David Knights' Weblog

February 13, 2020

Movie review: T-34 (2018)

Filed under: General,Modeling — dknights @ 6:57 am
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T-34 is a Russian war movie about a Russian tank commander and his crew who put up a valiant defense in front of Moscow in December 1941. After defeating a number of German PzIIIs, their tank is knocked out and captured. In late 1944 the tank commander is pulled from the POW camp along with other tank crew members and forced to operate a captured T-34 in training against German tanks at a tank training center in eastern Germany.  Unbeknownst to the Germans, the Russians locate several tank main gun shells in the Russian tank and use those to escape, in the process taking with them the female Russian prisoner who is a translator for the German guards who helps them in their escape.

Putting aside the slightly silly story, this movie is good.  Really very enjoyable and not just for the Russian and German military equipment.  It is a classic action/war movie and could easily have been made in Hollywood instead of in Russian.  Much of the equipment is actual period equipment, or very realistic mock ups. (Much better than M-48s as Tiger tanks in Battle of the Bulge.)  The acting is very good and equivalent to most B-list actors out of Hollywood.  I watched a dubbed version and it was entertaining to see how the dubbed dialogue differed from the subtitles which were more direct translations of the Russian dialogue.

According to Wikipedia, this is the second highest grossing Russian film of all time. In additional to being available on DVD, it is also available for streaming on Amazon Prime.  It is well worth watching. 4 out of 5 stars.

March 28, 2018

2018 Modeling #23

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:52 pm
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Date: 3/23/2018

Time 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (1.0 hrs actual modeling time.)

2018 Total time: 26.63 hrs.

Managed to get a little time in at the bench.  March isn’t looking much better than February so far.  Worked on the Trumpeter T-34/85.  Work has slowed to a crawl as I am trying to improve the kit a little.

I have noticed that, in general, when I model solo, I can only get about an hour’s worth of work in before my eyes start to give into the strain and my back starts to hurt. Old age sucks.

March 17, 2018

2018 Modeling #21

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:08 pm
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Date: 3/15/2018

Time 9:00 p.m. to 10:20 p.m. (1.33 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 24.63 hrs.

Finally got back to the bench after 11 days away.  This is what happens to me every year.  As I get further into the year, my bench time gets less and less.  With recent life developments, I don’t see this year being any different.

I did get some building done.  Mainly added some of the grab handles on the T-34/85 and worked a bit on the MXY-7.  Primed the interior and then painted it with Alclad dull aluminum.  The grab handles on the T-34/85 have been very time consuming.  I think they will look much better than the plastic parts, but what a pain.

March 5, 2018

2018 Modeling #19

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:46 pm
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Date: 3/1/2018

Time 4:00 p.m. to 5:05 p.m. (1.08 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 22.3 hrs.

The first session of March.  I just wish it was more productive.  I spent all my time drilling holes in the T-34/85 chassis to mount scratchbuilt grab handles.  I then made the handles out of very thin wire. Spent an over an hour and didn’t finish.  This armor stuff has a lot of tedious parts to it.

March 2, 2018

2018 Modeling #18

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:47 pm
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Date: 2/28/2018

Time 10:15 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. (.58 hrs.) and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (1.0 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 21.22 hrs.

With this entry, February is in the books.  As I predicted, I couldn’t keep up the January pace. I got in 12.99 hours in January and this dropped in February to 8.23 hours. I am on pace for 127.32 modeling hours for the year.  At an average of 40 hours a model, this will have me completing only 3 models in 2018, well below my goal of 5.  Depressing.

This session was spent mostly drilling holes in the hull of the T-34/85 for the grab handles, which I am going to make out of fine wire as the plastic ones in the kit are too chunky.  I also got the major components of the T-33 together and used plastic strip to fill the gaps created by the odd engineering choices made by Platz.

Here is where the models stand at the end of February.

February 26, 2018

2018 Modeling #16

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:02 am
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Date: 2/24/2018

Time 1:40 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. (.5 hrs.), 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 (.5 hrs), 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (1.0 hrs)

2018 Total time: 18.39 hrs.

Finally got back to the bench after 10 days away.  Sadly, my prediction that February would not be as modeling intensive as January is coming true.  Worked on both the T-33 and the T-34/85.  Both are progressing well.  I suspect that as I predicted, the T-33 will require about 40 hours total to finish.  The T-34/85 won’t take that long.  Pictures with the next update.

February 15, 2018

2018 Modeling #15

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:28 pm
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Date: 2/14/2018

Time 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. (.83 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 16.39 hrs.

Got some time in at the bench.  As I suspected, I haven’t been able to keep up the pace set in January.  I did manage to close up the Platz T-33 fuselage.  I also got some more work done on the T-34/85.  (In the photo below, the chassis is just sitting on the hull.) The tank is coming along nicely.  I don’t think it will take me 40 hours to finish the T-34/85, but I am pretty sure that it will take that many hours to finish the T-33, especially with the finish II’ve chosen.

Moving along

February 11, 2018

2018 Modeling #14

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:57 pm
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Date: 2/9/2018

Time 9:35 p.m. to 10:50 a.m. (1.4 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 15.56 hrs.

Watched the Olympic opening ceremonies and worked on the T-34/85.  Made some progress.  However, given the progress I’ve made in February I don’t have hope that I’ll match my January hours.

February 4, 2018

2018 Modeling #13

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:51 pm
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Date: 2/2/2018

Time 7:40 p.m. to 8:50 a.m. (1.17 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 14.16 hrs.

Got in some quality time to start off February.  If I have any hope of finishing some models, I need to keep up the pace.  Did a little work on the Platz T-33.  Got the cockpit and other interior parts in, and am ready to seal up the fuselage.  It should move quickly from there.  More work on the T-34/85. Man, I thought canopy masking was bad.  However, nothing is more mindless that road wheels on tanks.  Not hard, just repetitive and boring.  Here is where the T-34/85 is at.  (I promised more pictures)

T-34 main parts

February 2, 2018

2018 Modeling #12

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:09 am
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Date: 1/31/2018

Time 7:30 p.m. to 8:40 a.m. (1.17 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 12.99 hrs.

Worked on the Trumpeter T-34/85.  Man, I don’t see how armor modelers get thru dealing with road wheels.  It made me dream fondly of masking greenhouse canopies without pre-cut masks.  Also, given that filing and sanding seams is more difficult on armor, you have to really work on making sure everything fits well.  Finally, this kit has some flash on some of the parts.  Frankly, I’ve been building new kits lately and haven’t had to deal with flash on parts in a while.  It isn’t awful flash, but it is annoying.

Now, on a more serious note, the month of January is in the books.  I managed to model for 12.99 hrs in January.  Usually, January is a good month for me, so it is unlikely that I’ll keep up this pace all year, but if I did, I’d model for 155.88 hours.  Since I’d like to complete 5 models this year, and I figure it takes me about 40 hours to complete an average model, I don’t see any way in hell I finish 5 kits this year.  Stay tuned.

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