Friday, May 7, 2021

PSC Sd.Kfz. 250 Alte

The Sd.Kfz. 250 is a light half-track that was used in a wide variety of roles by the German military during WWII.


The models produced by the Plastic Soldier Company come three to a box, and offer options to produce any of five different variants.


Assembly of the models is pretty simple, but the instructions are a bit muddled.

I added the interior parts for the Sd.Kfz. 250/11 to the standard parts of the Sd.Kfz. 250/7 for the first model. There is no indication of what the interior is supposed to be for the Sd.Kfz. 250/10, so I used the layout of the Sd.Kfz. 250/1 for the second model. I then used parts for both the Sd.Kfz. 250/11 and the Sd.Kfz. 250/1 in the final interior, but the wall bins ended up offset from each other.


For one of the no-neck drivers, I swapped the helmeted head for one wearing a field cap.


The fit of the upper and lower hull is not that great at the back end of the half-track, and I think this is the first PSC kit that I needed to use putty to fill gaps between parts.


I decided to give each half-track a different look for the rear mounted machine gun. I used a length of 1.2mm plastic rod and flattened the end on a makeshift hot plate to make a plain mounting post. I cut off the machine gun from another mount, and reattached it with a 90° rotation. The third one was left in its original state.


The Sd.Kfz. 250/7 is missing a base plate for the mortar on the back, but I think that I have something I can use from a Zvezda Art of Tactic set.


The folded carriage for the sPzB 41 has some unidentifiable box-like structure underneath, that I didn't see in any pictures of actual vehicles, so I modified the unfolded carriage to use in its place.



Since I used the interior of the Sd.Kfz. 250/1 for the Sd.Kfz. 250/10, it is easy to change between these two versions by merely swapping the machine gun shield and the 3.7cm Pak 36.


The extra sPzB 41 can be used with the carriage to make a standalone anti-tank gun, though there is no crew for it.


The assembled models look good and are very sturdy, making them ideal for gaming. I'm really tempted to get some more, just to make more variants of the Sd.Kfz. 250, but I will exercise self control since I have too many other kits to finish.





Friday, April 30, 2021

4D DUKW & Sd.Kfz. 7/2 with 3.7cm Flak 37

I just received two of the latest offerings from 4D Models. The first model is a GMC DUKW 353 ("鸭子" 两栖作战车; "Duck" amphibious combat vehicle).


There are two different versions of the DUKW model made in ABS plastic.

The No. 1 version is supplied with a canvas tilt.


The No. 2 version comes with a sprue of supports for a canvas tilt.


The upper and lower hulls come attached to each other, but prying them apart will make the assembly process easier. The models go together very quickly, and look as good as diecast DUKWs.

Altaya vs 4D

The Altaya model uses the same mold as the Russian Tank Collection model.



Amercom vs 4D


The rudder is attached through a clipping mechanism that allows it to rotate.


The rope boat fenders are not textured in any way, but the models are still very nice, and ready for a load of cargo.


Comparison of the 4D DUKW with Altaya, Russian Tank Collection, and Amercom DUKWs.



I will probably try to get a few more of these to make versions with the machine gun mount, 105mm howitzer, etc.

The second model is a 3.7cm Flak 37 Sd.Kfz. 7/2 (八吨半履带防空裝甲车; 8-ton half-tracked armored anti-aircraft vehicle). I ended up with a model in tan plastic, but there is also one molded in gray plastic.


The undercarriage and front wheels are made of ABS plastic, but I think the rest of the sprues are polystyrene.



The seller included a handwritten note indicating that the parts on the sprue were fragile, but I didn't find that to be the case. Some of the parts on the A sprue are definitely small, but they are thick and robust.


I believe that polystyrene is weaker than ABS, so there is more of a possibility of breakage if force is applied when attaching the parts, but my recommendation is that if a part does not fit, file down the attachment pin until it fits, then glue it in place.

Assembly is not particularly complicated, but there is definitely an order that needs to be followed to make things easy.

Assembly of the undercarriage and wheels is essentially the same as for their earlier Sd.Kfz. 7.

The interior of the cab should be assembled first. The instructions are a bit messed up because it shows part C5 being installed upside down.


The armored cabin should be added next, hiding all of the interior detail that was just assembled.


The bonnet should be attached last, but the fit is not too good, and a significant gap is left between the cabin and the bonnet.


Parts of the Flak 37 are painted gray, but will need touch-up after being cut from the sprue. The parts also have a lot of awful ejector pin marks, but I didn't bother removing most of them because of the toy-like nature of this model.

Attach the Flak 37 to the base only after the upper and lower hulls are put together. The gun doesn't fit very tightly, but I don't think it's a major issue.


The side panels of the bed are molded in an upright position, so the Flak 37 is not really able to pivot, but the barrel can be raised and lowered.

The model is very similar to the previous 4D Sd.Kfz. 7, but it has separate lights and bumper guides, which (despite their chunky appearance) improve the look of the model.







Two other new 4D models that I didn't get are the 9A52-2 Smerch-M and the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. C Wurfrahmen 40.


Pictures of the sprues for the Smerch-M can be found at moxing.net and bilibili, but I didn't really find anything on the Wurfrahmen 40.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Pegasus German Army Trucks


I've had these Pegasus German Army Trucks sitting around in a half-built state for years because I wanted to add windshields to the cabs.


My original intent was to cut out some clear acetate pieces to use as windows, but I kept putting it off because trying to get the correct fit would have really tested my patience.

However, with the miracle of clear UV curing resin and a sunny day, I was able to finally finish building the trucks.


I tried two different types of tape to seal the windows for casting. The first type of tape is an unknown brand of lab tape that I used for casting agarose gels back in the day.


The problem with this type of tape is that it leaves sticky residue on the resin which can be hard to get off. I tried to use isopropanol to remove the adhesive, but it caused the resin to fog up.

I also tried painter's tape, but the results were even worse, and the tape residue seems impossible to remove from the resin.


Luckily if you mess up, it is easy enough just to apply pressure on the resin window, and eventually it will just pop out.


The driver looks like he comes from das Auenland, and probably scales out to 1/87 scale. 


A lot of companies seem to make tiny drivers for 1/72 vehicles, so I won't fault Pegasus in particular, but it just seems lazy on the part of the manufacturers to do this. I guess the driver looks okay inside the truck in any case.



I went with a basic gray color scheme just to get the models finished. 



Overall, the models were very easy to build, and seem to be quite sturdy. I still need to paint the canvas tilt and add some weathering, but all the assembly is complete (though I'm still thinking about adding some headlamps).