Showing posts with label WW2 USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WW2 USA. Show all posts

07 May 2019

On the workbench

Some pictures of things currently on the workbench at present, all US Ardennes campaign related stuff.

A few old Shermans for repair + various Esci / Italeri / Revell sprues that have been sitting in a box for years waiting to be assembled. Even an old set of resin sandbag protections that have been added to an Armourfast Sherman.





Final flocking on the bases of some new US troops. Vintage Matchox, old Revell and some new Italeri.


An armoured Jeep. This is an S-Models kit. I don't really like photo-etch, I thought this kit came with the shield made out of plastic so I was disappointed that it came in flimsy brass. My mate Carlos offered to make it for me however, (good stuff Carlos)


The Stuart is another S-Models kit and the Greyhound next to it is a die-cast that needs weathering.


Finally, a last photo showing the size differences between an old Matchbox 1/76 figure compared to Revel and Italeri G.I.s 



The Italeri fellas are heculean in comparison.



02 February 2018

Matchbox M-16 Half-Tracks




I've had these two Matchbox M-16 quad A/A kits sitting in a box for a good few years. Back when I built them the tracks broke and had planned to fix them but never got around to it.

(http://www.1-72-scale.com/2009/05/work-in-progress-matchbox-m16-half-track.html)





That was back in 2009 ...

and they've finally been finished today.



The tracks were replaced with some one-piece fixed track assemblies I got from two old wrecked Airfix Half-Tracks that came in a bag of "pre-owned" kits off ebay.



The original decals have long been lost - or used on some other kit - but I had plenty of stars in the decal spares box.

So , gven the time it's taken to finish these, it's clear I'm a very slow modeler - in spite of that, I'm pleased the way the old Airfix tracks work on these kits.

26 November 2017

1/72 US 105mm Field Howitzer Conversion


A few years back I saw an article on Paul's excellent Plastic Warriors Website on using a cut-down Airfix 88mm Flak to make a 105mm US howitzer

http://plasticwarriors.blogspot.com.es/2010/06/m2-m101-105mm-howitzer.html

I needed a couple of these for my WWII US forces and inspired by Paul's original idea, I decided to put a couple of old Airfix 88s I had in the stash to good use.


The barrel of the 88 has been cut down and the shield comes partially from an old Airfix 6 pounder AT gun and the rest was made using some cut-down clear plastic sheeting.

The axle and wheels are from a trailer that comes as an accessory with a die-cast Altaya M16 Half-Track. The trail legs are flat plastic cocktail sticks.


Yep, it's a crude "representation" and it would probably raise a lot of eyebrows at an IPMS meeting, but I think once it's painted and on the table it maybe won't look too out of place.

I'll try and get this painted up and will post a couple of shots soon.






18 September 2017

Battle of the Bulge - Keep Moving


Since the last post, things have kept on moving - not as fast as I would have liked, but at a fair pace.

The HaT / Armourfast M4A3 76mm tanks after having been base-painted, washed/highlighted, and mud-weathered, were given a couple of white stars on the turrets courtesy of the decals spares box - the Armourfast tanks unfortunately come with no decals.


They are also very sparse, no tools or any other kind of stowage, and the hatches are moulded shut, but in spite of looking very bare they are fine for gaming and are now ready for table 




The old Hasegawa M5 High Speed Tractor and 155mm Long Tom that were dug out of the old stash have now been repainted and are also ready for action.

As with the Shermans, after repainting the M5 also received a good dose of mud on the tracks.


Below the finished tractor and Long Tom, the Armourfast Shermans and a GPA Amphibious 1/4 Ton 4x4 Truck that was also on the painting table. 


I stuck a figure in there wearing a thick overcoat - he's from the Revell US Ardennes Infantry set.



While I was at it, I took a shot of that now finished 1/4 ton amphibious "Seep". It's from the Academy "WW II Ground Vehicle Set -6". I trimmed down and added a few figures to fit in there.


So a fair amount of progress, and more to come.

And to finish off, a taster of what's on the table at the moment.


We've got die-cast Altaya / Amercon self-propelled artillery, a Fujimi M30 Cargo Carrier, and trucks of various makes and from various sources - all of which will be repainted and might be finished shortly.


So come back soon, as time permitting there should be another update with work in progress.


24 August 2017

New project - Battle of the Bulge

I had been meaning to start this project for a few years and finally, after much procrastination, I made a start.

We plan to get a campaign going and we have a fair supply of suitable German stuff already built and painted, but the US forces were unfortunately sadly lacking.

But, I do however have a large amount of WW2 US vehicles and tanks that I've accumulated over the years.

The problem is that the stash is made up of lots of unmade kits, various diecasts that need repainting, and a fair amount of old stuff & wrecks that need work to bring them up to standard.

First off some Shermans


The two Shermans on the left were already built and painted, I just want to "muddy" them up a little.

The top left-hand M4A1 76 is quite old, made many years ago and is an Esci M4A1 with a Matchbox (Revell) Sherman turret.

The other Sherman below was built and painted by a friend (Eli from La Rana Bucanera Website) who kindly donated the vehicle (and some others too that I'll show in a future post). I believe it's a Dragon kit

The two partially painted Shermans on the right are Armourfast M4A3 76mm. Very simple snap-together models, but nice and sturdy.

I also dug out these two old veterans from the stash which are in need a bit of care and attention and will both be getting a new paintjob  - a Hasegawa M5 Tractor and 155mm Long Tom.




We plan to game the campaign, using the Warlord Bolt-Action ruleset, and the their Battle of the Bulge Campaign book which I recently bought.




So, work in progress pictures will follow with the next updates shortly.

18 November 2012

USAAF Figure Conversion

I finished these three figures off last night. Veteran plastic fans will recognize the body from the old Airfix USAAF set. The heads are from Esci figures.

One's for North Africa, and the other two for Europe



I did the head swaps about a year ago and they had been lying half-forgotten until I came across them yesterday and spent an evening painting and basing them.



30 December 2009

Forces of Valor 1/72 Conversions by Doug Iovinelli

More pictures from a friend of mine, Doug Iovinelli, a huge smallscale enthusiast from San Diego in California.

These are The Forces of Valor 1/72 figures,with several conversions, cut up torsos and arm swaps, to make a platoon of D-DAY Rangers.













28 May 2009

Work in Progress - Matchbox M16 Half-Track

A couple of 1/76 scale M16 Half-tracks (w/50cal quad) under construction. This is the Matchbox-Revell re-release.

The tracks are far too fragile though. I'll have to try and find an alternative as these broke as soon as I tried to get them over the rear roller assembly.

Apart from the problem with the dodgy tracks, the kit looks as sharp in detail and as easy to put together as it ever was.


30 January 2008

Dimestore 1/72 boat conversions by Doug Iovinelli



I was sent some really nice photos of a conversion done by a friend, Doug Iovinelli, some time ago. I meant to put these on the main website back then, but they got misplaced on my old computer and I only recently dug them out again (sorry about the long delay Doug).

"I bought some toy boats for my 3 year old daughter and one of them was screaming to be converted into a D-Day Europe Station keeping boat. Since I had not really looked into what one looked like in any detail, I used my liberal imagination to convert this toy boat into something that I imagined might be in the water to guide the landing craft to the correct beach and double as a rescue boat for any unlucky boats. It will join my collection of landing craft.

Doug Iovinelli"



01 March 2002

Shermans Galore - By José Ventura

Shermans Galore - By José Ventura  (original article formerly on the miniaturezone.co.uk website)

All started when a friend of mine bought some ESCI's M4A1 back in 1978. Being also a wargamer, very soon these 75mm Sherman were exchanging rounds against my Pz.Kpfw. IVs and Vs.

As we used to play 1:1 skirmish (using them Charles GRANT Battle wargames rules, with Tank/Gun tables from Bruce QUARRIES' NW Europe Wargaming from PSL) very soon my friend was asking for a heavier punch -something dejá vu.

After buying Shermans in Action, the despair increases, first the version presented in the ESCI box, never existed (well now we know that it did, but.) and we needed a new turret to mount a heavier gun, nothing like the Firefly: same turret, new gun - wise guys those Brits.

With some searching, the discovery of the Hasegawa Sherman, with a complete out of scale hull, but a right scale turret, saved the day. And so started our conversions.

First, it was simply a question - after improving/correcting the Hasegawa part - of inserting a 76mm turret on an ESCI Hull.



At the same time, the original hull, started to be converted back to a 60º hull, by reinforcing the back of the kit glacis (with Araldite), and with some hard cutting and scratching reverting a 47º hull into that inclination. After that there is only a question of rebuilding the hatches, from a angle opening to a direct side opening, and so on, to be used as a 75mm gun tank.





Next a M4 Hybrid was made, by cutting part of the sides, replacing them with some plastic card, and creating with putty, the angles typical of this version.





The normal M4 version was accomplished by cutting an old Airfix hull, so that it could be inserted in an ESCI kit chassis, with new sides and rear in plastic card, and rebuilding the detail.





A normal M4A3 (dry) could be accomplished by the same method, as Bjorn shown on the Missing Links site , but very soon, the problem of the lousy protection arises. Those 76mm armed Shermans while capable of defeating StuG & Pz.IV and with a lot of luck and skill even Panthers and Tigers, could not withstand the 7,5cm L/48 or L/70 powerful punch, with the same easy as the Germans, so in most cases they were death meat.



So started another Quest, and at first, my friends models started to use Sandbags - using those from plastic boxes as Fujimi, Nitto's, ESCI and even made from DAS Pronto modelling clay - Extra Tracks & Wheels and Logs/Planks, to cover the thin armour.







But some new look on that marvellous in Action book, gives us clues about what now were named Expedient Jumbos (excellent article from P. DYERS in a old MM).

Simply by attach cut out parts from another Shermans, or Tigers/Panthers to the Hull front and Hull/Turret side, they increase the protection.



The present version used a ESCI M4A3, with a 76mm Hasegawa turret, a cut out Hasegawa frontal glacis, glued on the original ESCI ones, and some other bits of plastic. We also discover that some of them even carry US Army Field Issue 1" Armour plates, for the M4A3 family.



A exceptional photo of a M4A1A (W) even carries 2x1" Armour plates - photo in In Action, carrying a pair of boxing gloves and a switched loaders/commander hatches - so another model in the production line...

After some work and reorganisation of the Battle units, a M4A3B (105mm) was made using plans from Bellona Books; looking at the Fujimi Kit; and discovering that they used the same turret, from the 75mm, but with a new mantlet mount.



With some measurement, I discover, that the Fujimi Mantlet is something above the 1:76 scale, while not exactly at 1:72, but as the ESCI turret, is something bellow 1:72, and the thing looks good, Who Cares?

I also included a MR Models Combi Kit - Parts in resin and metal, to convert the ESCI M4A1 - M4A3B (105) so you can compare both things.

My model (made by me, but in the collection of Filipe Cunha) was based on a normal ESCI M4A3 and it have 2 turrets, the normal 75mm and the 105mm so I can swap for the scenario requirements.



More impressive conversion was the M4A3E2 Jumbo or Cobra King - the uparmoured Assault Tanks issued in July 1944, and first used during Operation Cobra - using as basis the "famous" ESCI M4A3.

Cutting the frontal and sides parts from an Hasegawa M4A3E8, using the transmission block from Hasegawa, gluing them over the ESCI kit, after some rework, and making a new turret from Balsa Wood, to the dimensions (in 1:72) of a Bellona plan, did the work. The Commander cupola, is a Hasegawa 76mm turret "clone", moulded using the "Plasticine/Araldite" method (see instructions below), while some bits came from the ESCI model, while others from the Hasegawa ones. And voilá a Cobra King (the name we normally give to this version, reserving the Jumbo one for the 76mm armed Tank) to blast those pesky Krauts (most of them mine).

As in the previous model, a MR Models Combi Kit, to compare - this time I lose, as their model is exceptional, just look at those tracks, with end connectors and the serial numbers on the cast turret.



In the case of the long narrow hood M4, I just presented my standard process of converting them, as I always made versions with frontal appliqué armour. But in the case of anyone interested in making a early long narrow hood, without the appliqué the description is more or less wrong. The corners are not totally round, from top to bottom, but indeed with "taper chambered corners" in the words of Phil Dyer, as the rounding starts on top but the bottom do not have round corners, but the normal angular corners.

Most M4 used by the British & Commonwealth, were late versions, meaning also re-manufactured ones, but all with the 1 piece tranny, most, if not all, with the sharp one.

While some of the British M4, do not have the frontal appliqué armour, all have the ones on the side.

Almost all rolled/welded hull Fireflies Ic were build on late version M4, so a sharp tranny, and a front travel lock (taken from Fujimi kit)

Some Canadian units, from Operation Veritable onwards used a special smoke launcher on their M4 and Fireflies. These "smokers" were installed on turret top deck, more or less on the central axis of the gun, as could be seen from the pictures posted on the Files section in the MiniatureZone Forum. For this just get a suitable brass or plastic tube and made the mounting. Sorry I didn't have any plans of it, perhaps some of the members of the group could help.

Another innovation, used for the first time during Veritable (February 1945) was the All Round Vision Cupola, indeed a improved system to be standardized on all British AFV, associated or not with Tabby (The British Infra-Red Vision system). Most of the cupolas were to be installed on the Cromwell & Churchill, but some of them were also retrofitted in some Shermans (M4, M4A2 and M4A4). For this I intend to used the one from Matchbox Comet (I didn't remember if the Airfix Churchill Mk. VII has one, as I never build any), and insert it on place of the original double hatch commanders ring.

The new cupola must have short diameter, as the original, so an adapter ring should be made from plastic (in reality a simple annulus, like the real thing).


By José Ventura (March-2002)
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