarctic Press comic Warrior Nun was in pre-production. This started me thinking about a 3-D representation of the title character, which in turn revived thoughts of Sister Sonia. And today I received Castle Miniatures' 1/8 scale bust, Soeur de Charité.

This is a one-piece resin bust designed and sculpted by Yury Serebryakov. Overall, it is VG+++, though my sample was plagued with a number of small air bubbles throughout the veil. Fortu- nately, these are readily identifiable and very easy to fix: < 20 mins. total.

To date I have removed the rosary/crucifix, started general clean-up, and pegged the bust: as per usual from this manufacturer, no means of display support, whether plinth or rod, is provided. 

Stay tuned!

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

06 November 2015

Hammerstein - Painting: Lacquers

IT. . . HAS. . . BEGUN!!!!!!!

This evening, I have applied the basecoat of lacquers up to Hammerstein's "knees" using G-S Mr. Metal Stainless Steel.  So far so good. . . This will be my "test canvas" throughout upon which to assay the variegated metallic effects I hope to achieve. IF I am not entirely successful, this is the area that will be subjected to the greatest weathering, so no harm.

I will buff-out the tracks shortly, but the lower legs will be allowed to cure as applied. 

NEXT: Dark Iron and Iron mottling. . .

UPDATE 07.11.15. . . Basecoating is complete save for the arms. Mottling on the legs is done! HINT: Mottling should be done over/in 2-3 sessions (read: layers), allowing-to-dry and buffing between layers.

UPDATE 08.11.15. . . Basecoating and mottling are done! Spot highlighting with lacquers is underway!!

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003