Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Modelling on the road

I was on the road most of last week, and since I was driving, and didn't have to navigate through airport security, I decided to take my travel/camping toolkit and a couple of kits, both were 1/72 scale kits that I'd had sitting on the shelf for too long.

First up was Dragon's Nashorn. The amount of detail include is just incredible, but boy what an over engineered kit! My only real problem was getting the road wheel spacing correct. Dragon has them packed in tighter than my teeth were before my parents got braces put on my teeth! I've still got a good deal to do on the kit, but this is all I could manage while on the road.

Next up is Revell's Pzkpfw IV Ausf. J. It's another great Revell kit, just like the Cromwell I built a few weeks ago. Boy I wish Revell did more armor in 1/72 scale! It goes together so easy, and is engineered like the best Tamiya kits. I did make one addition to the kit, and Aber gun barrel. I picked it up last year, cheep on the discount table. There isn't really anything wrong with the kit barrel, but it makes an already nice kit that much nicer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back to Hurricane

My "care package" from Great Models arrived on Monday with the Calibre 48 wading stacks, and few other goodies (who'd have thought on Columbus Day!). The Calibre 48 Stacks are very nicely molded in grey resin, and are much nicer than the stacks I was trying to make with evergreen sheet plastic. The stacks are made up of five resin parts, and two PE screens. You have to remove all parts from their casting blocks before the stacks can be assembled.

I was digging around trying to find any and all references on Shemans with wading stacks, when I came across an issue of Military Modelling (Volume 33 Number 6) with a great article by Steve Zaloga on D-Day Shermans. It's a typical Zaloga article, ie, part modelling how to, and part reference treasure trove! Who could ask for anything more?

Unfortunately after reading the article, and looking at the Calibre 48 stacks do I realize that the stacks are wrong for D-Day! They aren't totally wrong, most of the shape is right. The rear exhaust adapter on American D-Day tanks only partially covered the rear engine doors. The Calibre 48 parts completely cover the doors. This would be correct for a 1945 tank, but not for June '44. So now I have to decide whether to just use the Calber 48 part "as is," grind it down and fix it, or make a replacement part. A couple of other thing I noticed were the front intake adapter doesn't just press fit onto the hull, like they show on the instructions. You have to do a little carving on the hull flange to make it fit. Another is that the stack openings themselves are solid resin. The screens simply glue on the fronts. I'm not sure if I'll grind them out, or what, but they don't bother me too much.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back to braille scale

I decided to work on a simple 1/72 scale kit, while I waited for Caliber 48's Sherman wading stacks to arrive in the mail from Great Models. Looking over my over large stash of unbuilt kits I spotted Revell's Cromwell IV. I've always heard that this was a nice kit right out of the box, and those reports turned out to be true.

So here is the Revell Cromwell, built straight from the box, waiting to hit the paint booth.

I did manage to make a mistake or two. I managed to glue the exhaust shroud (Part 2) too low on the rear hull (Part 1). I didn't catch it until I glued the upper and lower hull together, and had to pry it off, clean up the damage, and reglue it in the correct place. You can just make out the Mr. Surfacer hiding the damage.

One of the neat construction techniques I've seen on the web, and at club meetings is building the tracks and running gear as a seperate assemble, so it can be painted and weathered off the tank. I've alway wanted to try it. and it turned out pretty good. My second goof up was with the individual track links around the drive wheel. I was a little too aggressive with the sanding stick during clean-up, and ended up having to glue some evergreen stock to the ends of these tracks to make them even with the rest of the tracks.