Thursday, 27 February 2014

Emhar 1:72 Scale Whippet MKA WWI British Medium Tank

On my recent trip to the tank museum at Bovington I inevitably came away with a model tank kit, this Emhar 1:72 scale Whippet.  The WWI tanks at Bovington were my favourite part of the museum, which ultimately led to the selection of this kit.  This is the first Emhar kit I've ever made and it compares favourably to the WWI airfix kits I've built, one slight niggle is that it's in 1:72 not 1:76 scale like my other WWI tanks, not that that's Emhar's fault of course.

painted, but before decals

I thought the Sprues were good quality, hard plastic, and with little flash.  It was a very easy build, with only the machine guns providing a small challenge.

One thing this kit does differently to other manufacturers is the way the tracks are made.  I've had some problems with the tracks on tanks before, often they are really hard to get right, Airfix have this horrible rubber track method which requires heat(I hate it so much that I try to avoid Airfix kits with tracks now), matchbox have a better rubber track system that you have to link together, but still isn't great and revel 1:72 tanks require you to build the tracks piece by piece, which works well, but is fiddly.  Emhar have just made solid single piece tracks moulded onto the wheel sections.  At first I thought it was to simplistic, but having built the kit I think it works rather well with a minimum of fuss.

Bovington's Whippet

The kit comes with a good decal sheet with decals for a multiple of paint scheme, which includes 3 different British designs as well as Japan, German and Russian designs.  This was a pleasant surprise and certainly adds to the versatility of the kit.  One of the decal schemes was actually for Bovingtons example, so it was an obvious choice.

I'm really pleased with this little kit actually, and will probably get the Mark IV and German AV7 they do in the same range at some point.

My WWI tank collection

Monday, 24 February 2014

Deadzone - The Plague - Part 2

I've now finished painting the rest of my plague forces for Deadzone, and I have to say I'm rather pleased with how they've turned out.  I've not got a huge amount more to say about them than I did last time, except one little thing.... If you wish to play competitively take Plague Swarms, they are very good and defiantly undercosted.  A awesome combination of agile, a 3+ fight value and AP2 makes them almost unstoppable.

Stage 2A's

Teraton Stage 2 & Stage 1
Plague Swarms
Stage 3's

Plague Hounds and Stage 3 HMG's

 Stage 3 Boomstick and Plague Mortar Team
 All my plague together

I've also painted another of the Mercs, Nastanza, The Twilight Huntress an Asterian sniper with scary stats, I can't wait to get her onto the table.

That's two factions down and two to go, next up will be an Alliance of Rebels......

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Army Focus - Star Wars Miniatures Minor Factions

The latest instalment in my ongoing showcase of my star wars miniatures collection, and with the four major factions already dealt with (Imperial - Rebels - Republic - Seperatists) todays post contains what I term the five minor factions.  These have many less options than the bigger factions and I have correspondingly less figures for them, some of them are still rather cool though.  As always click on the pictures for a bigger version.

An odd faction this, it spans a massive time frame in the star wars universe and has only a few named characters, what it does have though is a lot of powerful, and points-efficient troop types.  They never really clicked with me, but there's some good looking minis here. 

Old Republic
 The old republic features some cool characters from the computer games and comics, a raft of interesting non-unique Jedi pieces and a lot of sub-standard troopers.  Ultimately they were always a weak faction and only really playable for friendly 'period' battles against appropriate sith or mandalorian forces.

The Sith
 The Sith is another faction that doesn't sit in a specific time frame, ranging from the ancient Naga Shadow all the way up to the new galactic empire under Darth Krayt 150 years or so after the movies.  This faction is all about the named sith lords there are some very powerful pieces here, but boy do they cost a lot of points and need to be used carefully.
New Republic
After the fall of the empire a New republic is formed, it's quite an interesting little faction and my favourite of the ones in this post.  The troopers are uninteresting, but the faction is mainly named characters a lot of whom have interesting abilities and are great fun to play with.  You get older versions of luke/han/leia as well as characters from the books and games that take place after the return of the jedi, like kyle katarn and mara jade, all the way up to luke and mara's descendants from the legacy of the force comic books.

Yuzhan Vong

I hate the Yuzhan Vong, the enemy created for the New Republic to fight after they defeated the imperial remnant, I hadn't even heard of them before I started playing this game so I tried reading a few of the books featuring them, but I just still hated them.  To me these do just not feel like star wars, their rules tend to be gimmicky and frustrating to play against as well.  The game would have been better off without them.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Bovington Tank Museum

The weekend of the great storm found me in Dorset and finally making a long overdue first ever trip to the tank Museum at Bovington.  I'm sure many of my readers have been there themselves, but to those that haven't you really should make the effort, it's a fantastic place.

Bovington is the museum of the Royal tank regiment and is (according to Wikipedia) the largest collection of tanks in the world.  the main building consists of 4 areas, the tank story, the WWI experience, the discovery zone and Battlegroup Afghanistan.

The best and most important hall is 'the tank story' which traces the history of the tank all the way from 'little willie' in 1915 upto the modern day.  It includes tanks from WW1 (a mark II, a whippet, and a FT-17) before moving into the interwar period and then of course into WW2.  The WW2 section includes the worlds last surviving working Tiger tank.  There was a chap doing maintenance and he let us climb up on top of the tank to have  look at the engine and inside the turret, which was a nice surprise.  There is also some cold war tanks and a couple of modern ones.  It's quite open plan and it's well done with lots of great information about the vehicles and about the development of the tank in general.  It's about as good an overview of the subject as you could get from a gallery.

Next we headed into the WWI hall.  It starts off with a mock up of a trench scene, starting in a damaged town, then a British trench and then onto a German one.  Although it was interesting seeing the differences between the British and German set-ups I have to admit I'm not a fan of these fake trenches that seem to be popular nowadays, there's no way they can really give an impression of the trenches, but perhaps I'm in the minority here and other people get something from them.  After the mock up there is a gallery of WWI tanks, which I absolutely loved!  It contains 5 different varieties of British heavy tanks (two of which you can go inside) and a German A7V.

The Discovery Zone is a very large area crammed full of tanks and armoured vehicles, and I do mean crammed.   Mostly WW2 tanks, but also a good selection of postwar main battle tanks as well.  Some of the highlights included a Centurion cut in half and a King Tiger, but there's just so much there it's difficult to pick out individual tanks.  One tank that did really strike me though was the TOG II, an absolutely massive British tank prototype from WW2 that is heavier than any of the later MTB's.

The last area is Battlegroup Afghanistan, it's smaller than the other areas and gives a look at the vehicles and conditions from the recent war in Afghanistan.  Again it's very well done, the mock-up camp and multimedia information make it a nice little addition to the museum.

Across the car park is the vehicle conservation centre which is a large hanger which houses the overspill from the collection, tanks and armoured vehicles not on display from the main hall in varying conditions.  You can't get down in amongst them but can only view them from up on a viewing platform.  It's an impressive sight and hopefully one day they'll be able to renovate and display them all properly.

And finally I was also really impressed with the shop, lots of interesting books and a fantastic range of model kits, some manufacturers and ranges that I wasn't even aware of.  It was perhaps inevitable that I came away with a model tank, which will be appearing here in the very near future.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

From the Painting Table #10

Another collection of recently painted unrelated figures today that didn't quite warrant their own blog post.

Starting with this Eldar Wraithlord for 40K.  This is the second wraithlord I've painted and I like them a lot, both the model and the concept.  I still haven't quite got the hang of painting yellow though.

Another 40K model next with this Nurgle Plague Marine lord, I have a small squad of plague marines in my mostly Alpha legion Chaos space marine army and I always like to have a leader to sub-sections of my army.  It will allow me to field the plague marine squad as troops as well, which will be potentially useful.

These three Ogres come from the mantic crazy Christmas box I got a couple of months ago, they were one of my favourite items from the box and have been a joy to paint.  They come with the option for hand weapons or these double handed weapons that I've armed mine with.  They fit in really well with my classic citadel Ogres as well.

And finally this Zvezda Soviet T-35 tank in 1:100 scale from their art of tactics range.  It's an absolute beast of a tank, dwarfing even the mighty panther, it proved to be rather impractical in the end though.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dreadball - Z'zor Team


This is a quick look at my latest painted dreadball team, the Z'zor, which are mantic's take on space bugs.  this is also the last of the season 2 teams to be painted, which still does leave all 4 season 3 teams and a bunch of MVP's to be completed at some point.  I've gone for a very basic colour scheme here, I just didn't have as much time as I'd have liked to get them done, still I think they look OK and will do their job.

Dreadball has been sidelined recently due to our burgeoning obsession with Deadzone.  This is part of the problem with Kickstarters, you order a lot of stuff on what is admittedly a good deal, but by the time it comes you can easily have moved onto something else.  The painting queue is growing rather large as well.

The kickstarter package also included upgrade packs for many of the teams in the last delivery.  As below shows this contains a alternatively posed striker, 2 jacks and a prone mini.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Matchbox/Revell 1:76 Char B.1 bis & Renault FT.17 & Airfix 1:76 Mark I Male Tank

Ok so I know that's not the most pithy blog title ever created, but at least you should know what to expect!  I have indeed constructed and painted two model kits containing three tanks.  All in 1:76 scale.  I haven't gone with any official colour schemes for any of these tanks, just painted it how I like them.

The first kit is the matchbox (although I believe revel have issued the exact same kit) Char B.1 and Renault FT-17 with scenic base.

Oddly the sprues come in two different colours for the tanks, which makes them look a bit odd before painting.  The kit also came with a couple of French soldiers which are supposed to be on the scenic base, I didn't bother with these though, they just seemed like they'd be in the way.

As the title suggests I've also finished an airfix mark I male tank.  The WWI British tank design is my favourite design for any tank, I think they just look fab.

This kit was a birthday present, and it's actually the second time I've built it, below I show the new version with the original, where I tried to do the scheme on the box, I much prefer this new version.

Finally a quick comparison with the contempory FT.17, look at the size difference!
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