dinsdag 23 december 2014

Airbrush supplies at the local drugstore

I did a introductory course to see if my 2nd hand airbrush (A H&S Evolution) was any good, and it turns out it is. Well, after the teacher straightend both 0.2 needles and polished them that is. :)

Now I'm slowly building up supplies for my kit. I've already purchased a 0.4 needle for basecoating and varnishing, cleaning fluid, thinner and flow improver, but found some items in the local drugstore.

 Mostly for the new airbrush. Q-tips for cleaning, a lens box to keep the nozzle parts in cleaning solution, extra fine brushes to clean the air cap on my Evolution, toothpaste to polish the needle now and then, and conditioner for the new brushes I will be buying next year...I kind of had it with the cheap nylon brushes that I have been using for years.

Nice to know I can get tools locally. And not piss off the wife by using her stuff. And it didn't even cost much, less so if I had gone to the brand less shop but thats practically outside of town and too far to walk with the kids.

Oh, and shocker of the week....I managed to find next years 28mm model that I'm going to paint. Piers is making me paint more then 1 though.

dinsdag 16 december 2014

Lucky Strike part II

We have a Dutch proverb, "Een ezel stoot zich niet tweemaal aan dezelfde steen" (A donkey doesn't bump into the same rock twice). I've proven myself to be less then a donkey cause I won another big lot for a bit more money. This time filled with more obscure in between wars aircraft and 2nd line aircraft like trainers. Again I will keep a few and sell off the rest on Marktplaats

But in case anyone is interested, here is the list. Feel free to make a bid as long as you remember Post.NL is a bit funny and I have to send these in boxes that cost 7.50 Pounds in shipping for most EU countries, but can contain up to 2 kilos in kits. Could be useful if you want more or if you want to team up with someone. I know some of it is crap so I will be using that as airbrush bait.

Japanese box lot

Fujimi Ki-43I Oscar 2x (verschillende decals per doos)
Hasegawa B5N2 Kate 
Fujimi B6N1/2 Jill
Fujimi C6N5 Myrt
Hasegawa Ki-27
Special Hobby Aichi E16A1 Paul Floatplane
ZA Models – K3M3 Pine Transport 
AZ Models Ki-28 Bob prototype
MPM E14Y1 Glen
RS Model Ki-60 Prototype 
Fujimi D4Y4 Judy   
Hasegawa E7K1 Type 94 floatplane
Hasegawa Ki-48-T Type 99 Lily
Tamiya M6A1 Seiran   
Hasegawa Ki67 Peggy + resin parts
Hasegawa Ki49 Helen 
Hasegawa P1Y1 Frances

22 box lot

Toko LaGG-3
Nakotne N. Polikarpov I-3
Modelcraft Blackburn Shark Mk II
Hobbycraft Canadair CT114 Tutor
Matchbox Gloster Meteor NF11/12/14
Matchbox Armstrong Whitworth Siskin IIIA
ZLS PZL-37 A/B tos
Fujimi Ki-36 Kisaragi
Smer Dewoitine D500/501
Avis Kawasaki Ki 10-I
ICM Ki-10-II
PM Hawker Seafury Trainer T-61
Zvezda Yak-6
Pavla Models Curtis AT-9 Jeep
Italeri Rafale B
Academy Spitfire Mark XIV
Hasegawa Hurricane Mk IID
Academy P-51D Mustang
Academy Me-163 B/S Komet
KP Letov -S-328
Matchbox Dornier Do-18

I don't want the world for them, I'm not looking for retail, hard as it might be for some cause there are a few OOP kits in this lot, but don't try to con me :)

zondag 14 december 2014

Lucky Strike!

I've been eyeing Marktplaats (Dutch Ebay variant) lately on a daily basis, to see if people are offering cheap Me-109's and Fw-190's that I can use for my late war German airfield board I will build someday. Cheap as I will be building them as hulks. Lowball bids of 2.50 for a kit, and sometimes I'm lucky. Most of the time I'm just amazed that people dare to ask the same for a secondhand, decalless kit as a brandnew one in the shop. And they wonder why they don't sell.....

Anyway, here comes a lot of 18 aircraft in a box, mostly Hasegawa and Fujimi, (quality stuff so interesting) WW2 (ok, correct period) asking price 35 euros including shipping (double interesting, plus alarm bells cause this price just ain't right, waaaay to low). Some jokers are already in a typical Marktplaats bidding war, outbidding each other with cents, bloody ridiculous and insulting to the seller IMHO. So I pop in a bid of 40, for fun to see what happens, and to keep it low as I have no idea what is in it, it might be half built stuff or stuff I don't need, the listing isn't very clear. But at moments like these asking for a list is time wasted, so what the heck. 2 hours later an email. I won, please transfer the money to this account and it will be shipped asap. More alarmbells, I won? Already? Well, at worst I'm being scammed out of 40 euros, so hey, why not. Asked him to deliver it at work and then started the waiting game. An email the next day, the money was in, he was going to post it the very same day. And lo and behold, the next day a big box gets delivered at my office....

Moment of truth. During my lunchbreak I popped open the box. Nah mate, this can't be truth. Slowly checked all 18 boxes, with my mouth opening wider and wider with every box. 18 boxes, all mint, like they came right from a distributor. Some had their price tags stuck to the paperwork inside. 8 euros for one small box, 23 euros for a couple of fighters, and then some with the guilder prices still on them, on immaculate boxes, so you know how old these are. 70 guilders for a 2 engined bomber, which even back then was a lot of money for a kit. A quick look sorted these as 4 for 10 euro a piece, 11 that would be 20 euros minimum and 3 bombers that I've seen ranging from 25 to 40 up, and a lot of these seem to be discontinued. Some of the fighters and bombers have a band across the box to celebrate 1945-1995.

So I'm looking at least 360 euros in retail worth of kits. And I just won it for 40 euros. And you know what the biggest joke is? I have no use for Japanese aircraft! I don't do Japanese in 20mm as it is a very rarely gamed army in my parts, so I don't have any need for these.

Ack, life can be funny sometimes......

dinsdag 9 december 2014

Time flies.... November in a large nutshell and December goals

Well, November has gone by so fast, it's just not funny anymore. I've been so busy with work and the kids I had hardly anytime to focus on the hobby! So busy infact, I managed to forget to take my medication on 3 seperate occasions, with predictable results. I managed to lose a week to a short return of my depression, which was only lifted when my wife took a long weekend to Dusseldorf with a friend and I was left to take care of the kids myself. Friday to late Sunday. Toddlers don't care if you have a depression, they just want clothes, food, toys and sleep....and a lot of attention!

Lucky for me, it was just what was needed to snap out of it. I had a blast of a weekend, and a newfound respect for single moms everywhere. And she has already "promised" there will be more weekends, which I don't mind, as I really like spending time with my kids, it actually gave me a lot of energy on one side and draining me on the other. And best of all, I scored an approval for a trip to Ireland in 2015! Piers has welcomed me with open arms, we haven't planned much yet, but he did send me a box with 28mm Mordheim figures in it. Bloody bastard, I love that game, but I don't like painting 28mm's anymore! Seems I have no choice now....

Anyway, November. Wrapped up the sales, only had 1 non replier, and waiting for the money to de deliverd from another but thats someone I know so no problem. One of the last packages is going in the mail tomorrow. I'm shocked I made over a 1000 Pounds just by selling stuff I had no more need of. I'm even more shocked I donated half of that to my family, buying diner in a fancy restaurant, toys, and a iPad for the wife (which shows it pays to nag for over a year, complaining about her iPad clone every week). I've spent the rest on myself, save about 200, and bought a second hand airbrush which I'm having tested on friday to see if it is anygood. The seller was quitting the hobby and sold a lovely Khorne army to one chap and all of his tools, paints, airbrush and compressor to me. Sadly, he quit communicating as well, as the box arrived with everything just tossed in, no padding, brown oil paint everywhere from a busted tube of paint, Spent a night cleaning everything (thank god for slow drying times on oil paint) and sending a polite email to the seller. Only the buyer of the Korne army contacted me, as he too had received a dumped army, with breakages and missing 10 models in total, plus models that didn't match up to the photographs sent. It's been a few years since I was burned like this, and it had made me wonder if putting out 160 euros for a compressor, airbrush and over 100 euros worth of paint was worth it, but we will find out at the airbrush inroductory course I will be taking this friday.

And the airbrush? A Harder & Steenbeck Evolution.....not sure what model (the seller never answered my question what model it was), I'm assuming the Solo but with a adjustable limiter added so you can limit the amount of paint used to a fixed position (sorry if it sounds weird but I'm new at this, but it seems perfect for fine German wiggly camo). It has been used, had some paint smears on it, but nothing that I wasn't able to clean off. Stripped it down several times now to get a feel for it, and there is one part (where the air hose attatches to the airbrush) that just won't unscrew. And according to the explodogram and a online cleaning tutorial, it should. Again, something I want to have checked out on friday as I was planning to reseal everything with new seals, or leave it there for maintenance and let them do it. Whatever works.

Compressor works fine, alas no airtank, and the wife has already told me I can't airbrush when she is asleep, but as she usually tucks in around 22:30 that gives me a average of 2 hours a night to work it. Ton of paint, sadly all Vallejo Air, of which I heard mixed reviews, mostly about clogging, so thinking about starting out with a set of Tamiyas as my mates reccomend me or get some AK Interactive paints. Most of the tools have arrived, stirrers, pots, tape and what not, but for some mysterious reason the cleaner and thinner are already 3 weeks enroute from the UK and still haven't made it. While quite a few other items from the UK have. The seller told me to contact him when nothing had arrived on monday, but I'm giving it till friday before I contact him again. If it doesn't arrive, I'll pick up a pot of Vallejo Thinner first for trying out. Fortunately, in the lot was a last swig of Vallejo airbrush cleaner, so that will come in handy.

Anyway, back to the list!


Main Goal - try to sell as much as possible, even giving away stuff to clear out (only asking for postage) before mid November. Then have the rest of the week to bring the hobby room back into pristine condition and everything stored in the attic till next years sale. Yerr, the selling part went fine, the cleaning not so much, there is still a pile of unmade kits, cleaned models and papers right here in front of me. Need to get that sorted asap.

Side Dish - Do more research on 11th Armoured, find out all of the correct markings if possible, make the list for Battlegroup (Overlord list as well as Fall of the Reich list)  and make a plan what to paint and when. Do I have all of the correct decals? Split the total list in 2, with stuff I still need to buy in the 2nd part. Done. Bookmarked everything useful about 11th Armoured, kept the list as is and have noted what to buy for the sedonc lot in April-May.

Focal points:
-clean remaining Liberation models and sort them. Happily swimming in cleaning fluid!
-build new paint racks. 1 built, notes made, will do a Blog post on them.
-sort and stash all the Crisis purchases. Done!
-when there is time, base technicals that have been washed. Yeah, maybe next time.....not.

So what are my plans for December?

Holiday season means my family and work will take up even more time, so I'm keeping things simple for once.

Main Goal - Clean the table, sort the lot, and take upstairs what you can.

Side Dish - Practice with the airbrush. See what makes it tick.

Focal points:
-Plan a paint purchase for the airbrush.
-Bag and tag everything for 11th Armoured and put it in one big container.
-If you can, sell some more stuff!
-Order a pizza from the newly opened Domino's here in this quite little village of Boxtel. (always lamented that there are no good pizzerias here, and missed these as I have worked over 3 years for them as a driver during my Uni days and know what ones I like and which ones I don't!) Not hobby related at all but man I feel like having a pizza now!

dinsdag 11 november 2014

The Weathering Magazine and Steel Masters

I picked up 2 useful magazines at Crisis, one at a shop, one at the Bring and Buy.

First, the one from the shop whose name I forgot.

The Weathering Magazine. Made by Ammo of MiG Jiminez. Kursk and Vegetation are the themes.
8 euros at the shop. 86 pages.

What is it? A nice glossy showing medium to advanced weathering techniques. Which also makes it very useful for a novice like me cause they show the many stages a model goes through and the materials used like airbrush, weathering powders and paints.

Is it useful for us wargamers? I think it is. More and more people are seeing the results from wargaming painters like Piers Brand and aim to get somewhere near that level. The excellent how-to's in the Battlegroup series of rule/campaignbooks have already shown the steps needed for various levels of modelling, and this magazine takes it to another level. It not only shows 1:35 scale models but a section in the back shows wargames kits, Battlefront and PSC 15mm ones painted to a very high standard.

The main reason for me picking up the magazine was the bits about vegetation. I like doing scenic pieces and these are marvellous.

Would this magazine be useful for every wargamer? Probably not. But it is useful for every painter that wants to improve himself. Sofar they have released several themed issues which I'm sure to pick up as well. Yes, things like this you can find online, but when the PC is turned off (which is standard for me when I'm painting) this magazine is very handy to keep on my workdesk. Reccomended!

My next buy was a second hand Steel Masters Special. I had never heard of the magazine till I saw it in a shop in Normandy back in 2011, and as my French is a very rusty high school level I can actually make out parts of it. Fortunately most pictures have short English descriptions. Anyway, I saw this one amongst the White Dwarfs and Wargames Illustrated and picked it up for 4 euros, a acceptable price for a magazine in this condition from 1999.

I picked this one up because it is a special about Befehlspanzer, and I had just picked up a old Panzer 38T Befehlspanzer kit for 4 euros at another part of the Bring and Buy. I bought it purely for the frame antenna and to use as a parts donor for my future Early War Germans Attempt nr 2 (I sold the previous ones to Piers, they now feature in the Battlegroup Barbarossa book.) The magazine describes the various models of Befehlspanzer from the Panzer I to the Tiger, with plenty of photographs as well as built models.  And it includes my 38(t)
Then there is a build report on 2 Shermans, some Euromilitaire 1999 bits (interesting to see that painting has progressed a lot since then) and a diorama.

This magazine is a nice addition to the ones I picked up in Normandy, and this one has made me trawling Ebay as there are quite a few second hand ones on there at very reasonable prices. Some even have reasonable shipping :D

donderdag 6 november 2014

11th Armoured (Black Bulls) Build for 2015, Overlord list + Fall of the Reich Upgrade

11th Armour for Battlegroup Overlord (British Armoured Division Battlegroup list)

This is not a so and so many points armylist! This is purely the amount I want to make for this army as a start and a list to keep track of things. Items in red I do not have yet.

-FHQ - 3 men in a M5 halftrack
-FAC – 2 men in Dingo Scout Car
-Forward Signals – Radio Medium Truck
-Comms Relay Team – 2 men
-Motorcycle Despatch Rider
-Wire Team – 2 men (in Carrier, doesn’t count but looks like a nice conversion)

Infantry Platoon
-3x Rifle Section (mounted in truck)
-Light Mortar Team
Platoon options:
-Combat Medic
-Heavy Machine Gun Team (in Carrier)
-PIAT Team (in Carrier)
-Medium Mortar Team (in Carrier)
-6 Pounder (with Loyd Carrier)

Motor Infantry Platoon
-Command (in M5 Halftrack)
-3x Rifle Sections (in M5 Halftrack)
-PIAT team
Platoon options
-Heavy Machine Gun Team (in Carrier)
-PIAT Team (in Carrier)
-Medium Mortar Team (in Carrier)
-6 Pounder (with Loyd Carrier)

2x Sherman Tank Troop
-M4A4 Sherman x2
-M4A4 Sherman x2
-M4A4 Firefly x2

Self Propelled Anti-Tank Gun
-M10 Achilles x2

Artillery Units
-Forward Observer Team in a Dingo
-Armoured Forward Observer in a M4A4 Sherman HQ Tank
-Towed Field Gun Battery – 2 25pdr guns

Reconnaisance Support Units
-Reconnaisance Tank (M5 Stuart + M5 Stuart Recce)
-Carrier Team

-Recovery vehicle (M4 ARV) (Actually a M4A4 ARV)
-Armoured Engineering Vehicle (M4A4 Dozer, M4A4 Crab, Churchill Bridgelayer)

-Supply Column (4 medium trucks)

Specialist Support
-Churchill AVRE
-Churchill Crocodile

Plus 1 Spitfire and 1 Typhoon in D-Day Markings

This makes how many vehicles?

M5 Halftracks x5
Dingo x2
Carriers x8
Loyd Carrier x2
M4A4’s x10
M10 Achilles x2
Churchills x 3
Radio truck x1
Medium Truck x3
Supply Truck x4
Churchills x3
M5 Stuart x1
M5 Stuart Recce x1
Spitfire x1
Typhoon x1

The (grand) plan for 2015 is to focus mostly on this force (funds and time). What I don't have right now can wait till I'm halfway of building and painting. From the looks of it I will be making orders with Grubby Tanks for the Radio Truck and Dingoes (or get the S-Model kit) and Minimi (Medium trucks and Supply Trucks) plus what more I need for the infantry lists like crews etc. When the force is half done I will go over the list again and see if things need to be added (or deleted!)

At the same time, I want to use this list as the basis for the Fall of the Reich list. For that I will need to add some troops, 2 Fireflies and a Tempest. And paint a Typhoon without D-Day Markings perhaps? Not that much extra work really. 

For 3 extra Medium Trucks and 4 more M5 Halftracks I can make both lists fully motorised or mechanised. Hmmm.....

Oh, I just calculated that I need another box of Carriers, it seems I have only 2 which is enough for 6 of them. Oh well, added to the list of wants.

woensdag 5 november 2014

The Quest for Dirt (Roads)

For my gaming table I have scenery like houses and trees, a couple of Hotz mats and a box of Modern felt roads, again by Hotz. What I am lacking are simple dirt roads (and cobbled roads, but those are not such a priority right now).

I made some years agao, simply drybruhsed underside of hardboard pieces cut into road shapes. Worked ok but didn't properly plan it, and as I have no gaming group the project languised till I gave it all away.

A (not so) quick tour gives me the following options to do roads on the Wargames table.

I made a post on TMP, the Guild and LAF to see what people use for their roads and the results sofar are pretty diverse. More on that later*

My requirements for a dirt track are simple:
-Preferably light weight
-Visually looks like a road (ok, duh, but hear me out)
-Suitable for 20mm
-Prepainted or coloured preferable

So, starting with felt. I have modern tarmac roads from Hotz and they do a fine job. Lightweight, not too expensive and covers a lot of ground with a basic set. For dirt roads this would need to be  in a shade of brown. As far as I know noone makes this atm, so I would have to cut brown felt myself. I can get 3mm brown felt for 15 euros for a square metre, and you can get a lot of road bits from that. But weher i like the tarmac cause it is flat like the real thing, plain brown felt isn't really what I'm looking for. Though as an intermediate, it will have to do. Might look better when I aiirbrush it a bit (when I finally do buy one that is)

Latex, sofar I have found TSS (under QRF) doing precouloured 2 inc wide later roads aimed at 15mm, and EWM doing 6cm wide dirt ruts in brown, paint yourself, latex roads. But their price differences are pretty big, 45 Pounds for a starterset at EWM, but the same amount of roads costs 20-25 Pounds from QRF, though, it has to be said, the EWM looks nicer. You get what you pay for.

Caulk. For the DIYer in me. Rather cheap to make, if a bit messy, flexible too. I've seen very nice
ones and plenty of not so nice ones. I don't know, not convinced.

Resin ones, Battlefront does them, but like any scenic piece they make they seem to be limited editions. I do like them, they come reccomended, but at the Crisis show this weekend I saw, amongst all of the shops selling (or is it dumping when you give 20-30% discount?) 1 box of regular roads, 1 box of crossroads and a gazillion boxes or cratered roads. Weight is also an issue. So sorry, but no.

Tape. Right, useful for the smaller scales, but I'm going for looks, and this doens;t have it. Pass.

Hardboard. Been there, looks nice, but weighs a ton when bunched up. Really easy to make though.

Sand. Learned that trick from Piers Brand, just a small box of sand makes any kind of dirt road you want, and after your game you just dump it back in the box again. At the moment still my preferred method to be honest.

 And finally, I'm not sure if Fat Frank on Ebay does these things in latex as well or caulk or something else. But his offerings seem rather nice too.

I have plenty of time to think about it :)

* Sofar I have received 50 replies to my question. Drawing them on your mat with pastels was a new one for me, roofing shingles are mentioned a lot but they look way too rough to me. Using coffee grinds says one reply.....to each his own, but I can't see that working. Felt is mentioned a lot too. Interesting results!

zondag 2 november 2014

November Main Goal, side dish and focus points

First I'll look back at last months points.

Main Goal - Clean, build and base as many Technicals as possible to clean out the stash I have right now. Get them ready for primer. Paint 1 or 2. Goes with M4/M5 I managed to wash 3, build 0 and paint 0

Side Dish - Clean, build and base as many vehicles for the Cold War Soviet Recce as I have in stash right now. Get them ready for primer. Try to base 20 troops as well. Get them ready for primer. Goes with M3 I managed to wash 4 vehicles, build 2, base and painted 0. No troops based either

Focal points:
-Clean and sort all incoming 2nd hand Liberation Miniatures 80% done, I have just over 20 that need stripping.
-Sort out items you want to use Instant Mold for, I have a few sticks coming in later this month. Do some more research on how to properly use them. You might want to drag up the old box of Lego for them. It turns out my nephew has the Lego, so I bought a starter box, I just need a flat plate and smooth tiles before I can get to work. I've gathered a dozen items to be copied sofar.
-Technical weapons. Sabot them or not? Look at the pro and cons. I'm going to fix them in place.
-Keep selling! Get rid of the uwanted tat. O brother, did I sell a lot!
- Pre orders for Crisis. Go over the list again, do I really need this in the next year? If not, drop it. Dropped most of it, ended up with just under 200 worth of preorders and spending another 200 at the show, while selling stuff at the show worth 75 euros

I did not really manage to achieve my main goals and side dish, but handled a lot of the focal points. Most importantly, I sold a lot (which really was the focus anyway). I'm awaiting 2 more payments that will take me over 1000 pounds for this sale alone. I'm already sorting more stuff that can be sold in the next sale, next year. Also, I've been spending quite a bit of time debating with myself and friends whether to buy an airbrush or not.Most who use one are in favour, some who have one are not. It would speed up basecoating a lot and German camouflage would be much easier to do, plus painting my aircraft should be easier. Downside is the expense in equipment, tools and new paints. I have signed up for a introduction on the 19th of December to see if I actually like and can use one, after that we will decided wether to buy or not.

So...what about my plans for November?

Main Goal - try to sell as much as possible, even giving away stuff to clear out (only asking for postage) before mid November. Then have the rest of the week to bring the hobby room back into pristine condition and everything stored in the attic till next years sale.

Side Dish - Do more research on 11th Armoured, find out all of the correct markings if possible, make the list for Battlegroup (Overlord list as well as Fall of the Reich list)  and make a plan what to paint and when. Do I have all of the correct decals? Split the total list in 2, with stuff I still need to buy in the 2nd part.

Focal points:
-clean remaining Liberation models and sort them.
-build new paint racks.
-sort and stash all the Crisis purchases.
-when there is time, base technicals that have been washed.

Right, that should keep me busy for a bit :)

Crisis 2014

Finally it was the 1st of November, the day of the Crisis show.

It seems that with each passing year, I seem to get exited earlier and earlier, like a child looking forward to Christmas. And thats a good thing! With my new found resolve to plan ahead, this year wasn't any different. From August, I was eveying the TSA site for news about Crisis and who would be coming this year. I used the list of traders to visit their websites to see if anything drew my interest, and noted that in my trusty Crisis Excel file. As the weeks drew closer to the 1st of November I would spend several evenings going over the list to see if I really needed the items for my projects, using the 2 week rule. Quite a bit got written off, I tell you. But, a few traders were emailed with orders and all but one paid in advance.


I picked up a mate of mine in Tilburg who wanted to go as he had some 28mm Bolt Action needs to be fulfilled, and we arrived early at the Waagnatie. The cue wasn't very long yet, and the wait was spent exchanging some bits and pieces and talking about our expectations of this years show. Sharpish at 10 the doors opened, we paid, got our yellow tag and a goodie bag.

Now I have to say I did not open the goodie bag straight away, and I probably should have, as inside was the program with a big sized map of the show. Naturally, I found that out when I got home.....

First call of duty for me was to get rid of the stuff I had brought for others, 5 years of bound Wargames Illustrated and 16 euros worth of 2 eurocents for other gamers, and exhanged that for money, a resin house and a metal Pak40.

Then the scouting mission started. I like to do a quick tour of all that is there to see if anything peaking my interest, as well as picking up the pre orders I made, as well as saying hi to traders I know personally. Like Mark from MBM models who had unearthed a cache of old Esci kits in his basement and was selling them at 5 euros a pop. He had a ton of Esci Valentines, M48A2's(?) and Bishop artillery tanks. And Will from PSC who brought his wife this year. For a change, we also glanced over the Bring and Buy. By the time I usually get there the goodies tend to be gone, but I picked up a Hasegawa Ostwind and a Attack 38T Befehlspanzer for 4 euros a piece, new in box. Now they are not in the plans for 2015, but these bargains were too good to pass up. The 38T will come in handy later in the year when PSC releases the 38T set so I can build another Early War force, MarkII, and the Ostwind turret will be spliced onto a PSC chassis. I will then sell the rest of the complete tank or convert it into a wreck.

We were now at the back of the hall, and here I found a realy nice Normandy church from Flames of War. The price was very nice, so I had high hopes for it, until I saw the model, and, as advertised on the label, a 10-15mm model. Oh well, I can always order one from Wikkywok later. I was pleasantly surprised by a shop that had quite the assortment of Mininatur, my favourite Tuft company. I picked up 2 big boxes there to supplement my basing kit, so my order to Mininatur next year can be a bit smaller. Then I stopped and stared at figure cases again like I do each year. But untill a army is finished I think it has no point of buying one, so I passed again. Maybe next year.

I picked up some more preorders and made a quick run to the car to drop everything off, and then went back to do it all over again, but this time slow and watch at the demonstration games. As always, there were a lot of displays, demogames and a few participation games going on. A particularly big and crowded 40K table turned me off, but a few tables next to that a Ork fliers table with what seemed to be converted WW2 fighters with Orks as pilots really impressed me. I did not game, and I didn't ask questions, and in hindsight I really should have as it was lovely. Just my kind of quirkyness.

So what about Impulsebuying? Well, I said no quite a lot. I saw loads of really neat items, like the roads from EWM for example, but reasoned that I would not paint them next year so it wouyld be better to hold off and wait. Now I really need good WW2 roads but they can wait, I can still do the same with sand and it is not like I will be gaming a lot next year. I did drop some euros at Foundry for some more 20mm crew and passengers and added even more stuff on top of my Sgts Mess  pre order. I picked up a Weathering magazine I heard a lot about and after reading it tonight amd pretty certain that I will get the other editions as well, as they are really useful. I also bought 2 old Wargames Illustrated with a interesting article in them for 1 euro a piece and found a PSC Zis2/3 box discounted 30%, so I took that for my Moderns games.

What about paint and weathering powders? I had planned to purchase these, but found no real deals on them, nor on brushes or powders. Since I an pondering about buying a airbrush, any powders, filters or paint that I need can wait till after I made my decision, as if I do buy one I will need paint for the airbrush anyway. The airbrushes on show were interesting, but the cheapest compressor alone was like a 180 euros and this didn't even have a air tank. The one I'm eyeing online costs 133 euro, has an airtank and comes with 2 airbrushes that may not be great but just fine for someone starting out like me. Thats my idea and I am sticking with it. And I must not forget that I will also need cleaning fluid, airbrush thinner, pippets, small trays, a stand for the airbrush, a glass cleaning..ehm, thingie and all of that will add up and stretch my current budget of 200 euros....

So, what was my loot this year?

PSC: 2 boxes of M4A4's, 1 box of 6 Pounders with Loyd carriers, 1 box of M5 halftracks, 1 box of Carriers and 1 box of Zis-2/3 guns. Also 2 Minairion Ford AA Bookmobiles
Foundry: 1 blister each of German passengers, German tank crew and British tank crew
B&B: Hasegawa Ostwind and Attack Panzer 38(t) Command
Warbases.co.uk: 2 paint racks and several 3 and 5 1 eurocent movement bases
Brother Vinni: 8 various Fallout Robots
Sgts Mess: a whole lot of weapons packs, several bits and pieces packs, a policebox, 2 greenhouses and a 1939 bus that will be painted for VBCW.
Fenris Games: 15 sheets of orange and yellow 1.5mm plasticcard from his sale a few weeks back.
Early War Miniatures (and friends): 2x 25 Pounders plus carriage, Wurfrahmen for the 251 and the French tanks and a Citroen car.
Also 2 boxes from Mininatur, 1 dark grass and 1 with several big sheets of Ivy, 2 older Wargames Illustrated, a weathering magazine and a 2nd hand Marauder Dwarven cannon plus crew that is going to be gifted to my mate Piers Brand for his birthday (which was ages ago).

All in all I had a great time, saw quite a few old friends from the hobby,  had a long chat with Will from PSC about future releases (38(t) variants coming soon!) so my apolagies to all of the customers who were waiting in line for me to finish and I did not spend too much money. Will did ask me if I want to help out again next year as Warwick and Piers will be coming over to Antwerp again to promote the Early War book (that will be released at Salute next year) and I gladly said yes as it is just too much fun to do.

Well, that's that. My British now have all they need to get started, but more about that at a later date.

Now I'm going to crash, it has been a long day......zzzzzz......

dinsdag 14 oktober 2014

Battlegroup Aircraft

While sorting out the attic I refound my plastic kits collection, which is rather extensive (+300 kits and counting). I've put quite a few aside for sale next year, but hoarded quite a few others cause they fit in with my build plans.

Some of these are aircraft. Now aircraft in Battlegroup are a fickle thing. You can pay for a scheduled attack by a fighter, fighter bomber and sometimes even a bomber so that it attacks a certain point at a certain time. If I understand the rules correctly they can be driven off by AA guns or even destroyed when they take too many hits. Or you can pull a aircraft chit and roll a 5+ for it to arrive, and then roll again to see what type of aircraft arrives. Again, these can be driven off by AA guns  but give you more flexibility in their attack mode. Buying a Forward Air Controller raises the chance that a aircraft arrives when you pull the chit (and grants you a extra offcier), so that's very helpful too (and another great modelling oppertunity

As I will be focussing on these rules, it would be nice to pick up my old hobby of model airplanes again, I made quite a few when I was a kid....I just never painted them. These days I do paint them and modify them with a wall plug and a magnet inside that so I can use them on my flight stands. It is the best of both worlds really, model aircraft that actually get to be used on the table.

So what do I need? Well, the focus lies with Germans (Early to Late), Russians (Early to Late) and British (Late), so I will need all of the books.

Fall of the Reich

Barbarossa first then. The Germans get the Ju-87D Stuka, the Fiesler Storch and the Bf-110. All 3 are in my collection, ready to be built. The Russians get the I-16, the I-153, The SB-2 and the Il-2 Sturmovik. I have all of these except the SB-2, and I keep eyeing ICM kits of the model on Ebay, but this is not in any hurry.

Kursk. The Germans get the Ju-87D and G Stukas, the FW-190F, the HS-129B, the Fiesler Storch, the FW-189A Uhu, the HS-126 and the He-111.I can reuse the Early war Ju-87D. The rest I have in stock, apart from the Uhu, but I'm chasing that on our local Ebay. For some reason I feel like swapping out the He-111 with a Ju-88, but I have both kits so maybe both will get built, who knows. No rush again. I would like to use the Bf-110 strike fighter here as well, plus a Me-109E strike fighter as they would be fun to build for the Hornisse Zerstorer Gruppe. It is not too hard to make stats for the 109E. I have a Bilek Hs-129B but it doesn't feel right, like it is a underscale model, but it does come with a 50mm cannon pod. The Russians get the Il-2, now with a backseat gunner, the Pe-2, the Yak-1 and -9, the P-39 Aircobra, the Po-2 and the Il-4 (the book calls it a 4 engined aircraft while in fact it only has 2). The Pe-2 I picked up recently in the shape of the excellent Hobbyboss kit, I might have to source another Il-2. I don't have a Yak-1/-9 but the prices on Ebay don't seem very high so we'll see. A  P-39 i have several, 1 in progress, the Po-2 I'm trying to aquire but sofar no luck, and the same goes for the Il-4. I'm eyeing both on the local Ebay but sofar my bids have not been accepted or even replied to.

Overlord. The Brits get a Spitfire or a Typhoon, with an Auster as AOP. The Spitfire would be a Mark IX or Mark XII, and I have neither. Looking at Ebay, the Italeri Mark IX one seems nice and cheap too. A Academy Typhoon has been with me for years, so it is time it gets built. Austers tend to go for silly money, and I'm not sure if the Antartica one builds the same aircraft. The Germans get the Me-109G and the Fw-190 G. Neither I have in stock and unless I trip over one, won't be bought this year unless I can trade some of my kits for one.

Lastly, Fall of the Reich. The Brits get the Typhoon and Auster again and a Tempest. Since the Academy Typhoon is so cheap I'm tempted to build 2, one with and 1 without D-Day markings. I have no Tempest, but plenty of those on Ebay right now. The Germans get the Fw-190G, the Ju-87G and the Me-262. I can reuse the Fw-190G from Normandy and the Ju-87G from Kursk, so I will only have to build the Me-262 with bombs. I'm tempted to stat out the Arado Blitz and the Ju-188 just because I have the models and give the Germans the option of a 20-30 Point bomber strike, albeit one that is Unique cause by then fuel is scarce.

I have no plans for American aircraft yet other then the L-4 as a placeholder for the Auster. That doesn't mean I won't build them (I have plenty of the models in stock) but starting US forces isn't on the cards yet till 2016 or 2017, if ever.

Also, refinding German wunderwaffe kits like the Flying Wing, Panther F turrets and even the first helicopter makes me dream about things 1946, though a book like that will probably be all fan based. Maybe later.

donderdag 9 oktober 2014

Catch of the day

...or, more precisely, of the week.

I've been spending the proceeds of my sale on items that will help me with, or are part of my projects. A great help for this Ebay and Marktplaats, a local Dutch variant on that theme. Ebay has the minor issue in that it clashes with the 2 weeks rule. Auctions tend to run for a week, so that doens't really work, hence I just made a list of items that I want, made searches for it on Ebay and saved those. If there are new items posted that fit the bill I get a signal. If after 2 weeks I no longer require the item, I delete the search, easy as that. Marktplaats is easier, people put stuff on that stays on for a month. More then enough time for me. But I have to be honest, I sometimes break that rule if there is a very good deal to be had. On Ebay, this means sellers offering low or free shipping, or a very low opening bid. On Marktplaats this means making a low bid and then just seeing if the seller responds, or not. If after 2 weeks I still want it and there is no reply, I can always raise my bid.

This week I received and won the following items:

On Marktplaats, I made a bid of 2,50 euro for a 1:72 Revell Me-262. This was accepted after a few days. As I didn't need the box or the instructions, the seller agreed to mail it to me in a brown unmarked envelop instead of a package, making the total cost a mere 4,75 euro. I'm going to combine this with a 1/72 Quickboost resin starboard engine that is partially dismantled (which I won for 6,50 Pounds incluyding shipping from Australia recently) and base it wheels down as a late war German forest plane on a wooden platform. A piece of scenery for short :) I still have plenty of aftermarket decals in my stash so that is covered too.

On Ebay, I used Buy it Now to buy a early example of the engine used in the Me-109, amongst others. This set me back 10 Pounds including shipping, plus I bookmarked the store for the future as shipping from the UK to me was a mere 60 pence. I can't even mail a average envelope inside Holland for that. They send out normal kits for 1.65 Pounds shipping, normally this is 5 Pounds minimum for most Ebay sellers from the UK to Holland. I don't know how they do it, but I like it. The engine will be used in my casting experiments, and the casts (if they succeed or not) will be used in the Me-109 wrecks I'm planning on building. A few years back I got a great deal on a stack of old Matchbox(?) Me-109E's for 1 euro a piece from Italy, and besides making Crimson Skies planes out of them, they have not been used yet. Since I like making wrecks, this one should be fun.

On Marktplaats again, I ran into a seller who was liquidating his Ho train collection, and had quite a few lots of scenery items as well. He was selling each of the items you see for 3 euro per lot, the normal store price for this lot is well over 35 euros new online. 17,50 Inlcuding shipping, and a nice addition to my forest which I refound last week in the attic. The Kohl & Salat (Cabbages and Salad) is especially welcome, as in one of my pre orders for the Crisis show I have 2 greenhouses and 2 smaller ones. These will mix very well, and so I can do back gardens for the Wikkywok houses.

Marktplaats, I picked up this for a mere 5 euros, and I only had to divert my ride from work by a little bit to pick it up. Now, wait a minute, I don't have a American army, right? That is correct, but there are 2 reasons I've picked it up. I do want to make an American army, but that probably won't be till 2016 before I start it. Secondly, the British army I want to start needs an Auster, and these are hard to find and go for high prices (usually). This will be a nice stand in. The price helped a lot too.

Back to Ebay, I was browsing the shop were I bought the 109 engine, and found this Pe-2 for 9.20 Pounds including shipping. I already have a Pe-2 kit from a obscure Russian company which is a dramatically bad piece of engineering. I've read stellar reviews about the Hobbyboss one, and the price was very good so hey, another kit for my Mid to Late War Russians. On opening the kit I was pleasantly suprised at the low parts count, which is perfect for me. It will be easy to modify to take a flight stand.

I've been watching the old Matchbox Churchill AVRE ever since I picked up 4 boxes of PSC Churchills, as I think these will make a great add-on piece for one of them. Problem was that whenever I was watching, these went for 10-15 Pounds plus 5 Pounds shipping minimum. I made some bids here and there and was always outbid. Till last week. My opening bid of 4.99 turned out to be the winner, and for 10 Pounds including shipping this one is mine. Now I just want the bridge, and the add on parts, so I have no idea yet what to do with the complete tank. Maybe sell it, or build it as a wreck, who knows. A great find, this one. The decals are still crisp too, very nice.

I also picked up some Oyumaru plastic clay from Ebay, from Hong Kong, for casting purposes. I'm a bit late to the party, I believe this hit the scene 1-2 years ago, so I won't bore you with details on who and what. This has been explained in better detail by many Blogs, like this one. I want to use it for the engine block, and wheel rims that I will use for burnt out wrecks, and other engines that I can find, as these tend to be pricey online. If I can make my own casts for private use, the better. I'll probably will do even more things with it, who knows. Anyway, 30 sticks put me back 20 Pounds including shipping, but those should be enough to last me quite some time. I'll grab a few boxes of Milliput when I'm at the Crisis show.

I have a commission running with Wikkywok at the moment, and he shown me some lovely photos of the first testhouse he made for me. Aside from 1 or 2 minor points, I was quite happy with it already so I'm looking forward to having all 4 right here with me. More on that at a later date.

Lastly, a purchase arrived from mid August :) For some reason, mail from Canada is incredibly slow at best and glacial at its worst. Dunno why. But I received 2 Blue Steel books today, namely Civil Wars: The Gun Trucks and Blue Steel IV: M-50 Sherman tanks and APC's in South Lebanon. These were, with shipping included, quite pricey, but that is normal for such a specialist publication. The Gun Truck book gives descriptions of photographs of various gun trucks used, also explaining to which faction they belonged, very handy! The M-50 book gives details about the M-50 and the APC variants, and lots of detail shots of rusting hulks. Both books will come in very handy for my Lebanon project as these were used by the SLA, one of the militias I will focus on.

Of course, this has been quite the expense, so it is back to selling again, as I still have a lot of micro armour to sort for sale. Back to that right after posting this :)