Tuesday, March 31, 2015

MG42 Tripod Carrier completed

This has been a very interesting and fun build. As usual, with Young Miniatures, the kit went together very simply. I had to do a little research to ensure that the rifle was finished correctly. The box art showed that the rifle metal parts as being black, when in fact they were metal.

I had a problem with the ammo belts. They fell apart as I was cleaning them up and removing the moulding blocks. This left me with about 7 bits of the belts. I painted them up and then had to think about how to get them back together again. In the end, I used some double sided tape to get them in the correct setup and used the tape to attach the resulting two belts onto the figure.

Overall, I am very pleased with the result. I am left with one conundrum. The box art shows a shield on each side of the helmet. This has a red background and then a black swastika on a white field. My investigations lead me to believe that, by 1943, the German army had stopped putting such things on helmets as they provided accurate targets for snipers, etc. I am asking Mike Grzebien, from the Ipswich IPMS, for his opinion as he is a bit of an expert on such things.

If I have to do it, I have a sheet of swastikas that I purchased soon after getting the kit as I felt that it might come to this. I will have to make the shield using Adobe Illustrator and make up a decal. Let us wait and see.

A tripod carrier was part of a machine gun platoon. According to Wikipedia, the platoon was made up as follows:

"The optimum operating crew of an MG 42 for sustained fire operation was six men: the gun commander, the No.1 who carried and fired the gun, the No.2 who carried the tripod, and Nos. 3, 4, and 5 who carried ammunition, spare barrels, entrenching tools, and other items. For additional protection the commander, No.1 and No.2 were armed with pistols, while the remaining three carried rifles. This large team was often reduced to just three: the gunner, the loader (also barrel carrier), and the spotter."

Interestingly, it says that the No. 2 or tripod carrier was armed with a pistol but this model has been created with a rifle. My guess is that both happened in reality. Anyway, here are some images.

Friday, March 27, 2015

MG42 Tripod Carrier - getting close

I have done a lot of work on this figure. It has been a lot of fun and well worth the money. Did I mention how expensive these things are? This little kit of about 15 parts is £43.00 ($67.00)! It makes some 1/48th scale aircraft kits look cheap.

I have finished the body, the face, the tripod and the helmet. I have also prepared the rifle and the binoculars. If you remember, I broke the edge of the helmet but I seem to have fixed that OK

I am now working on the ammunition belts that hang down from his neck. These are extremely small and fragile. To give you an idea, firstly, I have included a scalpel in the image and secondly I should tell you that these are supposed to be in two parts not the 8 parts they are now. Somehow, I have to fix them to his body so that the disappear under his collar and then set the all together to hang below the rifle!

I am still painting them so someway to go yet. Once they are done and fixed, I can get the rest of the body together. It will then need a few coats of matt varnish to flatten everything down and then some gloss touch ups on his buttons, etc.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Further action with the Tripod Carrier

I have now stripped all of the resin casting blocks off the main parts. This is what everything looks like just before shooting some primer.

I had some trouble with the helmet. There was a very large resin casting block attached. I cut off most of it with a cutting disk on my Dremel but some of the helmet itself shattered. I took a small piece of thin plastic card and put it in boiling water so that I could bend it to fit. I then superglued it inside the helmet. This is where I have got to.

As you can see, I have a large area to fill.  I am hoping, once the superglue is fully set, that I can now continue the filling with Vallejo acrylic filler and then smooth it all over. Fingers crossed.

Friday, March 13, 2015

One of my life ambitions has just been realised

You must know by now that I have got back into car modelling in a fairly serious way and that I was very excited about getting the Tamiya Lotus 49 recently. Well, this set me on the road that led to the GT40, Shelby Cobra and Ferrari 250GTO. I still have a Ferrari 250LM, a 330P and a Shelby Mustang in the pile. These are all 1/24th and the Lotus is in 1/12th so a much bigger object entirely. However, the Tamiya Lotus set me thinking about my all time favourite kit that I thought was long gone. Way back in 1970/71 I lived in a flat in Norbury, South London with my wife and soon to be born first daughter, Samantha. I was as keen on F1 then as I am now and also as keen a model maker as now. I had a well paid job so could afford the more expensive kits around and one of them from that time  was the Tamiya 1/12th scale Lotus 49B - better known as the Gold Leaf Team Lotus car. I am talking about the car with the rear spoiler added on great long poles. I think that this was the first car to use rear spoilers. Fairly soon Colin Chapman redesigned it so that the spoiler was an integral part of the rear chassis. However, it was always the strange one that I loved. I made this kit sitting at our Habitat sourced pine table and hand painted it - airbrushes were not known to me then.

Recently, I was given a small amount of money as a present and, whilst looking for something to do with it, came across an EBay sale that was perfect. A company in Japan had an original Gold Leaf Lotus in 1/12th scale. It even reckoned that the decals were in good condition. their description was as follows:
  • The kit is also entirely unstarted and all parts are still in their bags.
  • Box condition is as shown.
  • Decal seal is no damaged.
After checking with SWMBO, I stumped up the £115 and crossed my fingers. That was on the 7th March. here we are on 13th March and, all the way from Japan, I have it to hand. The kit is in pristine condition and the decals do look usable so no worries there. The instructions are all in Japanese but I have the Lotus 49 kit to work from and I am sure that I have done this enough to be able to cope.

Here are some images.

I had to pay £28 for import charges - VAT and handling but - I HAVE MY DREAM KIT!!!!!!

I have now gone onto Hiroboy and purchased a set of Zero One paints for the Gold Leaf version. This kit might just have to jump to the front of the queue!

Monday, March 09, 2015

MG42 Tripod Carrier - off we go again!

I have had this kit in the cupboard for about a year. It is a 1/10th scale bust from Life Miniatures (the same as Young Miniatures I suspect). According to Wikipedia:

"The optimum operating crew of an MG 42 for sustained fire operation was six men: the gun commander, the No.1 who carried and fired the gun, the No.2 who carried the tripod, and Nos. 3, 4, and 5 who carried ammunition, spare barrels, entrenching tools, and other items. For additional protection the commander, No.1 and No.2 were armed with pistols, while the remaining three carried rifles. "

This figure is the guy that carried the tripod. The kit differs from the description in that the figure here is No. 2 and should be carrying a pistol. However, in the kit he is carrying a rifle. This is the box art so you can see what is supposed to come out of this.

This is an image of the parts to make up the tripod itself:

As usual, there are large resin moulding blocks to be removed from each part. Once there are cleaned up, it is still a bit of a mystery how they go together to make the finished article. Here are the only instructions that you get!

After some time pondering, I did manage to get the whole thing together such that it looks right and fits into the depression moulded into the back of the body.

The body is fantastically moulded and looks so good that I cannot wait to start painting.

More news as I progress.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Ferrari 250GTO finished - almost!

I have managed to get the GTO to a point where I can take it to the club tomorrow night. However, it has not been without drama. I am left feeling a bit disappointed with it as a model but, as my old friend Aaron used to say, it is very good as a four foot model - i.e. look at it from four feet away! I will intersperse the photos amongst the description. Firstly, the nose.

It doesn't look too bad from here. The fun came when I realised that I had left the chrome insert out of the nose. The nose itself is in two parts. I had a go at sliding it in but I couldn't get it to go in correctly. Thus, the nose that I had carefully filled in the joins and resprayed had to be pulled apart. I got it apart without too much damage and got the nose cone in place. As you can see, it had to go in as it gives a mount for the chrome Ferrari badge. I never did get the joint quite back as it was before :-( Before I fitted the chassis to the body, the bonnet sat perfectly. Now that the chassis is in, one of the air breathers on the engine sits a bit high and the bonnet now doesn't shut completely. Don't you hat that sort of thing as there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it.

Now to the right hand side.

This looks fine in the image but I have managed to damage the yellow decal. Either side of the bonnet (hood) there are catches that hold it down at race speeds. These are dropped through and moulded over using a heated blade so that they can be lifted and turned.Whilst trying to get the right hand side one to turn, I scraped the yellow decal so that there is now a red patch. (I have photoshopped that out for now!). After Clacton, I plan to mask out the yellow and re-spray it, although the new yellow is unlikely to match that on the door patches. Also, the right hand side front suspension was too high making the car sit on three wheels and look strange. The kit has sprung suspension using little metal springs. I managed to fit the front ones but never could get the back two in place so left them out. I wish that I had left them out of the front as well. I got both springs out OK using tweezers and now the car sits properly.

Rear end,

No real problems here except that there is an issue that comes out of the way the rear lights have been moulded. The top light is an indicator and is painted transparent orange. The middle is a brake light (?) that is painted in transparent red. Both of these fit over moulded pips on the body so the transparency really doesn't show - you see more of the red of the bodywork. The bottom light is moulded to fit into a slot and has no plastic behind it. The transparent red shows up really well here so the two red lights look different!

Now to the left hand side.

Now this looks OK. The fun bit is that I have made the door so that it opens. You are supposed to do this to both side and to the boot (trunk) lid but I glued those up.No real problems this side except that the front wheel fell of. It seems that the pin to hold it on was damaged. I filed everything flat and the wheel is now on with CA glue. You can see from this picture that I have yet to fit the inner panels of the air ejection paths at the back. These will be a pig to fit. You can only fit these after the body and chassis are together so I didn't have any choice

The inside. It is tricky to get a good photo when hand holding the camera so I will get a better image tomorrow night when I have my tripod fitted.

It was fun fitting the decals to traverse the door panel and on to the body. I had to do the same on the bonnet and the boot.

Lastly, here is a shot inside the bonnet. The bonnet lid doesn't stay up so I had to hold it in place with some masking tape.

Overall, I have enjoyed making this kit but it is very fiddly and building around a highly polished red body has not been fun. It's a nice one for the collection, though.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Next Car on the Blocks

Having made the GT40 and the Shelby Cobra, I then read the book about the fight between Ford and Ferrari. This started me off on a mission to build the competitor - Ferrari. I am still awaiting the 330P that is due from Hong Kong "any time now". I also have a very old, out of production, Academy Ferrari 250LM which will need some clever footwork with the decals which look as if they will fall apart without any contribution on my behalf!

In the meantime, I have a Revell Ferrari 250GTO - a car that I idolised in the early '60s - at least until the Cobra and the GT40 came along. I have got on quite well with it. There has been a lot of fuss in the magazines and the Internet regarding new Royal Mail regulations regarding paint. It has got so bad that Hannants now refuse to ship any aerosol paint at all - it is for local collection only! I have found that these are easily and cheaply obtained on EBay and Amazon. I paid £8.99 with free delivery for my rattle can of metallic blue and also to Amazon for the can I am using now - Revell Ferrari red. This seems to belie the "we cannot ship aerosols". It isn't quite list price but manageable.

Anyway, I have got on very well with the kit. Here is where I am. Firstly, here is the chassis:

You will notice that I haven't used etched brass seat belts. They are a lot of work and, inside a hard top, they really cannot be seen. I will save them for the next open top car. Here is a shot of the dashboard, which looks quite good.

I decanted the rattle can, as before and used my nice Iwata Revolution TR0 trigger airbrush to get the best possible finish. This is the body ready for all the other bits:

Lastly, here are the other body parts.

I have got on quite well since then so I will post some more tomorrow. I do hope to have it finished soon as it is the Clacton club meeting is on Thursday and I want to take it with me.