Finally after months of building and painting, and getting distracted by any number of other things, I have managed to get some terrain onto my table ready for a game. I am going to give the Rapid Fire rule set a run and see how it stacks up with all the other rules I have tried. Ultimately I am going to write my own rules with all the good bits from all the rules plus some bits from Squad Leader too. Still a work in progress but one day I will get there!
I picked the first sample battle Lingevres from the Rapid Fire Rule book. I finally finished my big church a couple of months back so that was the main bit of terrain I was missing to fight this little engagement. I expanded the map a little bit to include a ruined side of town. I wanted to try out some of the big piles of rubble I had recently made. I had bought some pre made red bricks from Green Stuff on line, which although were listed as 28mm, work fine. I also read a very simple rubble making tip of hitting a red brick with a hammer until you have the correct size scale bits. Plus i had made some grey and black and white rubbly bits out of modelling clay. Mix all these sources together and i ended up with a big bag of rubble. I was very happy how it came out spread around all my ruins and over my ruined car pieces. Certainly adds some atmosphere to the ruined side of town.
Check it out! I have to finish thirty British infantry and some PIATS this week and then we can get the party started!
I am on a bit of a terrain kick. I had some very cheap doormats from IKEA, which set me back a whopping $10 per mat. I had just cut them up and spread them around, but the colour still annoyed me. They were still too doormat coloured. So they looked like cut up doormats. I bought some different spray cans from Bunnings, one Golden Yellow and one Sandbark, plus I had some Almond left over. Then experimenting with all three got a wheaty shade that I liked. You really have no excuse to create your own inexpensive wheat fields using cheap doormats. Personally I would rather stick a fork in my eye than go to IKEA, but they do have some good sources of modelling materials.
I also made some new rough rural stone walls to line my country lanes. Super cheap source of small stones from Bunnings at around $4-5 per bag. One bag and its enough rocks for hundreds of metres of wall. I just PVA glued rocks in line on top of each other onto MDF bases. It requires a bit of patience as you need to go away and leave the layers of rocks to dry before adding a new layer. A black spray and then increasingly lighter dry brushing with grey and brown is all you need. I flocked the edges with some grassy green and hey presto. Another very cheap addition to your table. Quick and easy and no need to go spending dollars on rough stones walls. They should be rough and rural!
I made some new cobbled streets for my Normandy village. Using MDF as the base cut into 8cm x approx. 30cm pieces, I coated each one with a layer of modelling clay. Getting this as flat as possible was a mission, I think a regular rolling pin is the best idea. Then I used an excellent new purchase from Green Stuff World
This is a heavy plastic rolling pin with a cobbled texture on the outside. So all you do is roll it firmly along the modelling clay surface and it leaves a cool imprint of a cobbled street. It was so quick and easy compared to my previous method of individually carving cobblestones with my engraving tool. The pattern comes out very nicely as you can see from the detail in my photos. These rolling pins are not expensive, and I also picked up one for brickwork, which I will use on my next houses.
I wanted to add some bomb damage craters too, mainly to cover up areas where the cobbles were not so great. Circles of modelling clay glued on did the job here. Then I would dig out the hole in the road and cover it all with some fine sand and dirt. Undercoat and plenty of grey paint, plus some drybrush highlights and lots of dirty weathering powders finished it all off!
Check out the Puma armoured car cautiously picking his way through the destruction.
OK so this kit usually gets an absolute pounding on line whenever I read a review of it. I built it and quite enjoyed building it. It comes out as quite a nice wargaming model. The only really strange thing about it is the massive muzzle brake. It looks like a person with a really massive nose. So a bit weird. Some people criticize the lack of detail on the tracks, but these link and length tracks went together really well. The side armour is quite thick, but nothing that really upset me, and if you were really picky you could switch them for some other ones.
All the hatches you can leave open for crew. So I will be adding some AB figures crew for this guy when I get the time. Here are some photos with all my other Stugs too. I think that will be enough Stugs for my Germans now. Such cool little tanks!
Another Stug for my collection from Dragon Models. This time I managed to buy from Dragon Models USA for some super duper bargain price. Keep a look out for their specials as sometimes they do have really good ones. Even with the pricey freight USA to Australia its worth it.
The kit is really simple as Dragon are now releasing these small scale kits with running gear and tracks in single sections. So each side of the tracks include the lower wheels and upper return rollers and fit over the sprocket and drive wheel. This reduces the parts drastically but I still have trouble fitting the tracks and managed to snap off one of the wheels. Lucky I now have a fantastic pin vice and mini drill bits. So a new metal axle was added to the back wheels far stronger than the original plastic one. So fitting the tracks after that was a breeze. I just use some thicker wire superglued into the wheel and then into the lower hull at the right spot. You just need to drill corresponding holes where the wire fits. Anyway a great investment go get a pin vice, I think I paid about $15 for mine. What a life saver!!!
The rest of the kit was very straight forward. The Stug is a simple looking tank and so a simple model. All the hatches are moulded shut on this one and the hull details also mostly moulded on. So a great kit for someone who wants a fast easy build, but if you want a challenge I think Trumpeter make lots of Stug versions that are more interesting.
I tried a green and brown camo scheme just kind of blotchy patchy random. I did go back afterwards and respray with dark yellow to fade out my painting, a technique which seems to work well. A new aerial was added using my washing up brush aerials and a whole heap of stowage to the back to make things a bit more exciting. I also built a Revell Stug at the same time, so he is up next. The last photo shows all my Stugs, one Trumpeter kit and now three from Dragon. They are cool little tanks.
I picked up this excellent book from the Book Depository for less than $20. I am currently working on stack of figures for my German forces from CP Models and AB Figures and needed some more inspiration for my camouflage uniforms.
Although aimed at the 1/35 scale figure modeler there is still a lot to like for the smaller scale hobbyist like me. And probably you too if you are reading this. The author details three or four different German SS figures and his process of building, converting, adding and finally painting. What he does with converting some of the figures and the detailing them with extras of his own is quite amazing. There are definitely tips and tricks to be learnt for the 1/72 scale figure modeler and painter from this book.
I was most interested in his guides for painting camouflage schemes. He does a great Oak Leaf, Plane Tree, Pea Dot and Italian camo on various 1/35 scale figures. It gives you an excellent guide to what colours to use and what patterns to apply. I will be trying this out on my pile of little guys soon when I get the chance. This book is a nice quick read but definitely worth adding to your library, especially if you are keen to keep perfecting those camo schemes.
I have been up to my neck building more German armour and have not managed to finish anything so posts have been a bit scarce this month! A Stug III and a Stug IV should be at the finishing line soon!
A very quick update on the other walls I bought from Tiger Terrain
You can buy this set to complete a walled paddock, including an open gate. I just glued them onto some MDF and added fine sand. Then just flocked and static grassed everything. I used the excellent rubbing a balloon trick to get the static grass to stand up once I had sprinkled it onto diluted PVA glue. I have all the eBay bits to make my own static grass applicator but have not got around to it quite yet.
The walls are great, very finely cast with great detail. I will be getting more of these for sure from Stephan at Tiger Terrain. I am hoping he expands his 20mm range to do some more stuff. I still have a small ruined cottage to paint from him, but it would be good to see some more buildings in this scale.