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Military Scale Modelling

Showcase: 1/35 M270 MLRS w/M26 Rocket Pods (Dragon 3523)

M270 MLRS w/M26 Rocket Pods (Dragon 3523)

The Build

This Showcase is about my M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System). In this article I’ll write what I experienced and how I went trough the process of building this kit.

I used Dragon’s 1/35 kit, As an extra I bought Voyager’s M270 MLRS PE Update (PE 35006). This PE set adds lots of extra detail to the kit and is a must buy if you want to detail your kits as much as possible.

I created a fairly simple base / diorama for this kit. A desert scene with some grass clumps, dead tree branches and two figures

During the complete build process  I used this:

  • Dragon’s 1/35 M270 MLRS #3523
  • Voyager’s 1/35 PE Update #35006
  • CMK (Czech Master Kits) 1/35 US tankers desert shield # F-35016 (this are the figures)
  • J’s work 1/35 typical grass # PPA1005 (grass clumps on the base)
  • J’s work 1/35 Branches of a small plant #PPA2006 (tree branches on the base)

To add even more detail to the kit during the build, I added brass wire to the model to mimic the real electrical cables on a M270 MLRS. you can see this in the build pictures of the cockpit and underneath the rocket launcher system.

Painting and Weathering

One big challenge for me was weathering Dragon’s M270 MLRS. I had never built and weathered a desert tone vehicle before. First step was applying the base coat. After the base coat covered most of the kit, I did a preshade over the whole model to make the edges and higher parts of the kit darker. When the preshade was applied I airbrushed the last layer of base coat over the model. This has to be done very gently because you don’t want the preshade to disappear and don’t want to make it too visible either.

The cockpit of the M270 MLRS is weathered with the drybrushing technique and with pigments. I used pigments on the floor of the cockpit to simulate the dirt that would get in there over time, this was done by brushing white spirit on the floor (make sure it is sealed with glosscoat otherwise you would make the paint disappear). When the whole floor was done, I sprinkled pigments over it and let it dry.

When the painting process was done and the decals where applied and sealed with gloss coat, it was time to start weathering this kit. At first I wanted to add some chipping to the model, so I did this. After some help at online forums I realized that chipping was not realistic on a M270 Model. To solve this I painted the chipped parts with the base coat to make them much less visible, you can see this on some photos of the build (the grayer planes of the surface).

Next step was applying a pinwash to the model. I did this with a light brown / mud color oil paint, thinned with white spirit. When the pinwash was done, I sealed everything with a glosscoat.

The Base / Diorama

A diorama adds a lot to a displayed model, since you can create realistic scenes. First thing you do is, off course, get a real base. In my case I used a wooden plank. The groundwork was made of plaster. to make sure the plaster doesn’t fall of the wooden plank when turned, I hammered some small nails in the base. The plaster will form around the heads of the nails, and it will stay in place for sure. When the plaster was applied, I soaked the surface with thinned white / wood glue (thin the white glue with water so that it just a little thicker as water). The white glue makes sure the rough sand I sprinkle stays in place.

Now it was time to give the base some color, and after that applied the grass clumps and tree branches.

What do you think of it? any questions or other things? leave it in the comment section below.

Finishing

A real diorama is not complete untill you add some figures to it. I went searching for U.S. Tankers during Operation Desert Storm in 1/35th scale and found CMK’s “US tankers desert shield” (click for review). The figures are very nice.

I painted the figures in the base sand color and applied the camo by hand with a fine brush.

After the paint job I gave them some worn effect by adding a wash and some drybrushing to blend everything together.

The figures were the last step in my M270 MLRS build, I hope you enjoyed reading and following!

If you have any questions feel free to ask

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