Slaving on the hull

After the turret was assembled, the lower hull with its endless amount of wheels followed. I mean, there's an obscene number of them, we'll see later if I manage to take it easy or if I repeat some of my earlier Tiger-series related mistakes. The first task is to attach those "torsion bar suspension" pieces (no, I don't know much if anything about different suspension systems).

When you skip the slow tasks...
I spent one afternoon cleaning up those road wheels of flash and other crap. While working on them I decided that nothing else should be done to them at this point, because I couldn't attach them anywhere anyway. That's because - as everyone knows - if you attach the road wheels and the tracks before the lower hull is painted, there'll be awful gaps here and there. And I didn't have the paints I ordered so I couldn't even paint the wheels at this point.

That's how I do these things, anyway. There's less swearing and fewer "how the hell do I fix that now?" moments. So I skipped a couple of parts in the instructions and kept working on the hull parts. It's all pretty simple and straightforward.

My odd customizing idea
When I got to the tools I thought: what if all that junk went to a couple of engineering boxes (that's a fancy army word for a toolbox) instead of getting rusty and accumulating shit on the outside. There's a couple of neat places for toolboxes, such as next to the exhaust pipes. Maybe something could fit on the sides, depending on how it'd look.


It's a good idea to start with the part that says "boom"

The instructions started with the turret's assembly, so that's where I started as well. After these first steps I have to keep a close eye so I don't ruin my painting by blocking some places before I even get to take the airbrush out. A Wehrmacht officer was included in the kit but as he looked so german and not modifiable to represent a finn, I left him for a future model. The model itself is going to be a "pinned down" version with all its hatches closed.

Tank made famous by the Commando comics
When I was younger I read a lot of Commando (for action and adventure) comics because my father had a good collection of them at my grandparents. They were mostly from the seventies and eighties. I still remember several stories really well (I read all them many times) and one of my favourites was about a King Tiger tank. I found the cover of a finnish version, but not the english one.

Didn't find the english version of this cover, sorry
Damnit, where can I find these things? They're lots of fun to read and you even learn a couple of german words, too! Himmel!

The turret itself
So, because I decided to build the model with closed hatches the two first steps were pretty simple. Glue the hatches shut and then add the handles. For a while I pondered if I should add transparent plastic pieces in the viewports but I quickly decided to skip this idea. It was an easy decision because they'd been badly on the way while painting - or they'd require a very delicate masking. Those masks would've most likely either blocked some areas that needed to be painted or the masking tape would've torn some paint off... So: no. I don't have that bad case of AMS so far.
So far.

For some reason the rear hatch of the tower wasn't even buildable open, which confused me a bit. At least the King Tiger I built earlier (in 2002 if my memory serves me correctly) was built so that each hatch could be opened. Not that it matters because I wasn't going to do that, I was just wondering.

One of the main pieces to be built was obviously the 88 KwK. The barrel's halves joined each other pretty nicely and there wasn't much to be filed away. There was no coaxial mg anywhere, just the holes in the frontal armor of the turret. Then again, I can't remember if you could see that one at all to begin with... so maybe my wondering is pointless.

Modifications? What modifications?
I've been googling a lot for any sort of reference for what kind of modifications the finnish army made on its tanks. The StuG assault guns got some concrete, tree trunks and stowage bins added on them. T-34's donated by the soviets didn't get either concrete or logs as armor reinforcement, but I think some of them got additional containers somewhere. Perhaps the King Tiger would survive just nicely without any extra shielding, its armor is always sloped unlike the blocky StuG's. Adding a box or two might prove somewhat problematic, for these tanks don't have too much extra space on them.

Maybe I could cut a couple sections of the skirts away and put a box on those empty slots? You know, those things that cover the tracks partially. Oh well, we'll see if any of this makes any sense or if the camoflage pattern itself with markings is enough to make this tank look finnish.


Half-planned is almost done already

This year's first smaller than real world scale project is, as I think I've already stated, my acquirement from Model Expo 2011. I may have pondered on this idea back in the day, but now I*m more sure of it. We'll see if it works as well as I hope it does.

Project: SdKfz 182 mit Porsche Turm
Whatever one thinks of the name above and its accuracy, at least everybody knows what I'm talking about when I say "King Tiger with a Porsche turret". Somehow I like how the Porsche turret looks like and as I've already built a "normal" production version with a Henschel turret (Elvis), this one was an obvious choice. I seem to recall that Elvis isn't a pretty one, so I may have to redo it at some point with a bit more skill (I hope). And after this I can declare that I've built each main type of a Tiger tank at least once.

What if...
I've been building and painting german tanks just about always, though I've used those colours and patterns that I wanted to or felt like using. This time we'll be going to the always intriguing world of what-iffing.

Should the wings of history have beaten a bit differently, maybe we could've seen tanks a lot more gallant than captured T-34's on these latitudes. I can't say if those ~70-ton monsters would've fared well in the forests and whatnots in the Karelia or other places, but who cares about such details? In the alternate timeline I just pulled out of my nonexistent hat these Tigers that were delivered weren't in an awful hurry to the frontlines, so there was plenty of time to repaint them to the army's pattern over the Panzergrau or Dunkelgelb.

Maybe they would've modified these tanks a bit, too. They could've added some stowage bins and other useful things. A good example is the stuff they did to the StuGs: they got reinforced with concrete, logs and all that. I'm considering.

The flames of war
For some pretty strange reason I had problems finding the wartime color codes and patterns of the finnish army vehicles. I blame my tiredness and serious mocca-deprivedness of these problems ;) In the end I found myself in a Flames of War site that had just the images and texts I was more or less looking for. I guess those will get me somewhere and the rest of the net to the final stages of the build.

My paint problem was solved by Combat Models, or that's how it looks like right now. There's no similar set with Vallejo products, but maybe this will do just fine.


Project year '12 starts exceptionally

The year changed, so what?
My winter vacation is now depleted and the week #1 went jolly nicely with the "let's move to the next city"-project. That's why I set the last batch of posts on a timer a bunch of weeks ago. And this is what the last days have gone with: unloading, sorting and repositioning things. Luckily it's now done.

A sad excuse for a man-cave
At least I got some space for my modeling and stuff. Let's see if it's useful in the end. Of course I ended up in the corner :P As the whole apartment is still a huge "work in progress", time will tell what happens, how and when. I guess and hope I have some furniture to be built next week, but maybe it won't take all week?

Santa popped by
Nicely enough, santa popped by and dropped a bit more to build for a well-behaved project mumbler. And that something was mindwarmingly something new again, like the halftrack I got the previous year. To be more exact, I got an Italeri M10 "Achilles".
There's not much I can say of Italeri's kits because I don't think I've built much. All I can remember is the awful-ish sWS mit Panzerwerfer 42. But I'll give this one the benefit of the doubt. For a change the kit is also non-german so I get to panic about the paint schemes even more. Of course I could've decided to make this a captured vehicle, but I don't think I'll do that in the end.

Oh, and no small dudes are included in the kit, even though one could expect some of them, because there are people in the pic. Doesn't matter :)


Draconis Combine - the 5th Sword of Light

The 5th Sword of Light, also known as the Gold Dragon is a very old (founded in 2796) and traditional unit. It consists of four Batallions of three Companies each, so there's quite a few 'Mechs to be painted: 48 in total. The Draconis Combine is, along with the Lyran Alliance, one of my favourite countries in the Inner Sphere and I like the red scheme of the SoL units, so I guess I'll be painting more of them. Perhaps a couple of Lances, even, so I can field a full Company.

That means I need Catapults, Dragons and Crabs at least and while we're talking about the Combine, one just can't do without a Hatamoto-Chi! Perhaps a Naginata and some others could be added as missile launchers, but if we talk about all of the aforementioned 'Mechs in plural, I'm going to end up with a Batallionful... Not that I'm complaining but I need to get the Jade Falcons' 3rd Falcon Talon Cluster completed first. All those 72 Points :)


Lyran Alliance - 3rd Lyran Guards

The units of the Lyran Alliance have the habit of being blue-white, so they're easily recognizeable. The Lyran Alliance is also one of my favourite countries in the Inner Sphere, mostly because of their germanness and the awesome "more and heavier units to the battlefield"-approach. At least I think it's awesome that while others deploy some Light units for scouting, these people have Hauptmann Donnerfaust leading a Heavy or a light-end Assault Lance to do the same.
I guess I should painting another Lanceful of these people,too. A Fafnir and some others, perhaps? I have to think about it.