About

I worked in professional photography for 15 years; as a designer for Lego for 5 years; in theatre and film design and production in the 80s and 90s and owned my own hobby shop for 7 years.

Now semi-retired I have time to pursue my modelling and photography interests.

I’ve been making models for 50 years and still haven’t got it quite right—but still trying. On this site I will endeavour to show what I consider the best of my work, and the painting and weathering techniques I have developed over the years.

120 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Chris, i’m a huge fan of your work and i have been coming here four a couple of years now and you are a constant reference. I’m starting the 1/48 Tamiya Hien and i’ve been looking yours for hours and i find it amazing the way it looks so realistic..I will try your paint approach on it .I would like to ask you about riveting on this project… I’ve noticed that you don’t rivet the newer tamiya models and i was wondering why? You find that new tamiya models don’t need the extra rivet work? The question is focused on the why in some projects rivets are a must… and in others not so much. Cheers and thank you for your inspiring work.

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  2. Hi Chris, After all these years I remember our time together in Australia’s LEGO model room.. I guess it was brought to mind by the silly LEGO stuff on TV.. Knowing how long it took to conceive, design, and build models I doubt what they build is done in the alleged time. The number of models you have built and painted and photographed shown in your archive is amazing. I’m glad you had the joy of filling you life with what you love.
    Hope you are well. Best regards, Peter.
    I don’t know whether you use Faceache much but just sent you a request.

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    • Cheers Pete, the best job I ever had. Wish it had’ve lasted longer. People are still fascinated when I tell them about my time there. The TV show gives me the thrippenny bits and I refuse to watch it, much to my friends amazement.
      Great to here from you Pete,
      Stay in touch, Chris.

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  3. Hi Chris, thanks again for posting your work, I find your weathering effects the most realistic I’ve seen. Reading about your techniques, I have a question about the black wash you use for panel lines, which I think you said was Tamiya Semi-gloss Black X-18. What do you mix it with to make the wash, water, Tamiya’s X-20A thinner, or something else? And when you apply it, do you have issues with those dreaded “tidal marks” where the wash creeps out of the recessed area onto the adjacent surfaces? If so, do you have wisdom for dealing with that? Thanks very much, Scott

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    • Hi Scott, I thin the X-18 semigloss black with water.he mix is about 30% paint to 60% water. This mix is fairly transparent and is applied as a pin wash using a very fine, pointed brush usually over a glossy surface which tends to just darken the line rather than making it black. I try to paint it as accurately as possible keeping it all within the panel line and, because it is so watery, any overflow is easily wiped off while it is still wet. If I want darker lines, e.g. around exhaust outlets, I just add more black to the mix.
      I use X-18 because it flows a bit better and drys a little bit slower which makes it easier to work with.
      Hope this answers your question.
      Cheers,
      Chris.

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  4. Hi Chris: Take a look at the “Images At War Special: Tiger 1 and Tiger II”. A photo of your King Tiger (from Missing-Lynx) is freaking on the cover !

    You might want to contact the publishers about this. FYI

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    • Thanks Roy, this relatively small image of my model was taken by Brett Green and, as far as I know, only appears on his web site. I’ll ring him and see what he knows about it.

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  5. Hello Chris, hope you are well. Question about thinning Tamiya/Gunze acrylic paints: do you still use 91% isopropyl alcohol to thin them? Do you add anything else to the thinner like water, retarder, or flow aid? If so, which ones and what ratios? Do you thin W&N Galeria Matt Varnish the same way? And finally, what do you use for gloss clear these days (and how do you thin that as well)?

    Thanks,

    Scott

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    • Hi Scott, I don’t add anything else to the IPA when thinning these paints. I do vary the ratio of paint to thinners depending on the results required. I use the IPA to thin the Galeria at a ratio of about 50/50. For gloss clear I use S C Johnson’s Pledge which is thin enough to use straight from the bottle. I use IPA to clean the airbrush after using it so if I ever did need to thin it I would use the same.
      Hope this answers everything.

      Cheers,
      Chris.

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      • Appreciate the swift reply, Chris. Another thing, why do you use 91% IPA and not 99%?

        Your work is, as always, awesome and I am grateful for the chance to converse with you about your methods.

        Thanks again,
        Scott

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      • Scott, I’m not sure where you got the 91% from because the IPA I use is 100%. Maybe I have said in some cases I thin the paint 90% thinners, which I certainly do for some applications.

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      • Chris
        Hope you’re doing well. Following up on using Tamiya flat acrylic thinned with IPA, what is the key to getting a smooth finish? I have tried 60% IPA to 40% paint and no matter what air pressure/distance I employ with an Iwata HP-C+ (.30mm), it results in a grainy finish. Feel like a dog chasing his tail.

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      • Scott I have had this problem on occasion and I’m sure it’s because the paint is drying before it actually hits the model. When it has happened I have had to carefully sand it back and re-spray with the same mix. This usually solves the problem. Atmospherics must play a big part in the causation, i.e. humidity or the lack of, but I just plough on until I get the result I’m going for. I have been told that adding a drop or two of washing-up detergent to the IPA helps solve this problem but I have never tried it.
        I know that this doesn’t really answer your question but I hope it of some help.
        Chris.

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      • Thanks for the reply, I’ll just keep at it. Maybe I’ll try adding the detergent the detergent or give Tamiya’s paint retarder a try.

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  6. Hello, I was looking at your extra ordinary model of the Fw190 A8, Rote 1. I was wondering if You could enlighten me about the oilcooler ring on the nose cowl. The adjustment panels seem to be painted red, however not very accurate! Therefore on purpose, looking at the rest of your work!!! I have been trying to find information about these panels, but have been unlucky…… Kind regards, Donald

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  7. Hi Donald, these points on the oil cooler ring on the original aircraft were covered with round canvas patches and, when any maintenance was needed they were torn off. This left areas of exposed metal which, when the maintenance was completed, were daubed with red primer usually leaving rough, uneven edges. Evidence of this can be clearly seen in many photos of 190s. There is a good pic of this aircraft in particular which is what I used as my reference.
    Hope this makes sense and answers your question.

    https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Fw-190A/JG300/pages/Focke-Wulf-Fw-190A8-5.JG300-Red-1-Klaus-Bretschneider-M499-Germany-1944-01.html

    Cheers,
    Chris.

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    • Hi Chris, thanks for your answer! Yes, I have seen the picture you refer to, also the colored one, which I assume was your inspiration. Now I am building a 190 model as well, however somewhat bigger… 1/5 scale. Sist is the manufacturer of the model and he made these 1/5 and 1/4 scale. He modeled round panels, with a screw head in the middle, at these locations. These models are really nice and well detailed as you can see in the linked pages of Warbirdforum. I have seen discussions about the oil cooler ring and that it was adjustable, only on later models from A6 and on, between a gap of 10mm and 20mm depending on the climat. For sure the ring was adjusted at these locations. Looking at some of the rebuilds I don’t see any indication of either canvas or a round panel. Strange these differences. Kind regards, Donald

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  8. Hi Chris,
    Wonderful kits, with a special highlight to Tamiya’s 109G6.
    Allow me to ask which technique you used to paint the Nav Lights’ grey integral plastic to look transparent. And the red/green bulbs ??
    Thank you for the attention and congratulations for your models !
    Paulo

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  9. Hi Paulo, really glad you like the model, and as for the nav lights, each housing was first painted RLM02, then the red and green bulbs were added. Once these were dry a thin black wash was carefully built-up around each coloured bulb and the outer edges of each light housing all the while, carefully trying to match my photo reference. When this was dry each light was given several coats of clear gloss. Reproducing the look of the pics was a bit of a challenge but the results , I think, are very pleasing.

    Hope this description is clear enough. If not I’m happy to answer anymore questions you may have.

    Cheers,
    Chris.

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    • Thank you very much for the info, I’ll try…
      As for the bulbs, did you drill a very small hole and added some clear red/green ?
      Regards
      Paulo

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      • No holes Paulo, they are simply spots of colour with some shading added around the edges.
        Chris.

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