Zvezda German Infantry Guns in 1/72 Scale

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.

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.

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!