Sunday, 17 February 2019

S-Model 1/72 Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B - Kitn. PS720096 - more things to do with your S-Model kits - building the Pz.Kpfw. I Ohne Aufbau and Instandsetzungskraftwagen

One of the great things with S-Model kits is that you get two kits in one box. For a wargamer this is always a bonus but it also gives you the opportunity to play around with some of those factory or field made variants.

Both the Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B Ohne Aufbau (means "without superstructure") and the Instandsetzungskraftwagen (means "Repairvehicle") were build in factory versions as well as field made versions. And both versions also appeared in the earlier PzKpfw. I Ausf. A.

Pz.Kpfw. I Auf. B Ohne Aufbau

Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B Instandsetzungskraftwagen - with French tracked trailer
The "Ohne Aufbau" version was used for training panzer crews and the "Instandsetzungskraftwagen" was used by maintenance personel and to some extent engineer troops.

Building or converting these versions from the excellent S-Model kit (reviewed a couple of times on this blog) was pretty straight forward. I am by no means a constructor modeller so every time I enter this field I feel very uncomfortable - and I instinctively rush my projects. Well, this is how it is and I'm fine with that.

First of all I cut off the superstructure and I filled the holes on the side fenders with plastic card and putty. Being a sloppy builder I didn't bothrer to reconstruct the tread pattern - nice touch though if you don't mind the extra work.

From here it was pretty easy going (to me at least); I added (scratchbuild) the engine firewall, drive shaft, engine, seat, etc. to a level of detail that I can accept. Again adding more detail and stuff would make a better model.

The S-Model kit has no air intake louvres - the easy way is to cut these carefully with a hobby knife
I also added those louvres on the engine deck because these are an essential part of the Ausf. B - and really something that the S-Model guys easily could have molded.

One more thing I did was to drill two small holes in each segment of the tracks in order to make these look more like those skinny Pz.Kpfw. I tracks.

So after a lot of sanding and filling I was satisfied with the result - I was sure I had taken some pictures from this proces but again probably not (I don't enjoy building very much..).

This is the "Ohne Aufbau" version after a coating of Tamiya XF-24 Dark Grey and a light wash of Tamiya Black Panelliner but before further weatering. Those extra rivets on the inside are from Archer Transfers. Check out that pretty green tool box with alien-type writing.

And this is the "Instandsetzungskraftwagen" also after Tamiya Dark Grey + Black Panelliner. I have added some scratchbuild stuff, leadfoil tarpaulins and extra jerry cans. Perhaps these guys were moving spare parts for some Stugs further down the line.

All I did after this was doing a bit of weathering - especially on the "Instandsetzungskraftwagen" which also got a field made windscreen.

And that was it... I - sort of - enjoyed these two small conversions. But I have to work with my inner-builder-modellist - for sure...

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Zvezda 1/72 Russian Foot Artillery 1812-1814 - Kit No 8022 - Build and Paint Review

Again Zvezda has made a nice little gem; the 1/72 scale Russian Foot Artillery from around the final years of the Napoleonic wars.

The box is very nicely detailed and shows exactly what you get in the box - especially on the back you see some nice painting suggestions. This kit contains four green sprues; three of which are identical with seven soldiers two horses and one canon. And one last sprue with an officer and two limbers.

There is very little flash or seam lines - however what is there needs to be cleaned off which takes quite some time with these tiny miniatures.

Poses are nice but three sprues with the exact same poses seems a bit weak. By the way this plastic (the usual from Zvezda 1/72 minis) doesn't take glue of any kind. So if you want to convert any of the poses you have to pin the parts first.

Whats even worse is the fact that this plastic (and many other plastic soldiers) don't take paint very well either. If you are not careful even the slightest touch may chip the paint. I have tried many different methods but still haven't found the right solution (white glue, lots of different primers, varnishes of all sorts etc). So do be careful...

When I tried to attach the limbers to the horses LOTS of paint got chipped off because of a rather bad fit. My mistake - but even so quite annoying.

Painting these miniatures I primarily went for Humbrol enamels for the soldiers and oils for the horses.

A note on the guns: Zvezda wants these gun to be 12 Pounders but they look more like 6 Pounders.

Further the 12 Pounders were drawn by 6 horses and the 6 Pounders by four horses.

I enjoyed this little project very much - getting away from those AFVs for a while - and especially the chance to dive into uniforms and history is almost therapeutic. There is nothing to say about these models except they are very nice and highly recommended to anyone. The only drawback is that special type of plastic.

Recommended reading:

Kevin F. Kiley, Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars - great reading with some beautiful art works

Terence Wise, Artillery Equipments of the Napoleonic Wars - nice introduction

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Airfix 1/76 88mm Gun & Sd.Kfz.7 Tractor KitNr A02303 - short review with lots of dust

Lets face it; Christmas time is a time for nostalgia and is there anything better than to just sit down with a very old Airfix kit and just enjoy.

I found this Airfix 1/76 scale 88mm with Tractor at the local flea market and it just said "take me home, please". I know this kit is ancient like from around the album Sgt. Pepper's but I needed something to try a more massive desert weathering on.

The box contains around 100 sand coloured parts that were amazing 50 years ago. Personally I like that Airfix still sell these kits which gives younger modellers a great opportunity to get into modelling at an ok cost. And old chaps get a chance to chill...

The model is pretty decent but there is some flash, mold lines, ejector marks etc. and detailing - of course - is rather simple. The model went together without any problems at all which I think is quite impressive after so many years. Also a very big plus in my book is the expert service you get when you buy models form Airfix (the Airfix Forum, Spares Team etc.). And another big plus is the fact that Airfix actually is releasing some of these old kits in new toolings (new molds, decals and so on). This kit however is the same as it was half a century ago...

I painted the whole model with Tamiya Dark Yellow - I wanted to paint it in Humbrol enamels to keep it really nostalgic but unfortunately I was out of Humbrol DAK colours. However I did use Humbrol enamels for the tires, seats, rust, chipping and metals (Metalcote).

I wanted this model to look like it has been hit by a sandstorm so I liberally applied my home made clay wash.

Well the result is quite dusty. Further I wanted to try out different techniques on this wash using cotton buds, brushes, tooth picks, hairspray and so on but being a 1/76 scale model you quickly run out of space.

Anyway there you have it; the good old Airfix 1/76 scale 88mm Gun with Sd.Kfz.7 Tractor. I enjoyed building and painting this model and I would still recommend it to young modellers as decent introduction to the artillery/softskin genre and the nice Airfix modelling community. Compared to 1/72 scale this model IS smaller but it could be of good use in a diorama setting.