Federico Kereki's Central Powers Models

Model Cellar's Manfred Von Richthofen, the "Red Baron". Manfred von Richthofen actually was a Ulan (cavalry) officer, and I had to experiment quite a lot to mix the right shade of green. (At least, the right shade according to some references I dug up; let's not be too finicky about it!) I painted the buttons and medals black, and then applied Humbrol metallics to finish them; this way, you get a "shadow" around them, which gives more of a three dimensional look. One thing I really like to do with oils is painting leather or wood; I used many different colors over a raw sienna base in order to paint the boots, and I really like how they look. The black leather jacket was no problem, but I was stumped for a while with the epaulettes; as usual, the kit includes no instructions, and I couldn't find out which color to paint them. Luckily, over at the Track-Link newsgroups, someone had already found the answer to that: they are quite similar to the WWII Luftwaffe shoulderboards, and I painted them that way. After gluing the missing parts, I finished the figure with a matt coat and then brushed on a semigloss coat on the jacket and boots, so as to restore the appropriate look. The grass on the base is finely cut hemp rope, painted green and drybrushed with yellower tones.

Verlinden's "Sturmtrooper": The assault trooper (Stosstrupp) went easily together, though I had to leave many parts for afterwards; the (eleven!) grenades, the gas mask container, the canteen, and so on. Mixing oils is really hard for me, but Internet helps. I started with a slate gray base coat for the uniform, and then managed to get a Feldgrau color for the blouse, and a Steingrau for the trousers. (I doubt I will ever manage to come up with the same mixes, but during WWI there were many variations due not only to different fabric makers but to the effect of the sun, mud, wetness, and so on, so I won't worry too much about the actual shades.) The boots got a heavy drybrushing with khaki drill. The camouflaged helmet (a German specialty) was also drybrushed this way, with some aluminum used on the edges. I scratchbuilt a sling for the rifle out of lead foil and thin wire. I painted all wood (the rifle stock and the grenade handles) with oils (sienna, yellow, burnt umber). I always use drybrushing for the metal parts, over a black coat; the rifle got finished that way. Finally, I used washes and drybrushing for the mask (I practically never use washes, for I generally manage to foul things up, but this time they worked fine), along with a drop of clear gloss varnish for the eyes. As to the base, the kit provided it, so it was only a question of painting it: enamels and a wash with acrylic paints were enough. The rat got a special job, with oils and some drybrushing. (I even thought about adding stretched sprue whiskers to the rat's muzzle, but in the end sanity prevailed!)

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