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1/72 – ACE (72294) – Flak 103/38 “Jaboschreck” + RODEN (715) – Opel Maultier

Opel Maultier + Flak 103/38

The 3cm Flak 38/103 Jaboschreck was based on MK 103 aircraft cannon, it only went into production in small numbers before the end of the war.
Some picture shows this gun mounted in soft vehicles such Steyr Type 2000A, but we haven’t found any evidence of it mounted on an Opel Maultier, so this works is also a sort of “What If”, while quite possible.

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ACE model can be found through our utility here, while Roden Maultier can be found here.

1/72 – Trumpeter – 07205 – SD Kfz 184 Ferdinand (“Reconnaissance” vignette)

For a long time I wanted to make vignette with a simple plot. Finally, it is true.
About the story of vignette: “before the next attack, the officer explains mission to the crew of spg.”
Ferdinand from Trumpeter. Very high quality model, though rather old.

Going without difficulty. Camouflage took normal for these machines “green grid”.
Machine going without historical reference. This decided not to paint camouflage upper surfaces. I made a gun barrel gray for more contrast.
Color sequence:
1) Dark yellow base.
2) Clarification of the basic yellow.

(MODULATION)
3)first highlights. 60% of the German yellow + 40% white.
4)second  highlights . 20% German 80% yellow + white.
5) Color selection of small details with previous color (with a brush).
6) Fading using oil paints.
7) Painted green camouflage.
8) Two-colored chips. (First white-yellow, then dark brown)
9) Yellow-green filter.
10) Dark brown wash.
11) Dirt and rain streakings.
12) Dirt and Dust using pigments.

These all stages of painting can be seen on the photo.
Figures from ORION.
Good quality castings but very poor quality material. This is my first experience in painting figures, so I learned a lot of methods and techniques focused on the “glazing”. Used for painting art-acrylic.
Stand is made by using plastic flower pot stand. Texture of land  made ​​with plaster.

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Painting steps.

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Trumpeter model available here, Orion figures here.

Dragon LRDG Patrol Car w/Lewis Gun – construction done

After a short review I started the construction of what proved to be one of the most challenging braille scale projects I have ever built. It was both expensive and time consuming, and the kit itself delivers too little for how much it costs. I had to buy an aftermarket PE set from Hauler and a set of resin wheels from the same Czech manufacturer in order to fix a least some of the problems.

All the major parts of the constructed kit are not glued permanently. Beside the PE set I scratched a few details myself, and replaced others, while for the “textile” parts I used Milliput. The front turn signals are entirely scratched, as Dragon “forgot” to include them in the kit. There are few more details to add: a Lee-Enfield rifle and some small tools, and, of course the Lewis Gun. For the sand mats mounted on top of the front fenders, I’m thinking of using Milliput also, it was a first time for me and proved to be a very useful material.

This time I will use Mr. Hobby Acrylics paints instead of my usual Vallejo. It will be sandy yellow with patches of light blue.

In conclusion, this is a great subject but a mediocre kit, don’t be fooled by the nice covering box, some efforts are required to turn this Chevy into a good model for display.

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1/72 ACE – 72127 – BTR-ZD Airborbne AD vehicle “Screzhet” ( eng. Gritting) – InBox Review

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Some history:
BTR-ZD “Skrezhet” (ZD stands for Zenitno Desantnyi) – BTR-D airborne troop carrier converted into an airborne air defence vehicle for carrying two MANPAD teams. The vehicle is fitted with racks for spare MANPAD missiles. It also is fitted with external stowage rails for a MANPAD on the right hand side of the roof of the troop compartment. It can also carry a complete ZU-23-2 twin anti-aircraft auto-cannon mount on the roof of the troop compartment.

As in  my country modellers says “ACE is not for pussies, it is for iron cocks”

This kit as all other kits of “ACE” very hard to assemble. Main problem is the amount of burrs and sink marks. But I must say that if the previous kits were on my rate like 4 from 10, and the last of a series BMP, BMD improved quality (where that 6 from 10)

I am glad that this set is the presence of vinyl tracks and some etching.

And for those who still believes that the kits of “ACE”  not for them ( because of the quality ), I must say that 80% kits of this company will never be released by other companies in Braille scale 😉

 

And now photo:

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that’s all folks
This model can be found for sale through our utility here.

1/72 Roden – 712 – 15cm Panzerwerfer 42 Auf.Sf (Finished model)

Some history.
The German Panzerwerfer is one of two different types of half-tracked multiple rocket launchers employed by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. The two self-propelled artillery vehicles are the 15 cm Panzerwerfer 42 auf Selbstfahrlafette Sd.Kfz.4/1 (based on the Opel Maultier, or “mule”, half-track) and 15 cm Panzerwerfer 42 auf Schwerer Wehrmachtsschlepper (or Panzerwerfer auf SWS).
Specifics

The Panzerwerfer 42 auf Maultier weighed 7.1 tonnes, was six meters long, two meters wide, and nearly three meters high. It was capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 km/h. One of these half tracked vehicles generally carried a Nebelwerfer 41 launching system, which was specially designed to be mounted on the Opel-engine powered Panzerwerfer. The German engineers designed this system because of the conspicuous trails of smoke left behind by the Nebelwerfer batteries, which necessitated a self-propelled artillery piece. The system contained 10 missile tubes, and generally carried 20 projectiles, enough for the vehicle to fire two full salvos.

Though intended to provide fire support and operate well behind the point of contact, some Panzerwerfers also had a machine gun mounted above the cab for protection against infantry attack.

About kit:
In post-Soviet countries, the Ukrainian company RODEN making very good models of AFV in 72 scale ( in comparison with other companies in Ukraine ).

Assemble the model very easily. Little effort is to attach to the chassis, so it turned out even. Since the machine was supposed to look like an abandoned, I had to make some details manually. This top hatches and bolts on them, and the side door cabinets. Just had to make some of the fixtures were not in the set, but that was on the machine. Just added additional armor with tracks on sides and front of model.

Painting:
That would give the appearance of a very shabby car, white camouflage was applied in several layers. Washed off and re-stained. For this I used the hairspray technique. In painting as I usually used artistic acrylic and oil, plus some weathering kits of “mig”.

Vignette is ready for a model, but it’s in need of painting. Soon I’ll show how it will look together. 

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Roden range can be found through our utility as well as this concrete model.

1/72 ACE – 72412 – Panhard AML-60 , Spanish Navy Marines (Finished Model)

History
During the 1950s, the French Army used the Daimler Ferret in large numbers but decided to build their own armoured car and Panhard started the production of the AML in 1960. Since then over 4000 vehicles have been completed and manufacture continues for the export market. The AML 60/90 have been sold to over 30 countries. In addition to the French production, 1600 AML 60/90 were built under license by South Africa under the name of Eland 60/90.
An armoured personnel carrier (APC) version was also introduced, the Panhard M3. The M3 and the AML share 95% of working parts, encouraging many countries to employ both the M3 and the AML in order to reduce operational costs.

About kit:
Kit quality is terrible and it is a fact.

From the start it was clear that the filler can not be avoided. Slit size of 1 – 1.5 mm, and this amount for the entire model 50 mm. Chassis of model proved even worse. Wheels sticking outside the wheel arches on 2-3mm. Because of the inability to carve 3mm of body,i had to cut the wheel axis. I would generally advise for the ACE company to do a test assembly, so for the sake of interest.

Of improvements made: basket for cans, handles, antenna, fasteners and wheel anthers.

The model was painted with artistic acrylic paint , MIG pigments and artistic oil.

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Although this model is already dis-catalogued, it appear from time to time in Ebay and can be found through our utility here.

28mm – 1st Corps – Macedonian Successors & Ancient Indians.

Macedonian Successors & Ancient Indians.

One client commissioned me to reinforce two of his existing armies, and antagonist ones. By one side, Macedonian successors, a term which can mean a lot of different kingdoms over a couple of centuries at least. By the other side, Ancient Indians, suitable to face Alexander The Great himself or one of his successor kingdoms.

All the batch is based in 1st Corps Miniatures, a brand with a wide range from Ancients to Sci-Fi, through Medieval or Second World war.
This have been my first time with ancients 28mm, and mixing feelings came in the end. Is not my best work, for sure, I’ve enjoyed some parts and not so much others, but at the end, the work is done at an acceptable quality, i hope.

To begin the show, some very nice beast of war, two war elephants, references EL, C. Indian Elephant and EL, D Indian Elephant as well as two dead elephants, reference EL,M. Dead Elephant with tower.
This elephants are all cast in resin, with some metal parts as fangs and trunk (except the dead elephant who haves it already cast in resin). Cast is very fine, no bubbles neither resin excess. To correctly fit trunks and fangs you will need some putty to fill gaps, but nothing specially hard. Crews used here are reference ELC07 Successor crew 5, this reference seems to be intended for larger towers, as it comes with five figures, one driver and 4 men for the tower, two armed with bow, and two armed with pike. In this case, as my client need all the crew to be removable, it means more flexibility, as he can aim them with 2 bows, 2 pikes or 1 & 1. Fit drivers in a right position was the harder task about these elephants. I made two putty cushions to solve this, as well as all the figures haves a neodymium magnet in the base, towers has a metal plate in the bottom, so all the figures you see in the pictures are easily removable or changeable to fit my client needs.

MACEDONIAN SUCCESSORS WAR ELEPHANTS
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Although crew set comes with several small rounded shields, i used here spare parts from the Wargames Factory Amazon Warriors, and transfers by Vini Vidi Vinci Studios.

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Continuing the show, two beautiful scythed chariots, reference MSS61 4 horse scythed chariot which is randomly supplied with two different drivers. They are beautiful pieces, i made an error putting the reins, as all left side ones must go to one side, and all the right ones, to the other, otherwise it should be impossible to govern these horses. The archers showed in pictures are from the elephants, i just put them there to avoid have them loose in the table. In this case, drivers are fixed. To complete this part, also two 2 Wrecked scythed chariot, reference MSS62, are showed here. This reference came in two parts (resin cast), plus some small parts cast in metal, but i build a single scenery piece for each.
I tried to give these horses a different appearance, and i think i achieved it.

SCYTHED CHARIOTS
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The Indian army also haves his own chariots, in this case a unit pack reference INDU9 Light Chariots which includes three chariots and i aimed them with two crew each. These figures are removable, also haves a neodymium magnet in the base and chariot base haves a metal plate. With this condition, i didn’t find a way to put reins.
To decorate this chariots i tried a new (for me) technique, i printed some patterns and then paint over the pattern. Final result is not bad to my eyes, so i will try again this technique in the future if possible.

CLASSIC INDIAN LIGHT WAR CHARIOTS
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Macedonian Successors still got some more reinforcements, now reference MSSU01 Thureophoros attacking overarm x 16
Standard is a Vini Vidi Vinci transfer. All decorations here are hand made.

THUREOPHOROS
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Last for Macedonian, a Greek Oxybeles, reference GRK38.

GREEK OXYBELES
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The Indian army still got a large batch of reinforcements, comprising the following references: INDU5 Cavalry x12, IND22 Forest Indians / bow, IND13 Maiden Guard command and INDU4 Longbow men x 40 and the pictures below are showed in the same order. Deal with skin tones was a real pain, and at the end, this is the part which makes me less happy in the project. All the standards are made of paper and hand painted.

ANCIENT INDIAN CAVALRY
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FOREST INDIAN WITH BOW
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MAIDEN GUARD COMMAND
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ANCIENT INDIAN LONGBOW MEN
Most of these figures haves a separate hand, the one with the bow, which not always fit well, so some trim is need in a few of them. Many of them haves also quite visible mould lines. Fortunately white metal is very workable with a knife, although it means spent more time than you desire to clean figures. This, and the continuous change of colour to achieve variety made this batch the most tired to paint

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A couple of family pictures to end.

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Bases are mostly decorated with The Army Painter tufts, plus some natural small stones (re-painted) and leaves are by “Secret Weapons Miniatures”. Paints used includes Vallejo (Model Color & Game Color), Citadel (Old Range) and The Army Painter (mostly washes).

1:72 ACE – 72417 – FV101 Scorpion, (Finished Model)

The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. It was the lead vehicle and the fire support type in the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), CVR(T), family of seven armoured vehicles. Manufactured by Alvis, it was introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and served until 1994. More than 3,000 were produced and used as a reconnaissance vehicle or a light tank.

About kit:

Like all kits of “ACE” this set is rather complicated to assemble. Most of the details in the burrs. Release from burrs captivity account for almost all the details. For this reason, to achieve a perfectly flat surface is very difficult. The model is very small and it is very difficult to putty.

The only plus is the presence of a nice photo-etching.

Of improvements made ​​antennas, protection for headlamps roll from overcoat, shroud on the barrel.

The model was painted with artistic acrylic paint , MIG pigments and artistic oil.

Camouflage is done by using “PattiFix”

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This ACE model is available through our utility here, as well as the whole ACE range.

(NEW) TOPOL SS-25 “SICKLE” 1:72 ZVEZDA – 5003 – InBox Review

TOPOL SS-25 “”SICKLE  Russian Ballistic missile launcher.

The RT-2PM Topol (Russian: РТ-2ПМ Тополь (“Poplar”); NATO reporting name SS-25 Sickle; GRAU designation: 15Ж58 (“15Zh58”); other designations: RS-12M Topol)[3] is a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile designed in the Soviet Union and in service with Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces.

The three stage solid propellant RT-2PM Topol is an improved mobile ICBM which replaced earlier outdated missile complexes. It emerged from the same line of development as mobile missiles such as the RT-21 Temp 2S and the RSD-10 Pioneer, and was deployed as a replacement for the widely deployed UR-100. The United States considered developing their own road-mobile ICBM called the Midgetman, but the program was canceled with the end of the Cold War.

Development of the RT-2PM was approved on July 19, 1977 and carried out by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology headed by A. D. Nadiradze. Flight tests were conducted on the Plesetsk test site from February through December 1985. The main problem that had to be overcome during this period was the development of battle management system. After the first test series was successfully conducted in April 1985, with the first regiment with Topol missiles put on alert in July 1985. Throughout this time work continued on improving the battle management system. The test missile firings were finally completed in December 1987. The first regiment of “Topol” missiles employing a modernized mobile command center (in the area of Irkutsk) were put on alert on May 27, 1988. After Nadiradze’s death in 1988 Boris N. Lapygin continued his work on the Topol missile.

A little bit about the box contents and quality.

The box itself is very large. As if 35 scale. Crazy amount of parts for 72 scale (309). Great quality. No burr and sink marks. Detailing is very good. Pleased even the presence of cables, molded integral detail. This will simplify the addition model details. The model has two versions of the assembly in the stowed position and launch.

Very nice wheels. On the photos I tried to show in more detail some interesting details. The only pity is that the box has only container but does not have the rocket missiles. It would be very epic assemble the model at the time of its launch, with clouds of smoke from the wool))))))

As a result, we can say that the model came out great. I hope the company “ZVEZDA”  continue the series of strategic and tactical systems of the Soviet Union: REDUT, ISCANDER…

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Model can be found in Ebay at good prices, take a look here.

 

 

Dragon – 7439 – Long Range Desert Group Patrol Car w/Lewis Gun

Recently I’ve seen a picture of a LRDG Chevy used by the British army in the desert in WWII, and I instantly fell in love with it. I checked the offer in 1/72 scale and found this Dragon kit. _MG_8313-004

Well, what’s inside this box doesn’t provide the quality you would normally expect from a Dragon kit… at least from their golden era. Though there are good parts, the general impression is the kit was done in a hurry.

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The biggest disappointment are the wheels; they are one piece, not like the CAD drawings on the box showing separate tires and wheel rims. All four road wheels look the same, but in reality the bolt circles of the back wheels is noticeably larger. The tire tread is not very deep and a there is an ugly moulding seam, whose removal will further damage the surface. And there is more bad news: all wheels were moulded with a hollow back!

So I’ve searched for a good PE set and Hauler came to my rescue. Besides metal parts, you get two beautiful Lee Enfields, a crate, some cans, a shovel – all in resin.

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Hauler also provides, as a separate upgrading set, four road wheels and two spares, an excellent representation of the real thing. _MG_8318-009

With the Dragon wheels.

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In conclusion, this is rather a mediocre kit compared with Dragon’s own high standard visible in their previous releases. At least an upgrade set for the wheels is a welcome addition.

Model available in our searcher, here.

Something moving in Poland…

Well, as for sure many of you know, this year, 2014, is the 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. Considering his start as September 1939, with the German invasion of Poland, although certainly other events preceding this data advocate Europe and World to war.
Is interesting, to have a brief idea, take a look at this Timeline in the WikiPedia.

But for our today’s proposal, we don’t wish to start any controversial, the Second World War started on 1st September 1939, at 4:45 a.m, is not our scope give any history lesson, so if you are interested on this, for sure you can find thousand of references in Internet, with different points of view about the conflict, facts, numbers, consequences and so.

We wish to talk today about a military genre, poorly covered in our favourite scale, 1/72, during decades, The World War II Polish Army, and overall, the early stages of the Second World War, from the invasion of Poland to the ‘Fall Gelb’.

FTFlogoWe will start talking about “First to Fight”, a commemorative publication raised in Poland, which also issue a related 1/72 scale model with each number, they have the support from IBG for the production and by now 5 numbers have been issued:

First to Fight – 05 – Polish TK3
First to Fight – 04 – SdKfz. 265 Panzerbefehlswagen I Ausf. B
First to Fight – 03 – C2P
First to Fight – 02 – Pz.Kpfw. IA
First to Fight – 01 – Polish TKS Light Tankette

And many more are to come, including an infantry figure set, a topic which previously, was only covered by the infamous Hät set, so we expect a lot of this range.
Their quality is good, although they are “fast kits”, and the models issued to the German Army are also very interesting ones. Another fact about this models, is his very cheap price, which make us wonder by an Italeri (ESCI) mould used for decades is so expensive, or Revell, or the worst case, Airfix.

To show how this models looks like, we specially lithe the excellent work done by Artur Wałachowski. To see more, a contest is spotted in the brand site, here.

First to Fight – 02 – Pz.Kpfw. IA - Painted by Artur Wałachowski
First to Fight – 02 – Pz.Kpfw. IA – Painted by Artur Wałachowski

First to Fight – 01 – Polish TKS - Painted by Artur Wałachowski
First to Fight – 01 – Polish TKS – Painted by Artur Wałachowski

At this point we must cite brands such S-Model, already doing a nice effort for early war subjects.
Previous to this one, only RPM have a decent range for the Polish Army.
To end with the scale models, we wish also to mention ACE, who has released a 37mm Polish AT Gun wz.36 and two early French army topics, 3,5t truck AHN and S.A. Mle 1934 25mm anti-tank gun.
So as you can see, the list is slowly growing , and we want more.

scibor-logoSo, with so many model ahead, more figures are needed !!!, while we wait for the First to Fight’s infantry set, some other are taking care of this gap. Scibor Monsterous Miniatures, a well know manufacturer of fine and impressive 28mm fantasy figures, has started an historic line, in 1/35 but also in 1/72 scale, dedicated, by now, only to cover the Polish Army.
By now they have 4 references (in 1/72 scale):

1×72 Polish Officers 1939 Set #1 72HM0008
1×72 Polish TKS Tankette Crew Set #1 72HM0003
1×72 Polish TKS Tankette Crew Set #2 72HM0005
1×72 PolishCKM Wz 1930 with Crew Set #1 72HM0006

In their immediate plans, Polish infantry 1939 and drivers for Polish Fiat 508 and C2P artillery tractor…

Scibor - Wz 1930
Scibor – Wz 1930
Scibor - Polish Officers
Scibor – Polish Officers

Scibor, we want Stanislaw Sosabowski in 1/72 scale !!! It’s indispensable to play a Bridge Too Far game.

And that’s all for today, we want more of this early war coverage, for our taste, operations during the invasion of Poland, also the ones during the operation Fall Gelb, can be very interesting for games, so more Polish, French, Dutch and Netherlands troops are needed !!!
We will keep an eye on further developments by Scibor, and each issue of First to Fight is added to our listing in the database section.

Zvezda – 5011 – IS-2 – Finished Model

This was my longest built to date. After the initial paint, I waited a couple of days, then applied the first oil wash in darker tones. I sealed it with Vallejo’s flat varnish, then added more oil colors, this time mixed to represent the dusted areas. Another coat of varnish, and then the final grease spots and other small details. For the first time I used Mig Jimenez Abteilung 502 oil colors, and I must say they are great.

The tracks were painted with Vallejo German Camo Black Brown, which is the best color in their range for bare metal. Some oil washes for the dust, then pigments and this is it. The raised surfaces on the tracks, as well as the contact surfaces of the road-wheels were “polished” with AK Dark Steel pigment, a GREAT product, also designed by Mig Jimenez. The shovel and cables were painted separately and added at the very end.

It’s time to work on the diorama!

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1/72 Trumpeter – 07272 – Jagdpanther, Finished model.

Little about history:

The Jagdpanther (German: “hunting panther”) was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It entered service late in the war (1944) and saw service on the Eastern and Western fronts. The Jagdpanther combined the very powerful 8.8 cm PaK 43 cannon of the Tiger II and the characteristically excellent armor and suspension of the Panther chassis, although it suffered from the general poor state of Germany in the later part of the war, which resulted in small production numbers, shortage in spare parts and poor crew training.

About kit:

Models of “trumpeter” always very accurate and of good quality. This model is not exception. Kit is very easy-going, and does not require any modifications. Aside from a small amount of putty.

It is a pity that in 1:72 scale of Trumpeters sets do not have photo-etched parts.I think the bars on the engine compartment would be nice.

About painting: as in my past work, a little later I’ll show all the steps in a histogram. Like we Slavs saying “Better to see once than 100 times to hear” )

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The trumpeter model is available in Ebay through our listings here.

1/72 Trumpeter – 07284 – T-55 with BTU-55 (Iraq), Finished Model

Bulldozer T-55 BTU comes from battle tank T-55 1967 release. It is equipped with a dozer blade for earthworks. The equipment can also be used for stacking and explosion elongated charges with which usually created dividing strips in case of major fires.

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About kit:

It going very simple, like any set of Trumpeter.I did not like rail thin, which I immediately got rid of. Replaced them from stretched sprue. In the box are terrible vinyl tracks. But there was nothing to replace them. Model to be interesting, I added rubber sheets and chain.

There no historical reference. This collective image of many Iraqi tanks.The model was painted with acrylic paint, tinted oil paints and MIG pigments.

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This model can be found through our utility here.
 

Zvezda – 5011 – IS-2 – Base Coat

After the construction, I sprayed the model with Vallejo white acrylic primer (polyurethane), but I ended up with a grainy surface and not much adherence to the model. So I had to remove it and apply a new coat of Tamiya white primer from a can. Is lacquer based and worked better as it leaves a very smooth and hard surface.

After the primer, I covered the whole tank with Vallejo Russian Green and applied a little color modulation on more exposed areas. The white stripes and the turret numbers are hand brushed as it were in reality.

Next, I will apply an yellow oil filter to lighten up the green, and the rest of the weathering techniques. _MG_8042-006 _MG_8045-004 _MG_8046-003 _MG_8047-002 _MG_8048-001 _MG_8043-005

 

1/72 – UM – 322 – SU-12, Work in Progress

SU-12 Soviet self-propelled artillery chassis trucks “Morland” and GAZ-AAA. Armed with short-76.2-mm cannon sample 1927 installed on column book-rests on the installation location of the cargo hold.

The Kit is very simple and neat. Several items was made ​​of tinplate. Replaced some parts that are not too ambitious such holes for viewing slots in the gun’s shield.
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Painting: Base, color modulation, chipping, dark brown and light dusty wash…

This is a small tutorial on the work done.Maybe it will help someone to work on such a small scale.Used only art paints (acrylic and oil), so I can not give numbers of model paints.After the final of this model, I’ll post a similar tutorial.

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More to come soon !!

 

Zvezda – 5011 – IS-2 – Construction Done

First of all, I will say that this is the my favorite WW2 tank: impressive, efficient and “sexy”. It was Soviet Union’s breakthrough after the KV tank family, a predecessor and the starting point of all modern Russian heavy tanks.

After the turret construction I started to work on the upper hull, by removing the original plastic fenders and replacing them with ones made from beer can foils. There is a photo-etched set from Part for the old PST and Italieri kits, but it doesn’t provide the fenders. The advantage of working with thin aluminium foils is that you can easily bend it; my reference pictures showed some very battered tanks, and all of them had bend, broken or missing parts of the fenders.

The joining lines on the nose of the tank are way too sharp and pronounced, so I had to sand it to gave a more rounded appearance. I then brushed and stippled a thin layer of Mr. Surfacer 1000 to obtain a rough casting texture, just like for the turret.

Next were the air intakes and their mesh screens. Zvezda offers a quite acceptable plastic replica, even better looking the the ones from Part’s set, which are nothing but some holes drilled into a brass plate. A Lipton tea bag proved again to be a great substitute, and I will definitely use it in my future builds.

I than added the MasterClub hexagonal bolts, after shaving off the original ones. I’ve described the whole process here. The lifting rings and other few small but time consuming details were next. The gun travel lock came from the Italieri kit, as it has superior details. The towing cables are from Eureka XXL and were a great addition.

One of the most difficult challenge was to make the supports of the side barrels. I used the main supporting ribs from Part (again, shortened with few millimeters), and glued can foil strips on top.

After that I moved to the lower hull, by adding the ammo loading hatch, which was missing. The tracks are very easy to work with, but unfortunately you can’t obtain a proper amount of track sag, or at least I couldn’t. The tracks are not attached permanently, for an easy painting, and I think is better to assemble them by gluing the ends and shave off the mounting lugs. This way you can test the sag and the tracks can easily be removed for painting (for this, the outer half of the road wheels and sprockets shouldn’t be glued permanently).

All in all, this is a good kit, but with a few shortcomings. I could add some more about other details, but I will let the photos speak for themselves. Most important, this kit provides a good foundation for those obsessed with details, like myself.

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UM(MT) – 404 – Т-26Т+ ACE – 72216 – 10,5 cm leFH 18, 1:72

T-26T – the pre-war Soviet tractor.

History.

According to the adopted “Program tank-tractor weapons the Red Army” was assumed on the basis of the production of tractors tanks.. The project is of such a machine , which received the name of ” Fighter “, was made ​​on the basis of the T -19 in 1930 , but mass production did not go, because the preference was given to a similar car on the chassis of the T -26. In the spring of 1932 at KB Voroshilov plant were developed two projects artillery tractors – one with a canvas top , the other with armored. Both projects were launched in the series in 1933.

Most of these machines have been lost in the first weeks of ’41, along with the other equipment of the Red Army. That’s why I decided to make it a tractor of German howitzers.

The model has been refined. Made the right hitch. Did the stairs in front. Thinning fender. And a little bit of different small parts .At the beginning model has been painted in the ” field green”. Then covered with hairspray, and painted in German gray. Next chipped. Assembling the model has not caused problems.

With howitzer was a bit more of a problem with the assembly. Since this ACE. But a little patience, and as usual the set of “ACE” can get something decent. Howitzer is painted in the same color as the tractor. Some color modulation, pigments and toning oil.

Vignette made ​​of plaster. Grass – Sanitary flax. pillar – toothpick.

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OKB Grigorov resin tracks

I received recently two sets of probably the best aftermarket resin tracks currently available. They are produced by OKB Grigorov from Bulgaria and released this year, if I’m correct. I have a Panzer IV Ausf. G from Dragon (1/72) and I wanted a pair of Winterketten under its road-wheels and nothing will do better than this set from OKB Grigorov. I also bough a set of early tracks for Panther, with Zvezda’s Ausf. D on my mind. Details on both these sets are breathtaking; the Panther tracks have hollow guide horns, and, to my knowledge, this was never achieved so far in Braille scale. OKB Grigorov supplies other superb track sets, and I will definitely buy more: Panzer III/IV (also with hollow guide horns), Ostketten, Panther late tracks, T34 etc.

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Panther early tracks (the black ones are from Zvezda):

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The Winterketten:

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More than highly recommended!

Zvezda – 5011 – IS-2 – MasterClub bolts

I wanted to improve the bolts for my IS-2 from Zvezda (1/72), as the ones on the real tank are hexagonal, not round. So I’ve searched the web and came across this Russian company called MasterClub which had exactly what I needed: 0.5 mm hexagonal bolts “on a turn key basis”. I think there is not a single kind of bolts and nuts this company doesn’t supply. For under 10 EUR via eBay (plus transport) I got myself 180 tiny little bolts.

The bag:

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The bolts:

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I made the first attempt on the rear engine access plate. Just drilled the holes and inserted the bolts, and at the end I added a small drop of superglue on the inside face. The original plastic pull rings (which look quite good) were replaced also. Zvezda did a terrific job with those weld seams around the hinges.

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A closeup, to see the hexagonal shape of the bolt.

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I think these bolts really improve the look of a model, especially in larger scales, where you can actually see the difference. Highly recommended!

28mm – Polish Haiduks – Foundry & The Assault Group.

28mm Polish Haiduks – Foundry & The Assault Group.

As part of the commissioned Polish Renaissance Army, some Haiduk regiments were need. They are just 4.
First showed is the Guards unit, totally based in TAG figures, which haves a well bunch of blister dedicated to this topic, including a command, so TAG, bring you 2 different command blister, which includes Officer, Boy and two Standard Bearers. Musicians are taken from another TAG blister, only dedicated to this.
To complete de 27 figures, i used in this regiment an halberdier in Muscovite costume.

Guards unit
Guards unit

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I take some special care of most of the officers, decorating his capes.

Guards command detail
Guards command detail

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Second unit is a common blue-red pattern, also 27 figures, showing a mix of Foundry and TAG, although TAG numbers are higher. TAG provide you a Command blister, 3 different Haiduks blisters (Firing, Loading and Advancing). Plus the already commented Musicians blister and some other extras as the horse holders i used with the Bears.

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Command detail
Command detail

Third regiment shows an also well know pattern, blue-yellow, and also is a mix of Foundry & TAG. Foundry sculpture is pretty nice, but they have two problems for my taste, their command set is very good, you have musicians included there as well as Officers, two of each poses, but they haven’t boys. The Haiduks blister contains 8 figures each, one blister is firing and the other is marching, but all the figures are exactly the same pose. While figures are pretty nice sculpted, casting have several problems in both poses, which becomes to have moulding problems, and some areas have a lot of extra metal and no detail. That’s really an odd.

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Command detail
Command detail

Last pattern is based in a picture, showed in an Osprey book, but i found it searching in the net, coloured with this pattern, as Osprey book show it in black&white.
While Foundry blisters are too repetitive and have some moulding problems, TAG bring you a lot of flexibility to built the army, 3 different blisters of 4 figures each, all in different poses, plus two commands including the Guards one, a musician blister and the horse holders one. Also used in this unit is a gift figure, the one drinking.

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This scheme is based in a picture included in an Osprey book, Osprey show it black and white, but you can found it colored searching on the net
This scheme is based in a picture included in an Osprey book, Osprey show it black and white, but you can found it colored searching on the net

To don’t get bored painting so many equal figures, i imagined an extra unit for this army, for sure it’s not historically correct, but…
Bears are done by Foundry, three different poses, I found useful here the Horse Holders blister by TAG, as well as the peasants blister. The peasant blister is clearly inspired in the Osprey illustrations, as well as many other figures by TAG. The other problem was to find an appropriate chain for this… it was solved one day with my girlfriend in a H&M store. A jewelry chain is used here, it cost to me 5€.
It’s an item not useful for games, but, i found it’s a good decoration ones, and a distinctive for this army.

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When Foundry bears meet TAG and H&M
When Foundry bears meet TAG and H&M

With so many blisters purchased, at the end i had several extra figures, together with another TAG gift, the excellent Ottoman figure. Also included here, is a Cossack foot officer, which comes in another TAG blister. This cossack officer is also depicted in an Osprey illustration, and i tried to paint him as showed there.

Extra figures, the Ottoman officer is a very nice figure, gift by TAG guys.
Extra figures, the Ottoman officer is a very nice figure, gift by TAG guys.
Back details for the extra figures
Back details for the extra figures

Some family pictures here…

Family picture, the four regiments plus bears and extra command.
Family picture, the four regiments plus bears and extra command.

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I’m sorry to show these units without flags, but i still waiting for a new Flag Sheet for Haiduks promised by Battle Flag.

1/72 PST+Zebrano – 72004 – KV-7 (KV-6 SPG) Stalin’s Leviathan, Finished

A bit of history :

KV -7 ( Object 227 ) – Experimental Soviet heavy self-propelled gun ( SPG ) of the period of the Great Patriotic War.This war machine was developed design office Chelyabinsk Kirov Plant ( CHKZ ) in November 1941 under the leadership of Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin , Chief Designer of Russian heavy tanks and self-propelled guns of the time. In the creation of the KV- 7 also participated LE Sychev ( chief engineer ) , GN Moskvin , weapons designer of the Ural Heavy Machinery Plant ( UZTM ) KN Ilyin and GS Efimov . The car was first built in the Soviet heavy self-propelled guns during World War II. Although adopted the Workers ‘ and Peasants’ Red Army KV-7 has not been taken and the standard was not made, resulting in its development experience has allowed later in a very short time to create a serial SPG in this class.

This set consists of quite old kit PST and additional details from the company Zebrano. Of the additions Zebrano has 3 metal barrel and resin turret.

Set at first glance looks poor, but the assembly does not cause problems. Detailing is not bad, but almost all of the small details come together with one large piece. Casting quality is not bad, but the tracks are made fairly primitive, but better than the Pegasus)).In this work, there is no historical authenticity, because after the unsuccessful tests this tank was dismantled for scrap. But in my work, I gave him a second life to some alternative history. The upper armor plate I had left in the primer color, as is sometimes done in Panzerwaffe 46. Model painted as usual with artistic acrylic Polycolor, MIG pigments, and oils.

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1/72 – UM – 214 – M4A2 with M1 Dozer Blade, FINISHED Model.

A bit of history:

The destruction generated by military operations, and various obstacles deployed by the Axis forces to slow down the progress of the Allied armour led to the need for a dozer tank. The US Army needed an armoured dozer able to clear roads, fill in ditches and bomb craters, clear rubble and move destroyed vehicles blocking roadways. The allied armies used several types of bulldozer, however, these machines were un-armoured and could be used only in zones far away from the frontline.

This is one of my first works in the scale of 72th, after 35th scale of the model I have tried to carry out a full list of all the weathering techniques.

Green came out a little more green than allies, but I did not repaint it all over again. Dozer blade I dyed in three stages.The first struck a subterranean dark red (the color of burnished steel), then the method of hairspray struck green, a little flush green, repeated the same trick with Metallic paint. Model painted as usual with artistic acrylic Polycolor, MIG pigments, and oils.

Assemble this kit was easy. Problems perhaps made ​​only tracks. A little bit of Tamiya putty and the model is ready.

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