February 25, 2017
The last couple of days have not been idle. I painted up a few figures and am currently working on the motorcycles by Zvezda. Plastic Soldier company has a deal for 11 motorcycles for about $38. It works out to $3.50 per machine. Not bad. They will be filling out the motorcycle units for the DAK forces. Below are a couple of pics, not only of the first nearly completed cycle but also the detailed version of the sdkfz.10 card model I’ve been working on.
Front view. Both need some paint touch up and perhaps a few more details on the motorcycles.
The rear side view. I think the half track came out pretty darned good!
I am getting ready to design a CMP 15cwt truck. There was a 1/87 scale version of the truck by Best Paper Models. Their site was hacked a couple of years ago. They’ve since entered an agreement with Betexa, another company who sells paper models. Sadly, only 20 of their models have been uploaded so far and none of them are the CMP. I’ve been waiting patiently for about 6 months. The CMP does not look too difficult to design. So…
This is about the cleanest blueprint I’ve seen to date. I’m looking forward to this one.
February 17, 2017
I have not been posting but have been a little busy over the past week. The little General wanted me to build a Tiger Tank. I rescaled Rawan’s Tiger I from 1:100 scale. I think it came out well. The other thing I’ve been doing is working on a sdkfz.10 artillery tractor. Pictured on the right, it is the white template. No tracks or wheels yet. But those are pretty easy to do anyway. I do need to adjust the front fenders, widening them and fixing the length.
Side by side. The half track is tiny!
Tiger Gun barrel is the length of a toothpick minus the tapered ends. 7/8″ of paper was wrapped twice followed by 7/16″ width of paper wrapped 3 times to get the tapered look of the gun. The muzzle break is 1/8″ of a medium kabob skewer. The half track took me about 3 days to get to this point. I suspect I will have a detailed version this weekend.
The total build time of the Tiger was about 3 hours. I think it took me about 1 hour to get the half track built to that point. Maybe another half hour for tracks and wheels.
EDIT Here is the half track with wheels and tracks. When I printed it out, I realized I forgot to duplicate the wheel. Fortunately, there was a spare from my sdkfz.231 sitting on the table.
Wheels and tracks.
February 6, 2017
One of those models that is most useful for any WW2 German Army is the Horch 108 as either the Type 1A or the Type 40. The models used to be produced by Dragon and two in 1/72 scale could be had for about $20. While not great, it was affordable. Those, however, don’t seem to be in production anymore. There is a MAC model (I think) but the price is at least $20 for just 1. So, this weekend, I took it upon myself to make my own card model. Completely original work. The following picks show only the template. The details still need to be added to the model but the general shape is there. The only thing missing really is the front bumper. I am thinking I need to widen the front fenders a little too.
An early prototype from Saturday. It was an exercise in understanding how the hood was supposed to angle and fold. Mostly pretty easy.
A final build with all adjusted parts. The front fenders look a bit thin. I will either thin the wheels in the front or widen the fenders slightly. Front bumper still needs to be added.
My son said I needed to add the roof. I was originally going to leave the roof off and add the folded ridge in the back. He said he wanted it to look more like a truck. Who is to argue with the little General, right? Total build time of the final model was about 2 hours. That could go more quickly with an assembly line.
January 20, 2017
Here’s a quick update with a couple of pictures of the Sdkfz 222 model from Paper Tiger Armaments.
The front fenders were a bit tricky if only because there were no guide marks on the model. You have to eyeball the placement. The reference picture that comes with the model was a big help.
The chassis and body were easy enough to assemble. It was only 2 pieces.
January 20, 2017
Part of my “block” clearly was my feeling of being overwhelmed by the two main projects I have going right now. Rapid Fire demands some moderate forces. If you want to game the Siege of Tobruk, you needs a fair few figures. I don’t know that I will ever get to that level but even the more moderate sized forces seem a bit daunting, especially since I am using card models for my vehicles.
I’ve broken my build process down by unit and am currently trying to stay focused on the early part of the Desert War. To that end, I am starting with the 5th Light Division and it’s recon battalion. It does require about 13 figures, 3 armored cards, a pair of combo motorcycles 2 kubelwagons, a half track, 2 heavy cars, an infantry gun and a PAK 36 AT gun. I’ve already built 3 kubelwagons. The third can either be used in the motorcycle infantry battalion or as part of the later era recon battalion. I have all the infantry though I need a 5cm mortar and one anti-tank rifle. Both, I believe I can scratch built out of plastruct and card. Junior General has an ATR. I can try cutting one out just the stock and replace the barrel with a thin piece of plastruct. The 5cm Mortar is really a tube, a base plate and a very small kick stand. It is not very different from the British 2″ mortar. Probably only the stand. I’ve already posted a picture of the kubelwagen. I am currently working on an sdkfz 222. The OB also calls for a 221 which only has an MG and has a smaller turret. I may just make them both 222s and not worry about the small turret. I can even make an alternate turret in case I want two 222s.
The final bit is the Horch 108 type 40 heavy car. I cannot find a card model for it. I believe Best Paper Models had one in 1/48 scale but it has not been posted to their new site yet. In fact, they only have posted about 20 of their more than 500 or so models so far. They are moving slowly. So, I will probably be venturing into the world of card model design. The Horch is relatively square. The hood should have rounded edges to make it look somewhat authentic. That will probably be the hardest part of this effort. I think I can do it though.
I started working on a Valentine tank, another not represented by a card model. That is a later era desert tank though. It shall sit on the back burner for a while, along with my M-3 Grants.
December 29, 2016
It’s been a while since my last post. It’s been a strange and disappointing year to say the least. To top it off, the holiday blues really hit me this year. There is no underlying reason other than the usual stress that occurs to most of us this time of the year. Anyway, I hope to be back in full swing come the new year. I am be hind a post or three.
One post was the conclusion of the siege game that my son and I played out. Well, my son got bored (he is 9 you know!) and cleaned it up before I could fully play out the rest solo. What I can tell you is that the Orcs managed to clear the lower areas save 1 hero. The tower was fully held by Gandalf and his hobbit protege. The reinforcements arrived at the earliest moment as I rolled a ‘6’ for the check on the first possible turn. On that very same turn, the surviving orc warbands both took a hit and both failed morale checks. I allowed one last warband to come on the field which is where I left it right before cleanup. Even with them coming in on the opposite side of the fort from where the Elves were entering the field, I don’t think they could have accomplished their mission.
I also prmised some picture of my Cracker Line, Langton and Old North State cavalry. Nice figures all of them! I still need to attach flags and then photograph them. In the previous article I moaned about how I miscounted my purchase and would have to buy still a bag or two more. Well, as it turns out, I didn’t miscount at all. One bag of 6 troopers had dropped from the shelf they were on into a box of books below. I only found them on accident while looking for something else. They all have been reprimanded for going AWOL like that but only a reprimand as I need them on the line to fight their Yankee foes.
Finally, I have a post in the works about Twilight of the Sun King, Father Aelred Glidden’s Horse and Musket rules both of which are based on rules by Stephen Simpson appearing in Wargames Illustrated. I’ve constructed my own version which most closely resembles the good Father’s set and includes modifications for most of the black powder periods.
October 9, 2016
Some of my friends and I headed to Southern Front 2016 this past weekend. It is a small convention held annually in Raleigh, NC. Originally, it was billed as a historical miniatures convention. Currently, the participants number only about 100. Several folks stayed home as they lived in states that were severely affected by Hurricane Matthew. The games were fun and, as usual, were presented with wonderfully painted miniatures and attractive terrain. Matthew decided to change course and affected more of NC than anticipated. The Raleigh area lost power at about 2:30 on Saturday but power to the Hotel was restored around 8:00pm that night. Several games were canceled as it was tough to see in the hall. Others persevered and continued to play by flashlights, provided by the hotel staff. Despite the unfortunate complications it was a fun, relaxed even and I believe everyone had a great time. I hope to see participation increase in the coming years. Here are some highlights of games at the con including a few I participated in.
This table was scheduled to be used for about 5 games. I participated in Jimmy’s GASLIGHT game on Venus.
Squad Leader as a miniatures game. We managed to take the field against the Germans! A Stug III burns in the background as a German Platoon withdraws.
Yep! Won it out right! But at a pretty hefty cost. A German minefield claims two of my Shermans. My friend Andrew’s M-10 burns in the background, a casualty from being hit by a Jagpanther.
A battle on Venus! The Bogart Shamen summon their dinosaur minions to defeat the Sino European forces before they can get the diplomats off this crazy planet. Bloody battle but a fun scenario. In the end we did the save modifiers for shooting completely backwards. When the GASLIGHT rules say -10, that means you reduce the die roll by 10, thus making it much easier to save against missile attack! We were modifying the target number!
And then the power went out. Hurricane Matthew was supposed to hug the Carolina coats and head out to sea. Shockingly, the weather folks got this one wrong. Power went out around 2:30pm on Saturday and did not return until about 8:00pm that evening. This is a shot of a Stalingrad game using Chain of Command.
The hardcore gamers continue to the end. A shot of Ed Mohrman’s ACW game using “Before I was a Marshal” rules by the late Larry Brom. Adapted for ACW of course.