Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Update to previously updated schedule.......

Please bear with me on this, it has been a bad couple of weeks....

30APR11        NO GAME

7MAY11       Game at John's place
14MAY11     Game at John's place
21MAY11      NO GAME
28MAY11     NO GAME

I will not be offended (at all) if someone steps up and hosts a game on the weekends when I am not available, there is no reason for everybody to skip gaming on my account.       

Thursday, April 21, 2011

1/100 scale Zvezda Panzer II, T-26 and Panzer III

I couldn't help my self....... I had to build them. This was a very brief event, sudden almost. The only difficulty I encountered was getting the tracks on the PzIII, the fit was a little tight and they are a bit delicate so I was particularly careful. I think it took six minutes to build the lot of them. They do look even better when assembled.

more pictures after the break

Beauties from Zvezda, new 15mm or 1/100 tanks

Thanks to a heads up from Gary  I obtained some of the new Zvezda 1/100 models from Michigan Toy Soldier they had in stock three different models; a Panzer II, a T-26 and a Panzer III. I got one of each for "research purposes".

These have apparently been released as additional parts for a board-game style game that is also being published by Zvezda (think of a more detailed Axis & Allies type of game). We will forgive them that and go right to the models, they are good looking models indeed. The fact that they snap-together is a plus. The fact that have loads of fine detail is even better. The fact that they do not include decals is a minus, but a very small one. Priced at US$4.99 makes them very competitive with other products in this scale
For starters we will look at the Panzer II; the box has all the assembly instructions printed on it as well as a nice illustration, as always, click on the picture to enlarge:

photos after the break

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Size Comparison, Plastic Soldier Company T-34 with Battlefront, GA Models, QRF and Command Decision

One thing that comes up from time to time is the question of size vs scale. The habit of wargames to refer to things in a "size" say  15mm rather than a strict scale was one of the things that confused me when I switched from scale modelling to wargaming all those years ago.

In 15mm "size" all the figures are supposed to be 15mm from the bottom of the foot to the eye, Shaquille O'Neal or Tatum O'Neal; both models would be 15mm tall. In modelling a scale is strict, in 1/100 scale  the Shack would be about 17mm tall and Tatum might reach 13mm. This can make it difficult to use products from different manufacturers together as they might interpet what 15mm works out to as a scale. This is not that much of a problem with people as they do indeed come in many different sizes, but things like tanks are made in factories and are built to pretty narrow design margins, thuis the models should be very similar in size. I don't know enough to provide detailed commentary as to accuracy and so I will present the side by side photos without comment. I report, you decide.

The models are presented in the same order in all the pictures, we will start with the 85mm gun version;

For a closer view click on the picture;

more pictures after the break

Building the Plastic Soldier Company T-34

Last week we reviewed the Plastic Soldier Company T-34 model, and a pretty little thing it is. Now we will see how it goes together. I my past experience very small and very large plastic models is that they are prone to parts-fit issues, so I was a little concerned that I would end up doing a lot of putty and sanding work. To my happy surprise this kit went together like a dream. The parts fit was excellent. One problem was the rudimentary instructions, so I will fill where I think some detail is needed.

Track assembly detail is very good with seperately molded upper and lower runs, Caution is needed here however as there is a "front" and "rear" to the one piece suspension unit as well as to the track bits. This is not readily apparent at first glance but will cause problem if assembled wrong.For starters you will want to dry-fit the parts together to ensure that you have the track and bogie assembly both facing the same way. When gluing the track on you will also want to ensure that the tabs that the model designer thoughtfully placed on the inside of the bogie wheels is flush with the inner edge of the track so that when you attach them to the hull they are able creat a contact surface for the glue. This is a lot clearer in the photo;

Click on the picture to expand photo

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Buildings for AK-47 Republic

My son recently purchased some buildings for our ongoing (well, at this moment, his ongoing) AK-47 project. As he is eyeballs-deep in painting minis I offered to paint the building that had just arrived. He had ordered them from Fieldworks ( http://www.fieldworks.org.uk/index.htm ) and they are beauties indeed! Except for the epoxy smell, that is.

Molded in a medium gray hard resin they are nicely proportioned and have thin walls and floors (very important in this scale) that are loaded with details. These represent battle-damaged building with pockmarks and shell holes all-around.

First step was to wash them in hot water with dish-soap to remove the mold release and then out to the garage for a spray with flat black primer. Once than had dried they recieved a heavy dry-brushing with medium gray.

As always, click on the picture to enlarge

did I mention that they have internal floors

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Minor Diversion Part 5, A visit to Knuckle City Tavern

Saturday night came to find Dan deftly assembling his tavern as we assigned models to the various players and rolled up stats. We had decided to use the Brewhouse Bash rules for GW. These played well and fast (not bad for a ruleset almost twenty years old) and engendered much hilarity. When you think of it there would appear to be little difference between Dark Ages Viking types and Orks.

More after the break....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Minor Diversion Part 4

Well, I finally got the flat coat on the minis and then touched up the metal areas with gloss coat so they are ready for business. Last word had Dan busily working on the bar itself so all there is left to do is run up a workable set of rules. Rummaging around in the dusty back corner of my mind I rmembered that there had been a set published by Games Workshop of an Ork Bar fight. A quick glance at their site showed that they had posted it in their free rules section (link here; http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m1340006_Brewhouse_Bash.pdf)

These seem workable but I find myself wanting to make bottles rather than use the markers provided, Dan is working on furniture for the bar so that isn't a worry. I will take a poke at making bottles, if it works you will be the first to find out!

Photos of our heroes after the break....

A Minor Diversion Part 3

In the on-going saga of the barroom fight figures  I completed the paint jobs yesterday and gave them a light wash (more of this later) with a dark red-brown to highlight the faces and hands. Once this was dried I gave them an overall wash of black to pop the details a little and to create the shadows that I was in too much of a hurry to paint using the seven-layer-shading that I normally use. All in all they look pretty good, except for the occasional odd pose. So here they are in their glossy glory, once the gloss varnish coat has dried I will over coat them with flat and they will be ready for the table;

click to zoom
more after the break...

More New Stuff

The Plastic Soldier Company (don't you just love companies that tell you up-front what they are all about, none of this dodgy "AmRamCo" or "Questrorinics" BS) has also just released their 15mm Late War Germans to go with their earlier Russian offerings. Molded in the same sturdy plastic as the Russians and with the same fine degree of detail these are excellent figures. With 130 figures in the box this will be all the Germans you will ever need for Flames of War (and most other systems). In the box you will find 10 NCOs, 15 LMGs and 90 grunts spread across six sprues. Highly reccommended!

Photos after the break...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

They are finally here!!!

The long awaited 15mm versions of the WW2 plastic soldiers from the aptly named Plastic Soldier Company have arrived. This issue includes T-34-76/85 models in 1/100 scale as well as Russian Infantry in Summer Uniforms. The models are molded in a crisp (but not brittle) plastic and are well-cast with good detail. Essentially these are small versions of the larger 28mm models released earlier by the same company.

Further info and photos after the break....

A Minor Diversion Part 2

Having waited overnight for the primer coat to dry I began painting the bar patrons today. First the flesh, I find it easier to paint the model in the order that one would get dressed, skin first, the clothing then belts etc.

A minor diversion

Last weekend Dan said that he would build the medieval pub for a barrom brawl game if I would do the minis. He implied that he could be ready in a week, I undertook to meet that challenge. Me and my big mouth.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I have finally taken the plunge in AK-47

After much hemming and hawwing I finally dropped the charade and ordered my army. I will be running a Cuban Intervention Force in Angola. I have ordered 6xT-55, 6x BTR-60, a ton of regular infantry, a battery of towed guns and enough militia to fill out the list. I spent less than $150.00 total (which suprised me) and I will be putting together a few bits and bobs of terrain to go with the force.

Progress reports to follow.

Schedule Change

The Monday night Flames of War group will be switching to Teusday nights for the time being. Anyone wishing to join us please send an e-mail to me or post a comment and I will fill you in as to meeting places/times.

Friday, April 1, 2011

End of an Era

I am not sure how to present this but here I go;

As of this Saturday I will no longer be wargaming.