Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Work in Progress - Schneider CA1s and BA 64s

Better late than never!   I have started on the first application of the camouflage for the Schneiders.   The first is a scheme called the "flames"and the second will be a more conventional four colour scheme of yellow, light grey, red brown and green.   The paints used are Vallejo acrylics, slightly thinned with their medium thinner.   The schemes are brush painted.   The "flames" scheme consists of Uniform Green and a medium brown (yet to be applied)

Four colour scheme on the left, "Flames"on the right.

The only drawback I am experiencing is that I have to finish painting each component before I start on the next.    This is so I can line up the various markings i.e. upper hull with lower hull, lower hull with running gear.

I was toying with the idea of applying the cross hatching seen on some tanks that was applied to confuse German riflemen from firing at the vision ports.   Sanity has prevailed and I will go with the colours being outlined with a thin black line.

The BA 64s are now completed, with the exception of some undercoating and they should be on their way to their new owners shortly.

The photo above shows the turrets under construction.   30 thou styrene was used, with the mating edges filed to a slight angle.   The turret "bin" was made from 25 mm PVC conduit.   I had to turn these down to 24 mm in my hobby lathe as the holes in the roof I had cut at 24 mm!   Next time I will cut the holes to a standard pipe size.   The NWSL Chopper was used to cut the angles on the turret plates, which made life much easier!   To the left can be seen the exhausts mad from tube, rod and thin strip.   These are fitted just aft of the front right mudguard.

The 7.62 DP 28 Machine guns under construction, along with MG mounts.   These are an approximation as I used a casting of an MG 42 with the barrel cut short and stock removed.   A new wire barrel was fitted along with a new wire stock.   A drum magazine was attached to the top of the weapon and a little slice of tube was glued underneath to enable the gun to be mounted.   Also shown are the headlights  which I turned up from a knitting needle and made castings of.   A small dimple was cast into the headlight to enable the drilling of the hole for the mounting wire.   Much easier than trying to drill without it!  

The first five BA 64s undercoated.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Work In Progress - On the Workbench

Although the weather in my little slice of heaven has not been conducive to airbrushing I did manage (finally!) to spray my Schneider CA1s in their base coat.

The picture above shows the various components of the two tanks on their painting stands.   The stands themselves are made up square beading and dowel mounted on old offcuts of tablemats that are past their use by date.   I also have some stands that have clothes pegs attached for holding small parts.    I modify the ends of these pegs by sanding off the ends and/or sanding the ends to a taper.

The colour used for the yellow basecoat was Life Colour's acrylic "Italian Mimetic Yellow".   This was thinned with their acrylic thinner by 3 parts colour and 1 part thinner.   This gives a consistency like milk, which I find works well for me.   I used my new Ryobi compressor for the first time for this job and was very happy with the results.

The actual airbrushing was done with a Badger single action airbrush.
I will give the tanks about a week to harden off completely before starting the first of the camouflage colours.   More to follow.

Secondly, I have progressed a little further with the BA 64 Armoured Cars.

As can be seen in the photo above the hulls are now complete, with the exception of the radiator louvres, headlight and of course the turret. 
  Also in the photo at the rear is some castings I am working on of some Napoleonic 42nd Highlander Officers.   There is also a Napoleonic Royal Marine Officer as well.   I am an avid collector of the Britains Deetail range and was always disappointed that their English Napoleonic set had an Officer to lead their Line Infantry but no Officer to lead the 42nd Highlanders.   I took a cast of their Line Officer and the head from the Airfix Highlander kit, carved away the sash from around the waist and added a new sash over the left shoulder. (Thanks Les!).   The Royal Marine Officers head was from an Armies in Plastic Egyptian Army head with a brim from plastic sheet, straps and a plume from modelling putty.   Putty was also used for the turn up on the brim.   As these figures are for my own use I was happy to take castings from the original Britains figure.   It sure beats carving up one!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

WW2 Russian BA 64 Armoured Car - A Work in Progress

A bit of departure from my usual posts, this time it's a Work in Progress.   This project came about when a fellow member of the Littlewars Forum suggested I make one of these.   I ended up constructing 12 in total.   Never having made any Russian equipment, I thought it would be interesting.    Also, I thought being small, they would be fairly easy to  make.   More on that later.

The chassis' were constructed first, being a simple frame of 60 x 125 thou, with channels let in for the 3/16th axle holders.   These allow me to use a 1/8th rod for the axles.   The wheels were cast, (all 60 of them!) using a suitable master in resin.

The hulls were then started.   40 thou plastic sheet for the floor pan and 30 thou for the sides and ends.   20 thou with 10 thou was used for the bonnet panelling.   Great use was made of my two NWSL Choppers, in order to get the angled surfaces identical.    Bracing was applied internally in the form of  bulkheads and triangular bracing where necessary.   As many internal joints as feasible were also reinforced with scraps of plastic strip.   The holes for the turrets were cut with a circle cutter.

I mentioned earlier that I thought, due to their size, they would be fairly easy to make.   To a point they are but all the angles make it very challenging.   Not only as many of the joining edges as necessary are mitre/filed to a 45 degree angle but much care has to be taken to ensure neat joints.   I'm getting there (putty is my friend).

In the second part of the post I hope to have progressed further with the construction and hopefully the painting of them.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Mini Post - Japanese Chi Ri Medium Tank

I scratch-built these two tanks when I re-started my interest in 54 mm Toy Soldiers back in 2009.   Previously I had bought AFVs from Classic Toy Soldiers (Chi Ha's, Sherman's, Churchill's etc) and thought I would have a go at making my own.   Unfortunately, having read somewhere that CTS models were about 1:38 in scale, I made these two the same.   Bad move, I have since made all my models since to 1:32nd scale.
Anyway, the Chi Ri was designed for rapid manufacture using readily available components    This was at a time when invasion of the Japanese mainland was inevitable and Japan needed armour for the defence of same.   The tanks however, never went into production.   They would have had a crew of 6 and were armed with a 75 mm gun, 37 mm gun and 2 x Type 97 7.7 mm Machine Guns.

The tanks themselves were constructed from laminated 20 thou sheet to produce 4o thou (it was early days!) and Evergreen styrene strip and shapes were also used.   The main armament was turned up from plastic tubing in the trusty Black and Decker Drill.   Road wheels were from old Game Counters from a long forgotten Board Game.   Insulin needle covers were also used as well as various bits of wire and aluminium.

The tanks were painted with a tan undercoat and that is as far as they got!   I will probably make these tanks again one day in the correct scale (as can be seen from the first photo, compared to the figures they are a bit on the small side.)  but as they were my first attempt at scratch-building for so many years, they still have a place in my collection.