Category: On the Bench

WIP : Italeri 1/48 A-36 Apache Pt. 2 – Cockpit

Cockpit work begins with a base coat of black and a marbling coat of white.

Then thin coats of Model Color Model Color German Cam. Bright Green that doubles as Interior Green. I’ve read that the A-36 might not have had green interiors but I’m going with the instructions.

This was done for all the parts that will be green color.

The kit comes with a simple decal harness but I decided to improve on it. So out comes 1.5mm masking tape and paint. Not much will be seen once the canopy is installed but hey, “I know it’s there”.

More things that won’t really be seen: weathering for the interior. But it’s good practice. First is sponge chipping with Model Air Metallic Steel.

This was quickly done on all the parts to beat them all up.

After a gloss coat, I gave everything a wash from Mig AMMO Deep Brown Panel Line Wash to add some depth. This was quickly cleaned up after 30 minutes of drying.

All the panels were washed the same way.

Everything was given a blast of flat coat and once they have dried, it’s time to install them and never really see them again. It’s also time for the tedious gap filling stage. 😀

Build Log
Part 1 – Construction | Part 2 – Cockpit | Part 3

WIP : Italeri 1/48 A-36 Apache Pt. 1 – Construction

New year, new build. This time it’s the Italeri rebox of the Accurate Miniatures’ 1994 release. The Italeri boxing was released in 2013 with new marking options. Boxart is quite striking and the box is quite big but it turns out the 4 runners really only barely filled 1/2 of it.

Interior details are nicely detailed though not quite as sharp as more modern kits.

The nose if molded as a separate piece of 2 halves and the instructions call for the these to be put together then connected to the fuselage which is also made up of 2 halves. I decided to attach each nose half to each fuselage half instead which should reduce the chance of any steps from occurring at the nose-to-fuselage joint later.

The sidewall details are nice and more than adequate for my needs.

So are the details in the landing gear bay.

What makes the A-36 an A-36 (and not simply a re-named P-51) are the additions of dive brakes on both surfaces of the wings. These add the capability for the A-36 to divebomb. Though nicely done, they are unfortunately molded in place.

The pilot seat attaches to the floor with only 2 thin rods. I don’t think that will be strong enough so I decided to reinforce how they join.

I added plastic plates onto the bottom of the seat. These plates will attach to the control stick rod on the floor plate and add 1 more point of connection.

0.8mm of spacers was enough for the seat to er… seat properly. And they are small enough not to be visible from above.

The rear wheel comes molded as 1 piece and will need to be attached at the beginning of construction. There’s no practical way to modify it to be inserted at the end of the build instead so I really hope it doesn’t break off…

The horizontal stabs and the landing gear were quickly prepped. Italeri provides both weighted and non-weighted wheels as options in the box. I do believe that this is the first kit I’ve done that has weighted wheels.

The kit comes with pair of 500 lbs bombs made up of 6 parts each. The 4 fins on the back are fiddly though since they are butt jointed. It took a bit of eyeball 1.0 to get them to line up properly.

A dryfit test shows that the kit should fit fine except for the bottom of the left wing being slightly warped and sink marks on both top and bottom sides of the nose.

Painting the cockpit is next and I can start cementing everything together.

Build Log
Part 1 – Construction | Part 2 – Cockpit | Part 3

WIP : Bandai HGUC GM Space Command Pt.2 – Painting & Finishing

Before painting, the tedious task of fixing seamlines and sprue marks begin. I’ve been turning to using an old bottle of Tamiya IJN Gray as a primer coat to reveal the problem areas. Various fillers were used including AK Interactive putty, super glue and epoxy putty.

Painting can then begin! I decided to go with the default colors with a bit of variety by making the red areas 2 tone. As is usual by now, I primed all the parts in black. Then I added a marble coat using white paint. I hope that the main colors will be thin enough for this marble coat to show through and add some ‘texture’ to the paint job. The 2 tones are done with a base of darker red, masked with blutack, then straight red over.

However, the 2 shades are a tad too similar so the 2 tone effect is quite subtle. I think it looks OK though and since I managed to get the marble coat underneath to show through, I’m moving on.

The 2-tone reds are more obvious on the shield though not by much. Blink and you’ll probably miss it.

With the modifications, the kit is now taller and compares nicely with the Jegan. Pre-mods it’ll probably only reach the Jegan’s shoulders.

Painting is now done and finishing is next.

After a gloss coat, I added decals. Weathering begins with a going over with sponge chipping using dark brown, medium gray and white paint.

After a gloss coat, panel washing, streaks and fading are next to finish this kit.

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing

WIP : Nitto PKA Gustav Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing

As is now usual, I start with a base of black.

Next is a white marble coat.

The main color is Panzer Grey with red for the chevrons. These were sprayed slightly thinned so the marble coat shows through.

The decals come from the Wave PKA Konrad kit as the original Nitto ones have yellowed and were unusable.

For weathering, I went with oil paint dots of yellow, blue, white and red.

I randomly dot the whole kit with various colors then blend together with a brush soaked in turpentine.

I also used white to add streaks.

This method ties the 2 contrasting colors together. It also adds subtle variations to the overall paintjob and makes the whole thing look ‘lived in’.

Next I start to ‘beat up’ all the surfaces with various filters, washes, sponge chipping and streaks. The clear parts were also given a wash with white and dust colored oil paints to grime them up.

The base was done with various grades of sand from Woodland Scenics. These were painted with various shades of brown then given brown and dark gray washes. Tufts of grass were added to break up the monotony.

Once attached to the base, I did additional weathering with dust and brown colored pigments.

I gave the kit a half day to cure and misted a flat coat to knock down some of the remaining glossy areas. All done!

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing

WIP : Bandai HGUC GM Space Command Pt.1 – Construction

Next up is yet another kit that I have finished snapfitting for a long time. It also continues my EFSF grunt mobile suit collection (what a mouthful).

This is one of the earlier HGUC releases so it suffers from the typical problem of its vintage: overly large hands, limited poseability and a somewhat squat stature. I decided to modify this kit slightly. I began by extending all the limbs: forearms, thighs, lower legs and the front skirts. These were extended between 1.5mm to 2mm by simply chopping them in half, inserting plastic card between the halves, then trimming them. The front skirts were also separated so they can move individually.

The overly squat chest also needed some modifications. To ease painting, I cut off the connections for the lower torso.

Doing it this way lets me paint the torsos separately and I can insert the lower to the upper torso later.

I also modified the neck by moving the polycap up 1mm and holding it in place with a wad of epoxy putty. The lower torso was also extended by about 1.5mm by stacking plastic card on the bottom.

I definitely prefer how it looks now.

The EFSF logo is embossed on the shield and like my previous GM Command build, I trimmed this off and will replace it with a decal.

Much to my ‘surprise’, I managed to lose the left ‘ear muff’ so I replaced it with a Kotobukiya round mold with 2 0.5mm brass rods inserted as antenna. After I was done, the missing part turned up. Oh well.

Another part I lost while this was in storage was the cockpit door. I fashioned a new one. It looks sufficiently different from the original but I like it this way so it differentiates the space from the ground versions.

Since this is the space variant, I added additional vernier and round molds to the legs.

I closed up the hole on the right forearm since it won’t be carrying anything there. I also closed up the hole for the antenna on the right shoulder.

Ready to move on to the next step!

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing

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