Friday, August 16

Build & Paint Guide – 35th scale Fries Kran 16t Strabokran from Amusing Hobby

The Amusing Hobby 1/35th scale Fries Kran 16t Strabokran has been a kit that got a lot of press - but we had not seen any built as of yet. Clayton Ockerby took up the mantle to show us just what the kit shapes up like when it is painted & weathered with some of the new "Real Color" paints from AK Interactive in his very helpful build review & guide...
Build & Paint Guide – Fries Kran 16t Strabokran
From: Amusing Hobby 
Kit No. #35B003
1:35th scale
Price: AU$35.50 from BNA Hobbies
Product Link on the Amusing Hobby Website
I am sure many of you would have previously seen the preview last September outlining the planned release for the Amusing Hobby Fries Kran and the Ferdinand pairing. For me, it certainly caused a bit of a buzz. The chance to sink my teeth into the full interior Ferdinand was pretty exciting, and the fact it had the perfect solution to show it off through posing it on the crane was just too much! So needless to say, I was holding tight for the release.  
Now the 16T Strabokran is a piece of equipment I was pretty unfamiliar with before researching this model. It is one of those things that was clearly used widely during the war effort, but it was one of those subjects that, in the past,  would probably have been reserved for only the few brave enough to scratch build one for a diorama setting.  
I think we all got a shock when Takom announced they were releasing the Fries Kran, and as seems to be the way these days, when one comes out all of a sudden, we see another appear on the market. Don’t get me wrong, the choice is a wonderful thing, it just seems odd that such an obscure subject would all of a sudden appear in plastic. That said, with the recent popularity of full interior kits, releasing the perfect way to display them makes a lot of sense.   

So, rather than wait for the Ferdinand and the crane, as fate would have it Amusing Hobby decide to release the Fries Kran 16T Strabokan as a stand-alone kit.
The kit itself seemed simple enough at first glance, so I grabbed my sprue cutters and glue and set about throwing this one together. This was my first experience with an Amusing Hobby kit, so I was excited to see how it all went together. 

The whole top structure is moulded in a single piece – the pulleys and cable spool needs to be man-handled into the plate. Pretty straight forward. The single-piece structure is very strong and sturdy. 
Next, I assembled the trolley that carries the chain and rope through the top section of the crane. 
Now only the axels and the structure for the wheel sections. Quite a bit of clean up on these pieces. I probably wasn’t as thorough as I should have been, but a lot of these pieces will be obscured when complete. 
The large support arms and pullies are assembled. A word of caution – Fit D17 to the main part before glueing D9. It will ensure the spacing of the pieces is correct. I made the mistake of fitting D9 to D17 first and it didn’t sit properly on the main piece… just trust me on that one!
The wheels are now assembled. Each wheel consists of or 4 pieces. The inside and outside face of the tyre and a centre section produce the ‘rubber’ section and the wheel than pushes through the 3 pieces. The way the parts clipped off the sprues was pretty nasty. I am using God Hand sprue cutters…so they are pretty good. A little more clean up required here. 
Now back to the top structure. I felt the spool in the top section looked a little dull (plus there was a massive join showing where the pieces connected). I figured the easiest way to give the piece a lift was to wrap some wire around the part, giving the illusion of cable around the spool. Accurate? Probably not. I was just looking to add some depth to the part. This would later be painted. 
The trolley and the pulleys are now fit into the top section. Two long pieces are attached to either side of the frame at this stage. This now means the trolley should not technically fall out of the structure when spun around (sorry… sounds confusing doesn’t it? It’s not…it’s just hard to explain!)
The pulleys that will sit on the each of the outside arms of the crane are now assembled. As you can see there are some really obvious ejector pin marks and some pretty deep sink marks. All of these marks really need some attention, but I wasn’t prepared to invest the time in doing that on issues that would be very hard to detect at the end of the build. 
By all means, I would encourage people to fill and sand, but I just couldn’t spare the time. 
The legs of the crane and moulded in 2 solid pieces per side. This is great for the strength of the completed model, but it means that there is no option to pose the crane in a transportation scenario. Construction is very simple, but again you may notice some quite obvious ejector pin marks in the parts. 
A little closer and you can see what I mean. 
The wheels are now treated to a quick paint job. Firstly, I sprayed them in AK Real Color Rubber Black. The paint dries really fast, and soon after, with the aid of a spraying template, I set the Dunkelgelb in place in the rims. It is a little rough at this stage, but it was just to make the painting a little easier down the track. 
The wheels are now fitted to the axels and the axels are then attached to the support arms. Again, you may notice the ejector pin marks in the support for the axel. Recessed and very hard to clean up, so I just turned a blind eye to them. 
Technically the trolley shouldn’t be able to be removed from the top structure, but by prying the piece apart I was able to remove the part in order to paint and weather it. It is a little messy, but I figured it would be a high wear part and would have looked pretty beaten up. The chipping was painted using a fine brush as well as employing the sponge technique.
The two main pieces for the legs are now attached together. All feels very sturdy at this stage. 
The axels and wheel assemblies are now attached to the two legs of the crane. 
I figured the supports for the crane would have suffered quite a bit of wear, so I went about weathering them as individual elements. The chipping was produced using a basic hairspray technique. The grab handles were replaced with brass wire. 
The supports are now attached in place. You may also not that the wheel assemblies have the ability to pivot and rotate.
ROOKIE ERROR right here… Stupidly I didn’t read the instruction sheet properly and rather than using the chain at this step, I used the rope supplied in the kit. I have left this faux-par in the guide to serve as a warning to others. Read the instructions properly! Back to this one later…
I wanted to represent the crane in a somewhat ‘used’ fashion…but not too ‘used’ (if that makes any sense at all??) Some of the pieces were completely sprayed using AK Real Color Rotbraun, whilst others just have sections of the part sprayed in the colour. I find the lacquer offers a really sturdy base to build on. 
The parts then received a couple of coats of hairspray and once dry was painted using an acrylic-based Dunkelgelb. I find the hairspray chipping using the acrylic is a little more predictable than the lacquer paints. 
Once the paint has dried, a brush moistened with water is used to work away the top layer of paint to reveal the colour underneath. 
The effect is quite convincing.
Next, the ropes are fed through the pulleys on the main leg sections. I needed to drill out the small pulleys at the top of the structure because the rope wouldn’t feed through them, but this was a pretty simple procedure. I used a small dab of superglue at each pully as I worked through the wiring. By doing that I was able to keep a good tension through the rope. 
The kit comes with a length of chain. It is bright gold! I tried painting a small section as a test, but it was very difficult to get a decent coverage due to the movement in the chain. I decided to try the AK Burnishing Fluid on it, and to my surprise, it came out a treat!
With the main leg assemblies now complete, a light wash using a brown enamel was now applied to the details and recesses.
It was about now I realized that I had used the rope and not the chain in the top section of the model. I came to this realization because I didn’t have enough rope to finish the model, but I had a stack of chain left.  I set about removing the ropes and fitting the chain. I have to say, this was one of the most frustrating things I have ever done. The pins in the shackles of the trolley are too thick to pin the link in the chains. The trolley keeps moving and all the while you are trying to keep the chain around the pullies and keep tension through it all. In the end, I used some fine mending thread and tied the chains to the pins in the trolley. It actually looks OK, but be warned, this step very tricky. I can’t think of a better way to do this… That said, the chain looks really good in the structure and adds a lot of realism to the model. 
To further enhance some of the chipping, a sponge with dark brown paint is carefully dabbed in some of the logically high wear areas. 
A heavily thinned mix of Clear Smoke and Rotbraun is now applied as a post-shade. I find this technique gives the model a real ‘tired and used’ look. 
The wheels are now treated to a basic pigment wash and the model is pretty much ready to go. 

This is a really interesting release, at a very affordable price (well at least where I from – around $36AUD). On the surface, the kit seems pretty basic, but there are certainly some tricky elements to the build…so be prepared. As mentioned earlier, the rigging of the chain was a real test of patience, but well worth the effort. 

The crane by itself in a walk around
...and a little closer in detail (the figure is added for scale - he is not included in the kit of course)
The kit isn’t without its’ short-comings though. Ejector pin marks and sinkholes pepper the parts, so if you are easily upset by that type of thing then you had better brace yourself for some filling and sanding time. That said, the majority of the really bad ones can be overlooked and easily lost in the noise of the framework of the crane. 

Here is the crane just about to get to work
This is an instant solution for displaying your full interior kits and would make a great centre-point for your next diorama. 

Clayton Ockerby

Thank you to Amusing Hobby for sending this kit to Clayton to build for us - you can see more of Amusing Hobby's kits on their Website.
Thanks also to AK Interactive for sending the paints & weathering gear to Clayton to use so well on this model
See more of Clayton's amazing works on his modelling website "Workbench Hobbies" or his FB page