Sunday, 12 January 2020

OPFOR Update

Since I figured I was due for another blog update, and I haven't quite sorted out what I was intending to post - I thought that a simple update post showing a couple of recently completed items that are linked by a common theme would be an appropriate filler post.

3d Printed BRDM-2 Us
 First up are two 3d printed BRDM-2Us that I purchased from a seller on Ebay that offers some more unusual vehicle types for sale. While the printing is not of the finest quality, it does produce once painted a reasonable result.

The model itself doesn't the usual upper hull details and additional hatches that are associated with the BRDM-2U, but it will do for now.

Shellhole Scenics Russian Female Radio Operator
 I had purchased some figures from Shellhole Scenics some time ago and decided to start painting a few of them up at the same time I was painting up some other Soviet and Russian figures. This is the radio operator from one of their command packs that also includes a boy runner, a nurse, and a regional commander.

A pair of S and S Models ZPU 23/2 AA guns
One of these guns I had painted up a year or more ago, while the other was only complete in the last couple of months. Currently they don't seem to be on the S and S models website, but I'm sure that an email tro them would quickly determine if they will be available in the future.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Children of the Tattered King

It has been over a year since my last blog post, but even before then, output had been sporadic over the previous two years.

A tattered yellow King and mustard robed cultists. 
Despite the lack of blog posts I have been active playing games, making models, and painting figures. I just haven't posted anything to the blog - despite taking pictures with the intention of doing so:)

One of the games that I have been playing is a rather fun Steampunk skirmish system called 'In Her Majesty's Name'. Naturally, I have been building various quirky forces in 20mm rather than move to another scale.

Cultists from the Stan Johansen Road Warrior range.
The system allows a great deal of flexibility in creating forces, so I decided to create a force themed as a Hastur cult. One of Hastur's manifestations is 'The King in Yellow', and one of the titles that is used to refer to this manifestation is that of the Tattered King (although it might be more correct to say avatar - however I am no expert on the mythos).

RAFM The King in Yellow figure from their Cthulhu Miniatures - Classic range.
Given the above, I though that a good name for my cult would be 'Children of the Tattered King' as it captures the vibe of the RAFM figure. Originally I was going to paint the cultists yellow, but after the difficulties I encountered painting the king yellow, I felt mustard would work for the rank and file cultists.

A nice mix of weapons - my favorite is the chainsaw.
The Stan Johansen cultists are full of character, and are equipped with a wide range of equipment. I am tempted to order the cultists with  heavy weapons, as they would make a nice addition to the rest of the cult. They are however shorter than the Elhiem Hooded Cultists that I am going to use as high status members of the cult.

A trio of crossbow wielding cultists.
To disguise this issue, I have mounted the Stan Johansen on MDF bases, rather than the washers I have been using for other figures. I haven't completed basing the cultists - they will get a basing similar to that of the RAFM figure.

The figure on the far right may be used as either an engineer or crew for a mechanical construct.

Plenty of gun packing cultists too.
 Another group of Hastur worshipers and generally unpleasant folk are the Tcho-Tcho people. I intend to use GW Night Goblins to represent them as their teeth and size (relative to 20mm figures) match some descriptions of the Tcho-Tcho, and they have a distinct style of clothing.

GW Night Goblin that I am going to use as a Tcho-Tcho.
The Tcho-Tcho are often described as being red skinned, but so far I have gone with a pale skin colour, but I might experiment with some red skin colours to see what they look like.

Monday, 1 October 2018

T-72 with KMT-7 Mine Rollers

Since my last post I have been spending time on projects other than the siege machines I was working on last post. Part of that was due to my normal process of having several projects on the go - so I can work on something as the mood takes me, and partially due to having dropped the box with them in while moving stuff in the garage and the battering rams requiring minor repair before I proceed to undercoating them. Still these things happen.

I have earlier made the Trumpeter T-55 with KMT-5 Mine Rollers using magnets to attach the rollers to the tank hull, (Click here for details) so it seemed a natural progression to add some mine rollers to a T-72.

The completed beast.
 The base T-72 is a Deagostini die cast that has been given a slight repaint and a heavy brown wash,(Click here for further details on the process) while the mine rollers are a very nice Zedval resin conversion kit that I bodged the assembly of.

The very fine wire supports are missing...
 However, I'm not too concerned as the end product, even with my clumsy corner cutting looks good. In large part this is due to the excellent design of the conversion kit. Like all things excellence costs, and the conversion kit was not cheap! I have some more Zedval conversion kits to assemble, and hopefully they will turn out just as well!

More  Soviet engineering goodness!
The other Zedval conversion kits are for what I would describe as being a mine plough attachment set, and a dozer blade attachment. These seem to be the only T-72 engineering conversion kits that I can find - although I'm still hopeful that I will find a conversion kit to make a MTU-72 AVLB from a T-72 hull someday!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Siege Machines WIP

This weekend I had planned to build more urban terrain for use in modern era games. Instead I was sidetracked by the very nice Zvezda Siege Machine sets that I had been slowly stockpiling over the last couple of years.

A stockpile of siege equipment.
 The models come from the two  Zvezda sets that are reviewed at PSR here and here. Some of these models were included in a couple of the Zvezda Age of Battles games that pitched Russians in a wooden fortress against Mongols with Siege engines. These games included both sets of siege machines, so I have a combination of 3 lots of set 1, and 2 of set 2. I haven't included the cauldron for boiling oil, as intend to include them if I do a post on the collection of castles I have acquired over the years.

Hollywood style catapults.
I have included in all the photos one of the figures included in the games, a Russian knight from the set reviewed here at PSR. This hopefully gives a good sense of how big these machines are - especially the onagers and the ballistae! I have seen some of these models used with 25/28mm figures, so I wonder if they were designed to be compatible with the Zvezda 'Ring of Rule' series of figures.

Ballistae, based on the standard V&B artillery base.
The ballistae come with a choice of ammunition, a large bolt, or a round ball of presumably stone. I still have to decide on what figures to use as crew. Ideally I would be able to have a generic ancients type who could also pass as a medieval figure! So I need figures that could span roughly two thousand years... or I could permanently assign them to a given army/period:)


Battering Rams with knight for scale.
Suspending the ram from from the ceiling of the wheeled gallery was not fun. I used wire and harsh language on the first one to achieve an indifferent result. On the other one I used a much smarter approach consisting of two main steps: Step 1, Read and follow the assembly instructions, Step 2, Ask my lovely wife to attach the battering ram using thread. Following those two simple steps made assembly of the second ram a breeze!

I also removed around 25mm off the length of the shaft. While I have been told the length of battering ram shaft of a should be in proportion to the weight of the ram's head so the center of gravity will be in a useful place, the original length looked out of proportion, and was going to make the ram difficult to store. So the reduction was made.

Mantlets, loads of mantlets.
Finally I assembled up eight additional mantlets to go with the three I had previously made. I'm not sure I should base these as not doing so will allow greater flexibility across gaming systems. Still having eleven will provide a useful quantity for any game.

Monday, 15 January 2018

WIP Matchbox DAF Pontoon Carrier Trucks

A number of years back, Paul from Plastic Warriors, posted his conversion of the Airfix Thornycroft truck with Coles Crane, into the much more useful for wargaming Thornycroft pontoon truck (Click here to see it)
Matchbox Super King DAF Truck.
Inspired by this, I thought that I could steal the idea and use the Matchbox Super King DAF flatbed truck as the basis for a post war pontoon carrier. After all, bridging assets are always useful, and having a couple of pontoon trucks would make a nice addition to my wargaming 'tail' elements. The pontoons are naturally enough from the Airfix Pontoon kit, or one of the many Hong Kong clones of that set.

If I stack the pontoons this way, I will need to fill in the hollows on the bottom of the pontoons.
The DAF trucks came in a rather 1970s green colour, so I removed as much of the original paint as possible by soaking in a bath of cheap Dettol, followed by using a wire brush head on a Dremel, to remove 85% of the original paint on the first truck. This was followed by an undercoat of grey primer spray paint, followed by a coat of Vallejo Iraqi Sand, and lastly a brown wash. At this point the first truck languished as I hadn't quite decided how to attached the pontoons.

I am considering cutting up some of the pontoon decking to add to the load.

Two years later, I acquired a second truck. This one I disassembled and bunged through the dishwasher with some extra wash tablets for extra paint stripping power. This loosed up a great deal of the paint, and I wire brushed off some more, to result in a good 90% removal of all the original paint. I then spray painted it a sandy/tan/earthy colour and applied a brown wash. This was a much simpler process, and I have been subjecting the majority of Battle and Super Kings I acquire to this process in order to prepare them for repainting.

1/72 Esci/Italeri Figure for scale.

I still have a great deal of work to do before these are complete but I am happy with what progress I have made so far. The final cargo load for both trucks, and the means of securing the load still have to be determined, but I have a couple of ideas I am planning on experimenting with.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

New Trucks

 I have been rather remiss of late with updating this blog, but I have been busy with making  and painting various models. So I figure I should start by showing some trucks that I have recently acquired, some trucks I am currently working on, and some trucks that I have completed!

Chinese Tank Transporters with Fabbri T-72
 First up are a pair of Chinese made toy Chinese Tank Transporters. These were notionally 1/64 scale, but since they came with a cargo of three tiny tanks each, I suspect they are actually box scale. They bear a strong similarity to several different Chinese heavy trucks (such as the Shaanxi SX4400  or the Taian TA4360). Regardless, they seem to be about right for tank transporters, with a trailer that can take a T-72 quite happily.

Next up are some resin Ural office bodies from S&S models that I am using to convert some Fabbri BM-21s into command vehicles. While converting the Fabbri BM-21s required surgery with the Dremel, the results so far are very pleasing.

Yet another useful S&S product! Their conversion kits are very cool.
I hope to track down a couple of diecast Zil truck models so I can get the Zil office conversion kit from S&S models, as it would be a very nice addition to the collection.

I have found Shaun at S&S models to provide excellent customer service, so if you follow the above links you should have a look at the rest of his range as it is all very good!

S&S Models Man Kat 1 4x4gs truck, not an MHOV, but pretty close. 

I purchased the above resin Man truck kit as I thought I could use it as a substitute for the NZ Army Man HX 60 truck. I was hoping that between it and the Revel range of Man truck kits, Iwould have a perfect match for all the new MHOV trucks. They are very close, but not an exact match.

That being said, these models weren't intended to represent the HX range of Man trucks, but rather trucks from an earlier range - and they do a great job for representing those vehicles.

Side by side comparison.

Man truck on a heavy trailer.
Working on the twin principles of a) You can never have enough trucks (logistics is important!), and b) Close enough is good enough, I figured I should convert/repaint some 1/72 scale Mercedes trucks (That I got from S&S models) that could then be used as NZ Army Mercedes trucks, and as generic logistic elements for other forces.

Repainted Mercedes Trucks - great for use as logistic elements.
I have obtained a number of other trucks from various sources that I am in the process of repainting and converting into various logistics, command, engineering, or transport elements. With luck they, and some other interesting bits and pieces I've gotten recently, will be posted fairly soon.

Monday, 19 June 2017

And Now for Something Completely Different.....

A collection of oddments.
When I still lived in Christchurch, I was asked to help make some props by a local tourist attraction that could be used to help create a certain late 19th Century / early 20th Century atmosphere for one of their displays. The project was quite fun and was well received by the attraction.

Old bottles with  labels and contents added.
 From memory the items were to viewed through a window that allowed the viewer to peer into a dimly lit room.  As such, they only needed to give an impression, rather than provide an accurate  reproduction of actual items.

More old bottles and a repainted Altoids tin.
 The labels were in the main sourced via various sites on the web, and were printed out and given a wash of  various strengths of cheap black coffee. Many of the labels were chosen for  how well they would look on the item, rather than if the item would be found in an explorer's cabin.

The tin on the bottom right has yet to receive a wash of coffee.

Tinned goods were made by putting printed labels made in MS Word over various empty and full tins, that had the ends painted rusty brown, and then given a wash of coffee.