Military Madness – Spotlight No3

A little something to celebrate getting 100K site visits a little while back ….

Some things just can’t be rationally explained especially when the military mind is allowed full reign to express itself. The result is weird costumes, unusual camouflage and completely impractical vehicles. Just for funsies I thought I’d post a few pics from my web collection of military weirdness of the highest order ….


VWW Prototype, as the marketing pamphlet says, “not just an amphibious car but a unidirectional amphibious car!” No orders were placed …..

VWV prototype

A chronic shortage of imported silk fuelled this design from ill-fated Soviet aeronaut Sergi Stupoiovich, seen here preparing for his first, and last, test flight of the assualt manbatwing.

Soviet manbat

The 1940 German Albert Canal swim team seen here in a secret training session.

German Albert Canal swim team

The famous ‘Wake Island TD” often thought to be a military urban legend until this recent archival photographic discovery.

Wake Island TD

Wash day during the phoney war Sitzkrieg of 1939.

Wash day Ziegfiedline

2 man Northrop-Grumman 75 Gallon Droptank cycle.


Elvis ….. the man is everywhere. Nuff said.

Elvix Wunschley Jnr

Dave goes undercover. Superb costume partially let down by his failure to find a suitable Bear cavalry unit to blend with.

Max goes undercover

No idea. So it must be something to do with excessive schnapps consumption. Obvious really.

Its all better with schnapps

ICP European fun tour ’42.

ICP '43

The famous British stiff upper lip and disdain for danger is evident in this picture of a tank crew fortified with cucumber sandwiches, gin and pipe tobacco ….

British Aplomb

Top secret War Dept field testing picture of the Vickers-Armstrongs “Cateye” image enlarging bifocals seen here attached to a “volunteer”.


Focke-Wulf Kradschutzenskooter parked outside a coffeehaus and being admired by envious footsloggers.

FW Kradschutzenskooter

Dave undercover again, this time spotted here trying to infiltrate the temporary field HQ of OKW East during Operation Caseblue (Fall Blau).

Dave infiltrates OKW

Oddballs design for a co-axial Thompson (Pat:Pending). Limited ammunition capacity caused this promising weapon to be relegated to rear area and training units only.

Kelleys coax

The infamous “Bambookatana” one man attack boat was fuelled by 100 octane av-gas. First Lt Hiro on the other hand is seen here running on 40 proof Sake …..

Lt Hiro and one man Katanajunk

Experimental Soviet VVS attack-tricycle.

Soviet assualtcycle

Norwegian entry into the 1932 Eurotank (single man, powered) open class category competition.

Norwiegan fast attach vehicle

A7V Funtserwagen. The plan to equip a parent “carrier” A7V with 6 of these small lightweight attack vehicles was abandoned when the vehicles were found to lack a serious trench crossing ability.

A7V funsterwagen

After a hearty breakfast 266 Squadron prepares for the “Boche” ….

266 Squadron

Recent budgetary cuts to the USCG saw this entry gain favour for the potential “lightweight nominal footprint” High Speed Patrol Vessel.

HSPV trials

A unit with a sense of priority ensures that their Bierhanger is securely fastened to the towing clevis.


Bag End invaded. France surrenders. Nuff said.

French Surrender - again

And the last word must go to Spock …….

The Logic of Spock

P.K.40 Fledermaus – Maschinenkrieger MA.K / SF3D

lol this one has a really cool name …..

ZbV3000 Maschinenkrieger Panzer Kamp 40 – (P.K.40) / Jagd Flugzeug 40(S) – (J40(S)) FLEDERMAUS

Ok that is too much, more commonly called the PK40 or Fledermaus (Bat), originally this was designed as a 1/20th scale single seat aerospace fighter and produced by Nitto as part of the quite large MA.K/SF3D universe.

For this job I was asked to convert it to 1/48th and found that with a little jiggery a tandem cockpit from an Apache would fit. Apart from detailing the cockpit it was a straight forward OOB build with no major flaws. I did seal off the interior of the wings though as it is possible to see in through the large front intakes but all else is stock. The finish is brush painted with the main colour being enamel and the camouflage and detailing being done with acrylic.

I’m now at the stage of selecting markings and have to select and source something to suit the look and size of the airframe …


The Fledermaus as it sits at the moment awaiting markings ….

FM w187

FM w188

FM w189


Assembly and in progress pictures ……

FM w042

FM w037

FM w025 cockpit 2

FM w023

Early cockpit mock up using the Apache canopy. I quite liked this as I reckoned it looked a bit like a Focke Wulf. In the end though we went with the standard supplied kit canopy.

FM w019 concept nose
Simple beginnings ………
FM w011

Project ’46 Tiger Bridgelayer – Brückenleger auf PzKpfw VI wip3

A little detailing …….

Added a few details to add some interest. Made up a hydraulic ram and hoses for the front mounted spade and added hoses to the rear lifting jib. I also made up two large equipment stowage bins for the sides, adding some strengthening ribs using fine wire donated from broken IPod headphones. I fitted the kit exhausts then made two Flammvernichter cowlings by bending sprue and hollowing out the ends.

Still to do are some extra tools and jack, tow cables, the locating marks on the hull to fill in, an aerial mount on the top of the rear jib and AA ring and MG to the commanders cupola. Apart from choosing a suitable driver figure that’s probably all to do before priming it and selecting camouflage.


KTB 050 1250

KTB 049 1250

KTB 041 1250

KTB 042 1250

Project ’46 Tiger Bridgelayer – Brückenleger auf PzKpfw VI wip2

Tracks ….. really!

Yup, managed to get the roadwheels and the Revell link n length tracks on today. On the whole it went pretty well. The tracks look good although I feel the Dragon DS ones are a little bulkier and look better because of that, plus the DS ones are a breeze to fit. What I really want for my Tiger projects are some of the new OKB late TigerII single link tracks.

Anyway, it’s on to the detailing next ……


KTB 031 1250

Track sag, my version of the natural Catenary curve …..

KTB 034 1250

KTB 037 1250

OKB kgs73/800/152 late single link TigerII tracks

KTB 038 tracks

Project ’46 Tiger Bridgelayer – Brückenleger auf PzKpfw VI wip1

An old build revisited …….

One of my first attempted Project ’46 conversions was a bridgelayer based on a Tiger2 chassis, the Bruckenleger auf PanzerKampfwagen VI (Bridgelayer on TigerVI).

I originally used a Dragon Tiger2 as a base but made a mistake during building that caused me to abandon the build and in fact eventually break it up for parts. It was one of the early Tiger kits with the black tracks and they were too short and resisted glueing. SO after much pain and superglue I finally got them on, it was late at that stage (about 1.30am) so I went to bed feeling pretty happy that I’d won the track battle. When I looked at it the next morning I realised I’d managed to set the tracks too far to the outside of the roadwheels, with the guidehorns to the outside.

Not much of an error you say? Well it was to me, I was really steamed that I’d made such a noob error. So I tried to prise that tacks off. Carefully. Tried cutting them, managed to cut the track. Working and pulling at them managed to break off the tip of a roadwheel that was more attached to the track than to itself! Apparently I’d used a lot of superglue and it’d reacted with the vinyl tracks to create some sort of superbond. NASA should employ me as a chemist …..

Finally I decided (after repairing the cut track and broken roadwheel) to carry on and see if I’d still notice after paint. One of my “issues” is that I’m very picky with my own builds, especially as I don’t get much of my own stuff completed compared to builds I do for others (I’ve painted around 500 vehicles and countless historic figs). So I laid in the paint and got it to the basic camouflage and shade stage …. and yeah, the tracks still bugged the crap out of me. I stuck it on a shelf ….. and the tracks still mocked me with their …. trackiness. And so to cut a long and by now tedious story short – one day I broke it up for parts.

In my defence I’ve always wanted to build it again, and better. I think both my painting and detailing has improved and I should be able to make a better job. So when in a roundabout way the offer of a spare Tiger2 hull came up in conversation (many thanks to DaveL via the Missing-Lynx forum – you’re a true gent) I’ve finally got the opportunity to attempt a rebuild ……


And so the “new” Tiger Bruckenleger takes shape. I’m using a donated Revell Tiger hull and it’s the first time I’ve built one so I’m interested to compare it to it’s Dragon opposition. The Brdegelayer parts come from the old build and are originally sourced from the Revell Leopard “Biber” Bruckenleger kit. These bits are a bit “used” by now but will have to do as the price of a new donor kit would feed me for a week lol.

Below is the Revell hull with the center section cut out with a fret-saw. To be honest this is a pretty easy conversion with the replacing of the center hull sections being the only bit requiring some care and accuracy. I marked out the section with a pencil, cut close to the line with the saw the squared and adjusted the fit with a file.

KTB 021 1100

Here’s the centre bridge lifting section in place. the gap on the front join with be hidden with a “weld” bead made from greenstuff. As I wanted to add some better detail this time I’m going to drill out and fit a replacement drivers hatch. I figured aligning the bridge would be a tricky job so the driver would most likely have his head out of the hatch.

KTB 023 1100

KTB 023 cu 850

I then fitted the bridge lifting arm, rear lifting jib and added the greenstuff weld beads. They’re a bit over-scale but will do the job under paint I think. Although difficult to see in these pretty average workbench pics, I also hollowed out the solidly moulded periscopes.

I’m going to have to make a decision before fitting the front spade. As the Tiger has it’s final drive mounted in the front (unlike the Leopard which is rear drive) the spade hydraulics can’t be fitted in there under armour and would require external rams. So I may run an armoured cover up the front hull and into the area where the MG kugelblend mount is, the theory being the hrydraulic powerpack replaces the bow mg and gunner. Then fit some rams and hoses to the jib …. or do it easy like I did the first time and just fit the spade as is ….

KTB 025 1100

KTB 027 1250

Finally here’s some pictures of my previous build so you can see where I’m heading with all of this …..

KTB 009 1250

KTB 011 1250

KTB 012 1250

KTB 019 1250

And it’s real modern day namesake …..