Figure painting for dummies

Along with trucks, cars, tanks, planes and boats there is something that is often overlooked when presenting a model that can enhance its looks: figures. They come in all types and sizes and can really set off a simple model display or turn a diorama into a masterpiece. They can also have as much detail as a regular model. But not everyone is good at painting figures. Some people are good at painting boats, cars, tanks or planes  but have trouble getting figures right. I am one of those people. So here’s a few video tutorials to help you get started.

These are pretty helpful and cover all the steps like basic figure painting, washing, shading, camo uniforms and the most difficult, faces and eyes. So give them a try and tell me if they helped you.

Takom releases new Russian battle tank kit

T-14 Armata tank, courtesy of Vitaly V. Kuzmin

The model kit company Takom, based in Hong Kong, has released a 1/35 scale kit of a new Russian battle tank, the T-14 Armata, introduced to the public during the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade rehearsals. 

This is a surprise since the kit was released not too long after the debut of the tank, which has several advanced features to aid in the protection of the crew, defeat incoming anti-tank rounds and provide the crew with a 360 degree field of view of the outside with video cameras. 

So far, there is only one paint scheme seen, the one featured in the parade, but as the tank enters service, there may well be several schemes for different operating locales. There are also some details that are not easily seen in the parade photos, so it is possible other features exist the press does not know about. 

Here is a video about the tank and a review of the kit by Armorama

Nuremberg Toy Fair 2016

Logo Spielwarenmesse 2016
Logo Spielwarenmesse 2016 DE


Spielwarenmesse 2016
Eingang West (West Entrance) Spielwarenmesse 2016 DE

The Nuremberg Toy Fair is trade show takes place in Germany each year and makers of many kinds of toys display their wares there, including model kit companies. This year is the 67th anniversary of the show and it ran from January 27th to February 1st. According to a press release from Spielwarenmesse, the company that puts on the toy fair, 2,851 companies from 67 countries attended the fair,


displaying every kind of toy you could think of. Major scale model makers attending included Academy Plastic Model, Hasegawa Corporation, Hawk/Lindberg Models, Italeri S.p.A., Miniart Models LTD,  Tamiya and others.

This is an opportunity for these companies to highlight their new releases and generate excitement for their product lines during the coming year. Here’s a few photos of some of Tamiya’s new releases and  a video tour of their exhibit at the fair.



Courtesy of Tamiya Inc.


Courtesy of Tamiya Inc.


Courtesy of Tamiya Inc.

Another video from the fair shows off new releases from the Miniart company. Here you can see that they have their wares all arranged neatly with a nice clean design to the booth to tempt people to come a look at their new products. Here are some photos of their products.




Courtesy of Miniart

Of course, it’s not all about plastic models. Some companies offer R/C cars, helicopters, tanks, boats and other vehicles. There are other companies that sell accessories for scale models, such as paint, weathering pigments, photo-etched parts, replacement parts for model kits and much more. Also in the miniatures field are the model trains and accessories on display. The Marklin company had a variety of products at the show. This video shows what they had to show off.

The show went well and there were no problems. There were more visitors from outside Europe this year, but the number of visitors from Europe and especially Germany were consistent. The visitor’s reaction to this year’s fair was positive, up over a few percentage points from the previous year, with 78.8 percent of the visitors and 83.1 percent of the exhibitors saying they were pleased with this year’s fair.

Controversies in scale modeling?

It might not seem that there is anything for scale modelers to disagree about. People for the most part get along and are friendly. However, this is the Internet and there are a few subjects that stir up emotion, such as the “true” color of olive drab used on vehicles in World War II.

Another discussion that has gone back and forth is the right color of dunkelgelb. This was a color the Germans used on their armor in World War II.

While there probably haven’t been many screaming matches or use of foul  language in the discussions, things can get interesting. Sometimes you can see a veteran and someone who has never served in the military calling each other idiots over a difference of opinion.

Once again, that’s the effect of the Internet. Behind our screens, we can say whatever we want without consequences. Hopefully on these hobby sites cooler heads will prevail and people will realize that we’re all here for fun.

Don’t like to read? Try video tutorials!

There are many video tutorials out there about scale modeling. These show you how to assemble a difficult subject, what methods to use, what paint scheme to use and so on. Here’s a few of my favorites from my Pinterest page.

Make a Hobbit diorama

Make a mini outhouse

Get that paint off your model

Make a cheap wet palette 

These are just a few available on YouTube and there are plenty more on the Internet. So go explore and let me know about