I picked up this excellent book from the Book Depository for less than $20. I am currently working on stack of figures for my German forces from CP Models and AB Figures and needed some more inspiration for my camouflage uniforms.
Although aimed at the 1/35 scale figure modeler there is still a lot to like for the smaller scale hobbyist like me. And probably you too if you are reading this. The author details three or four different German SS figures and his process of building, converting, adding and finally painting. What he does with converting some of the figures and the detailing them with extras of his own is quite amazing. There are definitely tips and tricks to be learnt for the 1/72 scale figure modeler and painter from this book.
I was most interested in his guides for painting camouflage schemes. He does a great Oak Leaf, Plane Tree, Pea Dot and Italian camo on various 1/35 scale figures. It gives you an excellent guide to what colours to use and what patterns to apply. I will be trying this out on my pile of little guys soon when I get the chance. This book is a nice quick read but definitely worth adding to your library, especially if you are keen to keep perfecting those camo schemes.
I have been up to my neck building more German armour and have not managed to finish anything so posts have been a bit scarce this month! A Stug III and a Stug IV should be at the finishing line soon!
A very quick update on the other walls I bought from Tiger Terrain
You can buy this set to complete a walled paddock, including an open gate. I just glued them onto some MDF and added fine sand. Then just flocked and static grassed everything. I used the excellent rubbing a balloon trick to get the static grass to stand up once I had sprinkled it onto diluted PVA glue. I have all the eBay bits to make my own static grass applicator but have not got around to it quite yet.
The walls are great, very finely cast with great detail. I will be getting more of these for sure from Stephan at Tiger Terrain. I am hoping he expands his 20mm range to do some more stuff. I still have a small ruined cottage to paint from him, but it would be good to see some more buildings in this scale.
I finished up a couple more halftracks from Armourfast. These come two in a box and are really reasonably priced. But they do lack detail, especially in the one piece track and wheel area. But if you want some good value vehicles to bulk up the numbers then look no further. They go together in minutes and you can always dress them up with extras and crew.
So that’s what I did with these two. I had a spare Pak 36 gun from somewhere which I added to the top of one vehicle (I think it was a Plastic Soldier Company spare I had). This was teamed up with some Zvezda crew men from their 88mm gun kit. On reflection I would change the position of the crew as it looks a bit like they are doing a loading conga in the back of the half track. For the other vehicle I used my favourite AB figures for the crew, including a machine gunner and a couple of seated guys. Spent way too long doing the camo schemes again but it’s a fun past time.
I tried something new with my camouflage on the half tracks by first painting the green pattern in dark green with a brush, but then giving them a fine respray with my dunkelb spray can. It fades the camo quite nicely. Since I refuse to think about an airbrush this is as far as I will go without breaking my own strict modelling rules of engagement!
I wanted to buy some more alternative German vehicles that I could not find in plastic model kit form anywhere. One of the companies who make a few of these rarer vehicles is the Rapid Fire Ready to Roll Vehicles you can find here Rapid Fire. These were two Hotchkiss German SPGS, one 75mm and one 105mm. Also a halftrack with a Pak 40 75mm gun. Rapid Fire is a ruleset I have, but have not yet tried out yet. Their website is a great source for all sorts of things and worth a look.
Their vehicles come in resin and metal, with the tank barrels usually being in metal. They are pretty inexpensive and have a decent range of British, German and American vehicles. I haven’t seen so many other resin castings to compare them to, but i was pretty happy with the detail. They come on bases already moulded. All i had to do was file down a view bits here and there and then superglue the barrels onto the main chassis. Hey presto the vehicle is finished.
The open top SPGs and halftrack were crying out for some AB figures crew and so I happily obliged with a few guys in camp and black jackets. It took me about two weeks to finish off painting all the camp on the crew men due to the camo pattern i did on all their pants. Then of course, once they are in place in their vehicles you cannot see so much of all my painstaking spotty came schemes……… Plenty of photos below!
Sadly this model kit maker, I think from Germany, has stopped producing these kits anymore. So you’re only chance of picking one up is on eBay or some similar shop somewhere. I was lucky enough to grab four different MACO kits on eBay a while ago. There are really cool half tracks and some excellent anti aircraft vehicles too.
So I was itching to build one of these and picked out the sWS cargo halftrack to begin. My first observation is that it is a massive vehicle. I think a good metre or longer than the 251 series half tracks. The kit parts are amazing, delicate and detailed. The tracks are link and length and are probably the best tracks I have found so far in a small scale kit. I tend to glue the single links together and create a curve slowly before attempting to add them to the sprocket wheel. This worked well with this kit. The tracks are so nice and thin they bend easily to the running gear. Inside the cabin there is also a good amount of detail, and you could add your own driver or crew member if you wanted to. The roof hatch can also be modelled open. I left mine closed and didn’t add any crew. This is a fab little kit. I cannot wait to try out the other ones I have in my stash. Painting was just the usual dunkelb followed by a brown wash over gloss varnish. The tracks were base coated in german dark grey and then rusted with powders. I did quite a lot of sponge chipping and wearing using black, raw umber and red oxide. I may have slightly over done this part so my cargo half track does look like he has transported a lot of cargo. The only decals to add were number plates on the front and back. To finish it all off i added plenty of earth and sand powders.
All I can say if you can find a MACO kit anywhere you should buy at least one just to check them out. I hope maybe someone will pick up production again as they really are top notch.
Not anything new finished but just a shout out to the fantastic candy shop that is eBay. A nice lady in Canberra was selling off up to 300 model kits she said were gathering dust in her roof. I am not sure why so many, or maybe some of us just end up with a roof full of kits and don’t complete them in our life time. I can see that happening to be honest.
I picked up three vintage Esci kits for less than $10 each. In perfect condition even though they look like kits from the 1980s! They even have that musty old library book smell to them. I love the smell of old library books in the morning. The parts are all wrapped in plastic still, although the decals look as if they curled up and died a while back. So I added more German armour to my growing pile of kits!
My favourite thing was in the instructions, which really showed the age of these kits. To bend the towing cable to fit to your model the instructions instruct you to use a lit cigarette to heat and bend the plastic. You couldn’t do that these days. That was back when Steve McQueen smoked and it was cool. And it didn’t kill you. The good old days.
Anyway check out the illustration in the instructions. Brilliant. I am off to buy a pack of Benson and Hedges. Not sure they sell them in Australia. If they do Malcolm Turnbull is probably smoking one right now………
To complete my Normandy Church I needed to make a base with some nice stone walls. Looking around I wanted to try a new source for my church yard rather than making them myself. Tiger Terrain make some great looking buildings and scenery in 15mm/20mm scale and I decided to grab some of their rustic stone walls plus some tidier brick walls with stone capping and some entrance pillars.
Their buildings look great, and they have a nice looking range in 15mm plus a few in 20mm. I grabbed a small cottage in 20mm just to try them out. I think if i had my time over I would have made all my buildings with a smaller footprint so I could have used some of these excellent 15mm houses too. They look great.
My church base was cut from MDF and the stone walls glued straight on with PVA according to my plan of two gateways and just an open section. The walls are beautifully cast with no bubbles or defects and they fit together nicely. The detail is great. I threw a whole load of fine sand over PVA to give the base some texture. I then built up the pathways with more sand. Green flock followed by two shades of static grass finished things off. I used the balloon rubbing trick to get the static grass to wake up a bit. I am planning a home made static grass applicator but that will be another story sometime….
I was happy with the end result. My church can be a country church or you can take it off the base and just have in the middle of town instead. I wanted it to be an angle just to add some interest and make it a bit less asymmetrical…… in case you are wondering. My wife did.