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Das Abteilung

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About Das Abteilung

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  1. Supacat Coyote and Jackal detail pictures.

    The vehicles themselves are not sensitive, and they are frequently seen at events where the Army have a display presence, recruiting stands, etc. Even the new Ajax scout was on public display at Bovington Tankfest, along with a Jackal. There is a Jackal 1 in the museum at Bovington, although the doors are held shut to stop people clambering in. A selfie stick will probably deal with that, but the rear compartments in the 1 and 2 are completely different. The rear compartment is actually pretty basic. 2 seats in the Jackal 2, radio and ammo can racks, a boiling vessel and not much else. What you won't get to see are the actual radio installations, ECM gear etc. Just the empty spaces. There will be a close hold on that. But there are images of Bowman sets on the web. Have you looked on the Supacat website?
  2. Ajax (Scout SV)

    If you look at the Ares, it has a radio antenna mounted on the front right (from this view) circular object. In addition to 3 antennas at the rear. VHF, HF, HCDR + ?? UHF?? One each side could be mountings for antennas for internal ECM unit. But certainly looks like antenna mounts of some sort. Restricts forward fire arcs. 3 visible antenna bases on the Ajax turret, logically. Other interesting brown flat panel antennas on turret front and rear quarters and Ares top edges of hull roof and glacis. Not unlike the MMW ESA antennas for Trophy. The large central object on the glacis is almost certainly the driver's EO sensors: white light camera and image intensifier The Ares here is a prototype, pictured at the NATO conference in Newport a couple of years ago. The Ajax looks more like a production spec. The front bar-armour-cum-step is interesting. Looks like lots of vulnerable bits.
  3. Ajax (Scout SV)

    Exactor is now out of service and the RA user unit has been disbanded. Keeping the M113 carrier vehicle in service would require a complete new depot support solution as it is not common to anything else UK now uses. It was acquired as an Urgent Operational Requirement, for which the support solutions are usually somewhat less substantial as the service life is expected to be less than 5 years, and often rely more on in-theatre contractor support. The trailer-mounted units would appear to still be viable, and the vehicle mounted system could conceivably be transplanted from M113 to another platform, especially if designed from the outset to accept it. They haven't exactly seen intensive use. There was a question as to whether we had actually bought the kit or simply leased it from IDF. In the latter case of course it would need to be returned. It remains to be seen if an Ajax-Spike marriage will come about. But with bully boy Comrade Boris kicking the sleeping bear awake and rattling every edged weapon he can get his hands on, an SPATGW would seem a sensible capability to have. And no, the Challenger upgrade will not include an ATGW. Nor will it replace the rifled gun, so no gun-launched ATGW option.
  4. Ajax (Scout SV)

    The Scout family originally included both ATGM (Recce Overwatch) and SHORAD planned variants, in the days when the family was to be 1,300 or so vehicles with 650 Scouts. Now there are less total vehicles than the original numbers of Scouts, with many recce units - especially infantry - relegated to Jackals. The ATGM and SHORAD were early casualties, so there is no Stormer HVM replacement on the cards either. A turreted 120mm mortar variant was also postulated. The Russians, like the US, still undertake recce by fire whereas we, as noted above, prefer recce by stealth. They desire contact, where we try to avoid it. Equipping IFVs (in particular) and recce vehicles with ATGMs, powerful guns and effective FCS inevitably leads to them being used as light tanks in environments where they are not sufficiently survivable. This is one reason why Warrior was not equipped to fire on the move: that was a positive choice. The same argument came up with the Warrior improvements: should it have the same FCS etc as Scout, or a lesser capability? FRES, as it was then, envisaged dismounting ATGM teams in both infantry and Recce units - with variants specifically configured for the carriage of missiles and launchers using interchangeable ro-ro modules. Same for mortar and HMG teams. Having said that, a hull-down IFV with ATGM can give you a very nice edge as long as you stay hull-down. Break cover and you will probably become a casualty, leaving the dismounts with no fire support and no transport. But stay put and your launch position is fixed for counter-fire. Best as an IFV or recce to stay out of missile duels and incoming retaliatory 120/125 HEAT or APDS. There was a parallel concept of a Medium Armour vehicle on a probably-enlarged chassis mounting the RUAG low-recoil version of the Rheinmetall 120 smoothbore. It was hoped that this would be able to fire gun-launched ATGM developed by others, probably the French, thus eliminating the need for a dedicated ATGM vehicle. But this came to nothing. The Hagglunds CV90120 has been over to Bovington a couple of times for demonstrations to prove that the concept works, although not at the time cleared for manned firing. That Medium Armour family was also projected to include ARV, AVRE and AVLB, and possibly 155mm SPG. Whether the concept will be resurrected remains to be seen. Challenger is slated to be with us in improved form but reduced numbers until 2035. Will we need an MBT after that? Guess we'd better ask Comrade Boris. MBT are little use in asymmetric warfare. And it will be a foreign product, as all our production facilities are gone. One reason for choosing the 40mm CTAS weapon over the prevailing 30mm calibre was the effectiveness of the ammunition. A Bofors-chambered 40mm weapon, although preferred, would not allow the required commonality with the lethality-improved Warrior. Don't underestimate it. Primary AT round is APDS at about 1,200m/s. But the HE round is the scary one. Plastic-cased, pre-fragmented able to be set for point det, delay or time-fused airburst set in the breech by the FCS using laser ranging. Weighs about 1kg, mostly bang stuff and frag because of the plastic casing. Warrior will have the same weapon. Quite a day-spoiler. Hard-kill DAS was experimented-with, but it has collateral damage implications as noted above - as indeed does ERA. And it really only works against ATGM and RPG. No use against AP and APDS. Protection also degrades as modules are fired, again like ERA. Soft-kill wasn't really looked-at. IDF are really the experts in this field, relying on the Droid to dazzle and deflect incoming laser homers and the Trophy system to intercept, with ERA as a last line. Layered defence. Remember the Holy Trinity Of Survival: don't be seen, don't be hit, don't be penetrated.
  5. M4A3E8 Sherman - Dragon 1/35

    Now THATs why I didn't want to risk even a partial white finish on my Tortoise. I couldn't get remotely close to anything as good as this no matter how hard I tried. I am in awe of the skill here.
  6. A39 MkIICS Tortoise Assault Gun - Panzer 46

    I think I've decided to give up on the idea of a winter finish. I've never done one before and, frankly, don't want to risk cocking it up. The plan was to work on the green first, and then apply the white and work on that: much as in real life. However I'm so pleased with the green that I don't want to cover it up and start the process again. Maybe I should have been more conventional and applied the white before beginning fading etc. Since the last post, Mrs Tortoise has had an overall wash with Wilder Dark Brown Filter for green finishes, NL18. Wilder filters are a bit more densely pigmented than MiG's, perhaps closer to a wash. I toyed with the companion Grey-Brown Filter for olive, NL19, but it looked a bit too grey and British olive SCC15 was notably green. Once dry for a couple of days that was followed by a pin wash with AK Interactive Dark Brown Wash for green, AK045. Yes, cheating with a pre-mixed wash. Hush my mouth with such heresy..........! Then followed a bit of subtle fading and streaking with a few shades of green and buff oil paint and MiG's rainmarks. I used Abteilung's matt effect thinner where I needed thinner: I like it because it does minimise sheen and tidemarks. I'm not sure the camera has captured the subtlety fully. Tonight, a spray over with matt varnish. I bought a rattle can of Mr Hobby Top Coat Matt/Flat varnish and thought I'd be lazy and use that. Seems to work OK, and it's dealt with the few wash tidemarks. That will protect the finish while I detail paint and add final weathering, which will include oil & grease, some minor rust, dust and dirt and final drybrushing. And then there are the tracks, of which I've made up both top runs so far. The links don't clip or pivot, and so need to be glued up in exactly the right shape. I'm planning 4 pieces per side: top, bottom, sprocket end and idler end. Which must of course meet precisely. Anyway, here are some shots of this stage of progress. All comments, pointers, ideas - and yes, criticisms - gratefully received. I'll only get better if you tell me what's not so good.
  7. Tiran 5.

    If I can make mine half as well as this when I get round to it, I'll be pleased. This is just fantastic work: no, that's an understatement - I can't think of an adequate superlative here. Be warned - I will be copying a lot of the detailing you've done, although infinitely less well! I'm not in a rush for this one and I think I might wait for the inevitable MiniArt T-55 or even Tiran 5 rather than kitbash the Tamiya one. They've announced a Tiran 4 from their T-54, so I live in hope. Many of those parts will be common to a T5. My 3D printed jerrycan racks from Shapeways arrived, but I'm not sure they're any better than the IM kit parts. Still really too thick, need a lot of cleanup and some are printed crooked. Etch it is, then. I had a late thought about the front wheel hubs, having looked at the large-hub wheels that have somehow found their way onto Bovington's T-62 (which never used them - that's why the wheel spacing was moved forward). The outer cover was just a pressed domed flanged plate bolted on to the hub, as with the normal wheels. All the hub cover plates overhang the cast wheel centres, which is something kit makers with solid moulded hubs can't capture - I'm not sure if those with separate hubs like Takom actually overhang. So you might well get away with removing the existing hub detail and replacing it with a larger plate with new dome and bolts. There would be an overhang anyway.
  8. Pe fenders for Tamiya M4A1 76 kit

    Most, if not all, M4A1 etched brass sets include the front fenders. Aber, Voyager, ET, Eduard, etc. Which is best is hard to say. But get a set designed for that kit as others may not fit. One Aber set is generic for M4, A1 and A3, for example, so there may be fit issues. MK Models / KA Design do a set specifically for this kit inc alloy barrel and resin mantlet, but expensive. Aber do an extensive but almost-as-expensive specific one, PE 35250, which also includes the bogie track skids (not all do). Voyager do one too, PE35446 which includes some resin parts and tow cable wire. I've used a couple of Voyager sets recently, and found them a bit fiddly with overly complicated design of some parts. I have the Dragon M4A1(76) kit to do an M1 from and I bought that Aber set intended for the Tamiya M1 kit to go with it, as there isn't a set for the Dragon kit. I may have those fit issues with the fenders and the front geometry. I haven't used the Aber set yet, but it certainly looks OK and is quite extensive.
  9. A39 MkIICS Tortoise Assault Gun - Panzer 46

    Likewise on the what-ifs: this one crept up and mugged me after doing the E-10 and E-25 - basically just because I liked their shapes (!!). I see P1 at Bovington every couple of weeks and I've seen a few "in service" models complete with the "unarmoured" warning triangle. And for me there is the lingering question of whether the 32pdr was the right weapon for what was essentially an assault gun - or even for a tank destroyer. Compared to Russian and German late war developments it is relatively puny, barely comparable to the long barrel 88. Actually the camnet idea is an old one, really old: 30 years or more. Before anyone started making AM nets (was Verlinden 1st?). But it's dirt cheap, very simple and very adaptable. Where it falls down is more elaborate garnish like the current UK nets or hessian garnish. I have thought of trying mixing strips of tissue or thin paper with the glue soak for that, but haven't been brave enough to try it. Some of the AM nets look more like scrambling nets in thickness, whereas this plaster scrim is quite thin and it falls really nicely. Etched brass cam nets just seem completely berserk to me.
  10. Abrams Deflector and Tow Bar

    The rigid tow bar doesn't actually make a lot of sense to carry stowed, or to have on an MBT. You see them on e.g. MRAP vehicles already mounted and strapped up. In the case of a breakdown or hit, the bar just needs to be dropped onto a hitch and you're away. Having to get out and fit it in contact kinda defeats the object. Also, it's an A-frame so it only has 1 attachment to the towing vehicle. I doubt that any single tow hitch is man enough to pull a dead Abrams, and it would be a very close tow as the bars are short when spread: probably limited to straight pulls on flat surfaces. Two hawsers would use the 2 towing lugs designed and constructed for the weight and be a longer tow to allow manouvering. As the Abrams has no front hitch, another tank coming to tow would have to present its bottom to the threat to use the rear hitch. Hawsers allow a reverse tow, keeping the best protection facing the threat. If the arrival of an ARV is awaited out of contact, it will have its own towing gear. As noted above, the tank crew with the bars stowed on the rear will find them far too hot to use after more than a few minutes' engine running anyway. And subjecting them to constant high temperture and cooling cycles will probably weaken them. But right or wrong, useful or not it is clearly done and can therefore be legitimately modelled.
  11. A39 MkIICS Tortoise Assault Gun - Panzer 46

    Got some chipping and wear done. Doesn't show as much against the green. I don't know if it was a factor of the hairspray undercoat, the Hataka paint composition or the AK washable medium - too many variables - but the paint came off a little too easily once wetted, and tended to peel off rather than wear through. So some of the wear ares are a little larger and harder-edged than I might have wanted. We'll see what they look like under washes, and there will be the white camo - also to be worn. I took the MG and cannon barrels back to the blackened brass with the smallest of the Tamiya pointed cotton buds, used damp. Although I see that the MG barrels need a bit more work. I also used some for these fine cotton buds for some of the wear, in conjunction with dampened cocktail sticks. In fact those 2 tools and a wet brush were all I used: it was clear that stiff brush scrubbing would be too aggressive on this finish.
  12. Gecko Cruisers

    Their box art keeps scrolling across the Sincere Hobby advert over on Armorama, but they don't actually have them. I'm quite happy with my Bronco A10 for £25, and at this rate they'll have an A9 out before Gecko too.
  13. Char 2C tail (Niko or scratch-built)

    Jadar Hobby in Warsaw have the Niko item for about €9. Not too expensive. Plus shipping of course: about €12 all in. Being in the EU (for now!) there are no customs or VAT issues. https://www.jadarhobby.pl/niko-model-np-35001-the-tail-for-char-2c-135-p-38890.html?manufacturers_id=126 I buy from them regularly - in fact I'm waiting for a parcel as we speak - and they are excellent, completely reliable. Buy from them with confidence. If they say they have it stock, then they do. Delivery can be a little slow. But have a look at what else they have, as they stock a lot of stuff not commonly seen in the UK and their prices for products of European origin can be much cheaper than in the UK. I tend to get anything RB or Panzer Art from them. I know you've already built the 2C, but check out the Agama French paint colours (and others) if you're thinking of more French. You'll probably get a few more items for the same shipping cost. I believe the next shipping price band is about €8, and you'd be surprised what that covers. I got 13 relatively small items in my current order for that shipping cost, which makes it quite reasonable at about 61 cents each. € prices not so good at the moment. They offer payment in $US or Zloty, which might work out cheaper. You can pay in € or $ by PayPal. Zloty will need to be paid directly by card, but your card provider will fleece you £3 or so in fees. Which can be worthwhile. Check out the equivalent prices on Xe.com. I saved about £30 last year on a large order by paying in Zloty.
  14. How to make a monotone finish look really good. Very nicely done. And a nice choice of a less well-known subject. Respect to the Italians for keeping their AFV industry alive, and by and large ensuring they buy Italian in spite of the EU regulations. Unlike the UK ......... Respect also to Trumpeter for producing an excellent kit of such a subject. I kinda wish the Brazilian Osorio - a not dissimilar vehicle, also kitted by Trumpeter - had made it past 2 prototypes.
  15. rebel toyota hilux meng

    There are literally hundreds of ideas on the WWW. Both rebel/insurgent and official forces. The HiLux is widely used by police, military and paramilitary forces worldwide as well as being freely available to rebel and insurgent forces. You're limited with doors-open ideas because of the interior tub method of construction search for things like "gun truck", technical pickup", "armed totota", special forces pickup" etc etc. There are some extensive military conversions. Look up Jankel. Also look up the Czech SF wagon with the DshK gun ring in the back and PKMs on door mounts. MMK kit this, but it's a complete kit not a conversion. If you like irony you could model a broken-down insurgent HiLux being captured by a govt forces HiLux. Depending how original you want to be, there is now a variety of stowage and weapon after-market parts, replacement resin wheels, crew figures etc etc. I was thinking at one time of doing one with a recoilless gun in the back: AFV Club US M106, Trumpeter Chinese copy, or the MiG B11. Problem here is very limited ammunition availability. Verlinden did an M106 ammo set that would also work with the Chinese version, but it's almost impossible to find.