Tuesday, February 6, 2018

This is the MENG Merkava IIID Late LIC. This is my first Meng kit and while I found the quality to be high, there are a lot of fiddly bits on this one. And in some places the instructions were not very clear. I got some aftermarket stuff for this kit i.e. crew equipment, tow cables, and metal tracks. I also experimented heavily with pastels. There are no washes on this and 100% of the weathering is done with regular pastels. I really did the way this vehicle looks so she makes a great subject to model. I will DEFINITELY be doing an IDF diorama later this year so stay tuned.

NVA T-54b

This my first post, so bear with me.
The model featured in this spread is the Takom T-54b done up in NVA (North Vietnamese Army) colors. I decided to put her on a base with some groundwork as I have not done a diorama in quite some time and was trying to get a feel for it again. This was my second Takom kit and I was impressed with the quality of the molds an the amount of detail. I will definitely be looking into another Takom kit in the future after I clear out my backlog. Enjoy!

Friday, February 2, 2018

King Tiger

This is the basic MENG King Tiger kit.  There is a full interior add on supplement and the basic kit is set up for this. Unless you plan on doing an exploded view, the interior supplement would be a waste.

Everything fits well as expected from MENG. The tracks are length and link. There are photo etch screens for the engine vents.

My paint was a combination of Testors and Humbrol enamels. Gloss coated several times with J & J (formerly Future) floor wax.  Several washes of oils and dullcoated.

I added some personal equipment hanging from the spare track links.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Grille 30 ...$#^*^%# some other stuff

This is the recent Trumpeter kit of yet another not so feasible German Artillery piece.  Not sure if this monster was even on paper, but you will see it up close at the HAC Club contest in May.

Since this was entirely hypothetical, I decided to try a new camo pattern. I painted it with the dark Panzer Gray first.  then I cut strips of tape to make a random cross hatch pattern and re-painted lightly with a lighter shade of blue gray.

Of course I had to add some stowage since the kit didn't even have grab handles on the massive slab sides.  I put in some baskets, ammo crates etc.

The commanders hatch also did not have a machine gun so I added a ring and gun from a Tiger tank. Also needed to add Pioneer tools around the tow cables.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

1/72 Jagdtiger

This is the Italeri 1/72 Jagdtiger.  Not really a new kit, but I do like the Length and Link Plastic tracks.

I did add on some stowage details, resin crates and some equipment from Preiser.

The kit details are OK, certainly not a Dragon kit. The fit was good and the Decals worked well.

I also added some fine mesh to the  intake grilles.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Armor, sort of. . . . . ( a tale of unachieved expectations)

Mid summer I was feeling pretty good.  I had strung together 2 or 3 pretty decent builds (for me) with each one an improvement on its predecessor.  I decided to step out of my newly found comfort zone and try something different.
I found this kit while killing time on e-bay.  It had been started and in the end I got it at a reasonable price ( I think around $30 all in vs. $100 new).  I wanted to stay with a military/armor sort of theme so I thought this thing could be morph'ed into a futuristic Russian scout type vehicle.  My imagination got pumped up and by the time I received the kit I was chopping at the bit to get going.  I did not know it, but the best times were already behind me on this one.

The kit is a 1/20 scale Maschinen Krieger from Hasegawa.  By my account it's about 30% SciFi, 30% armor, 30% aircraft and 3% heart breaker.  There is really good detail in the cockpit but because of the tint of the canopy it is hard to see inside once completed.  The plastic is a little thick for my taste which leads to some pretty hefty seams.  Yep, I said SEAMS.  (aka The Heart Breaker of this story).  I haven't had to deal with seams since I stopped building aircraft 5 or more years ago.  In fact it was seams that got me out of the hobby for a number of years and the root cause of my migration to armor.

Although the filling, sanding and hiding of seams took its toll, I pushed through the fabrication and got the kit ready for the paint stage.  From the beginning I had decided to have the thing look Russian, so I chose to give Hataka's acrylic Warsaw Pact AFV Panel Lighting Set a try.  I usually try to stick with a manufactures own thinner, but since I could not locate any I went with isopropyl alcohol.  BAD CHOICE.  The mixture appeared good in the small plastic cup I was using, but when loaded in the airbrush and an air stream applied it turned into a Russian green Jello substance instantly clogging my airbrush.  Next I tried Tamiya's acrylic thinner and that pasted up even before it got out of the mixing cup.  In the end the only thing that worked was demineralized water. Luckily I test shot each attempt so no paint stripping was required.


For me, this was one of those builds that you generate great expectations for, but the darn thing fights you to the end.  I had some cool visions of an all weathered up vehicle with rust and dust all over the place, but in the end it was all I could do to somewhat finish it.  There were three areas I did have some fun with.  (1) The painting of the canopy frame.  Maybe a little to bright, but I wanted it to pop.  (2) I used a bunch of aircraft decals and stencils and mostly (3) I experimented building a bunch of ammo boxes covered with tarps located in the corner of the base.

This was my 5th and final completion of 2017 and with all the excitement I had in my mind when I started this one, it kind of finished with a fizzle.

Thanks for looking - George
P.S. Sorry about picture quality, I need to take some lessons from Eric or at lease revisit his presentation.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Russian BMR-3M

I am big sucker for cool box art, Russian stuff and engineering vehicles.  So when this one hit the market I was doomed.  I picked it up from a Chinese vendor on the net for about $50 and I splurged on an Ammo by Mig paint set (Modern Russian Camo Colors) and off I went.

Although being a high part count kit (1,300 pieces) many are associated with the tracks.  It comes with a fret of photo etch for the grills and some rubber like hoses for the external fuel tanks.  The kit has its roots in Meng's T-90 model, so there are a bunch of pieces not used.
I spent two weekends assembling hull, turret and mine roller and then a third entire weekend on the tracks.. I think they are the most frustrating component of any model I have every built.  Needless to say, I only installed the parts of the tracks that are visible outside of the fender skirts.
I think my freehand camo scheme came out OK.  As I've stated before I always mess up something  This time I used a clear satin coat in lieu of a gloss clear coat prior to applying and oil wash.  Rather than allowing the wash to run into all the recessed area, the satin coat kind of absorbed the wash and the finish turned out splotchy

 After taking the photos I realize it probably could use some more weathering and highlights.  My problem is I got a few other projects call at me from the bench and I've already spent more time on this one than usual.  I'm calling it done and moving on to my entry for the club's 2nd Banana contest in February.

Thanks for looking - George

Saturday, December 9, 2017

1/48 Sturmtiger

This is the 1/48 scale Sturmtiger from AFV Club. It was built box stock except for he addition of the ring for handling shells (rocket-propelled projectiles), the cable in the loading winch, and Tamiya stick-on Zimmerit. The ring came from the jewellery department of a craft store and the cable is some thread. Neither part is supplied with the kit. The decals are from my scrap box as, again, none are supplied with the kit.

The camo is airbrushed Tamiya green and brown (I forget which exactly) over Vallejo German Dark Yellow primer.

Nice fun, easy kit to build.

Friday, December 8, 2017


My father operated a Quickway crane while serving with the 291st Combat Engineer Battalion from 1943 - 1945.  He was assigned to a pontoon bridge company within the battalion.  His rig was dubbed "Madie" after my mother (Madeline).  This specific crane was destroyed by artillery at Remagen in March of '45
I always wanted to build a 1/35 model of his truck mounted crane and finally last year I ran out of patience waiting for a kit of it , dove off the deep end and tried my hand a kit-bashing/scratch building one.
I started with a bunch of pictures, the Hobby Boss White 666 Cargo Truck kit and a bunch of Evergreen Styrene for everything else.

I began with the boom and crane cab.  Dimension came from a single line scale drawing I found on the net.  The cab went together fairly easily, but I think I built 4 different booms before I got it kinda close.

In my usual manner I imploded when it came to painting.  I painted, stripped and repainted the darn thing 2 or 3 times (I can't remember cause I think I blacked out during this phase).  Although I'm an armor guy, I sure do hate olive drab paint schemes.

The rigging and the block took some time to get sort of right, but in the end it resembles my Dad's vehicle pretty well.  The interior is finished out with a engine, radiator and cable drums with guards. 

I had a fun time researching and building it and want to do another when my skills improve more.  Mostly I like it because I think of my Dad every time I glance at it out of the corner of my eye.  He passed in 1989, but I sometimes think he is sitting in the cab on the shelf in my hobby room watching me struggle with the darn MENG individual link tracks (man those T-90 ones suck)

Thanks for allowing me to post this - George

My 1/35 Trumpeter "KRUG-a" SA-4.  I spent about 80 hours over June and July this year  building this beast.  After a coat of Tamiya grey primer from a rattle can, I used AMMO by Mig acrylics and Tamiya chrome/silver on the missiles.  I added a figure from TAHK for scale
 I was really pleased with the tracks.  Although individual links, they come off the spruce well and snap together easily.  I think they got the sag look going pretty good
As usual, at about 75% complete I messed up.  I was trying to use different shades of Alclad on the missiles and the blue tack painter's tape I was using to mask off panels was too strong and pulled off a bunch of paint and primer.   I stripped the missiles and just went with the old standby Tamiya chrome/silver. 
Overall I enjoyed building and painting the kit.  It only has a little bit of photo-etch (grills) so I'm thinking it would be a "Vince Approved" kit.  I am still learning the whole weathering technique.  I got along way to go with that aspect, along with my photographic skills.
Thanks for allowing me to post here.  - George

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

LVT (A) 1

OK.  I promise this is the last completed kit for the year. I started this one in Jan and had a very specific look in mind. This is the old Italeri kit. A few pointers for anyone wanting to build this.
Step one: Throw out the hard rubber tracks and get Fruilisimo replacements.  I Did Not do this.  I struggled through as they kept breaking.  With many staples and sewed up seems, this is the big reason for doing it on the beach.

Notice the wads of seaweed drug along the tracks.  You guessed it, hiding the staples or threads. It does provide a good effect with the turbulence of the vehicle rising onto the beach, tearing up the sand and dragging junk along with it.

 The water is DAP Clear Silicone Caulking. Takes a few days to dry enough to rub some grey / white paint to simulate the foam and waves.
 Since I couldn't have action of the LVT coming out of the water without figures, I cobbled up a few to fit.  Bits and pieces of mismatched soldiers.
While writing this up, I realized I forgot the antenna.  I will get that added now.

Vince B. 12-6-17

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Syrian SU-100

This is the cheap Zvezda kit. I used the few details I knew to convert the Russian end of WWII Tank into what was used by the Syrians in the early 1960s before the Israelis blew them all out.

 The Syrians removed some of the stowage tie bars and added a tool / parts box on the front side.
 I used the STAR decals sheet for the markings. I couldn't tell you what it says.
 This old ZVEZDA kit is not of the newer quality, just reboxed..
Vince B 12-2-17