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.
This was another great little truck kit that was included in the Airfix Diorama RAF Refuelling Set. I really only bought the whole set so I could get this truck and the smaller Tilly vehicle I made a while ago. You do get a British aircraft too, but also some very poor figures and a plastic base that will not amount to much. But whatever, I like trucks and wanted to build one of these. Nice grey plastic and it built very easily. You get the option to build as a covered truck or as a fuel truck. You choose. Nice. Not much else to say today, I added my own driver from AB figures. The windshield and side windows are part of the doors and windshield frame which does make painting tricky, as you must avoid getting paint on the window bits. I added dust and powder on top which does tend to hide any errors. Lots of nice decals provided and you end up with a very useful vehicle for a small squad or some command section.
I based him on MDF with sand and tufty bits. I also have a set of AB figures soldiers loading wooden boxes which may be a good accompaniment, we could use them to represent a resupply action of some sort.
I am desperately trying to reduce the pile of kits and scenery items I have kicking around. I think like everyone else I have been reading about similar issues of some pain and even unhappiness in staring at huge stacks of things to do! Don’t despair my modelling friends. I find closing the door to my storage room and cleaning my work table (read dining table) of all work in progress really helps. Then I just bring out a project I know I can complete. This seems to prevent any overwhelming feelings of soooo much to do….
Anyway I finished this church from Hovels i had. It was based onto MDF coated in clay and textured with cobblestones. I also pimped up my Hovels ruins with a cobbled base and new rubble. You can still lift up the buildings and hide men inside. The town square type market clock tower is another card kit from Superquick. Another nice kit which I felt would not be out of place in any European village. It has some cool arches I can see cool street fighting happening in and around. I put a quick village scene together and realised I have enough buildings to make a big town and cover a full 6×4 table. One day!!
I had a change of direction this week and built one of the Superquick card models i had lounging around. It makes a nice change to build something not out of plastic and also a switch to some scenery. These kits maybe old but their design really stands the test of time. I guess they are older than me and pre 1970 even!
This one is the Railway Hotel and seemed to me like it would fit into any European town. So now it is called the Hotel Du Canard Mort and will be sitting pretty in my Normandy towns and villages. When building these card kits I make sure I use some foam board bits to reinforce the whole thing rather than just rely on the card supports supplied. Makes the whole thing much straighter and stronger. Rather than use the flimsy base supplied I used 3mm MDF covered with paving slabs glued on individually. I also added some foil flashing superglued on as box gutters in suitable places. Its a good finishing touch to paint all the exposed cardboard edges with matching paint colour. This definitely makes a big difference. I added some weathering powders to rough it up a bit too as cardboard tends to look to clean. The street lights are little kits from Langley Models in the UK and added a nice detail I thought! Oh I also added black drain pipes using painted wire glued straight onto the card and also metal chimney pots from Langley Models again. These little additions take the card kits up a notch. Bit like MDF kits when you make that extra effort!