Painting Tamiya’s 1/32 F4U-1 Corsair

Painting-F4U-1-Corsair

With each new build, I try to push myself outside of my comfort zone (RELATED: Where the Magic Happens) in at least one area. Test a technique. Try a new paint. Experiment a little.

But every so often, a build comes along that’s more than that. That kicks me into an entirely new level of modeling.

Tamiya’s 1/32 F4U-1 Corsair is definitely one of those builds.

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This kit has been, hands down, the best I’ve ever touched. It makes other good kits look decent at best. I knew even before I started building it that I wanted to give it a paint job that would match the awesomeness of the kit. I actually procrastinated for some time, unsure how to approach what I had in mind, until some experimentation showed me the way. Continue reading

Technique: Multi-Layer Chipping

M-LChipping

I’ll straight-up admit it. I’ve been procrastinating on my big Tamiya F4U-1 Corsair. Oh, sure, part of it’s been working on other builds, but a bigger part has been sheer anxiety over how I’m going to paint the thing.

The problem is pretty basic, really. I have a pretty reliable painting process that puts a lot of variation into potentially monochrome schemes – a must for a worn, faded, battered Marine Corsair serving in the South Pacific. I also have a need to introduce some fairly aggressive chipping and worn paint effects – a need that my black-basing process doesn’t really make provisions for.

I knew hairspray or some other kind of chipping solution would play into the answer, but how, specifically?

I decided to do a little experimentation to sort that out. Continue reading

By Grabthar’s Hammer

GrabtharsHammer

By pretty much any measure, running a popular Facebook page is pretty damn awesome. I get to post things and people like and comment on and share them! I get to share techniques and works in progress and great reference pics and the amazing work of modelers all over the world. I occasionally get responses in weird languages that even Facebook’s little translation tool can’t sort out.

As a nice little bonus, a lot of the little tricks of the trade have proven quite useful to me professionally, as well.

But…it’s not without its annoyances.

Such as dealing with tedious, repetitive questions.

This morning, I woke up to a new comment on a picture of my Corsair I posted last night.

“What scale?”

Now, I’m sure the poster was thinking something like “huh, that looks like a neat kit, I would like to buy one. I wonder what scale it is?” Or perhaps “I can’t tell from the angle if that’s the 1/48 or 1/32 Tamiya kit”.

My reaction, on the other hand, was something more like this:

What scale? WHAT SCALE? I’ve only been working on this thing for THREE *#*!$%#@! MONTHS! What do you think I did, swap it out for a 1/72 kit randomly? 

I was very tempted to answer 1/350.

But here’s the thing. I get this question ALL. THE. TIME. And I know why I get it, too.

It’s all Facebook’s fault.

WARNING —– BORING STUFF TIME —- WARNING

Facebook’s algorithm basically “gates” page posts so that they only reach a small percentage of a page’s followers. This is as it should be. It keeps your news feed from being overrun more than it already is by annoying brand pages that suck at content marketing. The only way to push a post up the tiers to more and more exposure? By hitting certain engagement (i.e likes, comments and shares) levels. Or, you know, paying Facebook.

In effect, this means that someone who likes Doogs’ Models on Facebook may only see something like one in ten of my posts (it varies based on use habits, too…seriously the algorithm is scarily smart). So it sets up this weird sort of news feed relativity, where people reading my posts don’t have the same context that I have posting them.

END WARNING

Of course, knowing what’s going on intellectually doesn’t make such comments any less tedious or repetitive to me, in my specific news feed reality. So when I get questions like:

“What kit is this?”

“What primer is that?”

“What paint is that?”

“What aircraft is that?”

“What is that acrylic rod stand thing?”

“Why do you use black primer?”

…know that I will answer them dutifully and politely, but behind the keyboard I will probably look something like this:

And if you don’t get the title of this post, for the love of god go watch Galaxy Quest. It’s on Netflix right now, so you have no excuse.

Austin SMS 2014 Entries

2014ASMS

The 2014 Austin Scale Modelers’ Society contest/show/etc* is tomorrow, and this is the first time in a few years, it feels like, when the evening before is not going to be a rush job to finish up a build in time to hit the contest tables.

To be honest, I’m a bit worried about this year’s show. Last year was markedly subdued, and this year it will be competing against not only the first weekend of the Austin City Limits Festival, but a Longhorns home game and Austin Comic Con. But, you know, fingers crossed there’ll be good turnout.

As with every year, I’m planning to bring a medley of builds. I learned a while back that you never really know what will and won’t do well with the judges. I mean, last year I had two 109s…a Revell G-6 and a Hasegawa G-4. In my opinion the G-4 was the better build, with the better paintwork, etc. But the G-6 won 1st in the category while the G-4 got a big fat goose egg.

So what’s coming with me tomorrow?

1/48 Jets: Hasegawa A-4F Skyhawk
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1/48 Jets: Trumpeter MiG-21F-13

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1/32 Jets: Trumpeter Me 262A-2a

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1/32 Props: Hasegawa Ki-84 Hayate

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1/35 Armored Cars: Trumpeter LAV-AT

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1/35 AFVs 1960-Present: Tamiya Challenger 1

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1/35 AFVs 1960-Present: Trumpeter T-80BV

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Tonal Crush

TonalCrush

I’ve touched on the idea of tonal crush in a few posts here and there, but it occurs to me that I’ve never stopped to fully explain the concept – or its implications for modeling.

Time to fix that!

A Brief Explanation

Tonal crush is, at its most basic, the apparent loss of tonal variation within a certain color, when placed alongside contrasting colors. The tones are literally crushed together, so that a color looks more monochromatic.

To explain why this happens, it helps to come in through a side entrance. Continue reading

My Own Worst Enemy

MyOwnWorstEnemy

When it comes to modeling, I am my own worst enemy.

This is something I’ve known – at least subconsciously – for a long time. I’m the reason I abandon so many builds, and dawdle along with others. I’m the reason I get into the weeds with a tiny piece of a far larger project to the point that it burns me out. I’m the one that cuts corners to my later chagrin. I’m the one that turns the intended light, fun projects into long, slogging builds.

I realized this anew the other day as I was working on Trumpeter’s LAV-AT. It was picked up with the intention of being a breather between other, far more intensive armor builds. It’s a decent kit, but held back from being good due to some soft detail and laziness on Trumpeter’s part.

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I told myself not to worry about it going in. Just build through it. Have fun, try out some new techniques, and come out the other side refreshed.

So what did I do? Focus on those little things. Get bogged down. Get frustrated. Maybe I should add this, or fix that, or redo this.

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Then a few days ago, I realized what I was doing. I’m so close. I’m almost done with the LAV-AT. It’s time to stop obsessing. Put my head down and FINISH. IT.

So that’s my goal. Finish off the LAV-AT by the end of the month and move the hell on. I’ve spent too much time this past year hobbling myself and my builds, and it’s been a killer to my output. Some builds demand maximum effort, sure. But others, it’s okay for them to be good enough.

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Are you your own worst enemy, too?

Bench, Interrupted

Eagle-eyed readers may note that it has been over a month since my last post.

Lamentably, yes.

Life over the past six weeks has been…full. Some things have had to fall by the wayside. Between the time crush and a general sense of malaise with the “non-modeling” aspects of modeling, the blog has definitely been back-burnered.

I’m hoping to change that soon…but before I do I want to think through a bit where I want to take things. My usual build posts are, to me at least, growing a bit. stale. Construction and priming and so on is generally repetitive. For me to write and, I’m guessing, for you to read. So…I’m considering a shakeup that would focus more on technique, or on the unique aspects of a build. 

Long story short, excuse the inactivity. It’s temporary. And the usual order of things might be getting an upending soon.