If you ever get to visit the island of Tenerife, don't miss out on a trip to the old town of La Laguna in the north. Apart from old style colonial buildings and a quiet and quite different type of day out far from the more typical tourist centres, it's an excuse for us modelling enthusiasts to get to visit a model shop, Teide Hobby.
It's actually probably one of the few remaining traditional old-style privately owned model shops that still exist today, most others in developed countries are now steadily dwindling away, many having gone over to to supermarket / franchise style outlets which often employ staff with little or even no knowledge of the products they're selling.
The owner of Teide Hobby, Pablo, is an avid modeller and knows the hobby well. He's also got a workroom in his shop where you'll always find him on the go on various projects. You can talk to him about any aspect of modelling and you'll get a reply from someone like yourself who knows the hobby well.
Last time I was there, he showed me some conversions he's working on, some kitbashes using parts from the Haswegawa and Airfix Churchills, pictures of which I'm pleased to post here.
These are both nice kits, plenty of raised detail and easy to assemble.
The tracks are soft plastic but can be glued with normal solvent based glue. The "sag" in the tracks was actually obtained by glueing the tracks to the wheels with normal Revell liquid glue.
The Hasegawa crew you get with these mobile Flak platforms are not very good at all, big jointed, stiff poses, and lacking detail.
The two kits were painted using a drybrush technique, consisting of applying a black undercoat and heavy drybrushing with dark sand. The final effect is very nice from a distance, but close-up it's not so hot.
The crew figures shown here are all resin from the Milicast "late war German tank riders" set.
Hasegawa Crusader with Airfix Turret - Jorit Wintjes (original article formerly on the miniaturezone.co.uk website)
The Crusader was built by mating a Hasegawa hull and an Airfix turret.
While the Airfix hull has some dimensional problems - it's too short - the Hasegawa turret looks like anything but a Crusader one.
I scratchbuilt a new turret roof to get the angles and the hatch correct, and spent some time getting the opening mechanism right - only to hide the latter from view with a poorly painted crew figure. Kinda unsmart... Getting the scratchbuilt sideskirts look right (they should bend slightly outwards) was very difficult.
In the end they still look rather flattish, but you have to be rather close to the model to see that (and if you're that close, your attention will be drawn to a number of other shortcomings :) ).
I also tried to improve the look of the tracks by cutting them into small sections to get some sagging effect, but this didn't work out as intended - actually, around the sprocket, it worked just the other way round!
To get an accurate representation I should also have reworked the engine deck, the side stowage bins and the air filters, but I decided to call it a day and simply load it up with stowage stuff (scratchbuilt or from the spares box).