An Increase in the Tank Park

I was out of Manila this weekend and discovered a model shop which had a supply of 1/72 scale modern tanks. There were also a few packets of 1/72 scale plastic figures as well but it was the tanks I was interested in.

I picked up a Challenger and a Merkava for the collection. I will get around to doing an unboxing of these later but a quick look has me salivating with the detail.

They go along with the M1 Abrams and the T-72 collection along with the lone T-80 and ZTZ-99.

What I would like to add to round out the modern collection would be a Leopard 2 and an AMX-56 LeClerc.

Now I just need to time to start to sit down and buid some of these (or buy some more early World War 2 tanks).

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Some More Kits

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The M4A3E8 Sherman of Korean War vintage

I was out and about the other day. I had to go over the MegaMall in Ortigas City, Metro Manila. Apart from a very useful art supply store on the 4th floor of Mega B that has a complete range of Vallejo Paints amongst others as well as some quite good sable brushes, there is a Lil’s HobbyShop in the basement. This particular branch of Lil’s has a good range of 1/72 scale tanks as well as the more popular larger scales. As I had a Pershing, one of the American Tanks that saw some action in Korea, I thought a Korean War Sherman would be a good addition to the collection.

The Sherman is an older Trumpeter kit and has the stretchable plastic tracks that I hate. The cost of the kit was 330 pesos (about $10 Aussie or US $7.20). I’ll get around to an unboxing soon.

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The soviet JS-3 (Josef Stalin 3) heavy tank

Once I had found the Sherman I then thought that a Soviet JS-3 was in order, in part to keep the theme for heavy tanks of the World War 2/Korean War era. Trumpeter also make a JS-3 and this kit was newer than the Sherman as the tracks are moulded in the same plastic as the model, much easier to deal with.

Given the clean lines of this tank there is not a great deal of detail that can be moulded on but the model looked clean. As with the Sherman, I will unbox it later. The cost of this was also 330 pesos (about $10 Aussie or US $7.20).

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T-80UD MBT

Model Collect is a new Chinese company producing models. The range was small at Lil’s with about 10 kits in stock. The company tends to concentrate on Soviet/Russian equipment currently with some World War 2 German items.

These kits are magnificent however. The barrel is metal and there are also photo-etched parts to this beastie. The tracks look easy to deal with as well. Again, I will do a full unboxing in the not too distant future.

This kit though contains way more parts than the Trumpeter kits and the detail on these models is superb – in part I guess from the photo-etched pieces.

They are more expensive than Trumpeter as well with this model retailing for 1,598 pesos (about $45 Aussie or $33 US). The price direct from Model Collect for this is about $25 so considerably more than Trumpeter but for a kit that is a quantum leap forward in detail and inclusions.

I am looking forward to building these in the near future.

How Big is the Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank?

Panther on the left, Pershing on the right and the Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank in the iddle
Panther on the left, Pershing on the right and the Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank in the middle

I was curious about exactly how small the Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank so I grabbed the hulls from two other kits I have here to build. A Dragon Panther on the left and a Trumpeter Pershing on the right.

The Type 95 Ha-Go is in the centre. It is tiny.

It occurred to be tonight how much I like Tamiya modelling tools. The modelling knife has a tab on the side, the only purpose of which an be to stop the knife rolling across the modelling bench. This I appreciate as I have managed to stab myself in the thigh a couple of times in the past as a tool drops from the table and my legs react and snap together before my brain can get the message to the legs of “noooooo!”

I appreciate the forethought Tamiya.

Another Kit

Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank
Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank

I had to go collect my laptop from a PC repair after I dropped it at home here a while back. Unfortunately the hard drive was spinning up when I dropped it so the drive had to be replaced. The repair was going to take about a week but I needed a laptop for work so I bought a cheap one to use and put this repair off until the next payday.

I collected it a few days ago. The repair shop is in the Greenhills area of Manila in V-Mall. Also in V-Mall is a good model shop. I saw the Dragon kit of the IJA Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank. I have some in 1/285 scale so thought it would be nice to get one in 1/72 scale as well.

Big Box for small tank
Big Box for small tank

When I got it home I had to have a look inside (actually, a quick inspection was made at the shop to ensure it was all there before bringing it home). The model is tiny, especially when viewed inside the packaging. You can see how tiny the hull is in respect of the box in the picture to the right.

The parts look crisply cast though and I like the use of etched brass for the exhaust cover on the tank. I’m looking forward to building this wee beastie. I will document the build when I do it.

Work in Progress – Russians

Soviet KV-1 Heavy tanks
Soviet KV-1 Heavy tanks

I decided that I needed to catch up on some of the half (quarter, eighth, sixteenth …) finished work in the man cave. Looking for something quick and easy but something I could try some new techniques on as well, I decided to go back to the 6mm World War 2 Russians.

Back on 27 August 2012 I finished the first batch of tanks for the Russians, a battalion of Lend Lease Valentines. I decided to do some more Russian vehicles and try some weathering effects on them with two of Tamiya’s Tank Weathering shades.

A Gaz (Soviet Jeep) and command group
A Gaz (Soviet Jeep) and command group – the C-in-C in fact. I use the trees to flag command elements in BKC

I also decided to do a base of infantry – just to see that needed to be painted and what could be left.

The pictures here are the vehicles I have finished so far. I have a battalion of T34/76s almost ready for basing and that will take care of the Soviet armour for this project – well except for the addition of some T34/85s so I can build the force for late war as well.

The image on the left are some KV-1s finished, the image on the right is a command group next to a particularly tall tree and below we have a BA-10 Armoured Car.

Soviet BA-10 Armoured Car
Soviet BA-10 Armoured Car

Work in Progress

DSC01480I finally got around to starting to paint the Russians. I still need to base another battalion of infantry but I plan to do that this weekend, maybe. In the meantime, I thought I would start on some armour just to get back into the swing of painting. I also thought that I might start on a couple of buildings as well. All of the armour for the Russians, and the buildings for that matter, are from GHQ and CinC. This first batch though are all GHQ.

I started by basing all the armour and the buildings on FOW bases. I use the small bases for the armour and infantry, and medium bases for the buildings (with a notable exception) and artillery. The notable exception is the Russian church that I posted pictures of recently (the Brass etching post). For that model I used a FOW large and medium base.

The figures were then all undercoated in flat black.

Once the undercoat has dried, I then give the figures a quick black wash. This is just to provide a wee bit of coverage for anything missed through the spray undercoat process.

DSC01482Once the figures are dry again I then apply a heavy, wet brush of white. This is done with a large flat brush and is done by using the same technique that you would use for dry brushing, just leaving a little more paint on the brush. This has two effects. One is top make it easier to see the detail when applying later coats of colour. The second is that it provides a brighter undercoat under the colours to follow, lifting them and lightening them a little. The third thing is that it starts the shading process around the detail.DSC01486

Next was the first colour coat. In this case I was painting some Valentines for the Russians. The Russians used 3,784 Valentine tanks, 2,394 were British built and 1,390 Canadian built. As these were supplied by Britain and Canada, they were supplied to Russia in British tank colours, in this case a khaki green.

OK, that is the state of Work in Progress at the moment. I hope to finish these tanks this week, after all, there are only the tracks and a light dry-brush to go as well as darkening the machine guns and the base of course.

Figure Tart

I am. I’m always looking for something new. It’s not enough that the current painting and project queue consists of 15mm DBA Ancients, 1/6000 World War 1 ships, 1/3000 World War 1 and 2 ships, 1/1200 scale Aeronefs, 2mm Land Ironclads, 1/300 scale Napoleonic and Ancients (and lots of the Napoleonic’s I might add), a nominal 1/3000 scale space fleet and 6mm World War 2 and Future War Commander armies but I need to look for more.

What did I do?

I ordered a sample pack of the Oddzial Osmy 1/600th scale (that’d be 3mm) figures. Given the stellar performance of the Aussie dollar at the moment, the sample pack of these figures only cost me Aussie $10, including postage from the US. So, I order the Yom Kippur War sample pack from PicoArmor.com of Illinois, USA. The pack contents includes:

  • 3 Centurion
  • 3 M113
  • 3 M109
  • 3 T-55
  • 3 BTR-50
  • 3 Polish M-30 howitzer
  • and 3 Infantry

It’ll be fun to paint these up and test out the basing of these vehicles and figures. If, as I expect, these vehicles and figures work out as well as I think they will, then the creative juices will be flowing and I’ll think about adding another project to the list – perhaps something around the Middle East – or perhaps a mini collection.

First – let’s get the figures and have a look at them. Then let’s worry about the project queue.

A Modern Game – the Danes hold NATO’s Northern Flank

PA312497 I trekked to Canberra over the weekend. The main reason was to see number three son and visit the Australian War Memorial (see another post coming up). However instead of driving back to Sydney on Saturday night I headed over to Doug and Gillian’s to see two of my favourite Labradors as well as to have a game with Doug.

We’d been looking at the Cold War Commander Rules and Doug had been purchasing off eBay. I’d sent an order to Navwar in the UK (6 days from the time I faxed the order until I had the goods in my hands) for some Heroics and Ros tanks and Infantry. I was building a Danish force circa 1970 to 1990. Doug had Soviets so, setting the year as 1984, we had a game.

Basically the game revolved around the Danes providing a holding force on NATO’s northern flank to slow the advance of a second-string Soviet column. The Danes had set up a very hasty defence, digging a mechanised infantry battalion in across the centre of the expected line of advance, supported by a couple of squadrons of light tanks (M41 Walker Bulldogs – one troop shown in the picture above about to advance on some BMPs).

The Danes held, especially as the T-72s rolled in against the infantry. When we called time and the Danes surrendered, they had held the Soviet advance for a fair while and it was a near run thing as the Soviet morale was also starting to get close to becoming shaky.

It was an enjoyable game, made enjoyable as much from the good company as anything else.

The picture above shows the Danish M41s almost completed – the bases need finishing and a final varnish which will be done this week. I’ll post pictures of them when they are finished. I also have a battalion of Centurions to paint for the Danes as well which will give them more punch against the Soviets as well as consigning the M41s to the Recce role.

Next up after finishing off the Danes will be Norwegians.

Korean War Memorial Museum

Korea War Memorial MuseumThe Korean War Memorial Museum notes about it’s raison d’être that “since the end of the Korean War many important war records have been disappearing and that generation [that fought in that war] has also been disappearing”. Korea was established through a number of struggles and the War Memorial Museum was proposed and built to pull all this information together.

So, the purpose of the Korean War Memorial Museum was for the collection, preservation and exhibition of historical relics for all the wars that Koreans fought in. At the front of the museum, there is also a plaza area that is there to serve as a reminder of the past sacrifices in war. It should also be noted that the museum was built to “commemorate loyal martyrs and their services to the nation.” There are, as a result, a couple of areas that most westerners would consider a little “heroic” in their appearance and what is displayed.

Follow this link to read more about the museum.