Happy New Year!

The title says it all! I hope all of my throngs of faithful readers had a wonderful 2016, and hope that 2017 proves to be even better.

In my tiny modeling universe I have had my most productive year since my return to the hobby. I got quite a few kits completed, one kit in limbo, and one on the bench. I also have one kit waiting in the “stash” (my stash consists of two kits) that is going to be part of a group build starting today.

I also have a four kits and some supplies on the way from my favorite online hobby supply, Scale Hobbyist. Great place.

One of the kits I have on the way, is Tamiya’s 1/35 Panzer II, kit number 35009. This kit has been around since 1971. Why would I order such an old kit, you ask? Well, I am starting a new series on my YouTube channel called, “Modeling for Beginners.” I plan on doing a series of videos, doing a step-by-step, starting with the basics, using the most basic set of tools and supplies. Then with the next kit I feature, I will get a slightly more detailed kit, and use some slightly more advanced techniques. A kind of growing together thing.

I have posted my idea on my channel and it has received some decent enthusiasm and even brought some new subscribers. My whole plan for my channel all along has been to be helpful in some way, and not just showcase my models.

With that in mind, I will probably only be posting here once a month, or so. Update kinds of things and maybe some photos of my completed models. Since my audience is growing on the YouTube channel, I want to focus my efforts there.

Enough of that. So, to close off this year (and post) I am attaching one photo each of my completed kits for 2016. Not a bad years work, if I may say so!

Carry on chaps, and chapettes, and see you next time.

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A Halftrack of A Different Color… pt 2

Assembly has commenced on the Tamiya Sdkfz 251/9.

As is my custom, the wheels are assembles, but not attached to facilitate ease of painting later.

Everything to this point assembled and ready for interior paint.

Interior parts painted and assembled.

Gun assembled and ready for paint.

Interior weathered a bit. I may add a bit more, but will see later…

Ran into a bit of fit issue on the tool boxes. It took quite a bit of clamping to fix it.

Attached the fenders and scratched a conduit for the light.

Ready for paint.

Ta da! Base coat applied. I like to use Vallejo primer in the appropriate color for a base. Saves a step by not having to prime then paint.

Next time will be a bit of hairspray and a coat of Tamiya OD to begin some light chipping.

Until next time… adios!

 

A Halftrack of A Different Color

For my next project I will be tackling a subject I have never done before… a German halftrack.

The kit I have chosen is the Tamiya Sdkfz 251/9.

While perusing the interwebs for ideas and research, I found some interesting photos of vehicles of this type. I was quite surprised when I came across this one

It is the same vehicle pictured above, captured by the British and used by them during action in the Netherlands. This photo piqued my interest.

While looking for info on the unit markings, I found out that a booklet and decal set is available pertaining to this and other vehicles captured by the allies during WWII. I did a quick search online and found it.

And here is the vehicle in the booklet

After inspecting the kit contents, I opted to order some aftermarket tracks since the kit tracks are very basic, with no detail on the inner portion that contacts the road wheels. At the suggestion of a few modelers on a Google+ group I am a member of, I ordered a set of the single strip type for the Sdkfz 251 series manufactured by AFV Club.

So, that is the kit and extras. Next time… assembly begins.

November Already…

… and it is time for an update.

Last post saw the completion of the Academy Sherman M4A3 with T-34 Calliope. It was a fun kit, especially with the self inflicted update challenges I did. The end result came out better than expected.

 

My current project is the Dragon 1/35 scale M7 Priest, Early Production.

Most of the construction is complete, and it has been great so far. Construction is a bit different than the Tamiya and Academy kits I am used to, but with a bit of simple planning and care, it isn’t anything that can’t be overcome pretty easily. Look for a post soon discussing the construction soon.

After I wrap up the M7, I will be starting the Tamiya 1/35 Sdffz 251/9.

I will building this one pretty much out of the box as far as construction goes, but the paint will be different. I will be painting this one to replicate a vehicle captured by the British during Operation Market Garden. I have a decent photo to work off of and a decal set for this particular vehicle. Again, a post will be coming up about this one.

The only other kit I have waiting, is the new tool Tamiya 1/35 M10 Tank Destroyer. I have a photo to work off of for this one as well. It will be portraying a tank destroyer supporting the 76th Infantry Division during their push across Germany.

Many, many posts ago, I mentioned Shepard Paine as one of my early influences in modeling. Recently, a new book, Shep Paine’s Armor Modelers Guide, was released. I have yet to get it (I’ll probably order when I am done here!) but it got me thinking about those years long ago, perusing Shep’s Tips For Building Dioramas from the old Monogram kits. I always admired his work, and as I have gotten older, I appreciate it more, knowing now what kind of deadlines he had and the primitive models he had to work with. Back then, I could only dream of turning out finished models like he did.

Now however, I think my skills have improved enough that I could almost pull off some of the things he did. Notice I say almost… So, I have started to get the urge to finally try to duplicate what Shep did. My first and favorite introduction to his work was the Monogram Sherman Hedge Hog. He did some simple scratch built modifications, and made a really nicely done diorama depicting a Sherman plowing through a hedgerow supported by infantry during the fighting in Normandy.

So, I will have to start looking for one of the old kits with the diorama sheet in it, so I can give it a try. I’ll post updates on this one as they develop.

And… that is it for this time. Stay tuned for further stuff soon, and if you aren’t building models, give it shot. If you are, keep it up and have fun!

Academy M4A3 w/T-34 Calliope Update

Wow.

I had good intentions with this kit and writing a build log. Really, I did. But, I just counted the photos and realized that over 100 photos with commentary is a bit much, so I will give a few comments and then post pics of the finished model.

First of all, I want to mention that this is my second Academy kit. The kit overall is pretty nice. There are a few detail things that are not to my liking, but easily fixed. Engine hatch grab handles come to mind. The ones on the kit are the solid, molded on type, and those were easily shaved off and replaced with some of the extra handles that come with the kit.

Fit is generally good with some not-too-difficult modifications to the rocket tubes to get everything to come together smoothly.

I built the kit mostly from the box, but added wiring to the rocket launcher assembly, and reworked the springs on the rocket launcher mounts to look a little better.

I also replaced the kit tracks. The ones in the kit are the rubber chevron type with extended end connectors, usually referred to as duckbill end connectors. The vehicle I was building had the steel chevron tracks, so I opted to go after market. The brand I chose was Kaizen.

I have messed with Kaizen tracks once before and really liked them, so I thought I would give them a try again. They are much cheaper than the metal tracks that are available and seem to be better quality than some of the other brands.

The one snag I ran into was that the drive sprockets were too narrow for the tracks. So, I had to cut the sprocket apart and add a spacer to make it wider.

Here is a photo of the tank I was recreating

m4_sherman_t34_calliope-1

And here is my version

And a few more.

And that, is that.

For my next review, I will cut back on the photos and be a little more general, with emphasis on modifications or fit issues.

A Quick Update

Hi-de-ho, volks. 

Just wanted to drop a quick post to let you know that I am not MIA, or off on safari. I have been working on my latest project, the Academy M4A3 Sherman with T-34 Calliope, in 1/35 scale. I am foregoing my usual multi-part build format on this one and am going to do one, big whopping post on the whole thing and see how it works. 

Here’s the kit.

I am going to try this format for builds so I can do some blogs about other stuff as well: other military related stuff that ties in with modeling; previews of upcoming reviews and builds; techniques and products…. kind of what I intended for this blog from the start.

Stay tuned for more upcoming stuff, and let me know what you think of the new plan in the comment section.

Tamiya 1/35 Panther Ausf D… Completed!

At long last, the Panther is finished.

If you have been following along, you already know that this was a kit that I built along with my English friend, Steve Mottram. We both built the same kit concurrently, and then we posted the results to our channels on YouTube (I’ll post mine below.)

As for my thoughts on the kit, I would say that if you like armor kits, this is a great one to add to the collection. Being a new-tool kit, the quality is outstanding. Molding is superb with very little to clean up. The detail is very nice without having an outrageously high parts count. The fit is excellent.

As noted in earlier posts, the only items I used that didn’t come in the box, were the grill set for the engine deck and tracks, both made by Tamiya specifically for this kit, and an aluminum barrel.

So, without further adieu, here are some photos of the Panther Ausf D.

And here is a link to my video.