Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Figures and a base for the Marder

I have finished the ICM figures. It needed a bit of investigation but I think that I have the colours and marking right. They make a nice little group.

The base is a piece of foam board which I have coated with some Vallejo Pumice spread. This is a gritty concoction that you spread on and let dry it dries to a nice textured finish. I expect to spray it with an earth colour and then liberally cover it in MIG Pigment - Russian Earth and get some light grass down. I have pressed the vinyl tracks into the surface to get some track marks.

However, whilst taking the photos I forgot it was there and put the camera face down onto it. My camera lens cover is now stuck open! I managed to get the gritty pumice off the rest of it and I am hoping that the lens door will clear in time. I have made a small cover for the camera out of some chamois leather so having the lens open isn't a real problem. Ho hum!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I have made an easy way for you to access the blog.

Instead of the long winded version of before you can simply get to this blog now by entering

www.gsmblog.co.uk into your browser.

GSM stands for gentle Scale Modelling, of course :-)

Note that there is also a blog counter in the top right hand corner. This is the number of accesses since 13th of September 2009.


Marder tracks are on one side

Here is a picture of the Marder having been weathered somewhat, with the track on the left hand side. As you can see, the track sags nicely along the top rollers. Just what I wanted.

If you look carefully in the saucer in the background, you will see the two tarp supports from the rear of the fighting compartment. One broke off and I had trouble fitting the track so I broke the other one off. I thought - as I have to sort one out then two can't be that different!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Tracks are Finished

Well t only took a week of evenings and a lot of Monday but I have finally managed 96 links on each side which I think will be sufficient for the diorama.

Here is the completed pair.

 and this is why I wanted to make them.
See how they are so much more flexible than vinyl tracks!

Monday, September 14, 2009

One track made

So it hasn't been as bad as I thought!. I have one side made already. Of course, I have found out some things I can skip and some tricks.

When I started this, I went and drilled all of the holes out and then tried to feed the wire through each pair. If fact, I have found that the best way is this:
1. Put two links together
2. Drill out the holes in both of them so that it is clear
3. Run the wire through, holding the pair as they are left after the drill has come out
4. Set a drop of super glue on the end.
I then put 2s into 4s and so on to make the full run.

All of a sudden, it's running much quicker.

Here is the first side presented along with the vinyl tracks so you can see why I am bothering.
As usual, click on the image for a high resolution version.

Off I go to make the next one - grin.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friul Tracks

I am making the Marder and placing it on a diorama that will incorporate the maintenance crew that comes with the kit. However, I want to do it with a dropped track and I can't do that with the vinyl tracks that come with the kit. First off the dropped end won't lay properly and also the part left on the rollers won't sag as it should. So I have got a set of FriulModel white metal tracks. Now if you have never used these, what you get is a pile (210 in this case) of individual white metal track links and a roll of thin wire.

Step 1. Clear out the two holes across each track link to ensure good clearance using a 0.4mm drill. (420 operations)
Step 2. Cut a piece of wire and insert in into the holes thereby linking two track links together. (210 operations)
Step 3. Once inserted, place a dot of super glue on the end of the wire - the other end is blind so only one end needs to be secured. (210 operations)
Step 4. Cut each length of wire to length (210 operations).
I make this 1050 individual actions, assuming no fumbling, dropping etc.

Will I do this again? Maybe not!
BTW, I notice from the photo that one of the rear tarp supports on the Marder has got broken. Yet another little problem - smile.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Moving on with the Marder

I had to steel myself to attempt a free hand three colour camo for this. I have now done it and have started picking out the details.

Here we are.

(as usual, you can click on the picture to see a larger image).
Maybe looking at the larger image isn't a good idea. I now see where I have some paint filling in and touching up to do!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Making something easy for a change

I took the Tamiya Marder III home. This is the kit with the ICM maintenance figures.

The last time that I tried three colour camo, I made it very dark on a PzIV JadgPanzer so I need to get this one right.
The kit went together as any Tamiya kit does. It was bit complicated in parts and I made my usual silly mistakes. Once I told my wife 'you know that with a Tamiya kit, if it doesn't fit, then you have got it wrong'. I then proceeded to mess about with things and finally got the top of the chassis on incorrectly. Fortunately, it doesn't notice!

I bought a Jordi Rubio metal barrel for it which seems to be a bit thicker than the plastic one because the barrel clamp doesn't fit. I want to do a small diorama with a dropped track so I am getting some metal tracks this week.

Here are the pictures in grey primer. Tonight, I put the three colour camo on (tri-tonal - as MIG have it). I will post some pictures tomorrow. Hopefully, now I can get on with detail painting.

This has been fun so far.