Books I have read and recommend.

Monday, August 3, 2015

ITALERI CROMWELLS

Hi Guys
I've been adding a lot of 28mm (1:56th Scale) WW2 miniatures and Armour to my collection of late.
This is due to my fascination with Too Fat Lardies FANTASTIC WW2 Platoon Level rules 'Chain Of Command (CoC).
I've really been impressed with the BLITZKRIEG and JTFM range of Resin Kits as well as the rather inexpensive OLD GLORY 'Berlin Or Bust' range of WW2 Miniatures and AFVs and Guns / Vehicles which are quite servicable for those counting their pennies.
Another good 'Economical' option is the Italeri plastic kits.
The kits come with transfers, glue, a tiny dropper bottle of paint and a reasonable paint brush.
I purchased two of these 'Bread and Butter' tanks from WarTime Miniatures here in Australia for $54 plus postage (another $7.50) which is a pretty competitive price for two Main Battle Tanks.

The Kit is pretty simple and provides you with a nice Mk.IV Cromwell with the option to add a 'Bocage Plough' which is a really nice touch.
The turret is removable and the main gun moves up and down though I'll be fixing mine so it stays level rather than hanging limp in the turret.
You also get decals for either a British or Polish tank. Again very nice.
Unfortunately there is no Crew Figures, even though you can have hatches modeled 'Unbuttoned' (open).
Not a deal breaker as the PERRY'S do a nice tank crew set.
There is plenty on detail on the kit and should paint up quite nicely.
The paint, glue and brush are useful, however I discovered glue in a bottle with a brush applicator can be a dangerous thing, with me knocking a bottle over and spilling about half the contents over my workspace. Fortunately the result was simply some wasted glue but it could have been much worse.

I'll post some photos of this tank once I've painted her up.

Cheers
Trailape

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Skuttlebut

Hi Guys
Well I've returned from my trip to Belgium and did the whole visit Waterloo thing.
Some good news first from Mike Parker at BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES who has produced MDF roofs for his outstanding La Haye Sainte Farm Set.
you can see  my review of the Original Farm set here:
LA HAYE SAINTE

Here are some photos of the new roof sets
Much easier to construct and sturdier.


 BELOW: The original 'Sheds' with card roofs in brown and the replacement set with MDF roofs. Also the replacement roof for the farm's main gate.
 BELOW: The MDF Roof kits.


 BELOW: The new MDF Sheds

I also popped into EUREKA MINIATURES and these chaps caught my eye.
I have no idea what they are, but who doesn't want a trumpet being played by a portly chap using his arse and a horse being ridden by a giant rat bursting out of a corpse?



Finally, Eureka are also producing these awesome WINGED and 'Mechanically Enhanced' GORILLAS!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Tale of Two Farms. Part Three


ABOVE: The Duke inspects the BA farm house (left) and the WLG farm house on the right

Hi Guys
Well we're finally here. Part 3 of my review of the WARLORD GAMES (WLG) and BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES (BA) La Haye Sainte Waterloo (LHS) farm set.

A reminder I'm just reviewing the actual MODEL that comes in the Box Set, which also includes plastic and metal miniatures (see PART ONE).

The first thing I noticed when I commenced construction of the WLG kit was the poorer quality of the material compared to (BA) kit (see PART TWO).
This kit from WLG is made from a much thinner and flimsier material. It's more like really thick cardboard rather than the thicker MDF(?) type material in the BA kit.  
BELOW: Compare the pair. BA material on the left and the thinner WLG material on the right

The instructions however are a different story. They are very professionally produced and assembly is simply as long as you follow the instructions. You could probably get the job done without the instructions but hey, they are provided, they are clear and easy to follow. 
BELOW: BA farm house on the left and WLG on the right

The level of interior details on the WLG version is very light on in comparison to the BA version.
Actually, apart from some interior walls within the Stable there is no interior details at all.
No second floor in the Farm House. No loft in the barn.
All of the various buildings are set upon 'bases' that interlock with the other bases upon which the other buildings are built.
This makes for a sturdy base however it does limit the versatility of the set. I want to be able to use the various buildings as stand alone buildings for other games like CHAIN OF COMMAND, FORCE ON FORCE or BOLT ACTION for example.

 ABOVE and BELOW: The WLG Farm House. No steps leading into the house, no interior details / walls and no second story. Just a big empty shell.


 ABOVE and BELOW: The Main Gate / Gate house. 
Best bit? The gates are hinged and freely swing open and shut. Cool!
Worst bit? Its affixed to this big arse base!

Construction was knocked over pretty quickly and took about two thirds of the time it took to assemble the BA version.
The roof construction was particularly easy.
If I could have the same system of roofing for the BA model I'd be beside myself. WLG version is much simpler and more robust I think.
BELOW: The WLG Barn and the BA Barn. Notice the loft in the BA version on the right.

 All in all however the BA Model is much more impressive and more robust due to the higher quality of the materials used in construction. Only the roofing is superior in the WLG version.
Furthermore the level of detail is superior in the BA kit.
Also the 'Online' support from Mike Parker is great, what with the Video Tutorials on YouTube and his own Facebook Page (search 'Battlefield Accessories').
You do however get an additional wall and small building (cook house maybe?) with the WLG version.
I'd be very keen to see which is the more historically correct kit.
The WLG LHS does come with a few extra pieces worth mentioning.
Two wagons, a small plough, three tables and six chairs, (for barricades or dinner), and some branches for barricades.
Also, you get some cardboard 'detailing' items for creating open shutters near windows and framing for windows and gates etc. (See Below)

 ABOVE and BELOW: Details of the WLG LHS farm yard and 'extra' bits.

 IN CONCLUSION

I think that the BA set is of better quality, more versatile, more detailed and excellent value for money.
The WLG offering is slightly easier to assemble (particularly the roofs) but isn't as flexible due to the individual buildings being affixed to some rather large bases.
Furthermore the BA set is the Farm Set and the Farm Set alone.
The WLG set comes with a swag of miniatures that you may not need or like.
The wagons and furniture are nice, but I can always purchase those things if I want them.
For me it's the QUALITY of the buildings / models that clinches the deal and why I give a nod in the direction of the BA version.
If however you do like the Warlord Games Miniatures and you're not too fussed on the detail of the actual farm itself the the WLG set is certainly worth considering.
As they say,...
"Ya pays ya money and ya makes ya choice".


 ABOVE and BELOW: The complete WLG LHS Farm set with roofs ON (above) and OFF (below). Notice the extra length of wall and small building in the bottom right corner


BELOW: The complete BA LHS set. Roofing removed. Noticed the second story in the farm house, and loft in the barn and small room in the stables.

 BELOW: Both the WLG (left) and BA (right) complete LHS Farm sets

I hope you find this review useful.
If so feel free to make comment.
UBIQUE!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Tale of Two Farms. PART 2

ABOVE: Two Perry Miniature 28mm French Infantry scope out the barn. How much blood will be spilt capturing the place?

Hi Team
Well, its been some time coming but finally I've arrived at PART TWO of my review of both BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES (BA) and WARLORD GAMES models of La Haye Sainte farm sets.
After comparing contents of the two sets in PART 1 in this and following posts we'll look at construction and the level of detail in the respective models.
Let's start with the Aussie offering from BA.

One of the things I really like with BA's models is the VIDEO tutorials on construction you can access via YouTube.
These are a real God send!
As you can see I watched the videos on my IPad as I constructed the kit and the little tips on construction are simply excellent.
Construction proved to be pretty simple. Honestly there wasn't anything tricky here. Anyone with even the slightest experience in model construction would find assembly pretty straight forward.
Assembly was rather intuitive for the most part.
I was impressed with the details included in the models including interior walls and staircases and lofts in barns.
Ensure you have a good PVA / White Glue, (I like Selleys), an old paint brush for cleaning up any access glue, and PEGS,... lots of pegs!!!
I also found rubber bands to be useful tools as you can see.
I found the model to be simple to construct (did I mention that).
I assembled the ENTIRE farm set including sheds, walls, main gate house, farm house, Coach house, barns etc in a single day. I started at 9 am and was finished by 5pm including a hour long lunch and a couple of brews.
It's fortunate that assembly is so simple and that the videos on YouTube are available because there are no written assembly instructions to speak of, just photocopy images.
The detail available in the photocopies is rather poor but ultimately it wasn't an issue so "Meh".
ABOVE and BELOW: Probably the trickiest part of the assembly, the roof and second story windows.
BELOW: I did say LOTS of pegs.
BELOW: The second story of the Main farm House.
TIP: For ensuring you get walls squared to the floor I use a laser cut 60mm square base and use it as seen below. By butting it up agains the wall as it sets you get a perfect Right Angle / 90 degrees.
TIP: Use some of the 'Punched Out' off cuts as braces for internal walls. Not really required but it cant hurt IMHO. 
BELOW: A nice view of the interior of one of the barns

BELOW: Two of the nifty little shed that but up against the farms walls.
I believe these might eventually be available as separate items to add to 'other' BA models.
The overall quality of the entire set is EXCELLENT and is well worth the asking price.
ABOVE: The COMPLETE FARM SET
Part Three will cover the WARLORD GAMES La Haye Sainte model and a direct comparison of the two farms side by side

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reviews a'plenty PART FOUR

Flags, Faces and Bases!
That's what makes your miniature armies 'pop', or so I've been told.
In this post I'll talk a little about bases and how they can be improved with the addition of some nifty little 'Tufts' I recently discovered.
Leadbear's Tufts are small foliage 'tufts' that you affix to the bases of your miniatures.
They come in a variety of colours and types including 4 shades of Green (including Yellow Green, Light Green, Dark Green) and Beige / Tan.
There is also 'Stoney Tufts' and 'Flowering Tufts'
They are super easy to use.
Simply peel them off their sheet and apply directly to the miniatures base.
Unlike other tufts I've used these don't require any additional adhesive and contour nicely to the base surface.
These truly are the best tufts I've used and are very reasonably priced

BELOW: Just some of LEADBEAR TUFTS



Here are some details on the tufts I obtained directly from Barry at LEADBEAR.

Tufts - Mix (Qty: 140/pack)
These tufts are approximately 4mm high with an additional scattering of a lighter coloured 6mm long static grass to give some contrast.
Beige
Light Green
Green
Dark Green
Dry Grass
Wild Grass

Tufts - 6mm (Qty: 120/pack)
These tufts are approximately 6mm high with a scattering of a lighter coloured 6mm static grass to give some contrast.
Beige
Light Green
Green
Dark Green
Dry Grass

Tufts - 12mm* (Qty: 55/pack)
These tufts are approximately 12mm high.
XL Beige
XL Green
XL Dark

* There is a major discrepancy with regards to the quantity of tufts supplied in the retail packs (55) and the packs I sell personally to friends, via various forums and on eBay (80). However, with the packs sold via retail outlets you receive tufts and larger patches, whereas you only receive tufts when I supply direct.

Flowers - (Qty: 100/pack) 20 each of Red, Pink, Yellow, White, Purple.
Leafy Tufts - (Qty: 100/pack)
Leafy Tufts with Purple Flowers - (Qty: 100/pack)
Leafy Tufts with Red Flowers - (Qty: 100/pack)
Stony Tufts - (Qty: 64/pack)

I plan to add the following to the range - Stony Tufts with Flowers, along with 2mm and 4mm tufts.
As I wrote, I do like people to support the retail outlets which are currently, Eureka Miniatures in Melbourne and Military Hobbies in Adelaide, but I understand this isn't always possible, therefore, I can be contacted at leadbear@internode.on.net

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

BELOW: Some photos of some 28mm 'Jerries' based using fine sand washed washed with a dark brown ink and slightly dry brushed. I've added just LEADBEAR tufts so you can see how they look.