I’m assuming that most people will be too busy recovering from Christmas to read this, so I can get away with blogging about nothing special!
Strelets have produced a nice 1:72 scale model of the Japanese Type 98 20mm cannon, a light, mobile weapon that was used during WW2 in both the ground and anti-aircraft role. The gun comes with a crew of five men and the box contains four guns with all of their crew members. I never bothered buying this model, since at the most I wanted one gun, but I then found someone on Ebay who sold individual sprues/guns, so I bought one!
I only bought this model a couple of weeks ago and decided to just get it made and painted in between doing my Zouaves. One of the crew comes attached to a seat that fixes to the gun mount, but I didn’t think he looked right, so I discarded him. The rest of the crew go round the gun quite well, as long as the gun is mounted on a thick base to lift it up, so I stuck it onto some plasticard on top of a 40mm diameter washer. I then trimmed the crew to fit in close to the gun, particularly the gunner, who has his shoulder against a rest and is looking along the sight.
After that, I added some Vallejo basing material around the whole base.
To my credit, I had realised that putting the crew in place round the gun would make them difficult to paint, but painting them first didn’t seem an option, since they proved quite tricky to get into the right positions around the gun. So, I decided to take a different route in painting them – normal colours overall with a wash to shade them. Other people do this all the time, but not me!
I primed the whole lot in khaki drill and then painted the gun and crew. Given the colours, I reckoned a brown wash would do for the whole lot, base and all! So, out came the Games Workshop Agrax Earthshade wash and on it went (apologies to those of you that have just fallen off your chairs at the shock revelation that I do indeed have a jar of Agrax Earthshade)!
Well, it looked great when it went on, but when it dried it hadn’t really shaded much! Not sure what to do, I mixed some Nuln Oil (cripes, he’s got Nuln Oil as well, I hear you exclaiming) with some Vallejo Sepia Wash and put that all over it. This produced much better shading, but maybe a bit much this time (the Vallejo wash is less transparent) so I now thought I’d overdone it! In the past I’ve just painted all the base colours as highlights, but this was going to be tricky. In the end, I just highlighted the flesh and that seemed to work fine and match most of my other Japanese figures.
So, it’s not great, but looks fine at anything over a foot away!
Despite what I’ve said I’m actually quite pleased with it, because I’ve always wanted a model of this gun and it’s come out not too bad really by my standards. The basic model is quite nice and the crew fit in well around it – I could have just added the gunner to the main base and left the other crew on their own bases and that would have made it easier to paint “properly”, but the overall effect of the crew in close to the gun makes it look much better I think.
Of course, I could just claim that it was the best I could do after all of the Christmas alcohol I’ve drunk and no-one would be any the wiser! Should have thought that one up sooner! Just don’t listen to people that know me that tell you I hardly ever drink!