Tamiya Type 74 1/35
I've always liked the Type 74. Part of the reason was that this tank was similar to the Swedish S tanks that could alter the hull’s angle and height with its hydroneumatic suspension. The kit went together well. The only issue I had was me temporarily misplacing the sledgehammer and one of the decals disintegrating. Painting and making the snow on the other hand is a different story.
Once again, I throw the kit together nicely and fall on my face with every step after that, or at least stumble. The painting guide called for JGDSF Green and Flat Earth. I had left over JGSDF OD so I used that instead. The Flat Earth didn’t quite look right so I did some blending with NATO Brown. Putting the white on top was a mess. Long story short a few poorly timed shivers resulted in a lot more white than I wanted. I probably would have benefited from just spraying everything white and then doing the camo over again, but instead I was a little lazy and just resprayed some OD over the white and then misted white over that to get the soft white edge and light speckles.
Weathering and putting the snow on was an experience. I bought the Mig Streaking Grime. I've seen a lot of people use it where they put down a layer of enamel thinner than dots of the grime. They wait a second then brush gently spreading the grime and picking up excess. What I failed to realize is that no one I've watched ever put it on a white surface. So what was a comparatively small amount, almost looked like I sprayed Tamiya’s Clear Red over the entire model. Panic ensued, but sensibility returned and some more thinner on a cloth allowed me to wipe most of it off while still faintly leaving the effect. Behind the road wheels I used pigment fixer for the first time. It made the pigment dissolve into more of a stain. The color was much different than when the pigment is dry, or even wet with the brown wash or water that I’ve been using. Perhaps if I let the pigment dry it would have looked more like what I’m used to. There also could have been an issue as the Vallejo pigments say they can be mixed with water and acrylics where as the mig pigments say they can be fixed with enamel thinner or pigment fixer. I used the Vallejo pigments. This could be the issue or this could be the intended result or possibly my method of wetting the surface with the fixer and stippling the pigment produces a different result than what I’m used to. Either way, I do like the stained look. I put a little of the Mig Wet Mud on top of this dirt.
Making and applying the snow was a much larger ordeal than I thought it would be. The first batch of snow I made to test came out fairly well. I went equal parts baking soda, white paint, and white glue. I put this lightly over the mud and it looked good, for a few hours then when it fully dried, it looked like just the cheap white acrylic paint. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as there would, or at least shouldn’t be intact snow crystals after it gets mixed with mud and run over by a tank. I tried to use variations of this mixture for the rest of the tank, but it all looked too flat, lacking any individual crystals of the baking soda. I tried just glue and baking soda, but that still looked a little odd to me. I ended up oversaturating water with baking soda and adding a little glue.
I don't know how snow melts. I've seen it for about a total of 6 hours when I was visiting a national park. I know that the engine deck stays warm for quite a bit after running so I assumed that any snow that would have at least start to melt. There should probably be a little less snow at rear as that is still part of the engine deck and warm, but I wanted to put something on there. Thinking somewhat logically having the extra weight of snow on the gun probably isn't a good thing so I tried to make it look like that some of the snow had been brushed off. As I was smearing the snow on rather than sprinkling it on, I went for a image where there was light snow, but that snow has now begun to melt especially since the tank has been driven a short distance. There probably shouldn't be as much or any snow on the mufflers and as of writing this I am just realizing that I have left off part of the mud flaps on the back. It is also somewhat unfortunate that by me sagging the tracks, most of the snow and mud is hidden.
All in all, its a good kit. I'm learning the lesson I should probably buy a styrene sheet test out how the weathering stuff looks. Also those figures still need some work. I sprayed a fairly thinned white over them to get the paint to pull to the edges and leave the center fairly light. This did show that even though something is smooth to the touch, it isn't completely smooth as seen with the gathering of the white paint on the seam line and burr.
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.