The T.W-47 Krote that I have is from Nitto and was released in 1984 under the SF3D series.
I have had this kit mostly assembled and never completed for the better part of three decades then! Well, it's finally time to dust it off, replace the missing components, fix the poor construction, and paint this baby once and for all!
I first had to give the entire model a bath. The amount of crud built up on it over the years was scary. Warm soapy water and a soft brush scrubbed most gunk away and a quick "wash" with lighter fluid got rid of the greasy buildup that wouldn't seem to budge.
There was a lot of damage to the model. Glue and plastic had dried and gone brittle, and general handling when moving had broken off all the fine plastic tubing, aerial, and other fragile items. These would all require replacement. This would also give me the opportunity to clean up poor kit construction by yours truly, mainly in the turret region but also along some pretty ugly seams down the leg assemblies.
Added brass protection rails and hooks to replace the missing/broken plastic ones.
Replaced the thin power cables with electrical wire and half round plastic support rings.
Rear view showing routing of new power cables. Superglued down.
The top hull prior to fixing poor fit. Quite bad seams and dips.
I used Milliput to fill in the dips. NOT a cool experience at all!
Milliput seems to be quite tricky to use. It is very sticky and needs water to prevent it sticking to fingers and tools, but then I guess most modelling putties are like that? This meant I was always fighting the water to get the product to stick to the model. The areas to be filled were very shallow so the Milliput was pretty thin, so when applying the tiniest amount of water to smooth it over it would lift back off again! Grrr. I now have some Aves Apoxy Sculpt so it will be interesting to try that out next time.
Underside filled and smoothed.
Rear filled and smoothed.
I decided to attempt a rough cast texture like I had seen on some other Krote models. There were a number of techniques described on the web using various materials but as I couldn't locate them here in New Zealand I ended up using Tamiya Liquid Primer mixed with talcum powder. Depending on the amount of talc used, working time was pretty variable. A small amount meant the primer was still quite liquid and didn't texture very well. Too much talc and the mixture went off quite fast and got thicker before it could be worked properly. I sponged it on using a fine sponge so as not to create too coarse a texture for the 1/20 scale. I think it turned out pretty well, but wish I had done the feet as well in hindsight.
Turret primed and ready for top coat.
Rough Cast texture not as even as I would have liked...
...but it hides the poor body filler job I did!
The new protection rails and service(?) hooks came out pretty good i think!
That's pretty much as far as I have got with this revival project to date. I do now have a top coat on, and i have given the whole airbrushed zenithal lighting technique a go. Not quite sure if it's worked out yet! Progress will be a little slower now as I have to make new decals from scratch using the ink jet method (if anyone has any tips I'm all ears!), plus I am practicing my filters, washes, weathering on a crappy 1971 Tamiya StuG III before I go ahead and wreck my precious 1980's era Krote!
Any suggestions and comments welcome, and thanks for looking!
Stand aside caffine, this is a job for alcohol.
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Cheers guys. Not much progress this past week, I'm experimenting with decals, Tamiya Mark Fit, and making up my own Ma.K decals for this sucker. Hopefully I can post up some progress pix after this weekend!