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Getting back on track

Today is a big day, because I formally return to modelling after a quick pause to upgrade my office/bench/man cave/working area. And I finally get back to this blog of mine, with the intention of changing its mission from some vague military study repository to a modelling blog. I don’t really have the time for the former, but I fully intend on spending some time on the later.

It took a while to get back here, but here I am now with a new spot, more space, better organization, and -soon- some time on my hand. Going at E3 next week, and a quick vacation the week after, and I should be able to settle down in a sweet little modelling routine.

This is what the place looked like before:

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And this is what is looks like now, almost finished:

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This didn’t cost a lot in terms of money, but it took a while to complete. Oh, and I also put together this new site of my local modeling club. Not entirely complete, but running and ready.

Now, onto the more interesting stuff: modeling.

Last week was our last meeting of the 2014-2015 season at the modeling club, and we had a contest going which was pretty neat: the armor folks had to work on a BMP-1 base vehicle, and the Plane crowd had to work on a ME 262. The theme was cool, but not a whole lot of guys turned up anything. We got four airplanes and ONE armor. A cool BMP from seasonned modeller Pat Bernier, but ONLY ONE. Sad, I know.

I must plead guilty though, because of the above. I had started a neat 2014 Ukrainian ride, and this is what I am resuming working on today, using Trumpeter #05556 as a base, with minimal addition beyond scratching details.

 I’ve also planned for three figures, two from Evolution Miniature and one ANT. More about these in a later post. For now, let’s just look at the state of affair.

I was about mid-way into construction when I had to take a break. Lower hull done, wheels, rollers, idlers and sprocket done, and the upper hull well underway.

Alliance Modelworks knitted mesh small 0.5m spacing, closeup.

I had stalled at the PE grills that comes with the kit. I found them too coarse and wasn’t super happy with the way they held onto place. After a failed attempt to get them one satisfactorily, I ordered a magnificent mesh set, much more to scale, from Alliance Modelworks (set TW012, see on the left) and went ahead placing this and scratching an outer frame.

Getting back to shape is always a bit tedious after a long hiatus, and this was no exeption. It wasn’t easy to get this done, and not necessarily comfrotable, but I eventually got to an acceptable result.

Here’s the result:

BMP-1 grills

Next came the rear vent grill. I scratched this one, but frankly, it doesn’t look terrible. I decided to keep it like this because right now, the most important thing is to get going. Get back on track, and finish this sucker off.

Here’s the real deal:

therealdeal

Trumpeter’s interpretation of this. Frankly, it took me a while to convince myself Trumpeter had nothing to go on top of this knob.

Then my take on it. Don’t laugh, please.

Scratch vent

I still think it’s better than Trumpeter’s nothingness, but it sure goes to show just how bad I am at scratchbuilding anything and must learn from this.

EDIT – Okay, I finally decided my first take on the grill was horrendous so I went for it one more time. Still not as clean as I would like, but much better to be sure.

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Next step, mating the hull, and keep going with the kit supposedly ‘workable’ tracks. Running low on money right now, and these will have to do, I just can’t afford a set of Friul’s just now, unfortunately!

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