Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Back in the Mud

After spending nearly 9 months on two airplane models, it's refreshing to be working on an armor subject again. My latest project is Tamiya's 1:35 scale M16 Half Track, US WWII. Here is a picture of the real deal:

It's a fun subject with a lot more detail to it than you would think at first glance.

It isn't that armor is easier. It has a whole set of challenges. Just a different set of challenges than building an aircraft subject. And there are a whole lot more possibilities for making it look like it has been in the field a while.

An airplane is fragile. There is a very finite limit to the amount of damage and dirt an airplane can endure before it just won't fly. So, if you want your model airplane to represent an operable subject, you have to use a light hand when it comes to weathering and simulated damage.

Not so with a tank or other armored vehicle. You can cover a tank in dust, dirt, mud, sand, snow, and just about anything else nature might throw at it. You can load it down with all manner of stowage: bags, tarps, infantry, and even random bits of civilian detritus. You can dent it up, rip parts of it off, shoot small holes in it, and basically just abuse it to no end and the odds are that the thing will still keep going. That makes for all sorts of fun possibilities when you model one because you can do all this stuff to it and it can still represent an operable front-line vehicle, albeit clearly one with a more interesting history. This is especially true if you model WWII subjects like I do.

I am still in the early stages of this project, so it is mostly building in preparation for the base paint coat. But it won't be long before I can break out the oils, pastels, washes, powder pigments, etc. and go to town.

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