…and then we’re only two weeks and a bit until Christmas and I can only wonder where this year went?
The last couple of weeks, or more like six weeks, I’ve been having a really annoying cold that’s been coming and going without ever really breaking out which has affected my eyes and made modelling harder and tiresome. Tirered eyes that is and it makes concentrating on small details hard, which isn’t great when modelling. I have though done a lot of planning, tinkering and design for the upcoming large projects and 2018 group build so I’ve been pretty creative even though I haven’t produced much actual modelling.
The Schwerer Gustav project has gone from idea to almost building and I’ve sourced most of the kits I know I’m going to use at this stage! Obviously there are going to be changes along the line, but the over all design is now done and it’s based on a couple of photos of Schwerer Gustav in the battle of Sevastopol.
I had to replace the straight dual track that came with the Hobby Boss Dora kit because railway guns need a bend in order to aim it sideways so I’ve ordered two sets of bent tracks and two sets of straight tracks. I couldn’t use the one that came with the kit because it’s a dual job and the bends are singles. It might look funny if combining the two, even though they’re going to be covered with grout. If the dual track pieces work then I’ve got the singles as spare, or I might incorporate them into the diorama somehow?
I was originally going to add an armoured train with flakwagen as well but I had to create some constraints with regards to size of the diorama so that train was abandoned for now. There’s also going to be plenty of armour and Flak guns representing I.Flakkorp, 1&2 Flakbattalion, infantry, engineers, etc and also terrain features. Currently I’m looking at something in the line of 1800x1000mm in size but that’s only a rough estimate. The design and the placing of the different elements will dictate the size at the end of the day and my job is to keep it within reasonable size because let’s not forget that it’s going to be built as a monter, made as a wooden furniture, with a bit of flair and something secret I won’t reveal just yet… 😉 It’s a secret!
I’m also working on the Entwicklungsfahrzeug Sammlung which consists of 9 different tanks, E-5 to E-100, all in 1/35 scale. Some of them are going to be built next year as group builds, the rest as single builds, but I’m not rushing it. They all are going to sport different paint schemes but they will still have a unified theme. I’m going to take the opportunity to experiment with a couple more exotic paint schemes to learn new techniques and some of them are way outside my comfort zone – but that’s how we learn, by trying something totally unknown and jumping in at the deep end! Mistakes can be fixed and I don’t mind admitting to making mistakes when modelling. I often take photos of my mistakes so others might not have to do the same? In any case it can be a laugh too and that I don’t mind!
I want to do a simple diorama for the Entwicklungsfahrzeug Sammlung, but it’s more going to be a lineup of the tanks, from E-5 to the three E-100, and the theme is a scenario where they are lined up outside their tank factory, or in an industrial setting. They will be weathered but not too banged up, more like they were rolled out from the factory to protect the area or something like that… I’ve planned to take up a good friends offer to use his laser cutter to create some of the scenery, but the backdrop will be a printed photo and nothing more complicated because it’s the tanks that are the focus and nothing else. No figures.
One group build I’m doing next year is an AA gun GB and my contribution is my Amusing Hobby 1/35 Flakpanzer E-100 8.8cm Flakzwilling 35A016. That way I can do a group build and also building for the Entwicklungsfahrzeug Sammlung at the same time, but this is also the only such build because the other two group builds are unique and not part of anything larger.
The next group build is the Panther group build and I’ve chosen to build the Meng TS-035 Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A Late with zimmerit and full working tracks and suspension. I only received this kit two days ago from www.hobbyeasy.com in Hong Kong and the early birds also got a turned aluminium barrel for the Panther free of charge! This kit really surprised me because the sprue quality and detail is some of the best I’ve ever seen so there’s no excuse here for building a wonky kit… No pressure :p
The zimmerit sheet was a big let down though and if I’d had all the facts I wouldn’t have ordered it, but I ordered only a couple hours after it was released and no info about the zimmerit sheets was available when I ordered apart from a few pictures. The zimmerit turned out to be water slide decals and not vinyl like Tamiya did for the Elefant that I built last year… Ok, I didn’t like the vinyl zimmerit either but that was because it was almost impossible to cut out. These zimmerit decals are just too thin and I fear it’ll look wrong and vague, but decals can be removed so if it looks terrible I can remove them and do my own putty zimmerit instead.
The third, and final, group build is the “Stop the Pigeon” group build (or “Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines” as the show was actually called) where we have to (more or less) scratch build an airplane just like the weird contraptions they had on the cartoon. I’m the only tank-guy doing this GB so I haven’t got a couple boxes of spare parts to use – and this can become a problem when it comes down to detailing the build, but I’ve got a plan to marry a tank with a biplane and also add the dog Muttley from the cartoon, in an attempt to score extra points on this whilst taking the eyes from my poor excuse of a airplane 😉 It’s no competition, just for fun, and that’s how a group build should be!
My British Mk.IV vignette is coming along nicely too. I’m just waiting for the Meng Model HS-010 WWI Imperial German Army Stormtroopers figures to finish the build but I think they’re stuck somewhere in a Post Nord sack of packages at Arlanda airport, just like the other couple 100k packages that they are behind with… sigh. What an utterly useless postal service we’ve got and I blame the politicians who sold out to the cheapest bidder – which in this case was the Danish post. They’ve completely ruined our postal service here in Sweden… I’ve lost count on how many packages they’ve lost for me the last couple of years, and they always refuse to refund any costs because they changed the rules regarding refunds when they took over the postal service. I hope I get all the Christmas presents next week so I can call it done? I totally refuse going shopping before Christmas. It’s just too stressful and that’s why I’ve done all my shopping online the last 10 years. Sadly several million others have discovered this too and thus the post offices became flooded when they couldn’t handle the peaks. Enough ranting about that now!
I’ve begun building 1/72 airplanes as well to improve as a modeller – and this is really outside my comfort zone! I struggle seeing many parts and sanding them are even harder, and then the decals… Why do jet planes need so many decals? It’s hard for us modellers!!! :p Jokes aside, it’s very good practise and it’s been really fun doing something totally different from my usual 1/35 scale German armour. I’ve just built & painted one Revell Horten Ho 229 and I’m currently building a Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf109E-4/7 Trop. It’s quite different from armour because these planes you often have to paint before gluing each module or set of parts and it makes the process a bit slower, but at the same time it makes it easier to paint certain details simply because you’ve got nothing in the way! I’m enjoying this so much that I will build more airplanes in the future, but perhaps a bit larger scale than 1/72 to make it easier for my eyes… The only shame is that airplanes aren’t in 1/35 scale so I can display them together with my armour 🙁 Imagine if there was a unified standard so armour, planes, trains, ships and landscaping worked together? It would allow for really elaborate dioramas, but instead we’re stuck with major incompatibility. Such is life I guess but it made it very hard to find all the train related bits in 1/72 scale for the Schwerer Gustav diorama.
So as you can read I’m keeping busy with modelling, but I’m having a blast so I’m not complaining!
I’d like to send out an early Merry Christmas to all of you but there’s going to be more posts before Santa has arrived 😉
Cheers and happy modelling to all of you!