Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Finnish Sturmi

The Bits
 Sometimes - more fool I - I get to work early, sometimes I can't be bothered getting up from my desk on my lunch break. So what to do?

Make a plastic model kit of course! The Airfix StuG III has always been one of my favourites and despite being more than fifty years old, holds up pretty well today. Oh sure, the details may be a bit soft here and there, but dimensionally, the old girl's pretty good. Well, in every way except the weedy main armament.

The Bob
 So, a quick fossick in the spares box and we have one of many PAK 40 barrels left over from all those Opel Blitz kits and we are sorted.

Next step, while enthusiasm was high was to take the pin vise and drill out the wheel holes - all eighty-four of them. While the pin vise was still hot, I carefully drilled out the PAK 40 muzzle-brake.

So, a few words on the kit - it's a StuG III G, late production type with the cast "sow's head" mantlet. A fair basis on which to produce one of the batch of 30 the Finns took delivery of in 1944 and then modified on the basis of their own experience.

For me this means concrete armour on the drivers and loaders positions, an armoured shield on the drivers visor, extra applique armour on the lower hull sides, adding the tool-box rack over the rear engine deck, fine mesh grills over the engine intakes and then of course plastering the while thing with zimmeritt.

The first step then will be to assemble the hull and get those applique plates on.

PS - This morning whilst at home I got cracking on a dozen of the 20mm Garrison Phrygians to go with some of the new chappies - using these latter as painting models. Lovely kit.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Well, well, well. Look what we have here.

So, after teasing you all unmercifully with hints on reception commites and so on, they have arrived.

I had been talking on and off for months about acquiring these from an enigmatic and doubtless wildly eccentric gamer, rules writer, raconteur and general man about town. It was a long dance, but finally we took the plunge*, and I certainly am delighted to welcome these and other figures to my own ancients collection. I will be doing a few more posts on the RM collection as we go on, so watch this space.

Today we have a neat little phalanx of Rospak Greeks. I've been an admirer of the "Rospak" plastic ancients for some time and am glad to say they look as good in the flesh as they do in various images I have pored over in the on-line world. So far as I understand they were only relatively briefly available in 1981-82 from Heroics and Ross and are therefore fairly difficult to find nowadays.

*OK, I finally extracted my finger...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Welcoming Committee 2

Not the 300.
Perhaps waiting for some Persians? Who can say. Rose Prestige Greeks from Garrison Miniatures. Shield decals are from VVV and the wire spears are from North Star. The rest is all me. And I think I need to invest in some microset and microsol. And some gloss varnish.

The Shape of Things to Come
I got a couple of nice packages in the mail yesterday. One from TVAG with my 4.7" guns in it, and another all the way from Sweden. Now apart from the Emperor Napoleon I and a small selection of the Grenadiers of His Imperial Guard, there were also a few nice British bandsmen.

I am holding myself from doing anything more than cleaning and priming them at the moment as there are another 8 Greeks in the queue ahead of them, but the weekend is starting to beckon.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Plots and Schemes

What's that Sahib?
One has as ever too many projects on the go. You may have noticed over the past couple of weeks images of old Rose Medes, Traditon Redcoats and so on. These are part of my two principal projects at the moment. On the one hand I'm getting an ancients army off the ground. It's looking like it'll shape up as Greeks and Persians, so I'm assuming Marathon and Platea will be on the cards at some stage. I've just knocked out a dozen Skythian/Saka archers and for the first time in a really long while I am really enjoying the painting. I'm just about to move onto a 24-strong Greek Phalanx (first of about 6 or 7, I think) who are also from Garrison/Rose and they are proving to be good fun as well, so things are looking up.

With regard to the bengal lancers above, I want a Britains-style army in 30mm, so off to the lead-pile and the Tradition catalogue I went. I had the Bengal lancer castings knocking about for quite a while - they'd been looking for a job and nothing quite seemed to fit, but this just might do. I'll add to them more cavalry from the "Crimea" range. Hussars first; led by Lord Cardigan methinks, and why not? Then some infantry - from the Corps of Drums range, I'm looking at three 18-strong units, with an option on the HR Grenadier Guards and some of the Household Cavalry, too.

Artillery is tricky, but there is a 4.7" in the Houston's Guns range at TVAG, and I think the Conoisseur Colonial 9lb might also do the trick. Gunners will need to be worked up from the Stadden infantry figures, or perhaps from the Indian Army range?

Anyway, give it six months and I hope to be out in the backyard with a smart brigade facing off against my Alzheimers and Prussians with a clockwork train and a monitor to boot - all in time for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Reception Committee

Led by Hornaphernes the Mighty, the Medes stand ready in reserve
Awaiting new arrivals are my 30mm Rose Prestige Medean infantry. A lovely figure and so easy to paint. The next block of 8 is ready to be started. 24 down, 16 to go!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Test Shots

Stadden 30mm British Infantry 1890
 A valiant Toy Soldier marches by. I wonder how this might look with some of the Houston 4.7" on Land Carriage that TVAG are selling. Hm.
Yes, I lost the left arm
And now that I see him, the piping on the tunic needs a tidy up, I forgot the piping on his collar and - ah - shouldn't the cuffs on his tunic be of the "jam pot" variety? Still, I do like the way the jacket, trousers and equipment came up. Checking my Osprey, it looks as though his personal equipment was very accurately done, too.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The View from the Cubby House

I thought I'd drop by and let the world know what is passing over my painting desk at the moment.

First along in the current queue have been some lovely Rose Prestige Medes. Sixteen in all to start forming the core of a Persian army. More on this project as we go on. Pictures to follow.

I have been painting a great deal of US and Vichy armour and softskins of late. Not too sure why, but it has been very enjoyable. I'm looking at the Torch landings - perhaps the Safi scenario from the first Rapid Fire! book.

FT-17s with purely speculative markings!
Airfix M3 Lee with patent saggy tracks.
Two utterly pointless purchases from Tradition - 30mm British Corps of Drums and Grenadiers of the Garde Imperiale led by none other than the Emperor Napoleon I. Heaven knows why, or what I shall do with them, but by golly they do scratch a very persistent itch.

Finally, in closing, I note the passing of Mr Don Featherstone. I won't go into his seminal influence upon the hobby, his often reported kindnesses and generosities. There are better writers than me doing that in a hundred blogs and magazine articles. I would wish though that his final moments were filled with memories of his children playing in the sun on one perfect day.