IBG Models Bren Carrier in 1/72 Scale

I finally finished up the second IBG bren carrier i had lying around in the never decreasing pile of kits. I was building up the courage to attempt the smallest link and length tracks in the universe, for the second time. I really like IBG kits, they are always really nice to build. Clear instructions, pieces fit easily together and lots of detail. They give you loads of decal options too which is great for building up a collection of spares. My only gripes are the super delicate bren guns supplied – I managed to destroy two of them by breathing on them. They were replaced with two metal ones I had which are much sturdier. The front bren I cut in half and added last after I had added the crew as it had to fit through the firing window. The individual tracks are always going to be tricky and not for anyone with especially big hands or bad eyes. I tried a technique of using tape to keep the little links together so i could glue them and then bend them into the right shape to fit around the sprocket wheels. This sort of worked. IBG do provide a template to build the tracks around but I could not make that work very well either. So there is no way round it, it is a fiddly exercise. My conclusion was to be patient and glue two little links together at a time.

I added some excellent AB figures crew who fitted very nicely, except for the driver who needed some help ie surgery on his lower extremities so he would fit nicely. Also two aerials were added from washing up brush bristles. I had some stowage from Value Gear and also a rusty bucket from somewhere. It was nice to get my tiny British insignia decals out for the crew if you look closely at their left shoulders. I would still recommend the Plastic Soldier Company carriers as an alternative, especially if you would like to avoid the immensely fiddly tracks………

ICM Sd.Kfz. 222 IN 1/72 Scale

I picked up a couple of these excellent ICM armoured car kits. It ended up being an accidental double up with my over zealous shopping forgetting what I had in various shopping carts. But this was a Bob Ross happy little accident type thing. The first ever kit I have built from ICM and what a nice one it was. Armoured cars are my favourite and this was a fun build. It was a nice easy kit with plenty of detail. I particularly like the PE roof hatch, which although tricky to fold comes out very nicely and so much more realistic than a solid plastic version. I added a wire aerial for strength and drilled a hole for that. Also some extra stowage including bed rolls and a bucket. My paint job was just a brown camo scheme on dark yellow with a brown wash. Plenty of dirt and dust as usual and an MDF base to finish him off. I have been slightly distracted lately with a side project which will post some photos next time!

Academy German Fuel Truck in 1/72 Scale

This Academy fuel truck comes with a schwimmwagen too which I have not finished yet but will feature at at a later date. So today is just the fuel truck, something I thought was important to include in games to keep the thirsty big German tanks happy. I have a couple of Academy kits in my heap, I think a couple of US Halftracks and a Jeep/Kubelwagen kit too, but this is my first attempt at building one. This was a great kit to build. Everything was easy to put together, clear instructions, well fitting parts and good detail. All those things you like in a small scale kit. You have some options like leaving back doors open and exposing what I think is a fuel pump. Also the side doors can be left open to show some storage compartments. The windows and windshield are supplied in clear plastic so care needs to be taken when painting. I painted the interior (only the seats and steering wheel really) and the cab before gluing in the windows. One window fell out so it looks like they left the window open, which is fine with me. Paint job was the usual dunkelb dark yellow over a black basecoat. I did a really dirty wash and also added some streaking grime around the top of the fuel tank thinking that would get pretty messy. Also did quite a bit of black chipping and scratching with a sponge. I wanted to get a really beaten up look for this truck thinking of how much work it would have to do.

I also wanted to add a small base with some dudes filling petrol cans and drums which will act as a marker to show that the truck is in the process of refuelling. So I painted up a couple of AB figures with pea dot camo and added them to a base with drums and cans. I also made a fuel pipe from some wire and improvised a fuel pump handle to finish it off. Happy with the result looks like they are working hard!

Airfix Tilly Car in 1/72 scale

I totally forgot that I had already built one of the cool vehicles from the Airfix Diorama Kit. This is the Tilly car I made a few weeks back. Awesome little car for your officers to cruise around in. It must be a new AIrfix mould as it comes in the same nice grey plastic that makes building a breeze. Loved it. The windshield and doors are all transparent plastic so need care when painting. It is a tiny little car but simple to build. I added an AB driver and left the doors open so you can actually see some insides.

Here is Colonel Mustard emptying his trusty pipe while Corporal Smith keeps a keen watch out for any hostiles on the horizon. Or maybe he is seeing if the next village has a good cafe where they can grab a baguette and a coffee.

Airfix Bedford Truck

This was another great little truck kit that was included in the Airfix Diorama RAF Refuelling Set. I really only bought the whole set so I could get this truck and the smaller Tilly vehicle I made a while ago. You do get a British aircraft too, but also some very poor figures and a plastic base that will not amount to much. But whatever, I like trucks and wanted to build one of these. Nice grey plastic and it built very easily. You get the option to build as a covered truck or as a fuel truck. You choose. Nice. Not much else to say today, I added my own driver from AB figures. The windshield and side windows are part of the doors and windshield frame which does make painting tricky, as you must avoid getting paint on the window bits. I added dust and powder on top which does tend to hide any errors. Lots of nice decals provided and you end up with a very useful vehicle for a small squad or some command section.

I based him on MDF with sand and tufty bits. I also have a set of AB figures soldiers loading wooden boxes which may be a good accompaniment, we could use them to represent a resupply action of some sort.

Dragon Models Tigers in 1/72 scale

I have been a bit slow in finishing stuff these past few days as the world seems to be descending into a very bad place and seeing what is happening on the news makes me very sad for the state of the human race. Although it may seem hypocritical to be writing about armoured vehicles at least our hobby shows we have an acceptance and understanding of history and all its horror. This should not be happening in 2022. Anyway all i can think of doing is heading to my favourite Ukrainian hobby shop and spending a whole heap of money on some gift cards or something where they can use the funds in some way.

I built three different versions of the Tiger all from Dragon Models. The first two kits were great. They came with extra PE bits and pieces, replacement engine grills and exhaust covers and cool stuff like that. As with all Dragon kits you tend to pay more but get great models. The Early Production Tiger 1 was not so great – the plastic was weird and some of the exhaust parts did not fit so well. It felt like a lower quality kit compared to the other two, so maybe avoid that one. It still came out ok but needed a bit of stuffing around. I added an AB crew and a Battlefield Miniatures commander to one of the tanks as the command tank. You get plenty of decals and I just used my favourite options with no regard for any accuracy. Not the time to be worrying about that. This time I used a three colour patchy camo scheme which was over sprayed with another faint layer of dunkelb to soften my painted edges. I just used dirt and dust and gave the chipping a miss this time. I think more impatience to finish more than anything. Plenty of photos above and I am not sure which tank is which anymore – the one with Zimmerit can be spotted though.

If I had the power to send some real Tigers to Ukraine to help I would.

MAC Kits Steyr 1500 Heavy Car in 1/72 Scale

This was the first kit I have made from MAC Kits. I am pretty sure it is also the last. This was a horrible experience from start to finish. The plastic was weird kind of waxy and did not like my glue. The fit was awful and lots of the bits did not have obvious location points. The detail is also poor on much of it. Even on the box art you do not get all the bits you see. Like the metal steps on the door are not actually in the kit so I ended up making my own. I think MAC must make 1/35 kits too and perhaps the box photo is from a larger scale version. I am pretty sure the instructions were also poor. So yes I will not buying any more MAC kits…….

What did I do, well i pushed through, I kept on swimming and finished the job. Rather than put the canvas cover on the back I made my own frame from wire and decided to fill the back up with my recently painted seated dudes. The truck received some green camo random stripes and plenty of dirt and dust. Oh and on a positive note the decals were good and I did use them. They also supply a tiny bit of clear plastic sheet to make a windshield. I think I did try to use the PE supplied but was mainly over the whole thing by then and tossed them out in a finger sticking super glued moment of despair.

Once Mr Steyr was painted and based, and my German troops in their camo smocks had been thrown in the back I felt much happier. Oh the driver is an AB figures man as usual. The addition of the driver and the passengers make all the difference to what is a poor kit and not one i suggest bothering with.

Another Puma Armoured Car from Italeri in 1/72 scale

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‚Ķ.. 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.

Attack Kits Marder III in 1/72 Scale

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!

The Plastic Soldier Company Marder in 1/72 Scale

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!!