Tuesday, 26 February 2013

USMC 1985 Bv 206 transport

Well, they arrived in the post last week from Heroics and Ros so here they are, enough Bv 206 transport for two battalions of marine infantry.  Instead of mounting them on lolly sticks for painting, I based them straight on to the mdf bases, then painted them as usuall, with white acrylic gesso undercoat and Vallejo paints.  I textured the base, before mounting, with Vallejo desert basing material, then washed the base with Flat Earth once the vehicles were painted.  Scenic spring meadow flock was stuck down with PVA glue, as was the static grass.

All 30 transports, one batallion in MERDC and one in a three colour winter cammo scheme.

The MERDC scheme - I used Medium Cammo Olive Green for the base with Flat Earth and Iraqi Sand stripes plus Tamiya NATO black.


The other scheme I used, partly to differentiate the batalions and partly because I like the white cammo pattern, is based on a Medium Cammo Olive Green base with Tamiya NATO black and Vallejo white stripes.

All the models were washed with Army Painter dark tone ink, diluted c. 5:1 with acrylic paint flow enhancer and varnished with Wilkinsons matt acrylic varnish.

For a bit of "light relief", this evening I have been mostly painting F-18s (3), A-7s (3) and F-14s (2), which are now ready for decals.  On the kitchen table are three Sea Kings, a variety of artillery and a bunch of Soviet and Czech OPFOR for my USMC to practice against.  Still got an order on the way from Scotia with some odds and ends, including some Rigid Raiders for insertion of Marine Force Recon Special Forces (think Clint Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge).  I've also been assembling some of the things I'm going to need for an oil rig in 1:300 to moor up in a Norwegian fjord.

As ever, thanks for looking.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Valentine Scissors Bridge finished?

I managed to paint up the model today - a white base coat of acrylic artists gesso, washed with diluted Vallejo Russian Uniform, so some of the white undecoat shows through on raised areas, tracks Oily Steel, Black to help define the rollers.  Very dilute Army Painter dark ink wash.  Base is a Vallejo desert basing medium painted Flat Earth with spring meadow flock.

Side view.

 Rear view.

Opposite side view.
 Front view.

Whilst it is a far from precise model, for me it looks enough like the real thing at 6mm scale on the table top that I'm quite happy with it taking up it's position in my independent armoured brigades.  So, two more to do and that's my brigade complete.

However, as my Bv206 models arrived earlier this week, I'll be back to painting transport for my USMC Amphibious Brigade - Norway 1985.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Desert village - N Africa/Middle East

I picked up this set of 1/300 buildings off ebay from a seller called "aylafred".  They produce a range of resin buildings in 1/300 and 15mm at a reasonable initial bid offer - I picked these up for a little over £5.00.

I base coated them in artists white gesso, painted them a sand colour and washed them with sepia ink.

The doorways have curtains made from aluminium cooking foil.

All in all a nice set of models available at a reasonable price.  Very few blemishes, bubbles, etc.  Good flat bases with no distortion.  Should be suitable for any African/Middle Eastern campaign from ancients through to the modern era, except the fort, which would suit 19th Century onwards.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Valentine Scissors Bridge Conversion

After some sidetracking with USMC forces for 1985, I finally got around to starting work on the Valentine Scissors Bridge.  I ordered the models from Heroics and Ros, four Valentine IX tanks (B011) and four Churchill AVsRE with SBG (B054).

First off, I filed off the exturnal fuel tank on the left hand side of the aft superstructure of the tank.  Then I filed the locating tab on the end of the SBG.  Then I cut the bridge in two across the middle - this is tricky as it is the thickest part of the model.  I didn't want to use a saw as I wanted to lose the thickness of the saw blade, so I cut it with a craft knife, remembering my Grandpop's (an old sailor) saying;
"Never cut towards your thumb,
Always cut towards your chum".

Anyway, it worked as I managed to cut it and didn't lose an appendage doing it.  I then stuck the two bridge halves together with cyanoacrylate so that the ramp surfaces were showing.  I then cut two short sections of styrene strip (.060x.156") and filed notches in the ends - at one end to fit the countours of the front of the tank model and at the other to act as a recess for some wire.  The wire is to act as an armature for the rollers which form part of the launch gear.

I used a small copper wire armature through the turret socket in the tank hull, glued in place with cyanoacrylate, to build up a small turret (a simple blob-shape) with air-drying clay.  A longer piece of copper wire was used to represent part of the launching apparatus.  Small rounded discs of air-drying clay were used to represent the rollers.  I also had to build up some clay in the gap between the bridge ramps to represent part of the hinge structure.  Once the clay had dried, I smoothed out any irregularities, fingerprints, etc, with fine sand paper and a needle file.

 This is where I've got to so far.  The folded bridge is probably a mm or so short, but other than that I think it does the job.  I'll reserve judgement until I've painted it up, when I'll post more pictures.
Thanks for looking.

Blackburn Buccaneer

These are Scotia Blackburn Buccaneers (CABM08).  Nice clean models with little flash or mold lines.  For some reason they have a quite large metal block on the nose (?mold feeder duct), which took some filing to remove, but after that there was very little else to do.

 This one I painted in the Fleet Air Arm colours of the 60's and 70's.
This one is painted in the RAF wrap around scheme of the 70's and 80's.

The pair.  I really love this aircraft.  It used to terrify me as a boy at air shows, the noise from a fast flypast was simply out of this world!  High speed subsonic (Mach 0.85 at 200ft according to Google), nuclear capable, maritime strike and ground attack, could operate from airfields or carriers, what more could you ask.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

USMC helos 1985

OK, the post says helos, but first, some extra fixed wing assets.  A pair of A-4 Skyhawks (Scotia CAUM09), painted in a scheme I found on google for the late 70's.


A trio of F-16 Falcons (Heroics and Ros USMA 412).

Then the helicopters.  First up, H&R USMA 405 Huey Cobra AH-1s, representing Sea Cobra attack helicopters in USMC service.  The model at the front has I-94 transfers, but the small decal size coupled with my sausage fingers meant that I finished up painting on the "marines" insignia by hand.


The UH-1 Slik light transport helicopters by H&R (USMA407).
For some reason "The Ride of the Valkyries" and Robert Duvall keep coming into my mind.

CH53 Sea Stallion heavy transport helicopters (H&R USMA506) ready for some heavy lifting.

CH-46 Sea Knights or Phrogs (H&R USMA414), general purpose helicopter transport.

 So, that's everything on my workbench for the USMC wrapped up.  I've got enough Bv206 models on order from H&R to transport two infantry battalions, plus some extra fixed wing assets in the form of A-7 Corsairs, F-18s and F-14 Tomcats for fighter cover.  I've also got some Sea Kings on order to transport my special forces and some artillery support.

Now it's on to a read through of Pike and Shotte ahead of my introductory game next month.  In the meanwhile, I'll get on with cleaning up the Czech "bring n buy" goodies and see what sort of TO&E I can put together.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Czech forces

A little help please!  Many years ago now, probably at least 8 or 10, I picked up a 6mm Czech cold war battle group at a bring n buy - no idea where now.  Anyway, most of the models were readily identifiable, but I'd like an opinion on the following models if anyone knows about these things.

No 1 - I think this is a turretless OT-64 - unknown manufacturer
 No 2 is by GHQ, I think it might be a T62A
 No 3 is a Mig 21, but anyone know who makes it with the wheels down
 No 4 is by GHQ and I think a T62, but it is significantly shorter than No 2.
 No 5 is possibly an OT-65 - I think!

Don't know why nos 1 and 2 are painted such a dark colour, either black or so dark green it might as well be black.  I can't find any reference to Czech forces using such a dark vehicle colour.

Anyway, when I got them out of the cupboard they were so dusty I had to rinse them under the tap to see what they were.  With the exception of the Migs, I think I might strip them and repaint to match my other Warpact forces.  If you can help confirm or otherwise on my IDs I'd be grateful.

Cheers and thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

USMC Norway Repair base

I finally managed to beg some nylon net curtain offcuts from a lady at work for the cammo nets.  I've attached these to the trees and bushes on the stand with super glue, then brushed PVA glue onto the net and scattered meadow green flock, then finished off with a sort of dry brush of Tan Earth and PVA glue.  The overall effect comes close to some images I found on the web of cammo nets on artillery emplacements.

 General view of the stand.
A Mig's eye view of the stand from above.  Looks like the repair crews could do with concealing the vehicle tracks if they are going to stay hidden!

As always, great to hear any opinions, especially if I've got it wrong.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

USMC 1985 Norway

So, finally coming close to the end of my USMC project.  This week I've just about wrapped up the repair and maintenance stand - I just need to get hold of some net for overhead cover.  Also came up with a supply base, loosely designed around the pre-positioned equipment storage caves located in Norway.  Also finished off an early M1 Abrahms company, just in case those pre-production T90's I've heard so much about turn up.  There's also an HQ stand for the LVTPs - I've always wanted to paint the sharks teeth on one of these so this is it!  I've added some more heavy engineering in the shape of an M60 AVLB in carried and deployed modes.  Also finished the last of the infantry battalions, a recce/scout company and a marine force recon company of three elite infantry stands with recce ability (in CWC terms).

I've still got to decal up the rotary wing assets, 5 UH-1s, 2 CH-53s and 6 CH-46s and finish basing a TOW company in M151s.  I've got some 155mm howitzers on order from H&R as well as helo transport for the marine special forces.  Then it's on to the oil rig.  Oooh, almost forgot the shed load of BV206 on order as well.

As a diversion, played my first game of Black Powder at Deeside Defenders last Thursday - thanks to Rick and Dave.  We played an ACW action involving a couple of infantry brigades and a mixed infantry cavalry brigade per side.  A great game, really good fun!  Planning to extend my experience next month with a game of ECW Pike and Shotte - should be good fun too.  I also picked up a copy of Force on Force and the old War Gone Hot scenario booklet so will be digesting that in any spare moments over the next few weeks.

 The supply base - very loosely based on the pre-positioned storage facilities in Norway.  A Scotia M35 (UM0058), M809 generator (UM0077) and M35 open top (UM0057).

The field repair workshop - just needs the cammo nets.
 M1 Abrahms Co (Scotia UM0038) - in case those T90s turn up.
M1 in close up.

 LVTP-C - complete with shark face (Scotia UM0064).
 M60AVLB in travel mode (Scotia UM0050).
 AVLB spanning muddy creek or ditch.
 M60 launcher and bridge.
Detail of the launcher.