Sunday 13 September 2020

Misc: Scratch-Building Details for 88mm Guns

Making fins for the erdpfahl.

I'm really enjoying learning about the 88mm guns of Germany's WWII arsenal, and building a few models of them. I've decided to take my first steps into casting resin parts. Today I started making several small bits and bobs with a view to moulding them. First, my beloved erdpfahl, and then the carriage-hooks that support the gun between the two bogies. 

As can be seen, above, I tried two sets of erdpfahl, or stakes. The first, on the left, were pretty poor. The second, at right, were more satisfactory. I used the wire mesh to space a series of five pin-prick locator marks, made with my DIY pointy tool. I then drilled through these with a 0.5mm drill bit. Despite it being pretty poor, I put the first one together anyway, as pictured below. This revealed that the 'wings', or fins, needed trimming down, which I've started to do to the second set, as yet unassembled.

Refining the second set of stakes.

Below, the two erdpfahl, along with a wing or fin template. Upper is the less successful of the two. The lower is the better one. The central core is yet to be sized/shaped. I turned the cruciform base upside-down, so as to compare them with the ones integral to the Zvezda 88mm.

Erdpfahl #1 and #2, and the fin template, alongside the Zvezda example.

Next up, I started on a pair of the mounting hooks. The plan will be to make sets of four stakes, and two pairs of these hook mounts, a few other bits and pieces, such as a couple of crank-handles, linkages (for the folding arms or legs, or whatever they are), and numerous ammo boxes and shells, etc. Once I have a full complement of these oddments, I'll make a master mould, so I can cast complete sets in one pass.

Making a pair of scratch-built carriage mount hooks.

I'm keen to find or make some decent crews as well. I'm not too keen on any of the figure sets I've seen so far. I'm thinking crews in overalls/boiler suits, crews in shorts, crews with braces but no shirts, etc. The sort of stuff you see in many wartime photographs. I've wanted to sculpt some wargaming figures pretty much all my life. I've even tried a few times, albeit never very successfully. So this next step is something I'm both excited and anxious about...

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