Friday, 25 October 2019

Old School Transport

This one has been around a while, no major mods by me, bar adding the reigns. Had a disaster with the picture session, but you'll get the idea! 

Neil, all boxed, will post early next week.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Tinkering with Franken- Wirbelwind

Some quick "almost there" workbench shots... this is a bit of a Frankenstein and has been delayed way too long, in fact so long that two alternatives are available... anyway. JTFM panzer IV hull, Company B Wirbelwind turret, kit bashed company b/ rubicon flak 38 and dremelled bolt action crew! 

Thankfully there is no need to take this route anymore, I’d recommend the Rubicon or Warlord models as a much easier option. The Company B turret is a bit "old school", but had the advantage of being first to market but needs a lot of work to get to acceptable ( for me at least) 

Friday, 13 September 2019

Tinkering with... Panther F

I’ve had a bit of a hiatus with this blog, but am now getting back on track. 
After reading the new Panzers in Berlin book, I was inspired to create a Panther F. 

Originally with only speculation on their operational use the book confirms with several photographs. 
On to the build.... I had a old JTFM Panther in the spares box which was ideal, sort of. The JTFM Panther seems to be modelled on the Panther II prototype hull, which makes it awkward to use normally. The difference (in 1/56) between the II and F hulls is minor, primarily some redefining of hull plates ( hence the green stuff lines) so it’s a good donor. 

 The supplied steel wheel set was replaced with a spare track set from a Warlord Panther G which worked fine with some filler pieces. Other alterations were substitutions with rubicon panther spares to upgrade the resin versions 

Still some work to do on this one, but it needs to sit a while whilst I get some other Panthers moving.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Tinkering with... Flakpanzer 38(t) (1/56)

Far to frequently I start projects, primarily just for fun, unfortunately not all progress to a finish. This lucky one was resurrected so it can slip in with an interesting part interest/part commission Normandy "Becker" themed collection currently being assembled, but more on that over Christmas. So if anyone takes a fancy to it, it can be theirs in Feb!
Earlier pictures of the build are somewhere on the hard drive and phone, so we'll just have to go from here.
So this is the progress so far....flakpanzer 38(t) based on the warlord resin Marder with Pak 40. Its not finished, clearly, next stage will be rivets, hinges, exhaust and final detailing, but the grunt work is done.

Particularly impressed with the empty shell mesh assembly, third or fourth I've done and its getting easier. The flak is the Company B white metal model, certainly the best on the market, although I've replaced the barrel and some odds and sods.  Crew are from the spares box, all heavily modified to both fit in the compartment, and also, which is often overlooked, to try and portray that they are serving the piece.
View from RHS, you can see how tricky the angle on the plates were and the fettling of figures to fit.

Good view of the rear compartment before I started to add the top level plates, you'll note barrel removed to be replaced with a metal rod. The green stuff legs and modification is clearer here.

 RHS view again, the ammo boxes clearly aren't fixed as I had to fashion legs for the crew around them. Close up, showing all the flaws! all crew in final positions bar the loader who has slipped!

Slightly out of focus but you can see the crew positioning, flak mount with magnet for the flak 38 and the ammunition and spare barrel boxes. The crew will be pinned, and removed for painting. Pictures below, are more of the same, for anyone that's got this far.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Tinkering with... M7 Priest “kangaroo” conversion

Following on from the Company B Priests recently finished (see my flickr , I decided to have a go at some Priest Kangaroos, this time using the Warlord M7.  Whilst the kit is fine, maybe a bit too chunky for me and I hate the fixed tarpaulin, it was apparent a conversion was going to be fairly major surgery (ironically the company B M7 would have been easier).

 Anyway, Warlord M7 as above, one major issue that I didn't foresee was the earlier model wheel sets with central earlier return rollers.....

First up was the major surgery, on inspection the best thing would be to remove the superstructure sides with the cast on ammo bins and reconstitute out of plastic card. Painful, brutal, and not for the fainthearted......

Regards the track sets, I shortened a set of M4 tracks to match the M3 chassis, worked fine in the end, and now reasonably accurate. The unbotched Priest is in the background for comparison.

With the sides I had to make suitable recesses to accommodate the plasticard side plates at a later point. The new sides will additional details on anyway so probably for the best. So several scalpel blades and a few cuts later, I had the basic hull cleared out, although that tarp casting was annoying me.....

View from above, looking drastic...

As I'm a glutton for punishment, I had decided on a pair, so the same process was repeated, and this time the offended tarp cast was removed.

So that's it for a bit, need to concentrate on getting some commissions out the door. 

I'm pleased I went to the trouble of redoing the track sets and a total clear-out of the hull, it will produce a much better result in the end. 

I plan to fully crew these with infantry as "sabots", similar to earlier M3 halftrack crews I did a while back.  By using sabots the crew/passengers can be removed or added as required. 

I'm gradually getting the hang of facebook, although not being able to separate hobbies and real life is confounding me, and I'm sure my children don't appreciate the toy tank updates...any pointers welcome.


Friday, 8 December 2017

Normandy Priests - WIP - going for a Christmas Finish !

Quick post while I have five minutes, have been juggling several very detailed commissions at the moment, hopefully trying to clear the decks for Christmas.   The blog has been neglected recently, partly due to my iphone no longer supporting blogger but mainly real world pulls etc etc, however I will try and reinvigorate over Christmas as some really cool commissions finish.

So, today's focus is two Company B priests modified for Normandy, which will be resplendent with converted Warlord plastic crews, as always heavily fettled!

Above, basic paint work with initial weathering ( alongside part of a lovely New Zealand force for Italy ( more on them soon). I will detail all the Priest Normandy mods in another post, but trust me there's a lot of work up till this stage!

Here we have the two Priests with some basic weathering inside prior to crew positioning, crew will be pinned and fixed in place. Apologies for the picture quality, I have invested in a superb LED light-set, which I cant recommend enough, unfortunately it creates this strobing effect when i use the iphone!

Initial crew positioning, the crew are still on full length painting pins as they still need finishing off, but its enough to allow for composition ( or more correctly confirm positioning from the build stage)

So you get the idea, crew will now be removed and both crew and interior will now receive final detailing, prior to fully fixing in place tomorrow (hopefully), and then to finish off the exterior.

As always, best to subscribe via the email link to the side, more prevalent now as I am no longer able to post update links on TMP.  

And for those who are interested...

Re: TMP - I seem to have fallen foul of the increasingly erratic and hubristic editorship, it would be nice to know what particular offence or digression I was found guilty of in absentia (I'm sure its more than me being on this side of the pond!)
Anyways, I'm clearly joining an increasing [secular] diaspora! Its a genuine shame as what was once a great and diverse resource is now unnecessarily, through the decreasing quality of content and discussion, increasingly incestuous spam and unaccountable, dictatorial editorship, driven into the self inflicted buffers!

Anyways, as "they" say: "his site, his rules", so I wish him all the best and sincerely hope he manages to resolve, or gets help for, whatever personal issues prevail. 

Friday, 8 September 2017

Tinkering....D-Day wading Sherman MK 1 ARV WIP #2

Some more fettling, added the two wading stacks and started the basic stowage load out.

Am happy enough with the angle son these, my reference sources vary so with blueprints these are a good compromise.

Re-used a few of the S&S parts, note the temporary stowage for the rear stowage box.

Now its looking like how I envisioned it, a few more hours with fine details but the bulk of the build is done.

The eagle eyed may notice the spruce colour change for the running gear. I decided to use the sapre set in the Rubicon M4E8, why? two reasons:

a) detail is better, wheels now have an undercut.
b) means I can use the warlord tracks for the hull!

Strange bird!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Tinkering.. D-Day wading Sherman Mk 1 ARV

WIP Sherman (Mk III) Mk 1 ARV - D-Day

Been bitten by the Sherman curse again! I started with wanting to do a Sherman ARV following my S&S Cromwell ARV up on flicker...on doing research I though why not a wading Sherman for D-Day, so I thought, easy 2x S&S conversion sets and two M4A4 and we're off.......

It seems the majority of Commonwealth Shermans used on D-Day were M4A2 (Sherman III) which points towards a M4A2 being my preferred option for this build ( as opposed to an M4A4). The problem now was converting a spare Warlord M4 into an M4A2, which basically is a new engine deck and rear end, oh well here we go...

Starting positions, M4 Hull.

After bit of tinkering, removed the awful molded-on tow cable, the lifting points and rear engine deck parts. Also removed the additional armour plates which would add protection to the ammunition racks, clearly not needed on an ARV!

Refashioned a new rear end and filled in the existing hatch moldings. Tools will be removed later

Bit of a jump  now; originally was going to use the S&S turret cover but decided it was cleaner to reconstruct, so:

a) new turret hatch cover and hatches
b) initial wading truck added
c) Lifting points redone with wire
d) front stowage arrangements added
e) my favorite! the vice!
f) made three tow wires and stowed them
g) added S&S parts, where not remade.

note: the two figures are from the S&S 1/56 British tankers set, an excellent set in pixie suits, I will be modifying obviously ( no pixie suits in June!)

Close up of the hull front, not entirely sure what the rod assemblies were for, they look like station posts?, anyway made them up as per references.

Quick shot of the rear, you can see the re-scribed engine hatches, rear wood block stowages and added the extra fuel points. The actual grill just needs to be representative at this stage as I will add the wading stack and water proofing.

And finally, well for this weekend anyway ( Russkies to assemble and paint!), added two S&S Models crewmen for show!

This one is a "for fun" build, I feel a need for these to keep my skills in, and interest up and I love a challenge, probably not my best commercial decision, i.e time and resources for a vehicle used in one action!

As always with Shermans, something will always bite me, so if I've got anything incorrect just shout!

Next up the interesting bit, the rear wading trunks!

Current FOR SALE items

1/56 Weasel
Will update soon, contact me for details