Scale modeler’s Warhammer 40K project is an absolute master class


A Sicaran tank in the colors of the Imperial Fists. It looks old, rusted, and covered in grease and dirt.
Image: Night Shift via YouTube

The Night Shift channel puts on a clinic with its Sicaran tank build

While fans of Warhammer 40,000 and other miniatures games like to spend a lot of time on their tiny little war machines, their commitment to the craft pales in comparison to dedicated scale modelers. One such modeler, Martin Kovac, recently published a video to YouTube that makes that abundantly clear. It also raises the question: Why aren’t hobby painters paying more attention to these incredible artists?

A little over a year ago I took a break from painting up a bunch of minis for 40K and Warhammer: The Horus Heresy to try my hand at a model airplane, my first in nearly three decades. The experience taught me so many things about tools, materials, and organization — lessons that continue to influence my hobby time even today. But the experience also broadened my perspective, adding several scale modelers to my YouTube subscription list. Kovac’s Night Shift was among them, and I’ve enjoyed his work on World War II-era armor and dioramas for more than a year now. So color me surprised when he showed up a little over a week ago with a plastic Sicaran Battle Tank.

In a nearly 30-minute video posted on June 14, Kovac details his entire process from start to finish. In addition to showing how he used oil paints and enamel washes to develop the Sicaran’s delicate patina, he also gives lots of examples of how to add more realistic textures to different parts of the model. I was especially blown away by the handmade weld lines that he created completely from scratch, as well as all the work he put into making the tank’s largest body panels look more like metal.

There’s just one catch: Some of the fine detail work that Kovac did at the end makes it so that the final model can’t be touched with bare human hands. So while this tank looks amazing, it’s not at all suitable for play. Regardless, it’s one of the best videos I’ve ever seen about the modern scale modeling hobby. If you have a pile of plastic slowly rising in your workspace, this might be just the dose of inspiration you need to dig back into it.

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