I went along to the IPMS Model Expo 2013 Swap & sell on the Queen’s Birthday Monday, but decided not to stand in the queue for an hour…as less and less of what I want appears at swap & sells now, I opted to sleep in and only stand in the queue for 25 minutes (the roads were so empty, I got there quicker than I thought I would).

Huge queue – here it is 15 minutes before opening, looking to the front: IPMS 2013 1

and then looking to the back: IPMS 2013 2

and of course it was even bigger by the time the doors opened.

No photos from inside, because it was too jam-packed to get panormic photos for drooling over! I’m sure that if you were there, you would have seen some things worth buying.

Here’s what I bought: IPMS 2013 3 – the Luftwaffe crews are destined to become Panzerwaffe crews.

 

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I completed my Soviet Armoured Car Company, bringing it to the recommended strength of five vehicles thanks to finishing the final three earlier this week. The final three are a BA-I (БА-И), BA-6 (БА-6) and BA-10 (БА-10). You’ll recall the first two vehicles of this company, finished back in February, were a BA-9 (БА-9) and a BA-6M. Here’s the whole company:  and from the air:  .

Here are the three recently completed vehicles together:   .

Here’s the  BA-I (БА-И) by itself:  . Now the BA-10 (БА-10):  . Lastly the funky-looking BA-6 (БА-6), first from the side  and then three quarter profile:  …great idea, just to whack the tank turret from the T-26 onto the armoured car body…

I really like this camouflage (камуфляж) scheme, that I got from this link: “BA-6 from the Separate Recon Battalion /1st Tank Division/1st Mechcorps, The North-western Front, Krasnogvardeysk (Gatchina) region, August 1941″ – it’s lots of fun to paint.

If you look closely at those trees in the background, you might recognise some of them from this earlier post of mine.

So, in the space of a few months I’ve added two more companies to my Soviet forces. That’s enough for now, as they are not my primary army. It’d be good to pick up a couple of Airfix T-34s (as kits or assembled) so I could complete my company of T-34/76s, but I’ve not seen any at the swap & sells this year…funny, as there were plenty of them around in the previous few years.

Now, strictly speaking the rules state that all vehicles in a company must look the same so they cannot be confused as others. I’m going to argue that they all have the same basic body and will play all as the same type, even if they actually are different models that I have. A whole company for $50 as opposed to having to pay full price for the same UM kit new…$225 for a company?! Sorry. I’m on a budget,these trainees aren’t cheap to train.

I’ll reiterate what I said about rubber tyres from the SU-85 kits (those were UM kits; these BA’s are UM kits too and they have real rubber tyres) – great if you can do them perfectly, but I cannot and so I have to paint over them, sometimes numerous times…and the effort to get them onto the hubcabs is a nuisance too. I’m happy with plastic tyres.

 

 

 

The UM Model armoured cars (Бронеавтомобиль) are done!

I mentioned in my previous post that I was getting carried away with how much weathering/how much of a ‘dust coat’ I drybrush onto my vehicles…these photos show that I had gone overboard with these paticulr two kits. If I buy more of these kits to make a platoon, the rest will also be heavily coated like this…but no other kit , regardless what Nation they are for, will get this dusty in the future. It’s too much, methinks.

The kits paint up well, as you can see. I think they would benefit from adding on some extra stowage…I added a toolbox onto the right rear mudguard of one…but I guess some more research is really needed before committing to that recommendation too seriously.

Also, I finished painting up the building and industrial chimney/smokestack I bought at a model train sale back in November. I applied plenty of black as soot and plenty of black ink as fine soot/smoke: . Here’s the building by itself: and here’s the chimney or smokestack by itself: . Together, they could represent some sort of a furnace or smelter, a coal-fired electric power station or any other sort of industrial plant requiring the burning of lots of coal or wood. The colour scheme used was heavily based on that used for the Airfix engine sheds I finished last year.

I also completed an Italeri StuG III, much needed for tomorrow night’s game: .

I have a bare hobby table for the first time in months and I’ll try to keep it bare until Saturday arvo…have a bit of a rest from it all, so I can start some other kits with a clear mind.

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I decided to put all this finished stuff into a little diorama. Russian recon forces are about to find something that might well prove fatal… .

 

 

I’ve been working on an Airfix Willys’ Jeep (proper name for the Willys’ Jeep being Willys MB US Army Jeep) that I bought at a swap ‘n sell at a non-swap-‘n-sell price (in other words, regular retail price). I also opted to do up its trailer, inspired by some of Paul from Plastic Soldiers‘ work with the same kit last year. Here’s what my interpretation looks like: . A little dustier than intended…I need to watch that. I’ve been getting carried away with dust lately…a post coming up in the next week or so will help you see what I mean about excessive dustiness on my kits.

This is bigger than the existing Willys’ Jeep that I have, leading me to suspect that the existing one I have is a Matchbox kit.

What purpose will this Jeep serve in my games? Well, as a target for my Germans when I’m playing Germans; as a HQ vehicle or recon vehicle if I’m playing Late War Soviets (when they had lots of Lend-Lease stuff like Willys’ Jeeps).

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As for what’s on my Hobby Table right at the moment, here are the vehicles currently under production: .

 

As promised, here are the photos of the four StuGs I’ve been working on while tackling the tree armatures over the last few months.

The group photo:  .

The Italeri StuGs:   – yes I deliberately did one without the MG-34 set up behind it’s shield. I did that for variety; for recognition eg. ‘Peter’s just blown up my 2IC vehicle, dang it!!!” and also because the default position was shield down and MG-34 stowed inside the StuG anway! It also added to the appearance that that StuG is en route to somewhere else and so isn’t meant to be expecting trouble, hence the jerrycans stowed on its rear deck. I’m modelling a StuG that I saw in a photo from the Bundesarchiv. Closeup photo of this StuG:  . Here’s the two of them one last time, from above:  .

Now the Revell StuGs:     . I’m very happy with how these Revell StuGs turned out – I was using the cammo pattern that Revell recommended –  – but I applied camouflage on the lower sides, where the return rollers and roadwheels were – unlike Revell, who advise to leave it plain DunkelGelb. Why leave those sides plain when they show cammo going to the very bottow of the lower front and rear???

Now I have a platoon of StuGs that I did myself. No more repainted dodgy Airfix stand-ins! To battle!

As well as Truck Month and that shed, I did have some Sd Kfz 251/1s on the go. As of today, everything is completed and Dullcoted and getting stored in boxes whilst they await a chance to be played with in a game.

Time to show you photos of the lot. With flash and without.

Here’s the resin 8-rad Sd Kfz 231 that I got in those two big eBay wins last year:    . I think it’s 1/76 scale.

The Roden Opel Blitz – you’ll see I did include the perspex window panes:   .

Italeri’s 251/1 (I’ve had these sitting around for probably two and half years now – and I’m thinking a softskin troop carrier month may be in order sometime this year as I have some Dragon ones to do too):   .

Lastly, the Airfix engine shed. Both sheds have turned out a little differently (not withstanding the wooden end room being a different colour) but I like them both. Here it is:      .

Good to have all things off the tables and shelves and ready to be used.

The next things to be worked on are two Italeri StuG IIIGs and two Revell StuG IIIGs plus there will be new episodes of the continuing saga of Hob-e-tac, as I use it to make thirteen trees.

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 weather here is not very conducive to painting or glueing so activity in the hobby room has pretty much ceased becuase things are taking much longer to dry. However it’s nowhere near as bad as up North.

I made a start on the second locomotive/engine shed on saturday when it was darned hot and dry.  I began here: . As I said in a previous post, I bought this and the one you’ve already seen a few days ago secondhand through a model railways shop. Both of them were extremely reasonably priced: – given that the Italeri ‘country house’ series cost 4-5 times that on average, this was practically free.

Out of the plastic bag, you have the ‘already-assembled and already-painted by the previous owner’ building plus the two doors: I particularly like the little tin-roofed add-on room at the back with the sodium-bulb lamp…really gives a great 1920s-1950s feel to the piece and in my mind grounds it definitely in the period I’m working with.

I was originally thinking about trying to remove the existing paint job but that is a very involving process – also I found with the first shed that simply and carefully applying a good spray-on undercoat covered and sealed the previous paint without any side reactions occurring. Removing the previous paint was thus unnecessary – it wasn’t doing any harm staying there and it’s removal would not add detail to the kit because it is not thickly coating the kit.

I prepared my spraypainting area – a section of cardboard box with extra cardboard to prevent the spraypaint wafting away too far and coating things it is not meant to and commenced undercoating with Citadel’s “Chaos Black” spray undercoat in small steps, first doing one external side: and then the other. The inside also has to be done:  . After painting all surfaces and letting it dry for a good while, I then inspected to see if I’d missed anything or if there was somewhere than needed a thicker coating.

When I was fully satisfied, I was left with this: .

Since then I realised I had to seal up some two holes in the roof that I’d overlooked and also had to cut off some excess plastic. I’ve also installed the missing brace for the fan that at first I thought I’d ignore. The building needs a little bit of respraying just to cover up where I’ve done work since, but as far as this blog is concerned, I’m up to the first stage of painting.

PS: I used Google’s Image search and found out who the manufacturer of these sheds are – Airfix! Have a look at this link. Thanks to DL McCarthy for having the information on his Airfix Model Railways website.

It wasn’t just the Germans fighting the Russians on the Eastern Front…German allies like the Italians, Rumanians, Hungarians and Finns were there too.

Here’s a link to the translated recollections of an Italian artilleryman who served on the Eastern Front from August 1941 right through until early 1943. It’s a first-hand account of the terrible mud, extremes of temperatures and some of the events that he witnessed. Wargamer readers may get some ideas for scenarios.

I came across this as I’ve twice bought loose collections of ESCI/Italeri’s Italian Mountain Troops (Alpini) at Swap & Sells this year – at NWA’s Autumn sale night and at Little Wars. I’m going to add to them with some Airfix Italians and one day may get a company of infantry on the table.

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Tonight is the Leningrad Oblast game, using the rivers and thickets I’ve made. I’m hoping to beat Peter’s Russians, but they’ll be dug in and waiting for me, which will make the job hard.

The IG-18s that I have been working on whilst doing the caulk rivers are old RAFM pewter 20mm WWII blister packs. The guns themselves were in 5 or 6 pieces – the two wheels, the gun itself, the mid-section of the shield, the carriage of the gun and then I think the rest of the shield…or maybe the carriage and the rest of the shield were all one part…

They were cleaned up, glued together with thick Flash Cyanoacrylate and undercoated quite some time ago and have sat around causing small guilt trips whenever I faced the spare hobby table where they were sitting and waiting, along with lots of figures from whom the corresponding gun crews would be chosen from.

Once painted, they fitted nicely onto 40mm x 40mm bases. The Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist rules (page 11) stipulate that, as Light Guns, the IG-18 only needs two figures on its base to represent its crew. So, here they are, six based guns: and here is some of the detail:

The crews are figures from Pegasus Hobbies’ Granatwerfer kit, Italeri’s 251/1 kit, Airfix’s sd. Kfz. 234 kit and Italeri’s German Infantry.

The guns were done in my homemade Panzer Grey, with varying amounts of dust coating them.