Greetings, all. Re-introducing myself......Even though I joined LSP in 2004, this is my first posting of a project. Let's just say life has been busy. Just about the same time I joined here, my furniture design/build business was starting to thrive, and, an unexpected move into recreating Japanese lacquer ware was taking off. (www.michaelscarboroughdesign.com, if you're interested.) But, there've been lots of 80 hour weeks and, as I will turn 65 in a couple of weeks, I am ready to say goodbye to the crazines of the art world and am closing my business down. And, I really and look forward to having a lot more time for model building, something that has been my main passion in life for 60 years.
The Aussies and the AEG will be a diorama based on this great photo. The scene is set in Amiens, France and shows Aussie troops with captured AEG 588/17. For the project, I'm using a WnW AEG Late, Tommy's War figures and Thornycroft Lorry, and will create the buildings using molds from Diorama Debris. I'm also using HGW seatbelts and engine parts from Taurus. I plan to have it all finished by May...of 2045.
But first, I must relate the serio-comic nature of the build to date. I started the AEG Late with the intention of using Aviattic Night Lozenge. As I do most of my builds, I planned to give it an historically accurate camo. job and a factual squadron, but a fictional pilot, along with his own personal markings. So, when I arrived at the suitable point in the build, on went the Aviattic decals...and very quickly, out came the stripper and off came the decals as I was simply not happy with them. I hasten to add that the mistakes in application were all my own and I fully intend to use Aviattic decals on future projects.
So there sat the model, almost complete, but naked. (Or should I say, butt naked?)
What to do? I was really taken with the three color camo. schemes on the Early AEGs, so I decided to "convert" my AEG Late back to an AEG Early, by attempting to add and replace certain parts in the interior. I ended up with a mish-mash which I now declare to be an AEG Middle Period. I then undertook the airbrushing of the camo. and used Ronny Bar's excellent profiles as a guide.
So...all was well and I was about to move into the final stages of the project when Flip Hendrickx, who had seen photos of my After the Armistice diorama, sent me the photo of the Aussies at Amiens and said, "you need to do this as a diorama!!". I was not sure if I should kiss him or curse him, but, I knew I had to do that scene in 1/32 scale. So, yes, out came the stripper, again, and on went a set of Early hexagon lozenge decals, kindly loaned to me by Mike Swinburne.
I then set about recreating the speckle over-glaze used on some of the hex covered AEGs. I had done a similar finish on the DFW (Halb.) and used the same technique here. Basically, Tamiya acrylics mixed with Retarder, and applied with a miniature natural sea sponge. That was all over coated with a very thin glaze of XF-17 Blue. Once I had the basic exterior paint work done, I went back and tried redoing aspects of the interior and the leather cockpit coamings. The leather was done with a base coat of Tamiya acrylic, then numerous glazes of oils, going from dark to light, applied over a period of a week. Once the oils had really set up and hardened, as opposed to spraying on a clear coat for sheen, I buffed the leather with a chamois nail buffer. I believe this is what creates the subtle sheen on the high areas, as the more recessed areas remain less shiny, greatly adding to what I feel is a more realistic, three dimensional effect. I think it's worth repeating that the oils have to be truly hardened before they can be buffed. In fine furniture finishing, the rule is to allow the finish to harden 200 hours before it can be properly rubbed out. Otherwise, it's like rubbing Jello. So, whereas my AEG isn't going into a Park Ave, apartment, the same sort of rules apply.
So that's where she stands now. It's good to have the project on track after the mis-starts and I am pretty excited about moving ahead. There is a lot to do but I think the multi-media nature of the whole scene will keep me from getting bored or frustrated,
Thanks for looking in.
Cheers from NYC,