Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wild West Shootout Rules

These rules will allow you to play fast-paced Hollywood style western gunfights. They involve the use of miniatures, dice and a set of playing cards. I have run them several times at conventions and everyone picked up on the mechanisms really quickly. The system can easily handle up to ten players. I will follow-up with some ready-made characters soon. Sorry about the Scribd link but Blogger won't let me upload PDFs. I will post some examples of play and mayybe a game report.

Wild West Shootout Rules

Friday, May 27, 2011

Reader contribution; Zvezda PZ III 1/100 15mm

Gary V. has sent some pictures of his assembled and painted PZ II kit, nicely done and lightly weathered in Panzer Gray it really brings out the detail.

Gary said "...Check your email sent you three pictures of the PzIII. Got two more but not sure if the file size is too large. The pictures were taken with my canon power shot SX130. These picture where take in auto mode."

more photos after the break

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Zvezda LAGG-3 model 1/144

It is becoming difficult to keep up with Zvezda (it might just be that I didn't know of them until just recently) but here is the LAGG-3. This is another early period model and a sharp looking kit it is. The lines seem to capture the shape of the original very well and the light details are well done, the kit is provided with both retracted and extended landing gear and a set of adequate (if uninspired) decals. As always click on the picture to expand it.

the box

more pictures after the break

The Zvezda 1/100 T-34 model

Another of my aquisitions from Michigan Toy Soldier is the T-34 from Zvezda. Molded in a slightly garish green plastics little gem is a match for the other tanks from Zvezda . All of the bells and whistles are there, lug-nuts on the road wheels, finely molded engine grates etc. This appears to be another early war model; either a T-34a or T-34b (it is marked on the box a a "model 1940", I am never clear on Soviet tank designations), with the single large hatch and the shorter 76.2mm gun with the smaller gun mantle.  I again have to be thankful for an unusual version (there are lots of the later models and T-34/85 versions around). I think this will be serving with my Flames of War Finnish army as I understand that the T-34s that they captured were of the early models. At US$4.99 each they are very competitively priced. Well, enough of that, on to the pictures.

                                              Click on the pictures to enlarge

the box

more pictures after the break

The Zvezda Me-109 1/144

Yet another beauty from our friends at Zvezda this little bird is certainly one good looking model. Molded crisply in light gray plastic this is a model of the commonly found F2 version. Like other Zvezda products it is cleanly molded and captures the look of the original very well. Click on the pictures for a larger view.

the box

more pictures after the break

And the hits just keep on coming, Zvezda Il-2 Sturmovik 1/144

The good folks at Michigan Toy Soldier called to tell me that there was a new Wargames Illustrated in so I dropped by, I was happy to find out that they had also just gotten a shipment of goodies from Zvezda . Here is the Il-2, a nicely done model which captures the ungainly grace of the original aircraft. It is the single-seat model so we now have both the two-seater (from Battlefront ) and the single-seat version. This is a simple assembly kit that is supposed to be a snap-together model, I glue mine as a matter of precaution. Surface detail is limited to a few panel lines but they did include the trim-tabs on the rear flying sufaces, a nice touch. Oddly it comes with both extended and retracted landing gear (perhaps that has some importance in the game for which this model is a token). Mine will be getting the flying treatment (gear up, no propeller blades).

And on to the show, click on the picture for a larger view.

the box

more pictures after the break

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Zvezda 1/144 scale Stuka

While stopping by Michigan Toy Soldier today I found that the Zvezda Stuka had come in. I, of course, had to get one for "research purposes". Crisply molded in light gray plastic this little beauty captures the look of the infamous JU-87 quite well. I was surprised at how they had managed to reduce the number of pieces to eight, you could build a whole Luftflotte in an hour or so with these babies. This model is not as well detailed as the tanks, which are in a considerably larger scale, but I am pleased with the look. To add details in this scale often ends up with grossly over-exaggerated rivets and such. A big plus is the inclusion of decals, nothing exciting but good basic markings.

the box

more pictures after the break

Perrys Plastic 28mm Prussian infantry

Fresh out of the box and lovely as ever. The Perry boys seem to have an uncanny knack for catching the natural movement of people, these figures reflect that nicely. Proportions are (as to be expected) excellent and poses are natural and fluid, detail is remarkable, I can't wait to take a crack at these. And, as a bonus feature, they mesh nicely with Warlord's Prussian Landwehr. Enough of my prattle, on to the pictures!

As always, click on the picture to enlarge
I forgot to take a picture of the box, so here is one from the Perrys website

The front of the Command group sprue, just the right touch of "Follow me, lads"

more pictures after the break

Thursday, May 19, 2011

AK-47 Republic Project Update 2

      Well, I finally had a little free time (and it almost looks as if the weather will cooperate this weekend for spraying, so they had to get built) and I have gotten my "Cubans in Angola" force out of the bags and onto the build table. There were a few tricky moments gluing the AA MGs onto some of the vehicle but they are all together. I have gotten most of the infantry and heavy weapons based as well so it is looking good for priming early Saturday morning and right away into painting. It isn't a particularly large force, but it is mostly professionals and regulars with some pretty heavy support.

     I am pretty well pleased with the Command Decision figures, plenty of action, good proportions but the MGs were fiddly to attach (although I have to say that I have yet to see a metal model in this scale that has well defined placement pins) and are likely to break off at a momnets notice. At least the wheels on the BTR-60 were cast on. All I have left is to mount the crews on the field guns and assemble the militia mortars.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Size comparison T-26 model; G A Models, Zvezda and Battlefront

 I only have acces to three different manufacturers so that is all you will get, sorry. Click on the picture to get a larger view;

Wargames Factory Amazons 28mm plastics

          Joe D. popped by the other day with a box of the new Wargames Factory Amazons and wass nice enough to leave some for me to photograph. These are some fine looking figures, the detail is almost on a par with anything that Immortal has come out with and is a far cry better than Wargames Factory's first releases (so if you weren't happy with the Gauls and Romans, don't let that put you off).

        They were tough to photograph as they are cast on a series of very small sprues so forgive my fat fingers appearing in some of the shots. The weapons are probably the most exciting part for me as they provide a full selection of "tools of the trade" for a Classical Period army, pikes, spears, javelins, assorted shields, etc. The figures themselves are well sculpted and proportioned with an athletic look rather than the bimbo proportions so often seen on other Amazon castings.

more photos after the break

Panzer IV size comparison, Plastic Soldier Company, Battlefront, GA Models and Command Decision

Here is the usual side-by-side comparison, click on the photo for a larger view;

more photos after the break

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Building the Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IV; updated

After a long delay I have finally found the time to build my Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IVs, I was just going to build them all as PZIVf1 but have instead built one of each model. Much like on the T-34 kit parts fit and design was excellent, I did discover one minor flaw when I built these models; the gun housing that connects the barrel to the mantlet has molding flaws caused by the shrinking of the plastic and unfortunately the flaw is on top of the housing rather than on the bottom, see pictures below;

as always click on the pictures for a larger view

That bit of unpleasantness aside these are absolutely the best PZ IV models that I have seen any time recently. The design and assembly is very good, parts fit is excellent and the detail crisp. There are instructions that are better than the ones provided in the T-34, but not by much. One nice touch is that pictures of the sprues are presented with the parts for each version highlighted in color, I am not sure if there really is a difference in the commander's cupola and there is no indication in the assembly instruction as to where the late model muffler part is supposed to be attached. I trust one of our better-informed readers will be able to enlighten us.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Plastic Soldier Company 1/100 scale Panzer IV

Yet another release from the prolific Plastic Soldier Company the Panzer IV model is another beauty. This kit contains five sprues each of one tank model. The optional parts will allow the building of the early short-barrel version as well as the later long barrel ones, it also includes the "schurtzen" that was attached to later versions to lower the damage from hollow-charge weapons. Molded in a light-olive platic the model boasts detail that is absent from some larger-scale models. It is cleanly molded without a hint of flash and only the faintest suggestion of mold-lines, these are priced the same as the previous T-34 model at US$29.95 for five models, at six bucks each they are an excellent value. I got mine from Michigan Toy Soldier Company in Royal Oak Michigan (they will do mail-order). Now on to the model.

                                          As always click on the picture for a larger view
Box front;

Monday, May 2, 2011

AK-47 Republic Project, update 1

Here at Last! The Cubans have finally arrived from WarWeb and a hefty little box it was. I returned from work today to find a sturdy and heavy box waiting for me, as I turned it over I rejoiced; my Cubans had landed. Feverishly I opened the box to find the complete order; Regulars, Irregulars, tanks, APCs and guns. I didn't have any extra time to get started but I will revist them tomorrow. Let the basing begin!

In the meantime here is a picture of the force still in the packaging;