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 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).

Monday, April 5, 2021

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die

The Nazgûl were ancient human kings bound to the Dark Lord Sauron through nine Rings of Power.

To normal eyes, they appeared as vaguely human figures cloaked in black robes and capes.

On the metaphysical plane, they appeared as ghostly warlords.

They were portrayed as fearsome and powerful entities in the books and movies, yet I always came away with the impression that they were rather ineffectual, despite their reputation.

I have two mounted Nazgûl from the old Heritage Servants of Sauron set (Lord of the Rings 1751). I think these are the two best poses from the set.

They are single piece castings, and represent the Nazgûl as cloaked figures, though the axe and scythe are a bit odd as weapon choices. They are true 25mm figures, and don't seem too out of place with 1/72 figures.

Another cloaked wraith is the Fiend Factory Wraith Rider on Undead Horse (Citadel FF3).

There are two versions of this miniature. A single piece casting, and a subsequent two piece casting (which is the one in the image). This figure is also true 25mm, and does not look bad with 1/72 figures either.

I particularly like this sculpt because it reminds me of Fraser's End of the Trail.

International Exposition

Last but not least, are the new Dark Alliance Black Riders mentioned in my previous post.

There are two poses on foot, one representing the Witch-king of Angmar, and the other poised to put an end to a poor defenseless bolster.

There are ten mounted poses. Nine in cloaks, and one in armor.

The horses are well sculpted, but seem to be a bit small for armored warhorses, and the riders don't fit particularly well.

There probably should have been at least one horse in a more static pose given the choice of sculpts for the riders, but all the horses are in motion with flowing tails.

Overall, the set is probably useful mainly for people who play games set in Middle Earth.