Wednesday, October 5

Construction & finishing guide: The updated M.T.M. Barchino with crew in 35th scale from Italeri

The M.T.M. Barchino (little boat) with crew member in 35th scale from Italeri has been released before, & Clayton has shown us the difference in his in-box review. Today he presents the build & paint phases of the kit to a lovely finish in his guide.

M.T.M. Barchino with crew
From Italeri
Kit No #5623
1/35th scale
Contains 2 Crew Figures
- Photo-etched Fret
- Coloured Instructions Sheet

Today: Build & painting guide
I reviewed this kit a few weeks ago, and was keen to make a start with the build. Whilst the kit itself is rather simple I couldn’t help but feel there were some areas of the model that were a little underwhelming and could really use a little fine tuning.

I will however preface the article with the fact that during my research I did come across a number of variations across these vessels. Areas I have looked to enhance may not necessarily present on all subjects and I would encourage you to undertake your own research prior to treating any of this information as gospel.

So with the obligatory disclaimers out of the way, we can get on with the build.

Construction begins with the two halves of the hull being glued together. The small water intake is attached along the centre line and left to dry.
The hull halves have some based bracing moulded into the walls. The mounting brackets and framework are glued in place as well as the floor sections for the pilots’ feet.
The armoured shroud and cockpit section are next. The cockpit detail seemed to vary considerably from references I’d discovered, so there is some opportunity to modify this section to something a little more specific to the vessel you are building. I however followed the instructions for this section. In hindsight, I should have removed the ‘timber’ sections where the pilot would sit because I think they look very underdone…

You also get a look at the release mechanism for the float on the sides on these sections. I’ll highlight that a little later however it’s worth mentioning at this stage.
The top deck and bow are trimmed from the sprues and cleaned up. I attached the frame work at the front of the boat at this stage. After some thought, I wanted this section to have a little more weathering that the rest of the model so I did remove it to give me easier access for the painting that would follow.
The explosive charge is made up of the two main pieces for the cylinder and the two end sections to close it up. The seams are in a convenient place that will be hard to see when in situ. Minimal filling and sanding was required.
The inside section of the hull was lightly post-shaded and then sprayed in a light grey. The charge was painted, weathered, and glued in place. Light sponge chipping was applied over the part to add some character to the piece. Extra attention was focussed on chipping around the brackets and fixing points.
The charge was looking a little lonely and very sparse in the hull cavity. After some research, I discovered the part required some wiring and basic detailing. Lead wire and styrene was used to achieve the basic shapes. It instantly added some character.

I wasn’t planning on posing the model showing this section, but I liked how the desaturated green looked against the grey as well as the plumbing detail, so I decided I’d leave it open. The downside to that is when looking back through the cavity into the belly of the boat there is nothing but thin air where the fuel tanks and engine should be. I would have to obscure the view or undertake some serious scratch building (of which I wasn’t up for.)
A reference drawing of the internals of the boat.
The cockpit section is attached to the hull. Some wiring was added and the instrument panel was detailed with the decals from the kit.
The bow section (minus the framework) is attached as well as the top section. You can clearly see the empty space through that midsection bracing. It would look amazing with the engine and tank detail however that is for someone a little more talented than I.
One of the details I noticed in some of the reference images was the fixings around the armoured shroud. This image also shows the detail in the release mechanism for the float. A detail that is painfully absent from the kit.
I added the screw detail with a 0.6mm punch and die set and thin styrene. Granted, the detail was a little overscale, but I thought it might have been an interesting addition, so left them in place.
Another detail I noticed in a lot of the reference images was the strapping around the boat. 
Thin strips of lead foil were cut and fine detail added with a riveting tool to add something that resembled a screwhead. Overscale again, but something to add a little texture and life to the model.
I’d been planning on sourcing some aftermarket wing-nuts to add to the model, but unfortunately the search was unsuccessful. The kit comes with the nuts as photo etch parts, but the two dimensional look was less than ideal. Whilst they weren’t perfect, something was better than nothing… so I ended up using them. As a point of interest, I drilled the positions around the large access hatch. I was planning on posing it open, so the absence of wing nuts in this position was plausible and the holes added something a little different to the model.
As I alluded to earlier, the release mechanism for the float was all but ignored in the kit. I removed the moulded detail and drilled some holes in the main structure to house the release rods.
Fine styrene sheet, stretched sprue and lead wire was used to scratch build the mechanism. It was far from perfect but a vast improvement on the attempt that came with the kit.
The model was them primed using Mr Surfacer 1200 and a basic pre-shade was applied.
The base layer was sprayed using MRP Light Grey and was lightened in sections with flat white.
The waterline was masked, and a mix of Flat Black and German Grey was applied. The mix was disrupted by lightening the mix with Light grey and spraying in a random way.
The floatation device was painted and added to the rear of the boat.A thinned mix of Starship Filth oil paint was then applied as a pin wash. The depth of the colour dragged the tone of the model down to a level I was happy with as well as highlighting the recesses and details.
The framework at the bow with the detonation trigger was attached to the model and received some light chipping with a sponge and Black Brown acrylic paint. Small dots of white and light grey oil paints were hen applied to the top edges of the model and dragged in a downward motion using a flat brush lightly moistened with white spirit. The effect helps give a faded and worn look to the model. It is particularly apparent in the dark sections of the paintwork.

The propeller section was also attached at this point. The propeller assembly received some light chipping with a sponge and aluminium acrylic paint.
The figure was painted using acrylics, and with that the model was complete.
This is a kit I have been wanting to build for years, so with the re-release it was the perfect time to put the excuses aside and add it to the cabinet.

The boat by itself without the figure
Like most of the Italeri models I have built over the years the kit itself provides a good, basic foundation to build on. For those modellers wanting to build straight out of the box then you will be satisfied. For those of you wanting to take the extra step and add more detail then the basics are there and ready to go. I’d love to see someone open the engine hatches up and add the detail in that section.

The added human part to the story is added...
This is an interesting subject and a reasonably simple build for anyone looking to take a dip into a nautical subject. The size of the subject and the scale of the kit make it perfect for a water-based diorama or vignette. Maybe for another day…

Clayton Ockerby

Thanks to Italeri for sending this kit to Clayton to build for you. The link to this kit on Italeri's website is here...
You can see more of Clayton's work on his Facebook page - Workbench Hobbies