Saturday, 31 December 2011

Tigers Marsch - Part 8

The build is finally complete, with the Airfix Tiger finally pimped up ready for priming and painting. I think its going to look ok. I have been looking at some SHQ tank crew, so will get a packet in the new year. They should match the Tiger quite well.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Tiger II locations of operations

I  have checked up on Tiger II operations, and have the 503rd -  Heer, operating on the east against the British/canadians, with a re-equipped company of 101st  SS involved with the counterattack at Mortain. So, 101st SS could be the unit for Tiger I and Tiger II. There were some - 5, supplied to Panzer Lehr, but were destroyed after breaking down prior to action. I don't have information on 102nd SS.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Cavalry recon - reinforcements

Andy Grubb from Grubby Tanks has come through with a Christmass order, 24 more infantry, a deployed 81mm mortar and .30 cal. I will also have to finish up the bases for the halftracks, so that a group photo can be taken. I will also need to organise the M5 stuarts and M8 a/cars.

I decided on Armoured Cavalry Recon because that gives quite a range of games - dismounted on foot, small scale tank/armoured car actions, fully mobile encounters. I could make them into Divisional Cavalry but I think that would limit the amount of vehicles operating.

Their opponents will probably be Waffen SS - 12th HJ, or 6th Fallschirmjagers, but the US were on a different flank to the 12th HJ, and I believe that it was Heer Tigers (King Tigers ooops ) that operated on their front. So, decisions.

Maybe both!

Tigers Marsch - Part 7

The zimmerit has finally been finished, leaving aerial(s) if its going to be a command tank, tools, cables and mg mount. I put the tracks on just to see the vaguely finished product, and can say that he rubber tracks are awful. Fortunately, I will not really be looking at the tracks, and the basing can hide a multitude of sins. I will remove the staples from them, and heat weld the tracks. So, here's the Cat.

Now that I'm getting close to the finish, the second tiger is nearly pasted - hull, that is, it's starting to get quite exciting! Colour scheme and painting not yet finalised, but will probably paint over Christmas.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Tigers Marsch - Part six

Turret has been modeled and awaiting the zimmerit and mg mount, which I'll be doing last of all. Turret was filed down and some of the bad joins will be filled when I apply the paste. The stowage box at the rear of the turret was a little tricky in getting the curve of the box, but the usual trick of pouring boiling water over the platicard, and quickly cooling worked.I used pliers to squeeze the piece to the correct bend angle, tagging the piece to the supports with superglue, to then use plastic glue and blocks to get the most contact with the rear plate.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Tigers Marsch - Part Five

I've finally been able to finish the hull. I've added a headlight, but not included the wiring!.Front and rear mudguards, with supports and hinges, and I made up a track tensioner to fit to the rear. The hull mount for the aerial has been fitted, but not drilled and fitted in yet. So, the turret will be next to do.

Looking at the rear, you can see that the covers for the exhaust are not quite in line, but I will be 'knocking' them about a bit, when I can work out how to do it.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Support your local Tiger dealer

Well, it pays to shop around, so the saying goes, and an evening in front of the computer produced a rather large shock. SHQ miniatures have a Late war Tiger with zimmerit for £12. However, they also do a Rapid Fire pack of 3 Tigers for £25!!. Also, as Pete is celebrating 10 years of running SHQ, in the lead up to Christmass, he is adding 10% to the value of a gift certificate or E-gift certificate. This means that if you buy an E-certificate for £20, it has the value of £22, and for £3 more you can get the Tiger pack. A Tiger would cost £7.67 each.

On the whole, when I think about how many hours I am putting in to each Tiger, is it worth more than £5.67 to reach the level of the SHQ Tiger. If I knew beforehand, I would have visited SHQ. I still think that the work on the Airfix Tigers will be worth it, but I have a feeling that someone working in a Branded trainer factory in South East Asia is on a better hourly rate than me.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Tigers Marsch - Part 4

Well, the first Tiger has had its zimmerit paste applied, and the second has been started. The process of doing this has revealed many more problems with the Airfix kit, than at first realised. There are problems with the front armour plates of the kit, basically the kit is not accurate. The cut of the horizontal plate meeting the vertical plate - which includes the visor and ball mg, is too pronounced and overhanging the tanks side plate. These had to be cut down to fit the front mudguards to the model. Examining various photos of Tigers in Italy and Normandy, the mudguards have right angles, and appear to fit the armour plates exactly, even allowing for the cut of the plates - which on various photos has been cut by acetylene torch, from the rough edges shown. Going back to my thoughts about buying in the Tigers with the paste on, I can heartily recomend this. Unless you like fiddling about with models ( I do ) to make them something different and special you probbly have better things to do with your time.

                                                 First Tiger with paste applied, 3/4 view front

                                                           First Tiger - 3/4 view rear

                         Second Tiger with both sides pasted and front glacis done but not showing
On the above photo the overhang and exagerated cut of the front plate can be seen, and will be rectified when the front mudguards are fitted, along with the rear ones.

Friday, 2 December 2011

US Infantry

Here are some photo's of my US infantry, with Engineers, mortars and MMG's. Figures are from Kellys Heroes, and are really very nicely scuplted, with no flash and 'extra' bits under arms, between legs etc. In short, they are excellent value for money. A friend swears by AB miniatures, but as Kellys are nearly half the price..... Its not that I  will not try other manufacturers, but the level of service was exceptional to boot.
                                                .30 cal gun teams and an 81mm mortar team

                                         Engineer team, mineclearing and demolition with officer

                                                  Bazooka teams with officer and 2 snipers

                                                                 Rifle squad advancing

                                                                 Another rifle squad

                                                                       Last rifle squad
I will be adding to the US infantry to build up the infantry to weak company level, and of course there will be German troops to collect at some point. I will want to finish projects before piling up the lead!! and the US is nearly done with the exception of some armoured cars and more Shermans. I will be looking for Bart, Homer and Lisa etc.


Picked up this Airfix early model Sherman from ebay, gave it a tart up, replacing the aerial, a dark wash with some highlighting, and a little bit of detailing. Will go with the US foot I have finally finished. Also, have 3 jeeps and observers, the figures are Kellys Heroes. I got 8 jeeps from the plastic model bit/scrap box of Grubby Tanks at the Devizes show 2011. These 3 are general purpose jeeps for artillery observers

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tigers Marsch Part 3

The Tiger is having the zimmerit paste applied to the body of the tank. Application is tied to the set time of the Green Stuff - you could use Miliput, so a side is done per session. The covers of the exhausts were plastic tube that was split, stretched over a paint brush and heated with boiling water to set the plastic, heated again to stretch until the correct shape. Then the top was filed to the correct thickness, with the inside edges cut to go round the flanges of the exhaust pipes so they would fit over them.

The body of the tank was put together quite well, but the fit of the plastic pieces is not that great, in fact, as I was whiling the time away applying the zimmerit paste, I was thinking of where I could have got a kit with the paste already on - metal or plastic.

Work to continue with applying paste to front plate and rear, then turret, and stowage box. Mudguards have been scored to show the 4 guards per side.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tigers Marsch Part 2

The components as received, broken down for preparation, and to follow the transformation . I have decided to start with 2 of the Tigers, and see what happens. I will be needing to sort out the exhausts, do the tracks, add the stowage box at rear of turret, add zimmerit, attach cupola mg, add track to side of turrets, weather/rough up the vehicle - side skirts/mudguards, add aerials, paint and base. I will need to decide paint scheme and numbering, and whether to add any crew figures, though they will probably be 101st SS in Normandy, and the other 2 a Heer unit from Normandy

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Tigers marsch ! Part 1

4 Airfix Tigers have arrived last week from ebay, and the research has already begun into transforming them into 101st Heavy Panzer. The kits are well made, but the Tigers appear to be early models, without the rear turret storage bin, and the cylindrical exhausts on rear. No problem, as a visit to the bit box, and some plasticard will sort these things out, and from reading Then and Now, Panzers in Normandy, I will be trying to rough them up, as well as add some zimmerit paste. Photos will follow, as I work my way through the process. One of the other problems is the track sag - reading, I have found out that they weigh in at 2.5 tons each, so I will have my work cut out showing this, without damaging the track or running gear, and making the model a reasonable effort.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Kampfgruppe Normandy

OK, I know it should be Normandie, but what the heck.

Recently several month's ago I had the opportunity to try my hand at KGN. We played 25mm, but the last game I played before my opponent had to nip overseas for work, was in 1/300th. The board we would have played on was set up for a Franco-Prussian game, so the table became 2 paste tables in the garden. The game was surprisingly excellent fun, allowing a large scale game to be played quite quickly. This was only my third game, but I had gone the whole hog into KGN after the first, as it just 'felt right'. Not the reason I would have wanted to own up to, perhaps something along the lines of historical accuracy etc. After playing Flames , it just ' felt right ' .

Sweeping napoleonic swathes of miniatures , buckets of dice to hand, and national character tweaks had worn thin. Flames just didn't do it. As a consequence, my 15mm Flames US armoured recon hit ebay, and various bits and pieces of 25mm began to rain down into the shed for work on sprucing them up.

As I write, the US infantry are almost complete, and there are a selection of  US armour, jeeps and utilities just about to be finished off. Finally, courtesy of the marketing wonks at the 'evil empire', a 50% sale made the rule set within reach, and saved a visit to the photocopier. Although I suspect, with the quality of the rules - all the artwork, detail etc, I would have found it just the same as buying the rules at full price. £48 and posting - outrageous, but wow, my own dirty little secret. £48 !!!!

I shall get some pics up

Welcome to my wargaming blog

The blog has been created to further my obsession with ' littlemen', alright, I mean wargames figures ( and models ). Finally I have given in to technology. I will attempt to match some of the excellent material I read on the Web, and try to entertain as well.