… but this is what I did.
As those of you who have followed my previous posts might have noticed… I have been painting an awful lot of Napoleonic minis this year. A total of 13 riders, 8 horses (mind you, most of the horses for the 12th Cuirassiers were painted last year), 139 infantry- and artillerymen and 4 artillery pieces. Not bad for a little over 5 month. Anyway… I needed a break last weekend. So I finished the bases of my 3/13th Silesian Landwehr (pictures to follow soon) and turned to some modern stuff.
Moderns will be my extra project for this year. I usually try to finish something small every year, to make some progress outside my main projects. So some time in January this year, I could not decided which one to go for… either finish my modern project or my WWII British Paras. So I asked my better half and she said “Moderns”. So I finally sat down and assembled resin models and converted some of them to my gusto. Please beware, that all photos in this post are WIP. Which means I still need to add greenstuff to fill gaps from my conversions and that stowage will be added after the first painting phase!
I began with a Russian MTLB from HLBS. Now I had seen a number of photos from Chechnya and South Ossetia, where the Russians welded a ZSU-23 A³ gun to the top of an MTLB. I wanted that kind of extra firepower for mine, too. Since I also had a Sloppy Jaloppy ZSU lying around this seemed like the perfect match.
On the other hand I want to use the APC without the gun and I have at least one scenario in mind where I need a seperate gun.
So what´s the solution… buy everything twice? In the end I came up with a simple and cheap solution. I have started to attach the turrets of my resin tanks to the hulls using neodym magnets. The ones I use are only 1mm thick and 1cm in diameter. So I drilled a hole into the rear hull of the MTLB, put one magnet into it flush with the hull and put another one underneath the gun. I had to add some plasticard to the underside of the gun, to bring the magnets closer together without touching each other (I do not want any paint to scratch off on top the hull magnet). When I get to the greenstuff phase, the edge between the hull and magnet will be filled and you will not see the magnet anymore when painted.
Next up were two BMP-1´s and two BMP-2´s from HLBS and three Striker IFV´s and one Striker MGS from Imprint. Those were build straight out of the box and I will not bore you with pictures of them right now.
But the interesting part came next… 5 Hummers. One of them (the one cast in light grey resin on the photo) will go to my Marines. Now as with the other Hummers I already build for my Marines, they are meant to be simple models. So all I did was raise the air-intake snorkel, add a sidepipe exhaust, a cowbar cannibalized from a Maisto toy and a gunshield for the MK19 autogrenadelauncher.
The other 4 (white resin from a batch I bought a couple of years ago) will go to my US Army troops. I am playing a hypothetical WWIII set in Europe around 2003 to 2004. These are meant to represent vehicles from units stationed in Germany suddenly called to the front. In that sense they are supposed to look field modified, just like the ones we saw early on in Iraq or Afghanistan. So in addition to the normal gunshields, I added field improvised armour to the gunner positions of the .50cal and MK19 Hummers and armour shielding to the doors.One also got a cowbar, another one a push-bumber and an antennae array (this will most likely become the command vehicle).
But I have to say… I am still not satisfied with their looks. I started on cutting some armour plating for the lower hull, but cutting one piece out was no fun and I can not imagine doing so for 4 vehicles. So at best I will do the one of them that way. I have some smoke dischargers lying around so one or two of them will get those. Most likely another push-bumper and maybe a towing assembly. Lets see how these turn out in the end. If you have any suggestions… they are more than welcome!