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135
A different kind of Tortoise...

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The first time I saw in a magazine that Meng was about to release the Tortoise Assault Gun in 1/35 scale, I knew that it was one of those models that I had to build. I was struck by its huge size and profile, though I have to admit that I was never a big fan of British armour. So, when it hit the shelves of my local hobby-store I bought it, but I knew it wasn't going to end up in an out of the box build or be finished in bronze green. I planned to turn it into a captured (what-if) tank. I did this for 2 reasons. First, I wanted to build a German-themed model, since I couldn't remember the last time I built one. You see, lately I got stuck with building Russian cold war vehicles. I really needed a break from all these. Secondly, I really wanted to build something just for fun. Something for me. Something I could do whatever I wanted, without having to be right or wrong. And it was going to be named “Pz.Kpfw. Schildkrote” (Tortoise in German)....smart eh??? Upon opening the box, the first thing that I took into my hands, was that huge hull. I started to examine it, and think of what changes I could do to it, to make it German. With the help of some friends' spare parts boxes; I started to add parts to it. At first, I added a Panzer 1 turret from an old Zvezda kit. Then, a Panther cupola from the classic Tamiya kit. Needless to say, both turrets fit PERFECTLY into the fabricated holes of the Meng kit, without any modifications at all. It was like they were built for that kit!!! I knew that the kits’ barrel had to be replaced with a bigger and “meaner" one. So I used half of the metal barrel for “170mm Kanone Geschutzwagen Tiger” made by RB models. Moving on to the side skirts I left the kits’ ones out and I replaced them with DIY Schurzen plates. For frames, from my spares box I used the sprues for the track links from the Voroshilovets tractor by Trumpeter. For the plates, I cut various sizes and shapes from a copper sheet. From that point on, I was just adding whatever was coming into my mind: infrared night vision devices from ET Models, a star antenna by Orange Hobby, brass barrels for MG guns by RB Models and to add a human touch to the model, the “SS Panzer Commander Set” by Alpine. I painted the model in German late-war green and on the hull sides, I draw a camouflage pattern that I really liked, but never had the chance to use. The same goes for the Schurzen plates, where I used different and various camo schemes. In the spirit of "no right or wrong-model" I added decals from a 1/48 airplane decal set. To add colour variety to the model, I painted the barrel and Panther cupola in primer red and the Panzer turret in panzer grey. I used Vallejo acrylics and the AK Interactive rust paints set. For weathering, I did a filter, some oil paints streaking and some dusting. I finished the tracks in rust tones and added dust to them with MIG Productions pigments. On the exhaust muffler I added rust texture. The MG barrels were treated in graphite. It was an enjoyable project. You can't imagine the fun I had throughout planning, building, painting and weathering. It reminded me of the good old days that I built my first models. Back then, when I painted the tyres of Tamiyas’ Quad Tractor with a black paint marker because it looked better than painted by brush. Or when I painted the Pink Panther in orange, because it looked cooler!!!!!! Or when I used to put on tanks the most eye-catching decals from the sheet, without caring if the divisional or tactical markings were right......Back then, when we used to have real fun with scale modeling....That’s true…Think about it..... Thanx for reading.
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About the Author

About Andreas Hadjigeorgiou (Blanka)
FROM: CYPRUS

I have been modelling since 15 years old,with a long break due to military service and studies. I built mostly cold war era and modern Russian vehicles. I like to build weird and unique subjects.


Comments

Wow...amazing finished. The weathred look simply breathtaking.... I love it... too bad there ia no like button here..
NOV 21, 2016 - 08:42 PM
Sturmpanzerkampfwagen IX mit 17 cm Kwk 47.
NOV 21, 2016 - 10:50 PM
Bizarre but fun! Usually not a big fan of "What-ifs" but this looks interesting, and if you suspend reason for a moment, even possible in, say, 1946...
NOV 22, 2016 - 04:24 AM
Man those Germans were something, they even managed to capture tanks not even used against them. How did they ship it to Europe from England and not get caught?
NOV 22, 2016 - 08:23 AM
I think they would have put their own smoke launchers on it.
NOV 22, 2016 - 08:24 AM
Simple answer.. they captured it on the Westfront.
NOV 22, 2016 - 09:14 PM
I think this is supposed to be a scenario where the tank actually got be deployed in its original purpose against the Siegfied line
NOV 23, 2016 - 12:37 AM
These Tortoises were trialled operationally in Germany as part of the 7th Armoured Division after the end of the war. There are photos that show P5 (Prototype 5 of 6) called Adventurer, with one that is obviously on the continent, parked on a road, with cyclists on the right of the road in both directions as you would expect in mainland Europe. John
NOV 23, 2016 - 04:49 PM
I swear this is being used in a dedicated anti-tank role, so it's perhaps a JagdSchildkröte, or Hunting Tortoise... Great details, lots to look at - I didn't twig the extra turret until I read the text.
NOV 23, 2016 - 06:07 PM
"jagd-schildkrote"...... DAMN.....didn't think about it Thank u all for your kind words
NOV 28, 2016 - 09:11 PM