My Tiger tank regiment is expanding. I love making German armour, especially the big cats. I have made the Revell and Zvezda Tigers, but this time i tried out the Hasegawa kit. You can buy this kit for 810 yen direct from a Tokyo hobby shop which works out at around $10 Australian, so its a pretty good deal. They have the whole Hasegawa range all at between 810 – 1100 yen, so i am sure i will end up buying all the kits at some point. The Hasegawa Puma Armoured car is a particularly nice kit.
The kit comes in Hasegawa’s usual grey plastic which is really easy to work with. I had no issues with any of the kit and it was quite simple to put together. There are few holes to fill so you need some kind of modellers putty or something to fill and then a fine sand paper to finish them off. The shovel on the front of the tank is also meant to be removed but i really didn’t see the point. I had a bit of trouble lining up the two halves of the turret so be careful with that step as mine came out a little wonky. Hatches can be modelled open or closed which is always good news as you can choose to crew or not to crew. My previous Tigers had no commanders so i left my hatches open and added a couple of AB figures tank commander and henchman types.
I left the tank tracks off until after painting the main tank so i could paint and rust up the tracks before attaching them. The tracks are the rubber type so make sure you give them a careful stretch before attempting to fit them. I had to use superglue to get the tracks to stick, and putting the vehicle on a base also helps keep it all together. Also superglue the top track down near the sprocket wheel to give it an appearance of weight. Otherwise they float unrealistically. That’s one bit of the model that does not quite match the Revell and Zvezda kits is the solid sprocket wheel. The other kits have better detail.
My paint scheme was a three colour camo using red brown, bright green and the usual sandy yellow dunkelb. I gave it a wash with a dark brown and used weathering powders to create some dirt. Hasegawa kits always give you a good range of decals with loads of options. Here are my photos, plus some photos with the Revell and Zvezda Tigers. This kit is slightly smaller than the other models but it still fits in OK when they are cruising around together.
Its always total fun painting any figures from AB. The details are so clear and sharp that they really paint themselves. Once you get the paint on in the right places the rest really looks after itself. They really are the best 20mm figures out there, and even though significantly more expensive than any plastic figures i think its well worth it for the difference in quality. I did recently pick up some more British from CP Models, which look really good, Wartime Miniatures and also SHQ, so i will do a comparison of all them sometime.
But back to these SS troops packing Panzerfausts and Panzershrecks. I did my usual German camo scheme in greens and browns the only difference was i had some cool new grassy tufts to try out on the bases. The poses from AB are just great, looking natural and realistic. I still have some loading crew, a trooper carrying the Panzershreck rounds and a couple more Panzerfaust firers, to paint next. But i am going to do a more Autumn camo scheme with them for a change. Anyway if you dont have any AB figures run out and get some, they are just brilliant!
Some photos of my tank killing team out on the Farm looking for Shermans.
My last slightly obscure German vehicle I had in my pile of kits came out and was built this last week. The Sturmtiger was a support tank based on the Tiger chassis. Its not a vehicle I would get to use a lot but a lot of fun to have and build anyway. Trumpeter kits are excellent and this one did not disappoint.
Its a very easy kit to build as its mainly a box on a chassis with quite simple running gear. So it didn’t take too long to build. Everything fits together nicely as usual with Trumpeter. The instructions for the gun were a bit vague in parts and then didn’t match the picture on the front of the box. This was confusing. The picture on the box also misses off the MG gun in the hull which is weird. I had to consult some internet pictures and places to try and work out the main gun. I still think I got it a bit wrong, but the box art has missed a bit off totally (its the part that goes around the end of the main gun).
I realise after painting that I am not that happy with this Tiger’s paint job. My camo scheme went a bit screwy and needs more contrast. Also I added too much sand and dirt and it all came out looking a bit the same. I need to cut back on the dirt as with a Dunkelb yellow vehicle you need some contrast otherwise it all just looks a bit boring. The tracks would have looked better left the rusty colour I did prior to all the muck. Also this tank is very boxy and doesn’t have a huge amount of surface detail so I needed to spend more time picking out details with dark washes. Next time I will do a better job! I should also glue down bits of the top of the tracks to signify their weight.
For some reason there are no decals supplied. Not sure why, so you will need to dig up some spares.
Overall this is another wicked little kit from Trumpeter, not sure if anyone else actually makes a 1/72 scale Sturmtiger, but if you want one look no further!
I continued working through my backlog of German vehicles and troops. My buddy Jim from Combat HQ had mentioned German hanomags so i thought i would finish off a Hasegawa kit i had lying around. I have already reviewed this kit in a previous post, but this time wanted to put some grenadiers in the back making a fight of it. The kit itself is a good one, simple to build but more detailed than anything the Plastic Soldier Company do. The only poor thing about is the funny ribber tracks which are a bit crap. If i had some spares i would swap them.
The more exciting bit was choosing the crew and how they would fit in the back. I used some awesome AB figures as usual. This particular pack was made for fighting out of a half track. I also cut the top half off an Esci/Italeri side car machine gunner and glued him to someone else’s standing legs. He makes a nice cap wearing machine gunner at the front. For their camo i tried using a dark yellow instead of a light brown on one round of dots. This worked out well as it provides a better contrast to the other colours. I find with any German SS camo scheme i am doing it does not really matter which three colours i use. A base coat of green or khaki, with darker brown/black patches and red brown patches works nicely. Followed by layers of dots of lighter shades on the darker patches and darker dots on the lighter patches all work well. Its the contrasting colours that create the effect. From my research the range of colours and patterns was so wide it you can basically do whatever you like and it will turn out OK.
Following photos of my finished half track, plus him as part of a Panzer Grenadier unit with other half tracks, a Kubelwagen and a Marder as support.
This was the second of the Unimodel Kits i bought from the Ukraine, and one of my favourite little tanks. I actually bought two of the kits which is my usual habit. In these Unimodel kits you can usually build various different versions of the same tank as they include most of the parts. I thought i could do the same with this one and built a regular Hetzer with a normal gun barrel. This kit is missing the remote controlled MG which sits on the roof, so its not totally correct. I just realised i have forgotten to add an aerial too. I can fix that later.
The running gear and lower hull are the same as the Marder in my previous post, so based on the Pz.Kpfw 38 Light tank. Second time around i did a better job with the link and length tracks. That’s the part of the model that takes the longest, with the remainder being fairly straight forward. Some vague instructions make some of the smaller bits a bit tricky. I think i screwed up the drivers periscope a little and had to file down the top of it a bit as i had it glued at thee wrong angle. Also i wasn’t sure about the pipe from the hull to the exhaust and what angle to put it at. I left off the PE schurzen plates until after i had painted which made it easier to paint and weather the tracks and wheels.
I had a lot of fun with my torn sponge chipping and scratching effect on this little guy. Using Raw Umber, Black and Red Oxide i was braver with my sponging and created more weathering on all sides of the Hetzer. I like the way it came out so will keep on using this technique. Next up might try some really damaged and scratched effect. I also tried using Blutack as a masking for the camouflage paint job. This also worked well with my Tamiya spray cans, and i will try it again too.
I love these Unimodel Kits – looking forward to building a Sherman some time soon.
I am really enjoying building these Unimodel kits. They have a huge range covering loads of World War 2 vehicles, some of which are a bit more obscure. I pick these up directly from an excellent Ukrainian Hobby shop which stocks pretty much the whole range. You can find them at https://www.hobby.dn.ua. Its far better to buy these kits direct from Ukraine as they work out at much better value. Postage from Ukraine to Australia is very reasonable too. Anyway check them out. I did pick up some Hetzers and a Sherman at the same time, which are next in line for building.
This Marder III is another of the German Self Propelled guns they came up with and its a pretty funny looking design. They just used the same chassis at the PzKpfw 38 Light Tank and jammed an AT gun on top. The hull and running gear are quite easy to build with four big wheels either side plus sprocket and drive wheel. The tracks are link and length and fitted really nicely. I always start with getting the sprocket wheel done first, but in this case it didn’t matter as the tracks all lined up perfectly.
The armour sections on the upper hull were a little bit tricky as the instructions tend to be a bit vague. Unimodel tend to include a little too many steps in their exploded diagrams so it can be hard to follow. Once i had fitted all the upper armour sections i found that the top rail would not fit across so i had to add an extra bit of plastic. No harm done. But the armour plate was the trickiest part of this model. You get some photo etched metal bits too. The basket at the back is metal you need to bend plus some other little bits here and there. Overall this was a lot of fun to build and a bit more challenging than the usual tank.
It doesn’t come with any crew, and for an open topped vehicle its crucial to have some crew hanging around doing their thing. I used AB Figures tank crew as usual. I had a lot of fun doing a peadot camo on their pants so i included a photo of them in mid paint under the magnifying glass light. The tank i tried a new camo scheme with green patches out lined in red brown. The kit comes with plenty of decals giving you options to do whatever you want. I liked this kit so much i immediately started work on one of the Unimodel Hetzers i also bought……
I bought this kit from Hobby Easy in Hong Kong for an amazing $8.50 which was just too good to pass up. Also my buddy Jim Bambra who makes excellent wargaming rules at Combat HQ wanted some photos of an Elefant (not the big eared type), so i happily obliged with my build of this interesting tank.
The more i build Trumpeter kits the more i like them. Enough detail for a bit of a challenge, but all the bits go together nicely without too much screwing around. I hate messing around with ill fitting parts. It’s no fun! This kit is great. A few little things should be mentioned. The instructions are not correct for the running gear assembly, so you really need to pay attention to the pictures and not the instructions to make sure you get the right wheels and the right suspension in the right places. Also there were two little spikey bits that go behind the sprocket wheels that i could not get into the right place and so i left them out. It didn’t matter as you cannot see them anyway in the final model. I did get some photo etched grills and stuff but they did not appear in the instructions and seem to have some from another version or something.
There are two options for the tracks. You can use the single piece rubber/vinyl or you can build the link and length type. I could not see how you could attach the link and length easily on the wheels unless you did them much earlier in the build than the instructions suggested. So i went for the single length tracks and they worked out fine.
All the hatches are moulded shut which is a shame, but i guess you could open them up with some knife work. It would be good to put a commander in there somewhere. I did a a two colour paint job, just yellow and green patches. Plus lots of dirt and mud and dust as usual. Its a cool kit and a cool looking tank. Much fun.