Monday 30 August 2010

The Joy of Airfix (6): The Scammell Tank Transporter

Perhaps at first glance an unusual choice of kit to make. It was one that I never owned as a kid, nor was there really (I must confess) any great urge to rush out and buy the kit as a kid. So why now? It does have its uses, honest.

For my Command Decision British 1944 RTR, in the command company it can serve as a recovery vehicle until I scratch build a Sherman ARV or the like, least the front Scammell tractor part of the kit can :)

The formation somehow feels more complete for having it!

As a footnote for "geek" merit, all the wheels (some eighteen all told) move, although it has a rather cumbersome gait or waddle when pushed (and is kept well away from the playful kids)

Saturday 28 August 2010

At last I have a Panzer IVG (with side-skirts)

The Panzer Mark IV I always wanted as a kid. The one with side skirting. An old, old Esci kit gifted to me by a benevolent wargaming friend who is still a keen WWII wargamer but now in 15mm

Painted past the undercoat Matt Black, Sand Yellow base and Oily Black Shade stages due to the devil of the side skiting, still requiring a highlight of Sand Yellow followed by the Green and Brown of the late-war German camouflage scheme. Hence still a work in ptogress.

However this also means my fourteen tank Panzer IV for a CD III late-war German tank battalion reaches half-way (suitable for fighting on both East and West Fronts), following a similar manufacturer orientated company composition scheme.

Totals to date:
  • Esci Pz IV F2 x 3
  • Esci Pz IV H x 1
  • Hasagawa Pz IV G x 1
  • Airfix Pz IV F2 x 2 (and still looking to get another one sometime)
Note: In the background I do have 3 X Airfix Pz IV F1 in early war German Panzer Grey colour scheme which could be drafted in as extras. The remainder will probably come from Airfix, Hasagawa and Revell. Again a slow fifteen year project in the making.

Thursday 26 August 2010

RAF Home Defense: Spitfire's 1944 upgrade to Tempest V

Buzzing in from my 1/144 collection is a fighter pair of Tempest V's from Academy.

Nice little kits to make, though not as aesthetic and graceful as the Spitfire is packed a tremendously powerful engine and has a rugged ferocity about it.

Also as I am without a Typhoon marker is serves as an Western Allied Jabo attack marker.

The "grey and green" latter war RAF camouflage being more businesslike than the warmer early war "brown and green" of the Battle of Britain era.

Please note: I do get round to putting the decals on things, albeit very hard to leave them off  the planes ;)

Tuesday 24 August 2010

The Joy of Airfix (5): Purring Panther

Although the Airfix Panther is not substantial in size it still well represents the "Killer Kat" and hence forms a company of the beasts in my WWII late-war German Panther Battalion. Destined to be fourteen tanks strong in the end, these two complete the plastic needed for the Airfix Panther Company.

In addition to the above I have two Esci/Italerli Panthers (the chances of getting a third now seem slim), one old Matchbox kit, three tasty big Hasagawa brutes. The remaining five places are destined to be filled by Hat and Italeri fast builds and the newer more detailed Revell kits.

A slow moving project, I've only been working on and off at it for fifteen years ;)

Pass the black undercoat paint pot and brush :)

Sunday 22 August 2010

The Joy of Airfix (4): "B" Squadron RTR

A whole bunch of raw plastic Shermans. To be strictly correct three Airfix and one Revell (old Matchbox). This gaggle is intended to form "B" Squadron of my 1944 post D-Day (even Arnhem) 20mm Command Decision RTR. Plenty of plastic still needed but getting there :)

Say what you like but the Airfix Sherman is still a cheap clean kit that is little fuss to put together and I do like the new Airfix track plastic.

Now where did I leave the Black Matt undercoat?

Friday 20 August 2010

Battle of Britain Summer: Me 110 "The Destroyer"

As the 70'th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is about to start, something from my 1/144 collection.

In formation, low over Britain coming in under the radar, Dowding and Keith Park's nightmare, an unseen enemy piloted by the Luftwaffe elite hitting key installations on the south coast of England.

A closer look:

Front on, still a sinister chap:

Luckily for the RAF not used to their strengths, but exposed in their weaknesses when trying to take on the Spitfires and Hurricanes of Fighter Command.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

The Long American: M40 155mm Artillery Piece

When you see one you don't have, don't you get that "must have" craving? I never had the M40 Matchbox (now released by Revell) as a kid, but I do in my second childhood :)

Taking the antiquated M12 155mm mounting from a deprecated M3 chassis onto the latest Sherman M4 sprung version, it had a few pokes a Cologne but saw more action in Korea. Something nice to call in (if you can) on your radio net.

Yes, more painting to do, all backed up on the tray ;)

Monday 16 August 2010

The Joy of Airfix (3): The good old Panzer IV F2

Albeit old, albeit basic, albeit heavy on the number of small plastic parts to make up the wheels and track assembly, it still stands the test of time very well. In addition to this it is relatively cheap (£5.99) and still found in the model shop on the high street :)

It also build up quickly and (now) has a carefree track assembly :)

Project wise I plan to build three of these to be a company in a CD III late war Panzer battalion. Other manufacturers contributing the other companies. No great rush on this adventure, just keeping pace with the steady build up of my British and American Sherman CDIII regiments and battalions respectively.

Plastic to be painted when I feel inspired (deep sigh). 

Saturday 14 August 2010

The Joy of Airfix (2): Sherman power the "Calliope"

Joining up a bit of the 'old' Airfix with a bit of the 'new' (as in the tubes on top) product line. Raw plastic shown below:

More of a US artillery piece than a tank really, delivering the Western Allies response to the "moaning minnies" Nerwerfer blast. Nice of Airfix to be as resourceful as this, bringing out a curiosity kit, but nice clean lines for the new sprue :)

Things to note: New plastic track a considerable improvement on past "track plastics".

Thursday 12 August 2010

Trumpets out for Trumpeter: The M26 Pershing

Finally the Western Allies delivered a decent heavy tank, albeit too late for the Second World War, but incorporating lessons learned (the hard way). Seen here in raw plastic is the excellent Trumpeter kit.

Model assembly completed, nothing much to say other than it was a "peach" to build. Everything fitted together perfectly :)

The only down side being the kits are quite pricey (£10.99). Ow! That's two Airfix Sherman's and a pound sterling spare :(

An unusual aspect of the kit being the large amount of small plastic parts associated with the suspension of the beast. Sturdy enough in the end result, decent plastic track and exquisite detailing. All I have to do now is paint the darn thing, trouble is I have not quite got my 'painting head' on.

Something for another time or quiet night in :)

Tuesday 10 August 2010

A Holiday Purchase: 1940's Nostalgia?

Coming on the heels of my recent green "Dig for Victory" mug is the excellent red "Keep Calm and Carry On" mug. For times when the late night painting gets fraught and the wargame projects get too complicated to realise in a day:

Purchased from "Barter Books" in Alnwick (UK), along with a few small 'other' items.

Interestingly unlike "Dig for Victory" the "Keep Calm and Carry On" slogan was never as such released to the general public (a few ranking Civil Servants allegedly had the slogan on their walls) but rather it was held back for times of real crisis such as: "The German Seelion Invasion" or after the greatly feared and long awaited aerial deadly "Poison Gas Attack" on a city!  

Comments on a postcard regarding the effectiveness of the "stiff upper British lip" and its usefulness versus a Pz MkIIIE or Mustard Gas cloud coming down the high-street welcomed?

As a footnote regarding the cup: The wife liked it so much she 'nabbed' it as hers ;)

Sunday 8 August 2010

Battle of Britain Bomber: The Heinkel III (Blitz Bomber) and Ju-88

As seen over Britain circa August to November 1940 during The Battle of Britain, a tempting target from above to a Spitfire of Hurricane:

Pity about the top cover of Me109's to think about too. Where you find the Heinkel, then a Junkers 88 is sure to be close behind

Both are 1/144 Academy kit, bought in mind of the WWII variant of Canvas Eagles and perhaps even a new lease of life/day dream with the (as yet untested and "unbought") Wings of War