Currently I’m on holiday, due to start a new job in around three weeks. The first week of this holiday’s been mostly doing my best to keep out of the sun and not die from the humidity, which has meant watching a tonne of TV and playing with my toy soldiers. 🙂
This week’s seemingly been all about the vehicles. Having bought one diecast pickup truck last week and painted that up, I was set on hunting down more at the local flea markets. I wasn’t able to find the mountains that I had expected (at least in 1/50th, 1/72nd players are set), but did come across enough to keep me content in the short term.
Land Rover Freelander
Whilst I await another order from Spectre (and a replacement part from the first), I was able to complete this first technical.
This one’s made from a Land Rover Freelander – a 1/52nd diecast by the Chinese company Smart Toys (whom I couldn’t find a trace of online).
With the vehicle itself the modification may seem a bit minimal. Rather a good bit of time was spent “rehabilitating” the diecast to bring it up to an acceptable standard (something I’m quickly finding out with most of these diecasts). The rear trunk area required a complete rebuild from the poorly detailed plastic placeholder which they’d installed there, even as I was unable to remove some of the pieces as the metal was just too hard to cut through with my regular tools (at least not without spending an hour tidying up the mess afterwards).
The wheels of course are from Spectre Miniature’s technical upgrade set, meant to represent off road tires. Whilst not strictly in the Land Rover style, they work well enough. For those looking for other sources of 1/50th scale wheels I did manage to find some for Airfix’s 1/48th Land Rover set, cast in resin by Red Zebra models. Their site is a bit archaic, but they may be suitable for larger pickup trucks if you can get a hold of them.
But back to the model. I went ahead and added armour to the “important” areas, the radiator, side windows and rear compartment. …Ah, not the front window or any other areas. As apparently that’s how vehicles role these days. I guess cheap pressed metal doors are enough to stop 7.62mm rounds. The window armour has portholes for vision, or can be folded down (I felt that the raised wing mirror on the right hand side would be a nice feature).
In the rear I mounted a Spectre Miniatures DShK on the roof – slightly further forward that I had expected due to how long it is – crewed by one of the same company’s MENA soldiers (who seems suitable enough when painted with a more European completion, though I really wish they’d make some European variants of their MENA crews eventually). To give the vehicle a bit of character (and cover up any mistakes) the trunk’s filled with your usual assortment of junk. A mix of bits from Black Cat Games, Empress Miniatures, JTFM Enterprises and Special Artizan Service Miniatures (ah, if you’re ever in the need to buy your own storage. Its hitting me just how many different companies I’ve gone to buying this sort of stuff from over the years…).
The vehicle’s painted in a dodgily applied camo pattern, probably more suitable for a jungle than Eastern Europe (though there was that one Metal Gear Solid game which had a jungle in Russia…). I was tempted to add some insignia and slogans, but considered that those would maybe tie them to one particular faction too much, and I’d rather this vehicle be usable by both sides in the conflict where possible.
With a quick dab of paint, this Nationalist soldier which I’d sculpted last week’s now painted.
It was a fairly basic affair between working on other stuff. Just a standard gorka and a green chest rig, no camo as I wasn’t into muddling the different colours up much more than they would be already.
I’ll have to see about sculpting some more soldiers up. Though for the time being I still have loads of pewter to paint. Russian Spetsnaz are currently next up on my desk. With those I’ve been putting off painting them as I try and work out how to do their uniforms, but something should come up if I stare at CamoPedia long enough…
On the terrain front, realising that I hadn’t painted much this week I pushed myself to paint these segments of pavement which I’d marked for priority in the “to do” pile (which in reality meant that I’d moved them to the centre of my painting area, then repeatedly shoved them aside to work on something else).
They’re not super high on the detail, but good enough for what they’re intended for. I’ll need to play a game with them before I know what modifications will need to be made if I want a complete set (i.e. If the segments are the right length). Though I’ve been telling myself to make more road and pavement sections for years, so don’t hold out on more of these appearing any time soon! ;D
Work in Progress:
Now into the “I was too distracted by other projects to finish any of these” segment.
I began work on a series of other tehcnicals, which I’ll probably go into more depth on once they’re finished.
“Spec Ops” Land Rover
A “special forces” Land Rover made from Airfix’s 1/48th scale kit.
Which is currently awaiting crew from Spectre Miniatures. Ideally their Razor crew will fit into this with a bit of work. I’d bought Airfix’s 1/48th scale crew for that purpose earlier in the week, but found that whilst they fit the vehicle, they’re too large for my 28mms (probably as 1/50th is closer to 30-32mm than 28mm). Other than those it may be done, unless I can salvage another kitchen sink to add to the stowage (…note to self: while you have 28mm kitchen sinks, you shouldn’t hide one on your next vehicles as a joke).
Corgi Land Rover
An identical Land Rover to my first Corgi technical was also found, which is going through the same treatment.
To differentiate it from the first its had an armoured cab added, similar to modifications on Soviet era jeeps in various conflicts. This one’s in need of a base plate for a ZPU-2 gun which I’d ordered from Spectre Miniatures, but had been missing that part. Though I also ordered a ZPU-1 gun from them as well which may be suitable (the size of the ZPU-2 is what’s selling me on the bigger mount right now…).
Ah, and last in this “Week of Technicals”, I began working on this one last night. It uses Tamiya’s 1/48th BA-64B as a basis.
The BA-64B’s small enough that I’m going ahead and beefing up its bodywork to make it look not quite as titchy compared to my other vehicles. Looking at the measurements of Soviet Jeeps from WWII it seems like they had the same idea, incrementally make each jeep larger, till the post-war Soviet states settled on things like the Gaz Tigr and American Humvee for the same purpose. The idea’s to open up that rear area with a firing platform of some kind mounting a DShK (because at this stage the size of the vehicle doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to sticking a Heavy Machine Gun on it. …If I was covering the current conflicts in the Middle East I’d have a load of motorbikes with them by now).
Besides all the technicals, work commenced on a BMP-1 from Empress Miniatures as well.
This is the BMP-1 which I’d bought to use as a basis for a conversion into one of the modernised BMP-1s with 30mm guns (either a Russian or Ukrainian variant). Looking at my vehicle pool I considered that having something less specialised may give me more options in game though, as I already was quickly collecting a load of vehicles which would be only suitable for one particular side in the conflict (unless someone captured them). Instead its a run of the mill BMP-1 to fit in with the pair of BMP-2Ds I already have, without slat armour or anything too fancy. At the moment what’s left to work on is gap filling and tidying up one of the two disembarking soldiers at the rear there (the crouching one’s an Empress Miniature’s Russian – who could work as just a guy wearing after market gear – and the other’s a mix of a Wargames Factory GI and Warlord Games Project Z Spec Ops figures, with a gun from Staturesque Miniatures, and head by Empress Miniatures – going spare from another set of vehicle passengers I’d painted earlier).
It may still be a bit early to show this one off. Here’s a project which I’ve been working on for the past few weeks on and off, as I intermittently work on it between running out of materials…
Its based on a local restaurant which peaked my interest as I was searching for ideas for larger buildings for my modern collection. Most of the work so far’s just be developing the layout and how all the rooms fit together. Once the structure’s established then hopefully the detailing won’t be nearly so involved, adding a counter and tables to the front, a kitchen in the back and some sort of office/ storage area upstairs. Along with bits like vents and air conditioning units outside. Typically its constantly being sidelined for tanks and other things, as well, tanks are cool …and miniature restaurants hardly bring in the views (unless that’s what I’ve been missing all these years!).
Well that’s what’s been going on here on my end this week. Once that order from Spectre Miniatures arrives I’ll hopefully be able to work on those other technicals and have them painted by the end of next week.
I’ve also ordered a Humvee from Spectre Miniatures. I was initially putting off picking one of these up, though having to make a second order in a week (to buy that Razor Crew) “forced” me to hit that £30 free shipping total… The idea’s to turn it into one of Ukraine’s initial run of Humvees which were used in Kosovo, with a new roof, door armour and mounting a DShK (I swear I’m going to need to order twenty of those just to keep up with all these vehicles…). Hopefully though I’ll also get to look at Special Artizan Service’s Humvee and compare the two at some point; possibly using there’s for another of the Ukrainian variants, particularly as their one includes a full interior.