Sunday, May 30, 2021

PSC German Medium Trucks (Part 2)

The second truck I built from the PSC German Medium Truck set was an Opel Blitz.

Assembly went pretty much the same as for the Mercedes-Benz from part 1, except the boxes on the underside of the truck bed can be left in place (since they seem to appear on some Opel trucks), and the front axle probably doesn't need to be cut down (although I actually shortened it a little).

Because I wanted to install the spare tire under the truck and have it be visible, I cut away the two front boxes under the bed, and scraped away some underside detail to allow the tire to fit in the center.

Unfortunately, I forgot to add the tire before gluing the bed to the undercarriage, and I could only slide it in halfway afterwards.

If I had scraped away more plastic earlier, I would have been able to slide it in, but now I need to come up with an alternative solution, like cutting the tire in half and then fitting the pieces in separately.

The PSC Opel Blitz (left) is very close to the Hobby Master model (right) in dimensions, although, the cab seems to be a bit longer, while the bed seem to be a bit shorter. The wheels of the PSC truck are a bit wider in diameter than those of the Hobby Master truck.

A comparison of the PSC, 4D, and Hobby Master trucks.

Overall, I think the PSC trucks are great as gaming models. They are a bit on the pricey side, but I'm not aware of any other quick build Kfz. 305s except the somewhat undersized trucks from 4D Models.

Friday, May 28, 2021

PSC German Medium Trucks (Part 1)

Last month, I built some Pegasus German Army Trucks, which led me to order a box of PSC German Medium Trucks to compare them to.

Each box contains six sprues with enough parts to create three of any two different German trucks or a Maultier.

The PSC box costs twice as much as the Pegasus box, but a video from the 20mm channel describes how additional trucks can be created from the left over parts of the kit to bring the value to parity.

In this post, I will describe how I assembled the Mercedes-Benz L3000 that is the equivalent of the Pegasus model.

The underside of the truck bed has four large blocks on it which don't seem to appear on the actual truck. The two rear blocks are necessary for proper positioning of the undercarriage, but I don't think the front blocks are necessary at all. In fact, I removed the block on the passenger side entirely, because it prevented me from adding the spare tire to the truck.

Some bent staples were glued onto the spare tire to simulate brackets, and some of the underside detail was cut away to create space for the tire.

The front axle is too long, and the ends need to be cut down so that the wheels do not protrude out past the fenders.

I like the consistency of the PSC plastic because it is easy to cut. I removed the head from the passenger side crew member to reposition it in a more natural pose.

I cut some pieces of acetate sheet to use as side windows, and glued them into some handy ledges on the inside of the door. UV resin was used to create the front windshield.

Comparing the two trucks, the first noticeable difference is the size of the wheels. I get the feeling that the smaller diameter wheels of the Pegasus truck (khaki top) is probably more accurate, but I didn't bother trying to verify this.

The PSC truck seems to look a lot taller than the Pegasus truck because of the height of the bonnet, but they're actually very similar in height. The radiator emblem and the hood ornament on the PSC truck are also nice touches.

The Pegasus truck has a tow hook which does not exist on the PSC truck.

Overall, I like the PSC truck because it is easy to assemble and windows were easier to install because of how it was engineered. I get the feeling the Pegasus truck is probably more accurate, even though it does not have some of the details of the PSC truck.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

VFG Klan Klang

I've been waiting 10 years for a 1/72 scale model of Klan Klang, so it was with great excitement that I received the news that a Klan Klang Variable Fighter Girl figure was in the works by Aoshima last summer.

There is some controversy over what Klan's actual height should be, but my personal belief is that she should be about 11m tall, which makes the 6 inch height of the figures in the VFG line just about right.

The VFG line is part of the Aoshima Character Kit Series, which includes plastic models of various robots, kaiju, and mecha musume.

A comparison of the VFG figure with the putatively 1/72 MegaHouse figure can be seen at the プロピReNGu YouTube channel.

ReNGu-san often gets distracted by Klan, so the video might be considered slightly NSFW, but his video shows that there is a considerable difference in size between the two figures.

プロピReNGu channel

In any event, I'm glad I never bought the MegaHouse figure because it is entirely too big, and if Klan were that size, she wouldn't fit her Queadluun-Rhea.

The video also shows a comparison of the VF25G that comes in this kit with a 1/72 VF25, and seems to indicate that the model is probably 1/100 scale.

Anyway, after a 3½ month journey by sea, I finally received the kit in March.

The box is huge, and packed with an assortment of multicolored plastic runners.

The kit comes with 5 face plates so that the figure can be displayed with different expressions. Klan's face does not look as mature as depicted in the anime, but I think the kit designers mention that this was intentional.

Two of the face plates are blank, but the decal sheet has markings for a total of 8 faces. An assortment of hands are also provided.

The GU-17A gun pod from the kit is only slightly larger than a 1/72 scale GU-11 gun pod which is about right if it is 1/100 scale.

I feel the kit is representative of many modern Japanese robot and character kits in that it is designed so that the model can be built and displayed without the need for painting. It is also articulated so that it can be played with like an action figure.

I assembled Klan in about an hour. Her outfit is only loosely based on the flight suit she wears in the show, since it is obviously more of a swimsuit.

The figure is difficult to balance in a standing position because of the weight of her twin tails (which also limit her ability to look downward to some degree).

Her feet are also kind of undersized, which doesn't help her ability to stand, but I think it's because they would otherwise not fit inside the leg/engine nacelles when she's in VFG mode.

The fit on some parts is too loose, which is annoying when trying to pose the figure since the pieces keep falling off. I also wasn't sure which pieces need to be removable for adding the VFG parts, so I didn't use any glue during assembly.

As far as height goes, she towers over the Yamato Miria.

She is also slightly taller than the Matchbox Khyron, though without her high heels, she would be slightly shorter. Khyron is 1/100 scale according to CollectionDX, but I consider him 1/72 scale because there is no way he would fit inside his Glaug battle pod if he was bigger.

Will this be the start of a slide into the bishoujo plastic model genre? I doubt it, but as long as there is the possibility of 10m tall women in fiction, I wouldn't rule it out either.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Morituri te salutant

Linear B makes a limited edition set of resin gladiator figures titled "Morituri Te Salutant" that for some reason is not reviewed at PSR. Only 999 sets were produced, and the set I received came with 14 figures in 10 poses (although I have seen some sellers list the set as having 15 figures).

The resin is nice and firm so the casting blocks are easily removed without damaging any of the parts. There was almost no flash, but there are quite a few casting bubbles that need to be filled in.

The gladiators in the set include a retiarius with separate trident, and a secutor with separate sword arm and shield. There are also two referee figures (I'm guessing the figure with the staff behind his back is the summa rudis, while the other is his assistant). The final figure at the far right is the confector or "Charon".

The arms of the retiarius are set just a bit too wide, so either the arms or trident need to be modified for the hands to match up with the arms. I cut the shaft of one trident, and discovered that there was a metal wire under the resin.

The rod held by the summa rudis is missing the ends, so I'll add some new ones, but maybe I'll make it resemble the longer rods held by most of the referees in the Mosaic of Astyanax and Kalendio and the Mosaic of Symmachus and Maternus.

The confector is supposed to be dressed as Charon, but his mask makes him look more like Silenus. I am using the two titles interchangeably, but the Wikipedia page on gladiators claims that the "Charon" is an official who accompanied the dead from the Roman gladiatorial arena, while other sources use the term confector (executioner) to describe the official responsible for delivering the coup de grâce to fallen gladiators.

Next are the three musicians consisting of a tibia player, a cornu player, and a hydraulis player.

For some reason, this ensemble brings to mind the "Charge" fanfare from a modern hockey or baseball game.

It would have been nice if there were a second cornicen and a tuba player as seen in the Zliten mosaic.

Last up is a slave with a couple of dead bodies for him to dispose of.

I think the only thing that the set is missing are a couple of boys with rakes for cleaning up unsightly spills on the arena floor.

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.