Thursday 28 April 2016

Kit Review: 1/76 Milicast BergePanzer III

Milicast's own product page photograph.

This Bergepanzer III is from the Milicast 1/76 Premier Range. I bought it ages ago, at Vapnartak (when I also bought a Milicast Raupenschlepper OST, and some figure sets). At £17.95 it's not cheap!

All the component parts, trimmed and cleaned, ready for assembly.

I like these rear-echelon vehicles, and hope to collect a few more over time. This Bergepanzer III is, in some ways, an excellent kit. Certainly there's plenty of interest in the parts supplied. Compared with the RSO of theirs I made, quite some time ago, this kit felt superior in terms of detail. There are still issues of fit. And some of the pieces - many of which are small, intricate, and delicate - are difficult to separate from their chunky resin 'sprues' without causing damage.

Working on the crane assembly. Using gravity to help align the boom arm and cables.

Working in resin means, for me at least, thus far, using a cyano-acrylite glue. Or, speaking generically, a so-called 'super glue'. I used both the liquid and gel forms on this. And, to be honest, I really hate working with super glue! It always seems to quickly glue everything I don't want gluing, e.g. fingers, work-surfaces, etc, without much success at joining the parts of the model I'm seeking to bond.

The solvent cements I use to glue styrene are, I'd estimate, about 99% efficient. I find super-glues about 30% efficient. Gluing the crane assembly - and I left it to set overnight, and haven't checked it at the time of writing this - was an absolute arse-ache.

Well, as can be seen, the day after, and the crane is holding fast, praise be! In the couple of pictures above I tried out a couple of Milicast figures, amidst the assorted stowage. I've added some sundries to the latter, from the bits box.

One of the little frames that holds one of the large wooden beams - presumably a counterweight for heavy-lifting? - broke, so I cannibalised another smaller but otherwise similar part.

I quite like the assorted junk in the box, and I'm thinking I might have it looking much as the pics above and below; slightly covered on one side, with the 2nd beam stowed in the box. As well the stuff that came with the kit, I've added: a large rolled tarp, a big wooden box, a rope, a roll ed up cable, a toolbox, and two track links. I might also add a sundry tool or three.

Working till late-ish, or rather getting back late after a fairly long drive home, I didn't have time or energy for much model-making action tonight. And the weather was awful: cold and rainy. I had hoped to do some spraying outside. Not cat-style spraying, of course! Anyway, I decided to set up by the outside door, with it a little ajar, and try that. Alas, the thick pall of acrylic paint in the air, and the ultra-chemically stench lead me to abandon that. So I moved to the kitchen, put the extractor fan on full, donned a face mask, and whipped out my aerosol [1].

I thought I might try a new approach, and start with a matt grey base-coat, as a pal of mine foes with his models (mostly aeroplanes, but occasionally tanks or figures). I'd have liked to have got a coat of black on over that, which was my former first-step. But time didn't permit! One thing I like is how the grey binds all the models together. From an artistic point of view a lighter base colour light to be better, as putting, say, a three colour ambush scheme, for example (but anything, actually), over a light grey will ultimately have more 'zing' than doing the same over black.

Homogenous in grey. Note figures waiting in the wings!

The funny thing is, however, that a black base coat obviously has such as advantages as potential help in pre-shading, and creating dark recessed areas quickly; all depending on how you layer colour on top, of course. And it's useful with the hairspray paint-chip technique as well. When I said that it's a 'funny thing' re black, what I really meant to mention was how we frequently strive for a certain effect - one that looks convincing, one might even say realistic - but actually, in terms of strict realism, is often innacurate.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic! Although it's not quite finished yet, as it needs painting up properly, in terms of building a nice and interesting vehicle, I'd give this the thumbs up. A bit pricey, compared with the average styrene kit, and both better that and worse than styrene, in its resinous nature, ultimately it was fun to build, and I like the way it looks, hence the four balkenkreuz score!


  1. Great review so far! Like the small parts you added! And I hate super glue to! I found something new with a gel and a light. Put the gel on what you want to glue and keep the light 5 seconds above it and done. And no sticky fingers!
    Here's a link:


    1. Thanks Peter, I'll try the light method. Regards, Seb