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.

 

Marder II continued

In the meantime, I added the ammunition boxes on the back of the vehicle, as well as the drivers compartment. I also finished the side armors, which were painted and weathered inside, and then added to the hull. Before I will mount the main gun, I decided to finish the running gear first to minimize the need for handling the model with the gun mounted. Due to the very open construction, the build is a constant iteration from building to painting to building again.

So I started to add mud and dust, and also worked on a set of Friul tracks.

The mud texture consists of a mixture from acrylic paint, artists’ acrylic medium, real earth and plaster. After having tried some readily mixed diorama mud products, I am quite sure that these are also based on simple artists’ acrylic medium. So it is a much more flexible approach to create this on your own, and also the earth texture can be varied and better controlled by mixing it yourself. The plaster is also a quite useful ingredient, as it helps to add texture as well and guarantees a dead matt finish of the mud.

New project: Panzerjaeger I

Still working on the Marder II, I started to build the next open top tank hunter, the very first of its kind: the Panzerjaeger I. This vehicle consisted of a Chech 47mm anti tank gun mounted on a Panzer I B chassis, and was manufactured from 1940 to 1941. Despite its obvious shortcomings, being under-motorized, providing not enough space and minimal protection for the crew, it still was a effective weapon not only used against enemy tanks, but also against machine gun nests or buildings.

The kit is from Dragon, with an extensive array of Aber sets available. I also bought the upper hull, the basic set and fenders from Aber. As with the Marder, I started building the interior that will be completely painted and weathered, before I glue the hull parts together and finish the build. The interior is simpler than the one from the Marder, and a lot of nice details like the vision ports are contained in the Aber sets.

This is the current state of the build:

Marder II (Sd Kfz 131)

The third German tank hunter I am going to build is one of the earlier ones, a Marder II. This vehicle is more a self propelled anti-tank gun, based on the carriage of the Panzer II and either a Russian 7.62mm gun (Sd Kfz 132) or the German 75mm Pak 40. As such, it has an open fighting compartment, with a lot of details to be shown, and only limited protection for the crew. Despite this and the very high silhouette that made hiding and/or camouflaging difficult, it was a successful interim solution, until “real” tank hunter like the Jagdpanzer 38 (Hetzer) became available.

The build is based on a Dragon kit (6423), with PE parts from Voyager (base set and fenders) and Friul tracks. The quality of the Dragon kit is mixed, with some very detailed parts (e. g. the Pak itself), but a lot of detail lacking inside the vehicle. Also the usual upper/lower hull part split really makes no sense for this vehicle, so the first step consists of cutting the upper hull into pieces, and cutting of the fenders.

I also bought a Nuts&Bolts volume on this vehicle, which is very helpful as it contains a lot of reference photos from museum vehicles, that help a lot to understand the build of the original vehicle, and which details have to be added. Together with some more pictures available on the Internet, I was pretty confident in having enough references available. So I started to build the first stage of the interior, that then will be painted and weathered, before the remaining parts will be built and added later. And as said above, I needed some time to really understand and being able to replicate the original build.

The pictures then show the state right before the first round of painting:

As can be seen, the engine housing is more or less the original kit part, but the fuel tank has to be build from scratch, as the original part has way too thick sides. The gearbox also can be used without a lot of modifications, but around it and on the sides of the interior, a lot of detail has to be added. I also started to rebuild the upper part of the drivers’ compartment from sheet styrene, as the original part is also way too thick and completely misses the internal structure that will be at least partly visible from outside. I also plan to open the drivers’ viewing hatch, which will be also much easier using scratch built parts.