PANZER II...WHAT KIND OF DETAILS?
I personally cannot get enough of this. I am pretty excited about the DX'10 exclusive - The Panzer II. As far as I know this is the only picture so far of the way the production vehicle is going to be finished and I think it looks really sharp. As a result, I am already thinking about how I might detail it. I began looking for images online and sort of divided my investigation into two categories; actual vehicle photos and models. Thought I would share with you some of the stuff I found.
As discussed in a previous post, production was stopped on the Panzer II in 1943 because it had become obsolete in the face of more heavily armed tanks. However, the tank continued to be used throughout the war and as a result was seen in many different paint schemes, such as the winter white application over panzer gray in the photo above. I need to do a lot more research on it, but the photo suggests that we are not just restricted to panzer gray or mustard yellow for painting this baby.
I am probably wrong about this, maybe Panzercommander or Hammer Six could set me straight, but I am thinking that these next two pictures are showing a Finnish Panzer II, at least I think that is what the large white cross is indicating. Any answers on that?
Can't read the location on this one above, but the date is 1941. This could be a number of locations. Interesting the crewman riding on the back deck of the vehicle. The tank in the back actually looks to be a Panzer I. It looking like there might be a little bit of stowage on that back deck of the lead vehicle as well, but it difficult to tell.
Here we get a couple of shots of vehicles in North Africa, I think this could be an interesting way to finish the tank and it is obvious from these shots that there were plenty of them present in that theater.
I really like this shot below because there is a lot going on in the pictures. Looks like two Mark IIs and a Mark III, which would indicate that early in the war, they probably even operated in units together. Those of you who know a little more about Panzer units can probably shine a little bit of light on to this. The motorcycles would seem to indicate maybe a recon unit, I don't know. It is a cool scene and one that would be fun to duplicate in 1:6th. Notice that there is some stowage on the Mark II's and the lead one has a flag tied down on the back for identification from the air.
A rare color shot, which may be staged for our friends at SIGNAL. Notice that these two Mark II's have a clean rear deck.
Below is a Mark II in the "parking lot" at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. I have photographed this particular tank my self and have seen it up close and personal painted like this with that black stripe on the turret. Oddly enough, I have never seen a picture in a book with a similar marking.
I thought this was an interesting shot below, not only because there looks to be a little bit of stowage on the vehicle, but the vehicle is also carrying some infantry soldiers.
Another interesting shot, check out the cupola on the lead tank. A very interesting variation, I have never seen this one before. Anyone have an idea what that is for? Command tank?
Sometimes pictures of other models can be a nice source of information. Who can ever forget this classic for Tamaya back in the 70's. An Afrika Korps version of the Panzer II complete with four infantry soldier figures. I think I build about three of these when I was a teenager.
This model below doesn't have any stowage to speak of, but I do like the winter camo job that has been done on it. Looks like it is ready to take on some Russians.
I thought this shot was real interesting because it definitely has some after-market pieces added for a cluttered looks. Look at all the stuff on that back deck. I would love to pile that much stuff on this tank. It just has the look of a vehicle on the move. Possibly a little over done, but cool all the same. So here's the challenge, I am looking for detailing ideas, if you see any great pictures out there off Panzer II's send them in. Several of us are getting one of the new Dragon Panzer II's and I know I could sure use some ideas.
That's all for this time, until next UPDATE, have a good one!
101st AIRBORNE - BASTOGNE...
Well, it is kind of cold here in central Ohio this evening (relatively speaking). The heat's running and my feet are cold. A lot of the leaves came down the last couple of days and it is starting to feel like winter. Seemed like a good time to look at a recent release from Soldier Story - 101st Airborne, Bastogne.
Now, I don't know about you guys, I like Band of Brothers as much as the next guy, but it sure does seem like the whole paratrooper thing has been done to death. Heck, between the various companies, they have probably released an entire company of 1:6th paratroopers........easy (yes, pun intended). That said, this recent Paratrooper from Soldier Story is pretty nice. Let's start with that great coat. Pretty nicely done, the stitching looks good and the brass buttons are nice. That watch cap is pretty sharp too. It fits on the sculpt in a very realistic manner, not looking oversized for the figure
There is nothing wrong with the M43 uniform underneath either. It looks really good and the weight of the cloth looks realistic on the figure. I particularly like the helmet with the netting and helmet band. That band is a pretty much overlooked item on WWII figures, giving the helmet a unique look. The rest of the gear is pretty much standard fair for Soldier Story, in other words...first class, but the pictures pretty much tell the story.
The Thompson is real sharp looking. I haven't read anything on this set, but it looks like a real wood stock and fore grip. If it isn't, well... it is a nice paint job. I also like the Bastogne sign that comes with the figure, it would be a great addition to a vignette or small diorama with two or three figures. Add a Major Richard to this figure and you would have a pretty nice scene.
A gander above at some of the gear that comes with the set. Cotswold's shows this figure at $90. Which, though out of my price range, seems to be about average for a good figure these days. And this does look to be a nice one. Comments?
That's it for tonight. The modern printables did pretty well for the site by the way, over 600 hits on it. Until next time, have a good one!
THEY'RE HERE - MODERN PRINTABLES...
Well, this project has been a little while in the making. Check out the home page for a link to the Modern Printables page. There are 9 pages of PDFs that include everything from Maps to MRE's.
I always liked that set that came with someone's CIA Operative. It had wanted posters and a variety of other items that I just thought were real cool. Well, I didn't get the figure and I missed out on the paper items when it got parted out. I thought, well... why not make our own set. So this set has a lot of stuff; Military ID's, Driver's Licenses, Passports, Wanted Posters, Magazines, Maps, Plane Tickets, Surveillance Photos, MREs and a whole lot more. There should be something there that everyone can use if they do modern military or law enforcement figures.
As you can see, the MRE case came out pretty nice. I didn't have quite the right color of cardstock, so I am going to have to hit the scrapbooking store to find something a little closer to Dragon's MRE Case, but it doesn't look too bad. It took like five minutes to cut it out and put it together too. I'll be making more of these.
The Dragon MRE box (on Right) is just a little bigger than mine. Unfortunately, to make it on an 8-1/2x11" sheet of paper, it comes in about an 1/8" smaller all around. As long as you don't set the two boxes right next to each other as I have done in this photo, it really isn't that obvious. The price is right in any case and as the old saying goes, beggars can't be choosers.
Anyhow, there is a lot of great stuff there, hope you all can use it. That's all for tonight. Until next time, have a good one!
FIREBASE COOPER...Progress Report...
Well, this was a busy weekend for me. I hope everyone has had a good one. I worked on a variety of things related to the Ft. Thomas show, like mounting the signs on cardboard, getting my presentation board painted and oh yeah, finishing the firebase. I filled a lot of sandbags this weekend. So, here's a teaser of what you will see in three weeks in my display...
Have yet to put any figures into the scene, hoping it will like a little more lively with soldiers, but man, does it feel good to have this thing done. My list for Ft. Thomas is getting shorted ant that is good. Well, until next time, have a good one!
Some more on Vignettes...
Thought it would be interesting to look at a 1:6th diorama product tonight. I don't know if any of you are familiar with the offerings of a company called SCALE STORE. I was not, but I am always looking for vignette ideas and found these pictures. It actually is a pretty nice looking product.
The level of detail is pretty nice, from the rubble at the base of the wall to the sewer grate in the street. Just enough base to comfortably display a single figure.
The section of window frame does a nice just of creating the illusion that there is more of the building ruins than just what is visible to the eye. It really is very nicely done. I particularly like the plaster and brick look that is used, they have done a really nice job of making it look pretty realistic.
I am not really sure just how many vignettes they have in their line, but this particular one caught my eye because of it's possible uses with a variety of time periods.
The vignette at left is one of their newest ones and it really fits in with modern figures pretty nicely. I really like the combination of metal and concrete elements and it would go a long way for creating a small urban or even Sci-Fi vignette. The crumbling effect along the edge of the barrier is particularly nice. This would look pretty good with that new MODERN MP and DOG set from Very Hot Toys. But, I guess my interest in these pictures is not motivated by an interest in purchasing these items; I simply like collecting shots like this because they serve as inspiration for future products. So far, I haven't really seen anything from any company that couldn't be duplicated with a little foam and joint compound.
There have been a number of posts on the OSW recently about making small vignettes, using foam as the basic modeling material. The foam is then covered with one of a number of materials and details are added. If it is something you think you would like to try, I would suggest starting to collect some reference material in the form of shots of stuff that is being produced by manufacturers, or custom pieces by other modelers. When you are ready to try something, look through the pictures for some quick inspiration. Of course, you can also by from the folks at Scale Store if you don't feel like making your own, but most of us get foam packed in a variety of items, so it is not like it really cost anything to keep a supply of it on hand. Scale Store aren't the only folks making vignettes, by the way. Sideshow has created a number of them as well. Below is one of the newest ones they have done and it is really sharp. It would work great for a small middle east vignette.
Something like this seems like it would be a fairly easy design to copy and it has a lot of uses. Well, that's all for this week campers. Until next time, have a good one!
Okay, we all know we want to talk about it...
Is it for real? Will it get produced? Will they find their way to the United States? How much will it cost? Will I be able to get one (or more)? Will they make it into a kit?
Let me just say up front that I don't have the answer to any of those questions. What I do have is a couple more questions... Is this a production sample? Is this a hand built model? Those are two really important questions when trying to determine what Dragon might or might not do. And no, I don't have the answer to either one of those questions either.
What I do have is some pictures (and I swiped all of those)...
Panzer II was the common name of a German tank used in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen II (abbreviated PzKpfw II). Designed as a stopgap while other tanks were developed, it played an important role in the early years of World War II, during the Polish and French campaigns. By the end of 1942, it was largely removed from frontline service and production of the tank itself ceased by 1943, but its chassis was used for several other armored vehicles.
This little tank saw action in all theaters and there were probably a few in service right up through the end of the war. No, you probably would not be painting it up to serve with the Waffen SS, post D-Day, but you could certainly make a case for North Africa, France, Poland and even Russia. If I had one, it would be joining Rommel's Afrika Korps. Well, here's what you really want to see... the pictures from the Tokyo Hobby Show...
Suffice to say, I think we all want one, the question is how much will we have to pay and what will it really take to obtain one? I can't say...I am admitting that I am pretty skeptical about the whole thing as we have been down this road before. I remember a Panzer III that 21st was going to do and more recently a Humvee that Dragon was going to do. I just hope that I am dead wrong this time because this is one cool looking little tank. I truly hope the project doesn't end up like this real Pz. II Ausf. B...
Ouch... That's all for tonight, until next time...have a good one!
...This POST is coming a day early because I had some time to work on the website today. Announcing ITALIAN WWII PRINTABLES. See the link on the home page.
You'll find five pages of pdfs that include everything from cigarettes and rations to propaganda posters. It probably isn't everything that everyone would like to have, but it is a pretty good start.
To "celebrate" a new collection of artwork, Panzercommander and I did a little photoshoot with his Italian machine gun team and my Marmon Herrington armored car. If you look real hard, you might even see a couple of the printables in the pictures. Anyway, hope you enjoy.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the shots of Panzercommander's Italian soldier
MEETING NIGHT 10/13...
Hey Campers, had our monthly meeting last night and I thought I would deliver a report and post a few pictures from the meet. Sorry there was no update on Tuesday night, I had some technical difficulties that I still haven't figured out, but hopefully everything will be back to normal tonight. Without further delay...LAST NIGHT'S MEETING...
Dr. Zorkon sort of stole the show last night with this huge diorama that I am calling Zorkon's Gym. A combination of bashed items and some limited run Internet finds, this Gym has got everything you need for your 1/6th body builders.
MADDOG CPL had a line of Waffen SS Soldiers on hand and they sure looked good. I love those camo smocks. No doubt about it, SS guys definitely had the best uniforms. This is one smart looking unit.
Right next door to MADDOG's Supermen was Trooper Paul's tribute to U.S. Presidents, which I am calling Hall of Presidents for lack of a better name, though Turnstile of Presidents might be a better description.
According to Paul, this is still sort of a work in progress, but when it's done it should be pretty cool. He doesn't have all the US Presidents, but he has pretty much all the ones that have been made so far. The whole thing turns so that you can view each president up close and personal (don't get too close to Bill there, if you know what I mean).
The evening seemed to be mostly about buying, selling and trading, there was a lot of stuff there to dig through...
Getting back to figures, Trooper Tim did these Hasbro Star Wars figures and sort of customized them to create some unique expanded universe type figures. I like the weathering on that stormtrooper.
He also did this really unique futuristic looking warrior. I like the hand painted camo that he did on the various armor pieces and helmet, that must have taken a considerable amount of time. Nice Job!
Panzercommander and I tried to get in a little shoot featuring his Italians and my British Marmon Herrington armored car in a desert scene. Above is what it looked like under the lights. Below is the finished scene.
You will be seeing more of this shoot on Sunday night when I show a few more shots from the shoot as a way of introducing our newest set of Printables, The Italian Collection. Our selection of printables continue to grow. Featured at left are three sets that I displayed last night; The Indiana Jones Collection, The German Collection and part of the new Italian Collection.
It was a great, great evening. We had a lot of members there and we all had a real good time. Wish everyone lived close enough to join us. Well, that's all for this UPDATE, until next time, have a good one!
Hammer Six's fabulous Sd.kfz 222...
I took these pictures a while back and I am just getting around to finally posting them. On our home page there is a link to Hammer Six's review of the Taowan Sd.kfz 222 German armored car. I haven't really shown you what he did with that model though. If you read his review and that of other folks around the web, you will know that this model had some problems. Hammer Six worked through the various issues and his 222 is a work of art. But don't take my word for it, here's the proof in living color.
Most of the fit issues were related to the turret and the turret cover frame. Hammer six corrected those issues and then began working on creating a realistic finish. My pictures don't even begin to do the vehicle justice. The weathering is beautiful and unfortunately a lot of the really subtle technique is not visible in my photos. I particularly like his rust spots, they came off looking extremely real. This vehicle would be a museum piece if you just painted it, but Hammer Six's looks like it has been in the field. The weathering is perfect.
I really like that rusty chain on the bumper, the rusty spring shocks and the rusty exhaust pipes. Sometimes the various rust paints can look a little too red too me, the rust that Hammer Six used look just perfect to me. I would like to know what you used buddy.
The 222 has always been a favorite of mine. When I was building 1/35th scale models, I believe that I built no less than 3 or 4 off them. I would love to have one like this, but it is a little beyond my price range. It is such a great size for 1:6th. It is too bad that when 21st was still in business that we didn't get one of these along with that Panzer III they kept promising us. I would have been all over that. Well, that's all for tonight. Until next time, have a good one!
Well...time for a little science fiction tonight. Above was the photo I shot for GL's last photo contest, featuring my Stormtroopers in an "action" scene. I didn't place in the contest, but that really wasn't my goal as much as trying something different. I spent a lot of time working up my Mandalorian Stormtroopers, but never really had any plans for them in terms of featuring them in a story or series of stories. Sci Fi is just hard to do if you ask me; coming up with sets and locations, etc. The contest though was a chance to experiment with an idea that had been lurking in the back of my mind...that of doing a series of comic book covers with different figures...kind of "what might have been" story ideas (that is if I had more time for that sort of thing). A concept I am calling "THE PHOTO VIGNETTE". Right now, at this particular time in my life, I don't really have time or the space to build physical vignettes for my figures, but I can create photographic vignettes because they don't take up any space, except for megs on my hard drive.
So...the discussion for this UPDATE is how would you define a Photo Vignette. If this a topic that interests you, tell me what you think the definition of a photo vignette would be and flesh out the concept. My own idea is something like what you see above, figures featured on magazine covers, but that is just one concept. I am sure that there are a whole lot more ideas out there.
Unrelated to that discussion, here are a few pictures of my Stormtroopers. These were just some table top shots done without any Point Man magic, but they have never been seen before...so maybe someone will enjoy seeing them.
And that's it for this week. We start back up on Sunday evening, so until next time, have a good one!
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