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1/72 German Secret Strong Point Build

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  • Member since
    November 2022
1/72 German Secret Strong Point Build
Posted by taron63 on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 5:05 AM

This is the first post of my build of the 1/72 "German Secret Strong Point" Diorama by the Japanese modelling company Microace. It contains the following items:

- a large multi-part diorama base with several rooms and a removable roof.

- a Panzer IV Ausf. G.

- an 88mm AA gun, 37mm AA gun and Quad 20mm AA gun.

- a 50mm Pak 38 Anti-tank gun.

- a kubelwagen and schwimmwagen.

- 2 BMW R/75 Motorcycles with sidecars.

- about 20 figures inclding gun crews.

- a searchlight and rangefinder.

- numerous other diorama items (ammo boxes, fuel drums, sandbags, jerry cans, small arms and furniture).

The kit was originally released in 1973 by another Japanese company called Grip. It was also produced by Eidai and ARII in the 1970s and 1980s. It has recently been reproduced by the company Microace, with the same box art as the ARII release.

German Secret Strong Point Box Top

The molds are almost 50 years old now, and the level of detail is relatively basic. But the kit has a lot of components to it that make it a lot of fun to play with. I recently bought this kit from Hobbylink Japan and am building it for my nephew as a Xmas present. For this reason it is going to be an Out-of-the-Box build with no improvements or additions apart from some groundwork and vegetation.

The contents of the box are shown in the following images.

Diorama Base - main part Diorama Base - other partsSpruesInstructions

Until next time - when I will start with the construction of the 88mm AA gun.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 12:15 PM

I rember this well from its Arii release. I think it's one of those that's actually 1/76, depite having been marketed various times with 1/72 on the box.

Cool build! Look forward to seeing it come together. Yes

 

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    November 2022
Posted by taron63 on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 8:31 AM

Day 1,

I plan to do a little each day to get this build finished by Xmas. First off, on Day 1 I have started building the 88mm AA Gun. It consists of just seven pieces on a single sprue. The sprue also contains some ammo for the gum (i.e. three individual shells and three wicker containers - which each hold three shells).

88mm AA Gun Sprue88mm Gun Sprue 2

As you can see from the sprue images, there is quite a bit of flash to clean up and there are a lot of other imperfections to fix (i.e. sink marks, offset seams, and obvious knock out marks). For this reason, and the fact that each part is quite complex, clean up of these parts took some time.

88mm AA Parts

The above photo shows the better side of the parts - lots of fill marks on the other side. I was going to glue most of the parts together as indicated in the instructions, but all of the parts can be clicked together and they stay together - so I decided to keep them separate for easier painting and better playability (i.e. to allow the gun to rotate and the legs to move up and down).

More on the 88 next time.

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 5:12 PM

Looks like a fun project.  Lucky nephew!

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    November 2022
Posted by taron63 on Thursday, November 17, 2022 4:46 PM

Day 2,

I had to fix one of the parts for the 88. The lug that attached to the gun shield was malformed, so I removed it and replaced it with a small piece of old sprue (see image below). I also hollowed out the gun barrel of the 88, and then the parts were ready for paint.

88 repair

Next I moved onto the 37mm Flak gun and Quad 20mm Flak gun. These two are on the one sprue.

Flak guns sprue

I started with the 37mm Flak gun, which consists of only five parts. Hoiwever, one of the parts had a lot of flash on it and I spent the rest of the session cleaning it up.

flash on flak gun

Hopefully I can finish cleaning up this mess tomorrow.

  • Member since
    November 2022
Posted by taron63 on Saturday, November 19, 2022 7:49 PM

Day 3,

Once the gun cradle for the 37mm AA was cleaned up, I noticed that one of the holes that accepted the gun was in the wrong place. I filled the hole with Magic Sculpt and after it had cured I drilled out the hole in the correct location.

In the instructions it shows that the gun shield is to be glued in a slot in the base of the gun cradle piece. However, no hole is present in the base of the gun cradle. I created this hole, using the instructions to estimate its location. The image below shows the fix to the gun cradle and the gun shield glued to the gun cradle base.

37mm AA gun cradle

I also drilled out the barrel of the 37mm AA gun - using a hobby knife blade because the barrel is cone-shaped. The parts of the 37mm AA gun were now also ready for paint.

37mm AA gun pieces

Tomorrow I will make a start on the 20mm Quad AA gun........ which is a bit more complex than the other AA guns.

  • Member since
    November 2022
Posted by taron63 on Thursday, November 24, 2022 7:38 AM

Day 4,

I cleaned-up of the parts for the base and gun cradle of the Quad 20mm AA gun (see below).

Quad AA gun parts 1

Next I moved onto the guns themselves, which required a lot of clean-up. The gun barrels were also overly thick and the wrong shape, so I decided to thin them down. The image below shows a cleaned and thinned barrel on the right, compared with an untouched barrel on the left.

Quad AA guns 1

No further progress was made on Days 5-10 due to being away for work and family commitments. So, have some catch-up to do.......

  • Member since
    November 2022
Posted by taron63 on Thursday, December 1, 2022 4:40 PM

Days 11 and 12,

Getting back into the Quad AA gun after a break, I continued clean-up of the parts. The gun barrels took some time and were completed over two days. Once the parts were cleaned I hollowed out the gun barrels and filled some sink-marks. I then glued the pieces of the gun together and filled and sanded the join between the two halves oft he gun cradle.

completed quad aa gun

The last of the parts were cleaned up and the Quad 20mm AA gun was now ready for paint.

Quad AA gun ready for paint

Next I planned to move onto the Panzer IV tank. But, in the interim i had another period away from home - so no progress was made on Days 13, 14 and 15.

  • Member since
    November 2022
Posted by taron63 on Thursday, December 1, 2022 5:18 PM

Day 16,

Next I started on the clean-up of the Panzer IV Parts. The sprues are shown below. The vehicle consists of a total of 11 parts. It is broken down into lower hull (5 parts), upper hull (4 parts) and turret (2 parts).

Panzer IV parts 1

Panzer IV parts 2

The most complex of the parts to clean up were the two running gear parts. I worked on these parts over two days. The images below show one of the parts cleaned up compared to one of the parts that has yet to be cleaned up. Cleaning up the flash in the idler was the most difficult job, especially as the inner and outer sides of the idler were offset.

cleaned running gear

uncleaned running gear

More to do on the running gear tomorrow.....

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, December 5, 2022 10:22 PM

That looks so cool Taron!  I've seen this kit before online but it's interesting to see what goes into constructing it. 

 

 

Gee guys, am I the only one following this!?! Please give the dude some support! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 11:45 AM

I believe this was a friend's Grail Kit when he was was a wee lad.  Against all expectations, his dad got it for him as a Christmas present.  Waaaaay better than a Red Rider BB rifle with the thing in the simulated wood grain stock that tells time!

Plus, no chance of shooting yer eye out kid!  Stick out tongue

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

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