Sherman Firefly 1/72 Scale

As soon as i had seen that this new Airfix version of the Firefly had been released i was all over it. Well i did check its relative size to my other armour and it works out to be matching size to Armourfast PSC and Unimodel Fireflies that i have. You never know with Airfix 1/72 or 1/76 and exactly what you are getting.

its a great little kit. The tracks are a nice one piece moulding that you place onto the running gear just like their Cromwell. Its a great design and much easier than all that link and length mullarkey. They also provide complete running gear and tracks in one piece which you can alternatively use. They have gone in my spares box to be used no doubt to replace some dodgy vinyl bollocks i am bound to find.

Other great touches are the lift rings that you glue up into the hull on larger fittings through a hole. Great design again rather than chasing tiny lift rings around in the carpet.

My additions were just some stowage and an aerial. Nice decals provided too. Building Airfix kits is always nostalgic but it was a nice surprise to find a new one on the market. Instant nostalgia!!! Here is my new Firefly hunting through some ruins you have seen before.

Esci Opel Blitz with AA Flak Gun

Another great vintage kit I found on eBay for a few pennies. Nicely worn cardboard smelt twenty years old, and the decals had long since passed into browny, crispy bits. As i have found with some of these older kits they really stand up even being twenty years old or more. This one was good fun to build and quite straight forward.

i made some adjustments mainly adding my own clear plastic windshield and also a driver who you cannot see anyway. I did manage to make a pigs ear of attaching the bonnet and had to cover my error with an extra shovel. Looks OK for a cover up. I decided the crew were setting up ready for action so i only dropped one side of the back. The decals came from my pile of spares. The crew are the excellent AB figures who i gave field grey jackets and pea dot camo pants. I did have to remove the back seat of the flak gun as the seated AB dude had his seat welded to his backside. I added a box or two, a panzerfaust and an SMG for some extra protection.

It’s my first bit of anti aircraft equipment for the Germans, but not the last as i have a heap of MACO kits i am saving up for a rainy day!

US GMC Trucks In 1/72 Scale

I am slowly building up some US forces and I really like building trucks. Especially these super cool US GMC trucks. I cannot help myself as far as trucks and armoured cars go. These guys come from Heller (Airfix) and Hasegawa. The Heller kit has finer detail and is more delicate. It comes with an excellent gun ring on the roof, and its dimensions are longer and thinner than the Hasegawa kits. The Japanese kits are very solid and chunky and very quick to build. You can get them super cheap direct from Japan. They do have weird metal axels which need super gluing otherwise the wheels rotate. I added windshields with plastic and also added some thin chains on the front fender as i had seen photos of this somewhere. My drivers are all AB Figures as usual. They are such cool trucks. I have an IBG Diamond Cargo Truck just arrived in tbe post which I am now itching to make!

Hovels Ruined Buildings in 1/72 Scale

I have had my eye on some of these buildings from hovels for a while. Finally succumbed to picking up two ruins, a cool bridge with a toll booth and a nice little church. Here are the two ruins to start with. They are both one piece light resin type material which is really easy to paint. I primed them in black and grey and then used acrylics for the terracotta red brick look. They do not have removable first floors so i made them their own bases to sit on which will let me lift up the buildings and place men underneath. The bases are made from MDF and covered in a plastic sheet with paving stones textured like pavement. These look the part and make a quick addition to any table. For quality, however, i think Sentry/Raventhorpe produce the best resin buildings out there!

RPM Staghound Armoured Car in 1/72 Scale

I think armoured cars are my favourite vehicles to build. Or maybe trucks. No armoured cars are….. I dont know but I love armoured cars. The Staghound is a great looking vehicle, and surprisingly hard to find plastic kits that recreate it. This one is from a company called RPM who do a range of Staghound variants. I found this one on eBay as usual, and did not have to look too far.

The kit was really nice to build, it reminded me of an IBG kit, with the excellent detail, a decent challenge, and not with really annoying tiny parts. I would have to say this model kit was one of my favourites up there with the IBG Otter that I built not too long ago. Turret hatches can be left open, which I did to maximise the use of an AB figures commander in the top. I added my own aerial and a little bit of stowage on the back. Overall olive drab paint job as normal. The decals are excellent and I think a choice of two different markings from what I remember. The big chunky wheels are a highlight, and there is no problem getting them aligned and level. The turret interior, and even the engines, are detailed if you can be bothered. I wasnt bothered as you will never get to see them anyway, but someone doing some kind of display might. You could also leave the side doors open and see the interior if you wanted to.

If you want to build a Staghound then go and get one of these. I loved it.

Airfix Forward Command Post

Another kit that screams my childhood at me. I spent a while hunting for this on eBay, and finally found one with a cheap freight all the way from Canada, which is a little bizarre. This version comes without the plastic base, even though the plastic base is very visible on the front of the box. The box smelt of old cardboard, which i love.

The kit has not changed. You get a small ruined house and a heap of extras. I decided to build my own base in the same style as the original. So out came a sheet of MDF on top of which i did a cobblestone pattern into clay for a road. I also made a pavement section with Metcalfe paving stones glued onto foamboard and sealed with plaster. I switched out the supplied sandbags and used my own sections from Value Gear which are much better. I added heaps of home made bricks and rubble, and created the same kind of lean-to with the corrugated iron sheets as you can see in the box art. Oh I had an old resin car that was added too round the back, plus i made some balsa wood shutters to add some depth. Painting was done with a black and grey undercoat and then various acrylics. I used loads of powders and dirt to weather the whole thing, plus some charcoal for the blast holes. I so enjoyed making this kit again after 40 years, the first time it was unpainted and manhandled around my ping pong table in every game i played. This time i will be more careful with it!

Zvezda Jagdpanther in 1/72 Scale

I keep building more German tanks that I do not really need. First one of 2021 and its another big cat the Jagdpanther. Zvezda make great little kits and this one is just as good as any of them. By nature this tank is a simple build as there is no turret and a lot of hull. I ignore the snap together potential of these kits and use glue as normal. The first one i built (a Tiger) the snapping mainly occurred involving bits that were not meant to snap. The axles and sprocket wheels mainly. So this must be my fifth or sixth Zvezda kit so I am getting very comfortable with their tracks, which are cleverly designed, but you do need to be careful with their construction as the connections onto the road wheels can be tight.

The side skirts are a bit thick and clunky with this kit so I replaced some bits of skirts with PE cast offs from another kit. I had to make a rail along the side out of plastic to support them. Only the lack of opening hatches is a disappointment, and if I was braver I would have a go at opening them up. This kit is up there with the Trumpeter Jadgpanther in quality and detail.

I gave him a hand painted camo scheme with a nice bright German camo green and the usual dirt and dust.

CP Models British Squad and Tank Crew in 20mm Scale

I keep on buying more British infantry for my forces. I do not really need to, but when has that been a logical reason to stop buying cool figures. CP Models produce a huge range of figures, and their World War Two ranges are my second favourite behind AB Figures. Great details and easy to paint. They pretty much paint themselves. These guys are a five man squad of British tommies and a four man vehicle crew. I used my usual colours for British Army and tank crew. I do not like the slot plastic bases provided so I snip off most of the metal and glue them into modelling clay on a 10 cent piece. So here is another squad wandering through a quiet paddock and an armoured car crew stretching their legs. I think a Daimler crew is actually only three men, but let’s not make a big deal out of that……

Hasegawa Daimler Mk II Armoured Car in 1/72 scale

Another great British Armoured Car I picked up from the best place for Hasegawa kits – my friends in Japan https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/plamo/

From Australia these Hasegawa kits only cost 810 yen which i think is about 7-8 USD, and postage for three kits is about the same. So a pretty good deal and way better value than buying these kits from any other retailer. I really liked the Humber Armoured Car kit they make, and needed a couple of Daimlers for sure. This kit is in the usual grey plastic which is really easy to work with. Not too many pieces either which always makes these Hasegawa kits perfect for an evening of easy model making. Most importantly for me is that everything fits together and instructions are clear and easy to follow. Plenty of good detail in this scale and easily enough for my purpose of putting them on my table top.

My Daimler had a couple of additions, including an aerial, a pickaxe on the front and a hatchet on the back. Also some stowage items added on the back and sides. He received an olive drab paint job as usual, but I don’t think I bothered with a brown wash this time. I do a gloss varnish coat where I am placing my decals and also use a decal softener which does help with blending the decals into the paint work. As with all my wheeled vehicles I like to base them on MDF bases to prevent any damage. Some European earth weathering powder makes Mr Daimler look well used. I still do not bother with any chipping or other effects on green vehicles as i am not sure it really adds much. I really enjoyed making this kit and next up have a Staghound Armoured Car from a company called RPM which is new to me. Hopefully it’s just as good!

Revell PzKpfw V Ausf G

I picked up another bargain Panther kit on eBay, I think this one came from France for a few Euros. Not that I needed another Panther, it is just hard for me to resist a bargain. Especially a big cat bargain. So now I have nine completed Panthers (4 Plastic Soldier Company, 2 Zvezda, 1 Esci, 1 Dragon, 1 Revell). Which is more than enough for any battle. Although I have almost finished a Hasagewa Panther too – so that will make ten. So no more Panthers. At least I can say I have a good grasp of Panther tank kits in 1/72 scale.

Revell always make good kits. This one is also good, except for the weird looking turret. The size and shape of the turret is a bit too tall compared to other kits. Not that it is very noticeable. The hatches can be left open which is nice for those of us who will place a commander in the hatch. I added an aerial and left off the schurtzen. The tracks are great link and length and not crappy vinyl. The decals are excellent and they give you enough for a couple of vehicles, so I used the others on my previous Zvezda Panther. The tank commander is an AB figure as usual as they are the best!

Really enjoyed building this kit, and its only the slightly weird turret that is a negative. If you can find a good deal on eBay it is well worth it. One day I will line up all the Panthers together so we compare and contrast.