I got there later than I normally would, 9.30am. Already 80 people in front of me:   . I joined the queue, but after five minutes spotted fellow NWA’er, raconteur and all-round good bloke Sean 6 people behind me, so I gave up my spot to drop back a few spots and hang out with him, passing the time shooting the breeze. Here’s the queue ahead of us:  . Now, in previous years I think there would have been more people ahead of us at that time of the morning, but this morning was very chilly…just 5 degrees C, and it  was only 7 degrees by the time I got home at midday. (The warmest it got today was 10 degrees, at 4pm…the sun only broke through the heavy fog at 1.30pm…)

The doors were opened spot on time and the queue moved well, no jumpers from where we were. I said hello to Neil, Jon and Michael as we moved around inside, also from NWA.

Inside was arranged as per normal except there was only one side of tables in the middle of the room, instead of two. This meant that there was actually more elbow room and it didn’t feel so claustrophobic. I must remember to take my glasses next time, as the lighting wasn’t good for me and I was squinting a lot trying to spot desired kits.

This time, there was plenty of 1/72 – but much of it I already had. I did come home with lots of loot, though – here’s a photo of the treasure:  . The first three columns of kits were all from the one vendor. 12 kits for $160.

The Nashorn was only $7 – an absolute steal for an unopened kit, so I bought it even though I currently don’t need it. I was stoked to find another Academy set of US vehicles. As I said before, the Russians loved those amphibious jeeps – see this link.

The little Renault FT17s with 37mm guns are fast-build kits, 2 in the box. They are the beginnings of my Romanian forces!

What was really good about today was to get the 8 Panthers. I need one more of each of those kits to make full-sterngth platoons of each. Then, when complete, they join my already completed full-strength platoon and company HQ vehicles, to make an entire company of Panthers. Grrrrrrraarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

***

PS: For Ben and Stephen, here are the promised ‘drool’ photos in their original 2304×1728 format:

           …and that’s a snapshot (pardon the pun) of what was there…there was lots more…

 

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.

The Hasegawa Kettenkrad included in the “Schwimmwagen + Kettenkrad” 1/72 scale Minibox kit turns out pretty well, as you can see from the pictures above. You can also see three ESCI telegraph poles from their Diorama Accessories kit. Those telegraph poles are certainly better than the Fujimi ones! Much more detailed and realistic.

The Hasegawa Kettenkrad is only problematic when it comes to including the figures that are meant to be used with it. Two problems here: 1) You cannot get two blokes sitting on the back – realistically, they should be able to. I decided to go with just one passenger. Mine is packing an MG-34.    2) The fully assembled driver cannot be placed properly. I cut off much of his lower legs, trimmed & filed the stumps and his thighs and then he fitted on his seat and his posture looked mostly normal. Otherwise, it’s quick to assemble and looks pretty good.

You can read about what On the Way! has to say about Hasegawa here. In particular, Stephen Brezinski provides a comparison of Hasegawa’s Kettenkrad versus Academy’s Kettenkrad here.