Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Miniature Freud

A co-worker is a big fan of Dr Freud, and when they saw some models I brought into work, asked if I could make them a 1/72 Scale Freud.

A collection of Freudabilla.
Since they are a valued co-worker I said yes, and did a paint conversion of a Nexus Lenin figure from the Nexus reissue of the Atlantic Russian Revolution set.When did a google search for images to base my painting on, I found a number of images of Freud without his glasses. This convinced me that the Lenin figure could be easily repurposed .into a figure of Freud.

The good doctor and a GMG.

Another view of the GMG.
The addition of the GMG onto the stand is partially due to Freud's purported interpretation of the underlying meaning to having or desiring big guns. Plus I think it looks good on the stand :)
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Complete with  travelling case.
I recycled an old GW paint container to make a transport case for the good doctor on his travels. When I gave the figure to the co-worker they were quite pleased with the final result.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Once More Unto The Breach...

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger. . . .


Henry The Fifth Act 3, scene 1, 1–6


M1 Abrams tank with mine plough, and M-58 MICLIC on a M-200 tracked trailer.

 One of the gaps in my collection of models is a lack of modern engineering equipment capable of breaching minefields. Recently I have started to address this gap by  a combination of purchasing model kits and diecasts of suitable equipment, and to scratch building some items for immediate use.

Scratch built M-58 MICLIC on a M-200 tracked trailer.

The first item I built was a M-58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC), on a M-200 trailer.I  built this as a result of being shown a picture of one being towed by a LAV. Unfortunately, while I could find photo references on the internet, I couldn't find anything that gave dimensions, so the model is probably quite out of scale.

Undercoating - I should of taken a phoito  of it unpainted!
 I built the model out of plastic card and stuff from my bits box. The wheels came from a plastic 1/72 scale trailer and I believe the track is from the Matchbox Churchill kit. The chassis of the trailer came from a plastic Hong Kong toy rocket trailer I was given by Ion.

Another view. This is before I added in the DAS to represent the line charge in the trailer tray.
I doubt I'll make another of these on a tracked trailer - in fact if I was to make more MICLICs I would make something simple and quite generic that would be simple to make.

And finished
 Of course once a breach has been made in a minefield, it needs to be confirmed by a mine plough or roller. Or you can use a mine plough to make the breach, but then you don't get to have the massive explosion from the line charge!

A toy Ertl diecast Abrams tank.
Since I have a shortage of 1/72 scale Abrams tanks, I used this Ertl diecast as the tank that on would put my plough on. While it is the right size, the running gear is extremely toy like, and the roof mounted commander's HMG is very cartoonish.

The underside showing the Ertl brand.
 I decided to base the model in order to protect the mine plough, and because I felt it might act to draw attention away from the running gear.

Based and ready to paint.
 The plough was made up from bits of plastic card and is loosely based on pictures from the internet. I have ordered the Trumpeter Abrams with Mine Plough kit, and will take comparison pictures once it arrives and I make it up.

Close up of the plough.

Undercoated and waiting the finial paint job and ink wash.
By building these models I hope to be able to add some variety to my games and potentially have them used as teaching aids. I now need to make up some minefield templates that can act as visual cues as to what they are, and blend into the tabletop. I have some ideas on how to achieve this, but I will need to do some reading first.

And painted!

I hope to make up some more modern engineering assets, so that I can have a similar range of equipment for this period as I do for WW2 games. I suspect that I might paint up some of the remaining Roco vehicles that I have to fill some of these roles, but I would prefer to use 1/72 scale models.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

105mm Light Guns - All Finished!

I've finished painting the scratch built 105mm guns I was working on in my last post. The initial plan was to use sections of Chux cloth to disguise elements of the build that were simplified for ease of rapid construction.

Three more painted 105mm guns.
 The Chux cloth proved to be too unwieldy, and too good at obscuring detail, that when I showed it to others, they suggested using bandage gauze instead (and even kindly supplied me with some:))

Comparison shot between the scratch builds and a actual model.

And while the bandage gauze certainly looks better, it is very fiddly to apply. The results are very promising, and certainly I hope to use the technique again in the future.

Side shot of the three guns.
 I have a few other scratch built guns that I think I am going to treat in a similar fashion using gauze to simulate netting over their position. I will try and layer the gauze to help create a more substantial netting effect.
Bandage gauze versus Chux cloth .
 If I make more scratch built 105mms, I will try and put some into sandbagged emplacements in order to add some variety to the stands - and obscure some more detail!

The three store bought models.
Overall I think they work well with the actual models, and their construction has proved to be interesting and enjoyable - two things that I think should be central to any hobby.

Monday, April 6, 2015

WIP Scratch-Building 105mm Guns

In my quest for obtaining another three L118 Light Guns (See previous post here) I remembered that the kit came with an additional gun barrel so the US version of the gun could be made. I considered trying to have a crack at scratch-building  some more guns, with the idea that I could hide most of my sins under  netting.

Something like this, but thicker. Source Wikicommons - click here for details.
So when Ion mentioned it in the comments section of my last post, I figured "Why Not?' With that in mind, I hunted through my collection of useful bits and started making some guns.

Spare barrels, plastic card , sprue, bent wire, and Airfix wheels on a sample Formica base.

Oh, and a toy poker chip for a turntable.
 I've always found that if I have to scratch-build something, it is just as easy to make two or more based on a simplified design, rather than make one awesome model that I can't be bothered replicating due to lack of parts or time. My LCVP project (click here for details) is a prime example of that philosophy at work.

Three WIPs and an actual assembled gun.

I thought I could use parts of a Chux cloth as the netting. This part of the plan is subject to change :)
 The part of the project that is potentially going to be the most difficult is getting the netting right. It needs to be able to obscure the gun, but not so much that what I have made is entirely unseen. Getting that balance right will be the key to making this work.

Artists medium added to base, wire poles installed and more bits added to guns.
 Fortunately, I have a few ideas on how to achieve this, and the Chux cloth is only one of a couple of possible material choices
Behold the dodgy recoil mechanism!

The gun trail - Bent wire and Liquid Green Stuff.

Another view with an actual model of the gun for comparison.
 Since I was doing work on artillery, I figured I should also dredge out my M-102 and give it a touch up and a rebasing so it can be at the same standard as my light guns. I have some Atlantic not 122mms that are also due for the same treatment.

Since I was basing guns I figured I should finish off my Britannia Models M-102 Howitzer.
Monday is looking to be a great day for painting stuff!