Sunday, March 16, 2014

My New Friends

Those friends being the wonderful designers at Dragon and the almost instant troop of Challenger 2 MBTs. What an amazing world we currently live in where for the same money as buying a kit, I can have an almost table ready vehicle pre-built and ready to rock-n-roll. Naturally, I still base my vehicles so there is a little work to do.
I don't bother weathering but I did want them dirtied up a little.I think about three lightening shades of dirt brown with three shades of static-grass finished the MDF bases which were coated with pr4e-mixed putty.
My final touches were drilling and fixing the two main aerials. My photos were taken before fixing the roof mounted MGs. The real purpose of these models being based is for storage and transport. The turrets are fixed to the chassis but they do swivel. My bases are longer to the model's rear which allows a little sculpting in the putty to replicate tank tracks but perhaps more importantly, they cover the length or the gun barrel when the turret is turned to the rear. When turned to the rear, most of the barrel runs the length of the chassis and provides for the least overhang. This protects the model when in their travel boxes.

Movement & Fire

Liberation Miniatures make a five man crew which provides for artillery or mortar crews. Lacking any 105mm guns but having a few plastic 81mm mortars to hand, the decision was made. Those in the know will realise that the mortars themselves are not in fact the modern L16 81mm variety but frankly, I can live with it.
 My battle group will need a variety of Land-rovers for a variety of roles and this will include transporting my mortar battery. So, it was JB Models to the rescue with my first in a series of hard and soft top 4x4s.
Whilst I didn't go overboard with the interior detailing, I needed to paint the cabin before fixing the top to this model.The only interior painting required afterwards was half way down the length of the canvas top. The rest was straight forward.
This is a beautifully simple model to build and ideally suited for the wargamer. One tip to remember is that if you base your vehicles as I do, be careful pushing your model into the glue - the axles are thin and weak and the wheels will buckle.

My FV107 Scimitar Armoured Recce Unit

I wouldn't want to guess how long ago I bought these Airfix Kits but I knew one day I'd build these models. I have long felt that the Saracen/Scimitar light tanks are the best ever looking design of armoured fighting vehicle even to come from the British isles.
For a reconnaissance role, I wanted my Scimitars camouflaged to the max. I have been hording tea leaves for some time and finally got a chance to test a technique my mates have been using - fixing tea leaves to medical gauze.
I cut up, rolled and glued the gauze to the plastic model. Once dry, I brushed on undiluted PVA white glue and pressed on the dried (used) tea leaves. Once dried, I generously coated the leaves and gauze with diluted PVA (perhaps 50/50), then sprayed the whole model with my usual black undercoat.
I dry brushed dark green over the vehicle but it didn't matter if the leaves copped any. After dry brushing a lighter shade of the green to hit the highlights, I painted the black disruption stripes and dry brushed them over with dark grey.
I hit the tea leaves with ochre, khaki green and light green and am very pleased with the effect. Finishing off the model with some aerials and the job is done. I used two cut down plastic infantry by Revel to jazz things up a little.
This model was a trifle fiddly and I had trouble with the wheel assembly and the tracks. I always base my vehicles which adds structural integrity for a wargaming model and allows for hiding my gaffs with the plastic tracks. I will most likely never build another Scimitar - but I'm sure glad I have.


 This weekend past spurred me on to develop a long standing series of purchases for my 'modern' 1990's British battle group. Having painted most of my rifle sections years ago, I realized I had the makings of a Forward Observation Officer (team) to co-ordinate my on and off-table artillery assets. So I got stuck in and here they are. These chaps are Liberation Miniatures which I think are superb castings based on - is that a coin?
The only modification made is the radio aerial which is a synthetic fibre I snipped from a brush. The photos are taken by my trusty Canon Digital SLR with a macro lens on a macro setting, cropped with Photoshop. The first image was also 'brightened'.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

FULL BATTALION: 48th Foot for Quebec

Now I'm back in Canberra where I belong, I've managed to reunite the entirety of my 48th foot  and base them - basically. I'm still separated from my possessions and unable to paint or build anything for the next few months but have at least based these chaps - I couldn't wait to see how they look.
The only other unit comparable in size I've ever constructed (70 figures) was for one of my other major efforts - Project Lewes. Whilst they were irregular infantry (always more involved) the detail on these uniforms put them on par in the effort stakes for my money. Was that that a triple-cliche sentence I just wrote?
Anyway, once ensconced in a residence of my own and settle, it will be full steam ahead.

7th Hussars in the Desert

Anyone following this Blog will have seen the previous posting of my newly created A10 for my Western Desert 'Jock Column'. You may also recall and revisit the fact that I didn't know how to mark it up as I couldn't recall how the rest of the squadron was identified. Well, here they are.
I thoughtfully marked these bad boys up but also detailed their bona-fides underneath the bases. It seems I will have myself a mixed squadron of two Vickers VIB light tanks and the A10. It's funny how many years pass for me to progress even my smallest projects. When I started assembling the models for my Western Desert force, I was strictly adhering to the traditional three-vehicle company structure under Rapid Fire rules. These days I would organise them as a four tank company - but I've no problems with them being under strength given the ad-hoc nature of the group I am trying to represent.
Whilst my A10 and these little beggars are all in that early war disruptive paint scheme, they differ in colour schemes. These are older models to my recent A10 and are shot with my Canon EOS 600D digital SLR with my 18-55mm EFS macro lens on a macro setting with no flash.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Tank Company's A10: Armour for the Jock Column

 If memory serves, this is my 'almost' completed A10 from Skytrex. I bought a series of their vehicles years ago and have been building my Jock Column at a glacial pace.
This tank will be accompanied by my two Vickers VIB Light Tanks which have long since been completed. I haven't marked this 'big boy' up because I can't recall how I did my Vickers and want them from the same regiment - if not company.
 It will have an aerial and pennons but I have to transport this with me on the aircraft at the end of this week.
 The commander is an AB Miniatures figure and I generally have crew exposed for my lead tank in every company (organised for Rapid Fire rules). I normally litter my vehicles with plenty of stowage but went naked this time. What you see is what you get with the model. My only dissatisfaction with this kit was the bend in the muzzle which I was unable to completely straighten. I most probably shan't have another of these but if I was to, I'd source a brass replacement.
 For those of you familiar, you may have recognised it's painted up from the example given in the Osprey Vanguard No:23 British Tanks in N. Africa 1940-42.
Now it's onto the armoured cars.