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Das Abteilung

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About Das Abteilung

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  1. Armoured glass without any coatings will always have a green tint, darker with more thickness. IR coatings generally seem to be reddish or purplish. Never seen blue. IR lenses will be a dark red. If you use a metallic base coat then several transparent coats will be necessary to give the right depth impression. The visual impression from any distance is generally dark. If your kit has clear periscope etc parts then I would be tempted to paint the inside of the housing dark to give that depth impression and tint the clear parts. You can get pre-cut tinted adhesive film for some kits' optics, or plain sheet for self-cutting. Solves the painting problem.
  2. Cambrai

    There was a commemoration in London today. RTR Association, RTR brass, Bovvy's MkIV replica (but not Guy Martin's!), Museum brass, etc. Did it make the news? Not a hope. RBL had a special Cambrai commemorative enameled poppy pin, but unlike the Passchendaele and Somme ones it was on-line order only. I didn't manage to get one. Guy Martin's Tank turned out to be Norfolk Military Museum's Tank Built By JCB With A Bit Of Help From Guy And A German Guy. One might have thought that JCB could have been persuaded to provide a safer diesel powertrain with remote linkage rather than the ancient RR B60 engine cobbled together with tractor scrap and a bloke sat on the gearbox without a seat at the back working the selectors. While the Police eventually vetoed the Lincoln Remembrance idea, I suspect the Council realised the damage the vehicle would do to the historic High Street (it needed to slew) and the cost of repairs. But Cambrai was a nice touch. No mention though of the new museum built for Deborah, to where I believe she was moved prior to Remembrance Day.
  3. Tamiya M4 mid production 1/35

    Noting that the glacis weld bead debate has been dealt with by sandbags on this model, the Sherman Minutia site contains good diagrams of the various glacis construction configurations and their likely production dates and plants. Yes, Tamiya got the front of their M4 wrong for whatever reason. Not wishing to diss Hunnicutt, but that book was never intended to be a definitive reference of every minor production variation. It is, as the subtitle says, a history. Son Of Sherman probably better fills the minutia gap after very many years of research, but is of course vastly expensive and beyond many peoples' reach. There are considerable economies of scale in printing, and one wonders what price it could have been sold for if more risk had been taken on the print run(s). Demand seems to exceed supply, and desire greatly exceeds it. Sell it for half the price, sell twice as many or more = same profit.
  4. IDF M51 Batch Four.

    I've picked up a whole bunch of assorted Sherman kits to do some mix and match IDF variants. AFAIK, M51's were all built on HVSS hulls or fitted with HVSS suspension even without the engine conversion because of the weight and the recoil impulse. That lesson was learned from the early M50 conversions, which were indeed on VVSS and over-stressed. The Manasherob books will confirm or deny that: I'm still struggling to be brave enough to splash out on them, although I really should. But I've never come across a photo of a VVSS M51 - with one exception. There is a photo on line of a mysterious VVSS M4A1 fitted with an M51 turret conversion in French markings. Trumpeter have chosen to release a 1/72 kit of this vehicle - although visibly inaccurate - thinking it to be a service variant, which it never was. It was perhaps a French experiment, and there are contemporary photos of a VVSS M51 and an M4A1 with an AMX13 turret in French markings. All appear factory-fresh. It is also possible that it is the 2nd prototype M51 installation, the 1st (on an M4A2?) having been damaged beyond repair by the recoil of the original full-length full-charge gun, but in French markings to disguise its true purpose. So I would say that cross-kitting an M51 with an M1 lower hull would result in something incorrect. But I'm open to correction on that as always. Now, you could rob the radial engine deck and lower rear hull from the M1, leave off the later M51 parts and modify the muzzle brake to end up with an early M51. Or splash out out £25 or so on the DEF conversion and do something else with the M1. I was going to do the former, but I'm leaning towards the latter. If you did rob the M1 parts, you could then use the Continental engine parts on the M1 and add an M1 dozer blade. Dozers and flails got the engine conversion, but remained VVSS and did not get the M50/51 upgrade. But I'm uncertain if any dozers were based on 76mm Shermans, or whether all were 75mm: the flails were certainly 75s.
  5. LVT (A)1 Amtank - 1/35

    Oh that's very nice. Something else I have in my stash, and I'm also thinking the grey scheme to go with a 3-colour (A)4. Are those the kit tracks? I splashed out on the AFV Club track sets - cost as much as the kits!
  6. IDF M51 Batch Four.

    I'll have to file this excellent work away under U for Useful when I get round to doing my M51's. I haven't decided on exact specs yet, but I'm initially thinking along the lines of a cast-hull radial engine very early version and a welded hull very late version.
  7. There was a sign up at Bovington today saying that laser scanning of some exhibits was happening. Nothing actually happening today, but 3 vehicles were covered in laser measuring reference dots. M26 T26 Type 95 Ha-Go I couldn't discover exactly why or by whom. For modelling or for gaming rendering? None of those are really obvious candidates for new kits. Allegedly being done by a Chinese outfit whose name apparently translates as Metal Slug (which could be a lost-in-translation version of a shell, bullet or projectile of some sort). Note my words - allegedly and apparently: not definitive.
  8. T-55 STGB @ 14

    Well I have several T-54/55 based projects in the stash, but I'm waiting for MiniArt to release some more promises before I make a start. So I guess you can sign me up for 2018. I'm planning and have started collecting parts for: Tiran 4 early (D-10 gun [no fume extractor], spider wheels, minimal mods). Waiting for MiniArt late T4 - hopefully they'll do an early one too, as on the box art background. Tiran 5sh. Got Tamiya but waiting for MiniArt to announce one, which should be easy for them with T-55 out and late Tiran 4 incoming. SLA APC-55, turreted. Got Samer Kassis conversion, waiting for Miniart Tiran 4 (ideally T5) as a base kit (SK kit has a full turret, and I have a precious pair of Tank large-hub wheels, but these may not match MiniArt) SLA APC open-top. Waiting for wallet to stop sulking about the price of a MiniArt interior detail T-55. Achzarit. Meng early.
  9. Status of FirePower?

    I had heard that a new museum would be created at Larkhill to open in a couple of years' time, but maybe this is conflated with the Plains Heritage story. The exhibits will need to be conserved in the meantime whatever happens. I had also heard that some exhibits would be going to Bovington, which makes less sense unless there is a historic link - as with the couple of artillery pieces they do have. In the current financial climate, Corps and Regimental ownership or sponsorship of museums is becoming pretty much impossible, especially where capital investment is needed. Stand-alone charitable enterprises or arrangements with third parties are likely to be the way of the future. Bovington perhaps set the model for that. (Some sponsorship from BAES would be nice, as the ultimate owners of many of the companies who historically made artillery in this country and the last surviving artillery factory at Barrow before its closure. We can't even make mortar barrels now. Criminally sad, but an entirely other discussion.) The most logical new home would be to donate the collection to the existing Royal Armouries artillery museum at Fort Nelson on the Portsdown Hills above Portsmouth. That is well worth a visit anyway, if you haven't been. Areas of the Victorian fort, one of Palmerston's Follies, are restored in addition the the artillery collection. The precedent was set may years ago when the MOD Pattern Room collection, while not a museum as such, was donated to Royal Armouries and moved from RO Nottingham to the new National Firearms Centre at Leeds where much of it is finally on public display. I'm sure that IWM and NAM would be in the market if the collection is to be broken up. On the other hand, if a completely new artillery museum is to be created maybe they would consider loaning some of their exhibits to it. Green Mace makes a centrepiece statement ..........
  10. Personal WW1 Group Build: MkIVs & Whippet

    Having a break from rollers before starting on the Whippet track units. Had a go at making replacement unditching beams. The ones in the kit are naff at best. Only made 2, as the Beute Female won't have one. Kit-provided chain is chromed and impervious to blackening, and the wrong pattern anyway. Need to rummage in the chain box for something more appropriate. These are balsa, stained with a couple of washes with Warhammer's Agrax Earthshade: passable creosote. I tried the MiG Wood Ageing Solution first, but that just came out like a thin black wash. The metal bands at the ends are from the kit etch fret, blackened. The metal sheets are 0.1mm aluminium dunked in blackening agent then washed over with a MiG rust wash. Bad move with the blackening, or possibly the sheet was too thin: maybe I should have used the 0.2mm. It was eaten away to a very thin delicate state and the finish was inconsistent. And it turned my nice clear blue blackening fluid into something resembling Brown Windsor soup. Alexa, re-order blackening fluid ........... Bolt heads are Grandt Line drilled through the metal and just pushed into the balsa. Holds well enough. Kit shackles cut off and swapped for TMD resin ones.
  11. VK 3001 Trumpeter

    Well if the Neubaufahrzeug were sent to Norway, who's to say that the 3001's couldn't have gone somewhere to menace the locals?
  12. M4A2 in PTO

    I don't suppose it made any real difference in traction which way they went on. To my very simple mind, the "right" way with the chevron pointing down at the front - as on the left of this pic - is the wrong way. It seems more logical with the chevron pointing up at the front - as on the right of this pic - thus providing more of a "scoop" effect on the ground. There's a clip of a British Sherman being loaded into an LST for D Day which pops up on docu-history programmes which clearly shows 2 different link types on the same side. A metal chevron track containing a short run, maybe 6 or 8 links, of 3-bar cleat. Tank used to do an excellent 0.30 late mount, sadly now OOP and impossible to find. Voyager have various resin-and-etch 0.30 mounts, but all require you to roll the barrel jacket from a flat sheet. Yuk. The Verlinden ones are a bit naff, if you can still find them: moulds showing their age It's about time Live Resin got round to doing M1919s, having done M2's to death. I thought TMD did one, but it seems they only do the Jeep dash mount - which has the gun and the right yoke but no ammo box cradle. The RB Models brass 0.30 barrels are nice. The Eureka XXL M4 tow cable set comes with 2 resin barrels, which are passable.
  13. T-55 mod. 1963 test-build (MiniArt)

    Please hurry up with a Tiran 5Sh, MiniArt. You know you want to! I want a pair, one for an SLA APC-55 conversion - although the T4 would work for that as the conversion kit has a full turret. And probably an interior-detail T-55 too, for an open-top SLA APC. And when will the promised Tiran 4Sh be available, and will it have the 105mm gun barrel in the box for an IDF version (4Sh with 100mm is SLA-only)? And will there be an early Tiran 4 as shown in the background on the box art (with spider wheel option, please)? Flexing the plastic already...................!!
  14. Hesco barriers

    I think Agent G might have hit on something here. Timber is relatively cheap from DIY stores, cutting is straightforward especially if you have a mitre block or mitre saw. As for the bag texture, I'm thinking something like cream 90gsm bond paper wrapped around the blocks with a lap join at one corner. Posh paper you can find in stationers: if you have a branch of The Range near you, they have small packs quite cheaply. It's stiff enough to have an upstand around the edge of the block (which tissue paper is not) which you can fill with whatever fill material takes your fancy. Making a long run as a single block may look too regular. And you'd have to work out how to deal with the joins between the cells.
  15. Personal WW1 Group Build: MkIVs & Whippet

    Yes, Mr Clive, I had wondered about that. But I think different material is needed. These "logs" came from a range of scenic materials marketed by a store in Kiev I use from time to time. Some are good, some not so much: these are the latter. Fortunately the parish grounds maintenance people have been round recently trimming the shrubs and hedges so there's a fair few twigs lying around. I must collect some, but I can find little evidence that log fascines were actually used in WWI. I imagine a log fascine of sufficient diameter would have been far too heavy. Looking at photos, chespale fascines do seem to have varied in diameter but the oft-seen photo of 2 trainloads of MkIVs all carrying fascines - and other photos - show them at their largest to be about the same diameter as the height as the tank itself. Logical when trenches were 2-3m deep. So mine needs to be larger yet. I think I'll leave the lashings rather than use more DPM tape this time and add another layer of bristles with new lashings. I only bought a very cheap broom with a single row of bristle bundles, but this fascine will use pretty much all of it.