Category Archives: Builds

A Low Countries Canal Build

Ever since Too Fat Lardies released their Blitzkrieg 1940 Handbook for Chain of Command I’ve been working mostly on Early War projects. I had wanted to do something with this Sarissa canal bridge and after seeing how the owner of my FLGS built his canal for a Battle of Mons game I decided to adopt some of his techniques and build my own.

I don’t have the inclination, nor the room, to make dedicated terrain boards so like everything else the canal was going to have to be modular and easy to store. As my gaming mats are 60″ wide I decided to make 5 sections, each 12″ x 12″.

I used panels of Ampersand hardboard and airbrushed several colors of green for the water and then applied three coats of Minwax acrylic gloss varnish using a foam brush. For the canal walls I used Pine Ranch Casing that I picked up at Lowes. This was cut into 12″ lengths (except for the bridge section) and airbrushed with some brown. For the walls I used some brick texture paper that was given to me by a friend. It was cut into strips and affixed with carpenter’s glue. This was finished off with a wash of Vallejo Sepia and some Secret Weapon Algae where it met the water. The completed walls were then glued to the panels with carpenter’s glue.

Next I assembled the bridge and added some fine sand on the surface of the ramps. This was then primed and painted, and I added more brick paper on the horizontal surfaces. Before cutting the canal wall pieces I placed and marked out where the bridge would go. Then I cut the short pieces of casing and finished them the same way as the others. I didn’t get any pictures of it, but the bottom “base” of the bridge had a connecting piece to make it a one piece affair and help align the ramps when opening and closing it. I had taken a leap of faith and removed it while finishing the bridge, hoping that I could align the pieces well enough when I affixed them. I attached the bridge to the canal board using carpenter’s glue and set it aside to dry. Spoiler alert – it worked.

To finish off the bridge piece, I fashioned some connecting wall pieces using card stock and the ever versatile brick paper. These were affixed to the board, and then the remaining space was filled with air-dry clay. Once this has set, I added more fine sand and painted it to kinda-sorta blend it in with the ramps. Then I flocked the edges making foot paths on both sides. I may add some detail parts in the future, and I do have some boats to finish, but for now it’s functional.


Historicon 2017 Purchases I – Sarissa Waco Glider

As in my previous post where I’ve told myself that after every convention I’m going to write a report, I also promise myself that I’m going to finish everything I acquired before I move on to something else. This too has never happened, however I’m going to try very hard to make that happen this time. Considering my relative minimum purchases, this should be an achievable goal.

Here’s the first build/paint from my Historicon haul – the 28mm Waco Glider from Sarissa Precision. This was a pretty straight forward build, although I should have paid attention to lessons from the past and scored some of the paper parts before folding them. I added some card stock in a few locations to cover up some of the slots and tabs.

The paint job consisted of an overall color of olive drab and hand painted invasion stripes on the wings and rear fuselage. The orders for pre-Overlord invasion stripes didn’t come to troop carrying units until June 3rd, so needless to say many of these jobs were rushed. I’ve seen photographs of varying quality of these, so I marked mine out and painted them by hand to give the effect of an “average” job. Decals are from my stash.


Sarissa Precision Radar Station Build

After reading these posts on the Too Fat Lardies blog here and here, I decided to take some inspiration (steal ideas) and build my Sarissa Radar Station. Here’s what I came up with.

The Lardies mounted their station on a hexagonal base that was made of carved foam. Knowing how bad I am with foam work, I decided to design my base using Tinkercad and print it using my Printrbot Play. It’s hard to see in this picture, but this print has some very bad horizontal banding (for those that know anything about 3D printing it was caused by a sinusoidal heat fluctuation in the hot end) however it ended up being a happy accident as it kinda gives the effect of marks left by a concrete form.

IMG_20160816_094444

I mounted the hex to a rectangular base and covered the horizontal surfaces with sand.

IMG_20160816_095330

Prior to assembly, I traced the outer ring of the dish and the roof of the shack onto some card stock to use to cover the seams where some of the parts join.

IMG_20160816_101920

Construction of the building was straight forward. Before adding the roof, I painted the interior and added a map, propaganda poster and a calendar to the walls. In hindsight this was a waste as you really can’t see into the building.

IMG_20160816_113034

After the framework of the dish was built I added some mesh using some sort of nylon that probably came from a bag of mints from a wedding. I don’t know what it’s called, but the material is pretty common.

IMG_20160816_133913

To complete the dish I glued some styrene strips along the interior frames and capped the outside with the trimmed card stock ring.

IMG_20160816_145456

Before mounting the building I wanted to finish the base so I added a few things from the parts bin – a box, drum and a bicycle from Dixon.

IMG_20160816_165219

Here are a few shots of the finished base.

IMG_20160820_103042IMG_20160820_103054

And here’s the finished piece. The voltage warning signs are printed images from online, mounted on the scrap pieces that came out of the window panes and the railing is a bent paperclip (both ideas stolen from the Lardies). The steps are from Grandt Line.

IMG_20160823_172426IMG_20160823_172437IMG_20160823_172455IMG_20160823_172505

This was a fun little build of a unique subject and I’m really happy with the results. I’d highly recommend the Sarissa kit if you’re in the market for an interesting objective.


28mm WWII Odds and Ends

Tonight I put the finishing touches on a few lingering partial assemblies; an Artizan Pak38, a French civilian truck from Warlord and an eBob Miniatures Opel Blitz. All were straightforward builds and paint jobs. Not much else to report so following a short narrative, here’s a short gallery.


Rubicon Sherman Build Part IV – Finishing

Recently Fall hit and the humidity dropped considerably, so I was able to get out the airbrush and finish up the Rubicon Sherman.

I began by brush priming the metal parts with Gunze Sangyo Mr. Metal Primer. I then primed the entire model with AK Interactive Grey Primer, shot straight from the bottle through an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS  at ~18 psi. The AK Interactive primer is, by far, my favorite. It binds, coats and levels better than any other primer, acrylic or otherwise, that I’ve used.

Rubicon Sherman Primed

Primed Rubicon (Right) and JTFM (Left) Shermans

Once dry I pre-shaded the model with Vallejo Model Air #43, Olive Drab, thinned at 3 parts paint to one part Liquitex Airbrush Medium, one part Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and one part Vallejo Satin Varnish shot at ~15 psi. In hindsight, I probably could have gone with a darker shade here.

Rubicon Sherman Pre-Shading

Pre-Shading

Next I applied a base coat of Vallejo Model Air #44, Light Grey Green thinned as above.

Rubicon Sherman Base Coat

Base Coat

After the base colors had set completely I applied the markings. The turret stars are from Archer Fine Transfers, the differential dashed circle star is from I-94 Enterprises and the serial numbers are from the kit sheet. I then brush painted over the turret stars with Vallejo Model Color #889, US Olive Drab.

Rubicaon Sherman Markings 1

Turret Star and Serial Number

Rubicon Sherman Markings 2

Differential Cover Star

Rubicon Sherman Markings 3

Overpainted Turret Star

Post-markings I added some shadows using a thin wash of MIG Productions 502 Abteilung Wash Brown oil paint. This was followed by highlighting with some light dry-brushing of Vallejo Panzer Aces #322, US Tanker Highlight.

Rubicon Sherman Shadows 2

Shadow Wash

Rubicon Sherman Highlights

Dry-brushed Highlights

Following this I painted the remaining accessories and details with various Vallejo Acrylic and Humbrol Metal Cote paints.

Rubicon Sherman Details 1

Air Recognition Panel and Tools

Rubicon Sherman Details 2

Rear Stowage

Rubicon Sherman Details 3

Headlights and Hull MG

Rubicon Sherman Details 4

Turret Stowage

Rubicon Sherman Details 5

Tank Commander

I then started working on the tracks, bogie wheels and return rollers. The bogies and return rollers were painted with Vallejo Panzer Aces #306, Dark Rubber, given a wash of acrylic black, and lightly dry-brushed with Vallejo Panzer Aces #305, Light Rubber. The tracks were painted with Vallejo Panzer Aces #304, Track Primer given a wash of acrylic black, and lightly dry-brushed with Vallejo Panzer Aces #305, Light Rubber. Earlier on in the build I had mentioned that I believed the tracks we’re supposed to be the steel chevron type, but because of the ambiguity I chose the easier route, for me, and painted them as rubber. The track end connectors were given a wash of True-Earth Burnt Rust R. Once this was dry I painted the raised details of the end connectors with Humbrol Metal Cote Aluminum. These metal cote paints dry to a matt black and then can be buffed. I used my finger and a micro-brush to gently buff the end connectors.

Rubicon Sherman Tracks 1

End Connectors With Rust

Rubicon Sherman Tracks 2

End Connectors Post-Buffing

Once the tracks were complete I started weathering the kit. In trying to keep it moderate, I started with an overall thin wash of MIG Productions 502 Abteilung Light Mud and then added some subtle vertical streaking with MIG Productions 502 Abteilung Engine Grease. I then added some staining around the filler caps with AK Interactive Fuel Stains.

Rubicon Sherman Fuel Stains

Fuel Stains

After the oils and enamels were dry I started to weather the lower hull using a product that was new to me – Mud-in-a-Pot from Reality in Scale. Mud-in-a-Pot is an acrylic based textured mud that can be used straight from the jar. I used a lighter shade on the majority of the lower hull, and used the darkest shade closer in towards the running gear. I really like this product, but need to spend some more time with it to fully realize its potential.

Rubicon Sherman Weathering 1

Mud-in-a-Pot

Then when the “mud’ had dried (exceptionally hard by the way) I attached the tracks to the lower hull. This was followed by a light application of some MIG Pigments to harmonize the mud colors.

Rubicon Sherman Weathering 2

Tracks and Pigments Applied

As a final touch I gave the tank commander a map and a pair of binoculars from the scrap box.

Rubicon Sherman Turret Details

Turret Details

To finish the kit off, I sprayed the entire model with AK Interactive Matt Varnish. Here are a few photos of the finished kit, and some pics alongside a JTFM Sherman that I built in parallel.

To summarize, the Rubicon Sherman is an excellent kit that was a really fun build. If you’re looking for Shermans to add to your arsenal, I highly recommend this model. I will certainly be checking out their other offerings in the near future.

Pros

  • Easy Assembly
  • Clear Instructions
  • Provides Multiple Main Gun Choices
  • Plastic – My Favorite Medium
  • Excellent Detail
  • Good Part Fit
  • One Piece Tracks

Cons

  • No Marking Guide
  • Decals Slightly Thick
  • Track “Identity Crisis”
  • Lack of Extra Turret Ring

%d bloggers like this: