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Resin Craters


Large Crater
(2 per set)
Product #
WH-3
Manufacturer
Suggested Retail Price
US$6.25 unpainted
US$12.50 painted

Medium Crater
(4 per set)
Product #
WH-2
Manufacturer
Suggested Retail Price
US$6.25 unpainted
US$12.50 painted

Shell Holes
(6 per set)
Product #
166
Manufacturer
Suggested Retail Price
US$3.25 unpainted
US$6.00 painted


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Revision Log
10 March 2000converted to new format
21 March 1997completed
26 December 1996page first published

7,122 hits since 19 Mar 2000
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tactical Conflict Systems was nice enough to send three samples of their resin craters, each in a different size.

Three sizes of craters from TCS

Product #166 is "Shell holes, 15-25mm scales," and is available both painted and unpainted. This is the bag in the right in the photo, containing six unique crater pieces. The pieces have an "earth" texture, and are studded with small rocks. The resin disks are roughly 2" in diameter, with the actual shellhole being roughly 1" in diameter. The height of the piece (the rim of the hole) is approximately 1/4". Most of the pieces in my sample were made of a reddish-brown resin, but one was of a greyish resin.

Product #WH2 is "Medium Crater, 25mm scale," and is available both painted and unpainted. This is the bag in the middle of the photo, containing four unique crater pieces. The pieces have an "earth" texture outside the crater, but the inside of the crater is smooth with grooves (as if shrapnel cut holes in a muddy surface); several of the pieces also have one or more large rocks outside the crater (as if blasted out by the explosion). The resin pieces are starfish-shaped, roughly 3" in diameter, with the actual shellhole being roughly 1 1/2" in diameter. The height of the piece (the rim of the hole) is approximately 1/2". All of the pieces in my sample were made of a reddish-brown resin.

Product #WH3 is "Large Crater, 25mm scale," and is available both painted and unpainted. This is the bag on the left in the photo, containing two unique crater pieces. The pieces have an mix of "earth" and "mud" textures both inside and outside the crater, as well as large rocks and rock pieces. The resin pieces are roughly 5" in diameter, with the actual shellhole being roughly 3 1/2" in diameter. The height of the piece (the rim of the hole) is approximately 5/8". All of the pieces in my sample were made of a reddish-brown resin.


Preparing the Craters

None of the craters had "bubble" type imperfections. However, all had a bottom "lip" (a flat projection) which I trimmed back with a hobby knife. In places, the lip is so thin is breaks off upon touch; in other spots, the lip is thick and needs to be ground off (or left alone, if you prefer).

All of the pieces sit flat, though one of my sample large craters is actually sitting on its edges (as if the outside is "bent" all the way around) - but it looks fine, so I don't trouble with it.


Painting

I washed the craters in warm soapy water, let them thoroughly dry, and primed with white paint.

My first thought is to "wash" the primed craters with brown ink (to be specific, using Higgins brand waterproof ink). But I run into a problem that's plagued me off and on with this ink - instead of brown craters, I end up with red craters...

My brown ink turns red...

OK, take a deep breath, start over...

My next experiment is to paint the craters with a base coat of sand paint. (Entirely painting over the brown/red ink mess I just made.) The paint I'm using is one that jumped off a shelf at me one day, screaming "I'm that desert color you've been looking for all these years." (Well, maybe I'm exagerating.) It's a bottle of Americana brand acrylic paint, color DA4 Sand.

A basecoat of sand paint

Next, I apply a wash of Brown Oxide paint (Apple Barrel acrylic paint). What I like about this particular bottle of paint is that it makes a great wash (just mixing a little water and paint on my juice-can-end palette).

With a wash of brown oxide paint

I'm pleasantly surprised by the result, as the combination of brown oxide wash over sand basecoat turns out to give a great "sun-bleached dirt" look. Feeling fantastically lucky, all I do to finish it off is paint a few of the detail rocks, and spray on a matte clear finish. Boy, was that easier than I expected.