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  1. Panzerhaubitzer 2000 - Pzh 2000 in the 1980s the German, Italian and British governments attempted to develop, in collaboration, the next generation of NATO self-propelled Artillery. For various reasons that project failed. Britain pressed on and successfully developed the AS-90 while the Germans pursued their own project which combined the expertise of leading German companies, Wegmann, Krauss-Maffei and Rheinmetall to produce the truly awesome Panzerhaubitze 2000. In the 1990's this was arguably the best Self Propelled Gun in the world and it remains a cutting-edge weapon to this day. Today it is used by several NATO nations including; Germany, Holland, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Croatia and Hungary. The Pzh 2000 features an extremely long - 52 calibre - 155mm gun with a largely automated gun-loading mechanism for very high rates of fire to ranges in excess of 40km. The weapon's fire-control is among the most sophisticated in the world, and allows a single gun to be fired in 'multiple round, simultaneous impact' or MRSI mode. In this mode up to five shells can be fired, each with its own charge and trajectory in such a fashion that all five shells hit the same target at the same moment. The gun is also capable of firing GPS-guided precision rounds with a circular impact error of about 1.5m. The Pzh 2000 has seen a significant amount of action in Afghanistan where both Dutch and German examples have been used to provide fire-support to the International Security Assistance Force. This was the first time that the German Army has used artillery in combat since the end of WW2. One day while on my lunch break (long before all this COVID 19 business broke out) I was checking out a little-visited corner of the local gaming / model / bookshop and found this in among a pile of largely neglected publications. Upon opening the book I was greeted with this fold-out (and there are front and rear views on the flip side too). Now this might just be the most exciting centre-fold I've ever seen. In any case, a few minutes later the book was purchased. About a week later I had decided that this project was going ahead but that 1/35 just wasn't big enough. I took the book to my local printing / copying shop and got the drawings enlarged to 1/24 scale and copied 8 times. I got one 'master set' laminated. And now we are off... Let's scratchbuild one of these things! This is going to be an unusual build for me because much of the work will be done in plastic card, but I want a good solid wooden hull to work from so I'm starting with this block of 'Liquid Ambar' - a superb carving wood - which needs to be cut to the correct size. Here's the first cut of the entire project. Here's the interpreted curve on the leading edge of the hull being marked out... and here it is being carved to shape. Then rasped prior to a final filing and sanding smooth. OK - looks about right. Now I use the bandsaw to cut the wood to exactly the correct width for the hull. The bandsaw! Best tool in the shed! And following a bit of research (especially looking at photos) and some ‘interpretive’ carving and cutting at the rear of the hull I have this basic starting point. After two years of slaving away building a WW1 Biplane (an Avro 504 to be precise) I'm dead keen to work on this project which promises a complete change of subject and modelling method. I hope that some of you will follow along and see what comes of this little venture. Bandsaw Steve
  2. For a Dutch FB GB I decided to build a not often seen kit: Soar Arts' German 35,5cm M1 Super Heavy Howitzer (also posted in the Arty section). Yet I decided, this also needs a complementary (albeit skeleton) crew an ammo delivery truck and ofcourse a dio. Here are the results:
  3. Hi all, I used to model a ton as a kid. It's a few decades on, and having decided to honour my Grandfather with accurate-as-can-be reproductions of his units in Tunisia & Italy, the last few weeks I have both learned more than I need to about markings, and learned that there's... quite a lot to accuracy in colours, it would seem ha. I've already been blessed to a personal response from Mike Starmer (a few days back into the hobby and I'm already getting an email from royalty!), which together with his published research has of course been invaluable. But I wanted to throw out there what I have, for your comment regarding accuracy, and to solicit opinions on possible paint/colouring/location scenarios - and to share some pics. I've done a ton of research, I just want to get these final details across the finish line. And unfortunately I can't ask Granddad any more. Model 1: Quad tractor & 25 pounder 140th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. 504 battery, C troop, Tunisia Jan-May 1943. (1st Army, 2nd AGRA). Markings - AoS: RA red/blue with white bar under, number 202. Formation - 2 AGRA had the same as 1st Army, shield with sword on George cross. Battery red/blue square with red in 2nd position, troop/gun marking "C1". They shipped from the UK to Tunisia via Algeria in early Jan 1943. Mike surmised that they most likely had the UK camouflage (SCC 2 + 1a), having shipped from the UK. But I'd like to throw a couple of details and possible theory out there, and some black & white photos. First, they newly camouflage painted their equipment immediately before shipping out. Second, apparently the equipment was sunk on the way out and they reequipped (with new vehicles & guns) from a depot in North Africa before going into action. Third, I have photos from their sister battery's Bishops that deployed together with them, and this doesn't smell like SCC2 + 1a to me. So my question of you experts is, is it realistic that rather than SCC2 +1a UK colours, they might have either immediately before sailing or in-theatre, used MEGO 1650 colours (Desert Pink ZI with disruptive, I'd guess given the area and photos, Dark Olive Green)? Model 2: Scammel Pioneer R100 & 7.2" Howitzer Subsequent to their action in Tunisia, in September 1943 (still in-theatre), 504 battery transferred to 75th (Highland) Heavy Regiment, and was reequipped with 7.2" Howitzers & Scammell Pioneer R100s. While the rest of 75th Heavy took part in Sicily and on up, 504 bty did not join the rest of 75th Heavy until Mar 1943, sailing from Algeria to Naples. (8th Army, 6 AGRA). What I am confident they were NOT painted: SCC 15 base was too late (12 Apr 1944, they were already in action). It's possible that per Mike's "By 1944 European colours and schemes predominated" they were SCC2 base, and from the photos I've seen, likely SCC 14 disruptive. But Mike also adds "In Italy, many vehicles used home schemes... but others showed the remnants of their final North African schemes or the new Middle East scheme which used a basic colour of Light Mud [SCC 5] with bold specified patterns of black [SCC 14] or dark olive green [similar to but not SCC7]". Given that they have a new regiment and spanking new equipment in theatre, just a couple of months after that new ME directive is issued, I'm quite sure they'd have a SCC 5 base at least at first. But the question is, what's the likelihood that they might have repainted to the European colours (SCC 2 base) before deploying to Italy from Africa 6 months later, Mar 1944? Photos I have seen suggest likely SCC 14 disruptive in either case. (Markings: AoS red/blue/white bar beneath, number 204. Formation - 6 AGRA had the 6th zodiac symbol, like a gothic M, white on black. Battery marking blue with red in 4th position, still awaiting some info on the troop). The 7.2" photos are from later in Italy, after Sept 1944, so may not be indicative of the Mar-Aug period I wish to capture. Please excuse my pedantry, but I'm sure you understand and it would seem I'm among good company! So any theories on the likely colourings, given these scenarios, would be appreciated. I hope this might foster a possible lively discussion! Else maybe I'm just being ignorant - but in any case, I appreciate your input. And an aside - a couple of these markings I am going to have to make, at the very least the 6 AGRA formation marking. It's occurred to me that I might be able to print to teslin with my inkjet, a waterproof paper substitute I use for printing maps. Has anybody had any luck with anything like this? I'd also like to express my appreciation for all of your discussion on the accuracy of books and especially the actual paints from various suppliers. Based on all this I have stayed away from... most of the suppliers of the SCC and other colours, and just ordered Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoats (I'm sure you purists would have me mix Mike's mixes, but I have to draw a line somewhere). Thanks very much. I'd also like to share this, which I have contributed to and from where a lot of my research came. The battle of Cassel, rear-guard for Dunkirk, was an overlooked and significant event http://140th-field-regiment-ra-1940.co.uk/ (I may make Granddad's 18-pdr next - he was one of the very few from 367 bty who got away). Ah - I just noticed there's no upload - I have the Bishop and 7.2" photos from his actual unit, here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b77syeh11yeuyca/AAC_WWJiGL6HKJPy_T8l6Dvma?dl=0
  4. Hi my dear fellows, For a Dutch FB GB I decided to build a not often seen kit: Soar Arts' German 35,5cm M1 Super Heavy Howitzer (also posted in the Arty section). Yet I decided, this also needs a complementary (albeit skeleton) crew an ammo delivery truck and ofcourse a dio. My progress thus far: Gun: ready: After messing around with some foam board And grass and modelling paste for model railroading the base progresses nicely too... Then I started on the figs: Cleanup an assembly is rather straightforward. Then I started painting faces (all in Vallejo Model Color) Step one: a base color of sand: Next: Adding shadows, a mix of beige red and black red Step 3: First highlights, with beige red Step 4:Second highlights with base flesh Step 5: Final highlights with light flesh Please do note that the hands get the same treatment Step 6: Adding the eyes. Whites with white and a tad of sky blue, black irises /pupils. Step 7: Lips painted, with a mixture of beige red and burned red Step 8: Chin strap, black Step 9: Eyebrows, color depends on hair color The whole bunch finished. Next up: painting the uniforms, waiting for the truck to arrive (on order), finish the dio and fixing some details...
  5. After some building, I finished Soar Arts' M1 35,3cm Heavy German Howitzer in 1:35. A pleasure to build, with great fit (just a bit tight at times) and some fiddly bits (not to build, but to handle after finishing it: ie railings and ladders) . Now it is ready to build a diorama around it... Missing the materials for the scenery, but more importantly, the figures I have in mind, and a truck.
  6. I first did one of these with the old Dragon kit back in the nineties - back then you couldn’t get anything at all about the Scud as they were still on the old soviet secret list. However 25 years later and things have changed, I’ve had a hankering to return back to this subject and about a month ago I saw the far superior Trumpeter version on eBay for £66.00 inclusive of postage from a Chinese eBayer and a month later it was duly delivered. The box itself is fairly large and weighs quite a bit and is packed with plastic - the legend on the box says that it contains in excess of 1,330 parts and is 38.4 cm long and just over 9 cm wide - this is going to be a complex build project out-of- the-box but I’m also going to add the Voyager Models internal and external multimedia detail sets (35738 and 35737 respectively) as well as the Voyager Model Line Pipe set (PEA 356) and the DEF Model MAZ-543 sagged wheel set. Paints will be primarily Ammo-MIG acrylics with the AK 4BO Russian green modulation set (AK 553) and the tyres will be weathered with the MIG Tyres and Tracks Weathering Set (A.MIG 7105) Now then, on with the build.
  7. A relative recently gifted me an Airfix 1/32 17 pounder kit. Over Diwali I decided to do a full speed build of it. Sorry that there are no photos of the WIP, but my camera's SD card got corrupted. Many thanks to Tim (@Tank152) for the various items he sent me that greatly helped while building. I will weather the kit when I am home for winter vacations in December. Please give any advice that you fell will help improve the kit.
  8. There’s reams of info and advice regarding chipping, dust, rust, mud, general wear etc but I can’t find anything about what sensible weathering at the muzzle brake should be. Most people use a black soot pigment which is not really right because the combustion products of nitro cellulose based propellants are a dirty brown colour or grey. Moreover the vented flame will burn off any paint and leave what, steel colour, rusted steel, blackened paint residue or something else?. Any comments appreciated
  9. Reposting due to problems with the photo's uploading on my last attempt so here we go again., hopefully with some photo's this time? This is the Trumpeter 155mm AS-90 with a few added extra's Photo Etch set Metal barrel with sagged recoil sleeve Scratch built cam nets and poles Accurate Armour GPMG (The kit one is a horrendous attempt at a gimpy) Accurate Armour GMPG ammo boxes Lights & indicator lens purchased as self adhesive gems from a craft shop A great kit and as an Ex-Gunner I couldn't help a pic next to my last 155mm build, one of the guns the AS-90 thankfully replaced an FH-70. Hope you enjoy.
  10. (I guess this is as good of a choice for "first post" as any other idea I might have had...) Greetings all, I had thought I remembered seeing an article years ago where someone had built the Sovereign 2000 2-pounder gun in a Caunter scheme pattern. But I went through my database of references, and I only have one article of someone doing that kit; Steve Zaloga built it in a 2002 Military Modelling issue. And, alas, he did his in a straightforward desert tan scheme. Did I just imagine having seen this at all? None of my Google-fu has been able to turn up any photos of the gun in that scheme. I'd love to do it, for something kind of different than my usually artillery projects. But I prefer to feel at least a little certain that it's legitimate! Thanks in advance for any help/advice... -Randy
  11. We, in the west, can, perhaps, be forgiven for forgetting that the horse was significant factor in WWII. The British army started mechanisation of their cavalry regiments in 1928, and only two regular cavalry regiments retained their horses following the outbreak of WWII. German, and to a lesser extent, Russian propaganda promoted their modern, mechanised, image over the antiquated quadruped, Ever since playing Avalon Hill's PanzerBlitz (a long time ago), I've been aware that both the German and Russian armies used vast numbers of horses in WWII. So, when I learned of this kit, I wanted to have a go ... The crew, as supplied, have a mix of Mosin-Nagant rifles, carbines, and PPSh41 sub-machine-guns. Some online reviews suggest that the PPSh41 is is wrong for artillery. Googling around, I have found some individual artillery crew members with a PPSG41, but they are unusual in photos. Anyway, I've supplemented the set with one of these: The sniper rifles can be built as 'ordinary' pieces. I'm not over keen on the horse positions - yes, I can build four distinct positions OOB, but the leg positions are still very similar. I'll have a think about options... The required photo of box contents: At the back you can see the packet of infantry weapons. MiniArt are very good at showing the parts for their kits, you can see the individual sprues here: http://miniart-models.com/index.htm?/35045.htm The illustration and instructions are for the 75mm ZiS-3 (or 76.2mm). Also present are parts the 57mm ZiS-2 which was considered too powerful early in the war, but, apparently, returned to favour following the appearance of Panther and Tiger tanks. {edit} P.S. I haven't forgotten m cossacks {/edit}
  12. It seems that AS-90's are like busses. You don't see one for ages then two come long at once (ukmodllers on Sunday). Added extras include: a seriously fiddly photo etch set metal barrel and drooped recoil sleeve. Accurate armour GPMG (the kit one is horrendous) Accurate armour GPMG ammo boxes I also found some rather useful stick on glass studs in a craft shop which I used for the head lights, indicators and brake light lens I also added a few stowed items including the cam nets, cam poles and an air identification panel more to add a splash of colour, lets call it an Orange Forces gun sub somewhere on Salisbury Plain? It's a good kit which I have made before many years ago. I couldn't help a cheeky pic next to the Hobby Fan 155mm FH-70 just to show the old and the new. I'm a bit biased as I served on the FH-70 which was a dreadful beast to work, nowhere near as civilised as it's younger brother! Anyway hope you enjoy. https://www.dropbox.com/s/4cninwfs8buepbo/20170217_124255.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/k4moatd12k931ft/20170217_123538.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/puwwrh0n72iqs6x/20170217_123625.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/s889xiqdyy5w0ni/20170217_123656.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/zgoj1m3z52ebcdv/20170217_112220.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/hkl37eo05n2cjnn/20170217_123458.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/s889xiqdyy5w0ni/20170217_123656.jpg?dl=0 Please excuse the dropbox links but I can't get the photo's to up load to the site https://www.dropbox.com/sc/qv2djfgn2eir09v/AABJK8JD1nnvOXLXLffn_A3Aa
  13. Hi All This is my fourth build since returning to kits after many years and I'm really enjoying it, very relaxing and therapeutic! Well this one is the Hobby Boss M4 High speed Tractor which I just fancied the look of to be honest. It was a great kit, excellent value with the included PE, chains, paint masks, colour chart etc. great value. This is my first play with PE, god it's fiddly isn't it! I still have a lot to learn with regards to weathering especially rust effects which I tried, binned and gave up un but practice makes perfect? Overall I'm reasonably happy for a fourth attempt. It was painted with a Tamiya rattle can and brushed Vallejo acrylics but have just invested in my first ever airbrush for future builds! Mainly OOB except for some spares box weapons and accessories. I scratch built the tarpaulins and weapon slings using thin lead sheet and bought a set of Verlinden 1/35 WW2 US maps and documents. Anyway I hope it's ok and thanks for looking!
  14. First post since introducing myself, so please be kind... I decided that artillery pieces must have fewer parts and be less complicated to build than tanks, but having assembled a few that has not necessarily prove to be the case. Some pics should appear with a bit of luck here. Not really up to speed with posting pictures so profuse apologies in advance if I've broken anything. Pics loaded from Postimage.
  15. Ok so only my second posting in this section and my first attempt at a resin kit which was interesting! This has meant a lot to me as I served on these guns in the 1980's so it's something I've wanted to build for over 20 years but they're not cheap or easy to find. It was my first resin kit and came with some challenges the first being a badly warped barrel which in spite of several attempts couldn't be straightened so was replaced with an almost perfect section of plastic tube. I also managed to loose the whole breach block????? This resulted in my first foray in to scratch building which then led to putting right a number of inaccuracies and omissions in the kit including an air box and air lines, relocating the hydraulic compressors for the rear wheels, British side reflectors, a base plate drop mechanism and a return lever for the load assist assembly. It's not quite finished yet but I thought I'd post it now it's pretty much there. Next up is a diorama base to put it on and an accurate armour 155mm ammo pallet to go at the rear, shame they don't do a Foden 6x6 gun tractor to go with it. Sorry about the back drop but it's a big beast however I think it's an interesting subject but then I'm a bit biased, hope you like it? Edited to add a pic of a real one on exercise up in Otterburn, I'd forgotten quite how big they were!
  16. For a limited period only, we are able to bring to you Emhar's great range of World War I 1/35 Tank Model Kits and 1/72 Figure Sets with up to 50% off. For full details, please see our Newsletter HERE
  17. Here I show you a fast assembly kit, as this Italeri Autocannone. I built it some time ago, but didn't photograph it until recently, when I got to the beach early and made pics without crowds and curious tourists! in it's ambient, it looks much better.... hope you like it. You can see more pics plus a review in my blog; http://toysoldierchest.blogspot.com/2013/07/italeri-autocannone-3-ro-with-9053-aa.html
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