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    • Mike

      PhotoBucket are no longer permitting 3rd party hosting   01/07/17

      As most of you are now painfully aware, Photobucket (PB) are stopping/have stopped allowing their members to link their accumulated years of photos into forums and the like, which they call 3rd party linking.  You can give them a non-refundable $399 a year to allow links, but I doubt that many will be rushing to take them up on that offer.  If you've previously paid them for the Pro account, it looks like you've got until your renewal to find another place to host your files, but you too will be subject to this ban unless you fork over a lot of cash.   PB seem to be making a concerted move to another type of customer, having been the butt of much displeasure over the years of a constantly worsening user interface, sloth and advertising pop-ups, with the result that they clearly don't give a hoot about the free members anymore.  If you don't have web space included in your internet package, you need to start looking for another photo host, but choose carefully, as some may follow suit and ditch their "free" members at some point.  The lesson there is keep local backups on your hard drive of everything you upload, so you can walk away if the same thing happens.   There's a thread on the subject here, so please use that to curse them, look for solutions or generall grouse about their mental capacity.   Not a nice situation for the forum users that hosted all their photos there, and there will now be a host of useless threads that relied heavily on photos from PB, but as there's not much we can do other than petition for a more equitable solution, I suggest we make the best of what we have and move on.  One thing is for certain.  It won't win them any friends, but they may not care at this point.    Mike.

Das Abteilung

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  1. I saw some front views of some WKY Shermans at Alamein time in a photo scrapbook held in the museum. Those were all DV's and as I recall were all A1s. The welded hull vehicle could be from another unit, and could equally be an M4 or an M4A2. A2s were present in N Africa and production of M4, A1 and A2 all started within a month of each other. M4A1 and A2 were initially more common than M4 through 1942 until more M4 production came on stream. It is likely that the vehicles taken from the US Army were mostly, if not all, A1's. Having said this, US units in Tunisia did have both M4 and M4A1 - including some PSC-built with rivetted lower hulls. With only USMC taking M4A2 it seems likely that UK would have received M4A2 in preference to M4. Indeed we ended up taking nearly twice as many A2 as M4 + M4A1 combined. On the DV front, Baldwin continued building DV M4s long after everyone else and all Baldwin M4 production was DV right through until Jan '44 whereas everyone else had pretty much changed over by March '43. Applique plates were factory fitted or added at Tank Depots. But Baldwin only built 845 out of 7,748 M4s so they weren't exactly common. DV vehicles of all types were put through the factory rework programme and re-issued at least as late as Sept 44. There are records of Fisher-reworked FMW-built DV M4A2s being shipped to the UK in that month. Saumur has one of these hulls.
  2. Thanks. I'm not a huge fan of uber-wear in the way that many depict: impressive displays of skill but just doesn't seem right, even given the exigencies of war. Opportunities for a bit of pencil work on some of the worn edges later. I've given it a wash over with the same Wilder wash for German tri-tone camo as the E-25, but less visual effect with the smaller real estate. Also the brown wash obviously didn't have the same effect on the dark Shokobraun as on the orangey Rotbraun. A little streaking with AK Streaking Grime and a few slight rust streaks using the rust shade MiG Oilbrusher. Being mostly horizontal, there aren't too many places for streaking. One thing I find with Oilbrushers is that, being pre-thinned, you get a "clean spot" under the dots where any existing unsealed enamel or oil effects are removed. This happens even if the dots are streaked out immediately, but I haven't tried leaving the dots to dry out a bit first. I thought I'd make a start on the tracks. I'd already sprayed them with Track Primer and washed them over with Track Wash, giving a dark brown effect. I tried several things for the bright metal on one of the E-25 runs and initially settled on graphite, using solid graphite pencils. With hindsight that was too dark. These vehicles both have metal to metal contact on sprockets, idlers and roadwheels so those contact points will be brightly polished. Having already laid graphite down, options were limited: slippery stuff. Silver pencil didn't work and paint clearly wouldn't hold. Eventually I settled on the steel shade of Metaliser from the Czech model paint company Agama, applied with a very narrow cotton bud (Tamiya, I think) which seemed to work. This product is essentially a small vial of metallic paste and has its own thinner (see photo), and I used it by touching the cotton bud onto the neat paste. You don't need a lot, especially once the cotton bid tip has absorbed some. I will polish it over with a wider cotton bud once I've done the dust effects. On the outside I've stuck with graphite on the spuds but I will go over that again post-dusting and might put some brighter highlight on the 3 cleats on each spud. I mucked up the first E-25 run by making the worn strips too wide - whole width - so this will have to be a top run where it won't be seen (see photo). Despite glueing, a number of track pins popped out along the way and some were lost. A number of joints also sprung with the pins still in place and wouldn't hold together again: presumably the pin end had broken off. I will have to glue these. E-10 and E-25 pins are not interchangeable, the former being longer and thinner. I need 8 E-10 pins to complete the tracks and I'm not sure I have that many, and may need to improvise. Trumpeter really need to make these pins 1mm longer for more secure fitting. On the subject of Agama products, I have a number of their paints and other products like these Metalisers and I like them. There have been positive reviews elsewhere. While they do a lot of common colours they are about the only people doing Czech colours. I really like their Exhaust Stubs colour as a basis for exhausts. Quality is good and price is reasonable, but they are still in the unfashionable screw-top pots. Paints are about €1.30 and metalisers about €1.50. I got mine from Jadar Hobby in Warsaw with other stuff, but Agama have their own shop (but not in English). http://www.agama-color.cz/en/ https://www.jadarhobby.pl/index.php?language=en
  3. I recall reading somewhere that a final drive change or major re-work on a Panther or King Tiger was about a 3-day job, whereas on a Sherman it was more like half a day because the nose could be removed. Although as far as I can tell this was an accident of design rather than a positive design philosophy. The Chaffee and Hellcat did benefit from large front transmission access hatches, so the idea was clearly beginning to catch on even if rear engine front drive still prevailed. Moving on, I've been distressing the E-10 a bit. No, I haven't made it cry - but I have had a good go at chipping, scratching and wearing the paintwork in likely places.
  4. AFAIK no fielded German tracked AFV was rear-drive. The larger Entwicklungsfahrzeug projects were still stubbornly front drive too, although it must by then have surely been realised how difficult gearbox and final drive maintenance was on Panther and King Tiger (as similar shapes - Pz III and IV had some glacis access). An experimental PzIV mit Hydrostatischem Antrieb (hydrostatic drive) was rear-drive, although the testbed conversion still retained the toothed front sprocket. Had it gone ahead I presume an idler would have replaced it. It still exists in storage at Anniston, Alabama having been on the Mile of Tanks at Aberdeen for years. These 2 smaller E series had completely hinged drop-down rear hull plates, at least according to the model research that Trumpeter has depicted. That would have simplified maintenance no end, and potentially allowed complete pack removal in the way that is now almost universal, although rearwards rather than upwards. On the E-25, Trumpeter have depicted that almost the entire engine deck also unbolted. Most UK and Russian tanks were rear-drive, whereas the US persisted with front drive until the M26. Not having driveshafts and gearboxes in the fighting compartment certainly gave more space and allowed a lower profile as well as simplifying maintenance. Even when the Chaffee came along the final drive and steering unit was still at the front, even though the gearboxes were relocated to the engine compartment. That led to the large access panel in the glacis for maintenance. The national differences in engineering philosophy are interesting. Of course, no-one was really doing design for ease of maintenance in the WW2 period.
  5. The tow cable chipping wouldn't be appropriate everywhere. The E-25 doesn't seem to have had a stowage layout for them. I made up some simple U brackets from spare brass, with the cable eyes sitting over the end ones. I think they're heavy enough for gravity to keep them in place, but might add some wire or twine ties at the ends. But they will wiggle about and rub on the paint. On other German vehicles with "proper" cable stowage there probably wouldn't be such wear. I won't be doing in on the E-10. Other nationalities where tow cables perhaps tended to be draped, attached to shackles or eyes rather than firmly held in specific stowage would probably display wear at contact points. I wanted to clear the spray booth away as it occupies most of my bench. When not in use it lives on my garage racking. So I thought I'd better spray up the E-10, then I have my bench free for detail painting etc. So here it is, basic colours. I used the other combination from the AK Late War set, Shokobraun and the lighter Resedagrun shade. I didn't make a particularly good job of the camo: airbrush trouble. Using the same mix as for the E-25 - AK paint with 10% (+/-) AK Washable Agent and Ultimate Universal Thinner - seemed to produce airbrush-clogging lumps this time. I managed to split both the head seal rings cleaning one brush last time, which didn't help.
  6. I wondered if the dummy 95 might have been easier to mount than a dummy 77, with no inboard length. Presumably the dummy barrel was attached to an internal plate welded across the gun aperture. But the 95 was counterweighted to match the longer-barreled 75, and looking at the one on the Bovington display the barrel is surprisingly thick and hefty towards the breech end. Of course a fully dummy barrel could be very lightweight, and a dummy short 95 would be lighter than a dummy 77. There is also the point mentioned above that the turret was fixed at 0 deg, so the barrel could not be traversed or elevated to avoid terrain (e.g. nose down in a dip) and a dummy long barrel would be easily damaged. The 95 didn't overhang. As I recollect, command and OP Cromwells/Centaurs just had a simple tube "gun barrel", nothing elaborate. Why not the same here? Why bother with the counterweight, and why add the flat bottom? Does that indicate a cut-down "real" barrel being used, probably 1/4 ton or more? That's a lot of hacked-up 95's by David Fletcher's numbers, but then they had no purpose as the Comet and Centurion CS were cancelled.
  7. Yes I am going to scuff up the schurzen a bit, but I sometimes think this is overdone. They weren't sheet metal like fenders, they were armour plate several mm thick: not easily bent or crumpled in the way that some people portray. The weakest point would be the sheet metal hangers in this case, or the mounting hooks in the case of other types of Schurzen. So, more likely to get torn off than significantly distorted IMHO. An impact sufficient to bend armour plate is unlikely to leave the sheet metal hangers intact. On the Hetzer, the schurzen hangers had keyhole slots hung over a single bolt head, so not strong. E-25 seems to be the same although the kit has 2-bolt hanging pads but only single-bolt hangers. The mesh screens on the E-10 will be significantly more distressed as they were much flimsier. They have a 2-bolt hanger fixing on the hull top: stronger fixing but flimsier screen, so far more susceptible to damage. As for size, E-10 was the Hetzer replacement whereas E-25 was the JPz IV/70 successor. Same firepower as their predecessors, but simplified high-commonality chassis. Still petrol engined, apparently. I never cease to be surprised at the German inability to embrace diesel power for AFVs, although UK and USA were majority petrol too. Unless I'm much mistaken Herr Diesel was in fact German ........... I don't have a Hetzer to compare, and authoritative data on the Entwicklungsfahrzeug is hard to find. The model's hull dimensions are 150L x 105W x 57H mm.
  8. That's the supposedly later-war browner shade of Rotbraun, notwithstanding any controversy over whether it actually existed, which is very different from the redder earlier-war shade. In this case it's applied quite thinly, which doesn't help. Might look different on the E-10 if I spray it. Schokobraun was the other alleged late war colour change, but I felt this just looked too dark. But I did use the darker of the 2 Resedagrun shades. AK suggest that the lighter brown and darker green were used together, with the darker brown and lighter green together. Not sure what their evidence is, but in the field I imagine things varied. But I might try their other combination on the E-10, which has a lot less real estate to cover. The trouble with trying to model something that looks badly applied is that it just looks like bad modelling. Not sure I'm on the right side of that divide. Anyhoo, looking a little different after a filter wash and some streaking. I used Wilder's wash for German camo as the filter wash, which is quite brown and more highly pigmented than, say, MiG washes. It dried with more of a sheen than I would have liked and took several hours to dry, remaining sticky to the touch for probably 5 or 6 hours even in today's high 20's temperatures. Odd for a wash. For dark streaking I used AK Interactive Streaking Grime For Dark Yellow, which is a very dark brown shade. Curiously, my unused pot of AK's OIF Streaking Effects that I first turned to had actually dried out to a rubbery solid chunk. But it was a very grey shade, which probably wouldn't have worked here. For light streaking I thought I'd try MiG's Oilbrushers for the first time, although I nearly tried one of Wilder's quick drying oil paints - also for the first time. I only bought shades of both products that I thought would work for weathering, although MiG himself recommends Oilbrushers for shading and highlighting his style of zenithal lighting effects (which just looks too contrived and artsy to my eyes). Dust seemed to be about the right shade here. While the brush idea is useful and less wasteful and saves the faff of soaking the oil out of conventional oil paints, their consistency is somewhat thin and can't be made thicker. Which is perhaps no bad thing for streaking and blending. I've never done "conventional" oil dot streaking, so I can't compare. I'll do a pin wash once I've painted the tools etc, but I did apply a little of AK's oil and grease washes around the wheel hubs just now. I quite like Abteilung's grease effect oil paint, as you can make a wash from it but it also has texture for lumpy accumulated grease. It was hard to stop chipping effects on brass pieces going straight through to the brass, thus needing touching-up, and I found the same with some resin parts. I had primed all the large brass parts with Gunze Sangyo's Mr Metal Primer, which is a clear lacquer or varnish-like substance, before primer paint. Maybe I didn't de-grease well enough. Maybe it just doesn't work......
  9. Did the best we could, herr Oberfedwebel ..... Not sure this turned out as I intended, but then I didn't know how it would turn out. I wanted it to look crudely applied as described above, and it does. But does it look like a 5-year old did it? Used a mixture of cotton buds and micro brushes for the smaller places, and left the chalk visible in a few places. I used a lot more washable agent in the camo colours, probably about 20%. Too much, as it made the paint far too washable and too soft. At that concentration it literally does wash off. Let's see what it looks like after some washing and streaking etc. The horizontal lines of chipping just up from the lower hull edges are where the tow cables will sit. I left the markings at just the outline crosses. With the cleaning rod tube on the right side there isn't anywhere to put ID numbers, and the use of divisional and tactical markings declined towards the end of the war. I managed to lose 2 schurzen brackets completely, both for the same plate. So the middle plate on the left will be missing, although I toyed with having it hung by wire from the tow cable brackets
  10. So. camo or no? It does look a bit plain in overall dunkelgelb. I just got carried away with the distressing. But I have a plan - or at least an idea. I came across a picture of a German tank crew "painting" a PzIV. I use the word loosely because they were using "brushes" made from rags or fabric of some sort wrapped around bundles of straw. And we take such care with our masking stencils, tape, putty and finely sprayed finishes........ I've often wondered what that would really look like, so here goes......... The Oberfeldwebel has deposited cans of paint concentrate with his E-25 crew, mumbling that there are no brushes so they'll have to improvise. He has "helped" his crew by chalking outlines on the vehicle of the areas he wants painted before nipping off to an "urgent O group" that might involve hot coffee and a nip of schnapps. His Gefreiter scratches his head and works out the straw-and-rag idea, mixing the paint up with petrol thinner in a handy bucket. He longs for hot coffee, even ersatz, and a nip of schnapps - but is stuck with kraftstoff fumes and a mucky uniform, for which he will doubtless be told off by the new uber-zealous Leutnant. The Gefreiter realises that you can't actually paint in the conventional sense with those tools: it's more like daubing. So he thinks dots - i.e. improvised disc scheme. So that's what I'm going to do. Or at least try to do. After raiding Hobbycraft for a variety of white pencils, pens and real chalk I think I have the chalk answer: a Conte white pastel pencil. As for the "brushes", cotton buds seem to be the most likely easy answer. In my decal box I discovered some ancient Letraset (yeah, that old!) rub-down German national, tactical, divisional and number markings, which should work well with chipping - assuming they still adhere at all! Wish me luck ......
  11. The King Tiger didn't have a catch basket for the spent cases, which are about 82cm long and 12cm diameter. If you look at the tubular extension to the gun cradle behind the breech - which marks the recoil safety area - there is a semi-circular upstand at the back. This is to deflect the ejected case and prevent it going further back. The case would then fall to the floor to one side. The design of the guard with that central cross-piece prevented the case dropping straight down. Bit of a flaw? As the loader stood on the floor handling fresh 25kg metre-long rounds you wouldn't want too many of those empty cases under your feet. There also doesn't seem to be any way of ensuring that the spent case fell on the side away from the loader and didn't get in the way of loading a fresh round by coming towards him. If you look at the turret internals, access to the turret rear hatch is almost impossible from inside. The stowed ammo in the turret bustle almost comes together at the back, leaving only a very narrow gap - but enough to get a case through. It's also more than a metre reach over the turret ring, with access blocked by the afore-mentioned recoil guard. Once the inner racks are emptied there is more space, but access is still difficult. I imagine it would have been easiest for the loader to throw spent cases overboard through his turret roof hatch if still in contact. He would not need to expose himself to do that, but probably would to open and close the hatch. If the local commander was employing the tank to advantage, using the long reach of the KwK43, the the loader would be at no risk throwing out the empties. King Tiger wasn't designed for tactical close range tank dogfighting, where it gave up all its advantages. But of course it didn't usually work out like that.
  12. Yes. I have since discovered that it has been re-painted to the documented condition it was in when captured. Likewise the Jagdtiger, which you may recall sported that awful scheme of sand spots over panzer grey for years.
  13. I marvel at those who can achieve a quality in Quarter Scale (OK, 1/48) that I struggle to achieve in 1/35. Like this. Early war, RAF were certainly very dependent on RAF pattern vehicles: many of more commercial origin than Army types. But as the war progressed more GS types began to be seen in RAF service. So, who's to say that this isn't a 2 ATAF wagon on a forward airfield somewhere in NWE in late 44 or early 45 pressed into service as an ambulance because, well, they didn't have a proper ambulance. Maybe not enough to go round, maybe it's up-ended in a bomb crater somewhere. Improvise, adapt, overcome. Works for me ........
  14. Distressing the dunkelgelb proved to be more absorbing than I expected. So much so that I completely forgot about the camo. I'm tempted now to leave the E25 in dunkelgelb. Cocktail sticks actually proved to be more useful tools than I expected. Allow one end to wear down/soften up but keep the other dry and sharp. This gives broader and narrower ends in one disposable tool. You can also use the flat side of the point for broader effects. The wood absorbs water, so provides its own wetting - which can be useful. Most of what was done in the photos below was done with cocktail sticks and a bit of stiff hog brush. I have to say that I've come to like the Washable Agent. To my mind it does what I expected the chipping fluids to do, and I don't have to rush to do it. It can be chipped dry, and a fingernail work well. Applying water does soften it and allow a variety of attacks including rubbing through. But once the water has dried the finish hardens up again. You do get a bit of sludge and lumps from dissolved paint, but that is easily cleaned off with more water or kitchen roll or left to dry and brushed or blown off. This is what I've achieved in a couple of hours, concentrating on wear areas. As I said, in 2 minds now whether to apply camo.