|SUBJECT: DIORAMA: STURMTIGER - W.W.II Western Europe - Repairs in a Bombed-out Factory.
KIT MAKER: Tamiya, SCALE: 1/35
SPECIAL FEATURES: A well detailed mortar / rocket launcher - fully articulated with option for open or closed breach. Nicely
detailed interior rocket storage racks & Individual link hard plastic tracks, separate field tools & loading winch.
ADDED: Extra 380mm rockets added for the maximum of 14 rounds. Personal weapons and extra munitions were added to
the forward interior area. A scratch-built lifting claw for the rockets was added to the kit's loading crane, along with scale
(twisted wire) steel cable.
|Having driven through the factory's
rear wall, the Sturmtiger is covered in
loose bricks & brick dust. The treads
& wheels are caked in brick &
concrete dust. The two crewmen in
the scene are trying figure out why
the engine has been cutting out on
Note the 'steel girders' and wooden
upper floor of the factory. The floor
sections were actually burned along
the edges before being installed in
The 380mm launcher on this Tamiya
kit is very well detailed inside & out. I
built mine with the breach block in the
open position & you can actually see
right through to the interior if you look
down the muzzle. I replaced the kit's
hull MG part with a new MG-34 that is
fully detailed inside the vehicle.
Note how the sight mechanism if fully
visible through the open port in the
front of the hull (above / right of the
The camo pattern is based on a
photo of an actual Sturmtiger in the
field, late 1944.
|My model features 10 380mm rocket shells (mostly from an after-market kit). I 'dressed up' the driving compartment with some
MG ammo cans & drums (left side of photo), a few land-mines, and two MP-40s as the crew's personal weapons - there's also
a flare gun on the center console. A dark gray wash served to give the interior (floor & racks) an appropriately grungy look.
|One rocket is on the loading trolley, ready to be rolled into position to be pushed into the launcher's massive breach.
MOUSEOVER - to see breach details. The MG-34 beside the breach is a detail I added.
|I built the earlier style launch tube (note the balance blocks around the muzzle - also note the nicely detailed muzzle ring, sight
port, and drilled out MG sight). I also added Zimmerit to my Sturmtiger's hull (my first Zimmerit vehicle!).
MOUSEOVER for a closer view of the muzzle.
|I added a complete engine compartment - this is a cast resin kit by Verlinden.
|SUBJECT: PASSING THROUGH - M4A2 SHERMAN & M8 HOWITZER / SHELLED FRENCH TOWN
KIT MAKER: TAMIYA + ITALIERI SCALE: 1/35
SPECIAL FEATURES: This small scene (inside a 1:18 scale car model display case) depicts U.S. armored forces passing
through a small French town just after the D-Day landings. Both vehicles have been weathered to show road dust 'n dirt plus
brick dust picked up while driving through the shelled / bombed streets. Since German gunners used the big white stars on
the sides of U.S. tanks as aiming points, both vehicles in this scene have had their stars 'painted out' by their crews.
|The street scene is a combination of Italieri plastic building fronts and Tamiya brick wall sections. The rubble and loose bricks
are cast clay after-market detailing items. The roadbed is very fine model railroad gravel. The buildings were finished with a
combination of airbrushing and hand-painted detailing. The door on the building behind the M8 howitzer was scratch-built from
balsa wood. The window frame in the foreground (right side) is a VLS resin piece.
|SUBJECT: Pz.IV GRASSHOPPER - HEUSCHRECKE
KIT MAKER: DML SCALE: 1/35
SPECIAL FEATURES: Removable gun turret.
|While I prefer building models of W.W.II vehicles that actually saw action during the war, this German oddball vehicle was too
interesting to pass up. The Heuschrecke, or "grasshopper" was developed from 1942 - 1944. The "grasshopper" was
designated as a Waffentrager (self-propelled gun), not as a tank. From 1942 - 1943, Krupp produced three (3) prototypes.
The war ended before the vehicle went into production.
The "grasshopper" presented an interesting (if not over-engineered) concept. It's 105mm leFH 18/1 L/28 gun could be fired
from the turret on the hull OR the turret could be removed and set into a prepared emplacement to serve as a pillbox.
This is a real 'grasshopper' on
display at the Aberdeen Proving
Grounds in Maryland.
[photo credit - Wikipidia]
The turret was initially mounted on a
shortened Pz.IV chassis -this was
later revised and a Pz.IV Hummel
chassis was used instead.
Note the simple face-plate with direct
vision slots for the driver and
co-driver. Also, note the lack of either
a hull or turret MG.
|The DML model has a well detailed turret, including interior details visible through the open top. The vehicle's most unusual
feature, the turret lifting-arms (the pivot mounted beams on either side of the hull) can be assembled in the travel position
(as in photo above) or in the extended position used when removing / replacing the turret. The kit includes all the parts for
a complete turret removal system and a ground emplacement (pillbox base).
The tank commander is a Tamiya figure that I install for photo purposes as needed (he moves around a lot).