Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Assembling WWII German Armor from Madbob's Miniatuares - Geschutzwagen 39H(f)

I have started work on the three vehicles I received from the Madbob's Miniatures Kickstarter. On the table are: 2 Pak 40 Auf S307(f) (the Pak 40 AT gun mounted on a French Unix Halftrack) and the Geschutzwagen 39H(f) (the French H39 tank converted to carry either the Pak 40 or the 10.5cm Howitzer).

I started with the Geschutzwagen 39H(f) and decided to go with the 10.5cm Howitzer version. The gun barrel was slightly bent and I tried to push it back into a straight position just to see how much correction I might need. It promptly broke off, now its going to need some extra work, so I set the gun aside for the moment.

The vehicles are cast from a very different type of resin than I'm used to working with. It has a rougher surface and the details are not as sharp as I would like them to be. I started cleaning off the flash and mold lines and quite frankly there isn't much. It is a well cast vehicle in that regard. There is some flash around the edges of the rear of the armor compartment and the back in general. I also cleaned out the grill on the back which did not cast very clean. I think the tracks were originally modeled separate from the vehicle and then added as part of the final mold just from the mold lines which run right down the center of the tracks. Those are a little rough and took some work to clean up but they are also underneath the vehicle which means you aren't going to see them anyway. I spent most of my time here just working on the front and backs of the visible portions of the track and making sure the bogies and drive wheels were cleaned up. I think I might have spent 15 minutes cleaning everything for assembly.

The broken gun was a relatively easy fix. I could have just glued it back together but I figured it would just continue to break at the joint again. The resin is easy to drill through so I simply drilled both sides of the break out and used a pin to create a stronger joint. I also drilled out the muzzle break just to give it a cleaner look.

I think this is a nice vehicle, not as good as something from Warlord or Trenchworx but then I'm not aware of anyone else that makes this particular conversion used by the 21st Panzer Division in Normandy either. If you need the rear doors opened the resin is thin enough to make those cuts very easily, just a couple of scores with a sharp knife should take care of that. Its simple so it will really lend itself to having some extra detail added. In the end this is a kit made for gaming and its not a competition piece, its a good value for the money and should stand up pretty well to handling on the game table.

I'll follow up with some additional prep work I plan on doing when the next opportunity for some hobby time presents itself.

A few pictures to go with that wall of text.

The broken gun barrel, oops. You can see the bend in the gun barrel here. I held it over a candle and was able to straighten it out.

flash on the inside of the back armored wall. You can see here the light seam where the doors come together. Opening them would be pretty easy.

The top edge of the ack armored wall also had some flash

Here you can see the excess in the grill which I cleaned out (carefully) and the mold lines on the tracks.

Reconstructive surgery on the 10.5cm Howitzer

A little putty work will be required to make the joint invisible.

All ready for some additional prep before I start painting.

You can see some of the roughness in the casting on the front armored shield here. I have some ideas to fix this before I start painting.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Behind the Curve - Battlefront Team Yankee

I know I'm way behind the curve on this one but I found a really good deal on the "Bannon's Boys" box set and decided to jump in. I haven't played modern armor in years and I have long since sold off my very extensive GHQ micro armor collection (again, wish I hadn't done that). I'm not sure I'll be playing the Team Yankee rules but I'll give them a try at some point other wise I'll go back to my old GDW Combined Arms rules which I think have really withstood the test of time.

The box is a bit beat up but I can't complain for something about half price.

I do love plastic kits. This should be fun.

I'm not sure why the tank commanders are cast in resin or why there is only one sheet of decals for the AH-1s when you obviously need 2. I'm not impressed with the sculpting on the tank commanders either.

The resin cast objective marker. Pretty nice

Friday, December 2, 2016

Kickstarter Watch 4 ending - Tabletop Hex Terrain Toolkit

At this moment we are down the last 24 hours on the Tabletop Hex Terrain Toolkit. While I'm still on the fence about purchasing it because of the scarcity of funds at the moment (darn that patio renovation) I think that this is a kickstarter well worth getting into if you like making terrain with hexes.

A couple of stretch goals have been added like the trench maker which is the one I'm interested in adding on.

Here is the kickstarter link again: Kickstarter Tabletop Hex Terrain Toolkit

Trench Maker for a 6mm trench

Trench Maker for a 28mm trench

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Patio Renovation Phase 1

This has been a really busy year for just about everything except my hobbies! The latest renovation is expanding the patio into more of an outdoor living space. The original concept was just to add on to the existing concrete patio. However, after all the outdoor furniture and rugs had been removed from the old space we discovered that it had continued to crack quite badly. The contractor recommended we replace the old concrete at the same time so that everything would match. We bit the bullet and coughed up more cash to get the project done right. 

Phase 1 involved the destruction and removal of the existing concrete, digging out the area for the new concrete, prepping everything for the concrete pour and then pouring and finishing the new surface. The concrete is setting now under a bundle of thermal blankets as winter finally decided to arrive here in the middle of the project,

I really didn't keep a good photographic record of this project so it begins with the pile of concrete, the remains of the old patio. This is about half, one load has already gone to the dump or where ever they take this stuff.

The pile of concrete by the time I realized I had not taken any pictures of the work.

The edges are defined by the 2x4s and the wire mesh is in place

They were able to cut around the concrete base of the garden entry and the existing water fountain.

The concrete pour starts. I found the whole process rather fascinating.

Larry supervised the entire operation