Thursday, December 20, 2007

US Recon Squad in a Jeep

Here is a fun little project that I have been trying to finish for more than a year, and I am still not done. But now I have something to show for my trouble. This is a US Army Recon Squad for WW2 gaming. I started with a New Millennium Toys Jeep and then added the crew figures from Victory Force Miniatures.

I mounted the jeep on a base and, of course, glued the wheels in place. I did a little weathering but the jeep is otherwise as it came in the box. Not bad for a $5 jeep. The figures actually cost more than twice the the price of the jeep!
I have plans to build one more squad and then a platoon command. The platoon command will have three crew and a 50cal HMG.

Soviet 57mm Anti-tank gun - Complete

Correction: These are actually 57mm AT guns from Black Tree, not the 76mm as I thought.

I have finally completed Tom's Soviet 57mm AT guns. These are the Black Tree Designs models that I did the how-to for building.

The models have been placed on a hard-board base. The models are so soft and fragile that they must be on a base.

All in all these are not bad models. They turned out much better than I expected.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Germans

The latest installment in my therapy. I am working on adding more to my WWII German army. I have been a little short on infantry so it was time to get painting. First up is some command figures and other miscellaneous stuff. I particularly like the Medic.

Next are the Panzerschreck teams. I really hate these figures but they are all I have.

Last up is a complete squad of infantry. If you look closely there are a couple of cool helmet covers.

All of these figures are from Black Tree Designs. I really like the early sculpts for this line. The later stuff is by a different sculptor and they are not as well done in my opinion. I have about 25 more infantry to paint and then I can start working on the motorcycle scouts. Then it will be about time for a bunch of new stuff from Crusader to be delivered. I will be working on Germans for a long time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

M4A1 Sherman

Here is the latest installment of my 1/48th scale Us Army project. Here we have the Tamiya M4A1 kit.

This model can be built with three different variants. I chose the late standard production. This has the large gun mantle and the cast transmission cover.

I added the driver and the tank commander from the Tamiya 1/48th US Infantry set.

This will be the tank platoon command vehicle. Now I need to figure out what model to work on next.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Terrain Inspiration

This is a very cool site with tons of pictures. This guy documents all types of abandoned buildings. He has stuff from the US, England and Belgium. Very cool stuff.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Red Army in WWII Web Site

Today I have a link to a cool site about Red Army vehicles of World War II. It has some neat pictures and drawings of the various vehicles. They also have some excellent coverage of Lend-Lease equipment.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Web site of the day

A cool site for 1/48th scale armor.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

M4 Sherman

This is the Tamiya 1/48th scale M4 Sherman. I started working on this model a few weeks ago and I was just able to get it finished this week. It has been a helpful distraction.

The model is very easy to build, much easier than the M10. You can build it as an up-armored version or the original configuration, without all the applique armor. I am working on a 1943-44 US army so the additional armor was needed.

Below is a comparison between the Corgi 1/50th (which i have several) and the Tamiya 1/48th. There are only very slight differences in size. Not enough of a difference to keep me from using both of these models in the same game.

Below is another comparison shot, this time a historical shot and a picture of the Sherman with BTD 28mm US soldiers. I think this is a good match and will be fine for gaming.

Next up is the Tamiya M4A1 Sherman, which is my favorite version of this tank.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

M10 Complete

I finally got this one finished. Turned out pretty good and will look great on the game table.

I will definately be building more of the 1/48th scale kits.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ravenwing Speeder

Just a couple of shots of my first Ravenwing speeder. This is actually a speeder restoration. The speeder started life, and did a lot of service, as an Imperial Fists speeder.

It is amazing how hard it is to cover yellow even with black!

The speeder is a little beat-up and the paint job is a quicky, but I think it looks good. One more to go.

M10 On The Workbench

I picked up a Tamiya 1/48th scale M10 Tank Destroyer from the Hobby Lobby the other day. When these kits first came out I was not sure if it would be worth getting into. My 28mm WWII projects have mostly been centered around 1/56th scale resin vehicles. These look excellent but they can be very expensive - $30 to $35 per vehicle plus shipping. I branched out a little when Walmart had the Corgi die cast which are about 1/50th scale. I was paying about $20 each for the Corgis.

The advantages to the Tamiya, from a gaming perspective, is the selection and the availabilty. The price is not to bad for these, running about $25 to $30 each. I got mine with a 40% off coupon which put the price at less than $17 out the door. That makes it hard not to get into. The nice thing about this line is the selection, this is the only M10 suitable for 28mm war gaming. There are some other unusual pieces in the line.

My research into these models uncovered a bit of dissatisfaction from the military modelers. After reading the TamiyaUSA web site it is clear that one of the main reasons for the introduction of the line is the large scale war gaming. This is due to the fact that old Bandai and Academy 1/48th scale models have been selling for $50 or more on eBay. There is clearly a market for these models even if the hard-core modelers are not interested.

So far the construction has been going well. It is a model kit so it does take more time to get game ready compared to the resin game pieces. The die cast hull give the model some nice heft and will be very stable on the table. I will post some pictures once I get it assembled.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Black Tree Designs Soviet 57mm AT Gun Build-up

Correction: This is the 57mm AT gun by Black Tree, not the 76mm as I originally thought.

I am building a couple of Soviet 57mm Anti-tank guns, from Black Tree Designs, for my friend Tom. These guns came in a blister pack with two guns and no instructions. I couldn't find any instruction on the BTD site either. It took several days of looking at the parts to get an idea of how they go together. I figured some one else might need to build these so why not show how I did it. Below are are the tools needed for the build. Not pictured is some 'green stuff' as mounting the gun to the carriage can be tricky.

The parts, as I mentioned, came jumbled up in a the pack. After I sorted through them I was able to determine which ones were needed to build a single gun. The picture below shows the parts in the out of box condition. A lot of cleaning and straightening was required.

Once cleaned you should have parts that looks like below. The gun barrel is fiddly and I had trouble getting it straight.

The next step is to mount the wheels to the axle. It does not matter which wheel goes to which side.

Once the wheels are on you can mount the trailing arms. I mounted these so that the arm with the ring around it was on the left (as viewed from the front of the model). I have no idea if this is correct, it just looked good to me. Make sure that when you mount the arms you have the axle turned so that the shield is near the ground.

After mounting the trailing arms, I mounted the gun mount. This piece has a shaft on the bottom that goes through a hole on the axle. The piece is off center and I mounted it with the longer portion to the front of the carriage. There are two raised tabs on the mount. This is where you will attach the gun assembly in a later step.

With the carriage assembly complete I set it aside to work on the gun. There are two brackets that go on either side of the gun. These brackets are different for each side. I started with the gun sight bracket. This piece is mounted to the left side of the gun. The sight is the two tube looking pieces at the top of the bracket, one is level with the gun and the other is angled up. Right below the sight is a hole for one of the control wheels. It is hard to see in the picture below.

You can see in this picture where the control wheel is mounted.

I flipped the gun over and mounted the bracket on the other side. You can see that there is an angled slot on this bracket and on the gun sight bracket. This is important when you get to mounting the gun shield later on.

Now that the gun is assembled and the glue has cured (thanks to our Insta-set) we are ready to mount the gun assembly to the carriage assembly. I first mounted this with just CA (super) glue, but the first time I touched it after it had set the gun just popped off. I then mounted the gun with a tiny amount of 'green stuff' at the bottom. This is a must as the gun is too long and too heavy for just super glue to hold it.

Now that the gun is securely mounted you can add the final piece - the gun shield. This is mounted at an angle and slips into the slots I mentioned in the sides of the gun brackets.

Here is a size comparison with a 28mm BTD German.

This model turned out much better than I was expecting. It seems to be about a 1/48th scale piece, which is a little big but it works fine for war-gaming.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Dark Angel's Plasma Gunner

This is the first Dark Angels marine I have painted in about 5 years. I painted a bunch of Deathwing last year but it has been a long time for the regular guys. I am working on updating this army for the DA codex and it is turning into a pain. The new codex is more restrictive than the previous version and I am unable to run the army the way I used to. It is forcing me to paint some new elements. This will allow me to update the basing to match my Deathwing and to touch up some of the older models.

1940 French Test Paint

This is my first try at a WWII French soldier. I think the colors are looking pretty good. The helmet should be a little darker and the bread-bag should be darker too. Not bad for a first try I think. THe next ones will have a little better attention to detail.


I think I need to dip him. The contrast is a little off I think.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Daemonhunters Part 2

For the second installment of my Daemonhunters army will focus on the inducted Space Marines - the Knights of Eden. Since I am doing a radical army I need some serious punch. I can't take the Grey Knights so and inducted Space Marine force is the only real option.

The speeder has one function in this army - tank hunting. The multi-melta is only good for killing tanks and I don't have anything else for this job.

Scouts are scouts and I have yet to take them in the army. Infiltration is the only real strength but I lack any special weapons. Once I add some sniper rifles these guys will see some table time.

A couple of squads of Space Marines form the core of the army. These guys are tough and dangerous. I have focused the configuration on troop killing.

I currently have a single Rhino transport and I rarely use this option. So far the army is very foot oriented. Eventually, I will add a second Rhino and a Landraider. This will give the army a high level of mobility.

This army is made up of stuff I have around. I have not purchased anything specifically for this project, it is all left overs. That is why the configuration is not optimal, I just make do with what I have. Eventually the Space Marines will have enough elements to function as a proper army on their own.

Oh, I painted these guys about 3 years ago. It might be time to go back and touch them up a bit, but I think they still look pretty good.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Danes

The Danes are done! Not bad, it took just about a month of painting to finish this unit of twenty. These figures were donated by Gripping Beast as a prize in one of our North Phoenix Irregulars Wild West WAB Tournaments. I did not win these, I am not good enough at WAB for that. I traded the winner for something...I can't remember what.

Next up is the Kiev city militia, I think.