- Those Magnificent Flying Machines
- Better Than Ebay!
- Adventures in Blue Board and Foamcore
- The Lace Wars Project
- The Neulandia VSF campaign
- 28mm Plastic Figure reviews Perry, Victix WF etc etc
- Zvezda and Plastic Soldier Company Wargaming Models
- The Road to Leipzig
- Leipzig Orbats
- MDF Madness
- Rich Uncle Pat and the (non-European) Cold War
- My Own Rules and other wacky ideas
- Fortified Places
- Book Reviews
- The Great Epicurean War
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Saturday, March 27, 2021
So Having gone through and gotten all of my Japanese and Chinese Flames of War paraphenalia squard away I began thinking about an inexpensive and simple ways to ever so slightly expand the gaming reach of the collection. I do not want to wander off down the FOW rabbit hole as it is very easy to fall into the "for a few dollars more ..." paradox. And that is when I stumbled upon this simple idea. The Brits had oodles of Universal carriers and used them in EVERY theater. Since the British and Japanese fought in Malaysia, Singapore and Burma quite intensely in 1941-2. I thought this could be an inexpensive way to alternate the opponents. And since all the tanks are not really armored at all, it would still make for an "interesting game. Unlike Anton I am NOT a modeler and do not like building models, so simple builds are paramount to me. I like to play games, NOT glue my fingers together!
Monday, March 22, 2021
Several readers have asked about the size comparison between various 28mm plastic figures; specifically the new Wargames Atlantic 95th Rifles and the products of Warlord and Perrys. To satisfy this query I dug deep into the bowels of The Vault and drew forth some sets of plastic minis that I had picked up over the years. I assembled a figure from three different sets and took photos using the same set up so that the readers may judge for themselves. I then assembled one of each of the poses from W.A. 95th Rifles set and took pictures of them as well.
I am afraid that my dear friend The Housemartin has known me far too long. He knows how to casually let something drop in conversation and then let the seed of an idea germinate in my head so that I think that the idea was mine. I have fallen for this a few times in the past, and will likely do so again in the future. Most recently he was bemoaning his shortage of Fascist armor for the 20mm SCW game that he has been collecting for the last couple of decades; specifically Panzer I and Panzer I Breda. He is aware of the Plastic Mountain that lives in The Vault and guessed (quite rightly) that there were a few stray Panzer I kits lurking in cobwebbed corners. He also knows me well enough to surmise that all I needed was a bit of goading to make good on his shortfall. Needless to say I rummaged around and found three Panzer I kits. I built two straight from the box and the the third one I built a Panzer I Breda turret for (as well as the standard turret).
Saturday, March 20, 2021
I have built this kit several times in my lifetime. In every attempt I let the simplicity and excellent parts-fit trick me into assembling the kit all in one go and then trying to paint/decal it after the fact. Needless to say those efforts turned into a bit of a mess. U.S. Air Corps paint jobs in the late 20's/early 30's were a celebration of the fact that we had no nearby enemies and were unlikely to acquire any soon. To be kind they were garish. They certainly made for a different-looking aircraft. The model is molded in the alarming bright yellow that the U.S. applied to all flying surfaces at the time. The decals are old, thick and annoyingly translucent. But, armed with a full array of Micro-Scale products, I resolved to push on with my "Straight Out Of The Box" rule.
Assembly was a breeze, the fit of the parts was nearly perfect. This time through I managed to constraint my enthusiasm and stop along the assembly process to get vital painting and decal work done before final assembly.
Thursday, March 18, 2021
I bought this kit simply ages ago and never got around to building it. It got dug out the the Plastic Mountain in The Vault and pushed to the front of the line largely because the landing gear. I just thought it looked cool. It was a straightforward build (the undercarriage was a bit tricky but tube cement and patience overcame that). I went with the all-silver paint job because I loved the "Grim Reaper" logo on the side, and it is a nice change from all that camouflage! This lead to the only real difficulty in the build as my primer (Rustoleum flat black) did not pair well with the Vallejo silver and a large spot on both sides of the left wing and a smaller area on the right wing and fuselage pucker and wrinkled up like Nancy Pelosi's neck! This had to be sanded out and repainted with the attendant loss of the fine surface detail in those areas. The decals were very thin and required careful handling. Overall (aside from the paint thing, which is my fault) this was a fun build and a neat model of an unusual aircraft. There is a Wiki that covers the entire D 500 series right here.
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
I got this email from Rod Cain.
The thirties saw a succession of achievements and advances that laid the groundwork for the vast air armadas of the Second World War. The advances in aerodynamics went from boxy wire-braced biplanes to sleek monoplane racers and airliners in the space of a decade. One of the leading lights is design and development was the Northrop Corporation (one of three aircraft builders founded by the prolific Jack Northrop). The Gamma represented the cutting edge of aircraft design at the time and was used for several record-setting flights. The Williams Bros. kit can be built as either the "Sky Chief" which was used to set a new coast-to-coast record or the "Polar Star" which was used in the first cross-Antarctica flight. I chose to build the Sky Chief. The kit was straightforward to build but needed careful attention to the instructions and a significant amount of sanding and trimming to get a good fit.
Most importantly the aircraft embodied the art-deco esthetic of the mid thirties; clean lines, HUGE spats and simple but noticeable paint schemes. Of course, what sold me was the enormous spats on the landing gear. Probably unnecessary in their size they could have been considerably smaller and still done the job of easing the airflow over the landing gear struts the massive fairings made a statement of style far beyond their impact on airflow.
Monday, March 8, 2021
I don't know of Mike Mondragon or Iron Core but I do know a good looking sci-fi stormtrooper when I see one (and maybe, just maybe, these guys can actually hit something they are shooting at; unlike their white-clad Imperial namesakes!). Wargames Atlantic has released this set of twenty minis; molded in a hard medium gray plastic these reflect a very high degree of detail but exhibit no flash or noticeable mold-lines. The surface detail on the weapons and armor (which might even stop a random blaster shot?) is very good. The minis come with fully enclosed helmets (for folks like me who hate painting faces) of a choice of some characterful faces. The proportions and posing of the minis is good and there is room for modification of the poses. An interesting and affordable option in comparison to the "other Stormtrooper" models currently on the market.
Saturday, March 6, 2021
I have never been shy about my enthusiasm for plastic figures. They are cheaper, lighter, and can be better detailed and more accurately sculpted than metal miniatures. In addition they are more easily modified or repaired. Over the past few years the quality of the plastic soldier industry has gone from strength to strength, with this latest issue from Wargames Atlantic it may be approaching it's apogee, they are simply superb. Cast in a medium gray firm plastic and showing excellent detail, no flash and only the faintest of mold-lines these castings represent the state of the art in modern polystyrene molding. In addition the detail is spot-on and posing of the miniatures is natural and dynamic. Move over Perry boys, Wargames Atlantic has arrived in the big league!
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Monday, March 1, 2021
A while back I built some U.S. aircraft for my buddy Rich who is ding the Korean war, he didn't have any opposition aircraft so I rummaged around in The Vault until I found these two; an IL-2 (pretending to be an IL-10) and a Mig-15. A quick build and paint-job and they were off to provide some unfriendly skies for the Skyraider and Panther.
Following on to the post about the Memphis Belle I have the rest of the U.S. bomber forces. The U.S. built the only bombers with a chance of survival in a daylight scenario and aggressively used them to attack the enemy at every opportunity. There is a decent argument that the daylight bombing of Germany (and the Browning M-2 .50cal HMG) broke the back of the Luftwaffe by forcing it to fight on a daily basis when the German training program could not produce enough new pilots to replace losses. The brave young men who flew in the face of a relentless and determined enemy rode these famous beasts of war into the firestorm of combat on a daily basis and were instrumental in defeating the Nazi war machine.
I have to confess that I have been bugging my local Brick & Mortar about this set since I first heard it was slated for production. As soon as they said it was in I ran by and picked it up. I am a huge fan of Wargames Atlantic and their growing line of products but don't let that make you think that I didn't look at these figures with a careful eye. To say the least I am very pleased with what I found inside!
You will find eight identical sprues of hard gray plastic minis. These are finely molded with no trace of flash and scarcely a mold-line to be found. The detail is delicate and crisply rendered, the proportion and posing of the figures is realistic and convincing, and the weapons are in-scale and accurately detailed.