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Category Archives: Vehicles

Modern French

Modern French

Over the past few days I needed a slight break from Napoleonics. Amongst other things I finished the AT team and the vehicles for my modern French, thus completing the unit. Some words on them first. I wanted to be able to use them together with my modern Germans, so I decided to have them depict men from the “Deutsch – Französiche Brigade” / “Brigade Franco – Allemande”. In that sense they wear the blue barrets of the Brigade. Since the French fighting units of the Brigade are the 3ème Régiment de Hussards and the 110ème Régiment d’Infanterie and their vehicles are quiet light.

So I chose two Véhicule Blindé Léger [VBL] and one Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé [VBA] for them. While the former is part of the HQ or Recon elements, the later is part of the infantry elements. None the less I did not feel that they would not appear on the battlefield together, so I shall use them side by side. The models themselves are Schuco die-casts. I touched up some parts and airbrushed some dust on, but that was it. One of the VBL´s got a Milan launcher and spare rocket from Eureka. Before you ask… yes it fires to the rear on the real life vehicle as well (now I can see jokes coming there).

French VBL (Milan Version on the right)

French VBL (Milan Version on the right)


French VAB

French VAB

Now on to the infantry. The minis are a mix of Dadi & Piombo (D&P) and Eureka Miniatures. I have to say I liked the later better. D&P only have four poses and just the basic squad weapons. The Eureka minis have more variation, mortars, rocket launchers… and they feature more kit, giving them a real life look. Sizewise they mix real well though, so I did not care too much.

One thing I noticed when cropping the pictures for this post… I really need to go back and touch up some of the eyes. They did not look half as bad IRL, but the camera is unforgiving. Anyway… here we go:

French Command

French Command

French LRAC AT team

French LRAC AT team


French Sniper team

French Sniper team

Now all the minis aboce are Eureka. I am going to mark those by D&P accordingly.

Modern French Squad # 1

Modern French Squad # 1


Modern French Squad # 2 (D&P)

Modern French Squad # 2 (D&P)


Modern French Squad # 3

Modern French Squad # 3


Modern French Squad # 4 (D&P)

Modern French Squad # 4 (D&P)


Modern French Squad # 5

Modern French Squad # 5


Modern French Squad # 6 (D&P)

Modern French Squad # 6 (D&P)

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WIP weekend

I took a break from the past few weeks of Napoleonics painting this weekend and thought I should show some of it. Why did I take a break… well for one I felt like I needed another topic on my table for a change and my hands were a little shaky on Saturday and I was in no mood to correct all the mistakes that it would result in.

So first things first. The French Marines for the “La Bricole” painting competition have progressed nicely over the last week. Their clothes were base coated dark blue and got their highlights. Their epaulettes and uniform details are red and highlit, too. The backpacks are completely done (not sure if you can see them in the middle between the minis). I also started on the crossbelts and that is about where I left off on Saturday.

French Marines WIP

French Marines WIP

So on Saturday I actually sat down to clean up one monster of a WWII model… JFTM´s BR-52 steam engine. I have to say it is one really pretty model. Great detail and no bubbles as always. The fit was great (as you can see from the minimal amounts of green stuff on the model). The biggest problem I actually had was the space between the wheels. Now the JFTM model is meant to fit S-scale tracks, but I am using 0-Scale tracks for my wargaming. I knew this before I bought it and Jeff was nice enough to send me some pictures of the un-assembled model. That way I knew that I could modify it as needed. On the engine I “just” had to add some spacers between the wheels and the lower boiler assembly and everything was fine. Still took long enough though. On the coal tender I just cut the wheels off, glued them back on further apart and added some green stuff supports. Now they also required some filling since I managed to damage two when cutting them off. By now the loco has been primed black.

BR-52 WIP

BR-52 WIP

BR-52 coal tender WIP

BR-52 coal tender WIP

I also assembled a Artizan PaK 38 (5cm) on Saturday, since we will need it for our next Kursk game in the coming weeks. Now unfortunately that was not such a nice model. Even though I bought it a couple of years ago when it had just been released (and the mould should have been in mint condition), the gun shield contained lots of flesh and the wheels contained so many holes that they were useless. I still had the wheels from a Bolt Action PaK 40 lying around. Unfortunately those were a little larger, which resulted in a gap between the gun shield and the carriage shield. But that has been covered up. No photos of that one though.

The biggest mistake I made was watching “The Eagle of the 9th Legion” and “World Invasion: Battle Los Angles” in the back ground. Now I am also in the mood to paint up some more moderns and ancients, too. :-/

On Sunday I scratchbuild a warehouse for the same game I need the PaK for, although it is meant to be generic for any theatre in WWII. All the construction is foamcore, wood from coffee stirrers, a few matches and corrugated card. Roofs are completely removable. I just brushed some structured paint on today and should start painting it over the next couple of days.

Warehouse WIP front

Warehouse WIP front

Warehouse WIP back

Warehouse WIP back

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in General, Terrain building, Vehicles, WWII, WWII: Germans

 

US Army Armo(u)red Recon

I have been working long hours this week, so no further progress on the minis tha are on my table. So here is another blast from the past.

Now these were done six or seven years ago and looking at them today… I think I really need to go back and do some more weathering on these. When I do the next batch of vehicles, these will see the airbrush again. Another problem are the fogged up decals on some of the models

First up are a pair of M8 Greyhound Armo(u)red Cars with trailers. The models themselves are from Solido and came in the usual poor Solido quality… unpainted parts and the parts of the model that were painted contained large amounts of dust in the paint. So I sanded these and painted them anew. Stowage came from Tamiya and foam-core. Yes foam-core! I simply cut it into the shape of some boxes, covered it with tissue paper drenched in watered down PVA nd that is it. The commander is from Company B.

Solido M8 Greyhounds

Solido M8 Greyhounds

These M20´s are from Solido, too. They were just as bad as the Greyhounds, so they underwent the same treatment. Crews are from Victory Force.

Solido M20´s

Solido M20´s

And to add a little tracked element… a Stuart tank. Model is by Company B as are the tracks attached to front. Stowage is by Tamiya, too.

This is a real nice little model and I still have 3 of them lying around for my Brits. Really looking forward to doing those in due time.

Stuart tank by Company B

Stuart tank by Company B

So what do you think… should I add some more dust weathering or leave them as they are?

Group shot

Group shot

 

A new job & US halftracks

Many things have changed here in recent days. Except for the sad news in my last post, I have taken on a new job (which is good news). Well, this is not entirely correct. For the past 3 years I have been self-employed, so it is not really a new job, but a job. Back then it had been a necessity. When I was finished with university and my two years of mandatory internships, the market was flooded with people from my profession and it was bleeping hard to find a proper job. While those past 3 have not been bad, they sure were far from good. While there were month when I made good money, there was also a 5 month streak in 2009 when I made no money at all. And there were those times when I took on contracts that meant I was away from home for week after week. Not entirely what you are looking for. With the economy picking up and three 3 years of experience under my belt, I decided to try finding a proper job again. So as off last Monday I am working a proper job again. What else… I finally got to finish the next unit of Prussian Landwehr. Unfortunately the weather has turned bleeping poor here in Germany, so I have not had a chance to varnish them yet. So no photos. But I decided to give you something else instead. Now these were done about 2 years ago. The halftracks themselves are Corgi and I did not repaint those. While it would have made sense (after all one is Canadian and all three have slightly different colours and different camo), I found that removing the stowage that was on the models was hard to get off and the basic shape of them would have made re-marking them quite hard. Since the weathering on the these is actually nice by Corgi standards, I decided not to repaint them. Instead I added lots of stowage from Victory Force and some backpacks from a Hobby Boss Sherman kit. The crews and Infantry are Victory Force (with one exception). Getting the driver into the cab proved quite hard, since you have to dismantle the whole kit, which is not only screwed together, but also glued together. But in the end, this is the finished product.

3 Corgi M3 Halftracks

3 Corgi M3 Halftracks

Corgi Lim. Ed. American M3

Corgi Lim. Ed. American M3

Corgi unlimited American M3 (gunner by Brent Dietrich)

Corgi unlimited American M3 (gunner by Brent Dietrich)

Corgi Lim Ed Canadian M3 (now pressed into American service ;) )

Corgi Lim Ed Canadian M3 (now pressed into American service 😉 )

View of the inside

View of the inside

In the end, it was well worth the effort to add crews to these. It simply add so much life to a vehicle!

 

eBay, volcanoes… oh and miniatures

I do not know how you feel, but it is my impression, that eBay has gone from a good site to buy stuff to a run down flea market. Here in Germany you either find professional traders that sell for the same price you can get in any brick and mortar store or people who try to get rid of their trash using the 1 Euro auction (and relist it every week until it sells). So my eBay account has gone mostly unused in recent month. So what a surprise that I actually bid (and won) on 6 auctions this weekend.

I started on Saturday with two Black Dog upgrade kits. These are 1:48th scale stowage for modern US vehicles and should come in very handy with those Hummers and Strikers I am doing at the moment (and maybe if there are some leftovers add to my already finished USMC vehicles).

Next up on Sunday was a die-cast Spürpanzer Fuchs. Now it took me well over a year to get this one three times. When it arrives, all three will be disassembled, converted into the transport version, repainted and finally complete my modern Bundeswehr force.

And last but not least, I got three 1:48th scale WWI bi- and tri-plane kits. Two German and one Australian. While I was not in urgent need for these, they were reasonably cheap and came from one seller (saving me additional shipping).

So right now I am waiting for these to arrive. While talking about waiting for things to arrive and planes. I am waiting for a couple of packages from the UK and it seems they are being delayed by Chuck Norris opening the BBQ season. In other words there is a volcano in Iceland that has decided blow some ash into the air which had an effect on flights to and from Germany last week and seems to be delaying my packages as well. 😦

Grímvötn vulcano on 22nd of May 2011 (NASA picture)

Grímvötn volcano on 22nd of May 2011 (NASA picture)

So what is on my table right now? Well I am working myself through another unit of Prussian Landwehr and finished the bases for the minis I showed you last week. So lets start with a French Brigadier (the Prussian Feldjäger will be added this week). The officer is from Victrix. I painted him up in 2009, this actually being my very first Napoleonic mini. Back then I had planned to make him a regimental officer and put him on a base in a infantry unit, but in the end decided against it. So he lingered around for almost two years now until I decided to base him up as a Brigadier. The other mini on the base is the converted grenadier from last weeks post.

French brigadier

French brigadier

French brigadier

French brigadier

And while we are talking about it… this is the unit he was meant to be part of. This is my first Napoleonic unit I painted, started in 2009 and only finished 8 month later in 2010 due to me working in the south of Germany during that time. Minis are all Victrix. This one is meant to be a generic unit and does not depict any specific unit for a specific battle. Sorry for the strange photo format… these pictures were originally edited for the Steve Dean Painting Competition, where they failed miserably.

Generic French infantry unit

Generic French infantry unit

Close ups

Close ups

So stay tuned for the Feldjäger posts!

 

US Army WWII Recce Jeeps

While I had been planning to show some pictures of the finished bases for the Napoleonic models from my last post today… well they are not finished yet. But I still felt like posting something, so I took a look around and went for some of my favourite WWII models.

These were actually done in 2009 and they hold a special place for me, since these were the first models to get me into the main group of the Steve Dean Painting competition. The jeeps themselves are die-casts from a German company called Schuco. These were converted using parts from Victory Force miniatures. These included the wire cutter, MG´s, radio and stowage. They were then repainted and dirtied up using my airbrush.  The crews are from Victory Force as well. As far as I know those crews were meant for Corgi models but they just fit like a glove.

Recce Jeeps

Recce Jeeps

Recce Jeeps

Recce Jeeps

Those small US flags you see on the windscreens are decals. When the jeeps (and other vehicles for that matter) were readied for the invasion of Normandy they got these stickers, which included waterproofing instructions and a checklist on one side and had the US flag on the other side. Some crews removed these when on dry land, others left them. I felt that these would be a nice touch, so I added these.

These Jeeps were painted in one go with three half-tracks and I will try to take a few pictures of those to post them here soon.

 

I do not know what you did last weekend, but…

… 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.

MTLB with ZSU-23

MTLB with ZSU-23

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.

MTLB with seperate ZSZ-23

MTLB with seperate ZSZ-23

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.

Magnets

The magnets

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!

Hummers

Hummers (left to right): Army TOW, MK19, TOW, .50cal, USMC MK19

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in HLBS, Imprint Models, Modern, USArmy, USMC, Vehicles