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.

 

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!

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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…

 

Final Sd.Kfz. 251/9

May 14, 2012

On saturday, I completed a Hasegawa Sd. Kfz. 251/9 that I was doing on the side:     . I know have two sections of two vehicles each, or one platoon of four vehicles. I actually only need two (a section of two vehicles) but at the time I did the first two I had a third, and did it up at the same time. I got this fourth back in January via a private sale and the price was fantastic, hence why I bought it.

(Plus, a platoon of fire support that can also transport some footsloggers…worth trying even if I sell the second section off later).

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Weather was pretty horrible for the rest of saturday and all yesterday, so I wasn’t able to Dullcote and photo some buildings I’m working on…

 

 

Here are photos of the assembled and painted crew for the first of the two Caesar miniatures sIG 33 infantry howitzers I bought – this post is so you can see the poses I chose to assemble my crews into:

– this gunner is actually lifting the handle on the back of the gun, to help move it into position. – I’m not sure if this gunner is turning a crank wheel to elevate the gun, or doing something else…I’m going to have him touching the gun or a crank wheel, so that he is useful. – I’ve assembled him so that he looks like he’s aiming the gun.  – a loader, about to be given a shell.  – a commander. I deliberately gave him the head with the only open mouth. His pose is copied directly from the box art.  – the other loader. He’s on quite an angle and I’m not sure you are actually meant to assemble him actually holding a shell…as you can see, I chose to have him holding one.

Here’s the gun that these six are crewing: .

With the second crew of six – oh, I should clarify something here. You get eight crew with the gun in the box. The Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist rules class this as a C-size gun, and C-size guns require 6 crew on accompanying the gun on its base. So, I don’t need all 8 from the box.

So, with the second crew of six, I did not have a commander. Here’s the second crew, and I photographed them on different angles to the first six so you can see a bit more of how I chose to assemble them and what the poses I chose look like: – I think this one’s turning a crank wheel to elevate the gun. Why is he resting his left arm on his left leg? – aiming. But why he has his left hand up like that, I’m not sure. If he’s fine-aiming by twiddling a snall knob, his fingers shouldn’t look like that.

– you didn’t see this bloke in the first crew. I’ve glued his arms in a higher position here, so he could be doing something to the gun itself, or helping with shells, or something else useful. – lifting and repositioning the gun, except I’ve glued his arms at a higher angle. Makes his pose more generic, different to the first crew, and able to be doing something else, like touching the gun, in a pinch. – loader, same as the first crew. – loader with shell, same as the first crew. You can see how far he’s leaning over in this photo. I’m not sure why he’s leaning so much, but it does make him look a bit different to so many loaders holding shells from other manufacturers. Lastly, here’s the second gun: .

So, there you go! The options for assembly of the gun crew figures are many.

I’ve kept the surplus two figures from each kit because I am, at some stage in the future, going to need to base some size-D guns, and they require 8 crew figures per gun base. Here are the four surplus figures from the two boxes: – not sure what he’s doing, but he does look animated, which is better than standing straight and being boring. – I realised one of my kits was missing a left arm after I’d opened them. This bloke’s left arm comes from one of Hasegawa’s kits. This gunner is either about to be handed a shell, or is about to remove an empty cartridge. – another commander. I made his right arm vertical. I photographed him from behind so that you could see his binoculars. Yes, this Caesar kit gives you binoculars and matching binocular cases (you can see it on his right hip)!  – horizontal arms. Looks bit like a zombie, but he’s going to be crewing a bigger gun, so his arms should be in an OK position.

What guns will these blokes be crewing? Oh, just some of these: .

Peter and I were due for our second game last night but it had to be postponed, so I was left with an ’empty’ evening. I’ve been busy every friday night for a while now, and could have gone along to NWA regardless of having a game or not, to say hello to colleagues and see what was going on. I realised, though, that if I stayed home I could actually get some serious hobby work done…as lately I’ve not had much time for my Germans or my Russians. So I worked on prepping the sIG 33 crews and some Pegasus Russian farm houses.

Guests were due this afternoon but didn’t eventuate, so I’ve been able to get a good 4 hours over the last 24. The sIG 33s got a coat of Panzer Grey and the crews had their uniforms and boots done. The Russian farm houses had all undercoating done.

A Hasegawa 251/9 was washed and undercoated…I’ll be assembling it whilst waiting for the paint to dry on all these other things. Then the SU-85s (СУ-85)will come.

Best link for 2011

December 27, 2011

I haven’t linked to as much this year as I did last year, but then I also didn’t post as much this year as I did last year.

These are the links, in date descending order (librarian tech speak) that I feel are worth nominating as candidates for best link for 2011:

“10 minutes spent on terrain each day keeps the guilt doctor away” – after Paul, from his ‘Plastic Warriors’ blog – November 21

The 7.92 mm Pz B39 – what is it? – July 4

What does it look like inside a company that makes plastic model kits? – May 20

It’s a tree-basing bonanza… – May 6

Camouflage – how good is yours? – April 21

If you are good enough, you could make your own toy soldiers… – April 4

and lastly:

How we modellers can help Japan – March 15

Paul from “Plastic Warriors” has two great posts in here, and Bunkermeister’s one about helping Japan in the wake of the Fukushima disaster is very good too. To be able to find a good review about historical weapons was very helpful and something I didn’t think I’d find so readily. The camouflage on the Maus from the “Modelling Madness” is lots of fun, and seeing inside Italeri was unprecedented.

All the links above are well worth a visit. If you haven’t seen these while reading my blog throughout the year (or if you are a recent newcomer to my blog), hop to it. You’ll enjoy them.

The winner, though, are the photos from inside Italeri that a member of the Modellismo Piu model-making forum shared.

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I didn’t get any model kits for Christmas, if you’re wondering.

 

 

 

 

 

…and my current job is to paint the interiors of those Dragon Sd. Kfz. 251/1Ds.

Here’s a photo of my work so far: – there’s some Anti-tank Rifle lads also being properly dressed and kitted.

These Dragon kits have really good interior details; unlike the Italeri (very plain) and the Hasegawa (some nice bits, some plain bits). I decided that I had to paint these finely detailed Dragon kits to an equally fine standard – so the interiors are being done completely before the two halfs of the kit are glued together. It’s slowing me down, but I think it’ll be worth it.

 

Many of the “other” things I’ve been working on the side for some time are now being completed. The Trumpeter StuG III C/D is a quite detailed yet simple kit to assemble. I was getting along with it so quickly that I stopped myself occasionally to make sure I wasn’t missing steps or pieces! The only real problem I had with it was the rubber tracks. They are one piece and have holes on one end and pins on the other, wich you press together and glue. The pins on my kit were perhaps two milimetres long and far too thin…they certainly weren’t going to stay in place under their own power while waiting for the glue to harden. I snipped them off, used cyanoacrylate and clothes pegs with bits of broken chopstick to get the tracks into position and stay in place.

I improvised a gun aiming telescope sticking out of the molded-open roof hatch by using a cut-off piece from a Hasegawa kit glued onto some leftover sprue. From more than a couple of feet distance it looks great.

It then received a Dunkelgrau paint job and rather than just Operation Barbarossa dust drybrushing, it got dust and then ink and paint to represent splashed-up puddles and the Autumn mud. Here it is:

I also had three other things on the go on the side:

You’ve seen the Horch resin kits before…I did four of them previously…I decided a couple of months back to do the remaining two on the side while waiting for all those StuG Gs to harden or dry. I tried a slightly different way of painting the reflection on the windscreen with these two. I like it better than what I did previously, but it’s still got a long way to go yet.

The log building is from Pegasus Hobbies, but I’m not sure which box or production/kit number it is, because I got it loose in an eBay job lot. It’s not the “Russian Farm Houses” (#7702) or “Russian Log House – Two Story (Large Karilian region izba)” because I’ve already got those. If you know, could you please let me know? They are great to paint as they have good, clean, well-detailed detail so you can really bring out highlights and shades.

I played a game of Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist on friday with Peter, but it wasn’t an Ostfront game. Photos but minimal report to come (as it wasn’t Ostfront).

I realised during a game of Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist last year (last year being the year ended last night, 2010 – Happy New Year 2011 to regular readers!) that when I deploy my beefy 120mm Mortar Platoon, I’m meant to have a Fire Control base accompanying it. I decided to get rid of some loose figures by making up the required base, plus use up some of those Italeri German motorcycles by making up bases of FAOs on motorbikes.

They were all finished yesterday – the 40 degree celsius heatwave we had here drying out the last paintwork extremely quickly. Here are some photos of all three bases together – front:  and now rear:  .

Close-ups of the Fire Control base – front:  and rear:  .

Motorcycle-riding FAOs – front:  and rear:  .

Glad to finish them…they’ve been sitting around taking up space and effort.

The figures are a mix – Italeri, Revell and Pegasus Hobbies.

The logs that the binocular-wielding FAOs are propping themselves against are worth mentioning. Regular readers would know that I choose real sticks & twigs from nature, paintstakingly saw them using a tiny sawblade and then use them unpainted in my bases and terrain. This time I decided that I couldn’t use twigs from nature as I didn’t have anything suitable in my hobby room and aren’t sure at the moment where to look for fresh supplies. Also, if I did find real twigs they were going to have to fit under the height of the raised leg of the FAO figure – even harder to ensure. I wondered if the two plastic logs supplied with the Hasegawa kit MT30 ( 31130 – GERMAN INFANTRY ATTACK GROUP) would suffice…

I dug them out of a spares box and found that the middle of the big log from that kit would be suitable! I cut the big log into two, filed its bottom so it would sit nicely on the bases and then added the rest of the features. Painting the log to make it look realistic was going to be a real challenge…wood that’s fallen is different in colour to living wood – so I used both a fresh wood base colour, then an aged wood greyish-brown and finally a drybrushing of plain grey. Then I glued some bright green flock onto one side to represent moss (you can’t see it very clearly in the photos above, unfortunately).

They turned out really well and look great in real life.

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I’m over halfway done with those Matchbox 1/76 Wespes I won on Ebay last November, plus some railway buildings I’ve tinkered with over the months. The decals for the Wespes went on an hour ago and then it’s cammo time. Next come the final fiddly details, then weathering, Dullcoting and at last they’ll be ready for war.

I really enjoy making this particular Hasegawa kit…I’m not sure why. I guess it’s appearance just appeals to me – sleek and deadly?

This finished model has the crew member that is supplied in the kit and also has different colour lichen used as vehicle camouflage. Otherwise what you see is the same as what I did with the first one last year or so. Here it is as if being used in a game: .

Now for detail – closeups in three-quarter profile:

Getting a good photo “at ground level” isn’t easy with my now-ancient digital camera but I had luck with this one: and here’s some detail of the crewman, who I’ve named Hans: .

I commenced work on this kit as something to fill in time while working on those three Opel truck kits from earlier. That’s something I have been doing for a very long time and it helps improve workflow and productivity – while working on a group of vehicles or troops (all the same type), have a couple of completely different vehicles or troops to work on sitting on the side. That way, while you wait for the glue or paint to dry on the main group, you can work on something completely different in the meantime. The benefits are that you don’t get up and walk away and get distracted by other things whilst you wait for glue/paint to dry and you get more things finished (which means you can buy more things to work on in the future!).

I get distracted and may not return to the hobby tables for hours or days if I don’t have a ‘side project’ readily available, and that really slows down getting anything completed at all.