The third issue of Wargames Painting & Modelling is out and freely available for download.

Go and have a look at this dam’ fine publication!

2nd Platoon is being based and there’s nearly enough painted figures left over for the first section of 3rd Platoon. This means I have to prep, paint and base nearly the same amount of figures again! The Panzerfaust:Iron Fist rules state that the Company HQ is represented by an HQ base, “0-2 LMG teams and 1-2 Rifle teams”. Since I like doing all the options for an army, I’ll be doing those 2 LMG teams and two Rifle teams, not the compulsory one. It’s good, however, to see a big batch of finished troops being moved off the table. Means I can concentrate on those Marder III’s & Opel Blitzes.

The two 251/1c’s I bought secondhand are nearly ready for use as FAOs. Photos to come very soon.

Online miniature wargaming magazine Wargames: Painting & Modelling has moved to a new home, so update your links. Issue 3 is nearly available – some thumbnails are available to view.

For some reason, I had painted all grenade & entrenching tool handles in Desert Yellow rather than Bubonic Brown. A part of last night was spent correcting this as well as painting hands. This error must be due to all the Desert Yellow getting splashed around on the Marder, which already is looking great. Through careful brushwork, I’m keeping the gaps between the sheet metal blackened/in shadow yet also showing a slight “respraying” effect, which is super. Now I can do all the tracks, add on the mudguards and finally build the firing cab, then do all the last painting.

…what have I done with the steps for painting and weathering tracks that I used successfully on those two 251’s?!! I was using Doug Chaltry’s guide (linked to in a previous post), but had modified it slighty…I don’t think I wrote down the modifications! Well, there’s my homework for tonight.

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My opponent Peter and I are aware of a new release from Italeri, the Zis-3 AT gun (with crew). Looks great! Annoys Peter, who has bought the same thing from a rival company but had to buy crews from yet another company. Will I have to do the same thing with my Roden PaK38’s and PaK40’s?

The cool weather over the weekend allowed Tankoberg to really crank up production. The Opel Blitz now has much of the chassis glued together, with the back tray and cab underway. I didn’t assemble all the engine block as the last 2 components are near the bonnet, not near the underside, and so wouldn’t be visible even if I turned it upside down to represent damage from heavy bombing/strafing/a direct hit.

The Marder IIIH now has its chassis completed, all tracks glued on and is now being painted. I haven’t assembled the gun and firing cab, I’m leaving them off while I do the tricky work of painting, washing and weathering the hull and tracks. I’m going to do the hull and firing cab in the “3 colour scheme” adopted in 1943, so I’ve began to with coats of lightly-brushed on Desert Yellow, with Kommando Khaki as the interior colour. Some reading done while breakfasting this morning (Panzer Colours 1, by Culver and Murphy – essential) suggested that the interior of “open, self-propelled guns” would have their interiors painted the same colour as their exteriors (so the interior of mine should be Desert Yellow) but it seems that the true interior isn’t going to be visible from the air anyway, so I’ll just do the firing cab/shield interior as Desert Yellow and leave the interior as it is. Once it’s finished, then I’ll make a decision as the the other 3 in that self-propelled gun platoon.

I was also very pleased to get a lot more work done on (infantry) Company A. The work required is all the tricky, fiddly fine detail stuff like gun barrels, straps on canteens, grenades and entrenching tools etc. All guns were completed, and I didn’t botch any! A vast improvement on my efforts with 1st Platoon. Canteens, zeitbahns and some other small details were all completed. All I really have left that is a fiddly bulk job is to do all their hands (clutching weapons, grenades, binoculars etc), complete the entrenching tools/daggers and then I go onto correcting mistakes. After that, basing and finishing.

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Since it’s getting hotter, I may look into browsing online for more tips and advice on painting and modelling, since I am able to spend less time in Tankoberg painting (that room gets too hot to work in on some days). Second Life (through its users) offers virtual conferences, displays and so on. As a librarian, I’m well aware of a number of libraries already being there and the user access and innovative services being developed and offered. I’ll try to see what I can find for miniature painters and miniature wargamers is offered there and may try to report it back here. Libraries are ultimately using Second Life to improve communication points and communication methods to reach as many library users as possible. This is a good idea, but in my work with Third World students, not going to be of much help to them as they either have no internet or only slow dial-up when they are studying online from their own country.

Now that Summer is here, I get lethargic. This means that apart from doing some webbing in Chaos Black, nothing else got done on the weekend. Yesterday was very uncomfortable in the painting room. Now that today has rained and rained hard, I’ll be able to give the lads some attention.

Also, I hear on this podcast that there are lots of librarians who are wargamers! Well, maybe in America…I’m only aware of one here in Australia.

You can hear the important detail at the 31st minute…

Fine tooling, fine tuning

November 30, 2007

As well as getting the rest of the Company A ready, I’ve been gluing up the first kit of a Marder IIIH and an Opel Blitz truck. The Marder has proven straightforward and quick to assemble so far, a joy to work with.

The Opel Blitz? Well, I have to even assemble the engine block, that’s how much detail there is – and in 1/72 scale, at that! For wargaming, it’s too much! The kit itself looks fine, comes off its sprues well, but gluing the radiator to the glued engine block, then gluing on the individual hoses…enough already! I’ll persevere, just to find out if I can delete this step when I assemble all the others.

How cool is this? While going through a blog about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, the author (Susan Mellott) had a link to a video called “Miniature Mayhem”. Intrigued, I had a look:

While fun in itself, it is actually advertising a miniatures painting service that is run in libraries! “Awesome”, I thought of this concept, “I could blend both my loves!”

(The voice actress for the video did a great job, BTW).

Of course, this diverted me from Susan’s writings about Library 2.0 and what it could be and what it could offer (which is lots of things). Still, it’s an innovative and cheap way for a library to advertise itself – just a little bit of work, and then throw it on YouTube. Oh, and get people like me to link to it – outstanding viral marketing!

Then others can go to YouTube and see other videos about painting techniques and so on. After all, reading is one way to learn, but good miniature paintjobs involve practice and also learning from others. For some, YouTube can be a substitute for not directly learning from someone.

Yesterday, I washed and undercoated a set of sprues for one each of the UM Marder III H tankhunters and one of the Roden Opel Blitz trucks. Why only one for each? So that I can see what are the most effective ways to assemble and paint each one, in order to make the work on the rest as quick and simple as possible.

Both look like very nice models to make. I have an unassembled ESCI Opel Blitz kit too but I’m leaving that until last, so I can compare it to the Roden kit.

On Friday the captured BZ35 was varnished and completed. Photos of it are here and here. It’s the first time I’ve weathered a WW2 vehicle – I didn’t do it to my Russian KV I or II’s. The weathering involved slopping some brown ink around, doing the mud splatters as normal but then drybrushing on patches of dust. Since it’s my first time, I went conservatively with adding the dust, but overall I’m happy with the results. I’ll put more dust on an Russian-owned refueller, rather than a captured one ^_^

Platoons 2 & 3 have not laid about on the tabletop idly, either. Here is a comparison of the improved paint schemes (see my disappointment with Platoon 1 in a previous post). The differences between uniforms are evident here and here. Now the green in the normal uniform is more bold, so hopefully the distinctions between the two uniforms are even more evident. I’ll put up photos showing the final based, flocked and varnished versions for you to consider, though.

I’m doing up some FAO bases too. Scouts with horses. Neigh!

The 81mm mortars were finished with a touch of Testors Dullcote for protection and the blacking-in of the mortars’ mouths. They too can now hit the table for a game of Panzerfaust. Two small hills were also finished – because of my interest in building them to be modular, they can stand alone or be placed on top of the hills I created back in October. I now have enough hills, but my addiction to hill-making fought hard last night, and I nearly asked around the club if anyone had some spare polystyrene they don’t want so I could make more hills…that creative urge, it’s a tough one to battle!

Working on the vehicles is continuing in fits and starts – a bit like German machinery during the Winter months on the Eastern Front (many of them froze over or seized up). I’m working with weak washes to bring about the appearance of oil staints and mud stains.

The two 251/1c’s are going to be used as mobile FAOs, with the ordered 251’s to be the “good” ones, used as APCs in-game (their proper role ^_^). Tonight I’ll boil and clean some cavalry FAOs whom I have gathered using leftover Russian horses, leftover troops from the 251’s and rifles cut off the hands of the Caeser infantrymen who were too defective for me to paint.

I want these 3 vehicles finished really soon, as I want to start work on something directly useful, the Marder III tankhunters I got in my order.

So, Company A Platoon I and some mortars are ready for their fist game of Panzerfaust: Iron Fist.

Here’s a distance photo.

Here’s detail – the difference in uniforms between the regular uniform and the winter mouse-grey suit aren’t so distinct. A shame, as initially I could detect the “greenness” of the regular uniform. Now that I have Platoons II & III undercoated and ready for painting, I guess I’ll have to add more Catachan Green into everything, even the drybrushing, which will be a bother.

Here’s a close-up of the mortars.

Overall, them ESCI / Italeri figures scrubbed up really well, better than the Russians I’ve already done. The Pegasus Hobbies mortars are even better.

Finished off more hills, and will complete another pair of hills this weekend. Hopefully, all the vehicles on my painting table will be completed and done with too.