I thought I would take a quick snap of the latest minis before I begin to paint them.
The BF Panzer IIIJ took a fair bit of working (or re-working...) to bring it to an acceptable level. This is really unacceptable for a premium priced kit. I paid $54.95 plus tax for this 5-tank box (GBX02) but it is not available on the BF website anymore. I must be old school because this just seems to be TOO much!
It says on the BF site:... "We are removing from sale the listed boxes to make room for new versions or their updated replacement." I hope they are reworking the PzIIIJ but as I look over the the 'new' 3-tank PzIIIG offering (GBX47), it looks identical to the 'old' PzIIIG...
The cupola was VERY poorly cast (as are all the others in the box) and had to be re-worked. The tracks and wheels were badly miscast typical of Battlefronts Panzer III and IVs. I spent way too much time cutting, carving and re-scribing the tracks. The end result is that I will still have to add some mud and soil to cover the imperfections. The trackguards needed a fair bit of sanding as did the tank body itself due to bumps and casting dust. The spare wheel molded on had to be removed as it was so bad it was unrepairable. I replaced it with spares in the blister but still had to re-work these.
Panzer IIIJ I will be using is to represent an early G from 1941 without the turret storage so I had to add the cupola bulge to the back of the turret. I used 2-part epoxy and cast some helmets from the left over epoxy with a press-mold I had made earlier with epoxy. I also added a tow cable, tool box, headlight, screened air intakes, (to cover the poor casting) MG34 hull MG, and handles missing from the wire cutters on the trackguards. It would be nice to have these details put into the original cast.
When it comes to poor kits, the PzIII is certainly up there, but is typical of most of the BF vehicle kits I have seen/built so far. While I have seen a few Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) plastic vehicles, I have yet to finish one. One thing that stands out on the PSC is the crisp detail and better scale. While the crisp detail is appreciated (squares are square, circles are round) the scale looks smaller compared to BF and others. Maybe this is because I am used to the overscaling but I find that if I look at the BF and PSC the BF seem to have character that is lacking in the PSC offerings. I guess its like an old raggy pair of jeans...
I will be painting up a PSC T34 (thanks Tanner!) alongside the Panzer III to see if they look better painted. One companies vehicles I have not seen in the flesh, are Forged in Battle (FiB). While I have a fair bit of their infantry, I do not have any FiB vehicles. From the website, they do look good!
Whew! Thats enough bitching (for now).