One of the most distinctive and original tanks of World War Two and one of my personal favourites please meet Mr Churchill. Choices to build Churchills in 1/72 scale are quite limited. You can have a go at the old Airfix in 1/76 scale, but that kit is really out of date and probably worth avoiding. Your only other choices are the Italeri model which seems to be very hard to find or a Dragon version or two, which usually end up being overpriced.
So great news that the Plastic Soldier Company have a two tank box of Churchills. You get the option to build four different versions, basically by giving you four different gun barrels. I went with the 75mm and the 105mm support gun. Value wise they are definitely better than buying two Dragon kits. They are just great little models, awesome chunky detail, they really capture the essence of these super cool tanks. As always with Plastic Soldier Kits they are easy to put together, so it doesn’t take long before you can get them into the action. You get some extra track to add on to the sides and the turret plus a commander figure if you want to leave the hatches open. Would be nice to have two different commanders to mix things up.
Painting was easy. A black undercoat, followed by an olive drab top coat. Then a black/brown wash and an olive drab highlight. I used some Plastic Soldier Company decals plus some Airfix numbers i found that looked good down the side of the vehicles. Some dark brown and light brown muddy bits finished him off. Check out my photos below. You can also see the comparison to my other Dragon Churchill in one of the pictures. I think if you need Churchills get a couple of boxes of these, they are better than anything else out there!
Well it’s nice to get back to my dining room table and finish some stuff off. These figures by Pegasus have been hanging around for weeks as i struggle with painting German camouflage schemes on tiny dudes! I painted around ten of them a few months back but needed to finish off the rest of the platoon. They really are nice figures and i think probably the best Germans you will find in plastic. Lots of great detail, and numerous different, useful and realistic poses. Quality wise they are on a par with the better metal figures out there. These are great value for money when you compare to their metal brothers. I also have Set 2 in my treasure trove out the back, so will crack on with that when i get the chance.
Mounting plastic onto 10 cent pieces gives them some weight that i like on the table. Less chance of them taking an impromptu nap while on the job. I used an olive green base with camo brown and dark green splotches, then followed up with further contrasting dots of all three colours. It’s a real pain in the ass, and takes me hours to do, but i kind of like how these guys turned out in the end. Probably worth the effort, although my eyeballs may disagree. Its not oak leaf, its not pea dot, i am not really sure what it is, but it looks good enough for me.
The lads below have just jumped out of the Opel Blitz trucks (Pegasus again) at a dodgy looking bridge, which could be primed for an ambush…. Better be safe than sorry and lob a few grenades in there first. If nothing else you may catch a few fish.
While i was on my road trip i managed to find a copy of the original Squad Leader on eBay for less than twenty pounds. As i was in the UK on our trip it was perfect timing to pick it up and bring it home in my suitcase and save the freight to Australia, which would have cost at least twice as much as the game itself! Feeling nostalgic for this all time classic of a board game i was super excited to crack it open when i returned home. Back in the 1980’s my big brother used to play this and i remember enjoying sneaking in a game or two when i wanted a break from the table top action. I am happy to say nothing has changed after thirty years. This classic from Avalon Hill is just as good as i remember. So much fun. It is just complicated enough to keep you interested, but without detracting from the cool and speedy game play. The copy i managed to buy is in excellent condition and 100% intact, and my painting and modelling may go on hold for some time while i charge through some of the exciting scenarios in the game.
Also thinking that the Squad Leader rules could easily be transformed into some excellent table top wargames rules just need to come up with a hex to centimetre conversion rate, and probably some other stuff. I am going to get hold of the second set called Cross Of Iron which i think includes more AFVs and more rules for vehicle combat. Better get onto eBay and see what’s out there! If you have not ever played Squad Leader you should go out and try it, perfect for a evening at home and takes up way less space than getting a full table top game going…….