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!

German Mortar Teams Pegasus and Zvezda in 1/72

I had a box of Pegasus German Mortars and another of Zvezda German 81mm mortar teams. You get a whole heap of figures and mortars in the Pegasus box and two identical mortar teams in the Zvezda box. I decided to mix it all up and make five mortar teams, trying to make unique looking bases.

The Pegasus box has lots of different poses from people loading rounds, dragging boxes and putting their hands over their ears. Great stuff. Also some radio operators, who ended up missing out. The Zvezda men are either dropping a round or holding a new one. I used three figures on each base. I also had a heap of shell boxes from my AB figures mortar teams which I added to some of the bases for interest. All of them were painted german field grey with grey helmets. I am trying to paint epaulettes and collars with some detail but find it quite tricky.

For these i used 25mm plywood bases which are nice and thin. Plenty of flock and tufts to finish them up! I will not need any more mortars for any German forces now, this will do it.

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!

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.

Wrecked German Truck

I have built some Plastic Soldier Company German trucks recently, which are now labouring in the work in progress queue to be finished. The kits come three in a box with Opel Blitz, Mercedes or Maultier options. This leaves you with various spare cabs and other bits. Not quite enough to make a full extra truck but plenty of scraps to make some more wrecks to scatter around the place or use as wrecks when things actually do get blown up. I like the idea of having enough wrecked vehicle models to replace working ones with their destroyed counterparts. Anyway this is my Frankenstein’s truck made up from various bits and pieces and mounted onto a rubble strewn base of MDF. I used some sponge for chipping effects and lots of dirt and dust. I think some smokey effects with black cotton wool might also add to the flavour.

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.

Caesar Miniatures 1/72 Scale German Tank riders in camo smocks

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……

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!