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Archive for the ‘Zvezda’ Category

OK … a number of things –

I’m still experimenting with decals … how to use them and which ones … I’ve got this winter thing going on (appropriate, you might think, to the Summer of 2017) … and, well, I had to buy something at Partizan

I have a little rule … I try to spend a little at every show (whether I need anything or not): spending helps the world go around – and whatever I buy I have to paint (so as not to let the pile called ‘dormant projects’ get any higher) …

For all its many merits as a show, Partizan doesn’t have much for me but (in addition to books and scenics) I did find a 1:100 Zvezda T60 which I haven’t built or reviewed yet so why not …

Well it turns out I have already done that (here … ) and the appropriate slot in the divisional box is already filled.  I am sure all enthusiasts will occasionally forget they have bought something and get one again …

So, to fufill the second directive (to build and paint) I decided those airborne troops in Winter garb might possible deserve their own, Winter camo, support.  A T60 with whitwash swaths and snow-suited tank riders:

(Zvezda’s 1:100 T60 given a P.B.Eye-Candy makeover)

Brushes up nicely, of course.

I put a little red star on the glacis … occasionally you see them on Soviet armour – but less is definitely more.  The Russian for star is zvezda, as I’m sure you all know.   And that’s what inspired an interlude of tinkering.

The decal sets are the I-94 ones.  I had good results with the aviation symbols and vehicle plates but had also bought a Red Army slogans one which I hadn’t tried.  The lettering looked a little thin to me (not exagerated to the extent that you might need on 15mm/1:100 vehicles).

So I tried to liven up my aerosans …

The ‘guards’ slogan is 15mm … it’s kind of nice but you struggle to see it if you don’t get close up.  Thank heavens for the wonders of modern digital technology.

So I tried a 20mm slogan on a PSC T34

It’s the later, big turret 85, otherwise I’d not have got the decal on – but I do think the 20mm lettering is better for these models …*

But really what these pictures show is where mobile phones are, these days … the pictures are taken with my Samsung Galaxy  … now I did try to set the focus up properly as I wanted you to be able to see the decals – even so, when I reviewed the results I was quite surprised.

It made me remember when I did a magazine shoot back in the 80s with my (then) 35mm SLR … I got passably professional results but only after quite a bit of setting up.  How things have moved on.  And I guess what we do on our blogs today will look primitive tomorrow.

Here’s a T60 beauty contest.

A Zvezda win in my book … and they win on price, hands down.

*******

*the PSC has Zvezda running gear … something I did for variety and compatibility … I also think, on reflection, that I’ve probably got the front tactical symbol turned through 90°, thus, perhaps, a talking point.

**the aerosans are from QRF … they’ve used one of mine on the website 😉 …

You can find I-94 on the internet or you can get them at UK shows from minibits

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PPRS 01

A page full of reviews has been added as I get round to photographing some of the recent additions to the P.B.Eye-Candy collection.

Scroll down the reviews page for …

Martin’s new Scouts range

PPRS 04

Some thoughts on PSC vehicles …

PSC rev 06

And my recent trials of decals and markings.

decals 05

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A Day Out at Warfare …

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I went to Warfare for a day out with the Society of Ancients, and in amongst the usual duties, I got to do some shopping and play some games …

There were a good number of 20th Century games … I particularly liked …

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This wintry landscape was a compelling demo of Chain of Command inspired by the Band of Brothers Foy episode.

I don’t do 28mm skirmish games but this one was worth the hype.  We had a long chat … one of the passers-by had even worked on the original programme (and he was impressed too) – well done everyone!

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So … Schweinfurt … well this was a Staines game and this time you get to play the heroic fighters who sortie out to repel the American bombers.   Nicely done – but it is futile … everyone is shooting your way, flak and Fortress 50cals …

warfare-2016-20c-03(Schweinfurt: flying into the bomber stream)

So, you are taking damage all over and, realistically you need to get lucky with your limited gunnery to do much damage to the big beasts … I set a couple of them on fire before all my ammunition was spent (and as you can see only just got out in one piece …) …

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So, some traditional stuff and some good ideas … in all, I enjoyed this German take on the bombing war.

The shopping is also worth reporting …

In amongst a bundle of Zvezda boxes, I got a couple of Russian trucks (actually Katyushas, but that’s because I’m adapting them so opted for the extra wheels).

Anyway … hurrah!  When I got them home and started a build, it turns out to be a new sprue … and gone is the lousy bend and clip engine cover!  Now you get 3 pieces, top and side panels, that pop onto lugs on the engine!  Yes they have listened to our moans.  This is the sprue …

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… and, ‘work in progress’ …

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… a nice neat front with none of the frustration that used to be part of this package.

Given the Zis 5 model shares a sprue with  Katyusha, I’d assume Zis 5s have got or will get the same improvement.

worth sharing I think.  I was very pleased with this chance discovery!

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Following a discussion on The Miniatures Page  I have updated the pictures on the T60 reviews … subsequent to the original reviews I had altered the turrets (so the comparison I published a couple of posts ago was slightly misleading) – so I have switched the turret modifications back and redone the photos …

T60 redux 02

Zvezda is the clear winner and it wouldn’t be too difficult to fabricated an open turret hatch and add a commander.   Unlike the other two, of course, the Zvezda turret is permanently closed.

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Acc Apr 16 and T60 01

While at Salute I picked up some of the recent Zvezda releases including a new light tank for the Red Army and a couple of generic/African straw huts from The Square

Acc Apr 16 and T60 02

At £1 each, they will make nice additions to my AK47 resources (and having had a little play, I will pick up some more in due course) …

Inexpensive also describes the T60.  Like most of the Zvezda stuff it is also pretty good (also good and pretty) … nicely made, assembles quickly (and unlike some of the wheeled vehicles, everything fits pretty well so no expletives needed when putting it together) …

Acc Apr 16 and T60 03(Zvezda’s T60 clips together in minutes)

The plastic takes a Humbrol undercoat well although a delicate touch is required to bring out the shallow detail well when you dry brush …

Acc Apr 16 and T60 04

Acc Apr 16 and T60 06(Zvezda 1:100 T60 Light Tank)

Acc Apr 16 and T60 07

I did a more detailed review of the Skytrex and Battlefront models a while back (Reviews page half way down, now edited) to which this new Zvezda model is a worthy competitor … it gets the turret right and has a nicely modelled gun … Here it is alongside the others ..

T60 redux 01

T60 redux 03

NB that the Battlefront/Flames of War model has had the storage bins and other details stripped to represent the glider-convertible A40 variant …

Acc Apr 16 and T60 11(my T60 family)

So a good value addition to the current options and a useful wargame model.  I like it.  And nice to get some more kit into the collection during what has been a busy time with other commitments.

Acc Apr 16 and T60 12

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Dec 2015 01

Back to the Rostov project and some tidying up in the German boxes …

I’m publishing some pictures despite the basing not being fully brushed and tufted because I may not get much more done now before Christmas other than playing some games and sharing good cheer.

There have been some Zvezda Opel Blitz trucks waiting to fill the services role … so we have an ambulance for 22PZ and a repair truck for 5th SS Motorised

Dec 2015 02

(we can add these in the fullness of time to that open-ended topic: what can you do with Zvezda trucks?)

It is also about time that I crewed up 22PD’s integral artillery (Panzer Artillery Regiment 140) which is represented by the 15cm FH18 model ..

Dec 2015 03

Dec 2015 05

The gun is Skytrex and the crew figures are by Peter Pig

Dec 2015 04

Oh – and I bought a Zvezda Panzer III whilst making my first visit to Battlefield Hobbies so I had to make that up (as is the rule with any new purchases – plus, there seem to have been a lot of Panzer II’s at Rostov and I was doing Germans … ) …

Whilst I was fiddling around I also added a couple of Russian air drop markers .. the parachutes are from an old Airfix set and have been pending for a while – so I tidied them up.

The parachutists are from PP‘s AK47 French FFL with headswaps and the weapons removed so they can drag in their chutes.  I think the marriage is a good one.

Dec 2015 06(Russian generic parachutists)

The FFL have webbing like parachute harness and little in the way of identifying kit other than their weapons so make good generic paras.  I chose to swap ushankas onto them rather than flying caps as it makes them less period specific (NB my Ice Station cold war game) and, anyway, most Russian WWII airborne ops seem to have been Winter missions.

Dec 2015 07

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Red TnT 01

This week’s tidying up is a mixed bag of new builds, brushing up and/or basing to complete some more artillery units for the Red Army …

Last time’s searchlight unit was intended to go with an AA battery … they may look like soviet 37mms but are actually US lend-lease M1 40mm bofors guns (about 3,000 of these were received – about a quarter of those in service) …

Red TnT 02(40mm AA battery with tows and searchlight truck … BF guns and Zvezda trucks)

Red TnT 03(AA battery deployed)

Red TnT 04

I’ve gone for a slightly peculiar arrangement with one set of wheels apparently attached to the trucks, and the guns deployed cornerwise on a 30×30  base.  Although this is neither one thing or the other it gives the look I was after both deployed and towed.

Red TnT 05

The guns are Battlefront/FoW, with crew by BF and PP … the trucks are Zvezda with a bit of extra detailing of the cabs …

The Howitzer battery has been around for a while, but the deployed bases were recently added and the bases needed landscaping.

Red TnT 07

The units is now fully finished … in addition to the Howitzers (True North/Old Glory) and their tractors, it has a command/observer team in a T-26 radio vehicle (Zvezda conversion) its own log (a Voroshilovets converted from the same TN/OG Kommintern that I’ve used for the main tows) and enjoys the protection of an attached AA unit …

Red TnT 08(203mm howitzer battery deployed)

Red TnT 09

The really tricky bit was remaking the running gear to the Voroshilovets arrangement.

Red TnT 11

I sometimes see it suggested that there were very few actual production models of these radio/command tanks – yet they do turn up in photos from Finland (so either they got around a bit or there were some allocated to combat units.

They can be added to the range of vehicles that can be built from the basic T-26 model I think.

Red TnT 10

The anti-aircraft gun is one of a pair of SP variants I built from the Battlefront/FoW Zis truck a while back (but hadn’t fully finished for some reason) … now they are dry-brushed and landscaped.

Red TnT 12

I modelled them as mounted on heavier YaG style trucks using the bigger wheels from the QRF Gaz series.  Otherwise both have rebuilt cabs and MDF and card adaptations.

Red TnT 13

Most of the rear is card, the gun is one of the many spare barrels you end up with in Battlefront/FoW gun packs and the crew is BF and Peter Pig.  The mount etc. is scratch built.

Red TnT 14

For the SU-1-12 the gun is actually a PP WWI ‘stormtrooper’ gun (but looks exactly right set in its card gun shield).

Since I did these quite elaborate adaptations, I think Battlefront have released commercial versions.  So i’m glad I took the time to make fairly convincing models which will stand up to comparison.

Finally, another addition to the long list of ‘what can you do with a Zvezda truck’ …  Here I have grafted a fuel vessel from a pound shop tanker set onto a slightly extended Katyusha chassis.

Red TnT 15

I will probably attach this to some airforce ground units as they will need plenty of refuelling …

I’m quite pleased with this latest batch of rear echelon stuff – it has tidied up yet another set of otherwise unfinished projects … it give me confidence the I can get back to the long delayed trains and boats and planes

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