Saturday, 31 December 2016

Hunor Model 1939 Ford V8 Truck - Part 1

First build for 2017 will be a resin kit by the Hungarian company Hunor. It's another truck for my Finnish Continuation War project and is, once again, a little obscure pre-WW2 design that was typical of the Finn's reliance on civilian and commercial vehicles that were imported from America.

Nice photo of a Finnish Ford at what looks like a military fuel supply stop.
Dated 1941. Photo credit: SA KUVA
This will be my first Hunor model and despite unhappy memories of the last resin kit I made (by Zebrano) I am looking forward to this build as I have heard good things about Hunor.

The 1939 Ford V8 truck is fairly typical of the lighter type of commercial flat-bed cargo vehicles of this time. In truth, it was only slightly bigger than a pick-up truck and shared the same cab design across the range, from van to truck...

While this format was prevalent and popular at the time it's suitability as a military prime mover may be questionable because of its light weight. But still, it's availability and the reliability of its V8 engine was what the Finn's sorely needed at the time. These trucks just kept on going, as can be seen in this 2015 video of an American family's Ford, which has been their farm truck since 1953...

One final historical note worth mentioning is that, the 1939 Ford V8 design is yet another one of those late 1930s American vehicle designs that was manufactured both in the USA and in Germany! I *think* the Finn's M39 Fords were US imports rather than products of Germany's Fordwerkes. (Apparently, they were produced in Germany from 1939 to 1941. Like the Ford V3000 V8s, the way to tell the American from the German version is that the US-made models had a split windscreen, while the German Fords had a one-piece windscreen.)

The Hunor kit
The kit comes in a nice cardboard box, but inside you will be met with some polystyrene packing and a plastic bag of parts...

While I guess it's hard to produce resin models on a sprue - like plastic kits - I always wince when I see all the delicate resin components squeezed into a loose bag like this. Fingers crossed for no broken parts!

Luckily, everything seemed to be in order when I checked all the parts but there is quite a bit of flash and smaller detailed parts are attached to large blocks of resin. A lot of cutting and cleaning will be required...

One of the constant niggles (I have) with resin model manufacturers is the low quality of their printed instructions, Hunor seems to be no different...

Oh dear! Not only draw by an 8 year old child but also - when one checks the parts - a few operations are only very vaguely alluded too. For example, the flatbed supporting spars will need a lot of TLC lavished on them before they can be affixed to the underside of the flatbed.

I may be being picky, but when you consider the premium price one is being asked to pay for these kits (€35 plus shipping) you would think the least they could do is spend some time on better instructions!

Well, I guess the moral when dealing with resin kits is that it's all in the prep! So, I'll be spending quite some time preparing all the parts so that they are in a finished state ready for the assembly.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Starting afresh for 2017!

My recovery from illness has been a lot slower than I imagined, my hands have slowly begun to stop shaking which has precluded any model making or painting. But, things are starting to look up and I starting to plan ahead for a fresh start in 2017!

New Year's Resolution
Actually, the break has forced me to spend some time thinking about what I am doing with my modelling. Thus far, everything I have done has been a bit spontaneous, or eclectic or faltering as I undertook model-making in a very sporadic and unfocused manner.

2017, I have decided, will be very different. I now have a plan!

I am determined that this year will see me completing my Finnish Continuation War collection and I have even produced a Word document with a sort of road-map of how I will achieve this. This outlines everything I need to do to complete my collection using the Rapid Fire rules as a guideline for my Finnish army.

A proper outline document listing the models I have and the models
I still need in order to complete my Finnish army collection!

First Build for 2017
Looking at the gaps in my plan, I still need to build some more trucks. I never knew that a wargaming army composed of quite so many trucks, I naively imagined it was all the exciting stuff - like tanks and artillery - but I have discovered that a late 20th Century army doesn't so much 'march on its stomach' as ride around in a truck!

Not the best period photo of a Ford M39 (second from left) but still a very
interesting illustration of the eclectic nature of Finnish motor transport in 1942.
Every truck in this line-up is a different make and model!
So, the first model for 2017 will be a rather niche and potentially tricky resin Hunor 1/72 Ford Model 1939 V8 truck. This model was a little hard to get hold of and somewhat expensive, but it represents one of the less well-known vehicles that made up the Finnish WW2 inventory.  Like a lot of the Finn's motor pool at this time, the Ford M39 V8 was a pre-war import and probably a commercial civilian vehicle which was pressed into military service.

I have had a fair amount of bad experiences with resin builds (I'm looking at you Mr. Zebrano) but this is my first Hunor and they seem to have a fairly good reputation. This despite all the parts being supplied loose in a plastic bag!

Apologies, this video is in Russian (I think), but it does give you a good idea of what to expect in a Hunor box...

Let's hope this turns out to be a good start to the New Year - and I hope everyone has a happy and prosperous 2017!