MACO sWS Amoured Cab Variant Half-Track in 1/72 scale

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.

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Thank you eBay!

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………

 

Stone walls from Tiger Terrain

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.