A King Tiger in Karelia '45

Because I didn't come up with anything to fix, I added another "kill ring". Those two previous ones were a bit too far away from each other so it looks a bit more normal now. For a couple of days I let the tank just sit there, on the edge of my desk, just in case something popped in my mind.

Nothing came up.

A state of readiness
I declare that this model is now ready. What-iffing is always fun but the next couple of tanks will keep their feet on the ground. More realistic but still done however I please, because having one's knickers in a knot doesn't feel too nice :P

A change of scenery is always refreshing so I decided to post a slightly different kind of an image to celebrate the addition of the "completed" tag. I hunted for a Karelia themed picture (no clue of how that place looks like, so a photo of a generic field is plausible to me) and gimped the model into it. You with real image editing skills are allowed to point fingers and laugh harshly, if you want to, I didn't even think of going for something photorealistic ;)

Apparently several tactically unsound choices were made

Continuing the war
Unless I change my mind, the next project is traditionally a German one, as it should be. With this Porsche-turreted King Tiger I have finally finished one of each main type of the Tigers, so I'll change the kitty type.
Naturally my successor cat is a Panther and this time it happens to be a Jagdpanther. I've decided the paintjob ages ago so I'll spoil it to you if I haven't done that already: a normal three-tone camo with a hastily applied whitewash winter camo applied on top of it.

Any bets on how long it takes and what goes wrong? 8)


Bring in the tactical stuff!

To celebrate another Monday I was feeling efficient. Maybe that was to compensate a mentally very tiresome workday. Or maybe we should drop that "maybe" to make my statement a bit more accurate.

I was pondering to myself that "hey, this thing isn't missing much anymore, especially as I got the national insignia done!" Of course some tactical markings were needed, in this case that translates to the unit number. At this point in my imaginary timeline (1945+) the Finnish Army would've applied the German-style unit numbers in the armored units. The first number told which company the tank belonged to, the second one told the platoon's order number and the third one, obviously, told the vehicle's number in the platoon.
(Funnily enough, this numbering system is just about what I made up myself for my BT units!)

Some vain decorations
No matter what, I dug up the number from my magical hat: first company, second platoon and the second tank. Perhaps I painted the numbers with a big-ish font, but at least one can see them. While I was at it I decided to add a couple of kill rings to the base of the KwK's barrel. Again following the German logic, the bigger ("full") ring marks ten kills and the narrower marks one kill. I could maybe fit another thin line between them, but I'm not sure if I want to ruin the whole thing at this point anymore.

To make a bit more of a mess I applied some Vallejo's Carbon Black pigment to the ends of the exhaust pipes and the KwK's muzzle brake. Because that went so nicely I got excited and applied some Tamiya's Mud pigment all around the tank. My goal was to get some muddy marks into places where the tracks would've thrown it and where mud would've been brought on the deck by the crew. War machines aren't clean when they're being used. They're shitty and muddy, just like their users :P

Some fourth iteration photos
The left side, ver. 4

The Painbringer, ver. 4

Attacking, ver. 4

Posing, ver 4

And the better side, ver 4

The roof needs to be seen, too!

Technical bitching
Looks like blogger fucks up some of the photos right now, so I got them elsewhere. It's just very bothersome to notice later that a bunch of pics that looked fine in the composing phase have disappeared mysteriously.
Damnit >:|


Swearing fixing complaining

Yeah. I f*cked those swastikas up pretty nicely the last time. Frustrated, I refused to touch the whole item for a few days. But finally I fixed them and now the highlights go reasonably. I also got a couple of wonky lines fixed a bit so they look better in general.
Limited skills, there we saw them in action. Again.

Maybe I get to sit down for a while one of these days and I get the unit number(s) painted on the turret. There could be something else missing, but I just can't think of it at this time.


Fooling around

We've already established the fact that I'm not an artist - or a skilled person. Despite that and these always a bit funny looking national insignia I keep trying. Here's a taste of what's coming:

This is the best-looking side
How can it be so damn difficult?
For some reason painting geometrical shapes with a consistent quality is apparently very difficult to me, freehanding or not. Despite my initial "this'll work nicely!"-feeling the swastikas ended up fat here, skinny there and otherwise odd somewhere else. I can't understand it anymore.
At least it's in the register
The kidneys are replaced with a swastika
Detailing pt. MCXI
I painted five of those damn things around the hull. One in the lower front of the hull, one in the left rear hull, one on each rear side of the turret plus the last one on topof the front of the turret. While I was at it I made up an imaginary Ps-register number (Ps. 280-5) to the left front, I may have to fix that text a bit later, though. As a supremely creative character I painted a name for the tank in the front of the turret, "Marja". At least that one I didn't fuck up, yay! :p
We're just missing a forest background

Next iterations
I'm still missing the tactical markings (!?) from the left side of the turret, meaning which company/platoon/whatever that beast belongs to. I was going to take the approach that my earlier Flames of War link referred to, that's just a number (1-5) inside a square/circle/triangle. I'm really not going to try to paint anything more difficult than that anymore!

Oh and those engine's intake vent covers I was happy about a couple of posts ago? That double sided tape looked foul and way too visible between the frame and the mesh. So I had to drop them away, which is a shame. But I wasn't going to purposefully ruin my tank, no sir.


Stacking more pieces

The latest advances of this slow-paced project have been smallish. I attached the skirt pieces (I still haven't figured out / found a better name for them, I could call them mudflaps for all everyone cares) as well as the Combat Engineering Equipment Boxes. After the glue had set I applied some Tamiya's Mud stick on the tracks and wherever I felt like.

Now that there were few missing pieces I decided to attack the machine guns. To make them look better with little effort I decided to carve the business ends open. I mean, solid sticks look somewhat stupid.

Because my finger drill's <1mm bits were a bit big for these pieces, I went for my nicely sharp x-acto knife. The plastic piece depicting the coaxial MG in one hand, sharp knife in the other. After a bit of rolling the knife I had a nice-looking machine gun in my fingers. In order not to lose it I glued it in its place immediately.

The commander's machine gun was the next and last piece to be opened. Business as usual, like with the previous piece. At the last moment my hand slipped a bit and I found the tip of the knife in my thumb. Ouch.

Later I painted both of them without any silly accidents. I didn't get to attach the turret-mg before I took the photos so that's why it's missing in these two pics.

Yesterday evening I noticed that the driver's hatch was missing its handle. I had no clue of when and why it was gone. Despite some frantic searching I didn't find it anywhere. *sigh*. There ought to be a spare piece or two somewhere, I think. Other than that the model seems to be intact and I really can't fathom what have I done, when and how.

Unless anything else comes up, I'll go for the national insignia, the PS-register number, the name of the tank and other details next. I can't even remember when I last used transfers, because they're always a hassle and if you want to lose the shinyness, you have to use this and that. Nah, that's not for me. I'll rather try to do all that myself, at least it'll look a bit more personal that way.
Even if I say so myself, I think I'm improving with those things too, although slooooowly.