Wednesday, July 10, 2019

CSS Polk from Brown Water Navy

Another model that was recently added to my collection was the Confederate protected gunboat "General Polk" done by Brown Water Navy.  Contrary to most of the gaming models of Confederate gunboats, the Polk is massive. The depiction of this large model is based on research done by John W. Wallis and published in his work "IRONCLAD AND IRON PROTECTED VESSELS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES NAVY". It's a great read that reflects the years of research John has invested in the period as well as the amount of new material that has come to light in the last twenty old years.

Let's take a quick look at the Polk...

Here is the model, unbased and unpainted. The grid is in inches.
The low pilot house matches Wallis's depiction. Guns are mounted in the casemate.

Here the Polk is paired with a Bay Area Yards model of the Lioness

Overhead shot with the Lioness

A Thoroughbred tinclad joins the lineup

A Thoroughbred model of the USS Benton for some size comparison.

For contrast the Genreal Polk paired with the USS Layfayette. Both models are Brown Water Navy.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Blackhawk UP! Brown Water Navy's 3D printed gunboat model in 1/600 scale

I know, it's been a while since I've posted. Lots of projects that pull me in different directions.

Regardless, I found some motivation with a new batch of ACW ship models I acquired from Matt at Brown Water Navy. Today's focus is one of the new models, the USS Blackhawk.

A large sidewheel tinclad, Blackhawk served as Admiral Porter's flagship for the Mississippi River Squadron. Spacious, with room for Admiral Porter's horse, Blackhawk served in multiple campaigns including the Red River and Vicksburg.

For nearly 20 years my gaming needs for a Blackhawk were filled by pretty much the only game in town in 1/600 - Peter Pig. Models aimed squarely at the gaming market, The Peter Pig model cleaned up into a serviceable model with good painting and the addition of some boom and masts. Now the Pig has a competitor for this model - Brown Water Navy. You can check out the websites of the each respective products, but what really works here is pictures. So here you go...

Here's the BWN model in the forefront

and with the Peter Pig model up fron

Both compared to a Thoroughbred City class ironclad

And overhead view. You can see that there are variations between the two models is cabin length, the texas, sky lights and stack location
 More to come!

Monday, December 4, 2017

1/144 Shapeways models in progress - The H-12 "Large America" Flying Boat and the Halberstadt D. V fighter

In October I orders two models from the Reduced Aircraft Factory store on Shapeways. I received a Curtis H-12 seaplane and two Halberstadt D. V fighters. As with most Shapeways models, surface preparation is an arduous task that must be done to get the best results. That was true with these two models. A lot of time was spent filling the surface grain of the black strong and flexible material. 

Fortunately, the work is not hard, but involves repeated application of a gap filling material - in this case acrylic clear coat. It took several weeks to achieve the desired result, but then applying the primer coats took a mere two days. A good thing too as winter is set to arrive this week, putting a close to the spray painting season. 

Here's some views of the primed models ready for painting. Now to come up with a choice of paint scheme. The D.V are destined for Mesopotamia and Turkish service, I wanted something 'not-CDL' for a change. The H-12 is going to take some thought as the paint schemes on those beasts can be quite complex. 

The primed H-12 next to a completed Felixstowe.

You can see the common ancestry the two planes share.

Shapeways is getting quite good at the detail, but the 3-D printers still have limits on the really small details.

There's still a little graininess visible in this image. For a gaming piece, it will be fine. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

So many little many games

I've not accomplished much painting recently. It's a combination of  spending more of my gaming time on board games and less on painting miniatures.

Still...progress is being made. I'm a year in on building the 15mm German models. I've got a fair amount of work to do, but it's coming along nicely. Getting to the point where i need to paint halftrack crews and detail the interiors. Plus the US backlog is growing with the addition of some M5 Stuarts.

I squeezed in a game of Command Decision back in October at Advance the Colors.

The Wings of Glory pile of models is growing with a couple of Halberstadt D.V and a Curtis H-16 model currently being primed.

Hopefully, I'll have more pictures soon!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Anaconda's coils tighten

Good to see Anaconda: Capital Navies getting some exercise! 

Gary's running a campaign game and posting the results on his blog.

I'm always happy to see folks putting the Anaconda games to use. Every game will have some unique aspects that defy the design wisdom I envisioned when producing the games.  One thing that fuels our hobby is when different people or groups come to very different strategies when playing the games. I'm pleased the game supports such diverse paths to victory.

Looking forward to the report from turn number 3.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

15mm Sdkfz 231 series heavy armored cars

At the start of the year I was lured into building a German late war armored recon force using the new Battlefront 234's and PSC 250's. You can read more about that here. 

To compound the evilness, PSC released a box set of five Sdkfz 231 series armored cars. This really tugged at my sense of nostalgia. One of the first model kits that I really did well was a Tamiya kit of the Sdkfz 232 8-rad with the box antenna and spaced armor shield. I've always liked the look of the 6-rad and 8-rad armored cars - the functional, angular armor and fenders are the stereotype of German automotive engineering.  So how could I not pick up a box?

The Sdkfz 231 series had a long history in WWII serving from the Poland campaign, through the end of the war. There's a good overview here on Wikipedia.

This weekend was the assembly phase. Opening up the box, we find five (5) identical sprues with the parts to build one (1) model of a Sdkfz 231 series 8-rad heavy armored car.

The basic sprue with all the parts to build a 231 series car

This is a really well thought out kit. Yes, there are a number of parts, but there's a lot going on here. Unlike a Zvezda kit, it doesn't feel like there are detailed parts just for the sake of having detailed parts. The parts build up into functional assemblies which all fit together into a function model designed to be used as a gaming piece.

There are two wheel assemblies. Each consists of the axle assembly and four (4) wheels. The transmission details are modeled on the frame and fit into the transmission details on the lower hull. Wheels snap onto the posts. A little ABS cement and we're on our way. 

The lower hull part with the wheel assemblies attached. 

The 231 series upper body attached to the lower hull. The front and rear hull parts each mate with a headlamp assembly before being attached. Once that is done, the side fenders are attached. 

The 231 with the retrofit armored shield. These were refit onto the first generation of the 231 to improve protection. The later generation of 231 had additional armor as part of the hull from and rear.  The shield was easy to attach, though it is a four part assembly. 

Side view of the 233 version of the model. This model uses a different upper hull and requires the gun and gun pedestal to be installed before attaching the upper hull to the chassis. 

I'm starting to realize just how ubiquitous the 75L24 gun was in the Wehrmacht. These guys mounted it on almost everything. 

Last up - a group shot featuring some members of my armored car force. From left - Sdkfz 222 (Zvezda), Sdkfz 233 (PSC), Sdkfz 231 (PSC) and Sdkfz 234/2 (Battlefront). 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

1/144 Maurice Farman Shorthorn in the painting queue

I've been making progress on the model of the Maurice Farman Shorthorn that I acquired from I wanted it to build a collection of models of the planes used in Mesopotamia during the Great War. The Shorthorn was used in 1915-1918 in various capacities, though it was phased on to training/utility duties at the end of it's service. A slow and stable craft, it's small payload and lack of speed limited it's useful combat life once the Turks began receiving capable fighters like the Fokker Eindekker. But for Mesopotamia, you make do with what you have, so here we go.

The model was printed in Black Strong and Flexible (BSF). Shapeways did a good job on the print and the surface grain was what I expect from BSF. Of course, as with White Strong and Flexible, the first step is still surface preparation to reduce that surface grain. My standard method is to apply several coats of Krylon acrylic gloss matt to the model. I don't like one heavy coat as the varnish can pool on the surface. So repeated thinner coats will eventual yield a surface that is relatively smooth.  The below picture depicts the upper wing and shows the surface texture after painting and a top coat of gloss. 

The Shorthorn with the paint job completed. 

The wings of fuselage were painted in several coats of paint. The base coat was a Folk Art craft paint color called linen. This was over-painted with coats of Vallejo game color 'bone white').  The struts are painted in a medium brown. (I used a craft paint color called 'Teddy Bear Brown'). The metal joints in the skids and the metal around the engine were painted with Vallejo Sky Grey.

Early war markings looked very different than the roundels we see in the mid and late war periods. Initially, the RFC and RNAS used the Union Jack flag as a marking. When it was discovered that it was confused with the Maltese Cross from a distance, the RFC and the RNAS moved to the classic blue-white-red roundel. But for this early war 'leftover' pressed into service, I wanted to retain those early markings. The Union Jacks are decals from I-94 Enterprises.

This shot shows the flag applied to the side of the fuselage. 

Here's a close up. You can see the surface grain of the Black Strong and Flexible material on the side of the fuselage. It's tough to get good coverage on a vertical surface.  You can also see the detail on the landing skid. The sky grey paint is used to depict the metal joints connecting the braces. 

Good shot of the port side of the model.  Once thing I notice at this distance is I've failed to paint the wheels. 

Remember when I mentioned how hard it is to paint the vertical surfaces? You can see this if you look closely at the struts.  There's still some graininess present. Fortunately, at typical war game table scales, this is not noticeable.