Sunday, December 14, 2014

Making Stone with Cork

There are many ways of using cork to make stone and brick, this is just my technique. I am by far the first person to use cork, I learned from the best and adapted to fit my needs and style.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Paving the Roads

I have a knack for putting myself through a ton of work on my dios, this one is no different! I have begun the casting of the cobblestone setts that will be used to pack the roads on this base. The casting is a long process on a project this large.

Each time I pull the castings I get 75 stones. The estimated number needed to par all the roadway is roughly 3,200; all cast, cleaned and set individually onto the base. While this is a grueling process and I have had many people tell me I am crazy and I should do it a simpler way, the fact is this is the most realistic look as it is done like the real roads. 

To help smooth out the ruts in the roadway and to give a better surface for the stones to be glued, I have used sanded tile grout to cover the insulation foam used for the basic shapes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Building a Village Corner

Now that I have the Italian home finished, I have been playing around with a few new projects trying to brain storm some new ideas for a diorama. During this time I have been building a Sherman M3A2 and needed a base to put it on once finished.

I began looking at some old buildings I never finished for one reason or another, and found one that I was still interested in finishing.

I had begun this building roughly ten years ago and got stalled to a halt do to some mistakes I made in constructing it. At the time I didn't know how to fix what I had done and figured it was a loss and put it away on a high shelf "out of sight".

I might have finished this one sooner had I realized how easy it was to undo the mistakes and refinish it. But all in all I am glad I waited until now as I have a new vision for it and have begun the construction, starting with a little demo of the affected areas.

It was quite simple to remove the mistake, which was infilling the beams with plaster and trying to scribe the brickwork and stucco into it. I was a bit to messy in the application and it just went down hill from there. But now I have a new slate to start the reconstruction and the construction of the surrounding buildings and streets.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

MV-22 Osprey Eggplane - Hasegawa

I love model building for bringing reality to scale. I spent hours researching the subject and then another more hours researching for the aftermarkets and spending a bunch of money! Back in the bench cleaning resin parts and bending photoetche is another pain ... it's true that in the end it is worth it ... but not always I'm in the mood for so much reality!!
So I have to say that I have two "Model Building guilty pleasures" , one is making those old matchbox kits come to life... there is something about building a model with my age and painting and weathering with the new techniques that is just a pure pleasure!! The second... well the second is the "Egg themed models" ... those cartoon alike kits have something that just grab my eyes and fill my brain with the scream "Build me!! Build me!!" .

So I would like to leave a in box review regarding the newest and so much anticipated Egg delight by hasegawa. The MV-22 Osprey EGG ...

This box is nothing alike the rest of the hasegawa egg series, its much bigger in height due to the size of the model itself and also do to the detail.

The box contains 1 set of instructions, 1 decal sheet , 2 grey sprues, 1 black sprue , 1 rubber sprue and 1 transparent sprue... it seems a lot for a Egg plane ... and it sure is!!!

The panel lines on the plane are recessed and the detail is very crisp. It comes with 2 figures and I had a wonderful surprise with one of them, the pilot with the open visor helmet only has a nose!!
When I went to the instructions it said the eyes and mouth where decal... and that got me by surprise... but when I look at the decal sheet ... i didn't believe my eyes ... they have to options... one with a closed mouth and another one smiling! What a treat!!!
For those who already build hasegawa egg planes one of the most feared part was the canopy. Well fear no more this time hasegawa did a awesome job! From the detail to the protection sprue its a beautiful thing to see , and I wish other brands would take a look at this and do it also on their transparent parts.
The decal sheet has 2 markings available VMM-265(Futnema-2012) and VMM-164 (Miramar-2011)
In conclusion , this model is really great , nice detail and sure looks like a lot of fun. If you have a big project in your bench that sometimes you just want to get your mind off I advise you get one of these for the pure pleasure. If you are new to model building and would like to do a simple model I suggest you get a more simpler egg...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

RB Model Chains

This week a order from RB model arrived at my mail box. I'm always happy to open the mail packages from RB since they have great products at great prices, I usually buy barrels or ammo for my model tanks but this time I was eager to check out their new brass chain. At first when I browsed their website ( ) they announced "High quality, very strong (welded links) brass chain." when I saw the small size of the links I got pretty intrigued. So I discarded all the goodies I got for later inspection and immediately open the 2 bags of chains!! And what a treat I had !! They are what they announced,high quality , strong and amazingly welded links. My mind went completely off the model boat applications and went straight to dioramas, the detail is so amazing that this could be use for winches, cranes , rails, fences , gates and so on ... this with a photoetched padlock and a 1/35 bike ... my mind keeps coming up with ideas. It's a great deal has well since the quality price relation is very uneven , you get a 1 meter long of detailed brass chain for less then 1,50 € . So in my opinion this is a great product to have in your workbench and a great deal.

 For those who don't know RB Model I can tell they have a great customer support and dispatch items really fast... one more thing.. I have to share... I also got 1/35 Panzerfaust, since I got so astonished by  the quality I leave you a picture and let you judge for yourself.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Finished the Italian Home

Well, this progect has taken quite some time to finish. However, as I was originally building it for myself I went at it at a slow pace with no real hurry.

Since the beginning of this project it has taken a turn into a commercially available product.

Here are the finished images that will be used for the boxart.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This is a small video I made regarding "Working with decals" ... Enjoy!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Painting jars mixers

Making models is always fun but sometimes there are some models that you just want to stick them in the box and forget them.
What I do for balancing this scale between fun and tedious is ... method. Investigate , browse online forums and talk to modelers at expo's or skype to learn new methods.

I love to paint and I think my favorite tool in the bench is the airbrush and the compressor.
Wen I go to paint a model I get most frustrated with the time I spent mixing the paint. This is because of "mother gravity" ... she always makes the paint thick on the bottom of the jar and thin on top.

So the tip for this post is... Paint jar mixing... this might seem has a really simple and stupid tip but KISS is my motto (KISS = Keep it simple and stupid)

What do you need ??? Just a bunch of small non-corrosive nuts .

1 step - Open the paint jar or prime bottle

2 step - Drop some nuts in (for prime bottles I use 2 or 3 nuts for pain jars I use 1)
3 step - Close the bottle and you are done.... every time you need to paint just give it a shake and you will have it mixed (I love the rattling noise it makes :) )

 You can use with a lot of paint brands....

Again ... this may look like a very simple and stupid process but I tell you it will save you a lot of time.

Please dont forget ... when the jar is empty use the nuts on another jar of the same color and brand... or clean the nuts with alcohol and re-use them.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

All in the Details...

I have been progressing on the M41 the last few days. Both with CAD and with physical modeling techniques.

One of the latest details I found lacking was the M41 drive idler. The kit part has two problems; 1) its the wrong shape 2) it does not have the holes carved out of it for weight reduction. There was no way to modify the kit part, and the shape would not be easy to replicate correctly by hand. This is were I turned to CAD once again. Using the kit part for size reference as well as correct connection points to the kit I was able to rebuild it with the help of several reference images.

As you can see, the cad software was able to easily recreate the proper shape of the drive idler. Much better!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Defining the Muzzle Brake

I have been doing a bit more research on the M41 and have found I modeled the muzzle brake inaccurate. This was due to using the original kit piece as a reference, A mistake I should have realized. But with a quick Google search I was able to pull a photo of the real brake. Using this I have remodeled the CAD drawing and it will print with realistic detail.

Reference Image:

You will notice the protruding tabs, in the kit part these did not extend past the outer ring. Mistake #1.
You will also notice there is a recessed hole on the bottom (and top) of the muzzle brake. The kit had them as embossed details with square corners. A close look finds these are indented and have arches on each end. Mistake #2.

It was a simple and quick fix by editing the CAD sketch of each of these details, and now the part is ready for print and assembly onto the model.

Reworked muzzle brake:

CAD to Print; Changing the Way I Detail Models

For many years I have wanted to make my own detail parts for my model kits. I have always wanted more detail than is molded into the kit, but never wanted to buy the existing items.

I guess you could call me a maker, a person that wants the detail but wants to do it myself.

This year I made many goals, one of which was to learn a 3D CAD software package to utilize the ever changing world of 3D Printing. I am happy to say I have learned how to use Solidworks, a very powerful CAD package that lets me build most any household item or vehicle parts.

The results have been beyond my expectations!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chipping fluids

First of all let me say that I'm really happy to belong to the author family of Scale Military Diorama Blog !!

About chipping fluids...

Some time ago I got some chipping fluids from Mig Productions and AK interactive, and decided to test them out.
You might ask "Why use this products while I have salt and hairspray?" , well the word I can find for the answer is "control" . Using this products gives you more control on the direction and intensity of the chipping. The question on "Witch one is the best?" , that is not for me to answer but for you to try out, no words, pictures or videos are best then the "hands on" approach. Its true that I have a favorite but this is for me and may not be for you... 

I have made some videos on my experience using this products that I would like to share and hope that they be as a starting point for your "chipping experiences".

 Mig Productions Absolute chipping


AK Interactive - Heavy Chipping

Now go to the workbench and start chipping that plane, tank, boat, spaceship, figure... or a piece of plastic ;)

Tips : 
Tanks .. German red primer or panzer grey has base and a dunkelgelb camo on top just looks amazing!
Planes .. a nice base of a metalic paint and a green on top... apply a bit of masking tape and pull it hard... gives a nice effect on that WWII jap plane!!

Curiosity :
I was chipping a Model and in the middle of the process I had to leave the workbench... totally forgot about it... for days and days... when I got back I thought "How am I going to tackle this now??"... decided to try where I left off... and for my surprise it was still chipping like the beginning :D

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Starting to Add Life to the Scene

This evening I began the building of the figures I will be using on this base. I chose to use the Dragon Winter Combat set #6154 to help set the mood of cold. I had this set on the shelf for many years but never really knew what I wanted to put them in. Well, now I have the perfect excuse to utilize them!

Adding to our Author Family

More exciting news for the blog! We now have another fantastically talented modeler who has joined the author list. I am happy to introduce the newest member of our writing team, Pedro Fernandes. I look forward to reading his contributions!

Welcome aboard Pedro!

Percision Ice and Snow

Hello everyone,

Its been a long while again since I have personaly been able to post anything here. I have been busy working on the start up of Falcon Miniatures to a full fledged business. I am currently finishing some CAD models for production casting of period 1930's furniture and appliances for dioramas.

A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Steve at Percision Ice and Snow to do a review of his product. I very happily agreed to do this for him as I have been very interested in his product.

Well today the mailman delivered the package to me and I am very excited to start this review! But I need a suitable base to review this on so I am revamping and re planing my Attic Relic base from a spring setting to a winter setting!

Stay tuned for more!