Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Lego: Star Wars and Lego City builds

One of my "summer projects" was to sort out my eldest son's Lego collection (he has lots, but they are in pieces and it is all over the place) so we could finally find the right pieces when we needed them. Several wargaming "hobby boxes" and plenty of empty "ice-cream cartons" were conscripted into the task. The project was also to try and prove the point that you can make tons more 'stuff' than just what comes with the instructions on the side of each box.

The result, after a few tears after I was accused of taking over his collection (to be fair I probably did until I told off by the wife), was an interesting series of different 'things' (see below):

The "how to do it" instructions came from an App (search for "Lego Instructions" and you should see a free app or two).

Note: I still had to adapt the instructions to fit with the parts I had to hand, which I think is a valuable life skill to learn. Another point to note though, was that despite having a collection which I thought of as "considerable" there were several parts I could not lay my hands on. In my day (of twos, fours and eight blockers) that would have been unheard of, you might run out of them but you would have had some of them (perhaps not in the right colour)!. Anyway I think James May would have been proud of me and in the end my son thanked me.


Sunday, 31 August 2014

The RAF response "Build more Hurricanes, and quickly"

I I decided to embark on the "parallel production principle" (see below):

On the basis that once you have done a successful prototype, mass production should follow. Wings and undercarriage fixed (see below):

Tail planes fixed and they are ready to rumble (see below):

The finished product means the RAF have two flights of Hurricanes. Next up on the assembly line are five Spitfire Mk II's.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Ship Building WIP (Large 1:1 Scale) Queen Elizabeth CV

While on holiday in Scotland recently I passed through Edinburgh crossing the road bridge going north. Admiring the scenery and rather lost in thoughts of Beatty's battle-cruisers the 5th Battle Squadron at Jutland I almost swerved when I saw a strange naval grey shape off to my left. I trailed the family down to Rosyth, they couldn't quite understand my excitement and errant sense of direction. There is something quite magical when "daddy" gets fixated on something, the family give each other curious looks trying to understand "what's got into him. I was determined to get a closer look, but to my disappointment I could not get a good view. Two helpful BAE Systems people told me that you got a much better view from across the river, so I set myself an expedition for the following day (see below):

Can you see what it is? Nothing more than the almost completed CV "HMS Queen Elizabeth". I sat there watching her with my oldest son, eating our McDonald's quite transfixed thinking I should continue my 1/3000 RN naval collection through to the modern post 1945 period.

A project for 2015 perhaps

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

More Revell 1/144 Aircraft (Lufwaffe: Battle of Britain)

Battle of Britain era, Me 109's and a Stuka (see below):

I now have my Me 109 "swarms" (8 planes) and a Stuka flight (4 planes). Time to scramble some RAF fighter production now, some Hurricane Mk I's next up on the assembly line.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

More Revell 1/144 Aircraft (Pacific War/Battle of Britain)

While "in the zone" of putting together 1/144 aircraft, I finished off my single-engined (Pacific War) American planes and started on the backlog of Battle of Britain aircraft (see below):

I know they will come in useful one day! I am still lacking in Japanese opposition (I have two Zero's) but am waiting for the Revell kits to hit the shops in my area. I reckon six in total would be a nice force. Meanwhile I will try and build up the US force to flights of three.

The Battle of Britain forces stand at 8 x Me 109's, 3 x Me 110's, 6 x Mk I Hurricanes and 6 Mk II Spitfire's. It is just a case of making them up and painting them.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Best Ever 1/76 British Infantry - Matchbox/Revell (re-release)

Small holiday purchase!

They may not look much from this picture but I am truly excited. I never had these as a kid and always wondered what they looked like compared to my Airfix figures. As a blog watcher I have been 'teased' by Paul and Al from ANZAC-land from their extensive use of them in their Command Decision OrBat basing. Now turning them over in my hand I immediately want to expand and cover the whole re-release range irrespective of nationality  (I already have the British Commando pack). They are that "good" (see below):  

Still to get, WWII: Japanese, ANZAC, American, 8th Army, Afrka Korp, German.  Modern: British Falklands Paratroopers.

How did Matchbox get it so right so long ago? The figures themselves have a great range of command figures (four different poses) and decent proportion of rifles, Stens, Brens and Vickers HMG. It even had a mortar fro Christ sake! The only qualm I had was the inclusion of a Bazooka instead of PIAT. The figures are small, but in true dimension to the Matchbox AFV range. You could get a wargaming formation (battalion or platoon depending on the rules you use) out of one box!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Books from the Holiday

Extended Holiday News: 

During my tour of Norfolk I managed to spy out a decent second hand bookshop and obtain a few 'bargains' at the princely price of £1 each (see below):

  • Rommel Battles and Campaigns (Kenneth Macksey)
  • Guderian Panzer General (Kenneth Macksey) 
  • The Philadelphia Experiment 
  • The Smokescreen of Jutland (John Irving, one that I had seen and tried to get hold of before)
  • Part 14 of an Aircraft Encylopedia (of specific interest to the Pacific War)
I could easily have picked up a few more but sadly I had pragmatic holiday-car space considerations (couldn't leave the wife and kids behind). The only downside to these purchases is that I am operating a "one in means one out" book policy. I negotiated the exit of some 'lighter weight' non-Wargaming books.