Monday 14 September 2020

Wolfpack - triple build

My team at work went through another namechange and is now called Wolfpack, after the WWII submarine naval tactic.

I'm not a boat-guy, since I prefer tanks primarily and airplanes (perhaps illustrated by the stalled build of the USS Missouri), but this change inspired me to learn more about submarines, their development, technology and tactics.

This in turn led to the inspiration for building my own Wolfpack, potentially for display at work. It would help for the team identity and potentially serve as a conversation starter. (If not, I still found an excuse to build something and mention it at work)

What I really wanted was a 1/72 Type VII, but it's HUGE, rather expensive and I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it justice. Classic "I'll try to first build up my skill with a small one"-excuse.

I bought a mix of 1/144 German U-boats at the nearest (online) hobbyshop, together with some more MRP colours and other supplies. 

Weird wolfpack?

Ok, I do realize that this specific combination of U-boats is unlikely to have made up a wolfpack at one point or another, but I've checked some facts:
  • of the 20 Type II B commissioned, 6 survived until the end of the war, when they were scuttled on may 2nd, 1945.
  • 568 Type VII C were commissioned between 40-45, so any one of those was on active duty.
  • 63 were build of the type XXIII late-war (44-45). They were a coastal submarine, also serving in the Mediterranean. They entered the war as early as june 1944.
The type XXIII's earliest commission date forces my wolfpack back to the last 6 to 10 months of the war, knowing full well that the golden era of the wolfpacks was pre-1943. 
Still, with 6 Type II B's still afloat and plenty of Type VII C's to go around there's enough to make this a plausible group.


I only realized afterward that the Type VII is a LOT bigger than the Type II and XXIII, but it doesn't really matter.
Part count is also hugely different, so I'll start the smaller two and work my way up. They don't have many parts. Basically, they have a 2 or 3 part hull, some diving planes, rudders and antennae/masts and that's it. Should be a straightforward build. (The Type VII will take longer)

Type II B sprue, not much there

And in 1/144, some details are teeny tiny and a real challenge to assemble. The deck canon consist of 4 parts, all very fragile.

Sunday 13 September 2020

Challenger - Painting

A new airbrush, new paint, either we'll be reaching new levels of airbrush mastery or new levels of frustration.

The first try with MRP paint was a very satisfying experience, paint-wise. The Aztec airbrush still leaks after a few minutes, especially with these hyper-thinned paints.

BUT: now I have a NEW airbrush, an Iwata HP-C Plus, which came highly recommended. I probably should have bought this years ago, but a combination of being a cheap bastard and a lot of self-doubt kept me from it. As a matter of fact, it kept me from the bench for almost two years.

The Challenger II now has a nice coat of Olive Drab. MRP is a dream to work with and the smell isn't half as bad as I had feared.
I'll post these 2 pictures, just because of the huge difference lighting makes on the color in a photo.

Out come the thrustworthy silly putty and Tamiya tape to mask this cow's spots. (I jokingly called it a green cow and now the thought is stuck in my head)

On the front half, I masked off all surface area to be kept green. 
On the back half, I only used putty to mark the spots. Not having to mask the entire surface would save time in masking and be an exercise in airbrush control. Up to a point, this was succesfull, but I did get some overspray around the edges of the putty. They were easily touched up again with some OD, but it's a constant reminder that patience is not my strongest point.

Next time (I  might give the Panzerj├Ągerwagen another try), I'll try to do it freehand without any masking at all, but in the end the extra time taken in airbrushing ever so slowly might take longer than the time needed to do some basic masking.