1/72 Opel Blitz 3ton – Roden 710

A couple of months ago I attended a local 1/72 group build, and I thought maybe I should give it a try with something fun and easy to build. So I picked up this kit from Roden; it is cheap, fairly good engineered and very fun to build. Roden provides only the early version of the truck (Academy, for example offers both steel cab and late wooden cab). However, I’ve learned Roden’s version is slightly better than Academy and much better than Italeri or Airfix. Decal options cover no less than six different units. I opted for the DAK version, but in the end I regretted as the decals were no good.

A nice feature of this kit is the engine, very little and very well detailed. Only minor upgrading was necessary.

I continued with the chassis. That was the moment when I noticed the Roden plastic was more softer than I was used to and some how crumbly. Some extra care was necessary but nothing too difficult. The back tires have some sink marks that needed to be filled with some ordinary putty.

The cabin was placed on the chassis and then the cargo-bay. I added the door handles and replaced the plastic width indicators with wires. Headlights were holed. I lifted one side of the hood so at least some of the engine could be visible.

A somehow major fault of this kit are the front wheels. Simply because they are for the 4×4 version. Since the kit doesn’t provide the 4×2 front wheels, I was forced to do some hub reworking. You can see the corrections bellow:

After that, there was not much left to do for the construction. I continued with a few layers of tan yellow from Vallejo Model Color, applied with a brush. The weathering was done by dry-brushing the exposed areas with German grey and some brown colour, then pigments and oils applied at the end, followed by a good coat of flat varnish. The barrels are not from the kit.

In conclusion, this is one of the best Opel Blitz in braille scale, and, with a little effort it will turn out into a beautiful version of this iconic truck.

You can buy this set here.

Hät 1/72 – 8142 Indian Elephant

Hät 1/72 – 8142 Indian Elephant

Is hard to know when the Elephant was used for first time at war, but it’s sure it was very common in ancient Indian armies, and they will remain during centuries in this role. Even they was a formidable weapon, they aren’t so big as African Elephants, so was no possible to create heavy structures over it to protect the crew/soldier. A well trained infantry could defeat them quite easily.
Even if it’s not sure it they was a really effective weapon against professional armies (such the Alexander’s ones.) they was a symbol of the King’s power.

This set is quite similar to other from Hät, the Macedonian Elephant , which probably were adopted by Alexander after know the Indian armies ones, the only difference is the head.
elephant comes in 3 parts, two for the body and the head. All parts fits quite well without glue. If you want to use glue to reinforce the union you will need Cyanoacrylate glue, the soft Hät´s plastic don’t glue with many other kind of glue.

Set comes with a classic crew of three men, one driver, one archer and one javelin men. All of them are well depicted in both weapons and clothes. Here i added one more men from the Hät Indian Chariot set. Figures haven’t any pin to put here over the Elephant’s back, so you can choose different combinations with more or less crew also changing the order.
Figures almost haven’t flash, which is hard to remove in this kind of soft plastic, so it’s good the absence of it.

Paint:

To paint the dark Indian skin i used a base coat of Citadel Scorched Brown, then highlight then several layers of Scorched Brown mixed with Bestial brown and even Elf Flesh. Lately i used a base coat of Kemri Brown and a Devlan Mud wash, highlighting with pure Kemri Brown, which gives a better result than the first try.

Elephant figure also have been painted with Citadel paints, as follows:

Face detail: Elf flesh has been used here to change colour in certain areas

Base colour is Citadel Charandon Granite, then it’s washed with Devlan mud. After wash several layers of increased mix of Charandon with Codex Grey applied by Dry Brush. A final highlighting layer of Fortress Grey have been applied. Around face, back knee and hindquarters areas another dry brush layer of Elf Flesh is used to depict the common albinism spots in this specie. Eyes are painted with Citadel Vomit Brown.

Base is made from a plastic part + cardboard over it. All covered with Pumice stone and painted directly with Ogryn Flesh. Tufts are from “The Army Painter” range.

A good set primary inspired for Alexander the Great which can be useful for other periods too. If you are lucky some boxes were manufactured with 3 elephants inside !!!

You can purchase this set here.

This excellent work from our mate Álvaro is showed now in the 2012 Hät’s contributions list.

1/72 DOC Models 72001 Carro Velocce 33

1/72 DOC Models 72001 Carro Velocce 33
Italian Light tank cv 33.

I think this is the smallest model i ever built. It is smaller than a willys jeep, more or less like a kubelwägen.

I tried to depict the Corsica 1942 camouflage scheme, but i haven’t any colour similar to the brown showed, according to conversion tables it is a Vallejo brown which i haven’t 🙁 , so i tried with Middle Brown highlighted with Citadel Snake leather.

This model can be also found in a BUM box, set 5003 Italian CTV, which also comes with some Airfix Italian WWII and another DOC models, a quite interesting resin field kitchen.
In fact, the model showed here comes from this BUM box.

The model itself is quite easy to built, there aren’t too many parts, and all fits perfectly, no flash, no mould marks and clear instructions. A pleasure to built. Hatches can be built opened.

This tiny vehicle saw service during the Spanish Civil war, although his performance was some disappointing. I think it was the same in all the fronts it saw service. No much armour, no much fire power. No much useful.

Stones in the base are natural ones, but all repainted, a medium grey as basecoat, black wash and then a 2 step highlighting, a first one with a pale or sandy white and last with pure white. Dependent on the black wash you can achieve more or less darkness stones, if you want they look more clear you can use diluted wash. Tufts are from “The army painter” range and some static grass.

For ground colour i also used Vallejo Medium Brown, it’s the second disappointing of the model, the base itself. Also shrink problems with the clay which i’m lately using for bases. Also it’s time to have problems with light in order to take good pictures. Autumn is here.

So after good start with an easy to built model finally a bad result, not very happy with this one, a work very improvable, but anyway i recommend this model. It’s a pity that DOC models only have produced two models in plastic, this one and the CV 35, another variant from the same.

Revell 1/72 02503 – US Infantry

Revell Us infantry

As box’s illustration depict, this set is an excellent choose for winter U.S. Infantry, such those who fought in the last German winter offensive in the Ardennes, the battle of the Bulge in the 1944/45 winter.

Figures haves basically three kinds of clothing, all appropriate for the period, most of them are wearing the standard jacket M1943 and rest are wearing the long coat which was not very appreciate in combat situation for his heavy weight. Just one figure is wearing the Mackinow jacket. All the figures have the helmet clasped, which was not very common due most soldiers though this was a risk against a blast.

Revell Us Infantry 3

Straps are correct but maybe some lack of equipment is showed here, such ammunition pouches.

Weapons are well depicted, Thompson, Browning M1918 , Garand and the officer is using a pistol, which was uncommon in the late war.

Also two heavy weapons are depicted, a one men team for a 81mm mortar (x2) and also a two men team for a Browning M2HB (x2). These are quite nice figures and additions to the set.
Poses are quite standard but all figures looks natural and well proportioned. Maybe the only odd is the slim mould mark, which most times goes crossing faces. Some work to remove these are needed.

Paint guide
A brief tutorial to show how to paint this U.S. infantry guys only with Citadel paints.

 

First a base coat of Chaos black (used as primer) and then base colour for all the different items as follow:

-Scorched Brown: Coats, helmet straps, wood on weapons, trousers and leather on boots.

-Catachan Green: Helmets and clothes on necks and heads.

-Dheneb Stone + Kommando Khaki (50/50): Jackets.

-Dheneb Stone + Camo Green (75/25): Strap, Gaiters and Canteen.

-Tallarn Flesh: Flesh.

-Boltgum Metal: Weapons’ metal parts.

Once the base coat is well dried we apply a wash with Citadel Devlan Mud. (“Magic soy” as a friend says :))

After wash:

Then is time to give them a highlight.

Highlight mostly have consisted in apply the original base colour (with some exceptions) in relief parts.

-Scorched Brown + Graveyard Earth: Trousers and coats. Coats haves two highlight layers increasing the proportion of Graveyard Earth and trousers just one and then final layer with pure Graveyard Earth.

Bestial Brown: Wood on weapons and boot’s leather.

-Catachan Green: Helmets.

– Kommando Khaki: Jackets.

-Dheneb Stone + Camo Green (25/75): Straps, Gaiters and Canteen.

-Tallarn Flesh: Flesh.

-Boltgum Metal: Weapons’ metal parts.

How to work the bases

Materials needed are: Packing rings, Pumice past, cardboard, white glue, epoxy bicomponent putty and Citadel Devlan Mud wash.

Vandal is a brand which manufacture Pumice past quite cheaper than Models’ brands ones, although Vallejo have and excellent range for this product, with different thickness.
Process is quite simple, glue the Packing rings to the cardboard and then cover it with putty.

Put the figure in the putty, with the help of a “lancet” cover all the figures’ base to ensure a good fixation.

Then apply Pumice past with an old brush. Once it is well dried apply directly the wash, Devlan mud.

An easy and quite nice figures for gaming are now ready.

We hope you enjoyed this, as much as me enjoyed doing it. For those who never have painted their minis, is an easy way to start !! Don’t be afraid.

Although new sets for American infantry are on the market this Revell’s one still performs well his task, heavy weapons are better implemented here than most of the new sets, so don’t miss the opportunity to get this one at best prices here.

1/72 UM 305 – ZSU-37 AA Tank

1/72 UM 305 – ZSU-37 AA Tank

ZSU 37mm were designed in 1943 and built from 1945 to 1948, it is the first soviet self propelled AA, but soon the poor 37mm gun shown his weakness , so it was improved in a short time and replaced by newest models. In fact it never saw action during the WWII although a few units were deployed for the 1945’s spring.

UM model haves a very acceptable quality, it haves some photo-etched details and good decals, although my box seems was spoiled at store, and none of one was present. Decals are taken from spare box, numerals are from other UM set, and stars are white U.S. stars, hand painted to red… so they look a bit so.
Instructions are clear and easy to follow, all the parts fits well their place. Nu putty was used at all.
Tracks are in segments, with some one to one links, this not avoid to have tight tracks, instead of some fall in upper segment. Turret easily rotate but mount the gun allowing it to have elevation is not so easy, so this one is fixed. One of the lacks of the set is it not haves any frame for the 37mm, so it is un-armoured.

Figures are from LW (LW 20 Russian Tank Crew), not a great set, i only had 3 figures from a BUM box, but they was the only Russian tank crews which was at my glance. They are a bit small, some flash and mould lines, but detail is deep and easy to work, at least, clothes. The worst, probably the faces and the poses. Other options for this subject are Orion and Preiser, and now two figures from the new Hät set, although as this turret is wide open it needs full figures rather than half ones.

Colour Guide:
Vehicle: Base colour is Vallejo Model Color Russian Uniform. Washed with Citadel Devlan Mud and the highlighted dry brushing it with a 1:1 mix of white and Russian Uniform. Some details in Citadel Red inside the turret.
(Note than manufacturer guide suggest olive green which is not so light as this Russian Uniform)
Base: Base Colour is Vallejo Model Color Middle Brown (Diluted). It isn’t washed and highlighted with Vallejo Model Color Iraki Sand.

Figures: Uniform base colour is Vallejo Model Color German Extra Dark Green Cammo. Highlighted with a 1:1 mix of White and the same colour. This Vallejo’s green has a high blue-grey component which is more appreciable once you mix it with white, so they don’t look green.
Faces and hands are painted with Citadel Dwarf flesh and highlighted with Elf flesh after an Ogryn Flesh wash. (This is not my preferred mix for faces i usually use Elf flesh as base, Ogryn Flesh wash and highlight with the same Elf flesh or a mix with a bit of white 3:1 or 2:1 )
Leather helmet is Citadel snake leather and the black ons is highlight with Vallejo German Grey.

Bits on the base are taken from the spare box, including some HO railway bits and two drums from an old ESCI T-72. To cover the drums i used paper tissue, watered to achieve the desired shape and then i airbrushed it with Spray varnish to keep the shape.

Tracks and base items also haves some pigments, wet applied. Low vehicle surface haves pigments dry applied.

Tufts in the base are from the excellent range of The Army Painter, which i recommend if you are looking for tufts. These used here are concretely the Highlands tufts.

This time i work the base with clay, it allows me to put some track marks. Over the dried clay i used some Vallejo pumice paste to imitate earth.

This is my first UM set and i’mm very happy with final result. I recommend this brand.
If you want to purchase this set at good prices, take a look here.

News – Hät new releases.

Already on marketplace Hät have released a new large batch of sets, with some very interesting additions, from Colonial to WW2 through a couple of WWI sets.
Details as test shots can be found in Hät page, www.hat.com

Released sets are as following:

8191 Zulu Warrior
8235 WWI Highlanders
8236 WWI Indian Infantry
8262 German Tank Riders
8263 Russian Tank Riders
8264 British Tank Riders
8265 US Tank Riders
8271 Dervish Warriors

My personal interest goes to Colonial and WWII ones, which seems to have the excellent sculpture quality which Hät is lately showing, and cover some subjects hard to find in other ways (Preiser and some of them are depict for first time). We don’t want to discuss here if German troops were riding tanks to engage in combat, but as many pictures show sure it occurs in other moments, and the same for US and British troops, it was very common to ride a tank for transport and also they can work great to populate other vehicles such half-tracks.
About the WWI Indian infantry I guess they can be used as colonial troops for early 20th century or very late 19th. We will wait to Plastic Soldier Review comments to know more about this.

The 4 non WWII sets haves the same problem, they are 32 figures in 4 equal sprue, with only 8 poses, without command, NCOs, bearers or so. So they are a bit repetitive. $ tank riders’ sets have 44 figures in 11 poses, including 2 tank crew (half figures) and a great variety of weapons and officers, so they look more completed sets.

Pictures at Hät.
WW2 US Tank Riders
WW2 British Tank Riders
WW2 Russian Tank Riders
WW2 German Tank Riders
Dervish warriors
Zulu Warriors
Indian WWI Infantry
WWI Highlanders

1/72 Atlantic 1510 – The Greeks (Greek cavalry Set 1806)

This is the small box set of the Greek cavalry set 1510 that came with Chariot and horsemen. Set 1510 is available from Nexus as set ATL06

The Atlantic set contains one sprue in bleached orange plastic containing one chariot, two crew and 4 horses. No-one really knows if the greeks used chariots in warfare but this could be a battle taxi (to get the lord to the front line) or a racing chariot.

Basically the set is a bit of an historical mess..the hoplite style of armour doesn’t fit to the period in which chariots were used in warfare, and even then, the Greeks were principally a foot soldier army..

 

The set taken as it is, ignoring any historical mistakes, is ok.

Very little flash and the sculpting is finely done. Everything fits together well, no glue needed and the crew come with bases so they can be used independent of the chariot.

The box front cover (from my collection)

 

The set comes with build instructions on the back

Now for the set built and painted. As ever I have used Acrylics. The base is made from sand mixed with wood-glue and then dry brushed with sand brown acrylic. The traces (reins) I added. This was done using a sowing needle and some thread, I just pushed the needle through the place where the bit in the horses mouth is…;-) Close up, it can be clearly seen that the traces are thread but on the tabletop..they look fine. The actual set up..ie, how many traces were used is also unclear so i went for a full set per horse..difficult to imagine how the poor driver would hold them all in one hand wile holding the whip in the other but that´s his problem 😀

The set I have painted isn´t the original from Atlantic but a re-issue set from Nexus

I haven´t copied the box art...for one..I prefer my horse teams to be all the same colour.

The horses are nice sculpts. Each horse ahs a different pose and as a gruop they work well together

 

You can buy this set as Atlantic here, or as Nexus here.

 

1/72 Zvezda 5001 – T-34/76 model 1943 – Snap Kit

I’ve always liked this symbol of the Russian army and soon as I’ve heard about its release I wanted one for myself. This snap kit proved to be the perfect opportunity. Though apparently designed for wargaming, I’ve learned from Russian forums it has the most accurate dimensions in 1/72 scale.

It will turn out fine just out of the box, but I decided to upgrade it with a photo-etched set from Part and a gun barrel from Aber. Although designed for the ancient Eastern Express T-34/76 ’43 (late version with a raised commander cupola), the Part set fits almost perfectly. The snap technology is quite OK, I glued all plastic parts together for extra strength.

The Aber barrel however was a huge disappointment: is far too short. Even the label is wrong, as it designates a F-32 gun, while T-34 used the F-34 gun. So I was stuck with the gun barrel from the box, which looks just fine (you have to drill it though).

The mesh grills from the Part photo-etched set fits perfectly, except for the small pair on the top. I used a tow cable from Karaya and made few additions myself: lifting rings on the turret, power cable for the headlight, MG barrel from a syringe needle, holding straps for the fuel drums (which came from an IS-2 made by PST). The tracks are very easy to assemble, and are provided in hard plastic, not link&length but in large sections thus saving a lot of time. I also drilled the exhausts.

After spraying Tamiya white primer, I brushed four layers of Vallejo Russian Green from Model Color range. This particular range of paintings is perfect for hand brush.

The final touches were oil washes and some pigments, applied also wet and dry. The decals are not from the kit and were taken from my spare box. In conclusion, this kit is very well engineered, it’s easy to build. I highly recommend it to all T-34 fans and Braille lovers.

I hope you like it and you can buy this set at best prices here.

Zvezda 1/72 8027 – Medieval Field Powder Artillery

This is a very nice set…a combination of figure painting and a bit of model construction. The set contains 10 figures, of which only two are repeats, the cannonier firing the guns., 2 cannons, a horse team and sacks, buckets, rams and ammunition boxes.

All the poses are natural and fit perfectly to the artillery pieces.

The guns themselves
Each gun fits together perfectly…no glueing required whatsoever. I advise building each gun before painting. This makes painting them a bit more complicated than painting each section individually but it will save a lot of annoyance when putting the parts together and seeing your paintwork rub off!! The wheels can be painted seperately and fitted last. Here I advise a prefit. The holes in the wheels fit very tightly on the axles..and it may be necessary to open them up a bit with the tip of a toothpick. When you finally fit them, add a thin film of vaseline to the axle..it helps to ease them on.

Veuglaire. A chamber loaded piece. It was aimed through use of the bracket, raising or lowering the barrel by putting a pin through the bracket, the rear end of the barrel would then sit on this pin.
Serpentine. It got it´s name from the long barrel (snake like) This is also a chamber loaded piece, the aiming is, like the veuglair achieved by means of the (in this case) double bracket. Like the veuglaire, the barrel of this model can actually be elevated or depressed!!
Ribauldequin. The machine gun of the period. A multi barreled weapon, this would be used in rows on the battlefield or placed in gateways to concentrate the effct of all the barrels being fired in one go. This model has 8 barrels, a shield to protect the crew and spears at the front..used to keep off attackers.

Now on to the rest of the set,

The crews…I have added the crews to the guns…I won´t make any comment about them, apart from they are all historically correct and a real joy, there are enough in the set to service every weapon!! 😀

All figures and weapons painted with acrylics. Basework, Mixture from sand and woodglue, with natural and synthetic decoration.

 

You can buy this Zvezda set here.

1/72 ACE 72267 – leSPW auf UNIC P-107 U-304(f)

After the French Campaign during the WW2, the Germans used occupied Vehicles to rebuild them into Vehicles used by the Wehrmacht. One of these Vehicles was the French Unic P 107, a small halftrack which fell in German Hands in huge amounts. The German “Baugruppe Becker” turned these into a small APC, further named “leichter Schützenpanzerwagen (leSPW) auf Unic P-107 U-304 (f). “f” stands for “French”.

Well, the shown Kit is from ACE. It´s the only Modelkit besides several Resinkits of this Vehicle in 20mm. The Parts are not very accurate so it will need some work to let all the Parts fit and get an nice Model. I had to fill several Gaps with Putty and there was very much flash to remove. Last but not least there are some very bad mould lines which have to be removed before assembling the Model.

The Model was painted by using a 5:1 Mix of Vallejo Model Color (70882) “Middlestone” and (70916) “Sand Yellow”. After that i applied an Wash of Citadels “Gryphone Sepia” followed by a Dry-brush with Middlestone. The Green Camouflage pattern was painted with (70891) “Intermediate Green”. I stiffled the Colour on the Base coat by using an old medium soft Brush. For the chippings I used my favourite Colour for these instances (70822) “German Camouflage Black Brown”, which gives really nice chips and blotches.

Vallejo Pigments were used to create Dust and Dirt.

ACE also works other versions from captured P-107.

You can buy this vehicle here.

Also remember that WikingPaintworks accept commissioned works, don’t hesitate to contact him.

nº57 – DeAgostini – Altaya – IXO Flakpanzer IV “Möbelwagen” Sd.Kfz 161/3

DeAgostini – Altaya – IXO Flakpanzer “Möbelwagen” Sd.Kfz 161/3 11. Pz. Div. Lyon – France – 1944

Technical details:
6 crew
Quad 20mm Flak
Range 200km on road, 130 off road.

Another anti-aircraft engine quickly developed once the allies begun to achieve air superiority in 1943, based on the largely used Panzer IV chassis.
Altaya’s model depict one of the Möbelwagen earlier version, as soon the 20mm FlaK were replaced by the more capable 37mm FlaK 43 L/89. The casemate turret is in travel position, as it needed to be open for fire, or at least half opened for just air targets. One of the faults was that the crew were too much exposed to work in the battlefield.
Around 270 units were manufactured since December 1943.

As you can see in the following picture this concrete model haves a fault in the Quad 20mm FlaK, two of the guns are damaged, making still worse the model.

Turret detail

Camouflage pattern is quite interesting and well executed, but one more time detail is quite basic, almost no interior detail and the problem with the FlaK, not the best model in the collection.
Te other question is why Altaya have been chosen the 20mm FlaK instead of the 37mm ones, which was the real production model. This one is almost just a prototype.
A good detail could be the possibility to open the turret armour, but it’s just impossible in this model.