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.

tisdag 22 juni 2021

Canadian M151A2 & M100 trailer - The build

 For this build I used Tamiya's M151A2 & trailer kit, which has a M416 trailer, and for the trailer I used the one the I had left over from Italeri's Jeep & trailer-kit. 

The build of the M151 is pretty straight forward, but there are some things that are not standard, such as the square rearview mirrors, which are from Tamiya's M996-kit Humvee-kit, and the antennamounts, which have to be rebuilt or scratch built. I also added a housing around the radiosets, because it shows in the pictures I used and thought looked good.
The drover is the kit-figure, but I angled the left leg inward and I added a British Tamiya-head with baret. Changes the looks completely!

For the trailer I had to add all the tiedown hooks, the handgrips, the box (used to be a Pz.4 jacking block) and handbreak. I also fastened the M151 towinghook around the closed towing eye of the trailer, so that I can easily attach it later. The grooves on front and back had to be filled and I added gear to the trailer, making it a single block for easy of painting.

Canadian M151A2 & M100 trailer

I somehow got distracted, or better said got stuck, in doing a Canadian M151A2 MUTT with a trailer as seen on a picture during REFORGER 1980 Certain Rampart.

I got this idea, because I was a) looking for information on the Canadian M113's and b) because I practically had all I needed already here at home. Research showed that it basically was a standard m151A2, but with a M100 Jeeptrailer.

The references I used for the M151A2:

The radio's:

The references I used for the M100 trailer:

tisdag 1 juni 2021

Canadian M113 UNPROFOR. Yugoslavia 1993 - the build part 1

Like I mentioned before I am using Tamiya's old ACAV-kit for this project. Why a canadian UN M113? I actually wanted a Danish Leopard 1-tank in UN white, but the only set available for such a conversion is the Legend one and that one seems not only very rare, but would also set me back around $45, shipping and customs not included! That would most likely almost double the cost. Which would still leave me in need for a kit for the tank itself, adding another $50 or so... plus shipping. Nope, not gonna happen. 

But I still wanted a UN vehicle, found some M113 pictures while researching the subject and this $15 kit.... Easy choice, right? In hindsight an Academy M113A2 (or the A3, which is the same kit with a lot of extras) would have been the right or at least better choice. It is the correct version with all the correct parts. But it was not available locally or quite costly elsewhere, again defying the purpose. The tamiya M113A2 was, but that is basically the same kit as the ACAV with some additional accessoires. 

What were the issues to tackle to make it into a Canadian M113?
First of all the Canadians had started to ipgrade their M113A2s to A3 standard, which would mean a different interior. However some pictures seem to suggest that A2s were still used in Yugoslavia, so I might get away with the original interior to some extent.
There are many small details on the outside that stood out, like the external fueltanks, the different blinkers, modified sideskirts and above all the different tracks (NATO/M113G tracks)! I figured I would tackle those as I went along.

I decided that I would leave the interior partially visible through the hatches, but would close the ramp. I did not want to go all bananas on correcting the interior at this point, but still add some basics and gear to make it look the part. 
The interior is pretty much as is, except for the tank; that one is enlarged and rounded at the front, using the too small and square original parts as a base. It turned out to be slightly to large when I was done.
I also added a radio on a shelf, but it is not the correct radio. It is a leftover spare from a Tamiya M115, but as with many of my builds, I use the principle "better something then nothing" to make do.

The kit has some rather glaring shortcomings that must be tackled when left open. One is the rearhatch with very visible ejectormarks and the opening cord on the wrong side (bottom) of the hatch. Another is the drivers hatch, which again has ejectormarks, but also a huge hole were the periscope opening is.

Canadian M113 UNPROFOR. Yugoslavia 1993

I needed a break from allthe heavy metal I've been doing lately and I have also been looking into the theme of the Yugoslavic civil war, planning on doing a display with various models. The reason for that is that is was one of the most hidious and viscious wars I had ever seen, heard or read about and the immense disservice done to many of those who were stationed there is phenomenal. It must not be forgotten and their stories must be heard.

Besides an IFOR Abrams M1A1, a SFOR Challenger II and a KFOR Dutch Leopard II I had hoped to do something in UN white. A Danish Leopard 1 would do nicely, but such a combo of kit & conversion would be an expensive enterprise. I needed something else and my eye fell on a Canadian M113, whilst simultaniously finding a cheap Tamiya M113 ACAV kit. That would do nicely, given the turrets needed.

The inspiration for the build:


The Medak Pocket is a major part of the Canadian experiences. There's a book about it too:

torsdag 20 maj 2021

Zvezda T34/85 People's uprising, DDR, 17 june 1953

In reading up on revolts on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain, I came across an uprising that I had never heard of; the "Arbeitersaufstand" or Worker's uprising of june, 17 1953 in the DDR or former East Germany. That sparked my interest and indeed it showed the same sequence of events that would be repeated in Hungary and Czechoslovakia later on; a totalitarian and detached ruling elite causing the masses to anger and rise only to be crushed by Soviet armour in a desperate attempt by the elite to remain in power. 
And I had gotten exactly the right kit for this as a christmas present last year; Zvezda's T-34/85! 

And this kit has a few nifty things, one being a template to assemble the tracks on. Another is the 3 part engine cover with an inner, an outer cast and sturdy mesh to be cut to shape and glued in between.
The overal detail of the bright green sprues is quite good, there are quite a few (very) small parts and the tracks are link & length in a sort of gunmetal colour.

The version I am aiming for is the one as shown with tank "93" and "94"; the ones with the beams on the sides.


I don't like my Zvezda T34/85 kit.... There, I said it.

I just do not get the "feel" for it, don't get into "the zone" with it.

Don't get me wrong, it is a nice kit. And the fit is generally good. I just.... no. I struggle to get it done, don't pay it the attention that is needed, which only makes things worse. I really messed up with the fuel tanks, which meant I had to chop up fully cured subassemblies. Which doesn't make for pretty finishes, broken off pegs and slightly deformed tanks due to the force exerted.

Zvezda also has these ridiculously small parts. Without adding spares. So when of them zings through the air after leavig the tweezers at considerable speed..... gone. Like the lifting hooks on the turret. Found one again, but another is lost.

And then there are the tracks. I used the kittracks on my old (also Zvezda) T-34/76 and they just did not fit. Had to cheat by adding one extra trackpad and cut off its joints. The reason for the trackswap was that the "76" was already painted and using the coloured tracks would save me a lot of painting headaches.

For this kit I am using spare Dragon single link tracks and these just fit, even though they are bigger then the original kit version!

Nice cast detail with clearly marked locations for the small parts.

Comparing Zvezda's old T34/76 to the new T34/85 I noticed a size difference. Note that the "85" is not standing on its wheels and tracks and the "76" frontfenders are scratchbuilt, so I made them too large.
But there is a noteable size difference in the hull and the parts on the rear.