Saturday, 18 April 2015

This Week, I Shall Mostly Be Painting..............

The Letter P

Taking their positions on the painting table, we have, in no particular order

Pyrrhic Army For Impetus

As a result of the incessant badgering I received when out drinking with the New Buckingham War-games crowd, these long forgotten lads have crept back onto the table.
I "only" need to do the Cretan Archers (at the front) and the Greek cavalry (at the back) plus a general to lead the army ( I have a suitable Pyrrhus) and its game time
note the use of "only" because in the language of the Villageidiot this means I will take an age, making sure every little detail, and shady bit is done to my satisfaction.
I'm a perfectionist like that (tosser)

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for ?

In a concerted effort to cause myself the maximum amount of pain, and frustration, I have elected to re-start the torment of trying to paint the Poles.
I would say its because I like a challenge, but its more the fact that the masochist in me desires the torture of trying to make a decent job of them.

Lovely models from the Assault Group's fairly large Renaissance Range

Expect them to last about, oooohhhh a week or so, before they return to their cardboard box under the desk.

It may not have escaped your attention, than Spain has mostly fallen off the painting desk, well I got bored painting them TBH. All that khaki drab gets a bit tiring old bean.

 I was hoping that Empress would release some new figures for the range, at Salute, but it seems that we will get nothing else added, which is a bit of a shame.

I'm sure that I will get sick of lurid colours, and blokes with wings, and will crave the subtle tones of the SCW once more

You Know What I Am Like

Cheers folks, see you all soon, hopefully with a finished army...............

Don't hold your breath though.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Strictly Strichtarn.........

Well now,

I had a pop at those UnderFire Minatures, and here is the end result!!

Hmmmmmmm, not so sure I got the uniform right, and that Strichtarn is the very devil to paint.

Overall, nice figures to paint, well detailed, with lots of nice little touches.
One word of warning, be very careful with your clean up. The figure in the photos had some bloody awful mould lines, right down its face, and across the steel helmet, right difficult to clean off without destroying the detail, and I missed a right horror on his back pack :-(

For those of you who give a damn, the paint colours used are as follows

Uniform - base colour mix of Vallejo colour Khaki, and Khaki Grey with Vallejo Panzer Aces French Tankers uniform.
The raindrops are Vallejo Colour Flat Brown
Webbing is Vallejo Medium Grey
Back pack and Gasmask bag are Vallejo Colour German Uniform mixed with Medium Grey,
Helmet is Scale Colour Graphene Grey, with a heavy wash of Scale Colour Petroleum Grey over the netting bit.

I would explain the face it as well, but that list involves about seven different colours, and its not worth bothering with TBH.

I did struggle with this model, but it was more of my own making, having decided to paint on the raindrops, which ended up being a very frustrating 60 minutes, that involved a lot of very bad language.

Did I get it right? well over to you folks

Suffice to say, it was a nice break, but I am going back to Spain, as there are no mental camo patterns involving tiny little raindrops there.

Next venture, for those of you who "enjoy" the videos, a start to finish guide to painting a Spanish Foreign Legion figure, heavily edited into as short a space as possible.........going to be riveting for sure.
I may do a Vehicle one too, as I have a T-26 on standby, and it might be fun to watch an idiot hack it about, and then attempt one of those model show paint jobs on it.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty 1 (Ob'yekt 765 )

H.L.B.S, 1/48th B.M.P-1 Model - Review

The BMP-1 is a fully armored Amphibious Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV). Its low-silhouetted hull has a sharp, sloping front with a conspicuously ridged surface.
A centrally located, extremely flat, truncated cone turret mounts a 73-mm smoothbore gun and a 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun. A launching rail for an AT-3 SAGGER antitank guided missile attaches above the gun. The 290-hp, water-cooled, 6-cylinder diesel engine is in the right front of the hull. The driver's hatch is at the left front, directly in front of the commander's hatch, which mounts an IR searchlight. The gunner's hatch is on the left side of the low turret roof. On the rear are four large hatches in the roof of the troop compartment; there are two large exit doors in the rear.
There are four firing ports in each side of the troop compartment and one in the left rear door. A combination of effective antitank firepower, high mobility, and adequate protection makes the BMP a formidable improvement over the earlier BTR-series of armored personnel carriers. It's 73-mm main gun fires a rocket-assisted, fin-stabilized HEAT projectile with an effective range of 800 to 1000 meters.
It also has an automatic loader. For longer range antitank capability, the BMP-1 carries the AT-3 SAGGER ATGM, effective to 3000 meters. The BMP is amphibious, propelled through the water by its tracks. It has the range and speed necessary to keep up with the fast-moving tanks it normally follows in offensive formations.
The BMP has a three-man crew. This includes the vehicle commander, who becomes the squad leader when the eight infantry passengers it can carry, dismount through the rear exit doors. Vision blocks and firing ports in the sides and rear of the troop compartment allow the infantrymen to fire assault rifles (AKM or AK-47) and light machine-guns (PKM or RPK-74) from inside the vehicle on the move. The troops also carry the RPG-7V or RPG-16 antitank grenade launcher, which can be fired by a passenger standing in a rear hatch. 

The Review

Cast in sand coloured resin, and white metal, the kit consists of, The main body, two track section and a turret, plus smaller details in the shape of four headlights/searchlights, gun barrel, and an AT-3 Sagger AT missile launcher.
All the kit pieces are well cast, with a very minimum of air bubbles in the resin, and these are limited to the lower hull, and well out of sight.
Its a big old bugger of a model, 140mm long, 66mm wide and 40mm high, and will look quite impressive when its slapped on the gaming table.
Its a simple kit to build, a little bit of clean up was required to just remove a few areas of excess resin. With just 10 bits to glue together, even the most cack-handed gamer can assemble this model, but be warned, the lights are fiddly litle devils, and the the fat-fingered blunderers amongst you, may find them a little tricky to glue in place :-)

Detail wise, well its all there, enough to keep most gamers happy, and once painted, its sure to be a fairly accurate representation of the actual vehicle.

The model costs £25.00, ok its not cheap, but it is what you can expect to pay, for something in this scale, and as its going to be mainly used for skirmish level, you won't be buying 10 of them to equip your motor rifles battalion :-)

get it here

Now, as you may have already guessed, I am not what you could call "An Average Wargamer"
To me, this model is a challenge, and I'm pleased to say, theres lots for me to do!!

Have a look at these

and then go peruse the collection of pictures on here

yep, I shall be adding more detail, and opening up at least one of the model's hatches, in fact I am ordering another two vehicles to work on, as I am building up a platoon force for my own reworking of "Chain of Command" 

I love a challenge, and this kit gives me a chance to "improve" on the basic model, I shall endeavour to post progress pics as I go along, just so you can see what I am up to.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Like A Thinly Shelled Chocolate Easter Egg...................

I CRACKED (under a tiny bit of pressure) !!!!

Yes, I did, and the blame lies firmly with UnderFire Miniatures, damn them to hell :-)

They released some figures, not their normal 20mm stuff, oh no, these were 28mm, shiny and............

Nationale Volksarmee of the DDR

Just two little packs NVA2 and NVA3 ( which means there is an NVA1 hiding somewhere), what harm could there possibly be, in ordering just the two packs, to add a bit of variety to the shedload of old Mongrel Miniatures I have.
I underestimated the threat I should never have pressed those buttons, the ones that made the packs fall into my shopping cart, because they arrived today, and like the Warsaw Pact tidal wave they were a part of, they swept their way onto the desk, and at the points of their shiny little MPiKs, they made me write this review.

Warning, this review contains gushing sentiment, and all out raving. Its also includes a number of photographic images that you may find persuasive.

I confess, I like the whole "Cold War Goes Hot" scenario, as a chap growing up through the 80s, I sort of lived through it all, eagerly reading any news items that cropped up, devouring numerous books on the topic, and collecting, and building models of the various protagonists.
The good old DDR was immensely interesting, as a schoolboy, I had travelled to Berlin, and had seen firsthand the Berlin Wall, it sort of stayed with me.

When Mongrel Miniatures started their 28mm range a few years back, I jumped on board, quite literally in fact, because it inspired me to try my hand at making a vehicle master, and the first ever thing I built, was this

FV423 Trojan APC

Seeing the UnderFire models, made me think back, and revisit the stuff I have lurking about, what if the new models from them, match the old ones from Mongrel? I can fill in the gaps I have in my forces :-)
Be prepared for a selection of high points, and low points, as we review the new range.

UnderFire Miniatures 1980s National VolksArmee (28mm)

The range so far consists of just two packs, each one contains 4 figures.
The models I received were well cast, and required a minimum clean up, my only gripe being, that some of the figures have a mould line straight down their faces, incredibly difficult to clean up, without ruining the faces.

Lets review each pack first, then we shall get down to the nitty gritty, so its good news first folks.


Four infantry men, three of them armed with the ubiquitous AK47, the other has a PKM LMG for a bit of support, the kneeling figure coud easily be used as an NCO if required. Equipment wise, they appear to have all that is required, gas mask bag, water bottle, magazine pouch, combo bayonet and wire cutter, entrenching tool, and the NBC suit, in its pack on their webbing at the back.One of them carries a LAW.
 My pics don't really do them justice, so I pinched this one off their website :-)

and yes, they really are as nice as this


As above, only this time, the kneeling figure carries an RPK for squad support

So lets have an overall look at these models.
As previously stated, the models are cleanly cast, requiring the bare minimum of cleaning up. The uniforms appear to be accurate, as does the equipment, they even have Dienstgradabzeichen (shoulder) tabs!
 I would have preferred to see them armed with the MPiK, with the folding stock, but the AKs they have are just fine. I like the fact that you get a good mix of helmeted heads, the M56 looks right, and you get plain, net covered and the cloth covered version, a good idea might be to make up some head sets, so us punters can chop and change, thus adding to the variety. Not quite enough variety to make up a section, as they would only carry one support option, so I hope there will be another  infantry pack to allow a bit of variety.
I believe the models are sculpted by Tony Boustead, and he does have a knack of getting the detailing just right. I've not painted one of his figures before, so I'm looking forwards to having a go at these.

£8.00 for four models, on the expensive side, but that does seem to be the going rate these days, especially if you want quality figures, that are not in the popular gaming periods like Napoleonic or WW2. For me, its a more than fair price to pay, for the quality you get, so no quibbles here.

Now, as you know, whenever I do a review, its warts n all, so now its time to disappoint, and if you were hoping, like me, to use these with your Mongrel Figures, then look away now

I'm a scale nazi, its my days of making 1/35th scale kits, and scratch building that has made me this way, so this made me go " Ohhhhhhhhhhh Poo!"

They don't match!!
Some folks will say, "hey no probs, they are OK"
In my book, they are not. The UnderFire models are taller, and slimmer. Yes ok you could use them in separate squads, but I was a little disappointed.

Now, the next part of my dilema, and that my friends, is vehicles!!
Mongrel, and Sloppy Jalopy, I have both of these, and they went together really quite well. The Sloppy models are 1/56th, and, shock horror, they don't go that well with the UnderFire models!!!
Have a look at the picture with the ruler, the UnderFire Model, once based, is closer to 36mm, that makes him more like 1/48th scale.
Now hiding amongst the pile of stuff I have hiding in various boxes in the ManPit, was a HLBS BMP1, in 1/48th scale, I also have the same vehicle from Sloppy Jalopy, so what else could I do, but a few more comparison pics.

Here is the vehicle in question, used by quite a few WARPAC countries, and here we have the resin equivalents, for those of you watching in black and white, the SloppyJalopy model is the green one!!

I know, a lot of pictures, but you get the general idea, the UnderFire models fit in very nicely with the HLBS 1/48th model, and I feel bad doing that to Sloppy Jalopy as the lads running that company, are mates of mine :-(

So lets put this one firmly to bed

UnderFire Miniatures, nice new shiny DDR NationalVolksArmee models, they are not 28mm, but they are lovely.
If you are starting out building yourself a Cold War goes hot force, then you cannot go far wrong with these figures. I am kinda hoping that they will fit in with the Eureka 1980s stuff, so I guess I shall have to try to send an order to the other side of the world, and get myself a sample or two for comparison purposes, unless any of you lovely folks out there have some you can photograph against a ruler for me.

Sorry for the somewhat long winded waffling, I hope you managed to find a review hidden in there.

Off to practise painting Strichtarn, I have a couple of the figs primed up, so painted pics next time 

So pop over to here

and order yourself a pack or three. 

Auf Wiedersehen Genossen