Friday, 19 August 2016

Iranian M113s - WIP - part II

My headless Iranians are no longer! The Peter Pig order arrived promptly as always and I set about added the American M1 helmets, which I think are my best option.

I got the green stuff out and added quite a few scarfs, these probably have a proper name but are prevalent in most pictures and videos of the period.

Some minor stowage work as well, usual random tarpaulin sheets and on one some make shift sandbag protection .

It's been quite a bit of work, but I think the end result will be worth it, am really liking the look of these. 

I do have the figures for a Pasdaran and a regular Infantry battalion now, but they will have to wait a bit for commission work.

That's these for now, they will migrate into a building batch ready for priming .


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Tinkering with.. Berlin Camo Chieftain

The progress so far.... Just finished the basic masking and airbrushing stage, these need to dry and be sealed before the detailing and weathering.

Here are two Armies Army Chieftains with pre shade prior to base coat, these are the Iranian ones so a slightly different approach to the Berlin two, below.

These have been also been preshaded but then had their base coat of white applied, now comes the masking.

The Berlin camo is a fixed pattern and applied universally, therefore both tanks needed to look the same. I've followed references so they should be spot on.

Masking being built up, these is really laborious!

Next up the light blue, you probably can't tell from the pictures but there's two shades in use, as usual mixed by eye using tamiya paints.

The blue is masked ready for the top coat brown.

Again another by eye mix, for the brown and green, it will darken on weathering.

The debris! 

So back were I started, pretty pleased with the result so far, a few errors in masking, but I'll rectify that later. 

Weathering to come....

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Tinkering with..... Iranian Skytrex M113

The go-to 15mm M113 has to be the BF plastic offering, indeed am converting some now into IDF command posts, anyway.....

I had three skytrex in my stock pile so following on from the Armies Army  Chieftians (now drying, see below) I thought they could be usefull employed with my Iranians.

I am collecting a library of Iran Iraq war photos and the Iranian M113s seem to be fairly light on stowage generally and armed with a mixture of .50cals and russian Dshk mgs, admittedly,  probably not in the same units?


I'm aesthetically drawn to irregularity of the IIW, particularly in this case the Iranian forces. This usually expresses itself best in stowage, but that wasn't really an option here so it had to be the "crew", luckily the Iranians seem perfect for this.

So, using a variety of Peter pig figures, from various ranges, I started bending, cutting, filling and drilling suitable poses to resemble the infantry sitting on the m113, effectively using them as battle taxis.

You'll notice the missing heads!  these figures are awaiting a Peter Pig resupply, I will be using American ww2 helmets as that's the best I can find to represent what I think were West German m1 helmets in the main, but regardless, they lot "right" ( certainly in 15mm).

I thought I'd add some variety to the mix, with the commanders, in that there's a mixture of 50 cals and Dshk and Russian tankers helmets.

And finally for now... 

Here's the armies armies "batch" from earlier. I have performed standard prep:

- halfords primer
- halfords black base
- enamel black "touch up"

Once dry I will add the pre-shade. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Tinkering with...15mm BTR-D SPAAG Armies Army (Kickstarter)

Sometimes I buy on aesthetic impulse, these BTR-D SPAAGs from Armies Army were just that! The ubiquitous ZU-23-2 has some many options, so I ordered a few. First up are two BTR-Ds with the 23mm mounted, one centrally, one at the rear. 

I added some details around the AA piece, primarily crew seats (a crewman is supplied) and mudguards, I'm not going for 100% accuracy, these are 15mm gaming items after all.

The second was mounted more traditionally, at the rear, again only minor mods just for flavour really.

Crew figures are Peter Pig and battlefront, with some additional tarps added on the rear deck.

Not entirely sure on the future for these, they don't fit in my Middle East extravaganzas, so they will probably be paint opportunities for me and then open to new homes.

I sneaked in another quick mod, this time the skytrex BT152, with mod'd Peter Pig crew ( two missed the photo-op). This will probaby embelish an Egptian HQ's element, but can slip in anywhre really.


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Tinkering with....15mm Chieftains - Armies Army (Kickstarter)

If you're of a certain age, and growing up in the UK then there's really only one iconic tank for us... that's the Chieftain. 

A package arrived this week with some lovely goodies from Keith Armstrong's Armies Army Kickstarter. I ordered a number of items, but will focus on the iconic Chieftains here.
If you follow my blog, you'll note my interest in the middle east, primarily '73 October War, but on the advent of Chieftains becoming available, a slight "scope creep" into the Iran Iraq War. So these two will be the first Iranian tanks, no real mods just added some crew from the spares box, I was originally going to have soviet tankers headgear, but it looks like they used American or British tankers helmets (which would make sense I suppose with electrical fits etc). I did add a Peter Pig figure in peaked cap to add some irregularity. 

Of the pictures of non-destroyed Iranian armour, there seems plenty of tarpaulins and stowage crammed on the turrets mainly. I augmented the supplied stowage and racks with some grey-stuff stowage, hopefully to make these as ramshackle as I can.

For the next two Chieftains, with something special in mind later, I built these as they came, one opened up with the AA crew, one closed down, not to much stowage, which will become apparent later.

These four are now primered and curing, it may be while before the get their livery, so watch this space, there's an email subscribe function on the right ----->

As always, any suggestions, errors or corrections welcome, Chieftains are fairly new to me, modelling wise.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

1/2400 Sea Bases - a change of tack!

Every now and again, we need a break from the norm, both to reinvigorate hobby interest and for me, to provide a challenge. To this end I have been researching the naval aspects of Russo Japanese War, well out of my comfort zone. 

I quickly established a scale and a manufacturer, primarily the excellent range from the War Times Journal (WTJ). So, whilst waiting on a first order, I started pondering on bases....

I was keen to try something new, and came across some examples of textured acrylic bases, clear enough so that a printed sea scape would provide a level of depth an aesthetic appeal.

So, with some clear acrylic, I started experimenting. I decided to use liquitex clear acrylic gel which would give enough substance to artifice a wave effect. This was achieved easily (third from left above), so then i explored some colour options ( left to right above):

a) Light blue wash over liquitex
b) Light blue wash on acrylic base prior to liquitex being applied
c) Liquitex, uncoloured
d) Full colour wave effect painted prior to liquitex.

I quickly discarded d) whilst providing a great effect, I felt it would contrast with the seascape unless i got the colouring just right, it also negated clear acrylic, I tell you why in a bit....

In the meantime, the excellent prints from WTJ turned up, I was astounded, I'm not sure of the technical printing spec but these were the best prints I have seen, and with undercuts. From the photo above I had rounded my preference to a) and b), with the "under wash" winning out ( left above).

Bear in mind I haven't sculpted wakes, wash or painted the wave tops ( white horses!)

So, alongside the texturing, I was in extended dialogue ( email) with Diane form Warbases with regards to etching ship names on acrylic bases. Diane and Martin accommodated my requests, and produced an initial set of RJW ship names for me ( many thanks!). These are shown above, with random prints placed on at this stage.

Interested in comments or opinions, these will progress alongside some outstanding commissions, so posts may be sporadic... a couple of challenges to resolve:

a) Brass soldering for masts
b) Rigging ( i know, i know, but I have to try...)

I now have to shelve these for a few weeks whilst I finish an eclectic set of:

1) 28mm MRAP -oshkosh
2) 15mm Panzer46
3) 28mm France 1940

Monday, 30 May 2016

October War - IDF - WIP - M113 command and TRV

Back to some work for my own collection, again more "back office" vehicles for the IDF in the Sinai. I have been working on the M32 TRV and the command versions of the M113.

The TRV is a basic Battlefront M51 hull with the addition of a Spare skytrex M32 superstructure/ turret. ( the remainder Skytrex M32 is destined to modified with the disc mineroller assembly, at some point.....)
As you can see there's a lot of plasticard additions, I haven't religiously copied any one reference, hopefully just enough to capture the vehicle in miniature.

Quite a bit of work required at the back end, again not up to Rivet counting standard but a good representation. I will add more detail in time, particularly the tarp covers and recognition panels, and it needs to be messier!

Not sure at the moment how to base this one, either as a standard base for game play or more of a vignette for table aesthics, either way I will need to convert some crew.

Here we have the start of two M113 command vehicles to serve as battalion and brigade commanders vehicles. The idf modified these quite heavily so there's still lots of work to do but my reference library is growing. I am finding it difficult in general to establish vehicle timelines with IDF modifications, the inevitable result of a adapting to continual war footing, so hopefully there's no '82 mods here.

I am building these with the top decks free as these will be a two part paint, interior and exterior so they are just placed on for the time being.

An interesting little detail is the commanders cupola rotated so that the hatch opens to the side. Opening to the rear will cause it to clash with the map board assembly. 

This does mean cutting the 50cal mount off, repositioning and adding a missing visor, detail that will inevitably lost!  also note the removed aerial guards another IDF mod.

I've started on the rear stowage boxes and as you can see some rudimentary benches and interior. These have been fabricated using the unused track guards! I'm not going too heavy on the interior detail, mainly what's visible through the hatches. 

These will be modelled, one as battalion command moving ( ramp up) with the top map board in use and the brigade one will be modelled stationary with two map board boxes deployed at the side, ramp down, again a dilemma on basing:
  • the Battalion command will be a standard base, in keeping with rest of the battalion;
  • the Brigade command will be a slightly larger ensemble, probably alongside a jeep, and at some stage a Revel Bell Huey will be painted up to represent a command "runner".  My current read ( On the Banks of the Suez :Adan) highlights the significant employment of helicopters to move officers between the various command groups.
As with all this work I will need to modify some figures but am keen to add a Peter Pig dog sculpt on brigade base !

As always, comments welcome especially to correct any build errors.


Sunday, 29 May 2016

15mm - Panzer46 - Katchen Zug - Forged in Battle

Interestingly little bunch.... heavily modified Forged in Battle "Katchen" APC's.  These sport a "46" camo scheme used on some earlier work, I'm getting quite fond of the late war green base coat, nice change from dunkelgelb.

 I've mod'd this one into a command vehicle, extra radio sets, aerials, stowage and tarps/zeltbahn ( and yes I know the zelt scheme isn't authentic, it is '46 license!)

Mixture of figures used, mainly Battlefront but also some Peter Pig. As you can seen the belt sander has been used to remove those awful FiB bases,

I'm not sure the origins of this turret, it came additional with some other vehicles, so I added it to the set, I'm sure its of sc-fi origins but actually looks quite in place.

I made up a "objective" base, in all honesty in response to an oversight with the belt sander! So now its bogged down APC with the crew frantically trying to extract it, hopefully I've managed the figure flow so it looks as if they are responding to each other, always key to a successful vignette.

I have a clockgoblin german walker coming through, almost done but just not enough to catch this photo call, and a larger commission of some more Heer46 beauties with some interesting camo, which I think you'll like! watch this space.

As always more picture up on my flickr:

and again, need the shelf space so POA or offers to the usual address.

Current FOR SALE items

1/56 "Fury" M4 E8
1/56 RSO Steyr
1/56 Weasel
1/56 KV 1

all pictures are in my flickr contact me for details.