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Build & Review: TT Combat’s Hawking Academy Ruin

Well, it’s been a while. I’ve not been lazy, I’ve just not been building. I’ve been skilling up in a bunch of other areas (micro electronics, 3d printing, y’know: the future…)

Anyway. TT Combat have released a ruined version of their Hawking Academy and it’s just perfect for my fallout board (more on the boards later).

It’s a 3 level + roof space mdf kit with plenty of etched detail on the exterior. The interiors are completely blank but we’ll do something about that during the build.

As with all my mdf builds, I start by dry assembling as much as I can to get a feel for how big the thing will be. It’s surprisingly compact.

I attached the exterior brickwork at this point, but the walls and floors are all still separate.

I began detailing the interior by creating some interior walls and doors from Foamex and thin card. You could use foam core but Foamex is much stronger.

I attached the interior walls to one side of the exterior walls so I can still get in and paint.

Everything is assembled with superglue. I use this stuff ( Everbuild Industrial Superglue ) you can get a debonder and accelerator from the same company. It’s serious stuff, keep the debonder to hand.

I kept things square with 1-2-3 blocks. Massively useful heavy bits of right angle metal – every model builder should have them!

I kept checking at eye level to make sure I was making ‘interesting’ views through the open spaces…

I added skirting board to all the interior walls with thin card.

And then took everything outside to give the walls a prime with poundland grey car primer.

Using the poundland primer grey as a base coat, I airbrushed Vallejo Off White thinned with Ultimate Modelling Thinner, shot through an UM Apex airbrush. I tried to keep the coat uneven and blotchy without making it ‘look’ uneven and blotchy :-/

While I had the airbrush out, I gave the exterior brickwork and base coat of Tamiya Desert Yellow – again I maintained the uneven finish. I Kept the roof concrete grey to give some contrast.

Once the interior had fully dried, I pulled out my trusty oils…

… and used my usual technique of dabbing random dots of raw paint over the walls and using a wide brush, cleaned often to drag the dots down the wall and blend them together.

Next, I turned my attention to the floors. I could have left them as concrete but it’s a perfect opportunity to add some easy texture and to stop it looking like an mdf kit!

I cut some kitchen towel to shape and then ripped it up and smushed it around with some watered down pva till it looked right.

I marked out the interior space with a pencil to make sure I didn’t get any carpet under the wall joints.

Then I went for a walk in Derbyshire with a nice bloke from Australia I met doing the Coast to Coast last year…

When I got back, I tacked the roof furniture. The kit comes with some air vents and what looks like a pump housing.

I base painted them green and chipped them with Vallejo Black Brown dabbed on with a sponge.

I picked out the lettering (not *too* neatly) on the pump housing and then washed the lot with a thick burnt umber oil wash.

I airbrushed the carpets with base colours of blue and purple and then oversprayed them with Tamiya Royal Light Grey to dust them up a bit (particularly around the edges)

With the floors base painted, I finally attached them to the walls.

I broke up some random bits of plastic for rubble…

And fixed it in place with sculptamold. No need to wet it down and smooth it, you want it ragged. I mixed in some of my airbrush grey primer to base colour it.

I let the sculptamold dry thoroughly and then brought out the oils. I worked with small areas of distinct colour and used thinners to blend them together. I’m not trying to be neat, I’m just trying to get colours down at this point. They look very bright while wet, they fade a little when dry, but they’ll still be too harsh, but we’ll come to that…

As a general rule, I try to keep the dark tones to the edges…

A few props I had lying around…

Interior mood shot…

I used a few (grey’s and browns mainly) pigment powders to tone down the brightness of the oils. Load a bit on your brush and dust it into corners. I find it binds with the oils. Any surplus can be blown away. We’re not using it to make piles of dirt.

Before:

After:

It’s easy to go overboard with pigment powders but you end up just washing all your colours out. A little to good effect is all that’s needed.

Happy with how the interior was coming along, I used a similar technique to the interior walls for the exterior walls, but with less colours – just browns and yellows.

Dabs of green oils in the odd corner help to add a bit of colour too. Blend them up the walls with thinners to mimic mold.

A quick run round with a brush to catch any last minute misses and it’s ready for some sunlight glamour shots. I pulled together some of my other boards and builds and took them outside…

All in all a great kit, that goes together easily and at a great price. TT Combat have really been upping their game in terms of price/quality and it really shows.

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2 thoughts on “Build & Review: TT Combat’s Hawking Academy Ruin

  1. Found your blog a couple days ago. I have to say – I’m a big fan! I have seen a lot of great blogs, but I have probably never found so much useful information, tipps and ideas for my own projects. Thanks a lot + some great pictures of your trips. Makes me want to do one or two myself 😉

    Looking forward to your future posts.

    Best wishes

    – Joe

    1. Nice one Joe – glad you found something useful. I’ve been a bit lax recently doing other things but I’m back at the bench building again. The trips have been breathtaking and the company fantastic 🙂

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