Search this blog

Monday, August 8, 2022

Back in 1999 the Italeri Scania Cool Fruits!

Back in 1999 when I started to get serious about building truck kits I bought this then newly released Italeri kit for what they termed as the Scania tractor unit with Cool Fruits trailer. I started building it but for a number of reasons that must have made sense at the time it got put back in its box partly built. There is a complete engine although in my then engine colour of choice, red - the internet was new then with little information and I had no idea that Scania engines are green! The cab is built and sprayed in Humbrol metallic blue - the only widely available range of paints and the only one that I knew of then with metallic colours in its range. The chassis is mostly built but needs finishing. The trailer - well that is a story! The chassis is just about done. I built the body but for reasons probably related to box size, Scania make the sides, roof and floor in two parts for each component. That gives a rather awkward joint to smooth in the middle of what, apart from the floor, should be flat panels. I recall having issues getting a smooth join and I also recall the body falling apart, probably because I dropped it. That may well have been the point that the parts were packed together back in the box. Certainly when I ventured in the box a couple of years ago the trailer body was back in its separate two parts for the sides, roof and floor. In 2020 I started to rebuild the body. I got as far as constructing it and getting the joints relatively smooth and some white paint on it. It then sat on a shelf whilst the rest of the kit sat in its box. Well now is the time to finish it some 23 years after starting it! The parts are in the Man Cave so hopefully it will now get the attention it deserves.

Over the next few days I will be uncovering just how bad, or maybe good, my modelling skills were back in 1999 so this build will be a bit of a time machine journey. Hopefully nothing will be so bad as to require a full rebuild but as they say never say never! 

Italeri 799 Scania with Cool Fruits trailer

Italeri 799 Scania with Cool Fruits trailer

Italeri 799 Scania with Cool Fruits trailer



Sunday, August 7, 2022

As far as I am going!

There comes a time in the construction of any model when you have to say that is as far as I am going with it! If not you will up spending hours and hours on something that to put it brutally bluntly, will be land fill at some time in the future. Sounds harsh but the reality is that no matter how good we think a model is, when we leave this mortal World, others left with a room full of models to clear may not think the same! I accept that and I also have a lot of other models I wish to build before I do leave this World so time is important so lets put this kit to bed and move on. 

Just before moving on I did finish a few things on the tank. The radio aerial, machine gun and shovel have been mounted to th turret, the tow cables are in place and the rear exhausts have been sooted up along with a bit more weathering around the tank hull and turret.

It has been a an interesting kit to build. Far more complex in areas then it needed to be but never the less it has built up nicely even though I curse the etched brass parts! Things I learnt were that practice does improve your skills as I found with the etched parts. Those became easier the more I did. My figure painting, although still poor, is not as bad as it was when I painted the crew for the Russian T34. 

So having rounded up matters here are some pictures of the finished kit and diorama which to be honest I am really pleased with. Now onto the next one - well finishing off some other projects!

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank


Saturday, August 6, 2022

The Muckleborough Collection.

Going back a couple of weeks whilst in Norfolk I told Mrs. Woody we would have a look for a new vehicle for her daily weekday drive to work. I don't think she was fooled by that especially when we arrived at the Muckleborough Collection just outside of Sherringham but she did nether the less followed me in no doubt to keep an eye on me and my wallet! 

Admission tickets bought we added the ride in the Leyland Daf 4 wheel drive truck which, once everyone was strapped into the four point harness in seats that looked as though they belonged in a theme park ride, took us out onto the tank testing grounds. A magical experience but not quite as exhilarating as the Gamma Goat they used to use and I was lucky enough to go on some years ago. . 

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

Back in the Museum they have a large model collection with some fantastically made items and dioramas.

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

The main attractions are the vehicles and this is just a few of them.

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

The Muckleborough Tank Museum

Despite all these vehicles Mrs. Woody didn't fancy any of them! Oh well, no tank on the driveway for me then!

If you want to go and see the museum, and I have been five times now, details are available on their website located here.

Friday, August 5, 2022

No trees but some tracks today and the cats help out with a diorama although they don't know!

After the last two days of tree matters it was nice not to have to deal with any more tree related disasters. It allowed me some time to do a bit more on the Egyptian T34 tank, namely finish the tracks. 

Being metal, tank tracks rust! However because they also run on some metal wheels in the tanks running gear there are also areas where that metal to metal contact leaves a shiny surface on the tracks. In the case of this tank the drive of the powered rear wheels leaves a shiny surface on the track guides as well as on the inside surface of the track links. To replicate this I used some aluminum paint (for some reason the WMD HQ stock of paint did not have a suitable silver in stock) literally dry brushed onto the parts of the track that would be shiny. In addition the outside faces of the track links run on various surfaces which in effect abrade the metal of the tracks and leave a shiny finish on the raised parts of the links. Again I replicated this with some dry brushed paint. 

Track awaiting being 'shined up'.

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank,

Track now with shiny parts!

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank,

Once the tracks were treated it was time to mount them to the tank hull. I had some time ago glued the rear drive wheels in place as I needed them securely in place to construct the multi part track links. The rest of the wheels were left loose until the tracks had been painted. I used some UHU glue to fasten these to their mounting points. I use this glue rather then plastic cement as it allows the wheels to be removed relatively easily and without damage later on if for some reason I end up with a broken track which I need to repair. Working smarter not harder!

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank,
 .
One side finished - just the other to do.

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

I also managed to do a little more to the diorama base. The trunk and leaves of the two palm trees have been toned down with some stone coloured paint which worked better than the grey I had planned to use. I also added a few enhancements around the two palms with some rocks and grasses. The rocks are selected from a clay cat litter (unused!) that my cats were using until we moved onto a wood pellet one. If I run out of rocks the cats may have to get used to the clay type litter again! The long grasses are a piece of sisal string that was from a well used and much clawed cat scratching post. It was cut into suitable lengths and glued into PVA. The cats have certainly helped out with this project! The rest of the shorter grasses are static grass and pre made tufts from PECO. Not much more to do now.

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank



Thursday, August 4, 2022

If only real trees were as easy to deal with as model trees!

My plans for today went out of the widow as I dealt with the aftermath of yesterdays apple tree disaster. With the collapsed branch dealt with I found several large dead branches which had to be removed and cleaned up. The end result is an odd looking tree but happy cattle in the field behind who are benefitting from the apples which are not big enough for me or Mrs. woody to eat! They could well get fairly fat as I have three sacks of them.

Apple tree

Dealing with model trees is a lot easier and having planted the palm trees on the base for the Egyptian T34 tank yesterday all I have to do with them is tone them down with a misting of a grey/brown paint which will make them look a little less Disney like! 

On the base itself I coated it with PVA glue.

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

Once the base had been covered the wet glue was covered in some kiln dried sand.

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

Once dried it looked good to me!

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

Although neither the base or tank is finished I could not resist posing them together - just what I hoped for! Just need to push on and finish it subject to any more issues with real trees! 

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank







Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Its all trees today!

Getting back into things after a few days away I started to make a base for the Egyptian T34 tank. I made one for the Russian T34 and just as a reminder here it is.

Italeri T34/85

 I made the base for the Egyptian T34 in the same manner and to the same size as the one above using the styrene base that pizzas used to come with - I built up a stock some years ago as I eat many pizzas and now the styrene is no longer environmentally friendly so has been replaced by cardboard.

The new base was cut out.

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

The tank was placed on it and a small raised section added for a little variety.

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

In the WMD HQ Stock Room some palm trees have been languishing for some years - I bought them because I wanted one for a project but could only buy a pack of six. However they have now been useful and another two have been used for this project.

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

The base was sprayed with Halfords grey primer and two palm trees were glued in place and the tank placed to see how it looked.

MiniArt Egyptian T34/85 tank

I would have applied the sand base to it this afternoon but unfortunately my plan was curtailed by my apple tree in the garden which decided the weight of apples was too heavy for one of the branches and it half broke off. 

Apple tree


It is an old tree - about 50 years in age - so I guess it is coming towards the end of its time. I will be spending some time cleaning this mess up. I managed to fully cut the broken branch off as it was resting on adjacent branches which could have ended up breaking under the additional weight. Mrs. Woody and me need to decide if we take the tree out completely and plant a new one or see if we cut it all back and get some shape into it whether it will last a few more years. Whatever we decide, it is only when you start clearing up something like this that you realise just how big trees are in kit form but then again it is all about the trees today!


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Speeding in forward and reverse!

No sooner am I back from a few days away then I am back to the Rocks by Rail Museum. Today was a quiet day which was good in a way as Mr Beecham, he of cycling and modelling prowess, visited and I was able to spend some time with him between greeting guests and producing bacon cobs! 

We had a good look at the locos in the Exhibition Shed and they all have their own special history and characteristics. 

Rocks by Rail Museum,

One oddity I pointed out was the speedometer in the Sentinel locomotives which shows the speed both in forward and backwards directions which looks odd if you are used to a car speedometer! One thing though is that these Sentinels will never be in danger of being driven at speed. The maximum speed shown is 30mph!

Rocks by Rail Museum,

I think Mr. Beecham had a good time and enjoyed a bacon cob - well maybe he was just being polite about my culinary skills!



Monday, August 1, 2022

Holiday souvenirs.

Most people bring home a holiday souvenir - a piece of pottery or similar. However I usually end up with some model related item and the bill for the holiday! Whilst in Norfolk on holiday last week I took Mrs. Woody to Sheringham. A seaside town that we have visited for more years then I can remember but one of those special places especially as it is home to the North Norfolk Railway sometimes referred to as The Poppy Line. The town also has always had a model shop in the same premises although now under its fourth owner since I have been going there. The shop is now Smiths Model Railways - click here for their website - and is very well presented with a wide variety of model railways and associated needs. Whilst in there leaving Mrs. Woody to peruse the handbag shop next door, I did spot a second hand Proto 2000 GP30 loco in Burlington Northern livery. Ideal for my USA switching layout. It said on the box that it had a slight clicking noise but on the shops test track that did not affect its running especially at slow speeds. A very fair £40 changed hands and I exited the shop happy with the purchase and even happier that Mrs. Woody had not progressed inside the handbag shop! A quick move on towards the sea front saved any need to spend further money! A few days later we went on the Bure Valley Railway. At Wroxham they have a second hand book shop where strangely enough I found two USA outline wagons for £4 and £5 which joined the GP30.

Proto 2000 GP30


Proto 2000 GP30

Holly the Cat carries out a close up inspection of this rather strange, to cats anyway, looking thing!

Proto 2000 GP30

Mrs. Woody may not have got a handbag as a souvenir of the holiday but she did come home with something unusual - a chair! I spotted this at the Norfolk Lavender Farm and we bought it as a spur of the moment thing. Someone has got talent and an ability to think outside of the box to make this 

Cat Chair

Cat Chair

Having cats this is just perfect but no one gets to sit on it in case the painting gets damaged!