The Schwimmwagen

After finishing the build of the Opel Maultier, I started to work on the Schwimmwagen. The kit is from Tamiya, and I will add PE parts from an Aber set. I will start with detailing the two hull parts, which will also be painted and weathered before being glued together:

Most additional parts are from the PE set, with some scratch built parts from styrene and brass.

I now painted and weathered the interior, and glued the hull together. Then I continued adding details and PE parts:

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The Maultier is (almost) finished

During the last two weeks, I continued to work on the Maultier. I finished the driver’s cab, added the putty details to the canvas and finally also painted the cargo bay. After a intensive round of weathering using oils, I put all three main parts (frame, cabin, cargo bay) together and added some mud from enamels, also adding plaster. Then I added the wheels and the running gear, and did another round of mud. Finally, I assembled the tracks, using a Friulmodel Pz I set, and redid the mud.

What is still missing is the refinement of the mud coverage, but this I will do when also the Schwimmwagen is finished, so I can do the mud also on the base, and finish all at once, so that the same colors and textures are used.

I also started to build the Tamiya Schwimmwagen, adding PE parts from an Aber set. As there are plenty of reference photos available, some additional scratch built details will also be added.

News from the Maultier

I started to build the Dragon Maultier, by assembling the individual parts separately (cargo bay, frame, driver´s cab). During the assembly of the driver´s cab, I painted the individual parts already, as they will not be accessible later. Then I kept the roof and the doors separate, and started to sculpt two figures that will be placed inside the cab. Having finished these figures, I placed them into the driver´s cab.

The cargo bay was assembled from the kit, with some PE parts added. From the start, I planned to add a canvas from MagicSculp. So I did not bother to add all the details that will disappear below the canvas, and only added the bars supporting the canvas. Then I added the canvas from putty sheets, and started to add the details.

I added two FJ figures

After finishing the motorcycle, I added two nice Fallschirmjaeger figures from Alpine, that were used almost unaltered. Only the MP 40 of one figure was exchanged against one from Dragon, taken from the spares box. I also added a pair of goggles to the guy with the MP, carefully removed from another resin head.

Painting went quite well and was a lot of fun. Then I fixed the two figures to the base:

Ardennes 1944 revisited

Making good progress on the Ramcke vignette featuring the BMW R75, I started with another project that will keep me busy until the end of the year. Inspired by the famous pictures taken at the Kaiserbaracke cross roads, between Malmedy and St Vith, I will create a scene located on a forest road in December 1944 in this area. The scene will feature an Opel Maultier halftrack, and a Schwimmwagen (like in one of the original pictures), together with some advancing / marching Waffen SS troopers.

The Maultier is from Dragon, the Schwimmwagen from Tamiya, with some PE sets from Aber and Voyager. I will start with the Maultier, targeting at the drivers cab first, as I will add two figures inside the cab, made from MagicSculp.

The bike is built

During the last two weeks, I almost finished the build of the motorcycle, with the sidecar being left to be built. As in the last build, I used a lot of scratch parts, together with some of the kit’s PE and plastic parts. Now the bike is ready to be primed:

For the brake and clutch cables, I used the old school thinned plastic wires made from heated sprue parts. They just have the right tension and look better than brass or copper wires.

Sonderkommando Dora finished

After fixing the Kuebel to its base, and adding some stowage (some scratchbuilt, some from the spares box), I started to paint the figures. Both were stock figures, requiring slight changes to make them fit to the windscreen position as shown in the reference picture. Then painting started. I also added a board with a map, which is actually a real Dora map.

Having finished painting the figures, I fixed them to the car. Now this scene is also finished.

Started to build the motorcycle

I started to build the cycle, and this was surprisingly sobering. Before this kit, I had a look at three others, when I first built the BMW R75. There is the very old and outdated kit from Tamiya, which features a very good reproduction of the fork of the front wheel, and there is a kit from Italeri, that has nicely detailed parts like the engine cylinders, but also gross mistakes. The one I used as basis for my first build is the kit from Masterbox, which has many correct features and follows the composition of the original bike quite closely.

Talking about the Lion Roar kit now, it is very detailed, but also has some failures and missing details, that contrast strangely with the level of detail present in other parts of the motorcycle. Fortunately, there is an abundance of reference material on the web, including an original instructions manual and spare parts list from BMW, so that all errors can be corrected.

The fuel tank is molded to the frame, which is not the case for the Masterbox kit, looks ugly, and restrains adding details to the engine. Also the brass part visible above (and added by me) connecting the lower and the upper part of the frame is molded to the engine in the kit, which looks really ugly. Having corrected this, I now arrived at the basic frame and the engine being put together.

Of course the kit also has its positives. The tires are made from five different parts, and together with the pre-bent PE spokes and the ingenious two part wheel hubs, this builds quite easily into stunningly good looking wheels.

Many parts, like the foot brake, the kick starter and the foot rests are available either as plastic or PE parts. Here, the plastic parts often are out of scale, i.e. too thick, whereas the PE parts suffer from being flat… So these parts have to be scratch build, using the PE parts as far as possible.