Monday, July 19, 2010

Housing boom, and some suburban transportation.

I've been quite productive recently with making model kits- I've been churning them out at a great pace.  

The weather for the next few months here in Tokyo is going to be hot, humid, and generally unpleasant- which means that any spray painting is out of the question.  So it's build, build, and build in the summer months and once the weather becomes cooler and drier, then I'll be able to prime, undercoat, and airbrush the lot in batches.

I've put together all the Pegasus Hobbies buildings which I ordered recently.  After looking at pictures of Russian villages online, I've cut out some MDF bases and have been planning the layout.

The brown plastic buildings are the ones from Pegasus Hobbies, with a lone Britannia Miniatures resin house in their midst.
The first step will be to plane down the edges of the bases.  Once the buildings have been painted, then I will glue them down and texture the bases with acrylic putty and PVA-soaked offcuts of old cloth to make small potato patches and the like.  I'll then add fences, the occasional duck pond, water troughs, wagons, wood piles and other such farmyard impedimenta so that the bases will look a lot less spartan than they do in the photos.
Yet to be done are the "commercial" buildings.  A railway station and water tower (as at Ponyri), a grain silo, and an administration building for the local Party bigwigs.

Note the BA-6 and T-34/76 prowling the roads for Fascists.  The tank is the Zvezda model.  

This is really a great model.  The best T-34 kit I've built in this scale so far.  It went together fairly quickly (after I corrected my initial mistake when constructing the road wheels and suspension- a classic case of "when all else fails, read the instructions, nitwit!"). 
This is the kit just as it comes, built straight out of the box.  The only non-regulation things I did to it were to drill out the gun muzzle and the exhaust pipes in the rear.

The detail is very fine, and the track assembly system is quite ingenious. I was surprised just how easily almost all the parts fitted together.  The 76.2mm gun itself is of very simple construction.  None of those ill-fitting, multi-part gun housing/ mantlet pieces that seem to be the curse of many T-34/76 kits. 

The only parts requiring filling were some mould sinkholes on the gun mantlet cheeks.  You can see one side puttied over in the photo.  Once it's cured, I'll sand them down and texture the turret with Mr. Surfacer 500 for the rough-cast look.  

Curiously, there are no external fuel tanks provided, but I've seen lots of photos of T-34's without them.  And it does make for a faster build (two days.)

I was a little apprehensive as to how the delicate tow cables would fit, and whether they would break while removing them from the sprue, but the whole thing went together really smoothly.

This is definitely my T-34 of choice for 20mm gaming.

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