"Aje moe kakkn, moe je kakkn"

Case Vai, from Thunder model, 1/35 Scale

Welcome to

the kmk academy

Oh, this is such a thing that quickly arouses the urge to be made as quickly with a drive that you only feel during a start of a new project. I mean that you're usually much more motivated at the start of a project, and more towards the end you have to try to keep up with it to finish it.


"Many will know this feeling"! Nothing was less true here, the reason: it became a small, fine and well-fitting model that could be quickly and easily assembled and painted. A year ago I started a big project that I am now about halfway. But it is an effort that you will have to make until it is completely finished and that naturally clears your mind. In order to be able to put my senses on something else (without losing interest for the bigger project), I started with something small that I could possibly use later if, for example, I would have to paint intense colours. It has become the Traktor Case Vai, from Thunder model. This kit is available under the designation "US Army tractor - Case Vai or US loader of the brand Thunder model scale 1/35. It is a small but nice model that fits very well. These are 2 civil vehicles but they were used during the second world war by the Americans. I started with the US loader, you have the possibility to build both versions due to small conversion parts which are included in the kit. I think both kits are identical with just a different lid on the box.

The Story

Even today you still can see them standing on fields, along the road, festivals etc ... They become more modern day by day, just think of the TOIs and the dixies. But this one is still original and old as I saw it in my youth, the real vintage nature toilets. The story therefore takes place in a field where an occasional farmer (as there are many these days) does his thing. That is why they do so because home is a mile away. Detail: during the mission the toilet paper accidentally rolls under the door ... shit !! The name of the title is a dialect from West-Flanders (the coastal region in Belgium) an almost incomprehensible language for us!

The chassis & subassemblies

The model with some additions such as rust on the fenders, made of metal powder mixed with Tamiya glue. Copper wire was used for cabling. 2 lights (from my scrap box) were placed at the back of the tractor's bonnet. The gear shifter was replaced by copper wire (no seams). I also replaced the kit wheels with resin wheels. And last but not least, all Photo Etch comes with the kit and fits very well. Note that nothing had to be filled with putty, this kit is, as previously stated, a topper of its kind. One more thing to tell, the green rod at the bottom of the tractor is a steel rod that I have applied in a drill holder to handle the tractor during painting. Voila, ready for the paint.

Painting the tractor

After the basic colour that will serve as a base layer for the rust spots to follow. These are from the AK rust set and first airbrushed, followed by the other colours using the sponge technique. I like to use these colours, especially the very dark brown shade which cannot easily be found with other brands. It is important that the base rust colour is very dark because the final colour will turn orange and this contrasts very well with the dark rust spots. A protective layer of AK semi-matt varnish will seal the fresh paint against later treatments. Next step is to spray the base colour, here I took the new paint (Real colours) from AK. RC009 was the ideal paint I needed since I wanted to provide the tractor with a bright colour, followed by RC009 and RC006 95%-5% as shade.  And finally RC009 and RC043 50%-50% that should serve as the already faded orange paint. 

Remark: all paint has been diluted with water because we are now going to apply the sponge technique. IMG_1434 IMG_1435 shows us a picture after the treatment of the sponge or hairspray technique. Again we finish with AK semi-matt varnish to protect the obtained result. The weathering process of the paint done with oil paint filters. First mud and grass have been applied. this is a delicate moment: too much material will affect the attractiveness of your model and the effect is lost. Less is more. The end result so far. Tractor with container, filled with earth, the shovel was added.

The Toilet 

This is entirely made of balsa wood and painted in the same way as the wooden frame around the base. 

The tree 

The tree is made of a combination of real branches, glued together with superglue. Structure was added with Magic Sculp and copper wire. The leaves are made with a leaf puncher. I’ve used green paper or cardboard for the leaves. The leaves were attached to the branches with superglue. When dry several brown washes, made of oil paint and White Spirit, were added to the trunk and branches. It is important that you stick large leaves at the bottom and smaller ones upwards. 

The groundwork  

Groundwork can be made in different ways, but there are only a few methods that are completely ready after drying, without having to re-spray with the airbrush or paint with the brush. What do we need:
- Nice sand (everywhere I go I always look for plants and especially sand) The best sand I have now comes from the dunes of Playa de Mallorca
- wet mud (AK)
- wood glue and water, mixing cups
- thick flat brush
- Styrofoam
Before starting, I have already filled the largest cavities and cracks with Styrofoam and Polyfilla and let them dry. The mounting holes where the tractor will be attached to later are marked with toothpicks. Plastic foil around the frame ensures that the whole can be removed after drying as I want to paint the frame after finishing the groundwork.  wet mud has been applied, followed by a mixture of water / wood glue / acrylic paint dripped onto it.  A first result can be seen after the sand has been applied and the accessories are pressed into the groundwork. Now it comes down to making your vignette so it will tell your story. I have collected all kinds of things and painted them so that they are well integrated to the overall scene. E.g. the watering can against the toilet is painted red so it contrasts well with the toilet itself, the garden hose is painted orange. The oil barrel is again combined red / yellow, the gas cylinder yellow. All colours are compatible with the tractor and the toilet. Flowers and plants are always beautiful, these are partly made of copper wire and powder with glue, some have been bought and some are real flowers. Let it dry. Done.

The frame  

The diorama is a PVC tray, 2mm thick balsa wood was glued around the sides. I wanted to integrate the base into the story and not, as often can be seen, that the frame is painted black in order to get a border between frame and diorama. The thickness of the wood makes it possible for me to carve the wood grains fairly roughly and deeply so that they can be painted and weathered. I also made an exaggerated nameplate with some excellent nails. This way you create the effect that this is a bigger scale than 1/35. Here you see the base colours (UA084 and UA090 Lifecolor) applied in uneven strips and the first original base colour (LC 08) diluted with water. This way I’m able to remove the paint with a cloth in an irregular way so it reveals the surface. This colour is important if you want to display the frame and diorama as one unit. Choose a colour that returns in your diorama, for me that was the colour of the toilet. Because the wooden parts were painted with acrylics, I didn’t have to worry about drying times.
Next step: editing the colour of the frame with a wash of VanDyckBrown + White Spirit. Then UA120 (lighter colour than the blue base colour) was applied in an irregular way, thin and sometimes undiluted (is more severe). This way one can create small differences and shades.  Again a wash (VanDyckBrown + White Spirit) was applied and cleaned with cloth to pull the colours together. Remark: If the results doesn’t fit, you can always wipe it clean with White Spirit and start all over again.  Next step is creating so-called wet and decaying places, by reworking the edges and seams with AK026 and AK027 (light and dark green). These colours are perfect to create this effect and can be applied straight from the jar. We repeat these steps of painting and application of a dark wash for even more variety in the painted wood. Note: always decrease the surfaces along these steps to avoid any loss of effects previously obtained.

Word of thank 

This is my first civilian diorama and I enjoyed it a lot. Using simple old school techniques, one can create an attractive model to look at.
I would like to thank my fellow modellers from my club (KMK) for their ideas, advices, remarks and the good times we have together, and especially my modelling buddies Rudi Meir, Gert Mertens, Kristof Pulinckx, Marijn Van Gils, Hugo Luyten and Uli Wilke for the interesting discussions about weathering techniques.

Model specifications for the plants 

. GL-012 wild grass bundle mix trocken (Green Line)
• GL-005 wild grass cobra kurz hellgrün (Green Line)
• GL-009 wildgrass mix mix hellgrün (Green Line)
• GL-008 wild grass cobra kurz trocken (Green Line)
• GL-051 Dandelion and English (Green Line)
• VG3-003 Blatouchy marsh marigold (Model scene)
• VG3-002 Lopuchy Burdock (Model scene)

For more and high diffenition pictures, look in our gallery

Dirk vangeel

~ Member of KMK since 2000~