Monogram 1/24 Rommel's Rod
KIT #: 85-4260
PRICE: $22.00 MSRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Shawn Payne
NOTES: New mold of an old kit

THE KIT

 Monogram's reissue of an old classic.  I have not had this kit until this release came out, but I understand that the tooling for it has been improved upon so I will take their word on that.  Overall the parts were clean of any flash and major mold lines.  No injector pin marks were visible where they would be seen in the finial assembly.    All parts were bagged with the chrome and clear parts bagged separate.   The chrome was nicely done with no flaws and the clear parts had no defects either. 

The instructions were printed as Monogram usually does with step-by-step exploded views.   The painting guide is at the end with a list of what parts are to be painted what color.  They tell you to refer to the Box art for body color and other painting details that is not covered in the instructions.  The decals were printed without flaws or alignment issues.  For a look at what is in the box, please visit the preview.

CONSTRUCTION

 I started off with the engine.  Gluing the major parts together and cleaning up the seams, what little clean up was needed. 

COLORS & MARKINGS

   I painted the engine and transmission Euro 1 Gray FS36081 and the molded in components were then painted Flat Black.  The exhaust lines were molded in and painted Steel.  Copper and Brass was used to paint the other lines on the engine.  The spark plugs were painted Steel with the wires painted flat black.  To add dimension to the chrome parts and to hide the injection tabs I painted chrome black, brass and chrome silver to pick out the detail on them.   Once the engine was all together I then weathered it with chalk.  I brushed in black chalk to all the recessed areas and blended it in, then used a silver pencil to touch the high lights.  I tried to keep the weathering to a minimum as I did not want the overall of the car done in heavy armor weathering.

For the crew compartment I started with Euro Gray 1 as the base.   Flat black was used for the roof cover.   Again I weathered with the chalks starting with the black.  I brushed in the black into all the corners and then brushed up and away from those areas to fade and blend the chalk over the whole surface.  Then I went back with dark tan chalk and repeated the process.  To high light the middle areas I blended in an even lighter tan chalk to help give these areas depth.  For the anti-skid patches on the floor I used a black sharpie.  Once this was done I sprayed the compartment with Testors Dull Coat.  This did help take the shine off the anti-skid patches I used the sharpie on but it also diluted the chalk weathering somewhat.  So I just re-did the chalk weathering to those areas again and in no time it was back to a look I liked.  To help bring out the roof cover I weathered with light tan chalk and blended it over the whole surface but left it heavy in the folds.  I painted the seats with Model Master Leather and again using the same system of chalk weathering I repeated the same steps only this time I added some purple chalk to help add the effect to the seats. 

For the ammo cans, jerry cans and tool boxes I painted them medium gray and weather with the chalks and highlighted with the silver pencil.  With the seat and ammo cans glued in the crew compartment it was not complete.   I went on and glued together all of the other subassemblies and got everything ready for primer and paint.

The main color of the body and chassis was an 80-20 % mixture of RLM 79 (Sand Gelb) and Insignia Yellow FS 33538. This produced a mustard color that I thought matched the box art.   The chassis was molded with the engine pan, fuel tank and bell housing as one part.  Flat black was used for the engine pan and the underbody panel with Euro Gray 1 for the bell housing and fuel tank.  Light Gray chalk was blended over the engine pan and floor panel and the silver pencil used to hit the high lights.  Black chalk was used to weather the chassis and front suspension and fuel tank.  Tan chalk was also applied over the fuel tank to add to its appearance.   With the chassis done I set it aside and went back to the main body parts. 

I used Future Floor wax to gloss all of the body parts, even the parts that were not going to have decals added to them later.  I did this so that when the dull coat was applied all the parts would have an even scheme.   Now came the decals, these went on with no problems.  I had no issues with silvering and the whites did not have any transparent look to them.   The only kit decals I did not use were for the running flags.  I decided to use some small swastikas I had instead.   I reasoned that since the kit came with a swastika on the palm tree that went on the tire cover, the flags would tie in.  With the decals done I airbrushed Testors Model Master Dull Coat over all the body parts giving them a good even flat appearance.  

The running gear was painted overall with the body color then masked off and the tracks were painted with Testors Rust.  Now came the fun part.  I brushed painted the rest of the tracks and running gear, covering the areas I could not get with the airbrush and masking.  Once the wheels and track areas were cleaned up and the flat black was added to the wheels it was time to weather.   I first brushed in the black chalk into the recessed areas of the tracks. Then I dry brushed over the tracks with Steel.   For the inside of the tracks I blended in black chalk then highlighted the upper track areas with the silver pencil.  Black chalk was used to weather the inside of the wheels and the silver pencil again to hit the high lights.

To finish up the body parts I painted the hood straps leather, and the piano hinge along with the door handles Testors Oiled Steel.  The insides of the engine panels and hood were airbrushed with steel.  On the body Black chalk was lightly brushed into the corner areas and around the hood straps and engine cover vents.  This gave the model a slight weathered look that I wanted to achieve. 

FINAL CONSTRUCTION

Now it was ready to put all the parts together.  Everything went onto place with no problems.  I started with joining the crew compartment to the main body, then that to the chassis.  Once those were done I glued in the engine, wheels, running gear, engine side walls and grill.  The only thing left to do now were the figures.

The driver and Rommel skeleton were painted flat white for the base then given a wash of black ink.  I then added Burnt Siena oil paint over them and removed most of that with a cotton swab.  I painted the eye and nose openings with flat black and the teeth were picked out with ivory.  The “bones” were done.  Rommel’s hat was painted to match the box art and the completed figures were set into place.  I did not glue them in just placed them in their seats. 

CONCLUSIONS

This was a rather easy build.  No fit problems, no surprises, just follow the instructions and anyone no matter what skill level can finish up with a nice model.  The only weak area for me was the skeleton figures; they were a little too simplistic.  A full rib cage would have added to the overall look to the model, but with a little effort that could be built and added on. 

REFERENCES

Nazi Skeltons at War: part 6 - Afrika Korps, Crypt Publishing.

Shawn Payne

December 2009If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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