Sunday, 11 May 2008

Yours in white wine sauce Blog competition - German Steam Tanks and Steam Walker

Back in early March 2008 and to celebrate there second anniversary, the Blog 'Yours in white wine sauce' proposed a competition where suitably minded gentlemen would agree to produce a Victorian Science Fiction (VSF) model within an eighty day time frame. The competition was called - 'Around the World in 80 Models' and I agreed to two separate entries, an Irish or Fenian Airship called the 'Toucan' (please see separate entry) and a set of German Steam Tanks.

The German Steam Tanks were successfully completed on time and budget and can be seen below.

One of the conditions of the competition was that photos of the finished models could not be up-loaded until after the 80 days were up, however regular written reports were allowed and these are available here and on the 'Yours in white wine sauce' Blog. I hope you enjoy reading about all the different projects.

The idea of the competition was to tempt readers to start or more interestingly finish projects that had laid dormant. One such project was this set of steam tanks and a steam walker, which I had started making some time ago, but which had been overtaken by other more pressing modelling projects.

In addition I am intrigued by WW1 German aircraft - the brightly coloured 'Flying Circus' mounts of Richtofen and others aces. I had begun to wonder if the same colour schemes could be used on tanks, this project has proven that they can be and I think they look very good.

The following photos show firstly how the models were constructed and secondly how they were painted, but first, some background.

Each of the models are constructed to the scale of 1/180th or 10mm = 6foot. A scale I came to as I had just purchased some GHQ 10mm ACW CSA cannon crew for use as crew in a test model of a Space 1889 Airship from the game Sky Galleons of Mars. The figures dictated the scale of the models and the shape was dictated by a cheap novelty pencil sharpener bought from Wilkinsons, a home wares group of stores in the UK for 39p each.

Each pencil sharpener is 66mm long.

I had always planned that this group would include a variety of Assault Tanks and Command Tanks. The actual group of four models ended up being;

Two Steam Powered Assault Tanks, a Steam Powered Command Tank and a Steam Powered Assault Walker.

First we have the two Assault Tanks;

Construction was based around the pencil sharpeners, with plastic card wrapped around the outside and various bits of plastic card and plastic rod added to the structure. The catapillar sections of all the tracked models were cast with car repair resin in a home made mould from a scratch built model which used the wheels from a toy train. The whole process from making the master, preparing the mould and casting the track sections was very easy and quick - I would recommend that anyone tempted should give it a try.

This photo show the construction completed. I have tried to achieve a 'busy' feel to the whole model, separate panels, rivet detail and even an exit ladder. The funnels are sections of plastic tube which are the handles of sweet lollipops.

The main gun is a section of plastic rod, sanded to a taper, the secondary gun mounts are sections of half round sprue which were first drilled and then plastic rod was added. The search lights (mounted on two of the control houses) are thin slices of plastic rod and the flag pole on the Command Tank is a piece of cocktail stick.

The next two photos show painting begun, but still far from finished, the 'Red Baron' Steam Tank was first undercoated grey, washed with Klear (Future in the US) and black ink and then drybrushed with a slighty lighter grey, before the control tower was painted red. The second 'Blue' Tank used a made up colour scheme that just developed as I painted. The colour was first added with watered down dark blue, then highlighted and further refined with lighter blue.

The photo below shows the finished 'Red' Tank on a game display base. Note the 1/180th scale figure to the side.

While this photo shows the finished 'Blue' Tank. Note the naval anchor on the main entrance doors. The transfers on all of these models came from either an Airfix 1/72nd Gannet or a set of GW knights transfer sheet.

Next we have the Command Tank;

Photo one, shows initial construction - two separate pencil sharpeners stacked on top of one another, but otherwise as the assault tanks.

This photo shows the model completed and ready for paint.

Here we have the painting begun but still not finished, once again the colour scheme was just developed on the model, I was aware of a German WW1 Albatross fighter that had a similar colour scheme, but there was no pre-planning with the painting of this model.

The finished model on a display base and flying the German Naval ensign! See comments in earlier Blog entries.

Finally in this build-up report we have the Steam Walker;

The first photo shows the initial build - a fighting compartment made from another pencil sharpener on a Wild, Wild West toy. The second photo shows the construction complete.

The next two photos show the initial painting and then the finished model. This time there was a plan behind the colours used - After undercoating with grey, a wash of Klear and black ink the model was drybrushed with lighter grey. I had read that German WW1 aircraft were sometimes painted Violet and Green on their upper surfaces, I used acrylic paints to copy this scheme.

That completes the 'how I did it' article. I hope that you enjoyed the earlier Blog articles as well as this tutorial. I really enjoyed painting VSF Steam Tanks in bright Flying Circus colour shemes and would recommend the idea to either VSF or Sci Fi modellers as a great distraction from all-over green and grey schemes.


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