Before my latest blog kicks off with more of my musings I would like to take this opportunity to dedicate this weeks offering to my long suffering partner and better half Kerry who has to put up with my moans groans and shouts of frustration as I struggle getting to grips with my hobby especially the painting aspect.
This summer I have been going through what many would call a purple patch and have managed to start and complete the building of 2 complete kits, the Meng Models 1/35 Whippet and a Tamiya 1/48 T34, these builds have not been without incident however they have been quite enjoyable and it has felt really good being back at the cutting mat. The only problem with having 2 complete builds finished, they need to be painted, and this is where I begin to get nervous and the odds of a disaster get shorter. I will not sit here and lie to you all and say that painting is my favourite part because it is not I hate it and try to avoid it and if I could I would not do it at all, it may be completely irrational behaviour to something that should bring me enjoyment however for some reason it doesn’t.
As my two builds came to together in the final throws of completion my thoughts turned to the painting and the finishing of the damn things and have them ready for the Farnborough model show in mid September, the painting the decals the weathering, aarghh!!! it seems like a never ending list of possible disasters just waiting to happen. Now as my working week ended and I turned my attention to getting these 2 models well on the way to being completed this weekend I set about preparing the shed so it was tidy and ready for me to inflict paint upon my models, I set the airbrush and compressor up, ran some thinners through the airbrush as it has been a good 8/9 months since it last saw action, set the table up so I could do some detail painting on a couple of 1/48 Tamiya KV’s that have been on and off the back burner for the last couple of years and I was set. My Saturday morning was going as planned and I had moved an old Tamiya 1/35 Sherman onto the spraying area to get in a little practice before the main event.
Now when it comes to me and painting things very rarely go according to plan and the list of disasters could quite honestly be endless, last year in the build up to Telford whilst finishing my Tamiya MKIV I broke my 2 most used airbrushes lost decals broke the tracks and ruined the paint job itself on numerous occasions by simply not knowing when enough was enough. Painting and me shall we say is not a marriage made in heaven, I do not know what it is, it is as if I am just one step away from disaster at every turn. On my return from Telford last year I purchased some paint from Mig Jimenez’s range of paints consisting of 3 bottles of paint, a base coat, a shadow and a highlight, I bought these paints in 4 colours, Russian green, Panzer grey, Olive drab and Dunkelgelb (German desert yellow) and as quickly as they arrived they were as quickly put away for future use. Now Saturday was that day, the day of that future use, so off I went to the little plastic box they are kept in and I selected a base coat and highlight but no shadow, so I looked for the shadow in the other colours but to know avail, a very weird and strange turn of events, there I had on the floor in front of me was 8 bottles with their little yellow lids, 4 base coats and 4 highlights, where were my 4 yellow lidded bottles of shadow, the plot thickened and the hunt was on.
Being quite an organised person I knew that those 4 bottles of paint could not be far away, firstly I looked through and organised the modelling cupboard in the dining room, nope loads of paints but not the 4 I was looking for, it was then off to the shed to see if for some unknown reason these 4 little bottles had been banished out there and once again I returned empty handed, standing scratching my head deciding that there was only one place left that they could be, the workroom. I looked in every drawer, cupboard and storage box, I opened every part built kit and the ones I have bought since last years Scale model world yet I was still coming up empty, where could I have put these 4 bloody bottles???, yes it was the burning question even the million dollar question, where could they be??. Deciding that it was only a couple of bottles I turned to the internet and re-ordered the 4 bottles plus some green moss from the same range to paint the Whippet, now it was back to the job in hand, painting. Feeling a bit fed up and slightly demoralised however undeterred and although a large chunk of my day had been used up by trying to hunt the 4 bottles down I returned to the shed and put away the Sherman I had put out earlier to practice upon and decided that it was time to prime. Out came the Whippet and T34 and I spent the rest of the evening spraying the 2 tanks with Tamiya fine surface primer being my trusted choice. Now not being one to listen to what my Mum would call old wives tails however a lot can be said that when you have lost something it is always in the first place you look and sadly on this occasion it turned out to be very very very true, while in between visits to the shed to apply yet another coat of primer I was busy applying detail paint to a Tamiya KV, and it was while I was looking for a bottle of dark rust for my exhausts I came across a bottle of Mig olive drab shadow followed by the other 3 bottles of shadow that I had spent hours looking for in exactly the first place I had looked you just could not make it up, now before any of you think it may be a good idea to get me analysed and locked away for my own safety the 4 bottles had orange lids and not yellow, who would have thought it and believed it? Mig bottles with orange lids, I just could not believe it, and the moral of the story?, perhaps I should have looked properly in the first place.
With the weekend of painting not quite over I went back to the shed this morning and I finally managed get some painting done but not without some issues, I glossed a KV, base coated another KV chassis yet made a mess of the turret, I added shadow to the Whippet at a second attempt after not mixing the paint properly and I managed to highlight the T34 and stopped there as I had avoided any major disasters and felt I was edging my bets ever so slightly. Painting? why does it cause me such dread and anxiety, I am not really sure, maybe it is because I over complicate things trying new and untested products or techniques on my latest projects, it could be that I find the airbrush an unpredictable tool that I have not used and practiced enough with, or trying out new paints when I should stick with a medium I am familiar and comfortable with, what I do know is that I need to change my whole approach to painting so that I feel more comfortable with it, learn to mix paint better selecting the correct air pressure understanding how to get the best out of my compressor and practice using the airbrush so I feel more comfortable with this whole painting thing, there must be a magic and simple formula to it and I need to find it over the coming months.
The Average Modeller