05 September 2020

Canadian M113 Platoon (AFV's Only) Progress

 So onto the second post covering the Canadian M113's.  Things have progressed quite nicely and I'm pretty happy with how they are looking right now.  Obviously I should have thought of things like decals before I started this project, but alas, that's not really me - so I've just ordered Canadian 1:87 decals from Germany - from TL Modellbau  Here's the set I ordered:

I also ordered some Danish decals so I can finalise some of their vehicles as well.  I went with 1:87 mainly because I couldn't really find anything else.  Battlefront do 1:100 Canadian decals which look OK - but I don't think you can order them without buying their kits - so I didn't bother there.  I've read these fit perfectly well on 1/72 kits - so we'll see how they go.

At the same time I ordered some vehicle mounted FN MAGs for another Canadian project...  I have started work on the crew for these M113's but I don't want to mount them until after I have properly weathered the vehicles - and I can't really weather them until I've added the decals.  So they will probably remain looking like this for another 6 weeks or so - depending on how long mail from Germany to Australia takes.  Then I can also paint the lights.

So here are the pics:

The M113 is from S-Model, with a Elhiem (slightly modified) .30 Cal added and various different bits of stowage.  ESCI track links on the front.

Another S-Model M113, again with a modified Elhiem .30 Cal, various stowage and an Airfix bicycle.

A 3rd S-Model M113 - essentially straight from the box, with various bits of stowage and an ESCI road wheel mounted on the splash board.  The S-Model .50 Cal is a bit long to my eye, but is nicely detailed.

Finally this is an ESCI M113.  While I think the S-Model M113 is a great little kit, the old ESCI one is outstanding.  You can have the driver's hatch open - so why not!  Again this has various bits of stowage and the rear hatch opened.  I'm planning on putting 2 Elhiem Canadians in the rear hatch.

Here they are all together:

So that's it for now.



26 August 2020

Guess the project!

 Quick post today....

I've spent some time this week spraying and masking 4 M113s for the next new project.  This one is actually more progressed than what I'll be showing today, but this is where this part of the project is at.

First one to correctly identify the correct nationality of these vehicles sadly wins nothing but brief fame on this blog.  Hopefully correct identification also means I got the colours correct.

Please bear in mind these are work-in-progress shots - just the first base coats have been finished.

Here we go:

Good Luck!


11 July 2020

Progressing my Norwegian project

Over the last couple of years, and especially in the last few months, I've been purchasing the final pieces for my Norwegian project that has been discussed previously here. 

One of the primary reasons I had not pushed my Norwegian project was the lack of a NM135 model.  Recently I've discovered a couple.  One a 3D print file and the other from Hobbyden.  Brian Walsh there has recently produced a NM135, which is a primary component of a 1986 Norwegian  mechanised infantry force.  Hopefully I'll have 4 NM135s coming in the next little while. 

As a result of some commission work I did recently for a friend, I have also been able to get enough troops for a Norwegian platoon, plus a few others. I won't be showing them until they are painted though.

I have a bunch of diecast Leopard 1s and M48A5s so that's the tanks taken care of, with a bit of tinkering.

So what I was missing for my Norwegian's was primarily aircraft.  This has now been resolved:

Obviously the first thing you need is a F-16.  What better than this specific Norwegian F-16A+ by Fujimi.

Next I needed a F-5A Freedom Fighter.  These are relatively hard to find - everywhere you look you can find F-5E which are just not right.  Although this is Hasegawa kit comes with Dutch and Canadian decals, I'll sort out something to make it Norwegian.

The final aircraft I needed was one of these.  Talk about rare as hen's teeth.  Just had to have one of these for my Aerial Forward Observer.  No choppers here pal.  This is an original 1970's Airfix kit.  Only problem is now I feel like I'm being barbaric if I open it up and make it... 

Anyway - that's it for today.  Next update will be another project, where I've actually made some real progress, not just bought stuff.



07 June 2020

Scenes of the Cold War - Harburn Hamlet Edition

Earlier this year, literally just before the COVID-19 lockdowns came into effect, when life was still relatively normal, my wife, her brother and I visited her recently discovered (by us anyway) half-brother and his family in Scotland.  It was an all-round excellent trip, made all the more so for me when it turned out not only were they all wonderful people, but he is a very talented sculptor -
- but also a Roman History fanatic and armour maker:
One day we visited the shop in Edinburgh (Harburn Hobbies) that sells his range of Railway/Village/Dockside terrain accessories called Harburn Hamlet.  If you click on the link you'll get an idea of the ranges that are available.  My brother-in-law designs, sculpts and casts all these models and his wife paints them all.  They are not made out of plaster, but a very durable resin-like substance which of course I have forgotten the name of ...

It was great to visit Harburn Hobbies and get a look around a Scottish Hobby shop.  If you are ever in Edinburgh I recommend you drop by.  I happened to also be my birthday so I made sure to treat myself to a few things.  Not tons - as I had to stick it all on a plane to cart home.  I bought from the OO scale stuff and took some photos yesterday to show you what it looks like and how I plan on using some of it.  If you are getting into BG:NORTHAG on any other 1/144 or 10/12mm scale gaming, the N Gauge stuff is right for you.

Here's some shots of Harburn Hamlet stuff - very quickly set up - with some figures for scale.  The shots were also a test with my new panoramic background.  I'm quite chuffed with the look.

These are CG 219 - Corn stooks traditional (5).  I love these and think they look great - especially in a WW2 setting.

These two images show the rows of vegies I bought home!  The top pic shows from left to right CG 282 Vegetable rows (2) - cauliflower - 1 row of CG 254 Rows of greens (pack of 2) - the other row is a couple over - CG280 Vegetable rows (2) green cabbage and then CG 281 Vegetable rows (2) red cabbage.  To the side in the first and up the back in the second is CG 250 Vegetable Plot with timber edging.  The second pic has some Elhiem figures in the front and a couple of M113s in the laneway behind.  All the small buildings and telephone box are from NOCH.

That's all the individual components.  I've been after stuff to make the backyards of my houses a bit more interesting and these are a great first step in that direction.

Finally I got these two raised flower beds.  I'm mainly thinking of using them on roads like this - but I guess they could be used around fancy houses etc.  Their codes are SS 320 Platform flower bed with 3 tress and SS 324 Formal raised flower bed.

What I've shown is only a very small selection of what Harburn Hamlet has available.  If you are in the UK especially, but anywhere actually - have a look at the website and scroll through the catalogue.  I'm sure you'll find something there that will suit your wargame table.

Heartily recommended.



22 May 2020

Soviet Military Police and Technicians/Drivers

In my Wargames Soldiers & Strategy scenario I needed to have a squad of Soviet Military Police manning a checkpoint near the SA-10 Battery.  I also needed some figures to represent either various drivers or armed SAM Battery technicians.  In both cases I couldn't find many options.  Elhiem has a single Soviet MP and nobody I could find did some unarmed support troop type figures.

So I had to do something a bit different.  For the MPs I relied on Elhiem figures - as the actual MP is Elhiem it seemed to make sense.  I got a second MP figure, and then painted up a couple of "random" figures to look like MPs.  Here they are

You can see that the first and third figures are actually the same figure - one just has his arm adjusted.

For the drivers/technicians I used Liberation Miniatures.  They have some chaps in a kind of relaxed summer uniform and I thought (particularly their hats) allowed them to fit the bill.  Here they are

Obviously they are armed - but that is fine - as the scenario allows for a portion of drivers or any non-technical Soviets to be on guard near their vehicles.  To be honest I really just wanted these figures for the photos for the magazine.

More on that in a future post.  That's all for now


27 April 2020

9K31 Strela-1 (SA-9 Gaskin)

I always wanted to have a SA-9 Gaskin or two - principally an ACE Models one if possible.  But alas, to-date, that seems likely to never happen.  I did however snag an ACE SA-13 Gopher (which for some reason it doesn't appear that I've ever taken a photo of it and posted it here).  At one point I decided to use a spare Britannia BRDM-2 hull and marry it with the Gopher SAM launcher turret,  You can see the entried about that here and here.

I was never completely satisfied with that - mainly because you could only have one or the other.

So a while back a friend of mine was putting in an order with Butler's Printed Models and asked if I wanted anything.  I'm not a dive in feet first kind of person, so decided to order 3 turrets - which handily enough BPM allow you to order separately.  I got an SA-9 SAM turret and two M901 ITV TOW Hammerhead  turrets.  I'll deal with the later in another post, but once arrived I cleaned up the turret quite quickly and tried it out on the BRDM-2 hull.  I was very satisfied with the result.

I then painted it very quickly and took just 1 photo for some reason.  Here's the completed model:

Very happy with the purchase.  It looks like BPM does some great prints and others that are not so great based on what my mate ended up buying.  Glad I put my toe in the water, but also glad I didn't spend up big.



15 April 2020

Soviet Trucks

It's been a while since I posted some newly completed stuff so today I'd thought I'd post up some Soviet trucks I either built & painted, repainted, or simply fixed up a bit.

I mentioned I recently had an article published in Wargames Soldiers & Strategy Issue 106.  I needed to take some photos for the article so I decided to add a few new vehicles and tried to make a couple of old vehicles look a bit more realistic.

Just over 3 years ago (hard to believe) I bought this Fabbri MAZ 535-A Artillery Truck:

Obviously I didn't want something that wouldn't have looked out of place in a May Day Parade for my photo which was supposed to be in the middle of a war in Norway.  So I repainted it.

That looks a bit better to me

I also had a what I think was a Trumpeter Jiafeng CA-30 fuel tanker which was part of a large swap I did years ago.  It had no instructions - but fortunately also came with Soviet markings.  Well it is an exact copy of a Zil-157 fuel truck.  So I built and painted it to provide fuel for the generators of my SAM Battery.

Sadly the decals were 20+ years old I reckon so they fell apart as I applied them.  All I was able to salvage is what you can see and there is a bit of silvering.

Finally I had ICM Ural Command Vehicle that I built here 10 years ago (geez) and it was very clean so I tried to weather it a little with a couple of new techniques (new to me anyway).  Here's how it came out:

So all in all I'm pretty happy with that lot.