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Das Abteilung

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  1. Das Abteilung

    RMASG Centaur.

    I thought you might like this photo of a Centaur IV for sale on eBay (for £150, if you will!), apparently featured in a modelling magazine. We sometimes talk about over-weathering. These vehicles were ashore for only a fortnight or so and only got about 10 miles inland, probably travelling less than 30 miles in the process as most went into static positions. There is no way that one would have got into this sort of state of paint loss and rust runs in that sort of time or mileage. This is years of wear, and IMHO entirely and completely unrealistic.
  2. Das Abteilung

    How to make boot marks?

    Now why didn't I think of that! One of the old-style hard "ink" erasers might work well for boot scuffs. A soft rubber might be cut to shape to make bootprints. The stamps you buy in craft shops are a often a soft vinyl now. Which begs another thought. What about a stamp pad for making the prints? They come in several colours: I have a brown one I use for making paw prints on greeting cards (my dogs can't sign their own names yet!). Places like Hobbycraft have a wide range of stamps: they might even have bootprints.
  3. Das Abteilung

    Personal WW1 Group Build: MkIVs & Whippet

    I really need to get these 4 finished: they've been hanging around for a while. This one is the most complex with the camo. The other 3 are essentially painted except for details and stowage. I've done some washing and detail painting this afternoon since I posted the pictures. More pics tomorrow, maybe.
  4. Das Abteilung

    Personal WW1 Group Build: MkIVs & Whippet

    I hope you mean thumb up! Finger up can have an entirely different meaning here ................. It all starts out promising, then has a habit of going a bit wrong.
  5. Das Abteilung

    How to make boot marks?

    Indeed, high-traffic areas are likely to show paint wear - but that's a whole other topic for which there is an active thread on this very forum. But mud might well cover that: dust, not so much. Hobnailed boots would obviously do a lot of damage to paintwork and would also skid about a bit on smooth metal surfaces. British, Australian, Canadian and German general issue boots were nailed in different ways, US boots were not. Russian were flush-nailed leather soles AFAIK. British paratroop and Commando boots were rubber-soled. Australian jungle boots had metal "jungle cleats" for grip. Google will show you all this. If I were looking to represent hobnail damage I might consider trying this - which I've just thought of off the cuff, so it may be an epic fail. Try it on some scrap first. Get a model leg, drill some holes in the boot sole and insert some fine metal wire. File it down to a consistent length and work it gently on the surface. I like to prime my models in dark brown to represent armour plate, so wearing the top coat away will reveal it. More so if you use hairspray or a chipping medium.
  6. Das Abteilung

    Personal WW1 Group Build: MkIVs & Whippet

    This thread has been dormant for a while as I've been concentrating on the French WW1 pair. Now they're done it's time to pick it up again. All 4 have been base painted as shown above, but being in camouflage mode after the Frenchies I decided to have a go at the beutepanzer. Here of course we run into the colour debate. On another forum a member asked for Vallejo colour recommendations for German camo, buntfarbenanstich. This pre-supposes that we have something to match against, which we don't. The nearest matches are a few surviving WW1 helmets still in original paint, and all these show us is that the colours used varied wildly. As I've noted before in this thread, paints of that period were not codified and were not manufactured in the way we understand it. Companies and military stores held stocks of dry pigments, white lead and linseed or other oil and mixed up paint as needed, and it had to be used quickly as it didn't keep. So no-one really knows what they actually looked like. Also, there was no spray-painting in those days (not until mid-20's in the US, later in Europe) so there would be no soft-edged WW1 schemes as sometimes modeled. The helmet colours show that the brown ranged from chocolate to dull burgundy, the green ranged from grey-green to bottle green and that the yellow could be quite yellow. Interestingly, none of the surviving helmets show the very orangey brown depicted on the Takom box art and copied by many modelers. In their instructions they recommend WW2 rotbraun, which is not a bad middle-ground colour idea. I tried the Ammo MiG WW1 colors for brushing and abandoned them quickly. Their green is at the bottle green end, the brown is far too pale and the sand is too cream. Also they are hopeless for brushing: too thin and runny with poor coverage and odd surface tension. In the end I used the same Revell reddish-brown as on the French tanks, 36137. I'm thinking that the same pigments may have been used across Europe, as they were mostly earth and mineral pigments in those days. For the sandy colour I used Revell's Sandy Yellow 36116, which has a very yellow colour. For the green I ended up after trying several pots with Agama's R15M Uniform Dark Yellow Green. It's a Russian uniform colour apparently, but was close to one of the helmet greens. The Revell colours only really needed one coat with a bit of touch-up, but the Agama needed 2. I like Revell paints for brushing: while their range is quite small it is larger than Tamiya's. I find that Tamiya paints drag when you brush them. Base colour is sprayed Ammo MiG Stone Grey 075 oversprayed with AK Interactive French Artillery Grey 4052 for some tonal variation. But if I'd had any idea how difficult the decals would be I might not have done this scheme! The kit decals were too fragile. Some broke getting them off the backing, and trying to get them over the rivets just resulted in little broken pieces even with Micro Sol. Hmmm..... You can't place the crosses where they don't cross rivets. I had a Peddinghaus beutepanzer set, so I tried those. Better, but other problems. They need individual trimming as they're on a single film: not unusual. But their film is very tough and while it doesn't tear or break easily it doesn't stretch much either. Even after hours soaking with repeated Micro Sol applications they wouldn't come close to conforming, by which time I needed some Tamiya decal adhesive as the original had washed away. In the end I resorted to finding a pipette with a fine end and forcing this over the rivets to press the decals down, then touching up the rivet heads. But the front arms of the front crosses are still a bit iffy. Don't look too closely........ Strangely, the kit tactical circles worked over the rivets with Micro Sol and touch-up. The one they give for the cab front is too big for the space it should occupy, but they weren't universal. The tank I'm sort of copying with MG08s in the front sponson mounts seemed to have circles with a dot in the centre, so I cut out the numbers in the kit decals and punched little dots from a red decal sheet. It had no name or numbers and smaller crosses at the rear than at the front. Here she is pristine. Now for washing and weathering, stowage and tracks. Not much non-stowage detail painting on any of these, but I'm beginning to regret attaching the rear fuel cans in the rack, although they were probably grey anyway. Sorry only 2 pics after loads of words.............
  7. Das Abteilung

    How to make boot marks?

    You can get 3D dusty boot mark decals: Archer and Uschi spring to mind. I imagine these don't work well over textured surfaces like tread plate. You can also get etched metal stencils from DAN Models for paint or sprinkling pigment, but getting these into tight places might be awkward. Calibre 35 make boots on holders in several tread patterns for making prints in dioramas. Whether these could be used with paint I don't know. You could probably cut yourself an outline in foam rubber using a model boot as a reference. However, it doesn't take very long for individual boot marks to coalesce into a general muddy or dusty area, especially where the boots have been slipping or turning. So on something like the floor of an APC or a truck cab where there have been lots of feet you would probably not see individual boot marks. Don't forget that boot soles have changed much over time. Hob-nailed leather-soled boots of the WW1 and WW2 eras would probably leave just a muddy shape: the nails themselves would leave scratch marks but not muddy or dusty dots - but there might be nail imprint patterns in the mud. Since moulded rubber soles appeared, during WW2, you do get variable shaped tread patterns.
  8. And the Resistance, Partisans, SAS etc did the same to the Germans. But they never cottoned-on to the wire cutter idea. Wire cutters are now a common fit on many military and internal security vehicles and even tactical helicopters. Stringing a wire is still an easy low-intensity conflict weapon.
  9. Das Abteilung

    Accurate chipping color for Soviet and American tanks

    Yes and yes, I think. In scale, the metallic effect on small chips and scratches will be hard to see. Proprietary chipping colours are essentially dark browns. For larger wear areas you might try a Vandyke Brown metallic oil pastel. This can be used in different ways for different effects: cotton buds and finger tips are effective tools. There are shades of metallic brown pencils out there too. Contrary to the popular artistic trend to black and white undercoating and pre-shading, I undercoat/prime my AFVs in dark brown and post-shade. As I handle them for painting some of the top coat is inevitably worn off, which can give a pleasing worn effect. If you use AK Interactive's Washable Agent in your top coat, or one of the proprietary chipping coatings or hair spray you can then deliberately work away at the top coat to reveal the brown primer. We also need to think about which areas wear most, usually where the crew mount and dismount and where there is regular access for service and maintenance. Chips and scratches from bumps and scrapes with scenery and static objects will be more random, but are too often over-done.
  10. Das Abteilung

    Battle of Caen Project

    Those are nice figures. Mine always turn out rubbish, so I avoid figures. Well done. Will this be a figure-only dio, or will there be vehicles? However, I don't believe that the Thompson SMG was issued to British forces in NWE post D Day, although Commando units still had them. The Sten was the issue SMG by then, Mks II, III and V. MkII was most common, but MkV had the wooden stock and pistol grip and so might be easier if you wanted to modify the figure. Thompsons clung on in Italy (he's a Monte Cassino figure) in units deployed there from N Africa, where the Thompson was the only issue SMG. That figure also carries the M1 version, which was never used by British forces anyway. We had the older M1928 with the top cocking handle and finned barrel, but that is hard to spot from any distance at that scale. Perils of close-up photography!
  11. Das Abteilung

    Israeli Improvised Armoured Car.

    Deep pockets needed for the Tamiya one. They're currently pushing £50, about twice what you can get a perfectly adequate HobbyBoss kit for - especially if you're going to do a Type 1 with the cut-down bodywork and hide the interior. Remember that in value for money terms the excellent is the enemy of the perfectly adequate. The wheels worked out well. I think the Scout Car and the M2 half track shared front wheels, at least at first. M3 wheels were different, but all were interchangeable. In that context you probably want the "late" HobbyBoss kit. The turret looks like a real pain. Maybe I'll re-think doing an Otter with one of these ........... I read on another site that the lower panels actually sloped very slightly outwards from the bottom, but if they did it's hard to see (and a pain to do!). Did we ever establish where the plans came from? I'd like a copy in case I ever do summon up the courage to do an Israeli Otter.
  12. Das Abteilung

    Peddinghaus captured RR Armoured Car decals - accuracy and photos

    Without a photo we're guessing in the dark a bit. The 11H car taken by the Italians looks like a strong possibility. But mine damage suggests suspension damage as it would have gone off under a wheel, which might have been hard to fix. I would question the Italians' ability and necessity - or the Germans for that matter - to repair a mine-damaged virtually-antique car without access to replacement parts. I still think it's worth asking Herr Peddinghaus what his sources are. It's not rude and I'm sure he'll understand. He may have an unpublished source. As Mike S says, an RAF car would be recognisable because of their modifications. The damaged RAF car captured by DAK (below) was in late Jan '42, almost 2 years after the 11H capture so scavenging between both looks impossible. It took a shell through the bonnet and engine which demolished both, but looks otherwise intact and the crew were unharmed. As far as I can tell, the other cars lost by the RAF were all completely destroyed. RAF AC companies didn't like abandoning scarce kit, even antiques. Indeed on one occasion they returned in the face of the advancing DAK with fuel to drive away several vehicles including tanks abandoned out of fuel by retreating Army units. The bonnet panels here look strangely intact, almost as if they just fell off, although the front plate looks bent forward. Could his car have been rebuilt with a different engine?
  13. Das Abteilung

    Ark models Valentine

    Worst of all the Valentine kits by a very wide margin. Also boxed at different times by Maquette, Dragon, VM, Toga, Alanger and Eastern Express. Getting on for 25 years old now. Cheap and not worth it. Get rid of it and get a MiniArt, Tamiya or AFV Club kit: AFVC if you want the MkIX particularly. All have some odd criticisms, but any of the MiniArt, Tamiya or AFVC kits are generations ahead of the old Russian offering. The Tamiya kit is reputed to be a simpler build for a good end result.
  14. Das Abteilung

    Cromwell Mk. IV, Hela, 1:35 Tamiya

    Thanks. Interesting. These are all command tanks with dummy turret guns and the extra No19 set antenna base on the turret front roof (not used in any of the photos). I hadn't noticed the dummy gun on the model: I probably took it for a 6pdr. IIRC in my dusty brain, Hela was the Divisional commander's tank of 1st Polish Armd Div. AOS 40 on black fits for this. If so, the fella in the commander's hatch in the bottom photo is probably General Stanislaw Maczek himself. I wonder if the hull guns are actually dummies too, then? The top photo shows the front "gunner" using a radio handset and in the middle photo there's a headset by his hatch, so perhaps the additional set was installed or relocated there. The Divisional commander wouldn't expect to be anywhere near a tank fight and a single hull-mounted MG was of limited value. Div HQ would have had its own defence troop.
  15. Das Abteilung


    Sadly the time and cost of this make it virtually impossible. To test years' worth of operational cycle use would take, well, years. This is one reason why the US uses Low Rate Initial Production to get kit out to users and begin to discover necessary changes and improvements before committing to main production UK doesn't do this. Foxhound was also an attempt to apply UOR procurement methods to core procurement. Partly because the need really was urgent, partly because of uninformed press and other criticism of the time taken to procure defence equipment. But cutting corners just gets you cut corners. Incentivising time only pulls the aiming point away from cost and performance: you pay more and get something less good, or at least less developed. They must be in balance: equilibrium. It is interesting that the proposed US version of Foxhound had a much more powerful engine operating at less stress. Foxhound's engine is an adaption by Steyr of a 6-cyl diesel engine you might find in a BMW road car - and not the biggest of them. Why not use the 4.4 V8, you may well ask. The UK used to undertake Reliability Qualification Trials and Reliability Growth Trials, but neither are now routine. RQT was a way or proving the required reliability alongside production, on the contracted undertaking that reliability failures would be retrospectively fixed on vehicles built and addressed in future production. RGT was an extended process whereby the manufacturer would conduct (under a paid contract, usually paid regardless of results) trials of reliability improvements to grow reliability beyond the originally-contracted specification. That might include improved components or different maintenance regimes, for example.