ICM Sd.Kfz. 222 and Caesar German Cavalry Diorama Build in 1/72 Scale

Keeping with my recent theme of basing vehicle kit completions, this diorama will feature the ICM Sd.Kfz. 222 with figures from Caesar set H092 “WWII German Cavalry Division”. All this is still experimental on my part in hopes of improving figure painting and scenery techniques.
These are the poses. The Caesar figures are molded in a flexible plastic which takes paint well. This is better than the “toy soldier” vinyl we are all used to. There is one additional horse pose, but it is depicted leaning over making a hard turn, an odd choice.
I added an extra bedroll and reigns from masking tape. Midway through painting I decided to add an additional set of small saddlebags, an entrenching tool, and a feedbag.
Here are the figures after painting. The standing figure is also from Caesar, from their Panzer Crewmen set.
This is the beginning of a tree. The wires are from lamp cord. The size of the tree is determined by the length and number of sections of lamp cord sections used.
Wires are twisted to form the tree, and then coated liberally with Mr. Surfacer 500.
Here the Sd.Kfz. 222 and tree are mounted to the base. Foliage and grass are from Woodland Scenics.
The final scene.

First to Fight Sd.Kfz. 247 Build in 1/72 Scale

This is the First to Fight kit number PL1939-059 molding of the Sd.Kfz. 247 Ausf. A, a newer kit first released in 2018. It is a rather uncommon type which was not produced in large numbers and was rarely seen in later campaigns. Only twenty were produced.
The parts layout is straightforward. The suspension is simplified which speeds construction. Unless you’re planning on showing the vehicle on its side this should not be a problem. The kit includes two crew figures, which are always welcome.
I am planning on modeling this one as an abandoned vehicle, so I’ll be opening up the doors and the driver’s visor. Here I have removed the doors from the body and begun chain drilling the visor. This will be opened up with an exacto knife.
The doors are in upper and lower sections to account for the kink in the hull. I replaced the handles on the pioneer tools as these were molded with undercuts to clear the mold. Fender indicators are insect pins.
Another view after priming with Mr. Surfacer 1000. Towing hooks were made from wire and added front and back.
The basic camouflage during the Polish campaign was Panzer Gray with Brown covering 1/3 of the vehicle. In grayscale there is little difference between the two colors so this is often unnoticed in black and white photographs.
A finished picture after decals and weathering. The model was given a black wash followed by a tan mud wash, then a thin layer of “dust” was sprayed over the whole thing. The rolled-up tarp is made from masking tape.

ICM Sd.Kfz. 222 Build in 1/72 Scale

ICM first released their Sd.Kfz.222 kit in 2005 as kit number 72411, this is the 2011 reboxing. These were often used in the reconnaissance role, and would be just the thing for those times when you’re trapped on a country road behind a slow driver!
The parts are well-molded and the breakdown is conventional. ICM have included photoetch for the engine vent in the hull and the grenade screen atop the open turret. Both of these PE parts are useful and appropriate for the intended applications.
Assembly was quick and the fit was good with no surprises.
The model was primed with Mr. Surfacer 1000 and then base coated with Alclad black primer. Thin coats of Panzer Gray misted on will allow for this to provide darker shadows in the recesses if applied carefully.
Here is the effect of lighter shades thinly misted on over the black base coat. Highlights were picked up with drybrushing.
Here is the finished model with an application of mud and dust. Everything was sealed and unified with Testors DullCoat. The radio antenna is Nitenol wire.

Roden Sd. Kfz. 263 Armored Car in 1/72 Scale

Another Roden 8 Rad, this is the Sd. Kfz.  263, intended as a radio car for reconnaissance units.  This kit shares most of its sprues with other Roden 8-rad kits.  The covered compartment is addressed with a separate cap, which results in a seam not visible on the actual vehicle.  Eliminating this seam would result in the loss of the raised detail so I left it alone.  The radio antenna is delicate and more than a bit fiddly to install, mine came with a break which was difficult to repair.

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Russian Tank Batch Build in 1/72 Scale

I often build models in groups, especially if they share the same construction or color pallet.  Over the last year I have been slowly accumulating Russian armor builds.  These I would assemble and set aside, usually to keep working while allowing for drying time on another project.  I eventually got to the point where several models were built up and it was time to finish them off.

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This is the Trumpeter KV-1 heavy tank.  It features one-piece vinyl tracks and goes together well.  The braces for the mudguards are molded as solid pieces so I cut them off and replaced them with Evergreen strip.  Mr. Surfacer “casting texture” was applied to the turret.

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Trumpeter’s KV-2 is a beast.  It shares the lower hull and running gear with their KV-1 with a separate sprue for the upper hull and turret.  I replaced the mudguard bracing here as well, and made new grab handles from wire.

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I really like the looks of the T-34/85, and Trumpeter’s offering captures the look well.  There was a little bit of filler needed at the upper and lower hull joints, but otherwise there were no issues.

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This is Dragon’s T-34/76 Mod. 1943.  This one gives you the option of using P.E. for the engine grille, which really looks great when installed.  The DS tracks work with regular modeling glue and are easy to install.  I added lots of grab handles to this one.  I vacillated on the commander’s hatch, eventually I switched back to the one in the kit for the finished model.

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UM models are not as well known in the West as other brands.  They are generally not bad kits, featuring some fine detail but requiring a little more from the modeler to achieve a good result.  This is one of a series of Soviet armored cars, the BA-9.  A second turret of a different design is included in the kit so other versions are possible.  The kit was provided with vinyl tires.  These do have certain advantages but all in all I would prefer molded plastic as I find them easier to work with.

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Another UM kit, this is the SU-100 assault gun.  This kit has vinyl for the road wheels and link and length track.  I was worried about getting a solid join with this combination but it held together well with superglue.  The engine grill is provided on a small fret of P.E.

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This is another UM kit, the T-34/76 “screened” tank, in this case the “screen” refers to additional appliqué armor panels for the glacis and turret.  The engine grill is provided on a small P.E. fret.  I thought I had lost this fret, so I cut out the grill panel and used the spare plastic piece from Dragons T-34/76.  After I had made the change I found the P.E. fret in the small bag with the decals, but the deed was done.

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Here is the whole batch painted with Mr. Color 4BO and sealed.

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Another group shot after weathering.  I tried out various weathering combinations using oils, washes, and pigments.  This was a good chance to experiment, no two are done the same way.

 

 

Roden Sd. Kfz. 234/4 Pakwagon in 1/72 Scale

This is the Roden Sd. Kfz. 234/4 Pakwagon.  This kit does not share sprues with Roden’s other 234s, in fact the wheels are of a larger diameter on this one.  The gun did not want to fit into the fighting compartment so there was a little trimming and subsequent repair with Evergreen.  Jerry cans are from the spares box.  I had trouble fitting the gun and had to trim the shielding.

 

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Roden Sd. Kfz. 233 Stummel in 1/72 Scale

This is the Roden Sd. Kfz. 233 Stummel.  Roden has released a series covering the major 8-Rad variants.  Detail is a little soft on the exterior and sparse on the interior.  They also suffer from an overly complex breakdown of the suspension components, which are completely hidden behind the wheels in any case.  Some of the accessories such as the spare helmets and Jerry cans are noticeably underscale.  All of that can be managed however, and the kits look good built up  Overall a nice kit.  The suspension is over-engineered and assembly is fiddly but it built up nicely.  When I placed the figures it was surprising just how small the fighting compartment must have been.

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