Sunday 27 November 2016

Matilda 10: RTR HQ Vehicle

The three fighting squadrons have been filled, so time to appoint a RHQ Troop (one vehicle representing 3-5 tanks on CD III rules). Again the classic Airfix model kit is used, however the command tank is given two figures (see below, note the "Monty" figure from an old Matchbox M3 Honey kit and the helmeted observer with binoculars from the Airfix Bofors kit):

All I need now is the specialist CS Troop (aka one tank in Command Decision  II/III terms) to be under the direct control of the RHQ for the "opposition" to be considered.

Saturday 26 November 2016

New Blog found courtesy of ParadeGround 2016 connection

Battle Ground 2016 (North East of England Stockton:Middlesbrough):

Excellent Demonstration Game (Jutland 1916):

Long time since I managed to get out and "go to a show" but it was a really pleasant experience, despite "things having moved on" since my last outing. Hot things seemed to be Sci-Fi, Zombie Horror and 28mm plastics (replacing 15mm all things of 15mm) or 15/10/6mm WWII kits. My old school 15mm ancients and 20mm WWII were hard to find. Still it was great rummaging through stuff "bargain hunting". A comment from a trader seemed to be "most  people were looking and buying tit-bits rather than huge armies".

Impressively "shiny" new items found were:
As it was I stuck to my old projects with a modest purchase of:
  • Millennium Falcon for X-Wings, the Rebels need Han and Chewy
  • 28mm Warlord Games Scots Lancers (ECW/Scottish Montrose Campaign
  • 8 x 15mm Carthaginian Citizen Spearmen going cheap in a "bargain bucket"
  • 20mm Britannia Miniatures Sherman ARV  
  • 20mm Britannia Miniatures Matilda II CS
  • 20mm Britannia Miniatures British Paratroopers PIAT Team, 2" Mortar Team

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Plastic Airfix Sherman ... "Pimped Up" (Honour the Airfix!)

Looking at my "1944 RTR post D-Day" project box (A4 Flat Box with pop-up lid, we all have them), brimming full of Airfix Shermans and Matchbox (Revell) Fireflys, I came to the conclusion that it was time to break up their uniformity of build (aka the tanks "look"). After all heading across France and onto the Rhine the RTR was a formation on the move, not a parade ground inspection line-up. Hence there should be all manner of things "hanging off them". Time to break open all those "tins of extra spare part" (things that I have been acquiring for twenty five years) and festoon them Xmas cake fashion over the beloved (see below, a troop commander's Sherman):

As part of my Plastic Soldier Company assembly frenzy I had some M3 Half-Track stowage packs left over, so onto the the side they went (see below, "Messy Alice"):

Project wise, I still need to acquire a specialist Crusader AA (I nominally made up the Airfix Bofors kit as a stand in, but I have "gone off" that idea) and a Sherman ARV (again the stand in Airfix Scamell Tank Transporter is infeasible) as Xmas ["Dear Santa"] presents (I don't fancy the effort of a botched conversion [two kits making one]) from Britannia Miniatures, SHQ or Skytrex.

Monday 14 November 2016

Don't Panic ... but Arrrgh .. Airfix, Hormby and Scaletrix ... Not Again!!!

How did I miss all this going on? Brexit and the American Election perhaps!

James May in February:

Then in June:

Note: Around that time (June/July) I saw the Hornby ranges disappear out of all places my local Garden Centre (one of those many national/regional chains). When I asked an shop attendant she said they were going bust but I  paid that no attention as I doubted the significance of this. I guessed they were not moving these products and were going to use the space to sell, well er, garden stuff.

BBC news:

Now tonight I stop into a small toy store to pick up some modelling glue only to be told that they do not stock Airfix anymore and Hornby are in trouble? Or are they just centralising their stockists?

The Airfix website still seems to be trading though on "reduced stock" IMHO. Does anybody know better what is going on? Am I best to keep my "Airfix attic" for future Antique Roadshows?

Would appreciate anyone else's thoughts!

Friday 11 November 2016

Remember ...

Very moving today at work, many nationalities, many religions, all respected the two minutes silence. Thank you. I live in a good nation with good people. 

Note to self: Nice link to painting US Paratroopers (20mm - 1/72 - 1/76)

Like what I see here!

Thursday 10 November 2016

Plastic Soldier Company Marder II's (Plastic Frenzy #3)

The assembly line process continues apace. I shall let the pictures do the talking. Plastic Soldier Company Marder II (see below, late version with higher profile but better turret traverse) :

They fitted together like a dream. For the third remaining kit I did the earlier version so I could use it with an earlier purchased UM Marder II (see below, UM being the undercoated base yellow one):

They fit well together, but a nice touch is the PSC rolled up canvas coverings (see below):

This means I think I have the "Royal Flush" of German Tank Destroyer types, from the lowly Pz I (with a Czech 4.7cm gun) through the Marder II's, the Stugs, JagdPanzer IV, JagdPanther, not forgetting the Hetzer and finally the JagdTiger.

This means I have to fill my remaining holes in the 150mm support gun category, which is a Bison and Grille (again on the 38t chasis). From teh front cover of the PSC artwork I was hoping they were going tp come to my rescue here, but alas that may be for another pack at a later date.

Note: I resisted the urge to build the Pz 38t as I already have a formation of Fujimi Pz 38t's and I had the inking that the PSC woudl have 'stood large' by way of comparison.

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Weekend Plastic Frenzy (2) PSC 250/1, PSC 250/7 (mortar) and PSC 250/11

The good thing about PSC kits is that they literally "fly together" when you get "in the zone". In particular there was not much fiddling to be down with these German 250 half tracks. These are Recon specials IMHO. I was torn between which variants to put together. If I had been sensible I would have made the standard 250/1's. However I could not resist the mortar variant (250/7), sense took over me and I then made a 250/1 but then despite already having two ESCI 250/10's I just had to make the alternative Anti-Tank support variant 250/11 (see below):

It was a very relaxing Saturday and I like the extra 2.8cm sPzB 41 (Panzerbuchse) heavy anti-tank rifle you get. Methinks I will have to get another box to make up purely as 250/1's. I should really paint these boys German Grey

Monday 7 November 2016

Weekend Plastic Frenzy (1) Airfix Sherman

Well at the weekend I had the chance to write up an AAR for the blog or do a bit of hands on plastic modelling and the modelling won, first up was an old Airfix Sherman (see below, turret hatch open waiting for a suitable British tank commander figure to be found):

This means I am almost finished the basic 1944 RTR Command Decision OoB complement of standard tanks ;)

Modelling Note: The new Airfix tracks are a great improvement. They were really easy to glue together with "cheap pound shop" superglue! Dried white but everything is going to get painted over, so that ain't an issue,

Saturday 5 November 2016

Airfix M3 Build Kit Bash

A quick kit-bash of an Airfix classic and one that will be useful in the next Battle in the Airfix Battles series (see below):

I took my time, having made this kit before helped and liked the result. The only thing I noted was that I remembered a "canvas cover" in the old kit but this was missing in the new box - also absent in the instructions, so not just missing from my box.

Friday 4 November 2016

Nancy: These Boots Are Made For Walking ... Vietnam Route 66

On a cold wintry night some years back I weathered from the cold in WH Smiths. Mooching around the magazine section I spied those that come with attached toys. I could see "cast-offs" from pervious weeks and one caught my eye, although damaged this Vietnam era truch with quad 50 calibre browning machine guns packed a bit of a punch. Already reduced I sensed a bargain and as it has bee in advertantly stepped on "I barttered it down to a quid" (see "Nancy" below - no doubt in tribute to Nancy Sina):

Well for several years it has languished up in the loft, in bits (see below, front on):

Being a "dinky die-cast" with plastic parts superglue came to the rescue (see below, side profile):

I think it will do very well next to the M113's and light American armour (Sheridan's) but I think I will need to matte and dust it down as it is a bit too shiny for my taste. Other bloggers have done "good jobs" with these magazine freebies. I am wondering is this the way of the future buying die-cast? I have acquired many such models over the years "in ones" here and there. At least they come "combat ready" instead of "to be cut off the sprue". Price wise they are pretty much the same. You may tell I am beginning to advance in years!

Thursday 3 November 2016

Coming soon ... Airfix Shermans v Hasagawa Tiger (and PSC Panzer IV)

Airfix Battles Scenario Three: Shermans v Tiger (and a Panzer IV). The long standing heros of my modelling youth, I give you the venerable Airfix Sherman (see below, the one on the left is from my "fair hand" the other two [with more professional/better highlighting] are from a very skilled model maker called Denis):

The sinister forms of a PSC Panzer MkIVH (first saw action in 1939 and still going strong through all those production upgrades, from the Plastic Soldier Company) and a "Terrible Tiger" (the coveted Hasagawa special of my teenage modelling days). Will these be too much for the Allied tankers? (see below):

I do intend to paint up the original Airfix kits to honour these rules, The Tiger poses a problem as it required considerable "pimping" (aka the rear turret stowage bin was the hardest part) and I still need to add some mud-flaps. Something (as in a project) to keep me interested in the forthcoming long winter nights (as well as Game of Thrones).

Hint to Airfix: If you can add a little extra sprue of special bits to your other kits to make interesting variants such as the:

  • Sherman Crab
  • Sherman Calliope
  • Churchill Crocodile
  • Churchill AVRE Bridgelayer
  • Matilda Hedgehog

Then the iconic Tiger I surely deserves a rear stowage bin and mud-flaps - so the damn thing does not look so bloody naked!

Wednesday 2 November 2016

1/144 and 1/200 Aircraft Additions

Recent acquisitions (all from Zvezda) in no particuilar order, The ill-fated RAF (or rather AASFS) Fairey Battle in 1/144 (see below, but seems rather a large bird to my eyes):

The RAF Bristol Blenheim in 1/200 scale (see below, a very nice kit to make, although in scale it looks silly next to the Fairy Battle):

Closer up you can see there is quite a lot of detail in there despite it being 1/200 (see below):

Same manufacturer (Zvezda) but different scales 1/144 to 1/200 but the Fairey Battle (which was in effect an elongated Hurricane with a crew of three) still looks too big IHMO (see below):

Onto the Russian Front. I just had to get this (tiny and beautiful [in a quirky way]) Russian Polikarpoc I-16 "Rata" in 1/144 (see below, optimistically the cover art has it shooting down a Me-109):

Now assembled but who knows when they will be painted and god knows when I will ever use them, All-in-all I have never been disappointed with the Zvezda aircraft and