Friday, March 31, 2023

Soviet Parade of Armor

Endless streams of Soviet armor drive past the reviewing stand.
Row after row.
Specialized vehicles too.
This one a bridge launcher on the hull of a T-34 tank.
To allow armor to cross anti-tank ditches or small streams.
Easily transportable and able to keep up with the other tank forces.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Commisar Reviews the Troops

Painting the Soviet WWII collection.
Mostly Mir assault guns.
And some anti-tank guns from Plastic Soldier Company.
Getting some of my bridge launchers deployed.
Here they are participating in a small parade on their way to the front.
Past a reviewing stand with a Commissar and some propaganda posters.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Cold War US Army Color

These are Roco M60 series tanks upgraded with new turrets and side skirts from the Boley Abrams.  It was a late Cold War proposal for countries that did not want to spend the money on Abrams or wanted to upgrade their existing fleet.
I use Rust-Oleum 2x paint, it sticks well to most plastics.
This is Deep Forest Green but it has a bit of a gray tone to it in my opinion.  So it looks very different from WWII era Olive Drab.  I remember vehicles in colors like this in the 1970s and 1980s.
Again the paint is very true to the color of the cap.  I find these Rust-Oleum paints match each other batch after batch.  I like that because it might take months or even years to paint up a whole battalion.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Roco JagdTiger Primer Painting

Roco JagdTigers in primer.
I use the Rust-Oleum 2X Flat Gray primer with the any-angle spray.  So I can spray paint with the can turned sideways or upside down.  It makes getting into the suspension bits a little easier.
This is the specific product, but I have used their white and black primers also depending on the look of the final model that I am trying to achieve.
It's not really dark enough for a Panzer Gray, but it can serve as such in an emergency.
As you can see the color matches the can cap very closely.

Monday, March 27, 2023

WWII Red Army

This is my new standard Soviet Union vehicle color.
It is Army Green by Rust-Oleum.
It's very inexpensive and covers well, although I do primer paint the vehicles first.
I have seen both WWII and modern Soviet vehicles in a color very much like this one, and Soviet vehicle colors seem to vary a lot.

 As you can see the paint applied to the ancient Roco T-34/76 looks very close to the color on the paint cap.  I also use other colors and paints as the overall color, but most of my WWII Red Army is this color.

Sunday, March 26, 2023


Rust-Oleum purchased Testors and they came out with the old Olive Drab spray paint again.
It covers very well, here is a resin Paul Heiser US Army 2 1/2 ton truck and a Reviresco M3 Lee medium tank in metal.
M3 medium Lee tank, used on Makin in the Pacific and in North Africa in a couple battalions by US Army troops.
I like the resin trucks because they are nice and sturdy and few parts to assemble.

 The tires are craft pain, Apple Barrel Jet Black and the canvas is the ancient Testors brush on 1165 Flat Olive.  I think I have used that since about 1970!

Saturday, March 25, 2023

US Army 105mm Howitzer M2 on Carriage M1

Another view of my horse drawn 105mm howitzer.
Officially, 105mm Howitzer M2 on carriage M1, fourteen of them were made and they were trialed in units in the field.
They could have been shipped to the Philippines and saw service there in WWII but there is no actual evidence of that.
I think it is an interesting looking version of this gun.
The US Army also got over a thousand leFH-18 German WWI howitzers as a result of the demilitarization of German for the First World War.  They kept them in storage until at least 1925.  Nearly 50 even survive today as various memorials and trophies.
Here is the US 105 howitzer in the field.  Designed to be towed by horses a slow moving crawler tractor will also work.
The troops prepare to fire the gun.  Once all of them are completed, I plan to bulk flock the bases.

Friday, March 24, 2023

US Army Horse Drawn 105mm Howitzer

Roco 105mm howitzer in HO scale.
Hat WWI US Army French 75.  The US used them made in France and over 1,000 made in USA.
The French 75 is 1/72nd scale but it will serve for this purpose.
The US Army decided after WWI to have a 105 howitzer as the division gun but due to budget restraints built fewer than 20.
Using the Roco carriage I cut off the ears of the gun shield and the small gun shield on the front.
I replaced the wheels with the French 75 wheels.  I mounted it on a base because this is another 105mm from the spares box and the parts did not hold together well without mounting.  I used plastic coated rod from Plastruct for the axle because the wagon wheel has a larger hub opening than the Roco howitzer.  I made up a few of these for my Interwar US Army.  I don't know but I suspect they were all long out of service by WWII, but like some of the other guns in my collection they may fight at the Battle of Grovers Mill, New Jersey, in 1938.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

French 75 Upgrade

One of my projects for 2023 is to finish up some old projects that have been languishing.  This is a Roco Minitanks 105mm howitzer with the gun barrel replaced with a French 75 gun barrel from a Hat WWI US Army Artillery set.  The little shield in the front got cut off and a few other bits on the trails were trimmed down too.  Quick and simple conversion.  It got glued down to a base because I used mostly Roco bits from the spares box that had lead a rough life and did not fit together well.
In the 1930s the US Army considered upgrading their massive stock of French 75mm guns by putting them on new carriages with split rails.
They also wanted pneumatic tires.  Wooden wagon wheels when towed behind a motor vehicle at speeds of more than a few miles per hour tend to bounce to the point where they will flip over, often overturning the towing vehicle with it.  So to reduce the Army dependency on horses rubber tires were needed.
Split trails allow the gun to be elevated and increases the range of the gun.

 Due to the tiny budget of the military in the 1930s progress was very slow and only a handful of these guns were converted.  They were used for training in the US during the war but none saw actual combat.  Of course on the wargame table some may be used in the Battle of Grovers Mill, New Jersey, in October 1938 when the Martian cylinder landed there.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Paint and Painting Tricks

I use a lot of spray paint.  I have an airbrush and I use it when I really want to do good camouflage or if I need a color I can't get in a spray can.
Sometimes the spray paint gets clogged up.  So I started saving the nozzles when I toss out an empty can of spray paint.  I found that I always have a surplus of nozzles because they don't get clogged up that often.  I put the old nozzle in the lid of the can I used.
That way each nozzle is color coded with the paint it had in it.  You can use the "wrong" color nozzle, it does not seem to matter, but I don't like to take chances.

Another thing I do is take a bit of paper towel and put a few drops of paint thinner on it.  As I spray paint I wipe the nozzle every few sprays when I shake the can again.  That really helps reduce the clogging.

Long term project, as I get in the mood to paint I have been painting cheap unpainted or poorly painted civilians that are sold in bulk on line.  I glue them to a base and batch paint them.  Paint the flesh.  Next, get some denim blue paint and paint the pants or jacket on a dozen or so figures.  Then get some green, or red and paint the rest of the clothing.  Then paint the shoes brown, or black, or whatever.  Finally paint the base.  In a crowd of a couple hundred they look great and it does not take long.  I am color coding the bases, most of them are a kind of paving stone reddish brown.  But some are light gray, or dark gray, or even green.  Then I can designate the green ones as being undercover police, or enemy agents, or some other specific group that is not readily apparent.  And by using a lot of base colors, but with over half of the bases the reddish brown, it makes it hard to tell who is who unless you know the color to look for.