Scammell Pioneer Tank Transporter with Churchill Vignette in 1/72 Scale

This is the IBG Scammell Pioneer Tank Transporter with the Italeri (ESCI) Churchill Mk. III, North Africa, November 1942.  The figure is from Preiser components, most of the stowage is from Value Gear.

Vignette construction here:

Italeri Churchill Mk. III in 1/72 Scale

This is the Italeri Churchill Mk. III, which turns out is the re-boxed ESCI kit from 1988.  The kit has been updated with glue-able tracks, but still retains some ejector pin marks in bad locations.  Markings are from the kit decal sheet and represent a British Army Churchill serving with the King Force Detachment at El Alamein, November 1942.

Scammell Pioneer Tank Transporter with Churchill Vignette Build in 1/72 Scale

The Scammell is the third tank transporter I’ve built in the last few years, and I have developed the habit of showing them hauling their loads on bases. In order to give the vehicles a bit more of a “lived in” look I wanted to add some stowage. There are a few odds & ends from the kit itself, but most of this cargo is from Value Gear, which I highly recommend. Value Gear here:
I’m not the best figure modeler, but I like to add figures for scale. This fellow is a combination of Preiser parts. If you want to see the judges get out their rulebooks at an IPMS show, ask whether your entry is a vehicle with a base, a vignette, or a diorama. This appears to be unsettled law. You will see clubs make different determinations depending on number of vehicles, number and placement of figures, and even the height of vegetation.
Here is the base, representing a well-traveled tract in the desert. It is a 4” x 12” (10 cm by 30 cm) piece of Oak trim with lightweight wall filler and stones from the driveway. Ruts were formed by rolling a Nickle along the filler, along with a few sizes of brass tubing. Vegetation tufts are from the train section of the LHS.
Bits and bobs painted and washed. One thing which I like about the Value Gear is most of these items are molded with straps in place – no “magnetic stowage” here.
I put a few pieces inside the cab of the Scammell, but most wound up in the bin under the cab or on the deck of the trailer. The jacks are spares from the kit, dressed up with some Evergreen stock.
The Scammell was loaded with the Italeri Churchill Mk. III and secured to the base. I had tried painting and washing the figure but didn’t like the result, so he was repainted and blended with oils. I’d like to see manufacturers produce more figures in casual poses, British or Australian figures gathered around “brewing a cuppa” would be very useful!

Scammell build here:

Churchill build here:

Italeri Churchill Mk. III Build in 1/72 Scale

For some reason I thought this was a new tool Churchill kit from Italeri. I’m not sure where I got that impression, this is the old ESCI kit first released in 1988. In fact, even Italeri had issued previous boxings, so my curiosity of what Italeri would do with a new tool armor kit is still unsatisfied.
Two plastic sprues and flexible tracks are in what’s in the box, along with a small decal sheet with four marking options. Scalemates indicates there are new parts here, I’m guessing they would have to be the tracks. The instructions indicate the tracks are designed for CA glue, which does in fact work well. You also get a crew figure, a nice touch.
Each side of the suspension is constructed using only eight parts (including tracks). This is a mercy, as the breakdown of the Churchill suspension could have easily run into 40 – 50 parts, even using continuous band tracks. My personal preference is for buildability over a myriad of detail which cannot be easily seen, and alignment of all these bogeys as individual parts would have been a nightmare. These parts required some cleanup as there were mold seams and a little flash, the old ESCI molds are beginning to show their age.
The tracks reacted well to superglue. This Churchill variant concealed the return run of the tracks under an extensive fender system. The tracks turned out to be slightly long (or I stretched them during installation), but I was able to cut off the excess and hide the ends behind the air intakes. Pioneer tools are molded onto the engine deck, and handles are molded onto the hatches.
There are some seams to address with this kit, on the majority of the armor kits I have constructed this has not been much of an issue. There are also some annoying ejector pin marks in bad locations, visible here on the armor plate in front of the hull machine gunner’s position and in the turret trace over the track fenders. Filling and sanding these would result in lost detail so I filled them with Perfect Plastic Putty, which can be smoothed with a wet Q-Tip.
The camouflage was masked off using poster putty. This is one of the modeling supplies available at the supermarket, and is re-usable. It provides a solid demarcation between colors without as great of risk of paint seeping under as with masking tape.
Here are the colors used. The Sand FS 30475 was done first as layers of Mr. Color 44 and 19 to vary the tone, while the Extra Dark Sea Gray is a mix of 116 RLM 65 Black Gray and 366 Intermediate Sea Blue.
After decals and a second coat of Testors Glosscoat recesses were highlighted with a wash of Tamiya black panel line wash. I then added some chipping with a dark brown make-up applicator. The entire model then received a very thin coat of light tan “dust” to unify the finish, followed by Testors Dullcote. While the molds are beginning to show their age, the kit builds up well with a few enhancements.

ESCI Late Production Hummel in 1/72 Scale

Here is the old ESCI late production Hummel.  This one needs a lot of help, I suffered from Evergreen fever and it’s still not right.  Still, sometimes it’s fun to see what you can do to improve a kit rather than just whine about its faults.  A serious modeler would set this one aside and start with one of the newer molds.  Apparently, ESCI’s team found a Hummel with the gun out of battery in the full recoil position and took their measurements from that, and then added the missing length back on to the end of the barrel to make the overall profile look right.  All the fighting compartment shielding on this kit is too thick.  It was all thinned or replaced.  The curved shield replacement shown here was plunge molded.

Not a good kit.  I rebuilt the gun and the interior, and also thinned the shields on the fighting compartment.  I didn’t replace the single wheels which should be doubles, and the hull should be a bit lower.  I did have fun cutting up the Evergreen to improve the kit, but you’re much better off building the Revell or Dragon kits if you want a good Hummel.  In general I plan on avoiding the old ESCI and Hasegawa armor kits in the future, with only a few exceptions.  The newer kits are just so much more accurate and easier to assemble.  Hard to justify struggling with some of the old kits, even at bargain prices.

















ESCI M6 3/4 Ton Truck in 1/72 Scale

This is the ESCI M6 3/4 ton truck.  A bit clunky by today’s standards but it can still be built up to a presentable model and is a useful subject.  This one shares molds with the other members of the ESCI M6 family which means it also shares the problems  of ejector pin marks and mold seams.  There are fit issues with several of the parts, so this is not a straight-forward build.  Be sure to mount the rear springs to the bottom of the bed instead of the frame or the model will sit much too high.