Monday, 17 April 2017

Tinkering with... Company B Wirbelwind

Sometimes, inbetween commissions, I get distracted! 

I picked up the Company B Wirbelwind turret from Great Escape Games, it is just the turret with flak 38, absent of crew, but usefully both the spare barrel boxes. I decided to marry this with a spare JTFM hull and a Warlord flak 38 crew from the spares box. 

The gunner needed some fettling to assume a realistic position, and I decided to recreate the sighting assembly, and add some detail to the flak. Not too much, as most wont be seen once mounted in the turret.
The complete crew, all fettled!
The Warlord crew has an annoying figure with arm raised or pointing, so this was cut and repositioned.  When configuring with the turret, I found the crew sat better if I removed their feet.

Early shot of the turret with flak and crew, all dry fitted as they will be painted separately.


Yes, I will drill out and straighten the barrels.

This is the Company B turret married to the JTFM Hull. Unfortunately the turret needed a lot of filing give the surfaces an acceptable finish. On looking through references,  I decided to add the field mod camouflage hooks and wire, used in Normandy for attaching foliage.

The hull has some mods, the extra barrel cases have been added, with associated brackets, also added were the late war mod of two towing hooks, form the spares box. the JTFM tracks are nicely rendered so I decided to lose the front fenders.

The turret sits quite nicely in the hull, although I did add some supports to lift the turret slightly so that the turret could traverse clearing the turret fairings.
Interestingly, and just like buses, I get one and two more come along, one in the wings from Warlord and, together with an Ostwind, one from Trenchworx in the USA. Am tempted by all, and ironically also the 12SS Normandy field conversion, with the 38 mounted directly on the hull, just not sure I'll be able to shift all of them..... decisions decisions.
This one just crept in the schedule, its an "opportunity" paint so will need a new home once complete, its slipping in with an interesting 1946 commission, more of that later.
As always, lost going on behind the scenes, most not reflected here. I have, and if I say so myself,  a lovely Fall Blau, France 1940 commission; just being photographed. Extensive mods for this set and I'm really happy with the results, although they've taken ages.
I also have a spare Warlord Puma, which i'll need to shift in short order.
Anyways, enough for now, theres a subscribe link on the right hand side for regular updates.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Tinkering with ..... Battlefront Iranian Chieftains


Yet more Chieftains! Iranian reinforcements!

Following up on the ArmiesArmy Chieftains, I now have a load of BF plastic Chieftains and am most impressed, generally....



The pros.... 
  • plastic format allows loads of conversion potential, 
  • excellent detail, 
  • nice crew set, 
  • separate track guards.  
The cons...

  •  ( just my opinion) the turret front angles need sanding over as they have too prominent an angle, 
  • the smoke dischargers are awful. 
  • Only one hatch open

The plastic format allows me to depict some very tired and abused vehicles as seen in reference photos of the Iran Iraq war. The mods so far...

  • Removed all smoke dischargers ( am making new ones)
  • Filed the turret fronts to remove the pronounced angle 
  • Opened up some additional hatches
  • Added crew, so far just from bits box, but more to come
  • Added numerous tarpaulins and crew stowage 
  • Added an initial layer of sandbag armour, more to come on this front, stalled until the dischargers are complete
  • Distressed and removed track guards 
So very much a work in progress and a "flavour" of things to come at this stage


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Saturday, 7 January 2017

Tinkering with..... S&S Models 15mm Ural Radio Trucks


Slowly getting back into the detailing after the Xmas break, tinkering with the new 15mm S&S Models Ural truck Radio / Office body for the zvedza Ural truck.


Speaking with Shaun the body has been designed to be deliberately generic, there are multitudes of real world options it would keep him busy for at least a year.

Strictly zvedza truck is slightly late for the October War project, so am battling with my inner rivet counter  whether to use it or not ( will try the body on a QRF Zil at some point ...) , however it will fit in nicely for my Iran Iraq project. 

I've decided to build one "as it comes" from S&S !(the one with the lime green cast) and the other two I have modified the rear doors to depict versions with a rear wheel stowage.

I anticipate modelling a large radar array on one, and I expect a radio mast on the other. 
As you can see I've opened up the cabs on the zvedza trucks, moderate work and I may well regret this later when I have to glaze them! 


Anyway just a sort intro into the build..... 

Friday, 19 August 2016

Iranian M113s - WIP - part II

My headless Iranians are no longer! The Peter Pig order arrived promptly as always and I set about added the American M1 helmets, which I think are my best option.

I got the green stuff out and added quite a few scarfs, these probably have a proper name but are prevalent in most pictures and videos of the period.

Some minor stowage work as well, usual random tarpaulin sheets and on one some make shift sandbag protection .

It's been quite a bit of work, but I think the end result will be worth it, am really liking the look of these. 

I do have the figures for a Pasdaran and a regular Infantry battalion now, but they will have to wait a bit for commission work.

That's these for now, they will migrate into a building batch ready for priming .


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Tinkering with.. Berlin Camo Chieftain

The progress so far.... Just finished the basic masking and airbrushing stage, these need to dry and be sealed before the detailing and weathering.

Here are two Armies Army Chieftains with pre shade prior to base coat, these are the Iranian ones so a slightly different approach to the Berlin two, below.

These have been also been preshaded but then had their base coat of white applied, now comes the masking.

The Berlin camo is a fixed pattern and applied universally, therefore both tanks needed to look the same. I've followed references so they should be spot on.

Masking being built up, these is really laborious!

Next up the light blue, you probably can't tell from the pictures but there's two shades in use, as usual mixed by eye using tamiya paints.

The blue is masked ready for the top coat brown.

Again another by eye mix, for the brown and green, it will darken on weathering.

The debris! 

So back were I started, pretty pleased with the result so far, a few errors in masking, but I'll rectify that later. 

Weathering to come....

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Tinkering with..... Iranian Skytrex M113

The go-to 15mm M113 has to be the BF plastic offering, indeed am converting some now into IDF command posts, anyway.....

I had three skytrex in my stock pile so following on from the Armies Army  Chieftians (now drying, see below) I thought they could be usefull employed with my Iranians.

I am collecting a library of Iran Iraq war photos and the Iranian M113s seem to be fairly light on stowage generally and armed with a mixture of .50cals and russian Dshk mgs, admittedly,  probably not in the same units?


I'm aesthetically drawn to irregularity of the IIW, particularly in this case the Iranian forces. This usually expresses itself best in stowage, but that wasn't really an option here so it had to be the "crew", luckily the Iranians seem perfect for this.

So, using a variety of Peter pig figures, from various ranges, I started bending, cutting, filling and drilling suitable poses to resemble the infantry sitting on the m113, effectively using them as battle taxis.

You'll notice the missing heads!  these figures are awaiting a Peter Pig resupply, I will be using American ww2 helmets as that's the best I can find to represent what I think were West German m1 helmets in the main, but regardless, they lot "right" ( certainly in 15mm).

I thought I'd add some variety to the mix, with the commanders, in that there's a mixture of 50 cals and Dshk and Russian tankers helmets.

And finally for now... 

Here's the armies armies "batch" from earlier. I have performed standard prep:

- halfords primer
- halfords black base
- enamel black "touch up"

Once dry I will add the pre-shade. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Tinkering with...15mm BTR-D SPAAG Armies Army (Kickstarter)

Sometimes I buy on aesthetic impulse, these BTR-D SPAAGs from Armies Army were just that! The ubiquitous ZU-23-2 has some many options, so I ordered a few. First up are two BTR-Ds with the 23mm mounted, one centrally, one at the rear. 

I added some details around the AA piece, primarily crew seats (a crewman is supplied) and mudguards, I'm not going for 100% accuracy, these are 15mm gaming items after all.

The second was mounted more traditionally, at the rear, again only minor mods just for flavour really.

Crew figures are Peter Pig and battlefront, with some additional tarps added on the rear deck.

Not entirely sure on the future for these, they don't fit in my Middle East extravaganzas, so they will probably be paint opportunities for me and then open to new homes.

I sneaked in another quick mod, this time the skytrex BT152, with mod'd Peter Pig crew ( two missed the photo-op). This will probaby embelish an Egptian HQ's element, but can slip in anywhre really.


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Tinkering with....15mm Chieftains - Armies Army (Kickstarter)

If you're of a certain age, and growing up in the UK then there's really only one iconic tank for us... that's the Chieftain. 

A package arrived this week with some lovely goodies from Keith Armstrong's Armies Army Kickstarter. I ordered a number of items, but will focus on the iconic Chieftains here.
If you follow my blog, you'll note my interest in the middle east, primarily '73 October War, but on the advent of Chieftains becoming available, a slight "scope creep" into the Iran Iraq War. So these two will be the first Iranian tanks, no real mods just added some crew from the spares box, I was originally going to have soviet tankers headgear, but it looks like they used American or British tankers helmets (which would make sense I suppose with electrical fits etc). I did add a Peter Pig figure in peaked cap to add some irregularity. 

Of the pictures of non-destroyed Iranian armour, there seems plenty of tarpaulins and stowage crammed on the turrets mainly. I augmented the supplied stowage and racks with some grey-stuff stowage, hopefully to make these as ramshackle as I can.

For the next two Chieftains, with something special in mind later, I built these as they came, one opened up with the AA crew, one closed down, not to much stowage, which will become apparent later.

These four are now primered and curing, it may be while before the get their livery, so watch this space, there's an email subscribe function on the right ----->

As always, any suggestions, errors or corrections welcome, Chieftains are fairly new to me, modelling wise.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

1/2400 Sea Bases - a change of tack!

Every now and again, we need a break from the norm, both to reinvigorate hobby interest and for me, to provide a challenge. To this end I have been researching the naval aspects of Russo Japanese War, well out of my comfort zone. 

I quickly established a scale and a manufacturer, primarily the excellent range from the War Times Journal (WTJ). So, whilst waiting on a first order, I started pondering on bases....

I was keen to try something new, and came across some examples of textured acrylic bases, clear enough so that a printed sea scape would provide a level of depth an aesthetic appeal.

So, with some clear acrylic, I started experimenting. I decided to use liquitex clear acrylic gel which would give enough substance to artifice a wave effect. This was achieved easily (third from left above), so then i explored some colour options ( left to right above):

a) Light blue wash over liquitex
b) Light blue wash on acrylic base prior to liquitex being applied
c) Liquitex, uncoloured
d) Full colour wave effect painted prior to liquitex.

I quickly discarded d) whilst providing a great effect, I felt it would contrast with the seascape unless i got the colouring just right, it also negated clear acrylic, I tell you why in a bit....

In the meantime, the excellent prints from WTJ turned up, I was astounded, I'm not sure of the technical printing spec but these were the best prints I have seen, and with undercuts. From the photo above I had rounded my preference to a) and b), with the "under wash" winning out ( left above).

Bear in mind I haven't sculpted wakes, wash or painted the wave tops ( white horses!)

So, alongside the texturing, I was in extended dialogue ( email) with Diane form Warbases with regards to etching ship names on acrylic bases. Diane and Martin accommodated my requests, and produced an initial set of RJW ship names for me ( many thanks!). These are shown above, with random prints placed on at this stage.

Interested in comments or opinions, these will progress alongside some outstanding commissions, so posts may be sporadic... a couple of challenges to resolve:

a) Brass soldering for masts
b) Rigging ( i know, i know, but I have to try...)

I now have to shelve these for a few weeks whilst I finish an eclectic set of:

1) 28mm MRAP -oshkosh
2) 15mm Panzer46
3) 28mm France 1940

Current FOR SALE items

1/56 "Fury" M4 E8
1/56 RSO Steyr
1/56 Weasel
1/56 KV 1

all pictures are in my flickr contact me for details.