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Scale Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #010-- "Tis The Season
November 15, 2007
|November 15, 2007
Make Early Christmas Plans This YearFor hobby enthusiasts of every ilk, the pace starts to quicken a little around Thanksgiving. In another month they may well be the Christmas benefactor of another prized acquisition for their favorite pastime.
Whether it is a new 4-8-8-4 Bigboy, an RC helicopter, a new diorama centerpiece or a new plank-on-frame ship model, hints are being dropped.
Its how we drop those hints that really matters this month. With gasoline pushing $4 a gallon, leave a few of your favorites on the family computer or how about an email discussing your wished for project?
Face it, there will be a lot more shopping from home this winter and it is a good idea to start to let your fingers do the walking a little early.
If you aren't registered for eBay already, now is the time to get familiar with the biggest hobby shop in the world.
Get The Jump On Your Christmas ShoppingMake 2007 the year you get your Christmas shopping organized,
Here are nine tips to getting it done right.
Weathering Tips To Age Your CreationAlmost every form of modeling has its own requirements to take away the new, fresh-out-of-the-box look and one form or another of weathering sooner or later comes into the picture.
Weathering is the term of choice in all instances where the purpose of your effort is making the model look like it has been used. This used condition takes many forms. Its up to you to simulate it. Litter accumulates, dirt and grime gets deposited, exhaust stains, sun fades the hardest of painted surfaces, metal rusts, and almost everything shows use and abuse.
Every time you scan large scale photographs of the real thing you can see the obvious signs of age. Make a mental note of what caused the signs and then determine how you can simulate the same signs. NOTE: that is simulate, not duplicate.
Chalk It To Age ItStart off with pastel chalks like burnt orange, umber, browns and blacks, grays and you will need white.
You will need to reduce the sticks to dust. Use a blade and scrape it across the length of the chalk onto a piece of copy paper.
The handiest storage container I've come across is the week-long pill organizers. Each box is labeled S,M,T,W,T,F,S) Under each letter put enough chalk dust to cover the bottom of the colors you use most often.
Pick up a tall can of Matte finish spray from your craft store (it is more economical than the little Dullcoat cans), and works just as good to cover your chalked weathering.
Getting Mortar BoredTo really look realistic your brick buildings need mortar.
Most manufacturers turn out a pretty accurate scale bricks in their sheets, but that is where the detail ends. Take a look at a real brick wall and you'll find there isn't much duplication. Some are scratched, some are chipped, many have a cross-hatch of gouges or scratches. Simulate these by dry brushing with a black wash (India Ink or black leather polish).
But the final touch mortaring, will have the most profound effect. I learned this from a Ken Sproranza clinic on weathering.
You'll need a bottle of sand-colored water-base paint as well as a dark gray; Both are mixed with denatured alcohol and often for use on the same wall section.
For a cheap, one session applicator, stop by your favorite electronics store and ask them to save you some packing foam (fine, 1-2-inch gray sheets). My favorites are the reverse egg carton looking used to pack sensitive electronic parts.
As needed, I cut off one of the nodules to provide a hand-held sop. Dip it into the paint mixture and rub across the brick surface. The next step is to wipe it from the brick faces, I prefer to use my finger for more finite control.
Fingers work good for this purpose as they don't dip into the mortar lines and swab out mortar and cleanup is real easy.
Going To WarMilitary vehicles present you with a number of unusual weathering challenges by introducing camouflage for a variety of operating conditions. For instance, today's Iraqi environment means dealing with different colors than say, winter snow operations or the muddy terrain of the Orient or tropics.
If you hang around many modeler groups, you won't be there long in a weathering discussion without hearing the name Tamiya, a company that has come up with master modeling kits and weathering sticks to add realistic weathering effects.
Whether you are thinking Christmas or Weathering, Tamiya is a name to keep in mind:
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