Friday 30 March 2018

Anyscale Models WW2 Trucks (A Review)

Being a bit tight with tha brass (don't like spending money (translation)) I am always on the look out for a bit of added value and with these models I think I might have found some.

Now personally, in my head, I always equate usefulness on the tabletop with cost, I don't mind 20 to 25 pounds on a good old armoured tank bristling with guns and such but why do I need to pay the same for a dirty old workhorse truck ?

CMP Truck
So when I saw these on eBay for 11 pounds each my eyes lit up, got to grab me a couple of those bad boys and see what the craic is. So I bought a CMP and an Austin K 5 just to see what they were like and very impressed I was too.

The photos above show how the kits arrive, 4 bits, that's my kind of model ! The pieces are resin with a pre fitted wire guard on the front, they fit together well with minimal fuss. I did find a few bubble holes in the resin, mostly on the wheels but at 11 quid a pop I was expecting much worse.

The detail, again considering the price, is pretty damn good and a spot of dry brushing and some washes have really brought out the panel lines. The canvas covers are removable and come in a slightly different resin to better simulate cloth.

K5 Kit
So if you are looking for some for some low cost solutions to your WW2 Transport issues don't look any further than Anyscale. They have a good selection of trucks as well as the odd tank and a good range of scenics.

Monday 26 March 2018

A9 Cruiser Tanks for the Desert

There is nothing like a spot of early war British Cruiser Tanks to spark the imagination and here we have two of the earliest examples, a brace of A9s decked in early war the early war Caunter Scheme.

The models themselves are from Warlord Games, oddly this was the only 28mm version of the vehicle I could find, usually you can choose from one of a number of companies but here Warlord have cornered the market, sadly they don't do a specific desert version so there are no sand guards on these lovelies.

Paint wise have have used the AK Interactive Caunter Paints Set which provides all the official colours for the scheme. The paints are still a work in progress for me, I first used them on my Rolls Royce Armoured Cars a couple of months ago. With those I thought the Slate colour (the darkest) was a little on the light side. I still think it might be a mixing issue (I need to remember to get some ball bearings to put in the paint pots to aid mixing) but for this attempt I added some Olive Drab to the mix and I am much happier with the way it looks.

I like these official colours on these really early war models however I will stick to the Blue - Grey for the later stuff.

Crew figures are from Warlord and I have managed to fit a second one on one of the vehicles which gives it a bit of a nice look. I have named the tanks "Arnold" who there is a wartime photo of below and 'Arry'. The names are hand painted on the rear of the turrets.

As with the Panzers I did recently I have done a spot of mild weathering on the vehicles just to give them a lived in look, nothing over the top just a spot of chipping and some washes.

With the madness of the Analogue Hobbies Winter Paint Challenge over I will probably have a few weeks off painting. I still however have the Spanish Civil War battle to write up and we are off to the Desert this Saturday so these guys will be in action then.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

28mm WW1 Turkish Cavalry

Something a bit different this week. My Infantry forces for Mesopotamia are pretty big now with 12 Empire and 9 Turkish Battalions it's time I sorted out a few Cavalry units. The big problem here is figure choice, there just isn't any.

I found these figures tucked away in an obscure corner of the Minifigs website, in the Setting the East Ablaze range, regular readers will know the Highlanders came from the same range.

By modern standards I would describe the figures as "functional", detail is pretty good but there is only one standard pose (just like the old days !). The horses look a bit big to me but that's just nit picking. I will be building this up to a 26 figure unit with 2 x HQ Figs and four companies of 6, so that's just under half a unit done.

Lances are from Arcane Scenery and I have made the lance pennants from some sticky labels.

There aren't many photos of Turkish Cavalry in Mesopotamia, the one above is from Jerusalem. The match to the figures is pretty good, it does show that the Turks did like a BIG lance pennant  !

The Cavalry in Mesopotamia spent most of the war trying to flank each other and the trench works of the other side, they were almost constantly in action when the armies were in motion so there is plenty of scope to use these in gaming scenarios, I just need to build up the forces concerned.

Things have been fairly steady here on the gaming front with work and weather reducing the gaming opportunities but we should be back in the swing of things soon.

Thursday 1 March 2018

28mm Panzers in the Desert

Up until now my WW2 Desert collection has been confined to the forces of Britain and her Empire, along with lots of Italians. The Blitzkrieg Miniatures offers last year persuaded me to invest in some Afrika Korps vehicles, after all who can resist a half price tank !

The first completed vehicles are 3 Panzer II and 3 Panzer IIIs. Our games are limited to pre 1942 so there is none of that fancy long barrel goings on, this is proper early war stuff. The crew figures are from Perrys.

Early Panzers arrived in the area in either their dark grey, European colours at which point they were covered in local muck or they were painted in the darker green brown RAL 8000 Grünbraun rather than the more familiar later RAL 7028 Dunkelgelb.

I used a RAL 8000 paint from a Company called Mission Models, who I haven't heard or used before. I didn't realise until I started painting that it was a airbrush paint so I had to dig a back of the cupboard and blow the dust of my airbrush.

Is it just me or are Airbrushes just a massive pain, all that mucking about between colours, does my head in !

Anyway, once I got the bloody thing working, doing the base colour was relatively painless. I then used Green Ochre and Dark Sand to bring out the highlights before painting in the metal work.

I don't normally bother with weathering, but as I am usually spending hours hand painting Caunter Camouflage onto vehicles I felt like a bit more time could be justified with these, so you will notice, if you look closely a bit of chipping and some washes going on.

I also tried out AK Interactive Africa Dust Effects on the Panzer IIIs. If you look closely on the photo above you can see the sand deposits by the front hatches. The "paint" is enamel based and is basically a clear medium in which small sand particles are suspended. Once applied in the locations on the model that sand might accumulate, it is left to dry slightly before using a clean brush and thinners to blend the effect.

It gives an interesting finish and I will certainly do more experimenting with it.

The tanks are for the 15th Pz Div who used a single digit numbering system in the Desert, so decal wise I have used the ones supplied by Warlord, adding divisional symbols by hand.

I decided when Blitzkrieg Miniatures did their Black Friday sale to up the Panzers to a full battalion which will be a HQ of 1 x 3 and 1 x 2. 2 Companies of 3 x 3 and 1 x 2 with a final company of 2 x 4 and 1 x 2. Unfortunately I am still waiting for the vehicles to arrive.