Friday, 14 August 2015

1/35 MENG M3A3 - (part 2)

Not my normal build, but variety is the spice of life, right? 

I've never built a kit by MENG before but I'm extremely impressed with the presentation, instructions, and the plastic components that I already know will build into a stunning model of the M3A3.

So, let's see...............I started with the laborious task of putting together road wheels................

Road wheels assembled and ready to roll..............(sorry, couldn't resist!)
............... but then jumped ahead to work on the suspension which has been designed to work - an excellent detail. This part of the build went relatively smoothly although my rough handling snapped a trailing arm which needed a super-glue repair.

The instructions ask us to cut off some vision blocks to the rear of the upper hull, and this was a scary prospect, not to mention a dangerous one that could have cost me a finger! Bolt-on armour covers the areas where the vision blocks were massacred........I mean, removed with precision, so don't worry about the gaping rectangular holes removing these blocks will cause (if you have the interior, you will need to remove the interior part of these vision blocks, too).

Every hatch/door opens on this kit, so under the bonnet/hood you'll see the engine (that's if you purchased an engine to go inside), the driver's hatch opens, as does one on the rear deck. You'll also find that the rear ramp lowers and the door inside of it opens, however, to take full advantage of these excellent features you'll need to have purchased the interior set.  If you buy your kit directly from the Far East, along with interior components, it will not be expensive and you'll be glad you did so.  I didn't do any of the above because I don't like painting interiors, although the kit is so nice I sort of wish I had now.

There is is photo-etch supplied with the kit, and quite a bit of it.  So far it's been enjoyable with no microscopic components to bend into complicated shapes, but instead nice thin pieces to represent engine grilles and so forth. 

Anyway, the only thing I can say about this kit is, buy it!  (and this is coming from someone who doesn't normally like modern subjects).

The tracks with this kit are workable and click together with no glue required, so no problems, just the boring task of carefully cutting away the three pieces of sprue as per photo above. Take care with the middle one as it's difficult to get sprue cutters in there; I cut off as much as possible with my cutters and then used a very thin sanding stick which did the job perfectly.  And, 160 links later I had two workable track lengths (thank don't fall apart when handled, unlike others I've made in the past), and curiously, quite a few spare links, which is always nice.....................(I think).

After carefully studying a photo of the real vehicle, I took my trusty craft knife and began to gently score the vertical lines of one of the lower armour panels; I'd previously measured the top of this same panel to leave myself a mounting bracket by scoring horizontally. With the remaining 1/3 of this panel I cut off each corner, as per real vehicle, and sanded it down to make it appear recessed; I then drilled three holes to represent the missing bolts.  On the other busk/'skirt' section I removed two armoured panels leaving no brackets. Various bolt heads were sanded down on both left and right sections of the armoured panels and holes drilled to represent missing bolts.

More soon......................

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Tamiya's 1/35 Jagdpanther (part 2)

With so many projects on the go right now there isn't too much progress, but I have at least made some decisions regarding my Jagdpanther and how she will be depicted.............. 

The scenario: at the close of WWII regular German forces are surrendering although hardcore fanatics are retreating to southern Germany and into Austria. Now, at this point I will cut a long story short and just say that these regular German forces turn against the fanatics for prolonging a useless war, and Jagdpanthers, much in demand, are taken directly from the production lines, some barely completed, by the regular German forces to be used against well equipped SS and elite units.  As long as the Jagdpanthers have their main armament and are capable of traveling, they're needed urgently.  

My influence/inspiration came from photos of captured factories at the end of WWII with lines of Jagdpanthers and Panther Gs.

I will let the photos below do the talking..................

See part 3 HERE
See part 1 HERE

Saturday, 1 August 2015

HobbyBoss's Super Pershing Pilot (Part 2)

So where am I with the build?  I've managed to paint and weather the engine (which won't be seen at all) and seal up the lower hull and deck. 

Photo below is a shot of the engine before she was sealed in. 

Photo above: the exhausts were painted with a Vallejo rust colour and while still damp, I added some pastel dust, a mix of oranges and browns. Once dry I'm able to handle the exhausts without any of the pastel powder coming off, but just to make sure I can add a few drops of airbrush cleaner which makes the pastels set hard.

Photo below: And here she is, partially in primer.  

Photo below: With great difficulty I installed some photo-etch on the rear fenders (small rails to place stowage) but without the luxury of a photo-etch bending tool the job was not to my liking, and any attempts to straighten the flimsy-looking rails once fitted meant they just broke loose and damaged my, they had to go!  I am not modelling the one and only machine that saw action at the end of World War Two, so let's just say mine was the second machine that was not publicized.......... ;)

Click on the photos below to enlarge - I'll let the captions do the talking.

Photo below: because the weapon is such a large part on this particular kit, I ordered myself an aluminum barrel from eBay - it's a beauty! 

Okay, so that's it for now.  At the time of writing, my Super Pershing is waiting for a final coat of primer before I begin working on a new painting method.  

More soon, comrades!