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segunda-feira, 9 de julho de 2018

Modeling the Stug. IV from Revell

I made the Stug IV from Revell some time ago, but only now i talk about what was one of my best tank models streight from the box. Working almost at 1/72 give me the possibility to mix planes with vehicles, like in a air base scenário or in a crash scene.  So, in display he have de company of a kuwel in a medium base with some trops.
But for this publication i put on a EOL display, solo, with some soldiers from Matchbox, Esci and Airfix (i love old kits). The model was so good that in times i brought another one to do the second version (in the box), but time and money are short so i sold him to a friend (in the meen time, i recieve a lot of models to repear, and there it was a stug III and Jagpanther). 
Talking about the kit, it was a fine experiênce without any problems and were all the pices worked just fine, with a great detail and always the possibility of add new pieces if we want to, or removing shielding in the sides. In the end i like the result and i advise who like to work in 1/72 tanks or attack guns to build this one. Even the price is good, what not always is a important aspect by Revell. But let's talk about in more detail.

For a 1/72 model a lot of pieces and instructions. Several days in montage, and some of the areas like the weels or the main gun, requires some time and attention, even they match just fine. Probably the most dificult piece was the support of the machine gun, who broke some times, but nothing to worry about.

I don´t know why the machine gun never came with bullets or the boxes for them. At this time i resolved the problem making misself the boxes in plastic and the bullets with tape and cobert wire little pieces, but today Roco have all that staff in 1/89 what is fine por using in 1/72 kits. Sometimes i made the hand scracht but for 5 euros it´s much more easy to buy a full hand of acessories.

Stell plates are most important pieces in this model, so one of the reasons i chose this version was that de model have them with camouflage. I cut one of the plates like he was lost in the battle field and although the support is fragile they don't brake. And with the conclusion of this part, assembly was all made, so time to go the painting.  

I used Tamiya and Revell acrylics in my Aztec airbrush and i was very happy with the result. After, and to give the final touch in some parts, i applied enamel paints with a brush.  A final step using dry brush 3 or 4 times in some parts, and finnito . Great the way that paint basically went good to the fist round, with only a minor nead to make some corrections.

After painting came the oils, who give that old and use aspect to the model. First the black and then in the some parts more close the ground, the dust efect with burned siena and umber. In this fase i never used dry pastel, wich is one of the main tecniques for me today (but not in that time, since was new to me, and i prefer a more confortable way to doing so).

Troops were painted with enamel from Revell. This old Esci and Fujimi figures are very good to put in the tanks, with some modifications using Hasegawa parts and ajusting the arms with a stileto and plastic glue. Today, some marks make crew from most everything in a number of different poses, like in 1/72 and 1/48.

The base was alredy done and i brought from EOL in Paris, probably one of the best physical stores that i enter. From kits to paints, passing by vacum form and also Rc models, there's a unique diversity that is a gift to all the clients. And the personnel? 5 stars and a special simpathy to the tourists who like to read and speak about military history.

I'm not a fan of ceramics bases, but this one is very good and much of the work is just fine. I remember that the display at the store had several ones, in different size and cenário, but the money was always short, so i brought just one. The curiosity: They were all civillian bases, so i chose one that could be used in a military cenárium. 

In the end a good and detailed model (at least for 1/72 scale), made from a Stug IV series from a "people's company", the Revell (not a specific or hard one model company), with a nice price and completed with international  material from a french super store. Old figures from ancient marks only made my modeling more happy. And salute to all o make this hobby out there. Cheers.

domingo, 24 de junho de 2018

How to modernize a 40mm old Bofors Gun

Since the 40's that Portuguese Navy uses the 40 mm Bofors Gun in their ships, first has a anti-aircraft gun (AA) in Frigates and Corvettes, but in the Colonial War the 40mm caliber started to be used as the main gun in patrol and landing craft ships (the gun substitute the Oerlinkon 20mm). After the war, 40 mm was used in the new OPV from Viana do Castelo class but only for a short time, since was substituted in a par of years for the 30 mm Marlin (3 millions each), operated with remote control from the main bridge. But when Portugal brought from Denmark the ancient SF300 class, the ships came without the main gun, and the solution was only to put a manual 0.50 caliber with two sailors operating the gun, because there's no money for more. Since the Navy has a lot of 40 mm Bofors from for example Cacine class (and others who are not more in service), a cheap way to resolve the problem and at the same time have a good firepower could be modernize the weapon with a kit (or more) that transforms the ancient wepon in a full automatic gun with auto loader and a coverture against the weather. Let´s see how (special atention to the 2 PDF links, who explain all the process in detail).

Fig.1- Bofors 40mm L70 with  a coverture to protect the gun from the weather conditions. This is a upgrade since that the original model his opened.  

F.2 - The 40 mm Bofors is still produce. This is the most modern Mk4 version by BAE Systems.

Fig.3- The auto loader inside the weapon. Old models could receve an auto-loader only a little different from this one.

Fig.4 - The CDU view in the main gun. The weapon can be controlled also from the bridge if the client request to do so. The L70 model could receive a similar system.

Fig.5 - The land model use by Indian Army modernized. We can see the digital console at left. This is a modernizations that could be done in most of the least models of the gun.

Fig. 6 - A Cacine Patrol ship in the bigining of his carrier. The main guns are 2  Bofors 40mm. Today only a few are in service.

Fig.7 - A landing craf in an African river. They were armed also with two 40 mm Bofors Guns.

Fig. 8- Bofors 40mm gun in a portuguese corvete (Baptista de Andrade). Today only two ships from a total of eight are in service.

Fig.9 - A Closer vew of the gun  at a Landin Craft during the Colonial war, somewere in a river. 

Fig.10 - Another Patrol Ship in a African River , during a real fire situation. The problem with this model was that was not auto, so needed a crew of 3 or 4 sailors. 

Fig. 11-  One of the first modernization of the 40 mm bofors was this radar adiction to the main gun.

Fig. 12 - Another modernization was this night system. We can see all the manual stuff still present is this version.

Fig. 13 -  Viana do Castelo OPV were initially armed with a slight modernizations of the bofors 40 mm. All the system was electrified só de crew only had to put the munition and fire the gun.

Fig.14 -  A modernized L70 model in tha brazilian navy. Some navies like the Finland and Norway have modernized the weapon to put in torpedo and patrol boats. Others they prefered to buy the new Mk4 model made by BAE.

terça-feira, 29 de maio de 2018

And the other Wall's? Second Chapter

Most likely, after the Berlin Wall, the most spoken barrier is what we call the "Trump Wall" in between México and the United States of America. I don´t like Trump presidency, but the wall was there since Clinton times, and the actual presidente wish to fortify and extend the one that already exists. Of course Mexico doesn´t want, but himself made one huge wall in border with Guatemala. And all around the world the reality of the fence or wall, is present, from Europe to Africa, passing by Asia and ending in America. So, is not only between USA and Mexico, but a global problem in the planet, that the midia hypocrisy only talks about one or another, acording to the ideology or geopolitics situation, when is a global reality, and maybe beguins in the personal nead of safety that wich one of us have in is personality. 
Reasons are varied: Since security to imigrations problems, passing by the need to counter the population to run away, or also an ancestral state of war, there are thousands of reasons who leaves to the construction of a fence or wall, especially in border areas.  
Is only the seccond chapter about walls and fences, but i think if we want to talk seriously, much more will come.

México /Usa border wall

Mexico /Guatemalla Wall

Hungary /Servian fence

Marocco / Spain border fence

Pakistan /India wall

North Korea /China border fence

Gunatanamo / Cuba fence

North Korea /South Korea DMZ

India /Bangladesh border fence

North /South Sudan Border

domingo, 13 de maio de 2018

Military Parades: Spain

I like military parades a lot, especially the ones from ancient nations with a long military tradition. To bad that cinema and pictures are only two centuries old, so from an old era we  have only some modern reconstructions.
Spain is the other country of Iberic Península, and was formed in XV century after the union of the several kingdoms.  So there's a huge military tradition, with a growing belic industry, from tanks to ships, passing by aeroplanes, that we can see in the great military parades that Spain organizes since at least 1910. 
From fighters Typhoon, to Pizarro infantry vehicles, passing by german and american material, Spain offers a variety in their parades that reflets the need of strong armed forces, in a nation were from Catalunha to Galiza, passing by the Basco's, all want more autonomy or even the independence from central Madrid. Also the situation in North Africa and Mediterranean contributes to one of the powerfull NATO military forces. 
So, airforce and army are strong but also navy (a subjet that we will talk about it in a future article about navy parades). But that's a matter for another time.











sábado, 7 de abril de 2018

A day in NRP Sagres II - Part 1

Ah, the Portuguese Navy icon, made in Hitler's German (lol) and used by the nazi navy. Some say that is a war veteran, with various supposed russian fighters shoot down by is AA, in the Baltic retreat (were was hit by a mine and almost sunk). But is a pretty ship and i had the objective of see him, but i was always late and so the Sagres II (Sagres I was made of wood, and after some abandon years in Alfeite, was sold to Germany, were is preserved), was close to public or at sea. This time i made it and this is the result: a group of spectacular pictures and a great afternon spending visiting this ancient ship. A special word to the crew, for the simpathy and pacience with thousants of visitors with all ages. So, lets see the photos in this first part.

At the Port. Entrance in a moment with family, after a nice member of the crew give us all a warm "Welcome". Some clouds and one or another piece of light rain but the imotion of a unique visit to this mobile embassy was above any weather problem. The story of Sagres II is well documented in the links beyond, so let´s move on.

The ship "frown" at the proa (it´s Vasco da Gama), in fine conditions, as all the ship may i say. Sailors are busy with sails has the visitors enter in Sagres II, in a perfect line and order, folow the simple indications of one member of the crew. Serving in Sagres II is a honour that only a small fraction of the portuguese navy is able to.

Another view of the ship from a diferent angle. To be a ship were the open space are so many often cause problems in the transaction to Frigates and Corvettes who are most claustrofobic, so some people in the portuguese navy defend that they should have a ship like brazilian navy "NE Brasil" to make this transaction more easy. 

Before the visit at the river "Sado". It's always a extraordinary view to see this magnific ship walk on the port, especially sailing at low speed, and accompanied with other boats, sometimes hundreds of them arround this great main attraction.  Still the same after more than 80 years (81 to be exactly in time), and the public love him each generation.

The ship´s name bewind the chimney. It's common like in other navie's, the use of  names, ship after ship, when in active dutty. and Sagres have a important significant for portuguese Navy since is conected with the expansion and navegation. But  probably the more correct name his Sagres II, since there was a first one.

A plate with the name of the naval constructor, place and date. The origin of Sagres and Sagres II was that cadets nead to learn from old naval examples in ancient ships, so B&V made an upgrade from wood models, with a metal "casco" and a more strong construction not only to Baltic Sea but also for Atlantique waters.

Portuguese and wine have a huge relationship. Most famous is "Porto" but others like "Moscatel" or in this case "vinho da madeira", are also well known abroad. In our ships, it's like water or air, so is always present. Is this case there´s a pipa, but in some frigates like Vasco da Gama Class was a reservoir made specially for wine.

Velame aparail and the portuguese flag at the top. Sagres II continues a long tradition of navigators in Portugal since the XIV century, when the portuguese strated the expansion, first in North Africa and them to India an Brasil, with ships arriving in China, Japan and probably also Australia (ancient guns and maps, are the main reason that made us belive in this possibility). 

Two metal heads (Me and a salvo 75mm The story of this ship armed in the Baltic Sea at World War II was told in the introduction, but the only confirmation was from ancient german sailors that told to the brazilian, when they became the ownors after the war. Sold to Portugal, the are no referencies to this episode, and also the almost sinking of the ship by a mine, was forgoten.

A piece of history from Sagres II, is S. Filipe fortress, made by the Filipe's dynastie when they rule Portugal for almost 50 years. It is one of many, because from Viso Fort, to Outão Hospital there are much of ancient ruines and places by the city. Behind S. Filipe Fort there´s the rest of a gun battory, and down him there's a house were Jacklyn Kennedy was after her usband was shoot down in Dallas.

Piece of art in the picture is the national shild. The ship is always in great conditions with fresh paint and smelling clining at the maximum, folow by a very proud crue in their Sagres II, what is a sucess in every port he visit, nacional or internacional. There are plans to a upgrade and portuguese navy don´t speak about there reteirement. And the age of 100 years is near...

quarta-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2018

Directly from... Scracht (the story of an 1/72 Aeroslade made 90% by me, PART 2)

Last part of the Aeroslade (also call aerosan) from finish armed forces, made most of all from scracht using Evergreen and some spare material from Airfix (motor and propeler), Rocco (Gun, fire extintor and propeler protection), Revell (Troop), Academy and Hasegawa (Boxes and shelt). A fine experiênce after all and the proove that everybody can make a self made simple model with a good quality (at least for The history of this one is simple: a pure transportation device use by military since the 20's in north of Finland lakes, with an upgrade to Winter war and WWII war. Hope you like it (i have hundreads of photos from all the process, but is this publications i only use some of them).

With all the down under build and motor, propeler and structure on. Arfix, Hasegawa and Academy are present with little pieces. Heller and Fujimi were options but at the end i prefer another ones or i self made them.

The propeler protection in is sight. After that i used a Rocco piece that is better for the upgrade with a more modern efect. The interior was simple, but the next time i made a instument painel have to be in high relief.

Interior and machine gun support. In the outside there's a motor protection made from silver paper and the skis from evergreen. Then i use the same material to make a radio support and the antena (radio is from Rocco Hq).

Front view. The main problem was the support for the skies that broke constantly so in future constructions another way is need, probably with some tini holes or cinocrilato glue. Skis are also a fragile parts but theres not much to do in this case.

First colours and machine gun in place. Use enamel from Revell, but also some acrylic (Tamyia).The radio is in his box and in front is the ligh that was also a problem for is little piece. Than i use superglue and problem was resolve.

A preview in the base with a Revell troop modified with a sheld from Rocco. Base was made with white glue mixed with terracota (the wood base came from a Supermarket). After that i went to kitchen and made the ice and snow. I panted with Revell white paint.

The interior all done. We can see the conection between motor and guide system near the machine gun.The motor coverture was made after this first situation from light papper and painted with white paint (with that no oils, moust be dry pastel). All Revell enamel.

Near the end. Time to make the windscreen and the material for the interior, with the talked Hasegawa boxes and Roco jerrycands. Suástica is from polish shirt and the number in the lights coverture are hand made. 

With matterial. Miss the oils and more snow at the Aeroslade and also the oldie in the wood boxes but it is all done by 90%. Probably in future i will make another one from Russia or again Finish Armed Forces, since is not a common model.

Frontal view with windscreen that was a challenge. A piece from a modeling knive recipient, and with UHU glue was all done, with no problem. Transparent pieces from plastic were use without glue but were not acetable.

The final photos (yes, i need a new photo camera because this is from filming machine, but no A simple diorama with the Aeroslade preparation for the voyage, some material and the soldier cleanig the snow from the area near the machine.

Rear view with motor coverture and propeler protection. The acrylic paint is great with the oils, but in some parts i use dry pastel, some times with water beacause it is less agressive than  trebentine. Snow in the Aeroslade were made from chalk.

Were we cant see the interior, with machine gun, radio and amunition boxes. The soldier is busy with the snow sice the motor is minutes from running for another voyage to transport groceries to the armed forces.

Profile view. The Soviet and Finish Army used the Aerosan /Aeroslade in World War II for transport and patrol ducties, domestic and in the front. At least 10 types since the 20´s, civil and military utilization  that is materialezed in this fine pice of art. At least for me. Cheers.