Sunday, 30 December 2012

Finally finished some British Infantry

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas. My employment being what it is, the Christmas period is a very busy time, and it has been all hands on deck. I have not had much time to do any significant model making. I did, however, get confident enough to use my quickshade on some new infantry. They are the Plastic Soldier Company, Late War British Infantry. I love the hard plastic, and I am actually a fan of the poses. I read a blog recently of someone who did not like them. And to be fair, after picking up a box of their Late War German Infantry, I see that they have a bunch of set poses that they just reuse for each army. Kind of cheeky, but I am okay with it.

I only painted about 11 men, but I am very pleased with the outcome so far, although I held the can of matt spray too close to a couple of them, as is visible by the whiteness of a couple of rifles. I based them on pennies (UK 1p), painted them brown, and coated with PVA and liberal amounts of flock.They will do for now. I will look into other ways of basing men.

I also apologize for my horrific photography skills. I just haven't had the right light, and my daylight lamp seems to be a bit lacking.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

British Armour Finally Finished.

So this summer I decided to get back into model making. These are the two first kits I bought to get going again. I have finally finished them to a point where I am happy with them.

I am pretty sure the tank commander is the driver from the Aifrix Quad and 25pdr kit.

This is, however, the last Airfix Sherman I will ever make. Having looked online for inspiration on ways to make it look better, I discovered just now historically inaccurate this kit is. The front of the tracks are too exposed, there was always at least a little mudguard, and the gun mantle is apparently wrong. I came close to buying some Italeri quick build Shermans, but I saw that the commander's hatch is closed. There was no way of opening it without some serious work on the turret. Such work is possibly beyond my skills. So I passed. I will have another look around for some more sherman kits. Anyone out there have any suggestions?

This tank commander is from the old Matchbox Stuart kit. So he has been sat in my old model box for twelve years or something. Funnily enough I can't find my Stuart anywhere though, and am unsure if I ever finished it.

I really like this Cromwell model. I will be getting more of them.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Making Hedgerows.

For the hedgerows I use a jumbo lolly stick and a scouring pad. The scouring pad can be cut into four, to make four hedgerows. 

I cut the scouring pad into irregular shapes and stuck them to the base with PVA glue.

I stuck cat litter to the base to make it look like rocks and stuff. I am not sure if I will do this again because it seemed to be a lot more effort than it was worth.

I then quickly painted it brown, I didn't take too much care while doing it because it is the ground. I also dry brushed a shade of green onto the pad. It looks okay and maybe I need another green shade, even lighter this time. The same goes for the ground. I need some other shades or brown on that, maybe some flock powder. But as it stands, they will do for now.

Monday, 10 December 2012

A few projects on the bench.

At the moment I have a few projects that I am working on.

 I finally took the plunge and bought some Army Painter Quickshade. Visible below are my experiments. I am currently testing it on a handful of old soldiers that I painted over ten years ago. I am almost too embarrassed to show them, but the Quickshade seems to look pretty decent on them. In conjunction with them, I have a box of Airfix Japanese soldiers that I am starting to paint. I am not sure about some of the colours though, and am fixing them to bottle caps to work with. I only have six bottle caps right now, so it will be slow progress. Also visible is my disastrous Wills barn kit. That needs to be ripped apart and put together again. A Willy's Jeep that needs to be painted, my 2 pdr and 6 pdr that need to be dirtied up, and the Germans that come with the Airfix Reconnaissance set. The vehicles for that set are drying in the corner and will be dirtied up soon too.

At the same time, as my experiments are proving successful, I will probably paint up all those white metal Wehrmacht figures I picked up in Reading, as well as the British Infantry. We will see how quickly I can get these guys all ready to be used.

In the above photo, you can see that I have been trying out some terrain building. Hedgerows to be precise. I have some photos, and when I feel the hedges look good enough, I will post a tutorial about how I made them. I also have a Sherman Firefly in the process of being build, and a Puma armoured car (the first model I ever built) that desperately needed some TLC.

A flurry of posts will come in the next few days, I am sure, when all the various projects are completed.

Have fun.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Finished German Armour

Well, after a week of experimenting with a Humbrol Matt varnish spray on old models from my childhood, I felt confident enough to varnish these panzers and then dirty them up. My basic dirt is a layer of Humbrol matt 84, I think it is a sand colour. I then follow that with a layer of matt 29, a mud colour. I concentrate the second layer mainly on the wheels. Having not done this in a long time, I am still getting used to the quantities of paint to use. One day I might start using weathering powders...

Here are my Panzer 38(t)s. I am very pleased with them. I have a shortage of tank commanders right now, so they remain partially finished, and will remain so for a while. But this doesn't mean I can't use them.

Here are my Panzer IIIs. They are Armourfast models. I am not that excited about Armourfast after having built these, but they will do. I only wanted a couple as my army will be mainly Panzer IIs.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Invasion France: The beginnings of an army

I have recently become fascinated by the early war Wehrmacht. As such, I am building an army so I can invade France or Poland with it! My Panzer 38(t)s are coming on nicely. I have basically done all I want to do on them, until I find a satisfactory matt varnish. I picked up a humbrol spray and will be testing it out on some of my younger brother's old models. 

The Pegasus panzers are pretty great. They were easy to put together, yet have good detail. Once I have varnished them, I will drybrush on a bunch of dirt. They are far too clean right now.

Here is a Revell Krupp Protze and Pak 36. Again, I am now waiting to choose my varnish and will finish it off. I also need to get hold of some crew for her too.

I have some other panzers, and a few other things in the works. I will eventually post my entire invasion force up, and then get to work on some BEF forces. I may get some French and Polish going too. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Early Wehrmacht Infantry pt. 1

So this is what I have been working on all week. My painting skills are pretty poor, and I think I need a better brush for the details. They obviously need a touch up, but I wanted to get this out there asap. I painted them with Humbrol and Revell enamels. They are what I used way back in the day, and they are what I feel comfortable with now. Any recommendations for how I can wash them? Also, which varnish to use, as I have never used one?

Also, here are my Pegasus Panzer 38(t)s. They are coming along nicely. They are very easy to put together, and nicely detailed. All I need now are some tank commanders.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Spoils of War

I was looking on the SHQ website for information about shipping costs. I am trying to build an early Wehrmacht army for some Battle for France games I want to play. I noticed a mention of an event called Warfare 2012, looked it up and was led to the website for the the Wargames Association of Reading. An exhibition for wargaming? Amazing. I can go there and stock up on supplies, minus any postage costs. 

I just returned with these. I am looking forward to seeing more from The Plastic Soldier Company. I hadn't heard of them before today. I picked up these infantry, have opened the box and am intrigued about how they will look fully assembled. Unfortunately, the range of models they had there was a bit limited, meaning they are still working on releasing more products. They sell a box with four Russian AT guns and crews. I came close to buying it, but I don't have any Russians. If they had had a box with some Pak 36s, then I would have been all over that.

I also finally found some good looking Wehrmacht soldiers. They are a mix of SHQ and Britannia miniatures. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A fun little Quickie

This British motorcyclist is from the Airfix Forward Command Post. He has been floating around in my box of random bits and pieces for a long time now. I decided to base him in a way that also make him just look cool on display.

Plasticard base covered in PVA and kitchen roll. Painted various shades of brown and sand.
Flock added to make it look like he has pulled over to the side of a track.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Bunker.

Here are some pictures of a bunker I have made. The bunker part is a Pillbox from Wills. The hill is the remains of a model box, cut into five strips, folded over, and glued to a large D shaped piece of card. I then covered the whole thing in kitchen roll, using PVA. It was a bit fiddly, and some parts just didn't want to stick down. But my patience paid off. I then painted it brown, coated it in PVA again and sprinkled flock over it.

Almost invisible...

Rear view. It is not entirely flat, but I am no perfectionist...
The pillbox is removable. I might paint the entire floor so it can double as a simple entrenchment.
The hexagonal shape of the pillbox is clear here.

A Lesson in History

When I was younger I had a model railway. We packed it up during school term time and set it up, filling my bedroom, during the school holidays. My Dad built it for us. We filled it with buildings. I also remember playing with my Dad's old WW2 soldiers and vehicles on our railway. At some point my brothers and I started trying our hand at making tanks and painting infantry. They were some woeful attempts. My elder brother was obviously the best. We also tried our hand at wargaming. We used the Airfix Guide #15 WW2 Wargaming rules. I never really got into it though. I felt that we played it wrong with using too many men and tanks, literally throwing all our men onto a small desk, while struggling to keep track of who we had moved before, who was lying down, who was wounded, etc. 

Eventually due to school commitments, not liking the rules, and it being very uncool, I stopped building kits and wargaming. Fast forward 10 years and here we are. I never completely stopped looking for a better rule set. A few piqued my interest, but never got me back into it. Then I stumbled across Crossfire. I joined the yahoo group, browsed it occasionally, searched for the rules to purchase, but couldn't find them. I liked the look of a game without measuring, and this was the first one where the idea of basing figures together didn't scare me. Eventually I found a copy of the rules, read them and decided I would use them when I eventually got back into it.

On an unrelated note, this summer I was clearing out the top of my wardrobe and came across all of our old models. Passion rekindled. I went out and bought an Airfix Sherman, Cromwell, and 25pdr Cannon. Inspired by other blogs on this subject, I intend to hope to give inspiration to fellow inexperienced modelmakers like myself. Will I have tips? I doubt it. Will I need tips? Most certainly. So I will be posting what I make, what I paint, games I play, in the hope that someone out there will see it, see what I have done wrong and advise me on where to improve.

Wish me luck...