A day or two of pleasant research later and I can conclude that I will be affixing all track links to the turrets, as is recommended on the instruction sheet. My research into track links on Tiger turrets involved a few different sources, the most useful being:

  • Allied-Axis (the photo journal of the Second World War) issue 6, which had a whole section on Tiger I’s in action;
  • Panzer Colours 1, 2 and 3 by Bruce Culver & Bill Murphy (published by Squadron Signal);
  • Encyclopedia of German tanks of World War Two by Peter Chamberlain & Hilary Doyle;
  • Tiger in action by Bruce Culver and published by Squadron Signal; and
  • The Jagdtiger website, in particular this page.

Tiger in action, a concise yet wonderful book, clearly affirmed on page 8 that mid-production Ausf. E’s had brackets factory-fitted on the turret sides for holding spare track links and included two wonderful photos of a unit with the brackets leaving the Henschel factory (but without any links having been stowed there). I’m not going to argue with this…Squadron Signal are excellent historians.

In terms of the Revell kits I’m working on, this means that I’ll finish all assembly (except the links) of the turrets, paint the turrets, then glue on the links. I’ll try to paint the links while still on thier sprues and then touch up once glued on. As a final touch, some of the track links will then have their outer surface painted with Dark Yellow and Red Brown…a practice carried out by individual crews whom had excess paint and cared about camouflage.

Allied-Axis issue 6 showed that there was plenty of field modifications to provide extra stowage. So, like I did to my StuG, I’ll be adding on brackets and mountings on the rear of the hull for stowage of jerry cans and the like…

Tiger in action page 34 showed a picture of a Tiger going past a Schwimmwagen. The Schwimmwagen is camouflaged on the upper surface (above the waterline), but the colours used are not discussed. I think it’s mottling (or clumps) in both green and brown, but I cannot be sure. Next Schwimmwagen I do will copy this example.

Kit management

July 20, 2008

I finally finished applying the Doug Chaltry technique to the tracks of the Opel Maultiers as well as a SdKfz 11 halftrack that I got when I bought ESCI’s “Don: the long retreat” 1/72 scale diorama set. I bought that diorama set new from a little shop I know. I bought it in order to get the KV-1 and Russian Infantry out of it, as back then I was going to be playing Russians. Instead, I’ve ended up playing Germans, so I’ve ended up using everything out of that diorama set, as it also held German Infantry, the SDKfz 11 and an Opel Blitz (which you’ve already seen and read about earlier).

I’ve also being painting up a Hasegawa Schwimmwagen I picked up last month at that swap-n-sell I went to. It’s a fun little vehicle and I even successfully kitbashed an extra rest/brace for the LMG, after ruining the first brace, successfully improvising a replacement, then making a second brace. It’s been well coated with Desert Yellow – today I was beginning the detail, being the seat covers, tyres, LMG and canvas canopy. I was originally going to do the interior with Kommando Khaki – many German AFVs had light buff tan interiors, according to Panzer Colours 1 by Culver & Murphy (Squadron/Signal pubs.), but this is not really an AFV, so I just made it Desert Yellow as per the exterior.

I’m beginning to digress – with those Maultier tracks finished, I was able to begin working on the rest of the vehicles, touching up the exterior Desert Yellow including fine detail spots, then fix the Bestial Brown job on the tray. The tarpaulins on the back got Catachan Green, but will have a patchy Desert Yellow coat applied, to represent the spraypainting of tarpaulins.

All this piecework means that I have lots of kits on the go, as I can only do a little work on each, then leave them for periods to dry properly. With it being winter here, drying periods are longer. So, I’ve decided to have lots of things on the go, rather than just working in five minute spurts two or three times a day, which I feel wastes the rest of my leisure time. Thus, today I opened up four of those Revell Tiger I Ausf. E’s and washed the sprues, to prepare them for undercoating and assembly. I’ve also being working on some more scenery. I was given a couple of Fujimi 1/76 kits for my recent birthday by the mighty President of Nunawading Wargames Association. I can use some more houses – I’d love to do a skirmish between infantry companies in a sizeable village, with lots of house-to-house combat…so I’ve been having to mix up some brick colours to match the ruins from the tragic town of Oradour, which I’m using as my reference point.

So, I’ve got a Schwimmwagen, Schwimmwagen driver, 3-ton SdKfz 11 halftrack, three Opel Maultiers, two houses all on the go, with four washed Tiger sprues drying out. Time management? Sort of. I prefer “kit management”.

The cool weather over the weekend allowed Tankoberg to really crank up production. The Opel Blitz now has much of the chassis glued together, with the back tray and cab underway. I didn’t assemble all the engine block as the last 2 components are near the bonnet, not near the underside, and so wouldn’t be visible even if I turned it upside down to represent damage from heavy bombing/strafing/a direct hit.

The Marder IIIH now has its chassis completed, all tracks glued on and is now being painted. I haven’t assembled the gun and firing cab, I’m leaving them off while I do the tricky work of painting, washing and weathering the hull and tracks. I’m going to do the hull and firing cab in the “3 colour scheme” adopted in 1943, so I’ve began to with coats of lightly-brushed on Desert Yellow, with Kommando Khaki as the interior colour. Some reading done while breakfasting this morning (Panzer Colours 1, by Culver and Murphy – essential) suggested that the interior of “open, self-propelled guns” would have their interiors painted the same colour as their exteriors (so the interior of mine should be Desert Yellow) but it seems that the true interior isn’t going to be visible from the air anyway, so I’ll just do the firing cab/shield interior as Desert Yellow and leave the interior as it is. Once it’s finished, then I’ll make a decision as the the other 3 in that self-propelled gun platoon.

I was also very pleased to get a lot more work done on (infantry) Company A. The work required is all the tricky, fiddly fine detail stuff like gun barrels, straps on canteens, grenades and entrenching tools etc. All guns were completed, and I didn’t botch any! A vast improvement on my efforts with 1st Platoon. Canteens, zeitbahns and some other small details were all completed. All I really have left that is a fiddly bulk job is to do all their hands (clutching weapons, grenades, binoculars etc), complete the entrenching tools/daggers and then I go onto correcting mistakes. After that, basing and finishing.

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Since it’s getting hotter, I may look into browsing online for more tips and advice on painting and modelling, since I am able to spend less time in Tankoberg painting (that room gets too hot to work in on some days). Second Life (through its users) offers virtual conferences, displays and so on. As a librarian, I’m well aware of a number of libraries already being there and the user access and innovative services being developed and offered. I’ll try to see what I can find for miniature painters and miniature wargamers is offered there and may try to report it back here. Libraries are ultimately using Second Life to improve communication points and communication methods to reach as many library users as possible. This is a good idea, but in my work with Third World students, not going to be of much help to them as they either have no internet or only slow dial-up when they are studying online from their own country.