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!!!

Vespid Models A34 Comet in 1/72 Scale

Vespid is a new brand for me so it could be a new brand altogether. They seem to make only a couple of kits so far and this Comet caught my eye. It was not a cheap kit but it was worth every penny from wherever I found it. The comet was a design based I think on the Cromwell but with a more powerful gun. It certainly looks very like the predecessor to the Centurion – the turret especially. The kit was awesome to build and I really cannot fault anything about it. They supply it with a metal gun barrel, a resin gun mantle cover (which I did not use) and a few PE parts. I managed all the PE parts except the small aerial which ended up as ball of superglued mess and in the bin. Lots of fun. They also supply a large range of decals for various tanks. All I added was my own aerial due to the above PE debacle and the compulsory AB figures commander. Vespid also make a Panther which I am very tempted to buy now!!!

Dragon Models Sd.Kfz.251.C & 3.7cm PaK 35/36

I finished a German halftrack this week. Another excellent Dragon Models hanomag type towing a small anti tank gun. Dragon make super little kits. Maybe more expensive but well worth it for what you get. Great detail, great moulding and everything fits together perfectly. All it was missing was a driver. So I added one, and you can barely see him anyway once he is seated in the drivers seat. Interior detail of this kit was especially nice, there are rifles stored behind the seats, and the rear door mechanism is pretty cool. The anti tank gun is verging on the over fiddly and was a little frustrating to build. Do not attempt this if you live in a carpeted establishment. Your tiny bits may go AWOL. The MGs on the half track are particularly nice, but delicate. The tracks are one piece rubbery stuff which glue very easily. I think link and length is too fiddly for a small tracked vehicle like this so Dragon made a good choice. I definitely needed to base this guy due to the number of delicate parts (aerials, lights, MGs etc) and the AT gun especially needs extra strength. I painted him in a yellow with dark green camo stripes, a little chipping with a sponge and then plenty of dirt and dust.

Marmon Herrington Armoured Car by Attack Kits in 1/72 Scale

I keep building armoured cars at the moment. British armoured cars. I think this Marmon Herrington did not feature in Normandy or the later part of the war, but I saw a bargain and could not help buy one. It is a fun little model, and definitely one of the original armoured cars, looking very much like a car with some armour attached! My previous experience with Attack kits had not been pleasant. This one was much better. Some of the detail was a bit soft, I was tempted to redo the lines on the bonnet as i had read a review where someone had replaced these with plastic card. But then I didn’t bother. The machine gun on the side of the car sits in a ball and socket type joint, and the hole is too big for the ball so you need to enlarge the ball a bit so it stays in place. I used some putty to clog it up. I added my own plastic aerial as the model does not come supplied with one. Not much else to tell you, it was a nice simple build which I enjoyed making. He will be added to my lengthening line of armoured cars, although i don’t suppose he will be much use for anything. Some officer will probably use it to pop down to the shops for a loaf of bread rather than risking life and limb in it. Oh the decals were good – i just mixed up the ones I liked so the car gets a cool name along the bonnet.

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.

IBG Models Bofors Gun Tractor in 1/72 Scale

I finished another very cool truck from the Polish company IBG Models. This time a towing vehicle for the British Bofors anti aircraft gun. I always enjoy building their kits and they do produce a wide variety of different models at very decent value. My only criticism is sometimes the parts have too many connection points and removal and clean up can be annoying. This one was also a bit tricky getting the cab put together as lining everything up is more a trial and error thing rather than having specific guide holes or slots. I added a driver as they do not supply one. You have to have someone in control! I used normal cement glue on the windows and windscreen which was not good enough and my windshield fell in after i had completed the kit. So i suggest using super glue instead…..

I wanted to do the mickey mouse camo scheme which is one of my favourites. I also added two relaxed looking passengers in the back, from AB figures as usual. This was a fun build and an excellent addition to my growing fleet of British vehicles.

Zvezda 20mm German Flak Gun in 1/72 Scale

This was a tiny quick build from Zvezda. I like their little kits as they are really handy for filling holes in your forces cheaply and quickly. Only a few bits but those bits are nicely detailed. This one only took me a few minutes to assemble. You need to leave the seated gunner off until everything is painted. I added an Esci spare officer i had pointing at something probably a badger appearing in the hedgerows. I put the whole thing on a small MDF base with some Value Gear sandbags. Here they are defending a ruined house with their tow and a Puma scuttling past in the background.

Revell Sd Kfz 7/1 in 1/72 Scale

I am slowly getting through my pile of kits and have had my eye on this one for a while. I recently made an old Esci AA gun on the back of an Opel Blitz, and this was another in my stash of Anti Aircraft vehicles. Revell make very nice model kits which are always excellent to build and this was no different.
This is an armoured halftrack with a quadruple 20mm gun on the back. You can model the gun in firing position with the sides of the halftrack lowered into a flatbed or leave them up in travel mode. I left my sides up as if the vehicle was on the move.

The kits is very nicely moulded and has good detail. The tracks are particularly nice and although the instructions say put them in warm water before attaching to the wheels, i didnt need to. They are flexible plastic and in one piece, which again makes a change from nasty rubber or vinyl, or fiddly link and length.
I did have to drill a few holes for some the external details and you do have to drill a few holes in the back of the halftrack too. The trailer at the back is a nice easy build and i added a few bits of stowage on the top. Be really careful with the gun barrels as they are very delicate, you can probably get metal replacements somewhere.
Its a fun kit to build and would look excellent in firing position with some crew firing it.

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.

Cromwell Tanks from Armourfast, Revell and Airfix

I have spent the past couple of weeks finishing up six Cromwell tanks. Three from Armourfast, two from Airfix and one Revell kit. This will finish up my required Cromwell units for Normandy. I think thirteen Cromwells is more than enough for any battle! These are made up of eight from Armourfast (including one with a Black Dog hessian camo turret), three from Revell and two from Airfix. They are all crewed with figures from the fantastic AB Figures range.

The Armourfast kits are super cheap and come two in a box, but they do need some dressing up to make them a bit more interesting. I added some aerials, hedge cutters, headlight guards, spot lights, extra tools and stowage. This definitely helps them look more interesting as they come in only a few parts. The hatches can be modelled open or closed which is always handy for adding crew. Decals I used from my endless supply of spares and do not intend to reflect any particular unit. Scale wise they match up well with the Revell kits but are significantly larger than the Airfix Cromwell (advertised as 1/76 scale). When i lined them up altogether you do not really notice the big difference in size, but i am not as pedantic as some. Value for money you cannot really go wrong with Armourfast.

The Revell Cromwell kit is fantastic. This was my third build of this model and it remains the best. I think it is also getting hard to find around the place as I really had to hunt for this one. Plenty of detail and matches the Armourfast kits perfectly in scale. If you can find a kit on line I would be snapping them up

Lastly the Airfix kit is a really nice little tank. It is 1/76 scale so does look a bit smaller, but if you make a complete unit with the same model no one will ever know. See if you can spot the smaller tanks in the photos below. I particularly like their track design with one piece tracks fitting around the road wheels, no stretching or link and length stuff. Easy to build and look really good. Cromwells are great looking tanks and I am happy to have finished this unit now ready for action!