AB Figures British Infantry in Camouflage Smocks

This isolation business is really doing wonders for my output. I have almost got through painting all my British infantry who will make up a full company of men. This is another squad from the fantastic AB Figures range. British infantry walking, running, carrying a fuel can, patrolling, and armed with rifles, a couple of SMGs and a bren. The difference with this squad is that they are wearing camouflage smocks. This made a great change from the usual uniforms I have been painting. Looking on the AB Figures web site I used their painted example as a guide. So the camo smocks were a dark yellow base with patches of red brown and bright green, a bit like a German tank. Pants were painted the usual British army khaki. It all still took me ages to do but luckily I have plenty of time these days. After looking at some amazing painting of AB Figures faces in this tiny scale I am trying to do a bit more with the faces. Trying to do a base coat, a wash, then two lots of highlights. It seems to work better. It just takes longer………..

These guys are still waiting for their bases to be finished with flock and tufts. I have another squad also completed so I will get all the bases done together and post the two finished squads.

 

Esci Sdkfz 250/3 and 250/9 in 1/72 scale

Another two old Esci kits I bought on eBay for not very much. They were both pretty old kits and I managed to buy two of the 250/9’s and one 250/3. As usual with Esci kits of this age the little tracks were wonderful vinyl that would not bend, but rather snap into little pieces at the slightest hint of movement. So the first step was to find replacement tracks as none of my lessons for Esci vinyl tracks I have previously learned could be applied here. Luckily on eBay again I found a ready supply of rubber track for this little armoured car, so I picked up four sets for only $10 or so. Its amazing what you can find these days. If you need it, you can almost always find it, and have it delivered to your door. Very lucky in the current climate.

So onto the kits themselves! I cannot say that I enjoyed making either of these little vehicles. The plastic is old and brittle and did not take plastic cement at all well. They are not complicated but so bits didn’t fit well and didn’t glue well. The wheels especially were very tricky to get square. Even super glue did not really cope with the plastic. So I would recommend avoiding these particular old Esci kits if I were you. There must be plenty more versions these days that are a million times better!

Once I had managed to build them I added some aerials and a bit of stowage here and there and painted them in a two tone camo scheme. The original decals were long gone so I used replacements. They came up OK after all the painting and basing, but there was a sigh of relief when I finished them. You get what you pay for sometimes…….

Dapol Girder Bridge HO/OO Scale

I needed another bridge. I have two home made country bridges but really wanted an old rusty looking girder bridge. Down the road I want to add a railway line onto my table top so a girder bridge would be perfect for that. Dapol make a very cheap range of plastic terrain aimed more at railway modellers. Their buildings are too small for 1/72 scale wargaming, in my opinion, but this bridge is perfect. It is 32cm long and wide enough to take a medium tank (Sherman etc). It makes it easy on creating a rule for what weight it can withstand. If the tank is too wide for the bridge then it is too heavy for the bridge.

I think I bought this direct from Dapol at their web site Dapol Girder Bridge

It is a simple model, with three main bits, two sides and a bottom. Plus some struts to link the tops. There is some decent detail showing lots of rivets. I had a lot of fun painting this up. A solid undercoat of matt black, then a spray of red brown. Then i attacked it with buckets of track rust and light rust weathering powders. Using a really wrecked brush i stippled more black back on top, plus a wash of brown on top of that. I think I even went again with more rusty powder. I wanted a really old rusty effect so spent some time adding more and more. The colour and texture came out quite nicely and even looks like peeling paint in some places.

I also made some quite steep roads for each end so I can place my bridge over a river. I used polystyrene on MDF bases coated with plaster for good strong and light results.

Here you can see a cautious advance from a Dingo Scout Car backed up by a half track and a Humber armoured car.

 

 

 

 

Revell King Tiger in 1/72 scale

Ooh so as working from home continues, working on model kits also continues at a feverish pace, if you will excuse the term in the current pandemic. I bought this Revell King Tiger from eBay for not much as it was missing a box and decals. No box means cheaper postage anyway I guess too. Win win.

Boxart Tiger II Ausf. B Production Turret 03129 Revell

This is a great kit. So much in a tank kit boils down to their treatment of tracks. This monster of a tank has excellent link and length tracks. They are nice big track links to begin with, but very easy to put together. I always start with multiples of two and around the sprocket wheel. The running gear and tracks you can make as two units before attaching them both, left and right, to the lower hull. Wheels are individual but are easy to get nice and straight. You can model the hatches open or closed which is always nice when you want to put in a couple of AB figures tank crew like me.

A few tow cables for the sides look good. There is also some spare track to put on the turret, but they don’t include hooks. So I added some of my own just by gluing small squares of plastic card where the hook would stick out. I left the spare tracks off until I had painted the turret so the rusty effects would not interfere.

For painting I loosely followed the plans in an excellent book i have called “How To Paint 1:72 Military Vehicles – The Weathering Special”. They actually use the Tiger II for one chapter so I went through the majority of the techniques in the book. Another guide to painting that I can really recommend.

weathering172_01.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

I chopped off some of the side guards for battle damage, like they had in the book, and copied best I could the colour schemes. Lots of chips, dirt, mud and grime using various sponges, powders and other products. AB tank commanders to finish him off. Great little kit and great fun to spend a bit longer on the paint job and all the weathering effects.