Η λίστα ιστολογίων μου

Πέμπτη, 29 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

BEF, France 1940, Part I

After much though of how to do France in 1940 for Blitzkrieg Commander (I have the first edition, a second has been in print for a couple of years now but I don't know if I will eventually buy it), I finally decided on what I know best; 1/72-76 plastics. Admittedly, not everything I wanted is available in plastic so some allowances would have to be made, but I can live with them.

While I was window-shopping for infantry, I decided to start on my artillery. I chose the Airfix 5.5" gun with Matador tractor. While the 5.5" did not make it to France (it came into service one year later), it will double as a 60-pounder or 4.5" gun. The Matador is a neat little model than needs some reworking to turn it into a perfect replica of the actual truck, but I build it as is. Paul from Plastic Warriors has done a couple of them and changed the wheels but I did not. However, I decided to do something about the rear tarp. Not having another model to rob, I decided to use an older solution. I took some toilet paper (not imprinted with any fancy designs mind you), placed it on the rear of the truck and impregnated it with large amounts of crazy glue. After the glue set, I trimmed it to fit the outline of the rear of the truck and painted it. Looks good enough for me.

I also changed the driver, using a seated figure from the HaT WWI British Artillery Crew set. Looks pretty good in there. Much better than the Yank that Airfix put behind the wheel.

The 5.5" gun suffers from some sink marks than need puttying, but it is easy to put together. I added crew from the HaT set I mentioned. It's for the First World War, but it will look good for the fields of France in 1940.

The other kit I finished is the absolutely lovely Airfix Matilda. This is a little gem of a kit that took only a couple of hours to put together. It is not perfect for France as there are some changes that need to be made. The early Mk. IIs carried a water-cooled Vickers gun with a different shroud, there was only a single exhaust, and a wedge was attached to the back in order to help it move over trenches. Of all these, I only changed the shape of the machine gun shroud, using a small piece of q-tip handle and some putty.

The kit was then finished in a two-green camouflage typical of the era and white recognition panels. Most of the tanks carried names, but I doubt I would be able to write Agamemnon with a paintbrush on both sides. I added a commander from the Matchbox British Infantry set and the kit was done. I have to make 3 more of these, but it was such a pleasant experience that I am eager to repeat it.

I have a 25-lbr I am also working on, but this is a real dog, especially the crew. Still, I like it better than then Italeri one (which is excellent for the desert). I also picked up a set of WWI Highlanders that will be painted as a couple of companies of Cameron Highlanders. Tartan in 1/72 promises to be an experience.

That's all from festive Athens and the Greek Geek household where everyone is suffering from indigestion yet again.

Δευτέρα, 26 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

List of completed projects for this year and plans for 2012

After eating too much for Christmas (which apparently is the only universal custom for this particular holiday) I sat down yesterday to see what I managed to complete in 2011, a difficult year in terms of the "Real Life". So, here are the totals:

15mm infantry figures: 49
15mm cavalry: 10
20mm infantry: 88
20mm crew-served weapons: 7 (artillery pieces)
Vehicles: 10 completed, 7 more assembled
6mm figures: app. 250

All in all, not a bad year. As an average it comes to a figure every 2.5 days and a vehicle every month.

So, what's planned for next year? I have to complete my Soviet rifle platoon for my mid to late-war skirmish game. I also need to finish the vehicles for them and their German opponents. I am starting two battlegroups for Blitzkrieg Commander; Germans and British for France in 1940. I'm going mostly old school for them (Matchbox, Airfix and Esci). Both battlegroups are limited in scope (for now at least) so I think I may be able to complete them in 2012. Another project that I will start is Ancient Greeks and Persians for Basic Impetus. One of my friends gave me a box of Zvezda Persian Cavalry so that propelled me to this (new) direction. I have at least 6 more warbands for Song of Blades and Heroes waiting in the lead pile so I hope I'll do one or more of these. Maybe add some more options for the ones I have already painted (Orcs, Dwarves, Undead, Lion Men). I want to paint a group of Napoleonic French to fight my British Rifles in Song of Drums and Shakos (not surprisingly the figures have been bought, based and primed for at least 6 months now). And finally finish my 6mm High Elf army and get started on the Orcs for Battles of the Silmarillion, which I am planning for Fantasy Rules! 3rd Edition.

So, even if I don't buy a single 6mm figure for the next year I have more than enough to keep me busy. Heck, With my glacial painting pace, I have enough to keep me busy for the next 2 or 3 years.

That's all for now from (pleasantly) chilly Athens.

Τρίτη, 20 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

Why thank you honey!

Father Christmas arrived early in the Greek Geek household, at least as far as the young master and myself are concerned. He got a great garage from grandma for his cars (including his beloved McQueeno) and I got some stuff from the mrs. for my styrene addiction. Thank you honey, you got me just what I wanted (me doing the picking helped quite a bit). The stash got increased by two Pz-38s (I have almost two companies by now), a command Pz. I, a Ceasar 15cm infantry gun and an Airfix Bofors. With these, my Blitzkrieg Commander-France 1940 is starting to shape up quite nicely. I've decided to cut down on the costs by not using any metal figs if I can avoid it (thus you will probably see some WW I Highlanders and assorted figures fighting with the BEF) but I still haven't figured out what I'll do with the 25mm or 2-pounder guns. Paul at Plastic Warriors has scratchbuilt both, but I don't know if I can trust my skills that far. We'll see.

In the meanwhile, work on the bench continues. I'm not sure I'll be able to finish all that I have assembled and primed by the New Year's but I'm giving it my best. I finished painting some additions to my dwarven SOBH warband; scouts and bear cavalry. With these, I'm almost done. Some dwarves with 2-H weapons, runeguards and maiden guard from Splintered Lights may be in the plans, but I have not decided yet. What I definitely need to get is some berserkers (either from Blood Dawn or Splintered Light) and definitely a general riding a winged saber-tooth tiger (from Blood Dawn). Blood Dawn figures are a bit overscale for 15mm, but this is a winged saber-tooth tiger we are talking about. The coolness factor is off the scale. I also started on my BEF British with a Matador and 5.5-inch gun. I know that 5.5-inchers did not make it to France so it will double as a 60-pounder. Looks close enough in my book. Hopefully I'll post them in their finished state before the New Year.

That's all for now from the Greek Geek household. Thanks Mrs. Greek Geek. You're the best.

Σάββατο, 10 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

Screaming Meemie and Anti tank guns

I finally managed to get some stuff finished this week. I made a resolution to finish everything that has been primed and assembled so far until the New Year, but with the young Master being ill all the time, work (at last) picking up and the Mrs. having demands on my time (have you ever tried to use the IKEA kitchen design program? Don't) I find this highly doubtful. Still, I'll give it a try.

First of all, the SHQ Nebelwerfer, otherwise known as the Screaming Meemie. I don't understand why I see so many of these on gaming tables as they were usually Divisional or Corps level artillery assets, but I had to build one. Not as good as the old Esci model (whatever happened to those molds?) but serviceable. Comes with 4 figures; two reloading, one officer with binoculars and a guy carrying what seems to be a mess tin. Oh, well. Duly finished and based.

Next up, the new Italeri PaK-40s. These are new molds, not part of the old (and still highly serviceable) set. The box comes with 2 guns, 2 boxes of ammo and 6 crew for each gun. Unfortunately only 5 crewmembers are useable. I don't know if anyone has found out what to do with the peg-handed sitting guy, but I kept him as a potential driver. The figures are done in the usual excellent Italeri style and are good for late war.

There are some ejection pin marks, but the set is cheap (under 10 euros), the guns are put together very easily and you get an almost complete crew. You can't possibly lose. Now, if only someone would make a 50mm PaK-38 in plastic, I'd be very happy.

That's all for now from Athens, where the sun is yet again shinning.