Colonial Marines M-577 APC
1/16th Scale

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The last big bit...

And That Bit Be The Baseboard.

Ah good!, your here so let's be a getting on then.
Right well we got the baseboard sorted or so I thought.
Then came the drilling of the holes for the plugs and guess who didn't mark things out correctly?
Yep, the idiot typing this.
Marked the places and drilled the holes and found the back pair were too far over.
Plan is to have this thing on the base at a slight angle as by and large it looks better than square on.
Less 'posed' if you will.
So the choice was to drill more holes or extend the board width.
I took the second option for one reason and that was to maintain the angle it sits on the base.

So out with the timber, frame extensions fitted and more MDF sheet nailed and glued on.
So now we have a base of 29" x 14 1/2" x 1".
Ok so plugs fitted and held in a flexible fashion by using dense foam rubber.
Reason for this being that rigid fixing just invites damage when trying to fit the APC to the base and any misalignment on one plug throws the whole lot out.
The plugs seated in the holes with a foam disc and a larger piece at the bottom sandwiched between the top and bottom MDF sheets provides a constant up pressure making sure the plug stays firmly in the socket.
It all winds up like this after wiring and glue/nail dance completed.

So a dose of filler/primer and a rubdown, draw the rough line for tread marks in the dirt then out with the automotive two part filler putty.
This will form the basis for the groundwork, intended to look like rough dirt/mud like ground.
Going with a basic mid to dark grey here with a hint of dirt brown depending on how the light catches it.

Now the putty itself is a very light grey that goes sort of yucky grey pink due to the colourant in the catalyst.
Not a problem as adding some ordinary enamel paint into the mix sorts that out.
The weapon of choice here being matt black just dropped on to the paste and given a good mixing up before the catalyst stuff get's brought into play.

So then, nothing more technical than smearing on the filler putty in a generous fashion and using one of my old castings of an APC wheel with a lump of dowel through it.
Now timing is the thing here as you got about 3 mins or so untill the filler hits gel stage.
Only experience with using this stuff can give you an idea of when that is happening.
it depends to a large extent on ambient temperature and how much catalyst you use.
So then standing there like an idiot with me wheel in hand and giving the filler the odd prod then a single run over the filler when time is about right...
And it's a one shot deal.
Doing one line at a time, it actually worked for a change.

And leave to fully cure which is about 20 mins.
Or bathroom, coffee and smoke break as I call it sometimes.

So it's a repeat of pretty much the same mix/apply/rough up job as the baseboard is worked around.
For the basic groundwork, aside from the filler putty, I used some filler powder.
Normally used for mixing with resins and the like, Fillite SG is the name of this stuff.
A very fine grey powder with brown/black particles in it.
For the base it was a matter of applying the filler putty and immediately go at it with a stiff nylon floor brush in a stippling fashion.
While still soft, the filler powder was sprinkled over the surface and a lump of soft sponge was used just to pat the powder and putty down.
So after the excess powder was removed, a slightly rough and uneven surface but a semi-uniform colour.

Parts of the base had some small lumps of stone, fragments of breeze block to be precise glued on.
Breeze blocks being a light weight aerated building block here in the UK, also good for smashing up and using for model rockwork.

And then more putty here there and everywhere.

Added the sign board to one corner of the base and then just kept on the paste on/stipple/ powder routine.
When done the whole lot was given a going over with a brass wire brush.
This has the effect of scraping the top of the putty which turns a light grey.
instant highlighting if you will.
Then a coat of acrylic varnish and in with the seriously thinned Tamiya smoke where the tread marks are.

And of course, time for a test fitting looksee like.

OK, not perfect but definitely getting there.

So into the closing stages now.
A bit of shade work on the base here and there just to punch it up a bit.
Some look-a-like crud to plaster over the wheels and wheel arches with some dirt spray here and there on the bodywork.
Then the base surround to sharpen it all up, some fiddling about, final wiring up to switches and plug then the testing.
The final ok's from the boss and onto the packing and shipping lark...

Oh joy.

That'll be for the next and possibly final update so untill that time of 'oh no not again' you merry lot go easy now!

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