Well, Christmas came and went and until a few hours ago I thought I was in the clear for the white miserable stuff but no such luck as the snow is currently falling outside and we’re having a cold spree again… sigh. Spring is withing sight though because soon it’s March and I can say goodbye to winter for a very long time!!!
A small miracle did happen last week when I managed to track down the Meng set of WWI figures for my Mk.IV vignette! The package was sent by air mail from China on the 2:nd of November and never arrived. Suddenly it was scanned at Arlanda airport in Sweden on the 2:nd of January!?! It’s been sitting in a sack, out in the weather, for all this time… I’ve complained a lot in the past on PostNord for their utterly miserable failure of delivering mail and packages and here’s a prime example on how behind they are. It’s worth noting that I didn’t receive a notification that my package had arrived, no. I had to guess that it HAD arrived and then ask for it at the post office…
It’s here though and I’ve finally been able to start the finishing touches on my Mk.IV vignette – several months after it was meant to be finished…
My troubles with PostNord also means that I’m not going to impulse-buy as many kits in the near future simply because it’s too much of a lottery getting them. Certainly not ordering from eBay. Where I can use DHL I can still order kits but I’ll probably just ask my local hobby store to gather all the kits I want and then have them delivered in bulk from him – the ones he can find that is and when he can get them delivered… Luckily I’ve got a rather healthy stash so I’m not exactly in trouble for the next two years or so… 😉
I’ve got an upcoming book review on the subject on vignettes and dioramas and I’ve gathered three really good books on the subject.
This review will cover more than 1000 pages of first class vignette and diorama design and the little I’ve read so far is stunning!
I also wanted to buy the soon to be reprinted Panzerkampfwagen Panther by Culver & Feist that was announced two days ago but in the last minute they decided only to ship to America… This is a shame because it’s been out of print for about 10 years and the 2:nd hand copies on the market are silly expensive… The last one I saw was £131 on Amazon as a used copy.
I’ve asked the publisher if they can’t do a deal with Panzerwrecks to solve the shipping situation but I got no reply. A lot of people were disappointed about this when they changed their mind in the last minute.
I’ve started one of my group builds, my Panther Ausf. A, and I’ve begun making some scratch built parts for another but my third group build will be started when these two are done and during this time I will only work on these builds, apart from the table of shame – which I’ve promised myself to reduce before I can start my enormous Schwerer Gustav diorama. I’m still working on the layout design and it’s hard trying to shrink the size of the diorama, but I’m slowly making progress. I might have to cut a few kits out of the diorama as well… We shall see? If I make it as big as I initially planned it’s going to be hard to put it somewhere so it’s a balance between size and the look of it.
My Entwicklungsfahrzeug Sammlung is progressing slowly. It’s 10 or 11 tanks in the pot and I almost added another the other day but stopped myself before I pressed the big green order button! I can add that one in the future. It’s probably going to take more than a year to complete the lineup but it’s a fun little side project for sure! Somewhat repetitive thought and that’s why I take my time to complete it. I don’t want to build them factory style, one by one, on a conveyor belt… I’m sure you all understand what I mean!
I’ve also gone over to the dark side (or is it the light side?) with regards to paint. I’ve really tried to get along with the “pure acrylics” from Vallejo and AMMO by Mig but they just don’t dry for me. It takes two days for each coat to dry and that kills the creativity! Paint should dry in minutes – or seconds!
I love using Tamiya paint but due to a lack of accurate colours I have to constantly mix paint and make sure to match the previous mixes. I’ve also had huge problems with paint lifting recently so when MRP (Mr. Paint) now released their AFV selection I bought the whole German tank range plus all the Swedish air force ones in one go, together with some primers.
Sadly my package got stuck in a snow storm yesterday but it left the warehouse this afternoon so on Monday I will start experimenting with these lacquer paints that everybody talks so well of! I’m really looking forward to have a paint that dries almost instantly – and ready mixed in the colours I want! (I hope they are accurate anyway…)
I need to change my painting process since MRP is a hot paint and require near perfect surfaces before primer and paint, otherwise every little blemish and crack will show up. If not it’ll make me an ever more thorough builder! Exciting stuff!!!
I was actually going to try the new Tamiya lacquer paints but they are slow to turn up, and there are so few colours that it’s almost pointless unless you paint cars etc. No WWI/WWII AFV colours anyway. Not yet.?
I’ve also started to paint insignia, symbols and markings on my tanks instead of using decals and I’ve acquired some brass stencils for this. It takes some practice to make it look good and it’s easy to mess it up, but with careful pressure control and good masking it’s looking quite plausible and realistic. If this works as well as I hope I will etch my own brass stencils from now on and just store them in a box for next use. I’ve yet to try them on zimmerit and that’s going to be a huge problem regardless of what you do, but I’m sure it was a pain in the a** to neatly paint insignia and identification marks on real zimmerit so a bit how-you-do-it is perhaps only accurate?
That’s all for this time I think…
February 2, 2018
Nice update Jen’s nice selection of diorama books you have there
February 3, 2018
I’ve been searching for the best books I could find on dioramas and especially vignettes and these three make a pretty complete reference collection in my opinion!
I’ve yet to receive the F.A.Q. Dioramas but I had a quick browse in it recently and it’s a massive book – and seemingly great!
Let’s home PostNord doesn’t forget this one on the tarmac for over two months like they did with my figures… :/