I've picked Old Crow as their designs are nice and simple but retain a good sci-fi vibe. Most of my other vehicles are GZG and I also wanted to try out another supplier. They are also very cost effective.
I have to say, I'm very impressed. The designs were clean and easily put together with well fitting parts. I didn't have any sanding to speak of and there was no appreciable bubbles or miscast pieces. They are big, however. I have a very old 15mm LAV from Skytrex or CMD, I think, and the similarly proposed Claymore APC is easily twice the size! Granted, the LAV is a little under scale, but the Old Crow stuff is BIG.
All of the vehicles were undercoated with Tamiya fine grey undercoat, then a base coat of Army Painter green was over sprayed. A camouflage stripes of GW Orkhide shade were painted on and then a scatter pattern of black dots with grey dot slightly offset was painted on to the darker green in groups of 3. This is based on a Ukrainian taiga pattern used by their paratroop units. I then picked out tyres, treads and gun barrels in black and grey and added a few dots of red for sensors.
I then added a few water slide transfers to them. I had picked up some numbers and unit markings from Fighting Piranha Graphics. I've no idea what the unit markings are - they are from the CAV lists somewhere, but I liked the double headed eagle. My method for applying transfers has changed recently. I previously just used to slap them on and hope for the best, but now i take a more methodical approach that pays dividends.
Firstly paint a thin layer of gloss varnish over the area that will be getting the transfer. This gives the transfer a nice, smooth surface to adhere to. Water slide transfers hate rough surfaces and tend to sit above them, resting on the peaks. This leads to air being trapped and a "silvering" effect. I use Windsor and Newton Acrylic Gloss that dries quickly and leaves a nice finish. Once dry soak the transfer in water and apply to the model. Slightly warm water will speed up the process. The transfer can be manoeuvred into place using tweezers, brushes or whatever. Lightly press it into place with a paper towel.
I then apply a couple of drips of MicroSol softening fluid. This softens the transfer and helps it settle onto the surface, following the folds and contours of the model. For very lumpy of textured surfaces you may have to add this several times, but be aware that as soon as the first drop is added the transfer becomes very soft and will easily tear if you try to move it. Once I'm happy with the position and if it's flush to the surface I'll apply a drop or two of MicroSet which makes the transfer more "sticky" and less likely to lift off the surface. You can also apply this to the surface first if it's a simple, flat area and the transfer will have better adhesion. Once this is dry the transfer gets another film of gloss varnish to seal it in.
I then give the models a coat of Games Workshop Hard Coat, which has a slight satin finish and covers the gloss up nicely. Over the top of this I then start adding weathering effects, starting with a dilute wash of devlan mud all over and then a full strength was targeted at the panel lines and joints. Once that is completely dry I use a mix of the mud and medium sand from Tamiya Weathering Set A to add mud and dust. The mud tends to get added in smears with the foamy bit of the included tool, and the mid sand is brushed on over highlights. I then add a few scorch marks from weapon hits and burn marks around exhausts and gun barrels using the soot from Tamiya Weathering Set B. I also used some MIG pigments on tank number 35.
Once complete the miniature is hit with a blast of testors dullcoat to bring down the shine from the GW hardcoat and seal in the pigment. This does dull down the ones that are brushed on, so it pays to be a bit heavy handed with them.
Anyway, enough talk, here is the eye candy:
Claymore Heavy APC
|Two auto cannon armed variants on the left and a support version on the right.|
|Just noticed that no. 50 has a damaged turret here - must have been dropped at some point.|
Sabre Heavy Tank
|You can see some silvering on the transfers on number 34. Look carefully at the warning symbols on the missile launchers and engine cover. I forgot the base coat of gloss varnish.|
|Tank 35 got some extra shading after the dullcoat with MiG pigments.|