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1:285 RSO-3

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Revision Log
16 January 2020page first published

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©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

An extensive part of my 'lead pile' consists of 1:285th scale WWII and modern models that I acquired over the years from one of our former advertisers. (When TMP advertising was a new thing, I would let some of the companies pay 'in product' rather than in cash.)

Painting models in this scale isn't difficult, and I'm not bad at it, but a friend of mine had success sending his models off to a painting service, and they came back looking like little gems! So I thought I'd give that a try, too.

So I've sent a few batches of models off to our friends in Sri Lanka, Fernando Enterprises, and now these models have returned and I've based them.


I'm basing these on wooden 1" x 1" bases, which is the 'new' standard that I'm using for basing WWII vehicles. I'm thinking that four bases will be enough to haul my onboard artillery around, but we'll see. grin


In the past, I used thin steel bases. Now, I'm shifting to thicker wooden bases from LITKO, because they are easier to pick up by the sides, and less prone to snag in the terrain.


The Germans failure to standardize vehicles in WWII is the gamer's pleasure, because there is such a variety to collect and deploy on the tabletop. These are the RSO-3 or Raupenschlepper Ost, a lightweight tractor used on the Eastern Front after the terrible first winter.


These are the models from C-in-C. (I previously explained about TMP's financial dispute with that company here.)


Much as I dislike the company, I have to say these are nice little models. The 'roof' is a separate piece, allowing the vehicle interior to be hollow.


One oddity is that the two-piece design allows the side windows to be open, but the front windows are solid (perhaps because otherwise it would be too fragile).


It is too bad that they didn't design a driver as part of the model.


As you can see in this rear view, the cargo area is actually hollow (that's not painted black!).


I couldn't find many historical images of one of these vehicles from the rear, but I think putting some boxes in there would be appropriate. Or a tarp hanging there. Or if you want to get really fancy, leave off the roof and model the bare roof struts instead!


I painted the base sides black because, well, the Germans are the bad guys in WWII grin and it helps players keep track which stands belong to which armies. There's FlexSteel (from LITKO) on the bottoms for storage purposes, and I've labeled the bottoms in case I have a 'senior moment' and can't remember what these are! grin


My instructions to the painters were to simply paint them "panzer gray," but if I had it to do again, I'd probably have them do a different shade on the cloth parts, and mud on the tracks.