Friday, December 4

Construction Review Pt II: 1/35th scale German Sd.Kfz.553 Ausf. Vierfüßler KaiserKäfer "Fist of War" from ModelCollect

A dystopian future, MAK looks and a somewhat What-if? 1946 vibe combine to make the 1/35th scale German Sd.Kfz.553 Ausf. Vierfüßler KaiserKäfer "Fist of War" Series from ModelCollect. Clayton today presents us with the second part of his story, where he paints this kit in a truly unique style that "hexes" its opponents. See it come together in part II today...
Construction Review Pt II: German Sd.Kfz.553 Ausf. Vierfüßler KaiserKäfer
"Fist of War" Series
From ModelCollect 
1/35th scale
Kit No #UA35004
Item Size: 33cm x 24.5cm x 10cm / /Weight: 530g
Price: $44.50 AUD from Hobbylink Japan
I have always been fascinated with camouflage patterns with geometric lines and unexpected colours, so from the outset I was wanting to do something with concept in mind. Using a vinyl plotter, I cut myself a number of Hexagons to use as a mask. The first round of masking was applied to the model and received a coat of Intermediate Blue from AK Real Colours. 
After about an hour the paint was dry enough to start my next round of masking. The joys of Lacquer paints!
A layer of Sea Blue is then applied and left to dry. And then guess what… another layer of masking…
To finish the scheme a layer of Tamiya Field Grey XF-65 is applied.
To add some tonal variation to the Field grey, a mix of Faded Olive Drab and Light Stone were sprayed over the model focusing on the horizontal surfaces. This will help present a faded and weathered paint job but will also give the illusion of scale. 
Then…the moment of truth! The masks are removed to reveal the basis of the scheme. 
I felt there was too much green on the cabin, so I set about breaking it up with some heavily chipped fenders. The shapes were masked, and a coat of Aluminium Lacquer paint was applied. Once dry 2 coats of hairspray were applied and left to dry. 
The fenders were then painted using a blue-black colour from AK real Colours. After about 10 minutes, an old brush moistened with tap water was scrubbed against the pieces to trigger the hairspray layer and start to present the chipping. 
The bug is now on it’s back, and the leg sections are attached to the crew cabin. The underside of the model is really left wanting for detail, and borders on looking unfinished. In saying that, most of the underside will be very hard to see once the model is upright and, on its feet, but it must be said, it is a bit of a low point with the kit. 
Gun assemblies are now attached to the model. They are somewhat poseable, but the mechanism on my kit broke quite easily. I had visions of having the guns angled up and ready to rock, but there wasn’t a great deal of motion in the pieces because they were bound by the position of the rear legs. The pieces were just glued in place in the end.
The details on the kit are rather sparse. A number of small grab handles are bent using copper wire and added around the model. 
I was eager to apply a wash. A wash is always the first time I get the feeling of how the model will actually look when its finished. AK2071 (essentially a brown enamel wash) was applied over the model and tidied up with a brush moistened in white spirit. 
Superfluous chipping is now applied to the green areas using Vallejo Highlight French Uniform and dabbing in on the surface using an old sponge. The results were really quite extraordinary. 
To further enhance the chipping, Black Brown is now selectively painted using a fine brush. 
Greater depth and grime is added to the model now by using a heavily thinned mix of Black and red brown. This post-shading layer need to be really refined and subtle to work effectively.
An oil dot technique is now employed to create even more depth in the paintwork. Small dots of various coloured oil paint is allied on the section we are working on. I generally use lighter colours at the top and darker colours toward the bottom. 
Then using a flat brush moistened in enamel thinner, the dots are blended into the surface using soft up and down strokes of the brush. The aim is to create a subtle, weathered effect on the paintwork. 
Dust effects are now applied using a fine brush. The Light Dust Deposit Enamel from AK is the perfect colour for the green base and will offer a really nice contrast. This effect will be blended using enamel thinner soon after it has been applied. 
The Light Dust Enamel is now used in conjunction with the Brown Earth colour from the same range of AK enamels and is literally flicked around the lower edges of the model to similar mud splashes.
European Earth Pigment is now placed around the feet and a thinned mix of Light Dust Enamel is used to set it in place. 
To create the illusion of some of the parts being a heavy metal, the edge of a graphite pencil is rubbed along some of the leading edges of the model. A cheap and simple way to enhance your models. 
After adding a few minor details and a poorly painted resin figure in the cockpit I was ready to close the book on this Four-Legged Monster. 

A closer look at this kit's many features...
Granted, this isn’t going to be everyone’s’ cup of tea, and there are some shortcomings with the kit itself. Soft detail, inconvenient seam lines and some warping and fit issues. At its’ core, this is a very simple model that provides the foundation to build on (if you are that way inclined). In saying that, some will simply build it out of the box and set their imagination loose on the scheme and the weathering. 

A walk around of the completed kit...
A subject like this can be a really interesting escape from the everyday. There are no rules, no references and no-one can argue with you about the tone of the green you chose not being accurate! 

Clayton Ockerby

Thanks to Modelcollect for sending this kit to Clayton to build and review.
See more of Clayton’s work at his website “Workbench Hobbies” or join him on his Facebook page