More Airfix modern goodness …..
We have some more Airfix Moderns on the bench (including a Coyote, Warrior and hopefully with a couple of WMIKs thrown in later). Got a few resin and PE goodies for them so they are getting the royal treatment for a change vrs just some nice paint 🙂
Not too much to see as basic assembly is underway. Lower hulls are in place, replacement resin wheels on and the side PE screens attached, enough to allow the next steps which pretty much need the crew positions to be sorted out first.
Some group shots of the finished Brits …..
Taken last week before the convention, unfortunately they didn’t get on the tables as the games were scenario based battles between Taliban and ISAF Infantry with players playing three games with each side. The games were played in great spirit by all and I was jammy enough to have a bit of luck, winning 5 and drawing 1, although I’m claiming that one as a moral win for my Taliban as I prevented the ANA from gaining their objective. What I learned was that a mob of Taliban can look much more scary than their skill/stat lines would show (I took a force of 15 so many were really poor quality) and can tie up very small elite special force groups (5 or 6) unless they are handled very aggressively. We also used random event cards which ranged from being hilarious, pinning a sniper with “Jelly belly” to scary effective, my Tali boys being the target of a “fast air” strike and scattering in panic. All in all and even though the vehicles only got to watch it was great fun ……
And as for the Tankies themselves, the build wips are buried in my blog but to recap the Jackal, Coyote and Snatch are straight out of the Airfix box with only aerials added while the Warrior has had a bit more fiddling done to it, and needs a touch more as I still have the armoured glass windows to fit to the turret crew survivability kit. They are brush painted using both Humbrol enamels and GW acrylics and weathered with oils. Now to start building the others …….
Airfix Warrior crew finished ……
Finally got these guys finsihed and in the Warrior for a few pics. I haven’t decided yet if they’ll be fixed in place permantly but at the moment they’re removeable so that I can do the final finishing on the Warrior. A lot of work to get ’em up to model standard but I’m pretty happy with how they look in place ……
MTP test fig finished ………..
Well I finished the test trooper in MTP. Improved the detail on the Helmet by adding a replacement NVG mounting strap and clips. While painting I realised I should have replaced the platoon comms microphone. I’d previously replaced the ones on the turret TC and Gunner, figuring the crew headsets and mics were more prominent. I should have done the troopers too in hindsight, too late for this guy but I’ll track the others down and fix em …….
Anyway the paint went on ok. I decided to paint the body armour, knapsack and some of the pouches in plain DDPM to add some contrast to the camoflage. As Keith mentions in a comment on the first MTP installment, when painting modern camo especially, the packs and details can get lost in the camo. While that may be the idea (lol) it doesn’t make for a very visual figure. So the plain webbing helps and I also spent a bit of extra time working on the shading / shadows.
All in all and while it’s taken some effort, I think the plain and soft Airfix figures can scrub up pretty well. Which is just as well as there aren’t any other options available in 1/48th yet …….
I’m often asked about the colours I use. Well I usually mix my paint and current use mostly last generation (out of production) GW acrylics. This makes it really a moot point to try and detail the ratios of each colour used. Instead I’ve been producing colour swatches of paints as I mix them. That means when I come to re-mix a batch, even using a different paint system, I can faff about with my alchemaic blending until I have a pretty close match to my favourite colour.
Below are the primary colours I settled on for my MTP camo test.
Pea Green base – the whole uniform gets this as a base colour
Mid Green diruptor – this goes on next, covering roughly 25% of the uniform
Dark Earth disuptor – the third colour added to cover roughly 25% of the uniform
Desert DDPM base – my base colour for DDPM. Used as an light accent colour at roughly 5% or less
Dark Chocolate Brown (not shown) – the final dark accent colour, apply sparingly at around 5% or less
Mini update ………
Or to use it’s official designation;
Multi Terrain Pattern Personal Clothing System Combat Uniform (MTP PCS CU) which started entering service in 2011 replacing the old Combat Soldier ’95 system which had a vareity of uniforms for different situations. Personally after looking at many ref pics I think the MTP does a great job in both desert and temperate surroundings. It just looks tricky to paint lol
So, I started experimenting with painting the current uniform MTP (also sometimes called multicam) on one of the troopers. In theatre pics often show a mix of uniform types so I was thinking of painting the two troopers in MTP and the vehicle crew in the earlier desert pattern DPM figuring the groundpunders would be the first to get the newer issued uniforms. Interestingly the US also adopted multicam after first rejecting it and now having largely abandoned their “digital” pattern experiment …….
Anyway I had to mix all the colours to match the reference pics, in which the shades often appear quite pale and subdued.
I’ve attached some assorted MTP pics below showing how variations in lighting (and probably fading esp in the Afghanistan pic) effect the colour hues.
And here’s my first attempt. I’m pretty happy with it so I’ll carry on and complete both of the troopers who will be standing in the fighting hatch.
My attempt at fitting crew figs to the Warrior …….
Following on from the fitting of the Jackal crew here are my modified Airfix crew figs for the Warrior. They’re made using a mix of figures from the Airfix Crew figure and Patrol sets plus a few bits from the spare box.
They are as follows ;
The track commander is a seated guy from the crew set. His right arm is from the crew set standing gunner.
The gunner is from the patrol set. His arms are from Bandai tank crew.
One standing trooper is stock from the patrol set.
The second standing guy is the gunner from the crew set. His right arm holding the Saw is from the patrol set and his left is his own arm but with an inverted Bandai hand supporting the mag.
I drilled and pinned the heads and filled any arm and head gaps with greenstuff. I had to re-build the arms where I had cut and modifed them and added pouches to the upper arms and body armour webbing to both of the turret figures. Not the best (my greenstuffing skills are naff) but once covered with paint they should look ok.
I’ve also carried out a bit of PIP (Product Improvement) on them. Fistly I scribed undercuts around the webbing and pouches, The Airfix plastic is soft (as is the detail) but easily worked with a little patience and no more difficult than working with any other figures. I added helmet mics and earpieces to the commander and gunner and had a go at adding the elastic turns ups often seen on the Brit helmets. Feeling adventurous I added the webbing foliage camo strips to the gunner for some variety. Worked out pretty well I think. I used thread tape (very thin) stuck down to a glass microscope plate. Then it was easy to cut the strips to size and add them with thin CA.
Finally I added a couple of detail shots of how I added the wiring to the ECM/COMs platforms. I drilled into the bottom of the aerial mountings added passed the whole thing through the mounting hole. Then I fixed them with CA and once dry bent the wiring up into place and trimmed to fit …..
Detailing basically completed over the weekend ……..
Pretty much as the can says, added the final details. There’s still more I could do but have to draw the line somewhere.
And while we’re talking about detailing I thought it might be interesting to add a list of the additions made to the basic kit ;
From the Airfix PE set
Replaced the front and rear fenders,
Upper hull and rear air-con unit grills,
Turret vison blocks
Turret sight grills and window wipers
Driver hatch windows
Turret and upper hatch handles
Rear ecm/aerial plate mountings
Fire extinguisher clamps and frames
Front hull tool rack and fittings
Gun mantlet spent round ejection port cover
Gun mantlet mounting brackets (honestly no idea what they’re for lol)
Brackets on the headlight clusters used for fitting drivers mirrors
Headlight and taillight cluster brush guards
Replace kit hatch handles with wire (20)
Added rain covers to driver hatch viewing ports
Turret spent round deflection plate
Turret lifting lugs (5)
Replaced all kit aerials with various sized wire
Added wiring to the rear mounted ECM/Sat nav/Bowman coms aerials
Fitted stowage rolls and made tie down straps and hooks
Added turret mounted side stowage box
Made a Kinetic tow rope (old IPod cable)
Added towing shackles (none supplied with the kit)
Thinned the slat armour with scalpel and file (not really an addition but loads of work)
Fitted RHS drivers aid/width indicator pole
Added detailling to the front mounted IED jammers.
Thinned (didn’t replace with PE as its too thin) the three wire cutter/deflector bars
Lol … I think that’s about it ……..
The last build log entry before final details, weathering and the final money shot pics …..
Yup, it’s all over and done. Well its at about 85-90% but the assembly and basic paint part of the build is all complete. Still have some details to add, stowage, tow cabels and hooks, crew, ECM and SAT nav aerials and the wiring for them. I also have a few broken small parts to re-fit, the mudflap and some door handles. Then it’s final weathering and it’s ready for the all important finished money shots …..
Made a start on fitting the slat armour ……
I decided to try and scratch build the rear panel as I need the practise (my scratch skills are average) and to see how long it would take and thus if scratching the whole lot was practical.
Using the kit part as a guide it was a basic if time-consuming process. First I cut the outer frame and drilled and fitted the three-wire upright supports. Then cut and drilled the slats, fitting them down over the wires and superglued them in place.
If I’d made a jig to cut things square and to the same length it would have been even easier but I wanted to see the result first. To make matters harder I broke the drill of choice and had to use a slightly larger one for the holes in the slats, this made if a nightmare to get them secured with glue. Possibly my superglue is past it’s best also and takes a while to set off. Anyway all done and about 2hours work. It would be less with a jig but it’s still tedious and a mental strain.
I think it looks good (read – more in scale) and I managed to replicate the ragged look most slats carry after a little service. I’d definitely do all of it this way if the Warrior was going on a diorama base or in a comp for its hero factor, but for gaming and my sanity I went back to hand thinning the kit pieces with a scalpel and file.
And with one side fitted ……..
Big update this, worked on the Warrior all day for the first time this week as unfortunately we’ve had a family bereavment to start 2014 off with …… (thinking of you Gary)
Anyway laid on the base coat and lightened it. Put on the initial pin washes and some shading. Kept it minimal at this stage as I’ll wait for the slat armour to go on before I can get a decent feel for how the whole thing ties together. I still might yet add a filter to change the overall base colour shade a little which is still bothering me, not sure.
This has also been a departure for me as the base colours were Humbrol Enamel this time instead of GW acrylics. I’ve still used acrylic in places for detialing but my stock of the old style GWs is dwindling fast and the new paint is shite compared to the old stuff. It has the consistancy of housepaint and I just can’t get a feel for it yet, not on tanks anyway.
I also sealed the base enamel with varnish and have used old school oils for the pin washes. Again mostly because my stock of GW Chestnut Ink has almost run out and I’m trying to settle on alternatives that match my painting style ….. Yoda forsees much trickiness and gnashing of teeth ahead …….
Pin washed and ready for the slat armour to go on ….
Base coat and hightlighting completed …….
Primed and ready for finishing paint …..
Finished the grab handles and hatches today then primed it with Tamiya enamel (TS-3 from a rattlecan). I’m hping to paint and finish the hull before fitting the hull slat armour. Also after most of the painting is completed it’ll get the last of the details including, some stowage – packs and boxes, towing shackles and tow cables, a spare roadwheel or two if I can find something close enough to the corret size in the spares box.
Getting closer to painting ……..
Almost all the PE is on now. Got to add the turret hatches (the filler on the ejector pin holes, which were huge, is still drying) and to make and fit the grab handles, about 20 in all. Some of the PE won’t be able to go on until after painting, the headlight, tail ight and turret IR sensor bin brush guards will all have to wait. Also glass has to be be added to the turret crew add on armour last after final varnishing.
Same goes for the the ECM and sat nav package aerials. They will get in the way of handling during painting so they’ll also be a late addition. I’m also not even sure if I’ll be able to mount them sercurely to the PE plates yet so might have to revert to the kit platic offerings yet, we’ll see ……
I attempted to thin down the kit plastic slat armour a little also. Managed to get it clsoe to half the thickness of the original. Still way overscale but a bit better at least. It would have been nice if the Airfix PE set had included slats or even if they had made it available as an additional PE set …..
It’s starting to look like a Warrior now ….
Cut out the hole for the top PE vent and added the top deck grills. Finally attached the upper hull permantly then added the the side armour and fitted the ECM and nav suite electrical cables. No issues with this stage as the fit of parts overall is very good.
One PE grill, the one immediately in front of the turret on the left upper hull, didn’t quite fit as it’s supplied angles didn’t quite match the plastic vent. I just filled the small gaps with thin CA. Fingers crossed this part stays attached during painting as it small and doesn’t have a lot of contact area. Fishing it out of the hull with it buttoned up will be a mission. If I’d thought about I could have blocked off the underside of the vent with plasticard ……..
Posting catch up pics of the Coyote 6×6 Tactical Support Vehicle build.
Basically the Coyote is essentially the same kit as the Jackal but with an extra drive transfer case and wheels and a longer supply deck. As such the build comments made for the Jackal assembly hold true for the Coyote. The rear deck fit is more positive than the Jackals however due to the extra frame req for the second set of drive wheels. Once built however it’s got a real heft and presense to it. It would look awesome loaded down with gear and supplies …….
Almost finised ….
Assembled and prepainted the interior today. I kept it pretty simple as the rear door will be closed and with only the top infantry fighting hatch to look through you can’t see much inside anyway. It’s was pretty hard to find interior pics so in the end I went with colours of an earlier Batus machine pictured on Primeportal. All the interior appears to be base coated in Nato (British) green with electrical boxes and elcectronics being a mix of black and white. There appears to be foam cladding on the roof and around the central turret drive mechanism box, in some ref pics this is cream coloured and on other vehicles it appears very pale blue. The walls also have light blue panels attached over the green framework.
I added the PE checker plate floor but left the other interior details off as none of it can be seen. One mod I did do was to convert the single seat on the left hand side into what it actually is ….. a combat khazi or loo.
The turret interior was also painted in green as per the ref pics. I didn’t add any of the missing radios and sighting gear as I intend to add crew into the hatches at a later date and it will largely be invisable.
Got a little more PE to add then I can button up the top hull and it’s almost ready for paint.
Got most of the lower hull assembly completed today …..
In general it was a pretty straight forward build with no major fit issues. There’s a tiny amount of flash on some parts but it’s an easy cleanup. I differed from the assembly instruction order by first glueing the road wheels together to let them set up while I assembled the hull. The Airfix order fits the smaller subassemblies to the hull floor first but I like to make sure the floor and sides are square and tight before adding any smaller parts.
After the main hull I attached the torsion bar swing arms. A neat touch is that Airfix supplies an assembly jig to set the arms into the correct alignment and ride height. I attached the front and rear arms first and cleaned up a few other parts while they set. Then I attached the middle arms and sat the vehicle down on a glass sheet to ensure that they all were the same height. The instructions want the inner side of the two piece road wheels attached to the swing arms first and then the outer wheel fitted. To me this is allowing too much chance of misalignment which is why I assembled my wheels first. Working quickly I attached all the road wheels and again sat the vehicle down on the flat sheet and let the glue harden.
The tracks are a little tricky. The sprockets and rear idler are not interchangable from side to side so make sure you have the correct ones and get the track direction correct. The links around the drive and idler spokect are the worst feature of the track and so far the kit itself. The joins are much wider than the gap between the moulded links and there is no easy way to correct this as cutting and tightening the links would shorten the track too much to get a join. I’m hoping the joins will be disguised when the track guards and slat armour is fitted.
I mounted the gun just because I wanted to see what it looked like but apart from that it’s ready to add the interior and outer hull details. Looking at the PE set there are some parts I wont use and some I’ll repalce by using either wire or plasticard. PE is nice for grills, box structures and plates but the grab handles and turret lifting lugs look way too thin and one dimensional in PE. A couple of the kit moulded plastic grills have to be carefully cut out and some handles scraped away with damaging other panels and engraved lines, so that’s the trick I need to pull off during the next assembly stage ……
Can’t get more wippy than this … just opened the box!
Had a xmas care package arrive today, the Airfix Warrior and PE upgrade set.
The Warrior has the new TES(H) (Theater Entry Standard – Herric) improvement kit fitted, the most obvious feature of which is the “slat” armour to us laymen.
And the kit ……. 7 crisply moulded sprues and a very small but adequate decal sheet. The tracks are link and length and acceptable but the slat armour is a little overscale. Not any of Airfix’s fault, more a factor of the limits of moulding in this scale. PE slat armour is bound to surface soon but I’m not waiting as this is a straight box build to see how well she scrubs up for wargaming. No crew is provided, you’re expected to pick up one of Airfix’s crew sets but some specificically posed armoured crews would have been appreciated. Hatches and rear door can all be left open and there is a basic interior, a pleasent surprise as I hadn’t read about that. Anyway should be an interesting build ……. (that’s secret code for other stuff can wait as I’m ripping into this as a feel good xmas pressie to myself)
More progress with the Land Rover …..
Primed as normal with rattlecan Tamiya Enamel (XF-3) and basecoated with my current Desert British acrylic paint mix.
Lightened it by adding a little tan and white to the desert yellow and blending the up surfaces and centres of panels.
Looked up the internets for references. There aren’t alot but enough to get siome idea of possible variations in the colours of wheel guards, front grill, window surrounds and small parts. All in service photos show attached Barracude camo netting on the main body and doors but like zimmeritt on most WW2 german tanks kits, you’ll have to add your own (i’m not going to on this build).
It’ll get shading, weathering and decals before adding the window glass …. which has to be masked off before matt varnishing.
And like magic … it got shading, decals, light fading and dusting. Also added the aerial and ECM suite.
Finally sprayed with matt varnish and then fitted the glass which got a light dusting.
Finished and ready for some decent pics ……
Built up most of the Land Rover Snatch today. The roof and doors will be left off until the interior has been painted and detailed with the glass going in last.
Pretty nice build and no issues apart from a bit of flash to clean up. This was the first kit Airfix released in the Operation Herric series and the mould is already starting to show a little wear resulting in the flash.
However this is still a very tidy little kit and I’m surprised it hasn’t made more of an impact with modellers. It’s a great base for extra detailling, perhaps it’s only the lack of aftermarket 1/48th figures that is holding it back. It has optional open rear, side doors and bonnet with a reasonable engine to display and some rear compartment interior detail.