Revell 1:48 AH-64 Apache - Paint Scheme: Green W/ Minor Weathering and Damage

This kit was the most irritating model to put together. I had numerous issues with parts being warped, not fitting, or having terrible seams. I have tried my best to fix them, but it does not look great. As a result, this will be a short blog post because almost all of my effort was towards fixing issues with the kit.

Step Zero - Taking note of the instructions and the sprue:

The the instructions were surprisingly clear on what needed to be done, but the sprues were warped I sprayed the sprues with gray primer.

Step One - Assembling and Painting:

I ran into numerous issues with parts not fitting together properly and, when the did, there were usually really bad seams. I painted the base of the cockpit a dark green, the panels and the chair black, and dry brushed the panels with white. To practice controlling my hand shaking, I hand painted the cockpit frame. I airbrushed the rest of the helicopter that dark green. I hand painted the rotors black.

Step Two - Weathering and Final Thoughts:

By this point, I had spent 3-4 days and my back had been getting increasingly more painful as I worked on it. I used a black wash on the vents. I used a pin vice to make bullet ricochets like it had been ambushed on one side with  some small arms fire. I dry brushed some aluminum paint on the areas to make that effect more apparent. This most certainly isnt my best work, but I am proud of the cockpit frame, given that it is hand painted, and I decided to avoid buying Revell models in the future, unless they are the only ones who make a specific model.



Monogram 1:72 P-82G Twin Mustang - Paint Scheme: FQ-377 W/ Minor Weathering

This was a fairly easy and fairly quick kit to put together, though it does have a few fit issues. It comes with 2 variants, the P-82F and P-82G.

Step Zero - Taking note of the instructions and the sprue:

The the instructions were mostly clear on where everything went, but I wish that there were a few images depicting how certain things were supposed to go together , like the fuselage and cockpits. There were 2 different variants to chose from, the P-82F variant with that had a large radar nacelle and a P-82G that had a rocket rack. I opted to make the “G” variant, but only put on the drop tanks, not the rockets or bombs. I sprayed white primer on the parts while still on the sprue.

Step One - Assembling everything:

Everything fit into place nicely, but I could never get  the landing gear doors to have a strong enough connection, the plastic connection was just too thin.

Step Two - Painting:

I taped off the cockpit any overspray. A large portion of the the aluminum flakes and acryilc, about 1/4th of the bottle, had dried and basically thickened beyond use at the bottom of the bottle, but I thinned it with some airbrush thinner and. It came back, at least most of it, and after a quick stir it was fine in my airbrush. I sprayed the entire body first with the aluminum, then I taped off the parts that needed to be red. I forgot to tape off the part where the Boom ID String  goes, so I had to hand paint that part with some aluminum after I was done. I also hand painted the dark green section in front of the cockpit. I sprayed it with a gloss top coat then put on the decals. I then glued on the painted landing gears. After the decals had dried, I sealed them in with another gloss coat. I do need to pick up a paintable jar of flat top coat, because some parts, like the green panels, should be a flat color.

Step Three - Weathering and Final Thoughts:

I decided to only do minor weathering on this model. I used a thick mud wash for the wheels, a thin black wash for the exhaust and the grime, and a thin lighter brown wash for hydraulic fluid and to give some parts depth. I liked this model and overall there were no major issues when building it.



Revell 1:48 P-38J - Paint Scheme: Damaged Bare Aluminum

This is actually the first model kit I bought, but I put it off until I had done several models and I had more practice under my belt. This kit, unfortunately, has several issues.

Step Zero - Taking note of the instructions and the sprue:

The the instructions were very fairly clear and they had 3 different variants to chose from, the Night Fighter, The Fighter Bomber, and the “Standard” P-38 flown by Richard Bong. This is the largest build I have done, but it only has about a half dozen more pieces than the Churchill Tank. I sprayed everything with a grey primer.

Step One - Assembling the cockpit:

This was pretty easy to do. The instructions were clear on what needed to be done for everything to come together, however there were a couple alignment issues which became a problem later on while building. I painted the interior corrosion coating, then the electronics, then finally the pilot. The pilot took a fair bit of time for something you don’t really see at the end.

Step Two - Assembling the core wing and fuselage:

First I glued in the cockpit and the landing gear bay. Next I glued together the wing, but the plastic was somewhat warped, so I had to anchor several points with tape while I glued everything.

Step Three - Assembling the engines, the elevator, and weapons:

I first put together the two engine nacelles, but I kept the engine cowling and prop off so they would be easier to paint. I then assembled the weapons and painted them. The nacelles were somewhat warped, but nothing that could not be overcome.

Step Four - Painting:

I taped off the cockpit and the guns to prevent any overspray. . I initially tried to airbrush aluminum onto the gray primer, but the dark primer was too overpowering and I was not getting the color I was looking for. I opted to spray it again with white primer. However, I did not mix the primer enough and I ended up with a grainy texture on part of it, more on that later though. I decided because I could not get rid of that texture without losing all of the raised panel lines, which also proved to be a problem when painting. The raised lines prevented the tape from sticking correctly and I got overspray on some parts. I decided that I was going to use this model to practice hand painting, so I hand painted invasion stripes and the dark panels, with the aid of tape. A section of the right wing had really bad paint issues, so I opted to remove it and paint it dark like it was damaged. I opted for a similar paint scheme to Richard Bong’s P-38, but with invasion stripes. I also decided not to do decals, partly because of the paint issues, but also because I wanted to focus on practicing painting. The cockpit canopy was probably the hardest thing to put on because it didnt fit and the plastic was so thin that it could barely grab onto the cement OR the solvent.

Step Five - Weathering:

I noticed that most of the graininess was focused on the right wing, so I decided, in an attempt to help cover up the paint issues, to weather it like it had been shot in its right wing and the engine was blown. I started with a thin black wash for the general damage, I then dry brushed on some aluminum acrylic, then a thicker black wash for the heavier parts and crevices, then a brown medium viscosity wash to give it some depth.

Step Six - Final Thoughts:

This model has its share of problems, but I didn’t help with the paint issue. It is an alright P-38 kit, but there are better ones out there for sure. This kit had several fit and seam issues. I had fun doing the weathering and painting, but I would not make this kit again.


Sprukits Master Chief (Level 2) - Battle Worn Weathering

I saw this model kit several months ago and, being a longtime fan of the series, I knew I had to get it. I never got the chance until the holidays came around. I didn’t take any photos of the construction since it was all color plastic and didn’t involve any painting. If you want a review of the actual construction, here is a good article on it. I’m just going to go in depth about how I did the legs, since that is what I took the most pictures of, but I used all of the same techniques on the other pieces.

Step Zero - Taking note of the original colors:

The actual base colors of the plastic were very accurate to the game, so I decided not to paint it. I did, however, spray it with some lusterless clear-coat while still on the sprue since the plastic was fairly shiny.

Step One - Putting mud on the boots:

I mixed some Vallejo “Flat Farth” with Vallejo “Black” and thinned it with some water. I brushed it on the bottom of the boots, let them sit for about 10 seconds, then wiped off the excess.

Step Two - Applying the grime:

I mixed some Vallejo “Black” with a touch of Vallejo “Gunmetal” and thinned it with some water. I did each section of the leg one at a time. I brushed it on, let them sit for about 3 seconds, then wiped off the excess. I repeated this process about 3-5 times. After this, I reapplied the mud, but covered more of the feet.

Step Three - Dry-brushing the scratches:

I took some Testors “Silver” metallic acrylic and dry brushed over the legs. I may have done a bit too much, but I liked the look it gave it. After this, I reapplied the mud again.

Step Four - Repeating the grime and scratches on the rest:

Not much to say here, I repeated the grime weathering and the scratches dry-brushing on the rest of the model kit.

Step Five - Painting the guns:

I hand painted the guns and that took up a large chunk of the time getting the coloring right and all the little details, but I am satisfied with how they turned out. The lighter part of the assault rifle is Vallejo “Natural steel” darkened with some “Gunmetal”. The dark part is Gunmetal darkened with a little black. The Green is a Testors acrylic green that I forget the name of. The white is Testors Acrylic “White”. The Red on the pistol is Testors Acrylic “Gloss Red” and the silver is straight Testors Acrylic “Silver”.

Step Six - Final Thoughts:

I loved the way the model came together and it is still fairly posable. I do wish the pieces fit together a bit better, the ball joint that connects his torso and hips is particularly loose, but it isn’t that noticeable.

Bonus - Zvezda 1/100 Panzer IV Ausf.F2 I Painted and Weathered

I was a bit too heavy with the grime on the turret, but otherwise it was a nice tank to paint and build while I was waiting for my brother to finish his bi-plane.


JTech 3.8w Laser - X-Carve

This is meant to be a quick review of the JTech Laser Upgrade for the Inventables X-Carve, It will be updated as more progress is made.

Building the Addon

We bought the JTech 3.8w Laser upgrade in early August. We received it in a timely manner and everything was in good condition. We bought. The 3.8w Laser with 2.5amp Driver, the Laser Fan, 3 sheets of 24"x12" shielding, the X-Carve Mounting Kit, and an extra pair of Goggles. All of the mounts, the Fan Mount, The Laser Mount, and the Driver Mount, were 3D printed, the driver mount was slightly bent, but that is probably due to the 3D printing and it did not interfere with the installation. We would have preferred if the mount was metal instead of plastic. Using a screwdriver and one person pushing, we were able to push the driver power cable through the X Drive Chain. To control the laser, we used the shielded wire we bought for the limit switches. The Z limit switch broke and we never used them anyways, so we don't have to worry about wiring more stuff and pushing more wires through the Drag Chains aside from the power cables.


The only real part that we felt was lacking was a solid calibrating guide and photographs of examples for us to replicate and use as guides for what it is supposed to look like. It has been 2 months since we bought the laser and, while I have been unable to work on it for about a total of about a month on and off due to my health issues, we have not been able to get it fully calibrated. JTech support is very good and replies quickly. The Inventables Forums is also a good resource, especially for X-Carve Specific Support. We initially started using the Inventables GRBL and dithered images, but we eventually just decided to switch the firmwares between the JTech and the Inventables firmware when needed. We are slowly getting the laser calibrated, but it is a long process of trial & error and it is still not complete.


We ended up selling the laser to a person who already had a laser and wanted a second one. We ended up buying a 60W BossLaser LS1416 CO2 Laser that we are very satisfied with. I will do a write up soon on that.

Disclaimers: I DID receive this at a discount in exchange for writing this review. This review is based on the equipment available for purchase on 08/03/16.