TAKOM CHEIFTAIN MK10, BAOR / BRITISH ARMY EUROPEAN CAMO SCHEME, CIRCA 1984/5.
The best modeling advice anyone ever gave me was to “do the simple things properly.” My last few builds have been borderline overdone, I pushed the weathering a little too far, especially the dust effects and so on, and it started to make them look confused and cluttered, too much going on etc.
I decided to make my next build a simple out of the box, restrained, precise and neat model with subtle weathering and streaking, just to see if less really is more. And you know what? I think it is. This is an interesting build for me as I grew up as an Army kid in Paderborn/Sennelager and Catterick, Bordon etc and I used to see these beasts screaming around in clouds of blue smoke in a blaze of headlights and orange beacons, and marveled at them. This is a Chiefy as I remember them from my childhood.
It was a shelf queen that I’d started last year having only done the wheels and one set of the tracks and I picked it up ostensibly to get it out of the stash. If you haven’t rescued a partially finished build from the stash purgatory recently, I do recommend it.
So I built it and painted it and, you may or may not agree, but it’s my neatest work. It’s the easiest on the eye, perhaps it is my best work.
You can perhaps see the advances I’m making in my airbrushing too; I think I’m really getting some good results with VMA paints now. Here too, less is certainly more. My days of whanging the VMA straight into the pot and spraying it on in one or two thick layers are long gone now. It’s really rewarding to really get to grips with them, the thinning profiles and so on. They really reward a modeler prepared to put the time in and who is prepared to use different needle sizes and air pressures. A lot don’t like them I know but they are my favourite and I dont think i would move to lacquers at this point - Vallejo is just easier, healthier, simpler to clean, easier to judge and any issues on the colours (and there are a few) can be easily remedied if you take the time to blend colours and test them first as I have learned to do.
Something else I did differently here was use a “smaller” airbrush. I used a Creos PS-771 for the whole model, with a really tiny needle, as opposed to a HPCS/HP-C with a 0.3mm which is my usual workhorse. It’s startling how differently VMA paints behave if you learn how to use them with smaller needle so-called “detail” brushes.
Base coat was 50% VMA Bronze Green and 40% Ger Camo Dark Green with 10% NATO black in it to darken it and about 15psi. Thinned only about +15% and with a couple of drops of retarder. Highlight layers were just a few drops of Sand Ivory into the cup and then more thinner and dropped down to 10psi. Camo was plain VMA NATO Black freehanded on and I am really pleased with how it looks.
Build time 45 hours not including the Friuls.
This is the first Takom I’ve actually enjoyed. I find their sprue gates stupid and the plastic they use a bit thick, but this has maybe turned my mind around. It won’t be my last Takom. I have a few in the stash
Let me know what you think in the comments.