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Building a 251/7 Pioneer

Stage 13 – Sapper bridges
It was at this point I had to go back in the instructions and build the bridges. There is some discussion about whether or not the ones supplied by Dragon are of the correct type for this vehicle, and there are resin replacements available. I decided to go with the kit ones however, as they look alright to me. The brackets I used were the Eduard ones as they looked more accurate than the Voyager ones, and better detailed.

As is usual I used a jig to assemble the tracks, as this really helps to get a dead straight line. I used superglue gel throughout, and they remain fully workable. I used all the links supplied to make up two runs of equal length. This will mean that both are actually too long, but allows me to paint and weather enough to hang on the armoured engine cover later on.

Another lucky find at Trucks’n’Tracks was a pair of 251 front wheels with ski’s from tank Workshop, which with the addition of four lengths of lead wire, duly replaced the kit wheels.

painting & weathering
All parts were base-coated with an airbrushed layer of matt black. Most parts that were unattached were mounted on wooden cocktail sticks and stuck into a block of wall insulation I keep especially for this purpose. The tracks were held down with small pieces of Blutack for spraying. After allowing a few moments for this to dry I used a small piece of scotchbrite to dab art masking fluid on to areas of the bodywork and areas of high wear. Following this, a very thin layer of light grey was applied, again more heavily towards the centre of panels etc. Then the masking fluid was removed using cotton buds that had been dipped in the fluid and allowed to dry.

Next was a thin layer of matt white, taking care to avoid over spray to the inside, and then using a brush and Vallejo acrylics I painted details such as exhaust, tyres, tools with flesh colour first then streaking with burnt umber oil paint. After this was allowed a couple of minutes to dry I airbrushed a layer of acrylic gloss over everything except the tracks.

The next step involved making up a strong solution of burnt umber oil paint in white spirit. This can be applied immediately with a very fine brush around all the details and into panel lines etc. Since it’s white spirit, there is no danger of it reacting with the acrylic layer beneath it. Keep a clean brush and clean white spirit handy so that any over-application can be removed. When this had dried, which again, is only moments, I dry brushed using matt black enamel.

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About the Author

About Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)


Vinnie, do you ever get tired of building things?? Looks fantastic
MAR 15, 2006 - 08:09 PM
I have got to get one of these. Going to the LHS in like 10 minutes to get one ordered. Z.
MAR 15, 2006 - 08:16 PM
If Dragon doesn't put all of your work together to showcase their halftrack line, they are crazy. Unbelievable work Vinnie. I'm sure the upcoming diorama will be a show stopper. Patrick
MAR 15, 2006 - 08:44 PM
Dear Vinnie Outstanding great as usual One comment please, next time can you tell us how long does it takes each step? Because you are very productive, I wish i had a science teacher like you Cheers Seb
MAR 15, 2006 - 09:10 PM
Vinnie, Superb, must be your best 251 yet. Is this a case of practice makes perfect? I cant wait for the UHU that is in the catalogue. Regards, John
MAR 15, 2006 - 11:49 PM
wow, that is seriously impressive - that's the best 251 I've ever seen, it's a really inspirational model and the feature is in your usual great style, hats off to you Vinnie .
MAR 15, 2006 - 11:59 PM
As usual, and excellent article of an excellent model.
MAR 15, 2006 - 11:59 PM
Another amazing half track, Vinnie (for next Dragon gatalogue?) !! Tell me your secret to build a new armour so fast?? It's incredible.... :-) Tom
MAR 16, 2006 - 02:56 AM
We,ll done your highness. Excellent job. Greetz 043
MAR 16, 2006 - 09:13 PM
Smashing, Top Drawer!!!! (with best possible English accent). Looks great and I enjoyed the write up. Very informative. Pete
MAR 24, 2006 - 10:12 AM