The AFS Polar Bear is a cold climate or winterized version of the standard AFS Mk2. It also mounts an improved laser and larger external fuel tanks. The Polar Bear first appeared in the Play Online gaming magazine stories which were later complied into the MaK B.D. Manual.
This Polar Bear was built for the MaK Forums 30 Days of Mak Challenge. The idea was to build a MaK kit straight out of the box with no modifications at all. Sure, we all want to add the missing wires, replace the awful PE joints, and add the missing weld details, but not this this time.
Below is the build diary for the model.
The most challenging part so far has been the PE joints for the arms and legs. The parts have a mold seam and the material doesn’t sand very well. I ended up having some success with removing the seam by polishing it out with a cloth wheel chucked in the Dremel and some polishing compound.
With my Iwata Hoseless, I was able to airbrush sharp lines with out masking.
Decals and Base
Decals are mostly from the Polar Bear kit but I used a few red warning stencils from an AFS Mk1. Thanks for the silvering Mk1. The base is a piece of clear acrylic tube with a chunk drilled and broken out to add some interest. Rocks are pieces of tree bark and ground work is plaster and sand over a chunk of pink foam.
Even with two good shots of HS, the paint still stuck like glue in some spots. I even ran the area under very hot tap water and nothing. More white than I wanted, so some touch ups are needed. I'm going for a very worn out white wash.
Considering I don't paint faces all that often and this is the first ethnic face I've painted, I'm pleased. I also just didn't want to spend any more time on the face. What you see here took me about an hour once I got the base color dialed in. Base color is Chocolate Brown + Brown Sand 3/1. I added more Brown Sand for highlights, then switched to Basic Skintone for the lightest. For shadows I added Camo Black Brown and a little Black. The lower lip is a thin glaze of Red Tail Light.
I cleaned up a few spots on the white wash with Vallejo and Tamiya Acrylics applied with a small brush or torn foam. To even out the colors, I applied MIG Filter P400 Grey for Dark Yellow. This toned down the contrast and started dirtying the white. This was set to dry overnight. I then applied a second filter of the same gray and let that dry. I used MIG Neutral and Dark Wash to accent panel lines. When these were dry, I started scrubbing in straight oil paints with and old clipped brush. I then used an #2 round just moist with thinner to bland in ad move around the oil paints. The dirt on the glazing is straight oil paint.
Final Weathering And Display
The model was worked over with more oil paints and washes. The groundwork is Matt Gel Medium mixed with sand and root litter. Once dry the base was masked off and airbrushed Flat Earth for the dirt and Sky Gray for the rocks. I did some touch ups with Vallejo Acrylics and then added a dark oil wash to accent the details. The rocks were drybrushed on the edges and the whole thing was then misted with very thin Tamiya Deck Tan to cut down on the contrast. I then drybrushed the highest highlights and add a couple more oil washes for accents.
The snow was a two stage process. I first mixed Acrylic Gloss with microballoons to make a paste that was sculpted over the groundwork. When this was dry, I brushed a generous amount of Acrlic Gloss over the snow and sprinkled on Woodland Scenics Snow.I did this a couple of times to get the desired opacity and buildup. I then dabbed Vallejo Gloss on the groundwork to represent areas of melting snow.
Mud was mixed up with MIG Acrlic Gel, Plaster, and MIG Pigments. This was mixed to a dry pasted an jabbed onto the model. When dry, I went back with a Black and Dark Brown wash to darken some areas to look like fresh mud.
I'm very pleased with the final reslut. These kits can build up pretty nice straight out of the box.