Wednesday, 27 February 2013

20mm Rapid Fire! LCI(L) Vacuformed kits

Some years ago I saw in Fine Scale Modeller magazine Combat Models, an USA Vacuform small company who produced the LCI(L) in 1/72nd scale. The kits were quite nice but details and many parts had to be build by hand. Later I saw in the same magazine a fellow company who produced all the missing parts, both metal and photo-etched, for the same vacuum kits.

The problem was the price of these metal and photo-etched parts that would double the price of the vacuum kits themselves.

I opted for the cheapest solution and made those parts in Evergreen plastic.

These two were used by the american army on Omaha Beach, 6th June, 1944.

The majority of the figures are Britannia, as well as the Oerlikon 20mm cannon.

String and nails were used all over, as well Evergreen doors, steps,  windows, tubing, etc.

The rubber boats are resin copy casts from the Airfix boat that comes along their Marine 1/76th scale box.

The green explosions at the back are in reality my mother´s plants...

The wooden base was painted blue and transparent silicone was applyed. After drying it was drybrushed with a mixture of PVA and gloss white acrylic.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

20mm Rapid Fire! Painted Sherman II (PSC conversion) for El Alamein, Pt 2

Painted Sherman II from last post. One company has camouflaged tanks from a nice picture I found from a Bison decal sheet.

Tanks were painted to be used in any of the 1st regiments of any of the armoured brigades, that is, without divisional symbols.

Added stowage made of repair putty and boxes made out of plywood .

Here you can see the converted M3 bogie trucks with top return rollers. As soon as you do this on any M4 bogie return roller from any kit brand you have the basis of Sherman II. If I had remember this before I would have done it in the Esci/Italeri M4A1.

Monday, 18 February 2013

20mm Rapid Fire! Sherman II (PSC conversion) for El Alamein, Pt 1

The PSC kit is apparently disappointing for someone who wants Sherman II for El Alamein.

In fact the back cover information and drawings induces several mistakes: parts for US 76mm late Sherman and British Sherman II are indicated enlarging the possibilities of the kit.

But no. Only the standard late M4A1 is provided. After entering some wargaming and modelling forums I saw many people had found the same flaws in PSC Sherman. Better, it's not the kit itself, which is excellent, but the back cover which induces the mistake.

The PSC kits are nowadays one of the best and affordable ways of producing quality wargames pieces, and have many conversions possibilities as I hope to show.

Start gluing the tracks and carving out the side return roller of the M4 A1 version and placing a slice of Evergreen rod on top the the bogie axis making it close M3 bogies.

Then some new vision slots; co-axial MG and details for the transmission housing, all in Evergreen.

Evergreen external housing for the radio.

The mantlet was made into the previous M34 by cutting the "ears" of the kit M34A1 mantlet.

Some evergreen on the  co-axial MG, antennae with small paper flags and external stowage made from repair putty.

The two small supports of the 75mm gun were also erased with an X-acto as well as the extra armour on the hull and turret.

Two boxes of PSC makes 6 Sherman/two companies for Rapid Fire! At about 12-13 pounds, each Sherman gets around 4 pounds/6 euro. Besides PSC making a beautiful Sherman, the models are heavy as the plastic they are made of is quite sturdy, which is excellent for wargaming pieces.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Rapid Fire! 20mm Volksgrenadier Division, Ardennes 1944

This division mixes some dozen white clad painted germans from Revell I had in a box from a long time along with Richard Marsh Battle of the Bulge RF! Suplement. Then you just need to add some dozen new figures,  a few artillery, some Hetzers everybody has (but many time don´t know what to do with them), some crazy conversions and you have a Volksgrenadier division for the Bulge, as you need limited numbers of figures and specially vehicles to do it.

1st Volksgrenadier Regiment: with just two battalions, these regiments are made out of a mixture of Revell, Italeri, Irregular Miniatures and DAK Airfix figures. The 75mm IG are Hat.

The 1st Anti-Tank company is made of many conversions using Revell 1942 infantry with SHQ metal Panzerschreck (left) and ESCI hard plastic figure from their Sdkfz 251 with another SHQ Panzerschreck (top right).

The snow effect on the stands is just fine sand with white acrylic and a little PVA glue all mixed and splashed with an old brush.

The 2nd Anti-Tank company is made of straight from the box figures by Revell, Italeri and Hat.

2nd Volksgrenadier Regiment.

Divisional commander (Revell and Valiant figures).

3rd Volksgrenadier Regiment.

Two battalions of 105mm FG (Revell with assorted crews), RSO (Altaya) and Opel Maultier (SHQ).

Following Richard Marsh advice, a battalion of FK16 75mm WWI era (Hat) with limbers (Revell). The artillerymen are Valiant conversions. The OP are Irregular Miniatures with Airfix jungle outpost bykes.

The Revell limber with Valiant conversions. The mounted artillerymen are the Hasegawa horse riders that comes along the M3 Stuart with Valiant heads.

Carts: conversions from  Hat and Italeri Napoleonic horses, Atlantic wheels and GreenStuffed coated figures with Valiant heads. The Opel Maultier is Altaya and the VW are Roco and Diecast.

The Hetzer campany: closest are ESCI and farthest is Altaya.

The Reconnaissance company: figures without bikes are the usual mix with some Revell figures carrying hand grenades made into Panzerfaust carriers; the ciclists are Hat.

The two engineer companies (mainly Revell pioneers).

Medics: Revell conversion (left) and Airfix british sailor on LCM with Valiant head (right).

Medic (Hasegawa).

The full division ready to get back to quarters, I mean, shelves. Still a few limbers and carts missing. Hopefully next week  some boxes of Hat German WWII carts arrive from Caliver Books to complete the division. The 155mm artillery battalion will have to wait. Crisis Oblige!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Rapid Fire! Russian trench and fortifications, Kursk 1943

These trenches are made of  raw clay and PVA glue, all mixed by hand. When dry, the paste becomes very hard. The sand bags are repair putty. The trench supports are plywood. Everything is glued to a piece of hardboard.

Company trench with Mortar emplacement.

Company trench with Light Artillery emplacement.

Heavy weapons/infantry company emplacement.

Frontline Wargaming trench and log emplacement.

This other Heavy weapons/infantry company emplacement has an extra rear emplacement for artillery.

Another type of Company trench with rear support point.

Another Log Bunker by Frontline Wargaming.

Resin (DRW) Russian Bunker in 1/87th scale.

Heavy Artillery emplacement. I made many of these as they fit the medium and heavy artillery battalions you can see in previous posts.

Rapid Fire! Soviet Rifle Division (2 regiments), Kursk 1943

First Regiment: mix of ESCI, Revell, Atlantic and Airfix figures.

Second regiment.

Two Anti-Tank battalions: PTRS figures and 45mm guns - Irregular Miniatures (front); PTRS figures - Revell and 45mm guns - Evergreen styrene (back).

76,2 IG (Evergreen tubing and Irregular Miniatures) and 45mm guns (Irregular Miniatures). Trucks from Frontline Wargaming.

Rapid Fire! Russian Army and tank corps assets, Kursk 1943

Reconnaissance battalion: BA-64 and BA-10 - Frontline Wargaming.

Medium SP Battalion: SU-122 - Frontline Wargaming.

Light SP Battalion: SU-76 - Britannia.

Mixed SP Battalion: SU-76 and SU-122 - Altaya with crew figures from various plastic manufacturers.

First Light Artillery Regiment: 76,2mm field guns - Irregular Miniatures.

Second Light Artillery Regiment: 76,2mm field guns - Scratchbuilt from Evergreen styrene and metal wheels.

First 85mm battery in Anti-Tank role: Irregular Miniatures guns mounted on wheels.

Second 85mm battery in Anti-Tank role: Irregular Miniatures guns with dismounted wheels.

Howitzer battalion 122mm - Irregular Miniatures.

Super heavy regiment: 203 mm Howitzer - Irregular Miniatures.

203mm Howitzer with Skytrex crew.

Mortar Regiment: 120mm mortars - Atlantic with a mix of metal and plastic crews.

Corps Artillery Battalion: 152mm Howitzer - Irregular Miniatures with plastic converted crew.

Two Guards Mortar Battalion: BM-13 Katyusha - Frontline Wargaming (left); Cooperativa (right).