martedì 30 ottobre 2012

Panzer III saga

Today we take a look at some different Panzer IIIs...

Firts we have a "family shot". All kits have fairly similar dimensions so are well compatible with each other.

The first Pz III is the E version from Attack. Attack's kits are usually a bit simplified but spot on as accuracy, and depict unusual vehicles, this one is no exception and possibly is the only 37mm-gunned Pz III available at the moment. Not the easiest kit to put together but not bad either. 

Then we have two Italeri's fast assembly kits. These are J versions, and you have the choice between the shorter 50 mm gun (the grey one) and the longer 50 mm gun (the sand one). I'm not completely sure about the accuracy of this kit: earlier Js had shorter gun, later ones instead received the more effective long-barreled version, and then additional armour plates were bolted on many tanks. So Pz III Js with both short gun and additional armour likely existed, but maybe weren't that common. 
Anyway nice tidy kits, simplified as all fast assembly are, but really good looking. Great for middle war battles as Kursk and El Alamein. And you get two for the price of one... 

Last but not least the superb Pz III M from Revell, one of the best 1/72 kits ever.  The definitive Pz III before the series was superseded by the Pz IV and the Panther. Good for those 1943-early 44 battles.
The photo is quite cr*ppy, but you can have better ones here, together with a longer explanation.

mercoledì 24 ottobre 2012

M13 madness! (or, WW2 italian stuff)

My 1/72 italian stuff was already featured - albeit partially - in a former post, but I couldn't resist so I had to make another one...

Here's the family picture, from the right we have three M13/40, one M13 command tank, two Semovente da 75/18 and one Autoblinda AB41.
Apart the Autoblinda all the vehicles are based on the M13 chassis, ence the M13 madness title.

The M13/40s: on the left two Italeri fast assembly kits, while on the right the Italeri reissue of the old but still nice Esci model. The fast build kits are great, and very nice looking; the other isn't as sharp and sturdy, but has more room for conversions and improvements. Pity for its awful polietylene tracks....
The two tanks on the left are painted as vehicles for the Ariete armoured division, who fought in North Africa and also at El Alamein. The other one instead has a camouflage used only in Europe.

Now the two Semovente 75/18, again two Italeri fast assembly kits. Great models in my opinion. I have also an old Esci kit, yet unbuilt but I'm planning to build it as soon as possible.
All the kits above had a Breda AA machinegun included, but I used it for only a few because in 1941-42 there was quite a shortage of such weapons so only a few were fitted. Again both SP guns are painted as Ariete division vehicles.

Here we have the Carro Comando M13 (that is, command tank M13), which was a regular M13 but with some radio equipment in place of the turret - regular tanks usually didn't have any radio... 
The kit is again the old Esci one re-released by Italeri.
I made it in such manner that I can switch the commander figure with a turret, as to use it also as a normal tank. This version of the Command Tank had only two MGs, but later versions had a bigger weapon in the hull, possibly a 20 mm gun.

Lastly we have the nice AB41 armoured car, in a European theatre camo; it has nothing in common with the M13s but was the only other italian vehicle I had for the ww2 era so I placed it here for the sake of completeness. Brand new full-assembly kit from Italeri (not just another Esci re-release).

lunedì 22 ottobre 2012

Revell Panzer IV H

Revell's Panzer IV is one of the best models out there. Despite being quite complex, it's so well engineered it builds without any real trouble.

 The only drawback (and a small one) are the decal options, which are good but are only two.

Last picture is a comparison with the Revell kit and the older Hasegawa (which is a Pz IV G).
Both are good kits, but the Hasegawa is clearly less detailed, and is let down by the poor tracks.
Apart from the side skirts, the Pz IV H had a longer gun barrel than the former G version. That's clearly depicted in these kits.

Il Panzer IV H della Revell è di gran lunga uno dei migliori modelli in scala 1/72 in circolazione: infatti è tanto ben progettato che è piuttosto semplice da montare nonostante la notevole complessità ed il gran numero di piccoli pezzi. Unico difetto, se così si può dire, è la presenza nella scatola di due sole varianti di decal.
Nell'ultima foto un confronto tra il Pz IV H Revell e il PZ IV G Hasegawa; anche questo è un buon modello, facile da montare, ma è anche piuttosto vecchio e quindi meno dettagliato del concorrente; inoltre i cingoli sono mediocri.