Tuesday, August 22, 2017

To know when done is done!

Hi, everybody!

In this article, I want to share my opinion and insight on the matter in the title, to know when to put something away and consider it finished!

A lot of you might have the same struggle that I have, a pile of unfinished projects...

eternal WIP project, tribal orc

Eternal WIP project, Chaos Lord
Recently, I came to realize that it is WAY BETTER to finish a project without it being perfect instead of struggling through the eternal path to perfection.

Eternal WIP project, Durotan

Eternal WIP project, Orgrim Doomhammer
From now on, I am just gonna finish stuff. It is important for yourself and your personal development as a painter or sculptor or whatever artistic clan you associate yourself with to finish projects and to learn from it.

Eternal WIP project, wrecked T-34 tank

Eternal WIP project, Dungeon Explorer
The end result might not be as good as you want it to be but the important part is that you had an idea and brought it to life, start to finish! Don't worry about your project being perfect because in one or two years from now you will have learned so much more that you won't like your old projects anyway.

Eternal WIP project, Abalam prince of hell

Eternal WIP project, Feral orc
Finishing projects, makes you learn so much more than struggling with that one project, trying to make it perfect.

Also, when it's done, it is done. This might sound like crappy advice but it will allow you to put your project away and focus on something new, to use what you learned in your previous project and bring it to life!

From now on, I will stop worrying about making a project as good as it can possibly be. I will start planning what I want to do with it and just do it!

I know this article isn't so much about painting itself but more about the project of making a finished model but I hope you liked it anyway and that maybe this will help you with your current and future projects.

Next up will a finished project! 😜
Cya all next time!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Katsumoto - by Mitches Military Models

Hi everybody,

I want to apologize for my lack of recent posts but I've been busy with everything except painting. I did paint a few small project or made very little progress on current projects but nothing worth posting or writing about.

At the moment, my hobby seems more to be a collector of models and busts instead of being a painter.

My most recent purchase is a bust portraying Katsumoto from the movie The Last Samurai by Mitches Military Models. They have a large assortment of 120mm, 200mm resin figures, and busts. They range from historical models to modern day soldiers.

Some of the movie inspired pieces immediately caught my eye, and some of them were on sale as well! Lucky me!

The bust comes in 3 pieces. the head
and body, and 2 pieces that might be
ornamental or added armor
The bust is cast in light, yellowish resin. I believe this resin is toxic when inhaled so be sure to wear a dust mask when sanding or sawing! That being said, it is good practice to always wear a dust mask when sanding resin, to prevent Pneumoconiosis.

The model does require some cleanup, there is a pretty nasty mold line on the back of the model, running across the back and the back of his head. There are also some little blobs of resin between his collar and neck. The obvious flash should also be removed.

The blue-green dot is a part of the
silicon mold
Okay so it's obvious that this bust needs some serious cleaning up, but I'm still pretty excited about it! The bust is a perfect resemblance of the actor and character in the movie and it has some beautiful details! I'm definitely adding this one a little higher on the to do list for future projects!

A comparison between the bust and the original
So we have reached the end of this article. I will try to write more in the coming months. I have some interesting projects on the shelf so I hope I can find the time to start and finish them and write about it.

Thank you for reading and until next time!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

One Shot Primer - from AMMO by Mig Jimenez

Hello friends and newcomers,

In this article, I will share my results, thoughts, and opinions about AMMO's One Shot Primer.

From what I've heard, One Shot Primer is a relabeled version of Badger Stynylrez. Now with Badger products not being available abroad, I didn't have the chance to test and compare these, so I am not able to confirm this.

The trio of One Shot Primers

That being said, let's continue with the review!

Currently, there are three colors of primer available from the AMMO webshop; black, grey and white. They self-describe as a self-leveling, sandable primer that covers in one layer. Especially for the white primer, that is quite the ambitious statement.

The primers are sold in a 60-milliliter volume bottle with a special cap. It kind of reminds me of a shampoo bottle cap. At first, I was really excited about the cap, as I dislike caps with a lid that ends up breaking off after prolonged use. According to the website, there is a no drip system incorporated in the cap but either I'm not doing it right (which is a very plausible option) or it doesn't work as described. Also, when closing the bottle cap, it spits/splatters some primer when you snap it shut. So be careful around other models.

Press to open

looks pretty neat and innovative



On with the painting! Now I do recommend removing the protective seal under the cap before trying to pour some paint into your airbrush. Remember: I make these mistakes so you don't have to! 

I applied the primer to a surface I feel a lot of airbrush primes have trouble adhering to; untreated plasticard. I started spraying the black on one side and made it so that every lighter color should overlap the darker color. And with the white I sprayed it over the length to see how it covers all colors. I also created a bit of pooling to inspect the self leveling properties.

The coverage seems pretty good! 

I'm happy with the results! You can't see where I sprayed the primer on too thick and it dried very matte in about 10 minutes time.

So let's start to test how well it sticks to the plastic. For this test, I stuck some Tamiya masking tape over it after only 30 minutes of drying time. I also got some painters masking tape that is much stickier than the Tamiya tape and stuck it on. I let them both sit for about 30 minutes

Tape applied to see if it pulls the paint off the plastic

So after 30 minutes of time, it was time to rip off the tapes. The Tamiya tape came off clean and did not harm the primer at all, something I had problems with when using the Vallejo polyurethane Primer. After that it was time to pull off the painters tape. I was expecting to rip off entire pieces of primer due to the short drying time and the tackiness of the tape.

damage from the painter's tape 

I was happily surprised! Only two small spots where it slightly damaged the primer, but it didn't peel off or break completely through to the bare surface.

Next up is the scratch test! I used a sharp-tipped sculpting tool and dragged it across the surface a couple of times. While leaving a mark, it did not penetrate the primer down to the bare surface. This is very logical considering it is a sandable primer. When applying more pressure and focussing it on the tip of the tool I did manage to penetrate the primer and get to the plastic. But I can't image what kind of situation would cause this other than throwing your model at something or throwing something sharp and hard at your model.

scratch marks created by a sharp tool
So that concludes my review. My overall thoughts are very positive and im looking forward to using these primers on my future projects!

I hope you find my review useful and helpful and that my experiences have some educational value for someone.

I hope to see you next time! Until then, happy painting!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Hobby desk update

Hi to the tough hobby guys, (and the fabulous hobby girls of course!)

No long article today, just something I've been working on recently...
My last review was about the 1:144 scale First Order TIE fighters. I pretty much finished them up by now and I'm about to crash one into the desert of Jakku...

Another Star Wars project I was working on is my crashed Imperial Star Destroyer, also one of the Bandai Star Wars vehicle kits I reviewed. This project is almost done now!

Lastly, I got this new addition to my pile of shame. Another project I really want to do but is in line with a ton of other cool kits, busts, and models... It's a Shaetann bust by mproyec, a limited edition figure that looks absolutely amazing and I just had to have!

That's all for now, people! I still have a review planned for the Bandai mini millennium falcon and if you guys want I will keep you more up to date on projects that I'm working on!

Cya all next time!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Bandai Star Wars Vehicle Model First Order TIE-Fighter set review

Hello my friends!

If you follow me personally on facebook you might know that I received two extra Bandai Kits. Today I will unbox and review the First Order TIE-Fighter set and I will do the Millenium Falcon (hopefully) next week. 

A couple of weeks ago I took a look at the Imperial Star Destroyer in this range of models. The diorama I'm working on is almost complete! 

Back to the TIE's! 

This kit features both the TIE/fo and the TIE/sf space superiority fighters. The First Order TIE's have a similar design to the old Galactic Empire TIE/ln fighters but are basically upgraded versions. The TIE/fo has deflector shields and improved solar cells while the TIE/sf is outfitted with a hyperdrive and has place for a pilot and a gunner to operate the ventral turret. The TIE/sf is reserved for the First Order's most elite pilots.

Enough with the background information. It's a Bandai kit so officially it's only sold in Japan. Thanks to Ebay I was able to buy this kit for $4.60 which for what you get is a steal! It's Bandai so details are great and the kit is easy to put together. This is kit number 004.

The box states this kit is suited for kids from 3y/o and up but I'm a bit skeptical about that. I don't have kids but I think it's more for like 8y/o and up due to the small pieces and the skill required to cut it from the sprue and put the model together. 

That doesn't take away from the fact that this is a very accessible kit in both price and required skill for younger people whether they are interested in model building or if they just want some cool Star Wars toys. 

Now let's open up this box!
Just like the Star Destroyer, the instructions on how to put the models together are printed on the inside of the box. Most probably to reduce costs. It has a nice, old-school vibe to it. Unlike most Bandai kits, some of the instructions are written in English, although the instructions are simple enough to just figure it out.

This kit comes with a little sticker sheet. I'm kind of disappointed that they didn't add decals as well, as I really don't like using stickers. I won't be using these anyway as I will be painting the model but I do want to share my opinion about it. 

Comparable to the Star Destroyer kit, we find five sprues numbered A1 through A4 and BM1. A4 holds a wing, TIE/fo front half, a cockpit window and two bottom plates. fist thing I noticed is that the wings are completely black. The TIE/fo is supposed to have white solar cells and there are no stickers for this. Again, I'm going to paint it anyway so it's no problem for me but I was expecting more from a Bandai kit. 

On sprue A3 we find another wing, the rear half of a TIE/fo cockpit, a bottom hatch and a piece of the stand. 

Sprue A1 holds a TIE/sf wing, the TIE/sf front half of the cockpit, a cockpit window and a bottom hatch. It also contains the TIE/sf heavy laser turret.

Sprue A2 holds the last TIE wing, again for the TIE/sf, the back of the TIE/sf cockpit, a bottom hatch and two parts of the hull that are supposed to be colored red.

The same as with the Imperial Star Destroyer, the sprue labeled BM1 hold the parts for the stand.

The model is easy to cut out of the sprue and easy to put together. Keep in mind that the wings have little pegs where they connect to the TIE and they will only go on one specific way.

For ease of painting the solar cells, I didn't glue on the wings yet.

Just a quick and dirty paintjob. I painted the whole model in black, painted a gloss varnish over the cockpit window and painted the struts in a medium gray. If you are hand painting it, don't forget that the TIE/fo also has two small windows on the top hatch and the TIE/sf also has a back window for the rear gunner. 

Below you can see the TIE/sf mostly assembled. I left the cockpit window out because I still had to paint the parts of the hull that are supposed to be red and if you put in the cockpit window before installing these hull parts, you can't put them in later!!! I make these mistakes so you don't have to.

That concludes today's article. Eventually I will turn the TIE/sf into another crash site from Star Wars: the Force Awakens. More on this later or on my personal facebook. 

I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Untill next time!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bandai Star Wars Vehicle Model Star Destroyer review

Hi friendly folks!

For those of you who've seen last weeks sneak-peak or if you follow me on facebook and/or Instagram might know that I'm working on a diorama of the crashed star destroyer on Jakku from 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.

An image released before the theater release of Star Wars 7
Now at first I was using a Revell model that was about 13cm long (the box says the scale is 1:12300) but the details are not really to my liking. I found another Star Destroyer model that is roughly the same scale that would fit my base.

I ended up with the Bandai Star Wars Vehicle model 001. Apparently, in Japan where these are sold, they are super cheap! (about $4 or so) I found some on eBay, ranging $5-10 excl. shipping and ordered one from the eBay trader hobby_japan. It arrived about a week later, well before I expected to receive it.

Now, Bandai is famous for their Gundam mech suit kits. They also released a very detailed Star Wars line, rivaling much pricier brands like Fine Molds and alike and I wrote an article about their 1:72 T-65 X-Wing fighter. Near the end of 2016 they started releasing these smaller-scaled miniatures more accessible for children, budget-wise and skill-wise. The box doesn't mention a scale but I calculated it to be around 1:14500.

Okay, enough talk, let's take a closer look!

The box is about 8x15cm, small enough to hold in your hand. But good things come in small packages so let's open it up!

Rather than adding a booklet with instructions, Bandai printed the instructions for building the Star Destroyer on the inside of the box and another thing I noticed is that instead of just having the instructions in Japanese they also added English translations.

Inside the box, we find five sprues numbered A1 through A4 and BM1. On A1 you will find the engine of the Star Destroyer along with the hangar and most of the bridge. On A2 you will find the dorsal half of the hull. On A3 you will find the superstructure, the details for inside the trench and the thrusters from the engines. Sprue A4 holds the ventral half of the hull and the sensor spheres/shield generators. BM1 is the stand.

A closer look at sprue A1
A closer look at sprue A2
A closer look at sprue A3
A closer look at sprue A3
A closer look at sprue BM1
Building the Star Destroyer is really easy (like pretty much all Bandai kits) and requires very little to no clean up. There are no visible mold lines, it comes clean out of the sprue and only needs the occasional touch of a sanding stick to clean up where the hull was connected to the sprue.

The only place where you really need to pay attention is when you are placing the trench details. If you don't attach them correctly to the dorsal half of the hull, you won't be able to put the dorsal and ventral half together without making some small modifications. Guess how this dumbass found out...
Placing the trench details on the hull
After putting the whole thing together I compared some of the details with the Revell model I already prepared for this diorama. The main reason why I put the project on hold is because I wasn't satisfied with the details on the Revell Star Destroyer model. Putting them side by side gives a good impression.
Here you can see the size difference.
Details are hard to see due to the bare plastic.
Comparing this with the picture below makes it obvious that the
details on the superstructure and bridge are far superior.
While being a bigger scale model, the details are just simple,
geometrical shapes on the Revell model.
Also, the sensor globe/shield generator, while just
being a sphere on the Revell model, has little details
on it on the Bandai kit. 
One of the few parts where I have to give a point to Revell.
The reactor core/fuel cell (the semi-sphere)
is more detailed and looks more to scale on Revell's kit.
So all in all I'm really happy that I decided to switch models. I might not be able to do some of the damage I was planning initially but I'll have to fix that in the paint job. For now, I'm done building miniature Star Destroyers.

The finished result!
The model is about 11cm long
I hope you enjoyed reading this review and comparison article. Next step for me will be to prepare the model so that I can continue with the diorama.


Hehe... See you all next time!