Two German snipers, one aiming from a kneeling position and the other taking a drink. Both from CP Models and also included part of a damaged wall and window. I added a second side of the wall to make an L shape corner which the aiming trooper is looking around. I used my own 40mm MDF base and added plenty of bricks and rubble and a box. Plus a symbolic allied helmet too. Funnily enough the drinking sniper is popping his head up above the window ledge making himself a target. I did an M44 pea dot camo scheme for their jackets and field grey pants. CP make most most excellent figures which I find just as easy to paint as AB Figures.
I finally finished up the second IBG bren carrier i had lying around in the never decreasing pile of kits. I was building up the courage to attempt the smallest link and length tracks in the universe, for the second time. I really like IBG kits, they are always really nice to build. Clear instructions, pieces fit easily together and lots of detail. They give you loads of decal options too which is great for building up a collection of spares. My only gripes are the super delicate bren guns supplied – I managed to destroy two of them by breathing on them. They were replaced with two metal ones I had which are much sturdier. The front bren I cut in half and added last after I had added the crew as it had to fit through the firing window. The individual tracks are always going to be tricky and not for anyone with especially big hands or bad eyes. I tried a technique of using tape to keep the little links together so i could glue them and then bend them into the right shape to fit around the sprocket wheels. This sort of worked. IBG do provide a template to build the tracks around but I could not make that work very well either. So there is no way round it, it is a fiddly exercise. My conclusion was to be patient and glue two little links together at a time.
I added some excellent AB figures crew who fitted very nicely, except for the driver who needed some help ie surgery on his lower extremities so he would fit nicely. Also two aerials were added from washing up brush bristles. I had some stowage from Value Gear and also a rusty bucket from somewhere. It was nice to get my tiny British insignia decals out for the crew if you look closely at their left shoulders. I would still recommend the Plastic Soldier Company carriers as an alternative, especially if you would like to avoid the immensely fiddly tracks………
Just for something different I painted some Zulu warriors for my buddy Luke or IRO over in Victoria (just down the road really). He is doing an awesome Rorke’s Drift project which I have been keenly watching and needed some extra hands to help with his hordes of Zulu warriors. Not sure which company made these (Warlord?) but it made a great change to work on something in a larger scale and also a totally different subject. Gave me a break from olive drab, dark yellow and German camouflage! The trickiest bit was painting dark human skin and took me a few attempts to get my strategy right. This is certainly making it harder to resist branching out into other periods and scales……….
I picked up a couple of these excellent ICM armoured car kits. It ended up being an accidental double up with my over zealous shopping forgetting what I had in various shopping carts. But this was a Bob Ross happy little accident type thing. The first ever kit I have built from ICM and what a nice one it was. Armoured cars are my favourite and this was a fun build. It was a nice easy kit with plenty of detail. I particularly like the PE roof hatch, which although tricky to fold comes out very nicely and so much more realistic than a solid plastic version. I added a wire aerial for strength and drilled a hole for that. Also some extra stowage including bed rolls and a bucket. My paint job was just a brown camo scheme on dark yellow with a brown wash. Plenty of dirt and dust as usual and an MDF base to finish him off. I have been slightly distracted lately with a side project which will post some photos next time!
Just a quick post finishing off some stuff on my table! This is the kneeling MG team from Zvezda in their greatcoats. So for Normandy I guess these two guys were setting up early in the morning and have kept their jackets on. It’s another nice little combo from Zvezda – easy to put together a few arms and legs. Although I tend to cut off the limb plugs they have and just glue the arms on instead. Seems to be easier. They did come with a third crew man with binoculars but he ended up on one of my mortar teams (see previous post). These guys are painted with field grey jackets and grey pants and helmets. Based on my new plywood bases with some clay, sand and weathering powders. I also added a shovel just because. They can use that for digging in or toilet breaks, which will be necessary if they are waiting in ambush for hours. I used some tufts and had another go with static grass. Always tricky to make it stand up when you do not have a battery powered thingo. One day I will get around to making one or buying one for terrain stuff. I did use a charged balloon once which kind of worked.
I had a box of Pegasus German Mortars and another of Zvezda German 81mm mortar teams. You get a whole heap of figures and mortars in the Pegasus box and two identical mortar teams in the Zvezda box. I decided to mix it all up and make five mortar teams, trying to make unique looking bases.
The Pegasus box has lots of different poses from people loading rounds, dragging boxes and putting their hands over their ears. Great stuff. Also some radio operators, who ended up missing out. The Zvezda men are either dropping a round or holding a new one. I used three figures on each base. I also had a heap of shell boxes from my AB figures mortar teams which I added to some of the bases for interest. All of them were painted german field grey with grey helmets. I am trying to paint epaulettes and collars with some detail but find it quite tricky.
For these i used 25mm plywood bases which are nice and thin. Plenty of flock and tufts to finish them up! I will not need any more mortars for any German forces now, this will do it.
I have finished a few mortars teams. Two sets from AB fIgures and another trio from SHQ. All painted with field grey pants and peadot camo smocks. The AB teams come in identical groups of three so I mixed them around on the base for variety. You also get some spare rounds and boxes which I used on the bases. The SHQ group are also excellent figures and fit nicely with the AB soldiers. They are not quite as refined or delicate in detail but adding some variety is not a bad thing. I think I bought the hardwood bases from Warbases and they are a perfect size for this kind of weapons team. I now have 5 groups of mortar teams a mix of Zvezda and Pegasus plastic figures to finish. That will be enough mortars for any German force I ever play with!
This Academy fuel truck comes with a schwimmwagen too which I have not finished yet but will feature at at a later date. So today is just the fuel truck, something I thought was important to include in games to keep the thirsty big German tanks happy. I have a couple of Academy kits in my heap, I think a couple of US Halftracks and a Jeep/Kubelwagen kit too, but this is my first attempt at building one. This was a great kit to build. Everything was easy to put together, clear instructions, well fitting parts and good detail. All those things you like in a small scale kit. You have some options like leaving back doors open and exposing what I think is a fuel pump. Also the side doors can be left open to show some storage compartments. The windows and windshield are supplied in clear plastic so care needs to be taken when painting. I painted the interior (only the seats and steering wheel really) and the cab before gluing in the windows. One window fell out so it looks like they left the window open, which is fine with me. Paint job was the usual dunkelb dark yellow over a black basecoat. I did a really dirty wash and also added some streaking grime around the top of the fuel tank thinking that would get pretty messy. Also did quite a bit of black chipping and scratching with a sponge. I wanted to get a really beaten up look for this truck thinking of how much work it would have to do.
I also wanted to add a small base with some dudes filling petrol cans and drums which will act as a marker to show that the truck is in the process of refuelling. So I painted up a couple of AB figures with pea dot camo and added them to a base with drums and cans. I also made a fuel pipe from some wire and improvised a fuel pump handle to finish it off. Happy with the result looks like they are working hard!
Zvezda make a heap of small scale kits including groups of troops and lots of armour and guns. They are super good value and perfect kits for wargamers. I built two of their German 75mm infantry guns in a matter of minutes as they come in minimal parts but do not sacrifice too much detail. It’s a soft grey plastic that glues nicely. There is a base supplied but I abandon those as prefer to do my own thing. Each gun comes with two crew figures, a loader and a gunner. I am sure the minimum crew for one of these would be more like four, so I pinched a couple of other crew men and just some kneeling troopers to bulk up my crew. The build was really easy and painting was just a coat of dark yellow and a brown wash. The crew took me a lot longer in various shades of field grey. I also added a box or two to the base for some added interest. I have a Zvezda Pak-40 sitting on the bench which will have some excellent AB crew painted up next.
I totally forgot that I had already built one of the cool vehicles from the Airfix Diorama Kit. This is the Tilly car I made a few weeks back. Awesome little car for your officers to cruise around in. It must be a new AIrfix mould as it comes in the same nice grey plastic that makes building a breeze. Loved it. The windshield and doors are all transparent plastic so need care when painting. It is a tiny little car but simple to build. I added an AB driver and left the doors open so you can actually see some insides.
Here is Colonel Mustard emptying his trusty pipe while Corporal Smith keeps a keen watch out for any hostiles on the horizon. Or maybe he is seeing if the next village has a good cafe where they can grab a baguette and a coffee.