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©Warren Zoell


Thursday, July 24, 2014

M4 Sherman Medium Tank

Here are some more images of Tamiya's 1/35 scale M4 Sherman Medium Tank.

From Wikipedia'
The M4 Sherman, officially the Medium Tank, M4, was the primary battle tank used by the United States and the other Western Allies in World War II, and proved to be a reliable and highly mobile workhorse, despite being outmatched by heavier German tanks late in the war. Thousands were distributed to the Allies, including the British Commonwealth and the Soviet Union, in the lend-lease program. The M4 was the second most produced tank of the World War II era, after the Soviet T-34, and its role in its parent nation's victory was comparable to that of the T-34. The tank took its name from the American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.
The M4 Sherman evolved from the M3 Medium Tank (a.k.a. Grant and Lee), which had an unusual side-sponson mounted 75 mm gun. It retained much of the previous mechanical design, but added the first American main 75 mm gun mounted on a fully traversing turret, with a gyrostabilizer enabling the crew to fire with reasonable accuracy while the tank was on the move. The designers stressed mechanical reliability, ease of production and maintenance, durability, standardization of parts and ammunition in a limited number of variants, and moderate size and weight. These factors made the M4 superior in some regards to the earlier German light and medium tanks of 1939–41. The M4 went on to be produced in very large numbers. It formed the backbone of most offensives by the Western Allies, starting in late 1942.
When the M4 tank arrived in North Africa in 1942, it was clearly superior to both the German Panzer III medium tank, with its 50 mm gun, and the older versions of the Panzer IV armed with the short barreled 75 mm gun. For this reason, the US Army believed the M4 would be adequate to win the war, and no pressure was exerted for further tank development. Logistical and transport restrictions (roads, ports, bridges, etc.) also would complicate the introduction of a more capable, but heavier tank.
Independent tank destroyer (TD) battalions, including the M36 tank destroyer using vehicles built on the M4 hull and chassis, but with open-topped turrets and more lethal, high-velocity guns, also entered widespread use among American army corps. By 1944, the M4 Sherman and the TD units proved to be outmatched by the 45 ton Panther tank, and wholly inadequate against the 56 ton Tiger I and later 70 ton Tiger II heavy tanks, suffering high casualties against their heavier armor and more powerful 88 mm L/56 and L/71 cannons. Mobility, mechanical reliability and sheer numbers, supported by growing superiority in supporting fighter-bombers and artillery, helped offset these disadvantages strategically.
The relative ease of production allowed huge numbers of the M4 to be produced, and significant investment in tank recovery and repair units paid off with more disabled vehicles being repaired and returned to service. These factors combined to give the Americans numerical superiority in most battles, and allowed many infantry divisions their own M4 and TD assets. By 1944 a typical U.S. infantry division had as semi-permanently attached units an M4 Sherman battalion, a TD battalion, or both. By this stage of the war, German panzer divisions were rarely at full strength, and some U.S. infantry divisions had more fully tracked armored fighting vehicles than the depleted German panzer divisions did, providing a great advantage for the Americans. The Americans also started to introduce the M4A3E8 variant, with horizontal volute spring suspension and an improved high-velocity 76 mm gun previously used only by TDs.
Production of the M4 Sherman was favored by the commander of the armored ground forces, albeit controversially, over the heavier M26 Pershing, which resulted in the latter being deployed too late to play any significant role in the war. In the Pacific Theater, the M4 was used chiefly against Japanese infantry and fortifications; in its rare encounters with much lighter Japanese tanks with weaker armor and guns, the Sherman's superiority was overwhelming. Almost 50,000 vehicles were produced, and its chassis also served as the basis for numerous other armored vehicles such as tank destroyers, tank retrievers, and self-propelled artillery.
The Sherman would finally give way to post-war tanks developed from the M26. Various original and updated versions of the Sherman, with improved weapons and other equipment, would continue to see combat effectively in many later conflicts, including the Korean War, Arab-Israeli Wars, and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 (where it was used by both sides) into the late 20th century.

ISU-152 Self Propelled Gun

Here are some more images of Italeri's 1/35 scale ISU-152 Self Propelled Gun.

From Wikipedia "

The ISU-152 was a Soviet multirole fully enclosed and armored self-propelled gun developed and used during World War II, with a subsequent use, mainly in the Soviet military, till the 1970s. The ISU-152 marks its beginning on January 24, 1943. This was the moment of appearance of the first fighting vehicle of this family. It was designated Object 236 (Объект 236), using the same concept as the ISU-152. The Object 236 was completed in Factory No. 100 in Chelyabinsk, and on the same day, January 24, underwent trials on the Chebarkulski artillery range, 107 km from Chelyabinsk. By the February 7, 1943 the trials were over, passed with success. On February 14 the vehicle was adopted and put on production under the KV-14 (КВ-14) designation. In April 1943 was ordered KV-14 to be henceforth designated SU-152 (СУ-152). In time, the combat performance of SU-152, based on the KV-1S tank, made necessary the modernisation of the vehicle, using the new IS tank as a base. On May 25, 1943, shortly after deployment, the administration of Factory No. 100 ordered the beginning of the SU-152 modernization, which included an increase of the armor protection and other improvements. The development began in July 1943, under the supervision of Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin (the chief designer of Soviet heavy tanks) and G. N. Moskvin as the main designer, and in about a month the first modernized variant was ready. It was designated IS-152 (ИС-152). It underwent factory trials in September 1943, revealing a large number of different deficiencies, which sent it back for further improvement. In October 1943 a second (different) modernized variant was ready, designated Object 241 (Объект 241). It was an improvement over the IS-152. The factory trials began the same month, followed by state trials on the Gorohovetskom test range. On November 6, 1943, an order was issued for adoption of this variant, under the ISU-152 (ИСУ-152) designation, and in December its production began at the Chelyabinsk Kirovsk Plant, replacing the SU-152. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

STEYR RSO 1 Tractor

Here are some more images of Italeri's 1/35 scale STEYR RSO/1 Tractor. The RSO stands for Raupenschlepper Ost which means "crawling tractor east" In order to cope with poor road conditions on the Eastern front the Germans built tracked tractors to tow all types of vehicles and to carry various loads such as food, ammunition and supplies. The RSO/1 was built by Steyr Werks in Austria. It had a pressed steel cab and a wood cargo body. The RSO/1 proved to be ideal for the mud and slush conditions of the Russian front. These vehicles were part of the Germans desperate efforts to avoid defeat by an overwhelming Soviet military. Approximately 23,000 were produced.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

M35A1 Quad-.50 Gun Truck

Here are some images of AR.V Club's 1/35 scale M35A1 Quad-.50 Gun Truck.

From Wikipedia "

 The M35 family of trucks is a long-lived vehicle initially deployed by the United States Army, and subsequently utilized by many nations around the world. A truck in the 2½ ton weight class, it was one of many vehicles in U.S. military service to have been referred to as the "deuce and a half." While the basic M35 cargo truck is rated to carry 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) off road or 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) on roads, they have been known to haul twice as much as rated. Trucks in this weight class are considered medium duty by the military and Department of Transportation. The M35 series formed the basis for a wide range of specialized vehicles.
The versatility of the pattern was perhaps shown best in its usage as an armored "gun truck" for patrol duties and convoy escort.
The simplest examples were produced by simply placing an existing light gun mount directly onto the cargo bed of the truck, and securing it in place. No armouring or special support equipment was installed. One such conversion was performed in Congo-Leopoldville in 1965, using an Oerlikon GAI 20 mm anti-aircraft gun. Another conversion in the Congo entailed mounting pods with 2.75" aircraft rockets on a pedestal on the cargo bed, but this proved unsuccessful.
The first more sophisticated conversions of the pattern were performed by the U.S. military in Vietnam. U.S. Army Artillery Battalions (Automatic Weapons, Self-Propelled) were often assigned Artillery Batteries (.50-caliber), units equipped with M35 trucks and M55 Quadmount systems mounting four M2 Browning machine guns. Units were also authorized a single M60 machine gun and M79 grenade launcher. While the M35 was designed to act as the prime mover for the M55 Quadmount system, which included a towed trailer, the M45 mount was often removed or the wheels removed from the trailer, and the system mounted on the bed of the truck. The M55 system was also mounted on the M54 truck.
More simplified armoring projects were conducted as well, adding armored walls of various thicknesses to standard cargo variants. A smaller bed-mounted multi-angle "box" was also tried. U.S. Army gun trucks used a wide variety of weapons including the M2 Browning machine gun, M60 machine gun, and even the M134 Minigun.
At the end of the Vietnam War most of these vehicles were returned to their standard configuration, except for a single original example shipped to the U.S. Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, Virginia in 1971.
Numerous Vietnam veterans have expended countless hours to build full size replicas of their original Gun Trucks, using M35, M54, and even Army Dump Trucks as platforms, much the same as these veterans did in Vietnam. A functional display replica of the "Psychotic Reaction" Gun Truck Based on an M35A2 chassis is currently in use and being displayed at many military vehicle displays and Vietnam veteran reunions / events.
The concept lived on well after the Vietnam War. El Salvador converted a number of M35 type vehicles into armored trucks in the 1980s, after successful conversions of Magirus Deutz trucks. These vehicles were nicknamed "Mazingers" in reference to the Japanese cartoon Mazinger Z.
The Philippine Marine Corps also began converting M35 type trucks to an armored configuration by 2004. The first vehicle, dubbed "Talisman," utilized armor fabricated from derelict LVTP5 amphibious personnel carriers. Later gun trucks were built using more standard components and bear some resemblance to U.S. military vehicles of the Vietnam era. The Philippine Marine Corps had also begun the creation of an anti-aircraft element by 2006, utilizing M35 based vehicles. Two types of vehicles have been seen so far. One utilizes the Mk 56 Mod 0 mount from the Patrol Boat, River, with two M2 Browning machine guns, while the other features another former naval mount with a single Oerlikon 20 mm cannon.
Colombia maintains a fleet of REO M35 "Meteoro" armored trucks. These locally fabricated armored vehicles are used to guard tourist bus caravans as well as mobile checkpoints. Early vehicles were not fabricated to any particular standard and typically hosted three weapon stations that could be fitted with a 7.62 mm (.308-cal) or .50-caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun. The weapon stations may or may not have had a gun shield on any particular vehicle. More recent examples follow a pattern with the cab and fuel tanks armored and the drop side cargo bed converted to an armored box, atop which is a "gun tower," a set of four heavily armored weapon stations, one facing each direction. .50-caliber machine guns are mounted front and back, with 7.62 mm machine guns mounted to the sides. Losses in the Meteoro fleet instigated the purchase of the BTR-80 Caribe.

In addition to the basic cargo version, tank water and fuel. The CEMABLIN-(Centro de Mantenimiento de Blindados del Ejército Venezolano) locally manufactured a version of anti-air defense operations and support, thanks to all the necessary parts were stored and in perfect condition. 6 units were produced in early 1998. The "Fénix" system, was assigned to the 1103º BDAA 40mm. based at Fort Yaurepara in Zulia state. But they had problems with the tower's weight and shoot on the move. They were retired in 1998 and substituted by the AMX-13 M55/M4E1 "Ráfaga" 40mm also produced locally stored material advantage and in good condition. The "Fénix" is a M4E1 tower, recovered from a car M42 Duster and 2 M50 machine guns .30 caliber for Protective Part (a cylindrical tower made of welded armor plate with open top with twin mounting Bofors 40 mm gun), mounted on a tactical platform Truck 6x6 2 1/ 2 tons, Reo M-35.

Monday, July 21, 2014

T-17 Armored Car Staghound

Here are some more images of Bronco models 1/35 scale T-17 Armored Car Staghound.  This model cost around $60 Cdn and though it comes with photo etched parts and is well detailed you would think they would supply rubber tires instead of plastic ones.

From Wikipedia"
The T17 and the T17E1 were two American armored car designs produced during the Second World War. Neither saw service with frontline US forces but the latter was supplied, via the United Kingdom, to British and Commonwealth forces during the war and received the service name Staghound. A number of countries used the Staghound after the war, with some of the vehicles continuing to serve into the 1980s. 

In July 1941, the US Army Ordnance issued specifications for a medium armored car alongside a specification for heavy armored car (which resulted in the T18 Boarhound). Ford Motor Company built a six wheels, all driven (6 x 6) prototype which was designated T17 and Chevrolet a four wheels, all driven (4 x 4) model designated T17E1. At the same time, the British Purchasing Commission was also looking for medium and heavy armored cars for use in the war in North Africa. Had the U.S. adopted this, it would have been called the M6.
Both the T17 and T17E used the same turret which was designed by Rock island Arsenal with British requirements driving some of the design features such as putting at least two crew in the turret and placing the radio in the turret so that it was close to the commander.
The T17 was armed with a 37 mm gun in a rotating turret, a coaxial machine gun and a bow machine gun. Power was from two Hercules JXD engines. In the interests of standardization, these replaced Ford's initial 90 hp engines.
The British gave the name Deerhound to the T17. Production started in October 1942. The US military eventually decided to adopt the lighter M8 Greyhound vehicle instead; as an interim measure T17 production continued until M8 production could be started. These were to be supplied as "International Aid" but US Army tests in early 1943 showed the T17 was lacking compared to the T17E and so Britain turned them down. The 250 units produced were disarmed and given to the United States Army Military Police Corps for use in the States.
The British allocated the name Staghound to the T17E series. British liaison officers had had contact with Macpherson, the Chevrolet engineer in charge of the project and felt they had influenced him sufficiently to produce something that met all their requirements. Accordingly in December the British Purchasing Commission "formally requested" production of 300 vehicles; the US Army authorized production of 2000 in January 1942. The British order was confirmed in March 1942 when the pilot T17E was delivered to the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Testing showed flaws but these were expected to be correctable and a further 1,500 were contracted for. Production started in October 1942. The US Army convened a board to examine the state of the multitude of armored car projects and recommended in December 1942 the cancellation of the larger designs and standardization on a smaller vehicle. This lighter vehicle would appear as the M8 Greyhound vehicle. However the British applied for T17E1 production to be continued for the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease. Approximately 4,000 Staghounds were produced in total.
The Staghound was an innovative design that incorporated some advanced features. It had two rear-facing 6-cylinder engines with automatic transmissions (with 4 forward and 1 reverse gears) feeding through a transfer case to drive both axles. Either two- or four-wheel drive could be selected. Either engine could be shut down while in motion and taken out of the drive train. Additionally, a power steering pump was incorporated that could be switched on or off manually from the driver's instrument panel depending on steering conditions. Steering and suspension components were directly attached to the hull as the structure was rigid enough to dispense with the need for a separate chassis.

The Staghound entered service too late for use in the North African Campaign where its combination of armor, range and main armament would have been an advantage in a light forces reconnaissance role. As a result, it first saw operational service in Italy, where many units found its large physical size too restrictive in the narrow roads, and streets of Europe. It saw most service at squadron and regimental headquarter level; an armoured car regiment having three Staghounds with the Regimental HQ and three with each HQ of the four squadrons in the regiment. Conditions for the Staghound improved when the Italian campaign became more mobile in the middle of 1944, and the Staghound was also used in north-west Europe campaign.
After the war, the Staghounds were distributed among smaller NATO countries in Europe and to the Middle East.


Sunday, July 20, 2014 Steyr Kommandeurwagen

Here are some more images of Tamiyas 1/35 scale Steyr Kommandeurwagen. This was the vehicle of choice for high ranking German officers of World War 2 when out and about in the field. Originally this vehicle was designed to carry 8 passengers but to accommodate for comfort could only now carry 5 passengers. The model itself went together without any difficulty and is nicely detailed.

Friday, July 18, 2014

U.S.S. Reluctant

Here are some more images of my 1/1400 scale kitbash of the Hoplomachy Class Starship the U.S.S. Reluctant.
Based off the the Sovereign Class's secondary hull The Hoplomachy Class is built for one purpose. War.
After recent experiences with the Borg, The Dominion, The Cardassians and the Remans it was felt that the development of a purely military vessel was necessary. Based off already existing designs the Hoplomachy class can be quickly and easily produced.

Hoplomachy Class:

Length: 515.4 meters
Width: 168.3 meters
Height: 83.6 meters

Decks: 17
Crew: 389 officers and crew
Speed: Warp 9.986
Armaments: 6 type 12 phaser arrays
10 torpedo launchers
2 Lazarus Systems type 9a phase cannons
Defenses: Deflector shields 7 layer

Auxiliary Craft: 8 work bees
4 shuttlecraft (2 with warp capabilities)
8 shuttlepods

Affiliation: Federation, Starfleet

This model was kitbashed from AMT's Enterprise E model kit as well as parts from my spares box. The 2 heat dissipation units atop the warp nacelles are actually snow skis from a 1/32 scale DeHavilland Tigermoth kit.
The aztecing decals were downloaded from Starship Modelers web site onto Testors decal sheet using my trusty printer.
Anyone see Mr. Roberts?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DY 150 Class

Here are some images of Spaceship Miniatures DY 100 class converted to a DY 150 Class by yours truly.
Why would I convert this kit into my interpretation of a DY 150 Class?
Well, when this vacuform kit was released back in the late 80's The best information around then were a few photo's from books and images from the Star Trek episode "Space Seed".  So during that time this kit was about as accurate as it could be. Unfortunately now that proper blueprints and images are now available the accuracy of this DY 100 kit is not quite up to par. Solution? Make a DY Class upgrade. So thus I now present to you my interpretation of a DY 150 Class.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Enterprise Refit Under Construction

Here are some more images of my kitbash/scratchbuild 1/1000 scale U.S.S. Enterprise Refit under construction.
I think that if one were to refit the Enterprise, the logical way to do it would be to build the new shell over the old one. After which the old shell would either be removed manually or beamed out. the pylons, nacelles and sensor arrays would of course have to be completely replaced.