Modeling project

Salvaging a Tiger

Once upon the time around 2010, a colleague, knowing I was into scale modeling, asked me if I would be interested to paint a Tiger tank he had assembled a while ago.

I immediately said “Sure, why not?” I figured it would be some cool and quick paint practice.

And so it was that one morning, he came up to me with this in hand:

I assembled it quickly” he said.
Mathieu’s Tiger. The expression “Quick build” takes a whole new meaning here.

Impressive eh? All these neat glue joints, this sharp and comprehensive parts cleanup, the overall spirit of precision!

I quickly dropped the idea of a quick paint run. After some soul searching, I decided to try and salvage this build to make it at least acceptable. So I started to remove, clean and replace.

Unfortunately, I seem to have lost the pictures of the actual cleanup process, which involved ripping pretty much everything I could and replace that with parts from the spare box, cleaning absurd amounts of glue (which were quite literally puddles) in the process. I decided on a sPzAbt. 501 ride in Tunisia, taking my cue from the old Panzer Color volume III and keeping it to the kit’s decal sheet.

Regardless of the initial state of that build, it was, and remains, a pretty entertaining journey. It was quite satisfying to slowly witness the emergence of something that resembled a Tiger tank, at least in its basic shapes.

The primed and semi-restored Tiger:

Base coat, decals and some sort of shading.

Weathering.

Final shots of the build.

That’s it. The only Tiger I’ve ever built.

Now, looking back, I see a millions things that aren’t quite right with my work on this model. Gaps, ghost seams, actual seams, very rough and uninspired weathering, etc. Hey, it was a while ago, after all. But no matter how basic this restoration ended up, it remains one of the most satisfying project I did to this day. Not sure why.

Maybe that’s because I felt confident I could only make it better no matter what. Or perhaps it’s because I simply took my kick out of the simple pleasure of cleaning things up, making sure it was overall better than it was, and completing the project in a timely fashion and giving the model back to Mathieu in a much better state than he had left it to me.

I don’t know, but what I do know is that thanks to this particular build, I’ve managed to appreciate what scale modeling has to offer in its simplest form, and that feeling has remained with me ever since.

Skol.

Signals Information

Kit: Italeri Tiger I Ausf. E/H1 #286 built by a colleague from work.
Parts: Various replacements from the spare box.
Antenna: Some RB Model aerial.

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Modeling project

T-70M

This is the Miniart T-70M I did in 2013. It is mostly OoB except for the tracks and barrel. I destroyed the kit’s tracks trying to remove them from the sprue and had to fall back to these, which are absurdly better, but also crazy expensive.

The finishing plan was to create a white wash I would eventually magage to pull off on the BT-7, but in this case, my first try with the hairspray technique, I failed miserably (not enough hairspray, was I told), and had to adapt, improvise and overcome 🙂 .

Signals Info

Kit: Miniart 35113.
Tracks: Friuls ATL96
Metal Barrel: Aber 35 L-055

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Modeling project

Ukrainian BMP-1

This project started when I subscribed to the Facebook Military Equipment Of Conflict In Ukraine group. I spotted a picture of a BMP with one of those weird hand painted, bright, hastily applied scheme, and I decided I would go ahead and try to recreate it. Unfortunately I haven’t saved the picture and can’t seem to locate it. I did spot an Echelon decal sheet with that exact vehicle depicted (D356195) so I immediately acquired it.

The project is based on Trumpeter’s BMP-1 kit #05556 with Friuls tracks (ATL-133 IIRC) and possibly some metal barrel, although I forget about that part. The figures are from Evolution and Ant Miniature and Masterclub.

The funny thing is that I noticed that some people looking at this model, not seeing the original vehicle it is based on, sometimes think this is my attempt to create a hard edge legit scheme. They remain polite but you see they think I suck big time at painting camo, hehe.

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Book Review, Reading Material, Reference

The Leopard 1 in Danish Service

For some reasons, I’ve been acquiring a massive quantity of new reference books during the pandemic. Among those, I was fortunate enough to secure a copy of the massive new study on Danish Leopard 1s, The Leopard 1 in Danish Service, from Kim Hartvig Sørensen and published by, you guessed it, Trackpad Publishing. That book sold out surprisingly fast, but I am told it has now been reprinted. 

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Book Review, Reading Material, Reference

The Sherman Design and Development

This review was originally published on Track-Link in 2013.

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For many modelers, building solid references is often the most engaging part of a project. Learning about a particular vehicle or line of vehicles’ technical and operational history is for some a hobby in itself. While a frequent issue with this is not finding much on a given subject, in some cases the problem is that there is more out there than we can possibly hope to acquire, often leaving us wondering what to get.

In 2013, Ampersand Publishing released Son of Sherman vol 1, The Sherman Design and Development, A complete and illustrated description of the U.S. M4 Sherman tank series in the Second World War, which will be the subject of this review. There were rumors back them about a possible vol 2, The Sherman Modeler’s Guide, A complete and illustrated description of modeling the Second World War U.S. M4 Sherman tank.

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Book Review, Reading Material, Reference

Biber Leopard 1 Bridgelayer

This review was originally published on Track-Link in 2016.

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Trackpad publishing recently released a book on the Leopard 1-based Biber bridgelayer vehicle, by author Kenneth Ostergaard, which will be the subject of the present review. I believe this is the third book (ISBN 978-0-9928425-7-4) of the Model Foto Focus series from Trackpad. (I reviewed the first book of the series on Canadian Leopard 2s in Afghanistan here). Both books left me largely impressed for the quality of their pictures and the coverage of their subjects, and this new book is no different.

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Book Review, Reading Material, Reference

Leopard AS1 Leopard in Australian Service

This review was originally published on Track-Link in 2015.

Trackpad Publishing recently released “Leopard AS1 – Leopard in Australian Service” (ISBN 978-0-9928425-3-6) by Australian military historian and author Michael K. Cecil, who already visited the AS1 subject in the past in Battlegroup Leopard, among other publications. He also previously collaborated with Trackpad Publishing’s Michael Shackleton, for he wrote the better part of the chapter dealing with the Australian Leopard 1 in the later’s excellent third volume of the Leopard 1 Trilogy.

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