Monday, August 17

Andy Moore's Pt.II of Takom's Krupp 21cm Mörser 10/16 build

Last week Andy Moore looked at the new Krupp 21cm Mörser 10/16 from Takom, he liked what see saw enough to do a second part of the article – this time with paint from AMMO to compliment the schemes provided in the box – Let’s see just how he got this gun looking so very good in today’s article…
Build review Pt.II – Painting & Weathering the  Krupp 21cm Mörser 10/16
From Takom
Kit no. 2032
1/35th scale
Price: ¥4,230/ USD $34.14/ €31.07

In part 1 we looked at the construction of Takom's new howitzer. Now we'll get onto the best part of a build (for me, at least); the painting and weathering.
For this build, I decided to model the early 1910 version with the shorter barrel. Specifically, the marking option for the gun captured by Canadian troops at Vimy Ridge in 1917. The main appeal of this subject for me was the interesting sand/green camo and the graffiti applied by the soldiers to mark their prize. The only down side to this choice was the fact that the profiles show all the early 1910 versions as lacking the track pads on the wheels. By luck, I found a couple of shots of the gun in question online which showed that it did, in fact, have the pads fitted. So that solved all the problems. I could paint the most interesting scheme and also use those fantastic track pads.
The first step after washing all the parts in soapy water, was to apply a primer. For this stage, I tried a grey primer from the AMMO range. I hadn't used these primers before so didn't know what to expect with them. Other acrylic primers I've used in the past have been a bit hit and miss but I found the AMMO primer to spray really well leaving a smooth satin finish that didn't obscure any fine detail. Having said that, it's important to apply it correctly, building up thin coats and allow it to fully cure for about 24 hours.
The paint guide for this scheme shows an area of worn paint around the end of the barrel which is marked as being Mig-008 Dunkelgrau. The period photos confirm this, but it's anyone's guess as to whether it's actually Dunkelgrau, a primer, deposits from the gun being fired or raw, exposed metal. I decided to spray the barrel in a suitable dark grey and, while I'd got the airbrush loaded, I gave the rest of the model a loose pre-shade.
The track pads were also base coated in this colour, and were attached to a strip of cardboard with masking tape to make spraying easier.
To simulate the worn areas on the barrel, I sponged on some masking fluid. This is a simple way of achieving chipped paint on a small area and avoids the hassle of using hairspray.
The base coat was applied with the recommended Mig-057 Yellow Grey. Like the primer, using AMMO paints was a first for me and I found them to spray well with good coverage, although, despite being airbrush ready, I got better results thinning the paints to about a 50/50 ratio.
The paint was built up gradually in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry for a few moments and leaving some of the pre-shade showing through.

Once the base coat was dry (I left it overnight to be certain) I rubbed away the masking fluid on the barrel to reveal the dark grey beneath.
With the base coat on and dry, it was time for the camo. The colour recommended in the paint profile is Mig-916 Green Base which is part of their German camo modulation range which, to me, appears to be a little too dark in comparison with the profile illustration which shows a paler sage green. As I didn't have this colour in stock anyway, I decided to mix an alternative that matched the illustration more closely. I picked Mig-060 Pale Green from their French WWI box set. On its own, this was a little too green so I mixed in some of the base Yellow Grey in a roughly 60/40 ratio, green to yellow. This gave a pretty good match to the colour in the illustration.
Once the green was dry, I added a few paint chips with the base yellow over the green areas, mainly around the edges of the gun shield. These were applied with a sponge and a fine brush.
At this point, I had to decide whether I'd add the decals now or wait until the bulk of the weathering was complete.

In reality, the markings were applied by the Canadian troops who captured the gun and would have been painted on top of a weathered surface. As a modeller, however, I like to get the decals down and sealed at a fairly early stage, before any aggressive weathering happens.

In the end, I decided to go the conservative route and add them before the main weathering, although I did first add some extra paint chipping with dark grey around areas that would naturally get worn.
The decals went down well, but they are very thin and needed some coaxing to lay flat with no wrinkles. They're also very matt which worried me a little as I was applying them, but once they were sealed with a satin coat, the carrier film disappeared. The only fly in the ointment was with the red text on the side of the barrel. Although well printed, it's far too large when compared to the period photo and I ended up having to cut off the “WPG “and apply it separately otherwise it would have extended too far down, over the bottom edge of the barrel
With the decals on and sealed. It was time to start on the weathering. The first step was to apply a couple of colour washes to tone down the contrast in the camo. The first one was a brown acrylic wash from Vallejo. This was simply painted over the whole surface, some areas getting a second coat to add some variety to the finish. On some parts, I streaked the wash as it was drying, using a wide, flat brush. This was mainly done on the vertical surfaces such as the gun shield and the sides of the box trail. When using an acrylic wash as a filter, it's important to get a thin even coat over the area you're working on and not let the wash pool. Also, avoid adding any water to the surface as the wash is drying or you'll end up with tide marks in the finish.

An enamel filter, Mig-1507 Tan for Yellow Green, was used for the second colour wash. Again, this toned down the finish and added an aged weathered appearance to the model.
After the filters came the pin wash. This really helped bring all the detail of the bolts and rivets out. Mig-1608 Dark Green Grey was used for this and, although technically intended as an aircraft panel line wash, is perfectly suited to subjects like this one.
Earth coloured oil paint was used to add more dirt build-up around the edges of panels and, particularly, around the spade tails. The paint was brushed on then blended with a soft brush, dampened with thinners.
With the bulk of the weathering done, I could start the final assembly. The gun and mount simply attach to the top of the box trail and, due to a poly-cap inserted in the pivot, the gun remained fully poseable.
Once the gun was on, the rest of the small details were attached, leaving just the wheels off for the final round of weathering. A bit of care was needed at this point as, with all the small parts added, the model became very fragile.
Now the gun shield was in place, I could add the two struts that had broken during assembly. This was a simple job, just cutting two lengths of styrene rod to the correct angle at each end, then attaching with super glue.
With the main structure together, I started to weather the wheels, having already added the track pads. The first step was to sponge on some earth coloured acrylic paint around the pads and on the spokes.
I then made up a mud mix using garden soil and earth pigments and applied this quite liberally around the wheel rims and track pads. This was fixed in place with a pigment fixer.
The same mix was added around the lower edges of the box trail and anywhere else that dirt would accumulate. I worked on small areas at a time, adding the pigment and fixing it in place before moving on to another area.
Once the pigment fixer had dried, the final thing to do was thin some earth coloured acrylic and lightly spray it over and around the muddy areas to help blend the pigments in to the rest of the weathering. With that last step done, the weathering was complete. As a final, final step, I added a length of blackened chain to the spade tail to add a touch of individuality.
There's been a couple of firsts for me in this build; this is the first artillery piece I've build and, as it now looks a little lonely sitting in a display cabinet, surrounded by big tanks, I don't think it will be the last. I can see myself picking up some of Takom's other artillery releases to balance thing out a bit 
It's also been the first time I've used the AMMO range of primers and paints and I've been quite impressed so far. They sprayed well once thinned and left a nice smooth surface and seem to stand up well to handling. I'll definitely be experimenting more with these paints in the future. 

Here it is in detail...
And a whole "walkaround" for the final result...
Takom have produced a great little model here. It's full of charm and personality (if a huge gun can have charm). The parts are well detailed and accurate and the build was strait forward (with the exception of a couple of broken parts, which were an easy fix), but the real fun came with the painting and weathering and Takom certainly gives you plenty of choice on that front with the seven colour schemes included. If you're into First World War subjects, big guns or just great models, this comes highly recommended.

Andy Moore

Thanks to Takom for sending this kit for us to build and review 
Part I – Box contents & Construction shows this kit being constructed by Andy...