lunedì 28 gennaio 2013


Hi guys and galls! This is a cool photo from 2008 of my seventh tank, a JS-2 in 1/72 scale, that I happend to find (it's the only one I have left). I will be taking new photos of this model later on as soon as we reach its position. Good modelling to ya all!

lunedì 10 maggio 2010


I had a box of 1/35 US paratroopers laying on my shelf and decided to build and paint them for fun. Its great to venture into subjects and scales that you usually don't build. I found it very stimulating and fun. There are so many great 1/35 sculptures out there, and there are so many good artists who bring them to life so I couldn't resist and had to paint mine.

This Yank belongs to Dragon's (U.S. ARMY AIRBORNE OPERATION VARSITY 1945) kit. I built him straight out of the box. The only thing I added was the muddy base. Since I don't usualy paint figures I haven't really developed my own technique. Most modellers today prefer to paint figures by applying the zenithal principle of light. I just decided to play the movie SAVING PRIVATE RYAN while painting my figure and improvise the whole way. Hehehe I thought this would help me give a realistic twist to my painting.

I used Vallejo acrylics for most of the figure. The only exceptions are: enamel metalizers used on the metal buttons, buckles, pistol, knife and the Thompson sub-machine gun; while pure burnt sienna oil paint was applied over a base coat of Vallejo (310) OLD WOOD paint for the wooden parts on the Thompson.

To paint the various textiles I would first apply by brush two coats of mildly diluted paint. Then I would apply a wash, after it settled, I would make a first dry brushing run with the base color. Then I would apply the same wash again and then a second drybrush with the base color but lightened a bit. Next I would add a diluted earth toned color and would paint it in the highlited areas to simulate a dirty and used uniform. Here I will apply this procedure to the painting of my figure's jacket:

A. two coats of 70% Vallejo (893) US DARK GREEN-(base color) + 30% water

B. first wash with 20% Vallejo (822) CAM. BLACK BROWN + 80% water

C. several runs of light drybrushing with Vallejo (893) US DARK GREEN

D. second wash with 20% Vallejo (822) CAM. BLACK BROWN + 80% water

E. last drybrushing with with 20% Vallejo (893) US DARK GREEN + 80% (815) BASIC SKINTONE

F. apply diluted 20% Vallejo (921) ENGLISH UNIFORM + 80% water on to the brighter “rased” parts of the uniform.

G. If you whish you can apply a third wash with 10% Vallejo (822) CAM. BLACK BROWN + 90% water to blend all the layers in. Remember not to put too mutch wash onto the figure and in the creases. When applying the wash the figure should look wet with just a bit more wash in the creases and cracks than on the rased areas.

You can apply this simple method to all the other parts of your figure, trousers, pouches, canteen changing only the first color. So instead of Vallejo (893) US DARK GREEN you can use 80% Vallejo (890) REFLECTIVE GREEN + 20% (824) CAM. ORANGE OCHRE as your base color or only (824) CAM. ORANGE OCHRE if you need to make canvas bags and packs. I suggest you don't use black for shadows and white for highlights, this is very important!

I hope this helps you, think positive and have a good day!

sabato 17 aprile 2010

M4A3 (76) W VVSS Sherman (1/72 scale)

Hi people, its a long time since I posted some new stuff on my blog. I an very happy to see that many of you became followers and I wish to thank you all for your support. I'm sorry I couldn't write more, but at this moment there are lots of changes going on in my life.

One thing remains the passion for modelbuilding. The fifth tank I finished for this collection is a Sherman. The famous main battle tank of the US Army and Marines in World War 2. Some 50'000 Shermans were built during the war - more than any other single German tank, only the Russians built the T-34 in greater numbers!

Till recent years the Sherman wasn't as popular as the German tanks were. Many model producers preferd to make German subjects cos' they got more attention by the customers. I don't know what the reasons are for this trend but, we can all guess. The German panzers had cool camouflages and were generally seen as better armoured and better armed than the Sherman. In my opinion the M4A1 with the cast turret and cast hull looks really cool-original and there is no other WW2 tank that looks similar to it.

I chose again my model from Dragon's new line of 1/72 tanks. The quality and detail of these plastic kits is truly amazing and unique + you get all the photo-etched brass you need to super detail your beast without having to spend extra money on a separate costly aftermarket set.
I bought the first 1/72 Sherman version that Dragon relesed, the M4A3 (76) W VVSS. I built this baby straight out of the box with no problems and was very pleased with the detail, moulding and fit. Some parts are so small and brittle that you have to pay lots of attention not to brake certain parts while handling them. I broke and lost the grips for my 50 Cal. turret machine gun and had to scratchbuild it back. Dragon could give us this part in photo-eched medium and speed thing up for us, oh yeah and the only thing this kit is missing is the flexible antenna base stump for the turret which I also scratchbuilt.

I wanted to make a camouflaged Sherman instead of the usual olive drab monochrome finish. The tank I chose was from the 761st Tank Battalion “Black Panthers”. This was one of the first African American units to fight in the war under the command of General Patton. The unit started to fight in France and aided the 101s t Airborne Division in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. They faught their way through Germany and were among the first Americans to meet the Russians in Austria.

The model was painted by hand with Testor acrylics (olive drab and black). After the camouflage was painted and the decals applied I gave it two layers of filters (brown-orange tones). The next step was to make a mixture of very diluted earth tones with Tamiya acrylics and water. Once the mixture was on the brush I would scratch backwards the brush (which was held 5 cm from the tank) to create a splashing effect on the lower and a dotted-rain stain effect on the upper parts of the Sherman. Then I proceeded to create vertical rain marks with the same mixture. Next I panted on scratches and small rust stains with Vallejo acrylics. The last steps were to apply Mig pigments for dust and dry mud effects and oli-paint washes for the spilt fuel stains. I finally added some metal shine to angles and metal tools with a B2 graphite pencil.
Sometimes simple and rough camouflages give an extra touch of realism to a scale model, maybe more than very complex and elaborate camouflage scheems. Just my opinion. Thanks for reading, stay in touch!


I decided to add a measuring instrument in the first photo so that all of you that aren't familiar with modelbuilding in general can get an idea of the actual size of the tanks that are pictured in my blog. This particular tank is roughly 8 cm in length.

mercoledì 3 marzo 2010

Sd.Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Early Production (1/72 scale)

Now this little beast has a paint job that took me some time to finish, but it was worth it! My fourth tank is the futuristic looking Jagdpanther. This tank was a feared opponent on the battle ground and is considered to be one of the best weapon systems of WW2 because of its good armour protection, high mobility and incredible 8.8 cm KwK 43 main gun. There were only 382 jagdpanthers built during the war, but its icredible sharp look and recognisable shape gave it lots of fame and notoriety.
I had the opportunity to see and touch a real Jagdpanther in the Imperial War Museum when I was 14 and even though I knew nothing about this tank at the time it captured my attention and became one of my favorite WW2 tanks right away.
Ok, enough said about the tank and lest talk about the kit...I chose Dragons 1/72 Jagdpanther with the "waffel" Zimmerit already moulded on the kit parts. I didn't have many problems building the kit other than some fitting problems and bad moulding on the road wheels (lots of flash) but, who cares this kit is all about the zimmerit! Which looks damn cool!
The three tone german camouflage was hand painted with a fine size 3 round tip brush and Testors acrylics. I found the pattern on the net, but since not all sides were shown I had to invent some parts and it took me over a week to get the right "look". This was the first model I completely applied newer techniques on. I tested for the first time filters, extensive pigments for dust effects and applied dry mud on my AFV. O yeah and I also left the motor hatch open (great extra detail for the kit, thanks Dragon!) which adds some more realism and spirit.
Thank you for following...Can't wait to see your comments...

sabato 20 febbraio 2010

Sd.Kfz.167 StuG IV LATE (1/72 scale)

I finally had some free moments to write about my third model. This time, as the title suggests, I decided to model a famous German assault gun. Assault guns for those who may not be very acquainted with the subject are identical to classic tanks except for the fact that they don't have a mobile turret, instead their cannon is fixed to the armoured chassis. To aim the cannon the entire tank had to move and point in the general direction of the target. This wasn't very practical, but gave the assault guns a lower silhouette which was harder to spot/target by the enemy and lowered industrial production costs. Assault guns were first used as elite mobile artillery support, but later were found to be excellent in the tank hunter role.
I built Dragons beautiful 1/72 StuG IV late model which in my opinion is the best plastic kit on the market today of the subject. The kit has an incredible amount of detail and has several clever solutions that help building and painting.
The painting was done in the same fashion and style I used for the T-34. This is the procedure: acrylic base coat, enamel dry-brushing, first oil paint wash, ename dry-brushing, second oil paint wash, two last enamel dry brushing layers, chipped paint and oil stains. The colors used were: German dark yellow (acryl and enamel) lightened with tan for the dry brushing process, raw umber/burnt sienna/black oil paints for the general washes, stains and rust effects.
The final appearance shows the heavy dry brushing which by todays standards is unrealistic and I agree. However I managed to apply painting techniques I was always eager to learn when much younger. This little model was a great satisfaction for me back in 2006 when I finished it. Thank you for reading and if you feel like it leave me your comments.

lunedì 8 febbraio 2010

T-34/76 M 1942 (1/72 scale)

What hasen't already been said about the legendary T-34? The tank that surpriesd the Germans and contributed to the final victory of the allies. The tank that is a synonym for mass serial production, cost reduction, simple and effective design, extreme roughedness for constant reliability in extreme conditions. I have always been fascinated by the incredible reputation this tank earnd it's self. It was very reliable, easy to repair, simple to mantain, had excellent mobility on all terrain and could operate in very low temperatures; an absolute must for any WW2 AFV modeler.
The second model I fineshed for my collection in 2006 was Italeri's 1/72 T-34/76. It's not the most accurate kit of the T-34, but it has a good price, simple construction and great link and length tracks (When I baught the kit Dragon hadn't yet released their new T-34 series in 1/72).
I used a different painting style this time. I tried to adopt Verlinden's style for this tank by using extensive layers of heavy washes (artist oil paints)and drybrushing (Humbrol enamels). These techniques were common back in the 90'ies, but are kind of obsolete today. Pigments, filters and all the rest have overtaken the scene (yes I know that drybrushing and washes are still used today, but more sparingly and only for certain effects). I also started experimenting with pigments on this tank (notice the overdone rust!! upss), but you can see that there is no earth stuck to the wheels. It,s just too damn clean!!! Most people (probably not modlers) really like the way this tank looks, I guess the strong chromatic value achieved by the green drybrushing pleases the eye.

giovedì 4 febbraio 2010

SD.KFZ.234/2 PUMA (1/72 scale)

This was the first kit I bought after a loooong time back in 2005. The PUMA is regarded as the best scout/reconnaissance vehicle of the German army in WW2, possibly the best scout car of the whole war. The slick and functional design of the PUMA inspired the development of wheeled fighting vehicles to this day (like the American Stryker or German Fuchs).
This little 1/72 kit is very simple to build, has no fitting problems and offers good quality and detail for the price. The model was hand painted with Vallejo acrylics and weathered with Tamiya's weathering kit. It was a fast build and the paint job was done in two weeks (I had to study for exams so I had very little time to spend on my AFVs).
My skills have improved a great deal from back then, but I still like the way my PUMA looks. If you are curious about the model or have any suggestions please leave your comments and I will answer. Enjoy the photos, Thank you.