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SUBJECT:  W.W.-II JAPANESE HEAVY FIGHTER 'FRANK'
KIT MAKER:     TAMIYA                                                   SCALE:   1/48                                                        
SPECIAL  FEATURES:  A very well detailed cockpit and crisp surface details.
ADDED:  Real wire 'antenna'.
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SUBJECT:  W.W.-II GERMAN HORSE-POWER  -  Supply wagon and ambulance vignettes.
KIT MAKER:     ESCI (Italy)  Both models                                         SCALE:   1/35                                                
SPECIAL  FEATURES:  Very nicely detailed horses, wood grain paneling, wheel and brake assemblies.
ADDED:   SUPPLY WAGON - all supplies in the wagon were added from VLS and other kits.
             
AMBULANCE - the crate of canned goods on the roof and the medic's field pack were added.
 W.W.II is known as the world's first truly 'mechanized war'. All nations who fielded armies during that war made extensive use of
tanks, half-tracks, motorized artillery, self-propelled guns, and motorized transport for troops and supplies. Cavalry units were
essentially obsolete - but the horse wasn't. Despite all the mechanization, many countries (including Germany) continued to rely
heavily on horse-drawn wagons to carry supplies and munitions, as well as to serve as field ambulances. Horses also towed
light and medium artillery, and specialized equipment like field kitchens. Despite being perceived as having a fully motorized
military, only one fifth of Germany's forces actually belonged to Panzer divisions or mechanized infantry units. Even stranger, to
compensate for Germany's oil shortages which restricted the number of vehicles that could be supplied with fuel and lubrication,  
the cavalry made a come-back and slowly increased in size until there were six full divisions by 1945.
SUPPLY WAGON VIGNETTE -  This small scene (approx. 4x9") depicts a German horse-drawn supply wagon on a wet and
muddy road.  The scene could be anywhere in Eastern or Western Europe, probably after a spring thaw that reduced the roads
and country-side to muddy bogs. The landscape was hand sculpted from air-drying modeling clay, painted, detailed with rocks
and grasses, then liberally coated with clear liquid acrylic medium to create the wet muddy look.
The wagon is an ESCI kit. The horses were enhanced by giving them new tails made from long strands of 'tall grass' nylon fiber.
To make the wagon look well worn, I air-brushed it in a wood tan color. When that dried, I brushed on a thin coat of medium gray,
carefully leaving bare spots to make it look like the paint was worn off.  The wheels were weathered to match the muddy terrain.
I discarded the molded plastic canvas cover that was supposed to go over the cargo compartment. I replaced this by bending
sections of thin electrical wire into the appropriate arched shape and installed these to form the supports that hold up the
wagon's canvas cover. Each support is detailed with attachment brackets made from lead foil. I fashioned a rolled-back canvas
cover from cotton fabric and dyed it with thinned khaki paint.
The supplies I added to the wagon consist of two 55-gallon oil drums and a red toolbox from an Italieri Field Tool Shop kit.  The
supply crates, food basket, and sack-of-spuds are cast resin pieces from Verlinden / VLS.  The spool of barbed wire was
scratch-built from balsa wood and a short strand of 1:35 scale barbed wire. The canvas sack hanging outside the wagon is
cotton fabric, stuffed  with crumpled paper & dyed with thinned green paint. A syphon hose for the oil drums was made by
stripping the insulation off a short piece of electrical wire. The 'hose' was coiled and tied to the right side of the wagon (at the
rear).  The wagon driver and pipe smoking officer are modified figures from a Tamiya 'German Soldiers At Rest' kit. Each figure
was given a new cast resin head (Verlinden).
AMBULANCE VIGNETTE - This scene shows an assembly / triage area just outside a German field hospital in France soon
after the D-Day invasion. The sign tacked up over the road-sign reads FELDLAZARET (field hospital). Below this someone
painted in St. Lo 10Km.
The horses and wagon were essentially built 'right from the box'. I replaced the ESCI kit's stiff reigns with hand-cut thin black
vinyl. The only details added to the ambulance are the crate of 'canned goods' and the medic's field pack stored on the roof.
As with the supply wagon, the ambulance was first spray painted a wood tan color, then brushed over with thinned medium gray
to show the effects of weather and general exposure to the elements.  The only other weathering was a very light dusting with
dark brown chalk powder to simulate road dust on the wheels and lower wagon chassis.  
The stretcher bearers started out as British figures from a Tamiya kit. They were modified simply by painting them in German
uniform colors and replacing their heads with Verlinden cast resin heads wearing German field caps.  The figure on the stretcher
was modified the same way, and was given a new Verlinden head with appropriate bandaging. The stretcher itself was covered
with surgical tape to give it a canvas-like texture.  The blanket over the wounded soldaten is made from cotton fabric dyed with
thinned paint.  The soldier with the wounded arm is from a DML 'Hedgerows' kit and was built without modifications. The nurse
ushering him toward the hospital is a cast resin figure from Verlinden.  The ambulance driver and his assistant are Tamiya
figures modified with new arms and cast resin heads.
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