Monday, May 7, 2018

Trumpeter 1/72 scale LAV-25

Welcome to another "Its 500 Miles to the German Border" article. Today we will cover my assembly and painting of the Trumpeter 1/72 scale LAV-25.

From those who know the Twilight 2000 game the LAV-25 is almost iconic, some would say necessary vehicle to have in ones collection. Took me awhile to find this one for a decent price and not something extortionist online (I paid $28 CDN all in)., I'm still on a beer can budget after all.

Trumpeter models from what Ive seen are pretty much China's answer to Revell, and comes pretty close quality and ease of build wise. In future I will be more diligent to take step by step photos but here we go:

Opening up the box the sprue was laid out nicely and part were well labelled for the instructions given. Really easy to follow.

The parts fit really well together and there wasn't any issues with flashing (those pesky "mold lines" and other bumps etc) that effect many models.

Now before anyone starts getting out the glue and slapping parts together (if your experienced than you can ignore the next bit and make your own mistakes) I really, really, recommend fitting your parts together before you glue. This way you can see how they fit and narrow down any potential problems latter on. On this model the tread pattern on the tires IS directional. Make sure you lay out the tires and rims ahead of time and plan out the placement. BONUS on this model is the tires are rubber which I thought was a nice touch.

 I like to use side cutters for taking off parts, some like using a hobby knife/exacto etc. The side cutters have more control and are easier but whatever floats your boat or amphibious fighting vehicle.

The hull fit well and so did the back hatch. Again cant emphasize enough about doing a "dry fit " first and then jumping in with the glue once your happy with how everything lines up.

 Now the turret. I added some extra armour (not included in the kit) by using polystyrene sheet (.040 mm) and cut into squarish shapes to represent some extra armour platting the crew in Twilight 2000 could have scavenged and welded onto the turret to protect the crew.

The antennae I used garden wire put through the top of the turret before I glued the top and bottom half the turret together. I used loctite to keep the antennae in place instead of the usual "thin glue" used for putting the model together.

Here we have the base model pretty much together minus the wheels seeing how it all looks.

At this point one should think about any kind of accessories ( handmade tarps, parts, weapons, chains, ropes, parts from other kits) that you'll want to put onto it.

This kit didn't include a spare tire (no idea why) so I had to make one.

Using and old truck kit tire (was same size) I scraped out the wheel hub and placed an extra hub from the model kit inside it.

You'll also see in the picture some boxes and a barrel I had from other kits that I would add to the model.

Now this is a bad example of not following my advice. These extra parts should have been glued on PRIOR to doing the base coat! So it was loctite to the rescue yet again. The regular glue may or may not have worked after the base coat was on. For base coat I almost always use Citadel Chaos Black (in a spray can) but really and matte base coat should do. The reason for this is twofold (again sorry advanced practitioners). 1/ the rest of your paint needs something to stick to. 2/ it helps give those recesses (grooves, shadowed areas) shade etc. You could base coat in white if you wanted to make your model brighter, but this is for TWILIGHT 2000 not the show room.

 OK so taking a huge leap forward these pics are the pretty much done pics. My apologies to the class. In future there will be a more step by step process with pictures.

I did a few coats of NATO green (TAMIYA) on most of the vehicle leaving out the wheels and the muffler (aka exhaust) as seen on the right side. The muffler I started with a burnt umber, then brass followed by some orange (go dark) applied with a sponge. This makes it look good n rusty.
The rest was painted in the NATO standard cam pattern of brown/black/green.

The wheels at this point get painted with a flat black the hubs were painted using the same rust technique as the exhaust system. Also same technique on the air intake grill, and cargo bins.

I also added a home made cam net (made by using arm sling bandage dyed green and dried out). The cam net was then wetted down, rinsed out so just damp then rolled into shape and placed on model. Glued into place using loctite. Let cam net dry (mostly) then paint using inks to emphasize the shadows, and dab on some other camo colours.

 Once everything is in place and your happy with the base colours. Get a pencil and scratch lightly parts that stick out. Try out a bit at first don't overdo it. Parts where paint would chip from use like door hinges, edges of the body, anywhere the crew would step on a regular basis, tops of fuel cans etc.

Going back to inks, highlight around objects like panels or recesses to make features stick out or "pop". Think of it like doing an outline on a picture you coloured. You can also try very fine tip markers instead. I've used both myself with varying results.

Now for the "weathering" technique. This just helps make the model look like its actually been used and abused like in real life.

I also added the red diamond denoting the 5th Infantry Division from the Twilight 2000 story line ("Escape from Kalisz") and put Monk's name by the drivers hatch as a nod to one of the narrators stories through the core rules set.
Back to weathering: this really is just dulling down the colours so the vehicles don't look they just rolled out from the factory.

Myself I use a paint called Mushroom made Folk Art. But anyone could use a dirty grey or dull brown. Dry-brush whatever colour over the whole model to dull down anything that seems to bright. The idea being to dull the colours down not paint over top of them. The mud effect was the first time I tried a Citadel "texture" paint called "Agrellan Badlands". Its an odd paint (from what Im used to) in that its not runny but actually pretty thick and it has bits of grit in it. The same technique for you DIY's out there could probably be achieved by letting a beige/brown/leathery colour start to dry out on your pallet, add some fine sand, stir then dry brush on. The idea with the mud is to make it look like it was the wheels in motion that splattered it about.
The undercarriage was done using the Tamiya NATO green followed up with doing the rust effect technique followed up by generous amounts of weathering then mud effect.

Thanks again for tuning into "It's 500 Miles to the German border". Feel free to comment or ask questions and Jason or myself will do our best to answer or get back to you.

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