WWII German Flak Towers

The lifts are done and can now be found at Shapeways in 1/144 (at this point, this scale allows a good print-quality/price ratio).

And now, a couple of cool videos showing this type of tower. The second video is particularly interestesting, nothing only because it shows the interior of the Flakturm III Humboldthain but also because it shows the how the ammunition was lifted from ground level to the roof (13:10min).

WWII German Flak Towers

So, I decided to try to make these with Google Sketchup and Netfabb in order to print them later through Shapeways. But first, some details: the ammunition lifts found at the top of the building.

 More soon!

WWII German Flak Towers

Flak towers (German: Flaktürme) were 8 complexes of large, above-ground, anti-aircraft gun blockhouse towers constructed in the cities of Berlin (3), Hamburg (2), and Vienna (3) from 1940 onwards.
They were used by the Luftwaffe to defend against Allied air raids on these cities during World War II. They also served as air-raid shelters for tens of thousands of people and to coordinate air defence.

Each flak tower complex consisted of:
  • a G-Tower (German: Gefechtsturm) or Combat Tower, also known as the Gun Tower, Battery Tower or Large Flak Tower, and
  • a L-Tower (German: Leitturm) or Lead Tower also known as the Fire-control tower, command tower, listening bunker or small flak tower.

The three generations of G tower:

  • Generation 1
    • G-Towers were 70.5 × 70.5 × 39 m (231x231x128 ft), usually armed with eight (four twin) 128 mm guns and numerous 37 mm and thirty-two (eight quad) 20 mm guns.
    • L-Towers were 50 × 23 × 39 m (164x75x128 ft), usually armed with sixteen (four quad) 20 mm guns.
  • Generation 2
    • G-Towers were 57 × 57 × 41.6 m (187x187x136 ft), usually armed with eight (four twin) 128 mm guns and sixteen (four quad) 20 mm guns.
    • L-Towers were 50 × 23 × 44 m (164x75x144 ft), usually armed with forty (ten quad) 20 mm guns.
  • Generation 3
    • G-Towers were 43 × 43 × 54 m (141x141x177 ft), usually armed with eight (four twin) 128 mm guns and thirty-two (eight quad) 20 mm guns. 

 Generation I - Flakturm I,  II, III and IV (G + L towers):

A very good book about the subject:

S044 - Waffen Arsenal Sonderband - Die Flakturme in Berlin Hamburg Und Wien 1940 50

Lenin and Gebirgsjager

William Andrew Loomis (1892–1959), better known simply as Andrew Loomis, was an Americanillustrator, author, and art instructor. His commercial work was featured prominently in advertising and magazines; however, Loomis is best known as author of a series of instructional art books printed throughout the 20th century. Long after his death, Loomis' realistic style has continued to influence popular artists.

After military service in World War I, Loomis worked for a couple of advertising agencies before opening his own studio in downtown Chicago. In the 1930s, he taught at the American Academy of Art. It was during this time that his teaching techniques were compiled for his first book, Fun With a Pencil, in 1939. Loomis would go on to release several more books in the coming decades, including one of his most popular, Figure Drawing for All It's Worth, in 1943. Many of the books exhibit his own personally crafted techniques - such as the "ball and plane" method of head drawing - guided by Loomis's witty and humorous dialogue. Many of the titles gained strong appeal for their rich academic value and went through several prints during the 20th century. Loomis died in 1959, but his final book, Eye of the Painter and Elements of Beauty, would be printed posthumously in 1961. 
Despite their undying popularity, Loomis' books are currently most out of print, except for some excerpts available from the art publisher Walter Foster. Some of his books are currently being published in Japanese via Maar Sha Co., Ltd. Early prints have become highly collectible and sought out by art enthusiasts and practitioners. Drawing the Head and the Hands and Figure Drawing for all it's Worth have been the first two in the publisher Titan's programme of facsimile editions, returning these classic titles to print for the first time in decades. Pending reissues include "Creative Illustration" and "Fun with a Pencil" planned to be published between 2012 and 2013.
  1. Fun with a Pencil (1939)
  2. Figure Drawing for All It's Worth (1943) This book was reissued as a full facsimile of the original on October 25, 2011 from Titan Books.[1]
  3. Creative Illustration (1947)
  4. Successful Drawing (1951) This book was also republished in a revised edition as Three Dimensional Drawing. (16 new pages with technical material on perspective replacing the pictorial gallery sections)
  5. Drawing the Head and Hands (1956) This book was reissued as a full facsimile of the original on May 31, 2011 from Titan Books.
  6. The Eye of the Painter (1961) (Loomis presents the problems of anatomy, movement, balance, expression, technique and he significantly emphasizes the importance of creativity and idealism in every artist's work.)

USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss

I forgot to post the final shots of this project, here they are.

HMS Astute - Hobbyboss 1/700

This project will no longer be finished, as the results after pouring all the resin  weren't the best and I ended up sending everything to the trash out of frustration.

The problems I found working with this polyester clear resin:

- the submarine was varnished with a semi-gloss acrylic varnish, you could see an irrealistic demarcation between the surface of the sub and the "water". I believe this could have been minimized with a stronger gloss coat.
- heat during polimerization attacked the edges of small most plastic parts. The resin was poured in thin layer but this even happened on parts that were barely submerged. The solution might only be to use an epoxy-resin next time, which won't release as much heat.
- The resin in countact with the walls of the mold cured in a very uneven way, it would have to be sanded heavily and polished to acquire that see-through look. I believe the solution would be to use some heavy polystyrene or acrylic plastic to build the mold.
- When tainting the resin with Tamiya paints (or any other), it's difficult to match their opacity, as a single extra drop produces quite a difference.
- It's important to pour each layer before the preceding one has cured completely, in order for them to "blend".
- It's almost impossible not to get some bubbles trapped while the resin cures. Carefull pouring and a toothpick will help getting rid of the majority but it's also important to use less catalyst and let the resin cure very slowly (this will give time for the bubbles to burst naturaly but will also reduce the generated heat).

If you're interest in reading a bit about polymers, these books will provide a solid introduction:


Also, if you want to see how the real Astute was built:

Lenin and Gebirgsjager

...And a nice little pedestal was made of plastic sheet and balsa wood covered with Tamiya putty.

Lenin and Gebirgsjager

A quick sculpt using plastiline, just to get a sense of the relative proportions. It looks like it should make it slightly smaller...

And another link, this one to an album with over 8000 photos of Lenin statues.

Lenin and Gebirgsjager

World War II photo depicting a Gebirgsjager sitting on top of a bust (so it seems to me) of Vladimir Lenin. I'm only interested in the aesthetically aspect of the scene and will try to build something similar in 1/72.

The destruction of statues like these took place frequently as the german army advanced through Europe.

More photos can be found here: