Category Archives: Scale Models

Scale models.

Dragon 7371 Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf C rivetted version with Pak 35/36

Dragon makes an entire range of these half-tracked vehicles, at a very good quality. I picked it up mine for a half-track work group on Braille Scale Monthly Competition. The Pak 35/36 that comes in the box was a good addition to the vehicle.

In the box there some photo etched parts; most modellers will welcome these, but frankly I don’t understand why the lower sides of the hull are made from PE. And this is not an option, you are forced to use them. I would have been ten times happier if the gun shield of the Pak was made from PE, or even some other details. Anyway, the construction is pretty much straightforward.

First, I painted the interior:

After that I hand brushed a few layers of Vallejo’s Panzer Gray, I applied the striped camouflage as seen on the Russian front. I used Dark Sand, also from Vallejo.

A coat of gloss varnish was sprayed, as protection for the base coat. And I replaced the width indicators with ones made from thin wire.

If I remember well, this was my first time when I used oil colours for weathering. These are the final photos:

In conclusion, this is a lovely kit, and anyone who’d like to build some 1/72 Sd.Kfz. 251 half-tracks should check Dragon’s offer, as there are plenty of options.

This Dragon set and a whole bunch of Sd.Kfz. 251 options can be found through our Ebay searcher.

Zvezda 6158 German heavy anti-aircraft gun FLAK 36/37 1/72.

Hello all,

Work has been still mad, but now my boss has decided to give me a rest and banned working weekends so the I can now pick up the brushes again.

I was looking in the local model shop at the Italeri and Zvezda 88’s and on price the Zvezda won hands down. At nearly half the price and twice as many parts I would have been mad not to try one. The crew is not as good as the Italeri’s set and not nearly as many either.

The FLAK 36/37 must have been a can opener it is massive. I had no idea the size of it until I put it next to some figures. Who ever thought of using this as an anti tank gun was an evil genesis. At 16,200 yards the range and punch of this beast must have been terrifying for any allied tanker.

Back to the kit, it consists of 45 parts including 4 crew, not quite enough to serve it but a start. It requires no glue, or so it say’s but in certain parts like the gun mantel it would be recommended. All the parts fitted well and it only took about half and hour to build from start to finish. I really enjoyed this build due to the hangover that I was suffering from not having to work this weekend. I was glad of the option of not having to build it on the base, you have the choice of using the separate plates.

The crew will be built at a later date because I am looking at which dio base to build. I am leaning to using it in an anti aircraft roll. With it’s barrel poking menacingly into the air I think it looks more dramatic. To be fair I would look at buying a second one for the anti tank role in the north Africa desert, but the crew of the Italeri might just swing it for that. I might have to look at getting some of the SHQ spare ammo case’s and shells to have lying around the dio, I do not know why manufactures do not put more of these in kit is beyond me!!! If HaT can do it than so can the other’s. There new crew sets have several bits and bobs to have knocking around the gun pit. So come on then Zvezda and the like take note!

The set is available through our utility here.

Sherman M4A3 (76) W from Dragon

If you are ‘shermanholic’ in Braille scale and you want to build a plastic kit, Dragon is the best option, no doubt about that. They have an entire plethora of kits, covering all major variants of this legendary allied tank. There are some minor problems, especially with the boogies in the first released batches. Another subject for debate are the tools moulded on the hull surface. Personally I don’t dislike them so much.

Doug Chaltry runs a great website dedicated to 1/72 Sherman; if you want to buy a kit, or just to read a comprehensive review, you should check it out.

This was my second build Sherman and one of my favourite projects so far. When I build a model, I like to represent, if possible, a real vehicle. This was my inspiration for the Sherman:

I started with the bogies, and added a few details:

Then I moved up to the hull. Since Dragon doesn’t provide the periscope brush guards in this kit, I had to make them from scratch. I also added the grab handles on the hatches. Dragon does provide some etched brass parts, like the brush guards for the lights and the lovely rear luggage rack.

The turret was next in line, with some extra-details also:

After that the final fitting and my Sherman was ready for the paint job.

I hand brushed a few layers of Vallejo paints; a mix of US dark green and Olive drab.

The striped winter camouflage was followed by pigments and washes, and thus I ended my project.

In conclusion, this is a great kit, an excellent build just out of the box, but also a very good platform for those who like extra-detailing.

You can found the Dragon set here in the long range of Sherman tank in 1/72 scale available in the market.

Italeri 1/72 7051 – Autoblinda AB 41

Hello all,

I would like to apologize for not posting much work lately due to a massive amount of work and home life commitments, the real world rears it ugly head again!

Any way back to business. I really love Italian armour and especially Italeri Italian armour. I don’t know why but I just do. I wanted to try out a new product I came across on another modelling forum. It is a liquid filler that can be applied with a brush to get into those hard to reach places. It is called “Mr surfacer 1200”, there is several grades “500” as well as “1000”. I think with a bit of practice I can see really working for me.

The build was nice and easy for a change, a few problem’s with the smaller items like towing hooks and petrol caps that got eaten by the carpet monster. I wish manufactures would include more stowage on kits, this one to be fair did have several Jerry cans and separate pioneer tools which always add a bit of realism to a model rather than moulded ones.

The tires are a bit of a let down due to the fact that they have no tread what so ever, bald as a coot. There are resin ones on the market but I believe the other Italeri kit has tires with treads. It is a minor moan because the tires and hubs are separate with means it is easier to paint .

Once assembled the next stage was the decals. It came with three options and I had to go for the colourful police version. They went on very well as is normal I find with Italeri decals. A little help with micro-sol was needed to give a really good painted on look. A tip I found was leave off the front towing eye and petrol caps till after the decals are on.

The weathering was a heavy wash of pro modeller dirt wash, left to dry and then lightly washed off with a cotton bud. There is dirty and then there is driven into a pig sty! A pencil was used on the edges to give an illusion of scraped metal and general ware and tear. Then the whole model was brushed over with Tamiya weathering powder for that sandy look.

I am really chuffed with this build and I looking forward to getting my hands on the railroad version of this kit.
The model is available through our Ebay utility here.

Cheers Rich.

Revell Sd.Kfz. 9 “FAMO”

If someone would ask me ‘what will be the perfect small scale kit to start this hobby?’, I would definitely say Revell FAMO. This is one of the most accurate and highly detailed kit in 1/72. For those who like super-detailing, the lack of an engine could be its only “fault”, but this part can be borrowed from a Trumpeter FAMO (also a great kit).

It could easily be built out of the box, but I wanted to make mine with a tarp over the cargo area. So I added the sustaining frame, made from aluminium wire.

After that, I applied the base paint, German grey from Vallejo, and then I glued the link & length tracks over the road wheels; it fits perfectly. Another detail for a better appearance were the cabin side grip handles. Those were cut off and replaced with thin brass rod.

The tarpaulin was made from ordinary tissue soaked in a mixture from white glue and water.


At the end I put some “dust” on, with the help of pigments and oil colours. Because the original width indicators were too thick for my taste, I replaced them with new ones made from brass rod. I loaded the cargo with some accessories, and this is it:

In conclusion, this is a superb kit from Revell, highly detailed and easy to build.

This set and other from Revell are available through our utility here.

Airfix Vickers light tank BEF 1940 France 1/76.

Hello all,

Here is an older work of mine from 2010. I have always had a soft spot for small pre war light tanks , so when I bought an old JB models kit at a model show I was surprised by how simple it was to build. It only has 40 or so parts for three different variants “a” ,”b” and “c”. The tracks come as a complete unit and you could knock one this kit in an hour if pushed.

I wanted to try and modify this kit a bit so I tried to open the drivers hatch and commander’s hatch. Trying to find pictures on the net was a nightmare. I am lucky enough to live just down the road from Bovington tank museum were they have a Vickers on show! It was there I got the idea to do the pendants on the aerials. Tin foil was folded in half and glued around the wire and the cut into a triangle. The foil allowed the flag to shaped quite nicely and stay in “fluttering”. A few bits of stowage was add from a set from SGTS MESS.

The figures are from Wee friends, and I have been told that they did not wear khaki cover all’s but a black set. It make’s sense from the point of view of oil and stains but from a painting angle the khaki win’s. The poses are brilliant, the bloke laying down asleep is a first for me. I liked the idea of a peacefull diorama rather than a full on battle, and soldiers having a “brew” does bring back memories of being on exercise.

The men in shirt sleeves fixing the the tracks work well together in a dio and could be used on there own.The shirt colour is a bit of a matter of choice like the cover all’s. I want to try out some GW washes and all I could think of was a light blue/grey colour.

The base was one of my first larger efforts. Before that I used to only use GW black bases for single figure so this was a step up for me. The base is an old photo frame covered in PVA glue and sand with a wall from Jarvis scenery. I have been told that if the wall put at an angle it would have looked better and to be fair they have a point. The grass is from Silfor tufts and the trees are from woodland scenic.

The Airfix (Ex-JB) model still is available through Ebay here. Also you can found interesting the UMMT and Mirage range for this kind of vehicles. Take a look here.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F1 Dragon 7321

Because it is such an iconic vehicle, the backbone of the German army in WWII, I guess every serious tank modeller made at least one Pz. IV tank. When I decided to make mine in 1/72 scale, Revell was the first option. But their famous Pz IV range was no longer in production, and I couldn’t find an available kit. So I’ve turned to Dragon, and I didn’t regret it for a second.

I always loved the DAK vehicles, and this was my first attempt to represent one. I started with the construction and a small base with some ancient ruins.

The columns are scratched; In my work, I was inspired by a Panzer III diorama, in a larger scale, which I’ve spotted on a modelling website.

I painted the entire model by brush with Vallejo tan yellow. At the same time, I placed on the base some pebbles and small stones for the desert environment.

I finished the model only with acrylics. At that time I was a beginner, and lacked the experience with more advanced modelling techniques such as oil paint weathering.

Later, when I’ve learned how to use oil paints and pigments, I returned to this lovely tank, and made a few changes. And some decent photos too:

In conclusion, this an extraordinary kit, which builds perfectly out of the box, and for someone who wants to make an accurate Pz IV F1, is the best option. Good work, Dragon!

You can find this and other Dragon models through our utility here.

Italeri 6087 Walls and Ruins – For my vignette

My current project is a King Tiger from SS-Pz.Abt.503, who fought in Berlin in the last days of the war. I picked up Revell’s Tiger II, as it is one of the best 1/72 kits out there.

I thought to make a little vignette also, and when I came across this set from Italeri, I knew it will save me a lot of time.


In the box there are two sprue of brown-yellow plastic, with many useful stuff: different type of building walls, bricks and sacks. For a little vignette like mine, I will use about half of it, so plenty will remain for future projects.

And this how it looks together with the tank and some figurines from Zvezda.

In conclusion, this is a lovely set, quite affordable and a real time saviour for those who don’t have the time or skills to scratch build walls and ruins. You can buy the set here.

Dragon 7370 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Sd.Kfz.181 Tiger I Initial Production

When I started this kit, many said it was the most correct Tiger tank in braille scale, with only one “fault”: a single decal option: Tiger no 100. But what an option! This legendary tank was captured by Russians and was exhibited in Gorky park in the summer of 1943.




I opted for the winter version of this famous tank, when I came across this image:




The distinguishing of Tiger 100 are:

1. Massive exhaust pipe extensions, rising up to 700mm above the top of the rear hull.
2. Unique side mounted turret baggage bin.
3. Horseshoe mounted on the left side hull front.
4. Bent front left track mudguard
5. Improvised rain shield over the gun-sight.
6. Unique camo pattern with a large dark area above the driver’s vision port.
7. Spare tracks on front hull.

I just had to bend the left track mudguard and improvise the rain shield over the gun-sight. The rest came with the kit.

 

After assembly, I sprayed two layers of Tamiya white primer, very useful for brush painting.

Then, the Panzer grey, from Vallejo Model Color range, applied in four layers with a brush.

Next in line was the specific camo of Tiger 100.

And finally, I placed the Tiger in little vignette; the snow is very easy to make: just a mix of water, white glue and baking soda. I will not call this project done, as I plan to return with some proper figurines.

In conclusion, if you want to build an accurate Initial Tiger tank, this might prove an excellent choice. Dragon even released a sequel based on this kit, with more decal options.
Buy the Tiger #100 set,
Or buy the sequel.

Hät U.S. Tank Riders 8265 – Riding a Frankenstein

Hät U.S. Tank Riders 8265 – Riding a Frankenstein

Even if this was submitted during 2011, and i was awarded with the contribution badge for that year, this one has been finally published in the 2012 contribution list.

Just for fun… any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental !!!!

First of all, i was inspired after see this work from a big brother of scale.

Also i was interested in show this new set in a original way… so… i took a look to my spare box.. and begin to ideate a monster…

An engineering exercise taking care of the spare box... 🙂

It took to me 4 days to assemble all the parts, a lot of cut, sand, glue and green stuff (putty)…
There are a lot of parts which i don’t know where come from, but more noticeable ones such turret and tracks come from an Armourfast Achilles (Tracks are cut, a bit more than half), some other parts are from unknown models, such lower turret, body chassis (also cut, and was very difficult to join the two parts again) and many little details. Legs are also done with the Armourfast set, a lot of cut needed here…
Wires in the legs are from an old computer from the work…
Exhaust in the rear part are from a Tiger I i guess… but lateral ones are also unknown for me… (So many unknow parts are because some time ago i brought a huge lot of spare parts in Ebay)

The MGs in the turret are from a recent acquisition… a Dragon set with a lot of options an extra weapons…

2 MG, 1 40mm gun (lower turret) and 1 powerful 155mm gun...

The ammunition belt is one of my favourite parts, it’s done with links from a Tiger I and munitions from a Hasegawa 31102 M2 155mm Gun “Long Tom” set… (I need to buy new ones, as the Long Tom is already done… but need crew and munition 🙂 )

A full view... an strange silhouette have been seen in the horizon... German report.

So this beast is armed with a 155mm gun… capable to fire at an extraordinary rate… although the reload operation took some time… 🙂
The lower turret (unknown) is armed with a 40mm (QF 2 pdr) gun from a Churchill tank, probably a 1/76 matchbox one, so it looks under 40mm… maybe we can say it is a 20mm gun. 😉

A lot of problems trying to make a smooth surface, not achieved, and a beautiful ammunition belt.

The cokes detail is made with a Milk box from the HO scale… hand painted.. but i avoid to put all the brand name… i don’t want to advertise nobody for nothing 😀 , so Coke men, if you like it i’m ready to get an sponsorship… :):)

Some cokes to drink after the work... maybe heated so close to motor... 🙂

About the figures, well, these are not the complete poses, still 4 more poses came in the set, including 2 tank crews…
These figures are a good idea… for my next project a will show how they fit perfectly other things that aren’t tanks… but detail… well… they aren’t the worst, but weapons, faces and feet are poorly detailed… anyway i like this set, and also the other riders set released by Hät, but all have the same problems. Even this, they are a better option than the usual hard plastic figures which comes with the models… the only i guess is some driver for trucks, Jeeps and so, which are not included in those sets. 🙁

This guy is thinking in his coke... behind him there is a hand made detail with tissue paper...

About colour scheme this time a variate a bit my colours for the figures, but i like more y previous U.S infantry figures. This time i used Vallejo Brown Violet instead of green and Vallejo Khaki instead of Citadel Commando Khaki. The brown trousers are painted with Vallejo Olive Drab. All washed with Devlan Mud and highlighted with white mixes and a final touch of Vallejo Iraqi Sand.
The “tank” is painted as always, grey primed and the Tamiya Spray paint. To retouch it i used Vallejo Panzer Series Olive Green. Washed mainly with Citadel Devlan Mud and some pigments.

You can buy the U.S riders here.

I took a lot of pictures because i was trying artificial illumination, as those days is impossible to take pictures with natural light.

Revell 1/72nd Albatross D.III

The Albatross has to be my favourite WWI plane, in all it´s variants. The shape, the ease of build and the ease of rigging make it a great beginners plane.

The Revell Kit version may not be the most historically accurate version but it has got to be the easiest to build among all the various Albatross kits on offer. This, IMHO is a massive plus factor..who wants to get tangled in a virtually impossible build, the result of which may turn out not to meet expectations and at the cost of buying an highly accurate kit but spending frustrating hours but ending up with something not far removed from the “not so accurate” version that pleasingly took a fraction of the time?

Anyway…no long build description..the instructions with the kit are self explanatory and even a short search of the web will give plenty of decoration ideas.

Colour scheme of Lt. Bruno Loerzer, Jasta 26, western front, summer 1917.
In the colours of Lt Werner Voss, Jaste 2, Boelcke, June 1917. The pilot is from the Dark Dream Studio "Pilots of the First World War"

You can buy now the Dark Dream Studio "Pilots of the First World War"

1/72 Dragon 7283 – Stug III Ausf G Early

I must confess I have a soft spot for winter camouflages. I had this kit in my stash for quite a while and I decided to give it a try. It is a little gem, all parts fits very well and you don’t need too much aftermarkets to build a perfect Braille Stug; it is literally a scaled down 1/35 kit.

I started with suspensions, road-wheels and the rear panel. I replaced the exhaust deflector sides with others made from a beer can. Unlike Revell, Dragon provides the PE mesh screens for air intakes and that’s a good bonus.

But not all things are perfect with this kit and, inexplicably, Dragon decided to shut down the driver’s vizor. This is not a major fault, but it’s some how odd to drive a tank with this vizor closed. It was not an easy task to open it, but in the end all the effort paid off.

I continued with the superstructure and added a few details, such as some spare tracks from a Revell kit. As for the commander cupola, the trap is a little too thick if left open but it can be replaced with one from Extratech.

After that, my model was ready for paint:

Until recently, all my models were brush painted, so I was unable to try the hairspray technique, which is impossible without an airbrush. My Stug received a a good coat of white as “base paint”, and then I dry-brushed the dunkelgelb over the white. I was quite happy with the result:

After decals, fitting the tracks and some weathering with oils and pigments, the Stug really came to life.

In conclusion, this is a highly detailed kit, very easy to put together; a “must build” for every Braille lover.

If you want to acquire this set take a look here.

1/72 Revell De Havilland D.H.2

This is a pretty nice little plane to build. The actual body, wings etc fit together quite well, apart from the actual cockpit, which needs care when glueing the two halves to ensure a proper fit. Also, the Lewis gun isn’t the best representation of this weapon going..but it looks the part.

To enable “easy” rigging..I drill holes where the wires will later go, using a 0.5mm drill. I then paint all the large parts and when the paint is dry I use the tip of a pin to free any paint that has got into the holes during painting.

In the above picture you can see i am using office paper clips to hold the wing-struts to the wings. This saves having to have 4 hands 😀

To rig I use “invisible” Nylon mending thread and push it (like weaving from one hole to another) using fine point tweezers. As the thread is very thin and quite difficult to see, I advise using a marker pen to colour the end that is being pushed through the holes.

Basic method. Work out a route for the bit of rigging you want to do. It´s best to work from inner cables to outer ones. The actual route depends on how competent you feel with rigging, and I suggest rigging through a maximum of 8 holes at any one time. Take a length of thread..much longer than the route to be taken. Attach one end of the thread to a wing surface, a part of the fuselage etc with a small piece of tape, then insert the free end of the thread into the first hole..and off you go 😀

When threaded through the last hole of the chosen route, cut off the access, leaving enough to be able to pull it tight and stick down using a bit of tape. Glue (an epoxy glue like Pattex) all the holes where the thread is..let dry overnight and using a razor, cut off . Some holes may need a bit of filling (PVA wood glue works fine for this) and filling flush.


1/72 Italeri 7058 Panzerjäger I with Pak 4.7

Panzerjäger 1 Ausf. B

  • Formal designation: 4.7 cm Pak(t) (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf.B, Panzerjäger I Ausf.B
  • Type: Light Tank Destroyer
  • Manufacturers: Daimler-Benz AG, Skodovy zavody akciova spolecnost (Skoda), Altmarkische Kettenwerk GmbH (Alkett)
  • Production: 202 (03/1940 – 02/1941)
  • Crew: 4

I added some Welding Lines and some simple Rivets but i don´t want to place all the missing Lines etc. Just the few on the static Turret.
The inside of this Model is modified too, but this will be visible when the Model is finished. I had to cut out some parts to give more space for the 3 Crewmen.

The Crewmen are from SHQ and the additional Stowage is made of Resin.

One of my favourite German Tank hunters in 1/72 scale. The Italeri kit is an re-issue of the old Esci Kit. Added 3 Figures from the SHQ Range (“Bison Crew” (M1943) and some Stowage. Paints and Pigments are from Vallejo.

First i primed the whole Model with Vallejo Model Color (70995) “German Dark Grey”, after that, i applied an wash with an 50/50 Mix of Citadels “Devlan Mud” and “Badab Black”. After the wash was dried i dry brushed the whole Model. Again i used ” German Dark Grey” for the first drybrush and Vallejo Model Color (70836) “London Grey” for the Raised Areas, Edges and Highlights.

The Tracks only were primed with Grey and after that i gave them a coat of several Vallejo Pigments.

You can buy this nice model here.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Italeri 1/72 7508 Autocannone 3 RO

Italeri Autocannone 3 RO

An easy and robust model, as correspond to a fast-kit. Figures are well detailed, only odd, they are too big, as lately is doing Italeri. Even vehicle and gun looks bigger than 1/72, although Lancia was a big vehicle.
This bigger size on figures translate to an easy paint job.

Cammo net is done with band, but i’m not very gladded with final result, they looks big in a close view so it isn’t fixed. There are pictures with and without the net.

Base colour for both, vehicles and figures, is Tamiya TS-3 Dark Yellow spray paint. Dry-Brush with different sand colours, sepia wash and pigments. About terrain there are some natural stones, tufts home made with an old brush, pigments an some commercial clump foliage.

A little reference with good illustrations here.

Figures are not fixed to fit 1:1 rules and also to crew other items.
.

Base is a custom size 90x95mm made by Warbases.co.uk

Science Treasury U.S. JEEP WILLYS M.B. – CARGO 37mm GUN

Science Treasury U.S. JEEP WILLYS M.B. – CARGO – 37mm GUN

Painted U.S Command + 37mm AT World War II

I finally ends this work after a couple of weeks thinking about what to do to improve them…
I enjoyed a lot with this kind of bases, each item is like a mini-dio, so i’m planning built all the armies so.

Bases are from the store: Warbases.co.uk
They cut rounded bases in any size you need, with good prices.

One of the worst the decision to use the hard plastic figures from the set itself… they look not so bad alone, but close to Caesar and Italeri figures… they look bad…
Although set is a clone from Hasegawas’s one, quality of the instructions is poor, very poor. Quality of the set is that mixture of simply and medium detail, usual on Hasegawas’s set.

On bases there are a mixture of tufts which i will comment soon in a separate post, and also a mixture of natural stones, some of them painted (in the jeep base).
and also hard plastic items form Hasegawa’s US infantry set (in the gun base).

Different stages of the project are at Benno’s Figures Forum.

Although i’m gladded with result i was expecting some more when i begun it… but at this moment it seems i can’t do best…


Italeri M4A2 Sherman III

Italeri M4A2 Sherman III


M4A2 are the “lend lease” Sherman, used by English (all Commonwealth armies), Russian Army, Free French forces, Polish brigades etc.
Also U.S. Marine Corps used them on Pacific theatre, but U.S. Army let it down at home during WWII. USMC version are commonly used with “smokestack” to allow disembark on beaches.



One Sherman have decals for Free French forces, the other is with usual U.S. Army markings , so it is just a home trainer vehicle, although can be used for Pacific games. They are painted with the standard Tamiya Spray paint, and then , weathered. Also for this, i used stowage made up with news paper, as i did with the M4A3E8.
For some time i promise to don’t do more green U.S bits, still have three on progress, close to be done.
Next time i will try the new Italeri fast kit, with two M4A3, but not soon.



Although set is solid, which is very appropriate for wargaming, I’m less gladded with this ones than with M3A4 half-tracks set. The poor, the junction between top and down plates, which is quite visible in vehicle front.

The most common for this version is the British used, in Mediterranean or Italy service, as guys from “Brazo de Nelson” did here, with their usual good quality.

Hasegawa Sherman M4A3E8

Hasegawa Sherman M4A3E8

M4A3E8 was one of the latest Sherman involved in WWII, and the first with a 76mm gun and a new tracks and suspension system. This tank equilibrates (some) the usual disadvantage of US tank against german’s ones. Although it was still less armoured than German’s tanks it reduces the number of lost vehicles compared with previous versions of M4A3 .
Present from middle 1944, it was on US.Army until 1950 decade, when all Sherman were replaced by M46 Patton. M4A3E8 had a significance participation during Korean conflict.

Hasegawa’s model is easy to built , although it haven’t great detail is more than enough for wargaming. All parts fit well and there isn’t any issue with instructions.
It is painted at my standard for US.Army. Using Tamiya spay paint and the washed and pigmented. Crew is from model itself.
For the stowage on back, i tried some new for me, making some items with news paper, glue and thread. It looks fine for me…

A good reinforcement for battle, easy and quick to built.

English Wikipedia haves a not bad reference for Sherman series.


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Esci 8003 Pz Kpfw II Ausf F

Esci 8003 Pz Kpfw II Ausf F

Ausf F was the major version of Pz. II, it had an increased armour and some interior and turret redesign. 524 Units were manufactured between March 1941 to December 1942. Take a look to detail and overall aspect against Altaya’s model.

IMGP2945

This model comes to me built, so i just restored and end the work. I was trying some pigments on engine area (black pigments) and scape. Dust pigments go away in varnish phase. 🙁

Airfix Sd Kfz 222 German Reconnaissance Set (02312)

Airfix Sd Kfz 222 from Airfix 1/76 German Reconnaissance Set (02312)

Airfix Sd Kfz 222 is probably one of the worst 222 available in 1/76 scale. The turret is so inaccurate that don’t correspond to any real version of 222. I was trying some new pigments with this models, but i just get some result with black pigment on scape zones. Dusted effect goes away in varnish phase. !?
I’m gladded with European theatre ones more than DAK, which seems to be more ugly.
Although they are 1/76 have a similar length and width than true 1/72, but is less tall, and wheels diameter is significantly appreciate.

Airfix-Sd-Kfz-222-IMGP2954-1

At Airfix Tribute Forum you can see a lot of great reworks around turret.

Hasegawa 31112 Kubelwagen

Hasegawa Kubelwagen from Hasegawa’s set 31112 with BMW with side-car.


Driver is a hard plastic figure original from set, the gunner is a classic esci gunner from German infantry set.
The officer with binoculars is a figure from Airfix recon set. The original figure from hasegawa, an officer aking notes or watching a map, is very bad moulded and harms don’t fit well.

Model is better detailed than Italeri Kubelwagen fast kit, and the option of the machine gun is welcome, and bit of support for wargaming. Both sets are perfectly compatibles in size.

Airfix Wilys Jeep

Airfix Wilys Jeep

Maybe this is 4×4 vehicle by excellence, 647.925 units were manufactured during war, by Willys and Ford, and after war continues in production until 1968 in civilian life. Through lend-lease programs served in Russian, English and French army.

IMGP2898

Airfix model is original from Heller, it is true 1/72 and come with a cargo trailer, some jerry cams, crates and so, useful for other works. The crew is too little so i replaced them with two Caesar figures (U.S Infantry set I).
It’s painted with Tamiya’s spray, as M3A1 and Sherman.

AMT – ERTL 8639 Sherman M4A1

AMT – ERTL 8639 Sherman M4A1

An old model brought at Ebay for a low price, new in a destructed box, but new.
The M4A1 is the first version of Sherman, manufactured by General Motors during the War. Sherman was the most developed tank during war, used by Russian, French, English, by “Lend- lease” programs.
Latest versions were active during Korea conflict.

It had 5 crew men, and was armed with a 75mm gun M3, one M2HB 12,7mm machine gun and two 7,62mm.

ERTL model has a lot of options, the set comes equipped with motor and transmission system, and upper hatch can be mounted opened, also two on turret and two upper driver and radio operator, which is not usual in many sets. The set comes with 2 crew men, i just used one and one caear figure as rider (resting). Crates are from Airfix/Heller Willys jeep. Instructions are clear, and was easy to built, even after so many years, plastic was in a good state and all parts fits well their place.

Although I’m gladded with model’s aspect, pictures don’t represent it as well as they look in real ! (I think!)

Finish is based in green primer by “The Army Painter” and olive drab spray paint by Tamiya.

The same used for M3A1.