The famous German MG 34 infantry machine gun and its role in WW2 combat needs no introduction. Zvezda of Russia allows wargamers and modelers alike to add TWO machinegun teams to their colletion with this set.
There are two identical sprues with a MG, a shooter, a spotter, a base and a flag plate on each. I personally am fond of the quality of the sets, and consider the details adequate for the scale. There’s a noticeable seamline down the middle of each figure, but that should clean with a pass or two of the modelling knife.
Russian kit manufacturer Zvezda has literally exploded with news during the past year. They’ve announced a massive ammount of kits in various scales – from 1/350 ships through a number of 1/72 war gaming (snap fit) sets to 1/48 aircraft and 1/35 figure sets and armor kits.
I am going to have a look at three WW2 72nd scale sets tonight that are intended to be used with Zvezda’s own board gaming system “Art of tactic”:
There has always been something magnetic about this US amphibious vehicle. When the kit was recently presented to me I decided it deserves some attention, as it’s a whole bunch of firsts in a single package. Let’s see…
Spue A has the cupola (actually two – one of each pre- and post modernization), armament and smoke grenade launchers, the front fenders, and the old suspension. Two options are presented for the in-the-water propulsion system – propeller boxes can be shown opened or closed with two pairs of separate details. You can make up the relative sizes of the parts – the grid on the cutting mat is 1 cm square.
Another “quick build” – OOB, with only the most needed corrections made to the kit, no preview and WIP images, and no work on other models “in between”.
I only replaced the styrene pitot tube with a home-fabricated detail, made from a 0,6mm syringe needle and 0,4 copper wire inserted into it.
The model is not bad per se, it’s just engineered in a way that makes it preferrable to build it “all opened up”. Wing should be in takeoff/landing position – otherwise gaps ensue, and the bump in front of the wing is smaller than it should be, and I found mine to be asymmetrical as well. Airbrake is intended to be posed open – you will need to remove some material from its edges to display it closed. Same applies to the canopy, which is wider the cockpit opening. I am also not a big fan of the way Academy suggests that you glue the Sidewinders to their rails, same applies to the wing pylons. There’s probably more.
I’ve used the Italeri 1/72 Ju-87D-5/7 kit (1070) to build a Bulgarian Stuka from the WW2 period. The Bulgarian Air Force had 12 Ju-87 R-2s (delivered 1942) and 40 D-5s (1944). Doras actively participated in the war against Germany, attacking the retreating Army Group E forces. Stuka’s surgical strike capability helped encircled Bulgarian forces escape the German “pockets”. After the war ended the Ju-87 were still in use for some time, later being replaced by Il-2 M-3s and Il-10s.
Nearly as old as the Hellcat below this little fella has suffered less. My experiments were limited to scratch-built cannon barrels (needle + thin copper wire, using the kit fairings), radiator back and flap.
Just like the Bad Kitty the kit was a victim of my metalizing experiments and suffered several stripping procedures (one of which was the reason for the complete discoloration of the cockpit). Due to overspray (I used the UHU Tack “sausages” too sparingly) camo was removed and painted again using straight Revell 83 and 16.
Well, some painted M1114s mod.2003 finally make it to The Web. Paints are mixes “by eye”. The green color is intended to simulate the green found on US military hardware, of whose official name I am totally clueless. I wanted to imitate replacement parts – such “patchy” machines can be seen on images across the web.
Here’s the hellcat with most details glued on, painted, decalled and partially weathered. “Chipping” is attained via removing paint layers – I am using a Q-tip, moistened in 90% spirit. Panel lines highlighted with diluted brown paint. Exhaust streaks are airbrushed. I mixed matt lacquer (Revell 02) with dark grey (Revell 78) for the first layer and earth/rust (Revell 37 + 83).
Fuselage stars’n’bars are obviously oversized. Decals in general weren’t really cooperative, so I used Agama’s Hypersol decal solution to affix them. Related to this – one more mistake is evident on the last pic – I masked the exhaust streaks using blue tack, which pulled one of the decals. Now a nice angular patch of “clean airframe” interrupts the streak…
Masking the bottom. Revell Basic Paint used as a filler/primer in order to make the wing-fuselage joint flush (it has a noticeable step if left by itself). Work also done on the cowling as my riveting attempts left it damaged…
Also, notice my first attempt at filling the giant step left behind by Revell in the gear wells in pic 2. The “spur” on the right wing is already missing – three attempts to restore it would follow.
Image 3 shows the kitty hidden from the Revell spray, which was used to cover the puttied-up self-made casing chutes – they were too uneven and not really aligned.