Ooh so as working from home continues, working on model kits also continues at a feverish pace, if you will excuse the term in the current pandemic. I bought this Revell King Tiger from eBay for not much as it was missing a box and decals. No box means cheaper postage anyway I guess too. Win win.
This is a great kit. So much in a tank kit boils down to their treatment of tracks. This monster of a tank has excellent link and length tracks. They are nice big track links to begin with, but very easy to put together. I always start with multiples of two and around the sprocket wheel. The running gear and tracks you can make as two units before attaching them both, left and right, to the lower hull. Wheels are individual but are easy to get nice and straight. You can model the hatches open or closed which is always nice when you want to put in a couple of AB figures tank crew like me.
A few tow cables for the sides look good. There is also some spare track to put on the turret, but they don’t include hooks. So I added some of my own just by gluing small squares of plastic card where the hook would stick out. I left the spare tracks off until I had painted the turret so the rusty effects would not interfere.
For painting I loosely followed the plans in an excellent book i have called “How To Paint 1:72 Military Vehicles – The Weathering Special”. They actually use the Tiger II for one chapter so I went through the majority of the techniques in the book. Another guide to painting that I can really recommend.
I chopped off some of the side guards for battle damage, like they had in the book, and copied best I could the colour schemes. Lots of chips, dirt, mud and grime using various sponges, powders and other products. AB tank commanders to finish him off. Great little kit and great fun to spend a bit longer on the paint job and all the weathering effects.
I think I am totally addicted to making buildings and creating a tiny world, rather than actually playing a game in that tiny world! I found OTP Terrain while looking for the great designs by Jens Najewitz. So they make a whole heap of Printed 3D terrain in a hard plastic. I bought three houses, the Normandy Hotel, Small Building and Town House. They each have removable roofs and floors perfect for your wargames. The detail is excellent and easy to paint. The only additions I made were chopping off the chimney stacks and adding my own metal ones. It has become a thing, I need to replace every chimney pot on any bought building model. I get mine from S&D Models in the UK. They do not cost much and are way better than any of the attempts at chimney pots you get with kits or ones you can make yourself.
These houses are not cheap compared to their MDF counterparts, but they paint up really nicely, have good detail, and they have a huge range. Check them out at OTP Terrain
Photos below. Check out the French Boulangere called Brien. Weird.
I have my eyes on a farm house and barn and bridge. But so much else to get painted first.…….. Good thing we are locked up at home………
I figured I would need some more houses to build while the world goes into lockdown. These card kits from Superquick are just pure nostalgia. My big brother had built some for his railways in the 1980s and they were swiftly borrowed to be used on my ping pong table for battles. After 35 years they have not changed. I will get to build them this time. I am sure I can make them look a little more French and a bit less cardboardy this time around. My aim is to have enough buildings to have a full town on a 6 x 4 sized table.
I didn’t really need any French tanks, as I do not have any French forces, but I do like these Somua tanks. They were captured and used by the Germans later in the war and so I thought I would build a troop of them anyway. I think the only plastic model kit in this scale of the Somua is made by Heller, so I bought three of them on eBay from someone, somewhere. Loved the box art and attempted to base my camo scheme on the front action shot.
It’s a tiny tank and the kit is easy to put together. Detail is nice and there were zero construction issues. By the third build I was doing it with my eyes shut! Tracks are like a soft vinyl that fitted perfectly which made a nice change. I think I drilled out the gun barrels with a very tiny drill, but did not do much else. Camo scheme was applied using the blutack masking technique, which ended up coming out very nicely. The decals were a mixture of the supplied ones plus some other spares. I really liked the French red white and blue insignia and white numbers so I sourced some similar stuff from my decal files. I figure I can use these for either side, early war French or late war Germans.
Here is le Troop just wandering through a village.
I finished one more platoon of British Infantry for my Battalion of Northumbrian Light Infantry. These guys made up of 5 figures from CP Models, 4 from SHQ and 1 from AB Figures. All great ranges of figures. My aim is to have a full 3 companies x 3 platoons and support without duplicating a single figure. I have about forty figures to go before completion, so getting there slowly.
The group of five men, including the waving officer with the SMG, are from CP Models. I love their range of figures. Great detail and interesting poses. They are especially easy to paint as everything is so clear. I keep faces simple with a basecoat, a red oxide wash, and then some lighter fleshy highlights. The officer has a nice blue bandana round his neck. My only criticism maybe is their legs get a bit chunky, but you do not really notice. CP do provide bases with slots but I usually cut off most of the slots and glue them into clay on 20 cent pieces. CP have a fab range, I have a bunch of Germans from them getting ready for camo smocks.
The group of four men are from SHQ miniatures, also a company I like. Their figures are cheaper than other brands and slightly smaller. The detail is not as clear as CP or AB but I still really like their poses and they fit in nicely with the other brands. Subtle differences but these differences just add to the look of the unit.
The last lonely man in front of the Brasserie is an officer with an SMG from AB Figures. I have written enough about AB Figures! Great figures and a fantastic range. My battalion is 50% AB figures, but the other manufacturers are very worthy accompaniments for them. All my plastic will now be consigned to storage or eBay as it has all been replaced by these excellent metal miniatures.
So I have painted up the first three of my new houses, starting with three kits from Charlie Foxtrot Models in England. The Brasserie, Dormer House and Shed. These kits are pretty reasonably priced and come in pieces in plastic bags with a stapled cardboard header and a single sheet of instructions. The main structures are MDF with other bits and pieces being plastic, like chimneys, and balsa wood shutters.
My first impressions were excellent with nice clean bits of MDF which all fits together well. But the instructions are terrible. They could easily write and print much clearer and precise instructions. It must be the smallest outlay of the whole kit, one sheet of paper, but they have not given the modeller much help. So you kind of have to wing it. Luckily most buildings are just a box so you cannot go too wrong.
Armed with PVA glue everything fits together and the kits can be built quickly in an evening. Now as always with MDF kits i have to add and amend plenty of things to get them up to scratch. First up is a layer of plaster over all the outside walls. I did this on the Brasserie and the Dormer House. For the shed i coated in textured plastic sheet to look like stonewalls. You will need to sand the plaster to get it smoother. It covers up all those annoying MDF corners. I also added some tiled roofing, some pantile, some slate, as I really cannot deal with the MDF roof that comes 100% flat. You could also use cut up cardboard for the roof tiles. My last pet hate for MDF kits is the chimney pots. So i added all my own metal chimney pots I had purchased from an excellent model store in the UK.
Once I had made all these additions the buildings came up a treat I think. One last tip for doing gold letters for the Brasserie was to buy a gold paint pen from the newsagent. This made it much easier than trying to paint with gold paint which does not cover very well.
Even with all the additional work I think these Charlie Foxtrot kits are very good and measure up with other MDF producers like Sarissa. If you need buildings quickly and not too pricey check out Charlie Foxtrot
I have been working hard on some new buildings. This is just a preview of the primed street ready for painting. Some from Charlie Foxtrot models and some from OTP Terrain.
Will do a full review when i have finished painting them!! Busy New Year so far!!