Saturday, June 8, 2013

Marder Mash-up 2.0


Hey All!

Marder finished with crew added:
Capped figure modified from Finnish stock, loader with a head transplant.
Painted in the extra details on the elevation handwheels - hard to see but looks the part and was easier than scratchbuilding the wheel spokes.
Nickle added at my wife's insistence for size reference.

 Now to finish up my Pioneres and Guards...

Taking a break from building terrain, I finally got around to finishing this Marder III that I began last year (!) on Fathers Day. My how the time does fly! I used Tamiya German Grey as a basecoat, Vallejo for everything else, Dom's for the decals and will be adding in a couple modified crew figures to the fighting compartment.

BTW, BF DID send the replacement body, no questions asked! Their customer service is in my opinion, without a doubt, the best part of their business!

Normally I use Tamiya for basecoating and panel highlighting and Vallejo for brushwork but while having a bitch of a time with my Iwata HP-SB Plus airbrush, I discovered a new way to airbrush Vallejo Model color. Instead of water/Windex/thinner, I used straight Winsor & Newton Acrylic blending medium. It keeps the paint from drying out in the airbrush but you must be careful to not to use too much pressure (20psi or less).  Due to the longer work time, the paint will spider-web out from the contact point if oversprayed.

The wheels and running gear on this mini were as many other BF products, very poor. I must say though, the new plastic running gear on the Panzer IV J is light years better so here’s to hoping BF remasters the tracks on their best sellers…

Rivet detail and such are a bit un-symmetrical but overall, give the impression of the bumpy surface of the Marder III. The amount of scratchbuilding added to this vehicle was more than I do normally and isn't recommended for the casual gamer but does add lots of interest to an otherwise average-looking mini.

I went substantially lighter than normal to compensate for the apparent darkening of colors when flatcoated with Vallejo Matt. I also added in a light buff to the base coat and panel-highlighted to represent settled dust. Although I did add a bit of mud, I didn't want to overpower the onderlying paintjob. I also added grease trails on the running gear that show up in many pictures of the Czech Pz.38(t) chassis in period photos.



Hey All.

I had a bit of time this weekend - happy fathers day - to do some scratchbuilding to a favorite subject of mine, the Marder.

I began by digging out a couple of Battlefront GE104 Marder III (7.62cm) blisters I bought a few years back and discovered that one mini had a very bad cast track and many air bubbles on the chassis. I fired off a email to BF's customer service and decided to build the good one while waiting...One thing that occurred to me was that I usually do not open a blister until I am ready to build it but one should as there may be parts missing upon closer examination! I hope this is not an issue with BF!

I decided that the sparse mini needed some sprucing up...

I began by drilling out the holes on the chassis drive and idler wheels. I also drilled out the small holes in the perforated fender stowage box. As the gun is fixed it stands a pretty good chance of being bent by gamers so, although well detailed,  I replaced it with brass tube. I also hollowed out the muzzle break.

 As per reference photos, I added tools to both fenders, wire cutters, hammer, and shovel. Also I removed the molded on Notec light and replaced it with  a fire extinguisher. As well, I added a second one to the rear of the fighting compartment.  
A spare gas can, helmet and pail rounded out the rear of the vehicle. I reinforced the pail with a block of solder to prevent its removal by less than careful gamers.
Many small details were added to the fighting compartment including elevation wheels, cocking handle, gunshield bracing, right side breech shield, gunsight, periscopes, spare rounds and a gas mask container. I plan on simply painting in the wheel detail on the handwheels later...
I added a tarp to the left side as well as tarp stands to the crew compartment. The iconic ZB53 (Besa) hull MG detail was pretty slim so I remade it with thin wire wrapped around a flared-out piece of solder. I wrapped this in a foil shroud and installed.

Must resist the urge to scratchbuild the rear seat...Currently I am looking for crew figures in more action poses...stay tuned!