The saggy baggy Jagdpanther

November 16, 2008

Well, they may be 1/76 scale, but these Revell Jagdpanthers (originally Matchbox) come up looking the part.

This post will address two things, as follows:

1) These kits come with two jerrycans that are glued onto the starboard side of the Jagdpanther. The racks forward on the superstructure, where pioneering equipment was stored, are all empty. This clashes with all the other kits I’ve assembled or are assembling, where there are plenty of items of stowage or pioneering tools. There is a mallet on the rear plate, but nothing else.

Now, wisely I have retained leftovers from previous kits, so I’ve added plenty of extras to make these tank destroyers look like working units and not museum pieces. From the Roden Opel Blitz kits, I saved a rolled up tarpaulin. One got that. From the UM Marder IIIs, I saved spare picks and shovels. From the Italeri StuG III, I saved buckets. Picks and shovels were divided up and glued on different sides of different units. now they look like working vehicles! The moral of this is: always save unused materials, especially stowage. You’ll want them for kits that don’t have enough (or any at all).

2) Bad track sag – I mentioned that I’ve come to realise that the track sag I did with the first kit matched the track sag of a Tiger…but when I checked my sources, didn’t match a Jagdpanther’s track sag at all. For example, have a look at these historical photos. As you see, the historical evidence shows that the sag is more like a bow – the first vehicle I did looks like the tracks are much looser, so loose that they are lying on top of the return rollers.

Now, to get more accurate sag (using these horrible soft vinyl tracks that can’t do a proper job anyway) some more careful glueing was going to be involved. Two months ago, my household decided to retire all its old chopsticks and use freshly-purchased uniform ones from China. I saved all the old chopsticks for use with my hobbies. So, I cut them up, split them, broke them into little pieces, etc.  Then, wedging them in at the right places after shaping them, I achieved better sag with the remaining three. The moral of this is: always check historical sources first before assembly.

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The Tigers are moving forward slowly because I’m painting the stowed pioneering tools and all the other little fiddly bits. Procrastination strikes, too. As Summer is just two weeks away, I have to get a wriggle on, or it’ll get too hot to do much hobby work done.

Even though it’s been spread over a week, it’s only taken about two hours to assemble a Jagdpanther. Now, the particular kit I’ve assembled is Revell kit #3152, “Jagdpanther & Deutsche Infantrie”. Although the box says that all the contents are 1:72 scale, the Jagdpanther is actually 1:76 scale. As Henk of Holland and On the Way! both state, many of these “Kombi-packs” of vehicles and soldiers contain 1:72 scale Revell soldiers but 1:76 scale Matchbox vehicles – kit #3152 being one of them.

I bought two of the Jagdpanther kombi-packs earlier this year and decided to buy two more, to make a platoon of four Jagdpanthers and also because I intend to use all the soldiers for a company of Panzergrenadiers. I decided to commence work on the Jagdpanthers now as a sort of flow-on from the most recent game of Panzerfaust: Iron Fist I played, so that rather than always playing early and mid War, Peter and I could play late War, when the Eastern Front reversed and moved back across Eastern Europe to Berlin.  I want to see those mighty tank destroyers up against some IS-2s.

Having undertaken my usual preparations of washing the sprues in hot water with some dishwashing liquid in it; thoroughly air-drying the sprues and finally undercoating them with Chaos Black, I began assembly and soon realised I was nearly done in only an hour. In fact, waiting for the glue to dry on the wheels was the longest part. Why?

Well, this kit has one-piece vinyl tracks. Yes, those old-fashioned, horrible soft vinyl tracks that harden and crack after a few years (less if left in the heat). Yes, they are too short to actually fit around the wheels of this kit (believe me, I tried). But if you can stand to put the vinyl tracks on and live with the gap by not trying to make the tracks into one loop (like I was forced to with Roden’s Opel Maultiers), then you get great track sag and quick assembly.

Anyway, it meant that last sunday I had to put all work on the first one on hold as I’d run out of Desert Yellow to begin working on it’s paint scheme!

It’s been a pleasant week, working on this kit. A lot of the detail is permanently fixed on the hull due to the mould, but it’s good detail and should paint up well. Tonight I was working through the Doug Chaltry track-painting technique. Tomorrow I commence work on more modular scenery (including working with another water product) and an AA vehicle!

More of ponds and Panzers

October 19, 2008

Click on it and have a look at it in a larger format. I took seven photos and this was the only one that did it justice. Sorry that the half-assembled Revell Tiger isn’t at all visible in this photo – it was in the other six that were rejected.

My verdict on my handiwork? Well, this is a damn good first go using Mr Lloyd’s techniques. It’s not a bad pond – its actual placement and use during a Panzerfaust: Iron Fist game will be its final test.

Particulars: I’ve used four fairly thick layers of Citadel’s ‘Ardcoat for the water (and hence the glossy shine on it’s surface). This has come out fairly well, except that the ‘Ardcoat stayed where it was brushed and didn’t completely flatten out and cover the entire flat base. So, if you look extremely closely, you’ll see that the water is in fact raised off the edge of the pond bottom. Given that I’m talking about a milimetre from the edge and about a milimetre of height, and most wargaming is not done in full sunlight, it’ll never be seen. But as a piece of my handiwork – I guess I’m being tough on myself. When doing water features previously, I had used Woodland Scenics’ Realistic Water which, if you read the description once you’ve clicked on that link, is self-levelling. After application, it flattens out and covers the entire bottom. It requires many layers until you’re happy, though, and certainly has a longer curing/drying time than ‘Ardcoat. Still, with the set of swamps I have in mind to start on soon, I’m going to buy a bottle and see if I am happier with it than just using varnish.

The other particulars – the Citadel colours used (from centre of the pond, spreading out) are Dark Angels Green, Snot Green and finally Goblin Green. Drybrushing the crusty dried mud was done with Kommando Khaki.

The Tigers mentioned earlier have finally had more productive work done to them. I’ve applied the glacis plate (having put two layers of black paint underneath the engine vent grilles first!) and have applied the rear and side mudguards plus the jacks. Applying the side mudguards invloved some drilling. I’m not sure why, but on all four kits so far, the holes for joining the mudguards to the hull are visible inside the model, but somehow during moulding, the plastic has flowed over the holes from the outside and sealed them over again. A hobby hand-drill with an extremely fine bit allowed me to neatly re-open them. Certainly, these Revell kits have lovely detail and I’m looking forward to viewing (and then using, of course) the finished product. In a forum I occasionally visit, there has been discussion again about the Revell Panzer V Panthers and their accuracy…well, for wargaming, these kits are looking fine by me. I’m slowy buying up some Panthers. They will have to wait, because first I am going to do my recently-purchased MAC kits and some Revell (1:76 scale) Jagdpanthers.