Sunday, July 29, 2012

PST kit 72069, Soviet AA Self Propelled Gun 61-K

PST kit 72069, Soviet AA Self Propelled Gun 61-K

Hello. This kit would more correctly be titled "GAZ-AAA truck with mounted 61-K AA gun".
The box is also lablled "PST Zebrano" and "Limited Edition". What you actually get in the box is the UM GAZ-AAA & a 37mm AA gun, minus the 4 wheeled trailer these were usually mounted on. I'm informed this is a very unlikely combination, the weight and recoil of the gun would soon cause damage to the cargo tray, suspension, axles and chassis. More realistically this gun would be towed by this kind of truck. Photos that seem to show a 37mm AA gun on GAZ trucks are actually a lighter 25mm AA gun. However no one makes a kit of the lighter 25mm AA guns, unfortunately.

The kit. As mentioned above, you get all the parts of a UM GAZ-AAA truck and for a 61-K AA gun. You get 4 additional parts to replace the sides on the cargo tray, as the 61-K mount was almost too large to fit the tray, requiring modified sides.

The gun - not a bad looking model, I also believe this is not a PST kit, its another maker's work placed in a PST box. The more recent Zvezda 61-K is a much finer looking 61-K.

The truck - this is simply a UM kit put in a PST box. Parts are very finely cast, with none of the cleanup of parts required on the MW GAZ trucks, and UM has separate rubber tyres which some don't like, though I have not had any problems with these tyres on a past build.

 There is no ambiguity with the exact location where parts need to be glued as is the case with the MW GAZ, this kit has been engineered with pin & hole locators, and in other places lugs and gaps that fit neatly together, to leave no doubts as to where parts should be located. Casting of fine detail such as bolt heads on brackets is very good on the UM kit.

Overall the UM GAZ is much easier to build, and the component pieces are evidence of better detailed casting than MW, but despite all that, when assembled, the MW GAZ looks better. The UM GAZ is slightly smaller than the MW GAZ. Its unknown to me which is closer to 1/72 scale.

Note that I intend to finish this as a plain GAZ-AAA truck - with no big gun mounted on the back !

Below is partly assembled truck, showing some detail of rear axle and differential assembly

Truck almost at the stage where first coat of paint can be applied,  a trouble free build

Vehicle with light spray paint of green, and AA gun fitted in the back. As can be seen it takes up the whole width, and additional parts in the bag (see below) are intended to replace the sides, but as I won't be mounting this gun, I will leave the GAZ as a standard truck or perhaps may mount a Quad Maxim in the cargo tray.

The side parts out of the bag, destined for the spares box, as is the AA gun. The GAZ AAA truck still far from finished, only changes from stock build are replacement of door handles with bent and filed down wire, and also will add window wipers, all to come after final paintjob, washes, weathering and some dust.

Update 05 August 2012.  I have over sprayed the upper areas with Humbrol Enamel Matt 226, to lighten up the panels that natural light would illuminate, leaving the lower areas in the darker green, that usually would be in shade. Still a lot to do, progress picture below, with gun mounted in back.

Update 12 August 2012. The GAZ-AAA has had a spray of light moist muddy water, paint used was thinned Model Master enamel 'Italian Sand'. Still a lot of work to do before this one is 'finished'

Update 26 August 2012. The truck has had window glass (clear acetate sheet cut to size) added to the windscreen and rear cab window. Door handles have been made from wire filed and bent to shape. The headlights were drilled out, painted silver and filled with liquid 'Window Maker'. More light mud was sprayed on the lower areas. The doors are lightly held in place, so that I can take them out to add a driver or passenger later, if I want to. Photos of these trucks show usually just one window wiper, for the driver's side. Window wiper added was a cast etch piece . Model built from the box except for wire door handles and etch window wiper.

Below are pictures from different angles, including with and without the 37mm AA gun. 

TO BE CONTINUED..............................

GAZ-AA Armored Truck and Flak-38

MW kit 7243 GAZ-AA Armored Truck and Flak-38 


Having built the GAZ-42 last week, I was keen to keep on with the GAZ theme. These trucks will be useful for a large diorama currently in the planning stages. So I dug into my stash and dusted off the box that contained this kit.  It stated in the instructions that around 100 trucks were armoured by the Izhorsk plant in Leningrad & several were captured and used by the Finnish Army.

The kit comes with a towed Flak-38 to represent one of these captured trucks. I already used the Flak-38 on a BP-44 Flakwagen, so this build is only about the Armoured Truck.

 I also intend this truck to be in russian service, not a captured finnish truck.

The kit. This truck parts are common to all the MW GAZ-AA kits, the difference being the inclusion of parts for the armour for the cab and the cargo tray. The build is quite straightforward, other than having to scrape cast lines off most parts, and having to be very careful removing smaller parts from the sprues. There is often some difficulty assessing where exactly to affix some parts due to no locating marks, and not very clear instructions.

The armoured cab replaces the regular cab, and though the interior cab detail is on one of the sprues, the instructions don't suggest fitting them, as they are totally enclosed (unless you decide to open a cab door) in which case they may be partially seen, though the inside will be very dark. I opted to build the cab as was, and did not attempt to open any doors. The cab parts are a so-so fit. A light application of filler was needed along the joins and careful sanding of these joins is needed, after the putty had set. The front radiator vents had a large sink mark which needed filling, and the side armour for the tray had to bent a bit into the correct angle before they could be attached.

Only enhancements were to add some rivets to the metal cargo tray brackets, and handles on the doors, made from stretched sprue. I also replaced the longitudal beams under the cargo tray with evergreen strips as the kit parts were not very well shaped. The plastic parts are quite brittle, & even larger parts can break easily.

I also had to file away at the inside edges of the mudguards to allow the nose of the armoured cab to fit neatly in between. The sanded edges can't be seen unless the model is upside down.

Below are kit parts ready for final assembly, cab has already had filler applied to all joins

 Underside of vehice, does not differ from other MW GAZ AA trucks

 Rear view of truck, showing how armour does not fully protect rear of vehicle, and one of two 'benches' mounted in the cargo tray.

Front view of truck, filled areas can clearly be seen, MG came from a UM kit, as has slightly better casting than what comes in this kit. Stretched sprue door handles not mounted yet in this photo, nor rivets on tray brackets.

First spray application. Next job is to refine joins with sanding and filler before further work on paintjob, washes, weathering and dust can be done. 

Front view of truck

Update 05 August 2012. Today I sprayed Humbrol Enamel 226 lightly on some panels to create a slight contrast between the darker green (Revell Matt 68) that the vehicle was base coated in. This was after tidying up the edges of the bonnet and cab roof which needed another sanding, and a tiny dab of putty, then some more sanding. Headlights attached to the body with wire.

 This picture taken after overspray of Humbrol Enamel Matt 226, tyres painted with Tamiya Flat black enamel.

Update 08 August 2012. Vehicle has now been given a wash with 'burnt umber' artists oil paint diluted in thinners. This has created some interesting brown highlights around some detail, which can look like grime, grease, dirt, dust, or rust, depending how much oil paint you add to the mix

Below pic shows how the wash has created subtle brown highlights around door edges, engine hatches and front ventilating louvres 

Side View again illustrating how the brown wash creates a slightly grimy look, and highlights details, at the same time (click image to enlarge)

View of the rear area. The back tray was not given an overspray of Humbrol Matt 226 over the Revell Matt 68 basecoat. This was because I wanted the tray to be darker, as it would not get as much natural light as the flat metal plates of the cab. Timber braces/seats in the rear painted with Modelmaster 'Wood' flat enamel 

Update 12 August 2012. Progress continues with a light spray of mud on the undersides.

Below picture shows the GAZ-AA to the left, and the GAZ Armoured truck to the right, with the paint used to spray the light coat of watery mud to the undersides. I like the level of detail on the undersides.

Below picture shows the truck slightly dirtied up, awaiting further progress...

Update 26 August 2012. Vehicle has had more spray of muddy water splashes, mainly over the frontal areas. Built from the box, the only addition being door handles made from stretched sprue, and rivets added to the metal straps that brace the wooden cargo tray. The machine gun hatch cover was made from plastic card, as the one moulded onto the piece was sanded off when refining the joins of the cabin

Below are pictures from various angles

MW kit 7247 Ba-27M & Check point

MW kit 7247, Ba-27M & Check point

Hello. I've had this kit in my stash for a while. I really like odd and unusual vehicles, and this one fits the bill for me. I was a bit put off making a start on this one for some time, as MW kits can be a bit of extra work, so it sat unwanted in my stash.

But the recent GAZ-42 build reminded me that A bit of extra effort is well worth it. So with a glass of something calming to sip on, and a good movie on the TV for distraction, I decided to get the build underway.

The Build. Like all MW kits, some parts can be cast quite thick, with cast marks around the edges & can be very firmly attached to the sprues, so care needs to be taken removing the parts, then a bit of time is needed to scrape and sand the edges to remove the cast lines and attachment stubs. I use nippers to carefully cut all but the fragile parts from the sprues.

The Chassis is essentially a GAZ AAA, with a new armoured body built on it. The chassis was said to be strengthened.  The rear wheel springs, axle and differential assembly differs to that on the GAZ AAA truck, being heavier and more complex. Edit - GAZ-AAA chassis was found to be not strong enough foir the armoured body, so a Ford Timken chassis was used, this explains the different rear axle/suspension assembly.

The Body is made up of several pieces and straight away it was evident that there would be fit issues. This is mainly due to the thickness of the pieces. I carved away at the inside edges of some joins with an exacto blade to get a closer fit. Despite this, every join still needed a careful application of filler (I like Testors Contour Putty  for these tiny fill jobs).  When dried all the joins had to be carefully sanded with a fine thin jeweller's file.

Rivets. The vehicle parts in the kit have a number of rivets. However looking at photos of surviving Ba-27M vehicles in museums, its evident that there should be many more rivets. Some of the cast on kit rivets are a bit misshapen too. I intend to resolve this with Archer rivets, I have a sheet of these ready to go. No further building until all rivets are applied, to allow good access to all panel edges for rivetting purposes...

Below the body parts are joined and filled, waiting for the putty to dry before they can be carefully sanded

After careful sanding the body parts were spray painted Light gray (Modelmaster enamel) to check how neat the joins are, some still need a tiny bit more filler and another careful touch up with a file.

As soon as the touch up filler and sanding is done, the rivets can be added, but this must be as close to perfect as possible before the Archer rivets can be added, as can be seen some joins still need a little improvement before this can happen. The turret will also need some rivets.

Update 30 July. A start has been made on the rivetting. This required cutting out of the decals into thin strips, soak a few seconds in water, then applying along almost all panel joins (from checking plans & photos of this vehicle). Unfortunately the thin strips tend to snap into rows of 2 to 5 rivets & the decal glue is not very effective, so to seal these on I'm using matt lacquer which does a great job, doesn't leave a visible layer and dries totally invisible. Only a few hundred more rivets to cut out and apply...............

Update 03 August. Most rivets are now in place. Body just needs a bit of tidying up, then ready to apply some paint. Applying the rivets took a fair while, though should be worth it, the film they are printed on is very thin, so should be invisible when painted, just leaving the subtle rivet head showing

 Body is resting on axle assemblies in the below picture, final assembly won't occur until the vehicle has been painted

Update 05 August 2012. Vehicle has been partly sprayed with Revell Enamel Matt 68. An uneven coat was intentionally given so as to create a contrast when an overspray is later done with another shade of green. Body is not attached to the axles and wheels at this stage.

Update 12 August 2012. Vehicle completely oversprayed with Humbrol Matt 226 enamel green, a few days ago. Today I sprayed Model Master 'Italian Sand' matt enamel on the underside & lower surfaces to simulate the appearance of the vehicle having been over wet and dirty roads (but not heavily muddy as in spring or autumn)

Vehicle not fully assembled in below picture to allow easier access to spray some light mud splashes. The rear axle assembly is different & much heavier than on the GAZ AAA, according to printed sources, this is because a Ford Timken chassis was used, which was stronger than the GAZ-AAA

Below picture shows vehicle mostly assembled, awaiting further work..

Update 14 August 2012. The armament & view port have been added to the turret. Front and rear tow hooks added, and spare wheels.  Headlights were attached to wire, and mounted on body via drilled holes. 

Update 26 August 2012. I had been a bit short of spare time since the last update, but today I have completed this build. The newly added parts since the last update have been painted green, and the headlights have been completed (painted silver inside, the filled with liquid 'window maker' (which seem to be diluted white wood working glue). The rivets can actually be seen after I lightly rubbed over them with the tip of an eraser, which removed some of the paint, to allow them to 'pop' out a bit. Then more light dried dust was sprayed on the lower areas.

Below are pictures from multiple angles of the vehicle. The only thing I have not added to this vehicle are the shovels & any decals. Pictures I could find of this vehicle on the web show no shovels, or markings when in soviet service (except a few captured ones in german service have german crosses). This model was built from kit except Archer rivets and door handles made from wire (as kit ones are jusr solid blocks. Gun barrel drilled out, and headlights filled with liquid 'window maker'

 While the vehicle is complete, the kit comes with a diorama base. I will complete and paint the base soon.