Now I have finished the Puma build. Construction went well and very fast, as I didn’t wanted to show interior details, apart from the two hatches on top of the turret. But these two were planned to be filled with the two SS tanker figures, so also no need to apply more detail than the rudimentary gun breech from the kit.
The vegetation on the base is from Silhoutte, and turns out to be quite realistic. The grass on the base was airbrushed and highlighted using Tamiya acrylics, but the foliage on the “bushes” that were used to camouflage the vehicle were used from the box, after receiving a layer of matt varnish (also to cover the shiny spots from glueing the foliage to the branches). Attaching the foliage is a quite stressful endeavour, and finally I got the best results by cutting the foliage material into small pieces, that were then attached with a slow, gel-like superglue from the hobby shop. CA used for PE dries out to fast, and also the gel structure helps to attach the material much better. I also tried white glue, but this dries way to slow.
Actually applying the bushes as camouflage was fun, and I managed to strike the balance between applying an sufficient amount of bushes to appear realistic (which is a lot, as can be seen from historic reference fotos), and still being able to show some details of the vehicle.
The figures are stock Alpine.
I somehow fell in love with the 8-wheel German reconnaissance cars, as I really enjoyed the built of the Puma, which to me is a very elegant and surprisingly modern looking vehicle. Now I embark on a more museal endeavor, and start to build the precursor, the 8-wheel Buessing NAG reconnaissance car SdKfz 231.
The kit I am going to use is the AFV one, depicting a very early version. I also bought the Nuts & Bolts volume 35, and the reference photos show some very seasoned vehicles also during later stages of WW2, when already later versions of the SdKfz 231 where in production. I added a PE set from Voyager, and also a cheap set from Eduard. Usually I do not like Eduard PE set, but this particular one features the additional front armor plate that was introduced after the French campaign, and on almost any vehicle seen after, e. g. in Russia or North Africa.
But finally I changed my mind and will use the kit without the front armor, showcasing a scene in France in 1940. I will also add some Alpine tanker figures, and some left over civilians featuring a street cafe in a small village.
Construction starts with the chassis, and resembles the SdKfz 234 construction, apart from the fact that all parts look more fragile. The plastic of the AFV kit is a bit soft, and tends to break away when cut from the fret, so some filling will be needed.
After quite some time I finished the little Nebelwerfer scene. Building the launcher itself was fun, as the kit is very good, although sometimes a bit tricky to assemble. The Verlinden figures were a bit weak, so I added some volume to the clothing using Magicsculp. Now they look much more like wearing German winter uniforms. The third figure lifting up the launcher grenade is scratchbuilt. The heads are from Hornet.
Having finished the Panzwerfer and also on the way to finish the Nebelwerfer, I started work on a new vehicle, the eight – wheeled recon car 234/2, which is the version using the turret of the abandoned “Leopard” project, featuring a 5cm gun. The German eight – wheeled recon cars proved to be very useful despite some shortcomings, exhibiting a very good off-road performance, and influenced many post-war designs. I also like the look of the 234s, which to me are among the most elegant German vehicles used in WW2.
The vehicle will be from SS-Panzer-Aufklaerungsabteilung 1 located in France during the summer of 1944.
The kit is from Dragon, and I also bought some PE add-ons from Aber (covers of the stowage cases in the fenders) and Voyager Model, a turned gun barrel and a PE / resin set from Voyager to make the wheel suspension movable.
The latter turned out to be quite unnecessary, as I used the kit´s plastic parts instead of the resin parts, which can be used as well after some cutting and drilling. Actually, the suspension can be made fully movable with only using the kit parts and some brass rods.
I started to work on the suspension. The quality of the kit is very high so far, with nice and crisp details.
During the first days of January I finished the Panzerwerfer. The figures are from Royal Model:
Now I glued the halves of the Panzerwerfer together, added the final details and painted the vehicle. The camouflage pattern is based on a picture in the very useful Nuts & Bolts Vol. 30 issue. The launcher was built from brass, and parts from a Royal Model kit. I glued in nine of the ten launcher rockets, the last one is handled by the figures that will be added to the model.
Now I will start with the weathering steps and also add the last details…
As I was doing research for the Panzerwerfer project, I also bought a 15 cm Nebelwerfer kit from Lionroar. It is actually a very nicely detailed kit, with the werfer tubes and their support being all made from brass. The carriage however will need some brass additions. As I was also searching for figures, I added a figure set from Verlinden, showing two soldiers in winter clothing that handle Nebelwerfer rockets. So when I came across the picture below, I thought that this would make a nice follow – up project for the Panzerwerfer.
With the last sculpted figure, this project is now finally finished:
With the Panzerwerfer, I stopped rebulding a second version of the chassis and used the original Dragon Maultier chassis instead. Then I added the hull parts from the Italeri kit parts and some scratch made brass sheets. Finally, I added some scratch built interior. As this will be barely visible at the end, it should be fine the way it is done. The rockets for the Werfer were copied in resin:
There are at least two interior sets commercially available (Royal Model and Verlinden), but both miss parts, e. g. the structure in the upper half of the hull on which the rocket launcher rests. So I built everything on my own, using the few parts from the Italeri kit.
In the mean time I finished the interior (that will be barely visible on the finished vehicle):
I fixed the personal carrier to the base, added some details (tools on a cloth, parts from the open stowage box, a jerrycan) and finished the two guys working on the right track. Now the only thing left is to sculpt the soldier painting on the mud. The mud itself is already visible on the left side of the hull: