It’s only taken two years and ten months, but the Eastern shacks I bought from Mike Parker of Battlefield Accessories are complete! They turned out very nicely too. I recommend them.

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As you can see, the roofs are detachable and each shack almost holds a fire team.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think I have enough Russian buildings for now. I really need to concetrate on AFVs and guns. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ll only buy more Eastern Front buildings if they turn up for good prices at Swap & Sells.

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StuG IIIB by Trumpeter

August 20, 2014

I went to this year’s IPMS Swap and Sell last sunday, at a new venue at Ashburton Scout Hall. I was very happy to find (and purchase!) a Trumpeter StuG IIIB:

StuG IIIB. I already have assembled and painted the Ausf. C/D version that Trumpeter make, and have a second one waiting it’s turn. They are nice little kits, pretty well detailed but not too difficult to assemble (and they paint up splendidly) – here, have a look inside the B’s box: StuG IIIB 2 . The commander’s hatch on this kit is clsoed, unlike the C/D. That may or may not be of interest to you, as skilled modellers can always kitbash to get what they want.

For now, this is another kit to add to the stash. Three early war StuG III’s, to go with my Panzer III’s. I’m slowly expaning across the entire 4 year duration of the Eastern Front!

 

It was lovely weather for a swap & sell, and Mrs Funker & Trainee Funker joined me for the drive (although not for the event itself). I didn’t get there an hour early and queue as per normal…Trainee Funker being so full of beans, we were too busy getting him ready and time just slipped away. After parking the car, I was walking up the hill to the venue when good blokes & fellow NWA‘rs Sean and Neil pulled up next to me. We went in together after some light banter and catching up about events at NWA.

The traders were really well arranged – kudos to ESSMC management for doing such a great job with such limited space. Here’s some of what was on sale:

Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 1 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 2 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 3 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 4 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 5 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 6 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 7

I didn’t find any kits on my Wanted list, but came away with some books: The loot from ESSMC's March 2013 Swap & Sell – I was loaned “Tank versus Tank” two years ago by Kim from NWA and wanted to photocopy the whole thing, so impressed was I by it…but I only copied my legal 10%. To find it on sale was fantastic – even the vendor, just as I picked it up, sung it’s praises and I told him how I’d already read it and loved it…$20 was no problem at all.

The foreign armour book will be useful for doing “Beute” stuff for both my major belligerents on the Ostfront…and “PzKpfw IV” was a mandatory for my personal library.

So, no kits, but some great books. Sometimes it’s like that!

 

(I do not get any commissions from people for this blog).

My colleague Stephen AKA cheetah185 (from the In my own time wargaming blog) passed along this vendor for consideration:

Early War Miniatures

Why are they notable? Because they do 20mm scale figures for the following:

French Army 1939 to 1943
British Empire 1930 till 1943
Dutch Army of 1940
Belgian Army of 1940
Norwegian Army of 1940
Polish Army of 1939
German Army Early War 1938 1942
Italian Army 1936 till 1943
Japanese Imperial Army
Other nations & export arms
Greek Army 1938 till 1941

As most of you would realise, two of those are Eastern Front, and the others round out a number of nations that are not currently well represented in plastic. Have a look and see what you think.

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AAR from my trip to the first swap & sell of the year will be posted this Easter weekend.

 

 

The start of Lend-Lease vehicles – no, not Trainee Funker suggesting that I start assembling a US force and begin gaming the Western Front, but holding the first of many US Lend-Lease tanks I can add to my Eastern Front Russian forces.

 

Need WWII Russians?

September 15, 2012

Anyone modelling or wargaming the WWII Eastern Front (Ostfront) will need WWII Russians and plenty of them. This morning I’ve just read very high praise indeed for a new set of 1/72 Russians, Zvezda’s Set 8077, Soviet Infantry Platoon. Now, these figs are not intended for any particular wargames ruleset (although Zvezda do publish a ruleset called Art of Tactic) so you can use them with any ruleset, such as ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’. After all,  ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’ is a platoon level and company level game – Zvezda are selling you a whole platoon. Or you could just use individual figures for modelling dioramas.

Plastic Soldier Review has given this set of 38 figures four 10/10’s and one 9/10. Their review concludes: “The positive aspects of this set are many, and we have already gushed enough about them here. The negative points are limited to this being a time-consuming set to put together (some will see that as no great loss, and of course many will enjoy the experience anyway), and the noticeably well-equipped and neat/uniform appearance of the men – a feature that is hardly uncommon of many plastic soldiers in this scale and beyond. In a word – excellent. In two words – buy it!”

So – there you go.

I’ve been really busy supervising Trainee Funker, but I do get the occasional moment to look at my hobbies too. I’m pleased to report that, with the glorious sunny & warm Spring weather yesterday (and with Trainee Funker using his free time to nap), I finished the UM Models/UniModels SU-85s I’ve been working on for some time.

Here they are, with the one I completed some months ago on the left side facing right, and the other four I completed yesterday in the middle and on the right side, facing left:  . Detail of the company commander’s vehicle:  . Details of the muddiest vehicle – but it gets far muddier on the Eastern Front:  . A few of the vehicles on a different angle:  . An aerial view:  – it helps bring out the detail courtesy of the PE/photoetched brass grill on the back of each vehicle. Here’s the company commander’s tank again:  just to show the proper colour that I used (Citadel’s Catachan Green) – and again to show the side in the shade:  .

I’m glad they are finished. I especially found the roadwheels troublesome, both during assembly and painting. Having real rubber may be authentic, but it’s only authentic if no accidents happen to them like glue drips on them or paint splashes on them. If those happen, it’s all wasted, because then you have to paint the whole black rubber tyre black to cover up your mistakes.

I still like UM kits – I think they are pretty detailed and they do cover some creations no-one else covers. But any future purchases by me will exclude kits involving real rubber tyres wherever possible.

Sunday’s swap & sell

August 21, 2012

Mrs Funker kindly excused me from active duty on sunday so I could get along to the IPMS Swap & Sell held at Ashburton Primary School. I came home with very little:  – just two books, The Eastern Front by JN Westwood and Ju-87 Stuka in action. JN Westwood’s book had some photos, both in black & white and also in colour,that I hadn’t seen before, and for $5, was well worth it. “Stuka in action” is needed for my Revell Stuka kit that I want to start before Christmas.

There were no model kits I needed at the swap & sell…only model kits that could be somewhat useful in secondary roles, mostly for my Russians, and even then they were usually single support vehicles (eg. trucks) or the like. So, I held off.

It was nice to say hello to my friends, though, and show Trainee Funker’s photo to them.

The even was being held in a different venue to the previous two. It was quite suitable and spacious:     .

Here are some drool photos:     .

The next swap & sell is a modelling club one, over in Werribee, in November. For various reasons, I’ve not been able to attend it since I started this blog. Hopefully this year, I’ll be able to make it.

I’ve completed the major stages of assembly of UniModel’s 1/72 scale SU-85 (or, if you are Russian, 333 UM 1/72 Самоходная артиллерийская установка СУ-85):   . It’s a well-detailed kit, but I think there must be better ways to actually assemble the kit than the way they suggest on the instruction sheet. Since this is the first of a company of 5 that I’m assembling, I’ll assemble the other 4 in a different way. The reason for wanting to do it differently is that, having followed their instructions, part fit of the superstructure to the hull was poor – out came the nail files and there was a lot of filing in order to get part fit, let alone accurate part fit. Not good. I’m reminded of some of the grizzles with assembly I had with the Marder III (h)’s of theirs that I did 4-5 years ago. So, we’ll see how the rest of them go. This one isn’t too bad, but it certainly isn’t going to be the company commander’s vehicle.

Also, I completed the Pegasus Hobbies 1/72 scale Russian Log house – Two storey (Large Karilian region izba) that I won as part of a number of job lots on eBay three years back. Mine looks like this from the front:  and like this at the rear: . It’s to scale, as you can see here, with 1/72 troops (ESCI/Italeri, in this instance):   . It’s meant to be a two-storey building, but there is no “first floor” provided, so I made one with leftover sheet styrene:  so I can have snipers upstairs if I want:  and the first floor sections easily lift out and away for when the door finally gets broken in and close-quarters combat (CQC) occurs:  . As you can see, it is a very big building. Great for diorama or scale modellers, but I think that for wargaming, it occupies too much of the tabletap. I don’t mind a factory or somesuch taking up big slabs of the tabletop, but I’m not so sure a large farmhouse (Russian: изба́) should share that right.

So, now I have a good collection of buildings by Pegasus and MiniArt for the Russian side of the Eastern Front (Ostfront):  – that should be enough for a few years.

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My Dragon 251/10’s are coming along a bit more slowly at the moment, as you have to paint the interiors before you can fully assemble the bodies:  .

 

The annual Australian Model Expo 2012, run by the International Plastic Modellers Society Australia (Inc.) is almost here.

Oh, what delights will I find at the giant swap n’ sell on Monday morning? Stay tuned!

(And fear not, Ben from  Ben’s Soldiers, I’ll take photos of some of the piles of non-1/72 WWII Eastern Front stuff that’s on sale too!)