Kit Details
Overview
Build Notes
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Tamiya 1/35 J.G.S.D.F. Motorcycle Reconnaissance Set - Notes

The fit of all the parts is simply amazing. Even the rider figure fits snuggly on the seat. In a few hours I had everything cleaned up, glued together and half painted.

As always, Tamiya's box art is a good source of reference if wanting to add a little extra detail.

  • added some 30gauge for the microphone and wiring to the radio equipment on the rider.
  • on the commander I shaved off the moulded in microphone and added one made of 30gauge wire. I also added 30gauge wiring from the headphone to the breast pocket. And hollowed out the sleeves of the jacket around the hands. 
  • I drilled out the lenses in the goggles (Y22) and added straps made from a 1.0mm wide strip of thin paper. After painting the figure, I filled the goggles with Kristal Klear to create a clear lens.
  • added a Kristal Klear headlight lens.
  • I put the side stand in the raised position since the rider will be holding up the bike.

BTW, the Paasche VSR90 is terrific for detail painting. This was the first model I used it on and I was able to freehand airbrush the tires, turn signal housings, muffler & airbox and other parts of the bike with no overspray. Paasche say spraying 1/64" wide lines is possible and they weren't kidding.

Step #1
Drilled out the end of the muffler (Y24). Painted chain with NBG (refer to Model Master Metallizer page for codes)

Step #2
Engine painted flat black and dry brushed with NBA to simulate worn off paint.

Step #3
The flat black of the seat was buffed with the back of my finger to give it a sheen that makes it look like vinyl.

Step #4
The front turn signals on Y12 were first painted with NBA and then with X-26. The inside of the headlight was painted with NBA and then a lens was added with Kristal Klear. Brake, clutch and throttle cables made from black thread were added.

Step #5
The rear turn signals, tail light and reflector on Y9 were first painted with NBA and then with X-26 on the turn signals and X-27 on the tail light and reflector. All of the framing and brush guards were dry brushed with NBS to simulate worn off paint. Some NBA was also dry brushed on the wheels and spokes.

Step #6
The controls on the wireless set were dry brushed with NBA.

Decals
Before adding the decals, I sprayed X-22 so they would have a smooth surface to adhere to. After applying the decals, Model Master Acryl Flat Clear was sprayed over them to restore the flat finish.

Figures

  • drilled out the end of the rifle barrel (Y23).
  • added some 30gauge for the microphone and wiring to the radio equipment on the rider.
  • on the commander I shaved off the moulded in microphone and added one made of 30gauge wire. I also added 30gauge wiring from the headphone to the breast pocket. And hollowed out the sleeves of the jacket around the hands. 
  • I drilled out the lenses in the goggles (Y22) and added straps made from a 1.0mm wide strip of thin paper. After painting the figure, I filled the goggles with Kristal Klear to create a clear lens.
  • the figures were painted with Tamiya acrylics. I started with the skin and then each layer of clothing from the inner layers out. This makes painting much easier. The uniform was lightly washed using a slightly darker of the base colour and the boots were dry brushed with XF-63.

I'm very pleased with how this kit turned out after maybe 10 or 12 hours of work. The next step is to add the motorcycle and figures to a small base.


The Base

The bulk of the terrain and made from 1-1/2" thick pink Styrofoam with thinner layers built up to get the foam at the various elevations of the terrain I wanted. The layers of foam where epoxied together. Then I used a hobby knife and 120grit sandpaper to shape the foam until I had the desired contours. More details on the pics page.

The maps on the instruction sheet were scanned and I printed out several copies. I took the  smaller map and folded it several times and glued it into the tank commander's hand with Kristal Klear. I cut the larger map in half and rolled them into tubes using some carpenter's glue to keep them rolled up. I glued the two rolled maps together and then glued them to the rear rack of the motorcycle with a drop of Kristal Klear. And finally a drop of Kristal Klear on the motorcycle rider's butt and left boot to keep him on the seat.

Then I used some pastel chalk sticks for weathering. I just rubbed the various brown sticks on some 120grit sandpaper and then applied the chalk dust with a paintbrush. I went from dark brown at the bottom to lighter brown about 1/3 up the bike. And on the rider's boots and lower legs. I kept the weathering subtle and it turned out really nice.

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Last revised on: May 9, 2004
Copyright 1998-2004, Kenneth W. Hartlen. All rights reserved.

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