Dragon’s 1/16 SS- Cavalryman
(kit # 1615) is an enlarged version of Florian Geyer Cavalry 1/35 kit. In the box; you will find quite well detailed figure of rider and horse plus some equipment. Unfortunately manufacturer has not provided any kind of bit so beside scratchbuilding reins modeller has put some more work into replicating a bit to achieve convincing model.
Most of parts have seam lines but it’s nothing unusual or hard to deal with. I started construction with figure of the horse and I must say I was really disappointed with the fit of two half of the animal, especially at the rump and between back legs. This was the most time-consuming stage of the build to correct the flaws. When I was finally satisfied, mane, tail and ears were glued in their places. Next I moved on to the saddle assembly. Assembled saddle was put on horse while glue hasn’t cured yet, to achieve better fit of these two elements. After few hour I removed it from horse’s back I used it to check if rider’s legs fit properly. And here was another fit issue I had to deal with. Small gap at crotch appeared when I wanted to put a figure in saddle, but getting rid of it wasn’t too difficult. When main subassemblies were done I started working on details. I started with carving horse rug to simulate saddle-girthand and drilling out a Kar. 98k’s barrel. Then I reeled few coils of wire on toothpick, removed the coil from toothpick, uncoiled one reel, twisted it 180 degrees at about half of length to get S – letter shape. At one end I left toothpick diameter ring and at second end I reeled the wire more to get smaller ring. The same steps were done to get the second piece. In the end CA glue was used to attach the bit’s parts. Dryfiting showed that adding saddlebags needs a lot of work with mane for acceptable fit, beside I couldn’t find any good reference showing how they were attached to saddle so I decided to leave saddlebags in spare box.
The next step was priming all subassemblies with spray-cans paints (grey for most and black for horse’s head and legs) and begin the painting. As a base colour for horse I used Testor’s Light Brown Enamel, diluted with Wamod’s (Polish company) Enamel Thinner.
At head and legs very thin layer of paint was airbrushed so previously applied black primer could be seen through. I wasn’t happy with painting on legs so Black with a drop of Black-Grey added was airbrushed on legs. Then I hand-painted and weathered the horse rug. Next I painted mane and tail with Black from Vallejo and weathered them by drybrushing with Chocolate brown and Ochre.
Hoofs were painted with mix of NATO Black from Tamiya and Black from Vallejo and then thin layer of well diluted Weathering from Pactra was applied.