Thursday, 24 September 2020
Tuesday, 22 September 2020
Oh dear... oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
My first moulding and casting experiment has been pretty disastrous. The casts were, with one iffy-ish exception - ironically the duff old erdpfahl (see two pics down from here) - appalling. I think this was caused by several factors. The chief one being crap mould design. I tried to pack too much into one mould, and I didnt go about the mould design and construction carefully or cleverly enough.
Sadly this means my two bigger moulds are most likely costly junk. Certainly the ammo mould doesn't work, as witness the above picture; contrast the part to be cast, bottom, with the casting itself, above/middle. I've yet to try casting the multi-part 88mm gubbins mould. But the second half of that cured in such a way that prising them apart was all but impossible, despite my use of the mould-release liquid that came in the casting set. So the mould is likely to be both damaged, as well as being crap to start with! I will cast with it, at some point. But I don't have high hopes for the results.
One thing to come out of all this is a substantial re-design of the 88mm sundries, as can be seen in my next post. I've unpacked all the various bits, and wound up with four sub-groups. I've also taken more care with the forms, adding bigger and more plentiful pouring and venting openings. I'm hoping with better care and diligence this next time, I can get better results.
Monday, 21 September 2020
I'm gradually discovering that I'm borderline obsessed with WWII German rear-echelon stuff. I especially love their trucks. So Nuts & Bolts #32, dedicated as it is to a group of German trucks, would seem made for me. Published by a German company, the title is rather verbose and unwieldy, as indeed the German language itself so often seems to be: Mittlere Geländegängige Lastkraftwagen (o), The medium cross-country lorries 3 ton (6x4) of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht. What a mouthful! I can imagine an American version being titled 3-ton Trucks of the Wehrmacht, or something equally pithy and to the point.
I bought this rather costly but very nicely produced tome - as well as being very well printed on good paper it's also satisfyingly thick and weighty - at a model show in Folkestone, several years ago now. Since buying it, I've enjoyed numerous episodes of slavering over the huge array of contemporary photos, ranging from the 1920s to wars' end. And as well as plenty of black and white archival imagery, there are scale line-diagrams, colour profiles, plentiful colour-photographs of surviving vehicles in great detail, and several model builds. A real treasure trove!
The bilingual body text and captions are in English and German. I found the textual content pretty heavy going. It's incredibly detailed, and not always couched in prose of the finest clarity (this might in part be due to translation issues). Indeed, the body text is so arduous I've only dipped into it thus far.
If the main text can be challenging, the photographic captions are where, for me, things occasionally become note-worthily poor. It's rare that the year or exact location of a photo is given, and sometimes the associated captions comment on some tiny detail whilst ignoring other more fundamental or interesting aspects of the image. Personally I think that all the archival images in such a book should give both date and location info (or a best guess), as a matter of course.
And in a similar vein, the way the model builds appear (one is thrown straight in on the inside cover, for example, part way through and with no contextualising info at all), combined with the lack of clear signposting re the scale or the name of the manufacturer of the core kit, seems remarkable. And, until now, I haven't even mentioned the total lack of either a glossary or index. These publications exist in a hinterland between books, where such things are more normal, and magazines, where they aren't. But as this is clearly a reference work, they would make it a far better one, if included. So, for me there are a few issues that, if addressed, could markedly improve this book.
Nevertheless, this is still a terrific resource, and a very welcome reference work for the wargamer, modeller or WWII materiel buff. I hope they do more publications on similar subjects. I'd certainly like to acquire their titles on Maultiers and RSOs. But, as great as this is, there's certainly still room for improvement.