In the meantime I had the chance to finish the Kettenkrad and the figures in almost one go, with some relaxing weeks of holidays in between. So this is now the result:
The figures where finished and painted using Vallejo acrylics and some oil washes. The Krad was heavily weathered, starting with sponge chipping and some hand painted chips, using oil washes and a lot of dirt, consisting of oils, plaster and white spirit.
For the base, I discovered that artists’ acrylic paste mixed with plaster and acryilc color makes some very good mud, and I also applied this mixture to the Krad and the trailer. The puddles of still water were added using Vallejo Still Water.
The load of the trailer is from the spare box, and consists of jerry cans, blanket, and bags.
Now this project is finished, it was very demanding due to the sculpture of four figures and the amount of changes required for the Kettenkrad, but I also had a lot of fun and I am quite happy with the result (and my somewhat improving sculpting skills)…
I have now finished the construction of the Krad, and now it can be painted:
The third soldier is now also almost finished, and I started to sculpt the coat of the fourth guy that will be sitting in the trailer:
Now I have finished the last figure:
The small trailer of the Krad (called Sonderanhaenger 1) was built completely from scratch. The body is made from brass sheets, the mudguards from putty, and all other items are from my stash. Now the little thing is finished:
I did not detail the interior, as the trailer will be fully loaded.
In the meantime I finished the first two figures that will be sitting on the bench in the back of the Kettenkrad:
With the third figure, that will sit on top of the other two, I am currently working on the coat. I just realized that the belt is sitting way to high up, so there will be some corrections to be made. Work on the fourth figure (sitting in the trailer) has just started:
Based on my experience from scultping the PaK crew, I think that is really important to shape the body proportions accurately. Doing so, sculpting the clothing is much easier, as there is no need to correct the shape of the body, and full attention can be paid to get the clothing right.
I also noticed that it is so much easier to sculpt clothing from putty that has already started to cure. It is less sticky, holds the shapes much better and there is almost no danger of leaving fingerprints on items made from rolled out putty when applying them to the figure.
Bearing these findings in mind, I continued to work on the two soldiers that will sit on the back seat of the Kettenkrad. The pictures show them at a stage where the trousers are shaped, and the lower parts of the coats are also put into place. You can also see the much more defined upper parts of the body.
I continued to build the rear of the Kettenkrad, adding the rails on both sides and the exhaust (which was completely missing in the kit). I also started to glue the overlapping road wheels of the running gear together, to avoid later problems with adjusting the wheels precisely. The whole array of wheels can still be removed from the axles to faciliate painting:
The Kettenkrad scene features four soldiers sitting on the back of the Krad, and on the trailer. These figures will be sculpted next. For the driver figure, I plan to use the converted driver from the Kettenkrad kit.
I start again with the armatures from brass wire, this time soldering the wires also together. Then I add some Milliput and the boots. The two figures that will be seated the lowest on the Krad have already been formed into their poses, with some Milliput used to stabilize the legs. The last pictures show how the two guys will be seated.
The gearbox is now finished, and glued into the hull together with the engine. Adding all the small details was actually a lot of fun. I then pushed the bent side parts a bit apart using a piece ofthick styrene sheet, added the fasteners of the stowage boxes on both sides, and finally glued the bench on its place at the back. I also soldered together a frame holding the hatches that regulate the cooling air intake (located below the bench), and glued it into the hull. On the last pictures, the driver’s seat can be seen with its mount, also soldered together from scratch. The pin will be fitted into the lower part of the mount to fix the seat permanently later on.
In the meantime, I started to work on the Krad. First, I collected some reference pictures from still existing vehicles, together with all wartime sources I could find.
Then I started to build the body. As the details of the Dragon kit are rather poor, there is some substantial detailing needed. I removed some parts on the back that will be recreated from brass rods, hollowed the fenders with my Dremel tool and put some parts together for the basic shape of the model. As can be seen from the picture taken from the front of the vehicle, the sides are bent a little, which will be corrected by adding the engine cover and the bench on the back. Also quite some filling and sanding will be needed:
The engine is fairly detailed, and as I will not leave the engine cover open, this should be ok. But the gearbox, the support for the seat and all the mechanical parts underneath the driver’s seat are very poorly modelled, i. e. most of them are completely missing. So I took my references, and started to build the gearbox from scratch: