Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Dragon Wagon Details

I'm currently in the process of adding the brake pipe, oil feeder and air hose details to my Dragon Wagon model. Although a lot of the detail that I'm adding won't be clearly visible on the completed model, I'm doing it as an exercise in seeing just how much detail I can add to it! Tamiya's Dragon Wagon may be the best Injection Moulded Plastic kit out there, but even that has room for improvement.

I managed to obtain a copy of the vehicle's technical manual online and have been using it for reference, as well as the work of other modellers. This is all part of my desire to make this the best model I've ever made. My wife spent a small fortune on buying this kit for me, so I really want to 'justify' the expense!

I decided that, for the load, I would take my old Sherman M4A3 model, strip it down, and paint it as a burnt out tank. Because of this, I will be depicting a vehicle from the Independant 457th Ordnance Evacuation Company, as shown in the kit's instruction manual.

My original idea was to get hold of Italeri's LCM3 Landing Craft model and depict a vehicle supporting the Rhine Crossings, that was until I found out how expensive the LCM3 model is! After spending a lot of money on the Dragon Wagon for me, I don't think my wife will be too happy about buying 'another expensive model'!

I tried taking some pictures of the progress so far, but the camera phone I'm borrowing isn't good enough to show up the tiny details, so I'll need to take some pictures when I get my own, much better camera phone back from the repair shop.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Revell BTR-70

I recently obtained the first Revell model that I've built in a very long time!
The last time I built a Revell model, was 25 years ago, when I built their 1:72 Avro Lancaster WW2 Heavy Bomber. Back then, their quality wasn't really up to much. So I was interested to see if they had improved over the years.
 The verdict? Whilst there has undoubtedly been some improvement over the years, Revell are still not up the standards of other major model making brands like Tamiya, AFV Club, Dragon et al.
 The main problems are with the moulding quality (quite a bit of flash and a lot of sink holes) and the fit of some of the larger parts.
I approached the build of this model as an exercise in getting me in the mood to do the major work needed on my Tamiya Dragon Wagon, so consequently, I didn't spend a lot of time on it. I built it straight OOB (Out Of the Box) and painted it in the colours of a Russian vehicle serving in Afghanistan in the '80s.
This in itself caused a few problems. I don't like Revell's enamel paints, so I had to try to find an equivalent that I could use. Revell say that it needs to be painted in Matt 69 'Granite Grey', but after looking at various online conversion charts, I couldn't find any equivalents made by anyone else, that matched. In the end, I had to do a Google image search for the colour 'Granite Grey' which gave some results that showed the nearest equivalent as being Tamiya's XF63 German Grey.
Here are some pictures of the model. The first 4 are of the model being built. The last 4 are of the finished model, painted and decalled;

SdKfz 232 Finished

I've now finished my Tamiya SdKfz 232 German Heavy Armoured Car. I painted the 2 crew figures and painted the final few details on the model. Here are the latest pictures;

This now sits on my shelf, next to my other German Armoured Cars; my SdKfz 222 Light Armoured Car and my SdKfz 250/9 Half-Tracked Armoured Car. To complete my collection of German Armoured Cars, I would like to get Italeri's SdKfz 234/2 Puma.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Tamiya King Tiger Production Turret

I've finished the build of my Tamiya King Tiger Production Turret model. Yet another nice simple model to build; just how I like them! There was only one really fiddly part to the build, and that was cutting really thin strips of double sided tape to fix the mesh on the rear engine grill covers. Other than that, it was a straight forward build.

There was the option of applying 'Zimmerit', using polyester filler, to the hull and turret, but I chose not to apply it, instead I'll be depicting a late war tank which didn't have the Zimmerit applied in the factory. For those of you that don't know, Zimmerit was an anti-magnetic paste that was applied to German tanks, to prevent magnetic mines from being attached.

Here are the pictures of the build, I've still got to paint the model and I'll post more pictures when I complete this;

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Tamiya SdKfz 232 Schwerer PanzerSpahWagen 'Afrika Korps'

I've been working on my German Heavy Armoured Car for the last few days. It's another nice Tamiya model, a re-release of an older model, but with a 'twist'!
The re-released version now comes with a metal gun barrell to replace the old plastic one, and some nice photo-etched steel detail parts.
There is also a sprue of new parts to replace some of the old parts, and also includes a couple of nice new crew figures.
The paint schemes to be chosen from are a couple of Afrika Korps versions, a Balkan Peninsular version, and a Kursk Salient version. I chose to paint my model as the 1st of the Afrika Korps versions as I happen to have a reference picture of the actual vehicle in question in one of my books!

Here are some pictures of the build as it progressed;