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Check Out Club Meeting: March 2010 Meeting

Featured In: March 2010 Newsletter

Tamiya’s 1/35 M2A2 Bradley

By: Lance “warhammer 40K” Masuanga

Initial Impressions

Normally I don't build “real” stuff. I'm more into the fictional type of models - there's a lot more freedom than building something that's real. Some things just don't look right painted differently.

Construction

Well first off, this is the second armor kit I've built. Being a Tamiya kit, all of the pieces fit very well. Not very much flash, and no putty was used. The Bradley went together fairly well, just as good as the M60A1 which I had built a few years back. Normally I would assume that armor kits would have big clunky pieces but this is not the case. There's a decent amount of small parts, which added a small element of difficulty during assembly. For me one inconvenience I find in modeling is when there are many duplicate parts, and being a tracked vehicle there's lots of wheels. To make it a more enjoyable build I decided to build the repetitive parts first.

As far as changing anything on the kit, everything was built out of the box. No aftermarket parts or modifications to the kit were made. I didn’t feel like adding or changing anything since I thought the kit looked pretty decent out of the box. The only extra thing I did was use a metallic red ribbon to create the effect of the anti-laser coating on the vehicle optics.

Painting

I wanted to approach painting this kit similar to a Warhammer miniature. Since the kit had a base color of light sand, I wanted to vary the tones over the whole kit. Unfortunately the color I bought was too dark. However this turned out to be a happy accident. By using pastels and drybrushing I was able to achieve the tone I desired. This is the first time I've attempted to lighten a base color by using drybrushing and pastels.

Weathering

For weathering I used a combination of pastels and citadel washes. The Citadel washes are sold diluted so wash opacity is consistent. Instead of using a brush to apply pastels, I used cotton applicators. I have never had success with a brush, and using a brush tends to destroy them a lot quicker.

Decaling

The decals went on pretty well like from what I had heard about most Tamiya kits. I did have some trouble adding the decals to the rear section of the vehicle, since the area where the decal was applied was not a smooth surface.

Conclusion

Overall, it was a fairly enjoyable experience building something that is real versus a fictional subject. Armor kits are something which I seem to enjoy building compared to something like an airplane. Unless your intention is a museum quality kit, weathering Armor is a must. To me it gives the model a lot more character and breaks a monotone color. When I sprayed the first base coat of the kit, it looked very bland. A lot of the detail on the kit is difficult to see since the paint scheme I chose is only one color. This is where preshading and weathering can give the kit more depth. On the flip side, too much preshading or weathering can be overpowering and work against you.

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