Saturday, 30 March 2013

A Simple Conversion

Last week ModelZone in Brum were having a clear out sale. Vastly reduced prices and a 3-for-2 offer. So I bought 6x 1/76 Matchbox Krupp-Protze, complete with Door-Knockers. £36 worth of toys for £7: bargainsome! So, having Sov'ed myself to exhaustion I'm now working on the Fritzes.

I have lots of German infantry already painted up so it's the vehicles I shall concentrate upon. In this case one of the Krupps is being turned into a mobile AA platform with a Zvezda 20mm AA cannon. The build is as per the box instructions with the addition of a platform over the seats for the gun to rest on.

Here's a thrilling progress pic:

I also went to BrumTown for some bits and bobs which included these toy vehicles. Both destined to serve in the Gitlerite armies.


Friday, 29 March 2013

Танк корпус Ура!

I have finally completed, with help from SUH, the first of my MB Sov Toy Tank Corps. It is looking likely that there will be either three Tank Corps or two plus a Mechanized Corps. This is in addition to the two Rifle Corps and the projected Artillery Division. Interesting times in the toy factory.

Back row from the left:

Recce Battalions, AA Regiment, SPA Regiment + LOG Truck, SPG Regiment, Corps POL Truck, Corps LOG Truck

Front row from the left:

1st, 2nd, 3rd Tank Brigades, Motorised Rifle Brigade, HQ

Happy Easter!

PS Someone has done a  +1 on this post. Anyone know what this means? I think it's a good thing but I don't know why.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Death

 Terral Morgan
14th April 1962 -  20th March 2013

My oldest male friend, we've known each other for 40 years, has passed away. His name is Terral Morgan and he was also my first wargames opponent using Don Featherstone's 'War Games'. He has been suffering from cancer for some time and it has finally beaten him. His funeral is next Friday 5th April at 10am in our home town of Birkenhead.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Strange Uncle Hugh.....

......has only gone and sent me a ton of loot to beef up my Soviet toy tank corps! An unbelievable haul of metal tanks, paints, modelling putty and sundry other items. All he asked in return was that I make a donation to The Poppy Appeal which I've done.

In no particular order:

1 x Churchill Tank
2 x T-34/76 Tanks
1 x SU-85 Tank Destroyer
1 x T-70 Tank
1 x T-38t Tank
1 x White Scout Car
1 x SU-76 SPG

All in 20mm scale.

Tankograd is already on double shifts!

9 Bottles of Vallejo paints

1 Bottle of Vallejo thinners

1 Tamiya weathering kit

1 Earth colour weathering pigment

1 bag of modelling putty

2 Bottles of decal solutuon

1 Bottle of brown ink/wash

Thanks, Uncle!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Logistics Is The Key (As Well As Fear)

Regular readers will recall I knocked up a couple of Soviet rifle corps a few weeks back. I was stumped for suitable LOG vehicles until quite recently. There's a stall in Birmingham's Rag Market which sells crockery, dvds and Days Gone By vehicles for cheap. I bought the two panje wagons pictured below for £1 each, not bad I'm sure you will agree. They are, possibly, a little too sophisticated: the one has rear doors and a cover for the driver. The other was a milk float in a former life but has been re-imagined into a socialist realist vehicle for LOG purposes. Besides the milk would have gone off by now.


Monday, 18 March 2013

Self-Propelled Artillery Goodness

Pegasus comes up trumps again with these beauties! Just a pic of the box for the minute but trust me I can hear engine sounds from within.

Friday, 15 March 2013

The Angels Wore Red

I've not been well the last few days. Managed, for months, to dodge all the flu & noro-virus malarkey all my friends have been laid low with but then I catch a cold! Bah!

You can tell I wasn't well while doing these Soviet air regiments. They look scruffy and at least one decal is hanging off the tail of the lend-lease Hurricane. Even the bases look poor to my streaming eye. The toys are all from Zvezda's 1/144 scale range for Art of Tactic. The LaGG-3 was a very poor aircraft despite its attractive lines. I was surprised that the Hurricane was quite noticeably larger than the LaGG and not much smaller than the Il-2. My favourite is, of course, the Sturmovik although even its combat performance was, apparently, propaganda enhanced. No matter, I weep for the toy Germans when they appear over the Megablitz battlefields.

Welcome to my new follower, kitnoob, I hope you enjoy what I do!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Valerie's Patisserie.... a continuation of Drucker's by other means. They do, however, offer a nice range of cakes plus you get hot milk with your Americano coffee. And I got to spend the afternoon with my eldest daughter so it's all good!



Monday, 11 March 2013

Life On Snickers

Bit of variety needed I thought so I've painted up the last four 28mm 'Geezers' toys. Once again I've gone for a palette of beige, grey and 'you're not going to wear that are you?' colours. Seems legit.

Anyway here's two intrepid members of Toytown CID: one by the book the other not so much. DCI Jack Hunt and DI Sam Carter.

Here's their arch-enemy: Ron Andreg. I was going to photo this slap-head outside the Rug Palace but he knows where I live.

Mr. Andreg outside one of his legitimate business concerns. Well known for its use of choice cuts of horse, dog, cat and gangster in all its dishes.

Our heroes, with Detective Constable Knuckles, pictured outside 'Hendy's Café & Restaurant' . RESTAURANT?!?!?!?! Anyway, it's well known in downtown Toytown as a  haunt of smugglers, scramblers, burglars, gamblers, pickpockets, peddlers and even panhandlers. And therefore a mine of information.

Move along please!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Time Spent On Reconnaissance Is Never Wasted

Early this morning Aggers asked via Test Match Special's FaceBook page what people were doing while listening to the match commentary. So I told him: 'I'm painting 1/72 scale tanks & troops for a Megablitz Soviet tank corps.' This went down enormously well with Aggers and Virgil. I know this because they read out and discussed my post for a couple of minutes. Fame at last and a bit of free publicity!

And which toys in particular? Why the recce battalion of course! I bought a boxed pair of BA-10s (Pegasus) yesterday along with the Art of Tactic Soviet Recce Troops. I wanted a mixed battalion of armoured cars and recce troops. Luckily I'd also scored a bagful of the Days Gone By toy trucks so transport, for once, wasn't a problem for my brave lads.

I made a tilt for the truck after rubbing down and washing the paint work. I'm definitely getting better at this task. The brown paper works very well but I discovered that a drop of Vallejo WW2 Russian Uniform mixed with white glue gives a really worn tarpaulin look. I'm not shy with this mix either: use loads of it to really soak the paper and mould it onto the tilt frame.

The BA-10 was made straight from the box minus its spare wheels. It's a nice simple kit but with quite a good amount of detail. I noticed that the white glue/black paint mix I use as an undercoat and key has produced a nice rough finish on the toy's surface. Really armour-like.

The toy troops come as a 4-toy team. I decided to split them up into pairs. Undercoated with a mix of white glue and Vallejo brown. Once dry I painted their camo suits with Vallejo Russian Green with a drop of Vallejo WW2 Russian Uniform. Once dry I used Revell Dark Earth for the camo splodges and a final wash of GW Dervlan Mud.


Friday, 8 March 2013

Tank Destroyers!

After resolving the production difficulties at No 1 Tank Factory, Birmingrad, manufacture recommenced. I'm actually quite chuffed with these two SU-85s. I think they look quite deadly. Especially to fascist vipers.

SU-85 & T-34 Brigades

Death To Gitlerites!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Read & Understand Before Building!

I bought a box of 1/72 SU-85 Tank Destroyers from ArmourFast the other day and last night I started the build. Armourfast you say? Oh, they practically build themselves don't they? Well, yes and no. The instructions on the back are straightforward enough provided you actually study them. Not the 'I'm-a-MAN-quick-look' which I did.

I put the first one's hull together with little difficulty until it came to the gun mounting. Not only did I glue it on upside down I also glued the top cover for the mounting behind the gun mantlet. I gazed at the big hole on top of the mounting and then the penny dropped. Cue much gentle slicing and prising to correct the error. And I had to make another top cover out of plasticard. Silly James

After that it was a piece of cake...........

PVA Glue & 'New Mod' In Place


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A Weekend

Phew! Quite a busy weekend just gone. And no modelling activity to speak of! True I'm afraid but don't worry I was having a good time.

Friday saw me make a last minute decision to go a dance in Nuneaton at the Co-Op's Social Club. Never been before, didn't know it existed in fact. It's an Art-Deco building which has been 'updated' but still retains many of it's original features. Sweeping staircases, high contrast colours, geometric forms and lots of metal. The dance floor was the best I've ever been on: slidy, zippy, bouncy it had it all. There were a number of my dance chums there so all was set for a splendid evening.

Except for the band. I've seen this with jazz bands before: play a tune; get everyone up on the floor; shuffle the sheet music for several minutes; everyone sits down; play a tune and repeat. MAKE A BLOODY PLAY LIST! The singer thought he was FrankSinatraDeanMartinBobbyDarin. He wasn't. Despite this we had a great time and I would definitely go back. Just get a better big band or stick with a DJ only.

The Band Doing A Sheet Music Shuffle

Strolling Is NOT Line Dancing. 
Except They Are Dancing.
In Lines


Saturday. Birmingham's Custard Factory hosted part of The Malvern Flea Market and its own monthly Vintage Market. It was a lovely sunny day and I spent it in the company of one of my lovely friends: Estelle. There were also several other friends we bumped into as well as visiting GingerMegs. We had a nice lunch in the café on site called Yumm. I scored a silk bow tie, I can tie bow ties hehe, and a pair of travel shoe stretchers.

GingerMegs Shop Front

Some Stalls Selling Stuff

Sunday. Sutton Coldfield Town Hall hosted its quarterly Vintage Market. Virginia of Gingermegs had asked me on Saturday if I could help her out. Of course I said yes. Her chap Edward was there also. We set the stall up and then waited for the deluge. It came not long after. V's merchandise is properly vintage and attracted her regulars but also lots of new customers. There was entertainment on the stage in the main hall from two rock'n'roll bands and also swing-dancing from two different classes. I scored a 1930s white dress scarf to go with my tuxedo. Three items may not sound a lot but trust me, for a bloke, it's a good haul! I went to bed at 9pm. Who would have thought working on a vintage market could be so exhausting?

Monday. Not a lot during the day, just grocery shopping. Monday night though is Lindy-Hop Class and we had several absolute beginners. One was V's best friend Sam and Estelle's brother, also Sam, as well as one of the traders from yesterday's market. As usual it was hard work, challenging but above all great fun. They all said they had enjoyed themselves and would be back.

GingerMeg's Looking Pleased Because......

.......She's Got New Dancing Shoes!

Estelle and her brother Sam

Estelle, Sam, Me, Sam & V seconds after the first class

A great weekend with some lovely people and mostly nice weather. More of the same please!

Friday, 1 March 2013


I've done a lot of dancing this week: three classes as of last night. To be honest I think I may be over doing it a little bit. My left Achilles tendon is a bit sore and it kept me awake all last night. I also had an argumentative follower to dance with last night. The maxim in swing-dance, as in any kind of partner dance, could have been coined by Stalin himself: FOLLOW THE LEADER. Don't stop dead in the middle of a move because it didn't follow the pattern you think it should. Follow the leader.

Anyway, talking of Stalin one's thoughts turn automatically to my ongoing Megablitz project. Which, as Tim Gow hinted at, is taking on a life of its own. My initial plan was to have two Soviet Rifle Corps, one Soviet Tank Corps and one Soviet Artillery Division. I think it will be bigger than that. And then there's the Germans. At least I'm  the leader...........

Here's some pictures of the latest toys to roll off the production line:

Revell's M16. Built straight from the box as an AA Regiment for one of the tank corps. A fairly straightforward kit. No single track link nonsense here. Undercoated in black; painted with Vallejo Russian Olive Green; weathered with Revell Earth Brown & Vallejo Dark Sand. The red stars are 20mm Hinchcliffe I got from ebay. The cover over the cab is a piece of brown paper envelope cut to fit and then painted with a mix of Vallejo Russian Uniform and white glue. The whole piece was then washed with GW Dervlan Mud. I use cork tiles to base my toys. I found the tiles placed outside a neighbour's house for disposal. I decided their future lay in other directions besides landfill. The base is painted earth brown; the toy glued on with it's magnetic square. Once dry I paint white glue on the base and shuffle the toy in my flock box. Spray of matt varnish and done.

1/76 Fujimi T-34/85. Built straight from the box as a Soviet tank brigade. Painted and based exactly the same as the M16. The tracks were a right bugger to get on. In the end I used lots of glue and cocktail sticks to wedge them in place. I tend to leave off stuff like headlights, aerials, AA HMGs and the like. They're fiddly and pointless given that I want these toys to play Megablitz and Crossfire with. Not exhibit them. Some may disagree and that's completely fine; I'm not changing.

Finally some pictures of the queue for the workbench:

Su-85 Tank Destroyer Regiment and Matchbox LOG truck with tilt frame in place.

Hanomags & Tank Destroyers

I've got some Italian stuff too............