Monday, May 24, 2021

Takom’s new Yamato anchor and the questions it raises

Takom used the 2021 Shizuoka Hobby Show this month to announce 1/16th scale anchors from the IJN Battleship Yamato. I’ve been a fan of anything eligible for the Miscellaneous categories at model contests, so this release caught my attention.

The model does, however, raise some pretty big questions for the anchor enthusiasts in the hobby.

Is this the first in a long line of new kits of ship anchors?

Will each anchor consist of just five or six parts, or will they have 200-300 parts as most modern kits do these days?

How should I build, paint, and weather it? As if it were new? Rusty and neglected? Restored? Restored and neglected? As part of a zombie vignette?

Is there a rivet counter assessing the accuracy of the anchors? If it's one scale inch too short, it's unbuildable. (Remember, we love rivet counters, right?)

Will Osprey publish a book on anchors of the Japanese Navy?

Will Eduard include a photoetch set for the model among their August releases?

Will Micro Master Details or Black Cat Models produce 3D printed chain links for the anchors?

Which aftermarket company will be the first to produce 1/16 scale barnacles for the model?

How long do we have to wait for AK Interactive to produce a set of paints specifically for these anchors?

When will someone in Japan take 40-50 photos of the actual anchor at the Yamato Museum in Kure, Hiroshima and submit the walkaround to Prime Portal?

Should I create a Facebook group named "Takom Yamato Anchor Group Build?"

Will HK Models release a partial 1/16 kit of the Yamamoto — just the bow — so that we can display the anchor in situ?

When will Trumpeter, Hobby Boss, Bronco, and Rye Field Models release their versions kits of the Yamato anchors?

Is there a chance of Drachinifel doing a YouTube video about the evolution of Japanese anchors on his channel?

When I finish building this Takom kit, can I share it in the Airfix Facebook group? Yes.

If scale weight was a thing, just how much would a 1/16 scale anchor weigh?

(Thanks to four friends of mine for helping me brainstorm these questions. I've chosen to keep them anonymous on the strong likelihood that these jokes fall flat.)

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Weathering armor and analysis paralysis

In late 2016 I wrote about the disappointments with several of my builds that year, including my attempts to finish a Trumpeter Pz.Kpfw 38(t). I struggled through weathering it — trying my hand with pigments in particular — and ultimately trashed the model when the results were not up to my expectations.

Since then I’ve gone back to basics with painting and weathering armor, at least the basics in terms of the process I’ve mastered (such as post shading, pin washes, and the use of pastels for dust effects), and I’ve slowly introduced new products and techniques. Usually I try them on a paint mule and then incorporate them into my next build. So now I’m much more comfortable with:

  • Modulation
  • Filters
  • Washes
  • Oil paint rendering
  • Paint chips
  • Hairspray chipping
  • Mud splashes

Despite my newfound confidence with each of these, I now find myself suffering from analysis paralysis, wondering with every build which products and techniques I should incorporate into the model and in what order.

To be sure, I have plenty of books on the topic.

I have multiple products.

I have magazines.

I’ve watched plenty of videos on YouTube, such as Adam Wilder’s incredible 27-episode series on painting and weathering a KV-I.

And I've taken notes on the dozen (hundreds?) of articles and builds you can find on modelers’ personal blogs and Facebook pages.

Despite all of these resources it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the choices you’re confronted with. Every modeler has his preferred products, techniques, and process, and it’s a challenge to understand them and then to incorporate them into your own modeling.

That’s what happened with this build of the Trumpeter JS-4. I'd worked through the fundamental steps of painting and weathering it but then hit a wall of sorts wondering what to do next. I’m figuring it out, but the model languished for a few weeks untouched.

I started moving forward with the model this week, but it doesn’t feel…right. It feels like there was probably a better way, and I’m figuring that out as I go, even if in hindsight, and I know I’ll continue to refine my products and techniques with subsequent builds.

If you’ve had the same experience, my suggestion is what I’ll offer myself with my next build. I’m going to trust my instincts and outline the steps I’ll take to see the model through the painting and finishing stages. It’s probably not going to align with any one master modeler’s process, and it might not work out well for me, but at least having a plan is better than not having one at all.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

My favorite COVID scale modeling memes

As we come out of this international experience with COVID, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite memes from the last year.