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.

FOO 2 U

 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'.