Big Bad Bison - Assembly and Painting tips for the 1/700 Zubr class LCAC Kits August 26 2014

Hey guys,

In this entry, I'm going to elaborate on the instructions included with the 1/700 Evgeny Kocheshkov kit and show you some of the tricks and techniques I used to assemble the model. Advanced modellers will recognise these techniques, but for those new to the world of resin modelling I hope this is of use to you. Anyway, let's jump into the build!

The first thing I did was to carefully cut out the painting mask template that I wanted to use, I used a new scalpel blade and really took my time. The cleaner this is cut out, the shaper the paintwork will be later on.

The next thing I did was to cut out the superstructure from them frame, and trim off the small amount of visible mould lines using an abrasive file to get a really clean finish. Then I attached the booms and bridge wing parts.

Next, I carefully cut out the main mast parts from the brass fret. I used Evostik PVA adhesive to fix them in place, it's easier to use than superglue and still holds the brass parts tightly in place. Best of all it can be applied with a paint brush to get very precise fixture. I then attached the top of the mast, and the small radome - also using PVA.

Next I added the fine details to the mast. I took my time and used tweezers to place them in the desired place with a small amount of PVA glue.

Now that the superstructre was nearly finished, it was time to assemble those three gigantic fans that give this model its character! I cut these from the frame, tidied them up with a knife and then assembled them as per the instruction - I left the brass propellers until later.

Then it was time to glue the fans, gatling guns and rocket launchers in place. I also test fitted the superstructure - which I didn't glue in until later because I wanted the area clear for masking.

Next it was time to get the airbrush out. Masking in this way can only really be achieved with an airbrush, though if you have a steady hand you might be able to get a good result with brush painting too. I mixed up some Russian Navy Deck Red from the White Ensign Models Colourcoats range. I have found these to be superb paints that have great coverage and accurate colours, I highly reccomend them. I sprayed all around the upper deck area where I wanted the red part of the deck to be. I then fixed my cut out paper mask in place by applying a few drops of Humbrol Maskol to the underside to act as temporary glue. This holds the paper mask firmly in place, and you can eaily peel it off later.

Then, I loaded the airbrush up with Russian Navy Baltic Fleet Grey and sprayed the entire hull. I did about four thin coats, and I was careful to only spray onto the deck directly vertically so as not to get any grey under then mask. When it was dry I removed the mask, and the result was actually better than I had anticipated.

I sprayed the superstructure seperately, and when it was dry I fixed it in place on the hull.

Now there was some brushwork to do, I painted the liferaft canisters white, the gatling gun barrels black, the two radomes light grey, and the fan exhausts aluminium silver. When the exhausts were dry, I gave them a light wash with thinned down chestnut ink, followed by thinned down blue ink - this was to represent the tempering that the metal receives due to the hot exhaust gasses. At this point I should also have painted the skirt black, but I forgot to. You should paint them at this point!

Once all the brushwork detail had been done, the decals were applied. I use an ALPS printer to print the decals - which means that the decal film covers then entire sheet of paper. Therefore the best thing to do is to cut out the area around a decal so you can handle it, then score around the decal's shape with a very sarp knife blade. The aim is to cut through the decal film but not the card, this makes handling them and applying much easier. Once the decals were all in place they were given a coat of Microsol, and when dry this was followed by a a thin coat of Vallejo satin varnish just to protect them from clumsy fingers.

The next stage was the etched brass. This is by far the most challenging part of the entire build, and great care must be taken with each part. If you make a mistake and need a replacement part, please get in touch and I can supply you with an extra fret so you can complete your model. 

I sprayed both sides of the fret with Baltic Fleet grey with all the parts still in place, and I sprayed the propellers light grey and added the red points to the blades by hand. These were the first parts that were fixed in place, again using PVA glue. With all the brass parts, i strongly reccomend handling them with tweezers - in some cases you may need a pair of tweezers in each hand to bend some parts into the correct shape, though they are designed to bend easily and you should not need any special tools. Take your time, and work from the back of the model to the front - this way you have somewhere that's safe to handle the model for most of the brass fixing process.

Once all this was done, I gave the model two coats of satin varnish with the airbrush to fix everything in place and to create an even finish. The result was very pleasing!

This is a basic guide to building the model OOB, however I know that many modellers will want to go into even more detail with weathering techniques and rigging - which I am really looking foreard to seeing! Please send photos of your model to me, and i will feature them on my facebook page. I hope you enjoy this unusual subject, and as ever I appreciate any comments and feeback on the kit.


Happy modelling!