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:  .

 

Ah, Pegasus Hobbies Russian farm houses…I won these on eBay three or more years back. Due to ever-shrinking shelf space, I decided last month to get them assembled and painted. Here they are after Dullcoting:  .

Here they are with figures and on a proper gaming board:  . Now I have a total of three of these kits…these two kits joining my existing one as well as my existing MiniArt “East European village house” (kit MA72016). I’m getting quite a nice little Eastern European village going!

Here’s the farm houses with some troops:

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A Soviet rifle squad moves along the outskirts of the same village:   – sighting trouble, they set up their LMG:  and as quickly as possible try to pin down their opponents with a hail of bullets:  . From inside one farmhouse, a cowering village resident yells from inside his house  about the enemy sniper:  – a heavy burst sends the sniper scurrying back to the rest of his unit:  and the Russian riflemen cut down any foolish enough that flee recklessly:  . The village has been taken back!

(If you enjoyed this picture story, you’ll enjoy Bunkermeister’s work. He just finished one based on Starship Troopers).

Peter and I were due for our second game last night but it had to be postponed, so I was left with an ’empty’ evening. I’ve been busy every friday night for a while now, and could have gone along to NWA regardless of having a game or not, to say hello to colleagues and see what was going on. I realised, though, that if I stayed home I could actually get some serious hobby work done…as lately I’ve not had much time for my Germans or my Russians. So I worked on prepping the sIG 33 crews and some Pegasus Russian farm houses.

Guests were due this afternoon but didn’t eventuate, so I’ve been able to get a good 4 hours over the last 24. The sIG 33s got a coat of Panzer Grey and the crews had their uniforms and boots done. The Russian farm houses had all undercoating done.

A Hasegawa 251/9 was washed and undercoated…I’ll be assembling it whilst waiting for the paint to dry on all these other things. Then the SU-85s (СУ-85)will come.

A package arrives!

It’s from our man in Taiwan, Bryan! Nurse, scalpel! The first incision…

Carefully, carefully, keep going…

Now, remove all internal organs for examination…

6 Pak 40s and crew – medical name “servants”, for some reason…a set of Russian houses…the contents of a box of German infantry – oh, and look, there is a benign growth of German mortar teams! Fascinating!

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Yes, another successful order from Bryan at Always Model. 3 packs of the Italeri PaK 40 with Servants,  a pack of Pegasus Hobbie’s Russian houses, a pack of Pegasus Hobbies’ German Mortars and lastly a pack of Italeri German Infantry.

Why 3 packs of the PaK 40? Here’s a clue…can you say “Eastern Funker now has a company of PaK 40s?”

I knew you could!

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This post’s title is a line from my favourite ‘Young Ones’ episode, ‘Nasty’. Here’s a link to the script. Here’s a link to the first part of that episode on YouTube.

I finished my German ATR teams. The figures are from Pegasus Hobbies’ Set 7499, German Army Infantry 1939. They paint up beautifully:  .

There are two figures with Anti-tank rifles in the kit. One is a smaller rifle, the other much larger. I assume that the smaller anti-tank rifle is the 7.92 mm Panzerbüchse (P.z.B.) 39 German Anti-Tank Rifle (or the PzB 38 or PzB 40)…I’ve written and linked to outside detail about the PzB 39 anti-tank rifle on this post from July. Here’s a close-up of one of my four completed PzB 39 gunners: (I’m permitted a maximum of 4 Anti-tank Rifle teams in an Infantry Company).

Here’s one of the bigger anti-tank rifles, which I’m going to assume is the 20mm Solothurn 18-1000:  (my assumption is based on a comparison of it to the Soviet 14.5mm PTRD 41 & 14.5mm PTRS anti-tank rifles, which are similar sizes and lengths).

The Pegasus Hobbies kit gives each anti-tank gunner a little mound to lie on – the figure cannot rest flat on the ground because of this little mound! I placed them with the prone observer figure from the kit, who I’ve made into the loader/ammo bearer of each team.

Pegasus Hobbies say these figures are 1/76 scale. Plastic Soldier Review describe them as being between 1/72 & 1/76 scale. They are probably right…I think as long as you don’t mix them with other manufacturers’ figures and other Pegasus sets on the same base, you’ll be right. They are great figures, very realistic poses and extremely well detailed resulting in wonderful paint jobs.

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I’ve had these photos sitting here for a week, only just got round to uploading them today. I need to pay more regular attention to this blog…the last couple of months has seen me slipping.

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.

 

 

 

The MiniArt “East European village house” (kit MA72016) is complete.

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It turned out quite well, and I learned about inking this sort of building…don’t do it. Far better to roughly apply semi-dried white paint onto a basecoat of black or very dark brown, and then simply drybrush some parts of the walls with a dustry colour to simulate weathering.

I have grizzled in a previous post about the chimney. Why does it have to be made of 4 seperate pieces which need to be glued together? (If you don’t believe me about this, here’s a scan of the assembly instruction sheet: ).

Especially bothersome when the four pieces are not equally sized, causing the finished chimney to have a lopsided appearance. Now, I could have corrected it with intense filing, but I feel I shouldn’t have to. The Pegasus Hobbies Rusian house chimneys have been two pieces, glue together well and sit very nicely on the roof – I don’t know why MiniArt have chosen what they have. Perhaps it’s to do with the waythe kit is moulded and cast.

I would have liked more exaggerated detail on the roof too, to really bring out the contours and depth of the thatching when painting. But still, as you can see from the photo, the roof still looks OK.

So, it’s the end of play with this one – now I can game with it.

Oh, and I was in the city last month and saw the barn. Didn’t buy it – I really want to get this instead.

Last week I was able to work on the MiniArt ‘Eastern European village house’ a bit more – specifically, I could work on the roof, which was going to need a number of drybrushing coatings plus some stronger (wetter?) brushing too, in order to produce a satisfactory “thatched” appearance. The thatching is only lightly moulded, meaning that too much paint will end up with the roof surface becoming almost flat and detail being lost, unlike the roofs of the Russian houses by Pegasus Hobbies.

Having undercoated the roof with Chaos Black, I had already thoroughly drybrushed the roof with Scorched Brown two weeks ago. The first thing to do when I sat down last week was to weather that Scorched Brown coat, so I then drybrushed on a good coat of Kommando Khaki. The roof looked like this once it was dry:   . The detail is holding up well, you can still see plenty of black so the three dimensional feeling is still there; there is “depth” to it.

Then what I wanted to do was have some sections in a different colour to represent where re-thatching has taken place and the wind has exposed some of the thatching. I used Desert Yellow for this, and the roof looked like this when I put it down to dry: .

Then I wanted to drybrush it again with Kommando Khaki to reduce the clashing of the colours. This took a bit more time and I had to do it in sections to make sure the colour was evenly applied. When done, it looked like this: . Not too bad. If I wanted to, I could very lightly drybrush the idges with some grey. For now I’ll leave it and wait to see how the rest of the project turns out.

 

You’re all aware that I am working on some Panzer IIIs – well, I always try to have something else on the side to work on when the main project is drying. This time I put an awful lot on the side to keep me busy, one item being MiniArt’s ‘East European village house’ (kit #72016). I purchased this at a Swap & Sell…I believe that it’s original purpose was to be cut in half and used in a modelling diorama…I was glad to get it as I’d seen it on Hobby Terra and wondered what it was like as a kit. Buying and completing one would serve as a good test run.

Well, it’s comprised of 28 parts, which seems reasonable, all made of styrene. The roof is made of a single moulded piece of styrene. It is completely joined to the surrounding frame – it doesn’t sit on four little supporting pins like normal kits – so you have to cut the entire roof clear of the rest of the ‘sprue’. Not a problem for me as I have a good Olfa cutter, but it means that all the detail of the thatching on the end of the roof is lost….you have to recreate it once you’ve cut the roof clear. I used my scalpels to do that.

There are four walls and a floor. There are options for two doorways (not sure why as the box art and box photos suggest these only had one entrance/exit – probably because of moulding convenience) so you cut away the indicated tab on the wall and put the closed door in it’s door frame over it. The window shutters are all single pieces. Everything glues together well:  except that I had some trouble with the chimney.

The chimney is four identical pieces that you glue together and then glue in place on the horizontal part of the roof. That sounds straightforward enough, doesn’t it? Well, even when assembled, it’s still the smallest part of the kit! It’s also the worst-formed or worst-cast, so it doesn’t glue together equally. Here’s how mine ended up looking when complete:  . I used extra glue as subsitute filler to try to minimise the gaps between each piece. It also didn’t sit flatly on the horizontal part of the roof – it leans a bit to one side.

Pegasus Hobbies’ Russian buildings feature two piece chimneys which assemble very simply, very neatly and sit flatly in comparison. I’m not sure why MiniArt wanted to make the smallest part of their kit so detailed and so complicated? I’d rather they had put crisper, slightly more exaggerated detailing into the thatching on the roof…I’m going to have to paint the whole roof using drybrushing the entire time, methinks, in order to preserve the ridges and troughs that will provide natural shadowing.

All this being said, I’ll still buy more of these kits if I see them. The chimney can be dealt with by a more careful examination previous to getting out the glue than I gave. Some careful cutting and filing would make the chimney perfect, with some extra filing once glueing is finished. They are a nice counterpoint to the Pegasus kits and reasonably priced, too. They are true to scale and if, like me, you don’t glue the roof in place, the roof lifts off easily so you can do house-to-house combat. A good product and worth the cash…just a little more examination and effort needed with some parts prior to assembly than with Pegasus’ kits.

Many of the “other” things I’ve been working on the side for some time are now being completed. The Trumpeter StuG III C/D is a quite detailed yet simple kit to assemble. I was getting along with it so quickly that I stopped myself occasionally to make sure I wasn’t missing steps or pieces! The only real problem I had with it was the rubber tracks. They are one piece and have holes on one end and pins on the other, wich you press together and glue. The pins on my kit were perhaps two milimetres long and far too thin…they certainly weren’t going to stay in place under their own power while waiting for the glue to harden. I snipped them off, used cyanoacrylate and clothes pegs with bits of broken chopstick to get the tracks into position and stay in place.

I improvised a gun aiming telescope sticking out of the molded-open roof hatch by using a cut-off piece from a Hasegawa kit glued onto some leftover sprue. From more than a couple of feet distance it looks great.

It then received a Dunkelgrau paint job and rather than just Operation Barbarossa dust drybrushing, it got dust and then ink and paint to represent splashed-up puddles and the Autumn mud. Here it is:

I also had three other things on the go on the side:

You’ve seen the Horch resin kits before…I did four of them previously…I decided a couple of months back to do the remaining two on the side while waiting for all those StuG Gs to harden or dry. I tried a slightly different way of painting the reflection on the windscreen with these two. I like it better than what I did previously, but it’s still got a long way to go yet.

The log building is from Pegasus Hobbies, but I’m not sure which box or production/kit number it is, because I got it loose in an eBay job lot. It’s not the “Russian Farm Houses” (#7702) or “Russian Log House – Two Story (Large Karilian region izba)” because I’ve already got those. If you know, could you please let me know? They are great to paint as they have good, clean, well-detailed detail so you can really bring out highlights and shades.

I played a game of Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist on friday with Peter, but it wasn’t an Ostfront game. Photos but minimal report to come (as it wasn’t Ostfront).