Taking a break from the other much more involved 512 Jagdtiger build with the full interior, I made a start on my second much simpler exterior-only one this weekend which I'll do up as "Sunny Boy" from the 4 vehicle mixed SS/WH Kampfgruppe from 653 (that Kubinka's present day museum survivor was part of). They were apparently dispatched from the factory in the closing days of the war and operated near Strengberg in southern Austria. I've chosen to use Dragon's 9036 late production kit for this one as it has all the final features of this batch and if nothing else will be an interesting JT build comparo between DML and Tamiya's varying approaches. As it only comes with indi-link Transport Track and no skirts I've used the spare rubber band wider battle tracks left over from Tamiya's kit, as well as the sideskirts I also didn't use which will hide most of these less well detailed tracks which works out well;
This vehicle apparently broke down on the Ybbs River bridge and had to be dragged out of the way. I'll use Kubinka's as a guide to its features and look - though its under very heavy camo net and foliage cover, so hard to see too much at all which will make the build a little bit easier than the other one with any luck...I just have to find a convincing way to do the ropey looking cam net.
Another similar one wearing this net but no skirts;
Anyway this is the only known shot of "Sunny Boy" showing the nickname on the mantlet, and what may well be the hint of a black standing teddy bear logo similar to the one seen with the GI and Russian posing on one of the Strengberg vehicles?;
For comparison the Strengberg link-up Teddy Bear Jaggie with its much clearer mascot emblem:
10 or 12 years ago I posted on ML wondering whether these bears had any significance in terms of a hierarchy in the KG or a callsign alternative, or whether they were just random whimsical affectations of the crews? Sadly it seems it still remains a mystery. There is definitely this sitting bear we know of, "Sunny Boy" may as mentioned sport a standing bear, and the one in the background of the link-up shots seems to maybe have a white Polar Bear perhaps? So what they mean, if anything, we may sadly never know...
Of interest too is an item Ray Blythe spotted in the shaggy camo net and thought could perhaps be a small step ladder, but after a lot of peering and test fitting its what I'm fairly sure now appears to be a wooden chair unusually wedged into the C-Hook on the front LHS (sourced from the old Tamiya Ger. Inf. at Rest set);
Heres the photo resting on the hull to allow a quick comparison of my effort to replicate it;
Haven't made a vast amount of progress past wheels and tracks yet - really only detailed the back plate up so far which will probably still be visible and not be buried in foliage and net. Brief list of things done were;
* Pushed the heel of a knife blade along the centre exhaust pipe flange to simulate the 2 halves, and added 4 bolts to top of it from sliced rod
* Added the empty C-Hook brackets from rod and strip with accompanying wingnuts and rivets and hung a Tamiya jerrycan off one with a .005 thou spacer in it
* Cut the brackets off the C-Hooks themselves and added them to the front towing eyes and U-Bolts
* Added casting numbers to the tow hitch and exhaust guards from Slaters plastic and Royal p-e no.s
* Added the missing lifting lugs to the exhaust guards from rod and the bolt tabs from strip
* Added an Aber p-e chain to starter crank tube
* Added a 40 link per inch chain to the tow hitch pin with a tow cable end from Nordland in place for the cable to be added later
* Added wingnuts to the mudguard flaps as well as the retainer spring pin ends and handles from rod & strip, plus detailed the inner face of the RHS one which I've bent back
* Undercut the top edge of the moulded on distance light and added a fine brass wire conduit for it
* Scribed in the oxy-cut edges of the armour plates
* Added 2 pair of Model Kasten links behind exhaust pipes
* Removed moulded on though bevelled kit skirt lugs on last 2 sections on RHS and replaced with Model Kasten ones
Two on the go should well and truly keep me on my toes for the next month I'd say...