Sunday, 13 April 2014
Well where have I been?!
I've been modelling in all sorts of directions with all sorts of mediums but I've just not had the time/inclination to write it all up. Life, kids, other hobbies, everything is a juggling act but I think my hands are now able to keep everything moving along nicely so I am going to try and get this updated every now and then with what I am up to on my workbench.
I've moved back into railway modelling and have started to respray and weather items as well as detailing them. I will do an update soon with some of these to show what I have achieved.
The military modelling still continues and that is the theme for today's post, but as a bit of a change it is British Paratroopers from Op Market Garden I will be modelling.
I have 3 sets I am using:
MB3533 British Paratroopers 1944
MB3534 British Paratroopers WWII
35333 British Paratroopers & Bicycle
The first two are Masterbox sets I have had for a while and the 3rd is the new release Tamiya set which I had seen in Nuremberg and liked very much. The masterbox sets were initially purchased for use with a Sherman Firefly in a street scene and 3 of the MB355 set were constructed but the tracks of the Sherman were so poor to construct the build stalled and was eventually put on hold. With the release of the Tamiya set I have decided to finish the figures and construct a small diorama for them to sit on until the main diorama is finished. This should happen soon as I have Bronco tracks for it now.
So on to the kits:
MB3533 British Paratroopers 1944
This set depicts a local (possibly a farmer) complete with shotgun and recently shot rabbit giving directions to 3 Brit Para's. There is an officer with a Sten and 2 infantry, one with a No4 and one with a Sten. There is full kit for all of them as appropriate and the officer sports the classic Maroon beret so synonymous with the Paras. The poses for the soldiers are the Officer talking to the local while the rifleman looks over his shoulder and the Machine-gunner stands with his gun stood up on the ground, hands atop it. The inclusion of the local is very welcome and allows an interesting scene to be built with just this kit. It has been suggested that this was initially to be released as a training scene on British soil and the local does not really have anything to place him as a resident of any particular country
The theme of this set is those not so lucky in the landings in Holland, the box art even includes a landed/crashed glider in the background. There is an infantry man sitting with his leg in a splint but still in full kit, including backpack and no headwear. Helping him are two medics, one kneeling talking to him and one bent over offering a cigarette. Both have the medical packs and armbands as they should and wear berets. The final figure in this set is a glider pilot. He is also injured but has his arm in a sling and is smoking. He has the different helmet for the pilots and headphones. His only webbing is his belt with a pistol attached. I am not going to use this figure at the moment as he does not fit with the final diorama idea.
The final set is a small square boxing from Tamiya. It consists of 2 Paras with their bikes and has some nice little features. Both carry the No4 rifle with a full kit pack each but it is the options that set the kit apart. One soldier is posed sitting on his bike with one foot down while the other is portrayed standing holding it. You get a choice of heads for both figures to allow either beret or helmet to be used and their arms also have options so either can be holding the handlebars with both hands or have one hand on the bike and one hand doing something (one holds a map, the other is pointing). This is a nice addition from Tamiya and I hope we can see this more in future releases. The bikes themselves are very nice renditions and include the double tubing at the top of the frame and very thin handlebars and spokes. Even the bikes have 2 options, with a simple cut and the use of alternative parts the bikes can be shown folded as they were when carried. This nice little touch can add interest for a diorama but as the figures are posed using the unfolded bikes, folding them means modification of the figures to use them off the bikes.
As all (apart from the local) are in the standard Paratrooper Denison smock and battledress trousers they will all be painted the same. The colours I will be using are all Vallejo Model Colours and are as follows:
Base - 873 US Field Drab
Green - 896 German Dark Green
Brown - 871 Leather Brown
Trousers - 921 English Uniform
Helmet - 887 Brown Violet
Webbing - 988 Khaki
Beret - 985 Hull Red
Boots - 862 Black Grey
Flesh - 955 Flat Flesh
White - 820 Offwhite
Red - 957 Flat Red
Weapons - 863 Gunmetal Grey
Wood - A mixture of browns and dark yellows, I will go into this further in a future blog post.
Frames - 887 Brown Violet
Saddle - 871 Leather Brown
Tyres - 862 Black Grey
Chain - 863 Gunmetal Grey
These are not the colour callouts that are shown on the back of the boxes but I feel they are closer to the real thing than what is suggested.
I will also be enhancing them with some washes:
Once these are finished I will show them and try and describe the way I painted them but I hope this has been of use to show how I am tackling these great little figures.