My plan for 2023 is to get all my German infantry painted up. There are 150 or so of them knocking around and most are already based and primed ready to go! Most of my British are completed so its about time I have some opposition to actually get a game set up and even played. This group consist of nine infantry including a standing machine gunner, seven rifle men mostly walking and one officer with an MP40. I also snuck in a senior officer from CP models. For my paint job I used paints from a German Uniform Field Grey paint set I recently purchased, with the jackets and pants being interesting different shades. Reading around about German uniforms it seems that there were many different shades throughout the war, so any inaccuracies are totally accurate. Makes it easy to do whatever shades you like. I love the poses and stances of these AB figures, and the detail makes it so much easier to paint. It still takes me days just to paint a few…….and that’s not even doing camo…….
After finishing my AB vickers machine guns I figured I should get these older plastic ones from HAT done too. They came in a box of four sets plus some other support weapons. Great value but not on the same level as the AB metal figures as far as detail etc. The plastic on HAT figures is also really soft and weird. Impossible to sand and also cuts strangely. Anyway did the best I could. Based on small circular plywood with some clay and sand. The figures are all identical so I tried to vary the bases with extra bits and pieces and walls and shrubs…… That is enough MGS for my British battalion, just some infantry mortars and I think it could be finally finished…….. oh no hang on I bought something else……
I have been window shopping on Milicast’s web site for ages but never jumped in and bought anything for the usual reasons. One, I already have enough stuff. Two, they are expensive. Three, they do not quite fit into my usual plastic model kit rules. But with a sale incentive (I think they were offering one half price model with every two purchased) and a weakening of will power I caved in and bought a few. My experience of resin kits is not that great. I have found poor moulding with bubbles, fragile bits that snap and pieces tricky, ill-fitting and hard to glue. Not so the case with Milicast so far. The only issue I did have was the front axle being a bit wonky and I had to do some surgery on it to get it straight. We could not have one wheel spinning in midair now could we?
The instructions do leave a bit of room for error, they could definitely improve them with clearer pictures and arrows etc. I had to supplement the instructions with other internet research so avoiding major screw ups. A couple of little bits had snapped in transit but nothing my DIY skills could not overcome. I added a plastic aerial to the turret but nothing more on the detail front. An olive drab paint job as usual with an ink wash and a dose of European earth weathering powder. You need to add your own decals as none are supplied. I picked out an AB crew figure who sits nicely in the larger open hatch. If you look closely you can see the excellent Company B decals on his arm. These are 28mm decals that they can downsize to 20mm and save me from struggling to paint anything so tiny!! Based on 3mm MDF to save his axles from damage. I compared this kit to my Hasegawa Humbers and there is no comparison. These Milicast models are far superior in detail and proportions, and I am looking forward to building the next one.
Another cool truck this time from The Plastic Soldier Company. I bought just one sprue of this little truck as they had some sale on over there in the UK. Very simple one sprue of soft grey plastic. Nice chunky detail as always from these guys. It is a super quick build, although I did pre paint the two crew that come supplied before constructing the cabin. A few additions also add value to the vehicle. I found a pair of spare wing mirrors in my bits box that were added, you have to have wing mirrors for effective combat driving don’t you? I also added clear plastic windows as things do not quite look right without a working windscreen. You do not get decals with any of these PSC kits so I raided my well stocked decals folder for some random bits and pieces. Oh yes and I really did not like the handling of the canvas rear cover, it looked way too unnatural at the back. So I chopped out the back section and replaced it with a rolled up bit of foil and string to represent a canvas roll down door thing. Much better.
Paint scheme i did an overall olive drab for the cab and chassis, and a khaki for the canvas back. Then did a mickey mouse black camo scheme over the top. He is a groovy little truck. Lined up next to him are the Airfix bedford and Tilly from one of their diorama boxes.
Nearly finished all my British troops for Normandy, just finishing up some support weapons and then should be able to field a battalion or full company depending what system I use. This is AB figures British vickers MG teams, you get two MGs and gunners plus three loaders and a sighting seated figure. I already used the sighting figure some other time. So i had a spare MG and gunner from another bunch of metal figures no idea who. This made up three MG teams. Not much to say about AB figures apart from they are the best! Painted in my usual British uniform plus tiny arm decals from Company B. Based on hardwood bases covered in clay and sand. Lots of tufts and grass finishing them off. I have four infantry mortar teams to go and that is it for the British! Finally!
A quick post of a prone British sniper from AB figures. He has some scrim camo covering his helmet and rifle and has found an excellent firing position in some shrubby vegetation. Mounted on 2mm wooden base I added plenty of cover for him to wait patiently in! Have some more AB machine gunners nearly done just taking me ages to finish anything………
My second build from Vespid, the first one being the most excellent A34 Comet, and another cracking little kit. Not the cheapest (i think $25 ish), but well worth the dollars. Lots of cool detail, PE parts, options for different versions, nice decals, nothing to really fault it. These newer kits just go together easily. I left the hatches open (on the Trumpeter and Zvezda kits you cannot), and added two excellent AB tank commanders. Also added my own plastic aerial.
Painting I sort of copied the box art with a brown and dark green splotchy camo over usual dark yellow. Some brown washes and plenty of european earth powder. I also added some muddy texture under the hull above the tracks. Tracks were done quite rusty with highlights using a pencil for the metallic effect.
Overall lots of fun and well recommended. Now I have four finished Jagdpanthers that is more than enough …… he said never………
I have built one of these Jagdpanthers from Trumpeter before, but somehow discovered another kit in my ginormous stash. Funny that. Who knows what lurks at the bottom of all my plastic containers filled with kits. It was a nice easy build for the second time as these Trumpeter kits are pretty quick to put together. One piece rubber tracks superglue well and on this model I added the side skirts for something different. I think all the hatches are moulded shut so unless you want to do surgery no commanders will be popping their scones out of the hull. I added an aerial as usual for essential communications with troop leader. Not that Jadgpanthers were very common in Normandy it’s a pretty cool tank to add to my forces. I have another one to go (a Vespid kit) but that will be more than enough. To make this one a bit different I added a squad of SHQ tank riders to the back hitching a ride. Great group of figures in nice poses. I painted them with a German Field Grey from a new paint set I bought. Good thing about Field Grey uniforms as they cover a heap of different shades, and you cannot really get it wrong. Also popped a panzerfaust onto the back just in case of emergencies. Felt like some extra camo foliage on the 88mm gun which was just bits of lichen and bandage sprinkled with flock and leaves. He will be able to sneak around in the bocage now far more stealthily.
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………