This was the month of making Airfix and 15mm British troops and tanks. Airfix kits are something I dabbled in en-masse when I was younger, WW2 aircraft mostly but with a number of tanks with their nasty rubber tracks that needed melting together (a right pain they were too!). This interest resurfaced this month after I was given enough money for my birthday to afford a Lancaster Bomber from Hobbycraft. This is something I’d thought about each time I had seen it but had never been able to justify spending the £18+ that it cost, but this time as soon as I starting thinking what to buy it popped into the front of my memory and jumped around waving luminous sticks and setting off fireworks. So I bought it – a Revell Lancaster MkI/III at £18.99. Oddly the Airfix models appeared much more expensive but I don’t think this directly translates into better quality so perhaps it’s just the effect of the brand name.
I had two faults when it came to making model aircraft – impatience and a failure to finish what I started. The impatience saw me needing the aircraft finished so I could run around the room with it (obviously), and with lowered undercarriages this meant often putting the weight of the plane onto the still drying wheels and struts before it was ready. Most aircraft were wonky in some way. Tails and wings were another regular failing. Perspex cockpits were often wasted because I glued them in place to finish the aircraft without resorting to painting the pilot(s) first. Then once the aircraft was finished I lacked the enthusiasm to do a proper paint job on all by the most popular aircraft. In the line of favourite models behind the Lancaster (of which I originally had a dambusters version that is long gone) was the Wellington bomber which I hope to redo again some day.
On to the present day and I don’t intend to fail on either of my faults, but I’m also wary of my own rustiness – I haven’t attempted a build like this in many, many years, and those who have know that it is generally more challenging than most wargaming models! So it is that I have decided to practice beforehand, and luckily I have many long-forgotten models to practice on. A very good friend gave me a 1/72 D-Day Airfix set when I finished at English Heritage, and from this I have made the Matador truck and its towed 5.5” gun, as well as the DUKW and the bunker emplacement. I have also made a 1/48 scale Airfix Spitfire Mk V, which I started making so long ago that the pilot I had stuck together had started to come to pieces and had to be fixed again. I have resisted the urge to stick the Perspex cockpit cover on so I can paint the pilot and that’s the stage I’m up too.
My new army for 2015 so far is my 15mm British aimed at being a late war army for Flames of War. I will probably do a thread of posts for them in the future. For now it’s enough to note that I used Christmas cash to purchased 9 universal carriers – 6 normal and 3 wasp carriers (to push out dug in infantry) – and a PSC Sherman tank. These, along with my new infantry, and the Shermans my brother kindly gave me brings them up to a strength of 18 Shermans, 9 bases of infantry, 9 carriers and a solitary 1/144 scale Revell Typhoon which I’ve had since Triples and only just got round to making along with the box of Plastic Soldier Company Shermans I bought at the same time. I’ve been busy making the PSC Shermans and Infantry while making the Airfix models, and deployed my airbrush to undercoat the lot so I am now up to the painting stage.
In terms of gaming I managed to defeat my nemisis Adrian at Dreadball twice, cleared Ian Shaws Brits from Gatow airport in the Flames of War campaign, lost a suburb of Berlin in the same campaign to Red, and played 3 games of English Civil War at Aidans gaming day in Frodsham – 1 win, one draw and one defeat.
Painted Vs. Purchased
I’ve purchased a few models for my new 15mm British army this month, which translate into 9 universal carriers, 1 Sherman tank, and 27 bases-worth of late war infantry (actually purchased last month but I had to take the time to work out how many bases it would turn into). My brother also gave me the old FOW Open Fire set which included 3 Shermans, 2 StuG’s, and he also handed over 3 Panzer III’s. For my birthday I was bought a box of 12 fireforge Templar Knights by Ben, and I also bought a 1/72 Lancaster Bomber. All in all a big increase in purchased models from 0 to 57, and with nothing painted as yet!
|The Bio-Titan's deployment when I returned home from a 6am-4:30pm day.|
|And their enemies - 6mm Union troops!|
|One Revell Lancaster MkI/III still in its box.|