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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tamiya 1/35 M1A2 Abrams Tank

For this build I am reviewing the Tamiya 1/35 M1A2 Abrams tank purchased from I am mainly an aircraft builder and do not get to build many tanks. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the build was. With building tanks you spend less time on the color scheme and more time on the weathering. 

I used a method of pre-shading and post-shading. With pre-shading, I used dark colors on all the cracks protruding lines. After that I sprayed various shades in the cracks and in the middle of surfaces to diffuse the colors. Before and after decals I applied the decals. Next came a panel wash of Raw Umber oils. To diffuse the decals I sprayed light coats over parts of the decals then dullcote overall. 

1/32 Messerschmitt BF-109G6

For this project I started out with an older Hasegawa BF-109G6 set in 1/32 scale. I wanted to put as much detail into this kit as possible. The Hasegawa kit has several aftermarket resin kits available. For the cockpit I chose the True Details Interior kit. This kit worked great and was pretty easy to work with. I went a little bit different route on the instrument panel. I used the kit piece with the decals included. Using decal set and future for the dials, you can get a much better looking panel than can be achieved through dry brushing.

The next and exhausting step was putting in the engine set from Verlinden. This was very challenging. The instructions were pretty hard to understand. I had to do most of the work looking at photos of the engine. For the engine itself, I found one on display at a museum.

Getting the Engine to line up and fit took a ton of work. Adding details to the engine enhanced the look.

In all, this project took eight months longer than expected. I take pride in this build and for most people this is their their favorite of my builds.

Tamiya 1/48 P-51D Mustang

The following model is a kit that has been a work in progress for a very long time. I chose a 1/48 P-51D mustang used in the Korean War. I picked it because of the cool sharks teeth on the nose. This project peaked my interest by a P-51D shown at an air museum. From the following picture you can see how the plane has a highly polished aluminum finish. I set to recreate this.

For the cockpit I used True Details Resin Kit. This kit worked great and I am quite pleased with the final result. Now that the cockpit was finished I began experimenting with the finish. I first tried using aluminum foil  from a candybar wrapper. This proved tricky and I was not pleased with the result as it only wants to work on flat surfaces and blending surfaces is tough.

My next attempt was with Alclad II Lacquer. To get this to work well, the aircraft surface must be perfect. Any small imperfection will show through. Use a series of progressively finer sandpaper from 1000 grit on up. Once the plastic is polished, it needs a primer. I used Tamiya's surface primer but Mr surfacer works well also. Now polish that surface. Next is to add something that the Alclad can bind to. I used Alclad Black Base Primer. Since this is what the Alclad will attach to, it needs to have a perfectly shiny surface. I used a dremel tool with the cloth buffing disc attached. Do not go too fast as it can get hot and cut into the surface. Now it is time to put on the Alclad. This is a lacquer and is very thin. Multiple coats are needed and make sure you don't go too fast as the paint might run. For my last step I used the dremel tool to finish it off. I used the end to work like a car buffer wheel. The result is not perfect but I am proud of the result.



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