The IPMS Swap & Sell yesterday was quite an event. I was there at 9.05am, 55 minutes before opening at 10am, and there were already 50-80 people ahead of me. By 10am, the queue stretched the length of the building. Here’s a photo as I went up the escalator of the queue BEHIND me:  – you can see it stretching all the way under that roof up to the bright daylight in the distance. How many people is that lined up? 500? 800? I don’t know. But I’m glad I got there when I did and will be there earlier next year.

I already mentioned part of my wish list last post. I think Santa must have been listening:

  • 2 x Revell Panzer III – platoon completed!
  • 2 x Revell Panzer IV – platoon completed!
  • 1 x Dragon 251/2 D – The 251/2 by Dragon can be built as a 251/1, so that’s a platoon completed! Also, it’s technically not a 215/2 – the 251/2 had a mortar replacing the front MG. This vehicle is actually a Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf. D mit 28cm Wurfrahmen.
  • 4 x Revell Panzer VI – a platoon in one purchase! Sure, they are slightly different models of vehicle, but who cares? Many of the earlier ones with air cleaners on the back never went to the Afrika Korps.
  • 1 x Dragon 251/7 mit 2.8cm sPzB 41 – an engineering vehicle with a meaty gun; will be fun for Late War reconnaissance games where it can join the one I bought back in March.
  • 1 x ICM Sd.Kfz 222 & 1 x ICM Sd. Kfz 223 – a full reconnaissance platoon completed!
  • 2 x Revell Tiger II – half a second platoon started.
  • 1 x Revell Ju 87 D – all I needed for the air warfare component of the rules.

15 kits for $226…that’s $16 a kit if I add in petrol money and entrance fee. Now to find some time to assemble and paint them, and who to start with first? Decisions, decisions…probably the halftracks…

March 18 2009 – I commented on Italeri releasing some WWII German motorcycles & motorcyclists. I mentioned in that blog post that the wonderful Plastic Soldier Review had reviewed the kit, too. I titled my blog post “Something new to buy for later”.

I realised that for this Recon game Peter and I will have soon, I need a base of motorcycles. The rulebook list for ‘(German) Armored Reconnaissance Battalion 1943-1945’ states that my company HQ must include a motorcycle base. Then, checking the ‘Softskin vehicles introduction’ section of the rulebook, I find the statement “Motorcycles list how many you need to base on an infantry team sized base”. Jumping back to my army list, the preceding section ‘German softskins’ section description for the BMW R35 & the NSU 251 OSL says “Motorcycle x2”.

I needed two motorcycles. I didn’t want to go with Armourfast. I obtained last week two kits of Italeri #6121 – so I finally bought them and, to justify the expenditure, needed them urgently too!Better than buying them and then adding them to the piles of boxes of “stuff to do when I’ve got time”.

I’ve spent the last 48 hours cutting the parts from their sprues, cutting off the flash and preparing them for a wash/degreasing. Well, cutting off the flash is misleading – there’s very little of it, and if you were in a hurry you could just cut them from the sprue, wash ’em and then paint ’em. I’m an occasional perfectionist, so with a surgical scalpel I cut off the minute amounts of flashing.

The detail is really excellent, particularly the treads on the tyres and on the mufflers/exhausts. Such fine work! With good painting and drybrushing, the detail should look superb. I was a little concerned about the sidecar machinegunner and his machinegun sitting in its allocated rest/peghole, but I guess I can always cut the pegs off and do some melting to make sure everything lines up properly. Some of the figures are in warm-weather uniforms, some are an standard uniforms. Since mine will be tearing about the Soviet Union, I’m going to use both but make sure each motorcycle’s occupants are in matching kit. I’m going to do my summer uniforms in Reed Green, as per my historical sources. They could just as easily be painted up as DAK (Deutsches Afrikakorps) but I’ll leave that for the Monty & Desert Fox enthusiasts.