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Wacht am Rhein
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West-Vlaaderen, Belgium
Joined: August 22, 2009
KitMaker: 1,465 posts
Armorama: 971 posts
Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018 - 07:21 AM GMT+7
Awesome work on the trailer , very realistic look . Looking forward to see more but again take your time .
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Florida, United States
Joined: September 24, 2016
KitMaker: 5 posts
Armorama: 5 posts
Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018 - 06:09 AM GMT+7
Happy New Year, and thank you for the advice and encouragement! I've done some research into the issues mentioned that would impact historical accuracy, and I've decided that I'm going to take a little more artistic liberty than I initially planned.

For the reversible winter combat suits, I'm going to keep them in to add visual diversity for the German troops, particularly because the end product will be seen an audience unfamiliar with the subject matter.

As for the civilians, I agree it is almost completely improbable that any would remain, and that most fled at the first whisper of a German advance. However, for the sake of narrative and incorporating an element of the war that stretches beyond the purely military, I've elected to continue with my plan for civilians.

For the build progress, I've been very much focused on the Sd. Ah. 52 ammo trailer. The Bronco model was fairly involved and had a few tricky components (though not nearly as much as a Dragon model).

Trailer 1

Finding references for German trailers, particularly this one, was tough. What little I did find didn't lend much in the way of functional uses. I'm not entirely sure, but I'm curious if this wire and end piece are actually the electrical connector that would be hooked to the truck. I know with modern army trailers, we have the cable attachment to allow the trailer to slave electricity from the truck for brake lights, etc.

Trailer 2

I primed it all with a spray can of Chaos Black that my friend showed me. He uses it for Warhammer, but I prefer it other primers I've used. It preserves all the details and dries within a minute or so.

Trailer 6

For airbrushing, I'm pretty partial to Ammo by Mig. It sprays evenly and doesn't clog my airbrush. The first layer sprayed was Burnt Iron. Once that dried, I sprayed heavy chipping fluid over it. That took probably close to a half hour to completely dry.

Trailer 7

Once the chipping fluid was dry, I airbrushed two thin layers of Dunkelgelb.

Trailer 9

To get the chipping fluid to work, I wet a small brush and lightly scraped over areas that would wear like edges and handles. I was surprised how effortlessly the paint chipped. I have to say, I'm a believer in the chipping fluid now. It achieved results I could never dream of accomplishing with a brush or a sponge.

Trailer 10

Trailer 12

I'm sure some of you noticed that I'm a dingus and had the cargo box tongue attached to the wrong side. I realized that during a test fitting and felt incredibly dumb. Thankfully, an X-acto knife and superglue were able to remedy the blunder and painting could go on.

I used 502 Abteilung oils lightly to create small tonal variations but didn't want to do anything too crazy just yet. I'm waiting until I have a better idea of the terrain before I commit to final weathering.

Trailer 13

Also, I experimented with Vallejo Environments Fuel Stains enamel. The entire bottle is very frothy and hard to see where the fluid actually is, so I got a little more than I wanted, but I'm okay with it.

Trailer 14

I strapped in the jerrycans with the string included in the kit and painted it with Vallejo Pale Brown. There's an area where it's not quite as taut as I want, but I might place a helmet or something over it to hide it. We'll see. I added a chain which was also included in the kit.

Trailer 15

Trailer 17

Overall, I've enjoyed the trailer. It was a good build and made me realize I need to pay more attention when constructing. There's still a bit more I need to do with finishing, such as more oil washes, adding dirt and mud splatters and accumulations, and more storage cargo on top.

Now, however, the Sdkfz 7 is staring me down. My goal is to get it to a similar level of completion as the trailer before the end of the month. That way I can focus my efforts on the King Tiger and figures, which I know will demand a lot more time and effort.

I appreciate the feedback and welcome any advice or knowledge you all have. I definitely feel like I'm flying blind in the reference department for pretty much everything except the King Tiger.

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West-Vlaaderen, Belgium
Joined: August 22, 2009
KitMaker: 1,465 posts
Armorama: 971 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 07, 2017 - 08:41 PM GMT+7
Hi ,

nice and very interesting project for sure however i agree what Jerry mentioned about the reversible combat suit .

You're also planning to put civilians on the scene , to be honest the Belgians didn't welcome the Germans and the fact that the Wss was advancing through their hometowns and villages for the second time was extremely frightning for them. To make a long story short you would find the most of them in their cellars with the doors locked hoping for the best . I know some cases where civilians hide Gi's to prevent them from taking prisoner or worse .

Anyways it's your build and as said before it has everything to look awesome . Take your time and a lot of succes.

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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: January 17, 2006
KitMaker: 1,686 posts
Armorama: 1,576 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 07, 2017 - 07:13 AM GMT+7
This has all the makings of a superb diorama so will be watching attentively. Nice mix of vehicles and figures and the activity evenly spread so no dead areas. An ambitious project plus an interesting one. Good luck with it!
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 6,372 posts
Armorama: 6,366 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 07, 2017 - 06:32 AM GMT+7
Like you said,an ambitious project ! I look forward to following your progress. As far as your question regarding weapon slings,I always use lead foil from wine bottle tops,cut into strips and I sometimes add buckles or adjuster slides out of photo etch.
Th Alpine figures are all little gems to be sure and I enjoy them as they are ready to paint with no additional detail needed. I don't know how historically accurate you want to be but I have studied this particular battle group for decades now and no pics have surfaced of any of Peipers or Diefenthals' men wearing the winter reversible combat suits. The LAH generally didn't get issued these until they went to Hungary later on.
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Florida, United States
Joined: September 24, 2016
KitMaker: 5 posts
Armorama: 5 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 07, 2017 - 05:38 AM GMT+7
Hey everyone,

I've started quite a large project. I'm a Visual Arts senior in a Bachelors of Fine Arts program, and my theme for my senior show is a dichotomy much like my experiences. "Of Whimsy and War" will showcase more carefree artistic pieces as well as more serious military ones. While most of my military pieces stem from my Army experience or that of people I've served with, part of what I want to do for the War aspect is a large diorama to give the audience pause to think about the Battle of Bulge and what hung in the balance. It will be the sole WWII piece and only 3D construction among 2D art dealing with contemporary military issues.

My idea for Wacht am Rhein is a depiction early in the offensive toward the rear of Kampfgruppe Peiper's column. Officers discuss plans, grenadiers continue the march forward, and Belgian civilians look on as U.S. POWs are escorted past.

I've drafted some preliminary ideas on the structure of the base as well, but honestly it's all subject to change.

So I've received a bulk of the components that I'm going to be using. As I'm sure you can imagine, getting the mail for this project was like Christmas. I completed a Tiger I recently which was my first model in nearly a decade, so jumping to working on a project his ambitious is as exciting as it is daunting.

I started with construction of a few of the Alpine figures. The quality of the details and casting on them is exceptional. The poses seem believable as well in comparison to some of the plastic figures I've built before. There's a more human quality to them.

I've assembled many of the Alpine figures and started on the MiniArt and Dragon figures (whose heads I replaced with Alpine). It's come to my attention that the ones carrying their weapons in their hands are going to need slings. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to solve that particular obstacle just yet.

Still have a number of figures to construct and then start filling in gaps.

I was warned that the Dragon Sd.Kfz 7/2 was a hell of a project, and so far it lives up to that expectation. It's been a fun challenge and the detail is incredible. I certainly hope I'm not the only one who feels nervous when cleaning those small fragile bits.

I'm working with ideas on how to not waste this engine. It's too interesting to just cover up in the final product.

As for the Meng King Tiger, I think working off two instruction books simultaneously will put my concentration to the test. I'm sure that's where Takom gets a leg up but according to many (passionate) people, the Meng kit was the way to go. I've been checking and rechecking placement and how it relates to further parts so progress won't be as rapid as the other kits.

Thanks for checking out my build, I'm very excited to continue working. If you have any suggestions about modeling techniques, historical considerations, or anything I'd be very grateful to hear. Like I said, I'm still very much new to this - particularly doing any model in a serious way - and input is very appreciated.