Friday, 8 September 2017

Tinkering....D-Day wading Sherman MK 1 ARV WIP #2

Some more fettling, added the two wading stacks and started the basic stowage load out.

Am happy enough with the angle son these, my reference sources vary so with blueprints these are a good compromise.

Re-used a few of the S&S parts, note the temporary stowage for the rear stowage box.

Now its looking like how I envisioned it, a few more hours with fine details but the bulk of the build is done.

The eagle eyed may notice the spruce colour change for the running gear. I decided to use the sapre set in the Rubicon M4E8, why? two reasons:

a) detail is better, wheels now have an undercut.
b) means I can use the warlord tracks for the hull!

Strange bird!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Tinkering.. D-Day wading Sherman Mk 1 ARV

WIP Sherman (Mk III) Mk 1 ARV - D-Day

Been bitten by the Sherman curse again! I started with wanting to do a Sherman ARV following my S&S Cromwell ARV up on flicker...on doing research I though why not a wading Sherman for D-Day, so I thought, easy 2x S&S conversion sets and two M4A4 and we're off.......

It seems the majority of Commonwealth Shermans used on D-Day were M4A2 (Sherman III) which points towards a M4A2 being my preferred option for this build ( as opposed to an M4A4). The problem now was converting a spare Warlord M4 into an M4A2, which basically is a new engine deck and rear end, oh well here we go...

Starting positions, M4 Hull.

After bit of tinkering, removed the awful molded-on tow cable, the lifting points and rear engine deck parts. Also removed the additional armour plates which would add protection to the ammunition racks, clearly not needed on an ARV!

Refashioned a new rear end and filled in the existing hatch moldings. Tools will be removed later

Bit of a jump  now; originally was going to use the S&S turret cover but decided it was cleaner to reconstruct, so:

a) new turret hatch cover and hatches
b) initial wading truck added
c) Lifting points redone with wire
d) front stowage arrangements added
e) my favorite! the vice!
f) made three tow wires and stowed them
g) added S&S parts, where not remade.

note: the two figures are from the S&S 1/56 British tankers set, an excellent set in pixie suits, I will be modifying obviously ( no pixie suits in June!)

Close up of the hull front, not entirely sure what the rod assemblies were for, they look like station posts?, anyway made them up as per references.

Quick shot of the rear, you can see the re-scribed engine hatches, rear wood block stowages and added the extra fuel points. The actual grill just needs to be representative at this stage as I will add the wading stack and water proofing.

And finally, well for this weekend anyway ( Russkies to assemble and paint!), added two S&S Models crewmen for show!

This one is a "for fun" build, I feel a need for these to keep my skills in, and interest up and I love a challenge, probably not my best commercial decision, i.e time and resources for a vehicle used in one action!

As always with Shermans, something will always bite me, so if I've got anything incorrect just shout!

Next up the interesting bit, the rear wading trunks!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Tinkering with...Warlord Chaffee for Indochina

Another interesting commission, this time a M24 Chaffee as fought at Dien Bien Phu. Not being too familiar with post war Chaffees, this one called for a bit of research. Specific mods I found difficult to trace, but noted the following from contemporary photos:

a) Two Aerial points
b) .50 cal protected stowage position
c) Drivers hood/screen
d) light, ad hoc stowage

In addition, on inspection the Chaffee model was devoid of any lifting points, and the distinctive .50 cal tripod mount was omitted ( standard .50 call pintle supplied), bit disappointing really.


View from above, shows many of the mods, as above but in addition:

a) replaced .50 cal with PSC from spares
b) reconstituted .50 cal tripod mount
c) added .50 cal turret stowage brackets and assembly
d) representative detail on TC hatch

e) opened up side hatch
f) added lifting points
h) added spare 75mm canisters on rear track guard
f) added open vision slots, pet peeve of mine- why are vision slots always depicted closed!!!!!

g) added some rear stowage, conjecture really, added the rear tray but in the stowed up position.
h) added brass/ wire handles, on all but the tie downs, i have to stop somewhere!

i) Tow cables made and added. I was aware that earlier German and Russian practice was to pre-rig tow cables prior to action to facilitate recovery, I think this adds that little bit of context and detail. practice
j) you can see the drivers hood in the stowed position, this will have clear glass when finished, also intend too add to the vision blocks as well.
l) The TC was a mix between a Warlord american tanker with a head swap from the spares bos, modified with tankers headset

Final shot with the TC, Captain Yves Hervouet commanding Escadron de Marche de 1er Regiment de Chasseurs a Cheval. As I understand his mount was "Smolensk", so if anyone knows of any specific details that I've omitted the please shout. 

But be quick this is lined up for paint along side the earlier Russkies ( not related!!!) 

And finally, am still shifting out old stock and un-committed projects, so the following are up on ebay, posted under "tarnished_epaulettes" 

 - 1/56 - Warlord : Churchill AVRE, Sdkfx 7/1 Quad, 
           - JTFM Panzer III M/N

Thursday, 29 June 2017

1/56 DAK Luftwaffe Sdkfz 7

 Another paint, this time a Luftwaffe Sdkfz 7 serving with the Africa Korps. Unusually this wasn't built by me, so its just the paint.

I rarely take on pre-built as I cant always guarantee the quality of the build. In this case, the modeller is a known quantity so was happy to oblige.

This is the Warlord offering, a quite old resin sculpt now, but still standing up well against the opposition and I've done a few of these now.

In the wings, I have one I'm up-detailing along with its Flak 88, buts its "parked" for now.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

1/56 Elefant

As a change from some build work, I will post a series of recent paints. First up is one of my favorite vehicles, the Elefant. 
Don't get many chances to paint these as, along with larger cats, there isn't the call for them on the table top.
This is Warlords/ Bolt Action offering and is "vanilla" as it comes, absolutely no mods from me. 
As there isn't much need for a build log on this, i'll just let pictures do the talking, as always the full portfolio is up on flickr.

This is Warlords display piece, so you may see it in their cabinets at shows, much better in the "flesh".

As an aside I have a side project in the wings for two years time, which involves quite a few of these in 20mm...........

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!

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.