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Showing posts from June, 2013

"The Hunt" WIP - Episode I

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Its been a while since I posted the introduction to this WIP but as it were, things often times get in the way. But after nearly a week and a half of sitting idle, some progress has been made! I'll take you through it.

As usual, I've started with the base. I've said before that I like to start with the base on my action figure dioramas because it allows me to shape the figure around the environment. Its just easier, at least in my own mind. So, it was time to break out the oasis foam and cheap wooden plaques and start to building...


I've created some elevation that will separate our hunter from the fleeing Rebel pilot...I almost forgot to introduce you to the main characters. Here they are...



Now that you've met the players, lets continue with the base. The oasis foam got the standard layer of celluclay. The celluclay was mixed with white glue, brown acrylic craft paint, some tiny stones and twigs, and  some Woodland Scenics fake snow to give it more texture...


A …

"The Hunt" - WIP

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If you've never had the opportunity to watch the movie Bat 21, I recommend that you do so. Not so much for its entertainment value, as much as you'll know what the heck I'm talking about through this post. I watched that movie, starring Gene Hackman and Danny Glover, for the first time when I was a kid - give or take ten or eleven years old and it left quite an impression on me. I recall it being one of the first "grown up" movies that I watched and one that left me rather unsettled after certain scenes. But, it became one of my favorites, even despite its inaccuracies of which I learned as I grew older, and I'll still watch it when it appears on television these days.
As a matter of fact, it was just on recently which sparked the idea for this WIP called "The Hunt". Based on the last Star Wars vignette I did, you probably realize that I like to give that saga a modern update (after all, it was a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away). I like to …

Latest Hobby Shop Haul

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I've probably posted this photo before, but if you're unfamiliar with the heavenly vision you see above, let me introduce you to the best place on earth...AAA Hobbies in Magnolia, NJ. It is what we in the hobby call the LHS. Though, at a good 40 minute drive from my house it is hardly local but well worth the drive as you can obviously see!
This past weekend was Father's Day, so I made my way to the hobby shop along with my best good friend Mark, and my three year old son. Bringing my son can be quite a task considering all the wonderful planes, trucks, and cars in reach of his little fingers. But I know that the enthusiasm he displays on the outside, is the same excitement I have on the inside. I love this place, I just disguise it better than a three year old...

Now then, I should mention that my stash has outgrown its ability to be stored comfortably and my wife, who is quite logical, decided to ban any further kit buying until the stash is depleted...to which I reluct…

Eastern Front Vignette ~ "The Last Man" - Finished!

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Well, it only took one previous episode before finishing this piece which is a testament to how simple these things can be, especially when you've already got the bits and pieces laying around from other builds. I'm rather pleased with how this one turned out, and I hope you are as well.
Before I jump in with the pictures, in no way do I intend to shock or offend by the addition of blood to the scene. To some, there may appear to be more blood than necessary but I'm hoping to convey a rather hopeless atmosphere for both characters involved. As modelers of military vehicles and components we can't kid ourselves by modeling things that make us and every one else comfortable. I think too often we simplify war with our models that show a bunch of GI's shooting the breeze over a few cigarettes, and romanticize it by focusing on the immense and impressive tanks and airplanes operated by these people. No, in this scene I wanted to show suffering. I just hope that its in …

Eastern Front Vignette - Episode I

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Do you have a bunch of old models that you built a while back that you aren't sure what to do with? Perhaps they just don't meet your present standards? I have a handful that have been sitting in my shed for several years now. This pile includes a Panther, T-34, some figures, even a P-40. I'll even admit that three of them were donated to feed my son's enthusiasm for aircraft. You should see the state they're in!
Any how, I got the hankering for a quick vignette and I thought what better way to repurpose some old models than to use them here. I grabbed the turret off the old Dragon T-34/76, inspired by the photo above, together with some figures I painted a long time ago and set down to work.

If you've been following me for any length of time, you'll know that I like to use jar lids for bases, and this time was no different. I've even gone as far as collecting jar lids from co-workers who haven't the need for them any more. In this case, a Nutella …

Top 5 Things for Successful Dioramas

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A diorama, in my opinion, can be one of the hardest pieces for a modeler to work on. One must put a lot of effort and resources into building a scene, and of course, the larger the base typically the more complex it is. This is probably one of the reasons I don't see very many of them on show room floors. There are a lot of things the modeler has to get right in order to produce a successful diorama, and I've compiled a few of them into a short list. Let's see if you agree with me.
Here we go...


5. Vegetation. 
Unless your scene takes place within a ruined city-scape, than avoiding the use of foliage is almost impossible. There are a wide range of resources available to recreate trees and bushes, grasses and flowers, and some are better than others. In my old days, I used to think a little static grass and lichen would suffice, but its fair to say I was just kidding myself back then. Smaller amounts of vegetation can be recreated quite easily with static grass, or stiff bru…

Revell 1/48 B-25J - Finished!

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It only took me about five years but finally, the Mitchell has reached completion. Until now, this model was the longest standing unfinished project on my shelf, so it feels good to finish it up, and will feel especially good to return it to my father who has been exceedingly patient!
Lets take a look at it...


The decals went on without much trouble. I was worried there would be excessive silvering but the gloss coat prior to setting them and then the dull coat afterwords really blended them into the finish without a problem. The chipping was done with a small pointed brush and Tamiya aluminum for a more direct application. Then the more random chips were applied with a piece of sponge dipped in the same aluminum paint...


Here you can see the step ladder provided by Revell to keep the kit from tail dragging should you neglect to weight the nose...



The underside was left relatively simple. Shielded from the sun, it wouldn't fade much. Plus, sitting on a shelf, and for the size of …

Revell 1/48 B-25J - Episode II

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So its been a little while since I posted an episode for a build log but there is a reason for that. Mainly, I've decided that I'd rather have several episodes for each project containing lots of related content instead of having many smaller episodes posted containing really only bits and pieces of the build. This way, things will hopefully seem to flow a little better, and won't be so disjointed.
From here on out, I'm going to try and finish up each step of the project before posting on the blog. In this case, I've wrapped up painting on the B-25J, therefore, blog post...
Lets take a look.

To begin the process, in the same manner as the F-16 I did earlier this year, I painted the entire model flat black to start the three layer blend. To be honest, the B-25 looks pretty mean in all black, like an aerial assassin...


The next step is the white and this is where I think I made my biggest mistake. I failed to blend the black lines which resulted in a fairly stark co…