Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Acquisition - TankCraft Books

I'm sure other modelers out there are well aware of the TankCraft Book Series Pen &Sword but I just stumbled across them this past week. Since my current ADD has me working on some Stug IIIGs I thought I should definitely pick up the Stug III book (#19) and because I had some a gift card for Amazon I picked out books for my other two favorites; Sherman Tanks (#11), and the Jagdpanther (#8). All three of these are by Dennis Oliver. I'll have to run back through the catalog again because I can't believe he hasn't done one on my very favorite the PzKfw III (not that I lack for documentation on that one).

I think the best way to describe this as a hybrid of the Squadron/Signal In Action series with the Osprey New Vanguard Series and the Osprey Modeling Series. Probably could replace all three books in your library (like any of use would likely do that but still). I'm very pleased with these books after an initial thumb through and will likely turn here first for more books as needed. Although I would still recommend the Panzer Tracts books for the deep dive research.

Monday, January 13, 2020

World War II Project - Sturmgeschutz III

I acquired 3 Stug IIIs from Rubicon. I have finished the basic build on the first one. I have left the tracks, side skirts and spare road wheels off for now to make it easier to paint. Likewise I will paint the stowage and add it after the vehicle painting is finished. The intent is to build all three before painting, but you are all aware of how easily I'm distracted by other things.

I must say that this particular Rubicon kit was a pleasure to build. I have been digging deep into some different painting techniques for these Stugs so I'm anxious to see how they come out. Right now I'm contemplating painting two of them for Europe and maybe one for Africa. I know that the 15th Panzer Division did have a few in Tunisia. The European pair will be finished up with 6th Panzer Division markings.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Acquisition - 78-79 Ford Bronco in 1/87th scale

I continue to peruse through Lance Mindheim's new book and because of that I have been looking at cars and trucks in HO Scale. Lance recommends getting the best quality vehicles that you can because of their visual impact, although he also says you should avoid using people because of like of quality. I can't say I disagree with that but unfortunately these two things go together. On top of that finding enough different cars for the time period isn't easy either. I finally resorted to Shapeways and found a designer that goes by madaboutcars. He is not kidding, he has over 1000 offerings of mostly cars on the site. I decided to get one to check the quality. Since solid cars are just going to look strange I opted for one of his interior/exterior models which are pricey to say the least. I ordered a 78-79 Ford Bronco without thinking about it being way outside my time period but I doubt the average train enthusiast is going to notice that little fact.

I'm really pleased with the quality of the casting from Shapeways, there are a couple of rough spots, especially down the driver's side of the truck but nothing that can't be dealt with. I'll have to figure out a way to add windows (I think there is a product out there for that used by aircraft modelers) and I think these will work really well. At least I can add a driver and passengers without a problem.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Life Intervenes - The Holidays

Remodeling portions of your house taxes your patience, add the holidays to it and it becomes soul taxing. We still managed to get the Christmas cards done though, albeit a little later than either of us would have liked. This card was a tad bit more sophisticated than last years. Last year I used one of my father's old printing blocks, used black ink and we hand painted the rest. This year I carved the block myself, we used an oil based Prussian blue for the card and then hand wrote the greeting on the reverse. In 2018 we used a black, acrylic ink which dried within an hour. However, it still tended to run when the water color paints were applied. For 2019 I opted for the oil colored ink as the original concept would have involved another painted color to be applied. Well, the damn things really took 3-4 days to dry which means we ran out of time to "paint" the other color on and the blue was much darker than I was anticipating (we tried a proof in ultramarine blue but it was a bit to "bright"). Still pleased with the final product though. Next year I swear I will start the printing process earlier. If I do a multi-colored print I will have to.