Thursday, May 25, 2017

Early research for a new kit

While I have a self-imposed rule of only building one kit at a time (it just gets too messy otherwise, both on my workbench and in the plans in my head) I do allow myself to start researching the next project. So while I'm only about 60% through my 1/32 P-51D Mustang build, I'm itching to start the 1/35 Tamiya Panther G Late Version which I bought recently.

This little beauty.

I'm sure there are hardcore armour modellers out there who only consult expensive hard cover books with titles like "Panzer Tracts No. 5-1 = Panzerkampfwagen 'Panther' Ausf.D with Versuchs-Serie Panther, Fgst.Nr.V2" (yes, that is a real book title), and if that floats your boat and you have the library on your bookshelves already, power to you brother.  I don't tend to invest in that sort of reference material, for two reasons:

  1. I rarely make multiple models of the same vehicle over and over, so an expensive book on Panthers will only get used once this decade
  2. Why would you when the interwebs is such an immense storehouse of amazing?

I get it if you want to model one particular tank at one particular battle, you need that sort of in-depth stuff. I totally get that. I tend to model a representative look, a slightly more "looks like feels like" kind of modelling where I concentrate on telling a story. I know that is verboten among some modellers, but screw it, it's a hobby rather than work: at work my creative output is reworked and endlessly discussed in a design-by-committee process (with all the soul crushing that entails), whereas when I'm modelling the only person I am answerable to is me - that's why I do it.

Instead, a good old Google Images search will usually bring up exactly what you want to see (for example, the close-up views of Mustang wheel wells that I've found have been invaluable for adding scratchbuilt detail to my current build).

I also find Pinterest an amazing reference for model inspiration. I've mentioned before what a good resource Pinterest is and my Top 10 Pinterest boards, and I'm going to spruik it again today.

I'm looking for inspiration for my Panther. I don't have a set story or idea in mind yet, although I really do like the two figures watching the sky which come standard with the Tamiya kit.  Will it be a winter setting or summer? Eastern front or Western front? I don't know.

What I do know is I want to model this Panther as a dirty, dirty kitty.

No, not like that...

I want it to look weather-beaten and oil stained and muddy and dark. I know that my models tend to be a little bright, the colours don't tend to be washed out - that just appeals to me and looks good to my eye. Totally subjective, and I like it.

But for this model, I want to push my own boundaries and get out of my comfort zone. I want it to be dark and stained and not-at-all-bright. Like this:

Dirty. So dirty.  Source.



I also want to try my hand at faded paintwork. My normal go-to technique is the salt method for modulating paintwork colour, but for this one I want that really faded, washed out paint look. Like this:

Yes, I know that is not a Panther G, but just look at that amazing faded paint!  Source.

And then you also find amazing thought-starters like this. This is the best-modelled non-penetration I've ever seen on a scale model tank:

That. Is. Amazing.   Source.

All of these early references are from Pinterest. I love it.

As the build progresses and I need more in-depth reference images for particular bits of detail work, then it'll be back to Google Images. But for now, these sorts of shots by fellow modellers are enough to spark my imagination and get me thinking about the story I'm going to tell.

Strap yourself in for the ride.



P.S. I don't own the copyright to any of these images. If you are the brilliant modeller who built any of these, and would like to be acknowledged as such, please get in touch. I especially want to hear from whatever freak drew Hello Kitty like that...

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