Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hollow Pursuits - Modeling 510 Schwere Panzer-Abteilung

As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, I'm looking at fielding a 510. Schwere Panzer-Abteilung army for the upcoming Tanksgiving tournament at Guardian Games.  This list gives me the opportunity to field a LOT of King Tigers, and still have other hulls and reasonable support as well.  It is also one of those rare cases where I can build miniatures out of the box... well, sort of... okay, you've got me, I ALWAYS have to do something to either improve on or accurize the basic miniatures.

One of the most basic modeling tricks you can use to make your miniatures pop on the tabletop is drilling out and hollowing out ports and muzzle brakes on the gun barrels.  Below you can (sort of) see a hollowed out muzzle brake on the King Tiger's 8.8cm gun.  I've also drilled out the machine gun port as well.

A good pin vise and bit collection is critical for this sort of work. 

However, I didn't stop there.  The 510 list gives you the option to field an Ersatz SS-Panzer Platoon - basically a bunch of old training tanks pressed into service.  This allows me the option to field several more worn tanks.  Remember, though, that the tank training units had their own workshops where tanks were serviced and repainted, so these are unlikely to be complete rust buckets!

The turret schurtzen of the Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks give you the opportunity to hollow out the resin so that there isn't a large block of resin at between the turret bottom and the spaced armor.  This takes a bit more work, but can be easily accomplished with a Dremel tool.  BE CAREFUL NOT to inhale the resin dust!

One last tip I'll leave you with is how to make super-glue insta-set work for you.  Most super glue setting compounds come in a large spray bottle.  These are fairly useless for the fine work on 15mm miniatures.  I instead dispense the setting solution into a small vial and use a swab to dab a little near the piece to be glued. Capillary action does the rest!

I find this technique very useful for small details like fenders - and the schurtzen frame on a Panzer IV.

At this point I have 3 of the 5 King Tigers for the list ready to go - look for them in a future blog!

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