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  1. Early Summer, 1987: Tuesday Afternoon Maneuvers on the Steppe. For years, I'd seen diorama, wargaming, and model railroad people talk up static grass applicator tools. I admit, I was skeptical about having a single-purpose tool for applying static grass. And unless you build your own, they're not typically cheap. But having tried one, I'm convinced. This is in 1/35 scale, with various sizes of grass. The longest is 12mm. I also added some Noch leaf products to represent various weeds, too. I'm not entirely happy with the total scene, as I'd like to see more dense coverage at the edges. In future I'll experiment with different colors and lengths of static grass, too. I used a water/Mod Podge combination to adhere the grass, and Mission Models' Polyurethane Intermix, properly thinned, to attach Noch leaves. Next time I will experiment with the MM Poly for all foliage. Since that intermix has a short shelf life, relative to paints, this is a good way to get value from it if I use MM paints. The BMP is ESCI's old kit. (The project was also to test Ammo paints, which generally worked well, too.) Now compare it with an earlier project (more pics here) where I just sprinkled the same grass product by hand:
  2. That's impressive work! It looks like you had pretty good control for shading with that stuff, which I find is a challenge with acrylics. Based on your comment I have some Hataka Orange Line MERDC colors coming in the mail. The only lacquers I've used (besides Alclad, I suppose) is Gunze. I'll be interested to compare the two lines.
  3. In my first tape tests, both the paint itself, and clearcoat resist tearing or peeling with full-strength Tamiya tape. This is over One Shot primer. The gloss varnish seems eager to run, but then dried with a slight pebble texture. It wanted to gloss up fairly quickly, without having to build it up. For decaling and wash purposes it's adequate, and I suspect that if I really tried different spraying methods I might get it smoother. (I probably won't; if I'm painting a car model I'd use different products anyway.) Where it did run, it shrank as it set up, and will probably be invisible without sanding it down, after I apply more (matte, this time) varnish. This BMP will endure strong decals sets, some washing with white spirits, and probably some other chemicals before finishing, so testing continues. Rarely do I have a perfect experience with a new paint. But I like what I see, and will continue experimenting with Ammo. Maybe I'll mess around with their older primer, too, just to see if I can get good results with different pressure and mixture regimes. To the original poster, some suggestions: If you haven't one, consider purchasing a mac valve for your airbrush. I suspect many modelers are like me, and probably use a pressure gauge that's really meant for larger air tools. Down below 25 PSI it's probably a bit vague. That mac valve can give you precise control over your air pressure, and you quickly acquire a feel for how to use it. It's improved my airbrushing a lot, particularly with water- or alcohol-based paints ("acrylics.") Take the needle guard off the front of the brush. I think with quick-drying paints, particularly, it can introduce dried paint into the air stream that can accelerate needle tip-drying and can interfere with atomization. The Ammo colors I used did not require thinning. But if you want to try it, I suggest starting with Ammo's own thinner. In the last few years I've been methodically tested a variety of paints. In each case, I buy at least one bottle of the manufacturer's thinner. If things go badly, it isn't because I tried some non-recommended thinner. If the paint works well, I'll then introduce different thinners (ISO, distilled water) to compare with OEM. Check YouTube for tutorials. It seems most of the "Millennial" manufacturers have created tutorials there to show you how to use their products. Your mileage may vary; if it's a dry season in Spain, that's nothing like mid-Atlantic U.S. where our humidity will influence paint. But still, start with what they say and experiment from there.
  4. What I wouldn't mind knowing is what the behavioral difference is between One Shot primer, and Ammo's other primer line. Is the other primer somehow different than One Shot, so that Ammo sells both simultaneously? I bought a bottle of that primer - in Russian Armor green, no less - but elected to try the One Shot stuff first, since I'd heard good things about it.
  5. It happens that I'm experimenting with Ammo paints for the first time this week. (I threw together an old ESCI BMP-2 to test 'em.) I use an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS (gravity feed) with the .5mm needle/tip. One Shot primer went on beautifully, and was a breeze to airbrush. I use a mac valve to fine-tune at low pressures, so I was probably around 15 PSI. It should appear wet on the model, and if you live in a humid climate (I do) it make take more than a minute to flash over, but it doesn't run easily and shrinks down nicely. It dries to the touch in a few minutes, but even after two days was not particularly hard, and I was able to scratch it off with light fingernail pressure. The paint went on well, but it seems tricky. It requires no thinning, but I found it dried in my airbrush tip, a problem I haven't experienced with paint (Vallejo, Acryl/Model Master, Mission Models) in a while. Early I saw odd fish-eyes, but they disappeared after another pass or two. Coverage was excellent, but as Napalmakita suggests, it really requires multiple passes. I could spray it in tight lines, and in single passes it's fantastic for blending and shading, but it didn't atomize quite as nicely as I'd like. It was very tolerant if I sprayed on too much. A pool of paint blended perfectly with surrounding paint, rather than leave a visible tide mark, but if I had done that on a vertical surface I may have suffered a run. I'll give it a few days to cure, and then will try a masking tape test. I won't use paints that do not endure Tamiya tape, so that's a major test for me. My next airbrush test will be around 20 PSI, although with other acrylics I tend to have trouble where the paint dries before adhering, when shot at higher pressure. Still, I hope this will improve atomization and stop the tip-drying issue. I'll need to put together another test subject to do that, though. I was even able to brush paint the mantlet cover with an Ammo color, although I let it dry on a palette for awhile before attempting it, and other colors probably require multiple coats.
  6. The pitch: 1. Carry out a series of armed robberies in the Retail DIY sector. 2. Develop and implement a Zombie Apocalypse. The investors: The guys who backed Theranos.
  7. Quite apart from the ethics of the thing are the practical problems. If you plan an armed robbery of your average Lowe's store, and they don't happen to have much cash in the service desk register, you're really at pains to find something to take in a hurry. You probably don't have time to wheel the getaway car around and load in something of any substantial street value, such as a gas grill, snow blower, deck furniture, bags of mulch, or road salt. And even if that is your ill-considered plan, if your getaway car is a van or pickup truck, well, you're missing the point of "getaway car." So you are left with grabbing whatever's handy at the front end - LED flashlights, tape measures, candy, watch batteries, cheap pocket multi-tools, carabiners, miniature cans of WD-40, small bungee tie-downs, possibly a few drill or driver bit sets, maybe a five-gallon bucket to carry it all in, and, well, I suppose you could demand the employees give you their aprons. As a felony, it just doesn't seem like a good investment.
  8. I think AFV Club has made noises like they would produce a MIM-14 -Herc, too. The key is producing an accurate launcher, since the Revell launcher is semi fictional. If either or both companies do the above, I'll pay a high price for the kit. Meantime, I'll relegate my Revell kit parts to science fiction builds.
  9. I suppose it's more efficient that beginning a new thread to hash out an old discussion again. I wonder how many of us do not chase realism so much, as we do other artistic qualities. For car modelers, I'm under the impression that they are often trying to create a near-perfect replica that is acknowledged to be an ideal replica, with flawless workmanship, instead of something that, if photographed properly, would look like a real motor vehicle. This is the basis for ship modeling where crew, water, and weathering are not to be seen, and the ship is mounted to a block of wood instead. This pursuit is a real challenge, especially considering how unforgiving gloss finishes, chrome, and other aspects of car modeling can be. Occasionally aircraft modelers do this, too.
  10. So now this Marie Kondo is the new self-help industry sensation. She teaches people how to adopt a Japanese-culture-inspired minimalist life: let go of non-essential possessions, minimize clutter, and so on. Kondo sounds like she's just who I need to help me reign in my bloated model- and model-supply stash. But I kinda feel Japan is largely responsible for the mess I'm in now. I've probably personally bankrolled a bullet-train line just through Tamiya, Hasegawa, and Gunze yen alone.
  11. At least some of us have been diagnosed with something like ADHD, or would have been had it been a thing when we were younger. We struggle to organize and stick to a plan on complicated projects. Writing things down, especially checklists, is a tactic to overcome this personality feature. (It's a good tactic for anyone, really, and is a tradition in many professions.) This prevents us from suffering nuisances like painting and masking in the wrong order, or worse, gluing canopies on before control sticks or ejection seats are in place. I've learned that if I at least jot down a checklist (well, in Evernote, anyway) I avoid bitter mistakes that really stall a build. Writing is thinking, so I not only create a forget-proof list, I usually do a better job considering alternative ways to complete the build, too. Similarly, logging work that I've done helps me remember how to do things successfully. Just the other day I sprayed some Alclad primer onto a model, and it came out fuzzy. Previously I figured out (probably air pressure change) how to get it to lay down smooth consistently, but I didn't write down how I did it. So I now probably need to experiment with it again. Of course, one needs to review such notes. Yes, it's more work. But the alternative for us is more frustration.
  12. That's bananas! You're diving from low to ridiculously low altitude while attacking some probably very dangerous people on the ground, and you're fishing around your cockpit for for the rocket release. If it wasn't for the very real production priorities you cite, we'd think it was sheer spite. This is an ideal thread: amazing build, with lots of historical context. Threads like these are why text-and-image message boards can still be awesome in 2018.
  13. Well, they're not the first furniture maker to sell absurdly priced chairs that look terrifyingly uncomfortable.
  14. He's not just using the Royal We. He's hoping you'll think there's a few Moai present and take an order for several umbrella drinks. Because on the interwebz, nobody knows if you're just a single Moai.
  15. I think this thread has already passed the service life of real production aircraft. F3H Demon? F11F Tiger, maybe? Our goal is to outlive the C-130.
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