Saturday, 31 August 2013

Anything Can Happen In the Next Half Hour.........................

Or was that 6 months!!?

Lookie lookie

No painty painty things, but lots of plasticard butchering devices.
Yours truly has been called into some modelling action, on a super secret special mission. So its away with paint pots and brushes, and welcome to the world of cutting things, and sniffing glue. Whilst I am on this mission I shall attempt to mask what I am building, with an additional side project.
It could be

The resurrection of the old APC, that never got finished, as Frank sold his figures!!

Hmmmmm, decisions, decisions

So fellow figure fondlers, and miniature molesters, what shall it be?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Breaking Strength of Wet Toilet Paper..............

I am crap at this lark, no I am not crap, In fact I am very good at this lark!!
The lark being, changing historical periods at the drop of a hat, and I have some damning evidence to prove it.
First of all, the cupboard of shame, stacked full of Oooooooooh Shiny, at least here I can shut the doors, and go "La la La La can't see you!!"
The horrors under the desk of doom however, are always there, whispering Loser Loser you can't get anything finished :-(

I am now finding this whole thing very depressing. Recently I got all over excited by Napoleonic Saxons, I duly ordered a few ( about 50 figures) and set about paiting one to see how it would go. I got the figure nearly finished, dropped it, broke off the bayonet, and then thought, these buggers will take an age to paint, and just why the bloody hell am I doing them anyway.
I had a load of SCW stuff on the desk, was getting along just fine, then decided a game as in order, so lots more stuff had to be done, along with working out some lists, and rules additions, and posting stuff on various blogs. Real life intervened and I could not make it over to the club, demoralised I duly packed away the SCW stuff, and the enthusiasm has just bled away.
Now the desk is littered with Romano-Brits, they are already painted, but not good enough for this stupid git, so they are getting a reworking, replacing the bendy metal spears, redoing the faces, redoing the metals, tidying up the clothes, putting on new LBMS sheild transfers and then rebasing them. They have some opponents, most normal people would think, hey lets do some Saxons, or maybe some Picts. Picking one or the other, and getting on with it, but not me, oh no, you have to have both, and have them littering the desk too. :-(
The current state of affairs
I also have these, look they have paint on them!!!
Guess what, go on bet you can't?
yep, don't like em, they need a repaint.

So here it is, the big box has the Romano-Brits in it, the little white box is full of Picts, and the other one contains a load of Musketeer Minis Saxons.

The reason why I am doing these now?

They are quite simply, the best things I have painted in a very long time, and god knows I need to feel that I have achieved something.

So here is where I stay for a bit, I have got to get  grip on this bloody irrational jumping about. I can do this figures quite well, I have enough to put together two Dux B armies, and there is the challenge of making some more terrain, like this.

Or, should I just chuckin this painting lark altogether and just build some bloody models instead?

Yeah I know

I am bloody useless, and a bit of a joke.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Today, I Have Been Mostly...................

Laying out Boards

Had these lurking in the garage for quite a while now, and since the summer has finally arrived, I shall get to work putting the requisite sand and other gubbins onto them. These four will just get a basic coating, with no hacking about, as I need some basic terrain boards with that Mediterranean feel to them, as the club does not have any at all.
Progress pics later.

Painting Regulares.....and Militia

Once again, the desk of doom is littered with an assortment of SCW figures. I rather rashly, volunteered to put a game on at the club, and in an effort to provide something different to the last few games, I've got the half finished figures out, and will attempt to add some different units to the next game......possibly!!!

Commiting a Cardinal Sin..............

'"Deranged individual, decapitates Perry Eyeties"
Take a pair of perfectly useable Perry Miniatures WW2 Italians

Rip off their heads with some pliers!!!
Then add two heads from my old Anglian heads pile, to make two very useful CTV types for the Spanish Civil War, one of them has the M15 Adrian helmet, worn by a lot of the Italians in the early stages. The other guy has a Spanish Gorillo cap, making him one of the Spanish infantry in the mixed unit that were deployed later on.
Lookig forwards to seeing what else the Perry boys release, more executions will follow.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Minarions Hispano-Suiza MC36....A Proper Review!!

I have seen this model making guest appearances on various gaming forums recently, and given my interest in a) All things Spanish Civil War in 28mm, and b)Scratch building vehicles, I thought well why not get one eh!
I duly ordered one of their limited edition prototypes, no shiny box, and no decal sheet, no big deal really, as the box is superflous, and the decal options can easily be handpainted on anyway.
About a week later my model arrives, which in itself is pretty good, seeing as it was sent from Spain.
The model is well packaged, and has survived its trip with no damage at all.

Now, here is my opinion of the model, and please bear in mind, it is my opinion, which can sometimes be , a tad contrary!
99% of gamers will be perfectly happy with this model, and will happily, or in some cases struggle to, put it all together and slap a layer of paint on. Sadly I belong to the 1% of anal retentives, who will carefully study all aspects of the model, identify the missing bits, and then spend ages putting them right.
Bearing that in mind, here is my review, with its honest critic, which is all in good intention, as I think it is important to point out any problems, thus giving Minarion a chance to correct them if they see fit to do so.

Minarions are a fairly new company, offering a selection of vehicle models specifically aimed at the Spanish Civil War gaming crowd, the models are unique in the fact that they are offered in three poular wargaming scales. 1/100th for the 15mm players, 1/72nd for the 20mm gang, and for the idiots like me at the big end of the scale 1/56th to go with our 28mm stuff. This in itself, is a great idea. The models themselves are uncomplicated litle kits, simplified for the wargaming market, they ain't no Tamiya models, and the majority of gamers will be more than happy with this aspect.

The MC36 is a 1/56th scale resin model, in a basic kit form.

Consisting of 17 parts, two of which are turret options, all cast in a bubble free pale grey resin.
Size wise, its just about spot on

Overall the level of detail is acceptable

With a careful paint job, the model will look quite pleasing, and has a number of uses outside of its SCW period setting. I can see Pulp gamers, and the VBCW crowd making use of this vehicle in their games.

Now here is where Mr Nasty takes over, and I don the shiny hat of the model making anal retentive, if you are of a nervous disposition, then please do not read any further.
The  model has issues, a number of them in fact, and for the sad detail freaks, they will cause problems.
So here we go, and I am sorry if I bore you here.
Take a very careful look at the top picture in this review

Now look at the above picture. Those gaps are waaaaaay to big, the panels should butt up against each other, with just a narrow scribed line to separate them. I will fill the gaps, and rescribe the panel lines, in doing so I will have to file off all the rivets, and reapply them. The door should be flush with the body work. The dints and marks are all ok, they should not be there, but they do add a bit of character.
Now onto the T26 turret

I have compared the Minarion turret, to my own scratchbulit master I made for the Anglian T-26 model, the size is just about right, my model was built in 1/55th scale. The difference in detail though is quite amazing, missing rivets, pistol ports, lifting eyes, and gun barrel section.
I think Minarion use CAD and 3D printing to make their masters, whilst I rely on good old model making skill, If I can get the detail right, then I expect a computer to be able to do the same, if not better than me.
Yes, its a basic wargames model, but so was the T-26 I made for my old range.
I'm sure most gamers would not give a hoot about the missing details, but I felt obliged to point them out

To summarise all of this, Minarions have to be congratulated, for undertaking to produce this model, its a neat little kit, that is not too taxing for gamers to build, and for those of us sad gits, who count all the rivets, if offers a challenge to correct the flaws.
Cost wise it retails at 21.95 euros, and on todays exchange rates that works out to around £20, is it worth it?  Well yes I think so, for those naysayers who will exclaim "it cost too much" I would suggest they go out, buy the required plasticard and putty, and scratchbuild their own version. In comparison the £20 sounds like a good deal to me.

Minarions are looking into expanding into the world of figures, not in my prefered size, but in 20mm, which is still a decent size to game the SCW.
They also have a good looking German Henschel truck in the pipeline, and I was looking at scratching my own version, so ths will save me a lot of hassle.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A Different Kind of Saxon Violence!!

A short while ago, I stuck in three seperate orders, for some nice new shiny figures. One of them has arrived today, and in typical idiot fashion, we have a short review.

Wesfalia Miniatures 1813 Saxon Musketeers

Having reached my dotage, I have decided to jon the common herd, and get some Napoleonic stuff. Now the lads at New Buckenham have a lot of 28mm stuff, British are well covered by our Chris, and he is adding a French force as well, there are various folks also furiously painting up Napoleon's finest, dour Prussians have their fan club, and the Russians are assembling too. So yours truly looks for something that bit different. First off the Spanish were considered, but lets be honest here, nice as they are, the army is shite, and not that useable really. Then we see the lovely new Saxons from Westfalia Miniatures, and the decision is made. I can combine Saxons with some French, add all sorts of other nonsense into the mix, in the shape of Italians, Wurzburgers to name but two!! The 1813 campaign offers a lot of scope, and I can also add a few Prussian units for opposition, they will also serve their usefulness in the 100 days stuff we do.

So, the waffle is over, now onto the review.
I ordered from Westfalia themselves, Calpe and Empress, first to arrive, the last order placed, so thanks Empress, you won the race!!
I only ordered a couple of packs, one of musketeers, and one command.
Musketeer pack, eight different poses, all in covered shakos, in march attack positions. The figures are cleanly cast (Griffin Moulds I do believe) and have the very minimum of mould lines and flash to tidy up. The sword and bayonet scabbards are cast seperately, a neat idea as this improves the way that area looks. 
They are beautifully sculpted figures, anatomically, the figures are well proportioned, not chunky lads at all, and I think they would fit in very well with the current Perry Miniatures offerings. The detail is all there, and with a careful paintjob, you will be rewarded with some fine looking units. The faces are just excellent, full of character, and all different.

Command pack

This pack contains six figures, you get two officers, one ensign, one drummer, one NCO and a sapper.
Once again the models are cleanly cast, and require very little clean up. The figures are another set of great sculpts, all full of period character, and combined with the musketeer pack, you can create some very purposeful looking units.

all the required detail is there, my favourite is the sapper, loads of character!!

I should have gone down the Napoleonic route when I ran a figure company, as Paul Hicks has created some of, if not the best, Napoleonic figures currently around, could have made a bloody fortune :-(
Kawe at Westfalia Miniatures has informed me that they intend to do a very complete range of Saxons, and I shall be ordering quite a few more packs if they do.

Go give em a look, as there are a good few other items that may also tempt you folks!!

Once my Calpe, and Perry stuff arrives, I shall post a comparison article.