Two years ago I explained and demonstrated (with photos and all) how I made my wargaming smoke markers – if you don’t remember, click on this link. I’ve been very happy with them ever since and they have been serving me very faithfully, with no problems whatsoever.

Well, Paul from “Plastic Warriors 1/76 & 1/72 Plastic Soldiers,Armour & Aircraft” has shared on his blog how his mate Dave makes wargaming smoke markers. I was very impressed! Not only are the materials pretty easy to come by, there are times when a smoke marker having some sort of flat base to correctly position it (or anchor it, if you play outdoors and it’s a bit breezy) is  a great idea. Mrs Funker, like Paul’s wife, would not be happy with using the family oven for drying – I think sun-drying during the summer or indoors for a few days in a quite-warm, low-humidity room in winter would do the job adequately…after all, if not perfectly dry after a couple of days, it’s very easy to just put them outside again during the next sunny spell…

Anyway. This is something I will remember for next time I need to make smoke markers…and I may even ‘base’ a couple of my existing ones using my current supply of caulk, sheet styrene cut to appropriate sizes and shapes, and paint. Thanks Paul, and thanks Dave!

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The blog ‘War and game’ is gone – it ceased being accessible last year, and I mentioned this on this post here.

But I didn’t remove the link and kept forgetting to do so every time I logged in to WordPress.

Realising today that I really need to do a little cleaning up and re-organising around here, I have removed it from my Links…

…and added a new link!

Chris Kemp’s blog “Not Quite Mechanised: Fastplay Operational-Level Tabletop Wargaming” http://notquitemechanised.wordpress.com/ is taking up the slack! It’s a blog about 20th Century wargaming, and one tank model on the table represents a whole company (which s quite different to ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’, which is 1:1). There are great photos, plus progress reports and lots more. So, welcome Chris!

If you don’t know about the TV version of The Wombles books, educate yourself on YouTube here.

I’ve been doing a bit of Wombling lately…

someone at work had bought an Eee Slate and threw out the box and packaging: Wombling 1 . The cardboard packaging was of no value to me, but wait…: Wombling 2 – could that be a useful plastic tray? Let’s have a look: Wombling 3 – why yes, it is! A nice size for a lap, with a nice, sturdy carry rim: Wombling 4 and good depth too, probably an inch deep: Wombling 5 . Great! This will be useful for sorting out bits and pieces when assembling individual 1:72 scale figures, or for sorting out vehicular stowage and other small odds & ends. I might even use it to catch the pieces of flashing when cleaning sprues with a scalpel. So, useless plastic to one is a handy hobby tray to another.

Next up: Christmas present packaging. Two presents came with transparent plastic lids:  Wombling 6 . The first one is a perfect, flat sheet – I’ll cut off the 90 degree angle sides and discard them (they are too small and I can’t be bothered keeping every last scrap of everything): Wombling 7 . I have used pieces like this to make wargaming rivers in the past (for a smaller scale of wargaming, different period and different rule set). They turn out really well, too! The second one has some shaping moulded into it, so it’s not a single perfect sheet: Wombling 8 . With the shaping bits removed, there’s plenty left to use for windshields, aircraft canopies, building windows, etc.

So, some rubbish that might end up as landfill will be given a second life on the wargames table. As Paul from Plastic Warriors would say, “Model on!!!”

 

I’ve always wondered about headswaps. Paul and Al do them and do them successfully. I’ve tried a couple of times and only got 1 in 10 to work, and the amount of effort seemed excessive.

Ben B from Ben’s Soldiers shows us how he does his. He makes it look so easy. Thanks Ben!

 

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: .

 

My colleagues Al over at 20th Century Wargames and Paul from Plastic Warriors have been talking about spares boxes, so I thought I’d add to the conversation by discussing mine. I have two ways of storing spares and leftovers…I have a spares box, where I store any leftover sprues that have useful parts on them, and I also have bits ‘n pieces boxes where I store all manner of tiny pieces that aren’t worth keeping a whole sprue for and have a definite purpose, such as pioneer tools or surplus headlights.

Here’s the obligatory photo: .

The spares box is in the top left-hand corner. I use an A4 photocopy paper box and put sprues in there. If I’ve butchered some sprues or I’m working on whole companies of vehicles, I’ll use plastic ziplock sandwich bags (middle of photo and bottom left) to store the sprues or bits of sprues. That way if I need some individual track links because I’ve used up all those on the supplied sprue, I go right to the appropriately marked sandwich bag (eg. Revell Panzer III) and there’s the right size parts for the right manufacturer.

The bits n’ pieces boxes (right side of photo) are fishing tackle boxes. In them I store pieces snipped off sprues like vehicle/pioneering tools, leftover machineguns, jerry cans, headlights…any useful single-piece parts. The long blue tackle box mostly holds vehicle stowage in the form of rolled up tarpaulins – I buy these stowage pieces at swap n’ sells where I can get them made in resin. Now, it is possible to make your own vehicle stowage…Paul from Plastic Warriors makes rolled/folded up tarpaulins out of spraypainted tinfoil. I tried what he did – it works reasonably well and is easy to do. But 4-6 rolled tarps in resin for $5? That’s pretty reasonable too.

So, that’s how I retain useful things whilst building and detailing my model kits.

 

I visited a private seller who was clearing out unwanted model kits last week. Whilst browsing through a lot of Soviet light tanks, I found a BA-10 (in Russian, БА-10) by UM Models . Being fairly impressed with previous UM kits, I decided to buy it…$10 was a reasonable price and it would make a start towards building up Soviet recon stuff, of which both Peter and I are lacking.

I was pleasantly surprised, when I opened it, to find two kits inside: .

Both are two-thirds assembled. I’m hoping each bag has been labelled correctly! There are no instructions for either, but I can get them from Henk of Holland’s wonderful repository.

I decided to start with the bag labelled BA-9: . I’m unfamiliar with Soviet armoured cars (or Бронеавтомобиль in Russian) – it looks like it has a light-calibre main gun, maybe even a machinegun or automatic cannon instead of a normal cannon: . Some reading courtesy of the English version of The Russian Battlefield website confirms that it is a machinegun, a 12.7-mm DK machine-gun, and that this vehicle is a BA-9 (БА-9 in Russian) . For Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist purposes, a 12.-7mm MG is a HMG.

Now for the BA-6m (БА–6M). It’s in a similar state to the BA-9:  . Looking at it’s main armament, it does seem to have a 45mm cannon, like most later BA armoured cars do: . Both the BA-6M and the BA-10 had the same armament, so this vehicle also seems to be correctly labelled.

So all up, a good deal! A cheap, useful purchase actually yielded two useful, even cheaper, purchases! As Paul from “Plastic Warriors” says, “model on!”

As both have been partially assembled, I have decided to finish assembly of both before undercoating them. I’ve been doing some research about Russian armoured cars so I’ll be sharing more about them with you over the weeks and months it takes me to finish.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul over at ‘Plastic Warriors‘ has been ripping through terrain pieces lately. He commented two weeks ago that “One of the things I am finding while carrying out my scenery push is you can quite quickly put out lots of items if you just spend 10 minutes here and there.

At the time, I thought that he had made a good comment and moved on to other things. I wasn’t aware of the profound effect it had wreaked upon my subconscious until late last week, when each time I walked past my Hobby Room and felt that I didn’t have enough time to get anything meaningful done, his comment surfaced and screamed at me. So yesterday, I decided to act on this subconscious guilt.

I looked at the new trees I bought some months back that were sitting with some refurbished trees that were awaiting new bases. I thought to myself, “I’ll do them all at once!”. Then I fell into my usual trap of calculating how much time it would take to begin all of them and said to myself, “Nah, I don’t want to spend all that time just on trees”. Then I remembered Paul’s comment and though, “I’ll just start with the seven refurbished ones and only start the new ones when the refurbished ones are done and boxed away”.

Success! Then I saw the barbed wire fences that have waited for two years. I won’t do them all at once, I’ll just do two each time, amongst all the other things like painting 251/1’s and  assembling SU-85’s (СУ-85), until all are done. Thanks, Paul!

 

Two days back my colleague Paul over at Plastic Warriors: 1/76 & 1/72 Plastic Soldiers,Armour & Aircraft also posted about basing trees. His post offers a greener option than mine, as his involves using wood rather than artificially made plastic sheet styrene as bases. What’s more, it’s cheaper! Also quicker than what I have proposed.

Enough bumpf – go have a look at his offering!

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.