I have been continuing to try and perfect my camouflage painting skills, to begin with on these seated soldiers to ride on tanks, or in my case to fill the back of trucks. This box of plastic men from Caesar are really nice and come in a box of 32 in 8 different poses. They are one brand that really match up with better metal manufacturers (AB and CP Models) but if you are just filling trucks with men it keeps the expenses down, being a whole a lot cheaper per figure. I have collected some excellent reference material on German camo schemes and find these a great help in trying to get my effects right. At this scale its definitely only an effect i am after. This scheme is a spring flavoured oak leaf or plane tree pattern. If you get the colours correct it really seems to look after itself. I use a flat earth light brown type base and then a bright green and very dark green on top. Random patterns in patches and then filling the dark patches with light and doing lots of small dots over each colour. Anyway I keep practicing and it seems to be getting better. Next post will be these guys in the back of a Steyr heavy car which was a total dog of a kit and nearly got thrown out for scrap……
Happy New Year everyone!!! What can i say!?? I like armoured cars and I keep building them. This is a another Italeri Puma for my German forces and this is third and final one i will be making. It’s a super easy kit and takes minutes to build. i spent more time on the dark green camo and the paint job. The decals are really nice in this kit and it comes with a couple of options. I think I found this kit on eBay for a bargain which is why I bought another Puma….. that’s my excuse anyway!!! Not much else to tell you on this one. My only complaint would be the lack of opening hatches which means you cannot add a commander figure unless you are brave enough to surgically remove hatches. For this reason I still like the Hasegawa Puma kit a little better. Oh I did add an aerial to this guy plus a an aerial holding place too.
This is the third Marder kit I have made after the Unimodel and Plastic Soldier Company ones. This one was a work in progress for a while so I am stretching my memory a bit on the building process. All i can really remember was that I really did not enjoy this kit at all. It comes in a weird kind of plastic that is almost has a resin feel to it. I found it very hard to glue with normal polystyrene cement. Also the instructions are vague and in many places the fixing points for parts were either not clear or non existent. It made for a frustrating time of trial and error. Oh and probably some swearing. I would avoid this kit and rather buy simple but excellent kits from Plastic Soldier Company or more complex but also great ones from Unimodel. So this one was lying around unpainted for a while as I overcame the bitter memories.
Painting was fun though with a dark yellow base and some dark green camouflage stripes. The decals were added from my spares, not sure if it came with any decent ones. Plenty of photos to follow including one with all three Marders together. Oh and there is not much room for crew but I did manage to squeeze in a plastic crew man clutching a shell and also an AB man relaxing!
This little tank is dedicated to my friend John at Just Needs Varnish in the North Of England who very kindly sent me a Marder sprue from The Plastic Soldier Company a while ago and it has been sitting in my WIP pile for a number of months waiting for some love. So finally I made an effort before Christmas. Plastic Soldier Company kits are minimal parts, with good chunky details and very easy to put together. So I find them excellent additions for smaller models in 1/72 scale as there are no really fiddly bits. This Marder comes with one piece running gear and tracks which always speeds things up, no numerous wheels or tiny links to bother me. So an easy build and very hard to get wrong. I gave him a matt black primer, then a dark yellow basecoat. I painted dark green camouflage splashes and then resprayed from my tamiya spray can more dark yellow to blend the camo patches in. Tracks were painted black, then grey and then weathered using track rust powder and an 2B pencil for the metal bits. Decals I found in my spares pile and just added some random ones, I was keen to use the white 65, just because. I painted three Plastic Soldier Company crew men (you get a few crew with the kit – one who is unusable as he has comedic long arms) with fancy camo pattern pants and then added three infantry with greatcoats hitching a ride. These figures are plastic from Caesar Miniatures and are great for adding tank riders to a model. All I have left to do is some dirt and dusty powder and then some flock and tufts on the base. Hey Presto another groovy little tank buster for my German forces. Thanks John!!
I think these guys are from two smaller packets of Zvezda British Infantry but I dont quite remember. I have had them hanging around for ages and since they were the last plastic figures I had based I thought they should be painted. They are more 1940 early Brits but who cares maybe they just kept their old equipment heading into Normandy. I cant say I really like painting plastic figures as the detail is always a bit muddy compared to metal ones. Anyway i was happy i managed to finish them in between building three Dragon Tigers which have been keeping me busy!!!
Vespid is a new brand for me so it could be a new brand altogether. They seem to make only a couple of kits so far and this Comet caught my eye. It was not a cheap kit but it was worth every penny from wherever I found it. The comet was a design based I think on the Cromwell but with a more powerful gun. It certainly looks very like the predecessor to the Centurion – the turret especially. The kit was awesome to build and I really cannot fault anything about it. They supply it with a metal gun barrel, a resin gun mantle cover (which I did not use) and a few PE parts. I managed all the PE parts except the small aerial which ended up as ball of superglued mess and in the bin. Lots of fun. They also supply a large range of decals for various tanks. All I added was my own aerial due to the above PE debacle and the compulsory AB figures commander. Vespid also make a Panther which I am very tempted to buy now!!!
I finished a German halftrack this week. Another excellent Dragon Models hanomag type towing a small anti tank gun. Dragon make super little kits. Maybe more expensive but well worth it for what you get. Great detail, great moulding and everything fits together perfectly. All it was missing was a driver. So I added one, and you can barely see him anyway once he is seated in the drivers seat. Interior detail of this kit was especially nice, there are rifles stored behind the seats, and the rear door mechanism is pretty cool. The anti tank gun is verging on the over fiddly and was a little frustrating to build. Do not attempt this if you live in a carpeted establishment. Your tiny bits may go AWOL. The MGs on the half track are particularly nice, but delicate. The tracks are one piece rubbery stuff which glue very easily. I think link and length is too fiddly for a small tracked vehicle like this so Dragon made a good choice. I definitely needed to base this guy due to the number of delicate parts (aerials, lights, MGs etc) and the AT gun especially needs extra strength. I painted him in a yellow with dark green camo stripes, a little chipping with a sponge and then plenty of dirt and dust.
I keep building armoured cars at the moment. British armoured cars. I think this Marmon Herrington did not feature in Normandy or the later part of the war, but I saw a bargain and could not help buy one. It is a fun little model, and definitely one of the original armoured cars, looking very much like a car with some armour attached! My previous experience with Attack kits had not been pleasant. This one was much better. Some of the detail was a bit soft, I was tempted to redo the lines on the bonnet as i had read a review where someone had replaced these with plastic card. But then I didn’t bother. The machine gun on the side of the car sits in a ball and socket type joint, and the hole is too big for the ball so you need to enlarge the ball a bit so it stays in place. I used some putty to clog it up. I added my own plastic aerial as the model does not come supplied with one. Not much else to tell you, it was a nice simple build which I enjoyed making. He will be added to my lengthening line of armoured cars, although i don’t suppose he will be much use for anything. Some officer will probably use it to pop down to the shops for a loaf of bread rather than risking life and limb in it. Oh the decals were good – i just mixed up the ones I liked so the car gets a cool name along the bonnet.
One armoured car that I really wanted to add to my collection is the AEC armoured car. This vehicle is more like a four wheeled tank. I could not find a plastic model kit anywhere from anyone in 1/72 scale so I had to break my rules on this occasion. I found an excellent version from Early War Miniatures in the UK, who do a big range of vehicles.
The armoured car comes in two main parts, being a metal turret and barrel, plus a special type of resin hull and wheels. Compared to other resin items I have bought this is easily the best quality. The detail is crisp and there are no bubbles or mis-shapen bits. It was a pleasant surprise I have some other resin things languishing on a scrap heap looking too tricky to fix. You also get a couple of machine guns to pop on the turret and also some mirrors to attach to the hull. So a bit of superglue later and hey presto i am ready to paint.
Black undercoat and an olive drab spray was all he needed. Decals are not supplied so I added from my bottomless source. I did attach him to an MDF base for extra strength, and then dirtied him up with some weathering powder. This made a nice change from my usual plastic kits and so speedy to the finish line. For more resin vehicles I will certainly shop here again.
I finished another very cool truck from the Polish company IBG Models. This time a towing vehicle for the British Bofors anti aircraft gun. I always enjoy building their kits and they do produce a wide variety of different models at very decent value. My only criticism is sometimes the parts have too many connection points and removal and clean up can be annoying. This one was also a bit tricky getting the cab put together as lining everything up is more a trial and error thing rather than having specific guide holes or slots. I added a driver as they do not supply one. You have to have someone in control! I used normal cement glue on the windows and windscreen which was not good enough and my windshield fell in after i had completed the kit. So i suggest using super glue instead…..
I wanted to do the mickey mouse camo scheme which is one of my favourites. I also added two relaxed looking passengers in the back, from AB figures as usual. This was a fun build and an excellent addition to my growing fleet of British vehicles.