Tuesday, 29 January 2013

German Medical Personnel in 1/72 by Zvezda

Another offering from Zvezda’s Art of Tactic series, this time German medical personnel. The kit consists of just two times two figures.

The first set is a medic leading a wounded friend and consisting of five separate pieces. The pieces fit together easily, and, even though it is not strictly necessary, I recommend gluing with ordinary polystyrene glue. The fit was not perfect and I found some obvious gaps needing green stuff.

The second set is one soldier carrying another. Also five pieces, and also here you might need some green stuff.
The figures can be mounted either on separate bases or on one base to get more of a diorama. I used the separate bases, and glued them on washers.

These figs are really very nicely detailed, as can be seen, and will get you some unusual poses. I’m not sure what I will use them for in our games, but we’ll find something out.
I believe they are rather overpriced, being only four men, and for what I paid I do think another pair of figures would have been nice.
Anyway, on the cover of the box you see what you get, and if that is what you want and you’re willing to pay the price, I think you will be satisfied with the result.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

British Infantry in 1/72 from Zvezda

I have built some models from Zvezda’s Art of Tactic series before, and on the whole I’ve been satisfied. When they announced that they were releasing early-war British troops I ordered a couple of packs of this and that, sprinkled with a couple of German packs also. 
So, here is the first of the Brits and my thoughts on them.
The pack contains five figures, one officer and four troops, and a choice of either one base for the lot of them (used in the Art of Tactic game) or individual (rather small but high) bases. Also included is a stats card used in the game, but I have no use for that, and instructions on building the figures.
As all have respirators and the early type of one-piece spade, they are easily identified as early war, and would hardly be seen in this outfit after 1940 or -41, and certainly not in -45, as the text on the box implies.
The troopers are multipart, made up of between 3 and 4 parts each, and the officer is in one piece. They could theoretically snap together without glue, but gluing with ordinary polystyrene-glue is preferred. The fit is good to excellent, and I only needed to greenstuff the left arm of the walking men to hide a thin crack. I advise you to snip off a bit of the pegs as they are a bit too long to get a perfect fit, and you’ll have to do that before assembly, or you’re stuck there having to cut off the whole peg losing the guidance and strength of the peg in question.
One weak point that I found was the rifle butt of the running man, it breaks off rather easily, being as small as it is, and that tiny little piece of plastics is easily lost in the clutter of your painting desk... I have cleverly hid that in the pictures, but will substitute the missing piece with a similar piece from another kit.

Paints used (Vallejo unless otherwise noted):
Undercoat: white with a black wash
Uniform: 921 English Uniform
Anklets: 821 German Camo Beige
Helmet: 894 Russian Uniform WWII
Boots and scabbard: Black
Webbing, pouches and gasmask bag: 819 Iraqui Sand
Water bottle: 875 Beige Brown
Rolled anti-gas cape on top of backpack: 886 Green Grey
Spade-handle: 310 Old Wood
Rifle Stock: 843 Cork Brown
Everything washed with Citadel Devlan Mud (RIP)

I based the troopers and their individual bases on washers and the officer on a rectangular base from Renedra. In our gaming group we have, as I’ve mentioned before, a local basing convention where officers are based on rectangular bases with a number of figures on it denoting the level of the officer/big man. In this case we have a level one big man.
A size-comparison of a trooper from Zvezda compared to late-war Esci/Italeri.

All in all, I think this is an excellent set of well detailed early-war figures. A bit on the expensive side for five plastic figures, but recommended all the same. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything BEF of this quality.

You can find reviews on more Zvezda models here.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Pz IV D in 20mm by Armourfast compared to Plastic Soldier Company

Another Pz IV, this time an early war version, the Ausf D, from Armourfast.
You will get two models in the box, and they are fast build, meaning few individual parts, in this case less than 30 per model. The instructions on how to assemble the kit is on the back of the box, and it is somewhat lacking. I would strongly advise you to have some photos of the real thing handy, as some of the details are rather vague, and check the look of a real commander’s cupola, as the instructions seem to be faulty.
 As always, click on the photos to get a larger image
The detailing is decent, but lacks for example tools. The biggest faults in my opinion is the lack of even rudimentary boogies and the tracks are rather flat without details, see photos. So much could have been improved with very little effort. Disappointing.
There was no hull MG, so I fixed one with brass wire, and gun and exhaust hade to be drilled out.
The result is two decent early war Pz IV D, perfectly all right for wargames. They could have been better, and if you’re primarily a modeller you will probably be disappointing.
I might buy another box sometime in the future, just to get the right France 1940-feel.
 Armourfast Ausf D vs PSC Ausf F1

To give you all an indication of how it compares to another fast build Pz IV, this time Ausf F1, you’ll get a couple of comparison shots of Armourfast vs Plastic Soldier Company.

Look here if you’re interested in my prior article comparing the Pz IV:s from PSC, Airfix and Hasegawa.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Out with the old, in with the new… year

So, another year is gone, and a new one has started. With that, everyone seem to sum up the old year, and tell everyone else what will happen in this.
If you have followed this blog you pretty much know what I have built and painted this year, so I’ll mostly skip that.
So then, what can you expect to find here during 2013?

LRDG in 20mm
Me, Laffe and Thomas set out to make a Long Range Desert Group scenario the convention participation game of 2012. We had the idea of doing an airfield attack, and were all happy that it was a relatively easy project, as we had so much time and relatively few models to make…. Yeah, that failed miserably, we had to fall back on the eastern front… But I made a LRDG truck and a jeep with crew, an Italian fighter plane, an attack-bike and lots of airfield crew.
2013 will (hopefully) see me completing my other two vehicles, an Italian bomber and maybe some assorted Italian vehicles and some airfield buildings and other appropriate terrain. I hope to see LRDG on a convention this year.
Will buy: maybe a plane and some few vehicles.

France 1940 in 20mm
I’m pretty much done at the moment when it comes to early war German vehicles and guns. This year will see me completing more infantry, a couple of AFV:s and some transport.
My main effort here will be British infantry, guns and vehicles. I’ve just bought some lovely Zvezda models that are on the painting table now, and also PSC carriers. I hope that someone will produce more plastic BEF-infantry, and will buy some metal ones until that dream comes through.
Will buy: more British stuff, a few German AFV:s (already ordered from Hobbybokhandeln).

I’m looking forward to all the Otherworld Indiegogo-stuff that will start to drop in soon.
2013 will see me concentrate on fantasy, I’ll hope to paint at least some of the Otherworld figures, and dig into the metal and plastics mountain… I’m afraid that it will grow this year even without any more purchases as the Indiegogo pledge will give me about 50 new figures and some assorted other stuff.
I should be able to squeeze in some Infinity SF-figures during the year.
Will buy: Fantasy – nothing. Infinity – a few figures max.

Terrain and stuff
I’ll try to paint the Otherworld stretch-goal adventurer's equipment in 2013. It’s useful stuff when we play D&D, so I feel it will be easy to complete.
I also have some really nice 28mm paper terrain from World Works Games that is printed but not assembled yet. Plan to finish quite of lot of these during 2013.
In 20mm I have houses in resin, plastic and card that ought to be finished. Then maybe some hedges and trees from all that rubberized horsehair I bought….
Will buy: Not much until what I have is finished.

At least 50 posts this year, hopefully a couple more.

Hmm, that ought to be enough for the year to come. It will be interesting to look back in a year’s time.