May 07, 2016

Building and Painting the Master Box WWI Hand-to-Hand Fight by Charles Oldaugh

Building and Painting the Master Box 1/35th scale Hand-to-Hand Fight ref.35116
by Charles Oldaugh. Charles' started out building and painting 28mm historical figures for wargaming and is moving up the scale with this 1/35th build. So i guess you called this a beginners guide to...

Since this is my first mission as a Trench Runner, it is only fitting that I am building and painting a trench with you. The Master Box Hand to Hand Fight, to be exact which also happens to be my first foray into the larger 1/35th scale. It depicts a German assault on a British trench in World War One. The box has five sprues inside. There are two Trench sprues, one infantry sprue, a German accessory sprue and a British Accessory Sprue. Don’t be intimidated by all of the pieces on the sprues; most of them are optional.

To build the kit we will need a few tools: a pair of clippers, a sharp hobby knife, some plastic glue, and a sheet of 600 grit sandpaper. Put a new blade in your hobby knife each time you start a project. Dull blades make you push too hard with the knife and you are more likely to slip and hurt the model or a finger. That being said, be very careful with the knife, and always cut away from yourself!

Cut out each piece with the clippers, trim the flash off with the knife, and sand smooth any mold lines or flash with the sandpaper. Take your time on the assembly and the painting will go much easier. 

As you can see, I only built half of the trench. Because I will be displaying this model, I want a clear view of the action. The trench is made of 6 pieces. 

Each square section of the infantry sprue makes one trooper. I added some helmets, pouches, and rifles from the accessories sprues to the infantry so they are ready to fight. 

I let the glue dry overnight and then primed everything grey. Some prefer black primer, others prefer white, but grey is my go to color for priming. After letting the primer dry overnight, we can start painting. 

The back of the box has a list of recommended paints and what areas they correspond to. All paints are Vallejo Model Color. I will make only one addition to their list (Deck Tan, which I used for the sandbags). 
846 Mahogany Brown - British Rifle Stocks
863 Gunmetal Grey - Rifle metal
869 Basalt Grey - German Helmets
880 Khaki Grey - British Helmets, German Pouches, and Puttees for both sides
921 English Uniform - British Uniform
950 Black - German Boots and Belts
955 Flat Flesh - Skin on all fighters
964 Field Blue - German Uniform
978 Dark Yellow - British Pouches and other Gear
983 Flat Earth - British Boots
984 Flat Brown - German Rifle Stocks
985 Hull Red - Trench
997 Silver - Bayonets
986 Deck Tan - Sandbags

Now we can talk about the paint brushes. I am using da Vinci brushes to paint this model. They are good quality brushes at a reasonable price. When working on large models, make sure you have large brushes on hand. If you are trying to paint a trench with a size 1, you will get frustrated and quit. I used both round and flat brushes in sizes 2 through 6.

I wanted the wood of the trench to pop a bit, so I painted each plank individually, using four different colors: Khaki Grey, Basalt Grey, Flat Brown, and Flat Earth. I painted the wood on the benches and ladder in the same way.

I prefer thinner paint than most, the downside being that it usually takes more than one coat to get good coverage. The benefit of thin paint is that it won’t flood the model and fill in details. Brushstrokes are less likely to show when using thin paint as well. I will gladly paint on a second coat and have a better result at the end. 

Using a 1:1 mix of paint and water, I have basecoated all of the models. They look good, but they could use a little shading. We need to put a wash on the models to help the details pop.

To make a wash, mix a 1:15 ratio of paint to water and brush it over the entire model. We make the wash using a mixture of Flat Brown and Black. That would be one drop of Flat Brown, one drop of Black, and 30 drops of water. If you run out, make another batch of it. I needed two batches.

The wash will naturally sink into the crevasses of the model and make natural looking shadows. There are several ways to achieve shading, but I find washes to be the simplest.

Wait for the wash to dry completely. This may take an hour or two. Once it is dried, we can do a light drybrush of Deck Tan over the trench boards, the dirt, and the sand bags. To do the drybrush technique, load a large flat brush with a small amount of paint. Then wipe the brush back and forth on a paper towel until the brush no longer leaves any paint on the towel. Next, brush back and forth against the texture of the model, only the raised areas will pick up any paint. 

Finally, I painted the edges of the bases with pure black to clean up the model and the project is complete. 

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