Friday, July 31, 2009

Product Suggestions

The 150th anniversary of the American Civil War will be commemorated starting in 2011. This is a good time to start thinking about 1/72nd scale playsets that could cash in on this historical event.

Imex already makes a nice variety of ACW figures and wagons, and a few more could make theirs the premier range for 1/72nd scale. With HaT and other companies concentrating on other eras, this leaves Imex free to corner the market on the ACW, just in time for the publicity and events that will ensure from 2011 to 2015.

Re-packaging existing Imex sets combined with new sets or new accessories would also be a good idea. Several of the items in the Southwest Accessories would also work for the ACW too.

As I see it the main gaps in the ACW include:

A plantation set with Southern ladies and gentlemen, farm implements and even farm workers, and slaves. There could be instructional materials about the evil of slavery and the Underground Railroad too.

Heavy siege artillery, the Union defended many forts with very heavy guns and there are no models on them in plastic, they were used at Washington D.C. and Ft. Sumpter.

Berdans Sharpshooters, these were highly trained riflemen who wore green uniforms, used special rifles with telescopes on them.

Communications Soldiers, the Union and South used telegraph, signal flags, signal fires, and even observation balloons and cameras to send messages and record information. Matthew Brady was a famous photographer who took pictures of the soldiers of both sides.

Union Black Soldiers, the US Army fielded several regiments of all Black soldiers. This would be an excellent set for Imex to make.

Union Naval Landing party, the US Navy participated in several landings where the sailors fought as infantry. No one makes figures of these sailors.

The Imex Wagons are good but they suffer from having undersized mule figures to pull them. If the sets were redone with new mules and four mules per wagon they would be a much better set.

I know Imex also makes buildings as does Pegasus. Gettysburg has many historical buildings that were important during the battle. Most of them are still there today, preserved as monuments. I know they would also sell well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Undead Rules

Fighting the undead can be a real difficulty for conventional troops. In my rules set, once the target is hit, we have to determine the location of the hit on the target body. Roll a six sided die and then check the number.

1 head
2 shoulders
3 chest
4 stomach
5 thigh
6 leg

When fighting the undead, zombies are only killed if you destroy the brain, so only a hit on the "one" location would result in a kill.

As for other members of the undead, only a blessed silver bullet through the heart will kill a vampire. So only a hit in the 3 chest location will kill one. Of course, not every soldier typically carries blessed silver bullets, so they would need to be a special unit or be well prepared.

The undead zombies don't move very fast, so they are limited in their movement to walk, 5 inches per turn in my rules. Zombies don't use any weapons, and melee as regular humans, but due to their slow movements take damage out of sequence. Damage to a zombie in melee takes effect immediately and the human does not take damage if he wins the melee.

Vampires are able to move as regular humans, 5 inches to walk or 10 inches to run or even fly if they turn into a bat. Bats fly 15 inches per turn. It takes one turn stationary without fighting to turn into a bat or back into a human. Vampires naturally can use any weapons humans can use and also can immobilize one human with fear if they are within five inches of them. Of course, vampires only go out at night and must be asleep in their tombs in the daylight.

The undead can add a bit of interest to any historical scenario. Soldiers often tell stories of the supernatural happening on the battlefield, and at night imaginations can be very fertile.

Undead Army

Wayne Wanner, master modeller and wargamer submitted these photos of the Caesar Undead set.

The set consists of fantastic skeleton warriors like those in the Sinbad movies, and a group of vampires and other undead type figures.

Caesar has taken a bold step in the world of 1/72nd scale figures by making undead, and various fantasy adventure figures. I hope that they continue this range which includes some very nice Lord of the Rings style figures. Fantasy is very popular in other scales, and this series gives people a chance to use the vehicles, buildings, and other figures found in 1/72nd scale.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Horse Repair

In WWII the Germans and many other armies used millions of horses. Along with my butcher project I am working on a project to make a veterinary hospital.

I am taking some Imex ACW guys and using them as the basis for my horse maintenance company.

This horse will probably end up as a wounded horse, probably hanging from a sling.

The same Odemars figure will probably donate a head for the horse soldiers. The horse soldiers give medical attention, and food to the horses.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Butcher Heads

My plan for the WWII German butchers is to convert the two figures on the right side into butchers. I will use heads from the Odemars pose on the left. That will give me two butchers with soft caps, the helmet seems too combat oriented for people preparing dinner for 800.
In my ruleset, a food preparation location can be used as a rally point for troops who are routing or retreating. Just as in real life, the WWII Germans realized that the troops gotta eat. And troops that have been in combat, and now are running away are going to be hungry. So you get a couple military police and a kitchen unit, set up a road block and feed everyone, then there are two reasons to rally. The carrot to eat and the police baton (stick) to hit you if you don't stay.
I will cut both heads off, and then replace them with the new heads. Drill a tiny hole in the headless torso where the neck will go. Using a pair of needle nose pliers, insert a tiny bit of wire, I use guitar string, in the head with about three or four mm sticking out the neck. Put a tiny drop of superglue on the wire. Then press the string into the hole in the torso. Instant head swap.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

WWI & WWII French News

I visited with Larry Pegasus today. He showed me three sprues from his WWI and WWII French 1/72nd scale plastic figures. The sprues were tests of these sets, one half of the sprue was WWI and the other half was WWII. They will be separated and sold as two separate sets.

The test shots were white plastic figures with clear plastic arms and weapons. These are in the typical Pegasus style with many separate arms and weapons. This makes for highly detailed figures and many different options. Test shots are done using any plastic, so they often come out in odd colors, or even no color, like the clear parts.

Larry explained the differences between the two sets, the differences in pouches, and gas masks and weapons. The set had a lot of flash and mold flaws so there is still a lot of work to do on them. Pegasus is very careful not to send a set to production until these very common problems are worked out. The WWII French will make a nice complement to the WWII French from Caesar. I know I will be getting a few of both sets.

Hang 'Em

I took an Imex tree and a bit of string and tied the Pegasus steer body to the tree by one rear leg. The string is saturated in superglue to firm it up.

Using a bit of sheet styrene, I glued the stump and tree down using Model Master liquid glue. With the steer body the tree was very easy to knock over. The stump seemed a reasonable accessory for a field butcher shop.

I painted each of the "wooden" parts with a dark paint, overall. Then I used a medium paint and finally a light brown dry brush on all the wood. Axe head, steel, and the axe handle German gray. I also painted the rope deck tan. The steer carcass was painted a nice gloss red, followed by a flesh color over all to simulate the fat that would be under the skin. I then painted in interior of the cut with a clear gloss red for more depth.

The whole model had been primed with a light gray spray primer. The ground was painted with Woodland Scenics Earth Color, two coats. Next I sprinkled a bit of Woodland Scenics Blended Turf flocking. It matches my table top pretty well, so I use it frequently on terrain.

Once the paint had dried, I dropped Scenic Cement on the flocking to hold it in place. This makes a sturdy ground cover. I left a bit of the ground showing to depict the wear of walking on it by the soldier butcher.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Butcher, Baker...

This stump and ax come in the Imex Southwest Accys.

I got a pre-production set of the Pegasus Farm Animals. It had a cow in the set that would not stand up. That's why model companies run pre-production sets, so that they can insure all the parts come out nice. Since I hate to toss anything away, I determined I would use it in my WWII German army.

Like most armies in history, the Germans had little refrigeration in the field, so they had to slaughter and prepare live animals for food. This tree is from the Imex Southwest Accys.

I cut the head off the cow and cut the underside open to indicate it was ready for food preparation.

Here is a Caesar Miniatures 1/72nd scale WWII German Panzergrenadier figure for size. More later.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reich of the Black Sun Reich Of The Black Sun: Nazi Secret Weapons & The Cold War Allied Legend: Joseph P. Farrell: Books

Joseph P. Farrell makes a pretty good case that the Third Reich was working on the Hydrogen Bomb and may have actually developed the Atomic Bomb as a trigger for the Hydrogen Bomb.

Reich of the Black Sun, by Joseph P. Farrell, Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, Illinois, 2004.

This book is about the strange science research of the SS in Nazi Germany, mostly during World War Two. The book is mostly about the nuclear weapons research, but also covers computers, and all kinds of strange weapons and technology. For those interested in Weird War Two types of wargames, this book has some interesting scenarios and technology.

The book also follows the post war developments of some of the technology pioneered by the Nazis. The book discusses flying discs, and various kinds of nuclear materials, and the possibility that the Nazis may have planned on using a UFO flying saucer to drop hydrogen bombs on New York City. Interesting theories, but probably not very good history or science. The book was only $17 so a worthwhile investment for the new wargame scenarios I will get out of it.

Rumors & Terror

This line is so long. I just want to get my money and get out of here. I want to be locked in my home before dark. It's just to dangerous here to be outside after sunset.

I took this job out in the middle of nowhere to avoid crime, not it has followed me here. I worry all the time now that soon there could be another victim.

Someone needs to do something, I heard the victim was tortured. It was probably Communist spies trying to get information out of him.

I don't mind telling you I am scared. I have even taken to carrying a knife with me all the time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rumors And Fear

I heard that they think there will be more murders.

I am not sure I feel safe around here anymore, with this murder.

It is hard to believe that anyone in this in this room could be the murderer.

I don't know why they are taking so long arresting the person who did this murder.

We may have to do something about this on our own if we don't get some action soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rumors of Murder

I was supposed to be on duty the night that soldier was killed, but I was on sick call.

We don't know much of anything about the murder. Other than the wounds on the body we have no clues to speak of in the case.

I heard that they have a Soviet spy ring working right here and when that soldier found out, they killed him.

This is a lot of money. Several hundred thousand dollars in cash. I hope the murderers are not robbers too.

Somebody needs to do something about his murder. None of us are safe until it is solved.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


At the Atomic Testing Base, it's payday. On payday, once a month, everyone lines up to sign their pay book and then gets their check. Then they line up a second time to get their money. With a large base like this, there is a lot of cash being handled. But with a murder on the base, not everyone is thinking about money. After they get there pay, many of the men wait around and the rumors fly.

I got it on good authority, that there was more than one man murdered, and they are covering it up to prevent a panic, that's what I heard.

I heard they don't have any suspects, none at all. They have no idea who did that terrible crime.

Rumors fly faster than jets or even rockets. My friend told me... My buddy said... I heard in the chow line... A guy I know works in HQ and he says the colonel says... Rumors everywhere.

Everyone has a theory. Everyone has an opinion. No one has a clue.

Friday, July 17, 2009

HO Guns

These HO scale WWII German artillery models are mostly resin kits. They are free of any of the flaws found in many kinds of resin kits because they use a vacuum chamber to suck out the air that often leaves bubbles in the model.

The gun barrels are aluminum, and are very well made. They even are a bit hollow at the muzzle end which makes them much nicer that most plastic guns.

The instructions for both models are the same, only the gun barrels are different. They can be built either in the firing or towing modes.

Revell is also doing this gun now in 1/72nd scale, this HO version is very large, I am sure the Revell one will be huge.

This HO scale wheel is compared here to a 1/72nd scale soldier, so in HO scale he would be about seven feet tall. It is a big wheel.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

German Artillery

ArsenalM makes very high quality resin and mixed media HO 1/87th scale military vehicle kits.

The kits are made in Germany and frequently contain photo etched brass and even aluminum gun barrels.

Recently I purchased a 170mm and 210mm WWII German artillery guns. They were common weapons used all during World War Two as very heavy artillery.

The 170mm guns were in batteries of three or four guns and battalions of two batteries. The 210mm guns were in batteries of two guns and battalions of two batteries. They were often attached at corps level units.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Atomic Testing Base Autopsy

The doctor and his assistant investigate the nature of the wounds to the body of the dead soldier. There was a very large, deep and curved wound to the center of the upper back.

There was a similar would on the right side of the body, just a large mark, not really a puncture.

The front of the body had numerous small scratches and scrapes, as if it had been dragged along the ground.

The CID men don't have any obvious motive for the slaying and this could be a difficult case.