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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
M13/40 Early Prod.Tamiya-Italeri Kit Bash
Dangeroo
#023
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Zurich, Switzerland
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Posted: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - 05:49 PM UTC
Fantastic build Mike! The result is spectacular!

Cheers!
Stefan
Tiger_213
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Posted: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - 07:27 PM UTC
Thanks for explaining the sign, I was sure I'd missed something. The whole thing looks stunning. Nothing looks out of place and their poses look very natural. I'd say it's a well invested sixteen months.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 - 01:09 AM UTC
@ Keith: I'll get right on it, Sar'nt Major!

@ Stefan: Thank you, sir!

@ Christopher: I probably should have explained the sign up-front.

The contribution that Italian forces made to the Axis in North Africa has been largely overlooked or belittled.

Part of that problem, I think, is that they often performed in defensive or economy of force missions while the Afrika Korps got all the credit for the offensive victories. What's missing from that picture is that without the Italians securing their flanks or holding Commonwealth forces in place, the Afrika Korps' sweeping movements would not have been possible - Those German forces would have been in a constant state of slugging it out toe-to-toe while diverting their own resources to supporting defensive or screening missions. Without the Italian forces, the Germans simply could not have mustered the combat power necessary for their own more publicized and famous operations.

At any rate, I learned a great deal while researching this project, but one of my hurdles was to find significant Italian armored actions that I could use as the setting for my vignette. The "Gazala Line" battles of "The Caldrun" and "Knightsbridge Box" were a couple of good options, and fortunately, there were a couple of good photos around Knightsbridge Box that allowed me to include some signage to fix the time and location for the modeled scene.

Hopefully as our hobby expands, we'll see some more (and better) kits and reference materials for Italian subjects. The M13/40 series of vehicles is long overdue for some new plastic.

It was great fun from start to finish, though, and time to start looking hard for my next subject!

Happy modeling!
Keef1648
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Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 - 02:06 AM UTC
Well, with YOUR stash you won't have to travel far.

Keith.
Big-John
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Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 - 11:00 PM UTC
As always, excellent job Mike!! When are you going to work on a book?
SdAufKla
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Posted: Thursday, April 04, 2013 - 01:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

As always, excellent job Mike!! When are you going to work on a book?



A book!? I actually have about 60 pages of footnoted research, original detail sketches, and manufacturing time-line charts for the M13/40 build here, but they probably won't ever see the light of day...

So, I donno, John, a book? ... Maybe when some publisher offers me a real deal - a written offer that's binding.

I got stiffed on payment for the last magazine article I wrote which was published in a well-known international rag, so I'm reluctant to bother wasting my time. The editor of the magazine in question actually solicited the article, so it wasn't even a matter of having written something on speculation and then hoping it might get accepted and published.

I did Cheeta-flips putting the article and photography together for the guy, at his request, then he screwed me.

I don't have a problem sharing information and ideas, but being taken advantage of is not my cup of tea, so to speak.

Anyways, thanks for the props on this project, John!
Big-John
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 01:25 AM UTC
Sorry Mike, I didn’t mean to re kindle a sore subject.

Your ability to work the green putty has always amazed me. I can’t seam to get it down pat yet.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 02:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Sorry Mike, I didn’t mean to re kindle a sore subject.

Your ability to work the green putty has always amazed me. I can’t seam to get it down pat yet.



No worries, John. It is a sensitive subject with me, but no reason for you know about it. The editor in question and his magazine know what they did and could make right with an apology and the promised payment.

There are also plenty of other avenues available to share information, including right here. I do a fair number of hands-on demos at our local model clubs, write and post quite a bit of information in our club newsletters and on on our website, and will be presenting one of the seminars at the AMPS International Show in Atlanta in a couple of weeks. I'm always willing to help others out if I can.

It's not that I'm against collaborating with a regular publisher, more that if I'm going through the effort, which will enrich someone else, I'm not going to stand by and allow myself to be screwed in the process. I'd rather just put the information out there for all. The amount of effort on my part is the same, and the return from a regular publisher is, apparently, also the same - no payment.

Moving on though... In regards to the green putty:

I really just thin out (with lacquer thinner or acetone) and use the Squadron Green Stuff putty like Mr. Surfacer or something similar. It was an accidental discovery from way back when I first started modeling, and since it works well enough for me, I've never had cause to try something different. However, I've seen enough other examples to believe that you could achieve the same cast texture effects using a prepared product like Mr. Surfacer to achieve the same thing.

Happy modeling!
Big-John
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 03:29 AM UTC
Mike,

I joke around with you about the book deal because I feel that you are one of the pros. Your work is very inspiring and I truly enjoy following your projects. On that note, what’s next?

Thanks for the heads up. I love to play around with cast texture methods, but I haven’t tried the green putty much yet. My main problem with the green putty is general filling of imperfections. I try to get it applied as smooth as possible so there won’t be much sanding needed. I have been thinning the putty with Testors liquid cement on a pallet, but the stuff still dries very fast on me. Maybe I should try your recommendations.


Mr. Dissolved putty is a pretty nice product for filling small seams and pin marks, but can be rather this and soft for some of the bigger jobs.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 03:58 AM UTC
I donno about that "one of the pros" characterization, John! Them's some pretty big shoes to fill- Not sure if I can live up to all that!

I actually do add an eye dropper full of Testors liquid cement to my thinned putty, as well. I think it improves the adhesion (that was what I first used to thin it, too, when I "discovered" that it could be thinned).

My problem with all the polyester putty materials is that they continue to shrink over time until they dry out completely. I don't know how many seams I've filled over the years only to have to go back and re-fill them when I started painting and could still see the seam. Thinning the putty out makes the problem even worse since the thinner the putty is, the more it shrinks.

I guess I'm still a bit old school, though, and I do persist in using Squadron green and white putties for most seams, but I do usually prime over them to be sure they're good before I paint.

For larger seams and holes, though, I now usually fill those with CA and shoot 'em with an accelerator (plug holes or fill large seams with a tapered piece of sprue or styrene rod or styrene strips first). The CA should be sanded down as soon as possible, though, because after it cures it's much harder than the styrene.

This can cause problems when sanding since it's easy to remove more of the surrounding plastic than the CA if you're not careful. On the other hand, the CA will make a glass-smooth surface that will not shrink. A lot of times, I go back over the CA filled seams with a smear of thin green putty just so that I can see the work since the CA will buff out and become transparent. The little bit of putty helps to color the clear CA.

I've never used any of the Mr Surfacer or Mr Thinned Putty products, but that's just because I'm too cheap to buy any.
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 03:58 AM UTC

Quoted Text


A book!? I actually have about 60 pages of footnoted research, original detail sketches, and manufacturing time-line charts for the M13/40 build here, but they probably won't ever see the light of day...

So, I donno, John, a book? ... Maybe when some publisher offers me a real deal - a written offer that's binding.




You could always do what I did and publish it yourself. You are never going to get a fair return on your time, but you can at least make enough to buy some models.

KL
SdAufKla
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 04:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


A book!? I actually have about 60 pages of footnoted research, original detail sketches, and manufacturing time-line charts for the M13/40 build here, but they probably won't ever see the light of day...

So, I donno, John, a book? ... Maybe when some publisher offers me a real deal - a written offer that's binding.




You could always do what I did and publish it yourself. You are never going to get a fair return on your time, but you can at least make enough to buy some models.

KL



That's a tempting idea, Kurt. Maybe I can chat with you about what you did sometime. Are you going to the AMPS show in Atlanta this year?

I've got to log off here and try to get some stuff done around the house right now, but maybe later I can catch up with you and get some ideas.

In regards to this particular project, I promised John Robinson that he could have first dibs and see if he could do something with it for the Boresight. However, if he's not interested (or it's impractical), maybe I will do something in the lines of self-publishing.

Thanks.
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 05:26 AM UTC
Yeah, I'll be there probably the whole time, either out shopping and BS'ing or running in the judging area. I'm busy between the last seminar and the awards presentation doing the final judging, but other than that I'm typically free.

Basically, if you can put your info into a coherent format and create a PDF, you can publish it, and it doesn't cost you anything.

KL
SdAufKla
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 11:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text

... Basically, if you can put your info into a coherent format and create a PDF, you can publish it, and it doesn't cost you anything.

KL



Oh yea, no worries with that. I've got a ton of stuff alrady up on our club website as pdf's and available for download. That's probably where I'll put the M13/40 research notes if John Robinson can't use them.

I thought you were maybe referring to something like BLURB's self-publishing site. That's the system that Craig Ellis (8-wheels good) uses to self-publish his Pz IV books and is something that I've thought about checking out.

Thanks and see ya in Atlanta.
Keef1648
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Posted: Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 11:34 PM UTC
Sorry about being off topic here Mike.

Mike sells himself short here and is very gracious and forthcoming when asked for tips, information and help.
I badger him constantly in fact almost daily and he never gripes and rarely fails to take my calls (or pleas for help).

His help door (at his home) is open to our club members should they ask and his lovely wife is the most patient and understanding model makers wife I have ever met to date.

I only recently found out about his being stiffed and that really annoyed me (being clean here) but the magazine really lost out because what was shared with them is but a tip of the iceberg when it comes to the resources and knowledge stashed away in Mike's brain and vast personal collection at home.

They could have formed a working relationship that would have benefitted both financially as well as the modelling community at large, had the magazine played fair.

I am the recipient of more than just a little help from Mike and I can personally attest to his dedication to this hobby and willingness to share.

Our club is blessed to have him as our 'head honcho' and no you can't borrow him......


Keith.
dvarettoni
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Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013 - 12:03 AM UTC
well put Keith and i could not agree more mike has been a great inspiration not only to me but to all of us in the club
dave
SdAufKla
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Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 06:10 PM UTC
To all of my Armorama friends, both real-world and “virtual:”

It with a heavy heart and much sadness that I must say to you all that as of today I can no longer, in good conscious, remain a member and active participant here on Armorama or any other KitMaker Net site.

For many years, I have enjoyed my time here on Armorama. I have spent countless hours sharing my own builds and works with you, my friends. Over many hundreds of hours, I have tried to repay the debt I owe to modeling by sharing my techniques and methods while also answering questions. My intent has always been to try to help others to achieve their own modeling goals and to realize their own modeling potential. Through it all, I have tried to remain civil and respectful – To disagree without being disagreeable and to always be tactful. I think that in the main, I was able to do these things.

I have especially enjoyed viewing and commenting on the works that you, my friends, have taken the time to share. It is this interaction and social contact with you that I will miss the most.

Unfortunately, two recent incidents here by one of the official staff members have made Armorama a place where I cannot remain. Many of you may be aware of these two threads started by staff member Kevin Brandt, aka: SgtRam:

Armorama::Armor/AFV::Ode to Rivet Counters

Track_Link::General and Site News::Just Curious

Although I was willing to overlook the first of these threads as a momentary lapse of judgement and civility, when Brandt pursued the targets of his vicious personal attack to another forum, I could no longer rationalize nor passively accept and condone his behaviors and actions.

As an official member of the staff here on Armorama, Brandt holds a position of responsibility and represents both the site and its publisher. His behaviors are no longer the acts of a lone, anonymous internet voice; they become an extension of Armorama and its publisher. It does not matter that he (or anyone else) performs his functions here as a volunteer. As a staff member, he, his actions and his behaviors are inseparable from Armorama.

I sent PMs and emails to some of the staff and the publisher to protest Brandt’s behaviors and to ask that the publisher, Jim Starkweather, aka: staff_jim, take responsibility for Brandt’s actions. Unfortunately, my protests fell on deaf ears.

You may read Starkweather’s open reply here:

Armorama::Site Talk::staff_jim post

We are all judged, to some extent, by the company we keep, and at the time of my protest, it was my intention to simply cease any participation on any threads or topics that Brandt started or posted to. That intention, however, has shown itself to be impractical. I cannot separate the staff member from the site.

The real issue here is one of personal and corporate responsibility and civility. As long as the publisher refuses to take responsibility for his staff members, or as long as Brandt refuses to accept and show remorse for his own actions, Armorama is a site that condones and supports such behaviors.

To remain here, to continue to participate and contribute to this site’s content, is to effectively lend my own support and endorsement to what Brandt did and said. My personal ethic will not allow me to do so.

I suppose the possibility remains that the publisher, Jim Starkweather, and or staff member, Kevin Brandt, will do the right thing. It is possible that one day they might take responsibility for Brandt’s behavior and demonstrate some remorse by publically apologizing to Kurt Laughlin and Christophe Jacquemont for Brandt’s aggressive and viscous personal attacks on them. Accepting responsibility and apologizing would do much to restore this site’s reputation and establish some reasonable boundaries for civil behavior by all.

However, unless and until that day happens, I am afraid that I must bid you, my friends, farewell and…

Happy modeling!

Mike Roof, aka: SdAufKla