Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Achtung Panzer!

I've been a bit of a roll (blitz?) lately on finishing up some vehicles that have been languishing. Here's the last of the recently finished bunch, a Pz IIc from Warlord Games.

Like the others, this was a crisply cast resin piece that went together nicely. My main hangup on this one was the turret number decals. I thought about going large, but getting them to lie down over some of the protrusions looked like it would be tough. So I opted for small - but I didn't have any! I ordered these 1/285 scale numbers from I-94 Enterprises, and they fit perfectly.

Paint was easy - Tamiya German Gray spray. Then simply wash, drybrush and voila. I do have a crew figure, but haven't finished him yet.

I may actually get another one of these - or three - to use in possible France and Belgium scenarios. One of these days I will actually get a game going!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Meanwhile, in Belgium

Here's a little gem, a Belgian T-15 from Warlord Games. That should scare the Germans!

Actually this is a very nice little kit. I painted it with Testors Olive Green, then gave it a wash of dark brown to give it the brownish green tint that seems to be uniquely Belgian. The turret roundel is a 1/144 WWI aircraft roundel decal. I had to paint a white circle underneath in order for the colors to show up. I hand painted the license - close enough. No idea on the number. The white "blob" insignia is also intended to be somewhat generic. Looks like the Belgians had several different insignia types.

I have yet to locate a T-13 model, which is based on the Carden-Lloyd carrier. I did get one of the 47mm gun carriers from Warlord, and have that on the bench as well. And I have an ACG-1 coming from Mad Bob's French vehicles Kickstarter that will be pressed into Belgian service. (I have much more faith in that Kickstarter, BTW. His Hungarian tanks are awesome!)

Also from Warlord I have painted a civilian truck, one squad of Chasseurs Ardennais and one of regular army. I'd really like to see Warlord finish up some support troops (machine gunners, especially) and officers to round out the line.

Monday, August 8, 2016

GAZ Trucks for the Invasion of Finland... and More

Some of you may have heard of the Winter War Miniatures Kickstarter run by Baker Company. Well, we're coming up on the three-year anniversary, and I have yet to see a single mini despite a rather significant investment. I've only backed a handful of Kickstarters, and this is by far the worst. No minis, no communication, nothing. What's worse, I even placed an order with Baker shortly after the Kickstarter ended for some Vietnam minis. Never got them. At least he answered my emails and said they were shipped and must have gotten lost in the mail. Still never got them. That's the ONLY time I have ever had a problem ordering from a company "across the pond." All in all I think I'm out about $300. That does not make me very happy. And I really wanted those field kitchens!

Rather than delay the project any more, I ordered some Russian trucks from Warlord. IF (BIG IF) I ever get the Baker ones, they will simply be added to the motor pool. You can never have too many trucks. But for now, my foot weary Battle Honors Russians can take a break, and the political officer can get out of the cold to operate the radio, assuring those in Moscow that all is going well...

These were painted with a simple coat of Testors medium green, then washed with a dark green and drybrushed field drab and earth. I didn't put any marking on them, one because I couldn't really find what they would be, and two because I wanted to keep them fairly generic.

Of course these will also see double duty on other areas of the eastern front as later war Russians get painted. The lack of canvas covers makes them a bit unsuitable for Finland, but they will have to do.

I also have a T-26 from Warlord in the works, since those from Baker are still in limbo. (And a T-34/76 and a T-34/85 and a BT-7....)

Now I have my eye on some buildings from Sarissa for use on the eastern front. Squirrel!

Friday, August 5, 2016

How the West Was Won

Work on Tranquility has slowed a bit, what with the Mustang project, kids' activities and just summer in general.

But there's always time for a wee project. Or pee project. Aw, forget it.

I got a set of eight of these from GCMinis. And they are nice. Looks like this fella just finished digging the pit.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Mustang Update

It has been a while since I have given any kind of update on the seemingly never-ending Mustang restoration project. But believe it or not, there has been progress!

After getting the engine back in last fall, things really slowed down for the winter and not much got done. But of course the wife gave an ultimatum of get it done by this fall, or get it out of here.

So as of last night, when I got the new driveshaft connected, I thing the only thing left to connect from the engine standpoint is the shift linkage. Then hopefully we can get it started!

In the meantime, I have also been doing some interior work. A friend came over to help strip out some remaining rust, and I repainted it all. Then it's insulation, headliner, carpet, seats...

Oh, I did install some seatbelts in the rear. There never were any, so now there are at least lap belts for the kids back there. As safe as can be by 1965 standards!

Also hopefully soon it goes out for paint. Still trying to pin down who is going to do that. Progress!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Excuse Me, What Time Is the Noon Stage?

Whenever the stage arrives in Tranquility, I am pleased to say there is now a Wells Fargo office to welcome them. Or send them on their way. Or whatever.

Building is from GCMini, and is very nice. Simple, yet effective. Others have noted the doors are a bit small, and maybe they are, but I'm not going to quibble.

I have not done any interior work to this one, but I'd like to include a ticket counter, some waiting benches. Maybe a safe for the Wells Fargo payroll. And possibly a freight area. There will also be a need for an area to care for and feed the horses. And possibly a blacksmith.

And so it grows.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wargaming 101

Wargaming 101 - that's how a friend described this photo, so I'm sticking with it. That's my daughter Kate learning how to play chess. And she's a quick learner! Game one she pushed me to the limit. It turned into an exchange slugfest, until finally I had her down to just her king and one pawn and could corner her.

Game 2 went a little better for me, but she was still tough. Sometimes I think it is more difficult to play people new to the game, because they do not know what they are "supposed" to do. Their unpredictability makes them dangerous.

She then decided she needed to learn more to learn how to beat me, so I got out one of my old basic chess books. After looking through the first bits, she declared "This is all introdooshin. I don't need introdooshin. I need to know how to beat you." :) O.K., skip ahead to chapter 7, "Strategy."

Sometimes she is too smart for her own good. Scary, that.