Monday, 2 March 2015

Hobby Review: State of Play (End of February)

New Year's Resolution#1: "To play 20 Games(*1) in 2015"

1.       Computer Game: Age of Empires Castle Siege (and enjoying it, Level 6)
2.       Candy Crush (Started since Xmas, Level 103)
3.       [Future] Planned Blood Bowl (Purchased online from HuddleBubble, but waiting for a new PC before I start playing)
4.       [Future] Planned Space Crusade Retro-Gaming Night (March)

Notes: These include: Tabletop Wargame (multi-player or solo), PBM or Computer Moderated, Multi-Player OnLine Game(s), Board Game (multi-player or solo). Difficulty [Predicted Hard but I think I am cracking it]

New Year's Resolution#2: "To finish 24 Modelling Projects  in 2015"

1.       Airfix Matilda II #7 (Project Type [a]) Complete
2.       Airfix Matilda II #8 (Project Type [a]) Complete
3.       AWI 28mm Painting Prototype Figure (Project Type [d]) Complete
4.       AWI 28mm Regular Infantry Unit (14 Figures) (Project Type [c]) WIP (1 of 14)
5.       Airfix Matilda II #9 (Project Type [a]) Complete
6.       StarGruntz GZG 15mm Infantry Platoon (10 Figures) (Project Type [c]) WIP (8 of 40)
7.       Airfix Fairey Battle (Project Type [a]/[b]) WIP
8.       Games Workshop Space Marines (Blood Angels) WIP
9.       Games Workshop Space Marines (Imperial Fists) WIP

Project Types: (a) making a larger scale model from kit in box to assembled [1/76+ vehicle or plane, 1/1200+ ship], (b) painting a larger scale an assembled model [see (a)], (c) painting a tactical squad of troops or small scale wargaming OoB element [1/200 or 1/300 micro-tanks or aircraft. 1/3000 scale ships], (d) Painting Prototype(s) for (c) if an in-depth mini project.

Notes: Difficulty [Medium, though it is looking easy given the unexpected backlog/supply of Airfix "tanks" I have recently found in the loft I would say more easy, so I upped the target tally to 24]

New Year's Resolution#3: "To read 5 Wargaming Related Book in 2015"

·         None! (As yet, though there is plenty of latent reading matter lying around the house, as my wife constantly reminds me)

Notes:  This includes, new Rule Books, Historical Reference Books, Historical Novels, Campaign Histories, Books on Modelling Techniques excludes magazines. Difficulty [Easy, er well I seem to have struck out in January/February, much to my surprise (again).

New Year's Resolution#4: "To experiment with Digital Resources for my Hobbies"

Note: This includes "Getting a Kindle" (at some point), playing On-Line Games (which probably means getting a new computer) ... this could mean goodbye to some books, or at least not so many new ones! Difficulty [Medium, still medium]

Cor, this is quite a serious looking post (again), 2015 mapped out!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Dirty Yellow Deadly Eggs: The Fairey Battle's Payload

Slow progress on the Fairey Battle, but some progress is at least is a positive report. I decided to have "my Fairey Battle" in an action 'bomb run' pose with her bomb bay doors open showing her deadly cargo (of 4 x 250lb bombs). In order to authentically do this the ordnance had to be painted yellow with red stripe to wards the tip, sigh (see below):

Yes it was a bit of a pain but I managed it. I even went as far as painting the interior area with a gunmetal dry-brush over a black undercoat. even though inside and 99% out of view. In my defense little bits do legitimately 'peek through' near the wheels. The bombs themselves were painted yellow, but built up from a dark yellow/light brown with two or three successive highlights using whatever was to hand (various Vallejo and Tamiya pots I think), then washed in Vallejo Umber Shade to 'dirty up'. All extreme perhaps, including the silly (but visible red line) I painted on by hand (having chickened out of doing it with the decals provided). The hope is to get the finished Battle looking 'rough and dirty' as befits its chaotic short life span on a French ploughed field runway before it was overrun by the advancing Germans.

Next step is to give it an overall basic paint scheme and then do the canopy!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Xmas Present Review

It may seen kind of late but this is what I got for Xmas on the modelling front (see below):

Courtesy of the Airfix "Black Friday" discount promotion when I 'hassled' the family about "What dad thought was cool for Xmas". At £20 instead of £50 it seemed a bargain. I think I have re-learnt this trick from the kids. I didn't stop there as I went a tad nautical crazy and picked up an E-Boat for £10 instead of the usual £35! (see below):

Last but not least was the Saturn V Skylab (£15 instead of £40). It'll come in handy for a Science Projdct honest! (See below):

I was then tranqilised and sedated but not before I had clicked on the Cutty Sark Starter Pack (£2.49 instead if £8), a 1/350 spare RN Helicopter and Sea Harrier pack (£0.99 instead of £4.99) and an M3 Half-Track (£2.49 instead of £8) all just to qualify for the free P&P and perversely save me money on the order!

My excuse was that I was doing the family a favour and saving them all from hours at the "shops the ladies hate!"

Monday, 16 February 2015

Something from the Weekend Sir?

Well along with sticks of rock and buckets of sweets from the seaside shops, Daddy picked himself up a curio from a little toy shop (see below):

These ex-Matchbox, new Revell 1:76 figures are real classics. I don't remember Marchbox doing anything as interesting as the Falklands War! To be fair I fancy them taking a crack at 1970/80 era Soviets in the same way Paul down under has been playing recently ;)

Addendum: (see below I already had purchased the British Infantry of WWII pack, silly me, still on the look-out for the others though):

When I see any of this classic old range I have vowed to snap them up.

  • WWII German
  • WWII 8th Army
  • WWII Japanese
  • WWII US .
Note: The picture does not do them justice :(

Friday, 13 February 2015

Fairey Battle Progress: Primer Time and RAF Crew

I applied my new favourite Airfix paint (Primer Gray) all over the Fairey Battle kit. I took time to paint up the crew and interior Cockpit Green. I did a little shade and base colour mixing even though the crew are going to be underneath a canopy (see below):

This is the point where I discovered I cannot find the decals! Yikes, frantic searching continues. Interestingly, the Fairey Battle has a crew of three, but one (the bomb -aimer/navigator) was hidden away in the belly of the beast.

Modelling Tip: The position of the rear gunner's seat is set as if the canopy is closed. If the more attractive 'action pose' is needed (as per my model above) then the eat and gunner has to be moved about a cm (?, if my memory serves me correctly, again see picture above) towards the tail. Otherwise the canopy won't fit correctly and it sits inconveniently on the gunner's lap. In the end I had to move mine twice

Note: I picked this up from an Internet forum/blog (think it could have been the Airfix Tribute Forum [see below])

Next Stage: Putting it all together

Saturday, 7 February 2015

What Airfix didn't give me for Xmas or 2015

This may sound a a little ungrateful perhaps, but I would like to have seen the following kits re-released in 2015:

  • 1/600 HMS Ajax
  • 1/600 KM Graf Spee
  • 1/76 Crusader I/II/III

On a more positive note the 1/76 re-release of the original Tiger I comes as a "plus" (though it is not the best kit on the market the mold is probably the oldest) but I would have liked it more if it came with the correct stowage bin at the back and mud-flaps (seventh heaven if you put zimmerat on the hull). The mud-flaps and exhaust covers are some things I should do to my Airfix "pair" given that I added the stowage bins at the back (see links below):

In my fantasy world (because I think the molds are long gone) I would love to see the re-releases of:

  • 1/76 Airfix Commandos Series 2 not the characterless Series 1 we have gone back to :(
  • 1/76 Airfix British Infantry (original sculpts)
  • 1/76 SAM 2 Missile Launcher
Maybe in 2016?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

WWII Early War Aircraft: The Fairey Battle

This has been a long term France 1940 dream project, the infamous RAF Fairey Battle (AASF - Advanced Air Strike Force), possibly the "worst" [British] bomber of WWII and we had a few to chose from. I never got the kit as a child but when I saw the error of my ways and wanted one they were not around in the 1990's to 2005+. So I snapped one up when it was finally re-released recently (a few years back?). Now it is finally Fairey Battle construction time (see below for the dissected construction WIP):

The parts are assembled into sub-assemblies ready for priming and then inside out paint with Cockpit Green and the RAF Flyers getting their blue uniform and yellow harness treatment. Originally I was thinking of getting three kits and doing an air scenario for the attack on the Sedan Bridgehead, a kind of early war 1940 style 633 Squadron attack (with everybody going down in a hail of light flak), but even light bombers are "big" to store in 1/72 scale. It may be more feasible to do this in Zevezda's 1/144 or metal 1/300, with my German 1/200 Blitzkrieg kit being the land elements/targets.

The latter thoughts must be considered to be in the "future project" category.