Monday, 1 February 2016

Merkava 1

First AFV for this 'new' project completed. An Israeli Merkava Mk1.

Built this from the old Italeri 1/72 scale kit. Not a bad kit but needs modernising. The wheels come in one piece and the track though well moulded on the outside has no inner guide teeth. So I replaced the wheels and tracks with resin aftermarket products from Model Miniature. These worked out nicely. But there was one problem.

The wheels from Model Miniature sat too far back on the connection tab. A quick look at the supplied wheels and the problem was solved. The Italeri wheels have an attached lug which 'pushes' them forward. So about thirty minutes, after a bit of cussin' and swearing, I had removed the excess from the dozen Italeri wheels with a very fine razor saw. Then used the off cut like a washer to bring the resin wheel forward.

Italeri wheel before and after cutting
MM wheel plus plastic 'washer'
The wheels now lined up with the resin track guide teeth. First time I had used resin tracks. Was not too horrible an experience. Glued three lengths together. Placed said lengths on bottom of wheels so they were roughly equal overhang front and back. Then used hairdryer to heat resin and bend round idler and drive wheel. The tracks did not meet in the middle but since I was using track guards this would be hidden on the finished model and not a problem.

Added a few extra features to the kit. The aerials are from RB Model. The tow cable is one I bought for Russian tanks from Eureka xxl. You can pick these items from UK distributors should you wish too.

The photo etch grill in the turret bustle is from Scalelink. I used 1mm diamond grid pattern. I used lead foil from them to represent the canvas with the platoon number displayed. I also cut small pieces of styrene channel to put around the turret bustle to use as brackets to hold the tow cable.

The extra track links on the turret are pieces of the original track but added guide teeth to both and the bolts to hold them in place.

First time I've really added some scratch built parts to a kit and despite being fiddly at times was actually quite fun. The green you can see is filler.

IDF tank colours seem to have as much discussion as German WW2 tank colours. In the end I used Vallejo Model Air Sinai Grey '82. The name helped! The weathered away.

So I have a tank of the 1st Battalion (single white ring around gun barrel), 2nd Company (forward pointing arrow head on side skirt) of the 1st Platoon (Numeral one on canvas placard).

Really enjoyed building this. Next up for the IDF some more infantry and another tank.

More to follow soon.....

Thursday, 21 January 2016

IDF. Lebanon 1982

So this is the new project I have embarked upon. The First Lebanon War or Operation Peace for Galilee.

Not going to go into the ways and wherefores yet. But first up is an Israeli Infantry/Paratrooper Squad in 20mm of course.

These first five are from Elhiem.

These five are from Underfire Miniatures.

Kept the colour scheme simple, which made them very enjoyable to paint.

I decided to give them brown boots which I believe was the trademark of IDF paratroop units. I will probably be using the term 'I believe' alot throughout the following posts concerning the IDF and opponents. I'm learning as I go along. One of the enjoyable aspects of the hobby.

That's it for now more to follow so.....

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

An Interlude Filler

I will be posting soon about my new project for 2016 (ooh exciting!). But until then here are some very simple fields I made before Xmas 2015 for use with 20mm figures.

Each is about 20cm square. I used the old favourite of the doormat. Gave the top half a rough spray of Vallejo Air Light Camo Green. The row of crops are from Mininatur/Silfor. The goats come from the Pegasus 1/72 scale Farm Set.

The main ground covering is ready mixed filler but at the edges I mixed filler with PVA and that set rock hard. So should protect the edges from any hard knocks.

With a T54 to give an idea of scale. The T54 is from a previous post but slightly modified.

That's it for now more to follow soon...

Saturday, 9 January 2016

My 15minutes of fame

I while back, May 2015 approximately, Dan Mersey of Mersey Books fame, writer of rules and my favourite book about King Arthur. Put a shout out for volunteers to paint some figures for his forthcoming 'Dragon Rampant' rules. I stepped upto the plate and duly two fantasy human types landed on the doorstep via Royal Mail. So I set to work..

first up a Ranger/Paladin type

then a big beefy Barbarian

Spent a couple of days painting these two since there was a deadline.

Well today my complimentary copy of 'Dragon Rampant' arrived on the doormat.

My figures are in the book on Page 9. Just so you get it PAGE 9. I'm quite chuffed. Never had any of my work in print before. Dan has done the bases, what I good job too.

Now I have an excuse to buy the fantasy figures from Hasslefree and Heresy miniatures I have had my eye on for a long time!

Also included in the package from Osprey was a complimentary copy of 'En garde!'

Which was very nice of them. Now I must admit the swashbuckler thing is not really my thing. But the rules do cover two periods which have caught my eye before, 'The Border Reivers' and 'The Conquistadors'. So we shall see. They also have a small section at the back for magic if you want to bring in Solomon Kane type characters. Which could be interesting.

That's it for now, enough of blowing my own trumpet, more to follow...

Friday, 8 January 2016

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll knock your house down

Catch up time. To kickstart my return to the blogging circuit I'll start by posting up some things I've done recently.

First up D9 bulldozer from SandSmodels in 20mm scale. It's not in the store yet. But I saw it on their Facebook page here. So when I placed an order for another item, asked Shaun about it and he kindly sent me out a model.

I've added cables for the hydraulics, grab handles, fire extinguishers, amber warning beacon and the aircon/heater unit for the cab. Built up some areas with plastic card. Added some card to the base of the blade to bulk it out more and around the cab deck. Then it was a case of weathering it....heavily.


I've painted it to represent a vehicle used by US forces. I could not figure how to make the grill which sits over the blade or to add the headlamps which sit above the two blade arms. Fortunately I did find a photo on the net, of two US Army D9's parked side by side and one was missing the grill above the blade.

Overall I'm pleased with the result. Had a bit of a 'mare with the painting though. Decided to try out MIG Ammo Scratches fluid in place of my normal hairspray. I learnt to my cost that you can't leave the chipping fluid overnight to dry like hairspray. So I ended up having to reapply a base coat. This means if you look closely some of the detail is covered a little to heavy in paint. Live and learn! 

I didn't weather it heavy to hide these mistakes but to give it a real work horse look. Honest!:)

Anyway that's enough for now more to follow...


Thursday, 7 January 2016

I'm back!!!!

In a moment of madness I decided to delete my blog. Gone forever. But due to popular demand* and following a national outcry I have returned.

I did save all the old posts so those should all be back to for you all to, ooohh and aaahh over or just snigger at.

I will have to rebuild the basics and the look of the old girl. So sometime will be spent over the next few days doing that.

That's it for now more to follow...

* Well two of my mates have nagged me to re-start it. So not quite a riot.