Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

World War II Project - Return to Mad Bobs German Armor

I had a little time to actually pull out paints last night so I continued on with the armor I got from Mad Bob's kickstarter. I went back in and applied another pin wish then I tried to highlight the camo a little bit and followed that with the first glaze of dirt. I really need to install the new LED light I purchased for the workdesk though as I'm not sure you can see the difference from start to finish in the photos.

Here is where things were left at the end of the last session:

After I applied another pin wash:

Then I faded the camo on the upper surfaces a bit:

And then the first glaze of dirt:

I think they look good on the workbench but I don't think the camera is picking up the differences because of the lighting or that the effect is just to subtle right now.

Friday, April 21, 2017

World War II Project - Tank Crews - Company B

I have been slowly collecting tank crews for the tanks and SPs that I have been working on. While I don't have any US Armor finished I figured I could at least pick up some crews for the models that I do have. I decided on Company B for these and picked up some packs of 1/4 torso and 1/2 torso crews for the Shermans and a crew for my Trenchworx Hellcat.

Five bags from Company B. They came in a very small but well padded envelope.

1/4 torso crew

1/2 torso crew

Hellcat (M-18) or LVT crew

Thursday, April 20, 2017

World War II Project - Books - 4th Armored Division

This is my last book purchase to satisfy my curiosity about the US 4th Armored Division. The plan is that all my US forces will be based on units that made up this division, regardless of what the actual scenario is or what forces were involved. The first book I acquired, Patton's Vanguard, is a very good overall history of the division, but is focused primarily on the division's actions as a whole, with a long down to the battalion level and sometimes the company level. The second book, The Fourth Armored Divison from the Beach to Bavaria, is a reprint of the divisional history written in 1946. As such it has references to numerous small unit actions and dovetails quite nicely with Patton's Vanguard. Yesterday I finally received a copy of Spearhead's 4th Armored Division in WWII. This fills in a lot of detail that is missing from the others. It has a great chapter on the divisional organization and the equipment that was on the official roster. It has a good overall strategic look at the division as well as a good nice pieces on smaller actions. The three books together really will give you and excellent and useful history of the US 4th Armored Division as part of Patton's Third Army.

I managed to get new copies of this book, however, it is out of print and I saw some pretty outrageous prices for used copies.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

World War II Project - Terrain - Buildings

As can be seen from previous posts I'm currently focused on the WWII project. I have no idea how long that will last as I also managed to order some more western miniatures from Knuckleduster and Brigade Games, and there is a Black Scorpion Kickstarter out there for their Tombstone game. In the meantime I remain distracted with WWII. Since I have no buildings I decided that I would need something a little bit more modern and European than my collection of western stuff.

I spent a lot of time going over websites and trying to decide what I wanted. I made lists and agonized over each selection for this project. I wanted a good sized town plus some more rural buildings for a farm like setting. Of course nobody has all of that covered or at least not with buildings that I wanted to make. I ended up with orders going to Charlie Foxtrot Models, Sarissa Precision and Sally 4th. The Sally 4th buildings intrigued me because of the use of the photo realistic paper to cover the outside. This is not a unique idea by any means, model railroaders have been doing it for years. It is a quick way to get a very good looking building on the table though and that's what I'm really after. I have "textures" for exterior brick and stone already from Clever Models which specialize in paper models.

I decided that I would apply the same concept to buildings from the other manufacturers. Charlie Foxtrot buildings were selected primarily because they have a nice solid look and feel to them and they have a very wide range of out buildings for the more rural settings including a nice stone barn. I bought two different houses from them along with barns, stables, tool sheds and those arrived over the weekend.

At the same time the order from Sarissa Precision arrived. This is more in town buildings, a railroad station, a church, a chateau and I decided to try some of their railroad stuff as well. Track for the railway station and a passenger car to go on the track. Nothing to elaborate, unlike Calamity's railroad (which still needs at least one 2-8-0 locomotive).

The buildings from Sally 4th have shipped but its hard to say how long that will take from the UK via courier.

So here is what the first three boxes yielded:
First up is are the buildings from Charlie Foxtrot Models
The houses. Note that all the kits from Charlie Foxtrot are already punched out of their sprues. The disadvantage to me is that I don't really know what is an actual part and what is just fallout from the windows and other openings.

I didn't actually order the Pigsty and Pen, I think they were just kind enough to toss that in the box for me.

Here is the contents of one of the two Dormer houses. Lots of pieces! The ones at the bottom of the picture, I think, are window and door cutouts.
The order from Sarissa Precision came in two boxes because of the different sizes of the buildings.

The larger Norman church, probably not appropriate for France but I like it, so I'm going to use it. As you can see from the packaging Sarissa Precision packs their kits still on the sprue or frame. I had some bad kits from Sarissa for some small houses that I was going to use for Calamity. The MDF they were using at the time wasn't always the same width which meant that sometimes tabs wouldn't fit into the designated slots. I'll dry fit all of these before gluing them together.

The Chateau and the Railway station. 

A look at the tracks and passenger car. I took a look at the tracks from the back and I'm not thrilled with them. I'll have to measure but I'm fairly certain that the rails are to far apart and the rails are definitely to "light" for mainline or even branchline operation.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Packages Arrive - What gets me into trouble

The internet is bad enough for the bright and shiny distractions. Its even worse when a company actually sends me a catalog. I have a weakness for Jeep parts catalogs and small tool catalogs. Micro Mark is my other major temptation and this time I gave in. On the internet I have been going in and out of the Owners section of the packer pro-shop. I finally pulled the trigger on a couple of items there as well. I broke my lanyard that I use at work so I had an excuse to actually make an order from this "secret" side of the web site. You can only see and order these products if you have the registration number off your Green Bay Packer stock certificate. I am a part owner of an NHL franchise!

Here's a quick look at the culprits. I'm having issues with lighting again so the pictures are a little less than perfect.

One of the catalogs that gets me into trouble. At least I managed to avoid buying any of that new paint! At least so far...

The tools from that order.
From left to right - a steel square (its thinner so it will be easier to use on the sizes of plastic and foamboard that I use), a new set of sprue cutters (because I have been complaining about mine), a square corner cutter, (I can fit this in a small drill press or even use a hammer to make the cut, it should make cutting door and window openings a lot easier), an smaller sprue cutter (more at the top, this is for more delicate parts and smaller spaces, on the far right are a couple of decal blotters which are likely to see service as weathering tools if they don't work to well for decals.

Packer Owner paraphernalia; A decal for the back window of my Jeep, an owners hat, a new lanyard and a small pin for my camera bag or hat.