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JerryS

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About JerryS

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  1. Day job-itis over the last few days. Quick update after breathing new life into the HP1 - still slightly dark, but covering and flowing better. Progress: Maybe get the running gear on over the weekend and it's downhill from then on! Thanks for looking Jerry
  2. Thought it was about time I took the plunge and joined a Group Build. My subject is a Panzer IV L70 (v) the long-barrelled, L/70 75 mm upgrade to the Jagd Panzer IV "Guderian's Duck". This is the Matchbox 1/76 kit from the '70s - I already have two of these, one L/70, the other converted to a Jagd Panzer IV with the L/48 gun and slightly different skirts. One of the kit options is for a vehicle of the 228 Panzerjaeger Abteilung of 116 Panzer Division, AKA "Der Windhund" or Greyhound. This unit was re-equiped during September and October 1944 while based around Dusseldorf. In November 1944, the Division seized the city of Schmidt from the US 28th Infantry Division in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. In December 1944 the Division was involved in the Ardennes campaign. By March 1945, they were trapped in the Wessel pocket and managed to withdraw over the Rhine. On 18 April 1945 the Division surrendered to the US 9th Army. The model will represent a unit of the 228 PzJg Abt in Western Germany in late 1944 in the three-colour "ambush" scheme. It will be built largely OOB, with a few minor modifications / additions to rectify some more obvious errors: mainly the skirts, which need slight modification and the tools on the rear-deck, which are hopelessly out of scale and will be replaced or disguised with "stuff". The parts are moulded in two shades of grey, as you expect from Matchbox: and: Apologies for the quality of the photos, I have not mastered the camera I am using to get better photos than my phone - that worked, not! The tracks are the usual poly mouldings that were considered good in their day, especially when compared to the "plastic-eaters" that came with contemporary Airfix. These days they can probably be replaced with better after-market and I will be investigating the options as I have found on my earlier kits that they are slightly too long when joined as instructed and need to be adjusted to fit. Started by constructing the hull, which goes together reasonably well with a bit of filing to get a good dry fit. I needed to peg the front of the hull to reduce the need to fill around the nose plates. This picture also shows the modifications required to the side-skirts: the front and rear ends are angled in, presumably to prevent charges getting between the skirts and the hull. The I slapped some Humbrol HP1 German Overall Sand on, as you do: Humbrol enamel paint does funny things after nearly thirty years sitting in a tin: it is drying several shades browner than the original and is so thick I would be better served with a palette knife than a hairy stick. Oh well, it will act as a primer. Off to my LMS to get something more acceptable. It does show up the gap in the rear deck join that will need to be filled. That's all for now, further updates to follow. Jerry
  3. They are great little kits, I've just finished a Stuart ready for painting. Very simple, sturdy kits of interesting subjects that are remarkably accurate and well detailed. I'm glad that Revell are still producing them. I shall watch this with interest - your skill eclipses mine just on the strength of the base! Regards Jerry
  4. Speedman, nice looking build. Is the ESCI Sherman the same one that was marketed many moons ago by Humbrol? My version was spoilt by a warped hull and spent many years on the shelf of doom. I am attempting something similar with an Airfix M3 and Nitto M4A1in 1/76, but have hit some serious issues that will limit the accuracy of the final model. I shall follow this build with interest. Regards Jerry
  5. Graham: checked out Abe Books. Surprisingly, Amazon is significantly cheaper (by a factor of x10!). Will probably order at end of month. I promised further updates and some photos: To start with, this shows the difference in height between Airfix (top) and Nitto (bottom) - quite significant. I am not totally convinced that the Airfix unit is the right height as the angles look as if the volutes are in the "unloaded" position - face not too bothered. Next, the lower hull with additional - soon to be totally hidden - interior detail ready for painting: The crew supplied with the Nitto kit look suspiciously like Airfix WW2 American Marines / British Paras that have got too close to a very hot thing: Replacement is in order, if only to get something approaching the correct uniform. Enter Claude, ex-Matchbox M3 Stuart, I believe and legless after a night misspent with several ice-colds in Alex: I have continued to assemble the Airfix running gear, which is definitely showing its age with what we shall politely refer to as "muted" detail. However, Claude has now recovered from his overhang, found his legs and is busy inspecting his new chariot: That's all for now, once again, apologies for the photo quality and if they are too large - please let me know. Regards Jerry
  6. Graham: I will try Abe Books, I have used them before and they are very good and competitive, thank you. Bodmin: yes. this is terrible running gear. I built another Nitto Sherman (same gear) and had to glue the wheels because they would not stay put otherwise, and it didn't look right when done - now I know why. I have decided to use this build as a test bed for various techniques, as I have come to the conclusion that to achieve 100% accurracy requires more skill than I possess - to quote a cinematic hero "a man has to know his limitations". Besides, time is too short to put lipstick on this pig when Milicast do a very acceptable alternative for a reasonable price that will introduce me to the world of resin. So, to summarise the current position: The lower hull is coming together (complete with what will be a hidden interior) - photos to follow. The turret is ready for internal painting before final assembly - photos to follow The upper hull is a dog's dinner - incorrect profile, incorrect edge radii, front and rear track guards over-scale, and on it goes. I shall attempt to rectify this to some degree using filler and filing - we'll see. Track guards will be replaced with constructs from drinks can (for the practice) and inaccuracies can hopefully be disguised with suitable quantities of stores/bedding/boxes etc. I am away for the weekend so no updates after today until next week. We will keep on keeping on. Jerry
  7. Graham Once again, many thanks for your comments. I've pretty much convinced myself that the only way to find out is to "suck it and see". I've got two King Tigers and several KVs that have tracks that have perished to the point they shatter if I breathe on them. Nitto is the worst culprit, both for deterioration and poor quality. At least they don't melt the plastic, like the old Airfix tracks that needed several coats of varnish for protection. I have been looking at OKB Grigorov tracks and will give them a test-whirl soon for one of the KVs, I'll keep you posted. Regards Jerry
  8. Graham Thank you for your comments and all your information - very helpful and providing much food for thought. This hobby has really evolved since `i was last active. Breaking news on the Alamein Sherman front is that I have been focusing on the turret assembly while I mull over the hull question. I have also been "populating" the interior, most of which won't be seen again once the hull is closed up, but I will know it is there and I need the practice. Basically, on the "because it's there" principle. Photos and further update to follow. Jerry
  9. Graham Thank you for the references, found both on Amazon and only need a fairly small extra mortgage to purchase. Added to wish list, though. Maybe one a month when SWMBO isn't looking. Jerry
  10. Hmmm! I thought the hull looked a little strange. Graham is right, it is slightly squashed at the front and has a distinct knuckle in profile just behind the turret. Purists and those of a delicate disposition, look away! This is going to get ugly. The thing about cast hulls is that drawings tend to be a little unhelpful (if you have any, that is). A reference structure is much more beneficial. It just so happens that I have a 1/72 Humbrol M4A1 with a cast hull lying around doing very little. Patience, Grasshopper. Patience. To be continued following deliberations..... Jerry
  11. Graham, I would be very interested in the booklet reference, thank you. I thought of using the Matchbox Priest, as I have one in my stash, but decided on the Lee/Grant because I would probably never build it OOB. I have already picked up on a few areas where surgery may be required, we'll see whether "100% accuracy" or "good enough for folk" wins. I've already picked up on the tracks, thank you - the tracks in both kits will be retired, I am looking for after market replacements - any ideas?
  12. This is my first WiP, so apologies for layout, picture and build quality. I have always wanted an early production cast hull Sherman as used at El Alamein. Thought the Nitto M4A1 would do the trick, but the rather pathetic running gear was too obviously wrong. I decided to cannibalise an Airfix Lee/Grant from the stash to get the early running gear and front hull. I believe this is now called "kit bashing" - how the hobby has come along since I last built much. We start here: And here: These are the main reason for all this work: Crude or what? After a dry fit of the Airfix hull offered up to the Nitto body, a few judicious cuts were made to give this: Decided to keep the Airfix rear hull structure, which seems to be slightly "better" detailed: The Nitto road wheels are also being replaced as they appear to be nearer 1/87 than 1/76: Although I am inclined to use the Nitto Drive wheels. That's it for piccies this far and I apologise if they are too big - it has taken me four attempts to write this post, a steep learning curve. In parting for this post, both subject models leave a great deal to be desired by modern standards. The Airfix kit is '69 vintage and I remember the original releases being hailed as "state of the art", being crisply moulded and generally accurate, despite the horrendous attempt at the Grant turret. Not so my current subject: soft plastic lacking definition, a nasty case of ejector pin marks and definite softening of the moulds - hardly surprising for the age. The Nitto offering has a lovely hull and turret that is let down by under scale, crude running gear. In both cases the less said about the tracks, the better - standard issue post office rubber bands would probably be an improvement. I aim to get an update posted in a couple of days, so thanks for looking and see you soon. Jerry
  13. Sgt.Squarehead: many thanks for your reply and my apologies for the tardy reply - the day job has been very insistent of late! I will investigate the manufacturers you listed, it's amazing how much the hobby has changed since I was last involved. I notice that most after market accessories seem to be for 1/72. Most of my refurbs are 1/76 (I cut my teeth on Airfix), so I am wondering if 1/72 tracks for, say a KV1, can be used on a 1/76 model. How much difference is there at that scale?
  14. Good question, DC. It took me a while to find out, but I understand that "instructions" are those bits of paper you find in kits that tell you where all the parts left over at the end of your build are meant to go. I always thought that was a nice marketing gesture by the manufacturer to top up your bits box! My wife explained about "instructions" the last time I put some Ikea furniture together and just before our divorce. Jerry
  15. USA - P-47: any model, just a great big beautiful brute. GB - Mosquito: descendant of the Comet and s*x on wings. Germany - FW190A: a fighter's fighter Japan - Dinah: slippery Italy - MC202 Folgore: nuff said Loads of runners up: Tempest, Me110, Me 262, B25, Catalina
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