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 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 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.
So another German half track rolls off my painting (dining) table. This time from Special Armour, which is a company I have never built before. It’s a nice little half track mainly used for towing guns I think. Another eBay purchase that I found quite cheaply. The kit was quite a challenge with various small PE parts that raised my frustration levels a fair bit. I lost at least one door handle in the process. The worst thing though was the front engine and drivers compartment did not fit properly on to the chassis. So the front section was too high and there was a gap between the chassis and the engine, and the front suspension looks a bit high. I am not sure if it was my building that went wrong but I could not see how it was meant to be any different as the whole back section was correct and in line. Anyway I wont be buying one of these again. Luckily you cannot really see the problem.
I used the usual dunkelb dark yellow and did a fair amount of chipping with my sponge and added plenty of dirt and dust. The squad in the back and the driver and officer are all from AB figures. I tried out a new M44 camo scheme using an awesome set of paints I bought. Also threw in an old fuel barrel that I rusted up.
Airfix kits just have that nostalgic smell and something that takes me back 35 years, and I love them. They may not be as well detailed or the same size or fit together as well as any other more modern brands, but I don’t care. Even the cardboard box and the instructions have a deja vu type feeling for me. To complete my recent Churchill tank building spree here is the Crocodile flame thrower to join them.
The wheels are fiddly as you have to add them individually and get them straight. But apart from that this went together pretty easily. The tracks were toast in this particularly eBay purchase, but luckily I had a nice new set of flexible tracks from a Dragon kit left over. Very nice. The fuel tank towed at the back is particularly well put together and obviously a different, newer mould than the actual tank. The turret hatches are all moulded shut which is always a shame. You could do some tweaking and open them up, but I am always too worried about making a pig’s ear of it. I did add an aerial but that was about it.
In plastic I do not think there is another alternative for this vehicle. It is a bit smaller than my other 1/72 scale Churchills, but not too much so that it really makes much difference. In the last photo for comparison I have put an Esci, Plastic Soldier Company, Dragon and finally an Airfix Churchill together. You can see Mr Airfix is a touch shorter than the others. Now he really needs a flame to show the flame thrower in action. Ouchy hot.
This weekend I finished painting three more Churchill tanks for my British forces. These three were all Esci kits bought on eBay (one of them was boxed as Humbrol, but it is the same Esci kit in the box). The kits are identical except for the Humbrol branded one comes with one piece plastic tracks rather than the link and length tracks in the Esci kit. Luckily the one piece tracks are usable and not the super annoying vinyl ones that mess with my sanity. It also helps that the design of the Churchill means a lot of track is not even visible so you have plenty of scope to make a mess and then cover it all up.
These kits may be old, but they are still great. No fiddly wheels as the running gear comes in just two sections that you have to line up. The detail is good and the parts fit together well. I only had to fill a few gaps here and there with putty, mostly near the front fenders. I think the old plastic had warped a bit. You can leave the commanders hatch open, which I did, and added my usual AB Commanders. Turrets fit nicely and turn easily even after a couple of layers of paint. I added some aerials but left off any stowage, just for a change felt like some clean looking vehicles.
They were all undercoated in matt black then a coat of olive drab. A layer of gloss varnish before I added a whole heap of decals, some from the kits plus a bunch of other spares. I like seeing names down the side of the Churchills so these three got that treatment. A brown wash and a coat of matt varnish finished these guys off. Plus some dark earth and European earth pigments just to dust them up a bit.
I also finished my furry field and sandy track for the Churchill troop to be driving down. Perfect photo opportunity for everyone. These kits may be old but they are just as good as modern offerings from Dragon, and better than more simple kits like Plastic Soldier Company. If you can find them for $10 on eBay well worth the money. I built an Airfix Churchill Crocodile at the same for comparison. You can see him next,
I finally finished the rest of the Superquick card models. Two Tudor houses and two little shops. The shops were given new French names so they fit in better with the Normandy theme. Basing was done with 3mm MDF as usual, plus some Metcalfe card pavements for the shops. The Tudor houses had a more grassy base. These card models need a bit of extra painting on all the white edges that appear after building. I also added some weathering powders and stuff just to dirty things up a bit. It’s a shame you cannot take the roofs off but they will help bulk up my buildings for fighting through a bigger town.
Finally finished the other two Fireflies in from a box of three I bought a while ago. The Plastic Soldier Company models are very simple kits, easy to build, but have a nice level of detail, and are good and solid. I do like them for knocking out a few quick tanks, like Armourfast but better on the detail side. They also respond well to some tarting up with a few bells and whistles. These two have aerials added, AB figures crew men, a bit of value gear stowage, and plenty of random decals stolen from other kits.
Olive drab spray can, gloss varnish and decals, dark wash, matt varnish and plenty of European earth and sand powders on top. Easy formula for my British Army vehicles.
Lockdown has definitely increased my hobby output. I would highly recommend PSC kits if you want to build a good looking force nice and quickly. Much easier than fiddling with link and length tracks or dreaded Esci vinyl ones. You can smash out a few troops of tanks in quick time. I have not tried the figures from PSC as I am firmly entrenched with my favourite metal ranges, and will never go back to plastic.
A quick update, or even a super quick update – ha ha ha, on some card model kits I cranked out recently. I love these Superquick kits. Unchanged designs since way back when and they are still so much fun to build. If you want some fast options to build a little town these will do the job. Hard to make the roofs removable so i did not even try. I placed them onto MDF bases for extra strength. I also added a lot of foamboard supports inside the houses and church to maintain its shape. Much better than the suggested bits of card that the instructions suggest. To try and make the shops look a bit more like 1940s France I added some new French signs. That should fool everyone. Also painting all the exposed card edges a dark shade and adding some dirt and dust makes all the difference. Oh and I nearly forgot I replaced all the chimney pots with some nice new metal ones. Chimney pots on buildings are a bit like eyebrows on faces. They are much more important than you think, and its only when you remove them you realise their importance!
The shops will look great in my town square and the small church also handy for when I do not want to use my massive home made church.
To finish off the base I used Metcalfe Models card pavers. These come in sheets and you just have to glue them onto your base. They look much better than the supplied bases. You can see in the last photo my use of the pavers with some other buildings too. I think this is a better option than carving pavements and definitely much quicker.
IBG Models make great little kits of all sorts of vehicles, especially some lesser known ones. This Otter Light Reconnaissance vehicle is one of those. Everyone knows about Humbers and Daimler armoured cars, but this little guy is a treat. IBG kits are always a real pleasure to make and this one is no exception. I loved it. To begin with its a fine looking little armoured car. The casting is super clear and everything fits together perfectly. The kit comes with some excellent PE parts for mudguards and a cool plank for getting out of a bogging situation (not sure what that is called!).
So building this car was a lot of fun. The interior is also fully detailed so you can leave a side door open and have a look in. If i build another one I will do that with maybe a crew man stepping out. You get a choice of decals to use, so I went with a Canadian unit which would be relevant for Normandy. I liked the white star mainly.
Olive drab paint work plus a bit of a dark wash, followed by some earth and sand pigments. I added my own aerial as usual just to finish it off. I can never recommend IBG model kits highly enough. I have a Bedford QLT ready in the queue for my next build.