Maschinen Krieger is a sci-fi universe created by Japanese modeler Kow Yokoyama. What started out as a bunch of groundbreaking kitbashed and scratchbuilt models because a modeling phenomenon that eventually turned into official resin and then injection plastic kits. The Falke Antigravity Armored Raider is a speedy attack vehicle that combines sleek curves with mechanical detail goodness. I was sent this Hasegawa plastic kit along with the matching set of figures and commissioned to make a maintenance diorama. The base is scratchbuilt by me.
Archive for the ‘Historical Armor’ Category
I picked up this metal mini a while back that was clearly more than a little inspired by Machinen Krieger. I reposed it, whipped up a custom scenic base, and added some resin stowage from Verlinden. Painted pretty much from start to finish in one sitting in between steps on larger projects. Everything is acrylics with a brush.
The Panzer VIII Maus is one of the financial black-hole Paper Panzer projects that actually progressed to a working machine. Two Mauses were completed to operational hulls, one equipped with a weight-test turret, and the other with a real turret armed with the fearsome 128mm KwK 44 L/55 gun with a coaxial 75mm KwK 44 L/36.5 gun. A Maus currently resides in the Kubinka Tank Museum, and is a combination of the two vehicles captured by the Soviets.
As a fantastical and completely impractical vehicle, the Maus makes a great subject for WWII’46 fantasy projects. If the war had actually gone into ’46 and beyond, without some of the crippling setbacks that set the Third Reich up for defeat, many projects could have seen completion and implementation. In reality, the E-series of tanks would have begun to replace the aging Panzer fleet, and the E-100 would have fulfilled the role of super-heavy tank. The Maus likely would have not made it past the handful in production during development, but it’s fun to speculate. Even in ’46, operational Mauses would have spent most of their time avoiding harassment by Allied bombers and would probably not have been useful for anything much more than near-static reinforcement of positions.
This Maus is sporting an Olivegrun-based scheme like that of some late-way King Tigers. I added etched-brass turret-side machine-gun covers, and a machine gun to one of the hatches, as well as light conduits and fuel lines, and aerials, and that is really all that the DML 1/72 Maus needs. Even the figure came with the kit! The weathering came out a bit too heavy, with more drybrushing than I should have done for the scale, but I am otherwise happy with it… it’s interesting to note that the 1/72 Maus is about as long as a 1/48 Tiger I. Included in the pics are some shots with the Scaletiger.
My current shelf setup… a combination of real robots in scale and the vintage super robots I’ve been accumulating lately, along with some vinyls and vintage Transformers.
Along with the sci-fi stuff, I really enjoy doing historical armor work. This is Tiger I number 332 of the Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503 “Feldherrnhalle” on maneuvers near Bjelgorod, Russia. This is the 1/48 scale Tamiya Tiger I with the Voyager PE set and Tamiya figures and accessories.
This diorama is based on two sets of photos from the reference book Tigers In Combat I, one set showing a number of closeups of Tiger 332 being pulled from the mud, allowing for a very comprehensive set of closeup walk-around photos to allow maximum accuracy in the details. The other photo is the basis for the dio, of Tiger 231 from the same unit leaving a staging area in Bjelgorod on a dusty road in August with some rather casual looking infantry moving along with it.
The T-34 was the primary tank of the Soviet forces in WWII, and it saw a great many revisions during the war as technology and production advanced. The T-34/85 is armed with the later 85mm gun, and wa sa common sight on the Russian Front.
Trumpeter produces a series of T-34s in 1/16 scale, which is fairly enormous… the chassis of the tank is about the size of a shoebox (the T-34 is not that big of a tank). These mammoth kits have complete interiors and fully working suspension. I spent a great deal of time on the interior, even though some of it will never be seen again now that the model is all assembled. I made all of the hatches workable, including adding a hinge for the large engine hatch so that the interior can be viewed. There are WIP pics here of the interior when it was completed before I closed up the kit, to prove all that detail is really there! The kit features fully articulated spring-loaded suspension with workable tracks, so I made sure that my weathering for the running gear and tracks was realistic and allowed the suspension to remain workable. The only upgrades I made to the kit were a turned aluminum gun barrel, the engine hatch hinge, wiring for the sparkplugs on the engine, and photoetched front fenders. I’m still waiting for someone to release figures for this kit… it could really use a crew!
The King Tiger/Tiger II was a late-war development, and just about the scariest thing an Allied tanker could run into. The Tiger I was big and strong, but the Tiger II was monstrous, which became more of a hindrance than a benefit. Early vehicles featured a curved turret designed by Porsche, which was superseded by the Henschel production turret because the Porsche turret featured a weak spot in the armor around the complex curves of the commander’s position. Because of when they were introduced, Porsche turreted Tiger IIs were almost always covered in Zimmerit anti-magnetic paste coating.
Last year DML began releasing Injection Plastic kits with Zimmerit coatings already applied on the sprues… before this a modeler would either have to sculpt his own coating from putty, carve the coating in with a heating tool, or buy an aftermarket Zimm set, either in resin or etched metal… all to mixed results. The new Zimm-applied DML kits allow even novice modelers to build German WWII subjects from the Zimm period with ease. My King Tiger represents a vehicle from the 503. I painted the base color with a rattle can, and then hand brushed all the camo with thinned acrylics. Weathering and details were done with oil paints and weathering pigments. DML provides most of their kits now with comprehensive etch sheet and a turned metal gun barrel, so the only thing I added was the stowage from Verlinden’s resin sets.
The Sdkfz. 234/2 was was one in a line of 8-rad recon armored fighting vehicles used by the Germans in WWII. They featured independent steering and both front and rear driving stations for speedy getaways.
Dragon Limited Models made a fantastic line of 234s in 1/35 (standard military scale). The 234/2 is named the ‘Puma’, and features an enclosed turret with a light cannon. The DML kit features a modest interior that is missing some features (such as ammunition storage racks and the battery) because there was no record of the ‘real’ interior of the vehicle. I added the battery based on conjecture and photos of the rest of the 234 series, but the ammo storage is pretty much a mystery. The kit does feature both the front and rear driving positions, which are pretty neat. I also added some gear to the interior to give it a ‘lived in’ feel.