Saturday, 13 January 2018

We are Sailing....

Ok, I blame 'Arteis' - who posted on his 'Dressing the Lines' blog  this morning, about purchasing a paddle-steamer kit from AliExpress to convert into an armoured steamer for his Maori Wars project.

This of course got me having a browse on the AliExpress site and finding this..

I immediately fell deeply in love. and had to buy it. Still not sure what I am going to use it for, but I think it is going to end up being a 28mm 'schooner' or other small inshore vessel, for use with Sharp Practice. Of course, it is 1/100, so true 15mm scale, and if you wanted to play pirate..  Oh, and of course, it is a kit, so I will have to build it.. doubtless failing to get anywhere close to the above completed model. But it just looks lovely.

There are a couple of versions, I got the deluxe one with brass cannon and a lifeboat, but they are as low in price as US $15 with free shipping (though in my experience this means a long lead tome from China.

Here's the link for those so inclined: 

Buy me a lovely Boat here now..  

More AFVs completed

In a flurry of activity, the last three AFV are completed. I still have a couple more to go, but those are oddities like an interwar armoured car, and a civilian lorry, plus a motorcycle combination and a Kettenkraftrad.The mc/combo and Kette are best treated as infantry I think, as the bulk of the painting is the riders.

I have been experimenting with the Tamiya weathering powders, but I am not convinced. If they were static models, that would be fine, but wargames models are to be handled, so the powders come off, and if you try to seal them, they tend to 'vanish'.  Anyway, here are the glamour shots.

In hindsight, I think it would have looked better had I put the larger recognition flashes on the fenders and the smaller ones on the turret.. ho hum..

This one was just a bit of fun with blue-tac and the airbrush. The photographs show every problem I'm afraid, like the rust weathering powder has sneaked onto the tracks.

I probably wouldn't have hung the jerry-cans on the side, but I bought the model as part of an eBay job lot, and it was already assembled (and needed cleaning up). I tried detaching one, but it would have damaged it too much.

And before I forget, added a heavily converted commander to the PzII. The Iron Cross, from the Warlord sprue is way overscale though, and I will probably remove it.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Most Colourful AFVs Ever?

I had a few models to finish up before getting cracking on the AWI project, and I suddenly realised that perhaps unconsciously, after all the drab stuff, I had chosen some of the most radical colour schemes available for the last three..

They are now awaiting a gloss varnish and the weathering.

A Crusader in the unusual black and sand scheme, a Honey light tank in Caunter, and a late-war Sdkfz 251 in a honeycomb pattern. Lots of fun doing these, and while there is still a lot of work to do, this should give you an idea of what the end result will look like.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Painting Tanks

Towards the end of last year I found myself with quite a few vehicles that had been built, and in some cases base coated, but still needing finishing. Working on the Blitzkrieg Miniatures Panzer II sourced from the Perrys gave me the impetus I needed to get cracking on them all. I am going to post a PzII specific post once I load the pictures, but for now, here's the rogue's gallery. I hope you like them.

Churchill and Sherman for North West Europe post D-Day

Big Cat Tiger I & Support Pz III

The tiniest Panzer - well apart from the Pz I - here's no. II

Big Brother - Panzer III

Recce - in the form of a Solido Sdkfz 231, yes I know the aerial is wrong 

How did I end up with 2 Sdkfz 234/2 Puma? 

KV1 & T34 - Zu Rodina Comrades!
And that kept me busy (and amused) for a little while. Now I have to commit to running a game this year at Kirrie, and that means painting some infantry..  will it be Sharp Practice - American War of Independence, or Chain of Command?

Saturday, 6 January 2018

A Year in Review, and in Prospect.

As is traditional (for me at least) - I have been looking both back, and forward. 

Looking back

2017 was in many ways a horrible year personally, with loss, health issues and crisis, as well as supporting others through their own hard times. 

From a wargaming point of view, it had many highlights though. I tend to find that when times are tough, it is therapeutic to deal with solving things that merely require research, glue, paint, raw materials and some tools. I built some kits, painted some vehicles, won a couple of prizes, came to love and understand my airbrush, and even played a few games. Oh, and added to the pile of lead and plastic (discreetly, you understand).

Games at Kirriemuir have been great, with the caveat that I don't get to use my own figures, because as usual, I haven't completed enough of them other than for Call of Cthulhu.. which doesn't need figures and isn't really suited to a club anyway, 15mm Cold War, which no-one else there plays, and 15mm Ancients.. ditto.  Ah well. I attended a few conventions and even played half a tournament. 

On the bright side, I did get a few bits and pieces finished, and I am seeing my nephew enjoy some actual wargaming, as opposed to reading it, and imagining it solo. And you know what? He's pretty good at it.  

Looking forward..  

Firstly: All the best for 2018  to anyone and everyone who reads this blog: -
As ever, and in keeping with every wargamers resolution...    no more lead/plastic whatever, till I get stuff painted...   lets see how long it lasts. And, given how I always neglect terrain, no ban on terrain modelling purchases.
More importantly perhaps, a few minor health niggles and the loss of a loved one have given me a healthy reminder of my own mortality, as well as realising I now weigh 1.5 times what I did 10 years ago. So that's the other thing.

In wargaming terms, I reckon I should focus on a few small achievable projects. My only problem, is that with my Magpie instincts, I don't actually have any small achievable projects..  Ha!

This year I am going to play some Chain of Command games either here, at the nephew's, or up at Kirrie. I am pleased that rather than go all out for more and more figures, I have forces suitable for the following:

28mm German - DAK, half painted plus 6 vehicles and a couple of other support options -

British 8th Army - ditto   - plus I collected and built desert buildings, so all I need is a groundcloth and we are on. Target for this.. realistically, I could get this completed in a few days, but I am sure I will get distracted, so end of February it is..   

28mm German and British for North West Europe. Again, I have a load of vehicles, many figures painted to 75%, buildings that need completing. I'm calling this one, end of June. The real challenge is the trees, bushes, rivers, roads and all the other hundred and one terrain pieces required.

For some reason, I just can't get too excited about the Soviet stuff. Don't really know why, but the Germans for NWE are perfectly usable for Eastern Front, so it makes sense to do the Soviets as well.  

Finish painting and terrain for 28mm AWI, this has actually progressed fairly well.. but I keep acquiring ‘bargains’ so that I now have forces way too large for Sharp Practice 2.  Again I need to finish terrain, and just focus on a few additional groups. I really could knock over the troops for SP forces very quickly. I have all the British I need finished, (and hundreds more to paint..) ... so a push with the Colonials would see this one on the table as soon as terrain was done!  Target is to get SP sized forces completed by end March.

Start Painting for 28mm Napoleonics, British and French Peninsular, again intended for SP, but now large enough for General d’ Armee. This will have to be a background project, maybe just one to aim to do a group a month in the background of other major projects... let's see.

I am going to find a decent set of rules to do ‘Team Yankee’ size engagements with Cold War 15mm - as I have my Danes all ready to go, have done a set of Soviet T55, and have the PSC Soviet Cold War infantry pack to use as opponents. All suggestions gratefully received. Looking for 'small battlegroup' level. That's a longer term thing. No rush. End of the year will be soon enough.  

Just keep the 15mm ancients ticking over. I am considering getting an army sent over from Oz, or maybe apply paint to either the Early Crusaders (Baueda Normans, still awaiting a crossbowman figure in the range though), or the Picts. Early Crusaders looks the favourite..   

Finally, 28mm Lion Rampant Otterburn Period Scots. Maybe this is another one of those Napoleonic ones..  a group a month? 

And then there are all those 6mm figs ...   plus a 1/3000 French Pre-Dreadnought fleet, and the Colonial French...   the 28mm Napoleonic Prussians.. etc..