Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cross-genre modelling and what it can teach us

We all tend to build in the same little categories. For me, it's 1/35 WWII armour, and 1/32 WWII aircraft.  I don't build 1/48 or 1/24. I don't build jets, or WWI biplanes, let alone stuff that is further afield like ships or model railroads or hotrods.  But in doing this, sometimes we can miss out on cool developments in other fields of modelling.

I was browsing Pinterest today, and found two incredibly interesting sci-fi builds. Both are Maschinen Kreiger (otherwise known as SF3D) vehicles. What is Maschinen Kreiger, I hear you ask? Good question - there are some answers here, but just search Google Images for "MaK model" and you'll see what it's about.

The first interesting one I came across is this one. It is a 1/20 scale Maschinen Kreiger Kröte, with a skull replacing the normal turret.

I'm not much of a fan of the skull, I think it's creative but it doesn't really do it for me.  But what really does impress me is the incredible texture and tonal variation of the skull. Check this out, it looks like a Soviet T-34 turret, all cast metal and weld seams

Those rivulets of molten metal down the side!

These contour lines of welded and cast metal are just the best.

Compare that to these photos of Soviet armour:




I actually don't know how they've achieved those textures, but damn it inspires me to experiment and try to replicate it myself!


The second inspiring sci-fi build also came from Pinterest.  It is a diorama named "Memento Mori" by a modeller named nbagi, and features another 1/20 scale Maschinen Kreiger Kröte walking machine.

What first caught my eye here was the diorama base. That puddle between the walker's feet is so atmospheric, so polluted and dingy - it just tells a story of desolation and battlefield no-man's-land.

But then I noticed the painting on the upper surface of the turret, which I hadn't really paid attention to at first. This is one of the better burnt-out wrecks I have seen modelled. That paintwork is just sublime. It looks like the modeller has used the hairspray technique, and the tones are bang on. The fresh rust, the ash colour, the grey of the now-cooled metal. Spot. On.

I guess what I'm saying here is that it's good for us to occasionally step outside of our normal build interests, to see what is happening in the rest of the world of model making. Everyone is experimenting with new methods and techniques, and what works for representing a burnt-out 3000AD mech walker can also be used for a burnt-out WWII tank or truck. I don't think I'll ever be inspired by a model of a manga anime girl or a Hello Kitty doll, but you never know.



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