Airfix Bofors 40mm gun and tractor

Another trip down memory lane with this Airfix kit. I had this as a teenager and was built and played with unpainted and I am sure ended up significantly damaged probably to the point of total destruction. The kit is advertised as 1/76 but seems to fit in perfectly well with all my other stuff and certainly does not seem small.

It’s an Airfix kit that still stands the test of time and was really fun to build. I love the tractor as its quite a unique vehicle that you cannot find anywhere else but this kit. It’s a nice easy build and there were no issues whatsoever, something you cannot always say about old Airfix kits. The only thing i can really criticise is the crew and driver supplied which are all poor figures and need to be replaced. So i turned as usual to AB figures who produce an excellent Bofors crew, plus an extra driver. These guys fit very nicely and are a great improvement on the original plastic rubbish.

I found this kit on eBay for pennies, which is a great place for finding old Airfix kits, often for under $10 a pop. My copy looked like it was from the 1980s so i was surprised that the decals actually worked. My personal favourite is the RAF circular symbol that you can slap on the tractor roof to avoid any untoward friendly fire.

I added plenty of muddy weathering powders to everything creating quite a dusty looking combo. I also modelled the gun in firing position but also kind of towing still so it looks OK either way in a game. I didn’t feel like building two kits, one for towing and one for firing. I also picked up an old Esci 25 per to go with a box of Plastic Soldier Company 25 pars to make up an artillery regiment. Might do that next!

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Normandy Church scratch build in 1/72 scale

I have been busy working on my final building for my Normandy village. After hunting around everywhere looking at purchasing a church for my village it was decided that the only way to go was to build my own. So here is L’Eglise de Moutarde Forte in all its glory. I made the structure out of 3mm foam board glued together with PVA. If you use dressmaking pins to keep it all together while the glue dries that will help.

Once you have built the shell with all the window and door apertures cut out, I gave it good thick coating of plaster. I use the ready made stuff from Bunnings and just slap it on with my hands. A good sanding down with sandpaper and then I laboriously carve the brickwork using my Chinese etching tool ($10 on ebay and a few batteries later…) It helps to leave the structure apart for this stage otherwise its hard to carve your stonework into the corners. This part was very time consuming and probably took me a week or more doing some scribing every day. Tedious. But worth it. I added some buttresses for extra detail. These were foam board coated and carved as before.

Now my one problem area was the windows. Making nice arches with delicate window settings was close to impossible. After a lot of research I found a company in the USA that does exactly the right thing in exactly the right size for my project. Rusty Stumps make all sorts of modelling goodies, I think aimed at model railway people more than wargamers, but still will give you many great options for building your own stuff! Walt, who runs the place was super helpful and even posted my chosen windows to an address in the states, as we happened to be there on holiday. I bought two sheets of windows, some thicker, some thinner, and used all of them in my church.¬†They are super thin MDF and very delicate. So I was very careful in gluing them and their accompanying frames behind the apertures I had cut, after I had scribed all my bricks. Once they were glued in securely I went around and filled any small gaps with extra plaster. The Rusty Stump windows also come with thin plastic windows to glue behind the frames if you like. I didn’t bother as I was happy enough with the effect.

The spire roof, main roof and smaller front roof are all removable. Made out of thick card on foam board supports. Then its old Christmas cards recycled to make slates glued in strips. Again, another time consuming process, but worth the effort.

The whole thing was base coated in grey primer. Just make sure you have given any foam board edges a coat of PVA glue otherwise you may find spray paint dissolving stuff. I used various light brown, light grey, yellows and ochres for the stone work, and paynes grey in various shades for the roof. The roof was also given small stippled patches of yellow ochre and pale green for mossy bits, plus some weathering powders streaked in brown and earth.

Now he is finished and I can actually get on and set up my whole village ready for battle.