Monday, 25 February 2013

Review : AK's ''The Weathering Magazine'' Issue 3 - Chipping

Ok, firstly, I have to apologize for my delay in putting up this review as I have been busy since I got this book which was back in Jan 13. I tried but just couldn't find the time to write up, so sorry about that.

Right, so this is the third issue of AK's '' The Weathering Magazine '' I have been reviewing ( you can catch the 2nd issue Review here and the 1st here ).

In this issue, Ak showed how to do the already tried and test techniques of chipping; sponge, brush, chipping fluid, liquid masking and salt, how popular chipping effects looks like and how chipping can be applied on a range of vehicles, from a beaten down tractor to a sci-fi ( Ma.K Hornet to be precise ) fighter.

The magazine is printed on a very high quality glossy heavy paper, and is a whopping 87 pages in full colour.

First you got this on the cover -

And once you turn the page, you are greeted with a wall of text from the chief editor himself ( I didn't take any photo of it, sorry ) ... and then after that, you will come to the contents

And YET AGAIN with the model but I'm a sucker for chicks in tank tops so.. yeah.. LOL.. and not to mention she's also holding a gun

and after that you will get straight into the first chapter -

'' Diamond Reo Tractor '' is basically about how a vehicle made from composite material can be damaged after extensive usage. Composite materials do not rust but the paint may still fade, wear and chips will occur anyway due to the harsh road and climatic condition. This chapter cover how such composite materials can be chipped, wore, tore and faded in colours. I found this chapter quite useful.

Chapter 2 , '' Type 69 II C '' -

What else can be a greater interest in chipping then a tank that was used in actual combat ( Iran-Iraq War to be exact) ??. Personally this is my most favourite chapter of this issues as I am a tank guy myself and I learned quite a lot on this. They covered how chipping can be done on a vehicle that has been painted over in 2-3 different colours and cover how chippings can occur on a MBT.

Following this is a short article named '' Popular chipping effects '' -

Basically, the article talk about how the popular chipping method looks like. They show how the effects from masking fluid, hairspray, salt, chipping fluid and decals can look like with comparative pictures of each effects. Useful to broaden your knowledge in the over all chipping effects and to find your own style. Downside to this is - I have no idea why they did not cover paint brush and sponge in this article.

Back to back with this article is , what I would described as, a supplement one for the previous article. Titled '' Popular Techniques'' -

They showed, in step-by-step, some examples on how to apply the most commonly known method of using sponge, using brush,  using masking fluid and using salt. They mentioned chipping fluid in there as well but I do not want to put it under that category of '' popular'' as ( as far as I know) chipping fluids are recent products, been out in the market since only 2 (tops) year ago. Obviously, they ''used'' AK worn effects so the message is kinda there, u know.

Comes  another article after this, titled '' micro paint-chipping ''

The article is covered by a very talented modeller ( I have seen his other works on Facebook  they are amazing ) and talks about how those teeny tiny chippings can be achieved and tips and tricks on maintaining your ant size brushes. If you struggle in very small chipping ( like me ), this article is helpful for you.

Then comes chapter 3, with the title '' Using Worn effects ''

This is basically about using '' worn effects '' on a Zeke ( Japanese Zero ) to reproduce those patches of aluminium underneath the paint job that we see in photos of the nimble zeke. Personally  I think this article is stupid and nothing but a shameless plug on their product. I have seen so many people do that similar effects using salt with a nice three dimensional paint chip effects ( which this doesn't have).

Chapter 4 follows directly after this with a title of '' Excavator Extreme Weathering'' -

I kinda like this chapter. They showed how to turn a toy excavator into a well weathered and VERY realistic looking one with all sort of weathering involved with such machine. You got not only chipping but also streaks and dust general grime and dirt pack in one chapter.

After that, chapter 5 '' Chipping Modern Armour '' follows -

Again, this is one of my favourite chapter in this issue as they showed how modern MBT in service can be chipped. As you all know, we don't really see that much heavy chipping on western modern MBTs unlike the ww2 era AFVs so this is nice read up on how to do that. Downside of this chapter is that they mention they will talk about applying on 2 kinds of M1 but sadly, only 1 of them was largely covered and the 2nd was only marginally covered.

Following that is another short article named '' Hairspray Steyr '' -

Just as the title says, it shows you step by step how to get chipping effects with Hairspray. They also covered how one can chip after the hairspray layer using skewers and hard bristle brush. I think this is a golden article, not everybody have access to AK's products ( for instance, some of my friends in the Philippines have not even heard of AK) so instead of just plugging AK's products, showing how to do stuffs using generic easy-to-get stuffs is well appreciated.

Another article with the name '' Scratching and Chipping accessories'' comes after this -

Now, this ( I believe) is another golden chapter as it not only shows how some small scale personal effects like helmets and canteen can be chipped and damaged but also shows how to chip using only BRUSH and pointy stuff like skewers. I find this particularly helpful because not every body can use expensive stuffs like AK or MIG's chipping fluid. Not to mention, if one start to take up weathering, he or she might want to start with the easy stuff of using a paint brush to chip.

Chapter 6 '' Sci-fi Scratching '' follows -
 I honestly don't know what to say about this article as I couldn't pick neither bad nor good about it. Actually, no, I did find out about using wooden tools like a skewer of a chopstick to make chipping.  And learned about using brass rod to come with those really awesome small scratches. So I guess this is one helpful and useful article.

And then, the main highlight of the issue, chapter 7; ''Wooden Cart '' -

Now, this chapter, this one is da bomb. I have been modelling for 7 years now and even now, I still do not touch wood ( come on now, lets all be adult about this) as the complexity of weathering wood is just mind blowing. Let along weathering, I still couldn't even paint wood properly. But this chapter takes you step by step in painting as well as weathering a wooden thing. I have yet to find a good detailed tutorial or similar when it comes to painting and weathering wood so this will surely come in handy.

Another supplement(ish) article after chapter 7 is named '' peeling wood effect '' -
This article shows a kind of a basic '' recipe '' for peeling paint on wood and what cool about this is that they showed how to do it on actual wood - Basswood. Diorama builders or people who like to start learning about dioramas would find this article really helpful. This is also a pretty awesome step by step as well.

The article after this is '' chipping the focke out of it '' ( LOL , i know right? ) -
This is basically more like a extended explanation of how to put on sponge and liquid mask effects that they explained in the earlier articles. Helpful if you are not familiar with the methods but not really if you already know how to do them.

Following up is the article '' chipping the barn door '' -
I have no idea what this article is about as I only see a few steps of chipping shown while the rest are general weathering and streaking steps. The finished pictures show quite a lot of chippings on split trail but how it was done wasn't even mentioned throughout the article. IMO, this is a waste of space in an issue dedicated only for chipping.

After this, comes an article '' Basic Chipping on A Drilling '' -
It is stated that the article is about using the sponge technique and describe some simple methods for realistic shipping and scratch effects. All it actually shows in the article is chipping a box of some sort along its edges and on a line straight down the middle. I'm not really sure what I can pick up from this article. Maybe it is useful to others, but definitely not for me.

The Final article to come is named '' Salt Technique '' -
I like this article though. They go step by step and explain how salt technique is actually carried out. Really helpful if you are new to weathering. If you already know what it is and actually used it yourself, this article is of no use.

After the article, came the usual '' reference '' pages -
And finally, end with '' post card from the world' -

In my most honest and highest opinion, this book is not exactly a must have you are a seasoned modeller. I would say people with at least 3 or 4 years of experiences would not need it as only about 30% of the entire book would be useful to you.

If you are somebody who just started to dwell into the world of weathering, you definitely should get it without a 2nd thought.

VERDICT - RECOMMENDED with RESERVATIONS ( only to starters, seasoned modellers can skip buying this)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

All about Primer ( Re-Sharing )

Since every starter has been asking the same question on the forums ( ours, The Mecha Lounge , included as well ), I figured I should browse the web and hopefully come across some nice article about Primer... and thank lord I found a nice one ...

DISCLAIMER - I take no credit to myself for this particular article, The actual article can be found here in this -
I am only sharing it here for all the beginners in the Gunpla field to benefit from their times on my blogs.


Priming HalfordsIn the UK, Halfords automotive acrylic primer is very popular with modellers and readily available.  A  tin like this may be sufficient for several models.


This article gives general information about putting a primer coat of paint on to scale models.  In particular, it considers the advantages and disadvantages of applying a primer.


First of all, let us be clear on what is meant by a primer coat.  The primer is the very first coat of paint on a model.  It goes directly on to the model’s surface (usually styrene plastic) and is completely covered by later coats of paint.

To Prime Or Not To Prime?

There are modellers who will always apply a coat of primer (or even more than one) as part of the painting process and other modellers who rarely, if ever, use a primer.  Others will be somewhere in between, using a primer on specific models.
There is no doubt that stunning models can be made without using a primer and priming a model will involve additional time and expense.  There is also a small element of risk involved as it is possible to spoil a model at the end of the construction stage by applying a poor layer of primer that covers fine surface detail.
With all these disadvantages and the fact that the primer coat is not even visible on the finished model, the obvious question is why would anybody bother with a coat of primer?

Reasons For Adding A Coat Of Primer

Primer Alien 3The primer coat on this figure revealed areas where the seam was still visible – marked with the red circles).
The main reasons for applying a primer coat are as follows:
  1. Showing up surface defects;
  2. Improve the adhesion of top coats;
  3. Reduce the overall thickness of paint needed;
  4. Pre-shading
Each of these will now be explained in more detail:

1. Showing Up Surface Defects

Getting a perfect surface without any visible marks or seam lines is essential for a professional finish on a model.  Painting a model rarely hides defects and, in fact, tends to highlight them.  Unfortunately, it is not always easy to see surface defects before painting.
This is particularly the case where fillers have been used and where the surface has been sanded leading to different colours and degrees of shine. A coat of primer gives a model a single even colour and consistent amount of shine that makes it much easier to see any surface defects.
This feature of showing up surface defects is very important in producing a top class finish and is of itself a good enough reason to prime models in almost all cases.  The same effect could be acheived by applying a top coat direct to the model’s bare surface (providing a single colour is applied evenly over the whole model). However, after the surface defects have been fixed, it would be necessary to apply another coat of the top coat, so the total number of coats of paint would be the same.
Alien pre primerThe front teeth on the Alien figure had to be completly remodelled using Milliput.  It was impossible to see how well they blended in with the rest of the teeth until the primer coat gave everything a consistent colour and texture – see below.

2. Improving Adhesion

The intention is that the primer coat will adhere to the model’s surface better than the top coat and the top coat will adhere to the primer better than it will to the model’s surface.  The primer coat grips well to both the model’s surface and the top coat holding it all together.  The fear is that without a coat of primer the top coat may peel off, or be easily rubbed off.
Primer Alien 1
Is there any truth to this?  It is certainly the case in the ‘real’ world in many situations.  If you try to apply a gloss coat to bare wood e.g. a door frame or skirting board, or metal e.g. a garage door, it will not adhear well and may indeed peel off or flake away.  However, in the modelling world the situation is not so clear.
Alien pre primer 2Above – The shoulder of the Alien figure was another area with a bad seam. Below – the primer coat showed the seam was not visible, but it did reveal a molding flaw that until now has not been spotted.
Primer Alien 2Modelling paints are designed specifically to be applied to plastic and most of the time will be a matt/flat finish with the rough surface naturally giving a good grip.  They are normally very high quality with good binders and very finely ground pigments.  The adhesion to both plastic, resin or metal and to subsequent coats is very good, so the need for a primer to improve adhesion is questionable.  In fact, the Vallejo websitespecifically states that ‘A primer is usually not needed’ for their paints in most situations (although Vallejo do produce a primer).
However, this has not always been the situation and modeller’s who have been practicing the art for a long time may be able to quote instances in the past when paint did not stick well to the model.  Paints available in the 1960s and 70s were generally not such good quality as those on the market today, so modeller’s who are a bit long in the tooth may have developed the habit of always applying a primer to improve adhesion when in fact, it may not be needed in most cases.  If a good modelling paint is used and it does not adhere well, then it is more likely to be the result of poor surface preparation rather than the lack of a primer coat.  Therefore, in most cases I would advise that applying a primer for improved adhesion of the top coat is not necessary and the best way to get good paint adhesion is to ensure that the surface is prepared properly with no traces of grease or oil.
One possible exception to this is where a gloss or semi-gloss paint is to be the top coat.  The shiny nature of the paint means that it is less likely to adhere to the shiny plastic surface and a coat of matt/flat paint in between the model’s surface and top coat might improve adhesion, although the primer coat does not necessarily need to be a specific primer paint.

3. Reduce The Thickness Of Paint

This may seem counter-intuitive.  How can adding a layer of primer reduce the number coats of paint?
The answer lies in the fact that most primers are very opaque i.e. they do not let the colour of the underlying surface through, and are neutral in colour.  If you have a model that is made of different materials (styrene, resin, brass etc.) or uses plastic of different colours, then you may need several layers of top coat to even out the colours of the different surfaces.  However, a thin layer of primer will give the model an even colour overall that can be then be easily covered by the top coat.

4. Pre-Shading

Although the primer is completely covered by subesquent coats of paint, it is not necessarily completely obscured by them.  The aim when painting models is to use as little paint as possible and the best results are often acheived by applying several very thin almost transparent layers.
By selecting a primer colour that is a darker ‘shadow’ version of the top colour it is possible, by careful airbrushing, to leave some of the primer subtley showing through the top coats to give shading that adds depth and interest to the finish.

Are Specialist Primers Necessary?

If you have decided to add a primer coat to a model then there are three options for choosing the type of paint:
1. Specialist Model Primer paint;
2. General Primer;
3. Ordinary model paint;
Many model paint manufacturers make their own branded primers and this is probably the safe option because they will have been specifically designed to work the the other paints in the manfacturers range.  These primers should cover well and adhere well.
Some modellers use general primers – particularly the acrylic sprays made for automotive use.  These can work well, are convenient and reasonably inexpensive (a large tin will cover several models).  Care should be taken not to apply a layer that is too thick.  A scale modeller will be trying to preserve as much surface detail as possible whereas car primer is intended to cover and hide any surface imperfections.
If one of the aims of the priming is to pre-shade the model, then the best choice may be an ordinary model paint provided it will give a surface finish that is matt/flat or with a slight sheen.  A paint that gives a gloss or semi-gloss finish will not make a good primer coat.  Unless the model’s surface is particularly difficult to get paint to adhere to there is no reason why a normal model paint cannot be used as a primer coat.
Scorpion mixed mediaA mixed media model like this one, with styrene, resin and metal surfaces, particularly benefits from a primer coat.

Chosing The Primer Colour

If one of the aims of priming is to pre-shade the model then clearly a colour that will make a good ‘shadow’ colour for the top coat is best.
When using a manufacturer’s primer then you do not have a choice of colour and will probably find that you will have to use grey or an off-white.  This is not problem since these make good primer colours.
If the final colour of your model is primarily light in colour, then consider using a light coloured primer and vice versa with a model that is dark coloured – this will help reduce the thickness of top coat needed to get the desired final colour.
HINT: If you have small amounts of paint left in pots that are unlikely to get used then you may wish to consider mixing them together to use as a primer coat.
If the primer will not be seen through the top coats then the primer colour to use is down to personal choice.  Grey or off-white are popular colours, being neutral and showing up the shadows of any surface defects well.  Perhaps surprisingly, black is also often quoted in modelling magazines as a primer colour although intuitively it would seem difficult to see surface defects against black (Tamiya semi-gloss black being a favourite of some).  Another colour used – particularly for aircraft – is silver.  Silver shows up defects well and as it mimics the natural metal surface of many aircraft, it can be left to show through the top coat in places to simulate wear.
All of this shows that the actual colour of the primer can be almost anything and it is getting an even mono-colour over the model that is of primary importance.


The original purpose of a primer was to improve the adhesion of the top coats.  This has become unnecessary in most cases due to the quality of modern model paints.  However, there are so many other good reasons to apply a primer coat that it is almost always done by serious modellers.  The only thing to take care with is to keep it thin to avoid obscuring delicate surface detail.
Many Thanks to Kris from for writing this article so that I can spread the information further to our junior and fresh starter in this great hobby.
Until Next post. 

Friday, 15 February 2013

Tamiya 1/35 Konigtiger, Ardennes Front, Command version - GROUND TEAM

The kit was a re-box of an older kit Tamiya released but sadly I cannot narrow down how exactly ago but some sources told me it was released on 2003 so lets just go with that.

I really really had fun working on this cat. I also learned a lot of stuffs as well.

The colour I used were a mix of ( all Tamiyas ) dark yellow + tan for the base, blue and yellow to get my own shade of olive green , red,brown, dark red and hull red get the red-brown shade I like. Literally the same as the colours I used on my Panther.

And Like the Panther, after my base coat, follows a massive bombardment of gloss, flat, filters and washes. The Hardedges were painted using Blu-tac for masking.

I Forgot how I painted the tracks... sorry ...

I didn't make the rust as dark as how I did on the Panther as This vehicle is most likely to be only 4 months ( at most ) so I wanted to keep the rust more fresh, hence, a brighter tone and because of that, I also kept the chipping to a minimum except the busy and maintained engine area. The same procedure from the Panther's rust was used here.

I didn't do any streaking for a vehicle operating in a very cold environment like the Ardennes Forest so I avoided that entirely.

The Snow effect was put on using Game Workshop snow effect thingy. Unfortunately, they were not in powder form but in some kind of small shaped stuffs that when I sprinkled them on, it looks more like white cut grass are on the vehicle, although it looks fine from far away but on camera, it looks really bad. The stuff is great for making clump snow though. I opted out of using baking soda due to a article I read that explain that baking power react with paints and make some kind of disgusting brownish gooey stuff.

I been looking at references dioramas and some internet researches and I came to the conclusion that the Ardennes Forest has some kine of chocholate/milky brown colour mud so I tried my best to reproduce them at much as possible. I also tried my best to put in some snow in the muds ( personally, I do not think that is convincing enough but this is my first time putting snow so I can't complain much )

This is also my 2nd time painting figures and 1st time painting on flesh and eyes on the face. I made some boo-boos but I'm still happy they came out at least OK.

I'm not sure If I did good or not I loved how it looks myself. I  put down more of the methods I learn on this cat and it was well worth it.

The ONLY thing I am not happy about is the Stern Antenna. Sadly, I used a rather thick diameter rod for the star shaped end and it ended up rather large compared with vehicle in scale Damn it to all.. I realize it but I couldn't be bother to build a new one any more .. IT was a hard thing to make  

But enough chit-chat .... Its time for the photos -
Lets start with some walk-around, profile views
If you think the Photos are small, just click on them and the full size will pop up

Much like my Panther and the earlier C1 Ariete, I broke this guy down into sub albums so I can cover everything I done just as you guys can look into each section seperately -
Here comes the top views -

Various chippings I put on -

The exhaust rust-

The mud I put on all over the chassis-

And some shots a little bit more close ups of the snow I put on -

and last but not least, the two crew men from the SS-PanzerAbteilung 501 -

And some bibs and bobs of different angles photos I shot just for fun -
'' BANG '' 

 And That covers all I have done. 
I know I am not a pro and I still have much to learn but I really love how this looks and really enjoy knowing how much I can apply what I have learned these past few months. I'm really happy to add this in my list of finished kit. 
and as always, I could not finish this without the support of my great friends and peers and comrades. Your supports are much appreciated.
Thanks for looking. C&C and feedbacks are welcomed.