Tuesday, December 20, 2011

H.M. Sherbourne - Initial Hull Construction

The Sherbourne is a plank on bulkhead (POB) kit--actually, a double plank on bulkhead as two complete plankings will be made. Since the below-deck areas are not modelled, the frames are represented by solid pieces of wood and there are a lot less of them. (My other wooden ship model in progress, the Fair American, is plank on frame [POF] and I will be posting info on it soon.)

As can be seen in the photo above, the keel and nine bulkheads have been cut from birch ply, sanded, and checked against the plans for proper size and shape.

After test fitting, the bulkheads were glued to the false keel ensuring that each one aligned at a ninety degree angle. You can also see the compound curves for the deck: convex from bulwark to bulwark and concave from bow to stern. The tops of the bulkheads must lie flush with the top edge of the false keel for the decking to lay flat. At this point the walnut bow, keel, and rudder post have also been attached.

The picture above shows the hull after the ply false deck was cut and glued to the top edges of the false keel and bulkheads. Next up: Attaching the gunport bulwarks and two sets of stern counter frames.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

H.M. Sherbourne - The Kit

The Sherbourne kit is from Caldercraft's Nelson's Navy line, produced and distributed by JoTiKa, Ltd. in the United Kingdom. The scale is 1:64 resulting in an overall length of 500mm, beam of 200mm, and height of 485mm.

The kit components are birch ply for structural parts, walnut ply and sheet for detail parts, maple strip for decking, limewood strips for the first planking, and walnut strips for the second planing. Black and natural hemp are included for the rigging and the kit includes full-sized plans and an instruction manual.

The method of construction is double plank on bulkhead--this will be explained and illustrated in the next post.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Real Deal - H.M. Cutter Sherbourne

"A Trinity House Yacht and a Revenue Cutter Off Ramsgate," Thomas Whitcombe, ca. 1810.

Cutters evolved during the second quarter of the eighteenth century in southeast England as swift channel vessels. They soon gained a deserved reputation for their speed, which was not unnoticed by smugglers who soon adopted the cutter as their preferred smuggling craft. In turn, cutters were employed by the British Customs Service to counter the smugglers. Cutters carried a large disproportional area of sail for their size and also served as advice yachts, packet boats and, during wartime, privateers.

The Sherbourne was built as a revenue vessel for the Customs Service. She was designed by Sir Thomas Slade, the designer of the famous H.M.S. Victory, and was built at Woolwich Dockyard under the supervision of Master Shipwright Joseph Harris and launched on December 3, 1763. She cost
£1,581.8.9d to build and fit. After over twenty years of service, Sherbourne was sold in 1784—a remarkably long career for such a small vessel.

Sherbourne was 54' 6" long, 19' wide and had a draught of 8' 11". She carried a compliment of thirty men and was 85 tonnes. Armament consisted of eight 3-pounder carriage guns and ten swivel guns.
Sherbourne was commissioned under Lieutenant John Cartwright, later to become a prominent parliamentary reformer, and was assigned to support the work of the Board of Customs by operating against smugglers in the English Channel. Cartwright commanded Sherbourne from December 7, 1763 until May 14, 1766. His area of responsibility was the south coast of England, including Dorsetshire and Devon.

Lieutenant Christopher Raper succeeded Cartwright in 1766 as Sherbourne's commander for the next three years. Between 1769 and 1777 the cutter was commanded successively by Lieutenants Stephen Rains, Thomas Rayment, and Thomas Gaborian, all the while remaining based in the Channel. Her final commanders were Lieutenant Arthur Twyman, from September 1777 until May 1778, and then Lieutenant Arthur Hayne until September 1779. She was then laid up.

In 1783 Sherbourne participated in William Tracey's unsuccessful attempt to raise HMS Royal George, which had sunk in Spithead in 1782. Although the dockyard rated Sherbourne as unfit for service, Tracey conducted some repairs and she was of some use.

Sherbourne was finally sold at Portsmouth on July 1, 1784.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The French Have Arrived!

Well, at least the new MiniArt set has. Their set (no. 35105) arrived yesterday from Great Models Webstore. The newness of the set is reflected in the workmanship exhibited by the figures.

The figures are molded in two sprues of grey plastic. All parts appear to be well-cast and, while not up to par with resin figures such as Alpine's, detail is excellent. Clothing folds are well-done and all five faces can actually be recognized as being different. Even moustaches are finely molded on a couple of them.
Except for the de Gaulle-like figure, all have the potential for fitting in well in the diorama I am planning for my M8. Time will tell which of the four work best with the partisans already on my workbench.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Krupp Protze - Coming Together

Finally, it's beginning to look like a Krupp Protze! I've added the cab and hood assemblies as well as the rear compartment and rear axles to the main frame. The windscreen is molded in clear plastic and the glass areas have been masked-off for painting. The stubs extending under the driver's and passenger's seats are for the spare tires (one each side). Still to be added are the real fiddly bits: headlights, width indicators, pennant frame, and mirrors. The observant among you will notice that I still have not decided how to handle the broken shovel mounted at the left rear: model it as broken, re-make the handle out of plastic rod, or remove the shovel all together. Time will tell.

Here's a photo of the undercarriage at this point:

The photo ably points out that there are ejector pin marks on the underside of each fender that will need filling. Doh!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Maquis

The Maquis were predominantly rural guerrilla bands of the French Resistance during World War II. Initially they were composed of men who had escaped into the mountains to avoid conscription into Vichy France's Service du Travail Obligatoire (STO) to provide forced labor for Germany. In an effort to avoid capture and deportation to Germany, what had started as loose groups of individuals became increasingly organized. Initially fighting only to remain free, these bands eventually became active resistance groups. (Wikipedia)

Master Box Ltd. has produced a set of five figures (MB 3551) depicting four Maquis (three male, one female) and a captured German soldier. I have added the numbers in the box art photo above to show the three that I am contemplating using in a vignette for my M8 Greyhound build. Yes, I've finally decided to model an M8 from the 2nd Free French Armored Division, France, 1944. At this point I plan to use two or three of the Maquis figures shown above along with figures from the forthcoming MiniArt set of French Tankers (35105). If they are not available in time, my fallback position is to use Hornet French tanker heads on U.S. tanker figures from the appropriate time period.

Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Follow Individual Builds

With the number of assorted projects which will eventually show up here, if you wish to see the posts relating to just one specific build simply look in the right-hand column under Labels and click on the project in which you are interested. Only those posts will then be loaded. To return to all posts click on the graphic heading at the top of the page.

M8 Greyhound - Oopsies Part 1

The great thing about group builds is that they afford the opportunity for everyone to share their build experiences, to see first hand how others have handled issues arising with their builds, and to ask and have answered questions that might not have occurred absent seeing others' models. I gained all this and more at our recent AMPS-CV meeting.

I already mentioned the curve forced into the steering linkage. Along those same lines, it was pointed out to me that on almost all of our models the transfer case is "floating" when it should be attached to the frame. This is a result of the one-piece drive train and at this point, there are no real fixes for either problem.

The other problem I noticed is illustrated in the photo above. On the left of the rear plate there are two holes that need to be opened if one is attaching the medical kit in a later step. I decided not to attach the med kit but forgot to remove the reinforcing circles around the now non-existent holes. Thankfully, I will be able to carefully reach these with a #10 blade and sandpaper, as well as the faint injector pin marks which I also failed to notice.

Once these are completed and I do some further seam clean-up I'll be ready to move on to the interior. Although I'm sure there will be more "oopsies" posts, I hope I can keep them to a minimum.

Krupp Protze - Initial Steps

As with most kits, the initial step is to construct the wheel assemblies and the frame/suspension. The wheels come molded in two pieces each. The frame is in one piece to which are added the front axle, front bumper, exhaust pipe, and two rear towing hooks. At this point I also built the two rear axles and suspension system.

The rear compartment is constructed from the floor section, bracing, seats, wheel wells, splash guards, front and back sections, reinforcing panels, canvas top supports, and assorted tools.

Construction so far is straight-forward. Care is needed in working with the smaller 1/72 scale parts to forestall tweezer launches and broken pieces.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

M8 Greyhound - Lower Hull & Suspension

At this point, the drive shaft assembly was attached to the lower hull. The kit tires were left attached and the entire unit was set on the tires to ensure that everything touched the ground. The front shock absorbers, lower rear torsion bars, front springs, and transfer case brush guard were then attached. The only fit problem encountered so far was the left front spring interfering with the steering linkage (see arrow in photo below). I'm not sure where the misalignment originated, but as a result, the steering linkage has a slight bow . . . not suited for competition, but, oh well.

To finish the undercarriage, the four rear shock absorbers, muffler and exhaust pipe assembly, and rear suspension support were added. A drill bit and pin vise were used to open the end of the exhaust pipe.

The front plate had six ejector pin marks. These were sanded out even though I later realized that the aftermarket interior plate would cover them. The two tow clevis attachments were added to the front plate and then the assembly was joined to the front of the hull. There were no issues with the fit.

The rear hull plate has two holes which must be opened if you wish to attach a first aid case in a later step. I left them closed. The two tow clevis attachments and tow pintle plate were added to the rear hull plate and the assembly was then attached to the rear of the hull, again with no fit issues.

After a final clean-up and check of the work to-date, it'll be time to tackle the interior--lots of added detail for that area! Here's a photo of the left side showing the work up to this point:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Italian L3/33 (CV-33) Tankette - The Real Deal

The L3 series of armored vehicles primarily served the Italian army during the years leading up to World War II. Classified as "tankettes," they were smaller in size than even "light" tanks, lacked a traversing turret, were armed with only machine guns, and were very light in weight. They were just large enough to hold the engine, transmission, ammunition supply, and a crew of two--driver and commander/gunner. These disadvantages were offset by their speed. They could often reconnoiter forward areas and could support the infantry when mobile machine guns were called for.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

M8 Greyhound - Drive Train

Step 2 consists of building the drive shaft assembly. The drive shaft unit is molded in one piece to which were added the transfer case cover; front, middle, and rear axle covers; the steering mechanism; and the left and right steering ball covers.

At this point I constructed the kit tires/wheels. I am not planning on using them on this kit but they are important in the next step to ensure that the wheels all touch the ground properly when this assembly is attached to the tub. The kit tires are built using interior poly caps which, while they leave a lot to be desired when building tank models, are rather convenient here allowing the tires to be snugly slipped onto the axles.

I also decided not to leave off the fenders so additional detail in the wheel wells was not added.

M8 Greyhound - Initial Hull Construction

In this step the hull floor has been added to the hull tub and the rear suspension plates and main drive shaft have been attached. Several ejection marks on the tub (both exterior and interior) have been sanded flat . . . probably more than necessary but being unfamiliar with this kit better to be safe than sorry!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

M8 Greyhound - AMPS CV Group Build

For its group build project, AMPS Central Virginia chose Tamiya’s 1/35th scale U.S. M8 Greyhound Light Armored Car. We commenced the build with an introductory session in August and are scheduled to wrap it up in March 2012. Members can build the model straight out-of-the-box or can add any of the numerous available aftermarket accessories.
I have the base kit, the Aber PE set, Royal Model PE/Resin set and 37mm turned metal gun barrel, and the Hussar wheel set with chains. I’m ready to begin construction but am unsure at this point exactly which vehicle to model or even which nationality. Luckily I have some time before having to make that decision. I’m thinking about leaving off the fenders but that will entail adding some scratch-built details to the lower hull and suspension. All I know for sure at this point is that I will NOT add an engine compartment and engine. Those hatches can stay closed up!

Friday, October 7, 2011

M8 Greyhound - The Real Deal

The 6x4 wheeled M8 light armored car was the only armored car used by the U.S. Army in combat during World War II. While its initial development was slated for the Tank Destroyer force, it wound up being used by cavalry reconnaissance squadrons. Development of the M8 began in 1941, the prototype was produced by the Ford Motor Company in June 1942, and over 8,500 were manufactured between March 1943 and April 1945. While the M8 was mainly used in Europe, it also saw service in the Pacific. The M8 was supplied to both Britain and France and it was the British who nicknamed the M8 the “greyhound.” Many countries around the globe continued to use the M8 well after the end of World War II.
The M8 had a Hercules JXD rear-mounted, water-cooled engine capable of producing 110 HP and the transmission had a 4-speed forward/1-speed reverse gearbox. Its six-wheel configuration made it a stable vehicle. The steel-plated body armor ranged in thickness from 19mm-32mm and the open-topped turret had 19mm armor. Armament consisted of a turreted 37mm M6 main gun, a coaxial .30-cal machine gun, and a pintle-mounted .30-cal machine gun.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Krupp Protze - The Kit

Or, rather, one of the kits. I have the older Tamiya Krupp in 1/35 scale but this new kit is produced by Dragon in 1/72 scale--approximately half the size of the scale in which I'm used to working. The version depicted in this kit is the Kfz.70 personnel transport. Even so, the kit includes a 3.7cm PaK 35/36 that can be built either being towed or separately in firing mode. No figures are included. A full chassis is represented and all the small, fiddly parts such as vehicle tools and suspension are separately cast.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

German Adler Kfz.13 - Initial Interior Construction

Initial work on driver's seat, gear shift, emergency brake, and PE plate for machine gun mount. The interior is wide open, calling for the addition of several detail parts.

German Adler Kfz.13 - Initial Frame Construction

Addition of front & rear leaf springs, drive shaft, and rear axle. The engine is only represented by the lower half as the front of the vehicle is closed up. Still need to add PE braces inside front fenders then front axle.

German Adler Kfz.13 - The Kit

As with the real vehicle, color schemes and markings are extremely limited. Three are shown in the instructions: Unit Unknown, Poland, 1939 (Overall German Gray); Unit Unknown, France, 1940 (Overall German Gray); and Unit Unknown, Training, Germany, 1937 (German Gray/Red Brown/Olive Green/Flat Yellow camouflage).
Five sprues in Bronco's usual tan styrene plus one sheet of PE and one of decals. In addition to the specific markings shown in the instructions, the decals also include complete number series and blank registration plates allowing you to assign virtually any number to your armored car. (Next time I'll first remove the individual bags!)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

German Adler Kfz. 13 - The Real Deal

The Kfz.13 light armored car was one of the first armored vehicles built in Germany after World War I. In 1932, the Adler Werk produced their "Standard 6" car chassis with an armored body designed and built by Deutsche Edelstahl AG in Hanover. The 8mm armor was sufficient to protect the crew of two (driver and gunner) from small arms fire. Its sole armament was a light machine gun, such as the MG13 or MG34. These vehicles were extensively used in Nazi propaganda movies of the 1930s and some saw action in Poland and France. Production ended in 1934 and by 1939 they had been largely replaced by the Sd.Kfz.221/222 series. Note the lack of markings and an apparent crew of three.

German PzKpfw. II - The Kit

This is Tamiya's 1/35th scale kit of the Ausf. C. Markings are included for three vehicles: Two from the 35th Pz Reg, 4th Pz Div, Warsaw, Poland, 1939 and one from the 33rd Pz Bat, 4th Lt Div, Poland, 1939. As all three are in German panzer gray, I'm planning on modeling a Pz II C from North Africa, most likely one from the 3rd Pz Rgt, 15th Pz Div, allowing me to finish it in German "desert" yellow (actually yellow brown/sand yellow). Modeling a North African Pz II will also let me add armor and other accoutrements that were retro-fitted in the field. I plan to document these additions/changes as I get to them in the build.

German PzKpfw. II - The Real Deal

The Panzerkampfwagen II (also known as the Panzer II and abbreviated PzKpfw II) was the common name for a family of German tanks used in World War II. Although originally designed as a stopgap measure due to delays in production of the Panzer III and Panzer IV, it nonetheless went on to play an important role in the early years of World War II. Production began in 1935 and it was largely removed from front-line combat by the end of 1942. The Panzer II saw service during the German campaigns in France, Poland, the Low Countries, Denmark, Norway, North Africa, and the Eastern Front.

The Ausf. C became the standard production model from June 1938 through April 1940 and was the most widespread version of the Panzer II. Early versions of the Ausf. C have a rounded hull front but many were later up-armored by bolting extra armor on the turret front and hull front. Some were also retro-fitted with commander’s cupolas. Many field modifications were also performed.

The main armament was a 2cm KwK 30 L/55 gun and a coaxial 7.92mm MG34 machine gun. The Panzer II Ausf. C carried a crew of 3. The driver sat in the front hull. The commander sat in the turret and was responsible for aiming and firing the guns. The loader/radio operator stood on the floor of the tank under the turret.

Krupp Protze - The Real Deal

The Krupp Protze was a six-wheeled German truck used extensively by German forces during World War Two on the Eastern Front and in North Africa, France, and Sicily. Commonly called “The Boxer,” it was mass-manufactured between 1933 and 1942. Powered by the Krupp M 304 four-cylinder engine, it generated 55 hp (the L2H43, 1933-36) or 60 hp (the L2H143, 1937-42). Total production was approximately 7,000 units.
While its main purpose was to tow artillery, especially the PaK 36, it was also used to transport infantry and for other utility uses:
  • Kfz.19 – Telephone truck
  • Kfz.21 – Staff car
  • Kfz.68 – Radio mast carrier
  • Kfz.69 – Standard configuration for towing the 3.7cm PaK 36
  • Kfz.70 – Standard configuration for personnel transportation
  • Kfz.81 – Ammo carrier conversion for 2cm Flak gun, usually towed
  • Kfz.83 – Generator carrier for anti-aircraft spotlight, usually towed
  • Sd.Kfz.247 Ausf. A – Armored personnel carrier, six-wheeled version. Only twenty built in 1937 before production went to Daimler-Benz who built the Ausf. B four-wheeled version in 1941 and 1942.
Sometimes the anti-tank (3.7cm PaK 36) and anti-aircraft (2cm Flak) guns were mounted directly to the bed of the truck.

Yep, I'm Moving My Projects

After experimenting with Facebook, I've decided to do what I intended from the outset--to post all of my modeling projects and other sundry observations here in this one blog. Check back as things progress here.