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Flak 38t ”Gepard” as my entry (16 posts)

  • Hi there my friends,

    I thought about it for quite a while what I would choose out of the mainstream for this Group Build edition. I built Panthers and Tigers already so I looked a bit further.

    I opted for the 1:35 scale German Flakpanzer 38t out of WWII also known as the “Gepard” (Leopard). Krauss Maffei also produced a 2.0 “Gepard” in the 1960’ies but I found this nice Hobby Boss kit #80140 for its ancestor which – as a kit – only dates from last year 2016.

    The kit has got some good references already. It builds on an earlier series of 38t variants by Hobby Boss and has very finely detailed interior including drivers compartment, engine and transmission. Apart from a 2cm turned barrel by Master Model, the build will be OOB but this includes, PE, fine moldings and decals for 2 versions.

    I plan to place the vehicle in a little dio with some figures too. I will report here now and then during the build. More to come so stay tuned!

    Cheers, Michel.

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge

    Tags: 20mm, Flak, Gepard, group build, Hobby Boss, Leopard, Pz 38t

  • Excellent choice Michel !!! We will be watching for further updates. Thank you for starting the build.

    The 38T chassis was used for quite a lot of different things. I think they even used it as a basis for the Hetzer. They had a bunch of neat colors that were used on them, as well as a big choice for markings from various Countries that operated them. Very cool !!!!

  • Interesting subject Michel, the kitty is a Cheetah, a Leopard can’t change its spots !

    1 attached image.

  • Hi Allan, thanks, you’re right. Found it being called “Gepard” but biology was never my kinda subject. There are none of both in my garden in Belgium 😉

  • Hello my friends! I started the build of this GB entry! Here are a few pictures of the initial stages. I decided to embed the vehicle in an action diorama, looking out for Jabo’s in a Normandy-’44 setting. Although this Hobby Boss kit is (re)known for it’s crisp interior detail, I decided to skip these steps and keep all hatches closed. What tanker would drive convertible with Tempests and P-47’s roaring overhead? Jeffry can maybe comment here 🙂

    The next step holds some PE work in the fighting compartment. The kit has a lot of detail, even without the engine, drivers compartment and transmission. I’ll keep you posted on this one.

    I also added a picture of my new (out)standing modelling desk. I’m very pleased to have a desk about 4 ft. (120 cm) above ground for my hobby. It can actually be lowered electrically to match your preferred height. Such standing tables are increasingly used in offices so you can find them in the better furniture store. In this way, you avoid back issues and also train your abs at the same time so you can skip gym and do more modelling 🙂 Check it out, comments welcome!

    Happy modelling!

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Michel is right! You don’t go around in a combat area “Unbuttoned.” (That’s the term we Tankers use for having one or any of the hatches open. Louis will also relate to this condition.)

    The modern Gepard is a real Bada$$, if you know what I mean! Best of luck with this great entry to the Group Build! I’ll be watching. (And hopefully will have my own entry, an F6F-3 Hellcat, to add. Thanks again to Tom Bebout who gave me the great little 1/72 kit.

  • Hi all,
    I continued the build today with some fine PE work in the fighting compartment, mainly ammo stores and a FuG radio cage. Very fine bits indeed, the smallest was 2 by 1 mm plastic and even smaller PE nuts.

    I learned the technique of soldering PE today using flux. This considerably increases the stiffness of the finished PE result and avoids the issues wit CA glue such as finger gluing and nasty fingerprints on the finished model.

    Attached is a picture of the setup: Soldering iron, a wooden base, tweezers, hobby knife and cocktail sticks. I first bent the PE, in this case in box form. To do that, I build my own 5$ PE bending tool first. After bending, you use the cocktail pic to apply soldering flux to the joint, i.e. where you want the solder to be. Then you melt some solder on the tip of the soldering iron and briefly bring the iron in contact with the joint covered in flux.

    A wonder of nature, but the acid nature of the flux (careful, it’s poisonous) combined with its ability to lower surface tension of the molten metal results in a fine layer of solder in the joint. I tried a closeup to make it clear. Finishing consists in some sanding but if you are careful not to apply too much solder to the tip, it is minimal.

    I made a little drawing below to illustrate the technique, check it out!

    Happy to share this here and hope you learned with me today 🙂

    Questions/feedback welcome!

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Great work with the write up on soldering PE parts. I’ll give it a try sometime. Thanks !!!!

    I also like your PE bending tools……….

    Yes you guys are correct about us “Tankers” not riding around in a combat area “Unbuttoned”…… that’s just asking for trouble. But I do have to admit: I think it’s a whole lot easier to see around you, and you have a much better field of vision with the hatches open………………. but it’s a risky business after all.

    Thanks for the updates Michel.

  • Continued the build over the last few days. Hobby Boss armor is really very detailed so progress may seem slow but it’s not in terms of the hours spent on this build with an extra 4 on the counter.

    I fixed the first round of PE to the interior of the fighting compartment and I’m happy about the result. I also closed all the hatches on the glacis plate now. Next step is some more PE bending but also the decision whether or not the upper armor sides of the fighting compartment will be closed on the eventual vehicle.

    I decided to postpone that part until I dry fitted the figures on the 37 mm gun mount. In case there is space left, I will close the armor plates. Here are some pictures giving an up to date overview. I hope to find some more time tomorrow.

    Happy modelling!

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Hi all,

    Time for an update on my Year-of-the-Cat GB!

    I found some time to continue my work on the Gepard. The build took longer than I anticipated because of the high number of parts, plastic and PE in this Hobby Boss kit. I now reached the stage where the major parts have been fully assembled and primed in red oxide enamel. Since I intend to weather the kit, I already applied a generous layer of hairspray but more on that later.

    I also finalized the research for the dio. I decided to model the Flakpanzer 38t as part of the 10th Panzer Division near Arnhem, Holland 17-18 September 1944. This was a major engagement involving airborne troops (British) in concert with an armored pincer moving North out of Belgium. Goal was to take the main Rhine bridges that would enable the Allied Forces to occupy the Ruhr in Germany as early as 1944 and possibly end the war.

    The Para’s encountered stiff resistance from the II SS Panzer Corps under Walter Model that was not expected to be in the area. The result was a defeat for the Allies who, in the initial stages of the battle, took the Rhine Bridge at Arnhem but had to give up their attempts to hold ground when the Armored pincer moving up North was severely delayed. The Para’s literally attempted to take “A Bridge too far” as the corresponding movie is called.

    In the initial stages of the battle, the German forces attempted to fend-off incoming aircraft and landing paratroopers using all types of Anti-Aircraft guns (Flak) also of the Flak 38 type as mounted on this Panzer 38t chassis here. I modified a Tamiya figure to fit the gunner’s position on this 20mm automatic gun, see picture. Next on my to-do list is the green stuff sculpting of the arms and lower leg corrections needed.

    More to come, here are some intermediate pics already.

    Happy modelling!

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Thank you for sharing this, Michel. That’s a beauty of a desk you have there; I have a standing desk at work and they take some getting used to – but they are great for back, posture, and general strength.
    Your technical advice is really helpful; I have to get one of those PE benders!

  • Hi David, I can make you one, no problem! Cheers, Michel.

  • Excellent work Michel! I love your method for “modifying” the arms of the figure by just popping the hands on the end of the bend wire. Although I build in 1/72, I think I could use that same technique, especially for modifying bomber crew to provide more variety of poses. I may try that on the Privateer I’m building now…

  • Hi Greg, Yes it is always a first step to modify limbs that way. You then resculpt the “flesh and uniform” with green stuff which sticks well to the metal and plastic. In this way you can be more diverse than what stock figures have on offer. I’ll update on this when I come to it!

  • Hi all,

    Continued today doing some painting on the vehicle with the aim to do the final assembly tomorrow.

    I have now finished the tree in the diorama. It is supposed to be a Birch, so with a white stem and hanging leaf clusters. The backbone is made from .3 mm brass wire which is twisted and turned to get the main structure right. Then I apply multiple layers of wall paint (white) with the consistency of liquid plaster. This covers the wire after which you can add the foilage carefully using PVA glue. I am quite pleased with the result!

    Next step was to assemble all figures and applying green stuff “flesh” to the modified gunner. Sculpting really is an art but by starting to modify stock-miniatures (commercially available figures such as here, Tamiya), you can learn the skills on the go and at low risk.

    Here are some pictures, more to follow!

    Happy modeling!

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge