Making the Tempest Base

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1/48th scale Tempest Display Base

1/48th scale Tempest Display Base

     This display base is part of a set of five that were worked on during July and August 2006. The others form part of the Galleries for the relevant Models they are destined for. These are:


  • 1/72nd scale I-4

  • 1/48th scale Dornier Do-217E

  • 1/48th scale Yak-3

  • 1/48th scale F-111F


FlightPath Photo-etched PSP assembled     This particular Base is destined to show off the Eduard 1/48th scale Tempest. As with the other bases this is made from a solid hardwood cut to shape by a gentleman who makes these to order for me. I came across his work on EBay where he had invited commissions. After the five bases turned up in the post the outer strips that would be exposed (and later polished) were masked off. Everything else was sealed with Thin strips of cardboard on the edgesPolyurethane Semi-Gloss Varnish. This provides a great surface to stick things too as you will see later.

     Next the dried gloss was masked off and the exposed wood polished with French Polish, then waxed. This brings out the grain and gives it that professional 'museum-finish' quality. In the first photo (above) you can see A thin layer of model-makers claythe Tempest and base bought together as the FlightPath Photo-etched PSP was assembled. I did not have enough to cover the base so just superglued it together in a way that seemed reasonable if not perfectly realistic.

     Then I taped thin strips of cardboard to the edges (as illustrated) above ready to form an edge for a PSP be pressed into placethin layer of model-makers clay. The clay used is one that dries rock hard without firing. I applied in very small chunks working each one in with a spatula. Once you roughly have enough applied, flatten it by placing wax paper over top then a heavy weight or rolling-pin. Probably best not to use a genuine cooking implement if can't keep it clean and hygienic!

     Once the clay is flattened but still soft, the photo-etched PSP can be pressed into place. The FlightPath PSP set has some faults

Mask off the PSPand it will not fit together as the real plating did. This is because there are a couple of extra sections on one end that need to be trimmed with a sharp pair of scissors. After the photoetch is in place press it in gently but don't make it too neat. Then use your imagination to added various puddle and rabbit holes as I did. I also added ruts from where trucks had driven around on the wet ground unprotected 'Woodland Scenics' "Earth Blend" Blended Turf and "Burnt Grass" Fine Turfby the PSP. This is easy to do with the handle of the spatula shown.

     Wait a few days for the clay to harden before proceeding to mask off the PSP Use spray-on "UHU" glueready for adding the grass. This is the stuff you get for model-railways and I am using the ground sponge variety by 'Woodland Scenics'. I use mostly "Earth Blend" Blended Turf with a little bit of "Burnt Grass" Fine Turf (for visual variety - apply the latter in large patches after applying the first). To glue it on I used a spray-on "UHU" glue because I didn't want to use a water-based glue on the wooden base. This type of glue sticks really well to the Polyurethane base coat. If you can't afford this Paint the PSP using Humbrol enamels in various shades of Brown and Rusttype of glue then watered down PVA is OK - just be careful as it really soaks in the sponge grass making it lumpy. You will probably need to apply several layers of grasses before it obscures the under-lying clay colour. Alternatively paint over the clay first.

     Between each coat of grass brush the loose excess off with a soft brush onto paper and then you can re-use it. Next remove the Copious amounts of Xtracrylics Gloss to blend it all inPSP Masking and proceed to paint the PSP. I used Humbrol enamels in various shades of Brown and Rust. Next I picked out the exposed earth in the holes in the PSP with a soil-coloured enamel and dry-brush mud around the puddle-holes. The painting is then finished off with a wash of oily black paint. I chose thinned down Humbrol Gun Metal Metalcote.

     Once the painting is finished with, add a few oil stains (as you see fit) before putting the paint away. I used Woodland Thinned down Humbrol Gun Metal MetalcoteScenics "Realistic Water" for the puddles but, with hindsight, this was somewhat of a mistake as it is simply too thick to look realistic. It is a water-based resin so there is much water-tension making it 'bead' in a way that scale water does not. I tried thinning it with water and washing-up liquid but it did little good. I finally resorted to copious amounts of Xtracrylics Gloss to blend it all in. Even then the layers built up a little above the surrounding area hence making the 1/48th scale Tempest Display Basepuddles look like large lumps of jelly. I finally resolved the issue by adding some more grass around the edges!

     The final touches were then to add random blobs of PVA glue along cracks and it holes in the PSP. Then more Woodlands Scenics grass is rubbed in. Then it was all blended together with some ground up Pastels normally used for weathering Models. By Sunday 10th September 2006 it was all finished...

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