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Sunday, 26 October 2014

2mm Pike and Shotte

Many years ago in an early issue of Wargames Illustrated, an article was published by Stephen O'Leary entitled Renaissance DBA Revisited. A very thoughtful early variant to DBA, this article even included army lists to cover most of the period.

At the time I tried these out with a couple of armies knocked together from some spare 15mm figures and found them to work very well. But time moved on, and I completely forgot about them until I rediscovered the article on-line.

This fired me up to create a couple of portable armies to use solo, with the rules, when I went on holiday. To make things small I chose to go with Ireegular Miniatures' 2mm Pike and Shotte figur blocks. These were mounted on 25x20mm mdf bases from Minibits (all laser cut, these are good quality bases without the premium charge added by some suppliers). The bases were textured with some fine bird cage sand and painted Vallejo Camo Green rather than flocked.

Well that was five weeks ago. The holiday came and went ...... Without the solo wargaming! However I've finally finished them today and I thought I should share them with you.
Each army is 12 elements (like DBA Ancients), so I aimed to provide two armies as a starting point with a few alternatives so the armies could be varied.
The main elements of each army are infantry and cavalry. Each base has two bases of each.
Command figures are represented by the pairs of horse to the front.
Artillery bases have two guns with crews and a command base inbetween.
There are a couple of Dragoon bases with standing dragons backed by their stationary horses and horse holders.
The figures are surprisingly detailed when you look at them under a magnifying lens. Painting them is quick and simple (even if I didn't get them finished when I said I would!). I paint the bases first, then dry brush with a Camo Green/Yellow mix to pick out the sand. An overall coat of a very dark black/brown acts as a base coat. Then I just use a fine brush to dab colour on the high points of the figures. 

The faces need only be painted on the front rank, hats are dark grey generally and the flags painted one colour (orange or yellow in this case). The pikes were block painted tan yellow and then washed black to provide the shadow between the pikes. I'm really pleased with the finish, from an overhead view they look quite convincing. To try out a new period or if you're just short of space, these figures have got to be worth considering, they're good value for money too.

Together the two finished armies fit in a box about the size of a packet of fags. Battles should be possible on a surface about a foot square. So should be very portable! 

All i need is another holiday to try them out!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Milestone Day!

100,000 hits to my Blog!

Many thanks to all who have visited. Hopefully most of you have found it a worthwhile experience.

Here's to the next milestone....200,000?

Friday, 10 October 2014

Warlord's 28mm Bren Gun Carrier

PI'd been a good boy (decorated my daughter's bedroom) so Colette treated meto the new a Warlord 28mm Bren Gun Carrier model.
It's very well moulded in grey plastic on two sprues. The box includes easy to follow instructions and a small decal sheet.
To keep things square and true start with the bulkhead fixed to the floor pan.
Then it's easy to locate the rear plate and sides.
All fit together well with no gaps.
The engine cover goes in next - with the slop towards the rear. Afterwards fix the engine top cover with the 't' shaped piece towards the front.
There's a choice to build either a Mark I or II. I chose the MkII so fitted the stowage box on the rear. There's a nicely sculpted tarpaulin roll to hang over this, but beware, this won't fit if you've also fitted the smaller stowage box on the rear mudguard as per the instructions. 
I got over this by thinning the smaller stowage box until it fitted below the tarpaulin, but could have simply fitted it to the passenger side front mudguard as seen on many wartime photos.
I then fitted to two track units.
The MkII has different mudguards. These had two locating pins on the back.....but nowhere for them to locate! To make them fit I had to cut these off. Even then I wasn't entirely convinced they looked correct as they stick out at the same angle as the rear foothold.
This image of a wartime Wasp seems to confirm that this is correct. So I'll leave them as they are.
The kit comes with four figures. There were four seperate heads, three with helmets and one with a beret. I guess they intend the driver to have the beret.....but I'd have preferred all to be in helmets. I guess if you have the Warlord multi pose British Infantry figure set you'll have so spare heads to do this.
As they need to be fixed in place before the front plate goes on, and I would rather paint them first, I have left the front plate loose for now.
So far so good. Nice model....a couple of minor challenges....but no show stoppers.

Zvezda 15mm Daimler Dingo Scout Car

Whilst they hadn't got the KV2's, my local model shop did have. The new Dingo Scout Car.
I guess I'm just addicted to this range of models as £2.99 seems a lot for such a tiny model!
No instruction sheet for this one, the nine parts (including four wheels!) go together rather easily following the exploded drawing on the back of the box.
All the parts are on one sprue.....hardly surprising really!
They are quick to clean up.
And it makes up into a lovely little model. Watch out for the fine mg barrel which would be easily broken. I'd have liked it to be built with the top hatch open. Not an option straight out of the box, but I may revisit this and attempt the surgery required to add some surplus PSC commander figures.
Here it is alongside some recent builds, to give you an idea just how tiny it really is!

Nice kit.

Zvezda 15mm KV2

When I saw on-line that Zvezda had added the awkward looking KV2 Heavy Tank to their Art of Tactic range I just had to have some.
The local model shop never had any when I visited so I forgot all about them until I was on holiday in June and spotted two in a little model shop in Bridlington, East Yorkshire. And they were mine!
Moulded in green plastic on two sprues, they included an instruction sheet.
I'm not sure if it's me, but Zvezda seem to be looking for the most complex solution when designing their latest models. The SDKFZ 222 and BA10 both use a similar approach to that taken with the KV's turret. 
Maybe it's because they're designed to be snap fit? Anyhow it's made up of 8 parts all hanging off the central skeleton which incorporates the main gun and rear mg. the parts need some careful cleaning up as all the points where the sprues connect are on the inner chamfered edges. Failure to clean them up well, will mean the edges won't sit together cleanly.
The finished article captures the over tall look of the original quite well.
The hull is simplicity itself. Four components identical to those in the KV1.
The finished model looks smashing and just needs a coat of paint to appear next to its cousins.