Thursday, 9 April 2015

British Mk I Tank

Today is tank day for me, well its about a tank anyway and its the British Mk1 Tank from the Great War. Now the first thing I have to say about this is it is all not as it seems as it is not made of the usual stuff like plastic or resin but it is made from something else. To give you a clue the tank is by Warbases.

Now before you think that I have gone mad and wondering what I am doing with a Great War tank well it is for my Very British Civil War games and in particular for the Partizan game in May, yes I am going to be fielding some tanks, as well as infantry. Now the premise for this is quite simple as a lot of these Great War tanks ended up as war memorials after the war, with all the bits and pieces removed like engines and guns, etc, but with a little bit of planning, source equipment, engineering know how and a lot of time and effort you have a serviceable tank. Just how good a tank you would have would be debatable but you would have a tank none the least and it would strike fear into the hearts of the enemy, especially if they did have anything to counter it. Well thats the theory.

The actually kit from Warbases is a simple enough kit, well I say simple you do need the instructions which Warbases will email you and the thing is made from MDF, yes thats right it is a MDF tank, how suitable for VBCW. I must say that the instructions for the kit are wonderful to follow, easy to use and a good step by step guide. In fact the tank only took me about an hour to build and that included letting the glue dry before going on to the next part. Now the kit does come with the steering wheels at the rear but I have not attached them as frankly I am not a big fan of them.

Now as I have said it is a simple enough kit to build and paint and there is quite a bit of detail on it some in my opinion it looks the part. As for just how accurate it is I have to admit that I am not totally sure but looking at pictures of this tank it looks spot on to me. I think the only thing that I would change on it are the guns, they are a little too square but really thats a minor thing and something I can live with. All in all it is a good kit, its in 1/56th scale and it is the right size for my 28s, being 205mm x 90mm x 55mm. I find it totally amazing what people can do in MDF these days and the level of detail that they can get and the best thing about this kit is the price which is a steal at £14.00.

Have a great day


Monday, 6 April 2015

The Support Elements for the Leicestershire in VBCW

Well I have been cracking on with Warlord's British Expeditionary Forces which I am using for both Bolt Action Early War Brits, BEF actually, no surprise there and also to use of regular infantry for my Very British Civil War games too. I have to state now that I do like these figures, I have no idea who has sculpted them but I do like the chunkiness about them and the level of detail and dare I say accuracy with the equipment and uniforms, God I am such a button counter.

So first up is the Vickers .303 Medium Machine Gun and its crew. Now this is a now bit of kit and simple to assemble, which I like, fat figures me. It is quite surprising the variation in the equipment the chaps have, even though there s only three of them. Now this is partly due to the separate head system that Warlord use, which I actually like and hate in equal measure, trying to get the head to look natural is a pain in the butt but it does give you freedom and flexibility at the same time.

Saying all that I do like the Vickers as the water hose is moulded with the gun so it makes it easier to attach to the water can easier. I have always found painting the pre and early British uniform a bit difficult to do correctly, I always make it too earthy brown, but piling over my books of British uniforms and equipment, told you I was a button counter, and looking at photos online, thank you google, I think I have got it as close as I am even going to get it.

The next part I also find difficult too is the webbing. Is it beige, sand, green, khaki God is all and none of them, however I do remember that when I was at show I had a 37 pattern webbing knapsack that I used to carry my books in and strangely I can still remember the colour of it. Now I could of done the webbing in different colours like a lot of re-enactors do, but when you look at photos for the time you see that all the webbing was the colour colour.

Next up is my anti tank support in the form of the Boys Anti Tank Rifle, now the big guns are out, lol. I have a small issue with this actually the gun itself. As these chaps as early BEF the Boys should have a T shaped rest and not a bipod but thats a small fault and easily overlooked. I like this set though I am not totally sure why the spotter requires binos as the weapon has a effective range of about 150 yards. Still is a good kit and provided a level anti tank support.

The last support element is the HQ Section 2" mortar. Now this is a good set too with the mortarman and the loader. It is a simple kit and very nicely sculpted and the mortar looks good to me. I like the way that they are laying down instead of kneeing and in fact the mortar firer is setting the ranges in which is a nice touch.

Now I never thought for one moment that I would be totally praising Warlord on their BEF range, I personally find it very hit and miss and the faces on some of the ranges is at best cartoonish and at worst, bloody awful. But these are actually very nice and realistic, along with the poses give a nice natural feel to them and I am on the whole chuffed with them.

Well have a nice day.


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

I've Gone a Little Ancient

Well sort of in a way I have gone a little ancient with this rather lovely and wonderful vignette of Julius Caesar and the great Gallic warrior Vercingetorix from Wargames Illustrated Moments in History. Now this is another buy for Mrs PK as she does seem to have a thing for powerful men in history, like Napoleon, Caesar, Henry VIII, and actually this was something that I have been waiting to paint.

So I decided that for this vignette I would do something different for me and actually use a triad colour scheme as supplied by the great Loki from Loki's Great Hall as appeared in Wargame Bloggers Quarterly, the free quarterly eZine. Now firstly I have to say a big thanks to Loki for this and the help he has supplied with recent question I have asked of him about how to paint, so cheers mate.

I dont usually use the triad way of painting as I usually mix my colours and paint using thin layers and slowly build up the colours that way but following a conversation about the different ways of painting I thought I would give it a try, after all I dont have anything to lose. So armed with my triad guide in WBQ Issue 1 and set about the task in hand.

So I actually started with Caesar first and painting the face and his skin using the suggested colours for Mediterranean skin and I have to say that I was very impressed with it, the colours used not my painting skills. It gave a nice warm colour to the skin and a good transition that blended very way and not a wash in sight. Next I worked upon the cloak, deciding to go with a Imperial Purple colour and before anyone points out he was not Emperor at the time and the cloak should be red, well I wanted to paint it purple as it is a colour that I have always found difficult to paint and I wanted to see have the Triad system would work. Well what can I say, I was knocked over with just how nice it can out, the colours worked seamlessly together, giving a subtle yet rich colour that I have been looking for and I loved it.

Then to work on Vercingetorix and the base as Vercingetorix was glued to this as it seemed to make sense when I started it and it helped me giving the base a focal point while painting it. Now Vercingetorix I went for that typical Celtic/Gallic look with colour, strips and checks but at the same time trying to keep it all linked together and not a riot of colour. So I decided that I would echo some of the colours used in Caesar and what he is sitting on in Vercingetorix.

I first painted Vercingetorix skin but this time a used the triad for Northern European which is actually a little more brown and pale than the Mediterranean skin tone and I think it works well and makes Vercingetorix skin stand out as different to Caesars. Again I was surprised with just how well the colours blend together and subtle they are. I was also surprised just how quick it was to paint the skin using the triads, especially when combined with using a water palette.

All is all I have to say that I am impressed with the way that the triad system works and also how quick it is to use. I think that is a good way of getting the right colours though I have to say I am not totally convinced that the colours are in the correct order of some of them but thats minor and when you have the bottle of paint in front of you you can see which order, from dark to light, they should be anyway. The other thing I have noticed is the brightness of the colours and subtlety of the shades, which might be a problem for some. Now I am a strong believer is strong shadows and strong highlights in the way I normal paint, but with these the steps and closer together but actually they give a more natural range and feel to them. In future I with be mixing the colours to give me five bands of colour from the three and see how that works but it might be a step thats not required and the thin layers will already sort of do that. So I have to say I like the triad system and I will be using it again.

Have a nice day.

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