Maschinen Krieger - Kröte

After a year spent with the Curtiss Jenny and all of its wood, metal and string, I was definitely ready for a change of pace. I have had this model sitting in my collection for a bunch of years. I bought it a while back, had started working on it, but for whatever reason, ended up boxing it back up.

Part of the Maschinen Krieger series, the model is a mixture of WWII armor and sci-fi designs. This particular model is a bipedal walking tank design, and comes with a figure as well.


Beginning construction, the upper hull consists of four main parts. The fit wasn't as precise as I would prefer, so there were a few rounds of fitting, gluing, filling, sanding, etc, in order to make it look like one solid part. In the picture below, you can see the main parts assembled. In the front gun area, I added some sheet styrene (where the dark filler is, in the photo), as the kit just let the insides of that area open, which I thought looked a bit odd. The lower hull is just two main left and right halves, which you can see below. The upper and lower sections just twist together and are left unglued.


One of the few upgrades/changes I decided to make on this project, was to add a bit of detail to the side panels of the upper hull. As you can see in the image below, the uppoer hull had a recessed area with some cursory detail molded in.


The kit instructions just called for covering that recess with a panel (molded to look like two panels) and going on about your merry way.


At this point, I thought it might be fun to set this up as a little diorama, making it look like the figure was taking a little break from some repair work on the machine. The first step in this plan was to make these side hatches be opened instead of closed and then add a bit of detail in there. First, I cut the hatch in half, so I could have the two parts be opened a slightly different amount. Next, using some sheet styrene and some shallow U-shaped styrene strip, I added some reinforcement to the back side of the doors.

Along with a few left over parts from previous models, some more strip styrene and some soft copper wire, more detail was added. Finally, the hinges on the hatches were carved a bit (added detail to the side that we now see), and then the panels were glued in place.


Below you can see all of the various hull subassemblies ready for priming.


One of my new acquisitions, is this indoor spray booth. It has a vent hose that can be fished out of a window, so that the outside world can enjoy my paint fumes (after running through that blue filter), and it also collapses down into a small-suitcase size, so it can be tucked into the closet as needed.


Below you can see the main parts all primed up and ready for another pass at sanding and smoothing seams.


While this was going on, I also assembled the figure and had a shot at painting him. I haven't done any figure painting since I was a kid, so this was somewhat new for me. I stocked up on Vallejo paints before starting, since I had read various mentions of them being great for hand-brushing. I had long been disappointed with the Tamiya paints performance when hand brushing, and found the Vallejo paints to be a welcome change.


After a pass at painting the main parts, I assembled everything for the upper hull. Next was a pass at rough shading with a darker shade of green and some dry-brushing to highlight the details. A few decals went on and then one more pass with the green paint in order to blend them in a little bit. Below you can see the current state of the top and bottom halves. I have still yet to do a weathering pass, to get things feeling a little more natural. I'm also looking to come up with another decal or two for the inside of the hatches, which would involve some Photoshop work and printing out the images on to decal paper.

Upper hull:


Lower hull and legs:


The beginnings of the base for the little diorama can be seen below. I got a wooden oval from a craft store, and stained it. This was followed by a few coats of polyurethane. I ran across some diamond plate styrene sheet at the hobby store and though that might make a good hanger floor. So far it has just gotten a few coats of Testor's metalizer paint, soon to be followed by some yellow markings and some grey to dull it all down.


That's all for now. More updates to follow as this project wraps up!