24 November 2012

20mm / 1:72 Sci-Fi / Near Future / Post-Apoc Conversions

Quick update on the Sci-Fi / Post-Apoc front.

A new painted "Control Trooper" sporting a riot helmet. He's accompanied by a Stryker from the "World Order" policing forces.

I've seen a lot of 15mm Sci-Fi figures on various blogs that have really inspired me into getting into the genre.

Unfortunately 15mm metals are out (maybe at least until I retire that is) as I've enough 1:72 plastic to sink a battleship. Besides which, my first love has always been plastic 20mm / 1:72 scale so I decided to try my hand at converting some figures from various modern-day sets to see how they turned out.

These are some of the first attempts and I'm quite pleased how they're coming along.





I've cut off the ends of the gun barrels - I think it makes them look like fairly reasonable future "blast" weapons.

22 September 2012

WW2 Russian Infantry WIP



Some pictures of the Russians I've been trying to finish off.  They just need matt varnishing and basing.





There's a mixture of figures here, mostly Plastic Soldier, with Esci and Italeri figures plus a Pegasus and Hong Kong figure in there too for good luck :-)


Anyone familiar with the Plastic Soldier figures will probably make out that I replaced all their heads, and did a fair bit of head swapping too with the other figures.


02 September 2012

WW2 British / Commonwealth Infantry Conversions

The old Matchbox British Infantry and 8th Army sets have a good all-round mix of figures, and greatly inspired by the pictures of converted Matchbox figures posted by Paul on his 20th Century Wargames Blog, and Al on the Plastic Warriors Blog, I decided to try my hand at adding more variety to the poses offered in these sets.

So, armed with a scalpel and geared up into a Dr. Frankenstein mode, I chopped and swapped various plastic body parts and came up with the following results.





These are really bad pictures by the way. I took these snaps in the evening with my mobile, and the yellow light from an "energy efficient" fluorescent bulb is nowhere near as bright or defining as a good old 100W tungsten filament bulb.



The different coloured figures come from sets spanning around 35 years.

The radio operator with the beret conversion above is the oldest and was very brittle - his original head didn't even need slicing off, it just snapped off.

The dark green officer figure in the middle above and the olive-green figure below are about 20-25 years old but no brittleness to be found, and the beige figures are new Airfix/Hornby re-releases.



The head on Jack the Knife on the right there is a copy I made from a 2nd version Airfix commando. The arms are off a Matchbox crawling British Commando.



Quite pleased with the way this one turned out. The hand-gun that the original figure was holding looked more like a water-pistol, so I replaced it with a revolver from a pistol brandishing Esci British Infantry officer.

The final batch of WWII British / Commonwealth figures, a mixture of Airfix, Caesar, Matchbox and a couple of old Hong-Kong rip-offs (in dark green).









And what a difference a nice bit of sunshine can make- it makes the first lot of photos look abysmal.

01 September 2012

IGB of Poland - Bedfords & Chevrolet C15


I'm posting some pictures of three 1/72 IGB kits of WWII British trucks that my regular wargame "enemy" Juan had bought specifically to use in some desert wargame scenarios.





Chevrolet and rear-view of the Troop Carrier



IGB Bedford Radio/Wireless Truck.



25 August 2012

Pegasus models 1/72 German 75mm IG18 Infantry gun

Hot off the workbench, bases just need flocking - Pegasus models 1/72 German 75mm IG18 Infantry gun



13 July 2012

Junkers W-34 Transport Aircraft

Superb model built and painted by Juan Reyes and detailed by Carlos de la Concha in a Winter wargame, warming up ready to try and whisk away some German general and his staff before the Soviet hordes reach the airstrip.

15 June 2012

Italeri (Esci) Panzerjäger I




Another vehicle from Carlos de la Concha, this time the old Esci 1/72 scale Panzerjäger I, now re-released by Italeri.

30 May 2012

Hawker Weather Event Group Build

22 April 2012

Hawker "Weather Event" Group Build - Part 1

If you click on the links below to the following blogs, you'll see they've organized a group build based around Hawker aircraft, specificaly those named after particularly bad weather (Tempest, Hurricane, etc.)




The group build is limited to 1/72 aircraft only. What a pity I thought, the only unbuilt Hawker kits I have in my stash are these two 20 year old Revell 1/144 mini kits........

BUT..... using Nick's logic that 1/144 x 2 = 1/72, and under the condition that I build both, well the lads have graciously allowed be on board for the group build !

I dug the two kits out of the cellar this morning and will post a few WIP pictures along the way once the group build begins after 01st May.



You can join up on the group build by contacting either Nick, Paul or Jacksarge on their respective blogs.

The deadline for signing up is 30th April.

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05 May 2012

Hawker "Weather Event" Group Build - Part 2

I'm falling behind the other fellas out there who have been steadily progressing with their respective Hawker "Weather Event" group builds, so following on from the first post (Part 1), I've uploaded some pictures here of the sprues of the two Revell 1/144 Typhoon and Tempest kits I'll be putting together.



After opening the old dusty 20-year-old boxes, the instructions look and feel like old yellowed parchment, but the kits are in perfect shape, no missing parts and they look two nice and simple models.

No pilots are included though unfortunately.






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13 May 2012

Hawker "Weather Event" Group Build - Part 3

Moved on a little with the 1/144 Revell Hawker Tempest and Typhoon kits this weekend..

Once I put the kits together I found that the parts fit more or less OK, but there are a fair few big gaps that needed filling.



I wanted to build these with the undercarriage up but the raised wheel assemblies are a terrible fit, so much so that on one of them I gave up and chucked the bits in the bin and covered the hole with filler.



I also had to dispense with the propellers as the blades broke off from the nose cone as I took the parts off the sprue - so no choice now, I have to make a spinning prop whether I like it or not and will have to cut out a disk of clear plastic and stick it on later.


As far as the cockpits are concerned, I did a dry-fit to see if I should paint the model first then stick them on, but they didn't fit very and it would have left huge gaps, and as there were no pilots anyway, I just stuck them on, filled the gaps and decided that I would paint them black when I finally paint the models.



I used a GW white spray primer (skull white in the background) which is a pretty good base colour for hard plastic models and doesn't swamp the detail.

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26 May 2012

Hawker "Weather Event" Group Build - Part 4

Spent an evening earlier on this week on the Tempest and Typhoon kits.

On the photo below, the model on the right was my first attempt at painting on the cammo. I used a GW "Catachan" green and a shade of Vallejo grey (can't remember which right now), but neither of the colours convinced me, especially as the GW green was too transparent and didn't have enough pigmentation.

The second attempt convinced me more - GW "Codex" grey and a Vallejo Panzer Aces "Feldgrau" green.



After painting the cammo, I painted on a yellow band on the leading edges of the wing using a couple of strips of Tamiya masking tape.



The rockets should be, I suspect, dark green or some other drab colour, but I wanted them to stand out so I used my wargaming artistic licence and used white.



And finally the decals


Arrrgh..... the damned bloody decals.

When I stuck them in water the first problem was that manufacturer's text on the decal sheet broke up into thousands of sticky little pieces. These little pieces invariably got transferred to the kits when I put the decals onto them.

The decals themselves also cracked when I put them onto the kits and when I tried wiping them down to avoid silvering they cracked even more.



Anyway, all good fun and a valuable lesson learned - don't use 20 year old decals.



I'll touch up over the silvering and try a little handpainting over the decals to fill in the cracks and then maybe add D-Day stripes and cut out some transparent disks for the props and add the nose cones and finished.

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30 May 2012

Hawker Weather Event Group Build

Finally finished the Revell Tempest and Typhoon kits over the weekend !



I mentioned in an earlier entry, the propeller blades broke off when I took the parts off the sprue so I made a "spinning" prop by cutting out a plastic disc.

I should have spent a little time sanding down the nose cones really as there are visible marks where the blades came off, but too late now and I suppose at this small scale it's not too noticeable.



After the disaster with the decals I had to hand-paint in over some cracks and bits of decal that were missing, and touched up over the silvering on the edge of the decals.

I painted the D-Day stripes on the wings but didn't bother with the rear fuselage as it would have been a nightmare trying to paint in and around the aircraft ID and roundel - in retrospect I should have painted them on before adding the decals (it's amazing how I realise how dumb I am after the event).



So there we are, finished at last.
I must say I really enjoyed participating with all the other fellas who were involved and have had a good time reading the updates on everyone else's respective blogs.

Thanks all, John

08 May 2012

1/72 Scale WW2 History Book - When The Time Comes by Mark Thomas




Mark Thomas, a veteran 20mm gamer and modeler from Oregon (US) whom I met over the internet about 10 years ago now, told me some time back that he was working on a history book illustrating scenes and information related to some of the most important battles of WW2 using 1/72 scale models, figures and scenery.

Mark's book is now finished and he's informed me that he'll be making it available to interested parties on a CD-Rom for USD 9.95 + postage which can be purchased directly by contacting him on the following email : cbeta@q.com

You can read some sample excerpts and see some sample pictures his book  as posted by another veteran 1/72 scale gamer and modeler, David Reasoner, on the Command Decision Test of Battle Forum on the following links:


So, good luck with the book Mark and hopefully if this one is a success for you, we can look forward to seeing a second publication from you next year maybe ?


John

24 April 2012

Pirates to the rescue ?

A motley crew of 1/72 Caesar, Orion and Esci/Italeri modern figures I recently finished for a game we'd been planning for a fictional modern-day scenario


The pirates were trying to rescue their leader who had been captured by UN forces and who was being held in a compound in a medium-sized old colonial town somewhere along the coast of East Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean. 


The pirates had some help from the local populace who were armed and hostile to the UN soldiers in the town, and even more help from a group of combat-tested renegade troops from the country's regular forces.


In spite of the help, the pirates got soundly thrashed (good show too).


We used a free set of one-page skirmish rules called FUBAR. 

Quite good for the job, but we included some tweaks to the activation process that put the pirates at a great disadvantage so they spent the majority of their time undecided and floundering around getting shot to pieces.

17 April 2012

Abandoned Tram



A few weeks ago my mate Iván phoned me and said he'd found a 1/72 scale model tram lying abandoned in the gutter and immediately thought of me.

I like to think he thought of me because of the 1/72 tram, not me lying in the gutter - as a respectable middle-aged man I now no longer end up in the gutter after a mad Saturday night out.


It's a promotional model of some kind that the local tram company must have been using at some event, and must have been just slung away when they finished with the promotion.


It's a bit scratched, but it looks the business and all it needs is a bit more dirtying up and we've got a nice scenery piece for a modern-day / post-apocalyptic game.

Thanks Iván.




19 February 2012

Australian Infantry


The figures are a mix of old 1/76 scale "Matchbox Anzac Infantry" and "Airfix Australian Infantry".