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Scattered Thoughts From A Grumpy Kit Basher

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  a27cromwell 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    This  is what I hope will be a collection of my thoughts on various Warlord , Rubicon and assorted tank / vehicle  kits I’ve built over the past few years , with maybe a more in depth look at those WIP scattered  across my hobby bench .  Ok , not the 2 Humber Armoured Cars  that are there now , they’re 90% done , but the next kits , I promise .

    Today let’s chat about the Rubicon GAZ AA-AAA truck which came out in 2018 . A nice little kit with an option to build as a single rear axel AA or double rear axel AAA .  They give you both truck frames , both rear suspension parts and 2 truck bed lower panels , as the cross mounts are different for each type . A nice inclusion is a driver with his arms attached to the steering wheel , a separate wheel is available for those who don’t want crew . The only down side IMO is the cab doors are molded to the cab and no window glass supplied .  Rubicon does have a couple of blister pack conversion kits of a resin box body and a quad Maxim MG mount in pewter , both very nice kits GAZ AAA with Quad Maxim mountedGAZ AAA with office body & trailer

    I built the Maxim mount on a spare truck bed floor so I could remove it if I just wanted a cargo truckGAZ AAA with Quad Maxim insert

    The cargo trailer was built from a spare truck frame , with the box left over from the box body conversion . Wheels can be found as extras in the Rubicon T-26 kit , which uses the same turret as the BA 3-6 armoured car . Why they set up the sprues like that I have no clue , but as I have 2 T-26s , I have 24 spare wheels. The Maxim truck has traction track added to the dual wheel sets . These parts plus a raised front axel can be found in the BA kits , which of course are built on GAZ truck bodies BA 3

    Except for having to fiddle around with very thin clear plastic making the windows , and not being able to build a GAZ abandoned with the doors flung open , its a great kit .



    Thanks for looking in yohanna , I think . Hmm , todays kit I’m going talk about is the 2016 Warlord JS II . Love those big guns . As most of Warlord’s kits it’s got a few compromises , a big one being they molded the lower hull/suspension identical . They are not , the right side road wheels are set ahead of the left side wheels due to the torsion bars running across hull floor . The KV kit also has this problem .  Also , they missed the ammo loading port on the lower left side , this makes it much easier to load those 25 kilo projectiles



    The tricky part of the build is the turret which  made up of 5 pieces , I always seemed to need a third hand holding that thing together while the glue dried . The hull and turret are devoid of any casting detail so you can go to town with your favourite putty . The turret rear can have all sorts of raised cast ribbing as well as letters , numbers and symbols , I’ve got 30 odd pictures of turrets in my JSII file and they all  have different  markings . Might be time to dig out some of those model RR cast letter sheets and get to work .


    K-# _388


    A few of the thing I found lacking on the kit are , no wire detail on the tow cables , I’m going to fix this by either cutting off plastic and adding picture hanger wire or use shortened  Eureka 1/48 scale tow cables with cast resin ends . I’m also using Eureka’s 1/48 T-34 cables to detail up some of my Rubicon tanks . The cupola mounted machine gun is a total waste , its basically flat , the real DSHK gun has lots of tubing and counter balance springs , ammo boxes and stuff . I managed to fake up 1 from bits in the parts bin but decided my other JSII s could roll along MG less . Actually crews removed them in Berlin because they kept getting snagged on downed wires as they rumbled through the streetsIS 2 28

    Italeri JSII 2

    The kit commander’s cupola is static , in real life the hatch ring could rotate with the MG ,  like the  early  Sherman’s hatch . Too much work IMO to ty and fix .   Gamer wise, the negatives on this kit probably won’t matter , plus you get a sprue of Russians (8 figures ) and their weapons for the price of the tank ( KV has same deal )  I wish some of the Panzers had sprues of troops with them   ,always can use more kit bashed tank riders.

    Italeri JSII 3



    I killed the spammer with a big hammer.

    Nice looking work on the DSHK it’s the little things that really stand out once you know they’re not right.

    I do love a good upgrade to a kit, myself and Sam (old friend not the OTT halfling) used to spend what many would consider too much time with small chisels removing soapy detail to replace it with scratch built or brass etched.

    But the final look was always worth it.



    It was fun trying find bits to add to the gun to give it a proper look , even though I omitted some bits and pieces , from an over head view  it looks the part . The trick is having enough of those   bits and shapes of plastic to touch up the other 4 or 5  MGs on the rest of the tanks in the platoon .. Thats when it isn’t fun anymore .  It surprising how a few small additions to a kit can really make it look special , and stand out from a straight out of the box kit build . No shade on out of the box builders , I’ve built many like that in my time , usually its the 1st build I go crazy on , its around the 4th tank when I say , enough is enough .

    Heres a T-26 that I added some bits to , I’ll being going into more detail on the whys and hows in a future postRubicon T-26



    Today I’m going to discuss an old favorite of mine , PSC’s 28mm scale  45mm Anti Tank Gun kit .boxfront1

    Although the box top shows 3 guns , you only get 2 . I’m thinking they used the 20mm box photo as you get 3 in that kit. The nice thing about this kit is you get 3 options for gun barrels , a short 45mm  Model 37 , the longer barrel Model 42 and a short 76mm Regimental Howitzer .  You can use the extra gun breeches to add interior detail to your T-26 or T-34 , You get 4 crew per gun ,  and with head , arm and equipment swaps using Warlord bits they turn out ok . The kit crew weapons and heads  are best binned .   You also get a couple of ammo boxes , and some sort of – 45mm rounds . They don’t look right to me .   Lots of area to improve on these guns as there are  no sights , tool cases on the shields , the  cleaning rods are missing , as well as details on the gun breech  . I added  more detail parts  to the guns in transport mode , the gun crews would hide the missing details on my guns in action .

    thumbnail (2)thumbnail (3)thumbnail (1)thumbnail

    The warlord Russian figures work great as crews , I even built a crew wheeling a gun to another position .  I scratch built the briefcase style ammo case from Plastruct sheet and a few reference photos .  The same with the cassion towing the howitzer , the main body is a tool box from  a GW tank , and Tamiya 1/48 scale wheels  .  I really love these gun kits , I have 9 . I wish PSC had upscaled some of their other 20mm  gun kits , but it was not to be . They seem to be out production , as they are  not listed on PSC’s site and if you can find them , they go  for about $20 per single gun .  Or at least the last one I got cost that much

    A great reference book for both the 45mm guns , the 76mm Howitzer , as well as the ZIS 2 (57mm ) and ZIS 3 (76mm) is this book from Wings & Wheels Publications .   No I’m not an employee , just a satisfied customer , I’ve got 19 0f their books

    R027 Soviet WWII Anti-Tank Artillery

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