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The Drop

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by Neil Gremell

Scale: 1/20
In this scene, world war whatever continues across a desolate and barren earth. An Axis fighter, older and more seasoned, has gotten "the drop" on an Allied fighter and taken out his opponent's weapon with a single shot. After that, little was left but to finish off - wreck - the younger, somewhat green Allied soldier.

The Axis fighter has a newer, up-gunned armored suit, while the Allied fighter's equipment is older and has been repaired at least once (eg. his right arm has been totally replaced). Ironically, both sides purchase their suits from the same manufacturer, located somewhere in the Far East...

With apologies to any who subscribe to the SF3D mythos.

The kits were purchased from the Starship Modeler store and showed up promptly. They are well-engineered and go together so easily that one could even put them together without any glue. There are a lot of vinyl parts - of which I am not a big fan - which can be trying to clean and paint. I used krylon for plastic as a primer followed by Tamiya spray lacquer so that I could clean off any subsequent overspray easily. I didn't get the best adhesion, but the vinyl isn't very visible in the end. On the plus side, the use of these parts means the figures remain completely re-poseable even after they are finished.

The moldings are crisp and clean, although there isn't a ton of detail. The faces are a little on the soft side but are pretty big, so that they can be painted up nicely.

I followed my typical military model techniques; Tamiya acrylics; oil paint and mineral spirit washes; pastel highlights etc. The figures were easy to finish and weather in bite-sized sub-assemblies.

An extensive decal sheet is provided (lots of spares as I used very few) as well as a selection of crystal-clear face shields which I left off for the photos.

I imagine adding a digital smoke and spark effect to the photos from the damage on the Allied fighter's armor suit, maybe a smoking gun for the Axis guy too. The damage to the 'wreck' was done by thinning out the plastic from the inside with a dremel tool, then poking hot holes with the tip of a soldering tool. Some old photo etch bits can be seen peeking through the holes.

The base is an inexpensive picture frame from the local big-box store. I built up the terrain with Woodland Scenics rock molds and Polly-Filla. I build my bases as i am doing my kits, and just keep on painting and painting them until its time to stop. The junk is from the spares box, an assortment of tank bits i guess. The polluted water is Woodland Scenics still water coloured with a drop of acrylic just as it was starting to set for a swirly look. Not sure if this effect reads on the photos.

Anyway, I had a very pleasant time with this one, I hope someone else gets a kick out of it.

Image: From above

Image: Axis soldier, in the studio

Image: Side view, Axis

Image: Full front

Image: Close up

Image: Down for the count

Image: Close up

Image: Right side

Image: Closer look

Image: Looking over the Axis guy's shoulder

Image: Other side

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This page was last updated 12 September 2007. © 2007 Starship Modeler