Love 'em, hate 'em

Photo-etched parts.
I can't get around how weird they are. They're awesome with all the details and true-to-scale size, at least moreso than plain plastic pieces. Bigger parts like grilles, handles and armour plates have never been a problem of any sort, they're nice to work with.

But those 1,5mm x 1,5mm buttons that are to be bent with some dark magicks to form a couple of 90º angles and after that they need to be glued to the model - when the glueable surface is close to nothing... Or those slightly longer but somewhat narrower pieces that should be bent as well and then connected to the aforementioned part. Flaaaaa.

Usually those things are done with more or less swearing, and done, not skipped. More or less twisted but hey, I don't own any precision instruments for these things - yet. From the PE pieces of this kit a few have made a nice "ka-zing!" sound followed by some clicks when they've fallen on the floor, never to be found again. Oh well, what can I do? I tried, then gave up and the vacuum cleaner shall solve the problem of the lost pieces.

Now, after another deep breath, I'll keep reporting.
In the early week I fixed the ammo cartridge holders (it was somewhat frustrating at times). Maybe a couple of the separators went wrong but I imagine I'll get to fix them if needed. If not, I'll claim that the crew broke them. You know artillerymen and how they are ;)

Next I attacked the targeting equipment. Nothing awful happened, building was fun and quick. At least if we forget that the PE-crosshair device broke off at least five times, that's why it's missing from this photo:

This evening has seen me fighting with those ridiculously tiny pieces and while a bunch of them were drying, I built the base of the gun (all seven pieces). I also tried if the gun even fits on that thing, it did. Goody.
This photo has the upfolded loader's chair-thing drying. The left one shall wait in peace, because I had to mengelify those pieces off, they weren't designed to be reattached... so we'll see how they end up. Or where.

The model looks a bit weird at this point, but it's just because the flat gray basecoat is a bit difficult for the eyes to get a hold of. Or that's what I tell myeslf.

I really, really shouldn't have said that this is almost done in the previous post :P


A piece at a time

I got to build over a couple of days, but didn't get too far anyway. A piece at a time, so I don't have to go for a new project too soon. Doesn't look like this'll take horribly long build-wise, it has so few pieces. Maybe planning the painting will take more time than the rest of the project together?

Famous last words, anyone? Maybe I'll get to regret them the next time already...

There's nothing too special about these photos: barrels are attached to the rest of the gun and the base is more or less done already. Mostly that seems to be just the controls for aiming the gun in x and y axises. Being quite uneducated about AA-guns, I assume that the x-axis traversal is being controlled with those pedals:

Now if I could remember, what's going to end up hiding that hole on the rear part of the cradle, I'd be a lot less bothered by this picture. I also had to cut a couple of extra pieces off the "platform", looks like that went well for a change.

I got to the photoetch-parts, as you can see. Those still need some extra pieces in them, but I'll wait until the glue keeping the boxes together dries first.

Only when I was checking the latest wip photos, I noticed that the left and right side guns are not pointing at the same direction. Got to do something about it.

It'll be awesome 8)


A new beginning - again

I've been neglecting painting and other methods of modeling because the holiday trip and hunting for the flights has eaten plenty of time. All that results in a somewhat slow and easy start for my newest project.

That project is, as planned before, Trumpeter's 1/35 20mm FlaK38 AA-gun. I've only built one Trumpeter model before, a Nebelwerfer 42, which was awesome and one of the best models I've ever built and painted, in my own opinion. Completely unlike Italeri's awful 15cm Panzerwerfer 42 auf Schwerer Wehrmachtsschlepper... Maybe I'll get some pics of those posted at some point in the future.

But to the point. This is the box before the official openage:

And the contents of the kit:
There are a bunch of sprues and it looks like the sprues are pretty sensibly arranged, with three sets of photoetched parts. Who knows what's going to happen with those for I've never done much with pe-parts to begin with.

I had started with cutting off a couple of "start with these"-pieces, such as the four gun barrels the two pieces where they get connected to. Today I marched to the cold and dark balcony and sprayed the basecoat on the sprues and the pe-sets. A couple of them consisted of pieces that let me spray the other side, too. Less of a hassle the next time. Of course I'll need to fix the basecoat of the pieces because all of them are connected to the sprues, I just wanted to get the most of that done as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Yeah, I was feeling lazy. Besides, painting all those individually is painfully bothersome.

After that I went and painted the end parts of the gun barrels with black-gray. The barrels I had filed clean earlier this week, so there were no injector marks or anything to ruin the experience. The reason why I decided to paint these parts at this point, is that if I don't, they'd be impossible to make good-looking later on when they're glued to the structure. Not that I expect to get them perfect this way, either, but at least I've eliminated one source of problems early on.

That's it for this post, maybe this project gets some speed now that I have got it started for real. Could be that I won't be able to paint much on the weekdays because it's getting so dark so early and I'd have to do all that on the weekend. Not going to paint inside in this apartment and the balcony is difficult to get nicely lit. Anyway, I intend to do most of the painting with the airbrush because I got a new can of air and I also have to learn to use that damn thing. And I sure as hell won't learn anything if I don't do anything :P


Announcement: Project 3/2010 is completed

Sturmpanzer IV / Brummbär in the american vocabulary, my first tank project in years (and just about the only scale model in something like five years) is now completed. The tank has been put in the shelf after a bunch of photos had been taken. Those photos have a ton to improve, just like the model itself. But this is how it goes and maybe the long lost semi skills return with more practice. Maybe.

I'm afraid I ramble a lot about the same things all the time, but I tend to do that. Nothing new under the sun.

Anyway, I took a bunch of photos on last Friday with the big camera (D300), for the sky was clear and offered some natural light. I didn't have to wait for it that long after all. Surprisingly even that amount of autumnish late afternoon light wasn't quite enough... But had I waited for a sunny weekend, we'd be talking about the next February.

I don't dare to post more than a few photos from the new set. It's the same hunk of plastic anyway. These are just supposed to be a bit less "work in progress":

If someone's wondering, what the hell that A + w in the largest pieces of the Schürtzen means, the reason comes from the history of the model itself: the thing was brought as a nerdy souvenir from Asturias and this Cruz de la Victoria is quite elemental in the local history. It's a symmetrical cross with letters that I always assumed to be alfa and a small omega (and while writing this I checked it from wikipedia - I was correct). So I thought that I'd join the place this model was bought from with the model itself and what a handier way than to combine the Balkenkreuz and the Victory Cross together.

If I remembered any better how the Condor Legion was fooling around in the Spanish civil war, I would've set up a backstory of how the crew had been there and all that. But I didn't do any of that, at this point anyway. Maybe we'll see some progress with the Project 4 of the year, as the plastic pieces have the same backstory, this one's year just happens to be this one and not the previous one.

This blog-like thingie has surpassed my weird and unbased thoughts of how it'd go and how I'd keep updating. There are more than ten posts and I've managed to ramble a bit every single week! I'm quite shocked. Maybe I've gone old.

Oh, the other two projects of this year: the first one is the "let's attach the shelf for the projector to the wall" that took about six months to complete. And the second one, nazi ufo (a Haunebu II Gerät) was started and fucked up in April), but let's not go there...