Monday, 13 December 2010

Once more into the...


Hello again! My apologies for the vanishing trick! ...What a year!
  Well as you can see from the above images, the Tiger '211' "Doppelganger" is at a static point. Hopefully with the Holidays nearly upon us, I will have a bit of spare time a impetus to get it up to speed again.
 The 'Sub Modulation' base coats have been applied... This is a tongue in cheek phrase, when asked to explain why I did this, prior to a top coat. I have been playing around with this for a while now, and by logically (I can be logical sometimes!)  laying down a primer/base coat that matches the actual surface or substance to be painted (ie the vehicles actual primer colour, Zimmerit even, and burnt metals etc) I find you get a rich tone with a little more vibrancy, than just a single primer colour. Working as an Artist, I always attack a painting this way, by using light undercoats a 'lighter' look can be achieved. as shadow can when using darker earth tones. Another positive result of this, is larger chipping or peeling can be achieved, with masking or surface resistance techniques (hairspray,salt,oils) can be incorporated without to much trouble.
You can see the start of this upon this Prototype Krupp Turreted Tiger Ausf B! This is now ready to join the other members of it's 'ambush' at 'Barkmann's Corner'. After finishing it's Zimmerit phase over on the Zimmerit-it Blog. This is going to be a 1./s.Pz.Abt.503 machine... You guessed it in Normandy. I still need to pin down it's tactical number, but hopefully this one should also be back on track soon!

 Take care all! Cheers Phil.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

A Forest! ...and a race track!

Hello again folks! I have finally managed to wheedle out some time to post some images of the trip to the Ardennes, that I took at the end of August.
 My first impressions of the scenery and landscape were staggering, a beautiful and very challenging environment. Only the desperate would launch a mid-winter offensive through here... The narrow nature of the winding roads added to the always inclining or descending terrain, must have been a nightmare to the drivers of even the medium Panzers, PzIV' Panthers etc, let alone the massive King Tigers unleashed westwards!
 Unfortunately because of the race weekend, it was difficult to navigate south of the track, especially near Stavelot and La Gleize... So I did not get to see '213' of the 2./s.SS.Pz.Abt.501... Perhaps next year I can get to the area early before the Grand Prix mayhem breaks loose?
 Here are some images of the area in and surrounding the race track Spa Francorchamps, you will notice that a lot of the corners names upon the track still recall a chilling and ferocious past.

Malmedy cathedral... Beautiful and sedate, behind it is a memorial for the townsfolk who lost their lives upon Christmas Eve 1944...

Looking out upon the track from Stoumont and La Combe.

In the centre of the circuit within the forest, next to the Ambleve, Eau Rivage, from the Stavelot corner.

The Kemmel straight, and the river bridge under Eau Rouge... A hell of a hill!

Heading down from Rivage toward Pouhon...With the weather coming in!

Modern German Aces, in German 'Armour' 2010 style!

Myself at the top of the 'mighty' Eau Rouge, the incline has to be seen to be believed! It reminds me of The Market 'Brew' in my hometown of Stockport!

And finally Malmedy Corner, and a 'Troll'!

 Right I had best get back to some modelling... Armour that is, as fashion will never suit me!

 Cheers Phil!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

More from the 'Dark Interior'!

Hello again! And welcome to everyone who is following these 'Tiger Tales'. Now that summer is finally abating, and normal service with the weather gets back to regional regularity, I hope to really get these poor neglected Big cats back up to speed.

 Here are a few images of  the '211' Doppelganger', it has had a little more detail added to the turrets fighting compartment, namely a scratch bracket for the MP40 next to the turret walls escape hatch, along with a padded disc to arrest the discharged spent shell cases, also some more work on the gunner controls for the gun and turrets traverse. And the one remaining front fender/mudguard has been finished and re-attached.

And here are some more shots of the soon to be 'Toasted Tiger' with an initial layer of dark red-brown applied, in order to give the later stages of basecoats and distressed paint applications a good foundation.

So that is where it stands until I return home next week, hopefully with a camera full of pictures of the La Gleize Tiger Ausf B , formerly of the 2nd Kompanie of the s.SS.Pz.Abt 501.

Once again thank you to everybody who is following these pages... Thanks for the support!


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Interior rumblings

Hello again, good to be back! Hopefully with summer drawing to a soggy end, the call of the bench will become stronger!

 I am still waiting for the brass tread-plate, and the CMK sets. With our ever efficient customs and postal service, up to their old and new tricks...  I went to the books and web, in order to find anything on the later interior layout of the 44' Tigers... And there is not much, 'Jentz and Doyle's DW to Tiger 1 has the best clues to the stowage racks, that populated the 'shelf' above the turret ring, as well as the turrets mechanisms for the turrets traverse and gun elevation. A real lot of items that were stowed upon the turrets interior wall have been removed by this point, (unless the Saumur Tiger, has been gutted , whilst sat in Northern France?) there appears to be very little conduit and mountings at all compared to say, the earlier produced Bovington and APG Tigers. To me it looks as though these 'bins' that populate the lower turret interior took most of the previously wall stored items!

So it was off to the cutting mat, with some stock styrene sheet, rod and strip, for an attempt to try and replicate these later additions to the 'minimalist' Later Tiger Interior!

Now on the back 'shelf' in DW to Tiger 1, of the Saumur Tiger, there are a couple of images that show smaller compartments, for what looks like 'episcope' components etc, but I am not sure if two or three differing patterns are fitted between the main guns counterbalance cylinder and the escape hatch?  As you can see the Verlinden kit is anything but comprehensive! So a lot of very visible smaller detail has been added, whilst trying to keep it 'through the hatch' yet detailed enough to show a 'light destruction,!

A fair part of the interior details can be seen through the open hatches, as with all the 'ports' open, the interior is well lit. In keeping with the fire that '211' was part gutted with, I have tried to show the spent shell case basket, as partly burnt. For this I rolled out some 'Green Stuff two part Epoxy' to a very thin depth, and impressed a piece of cloth into both surfaces, leaving the putty to cure for an hour, it was then 'torn' from the rolled out piece and formed onto a brass tube frame armature, to give a kind of  'toasted'  remnants look to the remaining shreds of cloth!

Okay some more scratching of the interior stowage, to compliment the sparse Verlinden parts, then back onto a little more detailing of the main gun and it's ancillaries, then we should be reaching for some paint in earnest in the near future eh?

Thanks again for the continuing interest folks and friends... Cheers Phil.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Ministry of the Interior!

My sincere apologies for the multi-forum and blog absence... Busy time of year, without other 'things' cropping up along the way.

Well I guess it is time for an update upon the 'Doppelganger' Tiger '211' of the 2./s.SS.Pz.Abt.101 then?
One thing that puzzles me about this Tiger is the damage, and fire evidence... on the left flank it is quite 'beaten up' with very little evidence of a catastrophic blaze... Yet the fire upon the right upper hull portion has been intense enough to remove the Zimmerit on the turret, and create enough heat to 'detach' the two spare track clamp assemblies both on the turret roof lip, and the outer turret wall. I personally am starting to think that it could have been simply abandoned, with the 'spite shots' coming later. Or that it was 'flanked' and taken down with a 'rump' shot. Still even 'standing in the water' the pattern and location of the fire damage is strange. Though I suppose nothing is impossible eh? But it must have not had much fuel in it's tanks, what do you think?

Well after much thought and personal debate, I have decided to continue with the 'through the hatch' interior within the 'Doppelganger'. I have had creeping doubts, about the accuracy of the parts and the locations within the very lacklustre instructions, since David Byrden highlighted a raft of discrepancies when the box was unpacked initially. So with many of the viewable turret equipment and stowage missing, I have therefore decided to utilise some of the 'usable items' from the Academy kit's. The Firewall, and 88mm ammunition stowage bins being few, the rest will have to be scratched... All this makes me realise the time, effort, skill, and patience, not to mention the vast amount of knowledge and reference needed to completely populate a AFV interior...

 Carrying on with the build, a base has been planned for a while. With so long spent working on and studying the Tigers of the s.SS.Pz.Abt.101 in Normandy. I thought that a suitable base for this Tiger would be a part of a Tiger... After all they all ended up in pieces before being smelted. Using the units emblem heraldry of the 'cross skeleton keys' (a reference to 'Sepp' Dietrich's name and his award of the swords to his 'Ritterkreuz') em-placed within a shield with the 'clipped' right hand corner, denoting an Armoured Division, and the 'oakleaves' commemorating 'Dietrich's' addition to his Knights Cross.
  So why not place the Tiger on a an armoured shield, with a plinth depicting the s.SS.Pz.Abt.101's rather 'romantic' moniker?

So with this Tiger back in 'progress' I had best get back to the workbench, and get something done eh?

I will post a little more 'in-depth' insight upon the bases construction over on my Zimmerit blog, as I feel this is where it really belongs, being 'pasted' with a replica Zimmerit paste.

Cheers for your enduring patience and support... Phil.