Friday 30 December 2011

Polish "Clanky Tanks" 7TP's (cont)

Still working on the Polish 7TP's and trying to nail their camouflage scheme. These SHQ kits started life on a trades-stand at the SELWIG London Games Wargame Show in 1997, purchased when I was "young and single" in London and could afford buckets of metal. This lavish investment has finally matured (see below):

The three tone scheme was lightened up in two shade highlights: Tamiya XF-60 Dark Yellow added with Anita's Acrylic's Cream, Tamiya  XF-62 Olive Drab added with Games Workshop Sunburst Yellow and Anita's Acrylics Earth Brown added with Anita's Acrylics Dark Red and then Games Workshop Sunburst Yellow (see below).

The "magic formula" seems to be working (see below):

Not too sure how to tackle the exhausts: Anita's Acrylics Metallic Black and Games Workshop Mithril Silver for starters? (See below):

A close up of the "Command" 7TP Twin MG's. Full Frontal (see below), this camouflague scheme was jigsawed from various sources and taken from other "modellers" examples so probably it is not as blockish as per historical (see below):

Side-on and taken from "Blitzkrieg: Armour Camouflague and Markings, 1939-1940. Steven J. Zaloga", see pages 33, 36 and 37.

Rear (more educated guesswork):

"Prototype" done time to do the other two 7TP gun tanks. Photo-shoot over, the real "clanky tank" painting continues in the background.

Note: Hidden in a tray somewhere are some mounted and dismounted SHQ Polish Lancers and standard FAA Polish Infantry.

Thursday 29 December 2011

The "Clanky Tank Party" starts (Polish, French and German early war tanks)

Every party needs some "Party Animals" and I have a bunch of five from SHQ:

The three Polish 7TP's (one with twin MG's and two with two with 37mm Bofers cannon), the French D2 and the German Propaganda Tank

Work starts on the elaborate early war Polish camouflage (see above en mass), the base coat is applied, Anita's Acrylic Earth Brown (11014), Tamiya Acrylic XF-60 Dark yellow and Tamiya Acrylic XF-62 Olive Drab (see below for the close-up of the twin-MG 7TP):  

Both the yellow and green will have to be modified to match my guide and early war tank bible (see below):

Handily all three tanks are covered with nice plates and descriptions. Still on holiday and loving it ;)

Wednesday 28 December 2011

The Xmas Haul

I must have been a very good boy this year as Santa brought me some "clanky tanks" and much, much more:

These are two SHQ metal "early war" tank kits. The first being a French Char D2 (see above left) a French 1940 Infantry Tank (aka slow), a decent 47mm AT gun in a relatively medium/well armoured body, like a Char B1 bis without the 75mm hull gun. The other is the wacky German (original, see above right) Panzer V (no not the Panther aka 1942/3) but the 1940 "Propaganda Tank" version as shown in newsreels of the time. These were (three) mild steel prototype of the land-battleship multi-turreted "tank-ship" discounted from mass production and combat use after poor evaluation reports. The three fought as a unit in the Norwegian campaign, one being destroyed by German engineers after it bogged down in a Norwegian river blocking a German column. The "Propaganda Tank" was thought "so little of" by front-line troops that it was simply blown up "in-situ" rather than face a challenging salvage. The other two were sent back to Panzer training schools in Germany as static displays. I've always wanted them both so I am a happy lad. 

An unexpected model kit from my eldest brother, a 1/144 "Herky Bird" (see above), from Vietnam, to the Falklands to the realms of AK47 African and South American despots, a very, very useful acquisition indeed!

Something er, French from the wife (see above), I had asked or rather pleaded with her to pop by a local retailer who had unexpectedly started stocking a range of wargame period kits if she was stuck for a Xmas present. Imagine my surprise when I get a garbled telephone call while at work from wife in the said shop and I had to "talk her in on instruments" to the model isle and decipher the right ones from the wrong ones (if there is such a thing). I had mentioned my Napoleonic interests so I suggested something French and got the above box from Victrix. This is a long term 2012 project inspired by the artwork and painting prowess of Iron Mitten and other talented bloggers.

What I did not expect was that each of my children were also getting in on the act (the youngest son too young to choose was pitched in with the wife and the early Napoleonic French) and my daughter had selected a 15mm Flames of War piece of kit, Wittmann and his Tiger (see above). This puts me in several dilemma's, one scale 15mm versus 20mm, the Flames of War rules-set is one I don't possess (and has received many a bad comment in the press and wargaming fraternity, a game but not WWII simulation) and I do not knowingly chose to paint Waffen SS. Well I shall keep the model for "diorama" purposes and with an eye to acquiring15mm Plastic Soldier products and Zvezda 15mm vehicle kits for FoW and BFWWII, if you cannot beat it join it. Hmm, we'll see.My eldest son pitched in with a deliberate and well thought out purchase (see below):

I have dabbled in the kits for Warhammer 40K, out of more interest in the Sci-Fi figures than game system and my eldest son was always interested in my "good" reptiles (Tyrannids! Blame that on CITV and the animated karate dinosaurs and 'the like' for being "goodies", wait until Tyrannids start killing his Space Marine patrols is all I'll say!), in fact viewing them as part-ownership rather than Daddy's. He always liked the look of the flying ones and thus a squadron of Gargoyles.

All-in-all a bumper Xmas haul, watch this space for the pilgrim's progress  ;)

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Honour the "Mighty Hood"

While the family slumbered from the roast turkey and the Boxing Day telly was remorselessly playing my paint brush feverishly worked away touching up the Airfix 1/1200 "Sink the Bismarck Set" HMS Hood. She was still the pride of the British fleet in 1941 when she met her demise (see below Luftwaffe reconnaissance shot):

The "old centurion" herself, the keeper of the seas for the Royal Navy, HMS Hood (see above and below): 

Still a graceful old lady, of over twenty three years old by the time she met her nemesis in the form of the KM Bismarck in the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Her rear turrets show below were atomised in that dreadful magazine explosion, which vaporised her stern works and sealed her fate.

Her 15" front turrets showed her teeth, but she scored no hits in the short battle with the KM Bismarck and PM Prince Eugen (see below).

Captain Leach of the battleship HMS Prince of Wales (PoW) watched with morbid fascination as the Hood was straddled by a well bunched salvo from the Bismarck (her fifth/sixth at the Hood which in battleship gunnery terms is extraordinary good shooting). Ominously he couldn't account for 'all' the splashes from the that last broadside which mean that 'something' had dug into HMS Hood. Leach had been keeping an eye on his C-in-C's ship as an earlier salvo from the 8" cruiser KM Prince Eugen had started a intense but "superficial" (above decks) fire amidships. The damage control parties had just managed to smoother this when the fateful salvo from the Bismarck landed. 

The Hood was seen to vent an inverted conical cone of intense heat and fire like that of a blowtorch aft of her funnels near her mast (engine vents being located there). This was the sign of an intense hidden conflagration deep inside her. Experienced sailors then knowingly watched the "Mighty Hood" with a deep sense of foreboding expecting the worst which materialise less than a minute later with a cataclysmic explosion which vaporised her stern and after turrets.   

Farewell to the great old lady,she left only three survivors, taking one thousand four hundred and fifteen souls with her.

Wikipedia, Warship.Org and HMS Hood Association sources:

In particular HMS Hood Association:

Note: This is a very impressive and high quality web-site as you would expect from the ship's association. Well done and many thanks to them for putting it together to remember the 'Mighty Hood'.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Merry Xmas Everyone

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

I hope 2012 is a good one for everybody


Xmas Painting Tray

While the turkey is roasting, you never know I may be able to slip away ... and do a quiet spot of festive model painting. Perhaps the "Sink the Bismarck" Airfix HMS Hood in 1/1200, 25/28mm Mounted and Foot Renaissance or ... 

To attend the small matter of some Polish WW2 armour from SHQ (see above dressed in Tamiya Matt Black) waiting for their funky three tone early war camouflage scheme. It must have been effective as the Germans seemed to copy it later in the war when they needed to hide their tanks!

Nicely cast models, but I want to "plastic-card the bottoms over" (explain that last sentence in a court of law) as they have a rather "hollow shell" structure (understandable by SHQ to keep weight and costs down). Maybe it's just me but it somehow feels wrong when I pick them up (makes them slightly less durable in my mind too)?

Note: There are two of the "gun version" (for the fighting tanks) and a "command" twin MG version tank, good enough to field as an independent Polish tank company (in CD3 terms) against my early war Panzer I's, II's, III's and IV's..

Thursday 22 December 2011

1/1200 IJNS Shinano: Finishing Touches

Obviously a big yellow line was needed down the middle of the Shinano's flight deck to stop the aircraft falling into the see or crashing into the control island superstructure (see below). As they say at Tesco's "Every Little Helps":

The most amazing thing here is, that this means that I actually did some "decalling" (unheard of). I obviously wasn't feeling myself (see above and below). The decals almost look as if they are a straight line too, being "four small decals" merged into one. If I was to be completely honest here I would have to say there was a "bit" of profanity at one point ;)

My saving grace as always was my trusty MicroSol and MicroSet decal "fixing" solution. The result, the IJNS Shinano departs into the relatively placid waters around the Sea of Japan (see below):

An armoured flight-deck, massive AA defence and no prominent Japanese "Red Circle" to guide enemy bombing attacks in means that the "aerial" war lessons have been learned well by the Japanese Navy (see above and below):

It's such a pity then that the USS Archerfish was hiding beneath the waves nearby and slipped a full load of torpedoes into her belly. The IJNS Shinao was sunk on her sea trials before making a war mission, taking with her over two thousand souls.

That completes the naval section of 2011 methinks. Next up it may well be back to "tanks and the like" but what scale?

Monday 19 December 2011

1/1200 IJNS Yamato and IJNS Mushashi (again) Picture Extravaganza of Japanses Super-Dreadnoughts

Have camera will play! The "deadly sisters" IJNS Yamato (top) and IJNS Mushashi (below) on a stretched canvas or should I say ersatz sea of "blue pacific" oils:

From the high level bombing run (see above) to the low level reconnaissance pass (see below) with enemy armaments turning:

Just camera-happy clicking away (see below):

A close up of the IJNS Yamato's stern (see below). Here you can see the only real modelling difference between the two (Yamato and Mushashi) in the Revell kits. There is extra AA mounted on the the rear (Y turret) and forward 18" (B turret) main batteries of the Yamato:

Extra AA seen here on the front B turret (see below):

Still plenty of film left in the camera so I kept clicking away. The "long" shot (see below), not what you want to see coming at you at 25 knots:

Impressive even going looking back opposite way at the beasts (see below):

The IJNS Yamato in profile (see below):

And again:

Back to the high level target for the B-17's again (see below) plus can you see the edge of the world (see bottom of the picture below):

Any excuse for a close up, even slightly fuzzy, of those 18" batteries (see below):

The last picture of the series, let's not forget there is the IJNS Mushashi too (see below). After all I did her first over a year ago now (and even pretended she was meant to be the Yamato, oh the indignity) so let me give her a moment in the sun.

Well I thought I would blast these pictures out in one big post and get it all over and done with. I have to say I enjoyed that. There is the small question of an outstanding IJN carrier to finish, but I sense the need to move on too.

Are the fellow "treadheads" missing the tanks? I've got some more pictures lined up of early war  stuff to come, though yo might be surprised at the scale of these chaps ;)

Sunday 18 December 2011

1/1200 IJNS Yamato gets some TLC ... highlighting

Three sisters (IJNS Yamato [bottom], IJNS Shinano [middle], IJNS Mushashi [top]):

The Yamato (right) gets some highlight work done (see below [right]), I decided to plane her aircraft white as per the Shinano 'air group'. The Mushashi's (see below [left]) planes are painted green, so at a glance I can tell the models apart!

Just playing around with the camera seeing them sideways from above. To highlight I added Tamiya Nuetral Grey XF-53 to the Games Workshop Adeptus BattleGrey, then added some Anita's Acrylics Cream White:

And then skewed at an angle (Yamato [top], Mushashi [bottom]):

It's a nice feeling now the battleships are done! I'll have to do the same to the Shinano now ;)

Saturday 17 December 2011

The 1/1200 IJNS Yamato gets a lick of paint ...

The IJNS Yamato gets the flat black (XF-1 Black) Tamiya treatment (see below):

The artistic long shot (see below). IJNS Shinano is base coated with Games Workshop Adepoptus BattleGrey (Grey) and Tanned Flesh (Pink) :

A close up of the Shinano "air group" (see below) complete with 'tricky' red markings:

It is slow progress less than an hour a per night but bit-by-bit I am getting there! Then blink and something quite spectacular happens to the IJNS Yamato ;)

(See below) The Yamato is base-coated Games Workshop Adeptus BattleGrey for her steel deck and Vallejo "Game Color"[Sic] Leather Brown as the stand in for Games Workshop's Snakebite Leather (Decking).

The IJNS Mushashi appears in Blue Peter style, "here's one I prepared earlier", to act as painting guide reminder so I can get the end result looking pretty similar. They also stand together posed nicely as the 'pack of three Yamato sisters' Japanese from the Revell "Mini-Ship" series.

Still not finished "highlighting" still to do.