Sunday, July 31, 2011

Camera Crew

A while back I asked on the HaT Forum if anyone could recommend any war correspondent figures. Mafeking Foot mentioned the WWI US Army figures by Airfix. I also used a WWI Airfix WWI British soldier. I cut off the top of his box and added a lense, so he has a box camera now. I also changed the hat because I want to make him into a civilian.

This loader is now loading camera batteries. I replaced the head with a cap from the Caesar Miniatures Chinese for WWII.

This guy striking with the butt of his rifle is now the sound man, with a microphone on the end of a pole.

This machine gunner is now a cameraman. Made from styrene and sprue.

The camera crew and still photographer taking pictures of a giant prehistoric crocodile.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Panzer III

This is a snow plow from a Matchbox truck I got years ago.

This is a Roco Minitank Panzer III with the snow plow.

This is the Roco Minitank Panzer III modified and with the modified snow plow attached.

The plow was designed to removed debris after bombing raids so military and commercial traffic could get through devestated cities.

It's a cheap and easy conversion. The Germans also did this with at least one Panther. I probably will too.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Panzer III

The Germans made several Panzer III with interleaved tracks and they were used for training soldiers since the type did not go into series production.

This is the artillery observation version. There is a dummy gun and machine gun in the turret.

Several turretless Panzer III tanks were converted into engineer / bridge transporter versions.

The artillery observation version had extra radios and the same size crew as the regular version.

The rail road version in the lower left corner, and the center rear is the munitions carrier. Lots of versions of Panzer III.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Panzer III Bits

A Roco Panzer III from the spares box has been converted to a bridge transporter.

I purchased a few collections over the years and managed to obtain some of the Esci 251 halftracks with the bridge. I saved the bridges for just such a project.

Taking a bit of sheet plastic with a wooden deck pattern, I cut it to size and glued it on the upper hull. Then I glued on the little brackets to hold on the bridges.

I used the bead technique for the bow machine gun, and replaced the spare wheels with a Jerry can and a canvas bag from the spares box.

In service the crew removes the bridge bits and carries them to the obstacle. Then the tanks can drive over the hill or across the small stream. Another good use for a tired old kit that would have been sitting unused in the spares box. This is where having a good library is helpful. Panzer III & Its Variants, by Walter J. Spielberger, Schiffer Military History, 1993. It has loads of photos and drawings of great conversions to make.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Panzer III Bits

Since the Germans had thousands of Panzer III they experimented with ways of upgrading them.

A better suspension was on thing they worked on for a long time.

An interleaved suspension was favored by the Germans for the smooth ride and good ground pressure. They made several with this type of suspension but they did not see production.

The few vehicles with this type of suspension were used in training infantrymen in methods of dsestroying tanks in close combat.

I suspect, but can't verify that they served with a school unit at the end of the war as the war came to the school. I used an Eadai / Grip / Arii halftrack suspension that was sitting in the spares box for the conversion. I used the bead technique for the bow machine gun. I cut off the spare roadwheels and covered the space with a jack on one side and a Jerry can on the other side. I am low on spare wheels and even out of tracks in the junk vehicles so this gives me a new vehicle out of the spares box, for free!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Panzer III Bits

The HO scale Roco Panzer III is a versitile kit.

This one is the artillery observation vehicle version.

They removed the bow machine gun and the main cannon and replaced them with radio gear.

The turret has a dummy gun and in the center there is a machine gun.

By taking away the main gun and bow machine gun the vehicle crew will concentrate on artillery observation and not try to act like a real tank. By being in a tank chassis they can keep up with the armored units they support. This was a good use for an obsolete tank.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I added a spare tire from a junk 234 and a jack from a Roco Opel Blitz truck, along with a couple Jerry cans.

I still have to repaint the armored car.

I anticipate that I will paint the unpainted parts since late war vehicles often were painted many times in their life time.

Check your spares drawer and see if there are a few vehicles that can be brought back into service.

In these difficult economic times, it's a good way to add a new vehicle or two to your collection with little or no expense.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


What's on Mike's Workbench?
A graveyard of Roco HO scale 234/1 & 234/3 WWII German armored cars.

Anyone who has a large old Roco collection has a few of these junkers laying about.

A few scraps like these ones are in the scrap box too.

Cobble these together and make two junk armored cars and a junk PaK 40 gun into a 234/4.

A bit of wire for the front bumper. These were issued to many of the panzer divisions late in the war.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Whats On Mikes' Workbench?

I am working on my Panzer III collection.

And a few RSO tractors.

There are a few Panzer IV types in there too.

A couple side skirts to affix.

This old veteran had four coats of paint on him. He will be refurbished as a Munitions Panzer III and serve one of my Tiger units.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Bites!

Safari Ltd makes a set of Prehistoric Crocodiles and many of them in the set are close to 1/72nd scale. This Sarchosuchus is really a baby because in real life they could be twice this size!

This is a Rutiodon Validus and it looks much like a modern crocodile to me.

A few soldiers in shallow water with a few uninvited guests to the pool party.

A couple trees, a prehistoric corcodile and a pet shop cave and suddenly you are 50 million years ago!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Panzer III Bits

The HO 1/87th scale plastic Roco Panzer III, with upgraded bow machine gun and barrel on rear corner.

Heres another one, this time with a little bundle on the front fender.

Fanta was the preferred soft drink for the Panzer Divisions. Coca-Cola syrup could not be obtained once the Germans were at war with the USA. Fanta was made with fruit juices using any kind of fruit they could get, so they had lots of flavers. This crew has a whole case of them.

The rolled up tarp is a common sight on tanks. Camoflague, tenting, are just a few uses for such materials.

An entire platoon of Roco Panzer IIIs. Each one has the upgraded machine gun and at least one extra bit of cargo to make it more personalized. I like to individualize many of my vehicles because in war the crews often pick up lots of little bits and pieces.