Work in Progress

Huibs T34 tank project

Posted by Peter on 17 Oct 2021, 12:49

You made a fantastic base Huib! Love those cobbles! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by huib on 20 Oct 2021, 22:20

Thanks Peter!

Final Pictures
T34-76 model 1943
Summer 1943
Italeri (Esci) 1/72

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Please have a look in the Gallery for more pics.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 22 Oct 2021, 17:36

SU-85
Strictly spoken a SU-85 is not a T34. But from a tactical point of view, the SU-85 in my opinion belongs to the line-up of T34 development. This is why:
The T34 and the KV1 were more than able to deal with the generation of tanks with which Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the Panzer III and IV. Even after several updates of these tank types with more powerful guns and improved armour this remained the case. The situation started to change hower with appearance of the Tiger tank on the battlefield in late 1942. Although the number of Tigers always remained low during the war, the Soviets realised they had to counter this threat. This became even more urgent when intelligence started to reach the Soviet leadership about the development of a new German tank, the Panther. The Soviets were inspired by the German 88mm Flak gun, and looked at their own Anti-Aircraft guns for a suitabele weapon. Their 85mm AA gun had a suitable calibre, high velocity and a flat trajectory. This gun howver was much too large to fit in the existing T34 and KV1 turrets, so a whole new tank had to be developed, the T44. As this would take time a temporary stopgap measure was chosen, to be able to succesfully counter the new generation of German tanks: The 85mm gun was installed in the hull of the SU-122 mechanized howitzer, itsself built on the chassis of the T34.

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The SU-122 assault gun consisted of a 122mm howitzer mounted in a fixed casemate on top of a T34 chassis.

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This new combination named SU-85, proved to be an effective and fearsome tank hunter, able to destroy a Tiger tank at 1000m combat distance. Production started in the middle of 1943, and in august the first SU-85's reached the frontline units. More than 2600 were built and deployed succesfully, both by the Soviets and the Germans, who liked to incorporate captured vehicles into their own ranks.

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SU-85 in Minsk, summer1944.

In the end an improved version was built, the SU-85M (of Modernized), distinguishing itsself from it's predecessor mainly by the addition of a proper commanders cupola. But when during 1944 the T34-85, sporting the same gun, reached mass production, the SU-85 became obsolete. Production was continued by installing a bigger 100mm gun, resulting in the SU-100. But that's another vehicle.

I will build a mid-production of the SU-85 based on the old Fujimi kit:
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 22 Oct 2021, 17:45

Fujimi 1/76 SU-85

To build the SU-85 I am in the posession of a nice old Fujimi kit from 1974.

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Lovely old box with great boxart

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The box includes a sprue which is identical to Fujimi's T34-85 kit, containing the lower hull and the wheels.

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A second sprue is specific for the SU-85, containing mainly the upper hull and the gun. The figure is quite bad unfortunately, but for the rest detail is quite good and accurate.

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And some awful looking tracks. I'm afraid I will need a lot mud to cover them up.

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And a small decal sheet for three different versions.
That's all. Let's start.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 23 Oct 2021, 22:46

Start of the build

A beginning is made.

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The different hull parts. Some flash and extractor pin marks had to be removed.

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Some detail was sanded away (mainly handgrips and pistolports) to be improved in the next steps.

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As the hull will be closed early in the build, the cooling grill is drilled and filed open, and fine mesh from a teabag is glued on the inside.

Next step will be adding small parts and additional detail to the hull.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 24 Oct 2021, 12:56

The Russian SPGs illustrate perfectly the idea that if it looks right, it is right.

Brutal, boxy but effective.

I am sure you will do justice to this one as you do to all of your models.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by huib on 25 Oct 2021, 18:45

Thanks Steve!

Detailing the hull
Last few days I managed to finish the hull.

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Started replacing the casted handrails by ones from iron wire. The perisciopes were opened using a hot screwdriver. The surface of the cast steel observation cupola was roughened using liquid glue.

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The external fuel tanks from the kit are a bit course and have an ugly seam after glueing the halves together.

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So I sanded them flat and built some new detail.

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Three fuel tanks installed, as I managed to destroy one with my electric drill.

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The parts lay-out of gun and mantlet.

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The cast steel parts roughened, lifting eues added, barrel drilled open and constructed.

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Hatches detailed on the inside.

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All parts in place including some tools and pistol ports.

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From behind.

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Ready for paint.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 28 Oct 2021, 21:33

Looks like a really nice tank. Will follow it again with great interest! ;-)

And thank you for the historical information! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by huib on 03 Nov 2021, 15:34

Paintjob

Well people, this is a small step for humanity, but a huge step for Huib: This is the first model I will paint using acrylics instead of the enamel I used until now. Better for your health. I've chosen for Vallejo, to start with. So I am experimenting a bit at the moment.

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I started using grey primer from Vallejo, But it turns out that light, it could work as a winter whitewash.

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On the bottom of the model I started with paint straight from the bottle, but that was much too thick, so I continued diluting the paint with water. I needed four layers of camo green to cover the almost white primer. But the result is good and lively.

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Then all details were painted, including the white recognition bands on the hull sides. They are included as decals, but because of the pistol ports, painting them on works better.

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After some gloss varnish two decals were applied: the vehicle numbers 802. And then a few track links that are partly covering one of the numbers.

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Two tarps on the back, made from paper tissue soaked in white glue.

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In this late stage I suffered from progressive insight: I cut of the front mudguards and replaced them with thin aluminium sheet.

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Crashed and bended. This has to do with a small vignette I'm working on.
And now for some weathering.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 04 Nov 2021, 13:26

I've changed from enamel paint to acrylic years ago, and I'm happy and my family too. It is better for your health indeed. :thumbup:

Real nice progress. :-)

Is that gloss varnish also on waterbase? :eh:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Wiking on 04 Nov 2021, 18:05

Huib wrote:
Crashed and bended.

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(And this is the driver )

Any questions why ?
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by Kekso on 04 Nov 2021, 19:31

Awesome project :thumbup:
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Kekso  Croatia

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Posted by huib on 09 Nov 2021, 22:37

Wiking wrote:Huib wrote:
Crashed and bended.

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(And this is the driver )

Any questions why ?


I'm sorry, Erik, the test driver of my SU-85 got intermingled in your car race by accident. I've him sent to Siberia immediately, so it wil not happen again.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 09 Nov 2021, 22:38

Peter wrote:Is that gloss varnish also on waterbase?

Yes it is an acrylic floor polish, called Parket Plus.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 09 Nov 2021, 22:43

Weathering

After painting it is time for some weathering.

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A wash of diluted dark brown oil paint is used to create shadows in the nooks and crevices of the model.

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Then a drybrush with a light green creates highlights. Paintchips are added using light green paint and a soft graphite pencil.

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As a finishing touch I added some dirt, rust and grime, using different colours of oil paint.

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Ready for wheels and tracks!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 12 Nov 2021, 21:57

Looks fantastic Huib! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by huib on 12 Nov 2021, 23:07

Thanks, Peter!

Wheels and tracks
The old fashioned rubberband tracks are the most difficult part of these old tank kits.

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Wheels after painting and weathering.

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The ancient and ugly tracks from 1974.

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The tracks after painting, sloshing and drybrushing five different colors of paint.

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Bluntly stapled together, as the original connectors weren't worth a penny. Now the challenge will be to hide these in the final presentation.

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The tracks in position. The staples were positioned in the bigger gap between the second and third roadwheels.

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Then four stretches of straigthened iron wire were drilled through the hull to force the tracks in shape.

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Unvoluntary gravity on the tracks

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Almost ready. On to the last additions.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 13 Nov 2021, 22:57

The last details
Only a few additions and the SU-85 is finished.

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Towing cables made from fuse wire, iron wire and tape.

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Painted.

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I enlarged the two figures from Hät a bit, otherwise it can be seen the have no lower legs or no body from the chest down. But I did not do a great effort as the added bodyparts are sunken in the vehicles hull.

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Painted.

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Figures, towing cables and an antenna added.

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And now for a small base.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 13 Nov 2021, 23:13

Fantastic final result on that tank! Can't wait to see it on a base! ;-) :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by MABO on 14 Nov 2021, 09:25

I have missed this fantastic project until now. Was a great adventure to read all the historical background and the making.

I also changed 16 years ago -when my son was born - from enamel to acrylics. And it was a good decision.

So now I am ready for the base with a kind of obstacle? Let's wait and see...
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MABO  Europe
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