Zvezda make a heap of small scale kits including groups of troops and lots of armour and guns. They are super good value and perfect kits for wargamers. I built two of their German 75mm infantry guns in a matter of minutes as they come in minimal parts but do not sacrifice too much detail. It’s a soft grey plastic that glues nicely. There is a base supplied but I abandon those as prefer to do my own thing. Each gun comes with two crew figures, a loader and a gunner. I am sure the minimum crew for one of these would be more like four, so I pinched a couple of other crew men and just some kneeling troopers to bulk up my crew. The build was really easy and painting was just a coat of dark yellow and a brown wash. The crew took me a lot longer in various shades of field grey. I also added a box or two to the base for some added interest. I have a Zvezda Pak-40 sitting on the bench which will have some excellent AB crew painted up next.
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.
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.
I am desperately trying to reduce the pile of kits and scenery items I have kicking around. I think like everyone else I have been reading about similar issues of some pain and even unhappiness in staring at huge stacks of things to do! Don’t despair my modelling friends. I find closing the door to my storage room and cleaning my work table (read dining table) of all work in progress really helps. Then I just bring out a project I know I can complete. This seems to prevent any overwhelming feelings of soooo much to do….
Anyway I finished this church from Hovels i had. It was based onto MDF coated in clay and textured with cobblestones. I also pimped up my Hovels ruins with a cobbled base and new rubble. You can still lift up the buildings and hide men inside. The town square type market clock tower is another card kit from Superquick. Another nice kit which I felt would not be out of place in any European village. It has some cool arches I can see cool street fighting happening in and around. I put a quick village scene together and realised I have enough buildings to make a big town and cover a full 6×4 table. One day!!
I had a change of direction this week and built one of the Superquick card models i had lounging around. It makes a nice change to build something not out of plastic and also a switch to some scenery. These kits maybe old but their design really stands the test of time. I guess they are older than me and pre 1970 even!
This one is the Railway Hotel and seemed to me like it would fit into any European town. So now it is called the Hotel Du Canard Mort and will be sitting pretty in my Normandy towns and villages. When building these card kits I make sure I use some foam board bits to reinforce the whole thing rather than just rely on the card supports supplied. Makes the whole thing much straighter and stronger. Rather than use the flimsy base supplied I used 3mm MDF covered with paving slabs glued on individually. I also added some foil flashing superglued on as box gutters in suitable places. Its a good finishing touch to paint all the exposed cardboard edges with matching paint colour. This definitely makes a big difference. I added some weathering powders to rough it up a bit too as cardboard tends to look to clean. The street lights are little kits from Langley Models in the UK and added a nice detail I thought! Oh I also added black drain pipes using painted wire glued straight onto the card and also metal chimney pots from Langley Models again. These little additions take the card kits up a notch. Bit like MDF kits when you make that extra effort!
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.
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.
I had bought this small half track from S and S models to bulk up a purchase and make the postage from UK to Australia more palatable. Usually I try and stick to plastic model kits but will make exceptions in some circumstances! This was only a few parts with a resin hull and metal tracks and wheels to super glue on. So the whole construction did not take long. The paint job was fun. Dark yellow undercoat and some green camo stripes. The interior was bare so I added some spare crew men I had half painted. A couple of Plastic Soldier Company men and an Esci dude carrying one of those range finder thingies or he just a bought a poster from Amazon and it showed up in a tube. I also added some extra camo green foliage to brighten the whole place up. Lots of dusty powder and some basing tufties finished it off. It was fun to get to the painting part quickly as construction was so quick. S and S Models have a good range of stuff and also lots of more obscure things. I have a Bofors gun on the back of a Bedford truck which is in the lineup.
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.
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……