Monday, January 28, 2013

Italeri kit 7064 Autoblinda AB 40 Ferrovaria

Italeri kit 7064 Autoblinda AB 40 Ferrovaria

Hello Braillers

Here is the 3rd of my current build project - the Autoblinda AB 40 Ferrovaria. This will be another OOB build as I don't have any comprehensive reference material for this vehicle. I have obtained 2 kits so one will be with "rubber" tyres, the other with "steel" rail wheels.

 This vehicle differs from the later AB 41 by virtue or a different turret and armament. And this model has been converted for rail use, with rail wheels, and sand boxes fitted front and rear. Sand boxes have been fitted to locomotives for many years, including up to the present day. The purpose of the sand box is to release fine grain dry sand onto the rail just in front of the wheel, so that the wheel can gain a grip, as a smooth steel wheel on a smooth steel rail can slip, particularly when starting from a standing stop, where an uphill grade is present, or when the rail is wet or icy.

The Kit. Two sprues, a set of instructions, and a small decal sheet make up the contents in the box. One sprue is very similar to the AB 41 kit, (but not identical as has different turret compenents and differing tyres. A separate sprue for the parts that make the rail version, and the sleepers (or ties) and rails to make a length of track to sit the model on. As with the AB 41, all parts are crisply cast, with almost non existent flash and cast lines.

The Build. Again very straightforward. Steps 1 through 6 are the same as the AB 41, being the body construction. Again 5 holes have to be drilled to attach some parts to the body and underchassis.

Fitting of the front sand boxes and pipes.  The instructions are a little vague regarding exact placement, and no markings on the body or mudguard where these should exactly be mounted. Browsing the web for close up pictures assisted with placement. The pipes extend very close to the top of the rail which looks a bit odd, but is prototypical, as the pipe has to be very close to direct the sand accurately. The rear box and pipe assembly was more straightforward.

Update Thursday 31 January 2013. I have repositioned the rear louvred panel on all the AB series, as I believe I had it incorrect in the earlier picture. I have also obtained another AB 40 which will be the 'rubber wheeled' version
I am also now checking and filling hair line gaps, prior to the next job, which will be undercoating

Update Sunday 03 February 2013. Painting has commenced. First the vehicles were given a pre shading spray of Tamiya Flat Black Enamel. I personally feel this is essential in small scale as the models are so tiny that realistic light effects caused by angles which provide shaded (therefore darker) areas have little opportunity to exist in a model a few centimetres long.

After the flat black was dry (a few hours) I then gently sprayed Humbrol Enamel Matt 94, being careful to only very lightly spray in the areas of natural shadows and join lines, keeping most paint towards the centre of each panel.

When that was dry (a few hours) a light overspray of Humbrol Enamel Matt 148 (which is lighter than the Matt 94) was carefully sprayed mainly in the middle of each panel.

Update Sunday 03 March 2013. I have painted one of these in a 3 colour camo, similar to what is seen in many period photos, using Lifecolor Rot Braun (Red Brown)and Olivgrun (Olive Green) acrylics, brush painted. Then a wash of Citadel Agrax Earthshade and a light spray of Modelmaster Italian Sand on the lower edges to simulate dust/grime. I haven't added all the tools, or the large side mounted aerial, as period photos show these were not always fitted, particularly when in german use. I also added the 'Libia' sand tyres that come with the AB-41, just for fun. One source on the internet ( advises that the sand tyres were in plentiful supply even late in the war, and photos exist also of them commonly being used as the spare wheels, on vehicles fitted with the rugged tread 'european' tyres. Some dislike the sand tyres for ebing lacking in detail. The general shape is about right, the 'lines' on the wheels are very faint on the outer sidewalls, and about none existent on the face of the tread. I guess these could be said to represent very worn tyres.

The rail version was left in an overall sand colour. I fitted the long side aerial to this one, pics below

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Italeri kit 7051 & 7052 Autoblinda AB 41 & AB 43

Italeri kit 7051 Autoblinda AB 41

Hello Braillers.

Here is the 2nd in my Italian multiple build, The Italeri AB 41 & 43Armoured Car.  I picked the AB 41 kit up on a whim a few years ago, and it has been sitting in the stash pile ever since. Having found many pictures of these vehicles in service in the Balkans inspired me to get the build underway, for a diorama idea. As ny LHS had an AB 43 as well, I decided to pick one up to check the differences between the AB 41 & AB 43.

I have no comprehensive reference material on this vehicle, so it will be an OOB build.

The kits. Both kits have one sprue of pieces, a set of detailed instructions and a small sheet of decals. The difference is that parts are supplied for a differently shaped and larger turret in the AB 43 and the AB 43 has "rough terrain" patterned tyre tread. One reference on the web advises the AB 43 has a different engine, and slightly wider body. It seems in this scale the difference is negligible (as the web reference advises the difference is barely noticeable in 1/35 scale, it must be twice as unnoticeable in 1/72 scale). At least I hope so.

The parts are very crisply cast and the instructions are very detailed and clear.

The build. The parts are very easy to remove from the sprues and other than trimming where the sprues were attached, & a few tiny cast lines on some pieces, no clean up is required. The build does require drilling of 5 small holes to attach a couple of pieces to the front plate and one piece on the top plate, and to locate a suspension arm on the underneath. This is is no hassle at all, other than having to study some pictures to assess exactly where to drill the holes.

Very little else to say about the build, it was quite straightforward.

The turret has hatches that can be affixed open or shut, has interior gun details, and a wheel, in reality its function appears to be to rotate the turret.Nice that its added it may be visible through the open turret hatch.

I have not attached several small parts as these will inhibit painting, & will be vulnerable to damage during the painting process.  The smaller parts will be painted separately and attached after the main paint job is complete.

The tyres lack tread detail. From the box illustration it appears the pattern was quite light but is almost non existent on the kit parts, The tyres in the sister kit (AB 40) have a different pattern of tyres with a much more defined pattern. Note that the AB 43 kit has the same improved tyres as the AB 40.

As soon as the weather clears I will commence painting of this piece.

Updated Sunday 03 February 2013. Both these models were pre shaded with Tamiya Flat Black Enamel, then left to dry for a few hours. 

A light spray of Humbol Enamel Matt 94 was then applied, heavier to the areas that would normally be in light (the upper areas).

Update 03 March 2013. Paintjob on the AB 41 using Lifecolor Red Brown and Olive Green, then Citadel Nuln Black wash, and light spray of Modelmaster Italian Sand.

AB 43, green used is Modelmaster Italian Olive Green, then  wash of diluted Citadel Nuln Black, then very light over spray with Italian Desert Sand.

ACE kit 72284, Autopretto S.37

ACE kit 72284, Autopretto S.37

Hello braillers.

This kit has been out for a little while. I decided to get one as it is so unusual looking, with its short but rather tall & bulky body, and comparatively large wheels. I assess this model, with a few other Italian vehicles could make a an interesting and unusual diorama.

Plenty of period photos of these in Italian and German use, particularly in northern Italy and many parts of the Balkans during the war. 

I have no detailed or comprehensive reference material on these (or any Italian vehicles), other than what can be found on the web, so this will be an 'Out Of the Box' (OOB) build.

In the box. 5 small sprues of parts, Instruction sheet, and a small bag with 5 black 'rubber' tyres, and a small set of decals.

Assembly. Whenever one approaches an ACE kit it is with some expectation that it will not be a 'fast build'. The sprues are fairly typical of ACE with some parts not having crisp cast lines, requiring an exacto blade or fine sand paper to remove cast lines and uneven edges.

As is usually the case with ACE (wheeled) kits, first up is the under chassis and suspension assembly. No issues in this part of the assembly, though careful study of the instruction diagrams is needed to attach the wheel hub assemblies in the right spot.

Next assembly is the floor inside the vehicle, side benches, and drivers compartment details, no issues in this part of the assembly.

The body sides, rear wall, and front are next. Given these are multi angled, I anticipated fit problems and much sanding and filling, but these fit quite well. How well the joins will look under a unifying coat of undercoat remains to be seen, it may yet be the case that sanding and filler (and replacement rivets) may be needed. The body was then attached to the chassis.

The next assembly was the bonnet area, or the walls of the engine compartment. The sides of the bonnet are perhaps the least well cast part of the kit, and to sand them or fill them will remove the rivets. I did my best with the joins but this will very likely need sanding, filler, more sanding and rivets. I will know when the undercoat is on and the macro lens of the camera maginifies and gives me a clearer picture of how much work this will need.

The bonnet assembly was a fair enough fit against the body/firewall. However the underneath of the chassis did not fit very well up against the underneath of the bonnet/hood area. I had to slightly bend the chassis at this point upwards to get a  join. This was the most problematic part of the assembly.

The front mudguards fit quite well, provide pressure is applied to them with the fingers while for a minute or so after cementing them, to push them in flush.

I also found the wheels when placed on the hubs don't sit exactly where they should inside the wheel wells and mudguards, so some repositioning is required.

The rubber tyres supplied have quite a nice tread, and I think have the letters 'Pirelli' on them.

To assemble the model as described above was not a long or difficult process. To refine it a bit by sanding some of the joins and using a little filler, and subsequently using replacement rivets in decal form (Archer decals for example) will probably be needed, and well worth the effort to really lift the model, I'll assess this after all over undercoat is applied.

Update Sunday 03 February 2013.  The vehicle was given a pre shading with Tamiya Flat Black. This was left to dry for a few hours. Then Humbrol Enamel Matt 94 was used to lightly and carefully fill in each panel. A few hours later Humbrol Enemal Matt 148 was lightly sprayed mainly in the centre of each panel.

Update Saturday 2nd March 2013. Random blotches were brush painted with Lifecolor acrylics, RAL 6003 green and RAL 8012 Red Brown. Then a wash with Citadel acrylic Agrax Earthshade, then a spray of heavy dust, heavier in the lower areas, of Modelmaster Italian Sand.

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