Ferdinand was a heavy assault tank designed by Porsche and built by Nibelungenwerke, especially for the needs of the Eastern Front. Ferdinand’s design was based on Porsche’s Tiger – VK 4501(P) prototype which proved to be prone to mechanical failures and was rejected in favour of Henschel’s prototype. It was decided to utilize 90 of the pre-production chassis for another project. First proposal was to convert them into carriers for 150mm or 170mm heavy howitzers as well as 210mm heavy mortar.
On September 22nd of 1942, it was ordered thatchassis were to be converted to heavy assault tanks armed with 88mm PaK 43/2 L/71 gun and on November 30th of 1942, first design was ready. On March 19th of 1943, first fully completed Ferdinand was presented to Adolf Hitler on the testing grounds at Ruegenwalde. Hitler himself was very pleased with it and order to speed up the production for upcoming summer offensive. From April to May of 1943, original 90 of VK 4501(P) chassis (150010-150100) were converted to Ferdinands by Nibelungenwerke in St. Valentin, Austria with the hard work of the dedicated workers. Conversion consisted of various modifications.
Two original Porsche Typ 101/1 engines were replaced with proven Maybach HL 120 engines. New engines were mounted in the central section of the hull, allowing the superstructure (produced by Alkett) to be mounted in the rear. The superstructure weighted 15000kg.
MISSION MODELS US PAINTS
Little over a month ago I received in my inbox an email from Mission Models US asking if we were willing to take their paints for a spin. Why not? There’s always room for improvement *AND/OR* never hurts to leave the comfort zone and try out new products. I was back then starting a new side project that has been lingering in the studio for quite a while. I had this 1/35 Cyber-Hobby 150100 Final Production Vehicle. I had my precious remaining Special Oxide Red F41354 from POLLY Scale for this project. So upon arrival, I dug in the box sent by Mission Models US for the German WW-II RAL 3009 MMP-013 Red Oxide and Grau RLM 02 MMP-056. As some of you probably know, the wheel and barrel on the real tank were already painted because these parts came from another factory.
The thinner from Mission Models paints beside thinning the paint also acts as an airbrush cleaner. I have created a habit over the years of spraying thick coats in fast strokes. With Mission Models I had to lower my airbrush pressure to around 12 PSI and build up the color in fine layers. This is good for undisciplined painters like me. The result is a solid base color without covering small detail on your models or hiding those details on your photo etched parts. I tried the colors above in 2 different airbrushes. First; the Red Oxide color was done with my Iwata NEO and a .35 nozzle. The RLM 02 Grau was done with my loyal Aztek A470 airbrsh with the fine Tan Nozzle. As I mentioned on Facebook a couple of weeks ago before this entry, the paint flows like 2% milk. No stuttering or airbrushes acting up. I was going to try it with my Badger Velocity but then I remembered that I had its hose at home. But I would have no doubt that the paint performance would be equally good. Thinning is the key with any airbrush paints and Missions Models are not the exception. I tried both, thinned and without thinner. Both worked superb with my ABs. The paints leave little residue in your airbrush and cleaning is notably minimal compared with other brands.
Mission Models US paints have a little bit of transparency. I have yet to do an aircraft with them -but will soon- I can imagine this being a plus in blending camouflage demarcations.
Available on the line there is also a Polyurethane Mix Additive MMA-001 which improves the flow, adhesion and leveling properties. This in my limited knowledge of auto paints also translates to a slightly flexible yet strong finish. I will be testing on rubber tracks and scale auto tires and reporting back for sure. My first experience with Mission Models has been very positive. Now, I know that investing ourselves in another paint/color line can be a bit tedious for some of us. But there is always room for improving the finish of our beloved models. That’s why you see most modelers workbenches with 3 or more different paint brands. For your next project, I strongly encourage you to give Mission Models US paints a shot. I don’t think you will regret it. If you build armor, US, Luftwaffe etc, you’ll be well covered!
We have now have a new Premiere Sponsor to pamper our models with a high quality finish from MMUS. We wouldn’t spend long hours building a model to cover it with an inferior paint.