Sprue Cutters’ Union – Old Dog, New Tricks


2015 is already off to a rocking start – The Combat Workshop’s Sprue Cutters’ Union is back!

Unfamiliar? Here’s the gist, straight from Jon:

Listen up noobs, all it takes is a passion for this hobby and a blog to go along with it! All you have to do is write a post in response to this topic by the end of the month and you can be a member of the Sprue Cutters Union. Take a look at the Sprue Cutters Union page for more detail. Once you’ve written your post, drop the link in the comment section below.

Me? I like to think of it as a blogging version of a group build. One topic, multiple blogs, multiple takes.

To kick off the new year, the topic is…

What new products/techniques will you purchase/attempt this year?

I’m a big fan of pushing outside of my comfort zone, playing with new subjects, attacking new challenges, trying new products and techniques. I’ve found that being a little bit scared of a build really has a way of focusing attention, and it’s usually those scary ones that turn out best.

2014 was full of experimentation – with new masking techniques, a serious stab at jets and modern armor, and new weathering techniques.

What am I looking at for 2015?

Combining “Black Basing” with Chromatic Variation

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I’ve had good success with the black-basing technique over the past year or so, but I think there’s room to refine it further. Right now it goes black, marble coat, blending coat. I want to experiment with different marble coats – perhaps variations of greens and browns under olive drab or similar – to see what impact that has on further tonal variation. Perhaps it’s a great way to get away from using oil dot filtering. Which is great, but introduces all kinds of annoyances including extra clear coats, more lint, and so on.

Experimenting with Texture Decals

I’m pretty happy with using oils to replicate woodgrain, but I’m eager to try transparent woodgrain decals like those offered by Uschi van der Rosten and HGW. My first new build of the year, Wingnut’s epic Felixstowe F.2a flying boat, has plywood siding outside the cockpit that would be perfect for these woodgrain decals. I’m also eager to play with HGW’s fabric texture decals. Something that’s always fascinated me about clear doped linen (CDL, as the cool kids say) is it’s translucent nature. In the right light, you can see the shadows of markings applied to the topside. Oil and grease stains seem to seep into the surface in a way that I have struggled to sort out how to represent – until now. I need to play around, but fabric texture decals may be just the thing to simulate that sort of “embedded” weathering.

Building Some Great War Armor

Up until, what, late 2012, the only choices in town for 1/35 Great War armor were old, crappy Emhar kits and other old, crappy Emhar kits. Then Meng dropped the Renault FT, Takom rolled out a St. Chamond, and now we’ve got British Mark IVs, a Scheider from Hobby Boss, and more goodness on the way. This year I am bound and determined to build one.

Using EZ-Line for Cable Bundles

Cockpit and gear bay cabling has always been a challenge for me. Regular wire is so springy that it’s hard to get it to behave right. Lead wire is certainly pliable enough, but rather fragile. Thread? Forget it.

So I was over the moon when I saw how Brian over at Large Scale Planes was approaching the prominent cabling bundles in the OV-10 Bronco – with EZ-Line! It looks phenomenal and pliable enough to be routed easily. I’ll be giving it a go in a few builds this year for sure.

Check out the rest of the Sprue Cutters’ Union

The Combat Workshop

The Museum Modeler

Yet Another Plastic Modeler

14 Comments Add yours

  1. ian Prebble says:

    I have always wanted to try the alclad metallic finish so this year I have got the paint and am starting the airfix 1/48 lightning

    1. Doogs says:

      Heh – the AFX Lightning is in my on-deck circle. Thought about some of the camo schemes, but it just feels like it needs bare metal.

  2. Shayne says:

    I love those woodgrain decals, i wonder if they have them for 1/20th scale etc? I also love the idea of the EZ Line, i will check that out. Great to see you enjoy going outside your comfort zone, i think i need to push myself further….

  3. EZ Line is one of my most important standbys for ship modeling, and I can definitely see how it will serve you as internal cabling. The stuff’s so forgiving, man…good luck!

  4. Jake says:

    Can you share a bit more about EZ-Line? I’ve not heard of it.

    1. Doogs says:

      EZ-Line is a highly elastic thread often used for things like biplane rigging. Unlike fishing line or wire, it’s high elasticity ensures it’ll stay taut.

    2. Doogs says:

      Check out my Snipe build in Completed Builds to see it in its usual use.

      1. Jake says:

        Got it. So where does one acquire?

      2. Doogs says:

        Ebay is usually my preferred source

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