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: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/07/08/scammell-pioneer-tank-transporter-with-churchill-vignette-build-in-1-72-scale/

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: http://www.valuegeardetails.com/index.html
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: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/06/24/ibg-scammell-pioneer-tank-transporter-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/

Churchill build here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/06/17/italeri-churchill-mk-iii-build-in-1-72-scale/

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.

2021 Year in Review

2021 saw a return to some degree of normalcy, but as with any great disruption there have been some re-definitions of just what that means.  There was a return to live in-person shows which was sorely missed.  What has changed with the shows is now they are bigger and better attended, with more vendors, more model entries, and an overall increase in quality of the builds.  Fewer group activities have translated into additional modeling time for many people, and for socially introverted types this appears to have been a good thing.  It has certainly resulted in more and better models on display at the shows!

The display area of the 2021 Military Modeler’s Club of Louisville IPMS show.

I was able to go to three shows this year, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Cincinnati.  All three were held in new venues, and all three were very successful and saw half again as many entries above what was normal for the club, if not more.  Many inspiring and innovative builds, and fellow modelers are always happy to share new techniques and tips to try out.  The guys at Plastic Model Mojo have taken their show on the road, and I was able to sit down with them and catch up in person, in addition to listening to their podcasts while I model.   Plastic Model Mojo here:  https://www.plasticmodelmojo.com/

Mojovians Dave and Mike in front of an Fw 190 replica at the Cincinnati IPMS show at the Tri-State Warbird Museum.

For bibliophiles the news is still not good.  Publication dates on many new books have slipped.  The secondary and overstock markets have fared little better, with fewer selections and higher prices all around.  After two years the Half Price Books traveling blow-out sale is still nowhere on the horizon, and I’m starting to wonder if it will ever return.  Hopefully soon!

Blog Statistics and News

The Inch High Guy blog has completed year three!  A big thanks to all who visit on a regular basis, whether new or old.  I am happy to report that I again managed to make a post each day, although there were a couple of near misses.  The blog received 139,675 views and 55,483 visitors, up from 73,992 views and 26,731 visitors last year.  The most popular post again this year was “Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Interior Colors Part I” with 3,267 views: 

https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/b-17-flying-fortress-interior-colors-part-i/

Guess what? If you can see the ribbing on interior of a Fortress it should be Natural Aluminum, with only rare exceptions. Interior Green is for Warbirds!

Models Built in 2021

34 completions, 24 aircraft and 10 vehicles.  In addition I painted 42 figures, 14 horses, and constructed 8 diorama / vignette bases. Everything was built to 1/72 scale as is my preference.  The mosaic has a picture of each build, construction posts and additional finished pictures can be found by searching the blog.

Arma Hobby FM-2 Wildcat x 3

Azur Martin B-10

Trumpeter T-55

Takom MAZ-537 Tank Transporter

Airfix Spitfire Vc x 4

Vickers Mk. VI light tank resin print

Cunningham T1 light tank resin print x 2

Brengun Yak-1

Arma Hobby Yak-1b x 3

Hasegawa Yak-3

Dakoplast Yak-7 x 2

Valom Yak-7

Emher Yak-9

Hasegawa Fw 190D (old tool)

Hasegawa Fw 190D

Tamiya Fw 190D

Dragon Messerschmitt P.1011 x2

Dragon Julia

Revell Fw Fitzer

Revell Ho 229 (repaint)

First to Fight Polish TKS Tankette

ICM Sd.Kfz. 222

First to Fight Sd.Kfz. 247

Dragon Krupp Protze Kfz. 70

Italeri sK 18 10.5 cm Field Gun

What’s Ahead in 2022

This has been a year of exciting announcements for 1/72 scale modelers.  The new Focke Wulf Fw 190D series from ICB looks spectacular, and it even includes an accurate wheelwell for the first time in the scale.  The family will cover all the Dora subtypes.  Flyhawk released a new tool SBD Dauntless which will fix the dive brake issues with Hasegawa’s kit, and will hopefully continue to be available – something which can’t be said for several Hasegawa kits.  To top it off ICM and Special Hobby have both just announced a new-tool Ki-21 “Sally” for late 2022, a subject which has long been on the list of several modelers. The Sally was strangely missing from Hasegawa’s new-ish series of Japanese twins, modelers who had to have one searched for the MPM or 1976 Revell kits.

The big news for many modelers is that Arma is now shipping their P-51B/C kits.  The previous attempts from Academy and Hasegawa both suffered from fatal, difficult to correct shape issues.  Finally, for the first time, an accurate P-51B/C is on the way!  This kit should prove to be a license to print money for Arma, here’s hoping it is a windfall for them!  I have long agitated for this subject, so to put my money where my mouth is I have placed an order through my Local Hobby Store (support your LCS!) for one.  Case.  For starters.

Now Arma, if you’re listening, we could sure use an accurate Ki-43-II Hayabusa “Oscar” in 1/72 scale.

Arma’s P-51B/C

The second big release (for me) has a much more personal connection.  Takom has announced a U.S. Navy 16”/50 caliber triple turret in 1/72 scale, packaged as Turret One from USS Missouri (BB 63).  This kit has parts for the rangefinder which was later removed from the first turrets, but with a few modifications could represent any of the main battery turrets on the Iowa class battleships.  Now for the connection part – I served in the Navy, Missouri was my ship, Turret One was my turret.  1/72 scale Missouri’s in both the WWII and 1980’s configurations are on my bucket list, and this kit makes that project one step closer.  If the appropriate 5”/38 Mark 28 mount is ever kitted that would cinch the deal (the 1/72 scale 5”/38 Mark 38 mount included in Takom’s 1/700 Gearing class kit has an unarmored gun house, appropriate for destroyers but not battleships).

Takom’s 16″/50 turret

Lastly, we have purchased a wooded plot of land along the scenic White River, where we intend to build an energy efficient (net zero) home.  This is obviously a time-consuming project, and will inevitably impact time available for modeling and blogging.  In fact, the effects have already begun to be felt as I have been busy on the property cutting down the invasive Asian Bush Honeysuckle which is crowding out the native trees.  Hopefully there will still be opportunities for modeling, but the pace may slow a bit.  If I miss the daily posting on the blog in the coming months this will likely be the reason.

The mighty White River

May you each live long enough to build every model in your stash!

Italeri sK 18 10,5 Field Gun Diorama Build in 1/72 Scale

Continuing on with my efforts to add figures and bases to my recent batch of vehicle builds, I wanted to depict the Italeri sK 18 Field Gun in a firing position. To add a little interest, there will also be some Soviet cavalry from Zvezda in the classic cavalry mission of operating in the enemy’s rear area and making a general nuisance of themselves.
There are two sprues in the Zvezda box, each containing one mounted figure. The Zvezda figures are crisply molded in hard plastic, and come with stands and a marker for wargame use. These are nice sets and there is a wide variety in the range.
I will be supplementing the Italeri artillery crew with another Zvezda set, this German Headquarters group. These are useful figures for many compositions. The Italeri field gun comes with five figures but the typical gun crew was seven, fortunately I was able to find some suitable additions from a 3D print file to make up the difference.
The contents of the Zvezda German Headquarters group box. Useful figures and a great value for the money!
I bought two boxes of the Soviet cavalry. The figures in the foreground are in stock poses with the molded-on reins replaced by thin strips of masking tape. The figure on the right has a replacement bedroll as there was no way to mold the undercut and it was obvious on this horse. The two figures in the rear are conversions mounted on First to Fight Polish Uhlan horses with replacement saddlebags. The figures are the same Zvezda cavalry again, with replacement arms and a head for variety.
Here are two of the Italeri artillerymen with basic colors applied and a gloss coat.
Here is the Soviet officer with basic colors, the paint has been sealed with a coat of Future, which is an acrylic. I have intentionally kept the colors on the lighter end of the spectrum to experiment with oil shading.
The figure was sprayed with a flat coat and then shadows were enhanced with thinned oils. I think the technique is encouraging and hope to improve with experience.
Trees will be used to provide a vertical element. These are made from the wire inside of lamp cord, which has many uses for modelers. Don’t throw away a broken lamp without salvaging the cord first!
Here is the final composition, with the Soviet cavalry charging the unsuspecting German artillery position from the woods. The base is of the same construction as the previous TKS tankette base, ground cover and foliage are from Woodland Scenics.

Italeri sK 18 10,5 Field Gun Build in 1/72 Scale

This is the 2020 release of the WWII German 15 cm Field Howitzer sFH 18 / 10,5 cm Field Gun sK 18 kit number 7082. I have previously built this kit as a15cm howitzer in the towed configuration, so I will build this one as a 10,5 Field Gun in the firing position.
The carriage was common to both guns so the differences are accounted for on the two small sprues on the bottom right. A nice touch is the inclusion of five (of seven) crew figures. On my kit both parts B14 were missing even though the sprues were bagged. These are small parts which are trapped within the base plate mounted to the axel, and their absence is not obvious on the finished model.
Assembly was a bit fiddly, but the kit builds up well and looks the part when done. I did manage to lose the elevation locking pin thingy on right leg and replaced it with wire.
The model was primed and base coated with black to help accentuate shadows and recesses.
Panzer Gray was the basic color of German vehicles for the first years of the war, and many vehicles which survived were not repainted. I decided the Panzer Gray would give the gun a range of display potential.
The finished gun after weathering. The red and white range stakes add a little color to an otherwise drab finish.