Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eagle Games & Tarzan

HaT sold many of the old Airfix 1/72nd scale figure sets, including the Tarzan set. It was a great set with The Man himself, hunters, natives, a boy, a chimp and other animals. The HaT version of the set was in a nice light tan color.

Many of the old Tarzan books were originally set in Victorian Colonial Africa and so the new HaT British Colonial figures are a natural companion for the Tarzan set.

The HaT Indian Army troops out on the savanna of Africa. The British had armies all over Africa and they can fight French, Dutch, Germans, Italians, native tribes, wild animals, go on safari and have all kinds of wargame and role playing adventures.

I took a few sets of each of the HaT sets and put them together in a "square" formation as they ready themselves for the defense against an unseen enemy. Tarzan, Jane, Boy and Cheeta are in the center of the square. Eagle Games British Colonial type figures are represented here too in red. I like to use them as engineers, as there are several with sticks and a heliograph set.

Enlarge this photo and see the "cartoon" version of it. I think these figures really work well together and I have some more photos planned.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Colonial British

The HaT Colonial armies continue to march on. This is the British Colonial Highlanders. They are some of the most recent items from HaT.

These little drawings show the poses inside the box.

Now, HaT has released their British Indian Colonial Army troops. Very similar in style, size, and design to the Scots. I like the pointy toed shoes.

This set is very useful and will make the British Army much more colorful.

The Colonial Highlanders and Indians are they typical HaT set. 48 figures, four identical sprues. When combined with the other HaT sets they are beginning to create a pretty good army.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

WOTW Machines

The Pegasus War of the Worlds Martian War Machine has many potential uses.

Naturally, it would would as a Martian War Machine to fight 1950s era military forces in about 1/48th scale. It is made to that scale, but there is no reason to require that it is that size. It can be used with larger or smaller figures. I certainly will use mine with 1/72nd scale figures. To me, it seems to work well with 1/72nd scale figures because it is thick enough for figures that size to stand up inside.

The Martian War Machine can also be used in a British Colonial setting. The original H.G. Wells book took place around the turn of the 19th to 20th Century. With HaT miniatures bringing out their new Colonial range this will provide us with good figures for this type of battle. I would also eliminate the force field used by the Martians for wargame purposes.

There is also the opportunity to use these War Machines as future Earth war machines. Many companies make various science fiction soldiers in small scales and these would be nice opponents or even support for them.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

French 75 & WOTW

H.G. Wells wrote War of the Worlds and it was set in turn of the century Britain.

If the Martians had indeed landed a few years later, mankind would have advanced their weapons and the world would have been much smaller.
The Pegasus Hobbies George Pal WOTW manta ray Martian War Machine, vs the HaT Industrie WWI American 75mm cannons.

Americans and their French allies fight off the War Machines with the most advanced cannons in the world.

The War Machine moves slowly but relentlessly forward. The copper colored war machine reflects the light and deflects the shells of the defending Americans.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Pegasus Hobbies has released another of their War of the Worlds kits. This one is a 1/48th scale model of a Martian War Machine. It is fully assembled and ready to go right out of the box.

These are fully licensed by the Paramount Pictures Corporation and are excellent models.

These models come in a nice display box, hovering down a street in Los Angeles, CA with the menacing heat ray on top.

Pegasus has picked a good size for this model. In my opinion, it is not really too large to use for 1/72nd scale, it is perfect for those who do 28mm and would probably even work for figure sizes of up to 60mm.

The box is very well done, with an interesting narrative on the back. I took mine out of the box and snapped a few photos that I will post soon. The model is done in a copper plated material.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


During the Pershing Expedition the US Army wore the Montana Peak Hat, or Smokey the Bear Hat as it is now often known. These hat are still worn by the US Army for training sergeants, or Drill Sergeants. When they arrived in France these were cut down into side caps for ease of carrying and were replaced by a variety of helmets. The Montana Peak Hat was never worn in combat by any US units, sometimes individual soldiers can bee seen with them behind the lines.

Each US Army division was supposed to have 48 French 75s and 24 of the larger Schneider 155 French howitzers. Both guns were very popular, the Schneider was even built in the USA and both guns served in both World Wars with US forces.

US troops were typically given mixtures of US and British or US and French equipment and weapons. Black US Army troops wore US Army uniforms and boots with French web gear, small arms and helmets.

The US Army used the British Mk V* tank, and with the British produced the Mk VIII Liberty tank. The Mk VIII was not used in combat, but was kept in US service until 1932, and not removed from the inventory until 1940. They also used the French FT-17 and brought over 300 back to the US after the war. The US also manufactured them as the M1917 tank.

The Colt and Marlin machine guns were used by US forces both as ground weapons and in AA mounts. The HaT US Army Infantry set has one of these nearly identical guns. The US then used Vickers, Hotchkiss, the Colt 1917 series belt fed machine guns. The Colt .45 M1911 handgun in .45 ACP and BAR were also used during the war, two guns that stayed in service for the next 50 years.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

French 75 by HaT

The new HaT French WWI Late War Artillery set includes four of the sprues shown here. Molded in blue plastic, with no flash this is a great little battery of French 75s.

The US Army in training in 1917. Thousands of US Army soldiers went to France and had the chance to learn how to fire the French 75. The French could produce tanks and guns and planes but were running out of soldiers. The US Army brought fresh recruits to the ranks.

The WWI US Artillery with 75mm Cannon set comes with four sprues just like this one.

The French trained US troops and later US troops even helped fill in the ranks of some French units. Eventually, Pershing was able to get the US units put together to form divisions and corps of US Army soldiers.

The mold for these two sets is apparently the same, with different inserts for the different crews. A very efficient method of making different crews for the same kind of gun. This gun was widely used by many nations for at least 20 years.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Intell Update

Recently I was talking with Paul from Paul Heiser Models. He was showing me his two new WWII British Crusader model tanks in HO scale resin. They are just now making their way into production. They are very nice models with a zillion little rivets on them. I was with Randy from Fidelis Models when he picked up a few from Paul. I don't do British, but if I did, I would be getting some of these.

When I was with Randy of Fidelis Models he purchases a boatload of new and old items from his suppliers. He got about 50 different Arsenel-M kits. They make high quality resin kits in Europe. They are WWII and modern HO scale models. Many have etched brass and other super details. They can be difficult to build and fragile, and while I have a few of them, they are for more advanced modellers. They make many models no one else makes. I got my eye on some of the 170mm WWII German guns.

In my last visit with Larry of Pegasus Models he continued to complain about how slow the molds were going for the WWII Soviet Heavy Weapons Winter / Summer kits and the WWI / WWII French sets. They are essentially done and just waiting for the tooling. Most 1/72nd scale soft plastic figure companies don't employ the mold makers. They contract with companies that make other things. So they have to wait in line behind some other company that wants a mold for plastic spoons or something. I suppose this gives me time to stock up on the Soviet Infantry Winter / Summer kits before the heavy weapons arrive.

I also just got the HaT WWI US Artillery with 75mm cannon. It is the famous French 75 that was used by US Army forces from 1917 until at least 1943. So far I got eight of them put together and four more boxes waiting. I have also picked up their WWI French Late War set with the same gun and cassion but French crew. Very nice.

Monday, June 22, 2009

US Army Men

The US Army in WWII had 87 divisions. At one point the US military was 13 million people in uniform. That's a lot of GIs.

As you can see from this photo the Valiant Miniatures have huge heads. The US Army M1 helmet only came in one size. Looking at photos of soldiers in the war, some fill the helmet and some look almost like kids playing army.

The Italeri US Army soldiers are too tall to mix well with most other brands, and yet, when shown with a Valiant Miniatures figure they look small.

The officer figure on the right had a broken off left hand. I repaired him by taking a hand from one of the spare arms.

The standing rifleman is a nice pose and I liked the officer too. Too bad they are so big.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

US Army Figures

Valiant Miniatures US Army WWII soldiers in "1/72nd" scale. I think these are actually much larger than that stated size.

The set has a variety of arms with a bazooka arm, a 60mm mortar shell and a radio handset in the hands.

This is the firing 30 caliber machine gun figure. The gun is very nice and it all fits together very well. Note the fine detail on the boots / leggings.

The set comes with a radio, ammo pouches, back packs, and a 60 mm mortar.

This kneeling guy is probably intended as the #2 for the 30 caliber machine gun, but I built him as a radio operator. A nice figure. Overall the set would be great if the figures were just not so large. If they were the 23 mm tall I would have purchased a ton of them, probably hundreds of figures.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Free and Worth It

A British model magazine had a special officer of buy the magazine and get as sprue of 20 mm US Army WWII figures for free! I purchased the magazine despite the figures looking a bit large for 20 mm. When I got them home I measured them out as 27.5 mm tall. Not exactly what I consider to be 20 mm. When I read the magazine they explained these were the new Valiant Miniatures US Army set in 1/72nd scale. 1/72nd scale means one inch equals six feet, or about 24.5 mm tall. So these large corn fed American boys are all from Texas and are well over six feet tall. That's not the only problem with them, their heads are enormous. Even if you are big you helmet is the same size as everyone elses helmet. These guys must be wearing Navy talkers helmets. Compare this figure to a large Italeri US Army figure and you will see how simply huge these new solders are. I complained the Italeri guys were too big and then I saw these moose boys.

This is the free sprue I got. As I understand it you get four identical sprues in an actual set of Valiant Miniatures soldiers. Very little flash, some on the helmets and some on them M1 rifle front sights.

A good collection of weapons, 30 caliber machine gun, 60 mm mortar, two bazookas, two Thompson SMGs, three carbines, only one BAR, a radio, and a man with a Colt .45 in his hand. Mine has his other hand broken off.

Many of the figures have a separate arm or two. The machine gunner is in two halves, not unlike the 50 year old Airfix WWII Russian figure, except the Valiant figures accept regular model glue, and are of a slightly stiff plastic. There are extra heads, many with netting and the helmet strap dangling which is common for WWII US Army troops. With 15 troops, or 60 in the full set you get enough for a 12 man squad or a full platoon. More BARs would have been good, as the squads often had two each.

The machine gunner fits the 30 caliber very well, but he is kneeling and really should be prone so he can use the sights. There are several arm / weapon options. I did the bazooka team with a #2 loader. I did the 30 caliber machine gun but used the guy I suspect is the loader as the radio operator. A small walkie talkie would have been nice too with all the little bits.
These are very nice figures but a bit cartoonish. They remind me of many metal figures and look like they were designed to be used with lead and are probably easy to paint. For me they are just too big, neither large enough to be real 28 mm nor small enough to be real 1/72nd scale. Too bad, I would have purchased a ton if they were just three mm smaller and had proportionate heads.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Murder Meeting

The Atomic Testing Base is holding a special meeting with men from each of the Army units on the base.

There has been a murder and they are trying to gather information from the soldiers and to warn everyone to be careful because the suspect is still out there.

The security people are worried that it could be a Commie agent trying to infiltrate the base to gather American secrets.

It could be personal enemies of the dead soldier but everyone says he was well liked, so that is not likely.

Everyone is ready to do their bit to help out. To keep an eye out for a spy or a murderer.