21 September 2016

SCW Republicans, part 6

With a little bit of work, the crew of the MMG was changed around a bit.

First off, this pic shows the pieces of the 1/72 WW2 Russian gun crews from Plastic Soldier:

There are 8 figures per frame (two figures per frame are split into two pieces each), and a variety of heads and weapons are included.  One or both arms on a select few figures are also separate pieces.  The gun crew pack from Plastic Soldier has 4 of these frames in it, which gives a lot of pieces for potential conversions!

(I want to thank Arjun again for his generosity in sending me these figures  - see this post.)

Here is what I started with for the MMG stand:

The original crew from Minairons is pewter, with the plastic gunner replacement in plastic.  I chose to use a Czech-style helmet for the new gunner.  The base is a 1¼" diameter steel fender washer, with a sticky dot to cover up the hole.

At this point, I decided that the original leader would be better off with my Nationalist forces, so a replacement is needed.  The old gunner would be perfect with a slight change - replace the right hand with a plastic one that is pointing out a target in the distance:

And, a couple of cuts later:

Add a bit of glue (super glue for the plastic-to-metal connection):


The new gunner needed a bit of attention as well:

In the pic above, one can just see the entrenching tool attached to his belt.  I trimmed off the handle, and will paint the rest to look like a normal belt pouch.

I used a small drill bit to make a hole for the new head - plastic is so easy to drill!

And, some test-fitting of the crew:

It will be a tight squeeze to get all of the crew on the base - the loader is positioned at an angle to the weapon, which takes up more room.  I am fairly certain that the new gunner is not firing the MMG in the textbook manner, but it should be OK.  One note - the Plastic Soldier figures seem to be a bit more broad in the shoulders than the figures from Minairons, but it should blend in seamlessly once the crew is painted and based.

The dark spot in the above pic is also part of the base - While trying to get the original gunner to fit more closely to the weapon, I trimmed the base to a point where the figure will not stand upright on its own.  Hence, a nice rock for the new leader to rest his knee upon...


17 September 2016

SCW Republicans, part 5

As the first section of Republican infantry nears completion, I am looking at starting up some of their supports:

There are several support groups in the pic above, so lets break it down somewhat:

#1  -  These two troopers are going to be converted into Medical Orderlies.  The rifle is a separate piece, and it will be replaced with a satchel of some sort.

#2  -  Headquarters types.  One of the pistol-armed chaps will become the platoon leader, and the other will be a Commissar.  The flag bearer will be put aside for now, as specific Flag supports (in Chain of Command España) only show up in Militia platoons.

#3  -  Maxim medium MG.  This support is getting a make-over, as the original gunner does not fit in well with the weapon in my opinion, and the leader of the group looks more like a Nationalist!  The new gunner is a plastic WW2 Russian AT crewmember from Plastic Soldier, and the original gunner will become the leader.  3 crew is the minimum for a MMG for the Republicans, so I will need to recruit some others to fill it out.  More on this in another post.

#4  -  5cm mortar with 2 crew.  Also needs 3 more crew to complete the support.  I intend to keep some of the extra crew members, for the MMG and mortar, for example, mounted separately so I can mix and match them somewhat.

#5  -  Two light MG supports.  These will be mounted separately to keep the figures flexible.

#6 and #7  -  Minairons offers separate head kits, and I have received two of them.  #6 uses the Czech helmet, while #7 has the Adrian helmet.  It will take some careful cutting to use these on the Minairons figures, but if you look carefully at the Plastic Soldier figure - he was molded with the head separate (and the right arm), which will make customization very easy.


14 September 2016

SCW tanks, part 1

The first of my Republican FT-17 tanks is slowly coming together:

Does not look so good, does it?  I am using Vallejo Grey Surface primer on this vehicle.  I have found in the past that gesso does not cover plastic figures very well, so I was hoping that this primer would be better.  By brush, it looks a mess.  But, I did try it on a piece of sprue first, and coverage of the paint after priming works just fine.

The decision to not fully assemble the FT-17 was deliberate, as the tracks have some details on the other side, and painting the hull sides would have tough if the tracks were mounted first.  Also, the issue of the turret was still undecided at the time of this pic.  It might have been possible to leave the turret unglued to the hull, but test-fitting of the turret showed that it does not always go on in a level fashion.  After the base coats and basic weathering steps are done, I will glue the turret onto the hull.

Here is a pic of the FT-17 after the beginning of base-coating: 

The base coat went on surprisingly smoothly, after the awkward primer coat.  I need to experiment with a color for the tracks, as I do not have anything that looks like rust right out of the bottle.

Also included in the above pic - infantry!  The first section of Republicans is almost done, just need to finish off the weapons.  And the first section of Nationalists is coming along...


10 September 2016

A couple of newish books

Just a few more additions to the reading stack:

Osprey's New Vanguard series, # 170.  It is a good overview of the tanks - and just tanks - used in the Spanish Civil War.  It is a slim volume at 48 pages, but it has some good photos and color plates.

And, another one:

Also by Osprey, this is Aircraft of the Aces # 106.  96 pages, with more photos, many more color plates, and more information than their more slim cousins.  The historical information about the aces covered by each volume gives a lot of potential scenario fodder...


03 September 2016


Despite the lack of painting progress, I have been getting some stuff done.  Or, just getting some stuff.  Fortunately, the new stuff is for a project that is already well-founded...

First up is one of my favorites:

This is a pack of 3 FT-17 tanks from Minairons.  Spain had possession of dozens of these WW1 veterans at the beginning of the war, and received more (from Poland) early in 1937.

The back of the box has the assembly instructions and a brief painting guide.

And, here are the contents - three tanks with a choice of either round or polygonal turrets, weapon choices - machine gun or short 37mm cannon - and a multitude of decals.  The black plastic makes it difficult to see, but these models are well-detailed, but not loaded with many delicate parts.

Something for my Nationalist forces:

The Germans sent many Panzer 1 light tanks to Spain.  This kit, once again, contains enough parts to build three tanks, with a choice of turrets.  The grey plastic makes it a bit easier to see the details, but it is similar to the FT-17 with a lack of delicate details, perfect for gaming.

Now, it remains to be seen if I can get this done...