nº52 – Altaya IXO 10.5 cm K.Pz.Sfl.IVa “Dicker Max”

Altaya IXO 10.5 cm K.Pz.Sfl.IVa “Dicker Max”
Pz.Jg.Abt.521 Stalingrad (USSR) – 1942

Technical Details
5 Crew
1 105mm Gun
1 MG 34 (7,92mm)
Range 200 Km y 120 Km off road.

The “Dicker Max” as is familiarly known, was no more than a prototype of which only 2 units were manufactured. Initially designed for the assault on fortified positions, due to its firepower, as the Maginot line, the 2 units were not available until the race had ended in France. The two vehicles produced were released in combat during the invasion of Russia, but it seems that one of them down very quickly because the ammunition housed exploded. The other vehicle remained active at least until 1942, I find no data of its existence beyond this year, and combat reports talk about hat we have a limited vehicle, which was useful only his first intention by direct fire on bunkers and other fortified positions, and less usable as a heavy anti-tank, which was second intended. It seems appropriate to think it out their days in Stalingrad.

Altaya model presents a very acceptable quality, with a well-defined lines and no detail especially ugly, there is some detail inside of the casemate and everything seems quite correct and well-adjusted to price. The joints between some of the plates appear to be improved, and as sometimes, we miss something better detail in the canyon itself and other parts which are built in plastic, like the periscope, but overall quality is pretty good.

Italeri 1/72 7507 Panzer III Ausf. J

Italeri 1/72 7507 Panzer III Ausf. J

Well, I admit that I have a weakness for fast kit, my assembling skills are quite limited so I do not like to lose several days to assemble a model, then it will not be particularly well, i don’t take advantage of the best detail models against the fast kit, and always with wargaming in mind, these sets provide a number of valuable things, pretty decent quality, affordable, and with no many boxes and little time spent on the installation is easy and quick to built an adequate number of vehicles.

I purchased several from Italeri in recent times and the first ones I have completed are these Pz III. The truth, I am not especially proud of them, are by far not my best work. The first problem with paint, after some good experiences with Tamiya spray paint had to come some bad. I’m not very happy with the gray which Tamiya offers for German vehicles, maybe I’m used to more bluish tone of my previous work.

Another thing I do not like much of this work are the bases, I wanted to do something different to the usual, not being very repetitive with green grass and “tufts”, so I decided to make two different bases one for each model.

One inspired in an autumnal landscape or pre winter, we can consider as my first attempt to make mud and wetlands.

And another inspired, as you see, in a field of tall grass and dry … it has cost me that my girlfriend commented that I seem to have put the tank on top of one of our cats …

Certainly this second base with herbs, is the one that disappointed me …
The base of the mud has left me a little happier, I have not done anything special, but not much appreciate the wetlands, it is more a question of the angles of the photos, it looks a bit better in natural, and indeed I got it simply applying gloss varnish in areas where moisture wanted to imitate. Perhaps worse is the material that I used to simulate the mud, which is the paste that I usually use for the bases.

On models there is not much to tell, are very easy to assemble and there are option to mount the two long-or short-barreled, I went for one and one. One of the shortcomings of the set is the lack of decals, I’ve had to pull out from other models. It also has a small defect in the front, board between lower and top plate, which may be filled with a bit putty, and another thing I don’t liked is the way to mount the guns, which prevent any elevation movement of the barrel. Yet it is a model that I recommend for wargaming, 2 Pz 3 which are mounted in a half hour and are very robust and appropriate for game.
In summary a job very improved in all aspects, I’m not satisfied either with vehicles or with the bases. Also was the typical work I’ve seen worse with each successive stage, but I guess that sometimes happens. To don’t be happy I’m not happy even with the framing and the distance of the photos.

Buy this set unbuilt and unpainted.

nº53 – Altaya IXO 10.5 cm le.FH18 (Sfl) auf39-H(f)

Altaya IXO 10.5 cm le.FH18 (Sfl) auf39-H(f)

21.Pz.Div. Normandie (France) – 1944

Technical Details
4 Crew.
1 leFH 18 L/28 (105mm)
1 MG 34 (7,92mm)
Range 150 Km and 75 Km off road.

After the invasion of France, many vehicles were seized to the German service. Many of them obsolete, were converted in some way, as is the case of this auf39-H (f) on the modified chassis of Hotchkiss Modèle 1935, H-39, which was a French light tanks,a le.FH18 cannon 10.5 cm. was mounted on.
On the same chassis modifications were also made by mounting a Pak40.

Altaya’s model has a very good quality, it seems that these latest deliveries are raising the bar with respect to that seen in the first. There is no great faults, and everything seems to be OK. A very good piece considering its price, much lower than other Diecast’s manufacturers.

Do not miss also the excellent work being done with armored Altaya by Mr. Dauga40, including this auf39-H (f). We had seen some good examples of repainting and updating Altaya vehicles by boys of Brazo de Nelson and MiniatureZone, but the fact is that this guy has carefully worked a lot and although the video footage does not show detail, the mini-dio looks very good.

Italeri 1/72 7025 M6 Anti Tank Vehicle

Italeri 1/72 7025 M6 Anti Tank Vehicle

I found this model very appealing to the wargaming, a 37 mm anti tank on a Dodge truck 4 × 4 can be a good weapon, given their mobility and weaponry.
Italeri model has an acceptable level of detail, the pieces are quite clean and the instructions are clear and simple, the number of parts is low.

But problems start right away or at least for me. First of all the figures that are included in the set, 3, but no useful, a manufacturer that shows the quality of sculpture like Italeri must do something better, the detail of the figures is worthless compared to what we see in the market in the figure’s sets, so none of the three has been included in the final assembly.
Other small details, which are not to my taste, were the wheels, which come in two halves, which I have not seen to be a problem in many models from Revell, the front and rear views shows that something happens, if you leave it you have to work with lime and / or putty, and I’m not very friend of having to spend too much work to assemble, but I like to go fast to the painting phase.

But worst of all is built top with the chassis, the instructions lead to a sequence where the top and the fully assembled chassis are built separately and then assembled, the chassis in one piece and the top in two. Well, it has been quite difficult getting these parts fit decently, and I’m still not sure if i did it, as seen in the photos seems to me very great distance between the front wheels and mudguards. In short, a whole afternoon polishing and adjusting the parts to solve this step is the final instructions.
The figures that make up the framework are taken from two different sets, with some minor conversions. On one side is a figure of American Infantry Set II from Caesar (Second figure of the second row), which I have removed the gun, and on the other side there are two figures from the set of US Marines from Waterloo 1815 (2nd and 3rd figures of the 3 rd and 4 th row), which I’ve changed the head by two of the classic set ESCI / Italeri’s that I have a lot of figures and one of them I’ve removed the gun.

Besides these changes in the figures I have not added anything to the vehicle, one of the cans of gasoline is changed of site according instructions, but comes with the set, and I also seem to complain about the two guns that brings the set to sides of the seats, a piece so simple and so badly done.
The paint for the vehicle is based on Tamiya spray paint, and the figures in Catachan Green and Dheneb Stone from Citadel with diluted sepia washes from Vallejo and dry brush with Kommando Khaki and Camo Green for brown and green, respectively. I used also the Green Camo with White to the vehicle. The decals are original from model and I have applied pigments in the bottom area and wheels.
A set desirable but frankly improvement.

Last Update, thanks to Benno’s Figures Forum member i was noticed about a mistake on instructions, you can correct it taken a look here.

Buy this set unbuilt and unpainted.

nº03 – Altaya IXO PanzerHaubitze 2000

Altaya IXO PanzerHaubitze 2000
Beob.Pz.Art.Btl. 345 Kusel (Germany) 2002

Technical Details:
5 crew
1 Obus L52 155mm
1 MG3 (7,62mm)
Range 420 Km.

This self propelled artillery vehicle is more modern than the AMX AU F1 recently reviewed.
It is Germany designed, based in the Leopard 2 chassis. It’s construction was authorized in 1996, to equip the German reaction forces.

It can fire 3 projectile in 9 seconds, or 10 in a minute, but this rate overheat the gun, so can’t be maintained.
The load system is totally automatic, in 12 minutes their 60 projectile capacity can be reloaded. Conventional munition can achieve 30Km range, and munition rocket assisted can achieve 40Km.
Its sophisticated fire control system can fire simultaneously 5 projectile in the same place, varying angle and fire charge.

Greece, Netherlands and Italy also have this vehicle in their arsenal. Recently they have been deployed in Afghanistan by Netherlands forces.

The Altaya’s model has an average good quality, chassis is made in metal and turret and accessory are made in plastic. This model isn’t in other Diecast manufacturers. Camouflage is the typical NATO ones in three colours, we can observe differences in his interpretation with the French AMX AU F1.

nº02 – Altaya IXO AMX AU F-1

Altaya IXO AMX AU F-1
3e Régiment d’Artillerie de Marine. Canjuers (France) 1997

Technical Details:
4 Crew.
1 Obus 155mm.
1 x 12,70 mm
Range 550Km.

This self propelled artillery vehicle was designed based on the AMX 30 (Ateliers de Construction d’Issy-les-Moulineaux 30 Tons) tank chassis during 70’s, entering service in French army in 1979.

It has an automatic charge system capable to fire 8 rounds/minute or 6 in 45 seconds. It takes around 2 minutes to achieve fire position, and 1 to go travelling again. Can fire at a maximum 29 Km range for high explosive charges. It also entering service in Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabian armies.

Altaya/DeAgostini presents this new collection following what they did with the Panzer Collection. Good models for their price, and many of them, unique in Diecast World.
Chassis is made in metal and turret and details in plastic.
Model has no major faults and presents the classic NATO camouflage in three colours.
Those vehicles have been seen recently in service in Libano , ex-Yugoslavia and first Iraq conflicts.

nº51 – Altaya – IXO Pz.Sp.Wg. AB 43 203(i)

Altaya – IXO Pz.Sp.Wg. AB 43 203(i) 13.(Verst).Pol.Pz.Kp. Laibach (Slovenia) – 1944

Technical Details
Crew 4.
1 47mm Gun
2 Breda Mod 38 (8mm)
Range 400 Km on road, 320 off road.

These armoured cars were manufactured by Fiat in 1940/1941 years, their name came from the year of manufacture: AB40 , AB41 y AB43. After Italian surrender in September 1943, German modify some of the AB41, improving motors, exhausts and some other features, building the AB43 version, which is depicted by Altaya.

Cammo pattern is the same showed by a conserved model, as you can see at Italian wikipedia.
Although vehicle has two driver positions for both directions, i made a mistake on the pictures, as the common one is the reverse to the one showed.

This is the only model available in Diecast for this vehicles, they can be found on injected plastic models by Italeri and also the AB41 version, used by Germans as AB41 201(i).

Altaya’s model has no major faults, a good quality for a price which must not overpass 10€.

nº50 – Altaya – IXO Sd.Kfz. 9/1

Altaya – IXO Sd.Kfz. 9/1 sch. Pz. Abt. 502. Bologubowka (USSR) – 1943.

Technical Details.
2 Crew.

Second FAMO version in the collection, with a 6 ton capacity crane, issued to tank maintenance.
An interesting picture from this vehicle is on the English wikipedia, without the outriggers.
Another version, 2, was also equipped with a crane of 10 ton capacity.
The model is also in Trumpeter catalogue, but this is the only in diecast. Quality of the model is quite acceptable, without major mistakes, just a basic finish.