Sunday 29 December 2013

Sample Paints - 20mm WW2

I painted up some samples to get the colours and so on, and the feel for these 1/72 figures. The picture quality isn't great - but here goes.

 Rear view of the US lieutenant, and a Brit Bren Gunner, the green on the Brit needs to be darker.

One of the Armourfast/HaT Machine Gunners pack doing duty in a Sdkfz 251/1 of the 2nd Panzer Division. I am still waiting for numeric decals to arrive.

Front of the GI Lieutenant, still needs shading on the flesh and the webbing, plus the metallic bits.

And a close-up of the Panzergrenadier in Splintermuster, you can't really see the 'rain-stripes'. I should break out the good camera.

Saturday 28 December 2013

New Years Resolutions

Ok, so here goes (and apologies for the somewhat indulgent length). As usual - Last Years resolutions were not kept.. though for me, I did rather well.

What did I resolve in 2012?

I am planning to not make any wargames purchases at all this year - ok, well - that failed...  but expenditure was way down on last year..  so I shall count that as a partial success.

I should actually finalise some of the half-finished projects - let's see how that went...

  • Finish the Sui Chinese for DBMM (required for Cancon in 24 days time..) - YES
  • Complete the bases on my Houstons Ships - YES
  • Finish the WSS British - NO
  • Get paint onto my SAGA Vikings and Scots - NO
  • Complete the Late War 6mm Germans for BKCII - YES. (Except I bought some add ons, so the add-ons are painted but still awaiting basing.)
  • Make up some new terrain - YES, did some hills, rivers, waterways, etc.
  • 15mm Sci-Fi - two forces for Tomorrows War - NO
  • 15mm Modern, finish up the US and Insurgent forces - NO
On the bright side, I completed a few other projects. So in addition to the ones above, I have completed:
  • 15mm DBA Rajput army
  • 15mm DBA Ottoman Turkish army
  • 1/3000 Soviet Fleet + air-power for 'Shipwreck'
  • 6mm BKCII DAK German Battlegroup
  • 6mm BKCII Commonwealth Western Desert Battlegroup 
  • 6mm BKCII North West Europe British/Commonwealth Battlegroup
  • Armoured vehicles for Chain of Command in 1/72 (20mm)
So what's the plan for 2014?

Well, I won't commit to NO wargames purchases, but I have been thinking (again) about the ones I have that wouldn't require too much effort to say 'finished'!

So here's the brief outline of targets for 2014.
  • 1/72 Finish the Chain of Command US, German, British and British Airborne companies
  • 15mm Finish the DBA Hebrews that are already started
  • 1/3000 Finish the Royal Navy for Shipwreck already started
  • 6mm Finish up the BKCII Late War Germans (basing only required)
  • 1/1200 Complete the rest of the Langtons French Napoleonic ships
  • 6mm Complete the WSS for use with Polemos or Maurice
  • 15mm Complete the Moderns (US, Insurgents and AK47 Africans)
  • 15mm Complete the Sci-Fi Nova Alba and Colonial Marine forces
  • 1/3000 Finish up the last couple of WTJ Pre-Dreads (destroyers and a couple of cruisers)
  • 15mm Finish the Splintered Light Picts for DBA
Other stuff that might get attacked: (Unlikely but possible..)
  • 6mm Additional FWC Sci-Fi Battlegroup (mainly walkers and infantry)
  • 6mm Additional 6mm FWC Sci-Fi Battlegroup Pax Arcadia
  • Finish up Japanese Full Thrust fleet
  • Do repairs and updates to UNSC Full Thrust fleet
  • 6mm New Early War French BKCII Battlegroup
  • 6mm New Early War British BKCII Battlegroup 
  • 6mm New Late War US BKCII Battlegroup 
  • 6mm Finish the CWC South Africans
  • 6mm Finish the CWC 1990's Desert British
  • 6mm Finish the CWC 1970-80's British
  • Use existing models to do some CWC Arab-Israeli Battlegroups
  • 28mm SAGA Scots & Vikings
  • 28mm Sasanians
  • 15mm TYW/ECW for DBR
  • 15mm Samurai for DBA
 And of course, there is always the rest of the DBMM lead-pile
  • Alexandrian Macedonians
  • Additional Ottomans to expand the DBA army into a full DBMM army
  • New Kingdom Egyptians
  • Thebans
  • Early Polish
  • Goths/Visigoths
  • Others  - pretty sure there are plenty of others, like DBA Byzantines, etc.
Wheeewwwww..    well, let's see how it looks from the perspective of Christmas 2014.

20mm WW2 - Hanomags completed

Now only awaiting crew and stowage - the crew are pending paintbrush following some hacking of the Armourfast/HaT German Machinegunners. The stowage is ordered and should arrive soon.

The Armourfast models actually build up very nicely. More than happy with these, and today I have also based up companies of British Infantry (51 HD) and Heer (2nd Arm'd Div.), plus a squad of GI's (2nd Arm'd Div. funnily enough).

Now waiting for the bases to set before undercoating. I reckon undercoat Panzer Grey for the Her without Smocks, a sand colour for the US, and 'mocha' for the Brits.

And I even sorted out my painting table and moved everything where it is supposed to be..  I really need to either invest in, or build a paint rack.

Monday 23 December 2013

20mm WW2 - expanded vehicle park

A parcel at work today, containing the Armourfast Sdkfz 251/1 & Sherman M4A2 75mm kits, plus two packs of the Armourfast/HaT German Machine Gunners.

So firstly - very pleased with the machine gunners, they look like they will paint up nicely, and be compatible with my Caesar sets which for some reason (across three sets) contain not one single LMG or HMG.

Service - top marks..  at Christmas time from ordering Dec 10, arrived at work Dec 23. 13 days door to door from UL to Australia in the middle of the Christmas post. Excellent work.

On to the kits themselves. Rivet-counters may now look away. Firstly the 251. Grey plastic, went together easily, nice detail, looks the biz. Some have complained it is too long and narrow, but to me it really looks the part. 23 minutes to put it together. Only drama, other than the usual dropping of tiny plastic parts, the MG are MG42, so this is late war. The headlamps don't quite fit into the holes, burr these out. No driver compartment detail, but I think it is assumed you will be filling this baby with machine-gunners etc. And good grief - why are the vision slots moulded separately with no locating lugs?  Surely these could have been cast with the very nice upper body.

Armourfast - Sdkfz 251/1 & M4A2
Armourfast Sherman Sprue - 15 bits I think...
Armourfast on the Left, Esci on the right.

Now the Sherman. Went together very easily. Looks the part, quite comparable in size with my Esci version. Now.. just 5 slight issues.
1. The exploded assembly view contains a part that isn't on the sprue.. part no 6. turret hatch on the left hand side. I looked on both sprues, nope, nada, zilch, nothing...   doesn't exist.
2. The bit that is included on the sprue, but isn't on the diagram. I think this bit is an aerial mount for the rear of the turret.. equally, it could be a spare ball mg mounting..
3. +1 to Armourfast for making the turret hatches in two parts so they can be opened, but no crew member.
4. Rear decking detail is 'sparse' it works, but I think I am going to stack it with stowage to conceal the lack of detail.
5. No decals..    annoying. I am going to have to source some separately. I knew this when I bought it, but it would be nice even to have some generic Allied stars, (same for the Hanomag.. how hard would it be to include a few Balkan crosses?

I really reckon Armourfast could make a good thing out of an 'accessories' pack with tons of stowage, jerry cans, crates, rolled tarps etc. Throw in some decals, and I would certainly buy them.

But all in all, these are excellent little wargames models They look the part, and with a little bit of extra work in the paint shop, some customisation, and so on, will really look good on the table.

Thursday 12 December 2013

Megalomania - the Tank Park

So I have been building up the tank park, the latest additions; an Esci Sherman. What a pain. I complained about the Airfix rubber band tracks, but Esci have taken another tack. Each track is made up of 4 decent sized parts plus 8 single links. and they all have to be cut out and trimmed from the sprue (obviously). Glueing single track links is definitely not my favourite thing to do. 2 days hard labour later...   Apart from that, a lovely kit..  so here it is, ready for the main colours.

Not sure about the somewhat stiff tank commander...  or whether this one might eventually get fitted with loudspeakers and a barrel extension..   just for that .. edge.. ya know, man?

And here's the rest of the tank park. In the front is an Armourfast Tank Destroyer, just awaiting a crew. This one was pre-assembled and has just had a bit of a repaint. Decals are incorrect unfortunately, so I will have to attack this one again.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Airfix Panther (Ernst)

I posted Bert a few days ago, so here's my take on the Airfix Panther. Now I know all about the defects of the model, but I thought a paint job, Milliput Zimmerit, and a commander might compensate a bit.

So here's my take...

I probably need to go back with Dullcote or similar..

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Bert & Ernie (Or maybe it's Ernst)

For those who have been paying attention, I got back into kit-building with the Esci Churchill, and the Airfix Panther.

So here's some glamour shots...  Bert...

And Ernie - with his little Pal..   1/72 Airfix Panther vs 1/285 GHQ M3 Half track.

Guess which one is a more accurate model, has more detail, and requires less assembly ? Compared to the Esci kit, this is a woefully primitive model. But an hour or so with some modelling putty, zimmerit and stowage, some time in the paint shop.. a couple of figures maybe..   and it should look alright on a wargames table.

And the Caesar US and German sets arrived from Taiwan today...   really great service. All excited now, and all I have to do is sort out what bases I want to use.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Churchill Mk III Esci 1/72 Kit

So I constructed a plastic kit that Jason very kindly donated. The Esci Churchill Mk IV [Correction - the kit is Infantry Tank Mk IV, Churchill III]. It has been about 35 years since I built a model, and I also have the very inaccurate Airfix Panzer, and the Esci Sherman M1A1. As I am going to build US and German 1944 forces, I thought I would build this one as a practice run.
So the good...  the kit went together reasonably well, although the front and rear sprockets don't quite line up with the kit mouldings. It's a nice kit, plenty of good detail, and I reckon will paint up well. Getting a crewman was a bonus.
The bad?

The only polystyrene glue I have is thick, splodgy and strings everywhere. I spent for ever picking strings off with a pair of tweezers. Plus the turret moulding doesn't quite line up. (The kit has been in a garage for years, and perhaps warped slightly in the Australian heat?) Nothing that can't be fixed with some green stuff, once everything is solid.

The ugly..  anyone know how to get the tracks to go on? Horrible rubbery things, they seems too short. The final part is to put the track guards on, which I can't do until I can figure out how to get the tracks reasonably tight without breaking the bogies and sprockets. Oh well, some time to be spent on the various internet modelling sites.

Well, some staples, hot water and elastic bands later..