PKA H0.5 Update

Okay, then… I’ve been extra-lousy about posting updates. Still no internet at home, although that will soon change. In the meantime, I’ll just give you the updates I’ve already posted to a message board. Sure, it’s copypasta, but it’s better than nothing.
July 2, 2007
I recently moved, and wanted to do a (relatively) simple model to get my hobby back up to speed. So… I picked up a Heinrich, and decided to try to use as many of the leftover pieces from my last Heinrich as possible. The end-result is shaping up to be not quite a PKA H0 and not quite a H1, so I’ve decided to just call it a "PKA H0.5". He’s got the PKA H0 "claws", as well as the smaller front skirt. In addition, I did the uncovered elbows with the wires wrapped around it–just to see how it would look. It turns out that I don’t like it very much, but I’ll keep it in that style, anyways–just to be a little different. He’s actually just about finished. I need to apply some final weathering to him and then it’s just a matter of the base. He’s been colored in a lovely Russian armor green, and given some Russian markings (from a 1:72 T34) to add to the effect. I dub him "Crazy Ivan".

The base will be a simple, round wood piece. It’s been stained in "dark walnut" with some "clear satin" on top of that. To the top of that, last night I applied a bit of Celluclay, so I’m currently waiting on that to dry. Also, having learned a lesson from my Luna Pawn, I drilled a number of holes into the wood base prior to application of the Celluclay. This should hopefully keep the edges from "pulling up" as the Celluclay dries. Once the Celluclay dries (in a few days), I’ll paint that and begin applying some tall grass for the H0.5 to be standing in. The grass will be from Woodland Scenics (I picked it up in the model railroading aisle at my local "Hobby Lobby"). I’ll probably mix the light green with some yellow to give the grass a nice dry look.

This is actually the first time I’ve tried creating anything "green" for the display base, so I’m not too sure what I’m doing. To aid with my learning, I took a piece of scrap wood and applied some Celluclay on it at the same time. This will be my "test/practice piece". I’ll be trying the grass out on it before I try it on the H0.5 base.

Lessons learned so far: Mixing paint into the Celluclay in an attempt to color the Celluclay itself doesn’t work. And if you were stupid enough to try thinning the paint first, it just creates a Ziploc bag full of noxious fumes. I won’t repeat that mistake. Ever. Also, even though the Heinrich "bubble-top" canopy looks like it fits okay, I found a nice 1/16" gap at the bottom once it was glued in place. I’m covering that with a strip of styrene.

July 5, 2007
I got the base to a point where I think I’m done with it, other than some clean-up. Using that Woodland Scenics grass didn’t quite have the desired effect–I’m going to get some pictures of the base posted, just so I can get some possible suggestions on where to go with it. Right now, it’s a small, circular base, topped with Celluclay, painted Model Masters "Light Earth", with the grass on top of that. I’d originally planned on covering the entire thing with grass, but I realized quickly that it was going to completely obscure the lower half of the Heinrich/H0.5. As such, I opted to go ahead and put grass on both sides, leaving it clear in the middle to give the appearance he was walking down a path/trail. The Celluclay was still soft enough (even yesterday) where I added lots of foot imprints to the path, to suggest that Ivan wasn’t the first armored suit to walk through there. Hopefully, the effect works.
July 6, 2007
Some pictures are better than no pictures, right? Even if a couple are blurry and all of them are poorly lit. And when you couple this with an old Sony Cybershot camera, you truly end up with something… Special. In a short-bus kind-of way. With all that being said, here’s four in-progress images of the whole thing that I shot late last night:

Front view (the blurriest of the bunch)
Left side
Base and PKA H0.5 (side-by-side)

I need some perspective on the whole thing. I’m to the point where I think it look okay. Not great. Just okay. After I shot these pictures, I dry-brushed some brown into the ground (which had just been solid "Light Earth" before). To compliment that, I dry brushed that same brown onto the feet and legs of the PKA H0.5–going about halfway up the ankle armor. I suppose I could attempt to tuck some tufts of grass into the ankle armor and knee bracket to "weather" it further, but I’m not sure how accurate that would look.

Aside from the final touches to the "environment" and the H0.5, I need to touch up the wood stain on the base. After that, I think it’s done.

Oh, and one more interesting side-note. This kit came from HLJ’s second-to-last restock of the Heinrich. And it didn’t come with the metal springs. No idea why. Fortunately, I have a pretty good stock of Mecha Skunk parts sitting around–hoses being among them. Easy fix.

And that’s about it for now. Expect another update before August. Probably.

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