Monday, April 30, 2012

Steyr 1500A/01 - Body Work Continues

At this point, I have added the two-part PE grill to the front hood area and have attached that assembly to the body. The support bar has been added behind the front seat blocks and a few items such as the jack, rear light, and rear license number plate have been attached. Lastly, the chassis and suspension were attached to the bottom of the body. The white dots in the rear are where I filled the holes for the rear seats which will not be used due to the radio tables configuration. The front seats and wheel assemblies are all complete and will be attached after painting. The doors will be added later after I decide the open/closed question.

I have cleaned-up the "fiddly bits" for the left and right fenders and have them ready for attachment. I'm planning on using the Verlinden covered windscreen and folded boot. That will bring me to the point where I begin fabricating the radio compartment in the rear.

At least it's beginning to look like a Steyr! Two more photos:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Steyr 1500A/01 - Initial Construction

As with most softskins, construction began with the chassis. The photo above shows the result of the first four steps. Only the lower half of the engine is provided but that's not a problem for me as the hood is modeled closed on this vehicle and I have no intention on opening it. I'm not sure what Tamiya did to update their molds, if anything, but there is a remarkable absence of mold lines on any of the parts in my kit. (Especially the leaf springs--the bane of my existence.) Minimal clean-up was needed and everything fit together nearly perfectly. I particularly liked how the wheels were done. The outer part of the wheel and the complete tire were one part to which was added the inner wheel section--no join line to clean-up on the tires! The poly caps were missing from my kit but that wasn't a problem for me as they can be more trouble than they're worth.

In Step 5 the dash and steering column were added to the firewall and the four "walls" of the body constructed. The way the rear section is constructed makes it easy to square-up the body. Simply attach the two side sections to the rear first, followed by the firewall to the two side sections. As you can see I've opted for the exterior spare tire stowage which corresponds to the Dora vehicle I'm modeling.

The photo above illustrates Step 6 in which the various transmission and shifting levers and seat blocks are added to the floor. The treadplate is finely reproduced. So far I haven't replaced any of the kit parts with those from the Velinden set since most of the kit parts are actually better molded than the resin ones. The after-market parts will come into play mainly for the rear radio compartment. I still need to fill the locating holes in the floor for the rear bench seats which will not be used.

Any questions/comments can be added to this post or placed on Facebook.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Steyr 1500A/01 - The Kit

My next project is Tamiya’s 1/35 scale “German Steyr Type 1500A/01 with Africa Corps Infantry at Rest” (no. 35305).  This kit caught my eye awhile back so I added it to my stash. What caused me to move it to the top of the pile was my acquisition of the Verlinden “Steyr Radio & Command” set (no. 1409).
This kit is loaded with “bonuses” for me: It’s a World War II German special unit, in North Africa; it’s a softskin that is not often modeled; and, with the addition of the detail set, it has oodles of radios and other assorted PE and resin bits!
This kit is actually a re-issue of an earlier Steyr by Tamiya. For this kit they added four new figures (with an extra set of arms), in addition to the two from the original kit, and gave the whole kit an Afrikakorp theme. The new figures are suited for the desert as they are wearing ankle boots and shorts. One is bare-chested while the other three wear shirts with rolled-up sleeves. Personal equipment is also included: soft caps, pistol holster, goggles, pith helmets, DAK canteen, DAK large metal water containers (one with the lid off), large rolled tarp, and large bags. No weapons are included, which is a real shame. Also included as part of the new kit is a single grey sprue from the Tamiya German Jerry Can Set which contains three fuel drums with a tap and a hand pump, as well as eight jerry cans which are the later, more correct Tamiya jerry cans with the three pronged handle and separate filler cap.
I will address the rest of the kit during the construction posts.
Decals and painting guides are included for three vehicles:
·         Special Command Dora, Southern Libya, North Africa, 1942
·         69th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, 10th Panzer Division, Tunisia, 1942
·         92nd Independent Panzer Grenadier Regiment, Balkans, Spring-Summer 1944
I will include a post on Sonderkommando Dora soon!

Steyr 1500A/01 - The Real Deal

[For those of you following along, this might give you a hint as to my next project :)]

From the beginning of rearmament in the early 1930s, the Wehrmacht was keenly aware of the importance of mechanized units and of the need for reliable transport vehicles. Many different types were developed and tested but it soon became apparent that more efficient production was needed. The Schnell Program of 1940 standardized the production of wheeled vehicles for the Wehrmacht by reducing the number of truck- and passenger-type vehicles by two-thirds and by standardizing production into distinct classes of 1, 1.5, 3, 4.5, and 6.5 tons.
One of the vehicles from the 1.5 ton class chosen for production was the Steyr 1500A. With its air-cooled 3.5 liter V8 engine and four-wheeled drive, the vehicle proved to be both rugged and reliable. The engine generated 85 horsepower and had an on-road top speed of 100km/hr. The body had a distinctive rounded hood and front guard and a front torsion bar and rear leaf spring suspension. The large ground clearance, a wading depth of 70 cm, and the air-cooling made the Steyr ideal for cross-country purposes.
The Steyr 1500A was produced in three main variants. The basic Steyr 1500 was a light duty pick-up truck. The 1500A/01 was a personnel transport for up to eight people and the 1500A/02 (Kommandeurwagen Kfz.21) was a luxurious, spacious command vehicle equipped with leather seats for five and a front seat that could be folded down into a bed. Many other variants were developed and refitted with different bodies for use as field ambulances, radio trucks, repair wagons, artillery tow vehicles, and field kitchens.
The Steyr was initially produced in Austria with 12,450 vehicles manufactured there between 1941 and 1944. An additional 5,600 units were produced in Germany by Auto-Union’s Wanderer factory at Sigmar and by Audi at Zwickau. The Steyr 1500A/01 with internal spare wheel was manufactured from September 1941 to around August 1942. Around August 1942, the superstructure was changed and the location of the spare wheel was moved outside of the car body. This model was manufactured until March 1944. Towards the end of the war some were produced with bulletproof windows and reinforced steel plates in the doors. Production ended with the bombing of the factories.
The Steyr 1500A was seen in every theater of war from the Balkans and Russia to North Africa and served in all Wehrmacht, SS, and Luftwaffe communications units until the end of the war. The Steyr rose to prominence in Tunisia where it was highly regarded for its reliable engine and performance and mobility.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

M8 Greyhound - Complete (for now)!

Well, my M8 is complete, at least for now. It's all packed-up and ready for its trip to Auburn, Indiana for the AMPS Nationals on April 26-28. It looks as if AMPS Central Virginia will have eight to ten completed M8s on the club display table--not a bad showing for our first club build.

Since my last post I completed the turret, gun assemblies, and antennae and painted the attached tools. The handles on the tools were first painted with a diluted Vallejo Model Color Natural Wood (70834). Once dry, they were streaked with Vallejo Model Color Burnt Umber (70941) diluted with distilled water. Metallic parts (gun barrels, shovel, axe and pick heads) were painted with Vallejo Model Color Black Grey (70862) and once dry were rubbed with the lead from a #2 pencil. Areas on the body were then given a pin wash of raw umber oil paint thinned with Turpenoid.

The base I eventually want to use is not yet available so I did not weather the lower sections of the body or the suspension. All of that will be done once it is based so I can properly tie in the M8 to its surroundings. As an interim base for the display I opted for painting a wooden plaque to represent the French flag.

A few more photos of the completed model:

Stay tuned to see what's next on the agenda!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

M8 Greyhound - Fading

The next step was to apply fading to the already painted surfaces. This tones down the color and the markings and ties them all together in addition to making the vehicle look like it has been outdoors in the elements. The fading was done by diluting Vallejo Model Air Sand (71075) with Vallejo's Thinner Medium (70524) in about a 1:10 ratio paint to thinner. This was airbrushed at 25 psi static in several light coats until the desired result was obtained.

I then applied a darker fading to the lower portion of the vehicle, using Vallejo Model Air Green Brown (71030) and Thinner Medium as described above. Here's a photo of the left side showing how the markings have been toned down:

You can compare these photos to the previous ones to get some idea as to the change in the finish.

Next up: Painting the attached tools, finishing the machine gun, and then onto the wash.

Monday, April 9, 2012

M8 Greyhound - NASCAR Style

Not really, but, boy, did those French know how to mark-up a vehicle! I decided (finally) to model an armored car of the 2nd Plt, 5th Sq, 1st REC, 5th Armored Div of the Free French Army in France, 1944. Here's a side shot:

And a front shot:

And a rear shot:

The decals were from the kit and were the typical Tamiya water-slide type. They were applied using Micro Set and were hit with Micro Sol where needed to get them to snug down over the rivets and ribbing. The model was then air-brushed with a fine, misted coat of Vallejo Matt Varnish (70520).

Next up is painting the attached tools, finishing the turret/gun assembly, and then beginning the final weathering.

Monday, April 2, 2012

M8 Greyhound - Ready for Decals

I've completed the initial airbrushing and have attached the wheels and rear fenders. The tires were finished by applying a series of washes using Vallejo Model Color Black Grey (70862) thinned with water until the desired effect was obtained. At this point I have also airbrushed Vallejo Gloss Varnish (70510) over those areas thatg will receive decals.

They're not shown here, but I have also nearly completed the turret and gun assembly. Since the M36 gun mount was not used on the vehicle I am modeling, I've decided to mount the M2 machine gun directly to the rear of the turret.

More photos to come after the decals are applied.