I think these guys are from two smaller packets of Zvezda British Infantry but I dont quite remember. I have had them hanging around for ages and since they were the last plastic figures I had based I thought they should be painted. They are more 1940 early Brits but who cares maybe they just kept their old equipment heading into Normandy. I cant say I really like painting plastic figures as the detail is always a bit muddy compared to metal ones. Anyway i was happy i managed to finish them in between building three Dragon Tigers which have been keeping me busy!!!
Vespid is a new brand for me so it could be a new brand altogether. They seem to make only a couple of kits so far and this Comet caught my eye. It was not a cheap kit but it was worth every penny from wherever I found it. The comet was a design based I think on the Cromwell but with a more powerful gun. It certainly looks very like the predecessor to the Centurion – the turret especially. The kit was awesome to build and I really cannot fault anything about it. They supply it with a metal gun barrel, a resin gun mantle cover (which I did not use) and a few PE parts. I managed all the PE parts except the small aerial which ended up as ball of superglued mess and in the bin. Lots of fun. They also supply a large range of decals for various tanks. All I added was my own aerial due to the above PE debacle and the compulsory AB figures commander. Vespid also make a Panther which I am very tempted to buy now!!!
One armoured car that I really wanted to add to my collection is the AEC armoured car. This vehicle is more like a four wheeled tank. I could not find a plastic model kit anywhere from anyone in 1/72 scale so I had to break my rules on this occasion. I found an excellent version from Early War Miniatures in the UK, who do a big range of vehicles.
The armoured car comes in two main parts, being a metal turret and barrel, plus a special type of resin hull and wheels. Compared to other resin items I have bought this is easily the best quality. The detail is crisp and there are no bubbles or mis-shapen bits. It was a pleasant surprise I have some other resin things languishing on a scrap heap looking too tricky to fix. You also get a couple of machine guns to pop on the turret and also some mirrors to attach to the hull. So a bit of superglue later and hey presto i am ready to paint.
Black undercoat and an olive drab spray was all he needed. Decals are not supplied so I added from my bottomless source. I did attach him to an MDF base for extra strength, and then dirtied him up with some weathering powder. This made a nice change from my usual plastic kits and so speedy to the finish line. For more resin vehicles I will certainly shop here again.
I finished another very cool truck from the Polish company IBG Models. This time a towing vehicle for the British Bofors anti aircraft gun. I always enjoy building their kits and they do produce a wide variety of different models at very decent value. My only criticism is sometimes the parts have too many connection points and removal and clean up can be annoying. This one was also a bit tricky getting the cab put together as lining everything up is more a trial and error thing rather than having specific guide holes or slots. I added a driver as they do not supply one. You have to have someone in control! I used normal cement glue on the windows and windscreen which was not good enough and my windshield fell in after i had completed the kit. So i suggest using super glue instead…..
I wanted to do the mickey mouse camo scheme which is one of my favourites. I also added two relaxed looking passengers in the back, from AB figures as usual. This was a fun build and an excellent addition to my growing fleet of British vehicles.
As soon as i had seen that this new Airfix version of the Firefly had been released i was all over it. Well i did check its relative size to my other armour and it works out to be matching size to Armourfast PSC and Unimodel Fireflies that i have. You never know with Airfix 1/72 or 1/76 and exactly what you are getting.
its a great little kit. The tracks are a nice one piece moulding that you place onto the running gear just like their Cromwell. Its a great design and much easier than all that link and length mullarkey. They also provide complete running gear and tracks in one piece which you can alternatively use. They have gone in my spares box to be used no doubt to replace some dodgy vinyl bollocks i am bound to find.
Other great touches are the lift rings that you glue up into the hull on larger fittings through a hole. Great design again rather than chasing tiny lift rings around in the carpet.
My additions were just some stowage and an aerial. Nice decals provided too. Building Airfix kits is always nostalgic but it was a nice surprise to find a new one on the market. Instant nostalgia!!! Here is my new Firefly hunting through some ruins you have seen before.
Another great British Armoured Car I picked up from the best place for Hasegawa kits – my friends in Japan https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/plamo/
From Australia these Hasegawa kits only cost 810 yen which i think is about 7-8 USD, and postage for three kits is about the same. So a pretty good deal and way better value than buying these kits from any other retailer. I really liked the Humber Armoured Car kit they make, and needed a couple of Daimlers for sure. This kit is in the usual grey plastic which is really easy to work with. Not too many pieces either which always makes these Hasegawa kits perfect for an evening of easy model making. Most importantly for me is that everything fits together and instructions are clear and easy to follow. Plenty of good detail in this scale and easily enough for my purpose of putting them on my table top.
My Daimler had a couple of additions, including an aerial, a pickaxe on the front and a hatchet on the back. Also some stowage items added on the back and sides. He received an olive drab paint job as usual, but I don’t think I bothered with a brown wash this time. I do a gloss varnish coat where I am placing my decals and also use a decal softener which does help with blending the decals into the paint work. As with all my wheeled vehicles I like to base them on MDF bases to prevent any damage. Some European earth weathering powder makes Mr Daimler look well used. I still do not bother with any chipping or other effects on green vehicles as i am not sure it really adds much. I really enjoyed making this kit and next up have a Staghound Armoured Car from a company called RPM which is new to me. Hopefully it’s just as good!
Airfix kits just have that nostalgic smell and something that takes me back 35 years, and I love them. They may not be as well detailed or the same size or fit together as well as any other more modern brands, but I don’t care. Even the cardboard box and the instructions have a deja vu type feeling for me. To complete my recent Churchill tank building spree here is the Crocodile flame thrower to join them.
The wheels are fiddly as you have to add them individually and get them straight. But apart from that this went together pretty easily. The tracks were toast in this particularly eBay purchase, but luckily I had a nice new set of flexible tracks from a Dragon kit left over. Very nice. The fuel tank towed at the back is particularly well put together and obviously a different, newer mould than the actual tank. The turret hatches are all moulded shut which is always a shame. You could do some tweaking and open them up, but I am always too worried about making a pig’s ear of it. I did add an aerial but that was about it.
In plastic I do not think there is another alternative for this vehicle. It is a bit smaller than my other 1/72 scale Churchills, but not too much so that it really makes much difference. In the last photo for comparison I have put an Esci, Plastic Soldier Company, Dragon and finally an Airfix Churchill together. You can see Mr Airfix is a touch shorter than the others. Now he really needs a flame to show the flame thrower in action. Ouchy hot.
This weekend I finished painting three more Churchill tanks for my British forces. These three were all Esci kits bought on eBay (one of them was boxed as Humbrol, but it is the same Esci kit in the box). The kits are identical except for the Humbrol branded one comes with one piece plastic tracks rather than the link and length tracks in the Esci kit. Luckily the one piece tracks are usable and not the super annoying vinyl ones that mess with my sanity. It also helps that the design of the Churchill means a lot of track is not even visible so you have plenty of scope to make a mess and then cover it all up.
These kits may be old, but they are still great. No fiddly wheels as the running gear comes in just two sections that you have to line up. The detail is good and the parts fit together well. I only had to fill a few gaps here and there with putty, mostly near the front fenders. I think the old plastic had warped a bit. You can leave the commanders hatch open, which I did, and added my usual AB Commanders. Turrets fit nicely and turn easily even after a couple of layers of paint. I added some aerials but left off any stowage, just for a change felt like some clean looking vehicles.
They were all undercoated in matt black then a coat of olive drab. A layer of gloss varnish before I added a whole heap of decals, some from the kits plus a bunch of other spares. I like seeing names down the side of the Churchills so these three got that treatment. A brown wash and a coat of matt varnish finished these guys off. Plus some dark earth and European earth pigments just to dust them up a bit.
I also finished my furry field and sandy track for the Churchill troop to be driving down. Perfect photo opportunity for everyone. These kits may be old but they are just as good as modern offerings from Dragon, and better than more simple kits like Plastic Soldier Company. If you can find them for $10 on eBay well worth the money. I built an Airfix Churchill Crocodile at the same for comparison. You can see him next,
I have been trying to finish up my remaining piles of British Infantry and all the support weapons and other bits and pieces. Unfortunately I keep getting tempted by more AB figures and bought another squad of British just because I like them. So I think as many other figure painters find, it is one step forward with reducing stocks, and two steps backwards as more figures and kits are added to the collection…..
Anyway here is a fancy looking AB figures commander smoking a pipe, with some observation teams. Also a commander from Stonewall figures and two radio men. I added an aerial to the one with a radio backpack. The flamethrower team and support man with an SMG are from AB figures again. I am going to make a flame attachment to show them firing. Probably out of wire and some kind of painted sponge and flock I think. Will have to think about that. One day I will complete my British Battalion and actually get a game going. My friend Jim at Combat HQ has released his version 2 rules of Combat HQ so I want to try and get a game in and write up a battle report/review.
More lockdown production, this time a Sherman Hybrid with a 17pdr gun that I thought was a Firefly, but isn’t. Well it’s gun is a Firefly 17 pdr gun but the actual tank is a regular Sherman. Another forum had to point it out to me. I was a bit surprised as I bought the kit to fit into my Firefly additions but I soon realized the hull is shorter than the PSC Fireflies I was building at the same time!
The kit is great. I really like Unimodel kits. More detail, some cool photo etch to mess around with and drop on the floor, and plenty of decals. The spares from this one I used on my PSC Fireflies (see previous post). All turrets can be modelled open so I included an AB commander in the turret hatch and decapitated two other plastic dudes for the hull hatches. Just their little scones sticking out catching a glimpse of what big cats were up ahead. The link and length tracks and bogey wheels are excellent. Even a bit of photo etch on the bogies. They are definitely more challenging than other kits and well worth it if you are looking for something more involved. I find buying direct from the Ukraine is far better value than any other hobby store.
Painted in olive drab with a dark wash is all you need to do. I do not bother with chips and scratches on dark green vehicles. Maybe i should try it. Next up I have three Esci Churchills ready to go, perhaps they will be more beaten up than this Sherman.