sexta-feira, 22 de março de 2019

Rapid Fire! Operation Barbarossa in 20mm - First batch of Soviet armour.

 A Soviet tank force is sent to the border late june 1944 on the news of the German attack...

I`m collecting models for the German Barbarossa campaign for many years both Soviet and German, but only now I felt the urge to build and paint them. My recent Cossack force and aviation also helped. Its another period of history in the middle of many others so probably it will be soon interrupted but hopefully it will start to be a regular item in this beloved blog of yours.

 The T-35s are S-Models. Two models in their biggest box of the range. I only added an old figure from Fujimi, the AA DT machine gun taken from soft plastic Esci figures and the usual pieces of stowage. The markings are pre-war but many Soviet tanks still had them in 1941, and like this they are useful for other previous conflicts like the Soviet-Japanese clashes of Khalkhin-Gol or the Finish war.

This lonely T-28 in a BPM model with the usual additions of crew, stowage and MG. The camouflage is the 7K Russian tan with black lining as usual in many early Soviet tanks. In fact the Soviets had most of their camouflaged in 7K and 6k colours on the 4BO Russian Green at the beggining of the war. The years of 1942 and 43 saw a decrease in camouflaged vehicles due to the hurry of speeding AFV's to the front and the final two years saw another increase of camouflage in soviet machines. 

This KV-1 E ("Ekrenami" - up-armoured) is Altaya and has turret sides armoured protections. Not exactly a Barbarossa tank, but I had it around ready for repaint. 

 The KV-2's are old Esci built straight from the box.

 The six T-26 are all Fabbri die-cast repaints in the pre-war markings with the usual addings.

Next. wether a batch of T-34 1940 or the new MiniGeneral by Scirocco 3D printed models for France 1940 (you will want to kill when you see them!) .

sexta-feira, 8 de março de 2019

Rapid Fire! WWII Don Cossack Regiment in 20mm.

The RF! Red Book includes the description of the Soviet Cavalry Regiment in p.59 (If it had shown ten pages later I would not dare to write it here, of course!). The Cossack cavalry squadrons were made years ago but all support units and carts were made after I saw an excellent article on Fb by Paul Seeman that really inspired me to finish this unit. 

The figures are Revell and are lively and easy to paint. I glued all horses legs with hot glue to its stand. If you don't do it they will stay 'in the air'and paint will eventually flake as they are very thin.

The engineer cart is Britannia with Atlantic horses from their Ancient Greek range. 

The horse tows for both 76,2mm inf. gun and 45mm AT gun were made from German Esci models with replaced barrels. The horse tows are scratch built. 

The Regimental HQ can be seen here with the three figure stand of the Engineer platoon. The HQ wagon is mostly made of Styrofoam but more on that later. 

The AA cart is another scratch built model using mostly Evergreen plastic card and metal wheels. 

The Tachankas MMG carts are also built in Evergreen plastic card using Esci and Atlantic horses.

The MMG's are Esci and the wheels are navigation wheels from the Airfix MkI WWI tank. They should have the double of the spokes but I was too lazy for that. 


Here is the lot minus the cavalry squadrons. 

The officer: - You go first, comrade!
The soldier on the left thinks - (you could f... yourself).
The one to the rear: - (Uff, I got out of this one!).

Two of the engineers are the ones from the Revell Cossack box and the officer comes from the same brand's box of infantry. The head is from the Esci French Napoleonic Grenadiers cut to shape to look like the the Koubanka. 

Plenty conversions here from Esci and Revell. 

The gun carts have the drivers made from the only Cossack torso that the Esci box provides. Legs and arms were modelled in GreeStuff and the original boots were then glued.

The Tachankas were the most complex to built but I tried to make the simplest version I could find in period photos. 

I used the front wheels of this Britannia wagon somewhere else and I had to use some Esci Napoleonic as close replacements.

The AA cart became a bit too big but after painting and mixed with the others it looks reasonable.

The AA quadruple Maxims were made from four Esci guns, plastic, metal wire and a base cut from a syringe cap.  

The HQ wagon was lucky to have some metal wheels I had around and its body is made of Styrofoam.  The Styrofoam was carefully marked with a pencil to give some relief. 

Next: Plenty of stuff in my head: maybe Barbarossa German and Soviets. Modern Iranians, Bussaco 1810 or some more French 1940. More aviation is another possibility as well as the WWII Japanese army.  

quinta-feira, 28 de fevereiro de 2019

Rapid Fire! Blitzkrieg in 20mm - German reinforcements for balance

After last months flood of French material that arrived to the front line - that is, my basement - I had to balance things making some more Germans.

The artillery comes from some the old and venerable set of Revell German artillery, probably the most useful and well built soft plastic set ever. The artillery Sdkfz 253 is from Altaya and only the oly extra was some black wash and sand dry brush to finish it.

Most of the artillerymen are already used and I had to manage with some other options like the Revell DAK figure (painted here as an artillery FO) and the old Airfix Luftwaffe standing pilot which suits well other branches of the German army if differently painted. 

Three more BMW combos from Zvezda were built and also two Command Pz I from S-Models. 

The S-Models received extra crew from Esci and PSC besides the usual aerials and stowage. 

The figures hanging from the side hatch had new arms in Greenstuff for a more natural look of this awkward position.

The Esci commander on the left also received new arms for them to sit correctly in the turret. I think that new arms, even if not as well proportionate as the original ones, have a better look than the original classic multi-pose figures which many times look like Karate fighters.

Next: A WWII Cossack regiment.

domingo, 24 de fevereiro de 2019

Rapid Fire! The Japanese air force of WWII in 20mm

Mistubishi G4 M ('Betty' for the allies) was the main bomber of the Japanese Navy (IJN) during the war. This model is Hasegawa and not very easy to store due to size. 

The Kawasaki KI-48 ('Lily') was one of the main light bombers of the IJA. This model is again Hasegawa.

The Nakajima B5N2 ('Kate') was, alongside the Val, the most important Carrier based Japanese fast bomber and torpedo launcher. Model from Fujimi . Matsuo Fushida, commander of the Pearl Harbor attack, used one of these on that day.

Aichi D3A ('Val') was the main carrier-borne  plane and was credited (not counting Pearl Harbor and other actions were they operated with other types of planes) for sinking 16 big allied vessels from Destroyers to Aircraft Carriers during the war. This one is an  Hasegawa model.

An Aichi E13A ('Jake') was the most important Reconnaissance aircraft of the IJN. Hasegawa model.

 The Mitsubishi KI-46 Type 100 ('Dinah') was a reconnaissance, and later a high-altitude interceptor, aircraft of the IJA.  Airfix model.

The most famous Japanese fighter aircraft of the war, the Mitsubishi A6M ('Zeke' but mostly known as the 'Zero'). All models are Airfix, with both the grey-white IJN camouflage or the atypical green camouflage.

The Mitsubishi J2M ('Jack') was a late war fighter designed by Jiro Horikishi, the same designer of the Zero. The idea was for it to become the opponent of the B-29 and other high-altitude Allied bombers. It also became famous as it participated in the last dog-fight of the war in which the Japanese lost 2 Jacks and two Zeroes but shot down 4 USN Hellcats. The one to the left is Hasegawa and the other is Altaya.

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien ('Tony') was a good Japanese fighter that became famous for ramming B-29's later in the war. Both are Revell.

The Nakajima Ki-84  ('Frank') is considered the best WWII Japanese fighter built in large numbers. Revell model.

Kept to the end is the Yokosuka MXY-7 Okha ('Baka'- fool or idiot for the Americans) rocket-powered Kamikaze attack aircraft that generally was released from Betty bombers The model comes along the Hasegawa Betty and that's why I built it.

I still have some 20+  Pacific war aircraft to build, both US and Japanese, and that includes a B-29 and a Kawanishi H8K 'Emily' which will cause some storage problems. In my plans are also two aircraft carriers, one USN and another for the IJN but that will cause even more storage problems.

Next: wether the USN for the Pacific, or a Cossack WW2 regiment I'm finishing, or a few more Blitzkrieg Germans that are also almost finished.

sábado, 16 de fevereiro de 2019

Rapid Fire! The Soviet VVS of WW2 in 20mm

This collection started many years ago when I got involved in building the Soviet forces for the Kursk battle. As usual I ended up by building many more than the ones that were necessary. On the good side I managed to get planes for the initial fightings around operation Barbarossa in 1941 up to the last stages of the war.

All markings in all models - excepting the Altaya - are hand painted. I prefer like that as paint is sturdier than decals and no shining exists from decals.

These Tupolev SB-2 from Eastern Express were bought for the SCW Republican side but ended up facing the German onslaught of 1941.

The Polikarpov I-16 are Revell and Altaya and almost had the same destiny as the SB-2s. Slowly I'm also building a Soviet 1941 army that will be shown later in this year.

The Sturmovik is most probably the most famous Soviet aircraft of WW2. These three are Airfix (right) and Altaya (the two on the left).

P-39 Airacobra from the Lend-and-Lease program. Left is Revell and Right is Altaya.

This Ilyushin IL-4 from Revell is the biggest Soviet bomber I have. There are some crazy plans to have a PE-8 but I don't know were such a big thing can fit in my shelves.

 A PE-2 bomber from Italeri...

And a TU-2 from ICM for the same role. 

Mig-3 from Revell and Altaya

La-7 KP and Altaya. 

The Yak-9 is considered the best Soviet fighter of WW2. Altaya model. 

This other Altaya Yak-9 is ready for a setting where a Soviet airfield can be under attack.