Sunday, September 21, 2008


The title is Deguchi no Nai Umi, translated as "A Sea Without Exit". It is a film from 2006 about pilots of the Kaiten minisub. The plot sounds reminiscent of Ningen no Tsubasa (人間の翼) "Wings of a Man" from 1995, but I have yet to see either film, so can't really comment on them.

Anyway, Fine Molds has made a 1/72 version of the submarine from the movie, which essentially is a manned Type 93 torpedo. The model is based on the Kaiten that is displayed in the Yushukan at Yasukuni Shrine. The build looked quite simple since it consists of a 15 piece Kaiten Type 1, and a 13 piece dolly for carrying the submarine.

The model comes with the periscope molded in the up position, which didn't make much sense to me if the submarine was to be sitting on a dolly. To make the build a little more interesting, I decided to give the model a retractable periscope. All that was needed was a magnet and a piece of iron wire.

I removed the periscope tube from part #9, and then drilled a hole through the lower part and glued it to the hull. The upper part of the periscope was partially drilled, and glued to the wire.

Using some sprue, I constructed a cradle for a magnet in the hull for holding the metal wire in place when the periscope is raised or lowered to different lengths.

The kit was available through Eu-II (the mail order division of Fine Molds), but I believe it is now discontinued.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Late September Progress (Armor)

Here's where I'm at with several kits that I've started this year:

The Bulgarian Hetzer that I started back in May is almost done. I bought some 1/300 Soviet aircraft decals for the stars on the Hetzer, but they turned out to be too small. What I had to do was use some Archer U.S. stars, and then Soviet armor decals from a PST kit on top to get the red star with white outline for this model. I still need to spray with a flat coat, and weather, but this kit is 90% done.

I have posed the UM Hetzer alongside the Pegasus E-25 and the Fujimi Hetzer. The E-25 is huge compared to its smaller cousins.

For the FSV I started last month, I used Archer Fine Transfers to make the name (Bewitched), and I'll add some Milicast crewmembers. I'm still trying to find some black triangle decals or transfers though.
Next to the FSV is the Heller Somua S-35, which is in the process of being painted, and last in line is the Emhar A7V. I started the A7V about four years ago, and am finally 90% done with it. I only need to spray with a flat coat, and weather. I'm looking forward to do at least two more A7Vs, but will definitely work much faster on them this time.

Another view of the FSV, S-35, and A7V.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sdh. 234

I was planning to scratch build the Maschinen Krieger Sdh. 232 in 1/72 scale, but had reservations about sacrificing my Roden Sd.Kfz. 231. I remembered that I had several Sd.Kfz. 234 kits in 1/76 scale (Airfix & Matchbox), so I decided to make a Sdh. 234 variant. I'm not sure if the Sd.Kfz. 234 hull is canon, but a troop carrier based on this hull has been built by Run Chicken S (presumably with input from Kow Yokoyama if I read the copyright information on the bottom of the page correctly).
The first thing I did was to try and determine the exact dimensions of the Sdh. 232. Using the image above as a template, I reproduced it so that the Sd.Kfz. 231 portion was 1/72 scale. I can't remember the website where I got the image from (is it from the 1/76 Zionel Westen Sandstalker box art?), but it looks comparable to the actual models shown in the Ma.K Encyclopedia. However, when compared, the dimensions given in the Ma.K Encyclopedia don't really correlate with the dimensions of the real world Sd.Kfz. 231. If I combine this image with 1/72 Sd.Kfz. 231 dimensions, the model I plan would be closer to 1/64 in Ma.K universe terms. That's okay though. I'm still going to call it 1/72 for my own purposes.

Using some Evergreen plastic card, I cut out some patterns to get started.

Somehow I messed up my measurements so the ribs were too tall. I had to move them backwards, which affected the distance to the edge of the base.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beijing Olympics

I received ten sets of Caesar figures commemorating the 2008 Summer Games about a week after the Beijing (that's bay-Jing NOT bay-Zhing) Olympics ended. I wanted to write about them earlier, but didn't really feel like taking any pictures at the time. Anyway, there's only one figure that I'd really associate with the Summer Games, but whatever.

First up are the soccer guys (S006 and S002).

Next are the basketball players (S003, S008, S009). At first I thought that there was something unusual about the basketball set (can you guess what it was?), but then I figured we're talking about international basketball not the NBA. I imagine the guy holding his arms out on the red team is probably supposed to be Yao Ming, but he scales out to only about 6' 6" which is a scale foot too short.

The final sets are of baseball players (S004, S001, S007, S010, S005). I guess Taiwan really likes it's baseball, since the baseball players outnumber the players of the other sports. There is a lone hurdler in the set on the bottom.

Anyway, I ordered an extra box of the red uniformed basketball players because when I saw them, the first thing I thought was that the guy on the end would make a great Hanamichi Sakuragi with the right paint job.

The rest of the figures will remain in their boxes as "collector's items".