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Everything posted by KRK4m

  1. I know, but they all use acrylic paints and airbrushes. And I'm used to (for about 55 years) Humbrol enamels and brushes ... Cheers Michael
  2. And now imagine that only 67 years passed from the death of Napoleon Bonaparte until the birth of our grandfather, who, after all, was buying gifts not only for us, but also for our children. Time flies by unimaginably fast... Cheers Michael
  3. So I felt relieved... Glad to hear anyone reading these my scribbles. And the more that thanks to them someone will build another model (or two ) Cheers Michael
  4. Thank you, Ben. Whenever I build a model (of an aircraft, a tank, a ship), I try to learn as much as possible about the prototype and the circumstances in which it happened to exist. That is why I write so much about these miniatures of mine - not everyone likes it . And that's why I'm glad that you appreciate it, because I always value the opinion of an expert like you very high. Cheers Michael
  5. Most (837) aircraft were powered by the 1,000hp M-88 (Gnome & Rhone 14N derivative with 2360 CI displacement). Only the last 56 aircraft received the much more powerful (1,330hp) M-82 (Wright Cyclone 14 derivative with 2,520 CID). Anyway - the most difficult task will be choosing camo schemes from these 50+ options. Cheers Michael
  6. Thank you! This is not the first time someone persuades me to some wash. But to be honest I have never used any wash and I have no idea how to do it. Anyway - someday I'll have to try... Cheers Michael
  7. I think each country has its own unit nomenclature, based mostly on history. In Poland Pułk (regiment) is the same for infantry, armoured and cavalry units Batalion (single "t" in Polish) is the same for infantry, armoured and cavalry units Kompania (company) in infantry and armoured units = Szwadron (squadron) in cavalry units Pluton (platoon) is the same for infantry, armoured and cavalry units Cheers Michael
  8. I know they're disgustingly plain - no shields on the M2, no side-mounted M60s, and this boring OD overall. But they were first! After seeing several photos and a lot of built models, a few questions arose - maybe naive/stupid for AFV experts, but I'm still an "aviation man" anyway. The first is the US Army serial number: what it should look like. You can find there several systems, 6-, 7- and 8-digit - e.g. 12FB08, 126A320, 12B27469. Are they all correct? What was the principle and application sequence? The second is the unit markings on the rear fenders - the right fender is self-explanatory: the C 32 stands for the C-Company 32nd vehicle. But on the left you can find both the 4 II CAV and the II 4 CAV. Which one is correct? And question No 3 - should I limit my search to the 4th Cavalry, the 5th Infantry and the 16th Armor, or were the "unshielded" M113 and M113A1 APCs also used by other US units in Vietnam? Cheers Michael
  9. Thank you! I just tried to follow the original procedure - these tanks didn't leave the factory painted white. Even in winter :) But honestly, the blanket isn't white - a pale grey is enough to simulate snow. I also use beige for a sand environment and khaki as a grassy background. Cheers Michael
  10. Thus it seems that Trumpeter has grossly oversized this engine. The full-size BR52 with rigid-frame 4T30 tender (as seen in your pictures) was exactly 22,830mm long, which at 1:35 should be just 652mm. With the twin-bogie 2'2'T30 "Badewannentender" the O/L was 22,975mm (early tender, with 1800mm bogie wheelbase) or 23,430mm (late-war version, with 2000mm bogie w/b). The "Kondenslok" variant BR52 19-20 with the 2'2'T13,5Ko tender was 25,875mm long, while the BR52 18-90 with the 5-axis 3'2'T16Ko tender was the longest BR52 ever, measuring 27,535mm. But even that one at 1:35 should be just 787mm - it's still quite a lot to 85cm. Mind that 85 cm in 1:35 is 29,750mm real size, and the turntables in BR engine houses were only 30,000m in diameter. Cheers Michael
  11. I tried a human hair some time ago - unfortunately you can't get the desired shape (curvature). It's too weak. Cat whiskers (vibrissae) could be better, but it's you - not me - who have the cats home Cheers Michael
  12. We all know that the first tanks built in hundreds and the first ones used in combat were the British ones. But we must also all agree that it was the French Renault FT - the first with a gun placed in a rotating turret on the top of the hull - that became the progenitor of all later tanks, both the T-34 and the Patton. The Renault FT, spread all over the world (used even in Japan and Brazil, manufactured in Italy and Soviet Russia), was used still during WW2 in the numbers exceeding 2,000. But it was not the most numerous tank of the interwar period. For that was - almost forgotten in its original form - British Vickers E. Designed by Carden and Loyd in 1928, it did not attract the interest of the British army - the 150 vehicles built were sold to Finland, Turkey, Thailand, China, Poland and Soviet Russia. The last two of these countries also acquired a manufacturing licence - in Poland, 130 diesel-engined 7TP tanks were built, but the Russians built as many as 11,370 (named T-26) with original petrol engine. No British tank - before or after - has spread around the world in such numbers. Like the Vickers and the Polish 7TP, the T-26 was initially produced with twin turrets. However, the operational experience of all users around the world showed a decisive advantage of single-turret tanks, so from 1933 all T-26s (9,740 units) were built with single turret. Crewed by 3 and armed with a 45mm cannon and 1 MG, the single-turret T-26 m.1933 weighed 9 tons. It was powered by the 90hp inline 4-cylinder Siddeley engine. At this point, it is worth dealing with the urban legend that this engine was a 4-cylinder version of the Siddeley Puma from the DH.9 bomber. The “aviation” Puma cylinder dimensions were 145x190mm, and the tank ones - 120x146mm. In addition, the tank engine was twice as heavy. So Siddeley - yes, but Puma - definitely not. The Polish 2002-tool Mirage kit (debuting as 7TP, then Vickers and T-26) is the best Braille scale “Vickers-E family” kit on the market. Not less than 21 boxings are available and #72609 I used contains 198 styrene parts and two vinyl tracks. If they were of link and length type, the number of parts would easily exceed 220. In a package some 63mm long – a massacre! The model was made OOB except for drilling the exhaust pipe. Only the vinyl tracks had to be shortened by 6mm each. I was tempted to build the T-26 from the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. At that time, they accounted for more than half of the 4,700 tanks thrown by Stalin (and 2,700 by Hitler) against 900 fielded by Poland ... But - perhaps due to the danger of being misidentified with almost identical (but camouflaged) Polish Vickers’ and 7TPs - Soviet T-26s in 1939 were in boring 4BO green overall. The 6K chestnut brown blotches did not appear on them until 1941. Despite huge losses during Operation Barbarossa, hundreds of T-26s continued to fight the Germans in 1942 in the Caucasus and near Stalingrad. The last combat use of the Soviet T-26s was the 1945 operation August Storm in Manchuria. My model shows a tank from an unidentified unit that fought in January 1943 near Voronezh (midway between Moscow and Stalingrad). It has a two-color (4BO + 6K) camouflage with white areas of temporary winter camo. The paints are (as always) Humbrol enamels: 86 for the pre-1941 4BO, 186 for the 6K and 130 for the temporary whitewash - painted with Italeri brushes. Finally the Vallejo acrylic matt varnish was brush-applied overall. The photos are taken with an LG smartphone. Comments are welcome Cheers Michael
  13. Here you are https://docer.tips/151-samolot-mysliwski-republic-p-35.html Page 2 of 32 Cheers Michael
  14. The short-barrel (28 calibres) 152mm howitzer was the most powerful gun used by the Soviet army during WW2. Due to the separate loading it’s only drawback was a low rate of fire, only in the case of an experienced and perfectly harmonized crew, reaching 3 rounds per minute. In 1942, its self-propelled version was created on the KV heavy tank chassis. 670 such SU-152 SPHs were built. Used both as self-propelled artillery, assault gun, and (sporadically but with excellent results) tank destroyer, they earned the nickname Zvyeroboi among their crews, which in Russian means both Deerslayer and Goatweed (poisonous for cattle, thus killing some animals). It is not known which of these meanings was behind the nickname, although modern Russian self-propelled howitzers bear the names of flowers (Carnation and Hyacinth) as their official designation. There is no doubt, however, as to the origin of the German nickname (Dosenoeffner = can opener). A direct hit from the SU-152 torn huge holes (usually one on each side) in every German tank. When the obsolete KV gave way to the newer IS heavy tank on the production line in the autumn of 1943, it was only a matter of weeks for the SU-152 to go similar way. The vehicle on the new chassis (and with a new casemate) was named ISU-152. In December 1943, the first ISUs entered the units, and by the end of 1945 over 2,820 (plus 1,740 almost identical ISU-122 assault guns with the 122mm gun, recognizable only by their longer barrel) were produced. In the Soviet, Polish and Czech units, these new Zvyerobois (nickname stuck) reached Berlin. Then the ISUs took part in the conquest of Manchuria, in the wars in Korea, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. They are said to serve in the North Korean army to this day. Crewed by five and powered by the 520hp Kharkiv (nee Hispano Suiza) V12 diesel engine the vehicle weighed roughly 46 tons. Armament consisted of the 152mm howitzer mentioned above and a 12.7mm MG mounted externally. The 2013-tool Zvezda kit #5026 is probably the best Braille-scale ISU-152 on the market. There are 118 styrene parts (roughly half of them are common with the companion IS-2 kit #5011) on 2 sprues and two quasi-pliable (though not soft vinyl) tracks in the box. Great care must be taken when installing these tracks - Zvezda designed them in such a way that 3 of the guide horns have been significantly lengthened, and through the holes in them you should squeeze the axes of the return rollers. The hint is that these rollers are spaced ALMOST identically - the distance between the front and middle is 25mm, and between the middle and rear - 24mm. Attempting to install the tracks in the opposite direction may be successful, but the shape of the upper track section will be at least bizarre. As all the Soviet WW2 tanks in my collection are from the European battlefields , I decided to build the ISU as the conqueror of Manchuria. It is hard to find a reason why 200 ISU-152s (along with 1,200 smaller SU-100s) were delegated to the August Storm operation - against Japanese tanks and bunkers, even the tiny SU-76 would suffice. Nevertheless, their presence in Manchuria is documented by many photos, and 70 vehicles, which survived in the occupation forces until 1955, were handed over to the Chinese. It sports the standard camouflage of the 4BO Protective Green overall with 60cm wide white band along the casemate top. On the prototype it was applied in the field without any masking tape, thus I followed this way in 1/72 too. The paints are (as always) Humbrol enamels: 117 for the 1944-49 period 4BO and 130 for white - painted with Italeri brushes. The decals (each digit applied separately) are courtesy of my drawer - some 1/400 British submarine IIRC. Afterwards the Vallejo acrylic matt varnish was brush-applied overall too. The model was made OOB except for drilling the exhaust stubs and correcting the only obvious error - the bin on the casemate right wall was placed too high, so I moved it down according to the photos. The antenna made of 0.3 mm Aber steel wire appears thick in the photo, but be aware that the image on the 15” screen is about twice the size of an actual 1/72 model. The photos are taken with an LG smartphone. Comments are welcome. Cheers Michael
  15. Thank you - I understand that all AMX-PRI (weighing mere 15 tons and fitted with rubber track shoes) were RDW registered. And that there is no key matching the RDW plates with tactical numbers, that is, since KN 09-50 is 171 024, it cannot be expected that KN 09-51 is 171 025. The question remains, however, about vehicles without tactical numbers - many such photos are known. Could it be that the RDW plates were the only method of identifying a particular AMX-PRI? Was it the practice of the NL army in the 1960s or was it an intervention of censorship? Cheers Michael
  16. The Dutch were the largest (second only to France) export user of the AMX-VTT APC. Almost 600 of them were used in the Netherlands, usually called AMX-PRI. Are any indexes available to match their road registration (licence) plates with the 6-character tactical numbers seen on the front apron (3 left+3 right) and the rear hull doors? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AMX_Pantserrups_Infanterie,_Nationaal_Militair_Museum,_Soesterberg_pic2.JPG Some of the preserved vehicles found on the web are: 171 024 (KN 09-50) 42-1 B32 (KN 64-66) A14 411 (KN 70-07) However, there are also other photos, which show only the yellow (car-like) plates, e.g. KN 64-94, KN 65-50, KN 67-87, KN 67-91, KN 68-55, a.s.o. Why don't these vehicles have these little white tactical numbers? Was this a practice of the NL army from some earlier period or was it an intervention of a censor? Any help will be appreciated Cheers Michael
  17. Looking like a (severely) scaled down T-34, the T-70 was the last REALLY light (i.e. weighting less than 10 tons) tank until the appearance of the British Scorpion and Scimitar 30 years later. Its contemporary US M24 Chaffee (18 tons, 5 crew, 290hp) dwarfed the T-70 in all respects two to one. Being the last small tank (crewed by 2, like a tankette) it was also the most numerous – 8,230 were manufactured in 1942-43. The T-70 hull (with an additional pair of road wheels) extended by 70cm was used in the SU-76 infantry support SPG/tank destroyer. Almost 15,000 of these open-top vehicles were built, making them the 2nd (after the ubiquitous T-34) Soviet tracked AFV of the WW2. The main and the only mass-produced variant, the T-70M (officially only the first short series from 1942 was called T-70) was powered by two 70hp GAZ (nee Dodge) inline six-cylinder engines. Armed with a 45 mm gun and a 7.6 mm MG, this variant weighed a bit less than 10 tons. The 2002-tool Unimodels kit is the only injected kit of the T-70 in Braille scale. The #306 boxing contains 110 styrene parts and a PE fret with 17 details. Among them there were six identical hoisting eyelets, while in a real tank they should be in two sizes. So I left the kit-supplied tiny ones for the engine hatch (1) and the main gun mantlet (2), replacing the other three (for hoisting the turret) with much beefier plastic ones from my spare box. Otherwise, the model was made OOB except for drilling the cannon muzzle and exhaust stubs. Although the instruction manual shows only 3 painting schemes, the decals are provided for six. After a short search, I identified the tank sporting the red „275” on the turret. It belonged to the 1st Guards Mechanized Corps, which took part in Operation Little Saturn (closing the Stalingrad encirclement) near Mikhaylovka (200 km west of Stalingrad) in December 1942. The paints are (as always) Humbrol enamels: 226 for the 1941-43 period 4BO and 34 for the temporary whitewash - painted with Italeri brushes. Finally the Vallejo acrylic matt varnish was brush-applied overall. The photos are taken with an LG smartphone. Comments are welcome
  18. Like the lozenge-shaped "landship" for the Britons 20 years earlier, the KV-1 was the Russians’ first indigenous heavy tank, manufactured in the thousands. The chuckle of history is the fact that in a supposedly perfectly bureaucratic and police state like Soviet Russia, the KV has even existed. When in 1938 the Russians decided to create a successor to the ill-fated 5-turret T-35 (60 built), two Leningrad factories built prototypes of two-turret tanks. Kotin's prototype was named SMK, and Barykov's prototype - T-100. Each of them, with a hull length of almost 9 m, weighed 55 tons. And here something unimaginable in Soviet conditions appears – a private venture. Kotin built a second prototype, shortening the SMK by 2 meters and removing the lower (forward) turret with a 45mm gun. And during trials in a real war with Finland in December 1939, this smaller and - despite thicker armour - 10 tons lighter single-turret tank turned out to be better than both twin-turret mastodons. It’s armour was invulnerable for any tank gun in the world. Immediately put into production, it became the first "modern" heavy tank, a year ahead of Churchill, two years ahead of Tiger and 4 years ahead of Pershing. KV are the initials of Kliment Voroshilov - the then Soviet defence minister, after his defeat in the war with Finland... promoted to the prime minister of the USSR. The KV tank was produced until 1943 in four basic versions: 3,260 KV-1 with a 76mm gun 200 KV-2 with a 152mm howitzer 1,120 KV-1S with a new, lower turret and weight reduced by 6 tons 150 KV-85, i.e. the KV-1S with an 85mm gun The designations KV-1A, -1B, -1C, repeated after the German war publications, do not make sense, because the Russian alphabet has a different order of letters (a, b, v, g, e ...). These subsequent variants, differing only in the turret technology and shape, were distinguished in Russia as the 1940, 1941 and 1942 models. The best KVs in Braille scale are Trumpeter kits, introduced in 2007. Mine, built from box #7231, presents the most numerous variant - m.42 (called KV-1C by the Germans), weighing 47 tons. Crewed by 5 men, the m.42 was armed with a 76mm gun and two 7.6mm MGs. It was powered by the 600hp Kharkiv (nee Hispano-Suiza) diesel V-12 engine (the same as in the 20 tons lighter T-34). The set includes 73 styrene parts, two vinyl tracks and 4 towing ropes - after choosing the right eyelet pattern, the second pair is left in the drawer. I wanted it in an improvised winter paint, typical for the Kalinin-Rzhev area (200 km west of Moscow) in February 1943. Such a kit is offered by Trumpeter in 1:35 and by Hobby Boss in 1:48 - unfortunately, in 1: 72 I had to deal with myself. First of all, the photos showed that these KVs were equipped with additional fuel tanks - the spares from the Unimodels T-34 kit fit perfectly. Second, the Chinese misinterpreted the white and olive green areas on the sides and rear of the tank. The list of changes was closed with the drilling of the gun barrel and exhaust pipes. The paints are (as always) Humbrol enamels: 226 for the 1941-43 period 4BO and 34 for the temporary whitewash - painted with Italeri brushes. The yellow tactical number is somewhat retouched serial number from some USAAF fighter, probably a P-39 or P-47. Afterwards the Vallejo acrylic matt varnish was brush-applied overall. The antenna made of 0.3 mm Aber steel wire appears thick in the photo, but be aware that the image on the 15” screen is about twice the size of an actual 1/72 model. The photos are taken with an LG smartphone. Comments are welcome Cheers Michael
  19. In August 1920, the many times smaller Polish army stopped the procession of Red Army hordes, implementing the Leninist idea of restoring the European borders of 1914, establishing a “red” republic in Germany, and then jointly with Germany liberating the nations of France, Spain and Portugal from the “oppression of international capital”. How did this happen? Well, the huge armies of Tukhachevsky and Budyonny had only infantry, artillery and cavalry - Poland also had tanks. Established in France in 1918, the Polish army brought home (by rail) 120 Renault FT tanks, making it the "number 4" armoured force in the world in 1919 - after Britain, France and the USA. Stalin remembered this painful lesson perfectly well, and in 1930 he launched a gigantic program of "armouring" the Soviet army. When he and Hitler struck Poland in 1939, he launched 4,700 tanks into battle. Germany - next 2,700. Poland had only 900. This advantage, however, does not reflect the scale of Stalin's determination success - in 1939 his army owned 60% of the world's tanks. Despite trials with several types of multi-turret heavy tanks, 98% of the Soviet armoured forces were light tanks, divided - following the British pattern - into infantry tanks, cavalry tanks and tankettes. They were all licensed products - be it Vickers (T-26 and T-37), Carden Loyd (T-27), or Christie (BT). Walter Christie created his wheeled-tracked tank in the USA in order to be able to deliver it to the war zone with a wheel throw (during the tests it reached a speed of over 100mph/160kph), which significantly extended the life of the tracks and the entire undercarriage. Stalin was different - in his visions, thousands of wheeled BTs raced along the highways of Germany, and then along the tarmac roads of France and Benelux, “bringing freedom” to the workers and peasants masses of oppressed Europe. Without asking if they want it or not. And so on to the Atlantic coast. Christie sold the license for his - unwanted by the US military - tank to the British (A13 Cruiser) and the Russians. The latter produced 620 BT-2s with a 37mm gun, and then 1,880 BT-5s with a 45mm gun. The 1935 BT-7 got a new 400hp M-17T (nee BMW) V12 engine. With a crew of 3 men, a 45mm cannon and two 7.6mm machine guns, it weighed just 14 tons, despite its dimensions being equal to the Matilda, Panzer III, Sherman and T-34. After 1,770 BT-7 m.35 there appeared 3,030 conical-turret BT-7-2 (m.37) and 790 diesel-engined BT-7M (m.40). The 2002-tool Unimodels kits are the best Braille-scale BTs on the market. I used the #311 boxing, including 107 styrene parts and a PE fret of 7 details. The prototype for my model was one of several hundred BT-7s used by the Russians to invade Iran in August 1941, which ended with the dethronement of Reza Shah. Like the BT used in the attack on Poland in 1939, it wears an interesting camouflage consisting of 7K Yellow Ochre and 6RP Black Green stripes over the standard 4BO Protective Green. Paints are (as always) Humbrol enamels: 86 for the pre-1940 4BO, 243 for the 6RP and 83 for the 7K - painted with Italeri brushes. Afterwards the Vallejo acrylic matt varnish was brush-applied overall. The model was made OOB except for drilling the cannon muzzle and exhaust stubs. The photos are taken with an LG smartphone. Comments are welcome Cheers Michael
  20. Although my case was not the Hase B-47 (which I have had in stash for at least 15 years), but I have to express my great "thank you" for making me aware of the Marktplaats classifieds site, I have never used (or even known) it before, when hunting for obsolete kits all over the world. So - just for trial - I entered "Dragon 1/72 Leopard 2" and ... three offers appeared in a few seconds. And not for 25 GBP as on Ebay or 40 EUR as on Polish Allegro site. My friend's sister living in Utrecht, followed by a link from me, bought one of them (same city, only 20 minutes walk) for ... 10 EUR. In 2 weeks I got this wonderful set in immaculate condition (sealed box, never opened ) as a Christmas gift. The whole operation cost me 21 EUR Thank you Rob again for introducing the Marktplaats to my mind Cheers Michael
  21. Was the „Infantry Tank Mk.III” Valentine really funny? Well - being an infantry (i.e. sluggish due to the heavy armour) tank that evolved straight from the ill-fated Mk.I and Mk.II Cruisers (crewed by 5 or even 6 men) it should be neither fish nor fowl. But despite this weird ancestry, it has become the most numerous British tank in history, surpassing not only the WW1 landships and the cold war era Centurion, but also all such-well-known WW2 designs like Crusader, Cromwell and Churchill. It was the 3rd incarnation (after the A9 and A10 cruisers, 300 built) of the same vehicle lower part (including the engine, transmission, drivetrain, steering, tracks, and roadwheels). Of the 8,275 Valentines built (6,855 in Britain and 1,420 in Canada), almost half (~3,800) were delivered on Lend-Lease terms to Soviet Russia. The most popular variant (1,500+) was the Mk.II. Crewed by 3 men, it was powered by a 130hp AEC inline six-cylinder diesel engine. Armed with a 40 mm gun and a 7.9 mm Besa MG, this variant weighed about 16 tons. The ancient (1976) ESCI kit, facelifted with link-and-lenght tracks by Italeri in 2003, is still the best Braille scale Valentine on the market. Containing 118 styrene parts, it's the early variant with a 2-pdr gun and a turret crew of two, making it suitable for the build of the Mk.I, II, IV, VI and VII. The biggest challenge was to find the 1943-style painting scheme for it, as my MTO tank collection still lacked the Desert Pink vehicle. Anyway, thanks to @Mike Starmer, I have a confirmed example of the Desert Pink/Dark Olive Green Valentine from A Squadron, 50th Royal Tank Regiment, 23rd Armoured Brigade that fought at Mareth Line, Tunisia in March 1943. Thus, after the SCC2 Churchill, Portland Stone/Dark Slate Matilda, Light Stone/Silver Grey Grant and Light Stone/Charcoal Crusader, now I have a full set of British desert colours in my Braille scale AFV cabinet. Fortunately, there was no PE fret to fight. Here, the biggest problem was the decals that had to be assembled from scratch. From the "6" of 86 and "7" of 71 (Mirage Grant sheet) the Arm of Service "67" red plates were made on the front and rear apron offsides. Then came the WD serial number on the turret, composed of numbers from the WGB-DEC-28 sheet by Warlord Games. Each digit is 1 mm high and 0.5 mm wide. The distance between them (as printed) is 0.1mm and - of course - the T27666 was not ready for use. Massacre... The blue triangles (50th RTR was a junior regiment) on the turret are also from Mirage Grant. The individual tank number "1" in the center of the triangle is simply one side of the companion diamond. The REDOUBTABLE name was created using… single letters from the "name shield" of the Tamiya P-47D kit. Later, hand-painting a cormorant of the 23rd Brigade (fortunately the 50th RTR in Tunisia used a simplified, almost pictographic form) on white square shields attached to the front and rear apron nearsides turned out to be as easy as walking through the park. The Italeri Matilda sheet contained 8 such white squares of the appropriate size. You just had to paint 8 black birds and choose the best two of them. The antenna made of 0.3 mm Aber steel wire appears thick in the photo, but be aware that the picture on the 15" screen is about twice the size of an actual 1/72 model. The photos are taken with an LG smartphone. More photos can be found in the WIP thread within the 2020 "WW2 MTO Part 3" Group Build Comments are welcome Cheers Michael
  22. What's wrong with the cylinders? 12? 16? 10? IIRC (I built it 50 years ago) there was a decent 14-cylinder radial, only the diameter was way too small. Cheers Michael
  23. Based on the Christie layout (like the Russian BT and T-34), the Nuffield-designed (yes, the one of the Morris Minor fame) A15 Crusader was one of four British WW2 tanks manufactured in a series of over 5,000 vehicles (the other trio were Valentine, Churchill and Cromwell). Although slower than the BT (and even the boxy US M3 Stuart), it was the best British cruiser tank until Cromwell came out. Also for the Polish armoured forces in Britain it was the most numerous (almost 400) British tank, second only to the American M4 Sherman. So it is not surprising (at least for me) that the Polish IBG set is considered to be the best Braille-scale Crusader on the market. The one I built is the Mk.II boxing (72067) released in 2020. Unfortunately the painting schemes provided are boring "plain Jane” vehicles (either Light Stone or Olive Green), so I had to dig deeper to find something with my favourite Charcoal over Light Stone camouflage. And finally I ran into the T45127 of A Squadron, 9th Queen's Royal Lancers, 1st Armoured Division that fought near Benghazi (Libya) in November 1942. Of the 5,800 Crusaders built (including 350 OPs, 500 AAs and 600 gun tractors), the most popular variant (2,400+) was the Mk.II. Crewed by 4 men, it was powered by a WW1 vintage 340hp Liberty V12 engine. Armed with a 40 mm gun and a 7.9 mm Besa MG, this variant weighed about 20 tons. In the large box there are only 62 crisply moulded styrene pieces and two PE frets, containing no less than 23 details, among which there are whole side skirt assemblies. I really don't understand why the IBG guys decided to make the Crusader side skirts as PE details while all the other manufacturers are happy with the injected styrene. Honestly, I don't like the PE details, whether it's a 0.2mm dia headlight guard or an 80mm long side skirt which needs to be made of six PE pieces and then folded into eight or nine (it really doesn't matter) angled surfaces. Nevertheless, alea iacta est and I had to face this enemy. After two long winter evenings of this deadly fight, the skirts looked acceptable - at least to me. However - if I ever have to build another 1:72 Crusader Mk.II - I will pay attention to the Chinese S-Model quickbuild kit. Then came the painting session - you won't believe it, but the Crusader in my photos was painted with Humbrol 169 Yellow Facing as BS.61 Light Stone and Humbrol 189 Insignia Blue as SCC.14 Charcoal. The Humbrol 20 Crimson is barely readable in the lower half of the nearside headlamp. And finally the decals came out. The WD serial number is (almost) OOB – using digits from T15779 and T45128, blue triangle is from Dragon Churchill, fender emblems (1st AD rhino on the nearsides and white 67 on red square offsides) from Mirage Grant, blue “2” in the triangle centre from Mirage Stuart and 31” RAF A2 roundel from Techmod Hurricane set. Both antennas are made of 0.3 mm Aber steel wire. They appear thick in the photo, but remember that the image on the 15” screen is about 200-250 percent the size of an actual 1/72 model. Finally, Vallejo's matt acrylic varnish was applied with a brush. The photos are taken with an LG smartphone. More photos can be found in the WIP thread within the 2020 "WW2 MTO Part 3" GB Comments are welcome Cheers Michael
  24. Impenetrable for the 1939-41 enemy tank guns A12 Matilda was the only British tank in service from the first (September 3, 1939) to the last (September 2, 1945) day of WW2. On the other hand, it was the only one of the six most numerous British WW2 tanks (the other five are: Valentine, Churchill, Crusader, Cromwell and Covenanter) not used by the Polish Armed Forces - neither in Great Britain, Africa, Italy nor in the 1944-45 battles in France, the Low Countries and northern Germany. Honestly, I haven't been able to confirm the definitive production numbers and WD serials of the Matilda variants. There were 7 of them (not counting the Scorpion, CDL and Frog modifications) and all sources indicate the Mk.IV as the most common (500+). However, the same sources put the number of the AEC-engined Mk.I and Mk.II as "below 300", of the close support Mk.IIICS and Mk.IVCS as "under 200" and the final Mk.V as "less than 200". This leaves at least 1,500 (if not 1,900) of the 2,990 Matildas built for the Mk.III. Where is the truth? Crewed by 4 men, the Matilda Mk.III was powered by two 95hp Leyland inline six-cylinder engines. Armed with a 40 mm gun and a 7.9 mm Besa MG, this variant weighed roughly 26 tons. The kit I used actually origins from the Italeri 6118 set called "Battle of Arras 1940". It is said that despite its age (1976 tool) it is still the best Braille-scale Matilda kit on the market, much better than the Fujimi (1972) and Airfix (1973) tools - BTW both at 1:76. Although seriously unsuited to the 1940 French campaign scenes (the AEC-engined Mk.I had a completely different exhaust and the venerable Vickers MG instead of Besa, introduced with the Mk.II), it fits perfectly with the desert war period. The kit consists of 120 styrene parts and two continuous vinyl tracks. It was built almost OOB, i.e. only a few modifications were made mainly on small details. According to data obtained from @Mike Starmer, not all Matildas fighting in the Western Desert wore the Portland Stone/Silver Gray/Dark Slate camouflage. Sometimes the Light Stone was used as the brightest tone in the Caunter pattern, while some tanks that arrived from the UK in the plain G3 Khaki (i.e. no Dark Green or Tarmac added) could keep the G3 (in lieu of Dark Slate to save time and money) as a dark disrupter. There are no colour photos available, so you can only analyze the contrast between light and dark areas against the ubiquitous Silver Grey centre. The one I needed (featuring Portland Stone and Dark Slate) should be the most contrasting, so my choice fell on the T7411 of the 7th Royal Tank Regiment, 32nd Army Armoured Brigade, 8th Army, taking part in Operation Crusader near Tobruk (Libya) in November 1941. Thanks to the large stock of Humbrol enamels, I decided to paint the Caunter diagram with colours straight from the can. Silver Grey BS.28 was made from Humbrol 240, for Dark Slate BS.34 I used Humbrol 224 and Portland Stone BS.64 in these photos is Humbrol 95. Enamels were applied (as usual) with Italeri brushes. Fortunately, there was no need to fight any PE fret. So the biggest problem was the decals that had to be assembled from scratch. The white, red and white rectangles on the tower are from Italeri Valentine. The larger ones on the fenders are from IBG Crusader. The tank individual name GNAT was made up of single letters from the WGB-DEC-30 sheet by Warlord Games. There are 40 names of British tanks on it - Buncrana, Virgin and Valiant were cannibalized for the production of GNAT (12 letters were used because four of them were damaged during the operation). Then came the WD serial number, also composed of the numbers from the accompanying WGB-DEC-28 sheet. Each digit is 1 mm high and 0.5 mm wide. The distance between them (as printed) is 0.1mm and - of course - the T7411 was not ready for use. Again, 12 items had to be used to get the effect you see in the photos. Finally, Vallejo matt acrylic varnish was applied with a brush. The antenna made of Aber 0.3mm steel wire appears thick in the photo, but remember that on the 15" screen the picture is about 200-220 percent the size of an actual 1/72 model. The photos are taken with an LG smartphone. More photos can be found in the WIP thread within the 2020 "WW2 MTO Part 3" GB Comments are welcome Cheers Michael
  25. Great set! It is a rare pleasure to meet someone else who has gasoline running through their veins and it’s fantastic to meet someone else still painting the 1/72 models with brush. Let the old ways never die Cheers Michael
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