Ok, had to carry on until I finished. So here’s the t/c finished, or at least as finished as I’m capable of. Added headset leads but adding the throat mics are a bit beyond my ability unfortunately.
Also I wanted a greenish hue to the base uniform material but I’ll have to wait until daylight tomorrow to make a descision on whether it stays as it is or gets a filter to tone it down a bit as the night lighting is making it look a little garish …
Started weathering and blending the turret, but the pics I took are shite so instead you get to see my progress on the crew figure. Getting there I think, painting figs aren’t my strong suite especially big ones like this ……
Made a start on the lower hull, then tracks and base winter wash. I’m going to fix the tracks in place next so it’s fingers crossed nothng goes wrong ….
For comparison heres my 1/72nd Hummel SPW at the same whitewash stage, just for a mental check to make sure things are heading in the right direction ….
Last bit of faffing around completed, tie down straps and pin for the tow cabel and the IR detailed. The IR unit (the AEG FG1250 infrared spolight and Bildwandler image converter) is the Great Wall Hobby set and contains enough parts for an (almost) complete “solution B” system, which provides spotlights and imaging for driver and commander/gunner.
Weathered and chipped ……
Started tonight by making up a PE Rommelkiste or rear stowage bin, as a test piece before tackling the ones on the Jadgpanther. Well things got out of hand and I ended up pretty much finsihing it! There’s only a few minor details left, tow ropes and some weld beads to add being the main things left to add. So basically I’m calling it done and ready for paint ……
Well things went a little better today. As I’m still waiting for my varnish to arrive I thought I would press on and finish the tracks while there was still some amusment left in the assembly job. The good news is it went a little faster today, probably about 5 hours, and I didn’t cut myself once. However I did find that stabbing yourself with the track-pin wire while assembling the links was almost as painful. No I lie – much more painful. When I stabbed one of the places I cut last night ….. it quickly bought on a little moment of quiet instrospection, followed by a long session where I babbled incoherently inventing new words until the pain subsided enough to swear in a manly fashion.
So tracks are done and dusted, might have to remove a link from the RHS but apart from that they look damn good I think …..
Oh the joys of new bitz and brotherly comraderie, shiney new stuff brought for me by my brother purely out of the kindess in his heart …. yeah right! He’ll extract his pound of flesh in due course, in the meantime though I have some metal workable tracks to build ……
Despite the coolness of this package I’m beginning to have my doubts. All those tiny PE bits and I have no soldering iron …. and those tracks …. I feel pain coming on.
I so feel pain coming on ……. literally, an hour in and I’ve hardly made a dent in them, although I’ve cut my finger twice and bled about a litre of valuable life blood all over these damn things. Having to scrape the flash off the tracks with a scalpel blade is actually quite dangerous ….. not to mention the metal filings that have gotten into the cuts. Haven’t had this much fun filing metal since, well, never.
10.30pm and I’m about four hours in, if there was anything decent on TV I’d throw the towel in for the night and curl up and cry. No one told me metal tracks were a three day task.
2.30am and I’ve completed one run of track, roughly 8 hours work give or take. Despite the friggin difficulty of it all, I must admit they do look pretty swisho, my first girlfriend looked the same, delicious but eventually the novelty wears off. AND NO way is it fun modelling, must be one of those life lesson thingies where all the hard work pays off in the end …. yeah thats it …. it’s a life lesson.
Did a little more work on my project today. Managed to get most of the new superstructure sorted. I roughed up the edges to look flame cut, my rational being the FSV is a conversion of a standard ‘350 along similar lines to the Luftwaffe field fitted “Rüstsatz” modifcation packs with the plating being scrounged from varying sources and retrofitted at Corps level workshops.
I also wanted the turret to be raised slightly above the roofline to improve the ability to engaged ground targets as the system is envisaged as fufilling a dual Ground/AA role, so I abandoned the idea of using the PzIV upper hull and turret ring. I made an upstand for it by cutting up an acrylic jar but at the moment I’m undecided whether to leave it at this height or raise it a 3 or 4 more mm.
So next it’s the rear plate and access door and then waiting for the tracks. All the extra fittings and bits n pieces have to wait until the tracks are fully fitted and most of the rough handling is completed. I havent been glued the rear idlers yet so I can vary their position to get the correct track fit and sag ……
Made a start on the FSV/Hummel conversion tonight in anticipation of the tracks arriving early next week. Just a pretty straight forward assembly of the running gear. Left the drivers hatch open in anticapation of fitting the IR gear to it and having the open hatch provide an extemporised rain shield. Fitted a bulkhead inside to seal off the driving compartment and painted it black as a compromise as I’m not fitting a driver or r/op figure. The turret’s (obviously) just sat there for show and to make sure the Kugelblitz ball doesn’t foul the kits interior bulkhead in it’s approximate final location. Can’t wait for the tracks to get here, they’re metal Ostketten from Spade-Ace Models, a bit of a gamble as we couldn’t get Fruils ….
Just a quickie, slapped some paint on the IR gear, more for my own interest than anything productive ….. and yeah I know, green lenses. Wasn’t sure how dark to tint them and wanted something arty, this is a “what if fantasy” project. And yeah, I know they should be dark/black with just a hint of red …..
A little more progress made tonight. Filled in the mounting holes on the superstructure for the tool racks and fittings and sanded smooth. Assembled the IR units and trial fitted them. They still have PE to be added, wiring looms, a rain and light shield extension for the drivers visor and a few fittings for the MG42 mounting. And there’s a rumour that the PE parts shown in the post below are about to be ordered to add some bling ….
Finished the basic assembly today. Now to decide whether to bother with PE or just add the tool racks and paint it. What I’d like to do is get a PE set with the late stowage bin on the upper rear hull and relocate the tools from the hull sides. If I do that I’ll need to fill in all the mounting indentations on the superstructure so it’s really a go-no go descision ….. grrrrr why are PE sets soooooo expensive! Of course I still have the infrared set to fit yet …
And below are the PE sets I’d like to fit …….. which will cost more than the two donor kits combined! Oh god, now I’m going to digress into a mini rant. I just realised why I don’t “do” much 1/35th. It’s because of the damn cost. The kits themselves aren’t tooo bad, although I don’t buy them at the LHS. But if I purchased the two donor kits at the LHS and put on metal tracks, and a metal gun barrel, a couple of Alpine crew members, a 2-station IR kit and the three PE sets I’ve highlighted below there wouldn’t be much change out of $500 large …. and people (including myself) complain about GW prices! At least there isn’t all that “must have” aftermarket stuff for them, without which no one will look at your kit in the “serious” modelling fraternity. Mention that your build is OOB (out of the box) and it’s the kiss of death in a forum, unless of course you have the scratch building skills and the three weeks to make it all yourself. Anyway, back to the PE bits that I “must have” …..
And here’s how she looks at present …. almost there.
Well …… for someone that doesn’t model 1/35th there is an awful lot of suspiciously large kit-building going on. As I’ve decided to model for myself on weekends and I’ve been good and completed two assembly projects the week, 3x 1/48th Shermans and 3x 1/72nd Jagdpanzer IVs (both groups will be put up for sale when completed), I started another spur-of-the-moment project today.
I’ve always wanted to build a ’46 version of the Jagdpanther with steel wheels, late exhausts and infrared equipment, something in-between the late/last production models and the fantasy x-tanks. In a perfect world this would have been a 1/72nd project but as I had the nescesary doner kits on hand in 1/35th scale and I was also looking for some large scale painting practise before working on the Hummel/FSV, it seemed like a good idea at the time …..
Construction so far has been a breeze. It was interesting to work on a big Tamiya after assembling Hobbyboss and both small and big Dragon kits. Tamiya often gets a slagging in the model fraternity but for my money their engineering (fit of parts, flash level, ease of assembly) is usually first class. When I began this morning I was really only going to see how feasable fitting the late steel road wheels from the Sturmtiger kit would be to the Jagdpanther chassis but, it all went so well so I boxed on with assemebly.
I had to perform some mild surgery to mate the Tiger road wheels to the J-panther. I used the Tiger torsion bars to ensure the road wheels sat square and shortened them to seat them properly into the JP hull. The JP front final drive housing armoured deflector, had to be cut back top and bottom to fit the Tiger final drive housing properly, again this was chosen to ensure correct alignment of drive sprocket and road wheels. The rear idler arm required a bit of filling again just to align the idler correctly with the track centre line.
You also really get a sense of just how big the 8.8cm L/71 is when you see it with the breach outside the tank! Next …. the indy tracks, the only bit I wasn’t keen on.
Ahhhh, Turns out I needn’t have worried, There’s only about 200 links req in all. Surprisingly they went together fine and look pretty good too I think. I managed to get good aligment and a representative sag ……. and I do so love a good track sag. So next is to add the rest of the kit bits, and as I’ve decided I want to add PE rear stowage bins and maybe gun cleaning tube and tool fittings, I’ll have to order some and wait for them to arrive …..
Well the title says it all, sheesh! Anyway did a little work on my 1/35th project for the first time tonight, assembling the Kugelblitz turret that will eventually be mounted on the converted Hummel hull. Looking at the kit I decided that I might as well build the whole thing as the turret should be interchangable for display, unless I have to butcher the PzIV hull for the turret ring. Undecided yet and will have another look in the light of day.
Anyway it went together easy enough, although the gun barrel assembly was a bit naff and required very careful clean up. There’s quite a few large moulding ejector pin sink holes, in the hatches especially which will require filling. Oddly we complain about ejector pin marks on braille kits but these are larger and placed where they cant be avoided – dumb. Speaking of hatches, I’ve left the top hatch open for now. I’m thinking a crewman might look good in it, but I want to look at it again once the whole vehicle is assembled.
Soooooooo, the 1/35th trinkets in the newly arrived box are for my first decent true-modelling large scale project in ages. I don’t think I’ve made or painted a 1/35th kit for over 25 years, (insert shocked look here). But I’ve been wanting to try and replicate some of my 20mm Project ’46 stuff in large scale as a project for a long time. Hopefully it’s an opportunity to go to town with extras and goodies and also to try out my finishing process on a bigger kit. As some of you may know I brush paint everything and I’ve been told that won’t work in 1/35th, so we’ll have to see.
Anyway here’s most of the components, a Hummel for the chassis/lower hull, a PzIV Kugelblitz for the turret, an M113 for rear doors and some of the upper hull hatches and an infra-red vision kit. I’ve also got a couple of Alpine crew figures – see the early workbench wip post. Still got some things to pick up yet but it won’t stop me starting. I’d like to fit it with steel road wheels so I might have to try and beg those of someone who has some spare and I’m toying with the idea of metal tracks, maybe even Ostketten to help with the flotation under the extra weight of the turret.
And here’s what I intend to build with all that goodness …..