Category: On the Bench

WIP : Bandai 1/35 TA Shinden Pt. 3 – Painting

Painting the Shinden is next.

First is priming with black.

Then I highlighted with white. Like the figures, I sprayed based on the direction of the the main light source being above. As usual, it’s at this point that still more seamlines turned up which require fixing.

While I go through the tedious process of fixing seamlines again, I spent a bit of time experimenting with the camouflage since I hadn’t really have 1 in mind yet other than it will be some sort of desert scheme.

Seamlines duly fixed, I went ahead with the main camo color of tan, in this case, Model Color Iraqi Sand. The color is yellower than expected but I think will tone down nicely after some filters and washes like on the figures.

Next up is the secondary camo color using Game Air Sombre Grey which actually looks blue. The demarcation was originally done freehand but didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped so I went back in with blutack masking and re-did everything. The right shoulder was painted in red as a unit identifier. I then handpainted the joints Mig AMMO Medium Gunship Grey. The weapons were airbrushed the same color.

Decals and weathering are next.

WIP : Bandai 1/35 TA Shinden Pt. 2 – Painting

Time to get more figure painting practice in. The figures were put together with all the accessories except the helmets attached. Starting with the medic, I first primed the figure black.

Then I added highlights with white. This assumes the main light source (ie. The Sun) is up above.

The base colors are handpainted on. The camouflage I’m using is not really based on any real-life uniforms. It’s simply a mix of tan, green, brown and black. The vest and other accessories are mainly olive drab. The result looks somewhat like a desert-ized form of tiger-striped camouflage.

I then filtered the figure with medium brown, dark brown and dark gray washes. I also went back in to adjust the skin color. I went through this wash and detailed painting a few times, adjusting to taste along the way.

The result is not too bad. Getting the skintone right is definitely the biggest challenge.

With its head facing forward, the wounded figure would be the bigger challenge. I went through the same process as the first figure and the result looks better I think.

I think I pulled off the skintone better on this one. I also changed up the color of the pouches to break up the monotony of olive drab. When in the AO, you can’t really be bothered to color coordinate.

For the bloody wound, I carefully dabbed 2 shades of red onto the leg and gave the spot a brown wash.

I then went in to paint some small details on the figures like the red button on the walkie talkie and the grip on the medic’s pistol. I also added patches onto the shoulders.

And now I officially can’t see straight anymore.

WIP : Bandai 1/35 TA Shinden Pt. 1 – Construction

My next build is a shelf queen that I’ve assembled and kept in its box for perhaps close to a decade. This is Bandai’s 1/35 take on the Shinden from the anime Gasaraki. I’ve never watched it but I really like the designs of the Tactical Armors. In the story, the Shinden is a mass production and improved version of the Raiden. I’ve always planned to put this kit in a vignette with it advancing along with a figure but it never happened as I was intimidated by figure painting and the Shinden didn’t really look right in a running pose. In any case, earlier this year, Masterbox released the ‘Under Fire’ set of figures and I was inspired to finish this kit up with a different idea for the vignette. I’m still not sure I can pull off the figures but hey, if not now, when?

For its time, the Shinden is a very good kit with nice details and decent poseability. As usual with a Bandai kit, it is thoroughly snapfit and fit very well. Through the years, I’ve slowly worked on it by filling the hollow areas in the armor with epoxy putty and fixing the prominent seamlines. The joints have held up relatively well and while one leg is slightly loose, it can still hold the final pose I had in mind. The kit comes with various weapons for the arms and I went with the chain gun and rocket launcher.

The Masterbox figures are molded quite nicely. Details are crisp and each figure comes with various accessories to dress it up with. The box came with 4 figures but I decided to go just the wounded soldier and the combat medic dressing his wound. Some cleaning of mold lines are required but fitting is good with the combat medic needed some minor seamline fixing but it’s easily done with Perfect Plastic Putty. The fact that the putty shrinks once dried is even better in this case.

So my idea for the vignette is pretty much the same as what Masterbox intended for their set to be: covering fire for an injured soldier. Except in this case it’s the Shinden doing it instead of a SAW gunner. I don’t intend this to be a complex vignette. The base is probably going to depict wacka-wacka-kistan or somewhere semi-arid with the 2 soldiers behind some barely-there cover and the Shinden standing close by providing covering fire while the injured soldier is being worked on. Sort of like this:

I think I’ll need to add some sort of height in the terrain to make this more interesting.

I like being able to show 2 focal points with this vignette.

I received a suggestion to try closed fisst for the Shinden instead of the open ones. Unfortunately the fists that came in the box have holes in them for holding equipment. So I tried adapting some closed fists from the Bandai 1/144 MS Hand 01 (Federation) set. The balls on the set were too small so I chopped off the ones from the Shinden’s spares and pinned them onto the MS Hands with brass rods and superglue. I then superglued the Shinden hand covers onto the MS Hand. I think the end result looks quite good although just that slightly oversized.

OK, so the general concept is now done. Next up is painting.

Postscript: So it turns out that I had the shoulder binders upside down when I took these photos. It’s lucky I didn’t cement them in place. 🙂

WIP : Max Factory 1/72 Soltic Roundfacer Pt. 3 – Finishing

As usual, I went easy with the markings. The kit decals are a mixed bag: they slide off the backings quite quickly but they have a satin sheen and some of the white ones tore easily. They also didn’t react much with Mark Softer.

I began weathering with panel lining with lamp black oil paint. This adds a subtle depth to the panel lines. I then assembled the kit together before going onto the filtering stage.

First up a look at the surface after panel lining but before filters.

I then added small drops of white, yellow and blue oil paint over the surfaces.

With a damp flat brush and up down motion, I then blended the oil paints together.

It’s subtle, but the oil paints add additional depth and variation to the colors. I also find that they blend the 2 camo colors together. At this stage I found seamlines that I didn’t fix properly. Oh well, moving on.

I messed up the final flat coat in my hurry to finish. The finish is pebbly in some spots due to uneven application.

Anyway, more weathering is next. Basically it’s:

  1. adding filters and blending with oil paint
  2. chipping with acrylic paint
  3. drybrush with acrylic paint
  4. streaking with oil paint
  5. dusting with pigment

These were all done to taste. Thankfuly, I managed to mitigate the pebbly-ness of the flat coat somewhat.

From the beginning of this build, I managed to lose the 2 chest inserts but luckily it looks OK without them.

I’ll try to clean up the dust marks, add a final flat coat to seal in the pigments and I can call this one done.

WIP : Max Factory 1/72 Soltic Roundfacer Pt. 2 – Painting

Painting begins with a base coat of black. For this build, I tried Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black thinned with Mr. Color lacquer thinner for the base coat. Having not have much luck with using acrylic-based primers (I find them hard to use), using this new combo was very easy. I thinned the paint 1:1 and was done in no time. The finish is a lot stronger than acrylic primer : it doesn’t chip as easily. Going forward, I think I’ll base coat with lacquer paint.

I then added a marble coat with a gray color. I hoped that this would add some subtle variation of the actual color. I messed up the marble coat though and only realized why when I was cleaning the airbrush: the paint gunked up in the cup and nozzle. I suspect this is due to using Tamiya Acrylic Retarder on AK Interactive acrylic paint. I’ll need to test this some more.

Taking a look after painting, the marbling effect only shows up in the red colored parts.

I decided to do the marble coat again. As you can see, I’m not that neat about it.

The color scheme is a splinter camouflage of dunkelgrun and grau like what the German Luftwaffe used in WWII. First on is dunkelgrun (dark green). I then masked the pattern and sprayed grau (gray) next.

I do the same for the all the parts that will have the dunkelgrun and grau colors. The inside sections of the pelvis and shoulder plates where then painted in gunship gray.

Once these have cured it’s time for decals.

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