poniedziałek, 18 lutego 2019

Desertised - Challenger 2

This is the tradition to start the article with some history and technical information so I do n ot want to breake the rule and here they are.
The FV4034 Challenger 2 is a British main battle tank (MBT) designed and built by the British company Vickers Defence Systems. It is in service with the armies of the United Kingdom (since 1998 and it is expected to be in service until 2035) and Oman.
The Challenger 2 is equipped with a 120-millimetre 55-calibre long L30A1 tank gun, the successor to the L11 gun used on the Chieftain and Challenger 1. Unique among NATO main battle tank armament, the L30A1 is rifled, because the British Army continues to place a premium on the use of High-explosive squash head (HESH) rounds in addition to armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding-sabot rounds. The Challenger 2 is also armed with a 7.62 mm chain gun and a 7.62 mm machine gun. Fifty eight main armament rounds and 4,200 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition are carried.

As I remember I always like the look of Challenger 2, espesially in desert version with the long rubber curains on the sides. The make the vehicle so massive and impressive so I decided to build this one someday. Fortunately friend of mine wanted to sell his kit for very good price. It was almost ready and needs only some small portion of work. I bought it and started to finish as soon as it arrived my home.
Truly speaking the kit is huge. I know it is big but in reality it was bigger than I expected. Awesome!
The kit is the standard quality  of Tamiya. This is the words which explains everything for each modeller who though once build their kit. The sand coloured plastic along with clear parts are enough to make you smile after the box is open. The vinyl tracks are also good. To complete the list I need to mention about the poly caps, some nylon cord, coper wire, plastic card, a pair of nuts and bolts for idler arms and a sheet of decals with options for 3 vehicles seen during Telic operation. 

So, now what I wanted to achieve was the dusted vehicle with some additional stuff but not to much because it was really hard to attach the crew’s stuff on the flat surfaces of the tank. Before I started to paint the kit I collected some basic stuff I wish to compose on the model. To add some markings I have the sheet from the kit and some additional decals from Bison Models which were also helpful because I decided to mix them and breake the one shade of the vehicle with colorful additions. I also wanted to present the kit on some simple base -  just black plastic top and wooden (balsa) frame with the pictures and some name. I added the Union Jack sticker too. 

Components of the project
Despite the kit is very good I decide and have the possibility to make so changes. First I replace the vinyl tracks for the separate links from Bronco (AB 3523). Next I used couple parts from Voyager’s PE set (one of their first – the quality was far away from current products they offer), some Eureka XXL metal ropes (the endings were taken from the kit) and resin tarpaulins. The rest of the elements were scratch build – I based on the references pictures I managed to find in the internet.

Final thoughts
Well, one of my favourite tanks were added to the „done kits” list. It was pleasure to build it and finish in dust. It is a really good part of the collection because of its size and final layout. I hope that it was not my last modern British vehicle!

poniedziałek, 1 października 2018

Ace of Spades - T-72

The story of T-72 was told thousand times and the plenty of books were written by the specialists.  Also hundreds of internet pages describe this vehicle. So, why is it so popular? Because of the technical ability,  firepower or maybe its combat history? I do not think so! In my opinion the answer is quite easy - because of its amount. Almost 20,000 units were produced so far. The T-72 was exported widely and saw service in 40 countries. Some improved variants are still being built for export customers.

The war in Donbass is still on. Truly speaking the diversity of tracked and wheeled vehicles used by both sides of this conflict is the perfect inspiration for all fans of Russian military models - cars, APCs, tanks, self-propelled artillery and many more are in the modelers range.
Here I would like to present the newest Trumpeter's kit 05599 prepared as the separatist tank signed as the Ace of Spade from Viking Battalion.

Preparation stage
Because of the reasons I mentioned above I wanted to build this kit in typical green finish but with some interesting finish. After the searching in collection of battlefield pictures I found the serie of Ace shots taken by Gennadiy Dubovoy. They were good enough to decide to use them as the references. Fortunately Echelon prepared the decals set with stickers based on the same pictures I used to build the model so it was obvious that I will build this specific tank.

Components of the project
To enriched the kit with some additional elements I decided to use:
- Masterclub tracks MTL 35049;
- RB Model gun barrel  35B102;
- Eureka XXL towing cables ER-3537
- RB Model antenna rod and mount 35A14;
- Voyager PEA211 and PEA202;
- Echelon Decals D356201;
- Eureka XXL Modern Universal Tent and tarp sets E-022, 023, 024;
- Arkebuza Barracuda net;
- RB Model chain;
- Paper Panzer Production wooden box;
- Plus Model plastic bottle.

The driver figure comes from Alpine Miniatures (35131) with Hornet head and the rebel soldier was produced by Evolution Miniatures (35104).

The base was completed with:
- Eureka XXL concrete road panels;
- Macone telegraphic pole;
- PanzerArt, Meng and Verlinden barrels;
- RB Model transport pallets.

Truly speaking this was one of the best kits I ever build. And I am not writing it to make any kind of  advertisement for Trumpeter. This is the truth. Of course there are some small mistakes but they have no influence to the final appearance of the kit and for my opinion. I can say - "extremely recommended!"

Building stage
The good fitting and well detailed elements resulted with smooth building process. Even the preparation of Kontakt-1 bricks was easy and fast work. But the biggest surgery operation was the surroundings of the drivers visor - I needed cut it out and build it from the beginning because of totally different shape.

Let’s play with colors!
For the main colors I used the AK paints released as the Modern Russian Colors vol.1 and vol.2. They were applied on the black primer airbrushed earlier. The detail's finish was done with Vallejo Model Color and with LifeColor on the rubber rims.

The Echelon Decals provides very good set of Novorossian T-72B1s markings (there are also 2S1s and a BMP-2) that were been seen in action against the Ukrainian forces in the eastern Ukraine. The set comes with two antenna flags.

Drops of chemicals and pinch of pigments
The main role in the weathering stages was played by Wilder chemicals. As I use them for couple of months I can say that they are a bit different than other brands but have evident advantages - it is needed to learn how them use properly to achieve nice results but truly speaking the learning process is very fast and simple.  

Additional stuff
I treat the additional stuff on the models as my trademark so here I could not make an exception. To realize this I use Eureka XXL new resin sets of tarp and tents, Akrebuza's barracuda net and Paper Panzer Production stunning wooden box. In addition I put some dirty rags, rope, wires and Plus Model plastic bottle.

To set the whole scene I use simple photo frame 20 x 26 cm and balsa wood. It was enriched with ace of spade card, St.George ribbon, small pictures of the real tank and the descriptions (stickers).
The ground work based on the Eureka XXL concrete road panels and scratch build cable reels. The highest point of the base, the telegraphic pole, comes from Macone resin set.
To finish the overall view I used the barrels, some wooden planks and cables and pipes.

Both figures were painted with acrylics.

The end
I build this kit and its surrounding quite fast - 5 weeks of work give the result you can see here. I’m really satisfied with the result. This kit was nice to build and hope to meet another Trumpeter kit on my way!
I would like to thank Maciej Góralczyk , Piotr Wypiór and Ronin Ira from  Military Equipment Of Conflict in Ukraine Facebook group.


piątek, 27 kwietnia 2018

Headless warrior - Stridsvagn 103 C

It was one of the ugliest model I ever built. But truly speaking because of its ugliness it is very interesting and I can say that it is typical eye catcher! The kit itself is far from current standards and additional work is necessary but it was worth to spend so much time searching for good references pictures and building details which were omitted by the producer.
Thankfully there are no other versions of this vehicle available in 1/35 scale so I do not need to say that I will build another one! The one ugly duckling is enough! 

The kit is FOR SALE!!

The full article is available in Abrams Squad.

poniedziałek, 4 września 2017

T-54B Vietnam 1975

My latest kit I've finished yesterday. As the base Miniart's T-54B was used with additional of RB Model gun barrel and set of Friuls. There are also Eureka towing cables and a lot of resin stowage which was partly provided by Paracel Miniatures the same as figures.


niedziela, 2 lipca 2017

RG-31 Nyala Bantamweight class

I was a bit disappointed after the box was open… I was reading a lot of reviews where the authors clap their hands a lot but probably they did not look carefully on the parts. I am not saying the kit is bad but here and there a level of the parts’ finishing is under current limits. Some of the parts need a lot of patience and work to look properly but in result it is possible to make a good-looking model. All in all, for this price the producers should be more accurate.
Despite of the quality of the RG-31’s parts this kit is a perfect addition to each modern MRAP’s collection. It is one of the smallest vehicle in this family but it is typical “must have” kit. With no doubt it is an unique subject moreover no other RG-31 is available as an plastic kit. Hopefully there will be more interesting color schemes and markings because of its growing usage.
The set comprises approximately 203 parts in sand color plastic, clear parts, 20 black vinyl parts and a photo-etched fret. Markings are provided for three vehicles.

The box provides also two additional sets – MB figures “US Soldiers Check Point Iraq” and J’s Work “Check Point Road Block Equipment Set”.

Its shape is really good connected to the name it carries – Nyala (a spiral-horned antelope from southern Africa) but to make it more interesting and eye-catching some additional parts are necessary. So after the searching in the model shops I decide to add some nice  elements:
-        Legend LF1279 SPARK Mine Roller Set for RG-31
-        ET Model E35-140 Modern U.S. Vehicle's Anti IED Device & Antennas
-        RB-Model 35A02 2m antennas
-        Bronco AB3570 LED Search Light Set C
-        SKP-206  RG-31 Mk.3 Mrap Lenses and Taillights
-        Echelon D356166 RG-31s in Afghanistan

Apart from parts specially prepared for this kit I used elements from my stash:
-  Eduard barbed wire
-  J’s Work road cone
-  FCModeltips road signs
-  RB Model chain
-  Evergreen plastic profiles
-  soldering wire and copper wire
-  piece of twin

I used the set from the box connected with Echelon D356166 “RG-31s in Afghanistan”. They allow to prepared the vehicles with Transformers names. Because I like to change the decals a little, they were modified – I replaced the letters in the vehicle’s name from “Blackout” to “Outback”.


sobota, 27 maja 2017

E-75 Nude Warrior

The Entwicklung series, more commonly known as the E-series, was a late-World War II attempt by Germany to produce a standardized series of tank designs. There were to be standard designs in six different weight classes, from which several specialized variants were to be developed. This intended to reverse the trend of extremely complex tank designs that had resulted in poor production rates and mechanical unreliability.

The E-series designs were simpler, cheaper to produce and more efficient than their predecessors; however, their design offered only modest improvements in armour and firepower over the designs they were intended to replace, such as the Jagdpanzer 38(t), Panther Ausf.G or Tiger II; and would have represented the final standardization of German armored vehicle design. Indeed, nearly all of the E-series vehicles — up through and including the E-75 — were intended to use what were essentially the Tiger II's eighty centimeter diameter, steel-rimmed road wheels for their suspension, meant to overlap each other (as on the later production Tiger I-E and Panther designs that also used them).

The E-75 Standardpanzer was intended to be the standard heavy tank to be used as a replacement of the Tiger II and Jagdtiger. The E-75 would have been built on the same production lines as the E-50 for ease of manufacture, and the two vehicles were to share many components, including the same Maybach HL 234 engine. As its name indicates, the resulting vehicle would have weighed in at over 75 tonnes, reducing its speed to around 40 km/h. To offset the increased weight, the bogies were spaced differently from on the E-50, with an extra pair added on each side, giving the E-75 a slightly improved track to ground contact length.
According to some sources, the similarities between the E-50 and the E-75 went further; they were to be equipped with the same turret and 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 along with an optical rangefinder for increased long range accuracy. German scientists and engineers had successfully designed a Schmalturm, narrow-front turret and infra-red lighting and sights for use on the prototypes of the Panther Ausf. F as the war drew to a close.
The original complex suspension by torsion bars was simplified with bogies. The standard Tiger II turret was equipped with 8.8cm KwK 44 L71 gun. The engine was an improved, fuel-injected Maybach HL234 which had 900 hp. 

My aim was to create something different than next red primed "E" kit which is the most popular painting in the kits from this series. I was looking for inspiration in the internet and components of the project. I did not want to copy Adam Wilder's E-50 painting (one of the best I have ever seen) or even Geschuzwagen Tiger but the best solution for my kit seems to be dual colors painting - steel plates with rust traces connected with red primed turret. The vehicle would be out of the production line, without the tools only with towing cables and some spare track links as the additional armor on the turret and back of the main body. 

Before I started the kit's box gradually filled with all elements of the jigsaw.
Here they are:
- Trumpeter 01538
- Friulmodel tracks ATL-37
- Paper Panzer Production PPP 35004 E-75 wheel set, 35007 Einheitsturm for E-50/E-75, 35012 Casting Symbols, 35015 Panzer Crew 1946, 35017 GT-103 Turbine Engine deck
- Eureka XXL towing cables, Ammo boxes E-006, 8,8cm Pzgr.Patr.40/43 Kw.K 43 A-3522
- RB Model antenna rod
- Wilder WWII German factory markings for vehicles, WWII German crosses for vehicles

 I used Paper Panzer Production resin sets and figures prepared to this kit the same as Wilder's dry decals and chemicals.

Full S-B-S article with the pictures was published in Military Modelcraft International.

Powered by

niedziela, 21 maja 2017