Snow Hunt diorama finished

I actually managed to finish this project during the holiday season. For some obscure reason I was a bit frightened to get started with the groundwork. The Fieseler Storch was ready for a while, although I still had to attach a number of parts that were left off, or had broken off, during previous weathering and painting steps, and I didn´t want to attatch them until the aircraft was about to be fixed to the groundwork.
In hindsight I decided to use only a part of the Storch’s  left wing,. Seemed better to me that way. Here’s a peek at the completed diorama, and more pics are avaiable in my Diorama Gallery

SnowHunt

The Aerosan went through some serious weathering. Looking at earlier pics I decided it was too boring and too clean, and that I should take it a few steps further.

So, here´s a shot of the almost finished Aerosan. Almost? Yes, indeed. When I was in the process of making the protective acrylic cover for my diorama I realized that the windscreen of the Aerosan was much too clean, so that was fixed after all the photo’s were taken. Well, you know what they say: I know it’s there 🙂

Aerosan

More images of the finished Aerosan can be found in my Vehicles Gallery

For those interested in making the groundwork, I have added some snapshots I made during the process.

I found a too large gap between the ground and the botton of the aircraft, so I filled up the space with some cork strips and covered that with more wall filler. Why not just wall filler and no cork strips? A thick layer takes too long to dry and will certainly crack.

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The next step was making traces of where the aircraft hit the ground, disturbing the smooth top layer of the snow. I used cling film to prevent  the model being covered with wall filler.

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I used a mix of various brands of artificial snow, as well as some extremely fine aquatic sand that was absolutely white. You can also use white wall filler instead of that sand, but white wall filler tends to turn yellow over time. Same goes for other natural products like baking soda, reason I never use it. Anyway, the white sand came in handy as I didn’t need to colour it. It also has substantial volume, something the artificial snow lacks. I added water and plenty of white glue to make a nice white paste and covered the base again, with a thin layer of the mix.

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After the mixture was set, I sprayed white glue, thinned with water and a drop or two of dishwashing detergent over the whole base and sprinkled an even finer artificial snow with a sieve over the whole surface. The snow I used for this last step is by Techstar, a former VLS brand which is no longer available, I believe, and an extremely fine product from Scenery Workshop, which is in fact very fine glass. So, be careful when using such products, and wear a dust mask when applying it, as it is dusty a h#ll.

 

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The aircraft, Aerosan, figures and the trees are all fixed to the base using two component epoxy glue, the rapid drying, 2-minutes, version.

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The trees were the last elements to be attached to the base, in order to have better acces to everything that  was already attached. I always need to touch up things during the final process, so leaving the trees for last seemed logical. For the snow on the trees I sprayed them from the top with 3M Photomount and sprinkled the Techstar and Scenery Workshop powders over them, and repeated the process until I was happy with the results.

On to the next project that has been lying idle for too long as well.

A new mini finished

I finished this nice little mini the other day. A true mini as the figure measures 38mm. It’s a mini by Vesper-On Games from their Carnevale game, catalogue number C-0042.  It’s a white metal figure called White Dove and although it’s the smallest figure  I ever painted it has been a nice ride. I constructed the base from pieces of glass, silicon glue and a dried flower that Margot found this summer. The snow I used came from Hudson & Allen and I also used small glass beads to add a bit more bling to the snow here and there.
Everything was painted in acrylics.  My main mission for this venture was to obtain a good colour harmony, and I think it worked out rather well.

The snow was another thing as I have something of a larger size coming up that requires snow, and lots of it. My last project involving snow dates back many years and when I look back at that one, there’s room for improvement, to put it politely.

For lack of a better title I named it Witch of the North for the time being.

Check out my figure gallery for more images.

Witch of the North

SMC 2014 and beyond

Organizing a show the size of Scale Model Challenge is a genuine challenge in itself. Admittedly, I asked for it, as I’m constantly looking for ways to improve the show. The easiest thing to do would be sitting back and see the same thing run over and over again, like an old TV show. But after you have heard the same joke for the umpteenth time, it just isn’t funny anymore. Get it?

SMC started out as an event to boost military modelling and figure painting in the Netherlands, but from the first edition on, it exceeded our own expectations.  I said “our” indeed because although the ideas to keep the interest going comes from a small group of people within the club (Scale Model Factory) we could not put down an event like SMC without the help of all members. Even better, we see an annual growth of the number of spouses, girlfriends (most members are male) or other family members. In fact these volunteers actually look forward to the event too and that’s one of the reasons that make me very proud of the show and what we have achieved with it so far.

This year we will introduce our contest application MONARCH. This application will ease our contest from the pre-registration to the awards ceremony showing  slides of the wining models and results, all in one application. Even registration at the show itself will change from filling out cards to entering all your entries yourself. There will be four working stations to register your entries. So at least we will see no more misspelled names or wrong  titles of your models or figures. Unless you mess them up yourself, of course 🙂

I often get the question how I see SMC in the future and to be honest, I had to adjust my ambitions for the event once or twice along the way. We have achieved a very international attendance with visitors, clubs and traders from all over Europe, which is a good thing. We ask people from all over the world to come to the show, and I strongly believe that you have to give them their money’s worth, meaning that we have to offer plenty of entertainment to make coming over worthwhile. I truly believe that we have achieved that with SMC.

But there are still steps to make.

The scale modelling landscape is very busy with good shows all over the world and even when I look at the European scale model calendar,  modellers have plenty of choice. Not every show is a large as SMC, with actually only very few being larger, but size really doesn’t matter in this case.  There is a strong sense amongst the modelling community that shows are also a very good opportunity to actually meet fellow modellers and painters, face to face rather than just on Facebook or on the forums. That is one of the reason that I am convinced that (good) shows have a future  in this hobby.

It is also one of the reasons that we have concluded that SMC should make the transition to a two-day show. We will start with a in-between-concept in 2015 and our 10th anniversary  show in 2016 will definitely be a full two day show. We have already managed to attract top notch special guests  for both these shows.

We hope that you  appreciate the effort that we have put into SMC 2014 and hope to see you there.

Be there and make the difference!

 

Margot’s work also featured here

I am happy to introduce my wife Margot to you on these pages. She has picked up the painting brushes rather recently, in October 2013. As it turned out, she has a real talent for figure painting. Check out her work on her own gallery page 

Currently on Margot’s workbench is this white metal figure from Pegaso:

Mermaid

 

SNOW CRASH additional figure and political correct decals

Some time ago I considered that I needed an additional figure for my eternally-in-progress- diorama Snow Crash, and I found a suitable one from the Alpine range. I gave him an Ultracast head and sculpted the hat from Magic Sculp, and a piece of thin wire on top (including a nice knot in 1/35th scale)

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This guy will be standing on top of the dio, next to the Aerosan. Just felt a bit more logical that there was a third figure present.

Anyway, here he is, painted in acrylics:

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And now for something completely different I take you back to the fallen star of this dio, the Fieseler Storch. During a recent club meeting one of my fellow club members pointed out, in a very polite way, that was I about to make a major mistake using the tail decal the way I did. I followed the instructions 1:1, but fact is that the decal is not the Wolfsangel for which I, for some reason took it, but just half a Hakenkreuz and that the decal actually consists of two parts, making in into a proper and historical correct, yet politically incorrect, Hakenkreuz.

I was about to tear my few remaing hairs out, but in the end it worked out oké. I stashed the remainder of the decal sheet,  so I was able to fix it. I had to spray gloss varnish over the weathered parts again to make sure that the second decal would go on flawless, but I managed.

Now, I understand to some extend why they left out a full  and ready  Hakenkreuz,  although I completely disagree with this practice, but hey, it is what it is. But even in the instructions they don’t even mention this and happily depict the plane in the camo examples with that halfwit Wolfsangel.  And that is beyond me, really.  Rant mode off.

Here’s the story in pictures:

Before

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and after (still glossy)

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Signing off for today folks.

 

The Ronin – The making of

Here are some in progress pics of the Ronin project.

The house was made of blue HD styrofoam and Evergreen.  I covered the walls with, how appropriate, wall filler and sanded it back to achieve a slightly smoother look.

The roof was fashioned from bristles from an old paint brush, and I raided my “green” box for the window covers; cutting of stems from dried “something”. No idea what, but it served the purpose.

My green box is a collection of stuff I use for my dioramas: natural and manufactured products, purchased stuff as well as all kinds of goodies I found in the garden or wherever you find useful things. Which could be everywhere you go, really.

The tree is a dried root and I sculpted new roots at the bottom. I covered the sculpted area  and lower part of the stem with Bark Paste from Anita Decor, a railroad brand. Kewl stuff!

The wooden base has an interesting colour pattern and has actual cracks that inspired me to fashion the base the way I did. I sculpted the “tree” leading  to the actual base from Magic Sculp, wrapped around a twisted wire armature, and let the roots drape over the edges and run into some of the crevices of the wooden base.

I wanted the blossoming tree to work as a sort of natural frame for the figure, as the figure is obviously what it’s about. The scenery is merely decoré, but effectively used to “box” the figure, so to speak. My wife and I, together with some friends, were recently invited  by our friends Goetz Siepmann and Nicole Siepmann-Eppinger for a weekend of figure painting, base making and to hang out.  Goetz and Nicole really inspired me by their approach of making bases for their figures. So I owe them a big thank you, as this project, simple as it may seem, has made me realize that thinking out of the box is the best thing to get you any further in this wonderful hobby.

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A new figure, The Ronin

At SMC 2011 I received a gift from Raffaele Picca from Massive Voodoo, a 54mm figure of a Ronin, sculpted by him for his Forged Monkey brand.

It took me while before I got to paint it as I didn’t feel comfortable enough to do it justice. But recently I was invited , together with my wife and some friends by Goetz Siepmann and Nicole Siepmann-Eppinger, to come to their home in Essen, Germany for a weekend full of figure frenzy: painting, making bases and especially talk about figures….and most of all to have a good time. This weekend inspired me to do the base as it came out the way you can see it in the pictures. I painted everything in acrylics.

You can more images in the figures gallery

Hope you like it.

Roninbirdseyeroof

 

 

 

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