I was amazed by the lines of the Sturmkafer when I first saw Kow's painting in 1999. Little is known about the walker. It appears in a few panels in the BD Manual but no specifications are know about this particular design. The build, paint, and finish were pretty straightforward so no biggie. My real struggle was with the groundwork. This is the largest base I have completed, my last attempt wasn't such a success. I've learned a lot since then and I'm pretty pleased with the final result.
Below is my build diary for the SturmKafer.
This is a pretty straightforward resin kit. Not a lot of parts but plenty of detail and great lines. Assembly was a breeze so I didn't bother taking assembly photos. I'm still debating on the smoke/s-mine launchers on the back, they look cool, but I like the sleek lines of without them. I haven't finished cleaning up the nose armor mounts, so those have not been attached yet. I'm also planning to hollow out those rear air scoops. I replaced some of the cast resin pipes with 5mm coil springs from MechaSkunk - perfect fit and no clean up.
The model has been painted with Tamiya Acrylics. I began with a base coat of Black, over this I applied Flat Brown, Red Brown and a custom Rust Orange color in random areas and edges. I sealed this with a coat of Tamiya Clear. I then applied two coats of hairspray from the can and let dry. Over this I airbrushed a custom mix gray with a little Field Gray mixed in. The camo green is Field Gray with a little Nato Green mixed in. I let the color coat sit for a bit and then started working at it with an old paint brush dipped in water and a toothpick to create the effect of worn paint and scratches. I focused on front edges, back corners, the lower legs and areas of crew access. Some touch-ups are needed where I scraped down to the resin.
The first step was to clear coat the paint and HS effects with a thin coat of Future mixed with a little Tamiya Flat Base to obtain a Satin finish. I let this cure for a few days while I was swamped with home projects. Over the Satin coat I airbrushed decanted hairspray on the areas where I wanted to apply the number 27. When the HS had dried, I used a cut frisket mask and airbrushed very thin Tamiya Flat White. When this was dry to the touch, I peeled off the mask and worked at the white paint with an old paint brush dipped in water. Some touchups are needed, but the effect is very natural.
The figure has the base colors applied and a black outline is applied around all the gear and such to help definition when painted. Very little of the figure is actually seen when installed. Anything below the elbow is completely obscured which is why I didn't spend much time sculpting pants for Stumpy.
The instrument panel has been painted an installed. The instruments are created in Illustrator and printed on a color laser printer. The lens effect is created with Micro Krystal Kleer.
Weathering has started on the mechanical underside detail before being installed. There is an armored cover for this part and once fully assembled, only 20% of this piece will be visible.
Before I started weathering, I needed to glue the halves of the hull together. Before I could do that, the figure needed to be installed which meant I couldn't drag my ass as usual and I plowed through and painted figure.
The figure is painted with Vallejo acrylics. I painted the whole thing but this is all that is visible. I need to add some scratches to the helmet and clean up the interior compartment before it gets glued together, but the toughest part is done.
All your base belong to Ma.K.
My last attempt at a large base (about 10 years ago) wasn't a real success; too much open space and not a real focal point that I have dreading doing another one again. But the SK kind of forced me too. The legs on the 4 legged walkers tend to splay and the center hub plate warps over time from the weight of the resin. The SK isn't a lightweight kit and I knew this would be a bigger problem, even with the reinforcing brass rod. I could rest the model on a block like the Gladiator and JagdKafer, but this time I decided to set the feet in groundwork to stop the splaying. It sounds good in theory, but we'll see if this works out in the long run.
The base is a one inch thick piece of MDF with pink foam sculpted on top. The sides are made from 1/8" thick plywood cut to shape with a fine blade in the jig saw and held with glue and staples. I have large sheets of Cherry veneer that will be glued and finished over the plywood.
I'm debating making this a single or two kit display. One option is a wrecked Raptor hull and fuel drum as filler and the other is with the Nixe operating as a team.
The groundwork has been started. It is a mixture of Acrylic Gel, Plaster of Paris, and sand. Rocks were pressed in while the mixture was still wet. The Raptor and barrel have been painted and weathering started. The shell damaged tree stump is from some branches of Desert Sage I clipped while on vacation in N.M. about three years ago. Lots more to do, but making progress.
The ground work is still in progress, but is now closer to my intent. The branch now has a root flare sculpted from Aves epoxy putty. The plaster and sand received another sprinkling of fine sand and rocks to smooth out some of the really rough spots. First I painted the rocks and stump with Tamiya and Vallejo acrylics. I then airbrushed the groundwork Polly Scale Dirt. The grass is a mixture of WS Field Grass and seaweed fibers. It has been airbrushed a mixture of Tamiya green paints. They are still a little faded and need some detail work. I also have some additional vegetation on order from Michigan Toy Soldier which will add some nice variety to the base.
I thought I was all done when I set up for these shots, but after looking at the photos, I realized I forgot to add the antenna and then noticed how dirty the backdrop is. So for, now, let's consider these still in progress.