Disclaimer

Non of the items here are posted with any form of political meaning, content or similar. Everything is displayed with an emphasis on historical correctness, unless stated otherwise. Swastikas and SS-runes are a part of military history, as are David's stars, rising suns, stars & stripes, hamer & scyths etc. If you have a problem with that, please feel free to leave! Political correctness does not live here and I will not be held accountable for hurting any overly sensitive souls that can not handle history.
If you are interested in building scalemodels, study actual military history and the like however, you're most welcome to stay, browse, read and/or comment.

The contents of this blog are mine; the models I built, the ideas I used etc. If you want to use these, I'd appreciate it if you asked permission first and use the contents as they are intended; the making and depicting of scalemodels.
The reference pictures I use were dug up on the internet and I use and share them only as such; a reference. Whenever possible I will state the source, but unfortunately I have no idea where I found many of them anymore. The vast majority of the military images have been "living" on my harddrive for years.

söndag 10 januari 2021

Battle of the Bulge - M4A3(75) Sherman US 6th Armored division

 The current weather has lead me to leave the "summerly" builds of the Panzer 2, the Panzer 3 and the T34 aside and do something else; focus once more on the Ardennes in the winter of '44-'45, the events known as Battle of the Bulge.

I will do at least 2 builds from this campaign; a King Tiger and a Sherman, but will also do some serious reading on the subject.



But first the references used for the Sherman; it'll depict a M4A3(75) from the 6th Armored Division, 69th Tank Battalion, named Caballero. Tamiya has included these marking in their kit and I will show it as it might have looked before it got taken out (impact hole, roght side just behind Caballero text).

And it'll be the second Sherman I ever build, the first one being Italeri's M4A1, somewhere in the 1980's.... So I am no Sherman expert.



However.... looking at the images and comparing it to the kit, there are a number of things that need to be tackled. For one the tank has grab- or stowage rails along both sides of the turret. That appears to have been rather common practice. It also has later style dish roadswheels, except for the 5th one on the left side. That is an early spoked wheels. A replacement most likely. Also the sprockets are of the latter type. The turret however is of the earlier type with the split commanders hatch. Another noticeable feature are the additional duckbills on the tracks. Which present an additional issue, since Tamiya's kit apparently provides T48 vinyl tracks, whereas most contemporary images appear to show the T54E1. There are spare track links for both types included in the kit and research has already show that, in order to recreate the tank with duckbills, I need to buy aftermarket tracks.

Some very helpful sites for Sherman novices (like me): 

http://www.theshermantank.com/

http://afvdb.50megs.com/usa/pics/m4sherman.html

http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/manufacturer/m4a375w/m4a3_75w.html

The division's history; 

http://www.6tharmoreddivision.com/

tisdag 5 januari 2021

Ghost Division - 7.Pz.Div. France 1940; Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D - The build

I can be fairly short on that; it was built straight out of the box, with the only exception being the gun cleaning rod. That was just bad. Why straight out of the box? Well, that were the stipulations I made for a groupbuild on the new Armorama site, stating only kits and add-on's pre-2000 were allowed. Eduard did a PE-set in 2001 and replacement tracks were available after that.
So OOTB it is!

First a rundown of the kitcontents; the original is from 1976! And the overall quality and detail is still quite acceptable. However I needed to do quite some sanding, since the molds, especially on the wheels, had misaligned, leaning a seam running down the middle. The command figure is a typical Tamiya specimen from the age, which I used to refer to as "gnomes", but the crew members really look the part!! The lower hull shows what the original intent was of the kit; motorized and battery-driven.








Like I said, the build was OOTB and pretty straight forward. Fit is, despite the age, excellent and I really only needed the faintest touch of filler. What I really liked, was that one can choose between versions; an early one as used in France or a later one as used in Africa.

I simultaneously build Tamiya's Pz.KpfW. II Ausf F/G, which is even older! From 1971! That one too only needed a hint of filler around the turret edges. I put them next to each other, just for comparison purposes. And both suffer from a typical Tamiya-feat; really tight rubber tracks!! That exert quite some tension on the wheels axles, especially one the idler ones.









torsdag 31 december 2020

Panzerkampf - T-34/76 Battle of Kursk - Reconstruction complete

 Just before the end of this year I managed to complete the reassembly of the T-34. There was nothing really special going on there, but there were a few snags to deal with, one of them being the redoing of the axles of the new wheels.

The original axes did not match the holes in the new wheels (coming from the Trumpeter T-55), so new ones had to be made. I also refashioned the fasteners of the external fuel tanks and added the p.e. enginecovers. However the original covers proved vary hard to remove and I ended up glueing the metal ones over the original ones, hiding the damages. Furthermore new mudguards were made.
The red lines are markings where I had intended to cut the model to be used as a diorama prop and these permanent marker lines would haunt me later on...






lördag 19 december 2020

Ghost Division - 7.Pz.Div. France 1940; Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D


 

For this project I will use Tamiya's ancient Pz.Kpfw IV Ausf.D in 1/35. I had planned on deviating from my usual procedure and by adding a photo etching set, Eduard's 35427, Tamiya's Pz.Kpfw.IV on-vehicle equipment set and a new track set; Miniart's workable track set for Pz.Kpfw. III/IV early type. But.....
Those sets by them selves are equally or even more expensive than the original kit and the conditions of a groupbuild on Armorama do not allow additions made after 2000.

I do feel these additions should have to be made since the kit lacks some significant details, some details are not up to the required level and the kit tracks are not just the wrong type, they're pretty bad in general.

These kits are fairly priced (cheap) these days and with some work and TLC will still make a good representation of the real thing and a fun kit to build. Now mind you, the original kit is from 1977!! With a rebox released in 1985. There also is a new version with new parts apparently, but I have not seen that one yet. The price however is of today's standards....

A superb build of the exact same kit. One which I most certainly will use as an inspiration and guide.

 


The research material I used, comprised of these 2 minor books, both in German. I found the information in them to be fairly good, but one could always dive deeper should one be interested.



söndag 11 oktober 2020

T-34/76 references

 Of course there is a tonne of info on the T34 tanks, but precisely that amount can be daunting, especially with all the different models, makes and manufacturers. This vehicle deserves a study in and of itself.

Bovington Tank Museum Tank Tanks, the T-34;


 

https://www.cs.mcgill.ca T-34

http://legion-afv.narod.ru/T-34-76.html 

https://www.flamesofwar.com T-34/76 part 1 

https://www.flamesofwar.com T-34/76 Part 2 

Armorama, with some clear info on the fueltanks! Armorama T-34/76



 

fredag 9 oktober 2020

Panzerkampf - T-34/76 Battle of Kursk - Cleaning up the mess

 The state of the semi-finished model was tear inducing. First thing that had to be done was getting rid of all the melted disfiguring. I cut away the mudguard fronts completely, reduced the back ones to a minimum and cut away the worst of the wobbles on the lefthand side. The right was not all that bad, so I just left it. This meant that I had to reconstruct the mudguards from scratch.... which is a new discipline for me. Fiddling about with copper wire and some plastic card bits is one thing, making new parts is another...

Also the front and back 2 wheels had to be replaced by the rubber rimmed version and while trying to carefully removing those wheels, the axles simply snapped. The plastic is hard and rather brittle. The will mean making new axle fittings too.

When working with this plastic hulk I noticed that I had been far from careful in assembling this thing; glue and bad fitting everywhere. Apart from places where there should be glue. A number of the smaller parts were coming off, so I just removed them all. Prevents the risk of breaking them, while handling the kit too. Some parts that I wanted to come off, didn't! Like the grilles on the engine deck or the turret hatches.  The large hatch/grill on the far rear popped off relatively easy, which was good, since I wanted to do something about the solid casting of the mesh there. I drilled, cat, sawed and sanded the openings, but it would not look good. I could not get it really straight or thin enough to take new mesh. Which I needed to find too. And rummaging through the boxes I came across a little surprise. 2 actually; the original p.e. parts that came with the kit AND a (hopefully complete) set of single link tracks!!









söndag 4 oktober 2020

Panzerkampf - T-34/76 Battle of Kursk

 Let's keep on going, while we're at it! After the T-54B I am reviving another oldie; Italeri's (originally Zvezda's) T-34/76 model 1943.

That one too has been semi-built resting in a box on the "Shelf of shame", originally intended to become part of a diorama... which never materialized.  I rediscovered it when looking for parts for the T-62A and in times of economic deprivation one should "waste not, want not"! And I will build this one as a T34/76 as might have appeared during the Battle of Kursk, making it another Sabaton History (re)build.



However what I found in the box was kind of disheartening; a pile of grey, deformed and tortured plastic with glue all over it, stiff vinyl tracks and broken off parts. Luckily T-34's are quite basic tanks, so fixing all the mishaps I created over a decade ago should be relatively easy.