I guess this means you are off the hook then Ratch!
I did a bit of a rush job, but since I am travelling Easter Sunday, I wanted to finish my Firefly/Hat build. So starting at 6AM on Saturday, I tarted painting the vinyl tracks. I used a dark gray for the rubber blocks and a rusty brown for the links. Omce dry a added the tracks. The rubber bands slipped on nicely and actually fit well around the running gear.
Next up I attached the upper hull. I also replaced the solid lift rings with wire. The small headlight shot out of my tweezers to never land, so I filled the hole. It was about 1mm x 2mm...
The worse seem was the front as the top/bottom bond was right across the transmission housing. I carefully sanded away with X-acto and paper to remove the seam.
I applied a base coat of Tamiya IJN Green and then with the paint still in the air brush added some Tamiya Desert Yellow to make a lighter green. This wss sprayed in large open areas and directly on hatches and objects sticking out. I also made sure to get the turret and top of the tank as the color would be lighter there.
Throughout this entire process I have been working on my tank riders, base coating, washing and detailing. My bird ( I have only had him for a few weeks) was carrying on so I brought him down on my shoulder to watch. After a while he edged down my arm and decided to try to grab the long black stick I keep waving around. Do you know how hard it is to paint tiny backpack straps with a bird grabbing your brush? He finally decided those Hat riders are probably peanuts and seeds and I caught him on film going for one of those munchy morsels. He missed!
Around 11AM I had the decals on. The front decals, like the "51" had to be trimmed down to fit in the front space. These were sealed again with gloss after 15 mins of drying.
Back at it again around 1PM. I applied some AK Interactive native black as a pin wash and then added dots along the sides and dragged them down with my finger to make rain marks on the side.Tools were detail painted before the wash although you can see in the image I missed a couple and had to go back and paint them (next to the turret).Tracks also got a black wash to darken them up a bit.
I found the HAT miniatures hard to work with but they are in great poses. The plastic is soft, almost a vinyl. I did not prime my figures but I will next time. The paint tended to flake off. I painted my miniatures with a mix of Tamiya and Citadel Acrylics. It was easy to cut too much off when trimming the figures as the plastic is soft. You will note some of the soldiers have a flat helmet. The packs and weapons tend to have good top detail but seem to meld with the uniform along the baseline. Same with some of the weapons. They need to be carefully trimmed.to look better. Still they were fun to work with, all of them have different faces and the multiple poses give you many options for placement on the vehicle.
A quick test fit to to figure out some prime spots to place the figures.
Around 9PM, I finished off the Firefly by spraying some flat on the model to hide the gloss used on the decals. I also covered my figures. I added the typical gun camo by hand painting the blue gray on the underside and creating a demarcation line to hide the long barrel. I applied a dusting of dried mud on the running gear and lower hull, knocking of most with a stiff bristle brush. I applied a very light layer of dust on the upper hull turret as well. I finished off with a tiny antenna made from electrical wire. This completes the tank model itself. I was pleased with the result for such a quick build.
Next up was adding the 10 figures. They went on pretty well. Some just found a natural spot like the guy in the front. and the two guys on the rear tool box. The side riders required a bit of help, holding them in position until dry so they did not look like they were falling off. I struggled finding a good spot for the two guys kneeling in the middle. I do think they create some nice "action" to the model. I wish I had not glued down my commander hatch - I tried to pry it loose but was doing too much damage so I left it. Still it was a fun first try on the figures and I learned a lot with this test run. My next ones will be painted to a contest level. I finished this build around 11PM...