OK so this kit usually gets an absolute pounding on line whenever I read a review of it. I built it and quite enjoyed building it. It comes out as quite a nice wargaming model. The only really strange thing about it is the massive muzzle brake. It looks like a person with a really massive nose. So a bit weird. Some people criticize the lack of detail on the tracks, but these link and length tracks went together really well. The side armour is quite thick, but nothing that really upset me, and if you were really picky you could switch them for some other ones.
All the hatches you can leave open for crew. So I will be adding some AB figures crew for this guy when I get the time. Here are some photos with all my other Stugs too. I think that will be enough Stugs for my Germans now. Such cool little tanks!
Another Stug for my collection from Dragon Models. This time I managed to buy from Dragon Models USA for some super duper bargain price. Keep a look out for their specials as sometimes they do have really good ones. Even with the pricey freight USA to Australia its worth it.
The kit is really simple as Dragon are now releasing these small scale kits with running gear and tracks in single sections. So each side of the tracks include the lower wheels and upper return rollers and fit over the sprocket and drive wheel. This reduces the parts drastically but I still have trouble fitting the tracks and managed to snap off one of the wheels. Lucky I now have a fantastic pin vice and mini drill bits. So a new metal axle was added to the back wheels far stronger than the original plastic one. So fitting the tracks after that was a breeze. I just use some thicker wire superglued into the wheel and then into the lower hull at the right spot. You just need to drill corresponding holes where the wire fits. Anyway a great investment go get a pin vice, I think I paid about $15 for mine. What a life saver!!!
The rest of the kit was very straight forward. The Stug is a simple looking tank and so a simple model. All the hatches are moulded shut on this one and the hull details also mostly moulded on. So a great kit for someone who wants a fast easy build, but if you want a challenge I think Trumpeter make lots of Stug versions that are more interesting.
I tried a green and brown camo scheme just kind of blotchy patchy random. I did go back afterwards and respray with dark yellow to fade out my painting, a technique which seems to work well. A new aerial was added using my washing up brush aerials and a whole heap of stowage to the back to make things a bit more exciting. I also built a Revell Stug at the same time, so he is up next. The last photo shows all my Stugs, one Trumpeter kit and now three from Dragon. They are cool little tanks.
I picked up this excellent book from the Book Depository for less than $20. I am currently working on stack of figures for my German forces from CP Models and AB Figures and needed some more inspiration for my camouflage uniforms.
Although aimed at the 1/35 scale figure modeler there is still a lot to like for the smaller scale hobbyist like me. And probably you too if you are reading this. The author details three or four different German SS figures and his process of building, converting, adding and finally painting. What he does with converting some of the figures and the detailing them with extras of his own is quite amazing. There are definitely tips and tricks to be learnt for the 1/72 scale figure modeler and painter from this book.
I was most interested in his guides for painting camouflage schemes. He does a great Oak Leaf, Plane Tree, Pea Dot and Italian camo on various 1/35 scale figures. It gives you an excellent guide to what colours to use and what patterns to apply. I will be trying this out on my pile of little guys soon when I get the chance. This book is a nice quick read but definitely worth adding to your library, especially if you are keen to keep perfecting those camo schemes.
I have been up to my neck building more German armour and have not managed to finish anything so posts have been a bit scarce this month! A Stug III and a Stug IV should be at the finishing line soon!
I finished up a couple more halftracks from Armourfast. These come two in a box and are really reasonably priced. But they do lack detail, especially in the one piece track and wheel area. But if you want some good value vehicles to bulk up the numbers then look no further. They go together in minutes and you can always dress them up with extras and crew.
So that’s what I did with these two. I had a spare Pak 36 gun from somewhere which I added to the top of one vehicle (I think it was a Plastic Soldier Company spare I had). This was teamed up with some Zvezda crew men from their 88mm gun kit. On reflection I would change the position of the crew as it looks a bit like they are doing a loading conga in the back of the half track. For the other vehicle I used my favourite AB figures for the crew, including a machine gunner and a couple of seated guys. Spent way too long doing the camo schemes again but it’s a fun past time.
I tried something new with my camouflage on the half tracks by first painting the green pattern in dark green with a brush, but then giving them a fine respray with my dunkelb spray can. It fades the camo quite nicely. Since I refuse to think about an airbrush this is as far as I will go without breaking my own strict modelling rules of engagement!
I wanted to buy some more alternative German vehicles that I could not find in plastic model kit form anywhere. One of the companies who make a few of these rarer vehicles is the Rapid Fire Ready to Roll Vehicles you can find here Rapid Fire. These were two Hotchkiss German SPGS, one 75mm and one 105mm. Also a halftrack with a Pak 40 75mm gun. Rapid Fire is a ruleset I have, but have not yet tried out yet. Their website is a great source for all sorts of things and worth a look.
Their vehicles come in resin and metal, with the tank barrels usually being in metal. They are pretty inexpensive and have a decent range of British, German and American vehicles. I haven’t seen so many other resin castings to compare them to, but i was pretty happy with the detail. They come on bases already moulded. All i had to do was file down a view bits here and there and then superglue the barrels onto the main chassis. Hey presto the vehicle is finished.
The open top SPGs and halftrack were crying out for some AB figures crew and so I happily obliged with a few guys in camp and black jackets. It took me about two weeks to finish off painting all the camp on the crew men due to the camo pattern i did on all their pants. Then of course, once they are in place in their vehicles you cannot see so much of all my painstaking spotty came schemes……… Plenty of photos below!
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.
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……….