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Das Abteilung

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About Das Abteilung

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  1. Das Abteilung

    Where have all the Centurions gone?

    One just listed on eBay today. £50 starting price, though. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AFV-CLUB-1-35-CENTURION-Mk-5-2-6-105mm-GUN-NATO/253756035776?hash=item3b1509d2c0:g:nd4AAOSw4CJbTLUe
  2. Das Abteilung

    MMK Models Bedford OXA

    Looking a bit more like the complete thing. Just interior and lower rear body parts to do. The major parts aren't glued yet, just dry-fitted. The cab and body interiors will need to be painted and apertures masked before final assembly. The front mudguards/wings/fenders were only very light sheet metal, so I've distressed them a bit.
  3. Das Abteilung

    MMK Models Bedford OXA

    Did a bit more work on the body floor. But in order to do that I needed to understand where it fitted on the chassis: there are no positive locations. And in order to do that I needed to work from the front back, as the only definite location indication is the position of the bonnet front face 5mm from the front bumper face. Talk about vague........... Of course I could always have worked in the instructions' sequence from the get go............... So, cleaned up the various casting blocks and assembled the 3-pieces of the basic bonnet/cab floor and the etched brass bumper and frontal armour. Bent and dented the bumper a bit. The rivets on the front armour are just depicted as etched dimples, so more drilling and Grandt Line. I drilled rivet/bolt holes in the front wing attachment flanges while I was at it. They're brass too. Having fitted that to the chassis I had my reference for the rear body location. The bearers between body and chassis have small locations, and needed both reinforcement and adjustment to fit the chassis. Something is still askew somewhere as with all 4 springs flat on the bench the bearers don't meet the chassis in 1 corner. You can see the new lower rear I made for the body floor deck to replace mis-moulded and overlooked parts. The chassis itself needs extending all the way to the back once I've got these bits together, and the tow hook omitted. MMK have simply used the standard chassis from their OXD truck kit without understanding that it was apparently altered. This is a 30cwt truck: a ton and a half payload. I bet that armour weighed more than a ton and a half, even allowing for the cab shell and body sides being removed. Having the body overhanging the chassis by nearly a couple of feet at the back probably wasn't sensible. I wonder if any parts from the 3-ton OY were substituted, like axles and suspension? They would be a direct swap AFAIK and handle at least another ton and a half. The kit depicts double rear springs, which the 30cwt probably wouldn't have but the 3-tonner might. But unless I'm much mistaken, MMK have just used the springs from the Tamiya LRDG Chevy, complete with awkward ejector pin mark! So, potentially bogus then. The wheels are mediocre at best. No sidewall detail and one of the rear hubs is a bit malformed. But no-one else does the right wheel and hub pattern, so replacing them isn't an option. On the plus side, these are the only parts so far with any sign of mould shift! I sanded small flats where the casting blocks had been, scuffed up the treads and some of the sidewalls with a rasp and added the air valves from brass wire. There is a spare provided, but I can't see that the OXA carried one. There are various bits for the chassis still to add.
  4. Das Abteilung

    MMK Models Bedford OXA

    Better, methinks. After much scraping, drilling, sawing, filing, filling and making deep inroads into my diminishing stock of Grandt Line rivet heads. I'm using those up before switching to EDM's products. Although the Grandt Line moulds have been bought by another company who intends to continue production, their quality has fallen off a lot. Unless MMK had access to unpublished research or there were very significant production variations between vehicles built in the same factory, it isn't very accurate. A lot of details are off. There's an awful lot of missing rivets and the rear door hinges provided are bogus: and the door should fit flush and probably have 2 loopholes. One of the end supports under the body floor was not moulded: maybe that was the one with the correct detail...... I made a new one (not pictured). There are other visibly missing bits under the floor and other small details that will need to be made. I did round off the 3 body corners that should be rounded and not square. I haven't done the body interior yet, which is basically 2 long resin benches with loads of flash and some etched brass shutters for the loopholes. It will need rifle racks, fire extinguishers and ammo boxes. Thinking of the AA Lewis gun idea, I found a pedestal mount which I'm thinking of using instead of a bar across the roof opening. The driver's cab had a massive thick (6mm!) casting block on the roof, with wafer-thin attachment at the edges. So that had to go. Hence the plastic card roof and yet more rivets. It looks to me as if MMK meant to provide a separate roof piece but forgot: there is no way the casting block could be cut off to leave a satisfactory roof plate. The bottom edge of the rear body was poorly defined from its casting "skirt" and took some careful marking and cutting. The body sides are hugely thick for thin plate, as you can see through the loopholes. The roof on the other hand is thin and fragile. The cab sides are commendably thin.
  5. Das Abteilung

    The Car In Front.....

    Which presumably means the Saudis are down an M163 somewhere ......... The larger gun on the Toyota isn't a 122. Looking at the shell it's about a 105. It's reminiscent of the upgraded US 105mm howitzer, which had a muzzle brake. The effect of both weapons on the chassis is probably best imagined and not described ..... I wouldn't fire either of them off-axis: whoops, my pickup is on its side!
  6. If you're looking for Panzer Art, they do an Otter stowage set too - if you like that sort of thing. I can recommend their British fuel cans - 2 gal, 4 gal "flimsy" and "jerry" type - and their various UK and US ammo boxes. Some of the UK artillery ammo box types were used as improvised extra stowage boxes on AFVs. Black Dog do a stowage set too, more comprehensive and expensive but the large rear block apparently doesn't fit too well. I looked at mine and it seems they fitted the rear deck panel back to front on the model they mastered from, so all the indents are in the wrong place! Of course, knowing this you could build the kit the same way - it won't show. Or just sand off all the surface detail, which also won't show. Panzer Art is not the easiest to find in the UK, and I've noticed a drop-off in stock in most sellers. I've been chasing a couple of previously-common items for months. There are a couple of sellers on eBay: Wildcats Models spring to mind (but their eBay seller name is different). Constrain a "panzer art" search to UK Only and you'll find them. I usually get mine from Jadar Hobby in Warsaw. Utterly reliable, genuine stock levels, good prices for European products (especially Eastern), reasonable shipping, no import VAT issues. They've currently got the Dunlop tyres and the stowage set for the Otter in stock: but no Firestones - probably the more attractive. But they currently have only few of the UK or US ammo boxes or fuel cans. You could try Der Sockelshop or Modellbau Koenig in Germany. Both also completely reliable. With all overseas sellers, shipping per item can become more economical the more you buy. Single items can look expensive.
  7. This kit shares some parts with the C15 armoured truck and the basic CMP truck chassis, which is where the redundant wheels come from. I don't know if the Goodyear bar-cleat tread provided is appropriate for an Otter. Panzer Art offer 2 resin alternatives from other tyre manufacturers with very different tread patterns. I chose one of these with a V tread for my as-yet-unbuilt Otter project. If you look closely I think you'll find your tyres were actually made by either GOOOYEAR or GOODYEAP to avoid trademark infringement. Why are such companies so greedy? There were a few armament variations: LZ/Mirror models do a shield and mount set for putting a 50 Browning in the turret of their version of this kit. Anything other than a useless Boys AT Rifle in the front loophole! Bren with a drum mag or perhaps a 30 Browning in the turret. Mine is planned to be an RAF one in the desert with twin 303 Brownings in/on the turret and a 20mm Hispano in the front loophole. But you have quite a lot of colour choice with this vehicle. You can have Tunisia, Palestine, Italy, UK and NWE schemes. Italy can be attractive, with the official Blue-Black over Light Mud or less official Light Mud over SCC2 Brown, Light Mud over SCC15 Green (late 44 into 45 only), or 2-tone brown SCC1A over SCC2 all being possible. Tunisia and Palestine would likely be plain Light Stone. Post D-Day would be plain SCC15 Green or possibly Blue-Black over SCC15, potentially "Mickey Mouse" pattern. UK pre-D Day would probably be Blue-Black over SCC2 Brown. Apart from being butt ugly it was apparently a real struggle to steer. As I've got one of these to do I'll be watching for Pooh Traps................
  8. Das Abteilung

    Modelling In The Sunshine

    I don't think I'd paint outside. Acrylics dry fast enough as it is! In this heat the paint will set on the brush before it even touches the model........... I read somewhere on another forum that someone adds a few drops of airbrush cleaner(!!) to his mixes to prevent nozzle gunking when it's hot. Not sure I fancy that: some retarder, yes - but cleaner? Must affect the paint, surely. Having said this I often/usually spray rattle can primer or base coats outside when the weather is suitable. I was thinking primarily of building, or at least cleaning up parts, outside. I'm working on a resin Bedford OXA that needs a lot of cleanup and I was thinking that resin dust is better outside than in. Still need mask and specs though as it may blow about more: nasty stuff. When I'm working with resin indoors I stop frequently and vacuum up the work area with the hand held Dyson (other brands are available!) and then wipe over with a decorator's tack cloth to stop dust buildup. Question? Why do we willingly work with so many noxious substances for our hobby? Discuss .......
  9. Das Abteilung

    Modelling In The Sunshine

    It's probably only an afternoon's work to make. I now have both circular and jig saws so I might cut it all myself if I did it again. If I can ever sell this house for an acceptable price and do end up moving South, my little helpful shop will be a 250 mile round trip........ Longest part was waiting for the glue to dry. I used the fastest-setting waterproof I could find. Clamps were necessary. If you use short panel pins or fine screws instead you won't have that wait. I was concerned about screw or nail heads causing marks on the furniture, but I suppose it could go on another mat or you could add felt feet underneath. Drilling and countersinking sufficient small screw holes would be a task. 12mm strip will easily split if not pre-drilled. especially near ends. I didn't bother with varnish or surface finish. With hindsight a couple of coats of spray varnish wouldn't have gone amiss. Paint might have cleaned up a bit instead of staining. I guess I saw it as inherently sacrificial. Wear it out, make another. I suppose you could use plywood instead of MDF, but MDF doesn't splinter. I recall that the inspiration was seeing a similar proprietary product at £30+ and thinking that was expensive. I think this one cost about a tenner.
  10. Das Abteilung

    Type 64

    Agree. The M18 could be made into an M39 with the Legend conversion. If you wanted to go really overboard there's at least 1 picture online of an M39 with a quad 50 turret in the crew compartment. The trackguard bins would be relatively easy to scratchbuild. I thought that one of the etch sets might have them in, but I can only find AFV Club's own set and the old Eduard one - neither of which have the bins. Sadly you're left with a complete M42 turret with no purpose. Crossing it with an M24 into an M19 is redundant now that Bronco have announced an M19. But there was the XM166 prototype, which mated the M42 turret with an M548 chassis, and also an experimental conversion on an LVTP-5 hull. Now that would be an impressive beast.
  11. Das Abteilung

    Modelling In The Sunshine

    I was in 2 minds whether this was a WIP subject or Armour Chat. Went with WIP. In another thread I mentioned that the weather was far too nice to be stuck indoors modelling, especially in a garage/cave with no windows and just daylight bulbs. Then I remembered that somewhere under the workbench gathering cobwebs was a portable work area I built probably 8 years or so ago in my last house when my youngest son was heavily into Warhammer, so that he could build and paint at the dining table instead of also being confined to the garage cave. And here it is in the light of day, devoid of many, many cobwebs, several insect cadavers and several mm of dust. I cut down a new cutting mat from a lovey pink A3 one I'd acquired somewhere in a moment of dubious taste: it must have been really cheap...... So now I can model outside on the decking. Next task - adapt it to fit over the lounger .......... It's made just from 6mm MDF and 12mm square timber. The base is 40x40cm and it's 23cm tall. I'm lucky enough to have a really good old-fashioned local hardware store which cuts timber to size for you. Give them the drawing or dimensions and they do the rest. They do a roaring trade: not everyone can saw accurately. I just cut the diagonals and the 12mm strips and sanded the edges. It's all glued with waterproof PVA: no nails or screws. The back top shelf unhooks for storage. The hole in the lower shelf is for a plastic cup for brush washing. Or putting files etc in while building. Somewhere I have a clip-on Ikea flexible LED light that can clip on the side.
  12. Pintle-mounting a single 50 on the gunners' sight bar and leaving the side mounts empty is completely daft. Gunner is hopelessly exposed, presumably perched on the seat back. Unless the trunnions are locked off, I imagine the recoil of the 50 (that's not a recoil-absorbing cradle) will drive the sight bar backwards towards the gunner with each burst. Is the army short of 50's or concerned about collateral damage in urban areas? I don't imagine they're facing an armoured or long-range threat where the 50 would be beneficial. For reducing the collateral risk a 7.62 or 5.56mm weapon would be a better option. For mounting a single weapon the vehicles would be better off converted back to an M20 style configuration, but probably with a small cupola or turret: or RWS. But I digress from the excellent modelling again .................
  13. I think you'll find that the visual difference is the lack of APU behind the gunner. The actual turret was the same between the 2 types of field mount and the vehicle mount. Gun Trucks had no added armour behind the turret AFAIK and the armour plates on the truck only protected the back of the turret when firing to the rear. In an ambush, the front would be pointed towards the enemy. You don't generally ambush from both sides except perhaps in a gully (where an ambush would be anticipated by any remotely-competent force): too much risk of friendly fire casualties. To be honest it seems something of an odd vehicle for either purpose. What air threat were the Colombians facing against which a manually-aimed, clear-weather quad 50 with a training speed suitable for piston-engined aircraft would still be an effective weapon at that time? I still think it's a ground weapon. Looks scary for the narco-terrorists and on parade in snazzy camo, but limited real use. But on the modelling front, as I seem to have taken this off on a tangent, a very nicely done model of a very unusual subject. Looking forward to seeing the paintwork.
  14. The independent "donkey engine" on the turret was to avoid the need to run the main vehicle engine. Removing it would probably mean having to run the main engine, unless the engine refit included either an integral APU or significantly increased battery capacity. Both of which are entirely feasible. Did the Colombians use this as an AA vehicle or was it used as a convoy escort vehicle along the lines of the Gun Trucks from Vietnam? A quad 50 with 250 rpg loaded can give you a nice edge in an ambush situation. I often thought that a quad 50 on a DROPS flatrack would have been a really useful asset in Afghanistan.
  15. Das Abteilung

    Type 64

    That was one of 2 parallel developments for the Type 64 project to develop an indigenous "cavalry tank" to support M48 MBTs. I would have thought this was much the better of the 2 types, but only the 2 prototypes were built. I've always fancied the one that did actually see service, with about 40 built. An ex-ROC M18 turret mated to a 2nd hand ex-US M42 "Duster" hull re-fitted with M41 fender bins. But quite an expensive cross-kit as you need bits of an M18, M42 and M41. The redundant M18 could become an M39.