The Pool Deepens

Now a very late war IS-2.  I did not paint it with the Berlin stripes.  This is a very fine model, went together well, and being almost entirely just green was pretty easy to paint.  I’ll probably dust it up a little bit.  It’s by JTFM again.

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Soviet Vehicle Pool

Added a couple of JTFM Uralmash T-34s to my Soviet vehicle pool.  These are the finest sculpts of 28mm or 1/56 vehicles I know.  But I have a lot of problems getting paint to stick to the resin.   This time I tried Stynylrez primer as I heard such good things about it.  Well, it didn’t really stick at all.  So I rewashed them with alcohol and applied Mr Surfacer well thinned.  It seemed to work ok.  Anyway, I’m pretty pleased with the way they came out.  I have a JTFM IS-2 almost done and I’ll post pics of it here soon.

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I’m eager to get back to playing some Chain of Command games.

 

Napoleonic Russians

Someone on LAF was asking about Old Glory Napoleonics.  I commented that I had both Old Glory and Front Rank in my collection and was pleased with both.  He asked for pics, so here they are.  I would not mix the figures in the same unit, but I very much like the Old Glory Russians and are happy to have battalions of them in my army.  I did not paint any of these.  A friend of mine painted the Old Glory figs and hired someone to paint the Front Rank figs.  I think they both look great!

Here is a battalion of line (Old Glory) and a battalion of jagers (Front Rank) side-by-side.

And here are respective stands from each battalion.

 

JG 2 Schwarm

These have been almost done for the longest time.  I finished them up this evening.  These four planes are from JG 2 Richtofen, more specifically the 3rd squadron.

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The two models on the right are Airfix kits.  The two on the left are Tamiya kits.  I did the first couple of Airfix kits and struggled with a lot of fit issues, so tried a Tamiya kit and it fulfilled the Tamiya reputation of excellent engineering and went together like a dream.  So the rest of my 109s are the Tamiya kit.  In addition, the Tamiya kit comes with a bomb attachment which I make use of in the ErPro 210 schwarm I am working on.

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These all have unit insignia from the Tamiya kit decals.  The crosses come from Airfix models are from the Airfix kits.  The Airfix decals go on much nicer.  The numbers are from a set of Printscale decals for JG 52.  Those decals are the best of all.  The Tamiya kits come with tail swastikas, which I used.  I got a separate sheet of them initially because the Airfix kits don’t come with them.

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These all have magnets underneath and are mounted again on my custom made stands for Blood Red Skies.

Some day perhaps I’ll figure out how to do decent photographs.

One more thing on the subject of kits.  The Tamiya 109 kit really is a dream – the only issue is that there is a piece of plastic behind the instrument panel that needs to be trimmed to allow the instrument panel to fit flush.  It hardly matters with the canopy closed up as you can barely see it anyway.  I put the instrument panel decals on the first few but on the rest of them and going forward I am just painting the relevant instruments by dry-brushing them silver (which picks up the outline of the dial) and the bit of white.  I just looked at the decal and painted the relevant bits.  It’s a lot easier than applying the decal and it’s barely visible anyway.   The airfix kit comes with a pilot which is nice.   For the Tamiya 109s I sourced some resin pilots that were fine, but not great.  They were nice sculpts but very fragile.  I raided another kit for some more plastic pilots.  I haven’t figured out what to do long term.  I wish someone made a box of plastic luftwaffe pilots.

While I’m on the subject of kits and comparing Airfix and Tamiya, I’ll refer back to my post on the Spitfires.  The Airfix Spitfire kit is wonderful.  I had a lot of fit issues on the first one I put together.  On the second I examined it closer to see why things were not lining up and realized that the locating pins/holes are not aligned correctly for the fuselage, so I clipped all the locating pins on the fuselage and the alignment became perfectly (although you have to line it up by hand and eye).  I have purchased Airfix kits for 6 Hurricanes and completed one.  It is fine, but I was sorely tempted to just do 6 more Spitfires I enjoyed that kit so much.

I’ll do a separate post on decals.

Ground support

When I started working on 1/72 planes for the Battle of Britain, I saw the Academy P-47 bubbletop kit and had to have it.  I bought it, built it and the kit was a dream to put together.  But the decals silvered up something awful and it doesn’t look that great as a result.    So I bought another one.  Second copy of the same kit didn’t go together as well as the first, but it was fine, just more sanding and filling, and not much at that really.  But this time I used after market decals from Barracudacals.  This was an awesome set of decals.  They went on like a dream.

Anyway, I still need to add the prop.  It’s done and I was about to stick it on when I realized I still need to do and add the tailwheel and the antenna.  I don’t want the prop on when I’m doing that in case there is any fiddling required.  But here it is:

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1/72 Battle of Britain

I’ve been working on this for awhile, and we managed to have our first game last night.  We both thought it worked great.  We played two games, each completed in under an hour.  Here is the first vic of Spitfires:

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The Spitfires are completely finished.  I have 4 109s that are almost completely finished.  You can see them coming in this crap photo here:

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I’ll put up some nicer pics when they are done.

Blood Red Skies is a game from Warlord that has been out awhile.  This year they released an updated version called Air Strike.  The game is played with 1/200 scale aircraft on some plastic stands that come with the game.  I wanted to do it in 1/72 so created some stands that I can put the models on.  In a Wargames Illustrated interview Andy Chambers said they are working on a 1/72 version which should be released soon.  I was very far into making my own stands when I heard this and I’d like to show them off, but if you are interested in gaming this in 1/72, you will probably be able to, with kit from Warlord soon.

I had these bases created:

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The base is 3″ in diameter.  It has pointers on it every 45degrees around the base.  These are used in determining front and rear arcs, for firing and being tailed and side arcs for being fired at with deflection shots.  The front pointer tells you the front of the stand and is used when determining whether you are tailing someone.  The round token marks pilot quality (2 through 5 in Blood Red Skies).  The square cut out on the right is for a microdice.  You don’t need that in the game, but I had it added just in case we need to mark something in the future that isn’t accounted for.

The plane sits on top of the stand on a magnet.  It took me some time to figure out how to get the planes to stay on the top of the stand and be manipulated.  In BRS, a plane is in one of three states.  A plane with advantage is depicted as climbing, a plane that is at a disadvantage is depicted as diving, and a neutral plane is flying level.  Pilot actions during the game cause this state to change, so you need to be able to manipulate that easily.

I tried a few things that didn’t work then came across this article from K&J Magnetics: Magnetized X-wing mod .  That looked like it would work so I ordered some components and tried it out.  It’s perfect!  A friend of mine made up the flight stands, 3″ high, and the bases.  I ordered 3/8″ magnets, north and south magnetized, and 3/8″ unmagnetized steel balls.  You can see the whole assembly here:

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I glued the north magnets on the sticks with CA glue and the south magnets on the bottom of the plane with CA glue.  The ball just sits in between.  I didn’t take pictures showing how powerful these are, but it takes a bit of pulling to get the plane off.  I have held the whole thing upside down and nothing has moved.  Now it’s easy to swivel them on the ball to make them climb or dive of bank or whatever, but it will take quite a bit of effort to knock them off.

When I paint the planes, I put a mask with tamiya tape on the bottom of the plane to keep a segment of clean plastic for the glue to stick to.

 

 

 

Vexillations of Legio XVI Flavia Firma

These have been painted for awhile, just got around to finishing the bases.  Two cohorts of Legio XVI Flavia Firma, stationed on the border with Persia.  The complete what I need to field my Romans in Mortem et Gloriam.  Hopefully I can get a game in soonish.

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Terrible pictures.  I’m not great at photographing miniatures – this time I’m sure it’s because I didn’t add any supplemental light.

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These figures are by A&A.  I went with the rectangular shields with the shield pattern from Dura Europis.  I have no idea who carried those shields in actuality, but they look good on legionaries.  My other legions all carry oval shields.

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There are two cohorts of 6 stands each.  I only put three figures on a stand – they fill the stand and look good at that density.

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FS: 28mm Nikephorian Byzantine Army

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I’m selling my Nikephorian Byzantine army for ADLG.  Shown above are 5 stands of skutatoi – front rank armored spearmen, back rank archers.   The stands are 60mm square and there are 6 figures per stand.  These infantry figures are are Old Glory.  In the back you see the three general stands on 60mm round bases.  There are also two pieces of artillery.

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There are two stands of Rus/Varangians.  I believe these are by Saxon miniatures.  They are also on 60mm square bases and are 6 figures per stand.

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There are two stands of Old Glory Klibanophoroi (fully armored men on fully armored horses).  Again, they are on 60mm square bases, 3 mounted figures per stand.

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This is a close-up of the general with a very nice hand painted banner.  The generals are all from Old Glory.

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And finally the cavalry.  These figures are by Crusader miniatures with LBMS shield transfers for the shielded cavalry.  There are 4 stands of lancers and 4 stands of horse archers.  All of these are also on 60mm square bases, 3 mounted figures per stand.

So in total there are:

  • 3 general stands
  • 4 stands of lancer cavalry
  • 4 stands of horse archers
  • 2 stands of full armored cavalry
  • 5 stands of skutatoi
  • 2 stands of Rus/Varangians
  • 2 stands of artillery

I’d like to get $1000 for the lot.  I’ll pack them up securely and ship anywhere in the continental US, I’ll pay postage.  If you’re interested, drop me a note at aphillathehun at yahoo dot com.

 

More work on the Shoho

I need to figure out how to take real close-ups.  Maybe my camera just can’t do it….

I’ve added a lot since the last update.  I started adding delicate PE before I realized I needed a degaussing cable.  The ship had one all the way around the hull.  Dan K on the shipmodel forum provided some close-ups and I used those to put one on my model.  I used plastruct .010″ rod to make the cable.  I mostly tried to follow what was in the photo, but realize it’s not exact.  It’s fairly easy to do using styrene.  I’d prefer a kit to have it already molded on but in cases where it isn’t I feel I can do it myself now.

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You can see some fine photo-etched detail already.  I put the pillars on to support the flight deck before starting on the railings everywhere because I thought there might be some fidgeting to make sure everything was correctly placed – and there was.  But it all goes together quite smoothly with excellent fit.

I replaced the shields on the AA mounts with the photoetch in the hyperdetail set.  I’ve put the searchlights on their photoetched searchlight platforms – very delicate.  I used the 25mm mounts that came with the kit.  They seem nice.  I will examine the ships’ boats that go on the rear deck and compare those to some after market versions I have.

The only closeup that turned out makes me realize I need to clean up the corners of the pieces forming the angles in the degaussing cable.  And that one PE door may need to be straightened.  I’m not sure – it might just be the camera angle as I looked over all the doors to make sure they looked straight.  There are plenty of doors in the kit so if I have to remove this one and put a new one on, there won’t be any heartbreak.

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Next up I think will be the railings on the front part of the ship so I can think about getting the front half of the flight deck on.

Progress on Shoho

I was discouraged by the deck that came with the Shoho and it put me off working on this for awhile, but now I’m back at it.  I should be able to post a couple of pictures of the deck in progress soon.  I’ve sanded the raised parts off the rear of the deck so it will take a decal, and I shaved off the excess wood deck planking at the rear.  I’ve decided to paint the word part and mask that off before I continue working on the deck.  Some progress photos on that soon.

But here is a photo of the hull so far:

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I spent a lot of time getting the seam off between the bottom plate and the hull.  The forward superstructue then gets glued in.  I add a lot of the PE to it before I attached it – the brass deck you see, the brass front to the superstructure showing the windows, and the brass decking on either side of that.  In addition I put the prominent vent (I think that’s what it is) in the center of that brass deck and a bunch of cable reels.  When I attached it to the hull, the fit was tricky in a couple of places.  I had a slight gap along the metal deck.  I managed to fill that with a little dissolved putty.  It worked pretty well to fill that gap.  I was stressed about how I would do any sanding since the metal deck has a nice treaded relief.  I shaved the excess putty with my X-acto blade and it seems to be nice.  Therewere larger gaps on the decking around the side of the hull.  I filled and sanded those and they are invisible now.  I took close-ups but they just came out as a blur.

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There are additional compartments on either side of the hull structure.  Should I call it the superstructure?  The flight deck will go on top….  Anyway there is nothing in the plastic set that these correspond to.  I take it they are taking the opportunity to fix some things with PE.  That large sheet of brass making up the front linoleum deck is a little wider than the original and the shape of the rear linoleum deck (another pic that just came out as a blur) is different and wider than the original plastic deck.

You can also see a couple of the PE doors I’ve attached to the hull.