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M.Brindos

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Reply with quote  #1 

As some of you know I've been working on the old Tamiya 1/35 M-48A3 kit. Yes its a bit dated and there are lots of things wrong with it in comparisson to what is currently available on the market, but the figures are still worth keeping.

With some work they can still be quite good looking and I'll show you a few tricks to bring them up to todays standards.

I will begin by stating that I'm a big fan of the newer resin figures. They require a lot less work and paint up beautifully with little effort. But I've come to love plastic figures over the years, and especially recently with such lovely figures being produced by MiniArt. If you have not worked with those figures then you should give them a try.

Now let me show you what you can still do with those older figures that don't measure up to modern expectations.

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The tools you'll need are nothing out of the ordinary. Aside from the homemade scribing tool/saw I made from an old No. 11 Exacto blade you won't need anything fancy.

I started by filing the two halves of the figures body level so they will fit together without any serious gaps.

Using my scribing saw I went around the edges of the pocket flaps to give them some better difinition.

With the 45 degree blade I score over the old shirt seam and then using a sewing needle I rescribe the line.

I use Testors liquid cement to smooth out the lines. If you 've scribed them too deep simply re-apply more liquid cement later and the edges will smooth out more.

This deepens the seam lines and gives them enough depth for a wash later to bring out these details.

Using the 45 degree blade again I carve out the sleeves and give definition to the vest he's wearing. Without this step he looks like he's wearing a big sloppy shirt.

Now most of you are aware of using the side of you knife blade to scrape seams. I like to carve out the wrinkles. This gives more definition to the sleeves and pants and generally looks much better then a flattened seam.

Once you get the basic figure assembled you should spend some time thinking about the odd poses that some of these guys appear to have. Such as this figure. After all of that work he sat on the cupola hatch looking a bit odd. His left arm hanging down and his right just hovering beside his leg. He also seemed to naturally lean to his left.

His right hand could be frozen in action so I left it alone. His left seemed quite natural once I added a cigarette to it and his lean seemed far more appropriate once he was looking around the repositioned MG.

Then I moved on to the driver figure, which is just a bust meant to sit in the driver's hatch.

I started by rescibing in the details and separating his shirt collar from this shirt with the scribing saw.

and moved on to his left side.

Once I added a mic he seemed ready.

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Hopefully this will help some of you guys with your figures. You don't always need to buy the best resin figures to get the results you want. Sometimes you just need to give them old plastic ones some attention and my hope is that you guys will pick up some of these tricks and give it a go.

Now I just need to paint these figures up and see how they turn out. The added work should really bring them to life.

Thanks for reading this and if you have anything to point out that I missed or need to better clarify go ahead and drop in a comment. I'm no expert, but I do know a few things lol.

Comments and critiques are appreciated. I do like to know when I've got something wrong and if there is something I should add here (besides painted and finished figures)  let me know, PLEASE.

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TedUSA

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Reply with quote  #2 
WOW--great tips. Thank you so much for posting these!
very nice photos too!

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M.Brindos

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Reply with quote  #3 
You are very welcome my friend. I developed these tricks to make my MiniArt figures look more like resin figs. They work very well for the soft detail on the older Tamiya figs and I highly recommend spending the time and effort to really make your figs look more life-like.  [smile]
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TedUSA

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Reply with quote  #4 
I am lucky that the mechanics I bought AM are resin and their figures are in pieces--heads, hands, feet, limbs, torso, etc.. I can glue them up in so many poses and positions. Surprisingly, the Figures from the Aircraft Support Group kit [which was molded long ago] are well molded and have some great detail. I got lucky with them? I still like the tips and I am sure I will use some of that info for my diorama figure work.
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Brundledonk

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Reply with quote  #5 
Wow Mike that really does make a difference to the figures mate, in the pics of the before and after of the driver it looks like two completely different figures !


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M.Brindos

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Reply with quote  #6 
Oh it gets a little better Pete.  [smile] I have begun painting them. They can still polish up pretty well [wink]

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Okay so I started with blocked in flesh base and whites in the eyes. I'm going to show you how I do my eyes and move on to "fleshing" out the rest of the flesh tones.

I use a Micron Pigma .01 artist's pen that has run dry as my brush for the eyes. You'll see how simple this is. [wink]

Keep your paint thin and dip the tip of the pen in it.

"dot" your eyes.

Then dot in the pupils. Bingo. It may take some practice to hit the mark where you want it, but like everything else it gets easier the more you do it.

Next I went in and painted in the eyelids. I use a very tiny brush for this as you can see in the picture.

Now they look kinda funny. Ah, yes. They need eyebrows. [smile]

I cleared the figures with Testors Dull Cote before I started layering on the skin tones. I ranged from pale pink to a dark pink and kept them very, very thin. This method takes time to build up the effects, but they appear more natural and smoother than dry brushing does.

I thought the TC needed a bit of alteration to his complexion so I added some 5 o'clock shadow.

Don't forget the fingernails.

A quick test fit to see how he's doing. Eyes are looking in the right direction.

And then I framed the flesh tones in Field Drab in preparation for the next step which is blocking in the clothing.

And then the O.D. (still wet) was slopped on before I had to run out the door.

Thanks for lookin guys. Hope this helps some of you with your own painting.  [biggrin]

 

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nigel56

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Reply with quote  #7 
Excellent work Mike, and great explaination on how to add that detail to make them more realistic.

Next stage please.... I have my popcorn and coke.

[thumb]
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Toki

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Reply with quote  #8 
[thumb]

Great stuff 

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Brundledonk

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Reply with quote  #9 
They look really nice mate, superb work on the faces, I'm amazed at how you have made detail pop in the faces that wasn't even moulded in !

I'm really envious of the skin tones too Mike, they are exceptionally good (you and Nigel are on fire at the moment and have really raised the bar )
I can see a real likeness to Shane from the Walking Dead in the face on picture of the gunner (the nose I think)

I'm still blown away by how you brought those faces out

Amazing

Pete
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M.Brindos

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Reply with quote  #10 


Thank you ever so much my friends. Huge compliments indeed! Especially since all of you know very well how to paint figures.   [biggrin] 

There is something I find to be off still about that gunner's face. It may be the eyebrows are too high, but I'm not sure yet. I can't quite place my finger on it.

I'll be moving on to the highlights next. What you see above is a Vallejo Dark Green wash that darkened up the O.D. and will be perfect for my shadows. I still need to block in the vest and the Helmets need a darker O.D. color before they are finished. But you guys can see where I'm headed and its no mystery lol.
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M.Brindos

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Reply with quote  #11 
I added some dark brown between the loader's eyes and eyebrows. He doesn't look quite as amazed as he did before and I think this will help him look more life-like.



I then blocked-in the TC's vest. Looks like poo right now, but it will clean up well I'm sure.



And for the final detail on this bust I decided to add some rank patches. I need to look up the proper color for these. First thing I thought of was yellow, but I think its probably more toned down than this.




Have a good one guys! Happy Friday.   [smile]
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M.Brindos

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Reply with quote  #12 
And... the fatigues are finished. Just the vest and helmets to go.  [smile]

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Kpnuts

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Reply with quote  #13 
Wow A mazing a master at work.
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M.Brindos

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thank you Ken [biggrin][biggrin][biggrin][biggrin][biggrin]

I'm not a true Master yet, but I'll gladly accept a compliment like that from a mate such as yourself.  [biggrin][biggrin][biggrin][biggrin]
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M.Brindos

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Reply with quote  #15 

I know, I know. It doesn't look much like I did anything at all. But all that is left to do is the helmets and the TC's boots.

The TC's vest and the lining of the helmets has been completed.

Almost done.

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