Thursday, 29 December 2011

Last Shapeways for 2011

My last Shapeways models for 2011 were completed last night. This last batch are some early war German scouts (so my Taube has some little friends to protect it other than some Eindeckers!)

First, a couple of Fokker D.IIs - successor to the Eindeckers and sharing many visual characteristics.

Next a couple of Halberstadt. D.IIs - a nice model, quite "spindly", and with the aft tail struts modelled very nicely. 

Finally a Siemens Schuckert D.I - the German copy of the Nieuport 11. the main visual difference (apart from the colour scheme) being the lack of an overwing gun and the spinner.  

A nice collection of models, but I can't help thinking that the paint schemes are a bit "dour" and so perhaps I should have looked harder for some more colourful paint jobs. Perhaps a repaint or two next year?

I've become a real  fan of Shapeways over the year. The quality of the finish has improved considerably and the speed of delivery is pretty good. Painting a complete aircraft can be a bit fiddly, but the improved "build quality" over a lead kit is well worth the extra hassle (and its quite therapeutic!). I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with next year. 

That almost wraps it up for my 2011 air war model building, but not quite. Just another couple of aircraft in the painting bay.....

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

SCW (And Beyond) - Part 2

Today's completed items are some more bits and pieces for my 15mm SCW / "imagi-nation" collection. This time we have a maritime component, the police make an entry, and we've been working on the railroad :)

First up - the submarine. many years ago the kids were given a bath toy submarine. s luck would have it, the toy looked like it would make an ideal 15mm surfaced submarine when its lower hull was removed. and several years later, it came to pass. The toy was about to be thrown out and I salvaged it. It still took 2 years to get around to making the model though :)

The deck gun was made from an old Airfix 6pdr anti tank gun, trimmed and mounted upside down to mimic a 1920s 12pdr / 3" naval gun. Now that I've finished the model I'm thinking it may have been better to remove part of the "foot" in front of the conning tower and fin to make more room for the gun, but I think the result is reasonable (and now that its done I don't feel much like changing it).

Accompanying the boat is a small naval landing party, made up of Peter Pig U-Boat crew. This is a nice little set with riflemen, POs with SMGs and a couple of officers. I might see about adding an LMG team and a rubber boat or two to this group next year, but for now I think they'll do.

The railway subject of the next shot will be familiar to a few readers. Having seen the Siku railway locomotive and wagons on "Jims Wargames Workbench" I decided to get some for myself. its more suited to my AK-47 collection, but could just pass for a 1930s diesel. Rather than repainting I decided to give the loco and wagons a black wash, varnish and then heavy weathering. They came up OK, and fit nicely on the 15mm track I got for use with my Sudan armoured train. Alongside the train you can see the Policia figures (more on these later)

Whilst searching for the railway loco on eBay i noticed that Siku also make a steam locomotive and coaches. This has a very nice, dumpy "European" look about it, and so it fits nicely into my 1930s setting (it may not be authentic for Spain, but close enough!)

And so finally the Policia. I over-ordered on Civil Guard from Peter Pig and, having finished the CG unit I wanted to use them for something else. So they have become a small unit of local police (augmented with a couple of officer figures form the PP WW1 range). Seem here with their ultra modern transport (courtesy of Minifigs) and a BT-42 skulking in the background.  

Looking through my box of stuff to do, the SCW pile is down to some refugees, casualty figures and some 1930s biplanes. So it should be a fairly quick job to get these all squared away early next year.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Latest From Shapeways

Here's my latest collection of finished models from Shapeways. First up a brace of Sopwith Dolphins. I'm awaiting the completion of a set of deailing parts from "Colinwe" on Shapeways that will include extra Vickers guns so that I can add one or two to these late war "monsters"

Next up - a Siems Schuckert D.III and D.IV. My personal favourites from this batch, they have a great deal of charm about them. I don't have any lozenge camouflage decalling so the scheme here was handpainted. This was quite daunting but I think the effect looks good (I was painting "for effect" when looked at from a foot away rather than a strict recreation of the scheme).

Early war now, and a couple of Nieuport 11s. This is a nice model and compares well with the Wings of War Nieuport 16 and 23.

Another late war "monster, this time the Pfalz D.XII. Again, a lot of character in this one, and a lozenge scheme based on "that looks about right"

Early war Brits - a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter (fitting a pilot beneath the win was a real challenge!) and a Bristol Scout. Again, I'm planning to add a Lewis Gun from Colinwe's detailing pack when available.

Another favourite now, the FE.2B. Again, awaiting a Colinwe Lewis Gun for the "up and astern" gun. This aircraft has a real bulky feeling to it. Makes a good comparison with Fokker E.IVs and DH.2s. 

Target time - a BE.2C. Not all that much to say about this one, other than Kampflieger has really done well to  capture the gangliness (and "shoot me here") look of the BE.

a Halberstadt CL.II and Fokker D.VIII - the former completed before I summoned up the courage to try a haqnd painted lozenge scheme, so the model is resplendent in a 1917 scheme. I might get another to make a late war two seater for my D.VIIs and suchlike to escort. The D.VIII again painted in "pre-hand painted lozenge" times, but a decent scheme that is reminiscent of a wasp - quite appropriate for this incredibly manoeuvrable and quite deadly fighter.  

here's the complete collection, with a couple of Farman F.40s in there from the previous batch.

Finally, an Etrich Taube - not a Shapeways one (although I believe someone is working on one just now). This is a plastic model / toy from China that is almost correct dimensionally. The fuselage is way too deep (I had to file it down a lot to even begin to look OK) and the nose way too wide, but it'll do for now and gives my E.IIIs something to escort.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas :)

Just a short note for all my regular readers and casual passers-by, to wish you all a very happy Christmas. Our house is now full of shredded wrapping paper, books, Skylanders, half empty boxes of chocolate and very sleepy kids, cats, kittens and parents :)

Santa was specifically asked not to bring wargaming stuff this year (so we have a blu-ray player and associated amplifier gubbins and a million and one socks this time around) but despite that I did get something of a naval persuasion - Norman Friedman's new book on naval weapons of WW1.

This is based on a manuscript started by Campbell (whose similar book on WW2 weapons is "required reading at the Academy"), but with extensive additions.  Looks like a cracking good read!

Anyway, off for a well-deserved snooze now, and back with some more SCW stuff tomorrow.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

SCW (And Beyond)

Another of this year's projects has been to finish off my 15mm Spanish Civil War collection. This began as a simple "paint up what's left" operation, but as with so many things in life, it took on a momentum of its own and snowballed slightly. This was due in no small part to the Abbey Wood irregulars and their "Very British Civil War" games in 28mm, of which I've played in a few. I liked the quirky "anything goes" approach and the odd local militia units and 1920s/30s "technicals" (including, in one game, an armoured horse-drawn stagecoach!!). I thought it would be fun to try in 15mm but in a mythical 1930s Central/South American (or I suppose a Southern European) "imagi-nation" so that I could use my SCW kit as the bedrock and supplement with odd units of "irregulars"

Just recently completed are a couple of units of civilian militia with assorted transport. I used a variety of Peter Pig packs for these, including the French partizans SCW bomb-throwers and other odds and sods. it makes a nice irregular unit, IMHO

Transport is provided by a Peter Pig Russian staff car, an ex-SDD Home Guard armoured bus and an armoured steam roller (!) Fire support is courtesy of a couple of Garford Putilov armoured cars from PT Dockyard, and WW1 Russian and Belgian armoured cars from Peter Pig

Finally, I have replaced my old SDD BT-5 and T-26 models with some of the lovely releases in plastic by Zvezda. The BT-5 is the BT-7 model out of the box (to me they look close enough). The T-26 is a conversion, replacing the original turret with that of the BT-7. I now have load of BT-7 hulls and T-26 sloping turrets (so I'm looking at decent BT-7 conversions and wondering if a simple turret swap would make a good BT-7M, or whether to scratch build a turret and make a BT-7A; I've already decided my "imagi-nation's" more regimented neighbour and nemesis is going to be based loosely on the Finns, if for no other reason than I can use some Battlefront BT-42s!)

Friday, 23 December 2011


Regular readers will recall that one of my objectives for this year has been to finish the Peter Pig ECW Scots that I bought several years ago. These poor sods have languished on the painting table for many months, always losing out to the latest 1/144 arrivals from Shapeways, ACW ships or SCW 15mm stuff and I was sure they'd be No. 1 on the "to do list" for 2012. However, a sudden burst of enthusiasm changed that this week. I'd started the foot troops some time ago, so its these that I've finished. I still have the cavalry and command stands to sort out, but for now getting the foot sloggers sorted is a major victory :)

This (apart from the cavalry and command) just about finishes off my ECW project that was born out of a weekend campaign run by Peter Colbeck some years ago. Rules are based on DBA with the Humberside extension, and a few local "tweaks" (although I must admit, the file with those tweaks has gone missing). I quite like the idea of resurrecting this campaign sometime in the near future.