Of ponds and Panzers

October 12, 2008

The caulk-and-styrene pond is half-complete. It was undercoated with that household acrylic (“Kayak”) that you’ve heard about so many times, and then flocked with both coarse flock (to represent weeds) from Heki and fine Green Blend flock (for grass) from Woodland Scenics. You can see the result here:

Now I’ve started painting in the water depths, following Nikolas Lloyd’s advice and recalling my successes and failures when I have followed his advice with previous pieces of water terrain. Using Citadel’s Dark Angels Green, Goblin Green, Snot Green and some water, so far the result is satisfactory. I’ll wait until it properly dries before I pass final judgement.

The sides and bottoms of the Tiger hulls have nearly had all basic painting completed. Then on will go the mudguards and I can work on the upper hulls and turrets and hopefully can have a platoon of Tigers ready for gaming in November. There are some renovations at the Mitcham venue of NWA that is somewhat affecting gaming there, so I’ve set myself a reasonable rather than ambitious deadline.

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The current world financial situation has caused our Aussie Dollar to fall way, way back against the British Pound and the US Dollar in the last three weeks. Good thing that I ordered and received a few boxes of two certain model kits that is sure to flesh out this German force I’m building up…more in another post, soon.

The bases of teams with panzerfausts for that Infantry company are now up to the basing and flocking stage. I spent a fair bit of time and inconclusive researching trying to determine what was the factory colour for panzerfausts. The photo evidence of panzerfausts delivered by the Wehrmacht but unused showed them to either be a green that I had not previously sighted anywhere in use, or a sort of off-white / beige. I decided to select Citadel’s Cammo Green for my panzerfausts, feeling that it was distinct enough and not wanting to try to make a blend to match a colour photo taken with a weak flash in a dark room. So, my panzerfaust teams will look like this:

That’s good enough.

The first of my StuG III’s by Italeri have come off the assembly line and are complete.

I’m doing some minor kitbashing to modify and enhance them.  Have a look at this photo:

On the back, I used leftover parts from the Roden Opel Maultiers and Opel Blitzes to make an equipment frame for the crew’s gear. This was a common field modification and some were even added in the factory. Panzer Grenadiers also found them useful as handholds when riding on the back. They were simple bits of metal welded into a crude frame.

Using leftover brass wire from the ACE PaK 38’s and my fine hand screwdriver, I added the aerial. I also wanted the vehicle to look battle-hardened, so I used my scalpels and files to remove the first plate of the left-hand-side schurzen. Schurzen plates were often lost from enemy fire or were snagged and ripped off when moving through rough scrub and rough terrain.

Lastly, I didn’t want this vehicle to have an autumn of spring look (mud everywhere), so I went for a high summer look and liberally coated it with dust. The effect is quite good. Careful observers will notice I painted in some sides of the track links being used as extra armour…again, another field modification by some crews.

I like this Italeri kit. Yes, it’s been simplified and doesn’t allow much modification but turns into a fine kit with a little extra work and love.

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…