Η λίστα ιστολογίων μου

Κυριακή, 26 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Giant Cat Spotted Fever

Happy Holidays all (or y'all as they would say south of the Mason-Dixon line). Work is over for a few days, I'm catching up on my sleep and more than catching up with my food. Blame my mother in law. Her cooking is excellent.

With work being hectic before the holidays I did not have much time to complete any of my ongoing projects. However, I did manage to finish painting and weathering one of Italeri's quick-build Panther Gs. Great kit, easy to build. My main problem was the lack of schurtzen, but that was easily rectified with plastic card.

I've opted to go with the late war "ambush" type camouflage. As usual, I washed with Devlan Mud, did some drybrushing with a medium grey, and some weathering with diluted British Dark Earth. I plan to make an almost full troop of 3 tanks. For games in the Western front, this will be very difficult for the Allied player, as Panthers tend to dominate due to their long range, good mobility and sloping armour. But for Eastern Front games, with those nasty T-34/85s in large numbers, a troop is not too bad. Two of the models will be the Italeri easy kits and one the more detailed Revell Panther G. It's a great little kit and very easy to build despite the large number of parts.
Here is the "to do pile" on my modeling desk. A couple of Pegasus T-34s, 2 Russian light tanks, some terrain, an Armourfast Hanomag and one more Panther G. I hope I'll get at least some of them done by the end of my vacation (although the Mrs. has other ideas as to what constitutes quality time).
Finally, this being Plane Month and all, I could not avoid posting a picture of an airplane, although this particular model was was completed a couple of months ago. This is an Airfix Hurricane Mk. II, a rather old mold (probably older than me) but a very satisfying build regardless. There are tons of Hurricane decal sheets out there and I have more than a few. This was done as an all-black Mk. IIb night intruder. If you have not build an Airfix Hurricane, go out there and buy one. With some TLC you'll have a great model for the shelf or the wargames table.

Now I'm off to get some some soda to help with the indigestion. Have a great night y'all from Athens.

Παρασκευή, 10 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Sturmpanzer IV

Sturmpanzer IV (otherwise known as the Brummbär by the Allies but not by the Germans) is one of the most misunderstood tanks in my part of the world. First of all, we've seen whole platoons of StuPas take the field. With only 300-some built, whole platoons at battalion or regimental-level games is kinda strange. Even a platoon might be stretching it in fact. The weirdness reaches new levels when the StuPas take the field and are used as heavy tanks. Yes, that's a mighty BFG they are packing (150mm L/12) but it fires low velocity rounds. They might ruin your day if they hit you, but you have to move real close to have any chance of getting a hit on a mobile target like, say, a tank. So far, I've never heard or seen of a StuPa being used for what it was originally intended; providing close support and reducing fortified buildings and strongpoints.

Still, its an impressive tank and a beautiful one, in a weird, boxy way. I'm pretty sure that Dragon or Trumpeter has issued a brand-new, highly accurate Brummbär but my favourite model has always been the old Esci kit, the first one with length-and-link tracks I've ever built. When Esci went the way of the Dodo, the molds went here and there, ended up with Italeri (or Italieri as it was then known). It's an easy enough kit to build. The tracks are not up to Revell's standards, but with some care and choice swear words everything fits.

The kit offers some interesting marking options and I tried to do the one from Caen from (Sturmpanzer Abteilung 217) but my airbrush skills are not up to it. So, I made the best of the situation and made a fictional, yet interesting camouflage. I followed up with a layer of Future (called Pronto in Greece), a wash of Devlan Mud, drybrushing with Dark Gull Grey to dull the colours and blend everything together and then some very diluted British Dark Earth to dirty things up even more. A final coat of matte varnish made my Stupa look like its been through intense and long combat. Considering the low number of vehicles manufactured, this is not an unlikely proposition. The tracks were painted black, drybrushed with Boltgun Metal, washed with diluted Rust and then drybrused with Boltgun Metal again, but more lightly this time. The figure was from a Preiser set.

So, that's my Sturmpanzer IV. I'll only build one of them, and this was a lot of fun. Brought a lot of memories back from my childhood years too. I hope you enjoy it as much.

Πέμπτη, 9 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

The Germans are coming...

I finally put the finishing touches on my late-war German platoon. Total of 33 figures. Mostly Pegasus Waffen SS (Sets 1&2) with some Italeri Elite German Troops and Caesar Panzergrenadiers (Sets 1&2). This allowed for a great variety of poses. The command element is from Elhiem Miniatures (Panzer Lehr Command Group and Medic). All the figures were painted in Oak Leaf pattern camo.

All in all it was a rewarding experience. Pegasus and Caesar figures are a pleasure to paint. The Elhiem figs are a bit chunky but perfectly serviceable for wargaming. What next? Well, the yanks' second squad is primed and ready to be painted. I also received a few company-level assets for the Germans (sniper, spotter, FAO team, sustained-fire MGs, 81mm mortar, etc.) but I'll probably wait a bit till I get around to them. For now, I'm trying to finish some of the backlog of armour on my desk. I put the last touches on an Esci Brumbar (StuPa IV; pictures to follow soon) but I think I'll be back to painting figs soon.

Δευτέρα, 6 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Helping out the Mrs.

Mrs. Greek Geek is a high school arts teacher. That means that she has a sympathetic eye towards my wargaming and modeling hobbies. I also means that I have to put up with weird comments about colour selection and composition when it comes to camouflage.

She has been trying to find new projects for her high school classes and so I recommended trying out paper terrain. I had recently downloaded a few free paper terrain files from DriveThroughRPG and so we printed them out in black and white on plain paper. Mrs. Geek was ecstatic. She would print the files and have her students paint them, glue them together and make a small medieval village.

Off I was scouring DriveThroughRPG and The Miniatures Page trying to find stuff and reviews (how often will the wife actually ASK you to spend money on modeling stuff?). I settled down to Dave Graffam Models. Sure, WorldWorks terrain looked absolutely spectacular but we're after a town here... And Dave's paper models have an added advantage; many are layered models, meaning that although you buy one model, you have the option of changing its appearance. Pretty big deal if you ask me. Also, you can resize the files printing terrain for 15mm to 30mm. Most are fantasy models (also suitable for medieval Europe) but there are some that are good for WWII and many for sci-fi.

So, look around and see if anything works for you. We got a couple of buildings and I'll probably spend some of my Christmas holidays making a village for my fantasy wargaming. I already have Solomon Kane painted up. All I need to find is some witches (or ratmen, or fishmen) to burn.

Τετάρτη, 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

My Life in Ruins

Let's face it, I don't have Thanos' talent when it comes to making terrain. But being overworked and underpaid, I can't afford cool resin terrain, so I have to make best of what I have. What I had was a bunch of leftover pieces from Matchbox/Revell kits and a small Italeri kit aptly named Walls and Ruins. And several crappy CDs I'd gotten with the Sunday edition of Greek newspapers. Here are the results:

Here I've used the brick wall from the Matchbox Hanomag, a section of wall from (I think) the 17-pounder set, the sandbags from the Airfix Forward Command post, some plastic card, balsa wood and various kinds of sand used to make the ground base.

Here is just a section from the Walls and Ruins set. I've filled the back with plastic card and filled and sanded the joints between the 2 pieces.

I have a couple of more pieces like that in the works. They might not be the best looking terrain out there, but they are useful and highly resilient. Each one can house about half a squad or a crew-served weapon (mortar or machine gun).

That's all for now from Athens (still uncomfortably warm, still walking around in t-shirts).