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Sword Beach D-Day Landings Options
birdaj2
#121 Posted : 21 March 2020 20:26:33

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Hi Robin - hope all is well with you.

I am amazed just how many parts and details you have added into those tiny tanks.

They look really very good.

Tony
Happy Modelling

BUILDING: Harley Davidson Fat boy, E-Type Jaguar, Lam. Countach, Hachette Spitfire Mk 1A
COLLECTING 1:200 Bismarck (Hachette)
SUBSCRIPTION COMPLETE (Awaiting building): USS Constitution
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Plymouth57
#122 Posted : 27 March 2020 21:37:54

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Hi Tony and many thanks for those kind words!Blushing
Coping fairly well at the moment, keeping in apart from dog walks and the occasional walk over to the local shops for essentials - the queues are growing ever longer!Blink Haven't been on a bus in three weeks now, we live right on the bus route and this week I haven't seen one go past with more than three on board, many are completely empty - very disturbing times! Loads of DIY to catch up on, the problem is, if I haven't got what I need for the job there's no shops open to get it anymore!Crying

Anyway, if you liked the tiny tanks, here comes the insane bit!BigGrin


I found the source of the miniscule figures for the diorama whilst trawling through the internet. There are other types of figures available including some of which are apparently 3D printed and appear more detailed than these but their prices are horrendous! My own set(s) are from a supplier based in Shanghai and available through ebay, and whilst that means a wait of a few weeks to receive them, the prices are really good! Photo 1 shows the PE fret in its entirety, approximately 450 individual figures for £4.25. The full description of the set is: Ship Vessels Detail Update PE 1/700 D62 Navy Crew. They are mostly in aircraft carrier crew poses but nearly all can be adapted for ‘other roles’! Photo 2 shows them in close up. You’ll notice that the new fret is pristine and flat (especially flat) while the remaining photos show the fret somewhat ‘bent’. The reason for this is shown in Photo 3, an optimistic or as some might say ‘absolutely stupid’ attempt to see if it was possible to create a rubber mould to cast the little things in resin. The answer to that question was ‘don’t be an idiot!’ The green base in Photo 3 was a strip of Frog Tape masking tape, which I hoped would hold the fret down flat enough to cover it with liquid rubber. The problem was the fret and the figures were so thin that some of the silicone managed to wick itself under the figures and I ended up with 450 people buried under a microscopic rubber sheet! With some careful knifework I did manage to recover the fret but not before it bent all out of shape and eventually tore in half during removal. A subsequent attempt to cast from the sliced up mould revealed another problem – the figures and the flash were about the same thickness so I gave up and simply ordered another three frets from ebay.Blushing
Having rescued my stricken army/navy, the first job was to apply multiple coats of grey primer or in this case a Vallejo light grey acrylic paint. The ‘proper’ grey primer is designed to cover the subject with a very thin layer, preserving any fine detail, what I needed was a thicker coat to bulk the figures up as illustrated in Photo 4. As you can see in Photos 4 and 5, I have a line of torsos and a line of legs where the fret tore in half. I think the legs have had it but the torsos being painted in Photo 5, those I have plans for!Blink Photo 6 shows some of the infantry figures being painted. They are basically Vallejo English Uniform all over with Vallejo Khaki applied on the lower legs for the canvas gaiters and a couple of tiny ‘spots’ of khaki on the chest for the Universal Pouches. Vallejo Dark Flesh for the heads and hands and finally a stripe of Mig Satin Black along the fret join for their boots. Since Photo 7 shows the naval figures I have to make a confession here – I cheated! The naval crewmen should really be wearing Navy Blue life jackets and obviously steel helmets, also navy blue. The trouble is, paint them authentically and you can’t ruddy see them once they’re glue down! So for the sake of actually seeing the figures on the ships I’ve given them yellow life jackets and white sailor’s caps! (After writing that bit I watched a TV documentary on D-Day and one of the landing craft cox'n's was wearing what appeared to be a yellow lifejacket!) What Photo 7 illustrates is the painting of those caps. The figures are cut away from the upper fret with a razor blade and gently bent upwards from the feet. With sufficient clearance I could then apply a drop of Mig Matt White on the end of a sewing needle and just touch each head to leave them with a cap. The army got the same treatment with Vallejo Medium Olive for their helmets. Photo 8 shows a single soldier perched on my finger tip with a couple of them posed with a cocktail stick in Photo 9. Finally for this installment, Photo 10 and the enlargement in Photo 11, show the first of the LSI’s (the one steaming for the beach) with part of its crew and army contingent being fixed in place. Super glue gel was used to glue the figures down using either tweezers where space allows or, if the glue is applied to the ship first, a licked cocktail stick to pick the figure up and gently lower it into place (plus my strongest magnifying aids).
In the next installment you’ll see where those poor half soldiers went!

Until then, stay safe and Happy Modelling to you All!

Robin.
Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
Crew and Infantry pic 1.JPG
Crew and Infantry pic 2.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
tf64
#123 Posted : 28 March 2020 09:47:34

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Fantastic work Robin, now let me find my glass and see properly.

keep Safe

Trev
Building: Artesania Stage-Coach H.M.S.Victory / H.M.S. Victory Cross Section / De-Agostini Spitfire. / Short Sunderland 111 ( Flying Boat )

Full Kits: San Francisco. De-Ago Bremen. Sovereign of the seas. Artesania Stage-Coach.

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Markwarren
#124 Posted : 28 March 2020 09:56:46

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Now that is insane, well done.Love Love BTW, what mallet do you hit your head with so your eyes 👀 re-adjust?LOL

Mark
Plymouth57
#125 Posted : 15 April 2020 20:37:14

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Many thanks again to Trev and Mark for their kind words!Blushing Mark, I just use the standard NHS vision corrector as shown in the first pic below. I did think about the deluxe version with the self guiding laser thingy but this one seems to do the job without the 10kw power requirement!BigGrin
Anyhow....
Carrying on then from last time, here’s where those half soldiers went! Photo 12 shows the Churchill tank variants each now equipped with a tank commander in the turret. From left to right: Standard Churchill, Full Carpet Layer AVRE, Standard AVRE, Empty Carpet Layer AVRE and two more standard Churchills. Photo 13 illustrates the Shermans getting the same treatment with the latest Firefly up against the good old penny. The wireless aerial is from a 0.01mm black coloured copper wire – this will be seen properly later on when we get to the beach and wall defences. Photo 14 shows the bottom-most strip of figures from the PE fret, these are composed of kneeling and crouching figures, some will become AA crew and some will be at the bows of the landing ships looking after the exit ramps.
Photo 15 shows the full infantry figures fret with the painting under way. At this point, the whole fret has been primed, painted with Vallejo English Uniform with the gaiters picked out in Vallejo Khaki. The top row has gone further with the flesh painted in Vallejo Dark Flesh and with tiny dots of Khaki for the Basic Pouches. A stripe of Mig Satin Black provides the boots down by the sprue. You can’t actually see the basic pouches in this shot as this is the rear of the fret with larger dots of Khaki to simulate their backpacks, (which I forgot on the first figures!) Rather than cutting off the figures in groups as I did on the badly bent and twisted first fret, I’m going to slowly work down through this one until all the figures are painted, then I can separate the head ends from the fret and cut away the foot end at each side of the main sprue leaving the figures attached by their feet whilst I paint the helmets before finally cutting them free (hopefully easier to hold onto this way!)
Photos 16 and 17 show the production line from the twisted fret – 16 was taken a couple of weeks ago, 17 was taken a couple of days ago, recruitment continues!Blink Finally for this installment, Photo 18 shows the first gun crew installed on the LSI. What I never realised until I found a photo on the web recently is that the over hanging gantry at the bow is actually hinged in the middle of each of the ‘arms’! When travelling, the arm is swung back parallel to the hull with the pulley system attached to the exit ramp around half way along. Then when the ship grounds itself on the beach the pulley cables are pulled tight and the arm swung forward to the position seen here. As the arm swings around, the exit ramp is swung out at a slight angle and carried forward ready to be lowered to the ground. You learn something new every day!Cool
Completing the whole fret of infantry is going to take quite a bit of time, and once its done, guess what, there’s another two frets waiting in line after that! So in the meantime the next installment will be the return of the 0.01mm black wire as it gets turned into the first of the German beach defences (barbed wire) and also the pulley system for the LSI ramps before I can add the troops going down them!
Until then, stay safe everyone and Happy Modelling to you All!

Robin.
Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
Vision Corrector pic.JPG
Crew and Infantry pic 3.JPG
Crew and Infantry pic 4.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
Markwarren
#126 Posted : 15 April 2020 21:59:26

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LOL LOL LOL LOL You must have got that from the same dealer as mineLOL LOL
Great work Robin, they must look like tiny ants bunch together like that.Love Drool

Mark
Gandale
#127 Posted : 15 April 2020 23:20:35

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Incredible patience.… excellent progress Robin....Drool Drool Drool

Regards

Alan
roymattblack
#128 Posted : 15 April 2020 23:38:53

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Well - as I mentioned earlier, my Dad was there - and he's still with us. (The 'stern' one on the right.)
A great tribute to '75' that is coming up.

The other pic - me, my dad, my brother On his tee shirt.

roymattblack attached the following image(s):
47574083_2059677077409590_1683703712054247424_n.jpg
DAD 90 2.jpg
Plymouth57
#129 Posted : 10 May 2020 20:36:54

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Many thanks for those kind words from Mark, Alan and Roy!Blushing A great photo Roy, you keep him safe now, our parents generation have so much still to pass on to us all! Mum is still coming up with things I never knew - one of the famous VE Day photos was of Lady Nancy Astor dancing with a sailor on Plymouth Hoe during the celebrations. I knew that my father was one of the musicians who played for the crowds that day but I never knew until a couple of days ago that Lady Astor sat on his lap and played the drums just before the photo (she got around a bit that Lady Astor!)Blink Blushing BigGrin
Anyway....
Until now, all my experience of constructing barbed wire has been with the type of electrical wires found in small electronic devices – the general purpose 7/0.2 insulated wire. This is shown in close up in Photo 1. The ‘7/0.2’ simply means a cable or wire composed of seven individual strands, each one of which is 0.2mm in diameter. This was brilliant for making highly detailed barbed wire in 1/72 scale (see my Messines diorama diary for the ‘how to’ bit), but this is far too thick a diameter for 1/700 scale. My first attempt was with a fine copper wire half the diameter as shown in Photo 2. This was fine (excuse the pun) but had one drawback – because it was bare copper (designed for soldering repairs on PCBs) I had to try and colour it either black or gun-metal. I tried to blacken it chemically but it just didn’t want to know (probably the copper is lacquered which prevents the chemical from acting on the metal as it should), and trying to paint it with enough paint to cover the copper made it too thick once again. The solution was to get pre-coloured 0.1mm copper wire (which, when I sent off for the copper one, I didn’t know existed). The reel of black wire is shown in Photo 3, and whilst the copper version was obtained from an electrical supplier, the black one came from of all places a fishing supplier! There are so many different media our hobby can make use of – this wire is supplied for tying home made flies and lures! The difference in the diameters can be seen in the side by side shot in Photo 4. Photos 5 and 6 illustrate the methods I was using to create the coils of barbed wire. I say was, because it dawned on me as I was creating the first few coils for colour testing that I’m going to need quite a lot of this and perhaps there was a more ‘industrial’ method of producing it without quite so much intensive finger-work! After some searching on the web I discovered a nice little gizmo to produce different diameter coils (its actually called a gizmo by the manufacturers too!) Two of the diameters that come with it are the same as I'm using here! In the next installment I’ll be trying that one out to see how it goes, just as the black wire came from the fishing hobby, the gizmo comes from the beading craft hobby, that genre has a lot of useful looking tools to think about in the futureBlink . Anyhow, initially I was using a 1.5mm sprung steel rod (aka piano wire) for the beach wire and a 1mm beading needle, both held in mini vices, for the wall top coils.
Before carrying on with the barbed wire, Photos 7 and 8 illustrate the other use I have for the black wire – producing the disembarkation ramp pulley cables. Photo 7 shows the ramps after having their guard rails fitted. These were another of the PE ship’s rails sets from China and were fitted to the ‘in-board’ sides of the ramps. Some photos of troops debarking on D-Day show rails on both sides of the ramps (which I would definitely prefer if I was going down them) but others show only the in-board rails and since that not only means half the work but also its far easier to place the minute troops on later, I’m going with that version! In this shot, the LSI has been placed in its final position on the sea base so that the ramps can be superglued in place. Since the beach undulates a little (and therefore isn’t completely level) each LSI’s ramps will be at a slightly different angle, this first one won’t fit snugly against the shore anywhere else now, as you can see in the next pic, on level ground the ramp ends are suspended above the ground level matching the slope of the beach. Photo 8 shows the wires in place, a simple ‘U’ shape glued to the beam above and to the sides of the ramp below. Once the glue was set I snipped off the excess below the ramp and painted the glued on part grey to match the ship.
As I mentioned, the first attempt at 0.1mm coiling was with the copper wire, that result is shown in Photo 9, perfectly good coils but just very difficult to paint! The black coloured copper wire is shown coming off the 1.5mm steel rod in Photo 10. With the coil made it was time to experiment with various ways of turning it into barbed wire. I went through quite a few different ‘silvering’ trials, starting with the Uschi Metal Polishing Powder (Chrome) but that just wouldn’t take to the black finish. Then I tried Mig Polished Metal acrylic (looked too dark) and Humbrol silver enamel #91 (goes all stringy like candy floss between the coils). Eventually I found that the Humbrol acrylic #56 Aluminium gave the best results. I first applied it thinned down over the entire coil but that took away most of the silvery effect so I went for full strength which was better. Eventually I discovered that I could actually paint the coil whilst it was still on the steel rod but you have to be quick in sliding it off right after or the quick drying acrylic gums up all the coils! Once I had the metal effect I then had to try different rust effects. The Citadel Rust Brown Ink wash was a little too thin to be effective and I ended up with Mig –043 Shadow Rust for the best result. This is quite a thin acrylic to begin with and further dilution didn’t work well so it goes on ‘as is’ with a fairly big soft brush whilst holding both ends of the coil in sprung tweezers to keep it under tension. The results are illustrated in Photo 11. The bare black wire is at the top with the Humbrol Aluminium applied in the centre and the Mig Shadow Rust effect at the bottom. Interestingly, as you will see later, on the green mat the colours looked just right but when the first section was applied on the sandy beach the coil looked so dark against the lighter background I had to dry-brush more Aluminium over it to pick out the steel effect again!
In the next installment, hopefully the coil making gizmo will have arrived and I’ll give that a try plus putting in the first of the barbed wire fences on the beach and a new alternative to the Blacken-it chemical process for making the fence posts.
Until then, Happy Modelling to you All and stay safe!

Robin.
Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
Beach Defences pic 1.JPG
Beach Defences pic 2.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
tf64
#130 Posted : 11 May 2020 22:28:01

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Hi Robin,

Looking over your build tremendous work again, love the fingerprint (photo 8 ) when you see all those little men on the ships it looks very effective and a great overall impression.

Well done

Regards

Trev
Building: Artesania Stage-Coach H.M.S.Victory / H.M.S. Victory Cross Section / De-Agostini Spitfire. / Short Sunderland 111 ( Flying Boat )

Full Kits: San Francisco. De-Ago Bremen. Sovereign of the seas. Artesania Stage-Coach.

Finished builds: Westland Lysander MK.11 plus large Diorama.

Plymouth57
#131 Posted : 24 May 2020 20:21:18

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Many thanks again for those kind words Trev!Blushing
Firstly, in Photo 12, (just for you Mark) I couldn’t resist seeing if the painted figures really did look like ants! As you can see from the visitor, they actually look like they could be ant riders! (No ants were harmed in the production of this photo though I do understand she received a rocket from her squad leader for being AWOL from her assigned patch without permission, sorry about that!) Photo 13 shows that coiling gizmo I mentioned earlier. It consists of a ‘U’ shaped frame with a series of paired holes attached to a ‘G’ clamp by a couple of short bolts. Below that is the set of rods with shaped handles, which slide through the paired holes as shown in Photo 14. To operate the coiler, you first tie a simple ‘granny knot’ in the wire and fasten it around the end of the handle at position ‘a’ whilst still coming off the reel ‘c’. Then, holding the reel to keep the wire slightly taut (I found pushing a long tapered paintbrush handle through the centre of the reel was just about right) and holding the handle at ‘b’ you turn the handle clockwise winding the wire around the rod whilst moving the reel slowly down the length as the wire plays out. In theory you could make coils the length of the rod minus the width of the bracket. The only thing you have to watch is that the wire is not held too taut – my second coil snapped part way through but this wouldn’t be a problem with thicker diameter wire (0.1mm is VERY thin!Blushing ) This useful little tool worked out at about £11, there is a slightly cheaper version for £9 without the G-clamp which you simply screw to the work bench but I though just a couple of pounds more for the clamp was well worth it. Photo 15 illustrates the lengths of coil made with the different methods. At the top is a length of coil still on the handle/rod, in the centre is a long section of coil from the gizmo and at the bottom is the longest section I made with the old manual piano wire method. The main advantage is sheer speed and ease of winding, much easier on the fingers than pulling the wire around the manual version (plus on that one you had to cut lengths of wire from the reel first, if it was left on the reel it just tangled up when winding!)
So with the wire coils under way it was time to sort out the posts to fix it on to. The posts were made from 0.4mm brass wire, purchased from another bead craft shop on ebay. Rather than painting the posts I decided to blacken them chemically. Up to now I had always used a product called “Blacken it” as shown in Photo 16. I hadn’t realised until I was looking for the current price of Blacken it for this posting that the company making it had ceased production in 2017! There are still a few stocks left on line and I’ve since discovered that many other manufacturers like Vallejo and Mig make their own alternatives now. As you may have seen on my Chindit build last year, one of my other loves is collecting and renovating old guns and bayonets (I’ve now got an Enfield No4 Mk1 (1944) to go with my SMLE MkIII (1914). Both of them were de-rusted, cleaned up and re-blued using a product called Phillips Professional Cold Blue. This comes in a bottle about the same size as the Blacken it for around £3 more than that one, but is mixed with water to produce a far greater amount as you can see in Photo 17. To be perfectly honest, the Blacken it is far quicker as it was designed primarily for brass and would blacken the metal in a few minutes. The Phillips solution is designed for steel and takes a few hours to get the job done but it does get there eventually! (Steel takes about five minutes). Photo 18 shows the first set of brass posts with the electrical snips used to cut them to 9mm lengths (I later switched to 4mm lengths but that’s for the next installment!) Photos 19 and 20 were taken a few hours apart and show the brass when first dropped into the Cold Blue and after they had been blackened. The pieces have to be swilled around every 30 minutes or so to roll them around, if not, the side you can see goes black but the side resting on the bottom stays bright brass! After the process was complete, the Cold Blue was poured back in the container to be used again, the blackened posts were swilled around in some clean water to neutralise the chemical and then placed on clean toilet paper to dry them off (or kitchen roll for the more wealthy among us!BigGrin ) Photo 21 shows the finished product. Finally, in Photo 22, a 0.5mm drill bit in the pin vice is drilling out the first series of holes for the posts, which will create the barbed wire emplacement around the left hand bunker. The brass posts were then glued in place with Deluxe Card Glue by placing a drop of glue on a suitable card and dipping the end of the post into it before placing it in the hole with tweezers.
In the next part, the lengths of barbed wire begin to really appear and I discover a better and easier way to cut those posts out of the brass wire to size!Cool
Until then stay safe and Happy Modelling to you All!

Robin.
Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
Beach Defences pic 3.JPG
Beach Defences pic 4.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
birdaj2
#132 Posted : 24 May 2020 22:51:18

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Robin

That is all looking really good.

You certainly find some unusual tools to help you.

That wire coiling tool is not something i have ever seen but makes a good job.

Hope it continues well.

Tony
Happy Modelling

BUILDING: Harley Davidson Fat boy, E-Type Jaguar, Lam. Countach, Hachette Spitfire Mk 1A
COLLECTING 1:200 Bismarck (Hachette)
SUBSCRIPTION COMPLETE (Awaiting building): USS Constitution
COMPLETED: Porsche 911
Markwarren
#133 Posted : 25 May 2020 09:23:35

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Very nice work RobinLove Drool . That must have been weird for the visitor, bet he thought he’d been supersized.LOL

Mark
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