Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM

part 1     part 2     part 3     part 4     part 5

11/29/98- These two castings were made from a two-part mold. The one on top (with all the flash) is a "trash" casting-- it's got some major voids where air was trapped. The second one came out a lot better. The only parts which didn't cast were the charging and selector handles, and there were some minor problem areas that I had overlooked which caused air entrapment. On demolding, copy #2 looked similar to #1 so some detail was obliterated at the parting lines when cleaning it up. This is one of the facts of life when casting with two-part molds. Creating tight parting lines is very difficult, and I spent a couple hours claying up the pattern for molding.

With the original pattern free from the mold, I finally get to paint it. The master is pretty rugged since it's mainly made of styrene-- it's also got crisper detail.

In retrospect, I wish I hadn't made the stock out of clay since it's the weakest part of the piece. I'm not sure if its joint with the styrene will be strong enough to withstand the stress of adding a sling.

One bittersweet consolation of fusing the bipod assembly to the barrel is that the bayonet still can be fixed in the attack position. It does look kind of dorky though...

The Fallschirmjager Uniform (part 5)...


12/06/98- Here's a related project that used a lot of the same techniques. Not surprisingly, it was a lot easier, and I didn't have to do any excruciating 35 lines per inch sculpting. Although I had fairly good references for this, I didn't have anything which mentioned what the 1:1 dimensions were. Therefore, I estimated most of this based on pictures of guys carrying them & firing them. There are a lot of different Panzerfaust versions, and I chose to make a fairly middle-of-the road one.

For the launch tube, I looked at styrene first, but none seemed to be the right diameter. Amazingly, the barrel of a Bic pen seemed to be both the right diameter and length. I only had to sand off the markings. The warhead was sculpted in Super Sculpey. It took a while to get it fairly uniform looking, and of course, a lathe would have been great to have around. I decided to make the full head with stabilizing fins because it seemed like a neat thing to do, and it wasn't a lot of extra work. That's one of the attractions of doing one-of-a-kind models: you don't have to worry about whether something will be moldable, so you can throw in some detail which no one would normally see. Same with the folding sight. I didn't realize this at first (and I didn't read this either), but the tab on the rocket interlocks with the sight when it folds down. I believe there's an extra cover that they sometimes use to help secure it. It's great when you figure this stuff out via modeling. Since everything usually exists for a purpose, an understanding of what's going on helps your modeling efforts (and vice versa).