22 January 2013

Roads - Part 1

Just a quick post today.  Weather has been stinky hot here (that's a technical term for crappy) leaving me with no desire to spend much time in my non-air conditioned office each evening - so I've either been sat in front of the telly downstairs or trying to find other things to do.

One such little endeavour is to start some "modern" roads.  I've gone down a few avenues before with roads - none of them 100% successful and then I saw this set of roads from Hotz Art Works which was very impressive - but perhaps a little pricey.

Then the other day I was wandering aimlessly through a fabric shop with my wife and I stumbled across a roll of grey felt that looks similar to the Hotz Mats and much better than normal felt I had seen and rejected earlier.  So I bought a couple of metres of it.... as you do.

I spent a few hours over the last week or so marking it up and cutting out roads as the first stage of this little activity.  Here's a couple of quick photos I took last night - more for scale checking than for anything else.

So that's the easy part.  I now need to add all the markings etc...  So more on this once I've worked out a simple way to do that, that doesn't involve metres of masking tape....

Morale of the story... perhaps I should have bought the roads from Hotz!


03 January 2013

Carve yourself a BMP-2

OK - slightly exaggerated title, but as you will see in this post there is an element of truth in it.

Recently I built an ACE Models BMP-2 that came in a box looking like this:
which is one of the earlier production models of the ACE BMP-2.  During the build I took a few photos - so it's not really a Work-In-Progress or tutorial - just a history of how it went together along with a growing pile of off-cuts.

Before I jump into this I have to make a statement up-front.  I have to say that despite ACE kits kind of doing my head in - I actually really like them.  I guess its a love-hate relationship.  Sure - they can be a bit of a headache to build - but I think they end up looking lovely and in my opinion - possibly the best examples you can get (along with a great range - even in most of them are out of production).  So - moving on...

First up - the sprues.  Here is all three of them:

Followed by some close up's of each individual sprue:

They probably don't look that bad from that distance!

This is a close-up of the wheels, and three chassis peices cut from the sprues.  You start to get an idea of what you need to do.

Once those peices were cleaned up this is the pile of off-cuts (for lack of a better word) I was left with:

The pile starts to grow and you get an idea of the cleaning required on the hull sides (sponsons?)

Hull (top and bottom), sides and turret all cleaned up - pile detris pile:

Starting to assemble the tracks:

Power train wheels - a reall pain as there are no guides to match them up - so I do it by eye - sometimes it works...

The detris pile continues to grow as the kits starts to come together:

I was hoping to get away without having to put on the top tracks - from this photo you will see why:

Once I decided that I couldn't get away with it I thought I might get away with just cleaning the side you'd actually see.  Once I cleaned that and fitted it I realised I'd cleaned the wrong side so had to clean them both anyway!

Here is the final picture of the completed BMP-2 with the final detris/off-cuts pile:

100% honestly that pile came from just this 1 kit.  Pretty impressive in my opinion... but the kit looks pretty good.

Just out of interest - here is a comparison photo between the S&S Models BMP-2 and the completed ACE Models BMP-2.

So that's it for now.



02 January 2013

Happy New Year & Smash the Stash!

Well Happy 2013 everyone - I hope you have a great year and I hope I manage to get a few Cold War games in this year and manage to finish off a couple of projects.

You may have noticed I made no posts in December.  The main reason for this was that I had to undergo so relatively serious surgery and then recover at home.  Fiddling around on a computer didn't really thrill me at the time and to amuse myself I started plodding through some model kits - just trying to make some as like computing - I wasn't really up to painting anything.

I thought I'd try and knock over a couple of ACE Models kits I'd had hanging around for a while as I wasn't in any rush.  One thing lead to another and I became a little obsessed with making as much of the stash as I could - in a semi-focussed kind of way.

So in December I managed to crank out these kits:

Back Row - Left to Right: 2 x ACE Models 2S1's, ACE Models PRP-3, ACE Models SA-13, ACE Models BMP-1, ACE Models BMP-2, S&S Models BMP-2, MMS BTRD

Front Row - Left to Right: Hasegawa M1 Abrams, 2 x ESCI M113 (with 2 x Dragon TOW Ground Launchers in front of them), 4 x Dragon HMMWV - 2 with TOW Systems - 2 which will be armed with Mk 19 Grenade Launchers, 2 x S&S Models GAZ-66, 1 Britannia BRDM-2 which I had somewhat dodgely converted into a BRDM-2 rkh (and in front of them is an ACE Models ZU-23-2)

I also managed some other bits and peices - but they were not really photo-worthy so I've not posted them.  So I'm feeling relatively chuffed with myself - although I haven't really managed to smash the stash that much - I at least took it down a couple of pegs.

Enough for now - next up will be a report on building an ACE Models BMP-2.

Have fun