Maschinen Krieger Type 41 (Mk41) Almost Done

Well, as you can probably see, a lot has changed on that model since that last entry. Hey–at least that means I’ve been modeling, right? Part of the reason for the delayed progress report is that my internet access has been in short supply lately. Thanks to the power of the cell phone and email, however, I’m able to update my Twitter account and I’ve actually posted a lot of in-progress pictures there–including this one. To check me out on Twitter, just go to the following address:
And back to the model, you can see that I’ve done quite a bit. Assembly was a peach (he said sarcastically). I replaced the resin ammo belt with a mechaskunk part. Once everything else was figured out, I used CA glue to have it keep the shape I wanted. I used thin wire (not sure of the gauge) for the hatch handle and the anchor points on the back. I had to use .10 (?) styrene rod to fix the rear panel hinges, and the arm hoses are from a Tamiya 1/12 motorcycle kit. And everything down to the knee pads was pinned with 1/16" brass rod.
 
Once I had the assembly all figured out, I started in with the painting. Because I’m lazy, or a faule socke, I skipped the "primer" stage. One of these days–when I start airbrushing, no doubt, I’ll probably make that more of a rule than an exception. For now, however, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. So… Skipping the primer, I painted the whole thing in dark gray. This did serve one purpose that primer does: To highlight surface imperfections and seams that need additional work. And it did. So… A little more putty, sandpaper, and gray paint and then it was all up to snuff. Some of the parts stayed dark gray, such as the hands, but most were painted over with cockpit green. In my opinion, this comes fairly close to a green that the Germans used on their armor in World War II. And that’s definitely a look I was trying to achieve.
 
Once the green was on, I used the technique I discovered(?) with the Snowball SAFS and used dirty thinner to mottle the color over the whole thing. Between the old paint pigment carried from the thinner to the model and the bits of gray that poke through the green when thinner is applied, the end result is a surface that has shading and depth. One note I’d like to make about the painting is that for the "engine" in back, I tried–for the first time–using Mr. Color metallic paints. Specifically, "Dark Iron". Even out of the bottle, it was really too thin for hand painting. As such, I had to "build it up" in several coats on the engine to get that part completely covered in this thin paint. While I think it’d be great for airbrushing, I’ll need to sort out exactly when to use it for hand-painting, and it will probably be relegated to mostly washes.
 
From there it was decals and washes for the Mk41. The decals came from the spares bin. The unit marking came from a sheet for a Macchi C.202, and most of the others were leftovers from various Ma.K. kits. Since they needed to be applied to a glossy surface, I hand-brushed some Future Floor Acrylic on the kit in those spots where decals were being applied. After that, it was time for a shot of flat lacquer and washes. I tried using the Model Masters flat lacquer, but they must use a different formula than their Testors "Dullcote" counterpart, as the results are never as good–there’s always a bit of shine on it. After that had dried for about a day, it was time for the washes. For the washes, I really only hit those parts with intended seams, like the edges of the hatch, or raised detail like where the ammo belt meets the arm. And here’s the order I did the washes in, from bottom to top (all using highly thinned Tamiya acrylics): Black Green, Sea Blue, Hull Red, Olive Drab. After that, I carefully dabbed some thinner around those "seams" to soften up the washes and blend them a bit. The results were, as I hoped, a lot of color variety–which just contributes to the more realistic appearance of the entire thing.

It’s not quite done yet–I’ve still got a bit of weathering to do, and hit it with a few coats of Testors Dullcote, but we’re close. Certainly a lot closer to the end than we are the beginning. My next post may very well be the final pictures of the whole thing, but at least you’ll know how I got there. Thanks for reading!

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