Friday, 23 June 2017

Tinkering with... Rubicon and Warlord's T34's

Above, a tinkered and fettled Warlord T34/85, combined with a Rubicon T34/76 below......
First the Rubicon, by far the superior kit, but sadly lacking in the track detail department.
The hull below has been weighted and assembled. Some extensive modifications, including:
a) drilled out and filled the drivers hatch ( green material)
b) replaced all rails with brass rod
c) added spare fuel canister attachments and removed the smoke canister attachments to reflect research for this variant.
d) scratched some tow cables

Nice view of the rear hull, to show the fabricated fuel canister attachments and tow cable.

Below, yes it looks a mess! The white is from the polyfilla added for weight. The front hull has been carved out to receive a driver figure. I think he maybe from the warlord KV, either way he's not detailed enough to be on external show, but will work fine for inside. You can see the poor track rendition. I'm not worried about the hacked out drivers compartment as its not on show when the top is glued on.

Here's the hull with its turret, late version with "mickey mouse hatches", figures will feature later.

same hull but with alternative turret. Rubicon don't give you enough bits for multiple turrets but I had a spare turret base from their SU122 kit ( go figure!).

Now the Warlord T34/85. Kit is ok, not as good as the Rubicon T34/85 ( will come up later), nice tracks though. Not much spare on the sprues, so added a road wheel from the Rubicon spare set, it is marginally larger than its fellows, but I think it'll settle in fine.

As you can see, I have added mud mixture, both between the wheels and under the track guards, small details that all add up.

You can just make out the fuel and smoke canister straps refashioned from metal tubes, and the associated brass attachment points.

Replacing handles isn't for the faint hearted, there are between nine and eleven handles to do on each vehicle, that's removal, filling, sanding, drilling and bending!

For the handles, I made a jig to make uniform 0.5mm brass handles, a long old job!

also I removed the two cable wires, this is cast on detail with the Warlord hull, and is fine for one vehicle but a bit samey for several, another painful process of removal, but worth it in the end.

Some track guards removed to show off Warlords redeeming feature, the tracks! I think he will be fine!

Crew will be the subject of another post. The only real place for 1/56 Soviet tankers is Warlord, unfortunately their current offering is quite poor (out the packet), some ridiculous poses with cartoon features and outsized hands. Two poses are usable a chap just leaning forward ( above loader)  and a chap with a map ( used elsewhere). The commander pose is ok but I have binned all his supplied right arm options and am in the process of reconstituting one that looks reasonable at least!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Tinkering with... Warlords SU76


Back to resin this time. The kit is fine, but I felt just needed some additional touches. Picture above is it just about ready for priming without crew, and below with crew!.


You can see the reconstituted rear compartment wall, brass tarpaulin supports and tie downs, added periscopes and green stuff stowage.

View of the side showing the tarpaulin tie downs. These are a bit oversized, but I think will paint up fine, and again there's loads of them!

More detailing on show, you can see the resin tarpaulin supports have been removed and the side walls thinned down. These are understandably thick for the resin casting process but spoil the overall effect. Green stuff tarp added along the track guard.

Detail from the front, this time I left the tow cables, else I could go on forever!

Rear compartment with new pasticard rear wall, notice the resin sides at full thickness prior to thinning out.

Have tried a slightly different approach with the crew. Normally most crew are painted separately, but due to the squeeze in the back and the almost total enclosure I thought I'd try in situ.
Warlord supply two white metal crew with the kit, which are fine.

I decided to add the third crew man from a plastic infantry sprue. Some minor tweaking and cutting and the addition of a tanker head and he fits in just fine.

And finally...

Below is the Warlord GAZ AA, not much I can do with this one, resin full cab really restricts going to town on it.


Loaded up the bed with tarps and equipment, so will be fine in the end!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Tinkering with... Warlords KV1/KV2

I have a few concurrent Soviet commissions on the go at the moment, so will post up as they develop.
First up is the Warlord KV1 /KV2 ensemble, great thing with this kit is that you get both turrets and a set of plastic tanks riders (save them for another post)
No extensive detailing for these, its not needed. Decided to do some "opened up" versions later, so for now its just one hull and two turrets. Mods have included:
a) "polyfilla" weight added, to give the vehicle some heft on the table, works well.
b) damaged and distressed track guards, taking advantage of the detailing on the plastic track sections
c) Brass hand/grab rails added
d) Early style tow cables added, using some turned wire from an old pair of earphones.
KV 2 turret on the same hull, 2 for 1 !
Keep watching, Soviet stuff rolling through....

Monday, 17 April 2017

Tinkering with... Company B Wirbelwind

Sometimes, inbetween commissions, I get distracted! 

I picked up the Company B Wirbelwind turret from Great Escape Games, it is just the turret with flak 38, absent of crew, but usefully both the spare barrel boxes. I decided to marry this with a spare JTFM hull and a Warlord flak 38 crew from the spares box. 

The gunner needed some fettling to assume a realistic position, and I decided to recreate the sighting assembly, and add some detail to the flak. Not too much, as most wont be seen once mounted in the turret.
The complete crew, all fettled!
The Warlord crew has an annoying figure with arm raised or pointing, so this was cut and repositioned.  When configuring with the turret, I found the crew sat better if I removed their feet.

Early shot of the turret with flak and crew, all dry fitted as they will be painted separately.


Yes, I will drill out and straighten the barrels.

This is the Company B turret married to the JTFM Hull. Unfortunately the turret needed a lot of filing give the surfaces an acceptable finish. On looking through references,  I decided to add the field mod camouflage hooks and wire, used in Normandy for attaching foliage.

The hull has some mods, the extra barrel cases have been added, with associated brackets, also added were the late war mod of two towing hooks, form the spares box. the JTFM tracks are nicely rendered so I decided to lose the front fenders.

The turret sits quite nicely in the hull, although I did add some supports to lift the turret slightly so that the turret could traverse clearing the turret fairings.
Interestingly, and just like buses, I get one and two more come along, one in the wings from Warlord and, together with an Ostwind, one from Trenchworx in the USA. Am tempted by all, and ironically also the 12SS Normandy field conversion, with the 38 mounted directly on the hull, just not sure I'll be able to shift all of them..... decisions decisions.
This one just crept in the schedule, its an "opportunity" paint so will need a new home once complete, its slipping in with an interesting 1946 commission, more of that later.
As always, lost going on behind the scenes, most not reflected here. I have, and if I say so myself,  a lovely Fall Blau, France 1940 commission; just being photographed. Extensive mods for this set and I'm really happy with the results, although they've taken ages.
I also have a spare Warlord Puma, which i'll need to shift in short order.
Anyways, enough for now, theres a subscribe link on the right hand side for regular updates.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Tinkering with ..... Battlefront Iranian Chieftains


Yet more Chieftains! Iranian reinforcements!

Following up on the ArmiesArmy Chieftains, I now have a load of BF plastic Chieftains and am most impressed, generally....



The pros.... 
  • plastic format allows loads of conversion potential, 
  • excellent detail, 
  • nice crew set, 
  • separate track guards.  
The cons...

  •  ( just my opinion) the turret front angles need sanding over as they have too prominent an angle, 
  • the smoke dischargers are awful. 
  • Only one hatch open

The plastic format allows me to depict some very tired and abused vehicles as seen in reference photos of the Iran Iraq war. The mods so far...

  • Removed all smoke dischargers ( am making new ones)
  • Filed the turret fronts to remove the pronounced angle 
  • Opened up some additional hatches
  • Added crew, so far just from bits box, but more to come
  • Added numerous tarpaulins and crew stowage 
  • Added an initial layer of sandbag armour, more to come on this front, stalled until the dischargers are complete
  • Distressed and removed track guards 
So very much a work in progress and a "flavour" of things to come at this stage


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Saturday, 7 January 2017

Tinkering with..... S&S Models 15mm Ural Radio Trucks


Slowly getting back into the detailing after the Xmas break, tinkering with the new 15mm S&S Models Ural truck Radio / Office body for the zvedza Ural truck.


Speaking with Shaun the body has been designed to be deliberately generic, there are multitudes of real world options it would keep him busy for at least a year.

Strictly zvedza truck is slightly late for the October War project, so am battling with my inner rivet counter  whether to use it or not ( will try the body on a QRF Zil at some point ...) , however it will fit in nicely for my Iran Iraq project. 

I've decided to build one "as it comes" from S&S !(the one with the lime green cast) and the other two I have modified the rear doors to depict versions with a rear wheel stowage.

I anticipate modelling a large radar array on one, and I expect a radio mast on the other. 
As you can see I've opened up the cabs on the zvedza trucks, moderate work and I may well regret this later when I have to glaze them! 


Anyway just a sort intro into the build..... 

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.

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