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….. 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!

Zvezda British Soldiers in 1/72 scale

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 Models A34 Comet in 1/72 Scale

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!!!

IBG Models Bofors Gun Tractor in 1/72 Scale

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.

Zvezda 20mm German Flak Gun in 1/72 Scale

This was a tiny quick build from Zvezda. I like their little kits as they are really handy for filling holes in your forces cheaply and quickly. Only a few bits but those bits are nicely detailed. This one only took me a few minutes to assemble. You need to leave the seated gunner off until everything is painted. I added an Esci spare officer i had pointing at something probably a badger appearing in the hedgerows. I put the whole thing on a small MDF base with some Value Gear sandbags. Here they are defending a ruined house with their tow and a Puma scuttling past in the background.