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Military figures of all shapes and sizes.
Italian Ariete Tankers North Africa
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,231 posts
Armorama: 2,151 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 06:10 PM UTC
To all of my Armorama friends, both real-world and “virtual:”

It with a heavy heart and much sadness that I must say to you all that as of today I can no longer, in good conscious, remain a member and active participant here on Armorama or any other KitMaker Net site.

For many years, I have enjoyed my time here on Armorama. I have spent countless hours sharing my own builds and works with you, my friends. Over many hundreds of hours, I have tried to repay the debt I owe to modeling by sharing my techniques and methods while also answering questions. My intent has always been to try to help others to achieve their own modeling goals and to realize their own modeling potential. Through it all, I have tried to remain civil and respectful – To disagree without being disagreeable and to always be tactful. I think that in the main, I was able to do these things.

I have especially enjoyed viewing and commenting on the works that you, my friends, have taken the time to share. It is this interaction and social contact with you that I will miss the most.

Unfortunately, two recent incidents here by one of the official staff members have made Armorama a place where I cannot remain. Many of you may be aware of these two threads started by staff member Kevin Brandt, aka: SgtRam:

Armorama::Armor/AFV::Ode to Rivet Counters

Track_Link::General and Site News::Just Curious

Although I was willing to overlook the first of these threads as a momentary lapse of judgement and civility, when Brandt pursued the targets of his vicious personal attack to another forum, I could no longer rationalize nor passively accept and condone his behaviors and actions.

As an official member of the staff here on Armorama, Brandt holds a position of responsibility and represents both the site and its publisher. His behaviors are no longer the acts of a lone, anonymous internet voice; they become an extension of Armorama and its publisher. It does not matter that he (or anyone else) performs his functions here as a volunteer. As a staff member, he, his actions and his behaviors are inseparable from Armorama.

I sent PMs and emails to some of the staff and the publisher to protest Brandt’s behaviors and to ask that the publisher, Jim Starkweather, aka: staff_jim, take responsibility for Brandt’s actions. Unfortunately, my protests fell on deaf ears.

You may read Starkweather’s open reply here:

Armorama::Site Talk::staff_jim post

We are all judged, to some extent, by the company we keep, and at the time of my protest, it was my intention to simply cease any participation on any threads or topics that Brandt started or posted to. That intention, however, has shown itself to be impractical. I cannot separate the staff member from the site.

The real issue here is one of personal and corporate responsibility and civility. As long as the publisher refuses to take responsibility for his staff members, or as long as Brandt refuses to accept and show remorse for his own actions, Armorama is a site that condones and supports such behaviors.

To remain here, to continue to participate and contribute to this site’s content, is to effectively lend my own support and endorsement to what Brandt did and said. My personal ethic will not allow me to do so.

I suppose the possibility remains that the publisher, Jim Starkweather, and or staff member, Kevin Brandt, will do the right thing. It is possible that one day they might take responsibility for Brandt’s behavior and demonstrate some remorse by publically apologizing to Kurt Laughlin and Christophe Jacquemont for Brandt’s aggressive and viscous personal attacks on them. Accepting responsibility and apologizing would do much to restore this site’s reputation and establish some reasonable boundaries for civil behavior by all.

However, unless and until that day happens, I am afraid that I must bid you, my friends, farewell and…

Happy modeling!

Mike Roof, aka: SdAufKla
Karl187
#284
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Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Joined: October 04, 2006
KitMaker: 3,094 posts
Armorama: 2,942 posts
Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 04:13 AM UTC
The blue uniforms contrast with the tank so well, you are really drawn into looking at the crew very closely. This piece is a true work of art.
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,400 posts
Armorama: 7,394 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - 01:52 AM UTC
The face on that guy reaching out of the tank is scary good.
J
lespauljames
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: January 06, 2007
KitMaker: 3,661 posts
Armorama: 2,764 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - 01:33 AM UTC
really dynamic figures and fantastic painting! great work
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,231 posts
Armorama: 2,151 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - 01:27 AM UTC
Thanks, guys!

@ Jerry: Hey my old friend, you know you were my inspiration back in the day in Fayett-nam, so your kind words mean a lot to me.

@ Trevor: As you can see above, what goes around, comes around. Stick with it. Your work improves by leaps and bounds every build you do. You might not see it, but the rest of us do.

As promised, here are a few views of the finished figures in the completed vignette:







For anyone interested in seeing more pics of the finished vignette, follow the links above in the first post to the M13/40 and the Gilera LTE 500 build threads.

Happy Modeling!
Tedwards252
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: July 12, 2012
KitMaker: 72 posts
Armorama: 70 posts
Posted: Monday, April 01, 2013 - 11:56 PM UTC
I'm always blown away by your work Mike.
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,400 posts
Armorama: 7,394 posts
Posted: Monday, April 01, 2013 - 02:25 AM UTC
Awesome,stupendous,brilliant,wunderschoen,was noch kann Ich sage?
Wish I could see it in person,
J
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,231 posts
Armorama: 2,151 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 09:53 AM UTC
Well, guys, almost done with this project. Just a few shots of Dull Coat on some glue spots from the final assembly, add the name plate, and then glue the terrain module down onto the finished decorative base.

I'll post a couple more shot of the finished work, but for now, here's one last WIP pic:



Happy Modeling!
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,231 posts
Armorama: 2,151 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 04:28 AM UTC
@ Jerry: Vaa-room, va-rooom, put-put-put-put!

@ Karl: Thanks! I really did consider painting the bike sand yellow, but in the end, went with the factory gray-green because I wanted that contrast that you point out.

The early M13/40 is going to be in the sand yellow over factory gray-green that was common with the Ariete's VII tank battalion, so I didn't want the bike to disappear from the scene against the tank or the ground work. The gray-green will hopefully give it enough visual weight to hold its own when put with the other elements of the vignette.

@ Stefan: Thank you, sir, for the kind words.

@ Fred: Thank, you, too. PM replied!

Happy modeling!
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,490 posts
Armorama: 2,332 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 02:05 AM UTC
Mike,

Your diorama is coming along well. Your figures look great! I appreciate finding someone else who uses a figure painting technique similar to mine. Your additional layers catapult your guys to a higher level. My compliments.
Dangeroo
#023
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Zurich, Switzerland
Joined: March 13, 2009
KitMaker: 2,058 posts
Armorama: 1,656 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 12:58 AM UTC
Stunning figure painting! First class! And the bike looks really well detailed. Congrats!

Cheers!
Stefan
Karl187
#284
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Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Joined: October 04, 2006
KitMaker: 3,094 posts
Armorama: 2,942 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 11:35 PM UTC
That bike looks like a tricky enough kit to build and detail, never mind paint! I love the contast of color between the dull green hues of the bike and the tan hues of the rider.
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,400 posts
Armorama: 7,394 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 05:50 AM UTC
Ah yes,cool!! The Indian!! One of only 2 true motorcycle companies!!! Can't wait to see that!!
Ducking and running for cover from all of the worlds'm/c riders,
J
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,231 posts
Armorama: 2,151 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 03:38 AM UTC
Thanks Jer! Coming from you, I really appreciate the comments all the more.

Hopefully I don't "screw the pooch" with the rest of the build, and the finish on the M13/40 comes off at least as well as on the bike.

I did enjoy this little build, though, and it has me looking very hard at the new Swash "Indian 741B" bike and rider for a possible stand-alone vignette.
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,400 posts
Armorama: 7,394 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 03:01 AM UTC
Nice pics to illustrate the fact that your figs have now become as good as your vehicles.
I have built a few motorrads in the past and I don't think most guys know how difficult these little guys are! You bought a very nice kit there and improved on it exponentially brother.
Reminds me of the respect I have for the wildmen that build these modern AFVs with all of the frames and grates and anti-rocket shields on them without showing a drop of glue! Awesome.
J
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,231 posts
Armorama: 2,151 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 12:01 PM UTC
In the nature of "complete the record," here're are a couple pics of the nearly finished bike and rider. It still needs a coat of Dull Coat and some weathering touch-ups once it's on the vignette -









Happy modeling!
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,231 posts
Armorama: 2,151 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 03:22 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Did that bike come with PE spokes and stuff? Or did you rob those from another kit?
J



Hi Jerry,

The bike is a very nice, complete little kit from Model Victoria. It's all resin and PE with decals. The spokes are PE that come with the kit. There is some scratch building required in the instructions for things like the front suspension and saddle coil springs and all of the cables and other wiring.

In this photo, the parts that are in primer red are the kit resin. (I primed the light gray resin parts to see them better for clean up.) The PE parts are a mix of brass and stainless steel (the kit spokes). I did use a bit of white plastic rod and sheet for some scratched parts - struts and linkages. These were shown in my reference photos.

All of the cables and wires are either .010 lead or fine copper wire.



There are some additional photos of the current state of finishing in the thread linked above.



The kit is not for beginners, but anyone with some experience with resin and PE should be able to build it. I was actually surprised that I was able to find as many reference photos on-line, including a couple of very nice restored bikes.

On the down-side, I had to order the kit direct from Model Victoria (no problems there), but the cost of shipping from Italy added quite a bit to the kit's cost. Still, I wouldn't hesitate to order from them again.
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,400 posts
Armorama: 7,394 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 03:58 AM UTC
Did that bike come with PE spokes and stuff? Or did you rob those from another kit?
J
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,231 posts
Armorama: 2,151 posts
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 - 10:35 AM UTC
Hey Jer, I hope we can catch back up to one another some time. It'd be nice to see ya and swap some "No, sh*t, there I was..." stories about our time in Fayet-nam and the old Lafayette Scale Modelers.

For anyone interested, I've put up a couple of new in-progress photos of the Gilera LTE-500 bike:

Armorama::Model Victoria :Gilera LTE 500" with Rider

It's a sweet little kit and the rider fits it like a glove.

Here're a couple of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" pics of the rider test fitted to the bike.





Happy modeling!
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,400 posts
Armorama: 7,394 posts
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 - 06:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for all the kind words, guys.

I really enjoyed painting these figgies, especially the excellent Hornet heads and the Model Victoria rider. The sculpting was wonderful on those, and good sculpting makes all the difference!

@ Keith: Sorry to hear that you're still under the weather, my friend. Hope you're feeling better today and that you don't miss your weekend getaway!

@Clayton: Thanks for the complements!

@Scott: You too! We missed you this weekend in Atlanta, but I did pick-up your show tee-shirt for you.

@Karl: Thank, you, sir. I'm really looking forward to finishing up this vignette and am glad that I've gotten the figures done finally.

Although not reflected in these posts, the research effort for the M13/40 was, for me, of epic proportions.

I've been working on this project for over a year now. It's definitely time to move on to a new subject when I start dreaming about differences in Italian medium tank series production!

@Jerry: Thanks. As I've said, I'm trying to up my game in so far as my figure painting goes. I guess one figure at a time describes it...

This last weekend, I attended the Atlanta AMPS Regional hosted in conjunction with the Atlanta Military Figure Society's annual show. The quality of work on the figure side of this event has always been both a humbling and motivating experience for me each time I go. This year was no exception. There was some eye-popping work there.

But I do think that I've at least progressed to the point where I'm not ashamed to exhibit my work in the same venue with some of those world-class figure painters.

Happy modeling!



Thanks man,we have an event up here at Valley Forge like that every year. The figures and displays are mind numbingly good. I would class it more an art exibition the stuff gets so good. Original sculptures abound. I actually threw my entry away last time I displayed there as I was ashamed of myself for making the attempt. Wish I had the funds to attend an amps show,not that I would summon the courage to enter,but it would be cool to see the work and the vendors. I went to Aberdeen a few times when it was held there. back when Christ was a corporal.
J

J
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,231 posts
Armorama: 2,151 posts
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 - 03:34 AM UTC
Thanks for all the kind words, guys.

I really enjoyed painting these figgies, especially the excellent Hornet heads and the Model Victoria rider. The sculpting was wonderful on those, and good sculpting makes all the difference!

@ Keith: Sorry to hear that you're still under the weather, my friend. Hope you're feeling better today and that you don't miss your weekend getaway!

@Clayton: Thanks for the complements!

@Scott: You too! We missed you this weekend in Atlanta, but I did pick-up your show tee-shirt for you.

@Karl: Thank, you, sir. I'm really looking forward to finishing up this vignette and am glad that I've gotten the figures done finally.

Although not reflected in these posts, the research effort for the M13/40 was, for me, of epic proportions.

I've been working on this project for over a year now. It's definitely time to move on to a new subject when I start dreaming about differences in Italian medium tank series production!

@Jerry: Thanks. As I've said, I'm trying to up my game in so far as my figure painting goes. I guess one figure at a time describes it...

This last weekend, I attended the Atlanta AMPS Regional hosted in conjunction with the Atlanta Military Figure Society's annual show. The quality of work on the figure side of this event has always been both a humbling and motivating experience for me each time I go. This year was no exception. There was some eye-popping work there.

But I do think that I've at least progressed to the point where I'm not ashamed to exhibit my work in the same venue with some of those world-class figure painters.

Happy modeling!
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,400 posts
Armorama: 7,394 posts
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 - 02:55 AM UTC
It's hard to imagine but these are better than your Alpini dude. Each project that you undertake gets better and better.
J
Karl187
#284
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Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Joined: October 04, 2006
KitMaker: 3,094 posts
Armorama: 2,942 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 11:17 PM UTC
Mike those figures are simply world class- I reckon the color of Italian uniforms and equipment (like the fancy helmet on the dispatch rider) are probably some of the most difficult WW2 subjects to do and even harder to get them looking exactly right but you've managed it with some flair. The expressions on the faces are brought to life so well- the skin tones are spot on and every little detail in their uniforms and equipment is just great to see. Congratulations on thise pieces of art- I can't wait to see them all in place in the scene!
stamey
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: October 21, 2011
KitMaker: 26 posts
Armorama: 25 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 12:24 PM UTC
They ARE the best figures I have ever seen!!! Great stuff Mike.

Scott
clayocker
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: February 01, 2005
KitMaker: 69 posts
Armorama: 59 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 09:46 AM UTC
I think they are some of the best painted figures I have ever seen - brilliant work