Monday, 24 October 2016

Brick and Mortar Model Shops

Not many of these around any more but I found an absolute cracker today in Porthmadog of all places. It has an extensive range of model kits, loads of toy soldiers and even a decent selection of wargame figures. I replenished my dwindling supply of Evergreen half round styrene strip and topped up my 1mm sheet plastic card stockpile. Not the most exciting of purchases but very useful nonetheless and I will be popping in again before the end of the week for something more inspirational!

They Shall Not Pass

I'm reading this now and it is one of those books that you can't put down. I've wanted to do something with the new range of 15mm late war French from Peter Pig since they came out, so this book is a potential source of inspiration. I also have a family angle on this too, as my wife's great grandfather was killed in 1914 in the Race to the Sea and many other relatives fought at Verdun in 1916. It's still an emotive issue in Brittany as the Bretons were treated as cannon fodder by the French high command, more so than other units and with the inevitable results.

Friday, 21 October 2016

After Limbang

I popped into town for a pre-holiday haircut this afternoon, so had a look in the Oxfam bookshop for something to read at my leisure during the rest of the week. Sure enough, I found a copy of this anthology of first hand experiences by former Royal Marines who served in the Indonesian Confrontation. Very interesting and great inspiration for my 15mm post-colonial skirmish plans.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Dakka, Dakka, Dakka

Not a lot done this evening due to work but I have undercoated the machine gun turret to see what it looks like, having stippled the top with plastic putty to create a cast effect and to hide the central hole. I've also added some armour plating skirt sections and a door to the wagon itself.

I'm hoping to get a bit more done to the wagon tomorrow including the buffer beams and the various fittings for the doors, together with the second turret. I'm still debating how to attach the turrets to the wagons, either using magnets and washers so they can be rotated, or by just gluing them in place with superglue? What do you think?

SupeRetro Classic Train Set

I've been posting some progress reports on the armoured train build over on the Lead Adventure Forum. I was asked about the source of the toy train bogies that I'm using for the wagons built out of Lego bricks. These are from a couple of cheap toy train sets which I found in the Robert Dyas Xmas sale a few years ago. I have also used the track from the two train sets which scales out to about 28mm.

Anyway, I've tracked down a toy train set with the same locomotive, tender and tracks but with passenger carriages instead of tanker wagons, so ideal for the Back of Beyond, 1920's gangsters, WW2 or whatever. The locomotive could easily be repainted and with very little effort would look pretty good. I'm not sure about the passenger carriages but there are supposed to be five of them in the set, although there's only one in the picture?

Here's the eBay link if you are interested:

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Armoured Train Machine Gun Turrets

I've been fiddling around with the turrets for the machine gun wagon this evening, using various bricks to form the cupola, a flight stand as the top and plastic card to cover over inconvenient holes and to create the deflectors, which you always see in pictures of this sort of thing. I cheated with the machine gun barrels and used some cut-down Brigade Games metal Vickers HMG's that I bought in a Northstar sale when they were going for £2.50 a pack. I still have some bits to finish off but I think it looks OK so far.

FFOL Horse and Musket

I really like Fistful of Lead: Reloaded so I was very pleased to see that Jaye Wiley has published a Horse and Musket version, with rules adjustments, add-ons and scenarios for the French Indian Wars, Napoleonic Wars, American Civil War and the Maximillian Adventure. I have a plan to dig out my old 28mm pirate figures and use them for some Treasure Island style games, although with only a handful of figures required I could well branch out into other black powder periods. The core rules are very similar to the Old West version, so it should be easy to pick them up too. Very good value for six quid and available now as a handy pdf download from Wargame Vault.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Red Armoured Train HMG Wagon

I've started on the second armoured wagon, a machine gun twin turret armed carriage, using the same method that I tried out with the first one. The basic substructure has been plated up in the ever useful Renedra plastic bases and some sheets of 1mm plastic card. The turrets will be constructed with machine gun barrels and deflectors, although I have yet to find anything suitable for this in the bits box. I'll then glue the turrets in place and add some buffers, armoured skirts, hatches and hand rails tomorrow, assuming I can find the time.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Armoured Troop Wagon Tweaks

I have work to do this evening so won't have much time to spend on the armoured train but I have added a few tweaks to the troop transporting wagon that I assembled yesterday.

I wasn't very happy with the sides of the wagon or the thickness of the main doors, so I added an armoured skirt of Renedra 20mm square plastic bases around the lower section, which I think looks much better as a result. I have loads of these plastic bases spare, as I only use mdf and metal bases.

I also found the little metal star sequins that I used as Soviet stars on the old armoured train that I built a few years ago, so I've added these to the doors as welded on insignia. I still need to attach the toy train bogies and add some sort of coupling gear but otherwise this is a done deal. Oh well, back to work!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Red Armoured Train Troop Wagon

Here's the end result of a few hours fiddling about with plastic bases, plastic card, laser cut mdf shapes, staples and drawing pins, on top of the Lego substructure that I built yesterday. It's not quite what I had in mind and I'm really not sure about the large side door, but it's not far off. As a result, I will follow a similar approach with the next wagon in the armoured train, the heavy machine gun equipped carriage, which now has two turrets. I'm hoping to get this done over the next few days before I tackle the engine, tender and artillery wagon.