Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Tinkering with... Panzerfehlspanzer III

There's a theme emerging here, another Early War command panzer, this time using Army Group North's Panzer III E. 

This is very much a work in progress and is more of a story board for the turret work. The chassis and rear deck will need modifying too!

Two turrets for comparison. As you can see I've drilled and chiselled out the two side hatches on the future command panzer.( note the tack commanders (TC) hatch hinges which cause me thought later...)

I've added some rudimentary hatch hinge bars in prep for adding some crew and hatches.

The crew are heavily modified Perry miniatures. I wish I'd taken pictures as it was some work to get them to this stage! Legs and heads chopped to assume the correct positioning of the torsos in the hatches. 

Some blank hatches have been added to see how they fit. I wanted a relaxed look for the crew, difficult to achieve when modifying metal!

View from the other side.

The torsos were drilled and the heads were pinned and reattached, this permits positioning at the right angles to make the "scene" work. I will add green stuff mods later, around the necks, and the legs, and to modify the TC's jacket into a panzer wrap. ( At this stage I've just removed the pockets as it was originally a DAK field jacket depicted, not correct for France)

At this point I added the commanders hatches, as you can see the fit was wrong with the hatches not sitting parallel as in my references, I was sure there wasn't any hatch stops to achieve this angle, time to muse......

Decided to crack on with the detailing on the hatches. As I always point out, this is not heavy-weight scale modelling, just enough detail to get the aesthetic.

So......regards the TC hatches,  I went back to my references, lucky the TC hatch hinges on the model are proud on the turret ring  (see earlier picture! this is excellent for glue purchase for a secure fit, ok for normal,  but not here for me) so essentially the hatches hinged open too far. This was resolved with new hatch blanks being made (much better representative thickness anyways, internal hatch details will be added later) and fixed at the correct hinge point (which is inside the ring), hey presto the ensemble fits!

I drilled the hole for the Kurbelmast and added the extra turret roof fixtures (note Ive used a metal rod here for now, I will have a removable, brass extending tube affair by the time I've finished). 

I also decided to reposition the left crewman to take advantage of the new brass hatch handle, and with his arm to sit on the open, mast hatch cover.

I also added the hatch "stops" on the turret sides, I assume the forward hatch halfs lock into these? My only problem now is that this is one of three so some detailing will have to be duplicated! 
Still not sure what the raised dotted lines are depicting on the turret, not on my references, but i'm sure someone will come to the rescue, theres usually a devil in the details somewhere.....

The last shot shows it with the more developed Panzer 1 command, posted earlier, but now with a new TC figures, again from the Perry DAK TC set.

Remaining mods are:
a) dummy barrel and mg Mantlet
b) hull 2m antennaes, trays and visor repositioning
c) rear deck frame mast 
d) rear deck fittings, tow cables and probably a field mod stowage box.

This is quite a bit of work, and more than for a usual build but its for a "regular" , I'm sure it will be the "accent" piece on the table once finished, especially with 9 scale-metres of Kurbelmast! 

Coming up in the next week ...

- QRF Hips - Rotors or discs?
- 15mm Heer46
- 15mm "Allied" '46

Loads more on the cusp of finishing, now the weather is letting me back in the shed!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Tinkering with.....Panzerbefehlswagen Sdkfz265

I'm in the middle of finishing a Heer 46 commission but it's just too windy for the shed! So am inside tinkering....

Been working off and on, on two command Panzer 1's, as speculative projects really, all based around making a viable bedstead aerial for a panzer III command! 

Most likely the bedstead version will end up painted for France and the other will be finished later to coincide with a potential DAK commission sometime in 2016.

As you can see, I've updetailed significantly:

- bedstead aerial
- remodelled antenna stub
- rear mud guard redone in metal
- addition of stowage
- remodelled in scale turret hatches
- added iconic tow chains
- opened up drivers visor  
- drilled out superstructure 

It needs a suitable command figure, but am undecided at the moment, never really warmed to most of the warlord ones, can't get my head around the stylised comic heads! Shame really, however there is a late war sculpt I think I can modify to work here or...

Rubicon look like they may have some interesting figures in the offering, but never sure when they will actually be available or.....

maybe convert a Perry DAK figure.....

I'm still working on the DAK version, as you can see the superstructure hatch has been opened so I intend to populate with some Perry tank crew.  I think it also needs some jerry cans but there's a lack of properly detailed ones out there at the moment. 

I'm concentrating on getting back on track with some slipping commissions, usual juggling with real life! So look forward to some 15nm eye candy in late January and hopefully some painted  October War combatants in Feb!

Happy New Year! 

Friday, 20 November 2015

Tiger Ace - Normandy 44

Taking a break from the Sinai and back to the bread and butter.....

Commission request for a specific vehicle, namley SS-Hauptscharfürer Willy Fey, 3 Zug, 1st Kompanie, SS schwere Panzer Abteilung 102 in Normandy, June 1944.  A simple web search will bring up examples of the specific camo and markings, replicated here, I'll leave that to you.

Kit is 1/56th plastic from Warlord Games. Lovely rendition, correct version and wheel set, so ideal. I've carried out minor mods, always room for more, but key here is the weathering.
 Customer is an accomplished figure painter so crew were modelled to fit but not painted.

 As always more pictures on my flickr:  Flickr Gallery

Some interesting stuff coming through at the moment, both 15mm and 28mm, trying to ship out before Christmas. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Arab Israeli - Egyptian ISU 152

More plastic from BF, suitably up detailed. Plastic set of five ISU 152's ( I have plans for the other two!) converted into Egyptian modified 152's plus the command version. 

I filled the hulls with polyfilla to add some weight, small touch, but then it's all about the little details!

As usual hatches drilled and opened out, together with plastic card hatches which are more in scale. 

Next up was to remove the handle mouldings ( see far hull above) and replace with brass rod. This was a bit of a tedious process and at the cost of several micro drills, but I think worth it in the end. (Yes I know I stopped at the handles on the engine deck, well for now anyway)
I added the front stowage boxes and fuel/water tank and also the rear fuel tanks with revised carrying brackets.

The command version is fairly simple, all I had to do was add some welding beads around the gun mantles blank.

The cages around the lights were complicated but I think I pulled it off! 

Based as per the SU 100s, although the command version may well get a bigger diorama style base to reflect its purpose. 

All three together, ready for priming and crewing. 

White primer, just a light unifying coat at this stage, as I expect I will be adding more detail before the paint stage, alongside the SU 100's . Need to work out what to regards crew, the BF plastic set is great but gives in five I can use directly, so I guess there's going to be some Peter pig head swaps......


Not sure if these ever crossed the suez in'73, but useful to have as options, maybe they'll provide a surprise for some SAM hunting IDF recce on the West Bank. 

I am considering developing this little October War expedition into another display game. Whilst I have been extremely successful in the past, time and real life has prevented me creating anything over the last year or so. Plans are afoot for possibly 26 foot of Sinai ! We'll see.....


Am working on some QRF Mi-8 "Hips", lot of work needed,  but I think they'll come out fine. 

Friday, 30 October 2015

DAK Aufklärungs-Abteilungen/ Zug - 1/48 Sdkfz 221, 222

This set has been my favourite for a while now. These are 1/48 "pre-paints" ( sorry not sure of manufacturer) that have been extensively up detailed and weathered. The subject matter has allowed me to legitimately employ some lovely layering techniques, although I'm not sure the pictures show them that well.
Sdkfz 221, Flag is Archer dry decal on metal foil and then repainted.

 All stowed up and reday to roll!

Bit of extra punch with the 2cm Kwk.
Added a bedstead aerial, bit fragile so I hope its survives postage!

As always more pictures in my portfolio:

Thursday, 29 October 2015

BTR 3000 - Khurasan

Another lovely vehicle from Jon at Khurasan, post modern BTR 3000. This one has two MRLS/ Rocket options. Cast is resin and 1/100, painted in soviet camo

As always pictures online;

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Infra red 251 - "UHU" Eagle Owl

Sd.Kfz. 251/20 - Schützenpanzerwagen (Infrarotscheinwerfer) "Eagle Owl" 60 cm Infra Red Searchlight.  1/56 Warlord Games, painted as it comes, although it's sold with an operator, he's not seen here.

As always more pictures and more vehicles in my portfolio:


Monday, 26 October 2015

Arab Israeli - Egyptian SU 100


Small addition to my Egyptians for the October war, up detailed Battlefront plastic SU100's.

I'm really liking the emergence of plastic, in both 1/100 but more significantly 1/56, as the possibilities of conversions and detailing, not to mention level of detail and stability of materials is simply impressive. 

The BF SU100 has the additional stowage box on the front right side of the superstructure on the sprue so all I had to add was the track tensioners on the left hand side and some moderate up-detailing.

 I decided to open up one, so chiselled off and cut out the drivers hatch on one, and using a hatch cut and thinned from the spare hull one and cut out, opened up the drivers position. 

(Note I didn't glue the hull at this stage as I would need to add a driver at a later stage)

I also thinned out the track guards but only the eagle eyes would notice!

The forward hatch was also opened up and I decided to add fuel tank supports on the rear. I also modified the mantlet casting to reflect the troughs for the securing bolts seen on the few reference examples.

I then added a simple base ( warbases again) and primed up ready for painting. 

Next up will probably be the plastic BF 152's, with some usual conversions but I'll save that for later! 

A sneak preview of the Israeli howitzer M50 SPG now available from S and S models, this one built as-is but I have three detailed ones in the works. 

Current FOR SALE items

1/56 "Fury" M4 E8
1/56 RSO Steyr
1/56 Weasel
1/56 KV 1

all pictures are in my flickr contact me for details.