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Steyr Kommandeurwagen

The kit is the Tamiya Steyr Kommandeurwagen in 1/35th scale. I had always liked seeing photos of captured German soft skins in Allied service, with a rough coat of olive drab slapped on and festooned with crudely painted white stars. I also observed in these photos that the joyriding G.I.s invariably had these big grins on their begrimed faces. So that was the inspiration for modeling it "under new ownership”.

I built the Steyr out of the box, the only modification being the removal of the pennant frames from the rods attached to the front fenders. I sanded and then tapered the rods slightly so they were thinner toward the top. I also took the trouble to stagger the heights of the four side windows by sawing off the bottom of each (the part hidden inside the doors) at different points, using the locating pins inside the doors to anchor them, a small touch that really enhances the overall appearance.

Once construction was complete, I brushed on a crude base coat of dark yellow (knowing it would be mostly hidden under the O.D.), then applied the olive drab coat with a small brush, with the idea of simulating a hastily applied, brushed-on paint job. The stars were then painted on, along with a "U.S.A." on the rear, which I had seen done in several wartime photos. To replicate scratches and some of the base yellow showing through the O.D. paint job, I used a yellow colored pencil. The effect was surprisingly realistic. Lastly, I daubed on a white glue/dirt/earth-colored paint mixture to the tires, fenders, bumpers and lower-most portions of the vehicle.

At the time I built this, the choice of seated G.I.s in 1/35th scale was rather limited, so I used two from Tamiya. The driver is the one that came with their deuce-and-a-half truck, with a Hornet head. (Though beautifully sculpted, I never thought I'd ever have any use for the grinning head that invariably comes with every Hornet set!) The figure in the back seat is from the venerable (notice I didn't use the word "ancient") Tamiya M3 halftrack set. His head is from a head set from Royal Models, which is hard to find but really excellent. Their uniforms were painted with Vallejo paints and the faces in oils.

So that's it. I enjoyed doing something just a little bit different. My thanks to Bill Cross for suggesting I submit this to Armorama. This is the first time I've ever posted any of my models online. I hope to do this more often!
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About James Naveira (Jimster)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

I've been interested in World War II since I was a kid. That interest quickly developed into total fascination--don't ask me why or how! I started reading every book on the subject I could find, watched every war film of documentary series I could watch. I then discovered military models, and built ...