Roden 1/72 German Sd Kfz 231 Eight Wheeled Armored Car

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another German vehicle finished this week, but this time one of their excellent eight wheeled armoured cars. This kit is from Roden, who do a good range of all the eight wheeled armoured cars and other lesser known vehicles. I bought this one from my friends at Metro Hobbies. Its a funny looking vehicle but will come in very handy for reconnaissance and scouting missions.

The kit is fun to build with most of the challenge coming in building the under carriage. The wheels and axles and suspension are done in this soft black plastic which I found quite tricky to work with. I manage to snap one axle without much effort, and found it difficult to get the wheel alignment nice and straight. Four wheels each side means there is a fair bit of aligning to do. Apart from that I lost a light to the carpet monster and struggled a little with the mirrors and other bits on the hull.

On reflection I think I should have painted this German grey and then done some highlighting to try and pick out more of the details on the vehicle. Doing a green camo stripe type thing seems to lose a lot of the detail and leaves him looking a bit boxy and flat. Anyway I have two more versions of this eight wheeler in the box so next time I will try something different.

Apologies for the fuzzy photos, blame my crappy camera phone……….

 

 

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Dragon Models 1/72 StuG.III Ausf.F

I completed another Dragon StuG kit this week. It coincided with another delivery from Dragon Models in the USA. I have found them a great source for cheaper Dragon kits and if you buy three or four kits the postage from the US to Australia is only USD 12. Great value I think. They always have discounted kits and promotions on their website, so its well worth checking out. You can usually find stuff at USD 8-10 per kit which is a bargain I think for Dragon Kits. Have a look at Dragon Models USA

So onto my latest StuG kit. Its one of the new Dragon quick build models, so very easy to put together. The tracks are one piece affairs which fit around the sprocket and drive wheels. The whole kit has minimal pieces, and being a turret less tank, even fewer than normal. I still feel a little disappointed with such an easy, fast build for a Dragon kit, but the end result is still a very nicely detailed vehicle. I guess I was happy to spend more time on the painting and decorating this time. If you can find these type of kits for less than USD 10 then I think its good value. If you want a more complicated and challenging model I would be buying Trumpeter or Unimodel versions.

I kept this one a plain dunkelb yellow, but tried out some more chipping affects with a sponge. I used a black, a brown and a rust colour, and ended up overdoing the chips. I think its very easy to over do it. So I painted over some of the panels with more dunkelb and it seemed to fix the problem. Every where I read that with chipping and scratching less is always more! I think I proved a point. Lots of mud and dirt and dust with various powders and pastes was added. I then lined up my new StuG with two other friends (one a Trumpeter kit and the other another Dragon). Nice looking unit read for action.

 

 

 

The Plastic Soldier Company Loyd Carriers in 1/72 scale

Bren carriers and Loyd carriers were a crucial small tracked vehicle in World War Two and were needed in my army to tow 6 pounder guns. There are limited options in plastic for these vehicles. Luckily the Plastic Soldier Company produce a box of Loyd Carriers with accompanying 6 pounders. They also make an excellent box of three Bren Carriers in a box, which I have waiting in line somewhere. Your only other options are the excellent IBG models who make a very detailed bren carrier, one of which I have stashed away for another day too. You could look to the old Airfix 1/76 scale version but I get the feeling they will look too small and a bit dated compared to anything else.

These are excellent, simple kits, but are packed with detail. You get a bunch of stowage and crew men which you can do whatever you want with. The canvas tilts are optional, so if you want to spend more time on the crew and interior you can, and leave the tilt off. I put three crew in each vehicle and didn’t glue the tilts on, so I can take them off if I feel like it! Everything fits together beautifully, except for the front tool box which takes a bit of guesswork as to where to fix it.

I used olive drab for the hull and khaki drab for the tilt. You do not get decals with the kit so I used some from my pile, including some Airfix numbers which are really handy. A brown wash, some dry brushing, then the usual powders for dust and dirt finished them off. Due to their small size I did mount them on 3mm MDF, but you probably don’t need to as they are pretty sturdy.

The two 6 pdr guns in my photos are actually from Early War Miniatures and not the guns you get with the Loyd carriers. I am saving the PSC 6 pdrs to put in firing positions with their crew on a separate base. When they are finished I will blog them too. These EWM guns I wanted to use when they are being towed around. I decided I really wanted anti tank guns in firing positions and also towing positions. It just doesn’t look right with a vehicle towing a fully crewed gun in a firing position!

For a comparison I also finished off two resin Loyd Carriers from the Ready To Roll range of vehicles from Rapid Fire.  You can see how much smaller these are, and to be honest they don’t really match up to the accuracy and detail of the PSC kits. At four pounds a pop the resin kits are no better value.

More AB Figures British Infantry in 1/72 scale

Some more finished British Infantry for my Northumbrian division. It takes me so long to paint the little fellas, I have to write myself a step by step list to work through slowly. So this group of fifteen good men must have taken me two weeks to finish off.

First off is a group of six from my ever expanding AB figures range. These are my favourite to paint, the detail and sculpting makes it easier at this scale. I particularly like the officer, his sten gun thrown over his shoulder, pulling a pin out of a pineapple grenade. Great stuff.  Next up are four guys from CP Models in the UK. Another great figure maker and also nice and clear to paint. One soldier is carrying a fuel can and another has pinched a panzerfaust from somewhere. I have a few more excellent British from CP which will be in my next painting batch.

The other figures are from SHQ Miniatures and a company i can’t remember the name of. SHQ are a bit smaller, but still fit fine with everyone else. Their faces are brilliant, but the rest of the figure does not quite match AB and CP. Still nice figures and good for padding out your platoons with some other poses. The figure that I cannot remember where i got him from does not measure up to the others standards. So you don’t need to worry about that then!

If you are looking for metal figures in 1/72 scale then AB Figures (i get mine from Eureka Miniatures in Melbourne) and CP models in the UK, are the best for you!

“Churchill Tanks” by Dennis Oliver

Another excellent publication from Pen And Sword’s Tank Craft series arrived for me before Christmas and it has taken me a while to sit down properly and give it my full attention.

The Churchill tank is another iconic armoured vehicle from World War Two. Its unique boxy shape and tracks make it one of the more unusual looking tanks from the war. It was also developed into various different engineering models,  including a bridge layer and flamethrower version.

Dennis Oliver covers every aspect of the Churchill in great detail and this is a good book for anyone with a historical, modelling or wargaming interest in the tank. He goes through the use of the vehicle in all of its units at the back end of the war. I particularly like the details on individual tank names that were used and that’s something I plan to adopt when i am building my next Churchills. The historical details are accompanied by numerous excellent illustrations and photographs, more great inspiration for whatever you want to do.

There is also a comprehensive guide to the various choices modellers have to build their own Churchill kit in most scales. This is aimed more at 1/35 scale modellers but inspiring none the less for everyone. There are more great pictures of completed kits by highly skilful modellers. I love reading about and looking at tanks, so if you are like me you will like this book!

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Dragon Models Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.F2 (G) in 1/72 scale

Dragon Models in the USA had a 40% off sale back on Superbowl Sunday and I could not resist picking up some more kits with such a big discount! Some German big cats that came out at USD 6 a kit with such a decent discount. If you buy four kits from the USA the shipping is still only USD 18 total to Australia so it ended up being a great shopping deal. Now Dragon kits are usually a treat for me as you can pay more for them but it’s worth it as the complexity and detail can be considerably better than other model producers. This particular kit Dragon have aimed at simplifying everything, and its a bit of a disappointment to be honest.

They have started doing the wheels and tracks as one piece parts that you just add onto the lower hull onto the drive and sprocket wheels. The number of parts has been drastically reduced so the model can be built in really quick time. So they are definitely aiming for more of a wargamers’ market I think. The detail is nice but its all moulded on. The Panzer IV is a simple tank anyway, so I found this build a bit easy and the tank came out really plain. As a direct comparison I had just finished my Hasegawa Jagdpanzer kit which was much more of a challenge and had far better detail.

You can see I have put my Dragon Panzer next to my other Panzer IVs to complete the troop. The other kits are two Armourfast and one Esci. There is no difference between the Dragon Kit and the Armourfast ones, except perhaps the track and wheel detail is better on the Dragon one. The Esci kit is a real pain to build (for pain read challenge), but in hindsight comes out the best, with its cool side skirts and extra armour. Pricewise I would only be buying this Dragon kit if you can find a super deal at USD 6-8 per kit, otherwise you may as well just buy cheaper quick build kits from Armourfast or Plastic Soldier Company.

Photos follow with the Dragon kit on its own, plus hanging out with his troop buddies. The other Panzer IV kits are detailed in other posts on my blog. I think I will try a Hasegawa Panzer IV next and maybe get another Esci/Italeri one just for the hell of it!

 

 

Extra Foliage Branches Camouflage for tanks

I wanted to create some extra foliage branches to cover up my German armour. It was a common practice where tank crews would cut branches and drape them and tie them onto their armoured vehicles. Using small bits of lichen I just dipped them into some PVA and then flocked using various different greens. A spray with some varnish kept the whole thing together. Rather than glue these onto my vehicle (in this case my latest Jagdpanzer) I just rested them on there so I can choose to camo up or not! I think they came out quite well and will definitely keep the assault gun under cover behind some tasty bocage. I made plenty of these extra foliage branches so I can use them on whole units. My troop of Panzer IVs were just completed and will be blogged next up with and without extra camo.