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.