Wednesday, 30 January 2013

(Less?) Awful Anson

The Anson's paintwork, such as it is, has now been completed.  I decided to go for an early-ish war Coastal Command finish and used the decals which originally came with the kit.  The 'windows' aren't great as they already had a fair bit of glue on them (as per the last photo) so the trick is to not look too closely...  A coat of Vallejo matt varnish finished it off.
The Anson is a kit I didn't have 'first time around', so it's nice to finally own one and get to know a bit more about this interesting aircraft. 
In production well before WW2 and widely exported, the last Ansons didn't leave RAF service until 1968!

The poll to nominate the Anson's successor closes soon - the Lancaster is the current front runner but the Hurricane seems to be making a late run. 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Starship Troopers

Don M's recent post on the M-60A2 'Starship', and our subsequent exchange of comments led me to dig out my 1/300 scale 'A2s.  Do look at Don's post - it features a US Army film of the A2 rather in the style of a car advert.
I always rather liked the A2 - an M-60 with a new turret toting a 152mm gun/missile launcher - due to it's 1970s wackiness and short service life.  It always struck me as a really heavy Sheridan...  Such is my fondness for such silliness that I'd love to see a 1/300 (or 1/285) model of MBT-70 - a cancelled US/West German MBT project which was to have been tooled up with a 183mm gun/missile launcher.  Hopefully Andy at Heroics & Ros is reading this....  
I found a clip of MBT-70 here.  It seems the projected costs made the subsequent XM-1 look like something of a bargain!
My current models are all by Heroics & Ros and date from the early 1980s.  They're bearing up well.  GHQ did an A2 many years ago, but it has never been updated or re-released.  I think I have a few somewhere in dire need of a refit.
A US tank battalion with three companies of M-60A2 and a Scout Platoon of M-113ACAV (the ACAV is a Skytrex model).
Another similar battalion with slightly different paint treatment.  The M-113 is an H&R model.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Black Widow

This P-61 Black Widow was built from a Japanese pre-coloured Gashapon kit.  
As I understand it, the P-61 saw some late war service in (or rather over) the Pacific, flying long range night fighter missions.  In black it certainly makes a striking model.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Snow place like home

While comments have fairly flooded in over the past couple of days, my relative silence is because I've been in London.  A series of business meetings was lightened by lunch with Trebian and dinner with Bob Cordery and his wife.  Bob and I also managed a quick game of Battle Cry.
As usual I drove to Newark and then got the train to Kings Cross.  On Thursday morning I set off from this:
When I arrived back at Newark at around 1930 last night the 'original' snow on my car was largely gone and a recent fall had left only a thin layer.  This was soon gone as I set off up the A1 and apart from a thin drizzle the roads were without hazard.  When I got out of my car it was completely clear of snow and ice.  Hardly was I in the door when the snow began to fall - the top photo (taken as ever from the games room window) shows the situation at around 2200.  My car is on the right.
The game Bob and I played was First Bull Run.  I was the one in the grey hat, so I am pleased to be able to report a Reb victory!  Above are the final positions, below my battle-winning cavalry.  A Yankee infantry unit they'd been tormenting had run off and built these earthworks.  So we went round the back...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force)

In response to an exchange of comments on the Kit Noob Blog, here are my Finnish Winter War/Continuation War 1/144 scale Finnish aircraft.  All are the work of Wg Cdr Luddite - which is why they look rather better than the guff which usually appears here.  The Finns bought aircraft wherever they could and ended up with an impressively eclectic fleet.  Availability of some of the more esoteric types isn't great in this scale - although I do have another kit on order...  Other suitable models which are available in 1/144 scale include the Gladiator, Ms.406, Hawk75, Buffalo, Ju88.  Various Soviet aircraft were captured and used against their former owners.
 Above is a Hurricane built from the Sweet Models plastic kit. 
 Above an below is a Bf-109 - a True North metal casting with 20mm cannon barrels made from brass rod.

Finally we have a Fokker D.XXI - another True North model.  The appearance of this model saved an Fw-190 from being chopped up to make a Fokker.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Battered Blenheim - better?

Having mended this monstrosity as far as I could it now has paint and markings.  The limiting factor in terms of the choice of nationality was the fact that the kit had been built as a Mk.IVF.  This ruled out jollies like Finnish and Romanian.  Yugoslav and French (the original kit included Free French markings) were also out.  More internet research offered a solution. 
Apparently a couple of Fs were interned by Portugal - and I just happened to have a set of Portuguese markings (from an incomplete Spitfire kit) in the decal box.
The markings are sufficiently unfamiliar as to require a second glance to identify the aircraft!
The underside - showing the 4-gun pack.  Sadly it also reveals the mangled undercart and missing exhausts....

Monday, 21 January 2013

Airfix attic find!

A recent visit to the attic for some now-forgotten domestic purpose led, inevitably to mission creep.  I emerged cold but happy bearing the loot you see before you. 
Above is (yet another) Coastal Defence fort.  I really need another.  I do.
Then we have the subject of my quest - a Gun Emplacement.  Although I didn't think I had such a thing, I had vague recollections of buying one and became suspicious when I noticed that I had the box for it.  The result of the investigation is happily fully intact and ready to be assailed by some paint.
Finally there is this little gem.  I've not checked it fully for completeness but first impressions are pretty good.  What's that Paul?  You'd be jealous if most of the figures were still on the sprue?  I'll not mention it then....

Winter wonderland

The wintry scenes continue.  These photos were taken from the games room* window this morning.
The roads are OK as far as I know, but my meeting this evening has been postponed so I don't (yet) have to tacke the scene below with a shovel...
* I wasn't skiving - it's next to my office.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Awful Anson - part 2

While the snow falls outside I have made a bit more progress with the Anson.  Based on looking at photos and colour plates I opted for a fairly conventional dark earth and olive paint scheme - this will end up as an early war Coastal Command aircraft.
While far from perfect I decided that the windows were not beyond salvation.  There is, however, a hell of a lot of framing to paint - happily most of it in straight lines!  The time fast approaches when I'll have to sort out a set of markings.

Watchers of the sky

The 37mm AA gun is the Zvezda plastic kit built straight from the box. In response to a transport shortage my gunners have 'liberated' an Airfix Opel Blitz and 're-branded' it to reflect the change of ownership.
The gun barrel is very thin and ever so slightly bendy, but it is a very nice model - for wargames purposes easily as good as the rather similar Airfix Bofors gun.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow stops play (again)

Actually it started on Monday when about 3 inches settled here.  There followed a couple of rather cold days (-6C on Thursday morning) before more fell on Thursday evening.  A rather more enthisiastic fall began yesterday afternoon and has continued on and off since then.
I was meant to be at a Funny Little Wars game in West Yorkshire today but it was called off last night as people coming from further south couldn't make it.  So I've done some painting instead.
The motor pool at Megablitz Towers

Bizarre Beagle

This Ilyushin IL-28 'Beagle' was built from another of those rather nice old Tamiya 1/100 scale kits.  Despite being considerably large than the Lightning and MiG kits it retails for the same price (a bargain £3 or so).   The kit includes several choices of markings but completely ignoring logic I opted for a Finnish finish.  I think it was the bright red engine nacelles which clinched it.

The Beagle required a bit more filler than the other kits I've built from this range.  Hopefully no one will look too closely atbthe finished article...

Friday, 18 January 2013

BAC Lightning

For reasons I can't fully explain I recently completed this Lightning. Like my MiG-21s, this is a 1/100 scale Tamiya plastic kit.  I have a couple more of these in stock - could it be that I'm thinking about a game based on the air defence of the UK?  Only time will tell.
I used the markings in the kit, so my Lightning bears the markings of 5 Squadron RAF.
When I were a lad there were Lightnings based a few miles away at RAF Leuchars.  At air shows there in the 1970s you didn't so much hear them as feel them!  Damn impressive aircraft.
The kit was quite an easy build and despite it's age the parts fit was pretty good. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Quick Steppe

Recently emerged from the trackless Tratvian steppe is this Cossack Regiment. These are 54mm Armies in Plastic figures painted in my usual 'toy soldier' style and topped off with two coats of floor varnish. As the Tratvian Army will eventually include three such units, I was able to mix and match from several sets in order to have matching poses (of troopers and horses). This is the 2nd Regt, the 1st can be seen here:
The only light conversion work concerned the standard bearer whose sabre was replaced with a florist wire flag pole.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Awful Anson - part 1

Following the Anson's landslide victory in my poll* I have now begun work on restoring it for possible game use.
The thing had been roughly daubed in matt black.  Happily the windows are in halfway reasonable shape.  Not really clear from the first photo is the rather impressive layer of dust.  Repair work included refitting the elevators and turret gun.  The undercarriage was a bit wobbly so I used a lot of glue...
A coat of pale grey was applied underneath...
...and a brown base coat up top.

*The full results are as follows:
In forth place with 4 votes -  Hurricane IID
In third place with 5 votes - Bf-109G
In second place with 6 votes -the mighty Lancaster
But this week's clear winner with a massive 22 votes is the Avro Anson!
A total of 37 votes were cast - representing 24.6% of the blog's followers.  This contrasts rather well with the 15.5% turnout for the recent South Yorkshire Police Commissioner election.  Is this at all worrying?

There will ne a new poll soon!