First a disclaimer: this DVD does not teach you how to assemble a kit. It does teach you how some simple techniques can really ‘pop’ a kit and bring it to another level.
Traditionally, weathering and finishing of model kits are done with oil, enamel or lacquer products. The general understanding is acrylic-based items are not suitable for the job since acrylic paints tend to be have bad coverage and chips easily.
Miguel Jimenez was the man behind Mig Productions, one of the more popular products for weathering and finishing model kits. He has since parted company with Mig Productions. This DVD is a joint release with Acrylicos Vallejo, the manufacturer of the Vallejo line of acrylic-based finishing products, to show that good finishing and weathering can be achieved, even with acrylics.
I have been using acrylic-based products more or less exclusively for about 6 years now. I like how there’s very little smell (especially Vallejo products) and it’s toxicity level is much lower than enamel and lacquer paints. However, I still have to use some enamel, lacquer or oil-based products when it comes to weathering. This DVD is of particular interest to me since given a choice, I’d switch 100% over to acrylic finishing.
I mailordered the DVD from Panther Models Ltd in merry ol’ England. One Paypal payment and 10 days later, the package arrived. A pleasant surprise was the inclusion of a 5% discount coupon I can use towards Vallejo products. Nice.
Included with the DVD is a 7 page full-color booklet summarizing the contents of the DVD. Sort of like a crib sheet. The DVD itself has Mig himself building a Panzerkampfwagen II kit from the start of painting to completing the kit with weathering and detailing. A nice touch is how the whole video is split into convenient chapters so you can always go back and re-watch one particular aspect of the finishing process.
The narration (by Mig?) is clear and concise although a bit fast. But if you’re used to the English language, it shouldn’t pose a problem. There is a hint of accent in the voice but it’s nothing jarring. Best of all, the whole video is done with the kit covering the entire screen so you can see the processes clearly. I gather you can even ‘get’ what’s going on even if you turn off the sound.
The chapters are divided logically and I like how nothing is glossed over. For example the chipping section, Mig actually shows you how he does chipping on more than one part of the kit so you get a more concise idea of how and why it’s done the way it is.
He does do some things differently like adding gloss varnish in his paints so he doesn’t have to gloss coat the kit before the decaling stage. He also doesn’t preshade or use red brown as base color but it still works.
I find it interesting how he even controls the tones during the primer stage: he highlights parts that get more exposed to light with white primer. Best of all, he gives reasons to why he does everything, which you can then adapt to your own skillsets.
Of course this being a Vallejo sponsored DVD, everything you see in there is from Vallejo. This includes the primer, paint, gloss/matt varnish, decal softener/fixer, pigments, wash and even the paintbrushes. If you thought Vallejo only had paints, think again.
Everything that Mig uses in the video has a different branded alternate. The alternative might not be acrylic-based, but there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s the beauty of it I think: You might not use acrylic products, but all these effects and finishes can still be learned through this DVD.
The topic of this DVD is armor, which lend themselves to a ton of weathering and detailing. However, it won’t be hard to adapt the skills shown here to other genres like aircraft and sci-fi.
If you’ve ever wondered how modelers achieved their finishes and detailing, or if you’re thinking what can be done after switching to all acrylic products, or if you just want to see what can be done to bring your kit into the next level, this DVD is for you.
I hope Mig comes up with more DVDs of this quality. Highly recommended!
Commonly known as the â€˜Viper’, it features innovations including a frameless, bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while under high g-forces, and reclined seat to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot. It is also the first fighter to be built to sustain 9-g turns.
The current 414th Composite Training Squadron (CTS) is a US Air Force unit based in Nevada. It is responsible for hosting Red Flag, Air Combat Command’s largest air training exercise. It is assigned to the 57th Wing’s Operation Group and currently flies F-16C Block 32s in the DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) role.
I actually finished this kit one day (December 3, 2008) short of the 3rd year anniversary of starting this project. It was supposed to be for a groupbuild I had with 3 friends of mine. But they have finished their kits way sooner than me heh. I’ve finally taken good pictures of my build so it’s finally up on the site.
Anyhow, I tried to replicate some of the features that Hasegawa left out in their what is now close to 20 year mold. These modifications include:
The build didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped though. In between starting and completion of the project, I had a kid, had 1 more coming, moved house twice and moved between countries once. And those aren’t even related to the build itself 🙂 .
Some inaccuracy and mistakes remain due to various reasons:
Lessons learned. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed this build as I find Aggressor schemes to be very distinctive (though challenging) and will look good among the normal dreary greys of modern aircraft. Certainly won’t be my last colorful aircraft.
I entered this kit into the 7th Jakarta Miniature Model Expo and Competition organized by Peter & Partner. It was put under the 1/48 Aircraft (Advanced) category and didn’t win. But it served as a good lesson for future entries into the competition.
Choudenshi Bioman (Super Electronic Bioman) was one of the first Super Sentai series that I remember. When I was a kid, I’d buy the monthly Televi-kun, a magazine about children’s Japanese TV programs. Even though it was in Japanese, I’d obsess over the pictures. During that time, Choudensi Bioman was the featured Sentai series.
So what’s Bioman?
The sixth Super Sentai. Centuries ago, the android Peebo and the Bio Robot came to earth from the fallen Bio Star. The Bio Robot showered five people with Bio Particles, which would be passed on to later generations. In the present time, Doctorman and his Shin Teikoku (New Empire) Gear threaten the world. Peebo must find the descendants of the original five to form the Chodenshi (Super Electron) Bioman.
It ran from February 1984 to February 1985, totaling 52 episodes. Ranger Wiki has a very good profile on this series.
Typical of Super Sentai, you have 5 color-coded heroes in spandex fighting a new monster every week. At the end of the battle, the monster would grow into a giant and the heroes will summon their giant robot (in this case Bio Robo) and beat the heck out of it. Then repeat all over again the next week with a new monster.
On one of his business trips to Japan, my Dad got me some Bioman toys and an episode of Bioman on Betamax cassette (remember those things?). All I remember from the episode was that it was set at a rock quarry and the action was eye-popping to this pre-teen. Check out the opening sequence:
Bio Robo, the giant robot Bioman pilots, was one of the toys my Dad got for me, along with its base, the Bio Dragon. These were such cool toys:
I remember that sometimes I’d make my Bio Robo into an Autobot and it also beat the crap out of my Macross Valkyries. Good stuff. Bio Robo and Bio Dragon became one of my most treasured items. They also happen to be one of the few complete toys I had left by the time I left Singapore and went to college. My home ended up being rented out.
Unfortunately, the tenants broke into my store room and took some items before clearing out the house. Among these items were Bio Robo and Bio Dragon. Bastards.
However, I STILL have another copy of Bio Robo. This was a stand alone set my Mom got for me before my Dad did (which came in one box set). This copy is now standing proudly (with a ton of scratches) in my display case, in the old school toys section. 🙂
Part 1 of a series
One last look before sealing the canopy! First up I hand painted the cockpit sills with black grey and instrument coaming US grey. Both are given a black wash and lightly drybrushed to pop the details.
I dipped the canopy in Future then cemented it to the kit. In addition to the super shine, the Future actually prevents the cement from fogging the canopy. Then I had to mask the frame. I used a combination of masking tape and liquid mask for this because of the odd shapes.
After this I painted the canopy frame in black grey so the main color won’t show through when I paint the main fuselage color.
Cockpit done! First up, an overall coat of Vallejo US Grey. Then Black Grey for the stripe on the bang seat and an overall wash of the same color to add depth.
The same was done on the control panels but they ended up still looking quite bare. Besides, it’s supposed to be inflight so naturally the instruments will be lit. So I added the decals which really ‘pops’ the cockpit. The decals are thicker than usual and required a lot of Gunze Mark Softer to settle down. I’m glad I’m not going to touch this anymore.
Next up, the pilot. Straight assembly and trimming of the seamlines around the pilot before a coat of US Grey as a basecoat. Prussian Blue next for the flight suit. For the yellow bits, I first added white. I kept the chest rig in grey to add some ‘contrast’. Then it’s yellow for the helmet and uniform. The visor itself is Tamiya Clear Green.
I then touched up parts that had paint overruns and to add some depth, I added a wash of black grey but it’s not very obvious. At its scale, I think it wasn’t necessary. Heh. Then it’s a final fit into the cockpit for the results. Not too shabby.
Next, sealing up the cockpit and masking the canopy.