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Dioramas
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Operation Anthropoid
Dioramartin
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: May 04, 2016
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Armorama: 644 posts
Posted: Friday, June 29, 2018 - 01:46 AM UTC
Thanks Cheyenne, but wait there’s more! Sorry Jerry I’m trying hard to give it up before the Editors take pun-itive measures.

Welcome Anthropoids to the weekly fix, seems there’s around 700 regulars on board now which amazes/humbles me - thanks for your interest & apologies if this seems to be dragging, but as I mentioned early in the blog if I can’t/don’t get this car looking as good as (or rather better than) my abilities allow there’s little point continuing with the rest of the project. It’s sure stretching me to the limit.

So to the last big scratch item - the tilt, my Apollo 13-air-scrubbers-improvisation moment: make this fit to that using only what’s on the table:



The MiniArt Ukranian building window frame & those end-thingies (Dragon or AFV Club T34 final-drive hull plates?) never expected this…



It seemed a good idea to make the whole tilt detachable to avoid conflicting priorities of gluing it in place vs. painting the boot/trunk lid underneath it. Wire retainers fed under the seat-back plus a locating bracket on top ensures the tilt assembly will sit at the right angle…hopefully it’ll also be less likely to disintegrate just before Final Dio photography…



…and then various Evergreen to fill out & further strengthen the overall form...







The cover’s made from my usual 3 ply tissue bathed in double-cream-consistency acrylic paint. A paper stencil finds the tricky points of fit/contact so that actual fitting shouldn’t hold any surprises…



Jury’s still out on the colour, the real thing appears to be somewhere between light black & dark grey but I’ve given it a brownish tinge for now…



The side brackets were vexing, nothing in the spares boxes remotely usable so they had to be scratched from spares shrapnel. That same day I came home with a Molotow pen, tested it on a panel prepped for paint trials…





…and then on the brackets themselves…



It's easy to use & can be decanted for use with a fine brush for fragile parts. It does seem prone to wear if you look at it too long, I need to try it over a proper primer & under a protective varnish probably – it don’t like masking tape over it bare. Nevertheless thanks again Brian/Russ, you made my day.



I see it’s not exactly sitting in place or at the right angle (should be raised higher at the back) but it’s only resting on its bracket for photos. Also the lamp’s so close/harsh it’s washing out the dips & contours too much, looks better in natural light.





I’ll need to see the whole tilt against the black of the car before deciding the final shade, it can be tweaked with light acrylic washes and/or dustings of pastel powder…that was the other reason for making it detachable.

After my scratch-fatigue’s worn off it’ll be high time to finish interior fittings, then off to the paint-shop.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, June 29, 2018 - 02:47 AM UTC
Tim, just for info, the Molotow chrome pens come in at least two sizes (that I know of) a wide tip (which is what I think you have in the photos) and a .05 mm fine tip. Mine have black bodies, your pen appears to be white, not sure if there is any difference. I've used it over Alclad gloss black primer, which seems to work well, but I'd be careful using it over an enamel primer, my experience is if you rub too hard with the pen it can disturb the paint beneath. I also found painting over it with a clear lacquer can disrupt (craze) the chrome effect-- I haven't tried an Acrylic lacquer yet. Yes, I've "decanted" it for application with a fine paint brush, simply by pressing the pen into a small painter's pallet multiple times. I've also found it takes a little while to dry completely, several hours in fact, so be careful where you put your fingers after painting!
VR, Russ
justsendit
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Colorado, United States
Joined: February 24, 2014
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Posted: Friday, June 29, 2018 - 03:17 PM UTC
Hi Tim!
Still lurking here! ... Just thought I’d drop a line to say, this is coming along “smashingly!”

I love the amount of scratch-building you’ve added to Heydrich’s ride ... body reconstruction/destruction, flattened tyre, seat-cushions, windscreen, shattered roll-down windows, and the tilt! ... However, 🤨 the use of rubber bands to strap down a boot would not be tolerated out here in my neck-of-the-woods. ... We’d use ‘Duck Tape’ to hold that sucker down (no affiliation). Lol!

Keep up the fantastic work!

Cheers!🍺
—mike
Dioramartin
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New South Wales, Australia
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Posted: Sunday, July 01, 2018 - 03:22 AM UTC
Hi Russ, the shop I got the pen from had sold out (Aussie lurkers must have beaten me to the drop?) so they filled an empty for me – hence the white barrel – for same price. The refills cost 3 times a full pen but they’re big flasks so presumably a saving if you’re doing…a 1:1 car? This tip’s a 4mm. Thanks for the painting tips, I’ll do all those tests & report back – certainly the drying time has surprised me, found out the hard way.

Thanks Mike, nice to hear from Your Lurkness & getting the Scratchometer readout – feels like running on empty having to spend 5 minutes thinking before I can pick up a knife every single time, pining for a mindless OOB build! And there I was thinking you used that stuff to keep chimps out of the aircon…duct ape. Nurse…?
BootsDMS
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, July 01, 2018 - 04:19 AM UTC
Keep at it Tim - as I've said before - not just a project but a tutorial; fantastic work.
OldHammer
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Moldova
Joined: February 02, 2012
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Posted: Sunday, July 01, 2018 - 06:55 AM UTC
Oh man, so much work! Amazing!
Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, July 01, 2018 - 11:45 PM UTC
Thanks guys, slowly slowly. While I’m tagging exterior panels for masking etc I’ll throw this out there for opinions – not a major issue but it has been bugging me:





Heydrich a secret Prague AM fan maybe? Motorola car radios came out in the USA in 1930 & Blaupunkt MW/LW units were first installed in Germany from 1932 & by WW2 push-button AM radios were standard. See, where else would you get such a priceless pick-up line?

Q1) So is it an aerial or a pennant mast?

Q2) Why would it only appear in one of the crime-scene photos clearly, in the second photo cut off (?), and in none of the other photographs? It probably wouldn’t show in the poorer quality shots but there’s enough good quality ones that should show it but don’t, so I’m trying to think why it would have been removed soon after the licence plates & wing pennant were…

Q3) To fit it or not to fit it?

BootsDMS
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Posted: Monday, July 02, 2018 - 01:01 AM UTC
Tim,

Well, assuming the camera doesn't lie then I'd say fit it; it cannot be for a pennant, not least as there it would interfere with the Driver's vision (and Heydrich's come to that), and besides, we know that pennants were fitted elsewhere.

If, as you describe, top quality car radios existed then it is surely highly likely that the Reich's top commanders/politicians/bureaucrats would have them fitted. Perhaps it was removed shortly after the incident in order to prevent pilfering of such a highly prized piece of leisure equipment - although it would have to be a desperate thief to tackle the presumably impermeable SS guard.

Brian
Bonaparte84
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Hessen, Germany
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Posted: Monday, July 02, 2018 - 01:13 AM UTC
Maybe it was telescopic and was retracted some time into the Foto shoot?
edoardo
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Milano, Italy
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Posted: Monday, July 02, 2018 - 05:04 PM UTC
I personally agree with Nicolas, look also the pictures you posted on page 6 of this incredible thread, of Heydrich’s wife (?) in the car, it seems a lowered aerial to me....
ciao
edo
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2018 - 12:31 AM UTC
Thanks for the input guys - Brian yes hard to argue with that, and also Nicolas’ point about it possibly being retractable. Edoardo, agreed and I think incidentally that the ladies’ 320 aerial adds a bit more weight to it being SS4 i.e. the assassination car. More recently I noticed both cars also seem to be lacking the green passenger sunshade, not sure why but another reason to think they’re the same vehicle. The only obvious diff is the addition of the front wing pennant-holder.

I've found a good image of a 1939 Koerting AS 7340 car radio but the speaker’s the size of a headlamp & there’s no space on/under the dashboard even for the console, given I’m expecting trouble fitting Heydrich & Klein into their seats. Hopefully I’m wrong in which case I’ll fit it, but either way I’ll do the aerial extended because I think the first photo I posted on July 1 was probably taken first – door’s still hanging off & chrome items in the gutter – and the second after the police had tidied it up a little
jrutman
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Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2018 - 05:22 AM UTC
Nice stuff going on here still. One of the most fascinating and informative threads on the net right now.
Nice!
J
Dioramartin
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Posted: Thursday, July 05, 2018 - 10:52 PM UTC
Thanks Jerry but as we’ve seen it’s been a fairly free ride lately, all you guys in the other hemisphere must be too busy catching some rays. In fact I’ve been diverted too most of this week so this post’s part sit-rep part intermission.

I did those paint tests using the kit’s amputated roof/side sections for purpose. KISS principle – Tamiya primer & gloss black (TS-14): one coat not enough, two coats ideal, two coats plus Tamiya or Testor clear/gloss coat too much. By that I mean it would gleam like a new toy, or put another way display an out-of-scale shine - more on that below.

The Molotow chrome results were unexpected, mainly because it’s neither oil- or acrylic-based, it’s alcohol…at last a use for that cheap vodka at the back of the drinks cabinet. Alas no, so I just had to drink it & much, much later use isopropyl alcohol to rescue the fine brush, but too late. The chrome “substance” is OK on primer, totally melts down on top of TS-14, yet happy underneath the gloss coats. And It doesn’t like (Tamiya) masking tape on it even after 3 days drying, all of which means it’s worst-case regarding those teeny Mercedes logos on the hubcaps & trunk lid - I’ll have to mask the logo circles, spray black, peel off, mask round the logos, paint chrome, then paint black inside the logos using a 1-hair brush & a microscope.

The interior’s finally done but photos withheld, it’s all still dry-fitted & just looks like the vodka hasn’t worn off yet. Meanwhile I’ve been working through the long list of external items, it’ll probably take a couple of days to mask & lay out all parts & panels ready for priming & beyond, hopefully it’ll all be done/dry before the end of the coming week.

Intermission:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciDWDJ1x4TU

I should ‘fess up to being no vintage car-kit virgin (if that’s the right term) here’s some output from the mid-noughties:







I’ve put these up to illustrate over-gloss-iness or rather the lack of it, I feel the Mini & Bentley look more realistic without a lacquer coat, especially under muted flash exposure. Same with the Aston, it’s close to what I want the Merc to look like - that’s actually metallic gun-metal but it’s the kind of surface sheen I’m after. Much depends on the final shoot - if Heydrich’s car looks too dull I can use full sunshine or if it’s too shiney I could go overcast, but other factors may conflict (shadows etc) so I need to nail the most versatile finish now.

For the more observant yes that’s a 1930’s Merc behind the Bentley but it’s not mine (diecast)…however this one is:











It’s either an SSK or a 500K, all my reference stuff’s buried in boxes & I built it 11 years ago - pretty sure it’s Heller (1:12 scale), extracted from its perspex case & patchily dusted off earlier today for this photo-call. I’d forgotten how heavy it is, would’ve rolled right off the base on its own if I hadn’t used Kurt’s towel ploy. Mighty enjoyable to build, moderately detailed, some unresolved fit problems, & the first time I used aluminium foil to supplement the chrome parts supplied. There was a gloss topcoat on it so I’m surprised it looks OK in full sun (does gloss fade?), maybe it’s just because this model’s twice the size of Heydrich’s.

Whatever, that was a useful practice photo-session in awkward lighting conditions, behind glass because it was blowing a gale on the balcony. This dio will succeed or fail on the Photography so it’s not out of the question I might (need to) enlist some professional help. Ah – was that an implication I’m going the whole 9 yards?…nobody tells me anything.
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Friday, July 06, 2018 - 01:36 AM UTC
Nice to see the tumblweeds interrupted again and in such a pleasant way !
Your posts are always informative and also quite humorous to boot.
I have to admit,we had a very very nice long bout of awesome weather this spring and I was making the most of it. The past few years it was straight from cold to blazing hot. This year nice nice weather with perfect temp and low humidity.So....hardly any bench time. really hot weather has now returned and has driven me into the basement so things might get going again !
Anyway,so nice to read your update and great work !
J
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Friday, July 06, 2018 - 02:30 AM UTC
Tim,
I still think you should try your hand at making the Mercedes hub cap symbols on a computer using decal film. Just paint the area where the symbol goes on the hubcap with a disc of chrome silver. Then using any graphics program, or even just a scanned photo, size and copy the logo in black ink onto clear decal paper (printers can't print silver, so this area will come out clear in the decal). Duplicate the decal (I always make extra duplicates so I have some if I make a mistake), coat the printed image in Micro-scale decal film, and apply like any other decal over the chrome painted disk, which will allow the underlying chrome to show through the black decal film. The hub cap symbols will all be uniform, and you'll save yourself all that trouble painting each individual symbol. Try it, you might like it!
VR, Russ
Dioramartin
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New South Wales, Australia
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Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2018 - 12:14 AM UTC
Thanks guys - right then Jerry back to the grindstone then, Your Forum Needs You! Hey Russ, OK I like that solution particularly as it’s uniform, which (my) hand-painting’s unlikely to emulate



But it sounds like I’d have to sand the embossed design off & settle for flat logos? Or maybe decal setting solution might make them lie down on the raised bits…but these things are SO tiny I’m not sure they’d hold – what do you think?

I did have one idea to make painting easier – after chrome-ing the whole logo disc, landing a droplet of black acrylic onto it. If there’s just enough to pool in the “basin” of the logo the trident part would stand proud, repelling the water-based acrylic. Or, if the trident doesn’t stand proud enough, wiping a dampened cotton-bud or similar across it when it’s dry might take the acrylic off. Then a drop of gloss lacquer on top of that. These things are so small the surface tension of the acrylic’s going to make it difficult…a nano-droplet of liquid detergent in the mix might reduce that.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2018 - 02:24 AM UTC
Hmmmm... I didn't realize they were raised symbols. It would be difficult to get the decals I mentioned to align with the "arms" of the Mercedes "star" I think. They would conform fine with a little setting solution. But I have another idea-- can you find a hole punch the same diameter as the Symbols? If so, you could punch out a small disc from black decal paper and divide it into thirds, using one third for each segment. Alternatively, you could use your idea about "pooling" inside the segment-- but instead of paint, use masking fluid-- paint the whole thing in black first, use masking fluid to isolate each segment, then "dry brush" chrome paint over it. Just some ideas to think about. I'm surprised the kit doesn't come with decals for these-- guess that would be too thoughtful!
VR, Russ
Dioramartin
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Posted: Monday, July 09, 2018 - 12:30 AM UTC
Russ – OK cutting black decal into 3 pizza slices is a better idea - provided they’re accurately cut they’d sit in place perfectly - than dry-brushing, I’d never get the tiny hard edges required without numerous alternating touch-ups of black & chrome which would inevitably flatten the embossed edges. ICM’s decal sheet (posted 15th June) did avoid the subject but to be fair to them the kit is the basic military version so chromed logos weren’t present.

As I had a steady hand last night I had a go with the 1-hair brush to confirm the degree of difficulty of this - the quickest fix - and…



As previously theorised I put a chrome blob on the logo & when touch-dry teased some acrylic black into it. Almost there & although there’s a clear tone difference, without the Interrogation Lamp on it & a blob of lacquer over it I don’t think anyone’ll notice except you & me. Not quite as difficult as I’d imagined – I need to literally regain some perspective about this, the logo’s just 3 mm in diameter and from 30 cms away it looks good enough to me. However I’ll keep the decal-sheet back-up plan to hand in case I can’t achieve uniformity across all 6 hubs.

Also…



The lamp makes the gloss sing too much & this is only 1st coat, so I’ll see what the (necessary) 2nd coat looks like in daylight. I tested some black pastel powder on a trial piece & it does take it down a notch if kept subtle enough. That sure is dust on the doors & some other parts but no worries it blew in after drying/being moved. It’s beginning to look like a/the car at last…
jrutman
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Posted: Monday, July 09, 2018 - 01:26 AM UTC
simple is usually better. Looks like it's OK this way to me.
J
Dioramartin
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 11:15 PM UTC
Thanks Jerry - it was so much easier when I could legitimately throw a heap of mud onto imperfections. Must be a bad moon rising, a succession of glitches during assembly/cementing (a couple still visible here) & today a maelstrom of static electricity/dust while trying to take photos. Anyhow I’m sub-contracting while I repair the workbench…













Dioramartin
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Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 01:36 AM UTC
Day 86 and finally here she is, with some of the sub-contractors. Dial F for Frustrating, the swear-box now rivals the GDP of say Tuvalu but I’ll settle for the result, just about...













Footnotes:

For some reason my image repository refused to upload 3 of the better views in that set of photos – they’re “looking into it” – so maybe I’ll get to post them soon. The overall gloss finish seems OK & any moderation can wait until it’s in position on the final Diorama. The seats look too red but I guess the originals did too in glaring sunshine. Yes, the door handles really are on the right way up but they’ll always look upside down to me. Yes, the windows are slightly out of alignment, but they’ll need to be replaced by the damaged versions during photography so they’re not glued – tiny bits of hidden BluTac will hold both versions in place for the Dio, I’m not risking glue. There’s a few other imperfections I’ll tinker with too. And yes, the war against dust particles continues at this magnification outdoors, mainly winter pollen – brushing down/blowing just before taking each shot only increased the static charge so I gave up trying. And if you look real close at the background of that last photo, you can just make out historically unauthentic Sydney Harbour.

Two problems remain, firstly the car’s sheer fragility & secondly it’s going to be a very tight squeeze for the seated occupants. Heydrich & Klein will have to be legless - which would explain their poor firearms performance, more fake history news to infect the blogosphere with perhaps.

Some regulars have made it known they like the tutorial aspect of this project, but the latter stages were just logical assembly/painting sequences. So instead let’s talk about Failure, real or imagined. If these photos give the impression it was smooth sailing they lie. This time last week I’d actually drafted some text (akin to Eisenhower’s alternative bulletin written on the eve of D-day in case things didn’t go well) conceding that the windscreen was beyond my ability to construct & install, & consequently I was abandoning the whole project because without the car it was pointless going any further.

I’d trashed the first screen (as shown in prior photos) because it was too tall & the 2nd because it didn’t fit properly or look right. The 3rd attempt was a flat Mercedes screen serendipitously found in a spares box – too wide but still promising until its brittleness ended in terminal failure. The 4th version (Evergreen again) looked OK but being flexed/tensioned it couldn’t be glued into position without springing away before the glue dried…and it had also fractured in two places. I couldn’t see any way of clamping it without damaging surrounding areas & that was my biggest mistake, failing to provide any positive locating pins/holes - not for the first time with scratch-built components, so I was ultra-annoyed with myself.

The background was that the 3 or 4 related items/steps had kept failing one after another too, so I hadn’t been in a good frame of mind to start re-making the windscreen. Brass or 3D resin were obvious alternatives but without enough experience in either they weren’t viable options this time. Anyhow after a spell out of town, on returning to the workbench the basic solution was ridiculously simple – two “aerial” clamps/pinions suspended in vices/vises overhead - & I realised I’d been fighting a mental battle, not against the plastic & glue at all. My point is that there is always a way out/around an obstacle (given time and time-out) & it’s a useful if painful experience to find out the absolute limit of personal Patience. Nobody learns anything without making mistakes, my problem is I sometimes seem to forget what the mistake was. Which is a lesson of sorts I guess.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me out in various ways with the Merc, now for a brief time-out pending delivery of a large box containing 3 trams & the first tranche of assorted goodies…

jrutman
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Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 02:08 AM UTC
Always gratifying to see the results of so much hard work. No exception here I suppose ?
J
cheyenne
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Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 07:17 AM UTC
Looks fantastic Tim , lovin them red leather seats !!!
airborne1
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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2018 - 12:34 AM UTC
Wow,

Excellent effort on the car Tim.

A lot of work and good to see you persisted with the project.

Well done

Michael
Dioramartin
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Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2018 - 12:58 AM UTC
Thanks guys – well it certainly confirms I’m nuts but y'all knew that. No going back now, the trams are rattling their way here from Victoria, about 560 miles if by rail. Here's one of those missing photos…