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JS-2M (early) build – Part 3:Painting

In a few recent builds – including the KV-2 (which is currently on hold) – I have noticed that the paint finish in certain sections was a bit rougher and grittier than I would have liked. Reading around, it seems that I need to thin the paint more (even though I had been using Tamiya’s recommended paint to thinner ratio) and try to spray in more, thinner coats (1:1 paint to thinner). This is all good advice and my tests with Tamiya paint seems to bear this out.

However, I also wanted to try a different paint range and for this build selected the Mig AMMO paints.

Primer: Wanting to move away from using spray cans as much as possible, I decanted Tamiya “Fine Surface Primer” (light grey) from the can into a glass bottle, according to this guide. I reckon about an hour is good enough for degassing of the liquid, after which I sprayed it on with airbrush. This time I did thin it down with lacquer thinner (two parts primer to one part thinner). I think for my next model I may well just spray the neat liquid.

Base coat: AMMO “Russian Green Base” (A.MIG-932) was sprayed straight from the bottle in multiple (at least five) thin coats, leaving 24 hours drying time between each coat. I must say that so far it has produced a nice, clean finish. I think for this build I will not be adding any highlight coats on exposed features (basically I don’t want to push my luck!) but rather rely on subsequent weathering to break up the uniformity.

The varnish layers are still to come and entail further testing.


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JS-2M (early) build – Part 2:Assembly

Modelling progress has been slow of late, at least as far as this blog is concerned. The main reason is that I have been having some painting issues creeping into my recent builds, which I will document later. Anyway, I choose this model as a fresh start. When you look inside the box at the sprues it seems like a stress free build. It mostly is, except for a couple of points (perhaps unique to me):

  • I had to force the upper deck upwards to maintain shape by the addition of a couple of balsa blocks under the fenders near the engine grills. It was bowing otherwise.
  • It will be obvious that the light guards are missing! I found these the parts from hell. I did attempt to place them and even got them onto the model before deciding that they were such a mess that they came off again. Instead of a multi piece assembly (as these were), it must be possible to mould them in one piece or alternatively in photoetch (I have handled either of these types in the past fine). Perhaps somebody really competent with soldering could fashion their own from brass wire – however that is not me and I was wanting to get on with later steps. No doubt it is inauthentic, even if it is possible to find a picture of them missing. Well, in the end, it is just a model!


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JS-2M (early) build – Part 1:Introduction

The vehicle

js-2m_duxford_2016

This is a 1950s modification of the fearsome JS-2 tank:

“The heavy tank was designed with thick armor to counter German 88 mm guns and carried a main gun capable of defeating Tiger and Panther tanks. It was mainly a breakthrough tank, firing a heavy high-explosive shell that was useful against entrenchments and bunkers. The IS-2 went into service in April 1944 and was used as a spearhead by the Red Army in the final stage of the Battle of Berlin.” [1]

The kit

trumpeter-js-2m-early-box_400

I have been wanting to add a JS-2 tank to my collection for years [2]. However, the wartime version – which is invariably shown with extensive damage to the fenders – I am holding off on until I feel I am ready to tackle it. Hence, I thought I would use the post war variant as a test run [3].

Trumpeter 1/35 kit [4].

References

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IS_tank_family
2. http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/soviet/soviet_IS-II.php
3. https://skarachsworld.co.uk/2017/03/14/js-2m-some-walkaround-pictures/
4. http://www.missing-lynx.com/reviews/russia/trumpeter05589reviewcs_1.html


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JS-2M (some walkaround pictures)

I am publishing these pictures taken on various visits to the Land Warfare Hall at IWM Duxford. I will be using them in a current model build, to be show shortly. As an aside, I am sure I am not the only visitor to this museum who appreciates the attempts made to weather the vehicles and place them in a diorama like setting. In most other museums of my acquaintance the exhibits are spotless!


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KV-2 build – Part 2:Assembly

These Trumpeter KV kits are quick to put together and perhaps lack the extra bits (photo etch grills and other parts) of a more recent kit. However, I was happy to go with the basic build, apart from the reuse of the LionRoar metal barrel, salvaged from a discarded previous KV model. At any rate it forms a very sturdy looking vehicle with that amazing and ludicrous turret.