Katiusha rocket launcher BM-13 on Studebaker US6

As a side project, I built one of the iconic vehicles of WW2, a Russian BM-13 rocket launcher mounted on a Studebaker US6 lend-lease truck. The kit is from ICM, I added some PE from a set for the conventional US6 truck from Voyager, and completely rebuilt the cradle of the rocket launcher unit from scratch, using reference photos as guidance. I also replaced the sheets that cover the driver’s cabin and the front window with scratch built brass parts, which look much more in scale compared to the parts from the kit. I finally added two Russian soldiers.

The end 1945 – Adolf Hitler

One issue of the Weathering Magazine features a large scale metal figure of “the Führer”, looking over the ruins of Berlin (and his short-lived empire). I found this very inspiring, and decided to purchase the figure from Andrea. The subject is controversial, and this is by no means any glorification of Hitler, but I took the opportunity to paint a larger figure.

I also added another figure, called “the Speaker”, depicting Hitler around 1934 speaking to the public.

I added two small bases, with some scratch built microphones going with the “speaker”. Painting was fun, although quite a challenge due to the considerable weight of the metal figures.

Jagdtiger reworked

After a longer break from modelling, I finished the second model of Jagdtiger 314 with the Porsche suspension. As the original tank had no Zimmerit coating, and was abandondened in March 1945, I decided to rebuilt the model, depicting the famous scene of the vehicle in a ditch near to a small tree besides a road.

I reused the two US soldiers from the original scene, and added my first attempt of a wire-made tree, which turned out to be quite time-consuming, as on the original pictures from early spring, the tree has no leaves, calling for many branches to work out… with foliage, these kind of trees are presumably less work.

Panzerjäger Nashorn (Sd Kfz 164)

After quite some time I now finished another tank hunter, the Nashorn. Featuring the long-barreled 88mm Pak43, this was also one of the mounted anti-tank guns, but now built on a tailored base (the Geschützwagen III/IV).

There are numerous pictures of the original vehicle available, and I got inspired by one showing a dispatch rider handing some message to a Nashorn commander. There is actually a figure set available from the Russian manufacturer Stalingrad, featuring six resin figures plus a very nicely crafted horse. As kit I chose the AFV offering, adding a PE set from Voyager models. The idea then was to depict a Nashorn of schwere Panzerjaegerabteilung 519 in winter withewash, located near Vitebsk (Belarus) in January 1944.

The build itself took some time, with many thoughts going into what should be build and painted when. To me, open-roof combat vehicles are both a blessing and a curse, as you can depict many many details, but the assembly just takes a lot of time.

Especially the gun shield took some time, as I ended up using the kit plastic part, with the PE part having the wrong shape.

The whitewash was executed using hairspray, painting and weathering went on quite fine.

The figures have nice poses and are a really good addition to the vehicle. The only downside of Stalingrad figures is that they don’t have the quality of e.g. Alpine offerings, so some cleanup using Magic Sculpt was required. There is one guy wearing a hood over his head, and the face was so badly moulded that I cut of the head, replaced it with an Hornet offering and resculpted the hood.

The finished vehicle

I placed the vehicle on a self made base, depicting a muddy road with remnants of snow.


The figures

A more elaborate base for the Jagdpanther

In between I was busy at work, but also managed to start a new build – a Takom Jagdpanther with interior. This was actually a very time consuming excercise, interesting and challenging, but unfortunately nothing at all of the interior will remain visible, as I will place the tank into a small scene again. At least, I left the roof of the fighting removable, so that I am able to take a look into the vehicle again. The tank is now almost finished, with only some dust effects and finishing touches left.

The Jagdpanther is from schwere Panzerjaeger-Abteilung 654, and the scene will depict the vehicle driving through a French town in late summer 1944. So I spent some more time on creating a base, which consists of a partly displayed house located at a street. All was more or less scratch built from plaster, with the doors and shutters made from styrene sheet.

This is the result so far:

Now I will add some figures depicting civilian refugees, and of course the Jagdpanther with some crew members.

Bulding a Hetzer Jagdpanzer

In between I also finished a Jagdpanzer 38(t), also known as “Hetzer”. The kit is from Tamiya, with a PE set from Aber. I also tried some masks from MXpression, which resemble the factory applied hard-edged camo schemes quite well. As the side walls of the Hetzer do not have that many add-ons like tool clamps etc., I sprayed the model already quite early, before attaching the tools, exhaust etc. This worked quite well, but still the masks are quite stiff, so I can not imagine how to apply the masks on a model that has all details already attached to it.

The figures are from Alpine.

Marder II finished

Over the summer break, I finished the Marder II scene. I found a historical picture showing a Marder driving through a sunflower field quite inspiring, so I built and painted quite a lot of Aber sunflowers (I lost count, but I think I added 60 or 70 if them). They look ok, but only if you look at them from their front side.

I also added two Alpine figures, depicting tankers in summer look, only wearing shirts. After all, the built took some time, as expected for an open vehicle, but the wealth of details really looks interesting, and you also get a good feeling for the real vehicle. The 75mm PaK looks quite big and very dominant on the rather fragile Panzer II chassis, I think this impression is even more evident if you look at a Marder I (the PaK on top of a even smaller French Hotchkiss or Lorraine chassis).

Below I added some pictures of the finished model.