Project DAK – Finished : Perry Minatures, Blitzkrieg, Rubicon 1/56th – 28mm

DAK Project …..

A couple of “big” pics from the finished project.

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Perry Morris CS8 AT-Portee – Project DAK finished

Perry AT-Portee finished ….

Finished the Perry Morris CS8 Bofors AT-Portee. Kept the finish plain as the vehicle is pretty busy anyway and Caunter would have been a bit tricky to pull off, plus most pics of Portee conversions show a basic sand finish. All in all a very attractive model and should look even better when the new owner add the crew ….

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And the build wips pics. I added the white styrene mudguards and rebuilt the supports for the overhead stowage rack.

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Empress Miniatures – T90A conversion DV wheels and OKB tracks wip14

Wheels and tracks fitted …

I finished base painting the new wheels and tracks and they’re now fitted permanently. Started making the unditching log and mountings to go on the rear hull plate but will leave the final shading and weathering until the crew are done. Have to greenstuff some lower bodies for them and do a little scribing work to sharpen them up, apart from that it’s just trying to match the Russian camouflage pattern.

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My Love Hate relationship with “Modelling” forums ….

Yeah, yeah …. I know, first world problems …

Grrrr just a rant that’s been building for some time so feel free to ignore and look at the nice pictures. My New Years resolution was also not to suffer fools by staying silent when someone’s trolling an audience by sounding all experty n stuff because if no one speaks their view the rubbish being put forward becomes internet and RL fact. By the way I will ramble to so if you read on prepare to be obfuscated and confused.

Forums. Firstly I know you have no control over them and sometimes as little control over your own responses in them when irritated. And forums have a cycle of topics and posters, stay around in your favourite ones long enough and you’ll see things get loved and bashed and then loved again. I have three or four forums I frequent, that to be fair to them I do know cater 99% to modellers or shelf kit builders as I term them. So I shouldn’t get my back up when Wargamers get tarred for crap kits, the rise of 1946 over genuine subjects and the Reichstag Fire. I also go through periods where I lurk, don’t post or comment and my personal reason for this is pretty much that I often don’t feel I have much to contribute or to drive either technical discussions or the forums forward. I don’t do months of deep or primary research, I don’t correct an 18 bolt wheel to a 16 bolt one, I don’t correct a 52o slope to the correct 56o one and I don’t do dioramas.

So why do you to them go I can hear you screaming now. A couple of reasons. Firstly the forums I’ve stuck with are generally the ones I started posting on when I first ventured out into the modelling interweb and so feel they deserve a bit of support, even if it’s only through traffic. And I do annoy the regulars occasionally by posting my gaming tat if I think it’s good enough. Actually I feel for all the work in detailing I can generally produce something with my paint that more often than not gives an equal or sometimes more favourable overall impression of the subject than having the correct tool box locks on a build will.

Secondly there are some great and generous people to that I’ve met through forums, in fact the majority try to get along or are at least reasonable when voicing opinions and “assistance”. This can make forums a fun and worthwhile experience.

Lastly I do really enjoy seeing the detail builds, technical discussions and superb ideas and paintwork. I learn from them and despite what “real” modellers” think, do try to incorporate as much improvement in my work as practical, given the budget, end use and probably most significant – the time constraints. The consensus term is rivet counters for the detail obsessed but that isn’t fair or accurate. Sometimes a person has a singular in depth knowledge of a particular subject, that’s fantastic but I don’t have the time or reference material to specialise in that way, nor to be honest the inclination. My interests are way too varied but I can learn and take what I can from their far better knowledge or experience. I’ve also seen detailers (how’s that for a PC and Friendly SJW term) getting an uncalled for bashing for their approach (without which we often wouldn’t know when things are wrong or how to improve them) and a stouch then inevitably breaks out between them and the OOB/fun building crowd, with each not able to appreciate what the other brings to the hobby.

So what’s pushed my rant button then? As I mentioned it’s been building. The last 2 years probably I’ve found the web forums a far less friendly and generally more polarised place than previously. People are tense and ready to diss others views at the drop of a pin, don’t know whether it’s more life pressures recently or people getting older and crotchier but “go time” is set to “on” and just waiting for a manufacturers release to set two sides up for a handbag throwing debate. And this in a time where there’s so many new kits and of niche subjects that I really can’t understand how manufacturers are making money on some releases but I do know we should be at least partly grateful for the bounty.

Anyway my back is getting bent firstly by the “hate and don’t understand” 1946 modelling crowd. Ok also some 1946 supporters too, both sides seems to bring out a red rag instead of an “oh that’s nice” or an ignore. Bring up a new 46 release and those who hate it just can’t help themselves and stay out of the thread. Likewise get Panzer 46 and Fantasy 46 mixed up and you’re likely to become banished to glueless modelling limbo, shunned by both real prototype and real 46 modellers. Ignore if you don’t like the subject, comment if you do. Geeze such a simple formula you’d think, just like all baby food. I did think about waging a crusade of hate against Tankettes. I mean they’re like 46 models right? They don’t really make any sense in the real world? Or Thornycroft pre ’39 Lorries. What’s modelling those about then, why release a kit of that when another perfectly serviceable kit of a Tiger or Panther could be made – good point right? Bollocks it is. For me anyone that’s likes a subject should just have fun and/or get some enjoyment and satisfaction out of it. I can appreciate well built Tankettes or lorries, even if they aren’t my subject of choice. But do you think they could ignore ’46 stuff … it would appear not.

Then there’s the “Real” and “Serious” modellers versus Wargaming Children. Yup, this has been trotted out several times over the last year and it just won’t die. It seems that Wargamers are to blame for the rise of tatty quick build kits and any shortcomings a company likes to push is because it must be aimed at the Wargaming crowd. Hmmmm ….. No. But let me work this one over a bit. There are companies that cater mostly if not entirely to Wargamers. Great, I buy occasionally from them if the subject is good enough or unique. They don’t hide who their market is, nor do they try to appeal overly to shelf builders, except maybe again if the unique category gets ticked. But to compare their stuff to, and then get ticked off when it isn’t up to shelf building standard, is like me complaining about a rugby ball having two pointed ends when I only play soccer. WTF?

The fall of Dragon is one of my … not beefs, but definite disappointments and is related. Going from genuine “Armour Pro” releases to simplified mouldings, one piece track and wheel assemblies is definitely a direction I don’t like. But as an aside to that, a recent “discussion” from “Real” modellers asserted that that approach was ok as long as the base vehicle shape was good. Real modellers were always going to replace the tracks anyway and apparently always correct everything, so to expect a kit to be detailed and serviceable out of the box was a bit to much to be asking. This was their argued viewpoint, seems oddly opposite to what you’d think their view would be right?. Also said view was snidely backed up in several subsequent threads whenever the opportunity presented itself too. Funny men. Now however a Wargaming Kit producer has released a quick build that must be a subject that was badly wanted in kit form due to the spotlight threads it has received. Admittedly I think the company took a few accuracy liberties. Ok they were lazy and didn’t bother to get some of general shapes or details right. And apparently expert help has been offered before and cheerfully ignored as a matter of course. So who cares right. Well apparently “real” modellers. Because the gaming kit company was lazy it’s the fault of Wargamers that their product isn’t up to snuff. Because we don’t give a toss what things look like. A truck that has a cross on it is good enough to be a German one to all Wargamers – apparently. Well not apparently, they were stated “facts” about Wargamers as well as them being like children. It’s Wargamers fault that kit release standards are slipping, Just so you know.

All this would be just wind and pee but the number of Wargamers that build kitsets in “20mm” 1/76th, OO/HO or 1/72nd isn’t that great. They exist sure and I know some avid 20mm gamers and collectors, but are they enough to make shelf kit manufacturers decline their quality and production standards? Are they battering down the doors of kit manufacturers, organising petitions and causing market paradigm shifts demanding pre-builds, die-casts and any kit – just get it out quick sharp? This with their mega dollars of hobby kitset expenditure …. ?

Um. Only in unicorn land I’m afraid ….

So will I continue to forum? Yeah sure. For the positive reasons I stated above, and yeah, there were some, go back and read it again 🙂  What I’m making a conscious effort to do though is to call BS and not back off, why should I when others won’t. And I’m not posting my Project ’46 stuff (or Wargaming dross) up on one forum in particular, maybe a few others too. I can’t be bothered ignoring the back handed snickering for one thing. Plus when I started my own Project ’46 about 10 or 11 years back it was to have an interest that “detailers” (see there’s that neat SJW term for them again) or shelf builders couldn’t call out as being inaccurate. It was stressless imaginerring for me and until recently many others seemed to appreciate it for what it was. But now as WOT has popularised “Paper Panzers” and “What if” 46 stuff it seems that we get a little more release anger spinoff each time a manufacturer wastes their time making 46 junk no one wants or understands when what they should really be doing is making Tankettes or Lorries ……

Rant over, resuming model building and enjoyment mode ……

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ps If this doesn’t make any sense, it’s not my fault. Well it is, I’m blaming my lack of focus and education however and I did warn you I’d ramble 🙂

Empress Miniatures – T90A conversion DV wheels and OKB tracks wip12

Quicky update …..

Finished the second track run today and fitted them to the T90A conversion. Had to do a little more relief grinding due to the rear sprocket being wider and a tad higher but it’s all looking pretty good I think. Should be able to get some paint on them tomorrow and then start thinking about finishing the crew …… it’s nice to see this bad boy on the home stretch finally.

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Empress Miniatures – T90A conversion DV wheels and OKB tracks wip11

More track action ….

Got one suspension unit fully upgraded today with replacement T72 wheels from Djani Vrsalovic (contact via Track48 forum) and recently released resin T72 tracks from OKB.

So the steps to get to this stage were to first grind off the outer roadwheels. While nice looking and sharply cast they don’t really look like the Russian 8 hole wheels. Not much else to say, much grinding with a full face HEPA filtered mask.

Next the track was removed, ground down tight against the front idler sprocket and the rear drive sprocket was cut off as a fab looking replacement, complete with PE mud scraper ring comes with the OKB track set. I also cut a recess into the remaining Empress resin wheels to ensure that the track centre guide teeth had clearance as I wasn’t entirely sure where they’d end up sitting.

The rear sprocket was fitted by trimming a section of the inside sprocket teeth off so it could fit recessed and spaced correctly onto the rear mounting plate.

The OKB tracks are a superb piece of work and the first time I have handled a set (ohhh I’d love some for my German tankie projects). They are cast from a flexible resin and are close to the sharpest resin casts I’ve ever seen and I’ve handled a lot of resin. You get 6 single length runs and 10 individual links (plus 2 PE mud scraper rings) so you can either bend the long lengths or use the individual links around the drive and idler sprockets and there’s plenty of spare left over. I used a bit of heat from a hair dryer to carefully work them into shape, dipping them into cold water to help set the shape. I also trimmed down the guide teeth on the links that were shaped around the front idler. Overall it was a very easy process taking around 10-15mins to do both although I recommend not rushing, using the heat on low and in small bursts, continually checking the fit and being careful not to overheat them and soften the detail.

I should point out that yes they are a little overscale, being 1/48th vrs the smaller 1/50th Empress kit. And the wheels are late 6 spoke T72 and the tracks are the T72 RMSh type and quite a bit different from the T90 tracks which can be fitted with rubber insert blocks.

But I don’t care. They are such a vast improvement over the stock gaming running gear (not dissing those, just one is designed for gaming and these are kit AM parts) that even my OCD can cope with the size and technical differences …. 🙂

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Ersatz M10 Panzer Brigade 150 – Dragon 1/72nd Panther and Cpl Overby conversion kit wip4

Base builds ….

Final assembly of the Ersatz M10s and getting close to base painting. Still have some pin holes to fill and a few lifting eyes to replace and will box on once some new fine drill bits arrive on shore …. a little more modern and some PSC PzIVs and 251s up next.

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JTFM Tortoise, Boarhound and Staghound – wip2

Base primer ….

Been battling with the Ersatz M10 project (having problems with bubbles and fit) so splashed some primer on a few things for a break. The JTFM vehicles are part of a 1946 themed project and are in the very early stages of the builds. Primered with Humbrol, the next step is to work on some detailing. Also going to replace the wheels on the Staghound with a set off the Boarhound to improve it’s look and sit. I may also adjust the gun lengths a bit too, while I like big guns as much as the next person the 17pdr on the Boarhound is bigger than the 32pdr on the Tortoise. Early days ….

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