Thursday, 25 October 2012

Snail ate my decals!!

Yes it sounds like an excuse that a young person at school would give about doing, or  not doing, their homework. But its true, honest. A snail has got into the shed, up onto the workbench, across it and made straight for the decals ( US stars and tank names ) lying on it waiting to go onto the US tanks and vehicles done earlier this year.

It didn't eat any of the German decals, next to them. Very selective, possibly due to the high calorific content of a US star opposed to a German cross. I have been able to save some of the decals, and probably should have put them on a long time ago, so time to get on with it.

Snail then performed a parabolic trajectory across the garden into the bedding plants.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A previous existence... in a different scale

I have recently come accross an old model of a 15mm VAB from LKM. It was unusual as I had made the master for Chas several years ago. I decided to rebase it, as the original base had come off, and put it up in a posting. Also, to write a bit about some of the masters I made up for Chas.Some were okay, others were a joy to do, and though I am proud of the achievement, I am more proud of some,and especially proud of the VAB, as it waas the first.

I used to make scatch build kits a long time ago. It started with a bunch of GRP resin turrets for Airfix T34's type D hexagonal turret, for my Russian 20mm. Thirty five years ago. Plaster mould, with pour in green resin. Sometimes they set, other times they didn't. The first actual full model were a couple of T60's, built with plasticard and the running gear from an Airfix JS3. The JS3 kit was awful, and having built one, I got another for the bogie wheels. At the same time I was building HMG's, 57mm anti tank guns, 81mm mortars, anti tank rifles, 120mm mortar, AA mounts for machine guns,  SU152, SU85, SU122, stalinets and komsomlets tractors. I had a copy of Milsoms book on Russian afv's and a book on Soviets small arms as a reference. The problem was drawings to work from, and pictures to use as reference. A lot of it was guesswork, and what was suitable and available.

I ended up with a regiment of  T34's, the matchbox infantry being used as Siberian SMG armed tank riders, a company of 3 platoons of ESCI plastic infantry, with heavy weapons. A load of supports etc. They disappeared in the early 80's somewhere.

So after being challenged by Chas to make something better, when I whinged that his VAB was not like the pictures I had seen for painting, I went away and built one,along with some variants, AMX10 apcs, German 4 and 8 wheeler armoured cars. The result is below. Not the master, but a model I got for an abortive modern bush wars campaign I attempted, and painted up.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

12th SS Panzer with supports

I have managed to get all the Germans together, so this posting is the result of a bit of Fuji time. Hopefully it is a decent enough shoot and the figures and models are up to it.

The core of the force is 2 platoons of Panzer Grenadiers, with a platoon command, a Kampfgruppe command in a PanzerIV, and in the picture is a Recce Command in a 250, a 37mm Pak 35/36, and a Flak 36 88mm. There are 4 anti tank teams with schrecks.
   I have not got any 251's or 250's for recce and transport yet, so will use lorries and kubels etc. I have a 222 light armoured car done but not completely finished, and another on the bench waiting for me to scratch build a 20mm cannon for it. Both need a grill for the open turret, but I haven't worked out how to do it yet! I got the 2 sidecar combi's with a box of bits and guns, and painted them up[ as they were nice and easy models to get finished.

I use the 2 halftracks as prime movers for the Pak40 and 88mm. I have a third opel blitz that I got as a bit of a derelict, which I will be converting to a little set piece radio truck.
Anti air is provided by 2 halftracks, the first with a quad 20mm and the second with a 37mm
The core of the tank support are 3 Panthers picked up a while ago, which had to be extensively cleaned and repainted. I tried to do a decent job of the camo pattern, but have to admit that what I have seen others do is far better.
The workhorse on the tabletop, and in real life were the Stugs, and these are no exception. Generally they are pretty well chosen any time an armour option is needed, the Panthers being just too expensive. I got the 3 Stugs off ebay when I got a £30 voucher for selling a couple of £'s worth of 15mm. Well worth it.
Well, here they are, my favourite models, the 2 Airfix Tigers I converted/pimped up, to make them something just a little bit more than the original kits. I really like them, and enjoy playing with them. They just intimidate everything on the table, if they are used thoughtfully and carefully. A 17pdr round will write them off far too easily.
Here are 2 King Tigers I picked up. Along with the Tiger1's they represent SS Swherer Panzer 101 in its many guises, on deployment first in Normandy, and later when they were re-equiped.
Anti tank is provided by 2 JagdpanzerIV's i got and converted with 2 barrels from SHQ to turn them into early L48 75mm's. he side skirts broke on one, so I cut them off, aerials drilled in.
Heavy Anti Tank comes in the form of a JagdPanther and a JagdTiger.

Some Late war antitank models, a nice little Hetzer, with a JagdPanzerIV L70. The Hetzer is a very nice model, I had to sort out the mudguards when I got it, but lovely little thing

Out of area, as in the Eastern front or very late, I got a very cheap model of an Elefant. I had to repaint and sort out the running gear which was in quite bad condition. The Hornisse was a Britannia model, that I had to break apart and reglue together again to set the running gear level.
Well there it is, not all though. I have a pack of PSC PanzerIV's still in the box, 2 105mm guns, a 222, a SHQ Marder III and a radio truck to build and paint and to get off the bench.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Not just a monomania...

I have also started painting some WW1 aircraft to play Blue Max, a WW1 air combat system. Originally, back in the day, I used to play this obsessively...and then collected and painted the Skytrex 1/144 metal aircraft to play on a painted sheet with a hexed perspex overlay. Well, the painted sheet will ultimately make an appearance with a hex grid, and the scale will be 1/72. Really its an excellent club game as a diversion or a campaign etc, as well as a bit of a break from WW2. 

SS platoons finished

I have finally finished basing up my SS platoons ( 2 ) which I got as a present for my half centenial. Not sure I will be getting some for my next one though, so I feel okay about this. I take the point made by a few individuals that the whole SS thing can be a glorification of a particularly nasty and disgusting amoral period in history. However the reason was my inability to paint camoflage, and Nick Turner was able to give a good price for the painting. I got the figures from SHQ a while ago shortly after getting 2 platoons of Heer from the bring and buy at PAW 2012 in Febuary. Those have provided sterling service, but I hope to use the newly finished figures for future gaming.

Along with the SS I have finished off a lot of soft vehicles and support for the germans, and when I have time at the weekend I will be posting photo's.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

BGK - about to kickoff

Well, its getting very close to the launch of Battle Group Kursk. Details given are that it will be launched at the end of September. An update from Piers puts it in a container coming over from the Baltic. Anyway, its close.

I've got some volunteers from the club - South Somerset, to do demonstration games to help promote BGK. We will receive the kind regards of the BGK team, and maybe some pre-publication material for some of the future stuff.

There is a wiff of danger in the air - what will the EE do to counteract this treachery? The EE is not known for its forgiveness when dealing with what it believes are its commercial interests, even if it says it is no longer interested in a thing, or a set of rules.