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Thursday, 20 December 2018

Warlord Games - 28mm Panzer IV Ausf G

I built all my 28mm AFV hoard together, as I planned to camouflage them using my airbrush.

Running gear, tracks and side skirts assembled & sprayed
I don't leave the airbrush set up when I'm not using it and, to be honest,  it's a bit of a pain to get it  out ready to use. So when I do use the airbrush I try and maximise it's use, spraying as many things as possible!

So you'll notice evidence of it's recent use in both past and future posts.

The first finished AFV I'll talk about was the Warlord Games  Panzer IV which can be built as an Aus F, G or H.

The model was moulded in grey polystyrene and pretty well flash free.

Hull and turret assembled and sprayed
Assembly is straight forward and also flexible enough to allow some parts to be painted on their sprues. To facilitate this I primed both sprues with matt white spray. before I started to assemble.

One departure I made from the assembly instructions was to leave off the running gear until later. I assembled these on the sprues (i.e. added the drive sprockets and rear idler) but left them attached for now to ease the spraying.

The track links (one top piece and one lower run of track) where also painted on the sprues. To do this I spray them Matt Grey and then a coat of Vallejo Flesh Wash (looks good as rust too!) followed finally with a dry brush of Silver on the raised edges.

Details brush painted in - tyres, tools & extinguisher and weathering begun
The hull and turret went together easily. I chose to leave the turret commander's hatch open and painted up the commander half-figure supplied with the kit. Whilst not their best ever sculpt, he was more than adequate for the purpose.

The crew half-figure supplied with the kit

The turret spaced armour needs care to attach correctly, but once on, and thoroughly dried, it is strong enough to cope with repeated handling.

Track units completed and touched up, ready to attach to the hull sides
I opted to omit the moulded radio aerial  as this will only get broken off during wargaming.

The side skirts were assembled off the model ready to attach as the very last job. These each had four strongly moulded brackets by which they will be hung from the tank's hull.

Track units attached and hull has been dry-brushed
Once all the main components (Turret, Hull, Track Units, Tracks and side skirts) were assembled I set about spraying. The base coat was German Dark Yellow - all the paints coming from Vallejo's Model Air range of colours - then the camouflage pattern was over-sprayed with German Tank Brown and finally German Tank Green.

Once thoroughly dry (my Loser Shed is a little cold at this time of year and paints take some time to harden so I left these overnight to be certain) I painted in the details like the tyres in dark grey, pioneer tools, extinguisher etc.

Turret completed together with commander figure supplied.
Then it was time to weather things a bit. I kept this simple by adding shadow/depth with some Vallejo Sepia Wash and highlights by dry brushing Iraqi Sand.

I assembled the track units off the vehicle, touched up the paint where needed and then attached them to the hull.

Finally I added the side skirts. These need a lot of care to ensure the brackets have all adhered strongly to the hull. My first attempt failed when I picked up the model squeezing the side skirts, and as I did they came away.

attaching the side skirts.....
Lastly, before spraying with matt varnish, I added a few decals. The set supplied gives plenty to choose from, but I stuck with a turret number, Balkan cross and divisional symbols.

A smashing little model when completed, quite robust as long as I'm careful with those side skirts.

I bought mine at Reveille II for just £16 which I think was a very good price. Build time is very quick, quicker still if you're going to brush paint it! You won't be disappointed.

Monday, 17 December 2018

28mm WW2 - Warlord Games Wrecked House

I've been putting a bit of a spurt on just lately with my 28mm WW2 lead mountain. I've always wanted to play a bit of Bolt Action/Chain of Command but didn't have all I needed in 28mm to do so.

Having picked up some bargain Black Tree Design WW2 Germans, Russians & Fallschirmjager earlier this year this has enthused me to get painting them once again.

However I had little or no AFVs and lack terrain pieces in this scale. So a recent trip to Reveille II and Firestorm Games  helped with building up my collection over recent weeks and now have a number of projects underway.

I'll cover the AFVs in another post, but wanted to share with you the Warlord Games/Italeri Wrecked House model first.

This piece appears to be a collaboration between the two manufacturers and is interesting sold by Warlord as 28mm (1/56th) and by Italeri as 1/72nd (20mm)!?!

Now I've assembled it I would say its somewhere in between, so will suit either scale.

It was cleanly moulded in grey polystyrene and all the parts can be given their initial coats of paint whilst still on the sprue. It represents what I would think is a detached house (Perhaps French/Italian) that has been partially demolished by artillery fire. Whilst the damage is extensive, there is no rubble included apart from a solitary roof beam - unlike the Warlord's Ruined Farmhouse model. In addition there are some sandbags (individual and grouped) to add to the building as you see fit and the old front door!

It comes with a base representing cobbled road and pavement, with a tiled floor for the inside of the building. I undercoated mine in white spray primer and then got to work blocking in the mixture of stonework and concrete reinforcement.

when painted these areas were then washed and finally dry-brushed to bring out the detail.

When it came to assembly you could do with two sets of hands as the walls are slightly warped (I guess these are thick enough to be at the extreme end of what is mouldable)

A bit of masking tape held it all together while the polystyrene cement dried overnight.

Once dry, I added the smaller details like the sandbags and door and touched up the areas I'd missed whilst attached to the sprue.

I made the model up pretty much as it showed on the box, I think it looks just fine in this configuration.

I like the fact that there's no rubble included as I think this would limit the accessibility to your tiny troops. Altogether a nice piece I'm looking forward to using on the battlefield.

Good value at around £14-16 if you shop around.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Zvezda 1/100 Ferdinand and Sturmtiger

I bought these two (and a few others besides) early in 2018 with a view to building them up to review and add to my collection. I started this piece of work in May, but then forgot about them until last Sunday when I found them whilst was looking for something else!
 As ever the box art gives you an overview of assembly, which looked to be straight forward enough.
The parts come on two sprues moulded in a hard grey plastic. Parts are easily clipped from the sprues though (as ever) it is hard to do so without leaving tell-tale marks on the track surfaces.
These five parts are required to build up the chassis. Beware there are right and left hand track units....check before you glue!
 The chassis once it was assembled.
Next stage is to assemble the fighting compartment and attach this to the upper hull. There is a separate front armoured plate to fit with locator pins so you get it the correct way up. The fighting compartment has some nice detail including the interlocking armour joints at each corner of the superstructure.
Finally attach the completed upper hull and fighting compartment to the chassis and attach the 88mm gun/mantlet and the model is finished.
Very quick to assemble and a lovely little model of an early (pre-bow machine gun) Ferdinand. I guess this would be best suited to Kursk era battles, though the MG and a STUG III type cuploa would be easy enough to add for later battles (i.e. Italy) turning it into an Elefant!
 The other model was the Sturmtiger Heavy Assault Mortar/Rocket Launcher.
This time the box artwork just showed the finished tank as the assembly instructions were on a printed sheet inside the box.
 They obviously thought it too complex to rely on an exploded diagram on the box!
 Once again all the parts are on two sprues, moulded in light grey polystyrene.
Starting again with the chassis, the kit uses what seems to be one of Zvezda's rather over complex means of attachment. I guess this is to make the model truly snap-fit, but does seem just a little over-engineered.
 Once assembled it looks like this, ready for the track units to be attached.
 Also there is a front armour plate at the bow to be fitted along with the tracks.
 Once again, I have a tendency to mark the tracks when removing them from the sprues, no matter how hard I try not to.
The body of the hull comes in one piece. Nicely detailed with interlocking armour plates engraved. All that needs to be done is to add the main gun etc. and the winch for spare ammo.
 With care the back piece can be held in place whilst the front is glued.
 This then enables the gun to elevate freely.
There is a large gun mount surround to add afterwards, and a mantlet, before the barrel is fixed in place. There is a finely moulded bow MG mount (take care with the barrel!) and the aforementioned winch to attach. The rear plate has the exhausts already moulded in place, but there is a part of the air ducting to add to the engine plates.
 Finally attach the completed hull and rear plate to the chassis to complete the model.
Another really nice little kit. Simple enough to build and gives a nice rendition of a rather rare Panzer. The late type steel rimmed wheels of the track unit, might prove to be suitable to produce a late model Tiger 1 when combined with another kit?
To finish these off I gave them a spray coat of Vallejo Air Desert Yellow over a coat of white primer. Then followed Vallejo Air German Green over spray, and in the case of the Sturmtiger, Vallejo Air German Brown too.

The Sturmtiger was given desert yellow flecks to the green and brown areas to create an "Ambush" finish and then both models were weathered with Vallejo Sepia wash and high-lighted with Vallejo Iraqi Sand. They were both based on sand covered mdf bases (as all my AFVs are) and markings added from my ever diminishing supply of surplus Dragon decals.

Excellent little models, fairly straight forward to assemble and enough detail to lead to a good finish. These are such good value at approximately £3 you cannot go wrong. What's not to like...?