30 August 2015

T-55 Platoon

Next up is a T-55 Platoon.

Obviously this is made up of 3 T-55s.  As the Britannia ones were so yucky, and I had previously built a Trumpeter kit and found it to be very straight forward and you end up with a lovely tank - I decided to go down the Trumpeter route.  I also decided to find some Easy Model T-55s which are basically diecast versions of the Trumpeter kits.  The plan was to get a couple of pre-builts and one kit which would be used as the Platoon Commander's vehicle.

I ended up picking up these two Easy Model kits quite cheaply on ebay:

These would obviously need to be repainted...

So then I built the kit - which I then realised that I had already known that the Trumpeter kits don't come with any open hatches...  Bugger!  That ruined that plan...

So my remaining option was to only repaint one of the T-55s and leave the other as the "different" looking tank - to mark it out as the Platoon leader's vehicle.  As the prime reason for doing this was for use as Soviet Naval Infantry, attacking Norway, I decided to leave the "snowy" tank as is and repaint the one with the big cross on the turret.

I did of course jazz up the "snowy" tank to try and help make it look more like the others:

Comparing the tanks of the left and right hand sides I can't tell (from simply looking at them) which is the diecast and which is the kit.  You can when you pick them up though...

While I was doing the weathering I decided to re-weather my T-55 with mine-roller tank so it looks similar:

So that, along with the PT-76's, is the start of my armour for my Soviet Naval Infantry.  Next up will be their troop transports.



29 August 2015

S&S PT-76's completed

I've finally managed to finish a few things and more importantly take photos, so over the next few days I'll be posting quite a lot.

I thought I would start with the finished PT-76s as I showed the WIP a week or so back.  These were nice straight forward, well cast kits, which I've painted to be useful for my Soviet Naval Infantry in particular, but I also wanted them to be useable for East Germans or Poles - or even if I ever want to go that way - for 3rd echelon Soviet Motor Rifle who would still have been using these rather out-dated tanks in their recce forces.

I also decided to make up my own batch of pigments - mainly because I wasn't totally sold on the pigment colours available from Vallejo, and nowhere around here sells the MiG or AK Interactive pigments...  So overtime I have picked up a few hard and soft pastels from art shops, and I ground up a few to get a colour I was happy with to represent Norwegian mud.  (as if I know what Norwegian mud looks like!!)

Anyway - here are the pics:

As I pointed out in the WIP previously, I added a few things to the tanks to spice them up a little.

I also weathered the PST Model's PT-76 I've shown previously so it now looks a bit more battle-worn rather than parade ground:

This one has definitely been decaled as a SNI tank - so I'll need to get 1 more PT-76 to field a vanilla platoon.

More coming soon (maybe tomorrow) so stay tuned



S&S Models M41DK follow-up

So it seems Shaun is a man of his word as he has just published these photos of his first casting on his M41DK conversion set.  Here they are:

Looking pretty damn good in my opinion.  Lucky my Danish collection has already started as this is a big motivator.

Not sure when it will formally be released, but well done Shaun!!



28 August 2015

So Chuffed!!!!!!

I spent today out of the office doing some "real" work up the coast, which meant of course that on the way home I was forced to stop at a hobby store I normally can never get to.  Even as I stepped through the front door my eyes fell upon this wonderful beauty I had desired for many a year.  There it sat on the shelf, next to my wife's favourite word.  SALE.

So I casually walked up to it.  Picked it up.  Checked out the price.  Walked to the counter and put it down saying - "I'll be back for this in a minute".  Obviously I couldn't risk someone walking into the shop and purchasing it while I was looking around.

After a brief look around - where I looked at a couple of other nice things which would have been nice, I decided that buying anything else (apart from some paint of course) could only be classified as being greedy.

So I made my purchase and left the store with this:

Now I'm pretty sure I'll only ever need one of these.  (Famous last words...) I'm also pretty sure you could only ever fit one on a table!  Right now I'm leaning to making it as a landed version rather than a flying version - but I'll have to think on that further...

This will be a total committment build - so I'll be trying to do a fully painted interior - proper windows (rather than my standard painted over windows) and basically as tizzied up as I can make it.

It won't be built over night - but it will happen!

On with the show


26 August 2015

Perhaps... perhaps... perhaps...

Perhaps some good news for Cold War Danish forces collectors...  While looking at the Guild this morning I came across a post from Shaun of S&S Models fame and it looks like he's planning on making a Danish M41DK conversion kit for the Altaya M41 diecast model.

To help, I supplied a few pics I found whilst searching to show how they mounted an MG3 on the turret.  Here's the pics I posted:

I think I'll be needing a couple of these at some point in time....

Photos of actual painted models coming soon.


16 August 2015

S&S PT-76 Work-in-Progress

Very brief post now - still not gotten around to taking some decent photos, but I hope soon to have my Soviet Naval Infantry force essentially done.  Feeling a little overwhelmed as I've started too many little projects so I'm not finishing anything - so trying to concentrate on these guys and get them to a game ready state.

The PT-76's are a pretty solid model from S&S.  No serious casting issues - I've just added a few little bits to them to make them slightly more interesting.  These will be plain green so I can use them in almost any WARPAC force - well certainly Soviets, East Germans and Poles. 

So here is how they looked a week ago:

They've now been undercoated, base-coated and pin-washed so the next pics you'll see of these will be the finished article.  I hope...

OK - that's it for now


06 August 2015

Soviet Naval Infantry - T-55AMV Platoon - a Work-in-Progress

Back to the Northern Front theme...

After several years of poo-pooing T-55s and PT-76's as "too old" and "something I didn't need to get", I'm now the proud owner or several and am about to get one more very special T-55AM.  But before that happens, I've been working on several Britannia T-55s with the ultimate aim of having them look like this:

Now I'm not aware of any current (may be some planned) T-55AMV kits - so I decided the 3 Britannia T-55s would form a decent foundation for the AMV variant.  To say I was very disappointed with the T-55s as they stood (when compared to say a Trumpter T-55) is a massive understatement.  The Trumpeter kit goes together like a dream. and while the Britannia resin model is only several peices, I've spent hours going over them, green stuffing air bubbles and trying to fix massive blemishes.  The resin has to be the cheapest I've seen in a model kit, and crumbles as you cut it.  The end result - before adding anything to them, was a long way from perfect - more like I just gave up...

So, through several hands (thanks to John and Michael) I managed to get my paws on some resin cast ERA blocks.  I added some card side skirts and glued on the bricks as best I could.

And ended up with a slightly dodgy "representative" platoon of T-55AMVs that will suffice very nicely until something (alot) better comes along.

Here they are just before I sprayed them:

I also added a laser range-finder above the main gun and a light near the Commander's hatch.

Under the 3 foot rule, I hope they will look fine...

That's all for now - next up some much better PT-76s... Off to do some spraying!