Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Great War AAR: 1st July 1916 Hawthorn Crater

On Sunday Ninjasaurus Rex and I played another game of The Great War. As it is nearly the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, we played the scenario based on the attempted capture of the mine crater at Hawthorn Ridge. It also happens that this spot is my favourite part of the Somme battlefield;

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Destroy This Mad Brute!

Continuing on with the 15mm First World War figures that came from Peter Pig, I finished off the other four British rifle grenadiers. They are great little sculpts and a joy to paint. And being 15mm they didn't take long to complete.

Then I turned my attention to the other side of the wire in the form of some German trench raiders. These are the ones armed with the MP08 sub-machine gun. There's eight here, but I doubt I will use all eight in a game as the gun was quite a rare sight on the battlefield.

And finally in this first batch was the Germans with captured Lewis Guns. Again, these are not included in The Great War board game figures, so the Peter Pig ones will do just fine. I really like the Peter Pig poses for these ones!

I am not painting these in particular units just yet, as they are individually based sorting that out can come later. Also, I have a few more lots of figures on the way to me, so this project is set to run for a bit. On top of that I need to get the plastic figures from The Great War painted as well, but it's an enjoyable process, especially during this important centenary year!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Through the Mud and the Blood and the 15mm

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had an epiphany about Through the Mud and the Blood, the Two Fat Lardies rules set that covers platoon actions in the First World War. I did put together a collection of 20mm figures for a project that initially was going to be CHEAP! Inevitably it gained legs and got out of hand pretty quickly. So I have put the 20mm figures on EBay and pared back to 15mm. There's a couple of reasons really, one is that the scenery I have is predominantly 15mm so I don't need to go changing anything and secondly I have 150 unpainted Plastic Soldier Company First World War figures that I got when I doubled up on their Kickstarter for The Great War board game. That alone is more than enough for Through the Mud and the Blood. However, the Great War range is not extensive and there are some missing troops types, these I sourced from Peter Pig, another favourite of mine.

First up are PP's British rifle grenadiers, I did actually badger Martin to sculpt these, so I thought it high time I actually bought some... Here they are with four PSC figures to make a section:

Also new (ish) in the Peter Pig First World War range are these British grenade throwers (who look like they are doing a spot of synchronised dancing...).

As part of the order I bought some British Lewis gunners, who are absent from the Great War figure range (maybe they will be available in future, who knows).

The figures are all based individually, specifically for Mud and Blood, but may also be used for the Great War as well. Double win! They are also in my Early War Miniatures trench system, which is meant to be for 20mm figures, but works just as well with 15mm. 

I like the new Peter Pig figures, but I do wish they would finish off the full range, I'd love to see both British and German signallers, engineers, snipers, tank crew, and even downed pilots and observers. So, if you're reading this Martin, you'd have at least one customer for them!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

1/48th Fokker DVII WIP Part Four

The next stage in the Fokker build was to add the decals to the underside of both sets of wings. Unfortunately, the upper wings of the Směr kit are too long by a few millimetres for the Aviattic decals and I was left with a couple of white strips where they didn't match up.

The upper wing was left to dry while I turned my attention to the lower wing. Again, this suffered from being too large for the decals, but there was a few extras on the Aviattic sheet. This meant I was able to cover the wings properly even though there was a little bit of white showing through.

Back up on top, I decided to paint the gaps rather than cut out tiny decals from the decal sheet. This was a case of mixing down some paints until they closely matched the lozenge pattern. The match is not perfect, but this is the under surface of the upper wing so will not be readily visible.

With the wings finished all that remained was the put the final parts of the plane together, I was very surprised at how easily the top wing went on and everything matched up perfectly well. Unfortunately, at some point in the build I had lost the two rear fuselage struts so I had to make two new ones from some spare MDF strips that I had.Once they were painted black and put into place they looked spot on to me.

I varnished the plane and decided not to add any weathering. I normally weather my planes, but for once I thought the colour scheme was too nice to wreck with oil stains and the like, so I left it as it was.

I would normally matt varnish my models as well, but again, I left this one in a gloss coat. The colour scheme fitted this shiny finish and the colours really pop out.

So there you have it, a very simple model to build, along with some great additions from the Aviattic decals and I am pleased with the end result. It would have been completed quicker had it not been for my attempts at adding more detail to the kit.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

1/48th Fokker DVII WIP Part Three

With the fuselage finished and drying, it was time to turn my attention to the upper wing. I did mention making rods for my own back and this was no different. Ernst Udet's Fokker has a famous red and white 'candy stripe' pattern that he painted over the factory colours. I did some research on the net for other people who had created the same colour scheme for their Fokker and found out that at 1/48th scale the stripes were approximately 5mm in width. So I bought some 5mm wide masking tape from Tamiya. I then meticulously laid this over the white painted wing surface. I measured the width between each stripe with another line of tape so that it was equal all across the wing.

Next, I painted the red stripes over the exposed areas on the wing. This was a quick job and I wasn't too sharp with the painting.

I should have taken a bit more care with the red though as some of it bled through the masking tape and looked a bit messy. However, I repainted the white very carefully and was able to eliminate the mess. I then varnished the wing.

I added the black cross decal on the upper surface of the upper wing and it was finished. So far I have finished all the upper surfaces of the plane and I am quite happy with the results, there needs to be a bit of tidying up on the lozenge pattern, but that will happen after I have finished the lower wing surfaces.

Onwards and upwards, this is turning into a nice build and I am really enjoying using a few new techniques. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

19th June 1815, a Blucher AAR

Dean came over for a game on Saturday, Ninjasaurus Res was to join us also, but he cried off at the last minute. Some crisis about work. Anyway, I had planned that we would play a game of Blücher using the figures I have spent a long time painting. This amounted to I Corps of the Anglo-British 100 Days Army against the I Corps of the French Army, with the Brunswickers shoved in for good measure. So a total of 167 points (15 Brigades) for the British and 106 (9 Brigades) for the French.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

1/48th Fokker DVII WIP Part Two

Continuing with my 1/48th Fokker DVII build, things have been going a little slow with it, due to me being very busy at the moment and not having much time for painting and modelling. However, I did squeeze a couple of game of Wings of Glory in with Ninjasaurus Rex on Sunday which featured three DVIIs. I won both games...

Back on the painting table, I gave the fuselage a white primer then the red colour of Udet's DVII.

However, I wasn't keen on the shade of red, so I repainted it in Vallejo Flat Red, which is a bit richer in colour than the Humbrol red I initially used. I also cleaned up the white on the wings ready for the decals, and the nose was completed in black.

I then gave the entire plane a spray of varnish, I used gloss as it is stronger than matt and I didn't want the paint scratching whilst I worked on other parts. The decals from the kit were added, Ernst Udet's personal insignia, including the name of his future wife Eleanor "Lo" Zink.

And the 'Du doch nicht!!' on the tailplane. This translates directly as 'Not you!!' or a similar sentiment.

Then it was time to begin the work of putting the lozenge decals on that I bought from Aviattic. These had to be trimmed with a sharp scalpel, but went on really well and easily. However, this is when I noticed the discrepancies in the size of the kit. The wings were slightly too long for the decals, so I had to add another extra piece. Plus the wings were slightly too wide, so I will have to paint the front edges later. But, that said, they really look good and I am pleased with the result.

The plane was then put aside to dry and I began work on the upper wing, but more of that in a later post!

Thanks for reading!