Monthly Archives: January 2014

Stalingrad Chimney

I need a lot to do Stalingrad.  Figures are a bit of a problem.  I’m not excited about any of the Soviet figures available in 28mm.  I thought Warlord’s plastics were going to do it, but they aren’t great.  I’m using some of the figures in padded jackets from them, but you only get three of them, and although you can put all sorts of head variants and give them different equipment, they still look like 3 different guys.  They are dreadful to put together and take forever to clean up properly.  I like the Crusader figures in tunics but they are really for later in the war.  It appears that both the Crusader and Artizan figures in padded clothes will do for the period and I like them quite a bit, although I’d rather be doing summer figs.

Vehicles are covered pretty well.  It would be nice if someone made a Stug III F but I don’t see that happening.

Terrain will be a challenge.  Fortunately I have a friend who is quite handy!

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He made that chimney for me out of mdf.  Now, he has a laser cutter that he used for the etching and cutting.  Isn’t it marvelous?  Here’s a closeup of the front

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And of the back

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I’ve started painting it just to see how it will look.  After the basics I realized I needed to do more, mainly with a variety of brick colors.  The painting was simple, primed then painted with red brown, then washed with a little white oil paint in a lot of turpenoid.  The white runs in and gives the mortar between the bricks look.  I’m going to go over it all again to put more variety in the bricks and see whether I need to add some weathering.  George of George bases did this and he’s working on a row house for me now.  This will be part of the interior of it.  I can’t wait to see the house.

 

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Armor

This year is shaping up to be a WW2 year for me.  At least for a little while and I get distracted by something else – distractions from my distractions.

I’m doing some Mark IIIJs for 1942, leading up to Stalingrad mostly.  I’d like to have a set of them for 24th Panzer.  There are some nice pics of tanks from that division.  I’ll need to bash up a storage box for the rear deck as they all seem to have that.

For now, I’ve ordered the 4 Mk IIIJs that are available in 28mm and here’s some comparison pics.It took a long time to get the models from Warlord and JTFM so I started on the other two already.  But there’s a lot of work left to do to them.

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From left to right they are Company B, Blitzkrieg, Warlord, JTFM.  As you can see from the pic the Blitzkrieg model is considerably smaller than the others.  I would say 1/56th must be experiencing some scale creep but I think the Company B and JTFM models have been available for some time.

Here’s side views:

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Company B, Blitzkrieg, and Warlord then

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Blitzkrieg, Warlord and JTFM.

And to show the size difference again, here’s a top view of the Blitzkrieg and Warlord models

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The JTFM, Company B, and Warlord are all pretty much the same size and I got lazy about lining up the side-by-side pics.

So, how do they stack up?

Blitzkrieg – this is very clean and since the tracks are cast onto the hull a breeze to put together.  As you’ll note from the pics it’s smaller than all the others.

Warlord – I really dislike this model.  It lacks a mounting for the aerial and I’m probably going to be too lazy to make one.  As you can tell from a couple of the pics, it goes together kind of clunky.  They cast the tracks together with the fenders and you glue the whole thing to the model.  I worked at it a bit to get it smooth, but even using a pair of clamps when I glued it you can see that there is a gap between that assembly and the body.  It’s a resin kit with metal parts and the metal parts were covered with vent flash, at least I think that’s what those stringy little things are called.  I had to fill some holes in the resin too.  Hopefully it took and I won’t have to do it again after I’ve started painting.

My two favorites are Company B and JTFM.  The Company B model looks a little funny on the picture looking at its side view, but it will be fine when I assemble it finally.  The tracks are metal and I haven’t glue them to the model yet.  I’ll finish them separately, mud up under the fenders, and then glue them on.  They look elevated because there is blue tack holding them in place for the picture.  I really like the way they did the metal tracks that go on separately because it allows me to finish the model in parts, and it gives a nice heft to the model when you lift it.

And I love the JTFM one.  I should have finished the tracks for it separately too but I went ahead and glued them on.  It’s very nicely cast.  If you do 28mm tank models you REALLY SHOULD get the accessory packs from JTFM.  It has a lot of stowage goodies: a couple of different kinds of tracks, gas cans, stowage rolls, and some nice wire tow cables.  I put some of the spare tracks on the front of the JTFM model and on the front of the Warlord model. Both the JTFM model and the Company B model can be built with either a long or short 50mm gun.

I’m looking forward to getting these all done.

 

Red!

I absolutely love the red on these guys.  The LBMS shield transfers really set these great figures off.

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They are Aventine’s Equites Singulares.  When I saw them released I had to have them.  And they do not disappoint – they are some of the nicest figures I’ve ever painted.   They are a breeze to paint too.  There’s a lot of detail but everything is cleanly sculpted.  Check out the detail on these helmets:

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And a closeup of the shield transfers also:

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Now I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them.  I don’t have a rules set in mind.  I had stuck the first 6 on WRG size bases – 3 horses on a 60mm front – but I really didn’t like the way they looked.  I could make that work, but in the end I decided to put them in pairs on 2″ square bases.  It’s a nice size for them.  As I was painting them I was thinking how tedious it was to paint all that leather, but now that I’m done I couldn’t be happier with them.  And wonder if I should paint another unit of them!

One last photo:

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I have some Aventine EIR foot.  Hopefully I’ll find some time to work on them soon.  Not sure how to base them either….

 

My other limber

Recently delivered, painted by my friend Joe.

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One of the guys in our group came up with the idea of using the number of horses in the limber to represent the number of guns in the battery until it’s deployed.  So, here you see it configured for 6 horses, and now configured for 4 horses.

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It’s really just an extra base with 2 more limber horses on it.  But it has a hidden bite.  The guy who makes our bases for us, George bases, suggested cutting a notch in the bases and using one of those micro magnets in each of the notches.  That way, the bases would mostly stick together as you’re moving them around the table.  And, short of lifting them up, that does happen.

I’ve mentioned this before, but took the opportunity to photograph the specifics this time. Here are the limbers before finishing the bases with cover and paint.

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One thing to be careful of is making sure you install the magnets with the right polarity.  On this particular stand, one of them is a little off, and it actually lifts one of the bases just a little when I put them together!

This is a photo of about as close as you can get them without them pulling into each other.

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Neat idea, that.