Wednesday, March 4, 2015

RSO Project

Hello everyone, this is Brian Ward from the Bolt Action and Bolt Action International Facebook page.  I was asked by Warlords to show sort of a “Beginners guide” to working with resin and metal vehicles for people that might be new to the gaming world.  This guide will include nothing but simple tools that everyone should use as well as simple painting techniques that can be used to get vehicles ready for the tabletop.  All the following are hand painted with a brush and acrylic paints straight out of the bottle and with brushes that you could buy in a craft department of a local mega store.  There are some advanced shading that was done with the use of washes that were applied only to the driver of this vehicle, but that is for another time.

As for the vehicle in question.  I received a Raupenschlepper, Ost from Warlords.  A brief history of the vehicle can be found with a simple search of the internet via Wikipedia or others, but for the sake saving time, the OST was developed with experiences of the Wermacht on the Eastern front with muddy, dirt roads and the inability of wheeled vehicles to ferry supplies and/or men across the great plains of the Soviet Union in these miserable conditions.  The RSO was deemed a great vehicle and 23,000 of them were made before the wars end.

The Kit I was presented with from Warlords is below.

As you can see here, the tracks are both a single piece, left and right.  There is some trimming to do to the resin on the bottom of the tracks as you can see in the picture here.  There is also some thin resin “flash” in the actual wheels and pulleys of the tracks themselves.

The next piece we have here is the top of the Cab of the RSO.  This cab design implementation is very familiar to those of you that might have put a Opel Blitz together, but let me assure you that this kit was 100% developed with that kit in mind and they seemed to have fixed that kit’s frustrating alignment issues with it’s cab, with the new RSO.

Next we find ourselves looking at the driver, who is sitting with the track levels in his hands in the forward position.  The exhaust and muffler are a two piece fixture on the rear of the vehicle.  The other bits included are a light and a couple of tow hooks for the front of the tractor.  These are the only metal bits of this kit which is nice.  As sometime working with both mediums can present trouble for a beginner and sometimes a veteran.  

The canvas cover on the back of the RSO comes in a single piece as well. There is a large spot of casting extra on the side facing the cab.  The bottom side of the cover tells you what kit it’s for…..just in case you forgot what you were working on.  Do NOT cut the overhang of the resin flat.  The cover simply snaps into place with this little ledge of resin.  The rear facing part of the canvas is very clean, and the lines are nice.  All and all this part of the kit is pretty easy to work with, and does not present a challenge to the builder.   

The main chassis of the RSO again is another single piece.  The cab is very accurate to the actual vehicle with the motor sitting between the driver and passenger.  The seats have nice lines and will be easy to paint.  The chassis is one piece and the bed looks like there are holes set into it so you could make your RSO appear to have no canvas just the skeleton of the ribs of bed showing.  Could make a nice piece by throwing some stowage and cargo in the back. The front of the cab shows signs of the molding process and there will be some cleanup on it that can easily be handles with a hobby knife. And once again, the bottom of the chassis reminds you that, yes, you are building a RSO.

Cleaning Stages of the Resin
Dealing with resin can be a fickle beast.   The first thing you should do with all resin parts in any kit is wash them in warm water with a mild soap, I use dish soap, as it’s conveniently next to the sink.  This washing removes the greasy mold releasing agents used in the creation of the resin mold.  Let the resin dry thoroughly.  I cheat and use a desk fan in this process, but then again, if you know me, I am impatient.

 Here are the simple tools I used on this project.  From the top down.  A cheap $1USD travel toothbrush from the dollar store.  A file that ranges from very coarse to fine on both sides.  A hobby, known as an X-Acto, knife here in the states and a set of side cutters.  I use the side cutters mainly for removing the metal parts from their sprue, so I did not use them much in this kit, but felt I should include them for the sake of showing every tool I used in the project.  I use the toothbrush to remove all the thin resin flash on the model by roughly brushing the model all over, especially the tracks to remove anything before and after cleaning with the hobby knife.  This works very well and does not damage the resin in the slightest.

Here is a before and after, using the hobby knife and file to remove the casting excess on the canvas.


I now primed the all the parts with Krylon Colormaster Gray Ultra Flat primer.  I use this as it works well with both metals and resin and it is an enamel based primer, which I prefer.  You can use whatever you want, White, Black, Red, whatever color you like, whatever brand you prefer.

The driver I painted outside the vehicle, on the top of an empty paint bottle with his bottom stuck to some blu-tack.  I painted him in the feldgrau colors appropriate to the period I was painting this vehicle.  Now that the driver is painted, I overly exaggerated his skin tones as he will be in a dark cab and when he is viewed I wanted the contrasts to pop a little.

After priming I painted the inside of the cab a pewter gray and the seats black.  You can see here I painted the interior of the doors as well as the cab roof the same color.
Now I assembled the cab roof and doors to the chassis.   Be sure you test fit the doors and cab before gluing so that you know it’s going to fit correctly when you are done.  There are some gaps around the doors and a little space in the front of the window connectors, but all and all a good fit.  If you are an experienced modeler and have some liquid green stuff, these seams are easy to fill.

The tracks I painted with a dark brown to begin with, then I dry brushed the same brown adding a few drops of white to the brown until I was satisfied with the dirty, rusty looks of the tracks.  Add some orange to the top layer for a rustier look.

Here I painted the inside of the bed and the inside of the canvas canopy black.  You really are not going to see inside there anyways, so my thinking is make it as dark as possible in there.

I now also painted the exterior of the RSO Panzer Grey with a little hint of black in it to make it slightly darker.  Then I took a large soft brush and took the original panzer grey and dry brushed heavily over the entire chassis being careful not to hit the driver’s arm.  

The canvas, I painted a lighter shade of panzer grey almost a 50/50 mix of panzer grey to white and painted the canvas, then dry brushed again the canvas with a slightly lighter shade of the 50/50 by adding a few drops of white to the already 50/50 mixture to give it a warn edges look and to highlight the internal frame under the canvas.

Here I assembled all the pieces together, the canvas down on the bed, and the tracks onto the side.  At this point I painted the exhaust on the RSO in very much the same technique as the tracks, added some Balkenkruz decals to the doors of the RSO and I finished this wonderful kit.   I hope this guide helps you novices and maybe even you experienced modelers, get easy, attractive models on the battlefield.  Painting and modeling in a tabletop war game never should be stressful, for it would not be a fun game now would it?

Completed Model