Tuesday 30 April 2013

More Stoats - painted!

 My 3 new Stoat armoured cars are ready for action.  This time I gave them a scrub with a brillo pad (steel wool) instead of dunking them in paint stripper.  It gives a key for the paint and it's much quicker, which suits my lazy way of working.

I've used a black undercoat this time.  Hopefully any chips in the paintwork won't be as noticeable as with a grey undercoat (as used on the first Stoat).

Driving through the forest.
The more observant among you might have noticed their sneak preview in yesterday's post!

GZG trooper for scale.
I've used the same colour scheme as the first Stoat.  Humbrol 75 bronze green with a Humbrol 86 drybrush.  Vallejo matt black camo stripes drybrushed with Humbrol 32 dark grey.  A dusting of Humbrol 93 desert yellow to finish off.  Tools are Vallejo stonewall grey heads with Humbrol 186 brown handles.  Fire extinguishers on the top of the hull are GW woodland green (a pot from the early 1990s!).

I think some Peter Pig Hummer 50 cal or TOW Hummer ring-mounts might finish them nicely.

Monday 29 April 2013

Mad Mecha Guy watch towers now painted

My watchtowers are now painted and ready for action!  After an all-over undercoat with MDF primer, I've used Inscribe olive drab acrylic for the tower and a tester pot of Wilkinson's stone wall grey for the concrete base.  The tower was drybrushed with olive drab with a dash of white added and for some reason it's come out looking almost grey in my photographs!  I think it's because I was taking the pictures in natural light.

The completed tower.
I've made a small addition to the basic tower, gluing small blocks over the top of the holes in the roof.  This means that I've been able to shave a bit off the roof supports so the roof easily lifts off - with the layers of paint it had become a little tight.  The blocks on the top stop the roof sliding down and crushing the occupants!  In this instance I've recycled the window cut-outs from the WC blocks I ordered at the same time.

Interior detail.
 The interior is spacious enough for a squad of troops to keep a lookout.

Should hold a fire team nicely!
 Then I thought I'd have a play with some scenery...

The patrol set out...

Observation tower in the forest.

Keeping watch over the border.

Defending a forest road.

Sunday 28 April 2013

Mad Mecha Guy watch towers

 I was so impressed by my first order from Mad Mecha Guy that I've already ordered some more bits.  This was dealt with just as efficiently as last time, I e-mailed my order on Wednesday evening, received an e-mail about 7:30 Friday morning to say that it was all cut and ready for delivery and received it early the next week -despite the Easter weekend and its two bank holidays!

This time I've gone for 5 small shops with pitched roof, a set of 3 public conveniences (1 to act as a shower block for the shanty town, one for the starport and one for the city centre), some storage containers, a large house and 7 tall watch towers.  Most of the package has been squirreled away as my birthday present from my wife, so no reviews until July!

I was allowed to remove a few items for "test purposes" though...

The watch tower.
I have 3 watch towers to build.  I've just thrown one together quickly to take a few photographs.  You can see that it looms over the battlefield nicely.  This is the taller set of towers - the shorter set features 3 sections of tower instead of 4.

Removable roof.
 I'm going to leave the roof removable so that it's easier to get figures in and out.

Alternate platform configuration.
If you wanted to build it without the roof, you can turn the wall sections upside-down like so.

Engraved detail.
As usual, Joseph has engraved some panel detail to break up any large flat areas.

As always, the components are carefully thought out and go together with no trouble.  It's very obvious where they all go and the fit is snug, as can be seen from my dry assembly above - no glue required for these photographs, though you'd want some for the final assembly.  The pack contains 7 towers, enough for one on each corner of a firebase/POW camp and two either side of the main gate, plus a spare for the centre of the camp.  Alternatively they could form a frontier across the length of a 6' games table.  Plenty of scenario ideas present themselves immediately:
1) Prison camp break-out or rescue
2) Firebase siege
3) Frontier raid
4) Defend the lone tower from the restless natives

I've got them painted now, just need to set up a suitable scene for photography.  Can't wait to start work on the rest after my Birthday!

Saturday 27 April 2013

Armoured Transport part 4

 My vehicles are undercoated, I've used flat grey car primer.

Undercoated and ready for camouflage.
I added a small rectangle of plasticard next to the jerry can before I painted them,this will be a first aid kit when they're painted.  The grey paint shows up the detail much better than my previous photographs.

Roof detail.
Since taking these photographs they've received a coat of Vallejo reflective green.  Now I just need to decide on what extra colours will be used for their camouflage pattern and how I'm going to apply it.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Badger reinforcements

 I've acquired a few more Badgers recently, one from a local model railway shop's old toy box, the other two (without radar antennae) from e-bay.  I think a couple of Peter Pig Hummer MG mounts will finish those two nicely, similar to the couple of Stoats I want to add them to.

Before and after (or so I hope...)

Replacement Badgers from the surplus depot.

Hmm... looks like this one hit a mine!

Disassembled and ready for refurbishment.

Mould lines filed and sanded (paint still to be scrubbed).

Scrubbed sanded and filed, ready for painting.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Armoured Transport part 3

With 5 personnel carrier bodies to play with, I decided to upgrade one with a weapons turret.  I bought a small plastic Gepard SPAA tank a while ago, the Leopard tank body was rubbish but the turret had possibilities.  Sadly I couldn't find it, but luckily I had a couple of old Airfix CVR(T) Scorpion tank kits handy, so I decided to go with one of them.

Fire support vehicle.
The turret has been built in the Scimitar configuration with a 30mm RARDEN cannon. I've added a few extras in the form of corrugated plasticard, a bit more treadplate, a map pin sensor sphere, the end of an MG34 mounted coaxially with the main gun, a couple of Italeri jerry cans and the missile pod from a Mechwarrior clicky tank.

Rear detail.
 The APC body has a fire extinguisher added next to the forward stowage area and a small hatch nearby.  I imagine this hatch is for munitions loading.  The turret is slightly offset to one side to prevent the missile pod protruding over the side of the vehicle.  With a hole drilled through two layers of 1.5mm plasticard, the turret fits snugly in place and doesn't wobble as you turn it.  After completing the turret, I discovered that the slight overhang of the jerry cans on the back of the turret bustle/stowage bin was going to leave them too close to the top of the hull, they'd end up rubbing a line in the paint.  An extra circle of 1mm plasticard has lifted the turret enough to avoid this problem.

APC top plate mounting.
 I've found that Mechwarrior clicky vehicles are an excellent source of missile pods and the like and are still fairly easy to get hold of on e-bay.  You can see the missile pod donor on the right here.  As well as the tanks seen here, I have a the Jes II missile carrier which comes with loads of missile pods - some will be finding their way into my forces very soon.

Weapon donors.

Thursday 11 April 2013

Armoured Transport part 2

With the rivets drilled out, the body shells are all ready for the next stage of their treatment...

Body shells separated and ready for cleaning.

A steel file takes care of any obtrusive mould lines and a quick once-over with fine grit wet & dry paper finished them off.  I took particular care to ensure the top edges of the troop compartment were free of paint and had a good key for gluing.  After this they get a good rub-down all over using a brillo pad (ie. steel wool), then a scrub with an old toothbrush and some washing up liquid to give a good surface onto which I can glue/paint.

After filing, sanding and steel wool

 I've used 1.5mm thick plasticard for the roof of the troop compartments.  I held this in place, flipped each one over and ran a bead of superglue along the inside.  The glue gets drawn into the join by capillary action and I don't end up with any unsightly blobs on the outside.

Basic plastic rectangles trimmed to size

I'm using all sorts of bits for this project.  Behold my construction table - A2 cutting mat, a couple of craft knives, razor blade, heavy duty 60cm aluminium ruler, an assortment of 1mm and 0.5mm brass rod plus several different sizes of brass tube, plasticard, square section plastic rod (in various sizes), polycement, wet and dry paper, toothbrush, assorted plastic angle sections (H-beams, I-beams, T-section and L-section), a couple of plastic boxes containing jerry cans and general stowage.

An assortment of the stuff I use.

 My APCs will need some sort of top hatch, I've fashioned these out of 0.5mm plasticard apart from the one at the back which has 1.5mm - but more on that later...

The APCs take shape...
Now is the time to experiment.  I thought that some of my various vents and grilles from The Scene's building accessory range might be useful.

Trying a couple of The Scene's vents.
He also makes nice hatches and chunky air conditioning / extractor fan units.

More from The Scene - vent, hatch and A/C unit
Hmm... let's see just how much stuff we can add...

OTT stowage and bits.
This now has the following: The Scene hatch, vent and A/C unit, Continental Model Supply Company stowage bundles and modern UK ammunition boxes (7.62mm and 120mm), Italeri jerry cans, Airfix M2 Browning (in CMSC gun mount).

OTT stowage and bits rear view.
I know it looked good but I haven't got enough spare parts to do all my APCs!  So it's on to something simpler.  I've used some treadplate in what seems like a logical place where someone will be clambering out of the top hatch.

Some more details added.
 T-section girders form the edges of a stowage area in the middle, L-section girder hides the join between the plasticard and the back of the cab.  Brass rod will be the hinges for the top hatch.

The hatches now have hinges.

 I found a couple of old metal backpacks in my bits box.  I don't know where they came from but they'll make some nice extras for a couple of the vehicles.

Some backpacks as extra stowage.
Finished!  Jerry can added in the stowage area (actually, I think I might need to add a rectangle of thick plasticard too, to serve as a first aid kit).  I've engraved a line to separate the doors of the top hatch and added handles.  There are vision blocks made from 1mm square plastic rod added around the edge of the roof.

Finished (until I think of something else to add...)

Here they are in formation. More on the turreted one at the far end next time!

Ready for painting.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

More Stoats

More Stoats...
It looks like my post about the Stoat scout car was quite popular.  My e-bay lot containing the Weasels armoured car also includes 3 more Stoats for me to convert.  I'm thinking that Peter Pig Hummer weapons mounts might be a nice addition to a couple of them, replacing the little man with binoculars.

Monday 8 April 2013

Weasel Armoured car

Weasel Armoured Car
Another old Matchbox vehicle to convert - came as part of a job lot of Matchbox military stuff from e-bay.  I have another one in my old toybox at my Mum and Dad's, I'll have to dig it out next ime I'm there.

I'm thinking that this one will be painted to match my personnel carriers.  Now all I need to do is work out what that colour scheme is going to be...

Sunday 7 April 2013

Diceni Games Day

Sunday dawned bright and sunny, this last week has been pretty good although still an icy wind.  Still, it was a balmy 6 Celsius so I could wear my Old Buckenham Bone Crushers t-shirt.  Visitors arriving at The Forum in Norwich first encountered a small selection of military vehicles.  The Forum houses the Millennium Library, BBC offices, Pizza Express and various others, I think it's one of the best millennium projects I've come across and I'm glad it's been a huge success.  There are often events taking place in the large central atrium.  Most of the photographs are pretty large - click on any of them to see more detail!

The Forum

A Spartan and a Star Fleet security officer were there to greet people as they arrived.

Main entrance

  I confused my friend Graham when I asked if he'd seen the Spartan - he was thinking of the battle of Thermopylae rather than Halo!

 I think the Starfleet officer was probably from Voyager?

There was a nice CVR(T), either a Scimitar or a Sabre (I couldn't see the turret shape under all that camo netting), and Boudicca herself was there too.

Boudicca and CVR(T) Sabre
I bet she wishes she had light tanks instead of a rubber spear when she fought the Romans.

There were several demonstration games.  Dystopian Wars is something we've played at the club a few times.

Dystopian Wars
 Bearing in mind the title of the event it seemed fitting that there was a battle between Boudicca and her Iceni tribesmen against the Romans.

Boudicca and her Iceni take on the Romans
Saga appeared to be a dark ages battle.  I liked the teddy-bear fur thatch on the cottages!

Dark age battles in Saga

US and German troops clash
US and German troops.

English Civil War

There were a range of other costumed Dr Who fans...

Weeping Angel

Do-nate!  Do-nate!

Power Ranger, small assistant, Amy Pond and Ace