Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Panzer I Ausf B with BREDA 20mm auto cannon

The origins of the Panzer I lie in the Treaty of Versailles, and the prohibition against German tank development. The original design work was hidden as agricultural tractor development.

The new Panzer I was supplied to Franco's Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. The new tank was not particularly effective, armed with twin machine guns and thin armour, it easily fell victim to its rival the T26. A small number were modified by raising the turret roof and fitting a BREDA 20mm auto cannon as the main armament. The mass conversion of these tanks did not take place as the Nationalists had captured sufficient T26 tanks to meet their needs.

So much for history. Now earlier I had built an FT and a Carden Loyd carrier for Operation Sealion games. For the opposition I wanted a light tank but something better than the German light tanks. So I decided that a Panzer I ausf B with auto cannon would be suitable.

Though the armour would not be able to deal with even the two pounder gun typical of British forces at the time, its light weight and availability would make it invaluable to the invading forces. the auto canon would deal with armoured cars and lighter tanks.

So, to the kit. The kit is cast in the metal filled resin typical of Empress with a bag of white metal pieces (most of which are for other Panzer I variants)
One feature of the vehicle that has required some research is the pipe that goes from the glacis to somewhere near the aerial trough (the trough will need to be scratch built. Its function has still to be determined.

The resin used by Empress likes superglue, it likes it a lot. Unfortunately I managed to get the track units in the wrong place (for subsequent builds I would glue the superstructure in first, then the tracks, hindsight is a wonderful thing).

Here is the basic model.
As you can see above, and in these detail shots, the track misalignment has lead to gaps between the body and the superstructure (and between the track units and the body on the right side).
 The gap above should be hidden by the aerial trough.
 The front and left side will require careful filling with greenstuff and milliput.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Post Apocalypse Vehicle

Here is a post apocalyptic vehicle.

Actually I was just cleaning up a Spectre Miniatures Technical and an Empress Miniatures Panzer IB an thought that the cab unit of one and the tracks of the other made a fun looking vehicle.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Rubicon LRDG Jeep continued

Slow progress on the Jeep front.

I have added two jerry cans to the bonnet. One of them is a British one from the Allied Stowage set, complete with the W^D logo. The other is from the German stowage set. Straps have been added out of Slaters' Microstrip. I have also added two magazine pouches in front of the driver. They are from the Perry Miniatures Eighth Army set.
 The third crew member has received arms, the right arm originally was holding a rifle.
Details of the straps holding the jerry cans on the bonnet.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rubicon LRDG Jeep

So, as mentioned in the Colours 2017 posting, I bought one of the new Rubicon Models Commonwealth Willy's MB (Jeep is trademarked).
The kit comprises one large sprue containing all the main components, a crew sprue, plus separate canvas tilt and upper body. The Commonwealth/UK and US versions differ on the crew sprue (the Commonwealth one comes with two LRDG/Desert SAS figures and two Airborne figures).

I had started construction when I spotted a fill issue on the  upper body moulding.
Another view of the rear showing the fill issue. Now as this is going to be built as an LRDG gun jeep with plenty of stowage, it was not going to be too much of an issue. If this was a plain jeep, it would have been awkward.
Having looked at the Bolt Action Armies of Great Britain list, the (SAS) gun jeep has a forward facing HMG, either a LMG or MMG also firing forward, and twin rear firing LMG or MMG. The kit has the HMG, one forward firing BREN LMG (or a Vickers K MMG) and twin rear firing Vickers K MMG. So the twin rear mount was added to the back of the body.

The ABS type plastic used by Rubicon can react variably to Humbrol liquid poly. This kit does not particularly like it, resisting the solvent making assembly slightly difficult. The chassis, grille, wings assembly and upper body do not have any location tabs or pins/holes. This, together with the solvent resistance made this part of the assembly more difficult than it could have been. This contrasts with the seat assemblies which have very positive location points.

A very good point on the model is the pre-shaped wheels, they have a definite flat at the bottom showing the weight of the vehicle. The D shaped locating pins ensure that the flat is at the bottom. However they are all different so I decided that rather than leave them off for separate painting (and mix them up), I would glue them in place.
The two parallel pieces of Slaters Microstrip are not holding the moulding together but I thought I would use the excellent Rubicon Allied Stowage set British jerry cans with the WD logo. They are part of the mounting bracket (and should improve the adhesion).
I added the large fuel tanks in the rear of the jeep. The feed pip is difficult to clean up.
Before assembling the chassis I would some thread around the bumper as a tow rope. It is a lot easier if you either use a needle or (as I did) make a weight out of masking tape.
I was going to leave the figures out until they were painted, but I did find them very hard to position so ended up gluing them in place. Hopefully the desert sand/tan colour will cover them suitably.

The WD jerry can added with its holder.
Still some gap to fill.
So started to add stowage. If anyone has previously seen my work, you will know I have sculpted a lot of bags on my tanks. I decided for this one that I would use the soft stowage from the Rubicon Allied Stowage set. As I had had problems with getting a suitable bond, I used Greenstuff both as an adhesive and as a filler between the body and the bags. The front right rucksack had a 1.5mm hole drilled into the body and an Evergreen 1.5mm plastic rod pin added.

A Perry Miniatures 8th Army figure (with optional Keffiyeh head) for scale.

Just in front of the HMG is one of the pieces of rod fitted to the bonnet for a tarpaulin. I have added another WD jerry can under the front passenger's foot. It needs some strapping.
Now the vehicle comes with only two crew, but the rear mounted machine guns will need a crew member. The kneeling Desert Rat figure (I need to add some more greenstuff to make the Keffiyeh a similar length) will have some suitable arms added.
I have added the first roll of tarpaulin on the bonnet and two more rucksacks on the left rear of the jeep.
Front view. I have added a rack of ammunition boxes to the front right mudguard.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Colours 2017

So it is that time of year again, so it was off to Newbury Racecourse for Colours. The convenience of the station opposite was slightly spoiled by the train set owner closing the line after 1400 (they are converting from clockwork to electric or something).

What was noticeable was the absences this year. This slightly spoilt my buy list, but never mind.

Crooked Dice had a nice selection of items (unfortunately I did not get the secret base set, too heavy). There were some new MDF and resin scenery items including a set of bunk beds. Photographs when I start building and painting them.

On my buy list was the new Rubicon Models Jeep. Even though I was there early I could not find any at the usual suspects. Having given up, I found one (of two) on the Great Escape stand. More on Jeeps later.

I had a rather badly written list of figures I wanted from Empress. This included their new "universal" figures in generic uniform with Soviet/Russian weapons. They can be ordered with a range of heads. Perfect for ImagiNation armies. I had forgotten to add the Mutton Chop British infantry suitable for Operation Sealion.

On the subject of Sealion, I bought one of their Spanish Civil War Panzer IB with 20mm cannon.
I also bought one of their new Jeeps, not for WW2 but for later conflicts.
 Scale shops with William Killian (the wheels are just blutacked on)
 The jeep is scaled at 1/50 rather than 1/56, so it is bigger than the Warlord one.
The Rubicon one is also scaled at 1/56 (you might be able to see it inside its bag).
Simple Miniature Games had an offer on Halifax box sets, so I took advantage of the offer to buy some more Resurectionists and other figures. Admittedly the "Stitched Together" was bought for looks rather than utility.

Spectre Miniatures had their new Technical upgrades on sale so I bought a number of them and a Technical Bravo that they had sold out of at Salute.

Technical Bravo is a more modern version with a four door body and shortened cargo space.
 This is a comparison with the SUV, also from Spectre.
This is the Spectre Technical Bravo compared to the Empress Technical.