Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Revell No. 03180 Leopard II A6/A6M Finished

I started on the Leopard II A6M model of revell a while ago to make a review of this newly released model. The review can be found HERE.

I finished the model and made pictures last weekend:



The 'skirts' om the turret and front of the hull are used on the real thing to hide the shadows cast by the wedge shaped turret and hull (This picture is not really my best):

In real life:

Saturday, 18 February 2012

s.K18 (Schwere Kanone 18)

Time to take a look at a model from ACE, a model manafacturer from Ukrane. In this case we look at the model of the "schwere Kanone 18" (kit no. 72219)or 'Heavy cannon 18'. This was a 10,5 cm cannon used by the germans in WWII. It has the same undercarage as the s.FH 18 (Schwere FeldHaubitzer 18, also produced by ACE as no. 72218) but a different caliber gunbarrel. The s.K18 was not a very popular weapon, it's caliber was the same as the l.FH18 (leichte Feld Haubitzer) which was a weapon with the same caliber but a much lower weigth making it easier to transport. It range was larger though. Typically the s.K18 had to be transported by a Sd.Kfz. 7.

The boxart

The model from ACE is the only plastic model of this weapon 1/72. ACE is a company from the Ukrane producing in small batches which has some advantages and disadvantaches.

The disadvantages:
  • The moldings are not up to the standard of Revell or other brands. You need to sand a lot of seems from the place where the mouldhalves meet (flash this kind of exces plastc is called). A coarse grade of sandpaper is recommended to get trough the worst of the flash. Also the parts are not always molded in a sharp form. When you have assembled the model it looks like something you could never make into something decent but once the sanding is done it looks all different. Now sanding is ofcourse a very basic modelling skill and in this scale it doesn't even take long.
  • The buildingplan is quite a disaster since the parts are not numbered on the sprue on particular product and it is not always clear from the drawing what the part looks like on the sprue. This is solved by making a 'map' of the sprue and putting the numbers on there, not really handy. Fortunately most parts are recognisable without help of this 'map'.
  • Not always easy to purchase.

The advantages:
  • There range is quite extensive and has some unique vehicles.
  • Very compatitatively priced considering the fact it is a limited edition kit. (The price is the same as a Revell model)
  • The model is made out of injected plastic so it can be build with your normal modelling tools.
  • Photo etched parts are included.
  • Shells and ammunition is included.

The model is ofcourse a gun which is always a difficult subject. I encountered no real difficulties in the construction. On the real vehicle there is a kind of 'table' with probarbly elevation angles and ranges attached on the side of the guncradle. This part is missing and must be added by the builder. The same goes for the strips holding the range sticks. (red & white sticks on the photo's).
The only difficulty encountered you won't see with a Revell kit is the fact that all parts need a lot of sanding, also the small ones. When I started building the model by getting the parts from the sprue I really thought "Just what the hell did I get myself in to now?". But once you start sanding the parts begin to look good. When all the parts are glued together it already looks like a decent model and I was curious how the result would look like once painted. It turned out to be one of my better productions.

I painted mine as a piece used by the Afrika Korps with desert yellow strips over a panzer gray background. The 'legs' are bolted with large bolts and the model looks good when heavily drybrushed. That's why I chose an example from the Afrika Korps, I imagine the rough conditions of the dessert will wear off the paint fast exposing the panzer grey and groundpaint (reddish) under the dessert yellow. After I made the model a placed it in a diorama as showing the gun being captured by the British 8th army which is historically correct.

The photo's:




After these photo's are made I painted a few pistons silver and added sand to the tires.

I can recommend this model to everyone who has basic modelling skills and is willing to put some effort in a model because of the quite extensive sanding. With basic skills you can build a very good model of a uniquie gun. The adres of the ACE website is: http://www.acemodel.com.ua/ here you can see there extensive modelrange including many heavy german and also sovjet AT-guns. You can also see which models are currently in production and which are not. I bought my example at the modelhobbies webstore in the UK.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

PzH2000

Time for a new blog-entry since the last one was far too long ago! Let't take a look at the PzH2000 of Revell (no. 03121).

The PzH2000 is short for PanZerHowitzer 2000 (Armored Howitzer 2000) and is a self propelled howitzer. The most promiment features are the turret and barrel which are large for even a howitzer. (The barrel for example is 8m long) The vehicle weights 55 tons and the costs per unit are about €4.000.000. The PzH2000 can fire rounds accurately up to 35 km. A special thing this vehicle can do is 'shoot and scoot', meaning it can shoot rounds and drive away immediately afterwards to an other place to fire on the target again. This is to prevent enemy aircraft pin-pointing it's position. You might wonder why howitzers are still used in this time of aircraft and jets. One of the reasons is that a howitzer can give accurate heavy fire support for 24 hours a day 7 days a week for a fraction of the costs of air support.

The model of Revell is the only model of this vehicle availible in 1/72. (The Revell model no.03042 in 1/35 is also the only one availible in 1/35.) It has about 130 parts and is very detailed. The parts fit very well and look good. Only the headlightguars are a bit thick. There is a flaw is the back of the hull. It is not really clear how the backplate has to be fitted. If you put it more forewards you have a kind of 'step' on the back which is not there in reality. If you glue it more to the aft you end up with a hole in the back of the hull roof. This is not really a problem since it won't be seen once the turret is placed. An other part to watch is the 'barrelclip' (the thing that holds the barrel in place in transportmode). It has no clear location marks so there is a change you end up placing it to far to the left or right. The best way to place it is by putting the turret on the vehicle and direct barrel straight forward. Finally the real vehicle has a cloth 'sleeve' around the first part of the barrel, this is not molded in plastic so you have to make this yourself. I used aluminumfoil fot this.

On to the photo's! I painted mine as a vehicle used by the Dutch Royal Army:





This is a very detailded model but not difficult to build. It model can be improved by adding photo etched parts but Revell pressed the maximum out of the plastic. Recommended for all smale scale modern armor fans!