I could only glue on a few tiny bits & pieces onto these models until I got up to the wheels. Now, the instructions state that the rubber tyres (and yes, they are made with real rubber!)  should not be glued into place, but simply fitted onto the (plastic) wheel hubs and then left alone. The completed wheels can then be glued onto axles etc.

I decided that I didn’t want to undercoat the rubber during undercoating of a completed vehicle  in case the rubber was affected in some way (I’ve had bad experiences with this with rubber terrain). I decided to undercoat everything, assembled and unassembled, before fixing the tyres onto the hubs. So, everything got undercoated.

The remaining assembly took comparatively little time. Here’s how they look, undercoated, assembled and awaiting a proper paint job – first the

BA-6M (БА–6M) and BA-9 (БА-9) together: .

Here’s the BA-6M (БА–6M) by itself: . This armoured car (Бронеавтомобиль, in Russian) is the more useful of the two to me, so during assembly I checked each sprue of both kits carefully and, if some parts on one sprue were more poorly formed or in worse condition than others, I made sure this kit got the best parts.

Now for the BA-9 (БА-9) by itself: . From a distance, this vehicle looks OK. A closer inspection shows the hull-mounted smaller machinegun is ‘bent’ in the middle. This was because the remaining light machinegun available on all the sprues (as one was missing) useable for this kit was broken in two, and this was the best I could do to repair it. Closer inspection also shows that the only accurate towing hook is attached to the rear right…the other three towing hooks I took from surplus Roden Opel Blitz sprues, so this BA-9 is being kept in operation by salvaged parts.

The next stage is a proper paintjob.

The lazy option is just to do overall Russian Green. Since so much of Russian stuff is already Russian Green (and a fair proportion of the unassembled stuff will end up Russian Green too) I decided to do some internet research to see about more interesting paint schemes/camouflage schemes.

Via the RKKA in World War II website, I found some useful stuff, most importantly a whole page on the BA-6 & BA-6M, featuring some recreations of actual camouflage schemes. Fantastic! The “BA-6 from the Separate Recon Battalion /1st Tank Division/1st Mechcorps, The North-western Front, Krasnogvardeysk (Gatchina) region, August 1941” looks like one to try! Oh, and back at the top of the BA-6 page, you can see a BA-6 camouflaged with twigs and branches on the move…

It’s an interesting camouflage (камуфляж) scheme, that one for the 1st Mechanised Corps – it’ll be a good challenge to reproduce. The Russians did camouflage some of their stuff, so always having boring Russian Green paintjobs/camouflage can sometimes be bypassed by us wargamers…just do a little research first.

 

 

 

 

As well as Truck Month and that shed, I did have some Sd Kfz 251/1s on the go. As of today, everything is completed and Dullcoted and getting stored in boxes whilst they await a chance to be played with in a game.

Time to show you photos of the lot. With flash and without.

Here’s the resin 8-rad Sd Kfz 231 that I got in those two big eBay wins last year:    . I think it’s 1/76 scale.

The Roden Opel Blitz – you’ll see I did include the perspex window panes:   .

Italeri’s 251/1 (I’ve had these sitting around for probably two and half years now – and I’m thinking a softskin troop carrier month may be in order sometime this year as I have some Dragon ones to do too):   .

Lastly, the Airfix engine shed. Both sheds have turned out a little differently (not withstanding the wooden end room being a different colour) but I like them both. Here it is:      .

Good to have all things off the tables and shelves and ready to be used.

The next things to be worked on are two Italeri StuG IIIGs and two Revell StuG IIIGs plus there will be new episodes of the continuing saga of Hob-e-tac, as I use it to make thirteen trees.

Truck Month results

February 28, 2011

Al over at 20th Century Wargames: Wargaming with mostly 1/72 scale plastic miniatures has completed a Bedford QLD, an Austin and a Matador…all fine softskins for the British Expeditionary Force and ANZAC allies. The Matador in particular has scrubbed up well with some good weathering. Good work, Al! In and of itself it’s not a beautiful vehicle to look at, with that snub nose and boxy shape…but in wargaming terms it carries a lot of troops and pulls some heavy weights, so they are good to have around.

From a different part of NZ, Paul at Plastic Warriors: 1/76 & 1/72 Plastic Soldiers, Armour & Aircraft emerges a winner, having completed four different trucks (when does the bloke sleep?!). He opened his account with the same kits as me, the Roden Opel Blitz. He then renovated and repainted Academy’s U.S. M35 2.5 ton cargo truck. As he got that done very quickly, he then completed a Landrover 1 Tonne Forward Control Truck. Then, with only 4 days of Truck Month left, he completed a Morris K2 Ambulance…with two days left, he snuck in a K6 Austin Fire Tender! Wow! Now, he bemoaned the quality of the flag decal for the Landrover FC truck but I think it adds a certain something, so I’m glad he put it on. In fact, he put the smaller tactical markings on his Opel Blitz too, so they look very official.

A great month by these two blokes, with beautifully completed kits ready for play. I’ve enjoyed taking part in their challenge.

The Roden 1/72 scale Opel Blitz (Roden kit number 710) in Dark Grey is complete.

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All it needs is a protective coat of Testors Dullcote. I do all my spraypainting and spray varnishing outside – it’s been raining pretty steadily since yesterday afternoon and only just starting to end now – so the Dullcote will have to wait, but it’s only a ten second job. I never Dullcote when Humidity is over 70%!

It’s been a fun challenge. I know Paul and Al have both produced fine trucks too during this month too – I’ll discuss that next time.

Gorblimey! Only three days of Truck Month left!

OK, this will be a short post as I should be working on the kit, not typing on my blog! The Opel Blitz has had all paintwork and decals applied, as you can see in this photo:  .

Looks good, doesn’t it? It’s not complete, though – I need to ink around all doors and hatches to really highlight the shadows and gaps; I need to ink some of the undercarriage to simulate oil and lastly a good coating of dust needs to be applied via drybrushing.

To work!

A bonus for Truck Month – I’ve just finished Dullcoting and protecting my 1/76 or smaller white metal Mercedes Kfz 72!  This vehicle was discussed back on this post from last year. Here’s a photo without my camera’s flash:  . I don’t know how often it’s going to be used…it has a huge carrying and towing capacity but it’s actual size makes it look puny when next to other vehicles that it should actually dwarf…maybe it’ll only be used as a very special vehicle or objective. We’ll see.

Some of the heavy cars I got from eBay are finished too. Here’s a Platoon HQ vehicle, camera flash on:  and now without the flash:  and here are the section vehicles, which I suspect are Steyr 1500’s…   .

The white striping on the windows is my attempt at replicating what my opponent Peter had done when he had a go at painting reflections on the windows of some Rumanian vehicles. Here’s his blog post where you can see what he did. I was trying to represent the white patch/stripe of glare you see when you look at a car’s windows. I think what Peter’s done is probably better than what I did.

Quick whip-round of things still being worked on – engine shed as it was yesterday:  and here are the 251/1s and the Opel Blitz (with completed vehicles for me to copy from):  .

Today the humidity was pretty high…it lessened after 3pm so I decided to Dullcote at 5pm. Humidity seems to be staying constant now so I can do some painting after dinner.

Over at Tankoberg, the time for major assembly of the Roden Opel Blitz has arrived – the stage when the completed cab and completed tray are joined onto the chassis. Here’s a photo/фото of the three major parts before assembly:  .

With the first Roden Opel Blitz that I did, I botched up this stage. I had too much lean on the cab and the tray (sadly, the leans were both on different axes too, which makes the kit look oddly lopsided). So this time, I carefully read and interpreted the instructions and glued the cab in place at eye level to make sure everything was horizontal. It looked OK: . I then repeated this for the tray: .

From the left side at eye level, everything looked kosher. Then I checked all the other axes: from the front, there was very little lean to any side; the right side seemed fine and from the rear, some minor lean was detected. It was such minor lean I figued it would only really be noticed when held in the hand and inspected at a range of 45cm or less in very good light…which is not wargaming conditions. Success! Hooray! This time I did it correctly!

I then decided to gratiutously compare it to “the one I did earlier”. Here are the two lined up, from the side: . Now, to see the differences (and the errors with the first one I did), here’s the first one: and now the current one: .

See the differences?

  1. The gap between the cab and tray is much larger on the current kit;
  2. The cab on the earlier one is leaning backwards so that the top of the cab is hitting the tray, wheras on the current kit the cab is horizontal (possibly leaning slightly forward);
  3. The lean on the other axis has been (almost) eliminated.

I took notes, tried some stages of assembly different to last time and wrote recommendations on the instruction sheet so that the remaining 5 of this kit will be as succesfully assembled as this kit.

This morning I commenced glueing on the tiny remaining parts, like front numberplate (I have an idea for Paul about this) and tow hooks etc. When these little detail parts are all glued on, I can commence painting.

 

I’ve been doing some research for Truck Month and by far the most helpful website about the Opel Blitz/опель блиц that I’ve found is the Oldtimer Gallery’s Opel Company section run by Andrei Bogomolov.

The gallery is a gallery of photos (approximately 120 of them), many in black & white but a few in colour (from Signal magazine or private collections), from the period or close after.
It is comprehensive, showing as many models and variants as possible: truck bodies, bus bodies, Sanitätskraftwagens, Kastenlieferwagens… very useful for dioramas, but for us wargamers, for seeing paint schemes and camouflage patterns.

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The Roden Opel Blitz kit I’ve been working on has been delayed but yesterday I had some free time and caught up. Parts of the chassis are complete, I’ve done the majority of the tray and have made inroads with the cab. I’m now going to paint all the remaining pieces of the cab while they sit on the sprues, as I won’t be able to later…the brush can’t reach in to the the seats, the floor and parts of the cab interior.

The steam engine/locomotive shed has had to wait while I got more Scorched Brown – I ran out trying to make some homemade brown ink and need two coats of Scorched Brown for the roof tiles.

I’ve also been working on those resin Horch or Steyr heavy cars plus a platoon of  Italeri 251/1s, so there is a lot of half-finished stuff to be juggled on my hobby tables at the moment. Still, Truck Month has priority so the Opel Blitz is what I’m trying to spend most of my time on.

It’s Truck Month

February 2, 2011

In conjunction with Paul from Plastic Warriors: 1/76 & 1/72 Plastic Soldiers,Armour & Aircraft and Al from 20th Century Wargames: Wargaming with mostly 1/72 scale plastic miniatures, I’m bringing you Truck Month. That means that during February I must start and finish a truck kit.

Like Paul, I’m going to be working on Roden’s Opel Blitz kit because I still have at least 5 that I purchased back in 2008 and, to this day, haven’t even been opened.

The first four stages were to:

  1. wash the sprues in very warm water with dishwashing detergent, in order to wash any remaining moulding residues off that may prevent good glueing or painting;
  2. rinse the sprues in very warm water to get rid of any detergent from the previous step;
  3. air-dry the sprues completely;
  4. undercoat the sprues.

Undercoating the sprues is complete:  , so now I can prepare for assembly.

Keepin’ on truckin’

November 16, 2010

I’ve been working on three Opel trucks:  – they are coming along pretty well, too. All are from ESCI or its partners/new owners: -Opel Ambulance by ESCI; -a standard Opel Blitz transport truck by ESCI-ERTL; and lastly – the standard Opel Blitz now done by Italeri.

I’m not going to do the Ambulance as an Ambulance, instead it will be a mobile HQ so I can cammo it up and it can be an objective in it’s own right in games. The other two I’m doing in early War paint schemes, Dark Grey.

ESCI’s Opel Blitzes are pretty simple when compared to Roden’s Opel Blitzes. Hence, I’ve added to these ESCI Blitzes…from out of the spares box I was able to fashion the width indicator poles which I’ve placed on the front mudguards of each truck. I found an excess in the moulding of the Military Wheels’ Gaz-AAs that I made some years back and through scalpel work and lots of glueing, made it into a wing mirror for the Ambulance. Extra sprue, trimmed with my scalpel, became the spotlights that I’ve added to the driver’s side exterior on each truck, mimicking the spotlight Roden provides.

The Roden kit overall is fiddly…that’s the tradeoff for the high detail. I like the ease of assembling these ESCI/Italeri kits, but they need the extra detail to really bring them to life and make them stand out.

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Paul from Plastic Warriors: 1/76 & 1/72 Plastic Soldiers and Armour has been very helpful with my white metal truck from EBay. He sent me this link to a US-based group of WWII re-enactors, the 716 Signals Kompanie. As well as great photos, the text explains that: “The Mercedes version of the (pre-war Kfz 72’s) truck used a much smaller front fender, longer running boards and mounted spare wheels on both sides of the hood.” That sounds like my truck…so, perhaps what I have is a white metal 1/76 scale Mercedes Kfz 72 with cargo tray?

That same link also helped me learn about the little triangle of plastic I added over the cab of the two plain Opel Blitzes you see in the first photo (which I did because that little triangle comes as a dedicated part of the Roden kit)…that little triangle “…over the windscreen is a trailer towing indicator.” So, there you go! If it’s raised, the truck is towing something (most likely for me, guns). If it’s lowered, it’s not towing.

Thanks again to Paul, too!