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!!!

AEC Armoured Car from Early War Miniatures

One armoured car that I really wanted to add to my collection is the AEC armoured car. This vehicle is more like a four wheeled tank. I could not find a plastic model kit anywhere from anyone in 1/72 scale so I had to break my rules on this occasion. I found an excellent version from Early War Miniatures in the UK, who do a big range of vehicles.

The armoured car comes in two main parts, being a metal turret and barrel, plus a special type of resin hull and wheels. Compared to other resin items I have bought this is easily the best quality. The detail is crisp and there are no bubbles or mis-shapen bits. It was a pleasant surprise I have some other resin things languishing on a scrap heap looking too tricky to fix. You also get a couple of machine guns to pop on the turret and also some mirrors to attach to the hull. So a bit of superglue later and hey presto i am ready to paint.

Black undercoat and an olive drab spray was all he needed. Decals are not supplied so I added from my bottomless source. I did attach him to an MDF base for extra strength, and then dirtied him up with some weathering powder. This made a nice change from my usual plastic kits and so speedy to the finish line. For more resin vehicles I will certainly shop here again.

German Motorbikes Zvezda and Italeri 1/72 Scale

It is always good to have some super speedy reconnaissance vehicles with machine guns. Like having sharks with laser beams attached to their heads. Also good. Zvezda produce a great little motorbike and sidecar for a few dollars. The kit is very simple and only a few parts, will go together in minutes. Just remember to keep the riders separate for painting as it is too tricky to paint them once they are glued in position. This does mean that you have to leave the front part of the sidecar off so you can fit the passenger in once he is painted. This was the only piece that was tricky to do and i had to do some surgery to get the last piece to fit in. I also dumped the plastic base it came with and made my own from MDF as usual. Great kit and great value. I might buy some more!

The Italeri kit comes in a larger pack with two single bikes and two motorbikes with sidecars. You get extra figures to make different options, with helmets or caps, and an LMG or SMG in the sidecar. So that’s nice you can vary how you build your bikes. Kits are again very simple and take minutes to put together. The only thing is i had to use super glue as the plastic rejected all my usual plastic cement. I also tossed the supplied bases away and made my own. Each passenger and rider has a bum toggle that i removed so positioning was easier. That way you are not trying to shove the toggle into the hole in the seat. Just glue the dudes on. Again another good kit and nice to have options. Great value as you get four bikes in each box.

I painted them all German grey and the figures field grey. Added some dust, but kept the process simple. I actually have the other two bikes from the Italeri kit I finished a few years back, and I may have to redo them in the same way.

Fujimi Opel Blitz Ambulance Truck 1/72 Scale

Another German softskin vehicle to add to my growing armada. I was going to make this just as a regular truck but then seeing the cool red cross decals that come with it I decided to make the ambulance version.

This is the first kit from Fujimi I have ever made and it was a good experience. Easy to build and plenty of detail. The only issues I had were with the back body of the truck sitting at a very wonky angle on the chassis. It needed some surgery and fiddling around to get it close to horizontal. So OK not so easy to build. Maybe i stuffed up which is highly likely but the tilty angle was way off.

Like I mentioned the red cross decals were excellent but I did need to use plenty of decal softener to get the back ones to sink into the truck panelling. The only other thing I did change was the windshield which is a really thick piece of plastic. So I changed it to a thin piece of plastic.

Lots of dusty dirt on this guy and here is next to the Opel Blitz with Flak Gun both ready for some grassy bits and tufts.

Zvezda Panzer IV in 1/72 Scale (again)

To finish off my Panzer IV units i needed one more of them to give me three troops of three tanks. My go to kit is the Zvezda model which is just excellent. It is the best kit in this scale except for the hatches being modelled closed. I have read some people complain about the thickness of the side skirts but it doesn’t bother me.

i added an aerial and also cut out one of the side panels for some interest. Particular nice are the tracks on these models but be careful when attaching to be gentle. That is it for me and the Panzer IV. No more Panzer IV. Panzer IV no more.

i do have three Tigers from Dragon Models which look like a lot of fun. This German armour is never ending!

Sherman Firefly 1/72 Scale

As soon as i had seen that this new Airfix version of the Firefly had been released i was all over it. Well i did check its relative size to my other armour and it works out to be matching size to Armourfast PSC and Unimodel Fireflies that i have. You never know with Airfix 1/72 or 1/76 and exactly what you are getting.

its a great little kit. The tracks are a nice one piece moulding that you place onto the running gear just like their Cromwell. Its a great design and much easier than all that link and length mullarkey. They also provide complete running gear and tracks in one piece which you can alternatively use. They have gone in my spares box to be used no doubt to replace some dodgy vinyl bollocks i am bound to find.

Other great touches are the lift rings that you glue up into the hull on larger fittings through a hole. Great design again rather than chasing tiny lift rings around in the carpet.

My additions were just some stowage and an aerial. Nice decals provided too. Building Airfix kits is always nostalgic but it was a nice surprise to find a new one on the market. Instant nostalgia!!! Here is my new Firefly hunting through some ruins you have seen before.

US GMC Trucks In 1/72 Scale

I am slowly building up some US forces and I really like building trucks. Especially these super cool US GMC trucks. I cannot help myself as far as trucks and armoured cars go. These guys come from Heller (Airfix) and Hasegawa. The Heller kit has finer detail and is more delicate. It comes with an excellent gun ring on the roof, and its dimensions are longer and thinner than the Hasegawa kits. The Japanese kits are very solid and chunky and very quick to build. You can get them super cheap direct from Japan. They do have weird metal axels which need super gluing otherwise the wheels rotate. I added windshields with plastic and also added some thin chains on the front fender as i had seen photos of this somewhere. My drivers are all AB Figures as usual. They are such cool trucks. I have an IBG Diamond Cargo Truck just arrived in tbe post which I am now itching to make!

Hasegawa Daimler Mk II Armoured Car in 1/72 scale

Another great British Armoured Car I picked up from the best place for Hasegawa kits – my friends in Japan https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/plamo/

From Australia these Hasegawa kits only cost 810 yen which i think is about 7-8 USD, and postage for three kits is about the same. So a pretty good deal and way better value than buying these kits from any other retailer. I really liked the Humber Armoured Car kit they make, and needed a couple of Daimlers for sure. This kit is in the usual grey plastic which is really easy to work with. Not too many pieces either which always makes these Hasegawa kits perfect for an evening of easy model making. Most importantly for me is that everything fits together and instructions are clear and easy to follow. Plenty of good detail in this scale and easily enough for my purpose of putting them on my table top.

My Daimler had a couple of additions, including an aerial, a pickaxe on the front and a hatchet on the back. Also some stowage items added on the back and sides. He received an olive drab paint job as usual, but I don’t think I bothered with a brown wash this time. I do a gloss varnish coat where I am placing my decals and also use a decal softener which does help with blending the decals into the paint work. As with all my wheeled vehicles I like to base them on MDF bases to prevent any damage. Some European earth weathering powder makes Mr Daimler look well used. I still do not bother with any chipping or other effects on green vehicles as i am not sure it really adds much. I really enjoyed making this kit and next up have a Staghound Armoured Car from a company called RPM which is new to me. Hopefully it’s just as good!

Special Armour Sd.Kfz 11 LEICHTER ZUGKRAFTWAGEN HALFTRACK 1/72 Scale

See the source image

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 Churchill Crocodile in 1/76 Scale

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.

Airfix 1/76 Churchill Crocodile\