Friday, September 10

Build review Pt II: 1/35th scale Italian Armoured Car 1ZM from Copper State Models

Andy Moore's build of Copper State Models 35th scale Italian armoured car 1ZM from WWI is complete. Today he shows us how he finished the painting, weathering and finishing touches on this rare armoured car in the conclusion of his build review trilogy...


Build review Pt I: Italian Armoured Car 1ZM
Manufacturer – Copper State Models
Kit Number – 35005
1/35th scale
- Transparent parts for headlights
- Engine and interior included
- Cartograf printed decals
- Instructions in colour
Price: £36 / US$51/ €42 from Hobbylink Japan
Product Link on the Copper State Models website

Today: Build review Pt II: 1/35th scale Italian Armoured Car 1ZM from Copper State Models
Picking up where we left off in the first part of the build, there are still a few details to add to the bodywork before we move on to the turret. The first of those are the two wire cutter rails that mount above the bonnet. Each of the rails is made up from two sections and, while they look quite delicate, the positive attachment points make them easy to install and quite sturdy once in place.
The rear wheel covers are a distinctive aspect of the vehicle, and I decided it would be better to keep these separate for painting. They're each moulded as a single part, so there's no assembly to be done, but the way they've been moulded has left a small recess around the clips that sit on the sides of the covers. Filling these recesses would be tricky with the clips in place, so I carefully sliced them off. With the filler sanded back, the clips were carefully glued back in position.
The wheels are moulded as single parts and are pretty much ready to go, only needing the slight mould line around the tread sanding away. Doing so does remove some of the tread detail, but at the same time, it gives the tyres a nice used appearance. All that's left is to glue together the doubled-up rears and spares.
The only remaining construction is the turret. This is built up from three sidewall sections that mount to the circular roof plate. The section at the front has openings for the machine guns, and has the two gun mounts glued on from the inside.
For the version I'm building, I'll be fitting the St. Etienne machine guns, but whether you use these, or the Fiat-Revelli guns, you can paint them separately, then easily install them through the bottom of the turret. The detail on both gun options is very good, and the only extra work I did here was to drill out the ends of the barrels.
With the construction complete, I cleaned all the parts and got them ready for painting. The front and rear wheel arches both simply slot onto the body and as such are easy to paint separately and add later. Likewise, the underside armoured tunnel is best left off for now to allow the transmission and forward chassis to be painted. The tunnel can be slid into place after painting and will stay in place without gluing.
I began the painting stage by giving the parts an overall gloss black base coat. The final finish needs to be fairly glossy, so starting out with a smooth base coat helps to that end.
Before starting on the main green topcoat, I decided to paint the tricolour stripes on the turret sides. The red and green stripes are supplied as decals but, since these would need to go down over some raised rivets and other details, I thought painting the stripes would look better. The turret sides were sprayed white first, then the centre band was masked off and the red and green stripes were sprayed. It turned out pretty nicely too... well, except for the fact that I got the stripes in the wrong order – the green one should be at the top. Oh well, where's the paint stripper?
With the stripes resprayed and masked off, the main green coat was applied to the body and turret. This was done with Tamiya XF-61 Dark Green to which I added a few drops of gloss black, both to darken the colour further, and also to offset the matt finish of the dark green. The painting guide in the instructions describes the finish on these vehicles as being freshly painted and fairly glossy, so I also added a few drops of Tamiya X-22 gloss clear into the paint to further increase the sheen of the finish. That also meant that I didn't need to apply a further clear coat before adding the decals, all of which went down perfectly – no real surprise as they're produced by Cartograf.
The vehicle I'm portraying here was part of the Regia Guardia, the Royal Guard, and would presumably have been kept fairly clean. I didn't want the finished build to look too toy-like though, as perfectly clean models sometimes can, so some subtle weathering was added to give the impression that the vehicle had seen some use, if only patrolling the streets of Turin. This mainly consisted of a light spray of a pale dust tone, mixed from Tamiya acrylics, around the chassis and lower part of the body. A pin was in a similar shade was added to some of the raised rivet detail, and the chassis had some dirty grime washes applied.
The wheels had been painted in the same dark green as the body, after which the tyres were finished in pale grey. These got some slightly heavier weathering, as those white rubber tyres in particular would have been hard to keep clean on the real vehicle.
With the wheels and wheel arches attached, I added a little more weathering in the form of a dark wash around the engine cover and under the turret ring, along with some dry pigments brushed around the lower body to break up the sprayed dust coat I'd already added.
The last parts to paint were the two machine guns. These were base coated in dark grey, then the front casing was painted in a mid-green tone. A little graphite powder rubbed over the grey sections and a pin wash to bring out the details finished them off, and they were installed in the turret, completing the build.
This has been a very enjoyable build from start to finish. The fit was excellent for the most part, and CSM have included enough detail, both externally and on the interior, to create a great looking model without resorting to hundreds of parts and complex, fiddly assemblies. Add to that the fact that these early armoured cars seem to exude charm and personality make this a very easy model to recommend. If you've got any interest in early armour, or simply like great kits, you should definitely check this one out.

Andy Moore

This new kit of the Italian Armoured Car 1ZM is available directly from  Copper State Models as well as their distributors worldwide. Thanks to them for sending this kit to Andy to review & build.