Tag Archives: World War-II

Italeri WWII German Sd.Kfz. 232 6 Rad 1/72.

Hello all,

This Early war German armoured reconnaissance car has been designed with war gamers in mind. It has only has one spruce which goes to say how simple the kit is, well saying that I still managed to have fun and games building this kit. A few fiddly bits and pieces to get lost or broken.

I love all things early war, I am not a fan of the “Tigers and Panthers” not that I wouldn’t build them, just I like the unusual. This kit fits the bill, you have the choice of four decal options, ranging from a vehicle on exercise to the blitzkrieg across France.

The body of the car has only four parts which fit together very well indeed, I believe this kit is a new tooling from Italeri which explains this. The turret is simple to build, but has closed hatches which is a shame. Opening them up is a little beyond my skills at the moment.

The wheels and suspension is very simplified which I do not believe is a problem because how often do you ever see the under side of a model? Unless the dio is of it jumping ten double Decker buses why worry.

The rest of the build was not as easy, things got “fiddly”. I would recommend using a quick dry glue or one with an activator for the mud guards and other little bits like the lane marks and head lights. The side lights met with the carpet monster one drunken night so they got left off. The front light met with my big sausage fingers and has not been sorted out yet.

The painting of the build did not go to plan either. I tried to hand paint it and it looked awful, so out came the airbrush and rescued it. I still think it looks a little dark but a touch of Tamiya weathering powder has lightened it up a treat.

I went for the 1940 France campaign for the decals. They like most of Italeri decals went with no problems with the help of some microsol. A great finish with that painted on look. The weathering was next, I used the normal MiG weathering pigments. This time I mixed Vietnam mud with a little dark mud and plastered the bottom and sides of the car. I tried not to go over board this time and think I like this look better.

 

nº29 – Altaya – IXO 3.7cm Flak 43 Auf (Sf) s WS

Panzer Division “Müncheberg” Germany – March 1945

Technical Details
3 Crew
1 Flak 43 37mm
300Km Range

Another of the quick German solutions to increase the anti-air protection of their units, mounting Flak guns over almost any capable platform.
This one is a Flak43 of 37mm, mounted in a 5Ton Chassis, the same issued to the Panzerwerfer 42. Most of this tractor were issued not armoured, just as tractors, but since 1944 some of them were issued with armoured cabs.
The Flak43 was a very capable weapon, firing at a 250 rounds per minute. Mounted in this platform it was capable to fire in a -9º to 90º elevation and traverse 360º. His range was between 6500 – 4800 metres, depending of the shell type used.

Altaya’s model, as usual, comes in fixed transport mode. This one don’t looks specially good, although the quality is the IXO standard the Flak itself looks pretty bad. Even this, the basket used to collect fired shells looks good.

It’s not a very common subject in our scale, but a high quality ones can be found in the MACO range.

nº28 – Altaya – IXO – B-4 M1931 203mm Howitzer

2nd Baltic Front – Kurland (URSS) – Spring 1945

Technical Details
15 Crew.
203mm.

This monster of 19Tons needed around 15 men for firing service. It was capable to fire high explosive shells of 98,8 Kg with a range of around 18Km. Around 871 units were built and after the war it was modified to fire nuclear shells. It was in service until 70’s, when was replaced by the M1975, also 203mm.
Firing rate was low, about 1 round per 2 minutes but their destruction capability was awesome. It was deployed at Front level, and was issued specifically to destroy fortifications, bunkers and urban areas.

Altaya’s model show the usual quality of the brand, model is fixed in transport mode although the gun elevation works. There isn’t any special bad feature, maybe the worst of the model are the tracks.
Camouflage pattern is a very late war one, also used after war.
As other times, i must said that this kind of models (guns, light vehicles) looks quite well, while some of the tanks of the collection have a very bad looking and low quality details.

Again, this one is a very exclusive model in our scale, none of the major plastic manufacturers have it on their ranges, and at this moment we don’t know any metal or resin manufacturer doing it, a “big” budget in the market.
Our big brothers of the 1/35 scale can found it in the Trumpeter range.

German LeFH 18. 1/72 Sets with crew

Although some other manufacturers have this gun in their range, only three of them provides some kind of crew for it. From past to recent they are Revell, Zvezda and now the new Armourfast ones.

Left: Armourfast Center: Zvezda Right: Revell

It was the standard divisional field howitzer used by the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. It was designed and developed by Rheinmetall in 1929-30 and entered service with the Wehrmacht in 1935.
LeFH 18 was developed in 3 different versions, the LeFH 18, LeFH 18M (1941), which incorporates a new muzzle brake and the recoil system adjusted to allow the use of a more powerful charge and new long-range shell and finally the 10.5 cm leFH 18/40, mounting the gun on the carriage for a 7.5 cm PaK 40, additionally, a more efficient muzzle (which also upgraded some of the 18M version).

Revell 02515 German Artillery.

Revell model was the first to appear, in 1995. Set is an excellent show case of the Revell’s better works in our scale. The two guns included in the set, depicts the early LeFH 18 gun, without muzzle, and with pressed steel wheels, although it comes with a full horse limber, a missed good opportunity to include the wooden wheels. Set also have a full crew for the firing gun and a lot of excellent extras, such munition, helmets and so. Instructions are clear enough and guns have a very good detail, taking care that they are made in soft plastic.
As other times an excellent full review can be found at Plastic Soldier Review site.
This Revell model is also usable for the Spanish civil War, as this early version was shipped to Spain as part of the Condor Legion.

Zvezda 6121 – German 105mm Howitzer with Crew

The Zvezda’s set only comes with two crew men, which maybe is good for their gaming system, but not so good for other purposes. Figures have the usual good quality of the brand, but their are just two. Gun is depicted in the box as the 18M gun, the muzzle brake is clearly visible, but it looks more like the 40 version, although this muzzles also upgraded some 18M versions in the late war. Which definitively seems to be a 40 version is the carriage and wheels, which looks to be the Pak 40 ones and the modified wheels designed just for this gun, some taller than the Pak 40 ones, but smaller than the other LeFH 18 versions. Figures seems to be to classic German soldiers, more appropriated for the early war, but the gun is the last version, appropriated for the late war, so at this point Armourfast crew could be good for the Zvezda’s gun.
Plastic is quite rigid, instructions are easy and gun is mounted with just a few parts.

Our mate Cristian Florescu made an excellent review about this set in the Braille Scale Discussion Group.

Armourfast 89001 LEFH 18 Howitzer 105mm

The Armourfast version seems to be the real 18M ones, taking care of the muzzle shape. I’m not sure about the wheels, maybe this time they are wooden spoked ones ?. Crew figures are probably quite good, details are very good, and maybe the discussion could be around the poses itself. For my taste the quality of these figures are better than previous Armourfast figure set, they are hard plastic and looks pretty well. They need glue to fix the multi-part, this allow no plastic excess at any point and flash is non existent, have mould lines, but are easy to fix. These figures are all wearing anklets, a late war feature.
Instructions come in the box rear, they are clear enough to build the gun.

Figure comparison, Armourfast crew are thicker but well detailed
Zvezda figures close to the Armourfast officer. Both quite compatibles.

Conclusion
So 17 years after the Revell’s launch, their set continues to be the most complete ones. Not only by the excellent crew, it also comes full of munition and boxes and the complete limber. Although soft plastic is an odd. The new Armourfast ones is clearly oriented for wargaming environment, but we though it’s a great product for this purpose, 4 crew men per gun, robust, and shape detail in figures. Also we like the style of these figures, discussion about the poses apart. Zvezda ones is a product which don’t gets happy to much people, 2 crew is a joke and detail level of the gun also is nothing special, a wargaming product less useful than the Armourfast, even if sculpture in the figures is better. Both sets lacks of munitions, boxes and so, which is a pity.

With the three sets seems that we have the three LeFH 18 versions available for our armies.

Minor faults are present in all the sets, which have a quite simplified detail, the worst in the Armourfast could be the absence of a sight, and detail missing in the lower shield. The most ugly in the Zvezda’s ones is the gun itself, you may drill and drill to get this muzzle looking well. Also you may drill the Revell’s and Armourfast’s ones. Zvezda and Armourfast are the most robust, as correspond for wargaming models.

 

What we miss now is a decent winter crew for these guns, to combine with all the leFH 18 available in the market, such for example the ACE ones, with 18M and 40 versions. Note than the box illustration for the 18M comes without muzzle, which is incorrect. Also some resin manufactures have the LeFH 18 in their ranges.
A set in the way of the recently released Orion Russian Artillery Crew could be welcome for the German guns.
By the way , we also recommend to take a look to the excellent MMS material, such this.

Armourfast team at full.

Italeri 7022 DUKW

Today a transport model which was used by U.S.Troops and Britain. Model can be built in an easy way for gaming and in a more complex way for collectors. I took the hard way, although it means a more fragile model, not so ready for gaming, which is my intention.

Model comes in 3 sprue, decals plus clear plastic for windows (i didn’t put the glass).

I added some Airfix/Heller cloned boxes (from the willys jeep + cargo set), a machine gun (Airfix/Heller set) and a camouflage net which i did with putty.

About the paint i used Olive Drab and Dark U.S. Green applied by dry-brush, both from Vallejo.

Here with decals:

 

 

and here with mud and dirty, and the crew, the useful Hät tank riders. To see crew in detail take a look
here.

The set is available through our utility here.

Caesar World war two British Commandos 1/72 pt1.

Hello all,

Here is some work I did a year ago on Caesars World war two British commandos. The commandos were set up by Winston Churchill after Dunkirk to let Hitler and the British public know that they were still in the war. They were to launch raid on Nazi occupied Europe from Norway to Greece. The men were recruited from the army and the Royal marines to undergo specialized training in unconventional warfare and sabotage. Most of this training was conducted up in the rugged Scottish highlands.

This is the first new set of commandos in about twenty years so it has a lot to do with why I like them so much. They are a great rival for the old classics like the Airfix and Matchbox set. I believe the Matchbox set might be re issue in the future but do not quote me on that. The ESCI/Italeri blokes are still on the market and are well worth looking at for the earlier period of the war.

I have always been a big fan of Caesar figures, with there multi part moulding giving them more lively poses and better sculpting and detailing. This has dropped a little on the newer modern figures weapons and they do suffer from bent weapons but this is nothing that some boiling water could not sort out.

This set is aimed at the latter stages of the war and could even be used for the SAS as well. This figures would not look out of place fighting along side Partisans or the resistance in Northern France or Northern Italy. This set is screaming out for lots if head swaps and conversion with the Caesar world war two British army set to increase both sets. The same could be said for the ESCI infantry and commandos as well.

I believe that this set contains some of the best 1/72 poses on the market today. This is one of them,

The image if a soldier truding his way through the Scottish highlands on a training march was the idea behind this photo,

I will go in to detail in part two of this post on how I made this diorama base, but it was intended for another set of figures and a different war all together. All in all I am chuffed with these figures even if the wooly hat is the wrong colour and the smock is a bit iffy.

The set is easy to find in Ebay and many stores.

 

 

Pegasus Russian BT-7 light tank PG7673 1/72.

Hello all,

This pair of models depicts Russian BT-7 Light tanks that entered service with the Russian army in 1935. It saw action in the Soviet-Japanese board war right up to the end of the second world war. It’s rather more famous successor was the T-34 and we all know a little about that tank!

This tank was armed with a 45mm l46 main gun and normally two 7.62 DT machine guns, and a crew of three.

This set consist’s of two kits of twelve parts each. The parts are some what “robust” due to the fact they made with war gamers in mind, so will stand up to some handling. The turret hatches are separate so can be modelled open or closed. I didn’t have any crew so I went for the lazy option of closing both.

The fit was great on these kits and I built them both in half an hour! I drilled out the exhaust pipes and used a pair of RB model 37mm barrels instead of the ones you get with the kit. I am now trying to use metal barrels on my models if I can get them for the kit I am working on. The certainly add to the model and are worth the investment.

Being lazy I wanted to try out the Humbrol spray cans, to see if it would save time and effort cleaning my airbrush. My photograhy leaves a lot to be desired, because the top tank is sprayed with 30 dark green and the bottom tank was sprayed with 86 olive green. You tell the difference in the flesh but the pictures don’t quite tell the whole story. I also learned not to try it after a few pints of larger. I kept touching up bits and put it on a bit thick in places.

The tracks was painted before they were added and the wheels got a coat of Vallejo panzer aces dark rubber. The only down side to Pegasus kits is the lack of decals. I bought some MiG T-34/KV-1 decals on EBay in a job lot so I thought why not.

The air brush came out for another job so I gave the side’s of the tanks a quick blast to give a more weathered look. Also a good wash with Promodeller dirt wash was applied and the tracks got a final smearing with Tamiya weathering mud stick. It is just like a lip stick and cn give quite a good look if done correctly. Then an attempt at wear and tear by rubbing a pencil lead over the edges to show exposed and wore metal. A final go with Tamiya weathering powder to finish.

 
Pegasus vehicle set are a good option for gamers, their whole range is available through our utility here.

Willys Jeep, Tamiya 1/48

Although I’m a 1/72 modeller I like to “upgrade” from time to time, and build 1/48 scale models. This allows me to apply some weathering techniques that are difficult to achieve in smaller scales. I wanted to build a Jeep, and since Dragon last offer it is said to be more 1/76 than 1/72, I decided to go for Tamiya. This Jeep is not marketed alone, but in a box full of G.I.s, and is called “WWII US Army Infantry at rest”. It was not the soldiers that I was after, but “the light vehicle” inside.

The Jeep is very easy to assemble, like most of Tamiya vehicles. Still, it doesn’t have an engine (like its counterpart from Hasegawa). For extra-detailing I bought Hauler’s photo-etched set, but you can build a beautiful and accurate model straight out of the box.

The only thing I scratched were the gear levers and knobs, as the ones from the kit were too thick. After the assembly, I sprayed a few layers of Olive Drab from Vallejo Model Air. Before the decals I applied a coat of gloss varnish.

After sealing the decals with flat varnish, I started the weathering process, from the top to the bottom. I used mainly oil colours, as I find them very easy to work with. For the areas with more dust, and simply added more white paint to the mix. I applied the undiluted colour in small dots, and then, with a larger brush soaked in solvent, I brushed it on the surface.

In conclusion, I had a lot of fun building this kit. Very easy to assemble; and, besides the Jeep, you receive a lot of other “goodies” in the box: soldiers, weapons, barrels, fuel cans and various luggage items. Highly recommended!

8265 HAT WWII American Tank Riders

 

My latest collaboration: Hät’s WWII American Tank Riders.

Set haves 4 equal sprue, with 9 soldiers and 2 (tank) drivers each. One of the soldiers have a bazooka and other a heavy machine gun. There is also a man carrying munition for the bazooka and one officer wearing binoculars. All the figures are one part, except one, which haves an option for an arm, wearing an automatic or semi-automatic weapon.

The sprue comes in a soft green plastic, but they almost haven’t mould lines neither flash, detail is better than many other Hät’s sets and they have been a pleasure to paint, so i hope this brand will be giving us good surprises in future, although they must change the plastic by a harder one some day.

The figure with the arm option will need some putty to seal the join.

Here there are the figs before to paint work. Due to the soft plastic the best work to put them ready to paint isn’t work with a drill, just heat a needle and then pin the figure by the rear zone 🙂

Blackened zones are due the “needle” technique to remove the mould lines, also based in hot a needle and pass them over the mould line, but be careful, a too hot needle could damage the figure, so try it before in a sprue part to get the feeling. Then figures have been primed with Chaos Black spray by form Citadel.

Right top stand up figure isn’t from this set. It’s an Italeri ones.

Figure paint is quite basic, based in the base colour – wash – highlight technique.

Helmets and Bazooka: Olive Drab -889 Vallejo Model Color.

Jacket: U.S. Green – 893 Vallejo Model Color.

Trousers and helmet’s straps: A 1:1 nix of Scorched Brown/Graveyard Earth Citadel

Straps: Khaki Brown- 988 Vallejo Model Color.

Boots, Leather jacket (tank drivers) and weapons’ wooden: 50/50 Scorched Brown/bestial Brown (Citadel). Jacket have been highlighted using some red.

Flesh: Tallarn Flesh Citadel.

Once dried, a wash with Devlan Mud have been applied. A highlight with original base colours is recommended to clear the result.

A useful and nice set which you can find here..

 

Zvezda WWII German Paratroops 6136 1/72

Hello all,

I swore I would never fall for the Zvezda con of 4 figures for £3 but I have! So far there are not really one great set of Fallschirmjäger, all have various problems like missing magazines, size issues to barrels being pointed into the ground (I still love that old ESCI set though).

This set contains four multi part figures that fit well together that only requires a little filler. No flash to speak of and hardly any mould lines to combat. It is such a shame that this isn’t a larger set and no signs of expanding it.

It comes with a larger base or movement tray as I think it is called in the war gaming world, or these individual bases. The best thing for me is the fact that they come not attached to any base’s because the normal Zvezda plastic is Farley hard to remove and I fear for me fingers with that blade!

The figures appear to be from the early half of the war which makes a change from the late Normandy/Italian campaigns. I decided to try and steer away from the Luftwaffe blue which always spark the argument that they never jumped in it and used the more traditional field grey trousers and helmet. I can see their point about camouflage but the other side is the blue does look good.

I want to try and paint some figures from the Operation “Mercury” Crete landings. Out came the Osprey men-at-arms book which is always a good fall back when some one moans about the wrong colour shoelaces or whatever, you just say I copied straight from the book!

I started by painting the jump smock a light grey with a light wash of Vallejo grey green. Then the helmet and trousers a field grey colour. Then looking at the book it showed them with sand coloured helmets so out came the Iraqi sand. I was hoping to get away without painting camo smocks but they do look better with a splash of colour. I could not resist at least one bit of Luftwaffe blue to creep in so one helmet got the treatment.

The base’s are already built for these blokes and are primed ready to be painted, so in time they will be peering around corners wait for the defenders of Crete to return fire. All in all I would say the Zvezda figure sets are getting better the the first offering.

The set is available through our Ebay utility here.

 

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.

nº60 – Altaya – IXO – Sd.Kfz. 234/2 – Puma

Sd.Kfz. 2344/2 – Puma – 2 Pz. Div. Normadie (France) – 1944.

234 series was an improvement over the long time used Sd.Kfz 232 series. It mounted a new turret, with a 5 cm KwK 39/1 L/60 gun, similar to the one mounted in the late versions of the Pz.III.

It was manufactured since 1943 till the second half of 1944, even it is know as one of the best reconnaissance vehicles in the World War II. Although it was 12 tons weighted vehicle still was capable to achieve 85 Km/h in road.

As all the family it could be driven in both directions.

One of the visual characteristic of the 234 series is the one piece mudguard, instead the two-piece mudguards on the 232 series. There was three other versions in the 234 series which was produced till the end of the war, the /1 (2 cm KwK 38 L/55 gun and coaxial 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34 or MG 42 machine gun, open turret covered with a frame), /3 (short 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 in an open turret) and /4 (a 7.5 cm PaK 40 L/46 also in an open turret).

A nice Altaya’s model showing a classic late war camouflage pattern in one of the most famous reconnaissance vehicles from the war.

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.

Zvezda WWII Soviet naval infanty 1/72 (6146).

Hello all,

I would like to start by wishing everyone a happy new year and then say thanks for being invited to post on this great blog with people who can paint a hell of a lot better than me! I just hope my stuff is up to standard, I can get away with my shoddy work on my own blog.

I do not normally buy the Zvezda art of tactics infantry sets out of principle. Paying for only four plastic soldiers nearly the same price for a full set is a bit of a con (however good they are). The gun sets are great value for money and have a few gem’s there.I had to make an exception with this set though because I have a soft spot for unusual sets and these fit the bill. I know Pegasus have done a set of Soviet naval infantry but not in what appears to be summer dress.

The figures are up to the normal Zvezda high quality by using multi part figures to give a good three dimensional look to them. The poses are great especially the bloke kneeing down throwing the grenade, a great touch I think.There is a good level of detail on the figures like the ammo belts, I decided not to try and paint every round on every belt because I would still be there now!

The only down sides to these lads are the fact that they do not have the scarf thingy (forgive me but I was in the army not the navy) like the Pegasus set have.This could be sorted out with a bit of “green stuff” but I am not too sure if it would have been worn in combat, if anyone knows different please, please let us know.

The other problem was the fit of the parts. It say’s on the box “snap fit” but I found it very difficult to get them to fit, so out came a knife and super glue and surprise surprise they fitted! I am sure someone who knows what they are doing will get them to fit better than me but it worked.

I will look at getting the Soviet sappers and recon team just because they are something different and I have a plan in mind for them in a small diorama so watch this blog. All in all a good investment that will be put to good use in the future.

 
As always remember you can find this beautiful set at best prices through our Ebay utility searcher, 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.

Italeri 6068 German Elite Troops – Revell 02584 German Mechanized Infantrymen

Italeri Set 6068 German Elite Troops & Revell Set 02584 German Mechanized Infantrymen



This set was first issued by Italeri and then it also was issued by Revell.

Most poses looks quite correct, except the man firing the Panzerfaust and the mortar one. All seems to be equipped for winter time.

Wrong position to fire a Panzerfaust :).

Clearly, set is designed for late war years, showing several MP43/StG44 and high differences in equipment. Most of the soldiers don’t wear all the equipment and many of them have wrong position for the shale and canteen.


Overall set is quite well sculpted, maybe the worst figure is the mortar one, a bad base and just one server.

You must correct the angle of some MG0’s bipod, which have been rotated because mould problems, but it’s not a hard task.

Paint Guide.

·Coats: Base coat WWII German Field-grey (Vallejo), Devlan Mud (Citadel) washed and then highlight again with German Field-grey.

·Trousers: Basecoat German Grey (Vallejo), Devlan Mud washed, highlighted with Green Grey (Vallejo).

·Camouflage: Middle brown base coat, dark green dotted, the light olive green and latest dark yellow. You can wash it with Devlan Mud.

·Metal on weapons: Dry brush Oyl Steel (Vallejo) and Babab Black washed.

·Bazooka y Panzerfaust: Tausept Ocre (citadel) and Devlan Mud washed.

 

About the bases you can take a look here.

A very interesting set, you can buy it here (Italeri Box), and here (Revell Box).

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.

Tomás Castaño 1/72 Figures. WWII and Spanish Peninsular War.

Today i meet the excellent Spanish sculptor Tomás Castaño, in the past he works with Andrea Miniatures, and today he owns his own company and site at http://www.cast48.com/ , but the most interesting for us is that he sculpted some beautiful 1/72 figures.

Late WWII German Infantry (5 poses)


At some time these one were released by Almogavers Figures.

Spanish Line Infantry – Spanish Peninsular War (Spanish Independence War) (21 Poses)

This figures were released time ago under Falcata Miniaturas brand.

Cheers.

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.

nº12 – Altaya – IXO – DeAgostini Sd. Kfz. 124 Wespe

Altaya – IXO – Sd. Kfz. 124 Wespe SS-Pz.Gren.Div Wiking Kharkov (USSR) 1943

Technical Details
5 Crew
40 Km/h on road 25 Km/h off road.
1 FH18M 105mm
1 MG 34 7,92mm

Based on the Pz.II Ausf.F chassis, this self propelled artillery vehicle was manufactured since February 1943 to Summer 1944, around 682 units were manufactured and they saw service until the end of the war.
It was capable to transport 32 shells with an effective range of 8.400m.
In March 1945 still were 307 units in service. First units saw service during the Kursk battle, in the 1943 summer.

One of the problems of this vehicle was the open turret, which was always a problem for the crew. Also the limited space available to load and aim the gun.
Although this model could belong to the Panzer collection it is from the newest Armour collection ones.

As always Altaya’s quality is not the best available in Diecast world, but anyway it’s a nice model, showing an interesting camouflage pattern. Interior detail is quite basic and simplified, also the gun itself is not the best part, all made in plastic.
A bit misunderstanding between the base plate and the issue, while base talk about a vehicle for Karkhov 1943 (After Stalingrad disaster) the issue talk about Kursk 43, where the Wiking was deployed as reserve.

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.