I’ve always wondered about headswaps. Paul and Al do them and do them successfully. I’ve tried a couple of times and only got 1 in 10 to work, and the amount of effort seemed excessive.

Ben B from Ben’s Soldiers shows us how he does his. He makes it look so easy. Thanks Ben!


My colleagues Al over at 20th Century Wargames and Paul from Plastic Warriors have been talking about spares boxes, so I thought I’d add to the conversation by discussing mine. I have two ways of storing spares and leftovers…I have a spares box, where I store any leftover sprues that have useful parts on them, and I also have bits ‘n pieces boxes where I store all manner of tiny pieces that aren’t worth keeping a whole sprue for and have a definite purpose, such as pioneer tools or surplus headlights.

Here’s the obligatory photo: .

The spares box is in the top left-hand corner. I use an A4 photocopy paper box and put sprues in there. If I’ve butchered some sprues or I’m working on whole companies of vehicles, I’ll use plastic ziplock sandwich bags (middle of photo and bottom left) to store the sprues or bits of sprues. That way if I need some individual track links because I’ve used up all those on the supplied sprue, I go right to the appropriately marked sandwich bag (eg. Revell Panzer III) and there’s the right size parts for the right manufacturer.

The bits n’ pieces boxes (right side of photo) are fishing tackle boxes. In them I store pieces snipped off sprues like vehicle/pioneering tools, leftover machineguns, jerry cans, headlights…any useful single-piece parts. The long blue tackle box mostly holds vehicle stowage in the form of rolled up tarpaulins – I buy these stowage pieces at swap n’ sells where I can get them made in resin. Now, it is possible to make your own vehicle stowage…Paul from Plastic Warriors makes rolled/folded up tarpaulins out of spraypainted tinfoil. I tried what he did – it works reasonably well and is easy to do. But 4-6 rolled tarps in resin for $5? That’s pretty reasonable too.

So, that’s how I retain useful things whilst building and detailing my model kits.


Truck Month results

February 28, 2011

Al over at 20th Century Wargames: Wargaming with mostly 1/72 scale plastic miniatures has completed a Bedford QLD, an Austin and a Matador…all fine softskins for the British Expeditionary Force and ANZAC allies. The Matador in particular has scrubbed up well with some good weathering. Good work, Al! In and of itself it’s not a beautiful vehicle to look at, with that snub nose and boxy shape…but in wargaming terms it carries a lot of troops and pulls some heavy weights, so they are good to have around.

From a different part of NZ, Paul at Plastic Warriors: 1/76 & 1/72 Plastic Soldiers, Armour & Aircraft emerges a winner, having completed four different trucks (when does the bloke sleep?!). He opened his account with the same kits as me, the Roden Opel Blitz. He then renovated and repainted Academy’s U.S. M35 2.5 ton cargo truck. As he got that done very quickly, he then completed a Landrover 1 Tonne Forward Control Truck. Then, with only 4 days of Truck Month left, he completed a Morris K2 Ambulance…with two days left, he snuck in a K6 Austin Fire Tender! Wow! Now, he bemoaned the quality of the flag decal for the Landrover FC truck but I think it adds a certain something, so I’m glad he put it on. In fact, he put the smaller tactical markings on his Opel Blitz too, so they look very official.

A great month by these two blokes, with beautifully completed kits ready for play. I’ve enjoyed taking part in their challenge.

It’s Truck Month

February 2, 2011

In conjunction with Paul from Plastic Warriors: 1/76 & 1/72 Plastic Soldiers,Armour & Aircraft and Al from 20th Century Wargames: Wargaming with mostly 1/72 scale plastic miniatures, I’m bringing you Truck Month. That means that during February I must start and finish a truck kit.

Like Paul, I’m going to be working on Roden’s Opel Blitz kit because I still have at least 5 that I purchased back in 2008 and, to this day, haven’t even been opened.

The first four stages were to:

  1. wash the sprues in very warm water with dishwashing detergent, in order to wash any remaining moulding residues off that may prevent good glueing or painting;
  2. rinse the sprues in very warm water to get rid of any detergent from the previous step;
  3. air-dry the sprues completely;
  4. undercoat the sprues.

Undercoating the sprues is complete:  , so now I can prepare for assembly.

Caesar Miniatures have very recently begun to make vehicles and guns as well as figures. I’ve bought various WWII figures off them over the years and have always found them well worth the money, well sculpted and with very good detail. I was waiting to hear what people thought of them before I committed any cash and, mercifully, positive statements were made reasonably quickly.

Henk of Holland has found in their favour, as have the folks over at the Braille Scale Discussion Forum. I was most interested in the quality and accuracy and they are fine on both of these regards. Al from 20th Century Wargames mentions the extras you get and you get a nice review of both quality and sprues over with the Bunkermeister.

While winning some lots on Ebay, I also had the funds to buy two of these Sig 33 kits. I’m in complete agreement with everyone else: they look great, are pretty finely detailed and are fantastic value! Here’s a photo: and detail of the gun sprue itself :  .

They won’t be done for a little while as I’ve got a number of other kits undercoated and under various stages of contruction at the moment, but more about that another time.

By the by, I bought my two kits through Bryan at Always Model – a very reliable and agreeable online retailer. I’ve used him a number of times now and have always been happy with price, communications and service.