UM’s SU-85 and Dragon’s 251/10’s:  .

The SU-85:  . The 251/10’s:  and .

The 251/10 cannons were more difficult to assemble than the instructions suggested they should be. They required some carving and filing to get the barrels to properly fit through the gun shields.

The remaining 4 SU-85’s (making a company in total) have finished assembly and are now just awaiting painting.

My revised order of assembly has helped correct one set of part fit issues with the UniModels SU-85 (СУ-85) kits currently on the table, but I felt like I came close to problems with a different part of the model. This time, it was at the rear  of one of the five units and is visible for the left vehicle in this photo:  – the vehicle on the right is to show the better fit. A big gap between the superstructure and the hull proper. So, out came the Tamiya putty to fill the gaping gap:  – and there was shrinkage of putty, so I had to apply another coat too. I’ll scrape off the excess where possible, but some of those bolts/rivets are now lost under putty, so I’ll have to disguise all the putty and fixes with a very thick coat of mud – quite acceptable, given what Russian roads where like in Spring and Autumn.

Looking elsewhere on these kits, my revised assembly steps solved most of the previously-mentioned superstructure fit problems, except in this instance:  – so some scalpel and nailfile work was needed to get that glacis plate to slide smoothly into place.

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Two piece mudguards that don’t have proper anchor points/fit grooves don’t help either:  and that can lead to me using glue as putty to try to lessen the gaps made by the mudguards not sitting flatly and not being in total alignment, as you can see here where superstructure meets mudguard:  . Hmmmm.

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The 251/10’s are coming along well:  .

 

I’ve completed the major stages of assembly of UniModel’s 1/72 scale SU-85 (or, if you are Russian, 333 UM 1/72 Самоходная артиллерийская установка СУ-85):   . It’s a well-detailed kit, but I think there must be better ways to actually assemble the kit than the way they suggest on the instruction sheet. Since this is the first of a company of 5 that I’m assembling, I’ll assemble the other 4 in a different way. The reason for wanting to do it differently is that, having followed their instructions, part fit of the superstructure to the hull was poor – out came the nail files and there was a lot of filing in order to get part fit, let alone accurate part fit. Not good. I’m reminded of some of the grizzles with assembly I had with the Marder III (h)’s of theirs that I did 4-5 years ago. So, we’ll see how the rest of them go. This one isn’t too bad, but it certainly isn’t going to be the company commander’s vehicle.

Also, I completed the Pegasus Hobbies 1/72 scale Russian Log house – Two storey (Large Karilian region izba) that I won as part of a number of job lots on eBay three years back. Mine looks like this from the front:  and like this at the rear: . It’s to scale, as you can see here, with 1/72 troops (ESCI/Italeri, in this instance):   . It’s meant to be a two-storey building, but there is no “first floor” provided, so I made one with leftover sheet styrene:  so I can have snipers upstairs if I want:  and the first floor sections easily lift out and away for when the door finally gets broken in and close-quarters combat (CQC) occurs:  . As you can see, it is a very big building. Great for diorama or scale modellers, but I think that for wargaming, it occupies too much of the tabletap. I don’t mind a factory or somesuch taking up big slabs of the tabletop, but I’m not so sure a large farmhouse (Russian: изба́) should share that right.

So, now I have a good collection of buildings by Pegasus and MiniArt for the Russian side of the Eastern Front (Ostfront):  – that should be enough for a few years.

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My Dragon 251/10’s are coming along a bit more slowly at the moment, as you have to paint the interiors before you can fully assemble the bodies:  .

 

I got there later than I normally would, 9.30am. Already 80 people in front of me:   . I joined the queue, but after five minutes spotted fellow NWA’er, raconteur and all-round good bloke Sean 6 people behind me, so I gave up my spot to drop back a few spots and hang out with him, passing the time shooting the breeze. Here’s the queue ahead of us:  . Now, in previous years I think there would have been more people ahead of us at that time of the morning, but this morning was very chilly…just 5 degrees C, and it  was only 7 degrees by the time I got home at midday. (The warmest it got today was 10 degrees, at 4pm…the sun only broke through the heavy fog at 1.30pm…)

The doors were opened spot on time and the queue moved well, no jumpers from where we were. I said hello to Neil, Jon and Michael as we moved around inside, also from NWA.

Inside was arranged as per normal except there was only one side of tables in the middle of the room, instead of two. This meant that there was actually more elbow room and it didn’t feel so claustrophobic. I must remember to take my glasses next time, as the lighting wasn’t good for me and I was squinting a lot trying to spot desired kits.

This time, there was plenty of 1/72 – but much of it I already had. I did come home with lots of loot, though – here’s a photo of the treasure:  . The first three columns of kits were all from the one vendor. 12 kits for $160.

The Nashorn was only $7 – an absolute steal for an unopened kit, so I bought it even though I currently don’t need it. I was stoked to find another Academy set of US vehicles. As I said before, the Russians loved those amphibious jeeps – see this link.

The little Renault FT17s with 37mm guns are fast-build kits, 2 in the box. They are the beginnings of my Romanian forces!

What was really good about today was to get the 8 Panthers. I need one more of each of those kits to make full-sterngth platoons of each. Then, when complete, they join my already completed full-strength platoon and company HQ vehicles, to make an entire company of Panthers. Grrrrrrraarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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PS: For Ben and Stephen, here are the promised ‘drool’ photos in their original 2304×1728 format:

           …and that’s a snapshot (pardon the pun) of what was there…there was lots more…

 

…is the Holcroft Pure Red Sable Brush Round Size 20/0.  Cost me $5.50 AUD or so, as it was on a discount.

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Work on a pair of 251/10’s is slow but steady. They are Dragon kits, and the kit is meant to have the rear of each vehicle with a hefty supply of jerrycans in racks. I”m thinking of omitting the jerrycans and just putting the normal benches there.

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The SU-85 (СУ-85) is coming along more slowly than the 251/10’s.

Hello all,

My Dragon Models 1/72 scale Sd.Kfz 251/1 D’s are potentially one step away from being finished: .

When I started them, I thought that I might glue lichen on their sides to represent added foliage, as many German forces did to their vehicles in the last 2-3 years of the war. You can see a historical example of this ‘foliage as additional camouflage’ practice here. I’ve already done this to some of my vehicles, like my 234/3’s and my Hetzers.

Now I’m not sure I want to do this. The 234/3’s and the Hetzers aren’t meant to get so much game use compared to the 251/1’s. If they aren’t getting so much game use, I figure they can be a little more delicate and elaborate! Lichen on them is fine!

But I’m now not sure about adding lichen to these 251/1 D’s. These 251/1’s don’t have good vantage/attachment points to secure the lichen, so it’s possible that I could botch what I do. I don’t want to botch what has gone pretty well! The other 251’s I’ve done or are yet to do aren’t going to have lichen attached…plus it’s only an average of $10-15 per kit at swap-n-sells to get more if these ones do end up looking tatty after a couple of years. To topit all off, I’ve only been averaging 4 games a year lately…

Still, I’m thinking that they are fine as they are and that I don’t have to be so realistic all the time. Maybe I’m lazy and just want them off my table? Dunno.

So, readers, I’m turning this over to you. Do I follow through and add the lichen to them, or stop now?

Dragon SdKfz 251- detailing

December 9, 2011

My progress on the 251s has been very slow…to some degree I’ve actually been avoiding them. Painting over some errors seemed to be bigger in my mind than it actually was. You see, I’d used my version of the Doug Chaltry Technique on the tracks, and then painted the hull afterwards. The Desert Yellow splattered or dripped onto the tracks as I applied it very liberally and inaccurately. Fixing my mistakes using Boltgun Metal had become as big a job as painting the rubber on the roadwheels, which is a job requiring some time and skill.

When I actually got going, it only took 15 minutes to paint over any Desert Yellow splashes with Boltgun Metal…I thought it would take at least 45 minutes, maybe an hour.

This means that I am now up to the second last stage of painting, fixing any other mistakes and finalising details – making the pioneer tools look good; inking around hatches; correcting paint around wheel hubs, etc. The last stage is weathering and mud.

 

 

…and my current job is to paint the interiors of those Dragon Sd. Kfz. 251/1Ds.

Here’s a photo of my work so far: – there’s some Anti-tank Rifle lads also being properly dressed and kitted.

These Dragon kits have really good interior details; unlike the Italeri (very plain) and the Hasegawa (some nice bits, some plain bits). I decided that I had to paint these finely detailed Dragon kits to an equally fine standard – so the interiors are being done completely before the two halfs of the kit are glued together. It’s slowing me down, but I think it’ll be worth it.

 

On the explanatory page about me and why I’m doing this blog, I state that “This blog will have a finite life – meaning that when I finish all relevant/suitable German forces for the “Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist” set of wargaming rules, I’ll stop maintaining this blog”. (If you don’t believe me, here’s the link you need to click on).

I had recently forgotten what I had said the purpose of my blog was and became a bit worried about how, the readers, would react if I did some work on some Russian stuff. Had I said I would only discuss and display German stuff on my blog? Upon checking a couple of weeks ago, I was relieved to see that this was not the case. I can make Russian stuff…my own rules don’t stop me. During the life of this blog, I have made Russian stuff that is ‘Beute’ (which you read about here) and Russian stuff for my opposing Russian forces to use themselves (which you can see here).

You see, the stash of kits in my hobby room grows ever bigger and I’ve rationalised in my head that, rather than have a half-full shelf that only has Russian stuff on it and fobid any German stuff from getting mixed in with it (which requires other shelves to be had or more space to be had), why not attempt to get rid of the Russian stuff that I’ve got and had for five or more years? Then I’ll have an extra bare shelf for German stuff and, in the future, some new Russian stuff!

So, I’m going to start doing a company (five vehicles) of SU-85/ СУ-85 self-propelled guns. I’ll be using the UM 1:72 kit #333. Don’t be alarmed, good readers…I’ll be doing them whilst working on German stuff, as is the practice of the seasoned, productive modeller – have more than one project going so that whilst one is being glued or drying, you have something else to do.

I’ll be washing, drying and undercoating the sprues soon. At the moment, I’m still very busy with the Dragon Sd. Kfz. 251/1Ds and also some Pegasus German Infantry 1939 anti-tank rifle teams.

 

 

 

Having finished those Panzer III L’s and M’s, I’m now trying my first kits by Dragon Models Limited (AKA DML). Three Sd. Kfz. 251/1Ds are on my table. When I get around to doing the Sd. Kfz. 251/10s that I have (also from DML), the three 251/1Ds will go with a single 251/10 to make a platoon. That platoon will then be for panzergrenadiers.

I must say what has been said by so many before me about Dragon’s products – the detail is exquisite, it really is. Fine rivets,;Mp-40s minus their ammo clips; intricate dashboards and so much more all contribute to really make these vehicles feel like true replicas.

I have had some issues with what little construction I’ve done so far. Not everything has sat as nicely as the instructions would have you believe, and there is definitely a technique to doing the tracks (some of them “snapped” – the glue softened them too much whilst fitting them into place and trying to replicate track sag). I also came up about 8mm too short with the tracks – they wouldn’t join together if I was doing track sag.

Still, it’s early days yet. I’m going to do the entire bottom half and then paint it, then put on the top superstructure, glue all the rest of the side and top components and then finish the rest of the painting.