Empress Miniatures – T90A conversion wip15 and Navy Combat Divers

A little more …

Small steps closer to finishing. Base weathering started and crews greenstuffed and base painted.

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And a bit of fun. As a change from basic black I decided to paint the Empress Navy Divers up as French Commandos from Operation Pork Pie. So officially they are French Commandos, disguised as Navy Seals, disguised as retro French Oceanographers, and all to try and fool the NZ Police Force (which they failed at by the way). Now I need a few 28mm Zodiacs ….

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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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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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Empress Miniatures – T90A conversion wip10

A little xmas progress …

My new replacement wheels for the T90A conversions arrived from Croatia yesterday care of Djani Vrsalovic (via Track48 forum or FB 1/48 Armour Forum). As it was either mix and converse with the family, gouge out an eye or sneak in a little work on my project, the project was a clear winner.

Basically the process is to grind off the outer roadwheels and fit the new ones. The new wheels, actually late T72 6 spokes, are 1/48th and the spacing is a little cramped but I’m pretty sure the much improved look hides the slight increase in diameter. If I really want to I could always reduce the size a touch if it bugs me but at the moment I think it looks pretty good.

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Xmas and New Years Wishes – plus bonus E75 and T90 wip pics :)

Xmas and New Years Wishes ….

Firstly Xmas and New Years Wishes to both regular visitors and those who occasionally drop in or stumble in here by accident! I’d like to especially thank those who took the time to comment, I know it’s not easy to do so when browsing blogs and time is short but I do really appreciate it. Have fun over the next couple of weeks and equally importantly – stay safe, wherever you are located and especially if you are in harms way somewhere.

And yeah, same I guess to the ones I can’t shake off (family, friends close enough to insult me, pets and the Spawn of Flick (my kids) etc etc ).

It’s kinda fitting that the couple of pics posted are both Project ’46, which is a real passion that unfortunately I didn’t devote enough time to this year and 28mm Combined Arms Moderns, which has taken us in a new direction and at speed. The E-75 has had a few more details blue-tacked on and I crayoned some tac numbers onto the T90, both as a little xmas pressie to myself today.

Both of these projects should get a decent push next year along with some overdue customer stuff that my health very regrettably delayed for far too long and not to forget hopefully a few new/interesting projects thrown in also. So looking ahead 2017 should have a little something for everyone to look fwd too ……. have fun, stay safe and like and subscribe … oh wait … that’s utube ….

cheers
Brent / Q

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Modelcollect E-75 zug – Project ’46 wip3 Motorpool hull conversion

Me day …..

While waiting for some bits to dry on the Perry AT Portee I decided to waste a day on myself and do a little work on my “so long ago it feels like it was abandoned” E-75 project.

I’d always been a little unhappy with the details on the engine decks, in fact it’s pretty mediocre, and had chased down some Motorpool replacements. The “conversion” kit is designed as a direct drop in replacement for the Modelcollect hull and comes with; a full replacement resin hull which features an improved rear deck (with corrected hatch locks and latches, sharper and better moulded vents screens, corrected fan covers), much improved armour mortice joints, optional ball mg mount, notek ight, drivers periscope rain cover, commanders mg mount and mg, IR scope, open driver and radio operators hatches, IR battery box and flame dampening exhausts.

So the main issue was to wrestle the Modelcollect upper hull off the chassis as I’d glued it down and with my usual generous quantity of cement. After many tense minutes of cutting and prising I managed to separate it without slipping and removing a finger in the process or damaging the already assembled running gear. The replacement upper hull was pretty much a neat fit and required no massaging, glueing straight in place.

All in all it looks very sharp, is a big improvement and I can’t wait to splash some paint on …..

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Perry Dingo – Project DAK wip11

Dingo …..

Perry Dingo Scout Car. Picked a different camo for some contrast. Nice simple and attractive model, just needing decals and flags, which should go on this week as the plan is to wrap up everything except the Perry AT-Portee by the weekend.

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Blitzkrieg PanzerIII, 251/1C and 222 – Project DAK wip9

More DAK …. yup.

Base colours went onto the last three German DAK vehicles. That’s pretty much all really, nothing exciting to report yet …. except the “stipple on and rub off” chipping worked out pretty well. Although it doesn’t show in the pics very well as they require some details/contrast to photograph better.

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And a bit of a close up (dang I wish I had a better/modern camera) of the brush stippled and rubbed off paint chipping

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Caunter Base Paint – DAK Project part8

Almost there …….

Completed the basic shading on these guys and they’re starting to look the part. Only final detailing, AOS markings and some selective chipping to go now. Oh, and aerials with flags. The British desert forces loved aerials with pennant flags on them, all very boys own !!!!

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A progression/SBS pic. Hopefully this gives some idea of how the layers of paint build up from the starting block colours to the final shading …

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Caunter Base Paint – DAK Project part7

Even more Caunter progress ……

Ok, it might not look like it but I recoloured the Silver Grey hue to make it “Greyer”. Why, because I’m odd like that, little things annoy me. So I fixed it. In my happy place now so I painted on some markings. All very British looking 🙂

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Caunter Base Paint – DAK Project part6

Caunter progress ….

First pass of the Caunter shading on and tracks, wheels and a few details blocked in. Still not 100% sure about the grey hued “Silver Grey”. While it looks attractive it tended to go blue when lightening and so I might either put a filter over it or tint it more towards the light-grey spectrum and re-paint.

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Caunter Base Paint – DAK Project part5

Perry Marmon-Herrington MkIII, Bliztkrieg M3 Honey, Perry Universal-Carrier MkI ….

The mysterious Caunter Scheme 3colour Disruptive camouflage pattern takes shape. The base scheme is on the first three brit vehicles using HOQ paint renditions of Portland Stone, Slate and Silver Grey. All colours are base solids and will get lightened considerably, especially the Slate (which is a green – dark grey) and Silver Grey (which is a pea green – grey).

Should be interesting to see how they work out …..

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Blitzkrieg MarderII – Project DAK wip4 “updated”

Updated …

Finalised the stowage and detailing on these three. Added tool clamps, a stowage bin, ammo crate and tarp, spare track and gun cradle to the MarderII. Put straps on the Perry 250/1 for the hanging bags using thread tape cut into fine strips, made a replacement MG shield and repositioned the gun mount back and down. The Rubicon 250 got an added Jerry can rack.

So they’re all ready for the final paint work now …

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Detailing ….
Just a little progress. the Perry 250 is looking a tad better with stowage and the base lining done.

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Blitzkrieg MarderII and Perry SdKfz 250/1 comparison – Project DAK wip3

Blitzkrieg MarderII ….

More from the DAK project. Blitzkrieg MarderII and Perry 250/1 with the base paint laid on.

The Blitzkrieg MarderII is quite a nice moulding for the most part with little of the 3D master lines a lot of Blitzkrieg kits have. The Pak40 mounting needed the sides filing back to fit so look up some reference pics if you’re assembling one. The gun barrel itself is a very (very) rough casting and despite being straightened 3 time with hot water/chilling refuses to stay completely straight. It’s looks a little big/thick too, over 1/48th in thickness compared to the Tamiya kits I have here. I’d replace it with something but I don’t have a muzzle brake, however with the above taking into account it’s going to look pretty nice when finished.

I also did a quick side by side comparison with the Perry 250/1 and Rubicon 250/1 halftracks. Suffice to say the Perry one is not a favourite of mine, (way off in shape and rough casting quality, mostly shape though). The front MG shield has to go as well, not sure what it’s doing so I’ll make a new shield and mount. I will save it with stowage and paint but …. not a recommended buy though (unlike Perry figures) 🙂

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Perry vrs. Rubicon SdKfz250/1 halftrack comparison

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Rubicon SdKfz250/1 – Project DAK wip2

Rubicon SdKfz250/1 …..

Buttoned the top up and did a little basic blending and shading. Probably wont do much more on this now until some of the other vehicles get to the same stage that way I can tweak the final finish if required to help them look more of a “group”. Also moved to headlights back into the correct or at least one of the correct mounting locations. I assume Rubicon moulded them to the top of the front plate for simplicity – ie being sort of close to the real mounting and to save having two separate fiddly lights to add. Looks much better to my eye now …

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