Sunday, 31 March 2013

Plastic Soldier Company T-70

Following on from my tank track tutorial, here are the finished Plastic Soldier Company T-70s. These are lovely little models and you get five in a box like most PSC tanks. They were very easy to build and paint. It was just Vallejo Russian Green, inkwashed in black and drybrushed with a mix of Russian Green and White. I'll fit these in somewhere with my early war Soviet forces and here they are:



And as I have the whole week off work to attend stag dos and two weddings here is a little bonus in the shape of a fleet of Zvezda Opel Blitzes, which I finished about a month ago but forgot about!



Happy Ishtar!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Tank Tracks Tutorial

Whilst I am painting my Plastic Soldier Company T-70s and thought I'd do a quick tutorial on how I paint tank tracks. So, without further-a-do, I shall begin...

In the first picture I have painted the hull of the tank, inkwashed and drybrushed it (Russian Green and drybrushed with RG mixed with White: All the paints I use are Vallejo, unless otherwise stated). The next step then is to paint the tracks in flat black. I have also painted the exhaust in black as this will get the same treatment as the tracks.

I don't mind about being too neat, as any mistakes can be covered up with dust and mud later anyway.


This black is then roughly covered over with Humbrol Matt Rust 113. Again this doesn't have to be neat, and it looks better if some black shows through to give it a rough look.


The next stage is to paint Citadel's Bolt Gun Metal over the top of the Matt Rust. This is applied like a heavy drybrush so again that the Rust and Black show through.


The penultimate thing to do is inkwash the whole track (and exhaust) with thinned down Black:


Finally I give parts of the vehicles a dab of thinned down Hull Red for rust effect and drybrush with Khaki for the dust and mud weathering over the tracks. I've also added a patriotic slogan decal, I know these were generally done in chalk and wouldn't have survived to the battlefield, but it adds a nice touch. This is now ready for varnishing and basing:


So there it is, my technique for tracks, I hope this was of some help to someone! I'll post pictures of the finished T-70s soon...

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Soviet 45mm AT Gun Step by Step build

In this post I am going to go stage by stage through the building and painting of a box of Plastic Soldier Company's Russian 45mm Anti-Tank guns. These have been in the pile of untouched things for a while now, so I thought I'd get on with constructing and painting them. I'm not sure where they are going to fit in with the rest of my forces, but I was thinking of putting together a Soviet Motorised Battalion at some point, so at least one will sit in that. OK, if you are sitting comfortably, I shall begin...

First things first, I painted the guns and crew black on the sprues, so they were already undercoated when I cut the various pieces off ready to build:


There is options in the box to make an M1937 45mm gun, an M1942 45mm Gun and an M1943 76mm Gun. I settled on the two 45mm versions, the M1937 on the left and M1942 on the right with the longer barrel as I wanted them for the early war period. They went together really well and easily which is a real strength with all of PSC's models:


With the guns built, I turned my attention to the crew. I wasn't keen on the pointing figure in the set and as Rapid Fire! only requires three men for a gun of this size, I cut out twelve different posed crew. These were then glued to a Flames of War medium base, as this was the perfect size for the guns and added a layer of all purpose filler to disguise the figures individual bases and give the stand some shape.


When the filler had dried overnight I painted the bases with some PVA glue and dipped them in sand to give the base further texture. I used to paint the figures separate from the bases, but always found if difficult to do the base after the nicely painted figures were set on it, so in recent times I have swapped the process and started with the base first. This way I can be pretty sloppy and quick to finish the base and not have to worry about making a mess of the figures.


As the PVA and sand was drying I turned back to the guns which were now dry. These were given a couple of coats of Vallejo Russian Green and ink-washed with some artist's black acrylic paint watered down. I find that the Vallejo Russian Green in particular takes an ink-wash really well.


Using Russian Green mixed with Vallejo White I dry brushed the guns, just enough to draw out edges and a few details, then painted the tyres black. All that now remains to do with these is dry brush Vallejo Khaki on them for dust, so these were then put to one side.


Back to the crew and bases, after the PVA and sand had dried I undercoated the entire base and figures in black to further seal the sand. I always undercoat in black, I know it dulls colours slightly but it also masks mistakes and missed bits!


The first stage of painting the base is Humbrol acrylic Dark Green 30. I have used this shade for decades and it matches my table, also it makes all of my figures uniform. If nothing I'm stuck in my ways.


The green is then ink washed with Vallejo Flat Earth, to give it some depth:


After the wash has dried, the bases are drybrushed with yellow. It gives the base a bit of tone, I think. Here you can see that I have also re-undercoated the crew with black ready to paint them.


And here they are painted! I used Vallejo Russian Uniform for the clothes, highlighted with a mix of Russian Uniform and Vallejo Khaki Grey. Khaki Grey was used for all the straps and bags, Vallejo Russian Green for the helmets, Vallejo Leather Brown for the pistol holsters and Vallejo Beige Brown for the water bottles. The highlights of these colours was really just a mix of the base colour with white. I don't ink-wash 15mm figures, only a base coat and then highlight, as I have the two foot rule; if it looks good from two feet away it will look good on the table!


The guns' wheels were brushed in Khaki and fixed on the bases along with the ammo crates and all of them sprayed with Matt varnish.


The final stage is adding the detail to the base. I am a recent convert to static grass, previously I was never sure how to use it, but I bought some, experimented and was really pleased with the results, so now I use it on everything. Along with this I use railway modeller's ballast to break up the shape of the base. So here they are, after two days work and I am pretty pleased with the result:





I just need to build the rest of the Motorised Battalion now..
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Plastic Soldier Company Tiger I

This is the finished product of a box of Plastic Soldier Company's Tiger Is which I picked up around Christmas and have only just got around to completing. There is a lot of choice in the box for variants and I went for the late war version. My only problem with this is that there is a lot of plastic left over after building, but this will all go into the bits box!


According to the Rapid Fire! second supplement there is enough cats for the HQ (1 vehicle) and a tank company (3 vehicles) of a German Heavy Tank Battalion (mid 1943-1945).


I also have another company of Peter Pig's Tigers, so that's over half the battalion. I just need to add the Wirbelwind AA vehicle to the HQ to finish off, but that is for another day!

 

Thanks for looking around the cattery! I have been working on a lot of German stuff of late so I think I will switch back to the Soviets as I have a box of T-70s and five BA-10 waiting for me... Keep tuned as I churn those out!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Viking Raiders

I picked up a set of Gripping Beast's Save Us O Lord! set at a show, just for something different to paint as I haven't painted any Vikings for years. I've always admired GB's figures at shows and this was a good compromise rather than buying a full army of Huscarls and taking my attention away from the 20th Century, where I normally game...

I didn't like the flaming torches that came with the set so I used a left over spear and sword that I had as a replacement for the fella cutting the monk down and the guy with sheep booty.






I then asked a friend if he'd go to town on photoshop for me with one of these pictures to show the Vikings returning from a successful raid and here are the fruits of his labour:

Friday, 15 March 2013

1/144th Sopwith Pup

Recently a Czech model company,Valom, have released their new 1/144th Sopwith Pup kit. Being an avid player of Wings of Glory/War I thought I'd add to my collection with one of their duo packs. I got it through Rapier Miniatures for £12.00 and this is the kit straight out of the box. You'll notice some parts are photo-etched, the struts and the undercarriage along with the control stick and tail skid:


It's by no means an easy kit, being so small, but with some patience, a pair of tweezers and a lot of swearing I managed to get the top wing on OK. I put in the cabine struts by the cockpit last after the wing was fixed to the four outer struts. The pilot is one from Peter Pig's range of 1/144th aircrew as the Valom kit isn't supplied with one.


The wheels and landing struts went on pretty easily as well, I am dreading the next one as I'm sure this luck can't last... Here it is complete, but unpainted.




There are several schemes for the aircraft, including a Imperial Japanese Airforce Scheme (!), but I chose the simplest, a British scheme from 1917. I am in the middle of researching further markings on Pups (if anyone can direct me to any websites, please leave a link below!).


The tailplane was hand painted as I didn't trim the decal down enough and it looked messy. I used the following Vallejo colours for the paint: Brown Violet for the upper surfaces, Iraqui Sand for the underside and Beige Brown for the wood.


I am also in two minds as the whether to give the aircraft a wash of ink. The official Wings of Glory models are not shaded, so it may stand out if I do.


All in all it's a nice little kit that will look good in the rest of my collection. It wasn't as tricky as I thought to build, but I have a bit of experience in building 1/72nd scale biplanes, so maybe that helped. It's certainly not a starter kit though! A little tip is to actually paint the model in its base colours while it is still on the sprue as painting it after it is built gets a bit tricky being so small, then all you need to do is touch it up and detail it.

It's great to see that someone is producing 1/144th scale WW1 kits, maybe it will give other manufacturers the nudge! I'm surprised that Valom chose to release a Sopwith Pup first, I would have thought they would have gone with a more popular design, maybe an SE5A or a Camel. I guess they are filling the gap in the market left by the WoW miniatures, but having said that, the next release is a Fokker DVII, which is already available in the WoW line. I'll probably get a box of those as well, some decals from Dom's Decals and start on a full Jasta!

I give this an 8 out of 10!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Panzer Grenadier Battalion (1944)

I have just put the finishing touches to a German Panzer Grenadier battalion from 1944 from the Rapid Fire! second supplement (page 9). I added the 16th (Pioneer) Company from the Rapid Fire! second edition rules (page 13) as I thought it was a typical support unit and the mix of weaponry would be interesting.

The SdKfzs are from Plastic Soldier Company with additions from their 251 Conversion box and a scratchbuilt bridging vehicle. The Maultier and 75mm gun are both from Command Decision. The figures are mostly from Plastic Soldier Company with a few additions of Peter Pig's flamethrower and Command Decision's Panzerfausts/schreck (I started the project before PSC had released their German Infantry Support box...). So here are the pictures:


The Pioneer Company









The Battalion consists of:

HQ = CO + 3 figs (Panzerschrecke) in SdKfz 251/10
3 x Rifle Companies (8 figures each with one Panzerfaust) in 3 x SdKfz 251/1
Machine Gun Company = 2 x MG42, 1 x 81mm Mortar in 2 x SdKfz 251/1
Support Company = 1 x 120mm Mortar, 1 x 75mm Pak 40 in 1 x SdKfz 251/1 and 1 x Maultier, plus support from a SdKfz 251/9 Stummel

16th (Pioneer) Company:

8 figs with 1 Panzerfaust and 1 hand held Flamethrower
1 x SdKfz 251/7
1 x SdKfz 251/16
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