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.

To do…

June 3, 2010

I had the pleasure of reading the entirety of Paul’s Plastic Warriors: 1/76 & 1/72 plastic soldiers and armour blog two weeks ago. In 2009 he had some photos of various collections of still-unassembled kits of his own and in the possession of friends and acquaintances.

I’ve decided to show you all my collection of kits awaiting construction – in other words, I’m going to flash my stash!

While getting ready for the second Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist game of the year, my research led me to a blog with a number of sets of eyewitness photographs.

I was searching for photographs of the terrain surrounding Leningrad, hoping to recreate one of the many actions that occurred during the 900 day siege of Leningrad. Skoblin’s “On the Volkhov” blog has only three months of content on it, but the content is pure gold – it’s a collection of  (translated into English!) eyewitness recollections and eyewitness photographs from both sides of the conflict.

The two blog entries that I found very useful were these:

1942 German 291st Infantry Division – Photogallery II

and

1942 4th SS Police Division – Photogallery II

which have German soldier eyewitness photographs of the Thaw (Spring) around Leningrad in 1942.  The former is of fighting around Chudovo – Chudovo is 100km southeast of Leningrad. I’m going to use both of the sets of photos to try to come up with suitable terrain and a suitable map for an infantry game in 1942.

Since I built the previous PST BZ-35 two years ago, all the papers and documents I gathered about them at the time was carefully put away into two different folders. The two folders’ purposes changed a year ago…and so during the Queen’s Birthday Holiday weekend in June this year, I had an “audit” of them. I located all the photographs and such that I needed for the assembly of these current two kits and the two folders have had their purposes clarified and their contents sorted and stored appropriately.

While doing so, I came across a printout I’d made of a cut-away photograph of a Sturmgeschütz III assault gun/tank destroyer. To my knowledge, this was an actual Sturmgeschütz III captured during the second half of World War II by the Allies, and then dissected by Allied engineers to find out more about these vehicles. You can see the cut-away photo here (scroll down 1/3 of the page) – the side armour and wall has been removed and some engineers are positioned inside, in the crew’s positions, so you can see what the crew space is like during operation.

I had some teething troubles getting the wheels, axles and so-on into place and nicely aligned on these two BZ-35s. This was a problem at first but as I was using brass rod for the axles, I could gently bend the axles into different positions so the wheels were aligned as straightly as was possible. I know I grizzled about this PST kit requiring you to supply extra materials but in this instance it has actually been a boon. If plastic axles had’ve been arranged, I’m not so sure I could have rescued these kits from this dilemma – but then the axles and transmissions might have been differently modelled for kit assembly and this problem might never arise in the first place!

When I’ve had time, things have progressed well with these kits. I didn’t keep written notes about colours used for painting when I assembled some Military Wheels 1:72 GAZ-AAs two years ago, so I’m playing safe and painting the interiors of these BZ-35s the same colour as the exterior (Catachan Green) because that seems to be what I did with those GAZ-AAs.

Here are three of the colour cards I made just before Christmas, when I purchased and sampled the new Citadel Foundation Paints.

There are two thick layers of paint, each layer applied after 24 hours, onto matt white sheet styrene.

Test cards

I’ll start with the final set: which are, from left to right,  Calthan Brown, Charadon Granite,  Knarloc Green and Orkhide Shade. I’m quite partial to the Orkhide Shide for river/pond/lake/marsh/swamp work.

The top is to illustrate the difference between Adeptus Battlegrey and Astronomicon Grey. I was spending a good time of time over the greys, as I was hoping that Citadel may have finally made an “off the shelf” German dark grey.

At this stage, the Adeptus Battlegrey was looking pretty good – then I compared it to my home-made dark grey…which is the middle pair.

Really, either could do…

but when I look at pictures like this one, this one, this one, this one (a heavy influence on my decision) and lastly this one (the confirming photo) – then I’m pretty happy with my home-made dark grey (a simple blend of two Citadel colours) and a good drybrushing to represent dust over it.

This is an another aside, but important because it continues what I was discussing in my previous post.

I found searching through Flickr for good photographs for which to examine brick colours, surrounding terrain detail, tree shapes, water course colours, town layouts and the like very time-consuming for the few useful photos I found. This is largely because few people will use the same words as Tags to describe their photographs as you use for searching. Exceptions are the WW2 history buffs, but many photographs are those belonging to tourists and they will use general terms for their subject content, such as “house” +”Germany”, whereas you’ll be looking for “town house” + “brick” + “world war”.

I would therefore advocate using Google or Alltheweb or whatever your favourite search engine is, and just do webpage searches, not image searches – again, because images embedded or linked on webpages often don’t have the sorts of words you’ll be trying to search with (some may just have a number). However, as part of your search, do try using “photo” as part of the search.

Do some searches and do look through at least the first five pages of results. Do try looking at some webpages and have a look at the photos/images there. Once you strike gold, mine the whole seam and if the website has a page of Links, try those links too.

To date, those have been my experiences and these techniques will be what I keep using into the first part of 2009. Hopefully by then, photos in Flickr may have some better Tags.

I realise that I have forgotten to mention my other photographic source for researching the colours for those Fujimi 1:76 houses…Flickr. To be precise, this photo by Britta. I know that it’s not actually a house, but when compared with photos from Oradour-sur-Glane, I can see enough to know what to use on my palette.

A mixture of the Citadel oranges, both straight and in blends,  with some darker parts done with straight Terracotta, did the job.

***

Tomorrow the caulk on the pond terrain piece should have finished setting. We’ve had glorious warm weather for early Spring…days of 25 degrees celcius and bright sunshine five days out of seven.

The caulk I’m using is already a good earthy brown, but I’m still going to go at at with that acrylic paint for houses (colour name: Kayak) and my Citadel paints.

All assembly of the other two Maultiers ended on Saturday night, so before I began painting them on Sunday, I took some photos of them:

As I’ve said earlier, although I initially found Roden kits to be difficult because they were highly detailed, I do find the finished product to be excellent. They take paint well and look very effective. The Italeri product is quicker to assemble, but when placed side by side with the Roden, looks more simplistic. The Italeri kit is cheaper and certainly much more easily purchased – remember, I ordered the Roden kits from the Ukraine! Even this is changing, though – as hobby shop proprietors are assembling these Eastern European kits for themselves and seeing the quality, they are increasingly stocking them. I’m becoming increasingly attuned to detail, so I would buy more more of the Roden without hesitation.

In the close-up profile photos, you should be able to clearly see that the tracks are too short to fit the kit. This is my only gripe, and I mentioned it in the previous post. Another centimeter would have been fine – another two centimeters would have allowed for good track sag. The tracks are good quality vinly one-piece items – they didn’t have the anchoring pins on them to join them into loops like the Airfix, Matchbox or ESCI kits do, so trimming off some leftover was not going to stop a track being made into a proper loop. Trimmed pieces could be used in a diorama or for a kitbash…

The Opel Maultier was developed by the SS and was so effective in the mud and then snow on the harsh Eastern Front that there was, in time, a good number of them. With all that snow and ice in mind, I’ve decided to paint them with a simple Dark Yellow coat and then give them some poorly-applied Winter whitewashing, so they don’t stand out too much and make themselves inviting targets. The technique I employed for the plaster inside the railway station will be given another try. Whitewash was often slopped on with whatever came to hand, so it should be lumpy and uneven. Applying lumpy, semi-dried paint off an overloaded cheap brush should model this perfectly.

TV not rotting my brain

June 26, 2008

SBS has been screening a documentary series called “The Wehrmacht” – at the moment we are halfway through.

It features lots of colour movie footage taken during the war, making it invaluable for wargaming and modelling – and it’s reassuring to see my colour schemes for people, vehicles and buildings are all fine! I’ll watch it all again sometime in the near future in order to get some ideas for terrain and scenery (although there’s no need for the great Russian plains – thousands of miles of thigh-high grass with the odd bush or tree – easy).

I rescued some polystyrene insulation blocks from the waste skip of a building site. It’s nice and thick, so I’ll try to use it for hilly/mountainous areas such as Hungary, Romania and Italy. Colour photos and footage would be nice before I start, obviously…

On parade

June 1, 2008

Yesterday I took some photos of the completed A Company. Not only was the lighting good, but both the regular uniforms and the winter “mouse-suits” came out perfectly. Judge for yourself:

A Company, German infantry from the Eastern Front, suitable for 1941-1943

Here’s a close-up of one platoon:

Close-up - German infantry - especially showing the \"mouse-suit\"

From another angle:

From a different angle, showing prone and upright soldiers

You can see all of the photos over at my Flickr account.

Last year I purchased a secondhand, unwanted HO scale railway station from one of my favourite hobby suppliers. The maker is AMRI – I think they are long out of business, but they produced a lovely railway station circa 1930-1950’s Melbourne. I decided to assemble it and then add lots of bomb damage, in order to use it in games re-enacting the battles over Mga station.

First though, the kit had been in it’s box a bit long and long parts of it were slightly bent. I decided to fix it’s slight warping by gently heating the curved parts under the grill. This promptly completely melted the roof beyond repair (bad pun), so I put the rest of it aside in anger and frustration. Over the last nine months, I slowly picked it up again, decided to have a second go, glued it together, added bomb damage by using side cutters, then slowly painted it. It was completed on Friday, and has turned out extremely well – see here:

The bombed railway station

It takes bases/teams for Panzerfaust Iron Fist extremely well:

Railways station with Panzerfaust bases/teams

Again, more views over at Flickr.

Hopefully Peter and I can now play a scenario with it in the next month or so.

I have used Citadel paints for all this plastic work. With a supplier near my workplace and another supplier near my regular place of grocery shopping, it makes sense to. I am also in agreement with a number of others whom have commented that Citadel paints are good quality and applicable for a broad range of uses. In the past I’d used Gunze Sangyo, but when I started painting fantasy figures a few years back, chose to use Citadel as I couldn’t get Gunze Sangyo easily.

Certainly, I’ve applied Citadel paints successfully to sheet styrene, polystyrene, caulk, plastic figures, white metal figures, wire and more and they’ve done very well – however, I have learned that you can’t always undercoat some surfaces with their spraypaint (much to my annoyance).

The paints and inks mix well and I have experimented with them in order to produce the colours and shades you can see in my work. Even drybrushing was done with mixes. Usually I was blending Catachan Green with either Codex Grey or Space Wolves Grey for regular uniforms, and blending Black Ink with Boltgun Metal for various types of metals.

The bases were done with Kayak Brown house acrylic, which I also use on my hills.

So, I hope you enjoy the parade. I’ve moved on to painting up the 6 MMG teams and assembling the 3 Opel Maultiers. I’ve nearly completed painting the PaK 38’s (just drybrushing and then mud on the wheels to go) and hopefully next weekend I can begin work on the PaK 38 gun crews.