Previous Updates

Dec. 20, 2012

Airfix Spitfire V's completed. They had been gathering dust (and risking damage) on a corner of the workbench for over a year.

Spitfire Vb, 303Sq RAF circa March 1942. Airfix kit, rescribed panel lines, Techmod decals, PJ resin pilot.
BM144 is the first of Polish ace Jan Zumbach's three "Donald" planes as squadron leader of 303 Sq. It sports early roundels over the ocean gray and dark green camouflage introduced in 1941. Zumbach led an interesting life after the war, smuggling weapons and commanding the rebel air forces of Katanga and Biafra.

Spitfire Vc (trop), 79 Sq RAAF in New Guinea, circa October 1943.Airfix kit from the recent tropical c-wing boxing with Aeroclub wings replacing the overly thick Airfix ones, kit decals, PJ pilot.

some metal figures to close out the year: two SHQ early war Russians and an Empress Miniatures 1940 French dragon porte (they are cavalrymen but organized as motorized infantry). The SHQ fellows are on the small side for 1/72, with small torsos, large heads and hands. The Empress dragoon is at the other end of the size spectrum. He is very well sculpted and cast in pewter, which is harder than white metal and more durable. The rifle is too thick but the rest of the details are well done. He does stand out a bit among his plastic infantry colleagues.

Nov. 19, 2012

Some progress this week-end on winged machines.

Interior done on Amodel Yak-1. Pilot is in the paint shop.

Gun covers and exhausts added to the AML P-36A. Aligning them to be symmetrical was the hardest part. The gun covers are 2mm plastic rod, filed to shape. The front is filed to the shape of a half-sphere then the front face is filed flat and drilled out. The flat face is flush with the cowling in a side view. The resin parts in both the AML and Special Hobby/Azur kits are teardrop shaped and protrude too far forward of the cowling.

Revell Me-262 ready for decals. This one has been on the bench for about a year, pending a tricky soft edge between the upper and lower parts of the plane. I tested my new Badger 3155 on it and it worked pretty well. The only proeblem was with Polly scale acrylics which dry too quickly, requiring a wipe of the tip every two or three bursts.

Nov. 16, 2012

The MMS Dodge WC62 in XF-62, with a khaki drab tarp, and the Dragon Jeep side by side.

ICM I-16, a fast build. It really fits very well, even the 5 part part engine cover was surprisingly not a problem. The AML P-36A, which was supposed to be ready by December 7th, 2011, is about a year behind schedule. The gun bulges are pretty bad, plus I lost one so they need to be scratched from 2mm plastic rod.

The MMS Dodge needs a clear windshield and the T-60 is done. Pics will be posted tomorrow. Some air cover is on the way for the Russians in the way of an ICM I-16 type 24 and an Amodel Yak-1.

Nov. 12, 2012

Dragon Jeep completed. Apart from the MMS crew, the inside of the windscreen was painted, handles were added to the jerrycan (an amazing oversight from Dragon!), the 4 handholds were partly drilled out, and some light weathering added to the completed model. The olive drab on this model is lighter than Tamiya XF-62, whichis the closest to WW2 OD according to renowned expert Steve Zaloga in this article. The Dodge WC62 is in XF-62, which is darker and greener.

The MMS Dodge needs a clear windshield and the T-60 is done. Pics will be posted tomorrow. Some air cover is on the way for the Russians in the way of an ICM I-16 type 24 and an Amodel Yak-1.

October 22, 2012

Dragon Jeep, MMS Dodge and T-60 progressing further.

October 19, 2012

Zvezda Soviet scouts done. . I added some folded aluminum paper to stand in for the radio bag.

MMS Dodge and T-60 progressing.

Dragon pre-built Jeep with MMS US drivers.

October 15, 2012

Zvezda Soviet scouts before the final flat varnish. The radio is a surprisingly good representation of the Sever model, which was used by partisans. I added some 6 thou brass wire to connect the headsets to the radio and the big red button on the side.

Some other models progressing. I've put an effort to paint the crews first, or they'll never get done.

MMS Dodge WC 62 with MMS driver. Judging from the last picture, the front drive shaft went awol.

MMS T-60 light tank

Dragon pre-built Jeep with MMS US drivers.

October 12, 2012

Zvezda Soviet scouts ready for dark wash. The amoeba camo was drawn with a .005 prismacolor brown pen. Future dissolved the brown ink on the first figure so after wiping the mess clean and redrawing the faded camo patch, I ended up using spirit-based Humbrol clearcote, which did not disturb the water-based ink.

October 10, 2012

Soviet paras, cavalry and infantry completed:

Last batch of 8th Army men completed:

October 2nd, 2012

Zvezda Soviets progressing:

September 28, 2012

Going through the backlog of armor previews:
  • 1/76 MMS Panzer III J
  • 1/76 MMS T-60 Early Model

    September 16, 2012

    More Pegasus and Zvezda Soviet early war infantry.

    Final batch of 8th Army platoon figures after a dark wash and before the rifle fittings are added with a black .05 Micron pen:

    Here is a preview of a resin model from the very early days of cottage kits:
  • 1/72 AirModel Soviet T-28 (kit is actually closer to 1/76)

    and a resin early Soviet tank
  • 1/76 Ostmodels BT-7

    September 10, 2012

    Here is a preview of a very rare model:
  • 1/76 Ostmodels Somua S35

    August 22, 2012

    Completed Zvezda BMW R12. The license plates come from the Aleran sheet. The front plate has two sides so I had to sacrifice an extra plate. Fortunately the decal sheet has two plates with very close numbers (77 and 72); the "2" was trimmed to make a "7". The front plate is 10 thou card painted white with the borders trimmed with a black felt pen.

    Completed Fujimi SU-85

    The early war Russians have their subdued green collar patches added, a detail that I had missed earlier.

    August 21, 2012

    August 20, 2012

    Riders for the Zvezda BMW R12 painted. The fit is perfect as the driver's hands actually grasp the handlebars. The next step is to scratch a pair of license plates.

    BA-10m completed.

    Aug. 10, 2012

    BA-10m back from the workshop and paint touch-ups. One of the headlights became a tribute tothe modeling gods and after 45 minutes on all fours in the garage I have up and used the spares from the Pegasus kit, which were marked for a Gaz AAA truck. Now I have to buy another Pegasus kit. On top of that the lights are now slightly misaligned, one being higher than the other. I've learned my lesson now and will resust the urge to fix it.

    Fujimi SU-85 ready for paint.

    Finally some more early war Russians. Zvzda cavalry, paras and recon sets. Stock figures with lead foil straps and a redone DP bipod (The original joined the BA-10's lost headlight in that area of the universe where all lost parts end up)

    Aug. 1st, 2012

    BA-10m in Humbrol 102 posing as almost fresh 4BO green. The model needs multiple touch-ups before the paint job can progress. Th rear turret hatch is off-center and the turret reinforcing strips are not symmetrical. There are also some hull portions that need some filler.

    July 20, 2012

    BA-10m ready for paint. The pictures made me realize that the MGs were missing so they were added from 10thou rod. The modeling gods took their tribute in the form of a wheel so the BA-6 will have to wait.

    July 18, 2012

    Some recent Zvezda Art of Tactic Soviet figures (1 cavalryman and 2 scouts). The cost per figure is pretty high but they really look good. The horse needed some cleaning up. The reins are molded as one solid piece near the mouthpiece.

    July 16, 2012

    Ostmodels BA-10m with Pegasus axles and wheels. The kit was actuired second-hand. It was missing several wheels and the remaining ones were not that great so the model was put aside while some proper Gaz AA/BA series wheels could be sourced. The SHQ and Matador kit wheels each have flaws too. The Pegasus BA-6 double kit provided the answer. The 20 inch steel wheels are the right size for 1/76 (so a tad small for 1/72) and the tires could be sanded down to reduce the overall diameter.

    After the wheels had set, a flaw of the kit that I had overlooked became impossible to ignore. There is a distinct break in alignment in the body. It was glaring when I set the car on its planned base. The rear of the body was aligned to the base and the front part was pointing to the right with a 1/8in offset from the centerline. Time for a hard decision, write the kit off or try something radical. I went for the radical. The hull was cut in half using the circular saw of the Dremel tool, trying to avoid areas with detail. Three matching sets of holes were drilled on each hull part to receive three reinforcing steel wires (12thou). The pins were soaked with superglue gel and the two parts alligned before it set. The fact that the wheels were in place and had been previoulsy aligned to all touch the table greatly helped. A generous dose of CA gel filled the gaps. Liquid putty was used next to rebuild the flat surfaces. Rubbed on soft wax was used last to fill the remaining dimples and imperfections. A coat of Future sealed the wax.

    Fujimi Valentine with Cromwell turret. Aleran rivets added to the mantlet and bottom of the turret. It will now be repainted in light stone and 23rd Armoured Brigade markings.

    July 12, 2012 Two new 1/76 previews:
  • 1/76 Ostmodels BA-6 Armored Car
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Valentine I

    July 10, 2012

    Most 1942 Russians done, 6 more to go.

    Early war French and late war Brits, all beautifully Caesar figures. First time I see laces on boots.

    Some progress on armor models, both new builds and makeovers: The Airfix Lee was originally built out of the box, then modified for the desert with

    June 12, 2012

    More Russians!

    I'm having a ball with the re-edition of Close Combat III (now called CC Cross of Iron) by Matrix games. I only had the demo version with a Kursk map way back when and I do remember that 6 SU-152's on the ridges were the only chance you had of stopping the Nazi heavy armor (a mix of Tigers, Panthers and Ferdinands). Getting back to the subject at hand, I gathered all the early summer Russians in my stash, selecting primarily riflemen and a couple PPSH NCOs. The olive guys in side caps are from Pegasus. They are very lightly equipped, some have nothing but a belt and a cartridge pouch. I have the mixed summer/winter set, which seems to be molded in a different material than usual. The plastic is very hard and the seams could be sanded off. Pegasus should stick to this formula going forward. The tan figures are from the Revell set. They are scaled up Preiser HO soldiers. They have a lot of excess plstic where the modl could not reach but the plastic is fortunately very soft so the armpits and the like could be hollowed out using a hobby knife and some patience. The figures are very tall. None of the riflemen are actually standing so it is not too apparent. Finally the dark green miniatures are from the Zvezda Art of Tactic infantry set. It has only three poses but are superbly molded, though on the tall side of 1/72. The extra figures can be converted by swapping their helmeted heads with Pegasus side caps.

    Russians are easy to paint as you don't have to worry about uniform color and they hardly have any facings or insignia of any kind, unlike the Germans... Before we get there however, I have to come up with 19 gun slings.

    June 8, 2012

    Two 1/72 motorcycles. I'll live with the 1 mm difference with 1/76. Here are the BMW R75 from Italeri and the BMW R12 from Zvezda. The Italeri R75 is made of hard polythene, ie plastic soldier plastic, not polystyrene. The Zvezda kit is polystyrene. The solid tires on the R12 are very distracting. They have different wire patterns on each side, which is correct, but since only see half the spokes on each side, the wheels look almost solid and are not visually appealing. The two wheels on the sidecar have a denser representation of the spokes and are acceptable as is.
    The spaces between the spokes on the right side were drilled out and 5 thou steel wire spokes added to the left side. It's not ideal but does look better. The space between the posts under the headlight on the R75 was carved out and the rubber shock absorber covers scribed with a knife. The exhaust pipe was reworked to separate it the frame and give it the proper pointy tailpipe shape. The handlebar for the pillion passenger needs to be remade on both motorcycles using metal wire.

    Medium machine guns completed.

    May 31, 2012

    Medium machine guns on the bench.

    Vickers MG from the Hat Machine Gun set.
    The figures are coarse by the current standards set by Caesar and Zvezda. They have huge hands and feet. The gun itself is all right. It is the best of all those provided in plastic soldier sets. The gun in the Airfix 8th Army set is well detailed but too long. Its base is simplistic. The one planned by Zvezda in its Art of Tactics wargame series will undoubtedly be superior judging by the quality of their current production. The gunner's humongous water bottle was replaced by one taken from an Airfix Autralian. The overthick water hose will be replaced by a small section of wire. The piece has been painted and coated with Future varnish. Next is the dark umber wash.

    Maxim gun from the Zvezda mini-set. The wheels were replaced by those from an old ESCI hard plastic Red Guards set. The rest is stock. The Zvezda plastic base is 1.5 x 1 inch. It was sanded down, glued to a piece of magnet sheet, and the two cut corners built up with hard wax and plaster filler.

    May 22, 2012

    The prone 8th Army men have been completed for some time.

    May 19, 2012

    Hat Vickers MG crew from their Machine Gun set. The plastic is pure rubber. Cutting itdoes not work well, to say the least. Sanding and scraping actually do work to my surprise. The seams were removed that way. The rear webbing straps were too thick and cut to size. The gunner's helmet was oversize and replaced with one from another figure in the set. His head matched the helmet and had to be trimmed for the smaller helmet to fit. His left arm was partially cut and repositioned lower to fit the gun. The set has 4 guns. I'll use one of the remaining guns withthe Airfix 8th Army gunners. The gun from that set is too long and the tripod too thick.

    May 16, 2012

    Completed Pegasus SS in plane tree camouflage smocks. The camouflage pattern is hardly discernible on the figures without magnification. All the Kar98 rifles in the 2 Pegasus SS sets are too long. They are the size of the WW1 long rifles. These 2 have been cut off and a sight added from thin plastic strip.

    May 10, 2012

    Soviet group shot.

    Late war British and Canadian infantry and one para completed. The NCOs have rank stripe decals.

    May 7, 2012

    Three ESCI Russians ready for flat varnish.

    Caesar British and lone Revell para ready for flat varnishcoats.

    Experimenting with the settings on the new camera, a Nikon D5000, with exposire pushed to +2.7, auto white balance and aperture mode for better focus depth. The resulting pics still need to have contrast pushed quite a bit to avoid the washed out look of the April 20 pics.

    April 20, 2012

    The mortar team after several flat coats. I overdiluted the flat varnish so it left white build-ups in several creases. I used liberal amounts of wash to make them go away and sprayed more flat varnish on. It still has some sheen. This is so frustrating!

    The Airfix batch is done. I've had these for decades so this is a real sense of accomplishment.

    Late war Brits and Germans. I'm going through my figure sets and picking interesting figures.

    Caesar British. They accurately depict the 1944/45 campaign in NorthWest Europe with No.4 rifles, spike bayonets and Sten SMGs. . Here again you have large and small helmets. The oversize helmets are being replaced. The Sten guns had their muzzles cut off and replaced with thin rod. They're not visible against a white background. The Revell Canadian is done. He is still semigloss after four sessions of flat varnish spraying and drybrushing with earth pigment so I'm calling it quits. The two ESCI figures on the left are appropriate for Italy only. The SMLE and its long bayonet and the Thomson SMG were not used during the Normandy landing and its aftermath.

    From left to right: Caesar DAK, Airfix DAK, Caesar Late German (set H002), Revell Late German (set 2502: soldier in blurred edge Army camo and SS MG crew in Oak Leaf and Pea Dot camo, Caesar PanzerGrenadier set 1 in Army Splinter camo, 2 Pegasus SS set 2 in Plane Tree summer camo and Caesar Panzergrenadier Ardennes in camo tunic and greatcoat and another Caesar Late German (set H002).

    April 19, 2012

    The mortar team before the final flat coats.

    April 17, 2012

    I've been intrigued by the Zvezda Art of Tactics wargaming miniatures. The figures are very good if a bit on the large side but what makes them stand out are the magnificent heavy weapons. Made of injected plastic the mortars and machine guns are molded with very fine details and scale barrels. They relegate all previous incarnations in soft plastics and metal to the recycle box. Resin mortars from Milicast stand up to the challenge but are more fiddly to assemble, not to mention having to deal with the inevitable broken parts. Price-wise they are much more expensive than soft plastic figures but cheaper than cottage productions from resin and metal manufacturers. My only beef is the choice of 1/100 as the scale for vehicles. It’s understandable given the context of wargaming and good news for FOW fans but it’s a missed opportunity if you stick to 1/72. Zvezda figures hav had a tendancy to become giants in their more recent sets

    This little jewel of a model is a Soviet 1937 model 82mm mortar, which is still used in some parts of the world today. The model is assembled as is. It even includes a very well done chain between the two legs of the bipod. The two figures lack a bit of detail definition, especially on the torso. I repositioned the head of the assistant so that he looks at his buddy loading the tube instead of gazing forward (lightly cut around the top of the collar with a hobby knife and carefully twist the head into position). The base is from the kit, sanded down and glued to a 1 sq. inch magnet sheet. The corners are built up with putty, since I like my bases square,(a holdover from the Waterloo figures, which need to be closely aligned). Here is the model drying off before a coat of future and washes).

    April 10, 2012

    My Nikon S4 died last week. The CCD sensor apparently gave up.It seems normal for a 5 year old camera according to multiple forums. If that is the case it is hardly an endorsement for Nikon. Going back to oour favorite hobby, the Airfix boys are close to completion, after a burnt umber wash and before touch ups and drybrushing.

    March 23, 2012

    The rest of the 8th Army platoon has been provided with slings. First row are from Revell (Scottish and Australian sets), second row are ESCI/Italeri figures with a lone Orion Chinese Imperial soldier circa 1900 that was lying on the workbench. Third row are prone figures. The Bren gun was cut to size and the bipod replaced with plastic strips.

    March 18, 2012

    Second batch of 8th Army men underway. These are the classic Airfix miniatures. The set has large and small helmeted figures. I replaced the over-sized helmets with ones from the ESCI sets. Most of the men had the bayonet frog and water bottle reversed. They were cut off and super-glued in their proper place. The trotting small helmet guy (third from left) had his rifle replaced by one from ESCI. The original one lacked definition. The riflemen received lead strip slings. The NCO carries a 1928 model Thompson with the pistol foregrip.It seems that this older model had no sling attachments.

    March 16, 2012

    First batch of 8th Army men done. Here is a pic of Mediterranean Commonwealth infantry. . I had D-Day in mind when I painted the two ESCI blokes in battle-dress but I now know that their weapons are not really appropriate for North-West Europe. The SMLE was replaced by the Mk4 rifle with short spike bayonet and the Sten took the place of the Thompson submachine gun. They are in the uniform seen in Greece, Tunisia and Italy. BEF infantry carried a gas mask bag on the chest and an entrenching tool down the right leg. The oval tool carrier carried on the hip only appeared in 1941. So you really have three variations of British soldiers in wool battle-dress, BEF, Mediterranean and NWE.

    March 14, 2012

    More progress onthe 8th Army platoon. Gloss figures now need a coat of flat varnish. The bases need more work to look more realistic. Gun slings are from metal (presumably lead) wine bottle caps cut into strips. I could not find any pictures of early Thompsons with slings so did not add one on the NCO figure.

    March 9, 2012

    Canadian soldier in North West Europe painted before flat varnish. This is one of the Revell giants with the Mark III turtle back helmet. The Canadian battledress has a green shade unlike the British version. Lesson learned : better to add the sling before painting. Now on to add 25+ slings on the 8th Army platoon

    March 7, 2012

    First batch of the 8th Army platoon 2/3rd painted.

    March 5, 2012

    Just completed a group of Pegasus 1940 French that were started before the 8th Army platoon (5 figures on the right, the at ease soldier is from the Matchbox B1 kit, the firing soldier with the larger helmet is one of the few from the Caesar set with a greatcoat). The Pegasus set are beautifully sculpted figures. The helmets look small compared to the Caesar figure. Pegasus essentially provide the same poses in 1916 or 1938 equipment and some care is needed to match the proper arms and figures. The soldiers using the short MAS36 have 1938 model equipment with the wide cartridge pouches and no rear pouch. The ones equipped with the long Berthier rifle have WW1 equipment with the rear pouch. In short the long rifles go with the rear pouch. The water bottles are all the 1935 model with one spout. No figure carries the WW1 model with 2 spouts. The FM's bipod was as thick as the barrel and was replaced with thin plastic rod.
    The figures with the 8mm Berthier rifles are also appropriate to depict the French Army of Africa which faced the Allies during Operation Torch in November 1942. The MAS36 never made it to Vichy Africa and actually only equipped 10% of the Army in 1940.

    French infantry going forward with a Renault R35 Infantry tank. This actually hardly ever happened as combined arms tactics were fairly non-existent in the French Army of 1940.

    A group shot of my 1940 French.

    Painting of the platoon commences. I started with an assembly line model but dropped it for two reasons. 1/ The paint kept drying out on my palette due to the large number of figures. 2/ I missed too many spots.
    I finally settled on painting groups of 6/7 figures. It's a small enough batch so that each figure can get individual attention and the paint waste occurring when painting individual figures.

    February 16, 2012

    Back to the Western Desert with an 8th Army plastic soldier platoon. Per the information found at, British platoons in the Desert had 3 sections of nine men (one less than normal) composed of 1 corporal with Thomson SMG, 1 Bren gunner and 7 riflemen with SMLEs. The platoon is led by a subaltern, a sergeant and two riflemen (orderly and driver for the platoon's 15cwt truck).

    The figures are from the Airfix, ESCI and Revell 8th Army sets, plus a few from the Revell Australian set and ESCI British sets. Most of the figures are in shirt and shorts with some figures in trousers. Some of the Australians are in Service Dress tunics. Distinctive headgear are a Scottish beret and a few slouch hats. A few figures had their kit reversed (bayonet should be on the left, water bottle on the right). Some of the Airfix figures have oversized helmets, which were replaced by ESCI helmets. Some figures were converted from NCO to riflemen to make up the numbers. Most sets have an excess number of NCOS. German sets are the worst, it seems like every Landser had an MP40.
    Bases are 1/2in square cut magnet strip where possible. Most kneeling figures and some "wide stance" postures require longer bases. Prone figures have custom size bases cut from magnet sheets. Bases are built up using wall crack filler. This stuff is cheap and lasts forever. Just add water and matt medium if it dries up. The matt medium allows it to hold up when dry otherwise it will crumble into dust.
    After basing is completed, every figure save the officer will need a sling for their weapon.

    January 31, 2012

    A couple shots of the Austrralian Spitifre Vc before weathering:

    Here are another 1/76 armor preview:
  • 1/76 Ostmodels SU-152

    January 28, 2012

    The Spits finally have all their bits on. A bit of weathering, many flat coats, then the final peeling of the canopy mask and we're done. You can tell I'm eager to move on.

    Here are a couple 1/76 armor previews:
  • 1/76 Ostmodels Renault R40 Light Tank
  • 1/76 Ostmodels ISU-122S

    January 24, 2012

    Trying to finish the 4 planes held over from last year. Herea re three of them, the Me-262 is still covered in masking tape prior to the mottling job:

    I find that the bits and pieces that come after paint and decals (antennas, exhausts, tailwheels, base, etc) are the least enjoyable as at that point you just want wrap things up.

    January 10, 2012

    Happy New year to all fellow modelers!!

    My 2011 tally ended up at 16 armor models. Par for the course but at this rate it will take more than a lifetime to wrok through my stash. I tried to complete 4 planes before leaving for the holidays but ended up short. Working through the 100 plus stencil decals of the Revell Thunderbolt took much longer than expected. Errors in the instruction sheet don't help either.
    Two Airfix Spit V's (a "b" and a "c") are almost done with passable rescribed panel lines and a terrible wing fuselage join. The recently released Sword kits put them to shame.
    The Revell Me-262 still needs some fine airbrushing to turn the hard edge between the upper and lower colors into soft edges.

    Here is the first preview of 2012.
  • 1/76 SHQ SdKfz 251/2 D

    December 11, 2011

    King Tiger and Panther A done. 6thou brass aerials and Aber MG barrels complete the beasts.

    December 8, 2011

    Cromwell King Tiger from 1st Company 503 Heavy Panzer Battalion in Normandy (Aleran decals - generic turret numbers and crosses)and Panther A from 3rd Company LAH 1st SS Panzer Division (Peddinghaus decals - Panzers in Normandy sheet 5) also in Normandy. They fought in the British Canadian sector around Caen. Incidentally, I just noticed that the Panther is missing its headlight...

    December 7, 2011

    The P-36 is not ready for the Pearl Harbor anniversary. I did manage to assemble the wings and cowling with considerable sanding and adjusting. I had forgotten how much effort such a short run kit requires.

    In a rush to complete some models before the year end here are the Cromwell King Tiger and Panther A in camo and gloss varnish ready for decals:

    Two Airfix Spitfire Vs, the Revell Me-262 and P-47D have spent the year gathering dust are also being painted in a flurry of masking and airbrushing.

    November 20, 2011

    Zis 5 completed. The finishing touches took much longer than expected. The 4 latches for the cargo bed drop down sides were added. This took 28 rivets, some plastic strip and 8 thou steel wire.

    November 12, 2011

    Cromwell King Tiger and Panther A in dark yellow:

    The Maus dwarfs the King Tiger and the Panther, not to mention the Grille:

    Here is the preview of the Maus and two Ostmodels Soviet subjects :

  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Maus
  • 1/76 Ostmodels BA-10m Armored Car
  • 1/76 Ostmodels F22 M1936 76.2mm Divisional Field Gun

    November 11, 2011

    Finishing touches on the Zis/gun combo:

    cNovember 7, 2011

    I'm thinking of completing the Pearl Harbor P-36A before December 7 and updated the US aircraft model review page while looking for online reviews of the AML kit.

    November 6, 2011

    King Tiger Porsche ready for paint:

    November 4, 2011

    The 122mm gun is ready for paint.

    November 3rd, 2011

    The 122mm gun is almost done.

    November 1st, 2011

    Another armor preview:

  • 1/76 MMS M5 Stuart Light Tank

    October 28, 2011

    Cromwell Tiger I completed.

    October 27, 2011

    Archer recently released some very interesting HO scale louvres. the 14in size in HO scales out to about 30cm in 1/76. They are available at Rollmodels for 15USD. It's not cheap but you get a near lifetime supply.

    I updated the Scalelink Traction review after I concluded that the nmodel is ofr 15/6 and will definitely need those louvres.

    October 26, 2011

    Catching up on armor previews:

  • 1/76 Bull Models 25mm SA34 Antitank Gun
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Panther A early
  • 1/76 Cromwell Panther A
  • 1/76 Fujimi Tiger II with Henschel turret
  • 1/76 Fujimi Jagdtiger (Fujimi mold)
  • 1/76 MMS M4 (105) W VVSS

    October 24, 2011

    Main assembly on the gun is done. There is a 200 photo walk-around of the M-30 online, giving plenty of data for detailing the kit.

    October 21, 2011

    Paint and decals completed on the Zis 5. Next is the load (cargo, figures and towed 122mm gun):

    October 19, 2011

    Assembly completed on the Zis 5. The windows and the roof will be left for off until after painting and weathering. Now on to the paint shop.

    October 13, 2011

    Incremental progress on the Zis 5.

    October 11, 2011

    Another couple 1/76 previews:
  • 1/76 MMS Humber FWD Light Utility
  • 1/76 MMS Stug III A

    Some progress on the Zis-5:

    October 7, 2011

    Reinforcements are on the way. German heavies in various stages of completion. From left to right : Cromwell Combat Ready late Tiger I, Cromwell multi-part late Panther A, Jagdtiger (Nitto chassis from Fujimi Tiger II with link and length track, hull from early rubber tracked Fujimi kit), Fujimi (ex Nitto) Tiger II Henschel, Cromwell Combat Ready Tiger II Porsche.

    October 5, 2011

    The Zis 5 is getting a crew. Finding crews is why my truck production has been lingering lately. My 3t CMP truck is still waiting for a suitable driver. I will need to convert one using an RAF head. Berets were not used in the infantry in 1942.

    October 4, 2011

    Updated Soviet heavy group pics:

    October 3rd, 2011

    The Fujimi KV-2 is finally done.

    The Cromwell Panther A Late is being rehabilitated (it is a built second hand model in overall forest green!).

    Main construction is complete for the 1/76 Zis 5. The outrageous towing pintle will have to go. It is the equivalent of 1/12 feet high (45cm). The front bumper was not found in any pictures of military versions so will be removed as well.

    Another 1/76 preview:
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Panther A Early with Zimmerit

    October 1st, 2011

    More 1/76 previews:
  • 1/76 MMS Adler Kfz 13 Armored Car
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Toldi I Light Tank
  • 1/76 Matchbox Late JagdPanther

    Here is a 1/72 PST Zis 6 built as 1/76 Zis 5. The PST kit has scale issues for 1/72 making the project easier than it seems. The wheels and cab are 1/76. The cargo bed is 1/76 in length and 1/72 in width so only one dimension needs to be fixed.

    September 21, 2011

    The Cromwell Combat Ready Tiger I ready for decals. I patterned the camo based on the Steelmasters article on a tank of SS Company 102 in Normandy. Unfortunately, I went through my relatively large decal stash and came up short on white outline numbers. Techmod's sheet on late Tigers is my only recourse. Final weathering will have to wait as the decals need to be on for the dust washes.

    The KV-2 is progressing slowly. The Humbrol 117 green paint I used as a base coat takes forever to dry so you have to wait a day for any touch up to dry. The "For the Motherland!" decals are from the kit.

    September 17, 2011

    Here is something to counter all those Soviet heavies, the Cromwell Combat Ready Tiger I in 3 color camo :

    September 11, 2011

    Fujimi KV-2 ready for paint:

    September 11, 2011

    Completed ISU-152. It's good to finish a model once in a while. The green base for the ISU-152 is Humbrol 116, where I mostly used Xtracolour Russian tank green in both enamel and acrylic (the latter has a browner shade: they are NOT the same), and Testors MM Russian tank green (which has a grayish tint). Humbrol 116 is a brighter dark green. Steelmasters recommend Humbrol 117 as the most accurate for Russin 4BO green but it comes out a very light grass green that just did not look right. In the end though after a dark wash, drybrushing, a coat of Future, another series of washes with earth pigments and finally multiple coats of airbrushed flat varnish, the final green shades look remarkably similar. I would conclude that the initial color shade does not matter as much as its value (the measure of light/dark).

    Onward to Berlin! Late war Soviet heavies ready to blast through German defences :

    September 10, 2011

    The T-34 pics have been reshot on a white background. The blue background shifted the tank colors to blue-green. Here are a couple of group shots I took while all models were on hand:

    September 9, 2011

    Taking a break from the KV-2, the other Soviet heavy is progressing.

    September 8, 2011

    Another 1/76 preview:
  • 1/76 Milicast Dodge VH48 5t Truck

    September 6, 2011

    More 1/76 previews:
  • 1/76 Milicast GMC CCKW SWB 2.5t Cargo Truck with closed cab
  • 1/76 SMA Praga RV 2t Truck
  • 1/76 Milicast Armored Opel Blitz with 2cm Flak 38 AA Gun

    September 2, 2011

    The KV-2 project is plodding along. Tedious is the key word as it becomes prey to Advanced Modeling Syndrome. 60 rivets were added to the fender reinforcements, among other things.

    More armor previews:
  • 1/76 US Casts Kugelblitz AA tank
  • 1/76 Vacucast SU-76i conversion set August 26, 2011

    The most tedious work is done on the KV-2, replacing the 10 fender reinforcing corners with more realistic representations

    August 24, 2011

    Another armor preview:

    1/76 Fujimi KV-1 1941 model

    I also need to update the Aircraft Review section. I have several recent Spitfire models from AZ, Sword and CMR. I think every Spitfire/Seafire version is now represented by a decent kit. The old raised panel Airfix Spit I and V can now be permanently retired if only to be replaced by Airfix's own retooled model. The Sword P-47N also fills a void.

    August 20, 2011

    Working through the armor preview backlog, here are some Soviet armor kits.

    1/76 MMS T-34/76 Model 1943 with softedge turret and twin round hatches

    1/76 Red Star SU-76 late

    1/76 Red Star SU-152

    1/76 Red Star ISU-152

    August 18, 2011

    More pictures of the welded turret early T-34 from Cromwell.

    August 17, 2011

    Another quickie build, the Cromwell ISU-152, actually an ISU-122 with a 152mm gun from the Red Star ISU-152 kit.

    The Fujimi KV-2 is underway, with link and length tracks from a spare Fujimi IS-2. The sprockets had to be modified to fit the guide holes in the tracks. Most of the work will be in replacing the 10 overthick solid fender supports with thinner hollow ones made from plastic strip.

    August 11, 2011

    The first and last variants of the T-34 family nearing completion. I'm having trouble getting a dead flat despite multiple thin coats of Testors acrylic flat (which I was told at my local hobby shop is the same as my preferred Polly Scale flat).

    August 8, 2011

    Back on the T-34 project, one of my few which is nearing completion. The Cromwell SU-100 and T-34/76 1940 Model with welded turret are nearly finished. A couple shots of flat varnish mixed with dust and we'll be done. I took them on as quickie projects as no assembly is required, just cleaning up the one piece castings and adding handrails and other details.
    Working on the SU-100 brought the SU-85 to mind. I realized that it was never previewed here and I try to make a point of not starting any kit without snapping pictures of the raw material, so here it is:

    July 19, 2011

    Summer vacation has gone by and it's back to work and modeling.

    Here is the completed Renault UE from Skytrex. The disappointing part is that the 50+ Archer rivets almost disappeared under the paint and varnish.

    Here are some links to fascinating WW2 period newsreels from, the French National Audiovisual Institute. Their search function is terrible but if you click on the following links, you get a selection of related videos on the right side of the page.

    The arrival in Normandy of General Leclerc and the Free French 2nd DB on August 1st, 1944.
    Liberation of la Rochelle after VE Day. Of particular interest to modelers will be shots of Somua tanks, a Somua MCL recovery half-track, Peugeot DMA trucks, two homemade armored cars and French infantry in various uniforms, some in 1941 French order (tunics and leather gaiters as opposed to overcoat and puttees) but with a mixture of French and US helmets and others (towards the end of the video) in what appears to be full British BD and gear but US M1 helmets. There is also a shot of armed German and Milice troops, relaxed and smoking together. Not sure where that fits as while the Germans enter captivity and eventually go home, the Milice collaborators have a much bleaker future.
    Japanese surrender in Korea to the US.
    Japanese surrenders in HK and Wake.
    British troops in South Vietnam and java after VJ day. Includes another shot of General Leclerc, this time in Saigon in late 1945.
    The triumphant return of General Wainwright to the US in 1945.
    Live action shots of aerial and naval bombardment in Japan. Multiple views of Corsairs and Helldivers

    June 9, 2011

    Panzer IV F1 finally done.

    and another preview, the Cromwell Staghound I

    June 8, 2011

    Preview of a seldom seen softskin posted:

    1/76 Convoy International M425 Tractor and 10 ton Semi-trailer

    June 7, 2011

    Preview of the Cromwell Mercedes L3000A with Office Body posted:

    I am using it as a test bed for a way to hollow out the solid cab and insert an interior from below.

    June 6, 2011

    More tweaking of the details on the Panzer IV F1 while decals and painting progress.

    b>June 2, 2011

    Gutters added and jerrycan removed on the Panzer IV F1 and on to painting.

    Matchbox Panzer IIF rebuilt. It only needed an antenna. A drybrush of Testors MM RAL 8020 brown toned down the orange shade of the original Humbrol 63 Afrika Korps Desert Yellow.

    Matchbox Panzer IIL finally put to rest, now with two turret lifting points.

    MMS Panzer IV D underway.

    May 27, 2011

    Three armor previews posted:

    The Airfix Panzer IV F1 received a base coat of RAL8000 and airbrushed splotches of RAL7008. This is much darker than expected. The review of the MMS Panzer IV F made me realize that the turret side hatches lack the rain gutter strip. I also noticed that the jerrycan on the rear hull needs to have the handles carved out. I'm not sure it belongs there but at this point we need to move on. Onthe topic of never-ending improvements, the Panzer III L had two turret hooks added to the front sides, the same that had to be added tot the Airfix Panzer IV.

    May 26, 2011

    The Airfix Panzer IV F1 is done and ready for paint. The F2 will require less work to update as it has no smoke box and the correct engine grilles.

    May 25, 2011

    Another oldie is being refurbished, this time the Airfix Panzer IV F1.

    May 17, 2011

    Preview of the Ostmodels Vickers M.36 light tank as used by the KNIL in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1942. This is a rare kit of a rare vehicle.

    May 16, 2011

    Preview of the Matchbox Panzer III L posted. This is not the just completed refurbished model but another one bought online and marked for conversion to Ausf M or N using parts from a 1/72 Revell Panzer IIIM

    Preview of the fantastic brass MG34s by Aber

    May 15, 2011

    Refurbished Matchbox Panzer III L finally completed.

    May 8, 2011

    Skytrex Renault UE and trailer ready for paint.

    May 4, 2011

    Refurbished Matchbox Panzer III L ready for paint. This model was built out of the box decades ago. Only changes were wire handles on the turret roof and the turret moved back a couple mm,per the drawings on the Airfix guide on German tanks.

    April 25, 2011

    New armor previews posted:
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready sFH18 15cm gun and early SDKFz7 tractor
  • 1/76 Milicast Battlefield CMP 3ton #13 cabin Truck

    April 14, 2011

    Completed Matchbox/Revell B1 bis, Bourrasque (#257) from the 15th BCC, 2nd DCR. Tamiya's 1/35 scale kit provides three blue hearts for the turret but Revell only include 2 in theirs.

    April 12, 2011

    Decals and weathering completed on the B1 bis. Now onto the chains and the radio antenna before appying grass and the final coats of flat varnish.

    April 11, 2011

    Basic paint completed on the Matchbox/Revell B1 bis. Same colors as on the R35 but airbrushed this time, Humbrol 148 and Testors MM Russian Tank Green, which had the desired gray tint. Beige first, then green, after masking with poster putty. Soft edges were touched up after the fact. Decals for Bourrasque from the 2nd DCR 15th BCC are next, followed by (extensive) weathering.

    A couple previews of 1940 French vehicles:

  • 1/76 Skytrex Hotchkiss H39 light cavalry tank
  • 1/76 Skytrex Lorraine 37L tractor (short wheelbase)

    April 7, 2011

    Matchbox/Revell B1 bis ready for paint. Commented instructions for the 1/35 Tamiya model found on were used as guidelines for detailing, as well as photos from multiple sources. Massive deployment of Archer rivet decals as can be seen in the pics.

    March 22, 2011

    Finished a Cromwell Renault R35 light tank. Well armored but slow, unreliable and sporting a pathetic short 37mm gun with negligible armor penetration, it is a minuscule machine, about the size of a Panzer I. The model carries Aleran decals for the 24th BCC (Combat Tank Battalion) which saw action at Montcornet, Abbeville and on the Loire river in May-June 1940. Ironically, most of these tanks had no radio, but all the24 BCC machines had one. I'll add the stub, which must have been the nub I removed on the back of the turret roof to make room for the roundel and the antenna as soon as I find relevant pictures. I am a stickler on getting the antenna's size and diameter right. The base resin kit has numerous air bubbles filled, missing details on the rear grilles restored, a dozen or so broken or missing track guide teeth made from strip, and details added from odds and ends, including a spare pickaxe head, a Notek type light, the horn, 4 metal towing eyes, a tow hook, a hammer head, 6 lifting hooks on the turret and cupola, a spare roadwheel, a brass handle for the rear engine hatch, and the exhaust stub.

    The preview of the kit is here.

    Using the momentum gained from this rare achievement (actually finishing a model) I dusted off the Matchbox B1b that had been gathering dust for over a year and resumed work on it .

    March 6, 2011

    Finished a Cromwell StuH42. This is from a set of 3 built models acquired on ebay. It was stripped and rebuilt, so bypassed the usual preview. The hatch covers are separate and are from plastic card, the original parts were melted by the paint stripper.

    March 5, 2011

    Completed the Airfix Pak 40. Not a bad kit despite its age. The base and crew will take more time than the gun itself.

    February 22, 2011

    The IS-2 is done.

    More 1940 French equipment reviewed. Here is the Cromwell Laffly V15T:

    February 21, 2011

    The Cromwell Renault R35 is ready for the paint shop. The Renault UE is close behind. The latter seems to be a resin knock-off of the Hinchliffe model.

    I am trying out the crazy idea of using the teeth from a plastic knife on the tracks of the JB/Airfix Light Tank MkVI. Here is what we have so far.

    February 16, 2011

    The Fujimi IS-2 is close to completion. Nice model despite the incorrect engine.

    The Cromwell Bedford OYD and SHQ Gaz AA reviews have been posted.

    February 9, 2011

    Finally completed Tuskegee Airman Lt Buddy Archer's plane in Italy circa 1944.

    January 10, 2011

    Happy New (Modelling) Year! May you find the time to model to your heart's content!

    The year starts off inventorying my 1/76 stash. I bought some stackable drawers and reorganized models by medium instead of nationality. It's a good idea to separate resin from metal kits, unless you don't mind having more resin parts to glue than originally envisioned. I will update the 1/76 previews in the next few weeks, there are about 50 kits that still need to be photographed.

    The WW2 section has been updated with two models that sort of bookend the war, an early war German soldier from the Polish campaign and a P-51C in China during the 3 months between the fall of Nazi Germany and the surrender of Japan.

    The Orange Nassau figures were finally completed and added to the Waterloo section. They are Hat Belgians with Hat Wurtemberger heads. This finally closes the Infantry and Cavalry sections.

    December 7, 2010

    Took a break from planes with some figures:

    Late Roman, Renaissance gendarme, late war ETO US infantry, mid war German with splinter camo smock

    The French Army page was updated.

    October 8, 2010

    Time for some updates. I've been busy finishing some of the planes in the workshop: the 109 E7, Hurricane IIb, Typhoon and one of the P-51C's.
    In the live and learn category:

    - the P-47D-30 used the same wing as the P-47M so my comment below is wrong. Of course I spent some time carefully sanding them off, now I have to make some new ones from plastic strip.
    - the 109 E4/7 and E3 have different canopies. That includes the windscreen. Building the two concurrently caused a mix-up and I realized that the windscreens had to be switched after painting was completed. Fortunately I use white glue for fixing transparencies so no damage.

    Here are some pics of the newly completed models:

    I tried soem group photos with mixed results. The only one worth keeping is a picture of my small collection of Allied fighters. Having them all together is interesting. The diminutive size of Soviet fighters is really striking. The Yak 3 and the La-5 have very short wings and look like toys next to the huge Hellcat (the largest plane on the pic, bigger than a Thunderbolt),

    July 12, 2010

    Back from vacation. I just realized that the Revell P-47D uses the wing of a P-47M so the air brakes need to be sanded off and a landing light added to the starboard underwing.
    The Battle of Britain Me-109 E3 and the Pearl Harbor Zero type 21 have been completed and been added to the fighter and WW2 galleries.

    June 14, 2010

    A group photo of my late war Allied fighters. British, US and Soviet planes representing theaters thousands of miles from one another : Northwest Europe, Italy, Eastern Front, Burma, China, Central Pacific. The Typhoon and the two P-51Cs are not completed yet. Academy made a mistake in their decal placement instructions for the two Mustangs. The larger stars go on the wings not the fuselage. I fell for it and it just did not look right. It cost me two stars trying to move them. They had already been sealed with Future so that did not help.

    June 7, 2010
    More progress on the plane models though I am late on my schedule. I was planning to complete 12 planes by April 30 and then move back to armor and figures. I am now trying to get 10 models done by the end of June.
    Tuskegee Airman Buddy Archer's P-51C is almost done. I lost one of the "INA the Macon Belle" decals so had to order another kit online. I did spend an hour on all fours looking for it. Academy decals are really terrible: thick, brittle, impervious to Microsol, plus they won't stay on without a final coat of Future.
    The Pearl Harbor Zero is also almost complete. The wing fuselage join was pretty bad, which was a surprise to me as the rest of the kit falls together.
    The Typhoon is still lingering pending rockets. The Pavla aftermarket rockets don't fit the holes on the model's wing... So I'm stuck with the kit's rockets. One consolation is that the Pavla rocket fins are almost as thick as the Academy ones (and the ones that come with the Tamiya Mosquito)
    The other Mustang, "Princess", a P-51C from 311th FG in China in 1945 is undergoing a repaint job. I learned that spraying Alclad on bare plastic accentuates all the plastic flow boundaries. I have to reasearch why this is as the surface seemed totally smooth. In the end I sprayed gray primer over the Alclad and will start over.

    So far only 4 models have been completed this year. Actually the 109 E3 needs an antenna wire. I plan to use 5thou steel wire like for the E1. I switched from fine fishing wire, the kind that retracts when heated, leaving a nice taut line. Problem is it slackens over time so you have to heat it again every couple months.

    May 17, 2010
    I finally completed two planes out of the 13 in flight. The 1939 Bf 109 E1 from the Polish Campaign and a late war Tempest V flown by French ace Pierre Closterman. The Airfix Spit XIX in wartime markings is almost done as well.

    The Academy Typhoon is also well advanced. I need to add the rockets. The Pavla rocket mountings do not fit the holes on the kit, being spaced further apart, so it's back to the kit's rockets with the overthick fins. The Academy stripe decals were a disater, they would shed pieces if repositioned. The fuselage stripes were actually painted. The wing stripes only lost portions so I touched them up. In hindsight I should have removed the decals and painted them as well. I also learned through this that white cannot be touched up by brush.

    I had hoped to finish all those planes clogging up the workspace by April 30 but it looks like it will take another month. It did not help that I started two more kits in the past months... Can't help it, I guess. The backlog is now:

    Feb. 1st, 2010
    Still working on the backlog of 1/72 aircraft. Updated the RAF aircraft model review page with more recent observations.

    Jan. 8, 2010
    !!Happy New Year!!
    Having worked off some of the workbench clutter on the AFV side (11 models in 3 months, a personal record), I am completing some 1/72 planes that have been collecting dust for over a year, namely a Hasegawa Hurricane IIb, Tamiya Bf109 E3 and E7, RPM Bf109 E1, Academy Tempest and Typhoon. I acquired some CMR resin planes on ebay at about 1/2 price. The Spitfire IXe is incredible. You get 250lb bomb racks, two kinds of slipper tanks, two identical props ( 1 in one piece, the other with separate blades)and three single piece e-type wing assemblies (two clipped including one with wheel bumps and one standard). The kit includes photo etch details, paint masks and two sets of stencils plus 1/72 blueprints with full placement indications. Considering the spare bits, which would add up if bought separately, they are not that expensive.

    Dec. 25, 2009
    Merry Christmas to all modelers of good will and their ever patient families!!!

    The MMS SdKfz 250/1 is finished. Well, not quite, I just realized I forgot the taillights. Moreover there seems to be some dust stuck to the hull on the right side.

    Dec. 14, 2009
    The Cromwell EasyEight is finished. I ended using Polly S matt varnish pure to get that dead flat dusty look:

    Dec. 14, 2009
    The improved Airfix Matador is completed:

    The Cromwell EasyEight is almost finished as well:

    Dec. 7, 2009
    The Ford WOT2E is completed:

    Dec. 4, 2009
    The Daguet French soldier is done. I still have flat finish issues. I bought a Krylon spray can. It's pretty good but still leaves a sheen on the parts that were glossy.

    Nov. 30, 2009
    Another preview:
  • 1/76 SHQ Kettenkrad

    Nov. 25, 2009
    Another preview:
  • 1/76 Milicast Battlefield CMP 15cwt #13 cab Truck

    Nov. 20, 2009
    I found the missing crew member for the 250. It's almost done.

    Another preview:
    1/76 Convoy Adler W61 light truck

    Nov. 18, 2009
    Click here for the SHQ Panther D preview.

    The CMP truck is moving along slowly. The cab interior must be painted and the rear window glazed before the roof can be fixed in place. The roof was misaligned and full of imperfections. It took almost a dozen iterations of puttying and sanding to get it almost right. The crooked tilt cover is annoying but I don't see what can be done, it's solid resin.

    The 250/1 has been dry brushed and weathered a bit too forcefully so a couple pieces need to be rebuilt. More evidence on the perils of leaving unfinished models lying around, the painted standing figure I was planning to put in the rear went awol.

    Nov. 14, 2009
    Another LRDG preview:
  • 1/76 SHQ LRDG 1939 Chevrolet WA with 37mm Bofors Gun
    I also received the Panther D from SHQ, which is surprisingly good and the diminutive BA-64B also from SHQ. It only has a door on the left side, which I think is incorrect.

    Nov. 13, 2009
    I have a soft spot for LRDG vehicles and bought two recent SHQ releases depicting vehicles used in the early days of the group. Here is a preview of one:
  • the SHQ Ford 01 Pilot Car

    Nov. 11, 2009 - Veterans' and Armistice Day
    I am trying to clear my workspace of some of two dozen unfinished projects. The annoying part is that after a while you start losing or misplacing bits and piecess so you end up with a model that cannot be completed due to missing parts.

    Here are the ones closest to the finish line: an Airfix Matador with new 13.50-20 tires from a spare Airfix Scammell kit (a spur of the moment project which jumped to the front of the line), the MMS Ford WOT2 E and SdKfz 250/1, and two Cromwell Combat Ready models, a Sherman Easy Eight HVSS and a StuH42. These two last models have tarps molded on the engine deck and I am researching what colors they should be painted. It's probably some form of olive drab for the Sherman but shluld the StuH tarp be gray or dark yellow?

    Nov. 10, 2009
    Another couple previews:
  • 1/76 MMS Unic P107 with 2cm Flak 38
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready M26 Pershing Tank

    Nov. 6, 2009
    The JSU 122 is done. Still a bit shiny but I'm through.

    Another Sherman preview:
  • 1/76 Cromwell M4A4 Sherman V

    Nov. 5, 2009
    The JSU 122 is back in the workshop. I just realized it is missing a grabrail on the rear of the roof.

    Another Sherman preview, this one primarily used by the Soviets:
  • 1/76 M4A2(76)

    Nov. 4, 2009
    The JSU 122 is almost finished. I have lingering flat finish issues and it frustrates me to no end. At leasst I found that enamel thinner removes Polly S flat varnish without damaging the paint.

    More previews. There are well over 300 kits in the section now:
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready 3.7cm Flak 43 Moebelwagen
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Bren Carrier
  • 1/76 SMA Jeep

    Nov. 1st, 2009
    The SdKfz 253 is done. Despite several coats of Polly S flat varnish, it still has a dull sheen. Disaster struck yesterday. I was putting the final touch on the observer, which I had duly stuck to the vehicle when my fingers slipped and the model landed on the concrete garage floor. Fortunately the base and my feet cushioned the fall. So here is the model after repairs.

    Oct. 28, 2009
    I checked online vendors of vintage military tires and found that the dimensions of actual tires do not match my formulas derived from the tire size codes. They are actually 10 to 15% larger.I updated the tire size table accordingly and highlighted the tires for which I have actual data. I also found that different tire patterns have different sizes even though they have the same nominal size. That leaves some wiggle room for interpretation.

    Oct. 27, 2009
    I found my copy of Bart Vanderveen's Fighting Vehicles Directory and updated the tire size table

    Oct. 26, 2009
    This has been bugging me for quite a while and I finally put all the information I could gather in a spreadsheet. Click here for a list of the tire sizes used on common WW2 softskins and their scale equivalents in 1/72 and 1/76. For comments, corrections or requests, please email me at Click here if you want to download the spreadsheet. Now we can spend some quality time measuring all the tires from our kits for accuracy.

    On a related topic I have replaced the Airfix Matador's tires with spares from an Airfix Scammell. Much better!

    Oct. 24, 2009
    The Cromwell Easy Eight is ready for paint. I now have 6 completed models in the paint shop, the 250, 253, JSU-122, a StuH42 (CCR, not reviewed, bought second hand , stripped of paint and rebuilt), and the Ford WOT2E. A record for me.

    Another preview
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready M3A1 Scout Car

    Oct. 12, 2009
    More previews:
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready 8.8cm Flak 18 gun on SdKfz 8 12-ton Half-track

    Oct. 11, 2009
    Two previews from long disappeared Custom Miniatures in 1/76:

  • Ford WOT6 GS 3-ton Truck
  • Austin K5 Westex Recorder Truck

    plus 3 Soviet machines from Cromwell, two variants of the T-26 and the formidable SU-100

  • T-26 B Model 1933 and T-26 S Model 1939
  • SU-100

    Oct. 10, 2009
    French infantry from the late seventies added to the French Army page

    ADV Mini resin French soldiers from 1991 and 2005 in the paint shop:

    Another preview : the 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready JSU 122

    Oct. 7, 2009
    The 253 is in the paint shop. I used Xtracolour's RAL8000 Yellow-Brown, which is a very dark greenish sand yellow. It takes forever to dry so I only managed two coats in 4 days. The 250 is catching up. I completed the interior and closed the body. It will be ready for paint after the lights and other accessories are added.
    I also used the same color on the 15cm SPG on panzer II chassis and will snap some pictures when it's dry.

    I bought more Cromwell kits on Ebay and here is a preview of something different, a "Panzer 1946" monster:

  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready E-1000 Krokodil with 17cm gun
    and the
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready 1920 pattern Rolls-Royce A/C

    Oct. 3rd, 2009
    The 250/1 and 253 are progressing. The 253 is ready for paint. It took only 3 days, a record for me. The 250/1 is taking more time, due to the interior and crew that need to be painted before the model is closed.

    Another preview:
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Panzer III J with short 5 cm gun

    Sep. 28, 2009
    I have turned my attention to the MMS SdKfz 250/1 and just noticed that the headlights are in the wrong position. They should be attached to supports jutting forward from under the fenders, not to the body. Further digging shows that the 252 and 253 variants (which both predate the 250 series)have the lights where MMS put them. Pictorial evidence seems to indicate that they were moved forward on the 250 series.

    Sep. 27, 2009
    The MMS A9 CS is completed :
    Actually it needs a commander figure to be 100% complete.

    Sep. 25, 2009
    The Fujimi 38(t) Ausf B is completed :

    Sep. 15, 2009
    I've learned to adjust exposure on my camera! Here are better pictures of the Soviet figures :

    and a bonus pic of a Matchbox Panzer IIF. Here is the good side. The left side has the antenna gutter but is missing the antenna stub and the antenna. The Matchbox Panzer III L has the same issue.

    Sep. 11, 2009
    Previews galore:

  • 1/76 Milicast Nashorn
  • 1/76 Ostmodels 7TP single and dual turret versions
  • 1/76 Ostmodels Marder III M
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Marder II
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Panzer II b
  • 1/76 Cromwell Panther A
  • 1/76 Fujimi Hetzer
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready CV33/35
  • 1/76 Milicast Flamm Hetzer

    Sep. 10, 2009
    Updated the UK air preview page with Spitfires, the XII from Xtrakit, Vb from Hobby Boss and the Airfix Vc:
    A bad picture of Soviet infantry, 3 Italeri, 1 ESCI, 1 SHQ :

    Still more previews:
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready M4A2 76
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready M4A3E8 with sandbags
  • 1/76 Nitto (now Fujimi) M36 Jackson GMC
  • 1/76 MMS 105mm M2 howitzer
    and the kit that started the hobby
  • 1/76 Airfix M4 Sherman

    More previews:
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready SdKfz 251 D with Pak40 (251/22)
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready SdKfz 11 with cargo body
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Panzer III A
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Humber Mk IV A/C
  • 1/76 Nitto (now Fujimi)Harley Davidson WLA 45

    The 38(t) Ausf. B has one coat of Humbrol 27 (too light and greenish) and one of 67. The Sig33 on PzII has been detailed with spare ammo and a sight. One coat of Xtracolor RAL8000 drying. First time I use this color, which is supposed to be the early DAK color. It looks pretty bright and orangey, close to Humbrol 94.

    Sep. 8, 2009
    More previews:
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready T34/76 1940 model with welded turret
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready 15cm Sig33 on PzII SPG

    The 38(t) Ausf. B is ready for paint.

    Sep. 2, 2009
    I am finishing a batch of WW2 figures, 5 Soviets, 1 Caesar French, 1 Airfix Japanese. In the process I went back and added gun slings to all my completed WW2 figures. They do look more realistic! No actual soldier would carry a gun without a sling so they are essential. The downside is that I'll have to reshoot all the pictures.

    Going through the backlog of previews:
  • 1/76 MMS Bishop 25pdr SPG
  • 1/76 Convoy Autocar U7844T / White 444T Tractor and 25ft Low Loader Semi-trailer
  • 1/76 Ostmodels M13/40 Light Tank
  • 1/76 MMS M8 "Greyhound" A/C
  • 1/76 MMS M20 Armored Utility Car
    There are about fifty more to go through.

    Aug. 28, 2009
    The 38(t) Ausf. B is progressing. Here are some pics to show off the Archer rivets on the cupola:

    As usual this out of the box build descended into scratch building as the stowage furnished withthe kit is incorrect for the ealry 38(t).

    The JB/Airfix Light Tank MkVIb is also in construction. It fits really well but the detail level is way more simplified than I imagined and requires a lot of attention before the rivets can be applied. Furthermore according to Bradford's drawing it is underscale by more than a couple percent.

    I actually completed some figures (8 actually), which gave me more satisfaction than the actual accomplishment.

    I also added the preview of the 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Renault R35

    July 24, 2009
    New in the armor preview section, a kit that has been around for 30 years and to my surprise the only Airfix kit reviewed so far the venerable 1/76 Airfix T34. In hindsight it is because most are finished so I don't have unbuilt boxes (or bags) to review.

    Were also added:

  • 1/76 Cromwell Staghound MkIII armored car
  • 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready M10 TD
  • 1/76 MMS Marder III Ausf.M
  • 1/76 MMS Grille 15cm SPG
  • 1/76 US Casts Renault AGK TTN-39 5t truck

    Finally here are two pictures of the most exciting recent development in modeling : Archer's rivet decals. These are actual resin rivets sealed in a decal sheet and applicable as such. Sheet 88001 has the smallest ones, usable in 1/72/76 scale. They are available at

    They come in three sizes (0.2mm, 0.28mm and 0.36mm) and each size comes in rows of three spacings. I will try these on the barenaked JB models Light Tank Mk VI. The era of home-grown misaligned rows of rivets has now come to an end!

    July 13, 2009
    New in the armor preview section" 1/76 Milicast "Diana" (SdKfz6/3 half-track with 76.2mm gun)

    July 11, 2009
    My only completed works this year , a T-34/76 STZ build and a Chinese WW2 soldier:

    May 18, 2009
    My day job has been keeping me very busy these 5 past months, but considering the economy, it's nothing to complain about.
    I bought a set of 25 Cromwell Combat Ready models on ebay at $5 piece, including some 3-piece sets! I will post reviews for each. It does confirm to me that Cromwell Models are a bit undersize. The Sherman roadwheels are noticeably smaller. My T-34 version build has made me more tolerant of size variations so I'll keep them in the collection anyway.
    They are all early castings with the solid block underside, which will require careful removal.

    I also bought an AZ models Hurricane I early to complement the Sword model. I intend to build one BEF and one Belgian version. To my initial surprise the AZ kit is a repackaging of the Sword one, albeit with an injected clear canopy. I also acquired some Belgian decals but they are not useable, the roundels and the fuselage insignia being wrong. Better find an old ESCI decal sheet.

    Dec. 6, 2008
    MMS Cromwell VIIF preview added.

    Nov. 20, 2008
    MMS Panzer III K BefehlsPanzer preview added. With more than 140 entries the armor previews index page is getting too long so from now on additions will be directly linked from this page. Please click on the menu option in the sidebar to access the index.

    Nov. 14, 2008
    4 previews added to the previews page, three Tillies from MMS and one from Milicast.

    Nov. 12, 2008
    2 previews added to the previews page, a Somua MCL from Convoy and a MMS Panzer III E.
    Also added a short article on paint stripping

    Nov. 10, 2008
    2 previews from long disappeared resin model maker US Casts added to the previews page, a KV-1 Ekranami and a Katyusha rocket launcher based on the lend-lease Studebaker US6 chassis.

    Nov. 4, 2008
    Added photos of the completed T-34s :

    They are actually not fully completed. I have three sets of infantry riders (2 Preiser, 1 MMS) in early uniforms (folded collars, no shoulder boards, shirt pockets) appropriate for pre-1943 tanks.

    Nov. 3, 2008
    Some pics of the T-34 family build :

    The built models are from left to right : Cromwell T34/76 1940 model, Fujimi T-34/74 1941 model with welded hull, Vacucast T-34/76 1941 model Ekranamy, Fujimi T-34/85 1944 model, Cromwell SU-122. The partially built ones are Vacucast T-34/76 1942 model Zavod 112, Matchbox T-34/76 1943 model with Chtz turret, MMS T-34/76 1943 model with late softedge turret, MMS T-34/85 1943 model. I swapped the Vacucast and MMS tracks (both mixed rubber and steel wheels) because the resin ones were too long for its intended hull. It turned out they were too long for the metal hull as well and I ended up shortening them by a couple mm and repositioning the three center wheels. I will need 48 grab handles to complete them!

    Oct. 17, 2008
    4 months already! My day job has been keeping me busy and I apologize for the lack of updates.
    The backlog of armor previews is growing as I bought quite a few built and unbuilt models on Ebay. The exact number shall remain undisclosed for reasons of security. The Exokit French colonials will look good on the French infantry page. A full complement of Custom Miniatures trucks will round out my British softskin collection.

    Most built metal models arrived PKD (partially knocked down), which is not a problem as they are slated for a bath in paint stripper anyway. Ordinary paint stripper, which is available from any hardware store, will remove paint and glue and not harm white metal or resin. With a little scrubbing you can revert to an almost new unbuilt kit. I haven’t tried on ordinary styrene kits but I doubt that the styrene would survive unscathed. I plan to add a page detailing the process. I already have the pictures, which is a start.

    My limited modeling time is going into a series of 1/76 T-34s. My productivity is inversely correlated to my knowledge about the prototype. The number of variations is bewildering and you have to match wheels, periscopes, turrets, hatches, stowage, handholds to the proper model including minor hull variations among the various factories that built T-34s. Furthermore any knowledge gained typically requires modifications on completed models. For example the coax MG in 76mm turrets protrudes so I had to go back and add them. Any deviations from historically documented versions will bascribed to the convenient concept of field repairs. So far I have:
  • an early 1940 model with the low-slung shorter 76mm gun in resin from Cromwell in resin,
  • a 1941 model with welded turret from Fujimi in styrene
  • another 1941 model with added armor plates from Vacucast in resin
  • a T-34/85 with a model 1944 turret from Fujimi in styrene.
    Currently on the bench are:
  • a 1942 model from Factory 112 which is made of a Vacucast hull, Matchbox cast turret and track/wheels from MMS
  • a 1943 model with a Vacucast Chtz cast turret, Matchbox hull, Fujimi steel wheel and Dragon tracks
  • a 1943 model from MMS with softedge turret and Vacucast track/wheels
  • an early T-34/85 with D5T gun from MMS in metal
  • an SU-122 from Cromwell in resin
    The green color is a bit frustrating. I started off with Xtracolor’s enamel Russian Tank Green, which is a very dark bluish green. This paint has a very short useable life as it clumps even if bathed in thinner. I then bought the same color in acrylic from the Xtracrylic range but it is a completely differend shade, being a medium yellowish green. I am better off using any dark green, of which I must have 20 shades.
    Having to simultaneously deal with models of different vendors is an interesting exercise. Minor differences jump out immediately and compels one to review all the models. For instance I had not noticed that the round engine access hatch at the rear was offset to the right. I initially thought the offset was a mistake but upon further examination, I recognized that only Matchbox had a centered hatch, which I had to cut out and reposition. It also forced me to come to terms with variations in size/scale. I have learned to live with the fact that the Matchbox tracks are 3mm longer than everyone else, that Cromwell roadwheels are undersize, and that MMS hulls are 1mm too wide.

    The long running and now backburnered 1/72 Spitfire series got a welcome addition in the form of a HobbyBoss tropical Spitfire Vb. Those HobbyBoss models are the basis for the Easy Models series of ready-built planes, which are popular nowadays. HobbyBoss and EasyModel are co-brands of Trumpeter. I suppose that trumpter is the brand used for “complex” models”, Hobby Boss for “easy to build” kits and Easy Model for pre-built models. As a side comment there is 3 US dollar difference between the unbuilt kit and the completed model, which summarizes plainly why all manufacturing has gone to China.
    The quality of these simplified kits is phenomenal for the price. The surface detail is very high and all panel lines are finely engraved. The part breakdown is unusual as the fuselage is split horizontally instead of vertically. The good thing is that the tradition fuslage seam issues goes away. The wing is a one piece affair, which guarantees a proper dihedral. On the negative side, the propeller, canopy and undercarriage are subpar They can be replaced by parts from the old Airfix Vb/c model. The wings have some weird bumps that need to be filed off. Decals seem to be of good quality and in my case are for a long sought Desert Air Force Spitfire. AN-T is a RCAF plane from Squadron 417 in the late stages of the North African campaign, probably post El Alamein. Last but not least the cockpit is a bare bathtub that will require a lot of work if you leave the canopy open. I prefer to have the model in flight mode with pilot and closed canopy so that is less an issue. I have noticed that anything below the level of the canopy is black and that all the work detailing cockpits in my previous models was a waste of time.

    June 11 2008
    Added the Fujimi King Tiger Porsche turret to the previews page.

    June 10, 2008
    Added the Fujimi JS-2m to the previews page.

    June 9, 2008
    Added the Matchbox M7 Priest, MMS M3A3 light tank and Panzer IV D to the previews page.

    June 8, 2008
    Actually the Morris is not completely finished. I noticed that the base needs more work. The sides are rough and the texture too smooth and shiny.
    Added the Cromwell Belgian T15 light tank and SMA 4MilMod Opel Admiral to the previews page.

    June 7, 2008
    Actually finished a model, which is a rare event. The Airfix Morris CDSW from the Bofors set is in the Desert gallery.

    May 29 2008
    Added the MMS Fiat SPA AS37, Milicast Valentine III, more pictures of the Cromwell T-34 1940 to the previews page.
    I also built a version of the armor preview page sorted by kit manufacturer and material (plastic, resin, white metal).

    May 28 2008
    Added the MMS Citroen type 23, Fujimi Panzer 38(t) A/D and MMS M4A2 Mid Production to the previews page.

    May 17 2008
    Added the MMS Panzer IV G, Fujimi/Nitto Panzer IV J and Cromwell SU-122 to the previews page.

    May 15 2008
    Added the MMS A13MkII Cruiser MkIVA to the previews page.

    May 14 2008
    Added the SHQ M4A1 to the the previews page. This is a kit that exceeded expectations. It really looks like a decent early M4A1 with direct vision blocks can be built out of it.

    May 13 2008
    My first update to this site in 3 months. I have a backlog of about 30 kits for the previews section.
    My day job has been really keeping me busy but I have managed to achieve some progress on several projects.

    The Morris CDSW from the Airfix Bofors set is almost complete, needing only side mirrors. The CCR Grant needs to green camo to liven up the sand base.

    The MMS A9 and the Dorchester need their gray and green caunter shades.

    I have received nifty tow cables from Eureka XXL. The CCR King Tiger is waiting for his three. The Fujimi Tiger I late has received a coat of wax zimmerit on the hull. The turret is next. The technique is actually simple using a soft wax (Babybel cheese wrapper) and a razor saw for the pattern. The resulting work is given a coat of thin CA for hardening. I will document the process in a web article.

    I have also embarked on a T-34 project. The preview page has the kits, 8 T-34s plus a SU-122. As of today, the Vacucast T-34 1941 uparmored rebuild is complete save a coat of paint on the gun (which was sanded when the seam was found to be still visible).
    The Fujimi T-34 model 1944 is almost ready for painting. The cylindrical fuel tanks need a lot of work to be acceptable.
    The Matchbox T-34/76 1942 has the roadwheels assembled using the steel wheels from the Fujimi T-34/76 1941. I glued them too close to the hull so they have to be cut off, receive a piano wire implant and reinserted with a 2mm gap.

    I bought the set of Bradford scale dawings from Amazon (published by Stackpole). I reduced all the drawings for models I owned to 1/76 and compared them to my models. By and large most models are within an acceptable margin of error. The major differences that stood out are the Fujimi Matilda that is way undersize (too small in very dimension, must be 1/80 scale), and the Milicast Crusader that is too short in the nose (by 3mm).

    The Cromwell Combat Ready T-34 1940, MMS T-34/76 1943 Flamethrower and Fujimi T-35/85 1944 have been added to the previews page

    Feb. 17 2008
    Added work in progress (WIP) pics and comments for the Vacucast 1941 model uparmored T-34.
    Cromwell Renault D2 preview added to the previews page

    Feb. 16 2008
    Added 1940 French to the French gallery. The figure is from the Matchbox/Revell B1bis-FT17 kit.

    Feb. 4 2008
    Added Milicast Crusader to the desert gallery

    Jan. 18 2008
    I revised the Cromwell Tiger II review in the previews page.
    I just bought the Fujimi Tiger II and they are pretty much the same size. Looking at multiple drawings more carefully I have concluded that it is not as undersized as I originally thought.

    Dec. 26 2007
    5 previews added to the previews page
  • MMS Ford WOT2 C, D, E and H
  • ModelTransport Steyr 1500A Heavy Car late model

    Dec. 25 2007
    Three previews added to the previews page
  • MMS SdKfz 250/9
  • MMS A13 Mk1 Cruiser Mk III
  • Cromwell Combat Ready Comet

    Dec. 24 2007
    Three previews added to the previews page
  • Nitto Fujimi Schwimmwagen
  • MMS M5A1 Tank
  • MMS A9 2pdr Gun Tank
    Merry Christmas!!!

    Dec. 2 2007
    Two previews added to the previews page
  • SHQ QF 4.5in howitzer on Mk1P carriage
  • Ostmodels Semovente M40 da 75/18

    Nov. 30 2007
    Artillery previews added to the previews page
  • MMS Pak 36 3.7cm AT Gun
  • MMS LeFH 18/40 10.5cm howitzer
  • Milicast Pak 38 5cm AT Gun, Pak 97/38 7.5cm AT Gun, Pak 50 7.5cm AT Gun

    Nov. 26 2007
    Last 2 Nassau infantry finally added to Waterloo gallery.

    Picture quality is not great. There is a lot of noise (random white pixels) due to insufficient lighting. I will probably reshoot them when the 2 orange Nassau guys are completed.

    Nov. 24 2007
    More previews added to the previews page
  • Fujimi KV-2 Late Model
  • Cromwell Combat Ready Sd Kfz 8 12ton Half-track

    Nov. 23 2007
    More previews added to the previews page
  • Fujimi PanzerJager I
  • Fujimi JS-2 Model 1943

    Nov. 22 2007
    More previews added to the previews page
  • Scalelink 1937 Ford Woody
  • Matchbox Char B1 Bis and RenaultFT17
  • Matador Ford FC60L 3 ton truck

    Nov. 17, 2007
    Matador Australian Ford Gun Tractor added to the previews page
    Italeri Macchi 202 with Mike Grant smoke ring decals. The decals have a bad case of silvering. The plane almost flew out of the garage by itself...

    Nov. 16, 2007
    Nassau infantry finally added to Waterloo gallery.

    Scalelink Citroen Traction added to the previews page

    Nov. 2, 2007
    Hanoverian Bremen Field Battalion man added to Waterloo gallery. Interesting mix : a British red coat with black rifleman webbing, blue trousers and a red piped yellow Landwehr cap.

    Oct. 20, 2007
    SdKfz 222 finally completed (it took about 7 years)

    MMS Panzer IIIH completed (this one took about a year)

    Oct. 17, 2007
    More previews added to the previews page
  • Fujimi Tiger I Late
  • Matchbox M24 Chaffee
  • Matchbox M40 GMC
  • Milicast Ford V3000S
  • Milicast 6pdr Gun
  • Milicast 2pdr Gun
  • Milicast CMP11 30cwt Portee

    Oct. 16, 2007
    More previews added to the previews page
  • Vacucast Kurogane 95 Scout Car
  • Vacucast Gaz 67B Scout Car
  • Vacucast T34 Model 1941 Rebuilt
  • Vacucast T34 Model 1943 with "CHTZ" forged turret
  • CCR M4A3E2
  • MMS DShK 12.7mm HMG with crew
  • JB Light Tank Mk VI A,B or C

    It's been over a year: the Macchi 202 is fully assembled and painted, ready for a dark wash, final coat of matt varnish, and light pastel/pigment exhaust trails.

    Oct. 12, 2007
    MMS A9 CS and Marmon Herrington Mk2 A/C previews added to the previews page

    Oct. 11, 2007
    SMA 1937/38 Ford V8 Convertible preview added to the previews page

    Oct. 10, 2007
    13 previews added to the previews page:
    Matchbox 243/2 and 232,
    MMS Panzer IVE, SdKfz 253, Tatra T57K, Mercedes 170VK, Unic P107, Zis3 76.2mm Gun, Morris CS8, CS8 Wireless, C4 Mk1 and Mk2
    CCR Tiger II Porsche turret.

    Oct. 8, 2007
    Nitto JagdPanther preview added to the previews page

    Oct. 1, 2007
    6 additional previews on the previews page: Nitto Panzer IB, KuebelWagen and BMW R75, Matchbox JagdPanzer IV L/70(V), and two rarities, the Cromwell "UnReady" Bedford OYD and ModelTransport (now Convoy) Henschel 33DI telephone truck and office trailer.

    Sep. 30, 2007
    The armor preview page has been reorganized by nationality and type of vehicle. We are approaching 50 reviews and this format scales better.
    Two more previews on the previews page: Milicast SturmTiger and Marder III 76.2(r).

    Sep. 10, 2007
    Two more previews on the previews page: Milicast SdKfz 222 and 263.
    Here are a couple pics of the Airfix 222, a very old project that got a new lease on life with parts from Milicast (including the long sought after mesh screen).

    Sep. 5, 2007
    I finally got around to snapping pictures of the kits I bought at Christmas. I have added previews of: Click here to go to the previews page.

    Sep. 3rd, 2007
    1918 US and British infantry added to the WW1 gallery. The Hat WW1 US and Canadian infantry are made of a very bendy material and not very well sculpted, not too mention the oversize helmets. I stiffened them with a coat of liquid CA before painting. Heads and bayonets were sourced elsewhere.

    I also received some resin accessories from Quickboost. The gunsights are very detailed and come with a small sheet of printed acetate for the glass part of the sights. Scroll through the linked page and you will find US, UK , German and Japanese models. In a closed canopy 1/72 airplane, the gunsight is the only detail you will see!
    The .30 caliber MG barrels for US bombers are vey fine and include ventilation holes. They will be useful for armor and figures as well, maybe even for MG34s (if you replace the tip which should be flared). QB07255 brings the most value with 15 barrels. Click on the picture to go to their 1/72 catalog.

    Aug. 29, 2007
    Clearing up the workbench continued: Afrika Korps figures for Kubelwagen and PzIIF. The MMS officer sitting in the back of the Kubel has unbuttoned his collar and lit up a cigarette. The AB tank commander is stock. His deep eye sockets are actually very hard to shade. If you overdo it he looks blind or with a couple black eyes.

    My Napoleonic Nassauers are coming along, having accumulated dust for several years. They are being joined by a Hanoverian regular. For some reason I have miscounted the Hanoverian figures and need one more for my 1 figure per 1000 men project. For Waterloo uniform references and color plates, nothing beats

    The obligatory new project distraction is a set of late war Germans. The MG42 LMG SS team is from the Revell set. The ammo box and belt are from Pegasus. The rounds look more like 20mm shells but it had to do. (By the way have you noticed that the Hat MG team set does not have any figure actually manning the guns?) The gunner is wearing a fall pattern oak leaf parka, the assistant, a pea dot smock and fall oak leaf pants. The helmet covers are plane tree pattern. The lesson learned is that if you don't exagerate the contrast mucho, the camo doesn't stand out at all. The MG42 fired with a rate of 1200 rounds per minute so there must have been piles of spent brass casings near any gun position. A couple hundred 1mm lengths of 10thou brass wire do the job.

    Aug. 19, 2007
    Clearing up the workbench: Thracian light cavalry and musketeer, two figures that were started at least 18 months ago.

    Aug. 14, 2007
    After a 7 month break from modeling here is a French para in Indochina based on an Imex Korean war GI. The M1 helmets are misshapen in this set so we'll pretend this figure wears a French model 1951 helmet.

    Jan. 8, 2007
    I bought 20 resin kits over the holidays including oldies from ModelTransport, Milicast, Cromwell, and some nice Vacucasts. I'll post them as previews. I also acquired 100+ 1/72 diecast cars. If you're interested and live in the US run to your nearest WalMart where they sell Yat Ming 1/72 cars at $1.44 a piece!
    As for modeling, I am finishing up the decals on the Macchi 202 with Mike Grant smoke rings, the decal job from hell. The ink rubs off very easily on these decals and it is best to coat them with Future before using them. I did not and had to touch up the wing leading edges.

    Dec. 5th, 2006
    Added Milicast SAS Desert Jeep and Crusader I/II in the Armor previews section.

    Dec. 5th, 2006
    Added Milicast SAS Desert Jeep and Crusader I/II in the Armor previews section.

    Dec. 2nd, 2006
    I'll add a section on 1/72 diecasts this week. Hongwell/Cararama/Schuco is the main player here with YatMing a new player (or are they rebranded Hongwell?). I picked up 5 YatMing at Wal-Mart yesterday for $1.44 a piece (Cadillac Escalade, Dodge Viper, Ford GT, Chevy SSR, . These are typically American subjects where Hongwell models are more European. Unfortunately they are very hard to find in the US.

    Nov. 29, 2006
    Totally off topic but 007 amateurs will enjoy: James Bond car collection. Click on "decouvrez la collection" for more details and do watch the video. They are to 1/43. I picked up the DB5 from Thunderball and Zao's Jaguar XKR at a newsagent in France last week. Already out are the DB5 (Goldfinger), Vanquish (Die another Day), Lotus Esprit(Spy who loved me), Citroen 2CV (For your Eyes only), BMW Z8 (the World is not enough). Next will be Aki's Toyota 2000 from You only live twice. Subscription gifts are Little Nellie, the cut up Renault from A View to a Kill, and the T-55 tank from Goldeneye.

    Nov. 15, 2006
    Another DAK softskin, the Phaenomen Granit heavy car from MMS.

    Nov. 14, 2006
    Added the CMP 3ton cabin 12 truck from Milicast in the preview section.

    Nov. 13, 2006
    I finally finished the SdKfz 6/1 from Cromwell.
    The Kubelwagen has been upgraded with windshield wipers and new license plates from Aleran. The rear passenger is getting an open collar, a longer cap peak and a new paint job.

    Nov. 12, 2006
    Added the M4A1 Sherman II from Milicast in the preview section. It's a dog, steer clear.

    Nov. 5, 2006
    The SdKfz11 is in a displayable state so here it is. Stowage and 3 more crew are in still in process.
    I received my parcel from SyrHobbs with all the goodies from Milicast. Congratulations to Duane on his great service. A mixed review for Milicast however. I will post preview photos and detailed comments very shortly. In a nutshell:
    - the M4A1 early (Sherman II) with skirts is almost a write-off. The hull is too low by 3mm. It looks flattened and is dwarfed by the Airfix and Fujimi M4's. The hull rear is also too short by 2 mm. The sandshields and sprockets are crooked.
    - the Crusader is much shorter than the Airfix model. We are talking 1cm+!
    - The CMP12 3ton truck has a wheelbase too short by 3mm (front axle should be moved forward). Worse is that the rear wheel has an elongated shape, like it has been stretched before drying. Next time I will buy the kit instead of the ready made model.
    - The SAS jeep is good, with all the stowed fuel cans properly strapped. It is slightly smaller than the Matchbox model with softer details. I still think Matchbox makes the best Jeep in 1/76.
    - The 6-pounder gun looks really good. Too bad it's missing a sprue.
    - The figures(desert UK gun crew, UK drivers and SAS jeep crew) are beautiful.

    Oct. 31, 2006
    Added 3 T-34 previews, Matchbox T-34/76 mod.42, Fujimi T-34 mod.41, MMS T-34/85 mod. 43.

    Oct. 26, 2006
    Added preview of the 1/76 SHQ Bedford QLT.

    Oct. 23, 2006
    The never ending Panther. I added an AA gun.

    Oct. 22, 2006
    Added reviews of Academy Tempest and Typhoon.

    Oct. 21, 2006
    Added preview of MMS Steyr 1500A light truck.
    Added pics of a possible fix of the track length problem in the MMS M4A3 preview.

    Oct. 19, 2006
    Our first French WW2 entry is the very fierce looking Simca 5. Check it out in the WW2 gallery.

    Oct. 18, 2006
    Finally completed the refurbished Panther G. I need to find a nice tank commander to go with it.

    Oct. 17, 2006
    Added preview of Milicast SdKfz 231 8Rad.

    Oct. 13, 2006
    Added preview of MMS Granit1500A.

    Oct. 5, 2006
    Added a preview of the Convoy ex-ModelTransport Bedford QL Portee.
    I have received the goodies from Widgetsupply. Check out the $3.97 drill bit set. I especially like the pouch. Now I know the bit I broke was a .5mm.

    Oct. 2, 2006
    I broke my last 15thou drill bit yesterday. Looking for a replacement, I came across this great online tool shop: They have lots of stuff for micro-hobbyists of all stripes (dental and jewelers tools, Dremel accessories, files, magnifiers) at unbeatable prices (probably 1/3 to 1/2 of normal retail). The smallest bit they have is .3mm (12thou) in a 15pc set (HSS Twist Drill Bits - 0.3-1mm) for $3.97. I also bought 10 #80 (13.5thou or .3429mm) bits for $2.29 and 50 #11 Xacto blades for $5.97.
    I'm reorganizing the aircraft model reviews section into multiple pages. I have 150+ 1/72 plane kits I can comment on so it's definitely going to take more than one page.

    Sep 29, 2006
    Added reference sites to the links section. Great sources for scale drawings, profiles, and walkaround photos.

    Sep. 28, 2006
    Added Hurricane comments in the Aircraft preview page.
    added 1/76 previews of the MMS SdKfz 250/1, Wespe Models Ford01A LRDG pilot car and Marmon Herrington Mk III armored car.
    More previews to come: MMS Steyr 1500 truck, Trux CMP 12 15 cwt and CMP 13 3ton (very basic kits), Modeltransport (now Convoy) Bedford QL portee, SHQ Bedford QLT, Milicast SdKfz 231 8Rad, Fujimi PzIb, Fujimi PzJaegerIb, Fujimi Schwimmwagen, Kuebelwagen, BMW R75.
    After 18 months doing planes, I rotated back into armor. Leaving a Macchi 202, Hurricane, Tempest, Typhoon and 3 Me109E's on the backburner, I built the cute Simca 5. It is now awaiting Aleran decals for the license plates. I then decided to complete the SdKfz11 and Morris CDSW started 20 years ago and the Phanomen Granit (only 5 years on the bench). I also detailed the CCR Dorchester and BN9 5ton Half-track in preparation for a paint job and started the MMS PzIIIH. I hope to have them up on the site soon.
    BTW, SMA is going out of business. Check their web site for the sad news.

    May 26, 2006
    Tamiya P-51D and Hasegawa Yak 3 and in all relevant galleries.
    Apr.26, 2006
    KP's LA-5FN posted here and in all relevant galleries.
    4 additional planes in the the gallery:
    - Gerhard Barkhorn's Me109 G6 in 1943,
    - Erich Harmann's white Me109 G14 in 1945,
    - a late war JG27 Me109 G10,
    - an all blue Hellcat from VF17 on the USS Hornet in 1945.

    The aircraft kit review page has been reorganized and updated.
    Aircraft models have been broken out from the period pages and duplicated on their own aircraft model page

    Jan. 3, 2006
    FW-190 D9
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Spitfire FR18e, updated Aircraft model review page

    Dec. 31, 2005
    Spitfire XVIe, P47D and Bedford MWD in WW2 section

    September 13,2005
    Added Zvezda's fine trebuchet

    July 13,2005
    Been working on planes lately. Added a Aircraft review page to summarize my comments.

    June 11,2005
    Added Desert Sharkmouth P-40E
    Added 1/76 SdKfz10 1ton half-track

    May 24, 2005
    Added LRDG Jeep

    May 22, 2005
    150 pics added to the Waterloo Allied infantry page

    May 20, 2005
    Some British Napoleonic added to the relevant pages

    May 17, 2005
    Added British Army page

    May 12, 2005
    Added Modern Brit in Postwar page.

    May 7, 2005
    Added ACW Union Infantry in Industrial page.

    May 1st, 2005
    Added WW1 Australian and Ottoman pics , Yorktown French. Age of Enlightment page finally up. Will do a couple AWI figures.

    Mar 23, 2005
    Added WW1 pics and 1854 French

    Feb.19, 2005
    revamped main page and Waterloo index.
    started adding Waterloo infantry pics.

    Feb.18, 2005
    Completed Waterloo British Cavalry page!!!
    Added Cataphract and Gaul to Ancient Gallery.

    Feb. 4, 2005
    Added Landsknecht to open the Pike and Shot gallery.
    Added Persian heavy cavalry to Ancient gallery.

    Dec 11, 2004
    More WW2 pics.
    Completed Waterloo French cavalry page.
    Added more cavalry to Napoleonic section.

    Dec 8, 2004
    Copied Desert war British and Italian vehicles to WWII page.

    Dec 4, 2004
    Middle Age, Ancient and WW1 pages updated.
    Added Spitifires to WW2 page.
    Updated Waterloo French Cavalry page

    Nov 10, 2004
    French Army page loaded. Updates to Industrial page.

    Oct 29, 2004
    Mastered the style command. Full site redesign underway.
    Added Late Corsair review in feature section.

    Oct 20, 2004
    Added Corsair on postwar page and in feature section.
    Added Late Corsair review in feature section.

    Oct 19, 2004
    Added Armor links. Some updates to the Waterloo tables

    Oct 15, 2004
    Back on the site after three months. Modeler or Webmaster it is, with an exclusive OR.
    Added aircraft modeling links.
    Will post newly built aircraft models soon, Corsair and a couple Spits.
    Waterloo figure pics project suspended pending coat of Polly S flat acrylic on 150 figures (Finally, a real flat finish!!!).
    Dairiki .002in (.051mm) dacron fishing line is thinnest on record (much thinner than hair). It is actually too thin for biplane rigging (use .003)! Available at Rollmodels.

    May 25, 2004
    More previews. Chevy CC60L 3t, Austin K2/YF, Horch Kfz15, Gaz AA

    May 19, 2004
    More previews. Added Favorite Figure links

    May 12, 2004
    More previews. Am experimenting pics of individual figures for waterloo gallery (have 120+, all different)

    May 6, 2004
    Added 10 1/76 previews, more pictures in desert gallery

    April 21, 2004
    Added order of battle for British and French infantry at Waterloo

    March 21, 2004
    Added Scale Thickness paper in Rants and Raves section.

    March 20, 2004
    Reshot some pictures including the above with -1 exposure to compensate for flash. Colors are much closer to original. Still not able to obtain good panorama shots though.

    March 19, 2004
    Added order of battle for British cavalry at Waterloo