Modeling in General: Advice on...
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Newbie help please
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United Kingdom
Member Since: December 30, 2002
entire network: 277 Posts
KitMaker Network: 0 Posts
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 11:08 PM UTC
Hi All,
I used to build models (mainly aircraft) when I was young, but not seriously and I never did anything other than a straight out of box paint job. Now at 40+ I have more time (and money) to pursue the hobby properly. I have an interest in WWII and especially ETO post D Day. I am in the middle of building my first kit, a M-10 Tank Destroyer in 1/35th.

My question is very simple but far too broad - I need very general tips on building, and especially painting, bearing in mind I am a beginner. I don't have an airbrush and probably won't get one for a while. I am trying the drybrush technique, but don't really know how well it is working, and even if I'm doing it right!

Any help would be brilliant.

PS Great site, I am gradually getting around it.
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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: June 06, 2002
entire network: 485 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 11:17 PM UTC
1st of all...welcome to armorama....there are a great bunch of guys and gals here that are more then willing to help.
2nd...your question....broad is right!!! May I suggest taking some time going through some of the posts from the past....say in armour and painting....I know some of the answers you're looking for are in there...as I have read them and answered some myself lately. Also check out some of the articles on the site.....I know you will find a few very helpful.
3rd....if you're getting dry brushing right or not....if you're happy with the outcome...it's right!!!
4th....glad you came over from aircraft to armour when you decided to come back!!!
Take your time....look around....ask questions....then get out the knife and glue.
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Member Since: June 07, 2002
entire network: 8,797 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 11:41 PM UTC

Welcome onboard laddy

As you will discover this is THE place for all your questions about modelling and you can ask everything you want to know cause everybody is willing to answer
The rule here is: There is no such thing as a stupid question!!

As for your painting questions I can say the same as Dioman just did just search the forum posts there you get the answer much better than that I can tell it to you

succes and show us some pics when you finished your M10

Member Since: December 18, 2001
entire network: 12,596 Posts
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Posted: Monday, December 30, 2002 - 12:27 AM UTC
Are you attempting to paint the entire vehicle by hand? I would suggest grabbing some of the spray cans to do the vehicle (since you don't have an air brush). Spray cans are normally available in the "main line" colors like the OD green used on the M-10. Which M-10 are you building? I tend to build my kits in sub-assemblies and spray paint the sub-assemblies.

Allow the base coat to dry for a few days and then give a wash of black. I dry brush after I've decaled the kit, that way the decals get slightly weathered.
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United Kingdom
Member Since: December 30, 2002
entire network: 277 Posts
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Posted: Monday, December 30, 2002 - 12:53 AM UTC
Thanks for the comments. I certainly am finding out quite a lot from just browsing the site.

I am building the Academy M-10 (it was the only one they had in stock at my local store). Yes I am painting the whole thing by hand. I am doing it in sections, I did the wheels section first, including an attempt at drybrushing, and have now just finished the whole bottom section and am starting to build the upper section.

I could do with some specific help with the tracks. The kit has rubber tracks and the instructions tell me to "melt the pins together with a heated screwdriver". This sounds a bit drastic to me, is there a better way. Also the painting of the tracks is a bit of an unknown, the artwork on the box differs considerably from the photos on the box, the photos show no metallic looking parts on the tracks yet the artwork clearly does. Any advice appreciated. Also what is the best type of paint for the tracks? I only have enamels at the minute, but would happily try something else if it were better.

The comment about the wash in black is interesting, I have read some people advocating washing in grey or brown and not black. I am using black but think I overdid it first time!

Appreciate the comment about the decals, I hadn't thought of that!
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Virginia, United States
Member Since: December 13, 2002
entire network: 1,434 Posts
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Posted: Monday, December 30, 2002 - 02:13 AM UTC
well for the academy traks there on the money about melting the pins and i use a jeweler file for the dirty work. thee some available that use glue, and hen there are a bunch of indi link kits out there to try your patience. now for the paint on the tracks. they were normally rubber "shoes" and steel end conections. so black shoes are appropriate and Gunmetal for the ends with a light dry-brush for ware, with dirt and mudd all over.you might want to try and nice level puddle aproach at first, i do this by mayking my mud bath first in a tuperware container (stolen from my wife) and mixing "earth" colors together with a little og the manfaturers thinner to make it look "watery". now if your container is big enough for the tank set the bad boy in the muck. now with a brush run some of the mix towards the bow plate to make the bow wave, and splash some muck under the sponson sides and around where the tracks enterd the muddy water. pull out and set aside to dry. for half-track remember to get around the drive sprocket real good. and there is an easy Weathering technique. happy modeling and welcome back stug
Member Since: December 18, 2001
entire network: 12,596 Posts
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Posted: Monday, December 30, 2002 - 02:40 AM UTC
Make sure you put down some type of gloss coat before you apply decals. Again, a spray can of clear gloss can be used and then a final coat of dull coat.

When attaching the tracks, just use the tool to heat the pins. Do not touch the pins with the tip of the screwdriver. You can also use an old X-Acto knife blade. Personally, I have a steel nail that has been inserted into a short wooden dowel as a handle so you don't burn yourself. I heat the nail over a candle until the head is very hot and then I put it near the pins. The heat will cause the pins to start to melt and form a mushroom. I usually lick the end of my finger and push down on the melting pin very quickly to flatten the joint. You can make your own tool with an old pencil, removing the lead portion by pushing it out with the nail.

Leave off both the drive sprocket and idler wheel until you are ready to attach the tracks. Paint the tracks prior to connecting them. If you take a look at our features, there is a pretty good article on how to paint vinyl tracks in there.

As far as the black wash, I use a fine tip brush and hit just the rivets and recesses as opposed to just mopping the entire model with a large sloppy wash. I do use different colors at times when washing. Brown or rust to show different type of wear as well as grays. Depends on the base color of the model.
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Quebec, Canada
Member Since: November 15, 2002
entire network: 3,960 Posts
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Posted: Monday, December 30, 2002 - 07:16 AM UTC
Hi and welcome to the site....If you want a quick tip on painting the tracks , what I usually do is paint them a dark earthy colour all over and then use washes and drybrushing to bring out the details ...I go a bit further and use pastel chalks diluted in tamiya thinner and smeer this all over using different colors..I then would touch up the pads with dark greys and the end connectors with steel and rust colors ....try out different stuff till you like what you see...AND Have FUN!!