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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Texturing Horizontal Plates
CellarDweller21516
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Massachusetts, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 - 09:18 PM UTC
I was just thinking how manufacturers are increasingly putting a texture on certain plates but it seems like they only do so on vertical surfaces. I saw how the Meng KT has texture on horizontal plates too. Is there a reason why I have not seen this anywhere else or perhaps it is so faint that I didn't even notice? Are the manufacturers just lazy/cheap or is there a reason that most texturing is only done so on vertical surfaces? Should I be texturing my horizontal plates most likely using the common cement/putty mix stippled on?
easyco69
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Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2018 - 12:26 AM UTC
depends on what tank your working on. Most upper plates were thinner & smooth were they not? Texturing would only go on cast hulls & turrets....or maybe i'm wrong?
I have that kit as well, I see what your talking about. The upper top plate of the turret is "slightly" textured. But, I don't have the answer but it is an interesting question.
Scarred
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2018 - 07:18 AM UTC
The trend has been to replicate the surface of rolled steel armor plate. Specifically on the vertical surfaces and thick armor. I think it's a bit exaggerated in 1/35 because if scaled to 1/1 those replicated features would be an inch deep.
Cast texture is a bit exaggerated by some kit makers and modelers because if scaled up it would look like it was cast from river rock rather than sand. Unless you are building soviet armor, then it probably was cast from molds made of river rock.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2018 - 11:39 AM UTC
You know, it really depends on what you are modeling. I'm a former tank commander, and think the "texturing" you speak of to be a little unrealistic in 1/35 scale. On some vehicles, there is definitely a "cast" or "textured" surface that appears when the steel is sand cast, but in 1/35 scale, it may or may not be apparent. Your best bet is to look at the real thing, either in a museum or in photos. In aluminum vehicles like the M113 or M551, there's almost no discernible "texturing" apparent on the real thing, so you wouldn't see it in 1/35 scale. Same goes for many other modern AFVs. In the case of rolled or pressed steel armored plate, like that found in armored cars, there won't be much texture either at 1/35 scale. So take a look at the subject to determine what might appear in scale proportions.
VR, Russ
Scarred
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Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2018 - 01:31 PM UTC

Quoted Text

You know, it really depends on what you are modeling. I'm a former tank commander, and think the "texturing" you speak of to be a little unrealistic in 1/35 scale. On some vehicles, there is definitely a "cast" or "textured" surface that appears when the steel is sand cast, but in 1/35 scale, it may or may not be apparent. Your best bet is to look at the real thing, either in a museum or in photos. In aluminum vehicles like the M113 or M551, there's almost no discernible "texturing" apparent on the real thing, so you wouldn't see it in 1/35 scale. Same goes for many other modern AFVs. In the case of rolled or pressed steel armored plate, like that found in armored cars, there won't be much texture either at 1/35 scale. So take a look at the subject to determine what might appear in scale proportions.
VR, Russ



You said it Russ. But If we built things truly to scale the models would be uninteresting so some "exaggeration" is needed to bring life to the models otherwise they would just be lumps of plastic but people do take it to extremes.

How do you feel about scale anti-slip coatings? I think the roughest texture I've seen is on IDF vehicles, US vehicles look like heavy grip tape. But some products, if you scale it to 1/1 would have grit the size of the first joint of your thumb. On most 1/35 vehicles it would probably look like just a raised pattern in the paint but again to bring interest and life to a tank you would need to, and I hate to say exaggerate, but that is what you have to do.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2018 - 09:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

You know, it really depends on what you are modeling. I'm a former tank commander, and think the "texturing" you speak of to be a little unrealistic in 1/35 scale. On some vehicles, there is definitely a "cast" or "textured" surface that appears when the steel is sand cast, but in 1/35 scale, it may or may not be apparent. Your best bet is to look at the real thing, either in a museum or in photos. In aluminum vehicles like the M113 or M551, there's almost no discernible "texturing" apparent on the real thing, so you wouldn't see it in 1/35 scale. Same goes for many other modern AFVs. In the case of rolled or pressed steel armored plate, like that found in armored cars, there won't be much texture either at 1/35 scale. So take a look at the subject to determine what might appear in scale proportions.
VR, Russ



You said it Russ. But If we built things truly to scale the models would be uninteresting so some "exaggeration" is needed to bring life to the models otherwise they would just be lumps of plastic but people do take it to extremes.

How do you feel about scale anti-slip coatings? I think the roughest texture I've seen is on IDF vehicles, US vehicles look like heavy grip tape. But some products, if you scale it to 1/1 would have grit the size of the first joint of your thumb. On most 1/35 vehicles it would probably look like just a raised pattern in the paint but again to bring interest and life to a tank you would need to, and I hate to say exaggerate, but that is what you have to do.



I think a true "scale" representation of anti-slip coatings depends a lot on the scale. A few years ago I did a commission build of Revell's 1/144 Fletcher class destroyer, which has prominent anti-slip coatings on the deck. I represented these by a heavy dull-coating over decal paper that had also been painted in a "tire black" color. That was sufficient in 1/144 scale, but was probably a little exaggerated, and would be suitable in 1/35 scale in some instances. One technique I use for anti-slip coatings in larger scales is to sprinkle "Rotten Stone" powder over a wet clearcoat that's been masked off, then overpainting it. "Rotten Stone" is exactly what it's title implies-- it's a finely ground stone powder, about the consistency of powdered sugar. It can be purchased in any good hardware store (I get mine at Ace, but I've seen it locally at Mclendon's, I'm sure it's available at True Value, but I'm not sure about the big box stores). It's generally used for polishing. In 1/35 scale, it makes a pretty convincing anti-skid surface. It comes in a gray color, and after application I give it an overcoat of whatever color is needed. I especially like to use it for simulating concrete airfield surfaces in 1/72 and 1/48 scale (for dioramas), but it also works for 1/24, 1/32 and 1/35 anti-skid surfaces very well. I've seen folks use flour, but I'd be concerned about deterioration over time (or critter infestations-- I don't like to use foodstuffs for modeling purposes much-- don't ask why, but it involves some ground cover and some weevils). But again, to sum up, I think the best bet is to look at the real thing to determine the extent of texture visible-- sometimes all you need is a slight variation in paint to simulate texture.
VR, Russ
Kharkov
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Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2018 - 11:18 PM UTC

Quoted Text

So some "exaggeration" is needed to bring life to the models




baldwin8
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 12:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You said it Russ. But If we built things truly to scale the models would be uninteresting so some "exaggeration" is needed to bring life to the models otherwise they would just be lumps of plastic but people do take it to extremes.



As someone who paints some figures. In that hobby it is an understanding that painting generally falls into one of two styles, Lifelike or Caricature. I think military vehicle/aircraft modelling is the same, it depends upon the builders style.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 12:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

You said it Russ. But If we built things truly to scale the models would be uninteresting so some "exaggeration" is needed to bring life to the models otherwise they would just be lumps of plastic but people do take it to extremes.



As someone who paints some figures. In that hobby it is an understanding that painting generally falls into one of two styles, Lifelike or Caricature. I think military vehicle/aircraft modelling is the same, it depends upon the builders style.



Agreed. But it can be overdone in Armor models I think. I also paint miniatures (figures) and have for about 50 years now. Life-"LIKE" is exactly what it means, not "LIFE". As I've pointed out before, these are models, not the real thing, and as such, they are more miniature works of art than they are reproductions in miniature. Nobody, regardless of skill, can reproduce the real thing in miniature-- it's an oxymoron to begin with. Which is why we should admire the artistry over the accuracy, or at least achieve a balance. Not say we shouldn't be trying to reproduce these models as closely as we can, but in the end, it's the art that makes us look at them in the first place. I've been excoriated here and elsewhere for saying this "sacrilege" (I'm a big boy and can take the heat!). But as Al Superczynski (met him once in our LHS) once said, build what YOU want, how YOU want it. That's what the hobby is about after all-- your happiness, nobody else's.
VR, Russ
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 05:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I was just thinking how manufacturers are increasingly putting a texture on certain plates but it seems like they only do so on vertical surfaces. I saw how the Meng KT has texture on horizontal plates too. Is there a reason why I have not seen this anywhere else or perhaps it is so faint that I didn't even notice? Are the manufacturers just lazy/cheap or is there a reason that most texturing is only done so on vertical surfaces? Should I be texturing my horizontal plates most likely using the common cement/putty mix stippled on?



German rolled steel plate was relatively smooth below thicknesses of 80 mm or so. On preserved vehicles, there are often minor pockmarks and scabs on the surface of thicker plate (of course, with museum items, one may have to distinguish between actual surface texture and the texture of many layers of flaking paint). Other nations had differing degrees of quality control, so look at photos of actual vehicles before adding or sanding away these effects.
Thirty years ago, there was a fad among modelers (popularized by Francois Verlinden) of using Dremel tools to add pockmarks to rolled plate, but as with all fads, it was ridiculously overdone.
Scarred
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 08:49 PM UTC
While rolled plate may have had some imperfections on the surface they would have to be small and shallow. Large imperfections and pits would compromise the armor protection. Even towards the end of the war as their factories were being bombed I don't believe that the germans, known for their engineering, would have tolerated such poor quality control. Perhaps if the did they could have produced more tanks than they did.
mag135
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 - 11:05 PM UTC
Vertical surfaces were made of thicker plates with more imperfections.
srmalloy
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Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018 - 11:11 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Even towards the end of the war as their factories were being bombed I don't believe that the germans, known for their engineering, would have tolerated such poor quality control.



Surface imperfections, no. Shoddy material quality, yes.
165thspc
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Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 12:20 AM UTC
On many older kits the flat plates almost have a mirror smooth surface. I will go over these with 600 grit wet sandpaper.

Then too on the older kits often there was no sign at all of a cast texture so on these I will use the old trick of coating it with model cement and then going over it with a stiff brush to give it a texture.

I doubt this was what you were referring to. Just putting it out there.
165thspc
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Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 12:27 AM UTC
p.s. I go along with Patrick. Went it comes to adding a sand cast texture it adds so much to a model that a little exaguration should be allowed.

A point of note: WWII Russian tanks were built more quickly and with a bit less care. One place for them to save construction time was in the smoothing of the sand castings. So on Russian tanks the exaugrated texture could be exactly correct.