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!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Of Halftracks and Polish Trucks - Good News and Bad News

My order of the Quality Castings C4P halftracks finally arrived, and unfortunately I think I've got a major problem at this point. Don't get me wrong, the Quality Castings models are quite lovely. The detail is crisp. The construction is finer than the True North versions. Unfortunately they're laughably out of scale with the True North (and Battlefront) figures and vehicles.

From the picture above you can see one of the True North figures and their version of the Polski-Fiat 621 truck. There are a few minor issues with the truck - the wheels are a bit big, but vehicle scales well compared to the human miniatures. To the far right you can see some of the components of the Quality Casting C4P cargo halftrack. The real thing has essentially the same frame, bed, and superstructure as the truck, but the size difference between the two is staggering.

So who is right and who is wrong? Proportionally the True North truck is fairly close. The bed may be a touch big, but only a touch. The True North staff car also scaled well when I reworked plans based on a 1/35th scale model kit to make the 518 truck. That leads me to believe that the Quality Casting versions are on the small side, and not by a little bit. The difference is more than even what I'd expect from a 15mm vs. true 1/100th scale as well.

Bottom line is this leaves me with a conundrum. The True North trucks won't work with the Quality Casting halftracks or staff cars. The Quality Casting staff cars have the same wheel detail issues as the True North ones (which I've already created a "fix" for and began casting). My scratch-built 518 truck is in scale with the True North staff car. Do I try to get some Quality Casting trucks and deal with a slight difference in scale for the trucks and halftracks (with everything else), or do I try to convert the 621 truck to a halftrack (which would mean making my own suspension and tracks)? I'm not sure I have time left for either option. A third option would be to drop the halftracks entirely which would sort of spoil some of the tactics I'd planned on using for the list.

So that's the bad news, but the good news is actually pretty good. I've finally managed to sort out the difficulty I've been having with my resin and RTV. The Alumilite high strength RTV I was using was past its useful shelf life. It seems the catalyst especially degrades over time, which would explain why my RTV refused to cure. I bought some new, along with some Alumilite slow setting resin and the difference has been staggering.

The photo above shows my first test cast of the 518 truck. I'm going to go back over the miniature to make sure I don't have any glaring errors, but overall, I'm pleased. The final miniature will need a couple of additions which I haven't figured out how to cast yet, but the primary additions are a couple of rails suspended above the rear quarter panels, which won't be hard to do. Now that this miniature is coming out, I should be able to make a 508 truck and a few others as well.

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