Helo priming

A ghostly white 'copter

Without any weird explanations: I finally sat down with the Ka-50 and the white primer to get some painting done. This took a couple of short moments on two days. As I always tend to do these things. The white primer worked here nicely, as my Project Assistant was going to use bright and light colours in any case. There would be less issues with paint coverage this way.

Kamov assembly

The Black Shark and its pointy teeth

The building process was pretty typical. First I piled up the bits of the pilot's workstation and then forgot it for days. Then I started working on the rocket pods and the missile launchers. First things first, the 80mm S-8 rockets, which consisted of a couple of pieces per launcher and the pylons to top it up.

Next I built the 130mm AT missiles, of type 9K121 Vikhr (NATO: AT-16 Scallion) and there was a good load of them. I didn't really have a clue of how good those have been but I'd guess that twelve missiles would be good enough for a couple of tanks and/or tanklike vehicles.

The double mixer

I have always liked the counter-rotating blade setup that a bunch of Soviet and later Russian helos have used. They've just looked neat (and it was great fun flying with them in OFP). The mechanical and structural complicatedness has been something I haven't looked into much care, but by the Empire, the yule tree that was to be built...

The helicopter's airframe was a simple two-piece build, all the extra bits (such as the wings, exhaust pipes and so on) fit like noses on faces. It was a very pleasant build. The most bothersome piece was the 30mm autocannon (Shipunov 2A42) thanks to its flimsiness, I was a bit afraid that it'd just snap off in two when I was cutting it off the sprue. That's also why I didn't drill out the end like I had wanted to.

The rotor blades (6) settled in nicely, except for one. To support it I left the xacto blade's arm under it while the setup was curing overnight. When I checked it later on it looked just fine.

At this time the infamous real world started being a bit on the way of hobbies and I was pretty low on spare time. The priming was to be done "whenever I get to" and as always, the painting itself was going to be on the mercy of the artist's whims. Earlier these may have had weeks in between, so the Project Mumblings will return to the story of the Ka-50 when we can. Hopefully sooner than in half a year or so.


Project IV/17

The Project Assistant's assault helo

Last autumn we visited the Hobbyscapua again and my assistant grabbed a Ka-50 assault helicopter from the shelf the same instant I had said that "I've always wanted one of those or the two-seater version". Kids these days... Oh well, it was all the same, I was going to get to build it and then observe the forming of the paintjob - safely from the side.

The assembly instructions fit on a single sheet. The painting instrcutions could've been thrown away immediately as they weren't going to be followed anyway. I also assumed that the decals were going to be skipped.

All the bits fit into two sprues again plus then there were two transparent pieces and a set of not-so-military-looking decals. I didn't expect that building this was going to take many sessions.


Miniproject III/17

Father's day (spanish)

It was the father's day yesterday in Spain and to celebrate it I got, among other things, something to build. This time it was a Lego set and I've always liked them. The TIE/sk or TIE Striker, known from Rogue One and it bumped into the top of my todo queue.


There wasn't much left to say about this, as Legos aren't known for being awfully complicated to build. One thing that has popped up clearly while I've done some of these newer sets is that there's a load of internal pieces that are of the very bright variety. Of course being always deep inside they didn't really matter much to the look of the finished build, so they could just as easily be brightly red and whatnot.





Aaaaand done!

It was lots of fun and a very amusing model, the build took an hour I think. I found the openable rear hatch fun, it ended up containing some survival stuff for the Pilot. These necessities consisted of a gun, an enormous walkie-talkie and macrobinoculars. In addition to the Pilot (inside the cockpit, of course) there was a Ground Crew person with the "this way" glowsticks, a Shoretrooper and a soon-to-be-executed terrorist with an angry expression.


Project queue update

Yule gifts and findings at Kuivalainen

The Yule goat brought a couple of boxes around the end of December and then, in the early 2017 I just happened to be around Vallila and popped by tmi Kuivalainen - a legendary model shop. I spent a good while just ogling around, most likely with a very typical first-timer's expression. From the shelves I plucked out a Takom's Königstiger with innards (I was originally looking for a StuG or a PzIV, but...) and then asked if he happened to have something totally insane German Luftwunderwaffe kit.The scale wasn't important but if he had a Lippisch (P13a), I'd take that immediately.

No, he didn't. But after a few minutes and a loadful of boxes I chose a manned V2 missile over the Natter that I had also considered buying. I wanted something nuts and that's what I got.

Some box art

The Amerika Rakete was a Chech-made 1:72 model. If nothing else, I'd get a neat and unusual wtfif project out of this one.

The goat or more accurately the witch kings had gifted a Zvezda's 1:72 Stuka (that was also known as a Stukka in the rear cover). The box took some unsurprising damage over the trip home but as far as I remember the contents were still intact when I checked.

Ju-87 B2
I'd never build anything by Takom but there's always a first time for everything. The main point of this kit was that it had the interior as well, which is something I've craved to build for ags. Oh, and the box also claimed to contain two different turret versions!

Königstiger w/ interior
My Project Assistant also got something to build - or to paint at least. Her first idea was "I'll paint it brown!" "Mhmmmm, ok then". Well, I'd choose brown over pink any day, because I just can't stand the colour.

Imperial -class Star Destroyer


Finished: project II/17

At long last my rocket launcher truck was in a publishable condition. Then I took the final photos (and while moving the model around I managed to snip the cursed left wing-mirror off yet again and just couldn't even care anymore) and am now revealing those to you. Oh, and the excuse for the whole setup, I guess I ought to type it here too.


Everybody knows that our dear neighbour in the east has been occupying a part of Ukraine for a good while now. Early on there were news of these green men, unmarked soldiers. In my madness I decided to tie my vehicle to these semi-recent happenings, as soon as someone had suggested doing a digicamo instead of a more traditional one.

Even though the digital camouflage is not a new idea, it's gotten some wider use pretty recently. Against that background the Ukrainian happenings were a very fitting match for this project. Also, the Guards emblems on the doors matched (well enough) those that have supposedly been sighted* in there, although on somewhat heavier and more modern launchers. Maybe the 438th Guards Rocket Artillery Brigade had a couple of older BM-21 launchers just waiting to be used and they didn't have enough GPS/ГЛОНАСС equipment to go around. So they could easily claim that the Grad had just gotten temporarily confused about  its whereabouts and so ended up in the wrong side of the border...


Here's a bunch of my traditional clockwise-running photos of the truck from the cardinal and the intercardinal directions. And some higher up views just for the show.

The strange bonus angles

There's to bottom so you can see that it was done properly as well

The final photo of the engine. I almost started making working hinges, but I wasn't quite insane enough.

*) I'm not able or interested in guaranteeing the validity of some random internet sources, especially considering this sort of a topic during these false news and propaganda filled times.


Last haily details

The wing mirrors and the windshield wipers

These were the last pieces that were still waiting for their installation. Especially the wing mirrors were obscenely flimsy, so I left them whichever way they wanted to settle in. Either the driver had been driving like a pig (typical) or the driver was in the middle of a most peculiar twist-reverse maneuver.

After I was done with the solid pieces I washed the engine compartment with Citadel's black (Nuln oil). Then I drybrushed the leaf springs with Oily Steel (VMC 70865) and later washed that with Citadel's brown (Agrax earthshade). I used the same brown was on the axles and whatnot that I had painted grey much earlier in the project, to make them appear properly dirty.

While I was fooling around with the metallic paint I also painted the exit ends of the rocket launcher's barrels. I din't apply any sort of a wash there, I'd most likely do something else later on, if needed.

At this point I would've really loved to use the Vallejo motor oil stains -type of product that I had seen in some propaganda material at some point last year. But I had never encountered them either here or in Hobbyscapua, what could I do? In the Vallejo site it was called Engine Grime(73815), in the very end of the page.

The problematic glass pieces

I had spent a good amount of time pondering on the destinies of the clear pieces. Either I'd glue them in at the very last moment and left them perfectly clear and clean - or then allowed them to get a bit dirty and used-looking under the general layer of crap. The latter option sounded much more intriguing, so I painted the bottoms of the transparents with the appropriate colours.

First I painted the reflectors of the headlights and the extra light with steel (VMA 71065 Steel). Then I painted the GP pieces before I detached them from the sprue: break lights with red (VMA 71085 Ferrari Red), all the blinking lights with orange (VMA 70733 Orange, fluorescent) and if I didn't say it before, the rest I left clear. As soon as the paints had dried I detached them and glued them on with white glue, as always.

At this point I remembered to do the only two decals that I needed. I had applied a  bit of gloss varnish on the doors. This time the decals behaved nicely and that always manages to surprise me. A bit later I finished the decaling up with a layer of matt varnish. I wished it was always this easy...

I googled around to find out if the insignia was Soviet only (Soviet Guards) but ha! after following a few weird detours I found myself on a site that showed the same markings on the door of a bit more modern rocket launcher (BM-30 Smerch). What made this even luckier was that, according to this article, this rocket launcher was invading Ukraine, so that fit perfectly into my original theme of the little green men! Of course my vehicle was a version or two older than the one in the photo, but in my "what if" scenario the 439th Guards Rocket Artillery Brigade were using older equipment so that they could more easily claim that they were not Russian, as just about everybody had some of these trucks... which couldn't be said about the BM-30s.

The glass pieces looked good, great even. I really couldn't swear that the rear lights setup was completely authentic, this was the best I could do with the reference images I found. The same bit contained both the brake light, a blink (or turn signal) and a white reverse light. To be honest I couldn't honestly imagine why they'd have all these set all these blinking bright orange alarm lights and whatnot on a war machine, but as I always say: what do I know?

More filth

As a silly idea I cut off two windshield wiper -wide arcs off the masking tape and set them on the windshield so that the wiper's axle was in the center point of my arc. The result looked like a psychopathic Cars character knockoff from China.

I airbrushed dirt (VMA 71133 Dirt) around the truck from a good distance. As I may have said earlier, the idea behind this was to use it as a filter that'd even out the contrasts and maybe bring a bit of a natural look to the whole model. Or it could just make it look dull and boringly brown, but you can't please everyone.

But as I said, I started with the dirt colour but then thought that I could use some darker, fresher stains to the lower part, nearer the ground. I loaded my airbrush with some Camo Medium Brown (VMA 71038) and had at it. This darker shade was mostly applied on the bottom third, especially in the wheel wells or whatever they are called.

After the paint was dry I finally slipped the rubber pieces on to complete the wheels and took the photos you can see above. And no, I really am not interested in counting the times I knocked the wing mirrors off.


Now I was under the assumption that the Russian truck was finished as far as the painting was concerned. So I dug out my pigment jars and the pigment binder and started making even more of a mess. I brushed some Carbon Black to the front and top end of the Field Rocket System, then applied some Fresh Rust to the moisture traps, nooks and the frame in general. Then I used at least Burnt Umber on the roof, the decks and stepping surfaces. All these were from the Vallejo pigments line, from the Tamiya Weathering Master set I used sand on anything that people'd walk on. Then I used some tiny amounts of fresh sand on a few highlight surfaces on top of the machine. And the wheels, those I messed up with hopefully liberal amounts of different browns.

Maybe a bit of all of those pigments actually stuck instead of flying around the airspace under the blow of my airbrush. I did use a much less lower pressure and airbrushed from further away, just like when I applied the Dirt paint. But this was the second time I tried this so I have plenty to learn still.