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Entry of the light cavalry, Baltic States, summer 1941

built by Werner Kampfhofer (1:35)

Entry of the light cavalry
I had thought for quite awhile about representing the peaceful entry of armor in a small city. I was inspired by a number of photos representing the Panzer 38t and decided to use it as the main part of this diorama.

I started this project during the summer of 2006 when I was able to purchase the Marquette PzBfwg 38 t, #3541 at a very good price at an IPMS flea market. I started building it the same afternoon. At that time there weren’t even rumors about this model being issued by Dragon or Tristar. I was happy to have a model that had better detail than that from Italieri. From an earlier version of this kit I already knew that the diameters of the wheels were too small and that the track was a little too narrow. This small difficulty I would correct with a road wheel set and track from Dragon #3813 and the sprocket idler from Modellkasten A 9.

Despite the many sinkholes and other imperfections, I was determined to be able to build a presentable model. I should prove a thorny path however. Marquette had various versions of the 38 t in their program.. The basic kit was molded in black plastic and was well executed. The parts for the individual versions however were molded in gray and of inferior quality. One had the impression of having a "short run version". Since I had the "Befehlswagen" and I wanted to build a C version most oft the bad parts ended up in the spare parts box. Soon I found that the kit parts did not fit well together. I normally do not whine about a kit but for this one it had to be done. There were also inconsistencies in the instruction sheet relating to part numbers and the diagrams. It was necessary to have reference material in hand in order to be certain of what belonged where.

All ill fitting gaps were filled with Rai- Ro wax. This procedure goes very quickly and when extra wax has to be sanded off one has to proceed with caution otherwise too much comes off very quickly and if holes appear one has to start all over again. In order to get a smooth surface one has to use steel wool for the last step. The by products are a static grass like substance that is best washed off. Once the filling of the gaps has reached an acceptable standard a brush with a little silicone remover is used in order to make primer paint stick. Since I wanted to build a version with a petrol trailer I had to fabricate the proper hitch. A little finger exercise accomplished the trick. I used relatively few photo etch parts. The MG facing the front is from Schatton (3509).

I used Tamiya Acryl colors exclusively. I primed it with black and then I used lighter and lighter grays until I reached the desired effect. After various washes and filters the colors turn darker again. Hence don’t worry about RAL colors if you consider representing a weathered vehicle. Chipped paint is represented with a fine brush and Valleyo colors. Since I have experienced serious problems with pigments and pastels and the model never looks the way I want it to, I decided to resort to a method I employed 30 years ago. I used Pactra paint called "weather" in those days. A really thinned down earth brown will do. If Pactra colors are not available a mixture of three earth tones does it for me.

The petrol trailer

Originated with Karo-As and was donated as a review model. It is a resin kit, is well molded but needs a little detail.

Entry of the light cavalry, Baltic States, summer 1941 (1:35)

  Diorama built by Werner Kampfhofer, photos taken by  
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Einzug der leichten Kavallerie Einzug der leichten Kavallerie Einzug der leichten Kavallerie Einzug der leichten Kavallerie
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Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie
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Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie
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Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie
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Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie   Einzug der leichten Kavallerie
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(click the images to enlarge - the images are shown on a new page)
The rider

During September 2006 the Dragon kit for the 1st German Cavalry division in Russia # 6216 appeared on the market. Since my Panzer 38t had not made enough progress, (I had built two) the appearance of this kit gave me additional motivation. This was the proverbial crowning touch for the diorama I now planned. It is a Gen 2 kit which meant many parts, a photo etch fret and a lot of planning. There are a few things that the instruction sheet leaves one guessing but some etched parts are also represented in plastic such as the horseshoes.

As I assembled the horse around the ear area I had problems with the fit, when I got to the figures it got worse and I was ready to throw out all my Gen 2 kits. 1 mm gaps near the uniform jackets were a little hard to take, however there was more. I had not expected this. Fortunately I had some "Magic Sculp" and was able to correct some of the mistakes. As I assembled the horses I had to think about conversations I had with a model builder friend, Walter Meng. He not only builds original models (horses as well) but he also is an active rider. During a visit he pointed out to me that the position of the horse’s legs is dependent on the particular task the horse is involved in. The final result was a compromise between the ways the horse’s legs were supposed to be positioned and physical reality of actually having it stand in the diorama. His expertise persuaded me to continue to use him as a "consultant".

He provided the fundamentals of a horse’s anatomy and the different movements from a light banter to a full gallop. He also loaned me an original Wehrmacht Cavalry Regulation booklet on how horses were equipped. I could now equip the horses based on original sources. In order to recreate the different movements the kit horses had to be fattened up a little bit, since the originals made an impression of starvation on me. Dragon wanted to represented muscular horses to me they looked like Dobbins. "Magic Sculp" helped build up the muscles and I also worked the ears to the correct size and position. I also corrected the unrealistically exposed teeth, which I originally found so cool, after Walter informed me differently. After everything was finely sanded, a new problem appeared. As I was trying to position the rider and the saddle on the horse, the thigh of the rider did not fit the contours of the horse. The figures should have been fitted before assembly but now it was too late. I solved the problem by positioning the large saddlebags in front, the small ones in back and adding a few saddle blankets.

The diorama

The base is 30x 40cm. On e-bay I found a Verlinden kit that must have originated in the very early beginnings of their existence. I am not sure which one it was. I flattened the original squarish appearance of the building to achieve the result that I wanted. Since the street goes downhill, I had to fill in the resulting gaps with plaster filler. I also represented a curve and this additional space had to be filled. I decided to put a pigsty there and added other incidentals. I had a problem with the street since I did not have enough cobblestones from Plus models, which prolonged the completion of the diorama. Fortunately, I was able to buy some structured plaster at a hobby show in Koprivinice. The only problem appeared where the grade of the street takes a steep downward turn and an unsightly dent appeared. I hid this with a water drainage system. The sidewalk was put together with individual stones. Tube filler from a home supply store was used to set the stones. A simple cart was provided and comes from JM Model and fills the space nicely. It also serves as an eye catcher.

The figures

Since I have collected too many figures, the time has come to actually use them. I used product from: MK 35, Verlinden, and Yosci. All figures and horses were painted by Christoph Heugl. He uses enamel paints exclusively.


Since I have experienced a certain "burn out syndrome" regarding model building and Christoph was busy with a wedding etc., the diorama was not finished until the summer of 2008 It took a year before Wolfram had time for the pictures. I have also decided not to take it to any shows and have it safely stored a friends private museum.
  meet the modeler      

Werner Kampfhofer

  Hi, I am Werner Kampfhofer, born 1963-03-05 in Vienna. I live there with my wife, my son and currently 3 dogs. My modelling career started at the age of nine and a plane from airfix. What began sporadically, turned into manic over the years (that's at least the opinion of my wife).

My main focus are AFV in 1/35, without a historical limit and I have no objections against kits from other branches. I always try to get out the best of me and thus modelling is not fun for me anymore, it is work, but a work I enjoy.
  Werner Kampfhofer  
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This page:  GALLERY: Entry of the light cavalry, Baltic States, summer 1941 (1:35)
was last modified on: Dec 30, 2009
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Translation into English by Werner Stocker (Ft. Myers, FL USA).
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