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.

måndag 28 september 2020

NVA T-54B Spring offensive 1972 - building the hull & drivetrain

 For my build I am focusing on the battle of An Loc, but from what I have read it does not really matter for the T-54. They all appear to share the same characteristics; they are pretty bare, lacking many parts such as mudguards and external fuel drums. Actually I could not find any pictures of T-54's or 55's in action that had them. Some did retain the carriers for them and I added them too, even if out of aesthetic aspects. I also added one mudguard, for the same reason. I did however leave of the shovel and pickaxe. They look horrible and I figured that tanks this disheveled and campaign worn most likely would have lost them anyway.

This time I did add the fuel lines around the fuel tanks, but doing that showed that the dimensions of the tanks and their placement seems faulty, especially near the turret ring. No matter. Now there is something instead of nothing. Made out of telephone wire by the way, with the insulation being the connectors.

The tow cables is made from the cotton string that came with the kit. I tried making my own by twisting copperwire, but even a 4 strand cable was way to thin. So the cotton strand it was and I made it more rigid by applying glue to it and shaping it over the tank, letting it sit to harden.


The kit comes with a myriad of extra, unneeded parts, which I assume would be used in other versions like indeed a B or T-55's. Among them were parts for 3 ammoboxed, spread out over the sprues. You can guess the fit of these 4-part each boxes by the amount of filler needed. I assembled all the other stowage- and toolboxes too. Reduces parts on the table and I get an idea what to use them for later.


Many of the more delicate parts had ridiculously thick attachments, which made the risk breaking those parts a real thing....

... and what are these supposed to look like???

The wheels in various stages or wear and tear. Way at the beginning I thought it would be cool looking to show a wheel with the rubber band worn off and I added one of the original wheels to make the other side a bit more interesting too. I have photos actually showing the use of A-wheels on B-vehicles. Logistics, I suppose.



söndag 27 september 2020

North Vietnamese T-54 tanks, Eastern Offensive 1972

All of the following images I plucked from the internet, many years ago. The show NVA T-54's and T-55's, which all, or at least most, seem to have in common that they lack mudguards and the external fuel tanks. There also seems to be a mix of roadwheel types, making me think that heavy logistics in the NVA was a bit of an issue.

An Loc 1972 - A knocked out North-Vietnamese T54 Tank


19 Apr 1973, An Loc, South Vietnam --- Plaything...A Communist tank is a plaything for children at An Loc April 10th. Some of the children are really serious about playing "war."

 











lördag 26 september 2020

North Vietnamese T-54B Easter Offensive 1972 - Chiến dịch Xuân hè 1972, resurrecting another old shelf queen...

august 29, 2010

Here I am again, on vacation in Sweden, with weather not that good and as it has become a tradition of mine to do some building and show it off.
This time I went for something completely different. Instead of the usual halftrack, I went for a T-54! Yes, you read it correctly.... I went of my usual path and I am being "punished" for it.
I am building Trumpeter's T-54A and it doesn't live up to the expectations I had from a Trumpeterkit. More of that later. First the backgrounds. I want to build this T-54A as an upgraded version, as used by the Vietnam NVA-tank during the Easteroffensive, which means a barrel with fume-extractor and different runningwheels. The barrel in the kit is quite useless, so a metal part will be added and the later style wheels were giving to me by a fellowmodeller at Twenot.
The kit rubberbandtracks are even worse than the barrel, so they were exchanged for Tamiya rubberband tracks. These, however, do not fit on the Trumpeter idlers, so these need to be replaced, too. The same goes for the DshK, which has a distant resemblance to the real thing, so that must be changed....

Here are some pictures I made, so far;
The tracks, with the problem being evident:



The fit of the hull was bad and there were plenty of gaps to be filled up. I used stretched sprue and evergreen, softened up with glue and, once fully cured, sanded down.






NVA tanks look quite beaten up and used in the pictures, so I wanted to have worn wheels for this vehicle. I sanded them all down, because they had these strange ribs on them. I cut out pieces here and there, made curved edges and with one wheel I removed the rubber band completely:


And this is where I left off 10 years ago.....

So I picked it up again, the T-62A having whetted my appetite for more Russian heavy metal. 

The only thing that has changed so far is that I exchanged the sprocket and idler for the T-62A ones...



 


torsdag 24 september 2020

T-62A Prague Spring - the final act...

 the curtains close... and it is done!!

On the following pictures a number a small issues was shown, so I had to fix those. Replace the broken antenna, paint the "glass" of the optics etc. I had also forgotten all about the fuel hoses between the external tanks, even though they are quite prominent, until it was too late to add them. Finding good references photo's for details of contemporary vehicles proved difficult, but in case of those hoses, one could easily copy those from a T-55 for instance.

The white markings had to look as it they were handpainted by the crew and I always find it challenging to do that convincingly. With this one I am rather pleased by the result and I used Tamiya's XF-2 straight out of the jar. Painted some small runners on the front too. I toned the white down with a neutral grey wash, making it look a little grimy. I suppose Soviet tanks always were...

I must admit that I did not give this kit the attention it should have gotten. There are a number of places where I should have sanded a bit better, remove some flash, work a little more precise and such. But I guess I got biased by reading reports and statements online, when I researched the kit. It was stated that it was such a horrible kit, nothing was right so I ended up cutting corners. I really shouldn't have...

It was really not all that bad! The main flaw I discovered was the wrong rear end. The mudguards are too long and straight. They should follow the curving of the track. The engine deck is very long too, but neither of these issues hampers the fun of building the tank. All in all I enjoyed my first "Russian heavy metal"! And I also learned a lot more about events behind the "Iron Curtain". More to follow....













onsdag 23 september 2020

T-62A Prague Spring - the third act

 I did not like the outcome of the turret, so I redid that one. Off into a bag of oven cleaner it went. The decals took some scrubbing though. References show all sorts of white markings. There appears to have been no real uniformity in either applying them, their location or their form.
I have seen all from T-shaped to crufifix-formed with straight and angled arms. Even running all the way down the backside of the tank over unditching beam and fuel drums.
All sorts of unitnumbers too; simple, with or without a small divisional symbol, with additional numbers in either squares or near-cirkels.

The decals I used, once again from Trumpeter's T-54A kit, were so stiff and unpliable  that I cut them up in order to make them take the shape of the turret better and diminish the creasing. I doused them in Microsol first, dabbed, tapped and pushed them down and finally used Microset. But you still see the creases, especially along the top edge.




 Another problem occurred when I sealed the decals with the matt clear paint; the entire surface became considerably darker! So I had to redo the whole tank, making it much darker then I had initially planned for.

The rather minimal stowage comes from the sparesbox. It lacked more suitable stowage.


Just out of nostalgia I used only this Tamiya set for the weathering.

Tracks were drybrushed using Vallejo's "natural steel", gave it a wash with dark grey, followed by a darkbrown wash and topped of with the brown from the weathering set along the outer edges.

Unfortunately the vinyl tracks were twisted and bent, making it impossible to get them to fit properly. The tracks actually are made up of one set of Tamiya T-55 tracks, combined and cut to length. The supplied kit tracks are too short and as a result will sit too tight, losing the typical sag of the real thing.

Weathering in general is kept minimal. Looking at pictures of the event itself all tanks look remarkably clean. None of them had come a long way during the invasion, so I suspect they had been standing at the ready just across the borders.

måndag 21 september 2020

T-62A Prague spring - the "battle" continues...

 This build surely isn't the hardest one, but it isn't the easiest either.

The kit has its number of pitfalls, but all in all goes together rather quickly. However for my endgoal I needed to address some things and make some changes. First of all the wheels. I replaced those with a set from Tamiya's T-55 as I wrote earlier, but the main issue is that the wheels do not fit the shock absorbers! Or more precisely the polycap wheel hubs do not. So I had to shorten the axles, meaning the wheels had to be glued in place permanently. Which meant leaving off the hull for easy of painting. I would have to anyway if I were to have any chance of fixing the vinyl tracks later on, since these have to be made to fit and glued in place too.

Several of the reference pictures show T-62's in a rather dark shade of green, so I tried Tamiya's XF-61 Dark Green.... which turned out quite dark indeed! But I sort of like it for representing a relatively new vehicle, so I'll run with that.

Another detail is the deep wading equipment. Tamiya provides a short one to be attached to the rear of the turret, but pictures show a long one attached to the rear of the vehicle, often on top of the extra fueldrums. I had a tube in just the right diameter, so made a new one. Added additional drum fastenings as well.









lördag 19 september 2020

T-62 Operation Danube / Operace Dunaj Czechoslovakia 1968

 I recently purchased Tamiya's T-62A in 1/35 scale and figuring out what to do with it, I stumbled upon some in action photo's during the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

A photogallery, showing the deployment of T-62's;

https://www.idnes.cz/zpravy/domaci/vzpominka-na-srpen-1968.A160821_082402_domaci_cen/foto/nahledy#DDT5d643c_tank.jpg 

Another photogallery with an assortment of photo's;

https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2017/05/06/operation-danube/