Saturday, 1 May 2010

Challenger 2

This is my most recent model. It's Tamiya's British Challenger 2 model. I really enjoyed building and painting this one, its my most contemporary model to date. The overall sand colour I had to mix with Tamiya Acrylics XF59 Desert Yellow and XF57 Buff because in the instructions Tamiya only give the paint number for their spray paint, which they no longer make! Some of the smaller decals (transfers) were a bit fiddly to apply, and a new friend of mine, Dave over at pointed out to me that I had put the N.A.T.O. black arrow decal on the wrong way round! However, I've since looked online for pictures of Op Telic (the British name for Operation Iraqi Freedom) Challenger 2s, and according to all the pictures I've found, I've got them the right way round!
The completed Challenger 2 model, with the N.A.T.O.
arrow facing in the correct direction, according to all
the pictures I have seen.

I especially like the little touches that Tamiya have put into this model, e.g. the water bottles by the crewmen and the clear headlight lenses. I also enjoyed painting all the tiny details, like the hatch locks, and the tiny front amber warning lights! The one and only part of this model I don't like is I think I made the aerials too thin. To make the aerials, you cut a piece of sprue (the plastic frame that all the parts are joined to before assembling the model), then you heat it over a candle flame. When the length of sprue is soft enough, you gently pull on both ends and stretch it to produce a long thin piece of plastic, that looks like a length of fine wire.

(Edit) I've just added a camouflage net, stowed around the tank's hull. I used a piece of left over mesh material, that my wife had bought to make a fly screen for our back door! I soaked this in desert yellow paint, then using diluted PVA glue, I sprinkled on some mixed herbs for the camouflage effect. I then carefully re-painted it, rolled it up, soaked the whole thing in more diluted PVA glue, then carefully layed it around the tank's hull, trying to make it look like it is lying naturally. Here are some pictures of the end result;

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