Saturday, 1 June 2013

006. Finicky builds...

The itch to crack on with the build on the 1/35 scale Panzer kit struck fairly hard, and since I've started what's meant to be 8 weeks of baby leave (currently sans the baby which hasn't co-operated and appeared when predicted - apparently setting the tone for the next 20 years or so I am told),and have a bit of spare time around running errands for the missus, I pulled out my hobby tools and got on with it.

Looks pretty good for my first 1/35 kit attempt

I've learnt that 1/35 scale kits are not the same as a GW tank kit.  There a quite a few more parts, and a lot of them are very, very small.  The amount of little, finicky pieces that I have stuck to myself or my tweezers is no longer counted.

While I am not a tread head to the extent I can name every part on a vehicle, I am normally able to figure out what most things are/do from an engineering/technical point of  view, but with this kit, there have been pieces that had me scratching my head about a) what it is, and b) why it wasn't pre-molded onto the hull!

Enough of that, while I have done a fair bit of cursing, I have rather enjoyed myself.  Now, onto the pictures.  Below was where I got up to on Thursday evening before calling it a night.  I'd started by attaching the photo etched (PE) zimmerit parts from an Eduard PE kit.  The instructions that came with this kit were a simple A5 double sided piece of paper, with fairly clear diagrams of where which bit of PE goes on the plastic parts.  There was only one part that gave me bother, where a molded on piece of plastic hull detail did not have a corresponding cut out in the PE.  I solved that by using my snips to shape the PE where I needed it.

PE zimmerit detailing on the major hull components.

This Eduard kit also came with a PE front fender flap replacement part.  To use that would have required cutting away part of the plastic fender and front hull, and then attaching some very fine, and very delicate PE parts.  I'm not that much of a 'rivet counter' at this stage to attempt that much 'conversion' on my first 1/35 kit.

I'm not sure if I tackled this again that I would go down the PE route.  I think I would probably try another method, using Mr Surfacer or a putty to texture the hull simialr to the way I linked too last time out by Mr Justin.  Alternatively I would look at one of the Dragon designs where the latest kits come with pre-molded zimmerit or hull texture straight out of the box.  I'm a bit worried that the PE has left a lip around itself that will look unnatural when it comes time to wash/weather the panels.

After applying all the PE, I then got underway with the rest of the kit.  I had it in my mind to make lots of sub assemblies, which I would keep separate to help with painting, and then bring it all together at the end.  My excitement at building the kit got the better of me and that idea went out the window to a large extent.

The four sub assemblies - top hull, bottom hull, turret and turret shield - tracks don't count as a sub assembly

I had at one point attached the top hull to the bottom hull and was quite chuffed with myself right up until I thought I should have a test fit of the tracks.  The kit came with vinyl/rubber tracks which you wrap around the running gear/sprockets and then join together.  The only problem I had here was that the front sprockets wouldn't let the track pass over them as I had glued the sprocket to the hull rather than leaving it off and attaching later, or allowing to free wheel, and the top hull allows little room between it and the top of the sprocket - so basically I had no way to run the track through!  I went into a bit of a mad/frantic panic until I had a look at the top/bottom hull attachment points and realised there was less contact than I had anticipated when I had thought I was gluing them robustly together.  A sharp push/pull and they sprang apart.

Dummied up with the vinyl track laid out next to it
There are loads of added extras with the kit including various tools, spare links, a jack (which is comprised one big part (the main body), a base plate, and a tiny, finicky crank handle) and an MG for the commanders cupola.  There is a tiny antenna point you attach to the back of the hull, but no antenna, which I was going to add using a piece of fine brass rod, but then I haven't seen many antenna on other builds, so I have been dithering about whether to add it or not.

Front aspect - you can see the fine detail in the form of front tow points, spare links, and can just make out the various tools on the top of the fenders, and the MG on the cupola

It's been fun (and challenging) putting this together.  I had a laugh this arvo when a mate sent me a link to a James May (of Top Gear fame) TV show on British toys, where he did a show on Airfix kits of his youth, and his challenge to get school kids excited by them today, and then built a 1/1 Spitfire based of an Airfix sprue design.

Looking forward to painting this (although I really should get on and finish the Orks and Infinity Ariadna Metros I started the other day first) soon.  TO aid in that, the books I ordered by Mike Rinaldi turned up this morning (which was unusual in itself as it is Saturday, and the parcel girl doesn't normally deliver on a weekend).  In book one (which is all about WW2 German Armour) he paints up another version of the Panzer 4, as well as various other vehicles.  One of the vehicles he paints is in the Panzer Grey scheme I want to use, so I'll be following along to his step by step and see where I end up.  Looking through both books, there appears a bit of repetition from Volume 1 to Volume 2 where he is explaining the basis of his techniques, before he runs through end to end examples of various schemes - obviously the allies book (Volume 2) features lots of green whereas the German one (Volume 1) has a mix of grey, yellows and browns.

Mike Rinaldi's Tank Art volumes 1 & 2

Been having a good couple of days of hobby which I hope to continue through the rest of weekend and early next week.

Cheers all,



  1. That's a cool looking kit! Love the brass etch ablative armor, that's a great addition.

  2. Superb work, I have an AH64 I keep meaning to build but I suspect much of it will end up hurled across the room in frustration. Those tank art books look excellent, might have to acquire them. And I'm looking forward to seeing your Ariadna stuff, I keep threatening to get some Merovingians and Nomads...

    1. I did look at some helicopter kits (liked the Hind) and also some plane kits (spitfire anyone)but went off them when I saw how small some of those parts are. I take my hat off to anyone with the patience for them, or interior detailing of tank kits.

      The Tank Art books are cool - but on reflection, I think I could have saved some money by only picking up Volume 1 as there is some repetition across the books, and aside from colour changes, the techniques behind all builds are similar - though the tanks and WIP stuff sure are pretty to look at.

      The Ariadna stuff is cool - I went with the French sectorial (Merovingians) as the models are superb in this bloggers humble opinion. Although they are so different to anything GW (aside from the LotR/Hobbit stuff which is similarly scaled). Dealing with the scale is killing me as it is all so much finer so needs a lot more precision. If I wasn't doing the Frenchies I would have picked up Nomads as the styling on them is also superb, or the Pan-O Military Orders.

  3. That looks astounding...

    ...and WAY too complicated for my tastes and sausage fingers!

    Nice work!