zondag 21 mei 2017

Militracks survived!

Very tired, plenty of pain in my legs and back, but I would not have missed it for the world.

I have a load of pictures and videos up on my FB page (That particular folder is open to everyone) >> Militracks 2017 and if you are ever in the country when this event happens, I can reccomend it. I've been trying to go there for years and everytime something got in the way.

Pro's:
  • Running WW2 German vehicles, lot's
  • You can actually get a ride on one (if you pay)
  •  Free acces to the museum
  • Large military equipment market
  • Amazing amount of spare parts (albeit not always in great condition)
Con's
  • A couple of extra seats would be nice, especially for people like me.
  • Shows like this also attract some......hmm, sympathisers of the wrong kind. One chap passed me wearing an SS shirt underneath his camouflage jacket, and a White Power cap on his head. Another in line in front of me had a swastika tattooed on the back of his neck. A diverse crowd indeed.
  • The stall advertising his wares as "dug up from around Stalingrad" with a lot of rusty stuff and quite a few helmets with damage from explosions. I've seen videos of how they excavate and what they do with the soldiers bones and anything they can't sell.
  • The amazing amunt of tat for sale. Toy guns, normal standard ammo tins that cost maybe 5 euros at the local army dump are sold here (and bought!) for a tenner, and lot's of cheap ass repro's
Oh well. I got to see my favourite Stug in the world (and yes, I toutched it) and made a few pics of how she looked after being driven for a bit. I also donated some money for her upkeep and a got a nice mug for it.

 Booty shot!





 On the way out, we passed alongside the track and Stuggie was out for its last run of the day, and even I, with my crutch, could keep up with her. He sure is treating her gently.

There were a couple of kit sellers at the market area as well. A couple with new stuff, one that I wasn't sure if they were selling second hand stuff for new prices, and a seller who turned out to charge a fiver for each kit that I grabbed. So after a small chat we had an understanding (when we finally stopped talking German to each other when we both realised the other was Dutch as well), and I picked up this pile of kits for a bit les then a fiver per kit.

Yeah, I'm a bad boy, I should not have, but the M6 is going straight into my USA box, the BTR-152 in my TW:2K or Taliban box, the T-55 also in the TW:2K box, the M60A3....maybe also the TW:2K box, or the Israeli or Iranian box. Humber Mark II for my British 8th Army, 2 5.5 inch guns for my Normandy British, another Bofors gun that might become German, and the Emergency set I've been wanting for ages, for a desert Ambulance and the other truck to be converted into a (civvy) medium truck.Also some electricl towers and a bag of spare bits for them.

Next week I'm starting the 1 kit build or 10 figures cleaning per evening, and to get a headstart I grabbed 2 FtF Fiats 621 from the stash (a review on those later), closed up both cabins, and almost completely built 1.


The Fiat, being basiclally a Ford, is suitable for a lot of things and quite a few historical periods. It comes with a tarp, which sits a bit too loose for my liking, so I added some thing plasticcard slivers to keep it easier in place. Suspension is also a bit weak, but more about that in my review.

Need to sleep now, tired.

zaterdag 20 mei 2017

Jumping from branch to branch

Finished building 2 metres of Spanish Riders

Now to do some paint tests on the wood and metal spare bits to see which works best, but that is for next week.

Spent some time on my new iron horse I picked up today second hand. Busted tail light, busted saddle and a loose steeringwheel. Put on a new saddle and taillight, oiled everything, tightend all the screws. Will give it a good cleaning with the girls on sunday, then hunt for a backseat so I can take the girls for a ride with Kim on her bike. Will ask my dad to give it a proper look to see if I missed anything though. And no, there is nothing wrong with my old bike, but that is a male model (so the high bar) and I've been feeling increased pain lately in my right leg and hip from lifting my leg over the bike to hop on, as well as extra strain on my damaged knee and spine. No need to all of that with this "mommy bike" (it's a "daddy bike" now.)

Just need to find a way to keep the crate in place I've always had on my steering wheel as the extra stowage space is very welcome. And to clean and sell my old bike to break even as much as possible to make up for the purchase of this bike.

And yes, I call it a bike. Not a bicycle.....

And jumping onto the next branch, todays mistery find at the goodwill store was this funnel device......I have no idea what it is or what it did other then funneling something, but it has now become a industial rock grinder for Necroumda, This is not a Test Industrial area, and as a turnning point for Gaslands. It is big and non descript enough for all of that.

I cut off the prongs from the underside, gave it a new base and I will paint it all rusted up, and when done, glue some granite chips in the inside.

Final branch of the day is that I received my Lancer Miniatures order, but I want to discuss some parts of it with them before I do a review. The overall quality is very good, with only 1 minor issue and 1 issue of me not agreeing with the sculpting quality of a set I've ordered. But fast reply, fast turn around and fast delivery will make me come back soon.

Meanwhile, I grabbed a PSC Carrier from the attic to convert with a 25mm French Cannon for the DAK, and I'm looking at the box with spare aircraft wheels that could come in handy for one of these....

Yeah, I know, scatter brain.

Now I'm off to bed, cause tomorrow I'm going to Militracks in Overloon.
Militracks 2017

woensdag 17 mei 2017

I'm feeling a bit fenced in

Scatterbrain at work.

Saw something I liked, calculated what I needed, used the GET TO THE CHOPPER!...ahem, The Chopper to cut everything to size, and then went full supeglue mode. And that is where I am at now, still glueing my way through 160 bits of matchstick and 40 piecs of sateh stick and quite a bit of wire.


Nothing to see here, just severe autism at work, cause my head says making 2 metres of barbed wire Spanish Riders is the perfect thing to be ding right now......<sigh>

zondag 14 mei 2017

Partisan Progress and darnit, I've been banned from another shop

Well, no more Britannia for me it seems. I've been kindly asked to take my business elsewhere as Andy was saddend that he cannot give me miniatures with the standard that I'm looking for. He is disheartend by my dissappointment.

Ehm, ok. So I'm informing him of the high miscast rate that he keeps sending out in every single order since last year, with pictures and ideas about the causes (worn moulds, mould slippage, defective vents), not asking for refunds (the very badly cast Panzerjagers were a exception to that norm, and cost me way more money and time in shipping them back as I was ever refunded, but I don't even mind that) and just kept orddering again and again when I had the need for certain figures.

Well, no more it seems. I think this is a shitty way to treat a repeat customer.

So, since I've buying my kits 2nd hand, it seems it is time again to buy my miniatures 2nd hand online again then, is it. I'll enlist some of my UK friends for that though, as most Ebay sales seem to have the Ebay Shipping program, which must be the biggest ripoff on their side of the continent....12 quid shipping for a few miniatures, just cause it saves you informing customs and insurance. For inter EU shipping, which isn't even a thing, you tossers.... anyway. I've asked Chris to bid in my name on a Taliban lot and I will keep my ee on Ebay for a bit to see if anything suitable pops up.

I've switched shops straight away and I will now give Lancer Miniatures a try. I've had some of his stuff on my checklist for a while now, and when SP over at the Guild informed me they have a guy with a homing/carrier pigeon the decision was quickly made to buy that and the things on my wanted list.

Homing/Carrier pigeon you say? Yes.....

REW to WW1:




Carrier pigeons were used to transport messages. Heck, many famous pigeons were used in WW2 were used as well, so my Partisan Radio Team is getting carrier pigeons, dammit. Considering the Germans were pretty good at finding radio signals, not too far fetched of an idea so I'm sticking to it.

I also ordered a sniper to convert for the Partisans, and an officer with a raised sword to convert to a bad ass Balkan Partisan offcier, cause, you know, sword! And some other things like small 25mm and 47mm AT guns for my 8th Army.

Also, after the buyer dragged his feet for almost a month, I finally got my payment for 10 old GW publications, and exchanged the exact amount for the cheaspest Italeri church I could find. Yes, this one:

It's for the Mediterranian and the Balkans are in that area, so a nice thing to put on the side of the table (or in the middle) and make houses around it.

Piers is highly motivated atm to get his anti partisan force done and I'm highly motivated tyo get my partisans painted, with the caveat that I work much slower, but most of the guys I have are primer ready so I might get some painting done next week, I hope. I'm still woefully short of troops and support staff to make at least a viable force. Oh, and we have to add rules for mines to the Partisans.

Anyway, here is an update on my MG08 team and my Messenger / Partisan Mounted Scout Leader.
 New head for the MG08, added a scarf and a beard to hide the join. Not too bad I say.

"Fat German on a horse" as he is called, converted with new hair, a moustache and a eye patch. need to clean up some mould lines, smooth the areas where I removed the canteens and stuff, and maybe add a Ppsh in his hand, I have some PSC ones spare, just change the round ammo box in a banana clip. Actually, he would make a brilliant leader too :) ... but I have other plans for that. Piers has some Britannia spare for me, including horses, that will come in handy for him as the rest of his unit.

donderdag 11 mei 2017

A praise, a rant, and maybe a small cultist chant

Sorted out a ton of stuff today, for school, family and little bit of the hobby. . Based up all of my Terracotta zombies I purchased at Impact 2017, took a picture of that, then promplty converted the standard bearer into a normal one, no standard (and no hand), as these wilol function as just zombies for a Chinatown or Ronin/Daisho battle.

Just need to base the clipped head from the banner as well. Very nice figures, pity they are OOP.

Picked up my trade box today, with a Academy M35 truck, a Heller 109 B/C that actually does come with a canopy (unlike the last trade) and has the iconic early mouth style intake. Ad a dual seat Skyraider, because..... why not. Only cost me 2 kits and shipping in return.

I also passed my First Aid exam yesterday, most of it went swimmingly other then the imitated torn leg muscle ( never been a sports guy and never had anyone near me have this happen to them, so besides a coldpack and giving them some painkillers there wasn't much I could actually...I just needed to be more confident in my respsonse. Same went for a guy with a painful ear, and it hurt inside his head. No bugs, no hits, just a red ear and pain in his head. I gave him some painkillers as well and told him to see his doctor if it was still the same tomorrow. Actually I was supposed to give him a hotpack for his ear, but just painkillers would do fine too. Bandaging, CPR, AED use, staying calm and informative to the victim, no problems there.

Fun though, sitting in a room full of very nervous people, you could smell the fear :D

But yeah, I passed, and as a gift for me doing so I'm buying a ticket to Militrack for the sunday show and to see actual, functioning WW2 German vehicles. My favourite desert Stug rebuild is coming too, I can't wait to see it live and his Marder next year.

Then we come to my Grubby Tanks order I arrived today. As youy may or may not know, I've stopped buying his resin vehicles as the casting quality is incredibly low. But his figures were fine, with the occasional mould slippage or other casting issue. Well, 1/3rd of this order has issues. Either too little metal, or excessive metal build up on faces and arms, some mould slippage and then there is this  in the Russian officer pack.

Yes, he really is that flat...... :(

Already emailed him, again, about the defects. At this rate every order I make has defects, and sure, they will get replaced, but this really should not be necessary to begin with.

More tomorrow :)

dinsdag 9 mei 2017

It really helps to read an army list BEFORE you build stuff, you know?

So, in between my studies, I've managed to build and base 2 Russian 45mm M1937 AT guns for my Partisans, one on the move and 1 in position, after getting inspired.

Apolagies for the shitty quality pictures....still using just my phone....

 Gun on the move in to (or out of?) position. Most pics I've seen of it being manhandled is with 2 people at the front of the gun and 1 in the back steering it....I think? Put a muzzle cap on it to keep the dirt out plus 2 cases of shells. I have no gun crew yet so these are just stand ins. It's my (current) standard towing base (which is T shaped) with the back end held in place by a pin, to keep it level with whatever is towing or pulling it. I thought about adding lift handles on the legs, but stopped after adding doing the tow hooks on both guns. I just want to have these done so I can move on to the next lot.

I've added some extra reinforcement between the shield and the base of the gun as for some odd reason both guns had the mounting pin bent and split and even after bending it back and using glue, the gunshield sat at a tilted angle. Not anymore :)  The in situ gun is placed on my favourite Y shaped base. This way I can easily add and remove troops and keep them as close to the gun as possible.

So, all good then, innit?

Nope. I got inspired by seeing pics of the Partisan 37mm AT gun in action:
....and assumed that the 45mm one would be the upgrade for the Partisans. I assumed wrongly :(

The basic gun is the 37mm (for which I can use a captured PaK36 or 37mm M1930 - for wargaming purposes the same gun) and the upgrade is the 47mmL32

Technically speaking a licence built Böhler. Drat. I don't have those in my stash. No, ffs.......

Well, not to fear!

After comparing the stats of both guns, they have a identical HE and AP value, so there is no problem using them as is.

Crisis averted! Now get these suckers painted up asap.

PS: The guns are PSC 4 in a box Russian AT guns (45mm 1937, 45mm 1942 and the Infantry gun) and the spare barrels can be used for bunkers or other purposes. The Partisans are from the Kelly's Heroes range from Grubby Tanks.

zaterdag 6 mei 2017

This might get a bit Technical

Just to help out my buddy Ferry a bit :)

(click on the pic for a bigger size)

I have more in storage, just not in easy reach, so this will have to do for now.

  1. S&S Lada Riva saloon car. Super generic resin car, fits in everywhere and as everything. Taxi, police car, civillian, car, target car. S&S even makes African and Arab half figures to glue on the windows for a drive by. S&S Lada Riva Currently retails at 6.50 UK Pounds. Single cast with 4 metal wheels. Casting is typical for S&S, so be prepared to fill in the air bubbles with some greenstuff. This one is painted as a Yugoslavian decoy for aicraft.
  2. Same S&S Lada Riva saloon car, this time painted up as generic TV crew car, fitting for any warzone since the 70's
  3. JB Models (now Airfix) Landrover. Plastic kit, you can buy a verson with a hardtop or a soft top, and they come with a trailer, which is supereasy for loads of armies. Price varies from a couple of euros second hand right up to some stores asking as much as 15 euros for a single kit (which is a bit ridiculous ans a proper diecast can be had for half that). Again, super generic, as a civvy, Technical or as these 2 WIP's, British Special Forces rides for the Cold War.... I really should finish those someday, even though I'm no longer in big scale Cold War conflicts, they would be very handy for TW:2K
  4. Same as 3, but with AT asset, The other one will get a minigun, thx to a former SAS friend who wants to remain anonymous.
  5. Hobby Den Toyota 4x4. I have a ton of these, all based up and ready to go, just paint them black, add a magnet in the back so I can slide on a Back off sign in Arabic, add a magnet in the roof so I can put a MMG/HMG/Minigun/Grenadelauncher on it. They are meant for my Blackwater project, but can double as unmarked black cars for any location and any faction, be it intelligence, government, drug lords or warlords, anything goes really. Very affordable too, these are currently priced at 6,50 euros for a single resin cast with 4 resin wheels.  Hobby Den 4x4 Toyota  Bryan also does a Technical version of the same vehicle, I reviewed that back in 2012: Hobby Den 4x4 Technical
  6. This SUV is made by Britannia/Grubby Tanks, and would be a very good deal at 6 UK Pounds each, as it comes with 2 Taliban and a 12.7mm Dhssk. It has 4 metal wheels and the veicle itself is a single resin cast. Therein also lies the problem, as in the last few years I've been let down by the terrible casting quality from Britannia's caster. Having said that, this is a very smooth model, nothing like the hard cornered armoured vehicles, so it could be less affected. Although sold as Taliban, there is nothing stopping you from using this as a Special Forces ride. Afghan Technical
  7. RH Models aka Liberation Miniatures Technical. Very nice ride, but due to getting my entire country blacklisted by our benevolent Dictator Rolf Hedges, no longer available to us. Included for completeness.
  8. Britannia/Grubby Tanks M35 truck. Really old casting, upgraded with a aluminium tubing exhaust to bring it up to M35A2 specs, and a miscast BRDM-2 hull, cut down, added in the back, as a makeshift convoy protection vehicle for TW:2K. I didn't like the way it was going with my add on door armour, so took that all off and forgot all about it. Suitable from Vietnam up to present day, as a Government or Rebel vehicle, easily converted and less costly then the Academy M35 truck. But yeah, their current castings are shite so order at your own risk. Britannia/Grubby Tanks M35 truck
  9. ICM ZIL or Jiefang truck - I picked up a dozen or so of these way back when shipping was still affordable for less then 4 euros per truck. Pretty generic truck, multi role use, civillian to military, plastic so easily converted by adding drop in loads or a baby wipe tarp.
  10. RH Models Saxon. Also added for completeness, I picked up some second hand ones for use with TW:2K and was surprised a few years ago when Ukraine got about 2 dozen from the UK to help with the war effort.....and that was the last thing I ever heard or saw about them. Not really a Technical but makes for a great militia/marauder vehicle.
Now, there are a lot more Technical suitable vehicles available in 20mm. I've made a order with the Hobby Den as well as some samples to paint up for their shop,  and like I said, I have loads in my stash I need to dig out as well, but that is for a next installment.

Now, comparing these to diecasts, the diecasts are of course much cheaper, especially when bought second hand. The wheels tend to be a bit of a let down, but you can always rip them off ond base them on suitable resin wheels. Shape wise, they tend to be a bit hit/miss, I've got more then a few who look suitable but when measured up, turn out to be way oversized. Caveat Empor, bring a 20mm fig with youy when shopping, I say.

Hope you find this helpful.

All your Base belong to us

Nothing much to report. Sat down around 8 in the evening, and decided it was a good time to base all of the miniatures I had lying around next to me. Yes, all of them.

42 WW2 Japanese, 25 WW2 Partisans, 45 Vietcong and 83 Taliban.

Also cleaned up the gaps and mould lines on the 2 28mm farm buildings and cleaned the pipe bases, ready for a coat of thinned down wall filler.

All in all a productive evening.

vrijdag 5 mei 2017

Last of the many ( I hope)

I visited a local fellow kitbuilder (aka hoarder) who is liquidating his 1/72 collection and I brought him some of my surplus 1/35 stuff. In the end, I can say we were both pretty happy with our trade..

I picked up the following:
 Partially started Skyhawk, with upgradeparts for the extended exhaust for the Israeli's. Goes into the 1982 Israel pile.

 Toss up between a Iraqi or a Argentinian bird, purely planned for display purposes.

 Decals for the Gazelle helo, so I'm now sorted for the Syrian, Iraqi and Yugoslav ones.

If I can find a cheap box of these, I always snatch them up. With additional plastic bits they become lovely.

 For the burned Russian convoy.

 My favourite 222

 For my Overlord British

 Even though it has rubber tyres, I picked it up anyway. I'll either wreck it or trade it.

 Will this joing my future French of the German Polizei Units? Who knows....

 Straight onto the Israeli pile.

 Extra AAA for the Desert Brits or the BEF.

 Will be a civillian aircraft, I think.

 Another Russian wreck.

 For Iran-Iraq.

Other then some outstanding orders with the Hobby Den, Grubby Tanks and some second hand trades, I'm kind done with buying/swapping/trading (not selling though!). I'm going back to building stuff several nights a week to make a dent in the pile in the atic, as well as more scenery, courtesy of a new friend:

After getting interested in these a few years ago, but never having the money to buy one, I've been looking on and off for one for the past 2 years. 6 months ago Erik and decided to put a little more effort into it, and tonight I picked up this beauty at half retail. The receipt says it was bought last week, and the owner bought it to try it out, and felt he could find something better, so bought a 700 euro model with all the trims and fittings possible, and put this one up for sale. Jay me.

I will invest in some add ons for it, to make easy and consistent angular cuts and straight cuts with thicker foam. For now I will just play with it for a bit.


donderdag 4 mei 2017

I've got a job! Yeah, about that..... :(

Got a phonecall this morning from Iris, my job agency coach. She informed me she had received a vague email from the company that is going to hire me. Well, make that WAS going to hire me. Quoting economical circumstances, they have decided to put the job on hold for the time being.

Iris is more then a bit upset (as am I) as she has put a lot of effort into it, all the paperwork is done and was to be signed this week by the 3 of us. But no. Iris is also quite upset that all her communications have been with the company president and now all of a sudden a employee is emailing this without a real explanation.

So yeah.....shit.

<sigh> I took some painkillers for the knee, discussed this with Kim as I was visibly quite upset, took the afternoon off and just returned from my final First Aid training day (exams next week). I volunteerd to do a test exam (day could not get any worse, right?) I only managed to forget to remove the ring and watch of a 2nd degree burned hand and accidentally held a victims hand when he had just spilled lye over his arm and hand. But you don't flunk on that kind of stuff and I won't make those 2 mistakes next week. I really want to pass this exam, not just for my resume but for myself and Kim and the kids, if something ever happens.

Tomorrow, a new day, a fresh start, and we will carry on with the Quest for Work! TM


Anyway, we are here for the hobby stuff. Been burning through my stuff (not literally) on monday, managed to cut the amount of junk on the gaming table in half, removed half the junk from my first cabinet and sorted out what can be sold off (most) and what not (very little). So progress is being made. Also, I received some trade stuff and decided that in the future, starting now, anything I get that I want to use myself, gets cleaned, based and sanded asap. That way I'm not online hunting for new stuff and working with what I got.

So, in no particular order:
Did the Renedra Ramshackle Barn and American Farmhouse 1750-1900 I had in my stash for a while now, glued all the windows shut, fixed the roof and based them on 3 or 4mm MDF (took this picture) and just finished sanding the edges. General cleanup tomorrow. It's aimed at 28mm TNT, but will do for Cowboy games and ACW skirmish f I ever get that far.

I got these 2nd hand, I just stuck them to their bases and changed the cobblestone one on the left to the same sand one as the rest. Captives for 28mm TNT or any other game that needs prisoners/hostages/sacrifices.

I've bought a second hand lot of 20mm VC and NVA, just based and fillerd them, sanding tomorrow when everything has set hard and is trimmed on the sides. The lot came with the grey Liberation Models K63 APC on the right (missing its gun), I washed, cleaned and trimmed that to fit today. The yellow one is a Red Star one I just removed from the bag, cleaned, heated and bent back into shape, and is now ready for basing and a new gun. The 3 painted ones (including 1 command/medical version) are gifts from Chris. Also need to be cleaned, based and a ggun. They are for my (2nd) Iraqi army for Iran-Iraq and the Gulf War. The Liberation one is marginally bigger in size and has some different details, but nothing major and will make a nice platoon CO ride I guess.

The VC and NVA need sand and good cleaning of any mould lines, and I wanted to convert the NVA into VC by sanding down the sun hat until Piers reminded me that they woudl work perfectly a Main Force VC. So that saves me the work for that.

Also, I need to grab from my weapons bin, a MG-34, a PIAT and a MP40 for the VC as weapons.....some conversions are in order.


All of the Partisans I received have been based, fillered and sanded. Removing of mouldlines is up this week, and then see who needs a head swap, conversion, GS work etc. Also build 2 light AT guns for them (which will do double duty with my Russians).

So much to do, and suddenly a lot more time (jay..... :( ) so hey.