Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Weak Attempt at 15mm US Marine Desert MARPAT

Last month I finally managed to paint my Peter Pig marines in what turned out to be a really poor attempt at the USMC desert MARPAT camo.  My reason for posting the pics isn't so much to showcase my lack of painting skill, but to share some thoughts on color choices.
When I prepared to paint, I posted online for some guidance and searched out various forums with helpful posts.  Unfortunately, I found that a lot of people were using brands of paints different from the Vallejo paints that I had available for their desert scheme.  I ended up reviewing a ton of photos of figures and  Marines online, and some in books, and came of with some paint selections to use.  I can't claim that my choices are particularly right, but after comparing them to slightly used Marine Marpat uniforms and gear at the local surplus store, I think they are not far off the mark at worst, and thought I'd share the color choices.

The photos show the figs in in two lighting conditions, the darker ones matching the background color that I used while taking the poics pretty closely, the brighter ones showing the contrast of the lighter colors a little better ( I think), but look a bit too yellow .  Here are the pics:

Okay, you can stop laughing now.  Think colors, not painting quality. The paint is all Vallejo brand and is described below:

Base Uniform:  Custom mix of two parts #847 Dark Sand to one part #70987 Medium Grey.

Uniform camo colors: #70987 Medium Grey, #70988 Khaki, #873 US Field Drab

Vest/web gear/pouches/packs: #70988 Khaki

Boots: #890 US Tan Earth

Goggles: #70994 Medium Grey

Goggle Lenses: #70994 Dark Grey

The color choices above reflect what I saw with the greatest frequency in photos. Goggles in black and other tans were not uncommon, and gloves in green, tan (some with the back of the kuckles reinforced in black material), and black were also common. Many Marines also had green pouches and whatnot.

The figs are the Peter Pig US Marines from their Line 17.  I got mine through Brookhurst Hobbies in the US.  Anyway, hope this might be of help to some or provide a good laugh to others.

Friday, May 27, 2011

15mm Old Glory Command Decision Modern Middle Eastern Regulars

I made my first miniatures orders in over a year recently, and ordered some of the Old Glory/Command Decision 15mm Modern Middle Eastern figures.  I ordered them sight unseen, as I figure good or bad that I will use them to round out my troops.  I also figured that since I have frequently seen requests on various forums for photos of the figs, that I would post a couple pics of them here.

First up is CDMOD-5 Middle Eastern Regulars with AK-47.

 I received 50 figures in 5 poses, with the standing poses ranging from 16 to 16.5mm in height.  The standing poses above are mounted on 1/2 inch square styrene plastic bases.  I left the kneeling/firing figure to the left unmounted for the photo, as I had to trim the metal base down to mount them, and wanted to show an unaltered fig in the photo.

The figs are armed with AK47s or AKMs and light on equipment, generally with a belt canteen, and some ammo pouches, and should work fine for a number of Middle Eastern armies.

I also received a pack of CDMOD-6 Middle Eastern Regulars Com & Weapons.

I received 45 figures and 5 mortars (55 pieces) with figures in five poses.  This pack includes a prone machine-gunner, a RPG gunner, an officer or non-com with pistol drawn, a kneeling mortar crewman with mortar bomb held to his chest, and a standing mortar crewman loading a bomb. The pack also includes several two-piece mortars.   The standing figs range form 15mm in height for the RPG gunner (the shortest standing figure from the two packs) to 16.5mm for the crewman, to 18mm for the officer fig. 

The officer figure does stand obviously tall, but the other figs all fit within a fairly narrow height range.  It is not my intent here to review the quality or craftsmanship invested in the sculpts, or how dynamic the poses are.  That is subjective stuff, eye of the beholder and all that.  I'm just sharing basic info.  Hopefully the photos and measurements will be of use to some viewers.  The figs are pretty much what I expected, and will fit fine in the role that I intended for them in my armies. 

Now I need to go find a paint brush and get to work.

My First 15mm Post War T34/85 Casting

Wow, another month gone, and not much accomplished.  One of the few things that I did get done was the first casting of one of my post war T34/85s.  I just finished it in basic Soviet green and gave it a coat of dust. I need to go back and dress it up a little, but here's a pic as it sets right now.

To be honest, I'm not altogether happy with it.  I made some of the track/suspension detail too light, and I can hardly find it in the castings. Additionally, the track is thicker than I like.  I have a habit of making track too thin with respect to casting.  The thin track yields more bad castings than thicker tracks.  While the thickness here is comparable too, and yet still thinner than some of the metal castings that are out there.  I should have gone one or two hundreds of an inch thinner. Oh well, coulda, woulda, shoulda. Here's another pic of it.

Should get into full swing casting them next week.  I should have pics of the first ERC-90 next week as well.  It is complete and molds made, just haven't had time to cast them yet.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

15mm PostWar T34/85

I know that there are a lot of nice 15mm T34/85 models already out there, but since I need a bunch of these for various armies of the Cold-War era and for my fictional African campaign, I decided to make my own. 

Over the years, I have read about various differences between wartime and postwar production vehicles, making mental notes about some of the differences.  I ended up referring to information from private owners of T34/85 postwar tanks and found that much of what I had read was not exactly true.  In the end, my T34/85 only has a couple of obvious features that might distinguish it as a postwar vehicle, but regardless, I'm pretty happy with how it is shaping up and thought I'd post a couple of pics.

The only obvious postwar details visible (almost) in the top photo is the sharp edge to the hull front and the arrangement of the headlights.

There is still a fair amount of detailing to do, and the tracks don't look like much yet, but if I can get a couple more hours free, I should have it done.  I'm not sure that there will be enough interest to offer this one for sale, but I'll probably need about 60-70 of them for all of the stuff that I want to do.

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Only Pics from Fall-In '93

Back when I had free time and less debt, I used to go to a lot of gaming conventions, up to a dozen per year.  I believe it was in '93 (though feel free to correct me if I am wrong) that HMGS-East ran their first Fall-In historical miniatures gaming convention in Gettysburg, PA.  I went to the con with a good friend , had a good time, saw lots of great games, and took a few pics. 

For anyone who went to the con, one the the memorable things was the endless rain that tried to drown the convention.  I fondly remember missing the shuttle from the hotel to the convention center, and then splishing my way across the inland sea of Pennsylvania, while trying to inhale more air than rain. 

Recently I stumbled across two pics that we took on the return trip from Gettysburg. Unfortunately, I can't find any of the pics of the games from the con, but the two that I found are not something that you see everyday.  We were heading back to US 76, but I can't remember the route that we were on.  During that leg of the trip we saw quite a number of rock slides along the highway (due to the rain), including this one:

Although we didn't get him in the photo, the most ironic thing about the sight was a county worker, just out of the view to the right, that was attempting to sweep up rocks with a push broom.  I hate to think of what this might have been like, had the driver been there a second or two sooner.  As it was, it didn't appear that there were any injuries, other than the to the car.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

ERC 90 F4 Sagaie Progress

Long time, no post.   With time in short supply (as aways), I've slowly managed to near completion of my 15mm master of the French ERC 90 armored car.  I still need to finish the wheels and do some clean up work, but the beast is basically done.  Here are a couple of pics:

And an overhead for size comparison with a US M2A2 Bradley and the French VBL armored car.

This is one of my all-time favorite armored vehicles, and I will be very happy, when  I can add these to my French forces for my fictional African campaign.  It is very sleek, like a Corvette with 90mm cannon.  Check out the cool video at the bottom of the page here

The complete model will consist of 9 pieces; hull, turret, gun tube, and six wheels.  It will take a couple of weeks to get through the mold making, assuming that I don't stumble on to any glitches in the casting process (the gun tube may be a pain).  Next up for completion is the M-ATV and post war T34/85.