I finished my platoon of Revell Panzer IIIs. The lead vehicle (in the centre of the photos) is the Panzer III L kit, the rest are Panzer III M kits, identifiable by their exposed rear exhausts: .

I also finished two Krupp trucks – the ICM kit version, with the very-accurately-detailed but very-prone-to-breaking-even-while-on-the-sprue axles, exhaust pipes and other fine tubes: .They were joined by the first of the  same kit I assembled and painted some time ago.

After taking these photos and preparing to store these vehicles, I realised that these were the most weathered/dustiest vehicles I’ve done to date. Other trucks and tanks, even those meant to be from “Barbarossa”, are not as dusty as these. This means I’ll have to cut back on the weathering/dust application with other vehicles that are for “Barbarossa” (but not these makes & models).

If questions are asked, I’m going to explain it away as saying this platoon and the trucks were travelling together as a group down the dustiest road on the hottest day of that campaign.

Oh, you can also se a base of troops with those trucks. That is the first of two mortar platoon HQs. I haven’t started the second one as they are low priority.

PS. The next game Pete and I will play is going to be a re-run of our last game. We both enjoyed it very much.

This final experimental batch of trees made from armatures are done. Here they are, immediately after a good spraying with Dullcote to seal them: . Covering the bases with lots of glue to try to reduce the sharp and unnatural angles/contours of the film cannister lids did not quite work: but at least the coarse turf does soften those angles/contours a bit: . So, it seems to me that I’ve worked out the best techniques for preparing plastic tree armatures to become wargaming trees – simple PVA glue to affix lichen; a good spraying with watered-down PVA glue a couple of days later and then careful application of covering flock or turf is all that’s really required. Forget Hob-e-tac! Forget Clump Foliage! Trees made with those don’t survive regular handling and accidental knocking over. So, experiment and project complete.

***

I bought some more Heki apple trees yesterday. I already have 6, but on the table they make a small orchard and I wanted to have either a big orchard or two small ones. I have also decided to refurbish the trees I have with very warped bases, so I’m going to do them all these trees in one big batch:  . However, I have finally finished all the fiddly gluing and preparatory painting for my Panzer IIIs and Krupp Boxers, so they will be getting full priority from now on: .

The IPMS Swap & Sell yesterday was quite an event. I was there at 9.05am, 55 minutes before opening at 10am, and there were already 50-80 people ahead of me. By 10am, the queue stretched the length of the building. Here’s a photo as I went up the escalator of the queue BEHIND me:  – you can see it stretching all the way under that roof up to the bright daylight in the distance. How many people is that lined up? 500? 800? I don’t know. But I’m glad I got there when I did and will be there earlier next year.

I already mentioned part of my wish list last post. I think Santa must have been listening:

  • 2 x Revell Panzer III – platoon completed!
  • 2 x Revell Panzer IV – platoon completed!
  • 1 x Dragon 251/2 D – The 251/2 by Dragon can be built as a 251/1, so that’s a platoon completed! Also, it’s technically not a 215/2 – the 251/2 had a mortar replacing the front MG. This vehicle is actually a Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf. D mit 28cm Wurfrahmen.
  • 4 x Revell Panzer VI – a platoon in one purchase! Sure, they are slightly different models of vehicle, but who cares? Many of the earlier ones with air cleaners on the back never went to the Afrika Korps.
  • 1 x Dragon 251/7 mit 2.8cm sPzB 41 – an engineering vehicle with a meaty gun; will be fun for Late War reconnaissance games where it can join the one I bought back in March.
  • 1 x ICM Sd.Kfz 222 & 1 x ICM Sd. Kfz 223 – a full reconnaissance platoon completed!
  • 2 x Revell Tiger II – half a second platoon started.
  • 1 x Revell Ju 87 D – all I needed for the air warfare component of the rules.

15 kits for $226…that’s $16 a kit if I add in petrol money and entrance fee. Now to find some time to assemble and paint them, and who to start with first? Decisions, decisions…probably the halftracks…

The IPMS Model Expo started today.

Monday is the great big Swap & Sell. Monday’s Swap & Sell is often very, very good for me.

I’ve even compiled a list of extra-special things to look for, mostly to make complete platoons of vehicles or complete platoons+matching HQ vehicles. I’ll lay a bit on you:

  1. 1 more each of ICM’s Sd.Kfz 222 & 223.
  2. 1 more Dragon 251/1
  3. 2 more Hasegawa 234/2

…and of course there’s more.

What’s different to previous years is that I’m also looking for a Focke-Wulf FW 190 G-3 or a Junkers 87 B-1 or a Junkers 87 D-1. Yes, aircraft! Pete and I want toget aircraft into our games.

 

 

 

Still 4 weeks of Spring left, but today is the second day of over 30 degrees…in fact, looking at the MelbinYewni real time temperature graph, today got to just over 34! This means it’s time to think about doing lots of wargames terrain / wargames scenery, as there will be the heat to cure and dry everything thoroughly and promptly.

I’ve made a start: the three telegraph posts from an old ESCI Diorama Accessories set have been assembled, based and given some lumpy earth around their bases…ready now for painting.

I finished off a platoon of PaK 36 anti-tank guns with crews, plus that ICM Krupp truck, so that they wouldn’t bother me and so that “Operation Barbarossa” next year will be a reality. The PaK 36s are from Fujimi, the crews are the one worthwhile figure from the Fujimi set the gun comes in, a chap from the  Revell  Fallschirmjägers and one of the two ESCI / Italeri Sd. Kfz. 251/1 crew. Photos: PaK 36 teams & truck PaK 36 gun & truck .

Some more comments about the ICM Krupp L2H143 Kfz 70 kit…it turns out pretty well and looks great painted. I opted to have the MG 34 on a pintle mount in the rear tray option, to fit in with the Kubelwagen Type 82 which also had pintle-mounted MG34. I don’t like the decals that ICM provided for this kit, though. There is too much excess clear decal surrounding the rear number plate, and even drybrushing with Kommando Khaki as a coat of dust didn’t help…in fact it made it worse and drew attention to the excess. There was also far too much excess on the front number plate – which is meant to wrap around a front bumper bar which is probably only a milimetre wide. Stupid! It wrapped but wouldn’t glue. I know some modellers add a special glue under any decal they apply, but I don’t have that glue and don’t think it should be necessary. The front number plate decal’s glue didn’t hold and so the whole thing popped off during drybrushing. A shame. Sorry ICM, sorry Roden, but I’m not having much luck with your decals.

Now, Fujimi’s product is meant to be 1/76 scale, but it isn’t. Let me clarify…the house probably is, but the figures and PaK gun supplied with it are definitely 1/72 scale or even larger…possibly even 1/70 scale! Anyway, only one figure from that product is worth using with the anti-tank gun because the others are even worsely sculpted and moulded than the figures Hasegawa provide with their WWII AFVs. Hence why each PaK 36 base I’ve done has figures from other manufacturers to make up the two-man crews that Panzerfaust: Armored Fist requires.

Lastly – a couple of Battlefield Accessories wall sections (enough to make two simple houses) have been assembled and are being painted, along with a Faller German, Austrian or Swiss log cabin that I bought at a model railroad shop.

Oh, and there’s a Wespe and that other Kubelwagen still in Tankoberg…but I’m feeling the time is nigh to make a caulk creek / stream following the laws laid down by Nikolas Lloyd.

 

 

Tankograd had four more come off the production line. Here they are:

251 234 263 and Kubel

From left to right: a Hasegawa Sd. Kfz. 251/22, a Hasegawa Sd. Kfz. 234/3, a Hasegawa Kubelwagen and lastly a Roden Sd. Kfz. 263. The Kubelwagen comes from the Hasegawa ‘Kubelwagen & BMW Side-car’ kit (MT-12) – the rest are stand-alone kits.

The 251/22 was a great kit to complete. The only trouble I had was with assembling the mount for the PaK 40 anti-tank gun. I included a loader holding a PaK 40 shell – he comes from the Italeri “PaK 40 AT gun with servants” kit. The PaK 40 shell is tipped in black – designating it as an AP shell.

The 234/3 was straightforward and lots of fun. Nearly all my comments about the Hasegawa 234/2 apply to it. I included a loader for it too, another figure from the Italeri “PaK 40 AT gun with servants” kit. That particular figure is sitting down andjusting the gun elevation, so he is molded with an elevation wheel in his left hand. I cut it out and glued a PaK 38 shell there in its place – the shell being surplus from the Roden PaK 38 kits I did some time ago. That shell was tipped with white, designating it as HE.

The Kubelwagen was problematic. I painted up the driver seperate to the rest of the vehicle – and then couldn’t fit him into place once he was finished. The steering wheel had to be removed; the machine gun mount and machine gun mount supports had to be re-done (and new supports kitbashed from leftover parts from old sprues). I learned my lesson – glue any drivers into place first and then paint, which is what I’m doing with the ICM Krupp truck.

The Roden 263 wasn’t too hard. I think their decals didn’t work so well for this kit. The large aerial overhead frame was fiddly but turned out OK. There was also a bit of flash on the sprues that needed some careful scalpel-work.

The Kubelwagen and the 263 got standard Dark Grey with heavy dust coats, for the start of “Barbarossa”:  263 and Kubel front 263 & Kubel rear

The 251/22 got my first attempt at a ‘ambush’ paint scheme. I gave it the same paint scheme as per the notes in my Jagdpanzer 38 “Hetzer” book by MBI. Sure, it’s a little bit stylised, but I love it! The 234/3 got a simple disruptive pattern in Citadel’s Goblin Green. I went and added some foliage – Woodland Scenics’ lichen. 251 234 front 251 234 rear

So, just gotta get them bikers done and the Recon game can happen…

I’ve finished the assembly of ICM’s kit #72451: Krupp L2H143 Kfz.70. I’d picked it up mid-year, you’ll recall, at the IPMS Expo. This kit hasn’t been easy to work with – unlike the Sd. Kfz. 222, which I’ve already reviewed on this blog and you can find the concluding entry about it here.

Since I’ve been doing the final painting of a base of  Italeri BMW R75 motorcycles I need for this upcoming recon game, I wanted something to work on while waiting for the fiddly painting to dry.  I dusted off the Krupp last week and began work on it building it.

I loved doing the Sd. Kfz. 222…but I haven’t loved this kit. The detail of some pieces is extremely fine. In fact, two parts (front axle, bumper bar) were broken already, and the kit hadn’t even come out of it’s plastic sealed bag! The pressures on the sprue are too intense.  Some more pieces broke while cutting them off the sprue. I was careful cutting pieces free, even using ultra-sharp hospital scalpels (thanks to my inside contact).

So, there’s been attempts to fix broken parts with lots of fancy gluework (and me having to work in short spurts to escape the fumes) and some straight-out kitbashing with brass wire and cyanoacrylate superglue. Fancy gluework didn’t work for the crucial parts, leading to frustration and a number of points where I was going to give up and turn the whole lot into spares. The front axle was one of these prickly points – I ended up replacing it with brass wire and had to use lots of cyanoacrylate to get everything to finally stay solid.

Once assembled, though,  it looks pretty good. However, I’m not going to buy any more (unless they are $5 AUD each or less) and I have to recommend that this is a kit for advanced modellers only.

Oh, and by the way – Italeri have launched a new version of their website!

It’s done! My first Sd. Kfz. 222! Painted in standard (homemade) Dark Grey, with white Balkankreuzes and covered in a heavy coat of dust ICM SdKfz 222 side , this is meant to depict a reconaissance vehicle during Operation Barbarossa.

ICM SdKfz 222 one quarter

This is ICM’s  Sd.Kfz. 222 Leichter Panzerspähwagen in 1/72 scale, kit #72411. I mentioned in this post that it looked like the fiddly parts of it (axles etc.) were pre-done but of high quality, so it should be easily to build. Well, it was! A pleasure to build, paint and look at. ICM SdKfz 222 rear elevated

Why has it taken so long to finish if it was so straightforward and easy? Well, that’s called Real Life – it keeps interrupting me and my hobbies ^_^

I need 6 to make a proper recon platoon – will I be buying 5 more of these kits? I certainly will! This is my first ICM kit (I do have a truck to do, too, but it’s still in its box) and I’m very impressed with it.

I do have one recommendation to modellers – do be prepared to make some modifications to the photo-etched wire screens on the turret. I glued the guns in place on a very, very slight elevation above horizontal and found that the photo-etched wire screen wouldn’t sit neatly on the turret. It was the 20mm cannon barel that was causing the trouble. To remedy this, I cut away some of the frame and made a neat slot to accommodate the barrel, as you can see in this close-up: ICM SdKfz 222 had to mod wire screens .

It looks a little funny and wouldn’t pass muster in a modelling competition but will do the job for wargaming. So, if you’re thinking of buying this kit and want to have the guns raised to horizontal or above, you’ll have to think carefully about how to model and attach those anti-grenade wire screens.

I used Brass Wire that I bought from a model train hobby shop (which is also where I get a lot of my terrain materials, like Woodland Scenics products).  The main aerial is made from 0.033″ diameter wire, with the prongs coming off it made from 0.022″ diameter.

Now, as you saw from my August 23 blog post, “ICM’s Sd.Kfz. 222, cars, bikes and aerials!“, the finished star aerials look a little bit thick and chunky. To do a new set of vehicles (since I’ll do any more 234/2s with the same wire for the sake of uniformity) I’ll be using thinner diameter brass wire – probably the 0.022” for the main aerial and then the next thinnest type that I can purchase from the model train shop for the prongs. I’d probably also use a less viscous bottle of Flash Cyanoacrylate, so that I don’t have to trim away any excess dried glue. Still, these were the only materials I had on hand or could purchase – so, I’m fine with what I’ve done so far and learnt from the process. Next time, I’ll try to order some materials in advance and not rush things.

I’d done some research to try to determine how many prongs these aerials had – the historical photos I had access to in various books showed vehicles with 6 prongs, vehicles with 5 prongs and vehicles with 5 main prongs plus one small horizontal prong. Hasegawa’s instructions for the kit seem to advocate a 4 prong aerial. Since I rediscovered the online Bundesarchiv earlier in the month, I spent some time ploughing through that, doing very general/broad searches like ‘ostfront 1941’, ‘ostfront 1942’ etc.

Here is one illustrative result: GrossDeutschland on the march.  You can see that, unlike Hasegawa’s suggestion that the main aerial stopped at the prongs, that the main aerial did go a little higher or feature a verticle sub-prong after the prongs. I have photos of two different Sd. Kfz. 263s (in Milsom & Chamberlain’s 1974 book ‘German armoured cars of World War Two’) with 5 prong aerials but showing that the main aerial continued after the prongs or had a vertical sub-prong. I’m not sure about how often a horizontal sub-prong just under the bigger prongs was used (you can see what I’m talking about in the Bundesarchiv example above). Looking through images using different search engines, I mostly saw 5-prong versions of what Hasegawa recommend modellers do. I’ve no doubt that there were different types of star/umbrella aerials…I was just hoping to find something more definitive than I did.

Löwe on the streets

August 25, 2009

The Sd. Kfz 250/3 (an ESCI kit re-released by Italeri) that I’d been working on is finished, as is a house that I’d bought a couple of years back from Battlefield Accessories. Here they are together: Lowe and Battlefield Accessories

The light green flock on the wall was to simulate moss growing on the northern side of the building…but it’s a little too light in colour, I think. Should be a bit darker. Oh well, you don’t know until you try.

This house is a Ruined Building from the Battlefield Accessories range. Resin kits, simple to assemble and customise. Fairly good detail – except the interior could have used more effort, like window frames and door frames, which it lacks – so the interior is all flat with no detail. Mine has painted up pretty well – I painted it to match the railway station I did some time ago (see much earlier posts on this blog about the railway station).

‘Löwe’ was done with my home-made Dark Grey paint and features my first attempt at making my own air-recognition flag. The flag has turned out OK and I learned a lot doing it. I’ll save how I made it for another blog post but I’m keen to try other methods, like using tissues heavily doused with PVA glue and then painted.

This 250/3 Schutzenpanzerwagen was then given a heavy coat of dust, as I decided that it would represent a vehicle from Operation Barbarossa…and many vehicles on that campaign got very heavily coated with dust while on the march.

Here’s a few more pics of it: Lowe 1 Lowe 2

Lowe 3 Lowe 4

You can see that I didn’t hesitate to make this a GrossDeutschland vehicle…how could I resist, when Italeri nicely provided me with a ‘stahlhelm’ decal on their decal sheet?!

I’ve commenced painting the ICM Sd. Kfz 222, and it will look similar to the above as I’ve decided to paint it as a vehicle from the same campaign.