Friday 26 October 2012

Italian 75/27 artillery from GHQ in 6mm

Finally done with the four 75mm Italian artillery-pieces we need for tomorrow’s el-Alamein game.
They’re from GHQ, as are the crew. Fantastic details, as you can see from the photos.
The men are painted as usual, as are the hard-ware.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Hät WWII British Mortars in 1/72

I’m in WWII-mode at the moment, and grabbed a box from the plastics mountain. This one is British mortars from Hät, and it consists of 4 sprues, with eight men and a 3” mortar on each sprue. Rather soft plastic, detailing is a bit crude, especially the faces, and with very little gear on the figures. But they do the job.
These guys will be used in our IABSM (I ain’t been shot mum from Too Fat Lardies – great company!) games, and will be based to work with that.
What is need in the game are two-man teams for the 2” mortar and five-man teams for the 3”.
A two-man 2” mortar team

3” mortar with three men out of the five needed.
I will probably base my further 3” mortars on bases with two crew members and three crew on individual bases. I’ll have to scrounge extra crew from other sources. 

In IABSM the leaders (big men) are rated level one to four, depending on how good they are. My friend Laffe at Figurfanatikern (he writes in English, very god reading!) had the excellent idea of showing the respective level of leaders with the number of figures on the base. A puny level 1 corporal would be represented by one figure, but a heroic platoon leader of level 4 would have four figures on the base, representing himself and runners, radiomen and whatever.
Time to do something about that idea with the final men from the sprue..
A level 3 British Big Man with his trusty biographer and radioman.

Paints used (Vallejo):
Uniform – 921 English Uniform
Anklets – 821 German Camouflage Beige
Helmets and hardware – 894 Russian Uniform WWII
Boots – black
Webbing and pouches – 819 Iraqui Sand
Water Bottle – 875 Beige Brown
Everything washed with Citadel Devlan Mud

Welcome new follower Encourage One Another with the blog of the same name.

Monday 15 October 2012

Pak 36 in 1/72 – Comparison Italeri, ICM, Zvezda + 2 more

The final Pak 36 post (for this time at least).
 Italeri, ICM and Zvezda
Here is a comparison of the guns from my previous posts, from Italeri, ICM and Zvezda.
I let the photos speak for themselves.
 Zvezda, ICM and Italeri
As a bonus, the ICM gun next to Revell’s (from the old Matchbox 1/76 Krupp Protze kit, noticeably smaller) and a metal monstrosity from Brittania. I will not even paint the metal one as it is simply too bad. What a horrible thing!
Brittania, ICM and Revell/Matchbox
There will actually be one more Pak 36 post. I bought two Zvezda kits, and I’m finishing one on the base with crew members. Sooner or later.

Sunday 14 October 2012

3xPak 36 in 1/72 – no 3 Zvezda

The third of my Pak 36’s comes from Zvezda, and their Art of Tactic series. The gun is made up of 7 pieces and in the box are two crew members and a small base. Also, you have two variants of the gun carriage, either emplaced or in limbered position.

It is made of soft plastic and is supposed to snap together, but I’m not happy with that, as it gave some very weak joints that didn’t hold together. The plastic didn’t take ordinary polystyrene glue, and my liquid superglue didn’t do much good at all. I tried with superglue gel, and that held, but it isn’t a strong joint.
As can be seen, this is a rather simplified model, but with decent detailing and it looks OK. The Art of Tactic series is made for gaming, and that is of course positive.
This is a kit that does what it is supposed to do. Recommended for wargaming.
In my next post I will compare the guns next to each other. Italeri, ICM, Zvezda and a bonus 1/76 Revell and a metal monstrosity from Brittania.

Saturday 13 October 2012

3xPak 36 in 1/72 – no 2 ICM

After building the Italeri Pak 36 I stumbled on this model from ICM. A very detailed kit, and as such it is certainly not a model for wargamers primarily.
So, you’ve got 34 pieces to fit together. It is a small gun, and with that many pieces it is inevitable that some of them are tiny. If you know what you are getting yourself into that is not a problem in itself, but it demands very clear instructions on how to put the pieces together, and that was sadly missing. The drawing is small and not at all clear on where to put the different tiny pieces. I had to go back to my own photos of a Pak 36 to see where everything should be glued, and got it mostly right I think.
The result is a gun that is the most life-like of the ones I have made. It is fragile though, so I guess it won’t hit the gaming table at one of our convention games. I might base it to give it some protection, but I haven’t decided yet.
A great looking model, but maybe not the best for wargaming. It contains no crew-members.

Friday 12 October 2012

3xPak 36 in 1/72 – no 1 Italeri

Do you see something strange in this picture?
Maybe you noticed part of the subtitle? 3.7 cm Pak 37….. Pak 37?
The real name of the 37mm German anti-tank gun is Pak 36 (or 35/36). So, Italeri didn’t get the facts right on the box. Embarrassing I should say. By the way, the kit is originally from ESCI.
This should have had me somewhat sceptical, but I really needed a Pak 36.
Opening the box and checking the stuff I became more and more sceptical.
-- There is a Flakvierling AA-gun. On the cover it deployed, but the kit is on its trailer in towed mode. That is quite a difference in my book, and makes it less useful
- The 75mm Pak 40 is in full recoil…. Really, it is moulded in full recoil. How useful is that? That makes its use quite more limiting than it should have been.
- The Pak 36 – well, that gun is what this review is all about.
As you can see from the photos this is a crude model. Made of 15 pieces, it is chunky, lacks details and is really not a very good representation of the original at all. 
The box also contains four crewmembers for all three guns, and a further four men pointing, looking in binoculars or firing a LMG. The figures are OK but I would have liked some more interacting with the guns.
I’m not happy with this gun, and considering the other two models in the box, this was a real bad buy.
It will be used on the gaming board though, as it will withstand rough handling rather well, and from a meter away it will pass as a small door-knocker.
But don’t buy it.

There are other manufacturers of this mainstay of early war, so next one to be reviewed is from ICM and then Zvezda. Stay tuned.

Friday 5 October 2012

Echo in 28mm by Black Scorpion

Lovely Echo is one of these models I’ve had my eyes on for a long time. She is sculpted by Adam Clarke (I think) and from his company, Black Scorpion Miniatures.
I bought her a while ago, and was intimidated. I simply had no idea how to paint her. Anyway I started this summer, and she got a bit of paint now and then. I had to re-paint some things that didn't turn out the way I wanted it. 
Paints used (Vallejo unless otherwise noted)
Base-coated white with a black wash.
Skin – 003 Pale Flesh
Nipples – 835 Salmon Pink drybrushed with Pale Flesh
Hands and arms washed with Citadel Leviathan Purple and drybrushed with Pale Flesh (not altogether happy with how her hands/claws turned out)
Everything washed with Army Painter Soft Tone Ink
Drybrushed again with Pale Flesh
Lips – Citadel  Blood Red overpainted with 944 Old Rose

Hair – Coat d’arms 223 Horse Tone Chestnut with a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone Ink
Clothing – White with a wash of Citadel Bhaal Red wash
Hair-band – 922 USA Uniform high-lighted with Citadel Scorpion Green.
Feathers – 850 Medium Olive drybrushed with 885 Pastel Green
Arm- and necklaces – 56 Glorious Gold
Echo can be used in my D&D campaign as well as an possessed priestess in a pulp game. 

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Book review – Images of War – German Guns of the Third Reich

Images of War – German Guns of the Third Reich –Rare photographs from wartime archives, Ian Baxter, Pen & Sword Books, 2004, 128 pages.
One book I really miss in my WWII library is one on German WWII artillery. I would like something with technical and operational details and detailed descriptions on the guns, preferably with a lot of photos and a blue-print or two.
This book looked promising.
So, what’s in it?
The chapters are
- Introduction
- Structure and training
- Infantry guns
- Heavy guns
- Anti-aircraft guns
- Anti-tank guns
- Transporting guns
- Super heavy guns
- Mounted self-propelled guns

Now this looks promising, and leafing through the book I was hopeful. But what I found out was that the text wasn’t that good really. Very basic about the different gun families, and a bit about some of the guns. But no hard facts.
But the photos? The book title does mention photos. No worry, they are here, there are a lot of really good ones, and it’s hard to find them.
Who decided that this book didn’t need an index?
That was a really bad decision! At the moment I build a couple of Pak 36. It would be nice to easily find some detailed photos of them.
That will not happen, unfortunately. If I check through the book, I find pictures of this 37mm gun on pages 25, 83, 84, 85, 90 and 109. And none of them give me a clear look on how it looks on the backside of the shield, the info I was looking for…

Well, I have a photo of that of my own, from Museo Militar in Seville

So, all in all, I’m a bit disappointed. On the one hand good photos, on the other hand… they are hard to find and don’t necessarily give the detailing I wanted, and the text wasn’t that informative really. But, the title really says it all, it's about photos. So, not the book I was looking for, but not a bad book. Not necessarily a great one either.
I give this book a rating of a 3 out of 5.