Assembly of this pair of Hummel SP guns more or less completed, now begins the paint job. Contrary to my usual practice, I undercoated these chappies black before applying its 'factory finish' base coat of yellow.
Since my previous posting, I finally figured out how to do the louvres - unfortunately, after having already applied my 'lesser solution' of placing a rectangle of very thin plastic sheet which I was hoping to get away with simply painting them on. As it happens, an even better solution might have been to cover the area with a box-type arrangement as seems to have been an occasional practice. On these models the louvre assembly stands prouder of the vehicle sides than I would like, but I'm hoping that careful paint work will disguise this and other imperfections that I can see.
It was whilst typing the rest of this posting I finally - much too late - figured out how to do the louvres properly. First off, cut out an appropriate sized rectangle at the appropriate location in the sheet forming the sides of the fighting compartment. Back it with thin plastic sheet. This backing will not be noticeable in the interior of the fighting compartment. Then place in 4 strips of thin plastic sheet such that each overlaps the one below. Place a thin plastic frame around the whole; and two thin strips at the 'third points' along the louvres. This is pretty much how I did it except for the cut-out at the beginning. Had I thought of it, the whole assembly would have been almost flush with the side armour. But that is generally my experience with tackling unfamiliar tasks. By the time I've finished, I figure I've just about learnt enough to begin.
The right hand vehicle in this picture shows an arrangement I am tempted to use on the other. My researches indicate this was quite a common arrangement: a couple of spare road wheels, and some of those red/white/red rods you often see attached to German ordnance. That the guns look skew-whiff in this picture is not an illusion; they haven't been glued in yet.
The PzIV is missing a road wheel. That, the Tiger I tanks and the FlaK 8.8cm gun have all been pre-painted. Rather than go the Simple Green paint stripper way, I simply paint over the top. The downside of course is that detail gets a bit obscured. This will be rectified by black outlining. The end result is generally satisfactory.
The Wespe is a 'new' model I recently assembled. Not much to say about it, really, except that along with one of the Hummels above, it will be part of my second (Orotina's 122nd) SP artillery battalion. Whilst putting on the tracks, though, the left hand return wheel came adrift rather too easily for comfort. I solved that by drilling a hole through it and the hull shoving in a short length of paper clip wire and gluing that in. Seems to have worked...
The Jagdtiger, assembled but for the side skirts and with the gun broken off, has been put together, and will probably form part of Orotina's 654th (Independent) Heavy Panzer Company. Strictly, it ought to be counted as a Jagdpanzer Company as are my Jagdpanthers and Jagdpanzer IVs, but the latter form a small Abteilung. The Jagdtigers I reckon should stand alone...