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…

On Sunday morning I toddled along to the IPMS Swap & Sell here in Melbourne. The weather was poor but we didn’t care…we were focussed on getting model kits at great prices.

For me, it was a very “good day to die”…I mean “to buy”! I walked away with seven kits for the grand fee of $70 (not including the $3 to get in to the venue). Here’s what I got: – all were still sealed in their plastic bags, even if the boxes themselves had been opened.

Here’s two photos of the punters shopping till they drop (next to the canteen where revitalising tea, coffee and snacks were very reasonably priced!): – the paper lanterns provided a cheery contrast to the grey, wet weather outside.

To the specific reasons for my good cheer:

  • The Tiger II is the fourth one I’ve bought, so I now have a whole platoon. Because I have a whole platoon, this vehicle now gets higher priority for assembly and painting as they can actually be used in a game! Also, it means Peter and I can have nasty, heavy AFV battles like Tiger II’s versus ISU-152’s and IS-2’s. A whole platoon of Tiger II’s purchased in 6 months for a total of $40…you can see why these Swqap & Sells are well worth the extra effort! Each one of those would be $25 in a shop.
  • The Italeri Opel Blitz can be more quickly assembled than the Roden ones I have waiting on the shelves, so it can be quickly made and pressed into use on the gaming table.
  • The 251’s will now be added to the waiting platoon of unassembled Italeri 251’s which I’ve been gearing up over the last few weeks to do (perfect timing!)…one of them being a 251/2 gets me a step closer to having two 251/2’s, which in itself is a step closer to a fully kitted-out Panzergrenadier motorised company.

The Sturmtiger and Panzer I were purchased because they were there. I’d like to have a platoon of Panzer I’s one day to be able to do early War…the Sturmtiger just seemed like a curiosity or a fun piece for a scenario.

Four modular (well, semi-modular, they aren’t as modular as I normally make) thickets are completed. Here they are as a group:

Here’s a close-up to give you some sense of proportions:

Tall enough to definitely block line-of-sight (LOS) for troops on foot, and as far as I’m ruling, enough to block LOS for AFVs too (except perhaps for a commander half-out of the turret of a Königstiger or somesuch).

They are not as modular as normal for me – usually, I would make the top part into at least two or more pieces, so that when footsloggers or AFVs enter it, you don’t need to remove the whole piece of terrain. Because I wanted these to be really thick, I made them as one piece, so the whole piece must be removed if an AFV (such as this Marder III (h)) or infantry try to negotiate passing through it:

These terrain pieces make their debut this friday night.

Why make them like this? So that they last longer. I don’t want my fragile terrain like this getting flattened, damaged and ultimately needing replacement after being crushed under bases of infantry or plastic AFV kits that have had some metal parts added to them. A little extra initial work results in a much longer wargaming terrain lifespan!

More to do…

June 15, 2010

With the annual IPMS Model Expo over, I have a few more kits to work on (some day). The swap-n-sell yesterday was not as productive (in terms of kits purchased) as I’d dreamed, but was not disappointing either.

I was able to add the following to my stash:

2 Königstigers (Royal or King Tigers) by Revell AG;

1 Stug III C/D version by Trumpeter;

1 Sd.Kfz. 234/2 “Puma” by Hasegawa and lastly,

1 Sd.Kfz. 234/3 by Hasegawa.

I’m one Königstiger from a platoon of 4 and one Puma from a full group (can’t remember how many I need right now).

4 of the kits were $10 AUD each and the fifth one only $5. While not all were still in their sealed plastic bags, each was in its box with complete sprues, instructions and decals.

I’m pumped about being close to a platoon of Königstigers…I may even splurge and buy one at normal price so we can heavy some real “heavy metal action” in a 1945 scenario!