Plastic models — miscellaneous land vehicles
I made this Mars rover in about 1982 out of a B-29 fuselage and parts from a 1/25th scale Chieftain tank. The wheel struts are tubes from a 1/72nd scale torpedo boat.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted
She got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, she calls friends.
— From Hotel California by the Eagles, 1976
Here is my Revell 1/24th scale Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet. It is 8 inches (20 cm) long and 3 inches (8 cm) wide. The guys, who are from the Airfix 1/24th scale De Havilland Mosquito (see Wooden wûnder for mine) are 3 inches tall. The fräulein is made of ‘white metal.’ She is a kit in the minimalist sense that one leg was separate and had to be glued in place.
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
This could be heaven or this could be Hell.
The resin 1/9th scale ‘tank girl’, which I bought online, is an exquisitely moulded kit of 11 parts. (In the photo of the unassembled parts, I had already glued the legs together.) At about 7.5 inches (19.5 cm) tall, she is six times the height of the Mercedes-Benz girl in the preceding section. The tank girl is correspondingly far easier to turn into a realistic model by painting.
The kit is made of what modellers call ‘resin.’ It is nothing like the resin you might have used on your violin bow at school. It is a harder and more brittle plastic than polystyrene and it is consequently harder to work with. Fortunately, there is little cutting and gluing in this kit. Most of the work is painting.
It consists of these parts:
- Torso and head
- Right arm
- Left arm
- Right leg and crotch
- Left leg
- Right foot
- Left foot
- Helmet with goggles
- Pistol in holster
- Ammunition pouch
The tank helmet is a different colour, but it is also made of resin.
However, it is for experienced modellers only. There are some chunky moulding projections to be sawn and filed off before you start painting and gluing. It uses Superglue rather than polystyrene cement. The kit I bought did not come with any instructions, so you have to know about such things or find them out before you start. Superglue sticks to (real) skin like nothing else, apparently because that is what it was designed for initially, so it is definitely not a kit for youngsters.
There was a slight mis-moulding of one buttock, which I mostly eliminated by filing.
Fortunately, there are enough photos online that show historically correct colours such as those of the various layers of the tanker helmet and goggles. (However, she is hardly a historically correct tank driver…) Although I am a recent convert to acrylic paints, I have a far wider selection of enamels in these green and brown shades, so I used those.
In an outdoors photo shoot, she was blown over and fell a metre onto concrete, breaking her apart. No real damage. Superglue time… Incidentally, the Sten gun came with her motorcycle (described in the next section of this page).
Dawn and her bike are 1/9th scale while the DUKW and its associated personnel are 1/35th scale.