Sunday, 17 May 2015

Reports of a major military operation in Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture...

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Reports are emerging that earlier today the Japanese Self-Defence Force carried out a major military operation in Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture, in an attempt to intercept the Kaiju pack that made landfall in Kito Ward yesterday afternoon.

Details are unconfirmed at this time, but initial reports suggest that the Kaiju pack was successfully halted by the deployment of multiple Jäger units.

The Metropolitan Prefecture remains in quarantine, but the Mt. Fuji Media Observation Station reports little in the way of areated debris or sismagrphic activity, giving hope that the damage incoured to property has been relitivly minor.

The Self-Defence Force has not yet made a statement, but one is expected within the hour.

Stay tuned for more information as it arrives.  

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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Review: 'Total System Scenics' 1915 Lanchester Armoured Car (15mm)

Hey Internet,

Its been a little while since I last did a 'review' on here, but a little something came in the post the other day, and I feel like writing somthing about it.

For a while now, I've been after some Great War era British Armoured cars for my 15mm British 'Scientific Romance' project - which surprisingly are in very short supply.

Both Minifigs and Quick Reaction Force do a Rolls Royce, but to be honest - they are horrible. Battlefront do one too, but its circa 1940, with a completely different turret, so is no good for my current project.

So, when TSS (Total System Scenics) put out a 15mm Lanchester, I thought I'd go for it.

 photo Armoured-Car-Lanchester_zpsn1vmfdo9.jpg
A Lanchester Armoured Car
When I ordered them their webstore did not have a photograph of the product, but since then they have uploaded one - although it is low-res, out of focus and only shows an unpainted casting.

Ordering it was simple enough online, and it arrived well-wrapped in newspaper a short while thereafter.

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Now, I don't give 'bad reviews' as a rule, but I must say that this model was a bit of a disappointment.

Why? Mold Lines. Real nasty ones running right down the middle of every hull panel, and a nice big pair of them marking out the circumference of the turret.

Now, this wouldn't be all too bad a thing normally - you'd just grumble and grind the panels down; but unlike most badly cast models, the detail work on this one is just superb.

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Just look at all the tiny little rivets and surface details.
Its just such a shame. Clearly some talented fellow has gone to a great deal of trouble to produce a superb master for this model. I'd guess that it was a 3D printed affair in order to achieve the level of detail present - and that would mean that its had to be printed on top of all the other cost and effort. But then at the last hurdle all that hard work has been wasted by some shoddy mold-making and casting.

 photo IMG_1930_zpspu5gxbwl.jpg

The above photograph is post-'grinding down'. For an indication of the mold off-set, just look at the front. It was maybe a full 0.5mm out of alignment!

I hope to get the one that I've already put together painted up before too long, and will post up the results. I hope to be able to finish it to a good standard - but the effort involved in getting this far has put me off even starting its partner.


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

"The Wrenched Boys"

* * * 

They sleep below the hillside
In earthen cots
'The Wrenched Boys'

But when they rise
Look upon their sullen faces; 
So dismal; unwashed, tear-streaked

For a Frenchman killed their father
And mourning, they wait to cry 
Their leaden tears in revenge.  

* * *

Hey Internet,

This time around, I present 'The Wrenched Boys'; a pair of 'retractable' gun cupolas.

The models are of a particularly nice type of turret that helped make up the Maginot Line back in the 1930's. They had the novel feature of being able to be lowered down into their concrete pits as a further protective measure, so that only their well-armoured roofs were exposed to enemy shells.

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I've done a fair bit of rambling around old European military sites in my time, and always thought the things looked really rather 'cute' for fortifications. 'Alien Squad Leader' allows me to take some defective turrets as part of my Human Colonial force, so I took the opportunity to add a few to my collection.

I got these models a few months ago from "Last Man Last Bullet", and are really rather nice. The company makes a number of different WW2 era fortification works - and interestingly, they've chosen to duplicate the lion's share of their range in 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm and 28mm scales. And its not a matter of 3D printing each item re-sized either; they're casts from a traditional master.

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Initially, I painted these up in no time at all using the same colours that I've been using for my British Armour. They looked good, but were quite boring - they looked like green bobbins on little grey coasters. So, I went at them with a little weathering.

I justify the totally-over-the-top amount of rust on account of their twofold 'pop-up' nature - I can quite imagine that, built in the mists of some Anglo-French war-scare, the plans for their subterranean drainage could have well fallen by the wayside, leaving them to stew in pits of groundwater whenever they are not in 'firing position'.

I also used some 'varnish weathering' effects on the roofs. It does not show very well in the photographs, but the idea is that they are sun-bleached compared to the rest of the turret facings.

Even the most Wreched Boys of the Empire 'll show those Frenchies what, eh?


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

His Majesties Land-Ship Minotaur

Hey Internet,

May I present His Majesties Land-Ship Minotaur.

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* * *

Minotaur is the very image of the modern Land Destroyer - a novel fighting machine designed for the particular task of combating other Land-Ships. To the accomplishment of this new task every facet of the ship's design and equipage has been directed.

Forgoing the usual batteries of machine-guns and cannon, Minotaur's primary asset is her 3" high pressure gun of 55 calibres, who's 17lb shell is able to penetrate the protection of any known Land Ship currently operating in Europe or overseas.

 photo IMG_1830_zpshoo7vadq.jpg

Equally, she is protected with a sufficient thickness of plate to grant her practical immunity from rifle fire, and even from shells fired at all but the closest distances. This protection is granted by the hanging of 3" Harvy Steel plates about the hull and turret, reduced in thickness to 2" and 1" on the sides and rear of the hull respectively.

All of this comes at some expense however, for the thing displaces no less than 80 tons. Yet, by utilisation of modern advances in the field of electrical engineering it is able to keep pace with the advance. Her machinery consists of two electrical motors of new design, powered by an internal dynamo. This outfit is able to produce a constant locomotive force of six-hundred horse power, driving the whole assembly along at speeds approaching nine miles per hour, on level ground.

* * *

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The model is a 1/100th (15mm) scale TOG II* tank produced by Battlefront/Flames of War. Its a reasonable offering from the company, though unlike their more recent kits it took some fitting and filling to get the parts to go together snugly. Makes for a fine finished piece though.

In terms of painting this peice was pretty standard, but for one respect. The huge flat surfaces of the hull gave me opertunity to experiment with some 'model railway' and 'large scale model' style varnish weathering techniques, which turned out okay.

The Minotaur decals are by Dom's Decals.

I have long been a great fan of the real-life version of this machine, having regularly visited Bovington Tank Museum as a boy and been awed by its sheer scale.

If your interested in the history of armoured development, then the TOG makes for good reading. A contemporary of the WWII Churchill and Valentine tanks, it was designed by the same men who designed the worlds first tanks during the Great War. Known themselves as "The Old Gang", their machine too adopted the jestful title, becoming known as the TOG.

Minotaur is soon to be pressed into service as part of my 15mm British Empire project, more of which I will be posting shortly.

Think she will do King Edward proud?


Monday, 9 March 2015

LAF Post: Quest for the 1/144th ARL-44

Hey Internet,

I posted a plea for help locating an obscure model on the Lead Adventure Forum, and thought I'd copy it up on the blog too, in the off chance that a kind soul might see it here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hey LAF, 
I have rather odd request. I've been doing some google-fu detective work trying to hunt down a particular, illusive model in 1/144th scale - a French ARL-44. (
I understand that a Japanese company called "Fairy Planning" or "Fairy Kikaku" produces a very nice kit, however I have been unsuccessful in tracking down anywhere that sells them. 
This site ( leads me to belive that 'Fairy Planning' might only sell within Japan itself, but I can't be sure of this. 
So, I was wondering if there was anyone in our little LAF community that might be able to help me out? 
If they do only sell within Japan, might anyone act as a middleman for me? or could someone who speaks the language pass on any details about the company that I've missed?
Failing all that, does anyone know anywhere else that makes a ARL-44 kit in 1/144th?
Thanks for any help,
* * *

What is an "ARL-44"? and why would you go to such bother to try and get one? I hear you ask.

The ARL-44 was France's first indigenous heavy tank design following their occupation by Nazi Germany.

It was designed in secret during the occupation by a group of bravely defiant engineers, with the idea that once France had been liberated they would need modern and powerful weapons to take the fight back to the enemy.

Due to this wholly unique development cycle, the tank turned out as the strange lovechild of a Char B and a Royal Tiger - taking the obsolete suspension from the former and the turret and armour configuration of the latter.

 photo arl-44-05_zpswjzthiwd.jpg

Arriving too late to contribute to the downfall of the Nazis, the ARL served in the postwar French military throughout the dawn of the Cold War -serving alongside a colourful mix of Panther and Sherman tanks and American armoured cars.



22-03-2015 Update: I have contacted the good folks at HobbyLink Japan, and they have since added this exact kit to their catalogue. Go them.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Off Topic: Montrose - Underperformer

Hey Internet,

Totally off topic - some of my friends have released a new music video, and as I had a little something to do with it* felt right to share it on here.

Their called Montrose (, and the track is called 'Underperformer', off their new EP 'Monster Under The Bed'.

Good them, eh?


* I had relatively little to do with it.
I'm in the background of some shots and I did some production work,
but mostly I was a 'Runner'. 
Being a 'Runner' means I made tea and fetched people's lunch.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Mars Pistol

Hey Internet,

The Mars Pistol has long been one of my favourite historical 'white elephant' firearms, and it just so happens that this guy has just done a really interesting video examining just how one of them 'works'.


Saturday, 28 February 2015

Cherno Alpha

"That tank, last of the T-90s, Cherno Alpha. First generation Mark 1. Heaviest, oldest Jaeger in the service. But make no mistake Mr. Becket, its a brutal war machine. And those two, Sasha and Aleksis Kaidanovsky."

"Yeah, I've heard of them, perimiter patrol, siberian wall." 

"On their watch it stayed unbreached for six years. Six. years."


 photo Team Russia_zpsxqyi0muc.jpg

Hey Internet,

As some of you might have noticed, I am a real sucker for modelling things that I see in films or games or books. Never has this been more so than with Cherno Alpha from Pacific Rim.

I can very clearly remember sitting in the cinema and letting out an audible "gwwah!" as Idris Elba's character introduces the machine.

My Cherno is a fairly simple re-paint of a Japanese Gashapon ("collectable candy toy") that I picked up on Ebay for a few quid.

The detail is pretty good, considering that it was never designed to be a display piece. My only major criticism would be that it was made out of some kind of god-awful rubbery substance that flaked off when it was filed, which made taking off the mold lines a right old pain.

 photo ChernoCherno2_zps4dd7pcaf.jpg
The only photo I took of the figure before painting. It's being held by a 7" action figure, for gauging scale.
I went for 'washed out green colour' to better match the figure to some of the fantastic concept art - and to tie it in with my other 6mm Soviet Armour.

 photo Cherno_Alpha_Concept_01_zpsfpqnnwwp.png
Concept Art.
 photo pacific_rim_cherno_alpha_by_flyyz-d6k0lbe_zpsdvdpxoih.jpg
Concept Art.
A few of the details have been brought up with a nice contrasting red, but fewer than I would have liked. Ideally he'd have some red lines on the head and arms, like he does in the film, but freehand really isn't my thing, and I was too happy with how the figure turned out to risk ruining it with wiggly lines all over the place.

 photo 0c06d7d8-aefa-4b4e-a661-830ccc3f037f_zpseblj6src.jpg

In the end it took far longer than I had expected to get this one painted up. Although it was mostly a single colour, the edge highlights still took ages simply due to the seer size of the piece.

Like him?



The Lead Tally - 2015

Acquired: +12       Painted: +2          Total: -10

Friday, 27 February 2015

"I have been, and always shall be, your friend."

Just heard the sad new that Leonard Nimoy has died.

As one of the most iconic actors in science fiction, it felt only right to take a moment to mark his passing.

"Live long and prosper."


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Monday, 23 February 2015

LAF Post: 28mm Japanese Schoolgirls?

Hey Internet,

I posted on the Lead Adventure Forum, and thought I'd copy it on the blog too on the off chance that more of you might see it...
Hey LAF,
I'm looking for a figure to help battle some evil robot-monsters bent on destroying Japan. 
Never been all too keen on the whole anime 'Japanese Schoolgirl' thing personally, and to be honest always thought their was something a little bit weird about it, yet for this project I find myself in need of a 'Japanese Schoolgirl' style figure for the sake of fulfilling a stereotype.  
I know that Hasslefree do one, but I was wondering if anyone could direct me to any others?  


The Lead Tally - 2015

Acquired: +10       Painted: +2          Total: -8

Monday, 9 February 2015

Cherno Alpha ²

Hey Internet,

When the post arrived this morning my Cherno Alpha ownership doubled.

 photo ChernoCherno_zpsubbpv7sg.jpg

Will give him a new lick of paint at some point soon. Most excited. Just wanted to share.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Month Old Smug

Hey Internet,

I was tidying up my desktop when I came across some photos - and suddenly realised that I never got round to smugly putting them up on this blog.

Last month it was my Clubs annual Painting Competition - and in it I won twice! Woo! Go me!

Once in the 'Group Historical' category, and again with the same entry for 'Best In Show'.

I entered my 'Norse Warriors' that I did for 'Of Gods and Mortals'.

In fact, I painted these models following the previous years Painting Competition because I was rather disheartened that I had not painted anything that year that I thought 'worthy of a painting competition'.

There was a really good turnout for the competition this year, with lots of really nice entries, a number of which really should have beaten mine.

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Photos taken with on a Canon EOS-M.

And of course, my winnings. Two £15 vouchers for Monster Models & Games, the local wargames and modelling stall in Wells Market. I've no idea what I'm going to spend them on, but I'm heading over onto their site to make my mind up once I've finished typing this...


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The Lead Tally - 2015

Acquired: +9       Painted: +1          Total: -8

Monday, 19 January 2015

Captain D. C. "The DeathClaw" McCorvin

Hey Internet,

Haven't posted in a little while - 'real life things' have not been doing all that well as of late - the knock-on effect being that I've not really had the inclination to do much in the way of hobby related stuff.

But I finally got around to painting something this weekend.

Or rather, I've given a figure that I painted a while back a fairly major revamp.

I finished 'ColonelDeathclaw' a fair while ago to be the leader of my Enclave warband, and but even at the time I was never really all that happy with him. At the time, I'd wanted him to 'fit in' with the other Enclave models in my collection – only, I painted them years ago, when I was far 'less good' at painting.

So, I've gone back to him. Its about 80% new brushwork, the with only the face and the 'holo-swords' remaining from the original coat. I think the 'metallic black' armour is looking much better, as are the 'glowy yellow bits'.

The base also got a seeing too, as the original one looked nasty and was 30mm rather than 25mm - meaning that it did not match in with every other figure in my collection.

I've dug out a pair of Brother Vinni's wonderful 'Ant Soldiers' to back him up. They are next in the que.


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* * *

Captain D. C. 'The Deathclaw1' McCorvin is a third generation product of the United States Chemical Corps' research into the weaponization of personnel infected with the infamous 'Forced Evolutionary Virus'.

Prior to his exposure to the F.E.V during the excavation of the Mariposa Millitary Base, Douglas McCorvin had an unremarkable career in the United States Army. While a competent soldier of no little intelligence, frequent conflicts with his superior officers ensured that he never rose above the rank of Private.

Following his mutation, McCorvin was evacuated to Station Control ENCLAVE. For several months he was kept under constant sedation pending the stabilisation of his condition. A small man of only 5'7”, McCorvin developed into a similarly stunted mutant of less than 7' in height.

Following a psychological evaluation and corrective surgery for a number of minor debilitations, McCorvin was returned to active service as part of a special detail tasked with the location and recovery of pre-war research and technology.

In this role, and with the benefit of his mutations, McCorvin showed a great deal of capability, quickly rising to the rank of Captain and being given command of 'Exploration and Recovery Detachment 7'.

During the events leading to the destruction of Station Control ENCLAVE 'oil rig' off the coast of California, ERD7 was stationed on a long range recovery expedition several hundred miles to the East. Despite sending several scout parties Westward, communications with ENCLAVE command could not be re-established. Unable to communicate with higher command and with no way to return to the West Cost without additional resupply, ERD7 began to operate autonomously.

In the following months the Detachment continued to recover technology and equipment, and eventually began to expand their base of operations from their covert bunker complex to establish a small outpost on the surface.

In time, out of a want of supplies, the Detachment began to trade some of their salvage with local survivalist groups, and even began a limited recruitment of 'wastelanders' to augment their numbers in light of losses suffered to the inherent dangers of the wastes.

This seeded no small amount of discontent amongst certain, more patriotic, members of the group. This eventually was brought to an apex when an armed group confronted McCorvin and directly accused him desertion and dereliction of duty.

Refuting their attempts to relive him of command, a deadly firefight ensued, quickly spreading across the outpost as more individuals joined on both sides. By days-end, almost half of the entire group had either been killed, wounded or had chosen to flee into the wastes.

Victorious, but at a terrible cost, Captain McCorvin continued to rule over his small dominion. Though those that had sided with him during the schism remained beside him, any pretence that the group represented the Army of the United States soon fell by the wayside.

* * *

 photo IMG_1046_zps8d2d4f9a.jpg

1: "The DeathClaw"

 Douglass Charlie McCorvin's nickname 'The Deathclaw' arose out of the aforementioned captain's preference for and substantial skills in close combat, armed with a pair of 'holographic emitters' grafted to his suit of 'Tesla Power Armour'. 

Salvaged from a pre-war scientific laboratory, each of these these unique weapons could in moments be reconfigured to emit by means of holography either a savage blade, a shield or a projectile of energy. 

McCorvin was even known to have used these emitters to produce a pair of holographic wings, which when combined with the vectored exhaust of his suit's micro-fusion reactor allowed him to enter into a powered glide when leaping from a raised surface.


The Lead Tally - 2015

Acquired: +0       Painted: +1          Total: +1

Wednesday, 14 January 2015