I’ve recently stumbled across some YouTube work by a user named yolkhere. Yolkhere makes videos by joining electronic music to historical footage. My favourite is the video for the BT-7:

– that music is fantastic to listen to when assembling model kits, when painting model kits or when playing World of Tanks.

The three other notable videos are –

the KV-1:  ;

the T-34/76 (model 1942/43):  and the T-34/76 (model 1941/42):  .

I went and made all four into a playlist, I was so impressed.

I hope you enjoy them, too.

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Peter and I did have a game last friday night. AAR to come this weekend or so, OK?

 

It’s been quite some time since I put an animated film up – 2008 was the last time, from memory. Two weeks ago, the President of Nunawading Wargames Association sent an email to some of the regular WWII gamers with a link to a YouTube video on it.

It’s not Eastern Front – it’s Western Front, the Battle of the Bulge. Done with 1/6 scale action figures by Nick Hsu. It nods its head to some classic war films. I think it’s a fine effort and I hope you enjoy it:

 

A few weeks’ back, YouTube suggested (for no discernable reason) I have a look at this video:

Wow! In colour! And you can see the camouflage (камуфляж) schemes so clearly too!Very useful for modellers and wargamers…

There are  a couple of StuH-42 (Sturmhaubitze 42, Sd.Kfz 142/2) in the first part of this sction of footage and later on the StuG III. Thanks to DShK127 for making it available.

I did some research about what camouflage scheme (if any) I should paint onto my GrossDeutschland Panther tanks. I had seen a photo once of a column of Panthers moving forward on the Eastern Front (OstFront), painted only in DunkelGelb…no green or brown (or both) camouflage paint at all. Very simple – and given that the camouflage green and brown pastes didn’t get as widely distributed in quatity and completeness as on the Western Front (WestFront),  I think probably pretty common.  I was tempted to do all like that. However, since that is what I’m doing for many of my Opel Blitzes, Horch 108s and 251/1’s,  changed my mind, wanted some cammo and undertook a serious hunt to find out if GrossDeutschland’s Panthers had any camouflage scheme/s and what they were. The outcome was simpler than I thought: Panzer Colours III had both a black & white historical photo and a colour illustration of a GrossDeutschland regimental commander’s Panther that had a base coat of DunkelGelb and then a camouflage scheme of Dark Green mottling.  This is what I’ve decided to do for my 7 Revell Panthers.

Considering what is recommended on instruction sheets and commonly seen on the Internet and TV, certainly the more popular Panther camouflage (for modellers) is a scheme in Dark Green and Red-Brown that seems to be common in use and pictorial evidence on the Western Front (WestFront).  You can see a restored Panther in that camouflage scheme, here on YouTube:

While doing all this current research, I stumbled across a source of camouflage schemes (as colour illustrations) seen on actual WWII serving German vehicles that I had forgotten about using for well over a year or so…Dragon Models Limited’s instruction sheets! You can see a good number of these on Henk’s website, Henk of Holland: Plastic Manufacturers – Dragon.  For a great variety of different camouflage schemes, have a look at the scans of the instructions for Kit 7223 – SdKfz. 251/1 Ausf. C (about 1/5 down the page)  and for Kit 7225 – SdKfz. 251/1 Ausf. D  (just two kits later). These are a useful online information source to add to a WWII modeller’s and WWII wargamer’s repertoire/toolbox/collection/favourites/bookmarks.

Since starting to play “Panzerfaust: Armoured fist” a few years back until 6 months ago, I’ve had thoughts niggling away in the back of my consciousness about making my own wargaming smoke. I used to have about four litres’ volume of wargaming smoke, a hand-me-down from Stephen at Nunawading Wargames Association. I can’t remember now if I sold it when I was having financial dificulties, gave it away or chucked it – but whatever I did, it wasn’t worth it. His wargaming smoke clouds were made from cotton wool and the ink from parcel markers/whiteboard markers, somehow extracted using Turpentine or Methylated Spirits. They were a perfect mix of dark greys, fluffy but not peeling apart, could be squashed up or pulled apart a little and could serve to show a brewed-up AFV or a wall of smoke from smoke shells or a smokescreen from  smoke dischargers. I haven’t seen any other smoke as nice as that stuff of his.

6 months ago, I decided to finally act. I asked Stephen about how to make smoke like his old smoke puffs / clouds, but he couldn’t remember how it was done and wouldn’t recommend trying it again, as he said it stank; was too much effort and could be done more cheaply nowadays. I’d have to come up with a method myself. I began experimenting with various materials to see what might work and, when my day job permitted, searched the Internet for recipes from others.

I didn’t find much! It seems that very few wargamers are interested in documenting how they made their smoke – if they had even progressed beyond just using white bits of cotton wool (which can be purchased as is). I found a YouTube video that offered a possibility, which I did try, but I finally found sensible advice at Gabriel Landowski’s wonderful e-book, “Miniature Gaming, Volume I” which features his own wargames rules, called “Rules of the Damned Human Race”.

His recipe was refreshingly straightforward – use artifical pillow stuffing and darken it. I purchased some siliconised polyester stuffing from a cloth & craft shop and set to work.

I wasted half a bottle of valuable original (and now extinct) Citadel Black Ink dyeing a sample tuft. It took too much time to dry and left small congealed lumps on individual fibres which looked a little odd. This was going to be impractical. I tried the YouTube method, and sprayed Citadel’s Chaos Black spraypaint directly onto a second sample tuft. This worked well until you picked it up and tried to manipulate it, when the white fibres underneath became visible leaving a very unusual and unrealistic effect (and also staining my hands black).

I wondered about the pillow stuffing – perhaps this was the wrong type of material to use? As a fish-keeper, I had plenty of much thicker polyester filter wool sitting around. I wasted the other half of the Citadel Black Ink dyeing some filter wool. It turned out a marvellous  uniform medium grey, but had hardened the wool considerably – it would not be easily teased apart and was no longer “fluffy” at all. No good.

Here are the three sample tufts, after the experiments detailed above, in order from left to right: Smoke - tests

I went to an art & craft shop to enquire about suitable paints or dyes for dyeing the pillow stuffing. Although they could’ve sold me expensive clothing dye for about $50 (I was willing to try it), I bought a simple bottle of basic black acrylic paint and experimented with it. I watered it down to a consistency of 50% – 50% and thoroughly impregnated a sample tuft with it.

Next day, once the tuft was dry, I tested it to see what it would be like if I needed to pull it apart a bit to make a smokescreen – and found wet paint in it’s core! I wrung it out and let it dry over a few more days. No problem. I quickly established an assembly line and now I have great-looking wargaming smoke for an extremely cheap price, with little effort or risk. Here’s a good-sized cloud comprised of a few tufts: Smoke - final

and here’s a ‘group photo’ of the major test tufts and components: Smoke - all together, the winning result lying between the paint bottle and the spraycan.

PS. you’ll definitely want disposable rubber gloves, old clothing you don’t mind getting splashed with paint and a work area that can be easily cleaned up and doesn’t matter if not all paint can be removed…alternately, lay some plastic groundsheets / dropsheets / thick layers of newspaper around the place. Getting the wet paint into the fibres got a bit splashy and messy!

Over a year ago I discussed general principles of camouflage on vehicles in this post. This post also introduced some of you to the wonderful Lone Sentry website, a great place for primary documents.

In my discussion, I quoted a section about the failings of camouflage painting (or perhaps that a well-painted camouflage scheme alone cannot solve all problems). The section prior to that which I quoted discusses using natural materials to aid vehicle camouflage (and is called, not surprisingly, Natural Materials).

All this was thrust back to the foreground of my modelling thinking a few days ago, because of a YouTube video I found serendipitously after trialling a another video which was Recommended for me at login. The video is called Restored Jagdpanzer Hetzer:

It’s the first eight (8) seconds that interested me. The Hetzer begins in the shade of some trees before driving out into full sunlight. The disruptive camouflage paint scheme in combination with the clumpy shade from the branches overhead really help to break up the silhouette and shape of the Hetzer.

It’s a lovely example of how a camouflage scheme can contribute greatly to concealment – I hope you enjoy it as I did, and learn from it (or have the theory neatly illustrated by it).

While logging in to YouTube, it recommended the following video for me. I normally ignore these recommendations because they are usually far, far off key…but this one was good.

Modellers, take your cues from that. I liked the simple yet realistic camouflage scheme and that it had a few side skirts. But that gun…deadly.

Now, Eastern Suburbs Scale Modelling Club had their annual second-hand kit sale. Best purchase of the day for me was a platoon of UM’s Hetzers (Commander’s version) for $20 AUD. I was reliably informed by the very knowledgeable Neil G. that the external differences between this unit and a standard unit should only be an extra radio mount, so I won’t get yelled at for fielding four of these as standard vehicles.

Lastly, today was the second most intensive day spent working on the Horch 108…which isn’t saying much. I’m not enjoying building it and I’m especially annoyed that of the only piece to go missing, it had to be one that holds the gun in place on its mount. Why not a freakin’ wheel?! Got plenty of spares of those in my leftovers collection…

I don’t know why this kit has to be so troublesome. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to post a bit more on it.

So, there they are. The left and middle vehicles have a more ‘typical’ scheme (if such a thing can be said), whitewashed wavy lines representing tree trunks and limbs to help break up the blocky outline.

The right vehicle is more of an experiment. In gathering online information for the Soviet forces I’ve acquired, I came across this Soviet Winter camouflage pattern. You can see a very similar paint scheme on the same type of vehicle (a SU-76) in the Bovington Museum collection in Britain. I also have, in one of my reference books*, the following colour plate:

and the camouflage scheme in that plate is described as an “unusual” camouflage pattern for Soviet forces (even in 1945).

I began painting that camouflage scheme on the Maultier before re-consulting these two sources, so it came from my “mind’s eye”. I think it looks good, if perhaps a little too uniform…it should have been more random, with more bunches of spots and bent or angled lines as well as short, straight ones, like you’ll see at the Bovington SU-76. Oh well, too late now.

* Zaloga, SJ, Kinnear, J, Aksenov, A & Koshchavtaev, A 2002, Stalin’s
heavy tanks 1941-1945: the KV and IS heavy tanks
, Concord, Hong Kong.

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Trey Partin has a new stop-motion film up, this time using 54mm miniatures…

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Been having a play with VuFind at work. It’s a step towards seamless, one-stop-shop search and retrieve. It’s feature that lets a user search by tags is a good innovation, but how does someone affix a tag to an item, and are tags controlled or edited by the library? Otherwise someone may just put lots of obscenities as tags…did I just give anyone ideas?!

(One quibble about the demo – I didn’t like the fact that so few items have been tagged. If you do a search and that search word hasn’t been used as a tag yet, then you get all items returned as having that tag, with a tiny note saying that tag doesn’t exist. Shouldn’t it just return zero results?)

Here in the National Library up in Canberra, they’ve implemented VuFind. Comparing the old catalogue (still in action) to the new, 1) being able to narrow a search and 2) checking your search history, are very helpful. Commercial databases allow these, so should all OPACs. Search by…Occupation is unusual – but obviously useful to certain institutions.

Examining one result about prisoners in Changi, I was offered a link to go examine LibraryThing! I’ve commented last year on LibraryThing. While searching for material about the European theatre of the War, the results returned (about Polish memories) brought up the option to assign an RSS Feed to this search.

Some valid tools for my work.

Some YouTube fun

July 24, 2008

Great to see people are using their ‘pride-and-joys’ for more than just wargaming or admiring:

and there’s the longer

Partini01has done a few more, too, so go have a look at his YouTube channel!

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I’ve had a dabble with LinkedIn. At the moment, it’s a bit too restrictive, and I felt may exclude some potential users. Certainly the list of occupations was slanted towards certain occupation types. This is perhaps it’s strength and weakness – the occupations it expects and caters for. Those in those occupations will get onboard and use it – those who aren’t, won’t. All it’s features reflected that – Q&A, Inviting people, etc. Maybe it’ll broaden in the future.