Sunday, March 26, 2017

BUILD - Panther ausf. G Steel Wheel Version using Tamiya kit # 35174


    The Panther is my favorite flavor of all the German WWII armor. It was a tank loved by it's crews and feared by allied tank commanders whenever it appeared on battlefields from the western front to the Russian steps.
     I was looking for unusual paint schemes on the internet one night and found what I was looking for. It was an unusual winter scheme from a picture taken of a column of Panther G's advancing through the Haguenauer Forest north of Strasbourg in January 1945. They were from the 1.Armee in either the 21 Panzer-Division or Pz-Abt-5 from 25.Panzer-Grenadier-Division. All of the tanks in the column seem to have a "dazzle" style of winter camo. They seemed to be painted white (not white wash) over the usual late war hard edged 3 color scheme with geometric strips and designs revealing the 3 color scheme under the white.


    After building the model out of the box I wanted to add some texturing the turret and front glacis plates. So I used a small chisel and rotary tool to mark up the areas. I then added a diluted Tamiya putty to the areas, pushing it around in different directions to make a very rough surface. I augmented the plate flame cuts with files and the small chisel. As the putty dried I stippled it with a very stiff brush to add more depth. I started using this technique recently and I like the results. The cast hatch ring was also addressed by coating it with Tamiya Super Thin and then stippling it with the stiff brush to give a more sand cast look. As were all the cast parts in the entire project. I let this dry over night before moving to the base coat.
    All the paints I used for the base coat and 3 color scheme are from the Tamiya Acrylic line. The base coat is XF-69 NATO Black and was applied to all the parts and sub-assemblies. I then sealed them all with Tamiya clear. I used Tamiya Lacquer for the thinner of choice throughout the entire project.  
    When the base coat was dried I started adding XF60 Dark Yellow with a few drops of XF3 Yellow and a few drops of  XF57 Buff. After the entire tank was painted I added about 10% XF2 Flat White to the mix to add some tonal changes on the upper surfaces. I decided not to chip the white paint so no hairspray was used at this point but I did seal it with clear. It was left to dry overnight.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trumpeter 1/35 Russian PL-37

So far, this is the best of the Trumpeter armored train series. The assembly just falls together. It can easily be done in one day, adding the fidley bits on just before painting. Plastic is well detailed and there is no additional drilling reaming or sanding needed.
 I left the rail wheel assemblies as separate components as I did each turret. Made the final painting sequence easier.  Its hard to see the wheels anyway but I wanted to paint and weather them in the iron rust color.

 I free hand airbrushed the general pattern of the tan green and black to better coincide with the real process. There wouldn't be any masking or hard edges. I then hand painted the details of the linking hardware, and machine gun barrels. After several coats of gloss I began the oil wash process in layers of Burt Umber and Black.  This softened the camo pattern and allowed all the bolt hardware patterns to stand out.
After several rounds of DullCoating, I began to pin wash the rust and wear around hatches, doors and hinges. More dullcoating then drybrushing to make the details pop and soften some of the over rusted edges.

Vince B 3-25-17

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Meng Merkava III D

Yes, this is a great kit from Meng.  I am sure I don have to tell you why, but I will.  No Photoetch, and as we discussed in my presentation last year, Its got Great Balls. They were injection molded plastic, so I didn't have to thread tiny beads or use photo etch.  They are correctly proportioned as balls should be.

The details are great including the Tow Cables which were provided.  A few tips though, be sure to measure the cable lengths before cutting, taking into account the eylets on the ends if you want to correctly secure with chain or wire.

There was some minor warping of the large upper hull, so you will need to add bracing inside, around the turret ring to allow the turret to fit properly and not scrape the balls. Always bad to scrape your balls.

I did find some great in action photos on line that I used for ideas on weathering and base debris.  A few details added were the stowage canvas bags from clean paper towels and the antenna which is wire and wire wrap.

Vince B. 3-22-17

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Here are some photos of the takom King Tiger with full interior.
Most of the weathering has not yet been done.
A lot of dryfiting in an attempt to get it right the first time.

Turret basket not yet installed

Turret floor

Engine all but disappeared

Driver controls this side

Radios this side

back plate detail

Hull roof sans weathering

Turret sans weathering

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mig 38-TX

This is a resin kit, Yes it is I, who built this RESIN kit, But its Jason Cameron's fault. Thank you Jason for the kit and opening my eyes to something new.
Though MIG has identified this as 1/35 scale, I adjusted that more appropriately by adding 1/48 scale German tank stowage equipment.  I also added some other details to enhance the kit.

 The design appears to be a bashed Panzer II turret and upper hull.
 The details of the resin were very well done and the fit wasn't too bad.  I had been prejudiced against resin from the early bubble filled blocks with uneven sides. This was well produced and except for some very brittle small pieces, worked out pretty well.
I did have to find some relevant decals to use.

Vince B. Mar 10, 2017

Sunday, March 5, 2017

MENG 1/35 French FT-17

Although this is a MENG kit, it was not at all easy.  The nature of the vehicle design, makes it difficult to assemble the separate sections.

The kit comes with some interior detail, just enough to tease you into leaving the hatches open. It seemed accurate from the museum photos I found.  The real noticeable missing feature for the Canon version is the shell racks behind the driver.

Tools were nicely detailed but required attachment with small bits of photo etched straps on the hull side. This is enough to drive me crazy but I managed.

 The most difficult part was the sing assemblies which secure the track sponsors to the hull. First off, the springs provided, intended to allow realistic movement, were way out of scale and needed to be replaced with wire.

 Tracks are easily assembled and snap together allowing them to be workable. Fitting them tightly around the wheel assemblies isn't too easy. Not the fault of the kit, but the actuality of how the subject was engineered.

Vince B  3-5-17

Monday, January 2, 2017

Krupp Big Bertha

This is the 1/35 Takom kit, that Tom Moon got me hooked on last year. Its a great kit, easy to build and no photo etch needed. Though Tom took the purist approach, out of the box, I decided it needed to be put into groundwork.
I found several fair photos from 100 years ago. Really hard to believe.  It took 8 men to operate this thing. Not sure how long it took to erect on site.  Each emplacement had to be graded and have the rear deck imbedded and leveled.

The front base plate allowed the steel wheels to shift as the rear crank moved the gear to adjust aim on the gun. There were several camouflage patterns used.  I chose to try the leaf pattern and used layers of colors with spots of the putty pressed in place between paint colors.  This took several weeks to accomplish on each of the section assemblies.

The man sized shells were lifted by a crane from a cart at ground level.  The gun needed to be lowered to access the breach and the crane rotated with the shell forward to be slid into the open breach.

Vince B.  Jan 2, 2017

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

VK 4205 (P) Hintern

This is just one of the King Tiger Prototypes that wasn't chosen for production.  I couldn't find any photos of the real thing so I am not sure it made it off the drafting table.

This is the Hobby Boss kit, which I was pretty impressed with. To start, the turret detail interior was so fine that I had to leave open all of the hatches and put a light in it.  Still cant see all of the detail inside without taking the turret off.  I even left out the ammo to help see inside from the rear hatch.

I did paint this up and add some markings to represent it in action as if it had been manufactured. I like the grey color scheme.  I used a combination of Gun Metal and blue to create the warn effect, then did the usual layers of oil washes.

The tracks were individual half links.  Two pieces per length so you had to be sure to keep them alternating in order. I sis this in length and link sections to be able to fit the wheels and sprockets. There were extra links  so I made some stowage racks on the turret to hang them.

Vince B. Dec 1

WWI Whippet

I found out this was named after a dog.  This is the MENG kit out of the box. I am really happy with the ease in which this went together and the quality of the detail. I think the Russian scheme in grey came out nice as well using two layers of dark grey enamel and a lot of oil washing and dullcoat.

The tracks were really good to assemble and provide a lot of flexibility, workable to fit on the road wheel assembly.

In researching this on line, I learned that the long portion was a front mounted engine, so the crew compartment of 4 is in the rear.

 Vince B. Dec 1


Well, this one was a challenge for me in 1/35 scale. These were leftovers from John Fords collection. Mixture of, I believe Italeri and Tamiya components.  I believe these kit were from the same molds?  Anyway, since I didn't have directions on the side car, I had to rely on the photos I found on the internet.  Building this taught me some about how it functioned mechanically.  I had not realized that the side car wheel was powered from the motorcycle through it own transmission.

I added missing details like SOME of the wiring and cables for throttle and ignition. The side car didn't have the machinegun mount so I found parts and stowage to put that together.

I didn't have decals so needed to go to my decals scraps to find the suitable markings.

Vince B. Dec 1.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Here's my Tamiya M-26 Dragon Wagon in 1/35 scale. The M-26 tank transporter is made of a M-25 cab and a M-15 trailer. This is my favorite model of all time. Even now, several years later, I still get a charge out of looking at it. I placed it in its own case, so it is as fresh today as the day I bought it at a model show in 2001, complete with an aftermarket photoetch set. I finished it in 2010. I got my inspiration to finish this kit after I attended a AMPS Regional show in Indiana where I saw both some outstanding models and an actual M-26 recovery vehicle. It really inspired me to try new things and to finish this beast.

I used burnt umber Model Master enamel paint for the paint chips and used a Scotchbrite pad, toothpicks, and a small paintbrush to apply it. Tamiya supplied real rubber tires with the kit. I spent several hours sanding the tires down to make them more worn. I left the spare tire in "like new" condition.

Here's a bit of trivia: the cab of this truck may seem familiar. I believe the modelers who worked on the second Star Wars movie "The Empire Strikes Back" used the cab design of this truck as the basis for the Imperial Walker...not the big one, but the little one with only two legs that has several scenes in the movie.
Image result for at-st
Imperial AT-ST for comparison

Tamiya provided chromed headlights. I think they really work well, but I have yet to see any other armor kit have this feature. Too bad.
The cargo is a Sturmtiger...I forgot which mfg. made the kit. I did add zimmerit by using a hot screwdriver blade. Over time, the barrel broke, ruining the model...or so I thought. I fixed that problem by adding a tarp over the barrel and tying it off with a piece of rope. The funny thing is, this transporter probable couldn't carry this vehicle. The capacity was 40 tons max but the Sturmtiger was well over that. And get this...the M-26 had a 240 hp engine...about what you can get in a Honda Civic today.

I first tried panel fading, rust marks, and streaking grime on this kit. I went just a little too far with the chipping but I was having so much fun I didn't stop.
I don't participate in model contests. I added an M-16 rifle in the cab just to irritate people who might look that closely into the interior.
I hope you like this model!