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Issue 100 Cover.qxp_Issue 26 cover 12/04/2018 09:51 Page 1

MAY/JUNE 2018 • £6.50 UK $15.99

Meng AFV Modeller

May / June 2018


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:18 Page 222

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:49 Page 1


Meng’s new Merkava
The Editor sees if Meng’s new Merkava gets the trophy.


We build the M3 Lee’s British brother, the Grant, new from Takom.


Jackson Action M36 B1- part 2
Andrea Vignocchi concludes his stunning seventy-second scene.


Panzerkampfwagen IV Part 17
The Editor continues detailing Trumpeter’s 1:16 kit.


Throwback Three
The Editor pays homage to our centenary issue and revisits a
twenty year old panzer III project.


Keeping Track
New releases.


Rob Westerman’s surrender at Schwarzbach diorama.

So we've hit a century! The one
hundredth issue would have been hard to
imagine back in 2001 when the first groundbreaking copy of AFV Modeller tentatively hit
the press, as the only magazine devoted
purely to armoured vehicles. It was hard to
imagine the possibility that you could be
reading this issue digitally on a computer or
the yet to be invented tablet! So, around six
hundred articles later and here we are in a
golden-age of modelling with kits we could
only dream of in 2001 and even the most
obscure subjects available from mainstream

What's changed along the years then for AFV Modeller? Well if you're
a long term reader you'll realise not a great deal. The same Editor (for
his sins) and pretty much the same format with the emphasis and
vision of the highest quality and inspirational modelling from a wide
range of subjects. It's true that the internet has changed our hobby
tremendously with instant information and reference, once the unique

Meng AFV Modeller is published Bimonthly by
AFV Modeller ltd
Old Stables
East Moor
NE61 6ES
Tel: 01670 823648
Fax: 01670 820274
Editor and Designer: David Parker
email: david@mengafvmodeller.com
Deputy Editor: Mark Neville
email: mark@mengafvmodeller.com
Sales Director: Keith Smith
email: keith@mengafvmodeller.com
Proof Reading: Jim Chandler
ISSN 2059-4305

domain of magazines and printed publications, so much is available
to view on screen and share through social media. Is there a place
for printed media in our digital future? According to many readers
who we chat with at various modelling shows around the globe the
answer seems to be a resounding ‘Yes’, so thank you all for the
continued support and here’s to the next one hundred issues!

We are now on Facebook, ‘Like’ us to
follow what we are doing and follow our
build projects.

To ce
cente lebrate o S!
Face nary visit ur
chan k page fo r
our e e to win
asy t
petitio nter


1st -



AFV Modeller welcomes contributions from interested parties, but cannot accept any
responsibility for unsolicited material.
The contents of this publication including all articles, drawings and photographs
originated by AFV Modeller ltd become the publishers copyright under copyright law.
Reproduction in any form requires the written consent of the publisher. Whilst every
care is taken to avoid mistakes AFV Modeller ltd. cannot be liable in any way for errors
or ommissions.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:09 Page 2





It is always good to see Meng return to the IDF pool of potential
subjects and with no one else offering a kit of the most up to date
Merkava 4M with the Trophy defence system this is a particularly
welcome choice.
The Merkava 4 is a huge vehicle even by modern MBT standards
and the unique front engined design and ‘space age’ turret
festooned with fitting and details, the ball and chain skirts and the
usually dusty working environment all combine to provide a
striking and challenging modelling subject which is of course,
exactly what we want!


From the box you get a very complete package with working
suspension and tracks, clear moulded periscopes, a

comprehensive photoetched fret, braided tow rope and a tow
chain. The kit features a textured anti-slip surface for anyone who
is daunted about adding their own and like their Merkava 3 kits,
the ball and chain is moulded in lengths making for quick, simple
and effective solution. Available as a separate detail set, Meng
have also released resin stowage baskets and a covered turret
basket or you can use the empty baskets that come in the
standard kit. One area where there has been a very welcome
improvement are the turret mounted weapons, especially the .50
Cal which now comes with a choice of three separately moulded
barrels, all on a separate individual sprue which I guess we will
see included in any potential future releases which require this
weapon. The Trophy system mounted on the sides of the turret
comes with the optional protective cover or can be modelled

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:09 Page 3

without as seems to be the common arrangement on the real

The assembly of the hull tub with its separate side walls is
extremely straight forwad thanks to very posative locators and
then its on to the running gear which is it has to be said
something of slog to assemble. With each of the 12 roadwheels
having seven parts to assemble you can see that it will take a little
longer than usual. The results however do speak for themselves
and the working spring system for the suspension is very clever
but sadly hidden behind the skirts. There was a small moulding
issue on the initial kits where the square location hole on one

spring was replaced by a square peg where part of the mould had
not reset correctly. We understand this has been fixed and I know
some builders have received replacements. I simply cut off the
peg and made a new hole myself.
The kit includes a choice of six different photoetched chassis
registration numbers although their position on the lower hull
makes them tricky to see. The belly armour plate is a separate
part should you want to show a vehicle without it and you have a
choice of front towing hooks or the more spectacular towing
horns. I modified the mounts on the horns so that I could fit them
at the end of the project to avoid them being damaged.

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An irridescent plastic was used in
the Gunner’s sight.

Check your
references before
fitting ALL the
antennae like this!

Photoetched engraved armour
tags were added

The lip of the mantlet above the
gun was thinned
Holes were drilled in
the lugs around the
fume evacuator.

Front mudflap was removed
to create more interest.

The moulded texture supplied with the kit provides
a useful guide if you want to add your own

I thought I would save myself additional work by masking the small details but my old masking fluid
caused more work. VMS Hull Tex was applied panel by panel

The finished effect is quite hard to see and even
harder to photograph! Here the small bolt detail
has still to be cleaned up.

Nitty Gritty


Although the kit comes with a moulded anti-slip texture it is
impossible to recreate the real texture of the vehicle with any
injection moulding process. I think adding your own texture
significantly enhances the appearance of the model and helps
when recreating the particular weathering effects it produces. The
advantage here is that the areas needing to be textured are
already marked on the kit! I used VMS Hull Tex for the first time
although I switched the VMS adhesive for AK Interactive Sand &
Gravel glue. I masked some of the smaller details that I wanted to
keep clean with a rather old Mr Masking Sol. This proved to be
past it’s best and problematic to remove, causing more problems

than it solved! I used a brush to apply the adhesive one panel at a
time and the VMS grit comes with a really effective applicator
nozzle which allows you to ‘puff’ the grit out over the panel giving
a great even coverage. When I have done this previously it has
always been difficult to find an effective way to transfer your
chosen grit texture to the model without clumps or gaps. The
VMS bottle provides the perfect solution. Any areas of unintended
‘overspray’ were cleaned up by scraping off the texture and I took
the time to clean around all the rows of small bolts and other
fixtures on the hull and turret before applying a sealing coat of Mr
Surfacer and then a coat of Mission Models Tan primer.

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I replaced the moulded
handle on the Loader’s hatch
with a strip of pewter foil.

Armour tags would also be
added to the side skirts

A notch would be cut into this
lug to allow a chain to be fitted.

Basket Case
As I waited for the basket upgrade to
arrive I had followed the instructions up to
stage 28 but when the new basket arrived
it has parts E25 and E26 moulded into the
resin basket. These were tricky to remove
from the back of the turret so keep this in
mind when considering your assembly

Tiny Tweaks
With the anti-slip completed I was able to push on with the rest of
the assembly which was a delight and I made some very small
enhancements along the way. I added the small photoetched
armour tags using the ET Models Merkava 4 detail set for these. I
added the pair of guide lips to each side of the .50 Cal ammunition
feed chute using plastic card. The kit tracks were substituted for a
set of Friulmodel tracks which have the tiny casting numbers on
each link and I used a spare link with new brackets to replace the
spare stowed on the side of the turret. Small stowage items like
the spare MAG ammunition boxes were not added yet to make
painting easier but were detailed using photoetched stowage
straps from the ET Models set. The turret mounted weapon, trophy
sensors and side skirts were all left as separate parts at this stage.

The new tooling of the .50 Cal give you an excellent result without the need for
any upgrades.

Colour Co-oridnation
IDF Sand Grey is one of the most demanding colours to replicate
partly because it varies so much in photographs and it falls
somewhere in the hard to define area of the pallette between grey,
brown and green. Using Mission Models Sand Grey MMP-037 as a
basis I added a touch of green and grey as a base colour. Looking
at the colour afresh the next day I applied another coat of MMP
Sand Grey mixed with RLM 02 for a more green shift in the colour.
All the details were then brush painted including the markings
rather than relying on the decal sheet. The barrel stripes were
hand painted rather than relying on the complex masking needed
to spray them. Before moving on the whole kit was given a coat of
satin varnish.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:09 Page 6

Left Painted and pristine and ready to go!
Above Acrylic washes are great for replicating the heavy dust deposits
on the Merkava - my initial colour choice was more pink than I wanted
so it was reworked with a more orange tone.

Muckin’ up the Merk
Straight into some heavy weathering now using washes of Lifecolor acrylics and
again colour balance is key as I found out with my initial choice of colour for the
wash which didnt seem to match what I was seeing in photos of the real vehicle. I
altered my mix of UA 423 and UA 020 by adding UA528 to bring a more orange
tone to the dust. I started working on the hull roof panel by panel by wetting the
surface with water before adding the colour. As the dust settles onto the horizontal
surfaces I deliberately kept the wash here very dense whereas on the hull sides it
was just allowed to collect around any raised details. On the front edges of the
turret I applied undiluted paint and allowed it to naturally bleed back across the
anti-slip texture

The beauty of using Friulmodel white metal tracks apart from their inate toughness
is that they can be blackened avoiding the whole hateful business of painting them.
Once this was done I applied a very dilute acylic was using the same mix of colours
used on the rest of the tank. I then used an abrassive pad to burnish the tread
contact points and I masked the edges of the inner face of the track and burnished
the teeth and the contact area of the tires. I then selected a similar tone of
pigments to my dust colour and used white spirits to create a pigment wash which
was applied to the tracks and allowed to dry. A stiff brush was then used to brush
off the tracks leaving a suitably dusty residue in all the recesses and gaps.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:09 Page 7

With the tracks fitted I was able to install
the skirts and begin to focus on more
detailing of the finish. I outlined all the bolt
and fastener details with my dust colour.
The picture here shows the bow mid way
through this process with the bolts ringed
in white yet to be treated compared to
those which have been ringed in black.
The whole front edge has been treated
and you can see how it defines the detail
and the panel lines have also been painted
in the same colour.

The tow chain supplied in the kit was treated in the
I also added the small section of chain
blackening solution and the shackles were finished in green. connecting the rear skirt to the hull.

The Merkava carries a combat simulation system around the edge
of the turret, secured by Velcro pads. These are often missing along
with the top layer of turret paint, an effect that I wanted to replicate.
I used strips of self-adhesive medical tape to create the Velcro
strips and I freehand painted the areas of exposed primer with a

Oil stains are a particular favourite effect where dust
collects around lubrication points. Sucessively darker
and smaller washes were applied to achieve this.

fine brush, adding a few random darker tones. The Velcro was
painted in a dark grey and the slight texture of the tape really
captured the look of the Velcro, the texture being enhanced with a
wash of dust tones.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:09 Page 8


I made a pair of tiny spring
clips from brass wire to control
the solenoids on the .50 Cal.
Right 0.2mm lead wire was
used to make the control
cables for the gun with a brass
wire triangular and circular
handle added to the end. The
MAG mount is given a similar
dusty/oily finish with a heatshaped Live Resin ammunition

I wanted to depict the really dust-encrusted look of
some of the roof-mounted weapons where the oil
attracts the dust. Working from pictures of the real
thing I worked from lighter tones to the darker
areas. Whilst I was doing this I decided to extend
the spent shell sack so that it rested on the mantlet
using Magic sculp to do this. The sack was painted
and stecilling brush painted on the side. Oil stains
running down from the gun onto the front of the
ammunition box and the corner of the sack were
also added.

Above I added detail to the towing horns by drilling out the line of holes along the lower
edge, adding the bars along the inner face and the wire loops on the outer face. They were
then test fitted before final weathering was applied.

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:09 Page 9

ET Models photoetched straps add a welcome touch of extra detail to both
the ammunition boxes and the smoke grenades behind them.

My idea quickly takes shape and the casual pose is
working well although I have selected the older style tank
helmet by mistake, but I like the sunglasses.

Above Crafty crew - IDF tank crew overalls are not that different from
any other overall and I have found it useful to look outside the narrow
band of available figures. This pair of Soviet tank crew from Tank offered
a possible staring point. I removed the moulded on head and removed
the arms keeping the hands. Copper wire allows for easy posing as I
test out my idea.

Now with the correct helmet courtesy of the Hornet
range, I add my own shades and sculpt the new
arms and flak jacket. The second figure is underway,
based on a Blast Models IDF torso with new arms
and a Hornet head again.

The second figure’s arms are sleeved and both
are ready to be painted.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:09 Page 10

To create the reflective sun glasses I began by masking off the rest of the head and
spraying a chrome base. Over this I sprayed a transparent orange and then transparent red
on the upper half. The masking was carefully removed to prevent the freshly applied paint
peeling off and the faces were then painted in my usual way using Lifecolor Flesh acrylics
and a small amount of oil paint to redden the cheeks. The helmets and uniforms were all
painted using Lifecolor acylics and working from references I could see some variations in
colours on elements like the flak vests which I introduced into the figures. The delicate
boom mics come with the Hornet heads and I used 0.3mm lead wire for the cables.

Constant companions throughout the project were
the excellent Desert Eagle books, packed with the
photo references.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:09 Page 11

Final touches were to fit the Trophy
sensors and rather than choose the
striking bright blue training units I chose to
model the live example, using the same
reflective plastic as for the gunner’s sight.
The finished model has an undeniable
presence and IDF subjects have their own
unique colour pallette along with a mix of
bold shapes and intriguing details and the
kit is a real pleasure to work on!


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:39 Page 12

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:39 Page 13

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:39 Page 14

We take a look at the
Lee’s British brother
from Takom, the

modelled by
Mark Neville

akom's prolific release rate (like us
here at AFV Modeller they’ve recently
hit 100 releases to date!) has
recently seen them tackle the M3 'Lee'
family, very welcome indeed for Allied
armour fans who can now rejoice in having
a modern tooling of this popular subject.
Hopes were raised a few years back with
the release of Academy's 'Lee' and 'Grant'
but these turned out to be a bit of a damp
squib with dimensional and detail
inaccuracies, yes, an improvement over
the vintage Tamiya offerings or the ancient
Airfix 1:32 kits (oohh remember the box art
though..) and the Monogram 1:32 kit
including the Shep Paine diorama
images…enough nostalgia, it's just not
what it used to be.
I think it probably is those childhood



modelling memories though that stirred
something when we feverishly scrambled
through a somewhat generous case of
samples recently sent direct from Takom.
So first impressions? Well very
encouraging as you remove the stout box
lid and very typical of the kits we expect to
see from the brand with their squared
sprues and sometimes unusual connecting
gates to the parts. The 'primer' grey plastic
is always a good start and the moulding
quality is as good as it should be from a
modern tooling, nice and sharp throughout
with some fine detail and features such as
a realistic cast texture to the turret and
75mm gun housing.
Takom look to have done their homework
with subtleties like slotted screw-heads

instead of rivets in certain places (maybe
due to access problems for the riveters on
the assembly line?). Bigger features are
the different (to the Lee) turret with
extended bustle, to house the radio
equipment requested by the British, and
the simple split lid hatch. The tracks are
WE210 type and supplied as link-andlength with good detail and are perfectly
useable. If you're a track-snob Bronco do
offer an inexpensive individual link set in
styrene, most of the top run is hidden by
the bespoke desert skirts anyway. A small
etched fret includes the rear deck intake
mesh (not great) and lamp guards which
are better than overscale plastic but lack
the look of the separate leg supports.
Decals are provided for four marking
options including Monty's command tank.

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:39 Page 15

My aim here is an out of the box
build to show what this kit offers
in both general detail and building
pleasure (remember, we build
models for pleasure!), I’m by no
means an expert on the subject
of Grants or it’s sibling the
General Lee, scratch the surface
and you’re almost into Sherman
territory with factory details and
production changes, lets just
clear the bench (or at least part of
it) and see what this new M3
family from Takom is like to build.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:39 Page 16

The destinctive Grant turret looks well
proportioned and has a good moulded
cast texture. Some basic interior would
have been a bonus with that large hatch.

New side rails from
styrene strip were
easily made and an
improvement on the
kit parts.

Stowage bin shape is typical of most
Grants differing from the Lee. Fixing tabs
and latch detail was added.

This kit provides the
earliest style of exhaust
outlet. These were
changed early in
production due to
overheating of the rear
surrounding panels.

Some damage
to the rubber
tyres was added
with a scalpel

The kit tracks are
decent but Bronco
produce a very nice and
inexpensive individual
link set.

Referring to period images some
Grant crews appear to have removed
the 37mm gun counterweight seen
here (under the barrel). The .30Cal.
has had the muzzle drilled and a slot
added with a Microchisel.

Most Grants in North Africa seemed to carry
some degree of stowage, much of which was
suspended from the side rails. A rolled
tarpaulin and covers were made from Magic
Sculp epoxy putty rolled very thin (with the aid
of talcuum powder) and left to cure for around
half an hour before forming to shape. Some
resin packs, cans and boxes were dug-out
from the spares box.

Light guards in photoetch are a nice touch and come
with a jig part to achieve the shape. In reality the legs
are separate welded-on pieces.
Wiring conduit was added with brass rod.

The hull-mounted .30 Cal. MGs
appear to have been deleted and
blancked on the majority of
Grants as depicted in the kit...
...so it seemed to make sense to
leave off the .30 Cal. tripod from
these brackets.

I carried out a little re-shaping of the
cast part of the casemate for the
75mm. Textures of some cast parts
were improved with Mr Surfacer
stippled with an old brush.

More production variations come to light with the
75mm barrel. Some appear to have a separate
end (perhaps a counterweight added similar to the
‘bolt-on’ counterweights seen on the short M5
guns?) so I haven’t smoothed the gap which
remains from the two kit parts. Takom have
included a single piece barrel in some of their Lee
kits so I can only presume this version here is
most common on the Grants.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:39 Page 17

Building begins at the bottom as usual with
a single piece hull tub, the rear of the
sponsons on our kit were a little distorted
and the back panel needed to be fixed at
one side, allowed to set fully, then the other
side cemented and held until set. I'd say
this is an area to get right as it will throwoff the fit of the multi-plate upper hull.
Remember, Mr Cement Thin is your friend
in these situations. The three-piece
transmission cover main part looks a little
disappointing as it's perfectly smooth (an
easy fix) but does include nice casting
numbers, as do the side 'bulges'. The
mating flanges have good bolt detail and
the correct step running the entire length
(don't mistake this as a moulding joint and
remove it!). Suspension bogies are well
detailed although a fiddle to assemble,
they can be articulated as-per the real
units should you be using indi-link tracks
and display your Grant on uneven ground.
The tracks fit together pretty well although
appear a little rigid and may be difficult to
add later if you prefer to paint tracks
separately due to the large mudguards
(which obscure the upper run).
I found the upper hull to assemble a treat;
make plenty of dry runs before committing
to the cement and you'll need very little, if
any, filler. We’ve seen and heard some
modellers struggle with the multi-part
nature of all of the separate plates
and champhered joints, but I never
paid any special attention here
and had no problems.

Vision blocks and openings are all separate
with internal details, as do the large side
doors although (unlike Academy's kits)
there is no offer of interior parts to show if
you leave these open. The 75mm hull
mounted gun can be made to elevate and
traverse and there is a pivoting arm
assembly to attach to the moving sight
which I found a nonsense as it doesn't
move in unison! Not being a fan of moving
gimmicks I glued everything in a fixed
position. Due to the separate parts that
make-up the hull gun casemate I noticed a
few profiles were a little off from the
images I'd gathered, quite a pronounced
lip appears to run around the bottom and
the join between the side and top looked
somewhat smoother, all easily altered with
some Magic Sculp putty. I have to admit to
shying away from creating my own dust
cover for the 75mm and I should have
really indicated the tiny fasteners at least
but there are plenty of images in the desert
without the covers fitted.
Bucking the out-of-the -box principle very
slightly I’ve created my own side rails. The
kit parts look undefined and are so easily
replicated with Evergreen styrene strip for
a much sharper look. More slight deviation
from the kit was to use more styrene
strip for the

small attchment tabs and latches on the
rear stowage boxes (easier to position than
the kit’s photoetch parts) and supports for
the open vision ports. No stowage is
supplied in the kit but most images of
Grants in action show them to be pretty
loaded-up with gear so a rummage in the
spares box produced a few resin pieces
which I adapted (from Blast and Resicast)
and some home-made items which means
you can get them to conform well to the

We’re impressed with the new Mission
Models acrylic range and I decided to give
their black primer a spin (very good)
followed by green overall, then sand and
finally the red-brown patches. Knowing I’d
be applying some heavy dust I chose
colours by eye which were quite punchy to
replicate one of the schemes detailed in
the kit’s colour profiles and decals. The
green acted as a shadow colour and the
sand was applied creating highlights and
also bearing in mind in reality this was
probably sprayed over the green applied in
the factory. Patches of clear gloss and
setting solution helped the decals sit down
nicely. Markings depict an M3 Mk.I of ‘C’
Sqn., 3 RTR, 7th Armd.Div. May 1942
where it was unfortunately destroyed at Bir
Harmat, North Africa. This group of Grants
had neatly applied cartoon charicters, this
one being one of the Disney ‘3 Little Pigs’
(albeit wearing boxing gloves!)
MMP-032 Russian Green Modern

MMP-016 Sandgrau RAL 7027

MMP-033 NATO brown

Left over from the Lee kit is a
locating block for the antenna mount.
I removed this and added two rivet
heads as appears in some on-line
images I found of Bovington’s Grant.

Lifecolor ‘Rubber Track’
(tyres and track)


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:39 Page 18

Designers’ gouache water based paint is great
for dry and dusty finishes. This is the effect of
washes of gouache over the base colours.

Many of the period images of Grants in the North African deserts
show a very heavy covering of dust (as you’d expect from the
harsh conditions), so we’re presented with that modelling
dilemma of realistic versus attractive. I didn’t want my Grant to
look like I’d just tipped a tub of pigment powder over it nor to
look too rich in colour with lots of saturated oil paints. I turned
my favourite water-based gouache colours to create the all-over
dust effect. I’ve used Windsor & Newton Designers’ gouache for
many years, it’s of high quality and lasts for years with basic
colour sets providing modellers with primary colours to
create various shades of dirt and dust. In essence, it’s
somewhere between a pigment powder and acrylic
paint. Knowing I’d be applying some filters later
(which would tint the dust colour) I kept the
gouache very light in tone mixed to a
milky consistency with water. This
can be airbrushed or applied as
washes with the benefit of
remaining workable
with a damp brush

The contact area of the track
and road wheels was kept a little
more free of dust compared to
the rest of the suspension and
lower hull. Takom’s bogies are
tricky to assemble but do look
good. Note the dust on the
lower areas of the stowage,
Wilder ‘Road Dust’ pigment
powder was used here.


After the dust I began to add a little life back into the surfaces
with some filters created with enamel thinner and Yellow Ochre
oil paint in various degrees of intensity. Working on one section
at a time some pin washes were also added while the surface
was still damp from the filter in both Burnt Umber and Lamp
Black oil colour to create shadows and contrast and also light
tones to enhance the dust effect. I played with these effects
back and forth until I was happy with the interest and
depth the surfaces had. Of course the contrast of
the dust on the original factory green is easily
seen while almost pure white was used on
the sand coloured areas and the running
gear and lower hull came in for
heavier treatment and stronger

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The simple commander figure is a
torso and arms from MiniArt’s ‘British
Armoured Car Crew’ set with legs
from one of their Africa Korp sets
(very similar boots and socks). The
‘bare’ head is from the Hornet range
with a little extra hair added with
Magic Sculpt putty.
Lifecolor Acrylics were used to finish
him, I find these dry to a dead flat
finish; great for most elements of
figure painting but I felt his flesh

needed a slight sheen and ‘glow’
from the African sun. An unlikely
candidate for this came from
Lifecolor’s Diorama series, UA 263
‘Grease Effect’ is a translucent
orange which dries to a pleasing soft
sheen after a thin application over
the already shaded and highlighted
flesh tones. False ‘tan for your
figures? Whatever next...

Some scuffs and scratches were the final part of the weathering
process achieved with some dark grey / brown acrylic applied
lightly with a small piece of sponge around crew access areas and
maintenance points topped with some scratching with a
sharp,soft pencil. A few scuffs through the over-sprayed sand
colour to the factory green were also shown. Some grease
staining was picked out on the suspension and around the rear
doors to access the big old radial engine along with brown
and pink tones on the exhaust mufflers. The sponging of
various tones here helps with the random
appearance. The stowage on the rear deck has
been left rather clean to add some variety of colour
and a little sparkle was added to the front of the Grant
with some miniature light lenses. The kit provides clear
parts for the headlight glass and the bowls are suitably
thin and hollow, I just happened to have some lenses in a
size suitable.
Well, Takom have certainly captured the look of the Grant I
think you’ll agree. Any short-comings of the kit are easily
overcome by anyone with modest modelling skills and basic tools,
I certainly found this an enjoyable ‘out-of-the-box’ project with nice
detail and good design throughout which offers decent value for
money. M3 afficionados may be waiting for the iminent release of
MiniArt’s range of Lees and Grants with full interiors but they are
sure to suited to the more demanding, experienced modeller.


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M36 B1


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Sometimes only one component of a diorama affects the whole
scene: the beautiful DIO72 German house is cut so as to have a
fixed position, so once I decided where to put it, the whole scene
had to adapt. I wanted to depict a small German town, easily
occupied by the Americans without great destruction, just the
signs of some shot fired during the battle. WWII pictures show
cobblestone-paved streets almost everywhere, from France to
Germany, so I had to roll up my sleeves! After scoring on a 1.5

mm plasticard base sections of soil and the pavement on the
opposite side of the house, I deposited a smooth layer of Magic
Sculp and I waited until it completely dried; with a ruler and a
sharp tip I drew many lines parallel to the road, spaced of about 1
mm, then, with a lot of patience, I engraved each one of the
cobblestones, trying to get an uneven effect, with small and large
stones. It took me approximately two weeks to carve the

Since I wanted to depict an urban area
without covering the tank and the figures
with other buildings, I planned on building
a stone fence with a gate, like the park of
a villa or something similar. I used an old
resin set bought a few years ago and I
built a small section of a plaster wall that
completed the frontal part of the scene.
One of the columns that bear the gate and
the central part of the wall are damaged,
as is the projecting part of the roof of the


Another aspect I had to consider is the
position of the tank: after months spent
detailing the interior of the M36B1, I
could not close the hatches, making all
the work I did invisible... I imagined a
break after the capture of the town, with
the crew waiting for the officer speaking
on the radio to receive instructions on
how to continue the advance. The
rotation of the turret helped me to
balance the scene and allowed me to
open the hull hatches. At the beginning I
thought I would place the PAK 40 in the
park, in a combat position, but I realized
there was not enough space, so I had to

put it on the road in the towed position,
as if the Germans had tried to
unsuccessfully hook it to a truck and
retire. All this to explain how a simple
house can determine the setup of the
scene; I spent days studying how to
arrange the diorama in a pleasing and
convincing way. Another problem was
the height of the house, which
unbalanced the scene; I eventually
solved this problem by placing a pine on
the opposite side of the road that gave a
very evocative feeling from northern
Europe to the whole diorama. In the end,
every detail is important!

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After seeing on the internet many photos of paved roads in
Northern Europe, I finally found the picture of an ancient village
of East Germany, with still the same houses and streets it had in
the Forties. I then decided to give a yellowish tone to the
cobblestones of the road, while the pavements and water drains
on the roadside were painted with a grey tone. The basic
colours are Tamiya XF57 for the road and XF49 for the
sidewalks. Before painting the street I finished and weathered
the plaster wall, adding a writing copied from a vintage photo;
even the sidewalk received the first layers of colour, using a
palette of greys and greens Humbrol enamel.If I thought that
carving the whole street had been unnerving, I had not yet tried

to paint all the bricks one by one! I used a wide range of
Humbrol colors, chosen for its resistance to the weathering
steps; the main difficulty (apart from boredom...) is to maintain
the balance between the various colors because, in the end,
everything must be uniform, without a predominant tone. The
wall and the columns are painted in another colour, adding
stones with pink and greenish hues. The final result shows that
there are many colours, achieving a homogeneous effect
without hues predominant over others. When everything dried, I
airbrushed a generous coat of matt acrylic transparent, in order
to protect the colours from the oil washes that will follow.

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The road and the wall, with all their multi-coloured bricks and
cobblestones, are absolutely unrealistic, so I started to weather them
with a dark reddish brown oil wash; the aim is to unify the road and the
pavements. Another layer of matt varnish fixed and protected the wash;
it is important to put the model on the road every once in a while, in
order check that the colours are consistent.
I did a drybrush with sandy tones to even out the road and pavements,
then using brownish oil paints and using the same technique, I
recreated dirt and moisture stains. Weathering of the wall began with a
very dark green wash, eliminated after a short time, then, using very
diluted acrylic colours, I highlighted the separations between the various
stones and the damp stains; also in this case, study of a real stone wall
is essential for a good result.

It was the first time that I painted a building and it was quite
interesting. I started by airbrushing a dirty white basecoat layer, then I
painted the roof with a medium grey and the wall beneath the shed in
yellow. Then I started working with brushes and creating the stone
façade which was quite difficult: in fact, in a stone wall, every stone
has a different colour and at the same time the stones have a similar
hue. That’s why I needed many similar shades that, treated with
washes, drybrush, and a series of filters with very diluted acrylic,
helped me achieve a good result. Since I wanted to achieve a wet
effect and the pictures show these slate roofs to be very dark, I used a
series of pretty dark grey-green colours; the painting of the wooden
beams of the house front complete the process.
Weathering was made with oil and acrylics filters and streaks, using
different methods according to the need. Fixtures were painted with
Vallejo, while the windows were painted gloss black. The wooden
beams were weathered with an Humbrol light khaki drybrush, in order
to emphasize the wood texture. On the white walls I made a filter with
a light grey oil colour, pulling the wash from the top to the bottom of
the wall; the job was completed with streaks and drips made with
acrylic. A ripped Nazi propaganda poster and signs of gunfire
completed the lower part of the house. The roof has been weathered
with very dark green oil filters, pulled from the top to the bottom of the
roof; the aim is to unify the colours of the tiles and to create the effect
of abundant rain, typical of those towns.


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After I finished the house, I began to take care of the rest of the
scene; the gate was copied from an archive picture and a
photoetched fret was custom-made by a specialized firm. The
vegetation came from Noch and Mininature ranges and, when I
laid it down, I tried to copy the irregular appearance of real grass.
The gate was glued and painted with a very dark grey, finishing
the spikes with gold. I used very thick colours, trying to eliminate a
little the flat appearance of photo-etched items; the final effect is
very beautiful.
During the last months of the war, I do not think that gardening
was a priority for the Third Reich, so I tried to give an idea of
disuse, placing some ivy along the corners of the walls and the
gates; I used a great Mininature product, gluing suitably shaped
clips with cyano in various parts of the scene. Finding a nice

realistic pine was not easy, but eventually I found one; it cost a lot,
but it saved me from scratch building one. To improve the
appearance of the pine, I opened a little the branches with
tweezers, then I sprayed a light green from the top down, in order
to achieve some lights and shades. With an hour long job I have
got a beautiful conifer, which will give all the scene the right
"Nordic" look. The attention to every detail, from the manhole on
the street corner to the damp patches on the walls, the gates, the
well marked rubble, the vegetation gave to the whole diorama a
well refined look, essential to give the desired realism to the

In period pictures one can see all kinds of
military objects laying on the ground, like
weapons, helmets, backpacks, crates etc.
Searching in the various boxes of my stash,
I found what I needed for the scene; after a
careful painting, I began to locate all the
items, trying to give an idea of the chaos
seen in vintage photographs. These are
details that give realism to the scene;
remember never to place things at random,
just to fill an empty space, there must
always be a logic in every detail that you
put on the diorama.

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Now that the scene is over, I just have to
add some figures; this time I wanted to
exaggerate, putting 11 figures in the
diorama! They play a key role in the
diorama, describing the scene. I used resin
figures from many brands, mainly Milicast;
to be precise, they are in 1:76th scale, but
I find no difference with those in 1/72nd.
The sculpting is excellent; the American
infantrymen are fabulous and I think they
are the only figures on the market to have
the right American helmet, worn obliquely
as seen in many old photos, really perfect!
The German prisoners are Milicast too,
apart from the officer with the leather coat,
which comes from the D-DAY range. As I
improve my painting technique, I tend to
make more softer shades, abandoning the
strong contrasts of the early days.
The figures properly located on the
diorama guide the viewer's eye at the
various points of the scene, highlighting all
the details; in the end I think I've made my
best work in braille scale, achieving a
balance between the colours and details of
all components of the very realistic scene.
At least for me, of course!


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AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:04 Page 28

David Parker builds Trumpeter’s 1:16 kit

Work continues on fitting out the engine bay with all the usual
unforseen problems and continual planning needed to avoid
causing even more! This installment has clearly demonstrated to
me that no matter how carefully you plan your construction work,
with everything dry fitted there is always the potential for fit
problems when everything is eventually glued into place. It has

Part Eighteen

also confirmed that my decision to leave the rear panel as a
separate part was the correct one and I doubt it would have been
possible to fit some of the elements inside the engine bay had it
been fixed. There is a lot of fault correction and reworking in this
installment but it is a part of the process and I hope it is helpful to
see that on a project like this things don’t always go to plan.


The first of a series of mishaps was the realisation that I had forgotten to add
the small power socket 1 mounted on the firewall. I knew it was there but had
somehow turned a blind eye to it. It would have been an easy detail to add
when the firewall was a separate part but now with the engine installed it was

incredibly difficult, especially adding the power supply to the socket. The
socket has a small mounting bracket to fix it to the firewall strut. I used lead
wire to make the cable, managing to somehow feed it down behind the
primer pump and hide it behind the engine mount.

I needed to fit the fuel supply from the tank to the auxilliary generator which
passes through the blanking plate for the radiator 2. With so many parts in
the engine bay it was now impossible to pass the pipe through the plate and
get everything in position.

Reluctantly I had to fit the pipe 3 without the blanking plate...


...and cut a small slot through the blanking plate to allow it to slide into place
on the firewall with the fuel pipe passing through the slot and into the drilled
hole in the plate.

Moving to the otherside of the engine bay by the air filter it became apparent
that I had trimmed the electical cable too short for its final connection. To
correct this I peeled back the cable clip 3, cut the rearmost section of cable
and spliced in a new longer cable before repairing the clip for an invisible

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:04 Page 29


The rear engine mount brackets 4 were now glued into position on the hull
floor, checking that they also butt against the rear panel when it is fitted.



I decided to fit the corner reinforcing brackets 6 to the still detachable rear
panel. However with these glued in position it became more difficult to fit the
rear panel and to connect the interlocked corners 7.

With these removed the back panel would now
slide in far more easily and with the final fittings
going into the engine bay I anticipated the rear
panel going on and off numerous times.

The pre-painted voltage regulator panel 5 was now glued into place on the
sidewall beside the airfilter next to the cable that had just been extended.

To improve the fitting procedure I decided to cut off the small interlocking tabs
with one of the mudflap hinges from the corner of the track guards

Back to the voltage regulator and I glued
together two pieces of woven electrical cable
and added a self-adhesive aluminium foil

The other ends of the cables were connected to the sockets on
the base of the voltage regulator

The collar was glued in position onto the output socket of
the dynamo.

The engine cold starter ‘fishtail’ assembly was painted using Vallejo Air black for its subtle
sheen finish.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:04 Page 30

Above The ‘Fishtail’ assembly was then weathered to match
the rest of the compartment and sitting near the floor I added
accumulated grime to the upper areas. Where the heater
joins the hull wall I applied some heat damage to the paint
with resulting rust.
Right 5 minute epoxy was used to glue the ‘fishtail’ in
position. It was positioned and correctly aligned by dry fitting
the rear panel until the glue set. This procedure had to be
repeated when my first epoxy mix failed to harden correctly.


The overview of the engine
bay with the ‘fishtail’ fitted
and the dry fitted rear
Throughout this process
the fitting of each part is
always carefully
considered to avoid
blocking any access for a
subsequent part.
This picture also shows
that the air filter pipework
7 has now been glued into


To make the strap that secures the pipe to the firewall I cut a strip of metal
foil which was pre-bent and painted before being glued into position.

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:04 Page 31

The flexible connectors for the exhausts needed to be painted to visually link
with finish of the exhaust manifolds although not identical as they are a
different material. I began by spraying a dark metallic brown base before

brush painting and sponge stippling other lighter tones over this. At this
stage the connectors are only dry fitted.

I probably should have attended to the
weathering of the rear wall when I
began to work on the rest of the
engine bay but it had remained in its
satin red primer finish.
I began by applying an overall light oil
paint wash to add some definition and
knock back the new appearance. This
was followed by airbrushing some
grime tones, starting with a mid brown
for the drier areas and working to a
darker black/brown. I focussed the
darker tones around the position of the
engine which would throw off oil
causing dirt to stick and build up in this

I began to then brush paint another
darker tone around the various fittings
where dampness would accumulate
and cling to bolt heads and other
raised details.
Acrylic paint washes were also applied
using the same tones used to airbrush
with. The tide mark across the right
side of the wall was created by
brushing water onto the panel allowing
it to form the natural waterline shape.
Diluted acrylic paint was then applied
into this puddle and allowed to flow
and blend naturally.

Finally I applied some Wilder old
grease in and around the access
cover. This dries with a semi-gloss
finish to give the impression of wet oily
residue (although our studio lighting
struggled to pick up this effect in this


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:04 Page 32

The weathered rear wall was then test fitted in position to check that its
appearance matched the rest of the bay and that there were no unexpected
mismatched finishes.

The rear wall was removed again (a much repeated process) and the
tensioning pulley wheel assembly was fitted The wheel was masked and the
polished contact area was created with Ushi van der Rosten polishing powder.



Sliding the rear wall back into place the alignment is good but not quite
perfect so I started to consider some adjustments.

The upper run of belts was then dry fitted to ascertain the exact position of
the adjuster assembly 8 on the rear wall.

This exposed another problem with the adjuster plate standing off the wall
with an obvious gap that would need to be resolved.

My solution was to firstly to cut the tensioning wheel from its mount and glue
it in place on the belts

The upper adjuster plate was glued in place on the rear wall after much
testing and having removed the upper tensioning wheel so that I could add
new shafts to bridge the gap between each adjuster and its wheel. Note the
damage caused to the paintwork through these adjustments.

I prepped some plastic rod by painting it with Vallejo steel and polishing it with
Ushi van der Rosten polishing powders. For the longer upper shaft I drilled a
hole into the pulley wheel so that the new shaft would slide into the wheel
whereas the lower shaft was a simple touch fit.

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 11:04 Page 33

Now the upper section of belts can be dry fitted and the back plate slides in
with a totally convincing fit for the tensioning system - a lot of extra work to
get here!

The pair of small voltage regulator boxes were painted and their placards
added. They were glued onto the rear wall but with their cable connections
running across the corner to the side wall, they will be wired in once the back
panel is finally fitted.

Time to consider the heat shield for the exhaust and I was struggling about
how to finish the shield so that it had a heat distressed appearance. The plain
black finish was wetted and I applied a succession of dirty brown random
washes which I lifted off with a sponge.

During this wash process I picked up an old flat ended brush which I had used
to apply the pigment wash to the Merkava 4 tracks featured in this issue.
Small particles of pigment were deposited on the shield and mixed with the
wash to create a very pleasing effect - seen test fitted here.

The crank starter shaft was pre-weathered in preparation for fitting to the
starter motor hidden at the back of the engine. I pushed a cocktail stick into
the tube to assist in positioning the shaft. Test fitting the rear plate threw up
another alignment problem requiring adjustment so it had to be removed.

I used plastic rod to make a universal joint coupling for the end of the shaft
and fitting it into the external collar.

The shaft had been shortened to accommodate the universal joint and was
refitted onto the starter motor.

The rear plate was dry fitted again and the other half of the joint test fitted
through the starter port, successfully!

The project continues in the next Issue


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 15:50 Page 34


12th SS HitlerJugend,
Normandy 1944
comes with

Five man Panzer IV crew to
suit Trumpeter’s Panzer IV
Available as individual figures
or as a full crew set.


Note: Driver figure designed to work in conjunction
with the AFV Modeller replacement seat.


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AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 15:50 Page 36

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 15:50 Page 37

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:19 Page 38



(CIRCA 1998)



What better way to celebrate the 100th Issue of AFV Modeller than to look
back at how the hobby has progressed since we started? Today we are
deluged with new kit releases of an incredibly high standard and the smallest
oversight or abbreviated detail can cause uproar. Suppose we could go back
and compare modern kits with those of twenty years ago?
Tucked away in a storage box was the Panzer III Ausf.G assembled from the
first generation Imperial Series Dragon kit released around 1997. When I built it
with at least 2 other identical kits as part of a planned diorama project it was a
new release. The repetition involved in modelling 3 similar vehicles eventually
got the better of the project and the 3 tanks were consigned to storage. I still
have all three, but this particular one was the most complete, ready to be
painted and with some state of the art Friulmodel individual link tracks which
had to be crimped together.

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:19 Page 39


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:19 Page 40

Twenty years in storage have taken their toll on the vintage kit with
considerable yellowing of the plastic but apart from the tracks
which were ‘borrowed’ for another project many years ago, it
remains intact. Looking at the model today I am struck by just how
much work I had to do back then to bring the model up to my
required standards!
Back then, photoetched details were only just starting to be an
established part of the hobby and I used parts from the Japanese
producer ‘The Show Modelling’. Obtaining these sets was not easy
and usually I had to purchase them at major model shows which I
think was the case with these. The range was quite limited and I
used the parts from a set designed for the Stug III, the mudflaps,
hooks and tool clasps being common to both Stug III and Panzer
III. The mesh grilles over the air intakes were I think part of the
original Dragon kit.
Looking back now at the Dragon kit I am surprised to see that the
visors on the cupola are all moulded closed! I had made the effort
to carefully cut open the single front visor in order to have a more
realistic look. You can also see that I completely reworked the

The open hatches were reworked by removing and
replacing the moulded on locking handles and adding
the rubber cushions to the vision block.


turret hatch hinges, I think they did not fit well. The insides of the
hatches were detailed with new locking handles and missing
details from the vision block.
The screw head detail on the turret roof was filled and reapplied
using a die to emboss the recesses in the roof. The missing weld
bead detail was added using Slaters red
plastic rod which I melted with liquid
cement to get a weld bead texture, a
technique I still use today. The turret bin
was detailed with new mounting brackets
and photoetched latches. The tiny rivet
detail was applied by embossing a
piece of plastic card and then shaving
each rivet off the card and gluing
them into position. Dragon’s current
range of Panzer IIIs of course have
these kind of details all beautifully
moulded in place.

The most demanding part was the Rugby ball-shaped
handle which took many attempts to shape using a
mini drill to sand the plastic rod. It was then mounted
onto a brass rod shaft. Ironically this handle was
knocked off the model just before it was painted and
had to be replaced which I did with some hand rolled

The front mudflap arrangement and the towing
hooks required quite a lot of additional detail
work with the missing side panels added and the
latch clips for the mudflap.

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:19 Page 41

When the model was
abandoned the stowage
was only partly
complete. I added
tarpaulins, a spare
roadwheel and bucket to
match the archive photos
of the subject tank.
As I had glued the original roadwheels I had to snap the
axels and modify the back of each new wheel to get
them to align correctly.

Thin lead wire was used to add
the missing electrical
connections for the lamps

Looking afresh at the original
roadwheels I decided it was
worth replacing them with the
modern Dragon equivalents.
The loops of the turret lifting
hooks were carefully opened up
using a scalpel blade.

The Dragon kit was not
designed with openable vision
flaps but I created the opening
with its recessed lip and made
a hinge from plastic card.

The big stowage box was
modelled on the version seen
on the subject vehicle from
plastic card.

The missing slot on the top of
the Co-ax MG mount was
drilled out.

I still had an unopened packet of the original crimptogether Friulmodel 36cm tracks from the original
project so these were assembled to continue the period feel.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:20 Page 42

I primed the model using Mission Models
Black primer followed by a coat of Mission
Models Panzer Grey which gave me exactly
the finish I was looking for. I dislike the
faded greys favoured by some modellers as
the real colour was very dark as genuine
period colour photos show. The details were
then brush painted including the turret
numbers and lozenge. The 11th Panzer
Division Ghost symbol was partly applied
using an Archer dry rub decal. I say partly
because I couldnt get them to transfer
entirely due to the fragility of the logo
design. The missing parts were therefore
touched in with a brush. On the rear
stowage box the logo image had been
reversed forcing me to paint in the whole
logo by hand. The tank was then sealed
with a satin varnish.
The dark panzer grey was a daunting blank
canvas to begin weathering over and I
therefore chose to begin with an oil pin
wash mixing dark brown and sand tones in
different areas to take the edge off the stark
appearance. I wanted a dry slightly dusty
finish to the model and I selected a suitable
Lifecolor dirt colour for the next stage of
acrylic washes. Back when I first worked on
the kit I would have been working with
Humbrol enamel colours but now I use
acylics to apply washes as my preferred

The oil pin washes serve to take the edge off the clean model and to bring some
of the details to life.


The acrylic washes are applied in limited areas panel by panel and built
up sometimes with successive layers.

The first acrylic wash applied over the running gear using water to soften and
blend the paint gives a better colour density than the oils as well as a pleasing
natural look.

To enhance the dusty deposits I airbrushed the same acrylic colour in selected
areas like the corners, the top of the gun and the front edge of the turret roof.

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:20 Page 43

My aim was to show dust thrown up by the
running gear and collecting around the
details and recesses on the horizontal
surfaces but with the tallest parts of the
vehicle remaining cleaner. I used an
airbrush enhance the build up of dust in
certain areas. I therefore kept the areas
around the open hatches extremely clean,
using the dark oil washes to define the
detail with only the smallest hint of dust.
The tarpaulins were shaded using darker
and lighter tones of the base colour to bring
some definition and the bucket was painted
using Vallejo dull aluminium mixed with
white and grey to give it a galvanised
appearance. The spare tracks were
individually painted in different brown / grey
tones rather than a single uniform colour
and further acrylic washes were used to
blend them into a consistent dusty finish to
match the rest of the vehicle.

The tracks were given a blacken it treatment to dull the finish and
then a very light wash of the same dust colour was applied over
this. I used an abrasive pad to clean up the contact areas of the
tracks and this gave an excellent polished metal finish without
needing any paint.

Before fitting the tracks I added a small amount of Wilder textured
paint to the tops of the final drives, suspension mounts and the
mudflaps. Any slight colour difference was blended with the same
dust colour again. The contact rim of the idler and sprocket teeth
were painted with Vallejo Steel and the contact surfaces of the
roadwheels were finished in a clean dark black/brown. The tracks
were fitted and I was reminded of how tricky it was to make the
join using the old crimping system when access is so restricted.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:20 Page 44

I wanted the tank to be situated in the grass of the Russian Steppe and
added some residual grass or straw to the roadwheel suspension
mounts, hanging from some of the return rollers around the rear corners
of the hull and scattered on some of the upper surfaces .

The strands of grass were made using individual
pieces of hemp that were given a slight colour
adjustment and they were glued in place one
piece at a time using PVA glue. At this point I also
used a pencil to add a metallic sheen to the lips
of the hatches and edges of the cupola to
replicate wear. The tips of the exhaust pipes were
also treated with black pigments applied with a
brush to give a sooty appearance. With this done
my attentioned turned to completing the crew


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:20 Page 45

Whatever original plans I had to crew the Panzer III had been
forgotten and with a set of open turret side hatches offering a view
into the entirely empty interior I needed some way to fill the hatch.
I turned to a two figure Alpine set 35028. Swapping arms around
and changing one head allowed me to radically change their

It felt like a long time since I had painted the
classic black Panzer crew uniform and I was
looking forward to the challenge. The figures
were painted with Lifecolor acrylics and I
used their excellent ‘Panzer Uniform’ black
which is a very dark brown/black but not a
pure black. Using this as a base allows you
to then use pure black to apply your
shadows to the uniforms. I used a touch of
buff to lighten the base colour very slightly
to apply the highlights. For the pink piping I

poses and quickly get something I was happy with. I sculpted the
new sections of arms that I needed and blended in the other limb
joints with Magic Sculp. One final adjustment not seen in these in
progress images was to reposition the Commander’s binoculars
to reflect the more dramatic pose.

mixed a pink which was a little sharper,
more acidic in tone to match the colour I
was seeing on pictures of preserved
uniforms. I chose a brown tone for the
Commander’s belt to contrast with the
black uniform and a field grey mix for his
gloves. The final task was to add the cables
to the Commander’s headphones using a
suitably thin wire which was painted in the
dull brown of the fabric-bound cables.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:20 Page 46

The final job was to make a small base
to mount the vehicle on. I used my
default product for long grass, hanging
basket liner, which was glued to a plaster
base layer using PVA glue. Once it had
dried the grass was trimmed to create a
more uniform length and to tidy up some
of the more ‘straggly’ areas. The grass
was then sprayed with the tank removed
in a mix of dull green and sand tones
and then I went over it picking out
individual strands in sand tones.

Twenty years almost to finally finish this
particular model and it feels good to
have finally realised something of the
ambition which originally inspired it. It
has also been an interesting experience
to see how much modern kits have
advanced to today’s standards, things
that we now expect to be standard were
things that you had to be prepared to
make yourself in many cases. This is far
from a perfect model and I can
immediately see the flaws like the raised
moulded location points on the track
guards which are impossible to remove
without destroying the tread plate
pattern. Even so I think it does very
much stand the test of time!




AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 14:20 Page 47


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 15:24 Page 48


new releases

Takom 1:35 Panther Ausf.A (Early/Mid Early/Late)
Takom have released 3 versions of their Panther A all of which
feature a spectacular fully detailed interior with the late version
also including the optional parts required to build a command
version. Early and Mid Early versions are differentiated by the
letterbox style MG flap on the Early. Whichever version you choose
you are treated to a deep box of parts with high quality moulding
looking rather more crisp and refined than some Takom releases.
Aside for the mountain of plastic parts the kit provides two sizes of
braided copper wire, a section of flexible plastic conduit, two
decal sheets for interior and exterior and a photoetched fret for
the engine screens. The lower hull is comprised of separate floor
and sidewalls to assist in both fitting out the detail and potentially
painting too. Ammunition is supplied as individual shells apart
from for the vertical floor-mounted rack where just the exposed
grenades are moulded. Tracks are a link and length system with
48 separately moulded track teeth and a jig to shape the tracks
around with the same jig being used to help align the roadwheel
swing arms. The hull sponsons are also provided as separate

parts meaning they can be detailed and painted before being
installed on the rest of the hull. The instructions helpfully come
with a colour painting guide for the interior parts. Externally tool
stowage is moulded separately with clasps moulded onto the
various tools or you can use the clasp-less versions and add your
own. The cupola has separate vision block covers cleverly
moulded in a ring so that they can all be fitted as one and then
the carrier sprue removed. Separate skirt hanger brackets are
provided but the skirts themselves are moulded as a single piece
which will be problematic if you don’t require a full set because of
their overlap. A cupola ring MG mount is included with the correct
pattern barrel sleeve. None of these three kits provide the
zimmerit finish so you either make your own or rely on an
aftermarket solution although Takom have recently announced a
further zimmerit version. Top quality without a doubt and fans of
the Panther will no doubt welcome yet more choice with interiors
apparently proving extremely popular even though little will be
visible on a conventionally assembled model.

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 15:24 Page 49










Polish pioneers of detail sets, Aber, are still expanding their
catalogue at a pace with their legendary quality and state of
the art production methods. In 1:72 is a 130mm C-70 gun for
the Russian JS-7 (72L-66), 170mm gun for the E-100 (72L-67)
and a 128mm KwK44 L/55 also for the E-100 (72L-68) all are
designed to fit the Trumperer kits.
In 1:48 is 48L-31, a 3.7cm barrel for Tamiya’s 38(t), 48L-32 is a
pair of ZB 37 MG barrels and 48L-33 a 20mm Oerlikon barrel
for Crusader AA vehicles (and various ship applications).
In 1:35 35L-118 is the ultimate in detail for a post WWII
12.7mm DShK, 35L-19n is an early 75mm PaK 40 and another
German 75mm with set 35L-241for Meng’s Panther Ausf.A with
the KwK 40 L/48 75mm for late G -H Panzer IVs served with
set 35L-46. 35L-235 covers all the barrels bristling from a WWI
British Mk.I Male and another British subject is covered with
35L-230 providing Tamiya’s new Archer with a beautiful 17pdr.
Finally up to 1:16 with 16114, a generic set of 25 hex-head
bolts with a diameter of 1.75mm.
Keep up to date with Aber’s releases and worldwide sellers at




VMS Smart Chipping Paint
Chipped and scuffed paint is all the rage with fans of heavy
weathering and commercially available products are available now to
take the place of hairspray. This new process from Vantage Modelling
Solutions is presented very nicely and very controllable indeed as the
‘chipping’ colour (six are available) is applied by brush on top of your
varnished base colour in the areas you want to show the effect. The
paint can be randomly removed in around fifteen minutes by water or
further control and finesse with VMS’s own Smart Chipping Aid. Check
out the product in action on the VMS Youtube channel or visit
www.vms-supplies.com. Very impressive range of top-quality
materials. Thanks to M.A.N. Models who are the UK distributor.

MiniArt 1:35 Water Pump Set
MiniArt are the undisputed saviours of the diorama builder
and continue to release superbly detailed and useful
subjects. If making buckets in photoetch drives you crazy,
here you go; slide moulding allows super-thin wall thickness
in a single piece part. A total of 12 buckets in 4 styles, two
churns, a tin basin and the street water pump are
provided. Photoetch handles are included. Ideal to stow
your Panther, get this set on your bucket list. Excellent.

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 15:24 Page 50

101st Airborne in Normandy
Yves Buffetaut
Published by Casemate
Softback format,128 pages
ISBN 9781612005232

This new series, Casemate’s Illustrated, kicks off with one of the most famous actions of
WWII immortalised by the HBO production 'Band of Brothers' focussing on the 101st
fighting through Normandy after their drops pre D-Day. With focus on the major points
and people involved, the book provides a good oversight with plenty of period images
(many are very familiar) maps and colour profiles of vehicles and armour all nicely
presented with profiles of some of the legends of Easy Company.

The 2nd SS Panzer Division 'Das Reich'
Yves Buffetaut
Published by Casemate
Softback format,128 pages
ISBN 9781612005232

Surely the most infamous of the SS Divisions was 'Das Reich' and this
second book in this new series looks to give an illustrated overview of
the division's formation and combat during WWII on both Western and
Eastern fronts. Familiar wartime images, vehicle colour profiles and key
personnel feature and the main action throughout the war of this unique
fighting force and it's fragmented demise around Hungary in 1945. Nicely
presented but undoubtably too brief an account for the serious German
armour modeller and the images have been seen many times before.

Armoured Forces in
Peter Mujzer
Published by Kagero
Softback format, 112 pages
ISBN 9788365437655


With some really interesting vehicles in both 1:35 and 1:72
available in recent years this 'Photosniper 26' book is a great
introduction to Hungarian armour of WWII with every aspect of the
formation and combat presented in manageable 'chunks' to give
an excellent introduction to a topic not often published in English.
The same approach is taken with the vehicles themselves with all
of the home-grown armoured vehicles getting a technical and
historical / combat coverage but what's most welcome for
modellers is the abundance of period images included with some

top-quality shots of vehicles in the field and being maintained.
More modelling reference is included with all-round plans of all of
the vehicles including the M Turán, M Zrinyi, M Nimrod, Toldi
variants and the M Casaba armoured cars (although no scale is
quoted for the drawings they look around 1:48?) A good selection
of quality colour profiles and several pages of colorised black and
white images show what attractive modelling subjects Hungarian
subjects are. Great introduction to the subject and excellent

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 15:24 Page 51

Operation Market Garden Paratroopers Vol.3
Transport of the Polish
1st Independent parachute Brigade
Piotr Witkowski
Published by Mushroom Models
Softback format, 96 pages
ISBN 9788365281753
This is the third volume from MMP in their very detailed look at the Polish Paratroopers focussing on
the transport involved in the undertaking of Market Garden. Everything from the cool little Welbikes
to the mighty Horsa gliders gets a feature with detailed text, period images and modern images of
preserved and faithfully restored vehicles and equipment providing excellent modelling reference
and the sometimes subtle differences between the Polish and British gear. More good modelling
reference is provided with colour illustrations of the markings used on vehicles and descriptions of
the red canvass signalling sheets (nice idea for a little vignette?) and listings of all vehicles, glider
loads and formations involved in the operation. A must if you have the other two volumes.

IDF Jeeps
Tom Gannon
Published by Trackpad
Softback format, 58 pages

This new Photo Album from Trackpad offers a great collection of photos and very detailed
captions tracing the history of the all-important Jeep in the hands of the IDF. We start at the
very beginning with creation of the state of Israel and the Willys vehicles left there by the
British and UN and the conversion and further purchase to suit the needs of the IDF
(including the fitting of German and Czech MG34s!), like the SAS converted Jeeps these
vehicles make great and unique modelling conversions and this is superb reference. Not
only the vintage Willys / Ford Jeeps are featured but we're brought more up-to-date with
M606A2s and CJ versions of the Willys and the various arms and purposes with some colour
images of preserved vehicles. A must for Jeep or IDF enthusiasts.

Takom 1:35 CM-11 (M-48H) with ERA 'Brave Tiger'
Following Takom's 'standard' M-48 H Republic of Korea Main
Battle Tank is this very cool looking ERA blocked version giving an
appearance more akin to the IDF 'Blazer' M-60s. The 'H'
designation is for hybrid, basically an M-60 hull with the last
generation domed M-48 turret (although you would never know
under all that add-on armour!) Other unique features that Takom
have produced are the IDF cupola and the ballistic calculator
developed for the M1 Abrams. So we have a good amount of
sprues and parts carried over and plenty of new parts all very
nicely moulded. The lower hull and turret have an impressive cast
texture with delicate casting numbers and welds present. The
suspension and running gear has a lot of parts but results in

some great detail with some new flexible T-142 vinyl tracks which
are joined with a metal pin, pretty impressive detail for singlebands with a nice weight to them. The upper hull design is
simple, produced as one large section including all of the
complex engine deck slats and panels which are well rendered,
mudguards are separate with large securing tabs and slots to
support them. Takom look to have hit a good balance between
ease of assembly and finesse with the turret, there's photoetch
mesh to construct the rear basket and the ERA panels have been
moulded in groups for ease; this should all look very impressive in
place. This looks a very nice kit from Takom of a great looking
MBT, certainly something a little different.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 15:24 Page 52

MiniArt T-60 Late Series (screened, Gorky Plant)
Another in MiniArt's T-60 series with another late version built in
the Gorky car plant with several specific features. This tells us that
MiniArt go very deep with their research and with close to 500
parts for such a tiny vehicle the levels of detail are stunning so you
can expect some tiny parts and demanding work (on the eyes at
least!). Full interior means exactly that and the assembly starts
with the full GAZ-202 engine, transmission and driver's position
fitted into the floor plate with the hull sides added later complete

with ancillaries and ammo storage with plenty of photoetched
parts further adding to the beautiful finesse. More fine finesse with
the tracks although many will find three sprue points per link a
little tedious to prepare as the links are tiny! Thankfully the turret
and hull have a number of large hatches (including over the
engine) to display open. Stunning out-of-the-box detail again from

T-34, Russia's Armoured Spearhead
Robert Jackson
Published by Pen and Sword
Softback format, 64 pages
Another release in this 'Tank Craft' series sees the
legendary T-34 come under the spotlight. A hybrid of
historical content and modelling is on offer in common
with the other titles but for such a huge subject both
topics are covered briefly within 64 pages. Nine pages
of colour profiles are nicely rendered with some really
interesting schemes with well detailed captions. WWII
action and a couple of pages of post-war period
images feature but the photos are commonly seen
ones and in small format. The modelling section lacks
continuity in the presentation of the products, some of
the images are poor and wrongly placed but it does
give an overview of many of the mainstream kits on
offer in several scales, the 1:16 Trumpeter T-34
showcased is a real highlight. Undoubtably good value
if the subject is new to you.

Stalingrad 1:35 King Tiger crew in Action


If you have Meng’s Kingtiger with the interior option this new set from
Stalingrad is sure to create the ultimate display with a full ‘in action’
crew designed to fit into and around the Meng interior parts with
Stalingrad’s usual superb sculpting with great poses and expresions
which look very natural. Casting of the resin is first rate with superb
detail, a shame to put them inside the vehicle! Go to Stalingrad’s
website for details and distributors www.stalingrad.diorama.ru

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 15:24 Page 53

Takom 1:35 M31 Recovery Vehicle
This is a very welcome addition to Takom's 'Lee' family as there's
no denying recovery vehicles make great modelling subjects,
festooned with filth and clutter (sounds like the Editor's workbench)
and excellent diorama ideas, many Allied modellers will be very
happy with a plastic kit of the M31 instead of struggling to convert
vintage kits. Of course we've a mix of Lee sprues in the box but
also over 180 new bespoke parts including the full hull 'tub' as the
huge internal winch has an option to exit through rollers in the
floor plate. Of course the obvious difference is the giant boom arm
which has options of multiple positions and makes this a more

complex kit than the gun tanks Lee and Grant. Take a look at our
feature on the Grant as much of the build is similar, pretty
straightforward although the multi-part boom does look quite
involved and very well detailed. Takom have even supplied a
generous amount of soft woven copper winch cable instead of the
usual shoe lace we throw away! With five marking options
throughout WWII this kit is a great candidate for dioramas where it
can be dragging or lifting pretty much anything you desire, great
subject Takom!

Renault FT & M1917
Samir Karmieh
Published by Kagero
Softback format with pull-out plans, 20
ISBN 9788365437648
Often regarded as the World's first 'modern' tank
we have an excellent choice of modern kits of
this iconic AFV with a new release from Flyhawk
in 1:72, Meng's excellent 1:35 versions and
Takom's impressive 1:16 scale offering with full
interior (on the Editor's long list of in-progress
projects!). Especially helpful if you're detailing
Takom's kit, this number 47 of the 'Top Drawings'
reference plans includes superbly detail internal
and external plans in 1:16 and a great selection
of beautiful colour profiles with a bonus of vinyl
masks in 1:16 to model the subjects. Great
technical reference.

MiniArt 1:35 U.S. Horsemen, Normandy 1944
MiniArt's approach to marketing their brand is as good as the
products and I'm sure this release has been promised for a while
now with some excellent images of the finished and painted
models. The bare plastic also looks very nicely sculpted and
moulded on the sprues and these riders would make a nice
vignette or part of a diorama. One horse is stood still with the rider
in airborne uniform and the other in motion with the superb box art
depicting a rider from the 29th Infantry Division.

MiniArt 1:35 Panzerschreck RPzB.54 and
Ofenrohr RPzB.43 set
MiniArt continue to look at super-detailed weapon sets and follow
their panzerfaust set with the bigger brothers, panzerschreck and
ofenrohr. Six of each are provided with grenade cases and
carriers and the detail and finesse are just superb with
photoetched parts and detailed decals.


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 15:24 Page 54

MiniArt 1:35 Tiran 4 Late
Working their way through the T55 family, MiniArt present this
stunning new kit of the ‘Late’ version of the IDF’s modified tanks
captured during the Six Day War. This release is one of the ‘Full
Interior’ offerings and we can’t think of a more packed and
weighty AFV kit in 1:35 but it’s a case of quality and quantity with
MiniArt, the moulding is as good as it gets and the detail quite
staggering. The full interior means just that, the engine bay, V-54
engine and whole of the fighting compartment and turret are
included meaning this is another very involved build and probably
best suited to a modeller with some experience under their belt
(or should that be at the bench?!) and there’s a fair amount of

photoetch included to deal with along with individual track links,
which again, are superb. All of the IDF specific features look
faithfully reproduced including the .30 Cal and .50 Cal MGs,
stowage bins, jerry cans and the 105mm M-68 main gun (the
other guns are still included in the kit and it looks in fact if you can
produce the earlier versions with this kit). Two SLA finishing
options are included if the blue / grey appeals (and two IDF
versions). This series of kits are made to please the more
discerning modeller and they certainly deliver. Superb.
Keep track of the full range of T54s and T55s at www.miniartmodels.com

Flyhawk 1:72 M1A2 SEP with mine clearing blade system


In issue 98 we looked at the first incarnation of this kit and were
pretty much blown away by the level of detail and beautiful
moulding finesse, well things have got even a little better with a
new version of the kit including the super-tough looking mine
clearing blade. Two new sprues provide the plough (Ok, plow!)
system which as you'd expect are equally as impressive with
superb design and moulding. The original kit is exactly the same
which is good news, this is still certainly one of the best seventy-

second scale kits we've ever seen with ingenious design and
moulding throughout from the two piece track runs to the anti-slip
texture it really is state of the art. A small sprue of clear parts,
small photoetched fret (including wheel painting masks) and
delicate metal chain are included with decals providing five
options. Very highly recommended and our thanks to Flyhawk for
our samples.

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Dragon 1:35 DAK Pz.Bef.Wg.III
Just when you think DML have exhausted every avenue with their
versions of Panzer III they just keep coming, no bad thing though
as these kits demonstrate why Dragon have been regarded in the
past as the pinnacle of armour kits, they really are amongst their
best releases (and we're treated to a new Ron Volstad box art!).
With their tradition of squeezing every oportunity from their tooling
there must be half-a-dozen previous kits drawn on with around
half the parts unused! The kit is pretty much the 6844 release
from last year but with a few DAK specific features and the earlier
style wheels. The Panzerbefehlswagen features a dummy main

gun and fixed turret, Dragon provide a pretty comprehensive
interior with radio gear and the huge 9M crank operated mast
which passes through an opening in the turret and makes for an
interesting display. The moulding and accuracy are excellent,
some detail-freaks may shun the DS rubber band type tracks but
there's really nothing to grumble about here and the bonus of
feeding the spares box (like a full set of road wheels, sprockets
and idlers). Certainly DML retail prices have risen a fair bit in the
last few years and their notorious instructions can be frustrating
but when built these Panzer IIIs look fantastic.

Zvezda 1:72 Russian Ballistic Missile System 'Iskander-M' SS-26 'Stone'
You probably won't see a more typical Russian-looking vehicle
than this new Zvezda release and even in 1:72 it measures over
180mm. Zvezda's no frills approach to their kits remains with
practical packaging and no gimmicks. This will always keep their
kits very affordable to more casual builders yet allow the detail
thirsty modeller some budget left for aftermarket enhancements.
As you'd expect of a vehicle of this nature, and the small scale,
there are some very small and fine parts moulded on the sprues
and with close to 250 parts this is a build for a modeller with

some experience. Moulding is very nice throughout and we're
offered an option of transport or deployed mode for the menacing
missiles, chassis detail is very comprehensive and there's some
basic cab interior too. The tyres are moulded in soft vinyl and
don't look great, that said they do look well on the box images of
the finished model with some weathering. Photoetch and resin
wheels will take this kit to another level but this will still look very
nice built straight from the box.


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Red Army on Parade 1917-1945
By James Kinnear
Published by Canfora
Hardback format 256 pages
ISBN 9789198232585
This ambitious new Canfora release describes the tanks and
armoured vehicles paraded by the Red Army on Red Square from
the first anniversary of the Russian Revolution in November 1918
until after the end of the war in both Europe and Japan in 1945.
From the first captured French and British tanks displayed on Red
Square through the full range of wartime T-34, KV and IS tanks
(including some great images of the IS-3 in September 1945
leading to some very frantic heavy tank development in the West!).
This first volume describes the first public appearances of all Red

They Called Us The New Evil
Marvin Craig MacNeill CD
Published by Trackpad / Leopard Club
Softback format, 95 pages
ISBN 9780992842574
www.trackpadpublish@gmail.com /

Army tanks, vehicles and artillery pieces and the background
philosophy involved in their respective developments with some
superb images from the outrageous T-28s and T-35s to the brutish
IS-152. Whether you’re interested in Soviet military history and
development of the Red Army or are interested solely in the
armoured vehicles, this book is a hive of information packed with
great images and as usual from Canfora, very nicely presented
indeed. Available Worldwide or direct from Canfora themselves at

If you're a fan of the Leopard MBT, and
more precisely Canadian big cats, this new
book from Trackpad in association with
Leopard Club (Leopard modelling
maestros) is an excellent read. Written by
an experienced Canadian tanker he takes
us through his memoirs of two tours of
Afghanistan from 2006 to 2008 in both
Leopard 1 and 2. The author includes the
build up preparation and after action
reviews not only with his own words but a
fantastic selection of photographs also

which provide some unique insights and
reference of the day-to-day lives of the men
and machines, although quantum leaps
ahead of the tanks of WWII many principles
of the tankers life appear similar, including
peeing in bottles and of course the tragedy
of fallen comrades. An appendix also
provides detailed reference of vehicle
names, numbers and the personnel of the
author's 'B' Squadron. Recommended

AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 12/04/2018 15:24 Page 57

Takom 1:35 Merkava Mk.IIB
Who doesn't love a Merkava? With Meng's new up-to-date Mk.IV
as seen in this issue how about something a little more vintage
with new releases of the Mk.I versions and this Mk.IIB from
Takom. I have to confess to the early versions of the 'Chariot'
being my favourite with the distinctive, sleek design in it's purest
form. In common with Takoms latest kits the Merkavas are very
nicely packaged and presented giving an important good first
impression. It's only natural to seek out the 'big bits' from the box
and they're very nicely done with some great detail and top quality
moulding on show. Along with the separately bagged grey sprues
we've a clear sprue of vision blocks and light lenses, some
photoetch for stowage containers, decals, a nice soft copper tow
cable and even some soft pewter sheet to create marking panels.
Suspension is surprisingly simple to assemble the way Takom

have designed it (make sure you check the separate note with an
amendment to the instructions) although each road wheel has five
parts for nice sharp definition and the tracks are link-and-length
which saves time, pretty decent they look too. The big troop
access door in the back panel (don't forget this bespoke IDF
design can carry ten troops!) is a multi-part affair and can be
posed open should you wish. The rear stowage bins are quite
complex assemblies but will look nice the way the soft parts are
sculpted. The upper hull and turret are packed with nice detail too
and personally I think it's preferable to not attempt to mould the
anti-slip texture, the ball-and-chain armour has come out well and
the majority of modellers will be happy not bothering with
aftermarket here. Lets hope these early Merkavas from Takom
build as good as they look, very nice looking kits indeed.

Takom 1:16 IJA Type 94 Tankette
With the Editor a fan of sixteenth-scale any new large-scale
armour release is a welcome one although this subject choice
from Takom most rate as obscure and the beutifuly illustrated box
weighs in smaller than many 1:35 kits! This is no wonder as the
diminutive little tankette in this this scale is around the size of a
1:35 Sherman. Unlike Takom's tasty FT17 in 1:35 this release
doesn't have an interior so it's a much simpler affair, what we are
offered though is a nice crew figure and a choice of indi-link tracks
or soft plastic one piece versions (which are really good). This

really is a simple build with some very nice detail and a few
photoetched parts including the exhaust mesh shield, a nicely
moulded hull 'tub' should provide a solid platform and all hatches
are separate with internal faces detailed should you fancy
scratchbuilding some interior parts. This kit is a great introduction
to large scale armour; it's inexpensive, simple and with the
colourful camo options and figure it's sure to make a great display
straight from the box. Now please in 1:16 an SdKfz 250, Bren
Carrier or M3 Stuart…


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Background story

Building and painting the Hetzer

My dioramas are often derived from pictures I see in books or on
the web. For this diorama I was inspired by a series of pictures in
a Panzerwrecks book. It shows the surrender of, among other, the
Panzer Jager Abteilung 553 to the 26th Infantry Division in a place
called Schwarzbach in Czechoslovakia. When I saw this heavily
camouflaged Hetzer, I knew I wanted to build it! The challenging
part was recreating convincing camouflage foliage and the shed in
the background. When I found a suitable solution, I was ready to
go, but more of that later!

For the Hetzer I used the excellent Tamiya kit. As this is the
“middle” variant and I needed to build a late version (built by the
Skoda factory), some changes had to be made. The rear idler
wheels were changed by ones from SKP models (which have four
lightening holes), some bolts from the road wheels were removed
as late variants had sixteen of them and placement of the tools
were changed. Furthermore the kit was updated with some
photoetch parts from Aber and 3d printed clamps. I used the
barrel provided in the kit as it was one piece and had to make a
cover for the muzzle, just like in the picture, from Magic sculp.
Tracks from the kit were replaced for Fruils and these were treated
with a burnishing fluid, which darkens the metal tracks and give
them a realistic appearance.


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This particular Hetzer variant had a hard edge camouflage
scheme. Using Tamiya masking tape, the different colours were
applied. It was a bit tricky and took some time, as I like to add as
much parts as possible prior to painting.
For airbrushing I always use heavily thinned Tamiya acrylics. For
thinning I use the lacquer thinner, sometimes up to a 50:70 paint /
thinner ratio.I started with a matt black primer coat and then a
coat of the green camo colour for the upper hull and dunkelgelb
for the lower hull. Then with help of reference pictures I masked of
the areas to make the hard edge camouflage.
Although almost half of the Hetzer would be covered with
branches I applied the camo on the whole vehicle.

Colours used:
Dunkelgelb XF60 Dark Yellow : XF55 Deck Tan (50:50)
Green camo XF28 Deep Green : XF15 Flat Flesh (50:50)
Red brown camo XF64 Red Brown : XF 15 Flat Flesh (50:50)
Weathering was done with Vallejo acrylics and oils. I started
adding fine scratches and chips with sand and brown acrylics.
Some dark pin point washes were added using Burnt Umber and
Van Dyke Brown oil paints. At this point I also begin adding
splashes with various thinned oils from muddy to sand colours
obtaining a variety of layers creating depth. Dust effects were also
created with oils. In the excellent Tank Art books from Mike Rinaldi
these techniques are described in detail. I usually don’t do the
different weathering techniques in a particular order and go back
and forth between these, each time checking if I’m happy with it.

Constructing and painting
the building
The shed was scratch build and made
from blue foam and the roof with plastic
Wood texture was made by scribing the
plastic with a sharp knife.
The bluefoam was treated with a plaster
mixture and then painted with Tamiya XF2 flat white with some buff colour added
to tone it down a bit. More depth in the
white walls was created through blending
and streaking different shades of white
acrylics. This is difficult to see in the

pictures but it adds a nice variety. Be
careful not to use solvent-based paints for
painting and weathering as it can dissolve
the bluefoam!
There are many ways on how to paint
plastic to look like wood. For painting the
roof and other wooden parts of the shed I
used Vallejo acrylics. I started off with a
layer of medium sea grey. And then
added many, many thin coats of various
wood colours, using the opacity of
acrylics to create darker and lighter
shades and creating depth. Finally I
added a few pin washes with oils.

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Creating realistic foliage camouflage is a real
challenge in this scale. After some searching one
of my modelling friends came up with a great
solution (thank you Erik Gideonse!). He send me
some moss from Germany which just look like
pine tree branches. Cutting them in different
lengths and forms I was able to make enough
foliage to cover half of the Hetzer. I painted the
branches with various shades of greens from
Vallejo and just before fixing them to the
Hetzer I treated them with a mixture of
water and wood glue. This made the
branches more flexible and easier to

Adding figures to a diorama is a great way to tell a story, and
personally I think it is one of the most difficult things to do
successfully. So some time went into trying to fit various figures into
the scene, even before finishing the construction of the vehicle. Some
figures were adapted with magic Sculp to fit on the back of the
Hetzer. Also the little boy was changed a bit to fit the scene. Rest of
the figures are stock from various brands. Some hands and heads
were swapped with ones from Hornet. Painting of the figures was all
done with Vallejo acrylics.

Base and groundwork
Groundwork was made with a filler
material for walls, but any kind of plaster
material can be used for this. When still
wet, small stones and fine sand was
added and some static grass was also
added at this stage. All was fixed with
water diluted wood glue. Then I
airbrushed the groundwork with a dark

brown base colour. Adding gradually more
sand colour to this mixture, shadows and
highlights are created. The grass was then
drybrushed with various green acrylics. I
then added some more static grass, cut in
different lengths to avoid uniformity and
mixed this with pigments to tone down the
bright colour a bit.

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The sides of the base were made of plastic sheet.
The images on the sides were made in Photoshop
and were then printed in mirror image on paper.
The paper was then fixed on the sides through
photo transferring. In this process you use a photo
transferring gel that you apply by brush on the
paper. The paper was then put on the sides
and left to dry for 24 hours. The upper
layer of paper is carefully removed with
water, leaving the image on the
plastic sheet. This is a delicate
process and takes some time.
To finish, the images were
covered with a layer of
semigloss varnish.


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I would like to thank Erik Gideonse
for providing the special moss from
Germany and all the info on photo
transferring. Couldn’t have done
this dio without your help!
Finally I would like to thank all
members of the Dutch modelling
website TWENOT for their


AFV-100 May/Jun 2018.qxp_AFV/26 Jan/Feb 06 11/04/2018 16:07 Page 66






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