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Monday, 24 October 2016
187 - Somewhere to Store the Trains

187 - Somewhere to Store the Trains

Hi all and thanks for dropping by again. I've been back at my parents' house for my dad's birthday and we've been fettling with the train set in the garage again. There have been several additions and changes since the last post so read on for more.

First up are a few new buildings courtesy of Metcalfe. The workshop above and the building in the background are from the PO213 Engine Shed kit. The buildings are made from sturdy card and the windows are clear plastic. The instructions weren't too bad to follow although there were a few moments when I had to double check before gluing.

The engine shed really is the main attraction and the whole reason I grabbed the kit. This one will replace the mismatched sheds in the marshalling yard. The big side windows and the roof windows really let you show off what's inside from above and eye level. The louvered roof vent was one of the more challenging parts as it had several layers of different card widths to get the effect. Everything was glued in using Gorilla Wood Glue and held together using a combination of magnets, paperclips and heavy objects while the glue set.

Here is the inside of the shed which shows the very nice roof girders and windows. The interior has printed detail as well (something the workshop doesn't have).

Both the roof for the engine shed and the workshop have been left off so lighting can be added in the future. With the roof being removable, any derailments inside can be dealt with more easily, plus look at the roof supports!

Some rearranging of the marshalling yard was required to get the engine shed to fit. The double track had to be repositioned but it was flexi track so wasn't too much work. Some of the track had to be cut off at the end as the new shed has a back wall. It does look quite impressive and a bit more detailed than the Hornby buildings in the background.

The little workshop has just been placed randomly as there is some upgrading to be done to the marshalling yard which may involve the removal of one line of track.

The main station also received its double canopy roof.

The second canopies were cut down to fit and make the station seem a bit grander.

When scrutinised, the background scene and canopy don't really blend with each other, but from eye level it works well enough.

 While I had been building the engine shed, my brother-in-law had been building another kit - the Boiler House and Factory Entrance (PO284). It is a very impressive and tall collection of buildings to go in the rather sparse section in the far corner.

We are still trying to get the placement of the buildings right so this layout may change. The blank area between the three track lines and the points needs some work and we've spied a loading bay to replace the one on the left.

The swing out section got its last additions for the moment as well. The girder bridge in the background received some track railings on either side to complete it. The double track in the foreground finally got a bridge to cross the river, but we need to paint in between the tracks. Some moss was used to line the banks to finish off the river.

And we finally filled the second glass cabinet. These are all mint condition GWR and British Rail and most of them have never been run.

Unfortunately, this wonderfully designed cabinet from a well known high street retailer that sells many things (including cheap jewellery) did not like the conditions in the garage. Before we started on anything on Saturday morning, we had to clear up the carnage that had occurred! The cabinet had sagged in the middle and the two rather heavy glass doors had fallen out and wreaked havoc upon the marshalling yard. Everything in the yard had been knocked over and with the force of a scale nuclear weapon - fortunately no damage here.

However, the InterCity which had been owned by my brother-in-law for over 20 years was decimated. One carriage and the false locomotive survived unscathed, but the rest of the train was not so lucky. Two carriages were almost completely split in half and went straight in the bin and the locomotive was smashed in to several pieces. Somehow though, the locomotive's body shell survived intact and we may be able to salvage it. "What about the glass doors?" I hear you ask - well they came through utterly undamaged!

We spent some time fixing the cabinet so the doors won't fall out again (hopefully) and then had to do some tidy up before cracking on with the above work.

So we had a mixed weekend really, carnage followed by progress. Oh and we also managed to trip the electrics whilst putting up another spotlight bar - even with the breaker turned off in the garage - got to love 100 year old electrics!

Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
186 - WIP Hydra Conversion: Part 2

186 - WIP Hydra Conversion: Part 2

Thanks for reading my previous post on this, if you haven't read it Part 1 can be found here. I'd left the Hydra at a good point but it was definitely lacking some detailing. Using a few bits of blu tac, I came up with the following rough ideas and then posted the question to the Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum) page on Facebook to get some opinions and additional ideas.

A rummage through the bitz box and I found some items that could be used. So the bits are from the old Leman Russ kit and the tank accessory sprue.

Trialling with two doors and a heavy flamer promethium tank.

Two doors and a tool/ammo crate.

Double doors with the promethium tank.

Whilst waiting for some answers I got to work on the top of the tank. The big mounting ring is from the Puppets War Pegasus kit and will be what the flak turret sits in. I added a vent and hatch from the old Leman Russ kit - the hatch was from the side of the turret. The two small hatches are from the Sentinel kit (I think) and were cut down to be a bit shorter. The power pack is also from the Sentinel kit and matched up well with the turret ring. Anyway, back to the back now.

The Facebook feedback led me to the above. General consensus was double doors so the crew might be able to actually fit stuff in. An exhaust was also suggested so the promethium tank had some holes drilled in it and it became the exhaust. Hatch handles were added as a step ladder and a nice big tow hook was slapped on as well. Please ignore how wonky some of these pieces are - I didn't realise quite had bad it was until after the glue had dried.

I also butchered another set of tank track guards to get all three pieces to fit on the Chimera chassis. Why GW didn't make this possible confuses me.

My next challenge will be the gun barrels which as you can see above are bent in every different direction. How would you approach them? Heat and bend them back or cut them off and use plastic tubing/brass rod to create new barrels? Options would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading.
Friday, 23 September 2016
185 - WIP Hydra Conversion: Part 1

185 - WIP Hydra Conversion: Part 1

Greetings readers. Once again I jump from project to project like a flea looking for a better meal. Well the new project involves me doing some more creation and conversion which I haven't gone near since following instructions to create my set back Chimera's Calyx and Crepitus.

The project is something I've hinted at before, first when I was trying to find a different Hydra option and then again when I bought a Pegasus AA kit from Puppets War to create the alternative. My plan was to take a Chimera kit and then build a platform/compartment on the back for the quad autocannon turret to sit on.

First thing was to build up the Chimera chassis but I didn't add the top piece or the rear floor part.

I knew that I didn't want the any overhang off the back of the chassis. So with the second part of the floor resting in place, I made a rough mark where I wanted the back to end, just behind the round detail.

I grabbed the saw and cut the section apart before sanding the edge smooth. I didn't glue it in place right away though. A quick mock up of the vertical back plate showed I'd have to get rid of some of the guide pieces - the image above shows where I removed one. Once I'd tidied this removal up, the floor was glued in.

I added a couple of pieces of sprue across the floor. This is to stop the vertical plate from moving and to give it something else to glue on to.

I also glued in a piece on the back of the crew compartment. After a bit of careful manoeuvring, it should support the top armour piece. I could have probably used a smaller bit of plastic but it was a convenient scrap lying around.

I measured out the top section and then cut out a piece of plasticard to fit. I used a plastic scriber this time round and it was much neater than my previous attempts at cutting plasticard.

A section of plasticard was also measured and cut out for the back as well.

I also measured and cut out some triangular pieces that will fill the gaps on the sides. These are big enough to sit on the guide pieces on the sides. I used a few square "things" I had lying around to make sure everything lined up nicely - magnets and a metal ruler were helpful!

Here is the compartment all glued together, but I haven't glued it to the chassis yet. Square things, the magnets and metal ruler were all very helpful again. I'm waiting on a set square to turn up to make things simpler next time round - it also makes it simpler for figuring out if my cuts are straight.

The new compartment is all very square and boxy which is kind of appropriate for Imperial vehicles.

I used a few bits of sprue to strengthen the new compartment. I may add some other bits if I feel the support is needed.

I quickly put the turret in place to get an idea of how the tank will look. Very imposing and the turret is quite large.

And here it is with the guns trying to kill something.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for some more updates where I add a little bit of detail to the box.

Comments and suggestions are always appreciated.
Sunday, 21 August 2016
184 - To Proxy or Not To Proxy

184 - To Proxy or Not To Proxy

I, like those before and those after me, started off my modelling obsession with 1/72 aircraft from World War 2. I built and painted an iconic Spitfire and then carried on with several other aircraft, including a Bristol Blenheim, IL-2 Sturmovik and a nice modern Panavia Tornado. Once the Warhammer virus had taken over, I have never gone back to military models - partly due to the need for realism and partly due to preferring the sci fi element.

Recently though, I've been looking at military kits to act as proxies. Zzzzzz at Devos IV modified an Empress Miniature Warrior (about half way down the link) in 1/56 scale for the liaison project a few years ago - which can be seen unpainted and painted. Size wise, the Warrior isn't far off a Chimera, so a good proxy match.

This led me to think about proxies for other vehicles and specifically for the Basilisk, which incidentally you can only get direct from GW online now - not even stocked in store! I only have the one Basilisk but want to add more and keep hovering over ordering a standard or FW Armageddon Pattern one. Instead of splashing out £30-£60 though, I did a little bit of searching trying to find a 1/56 or 1/48 or 1/35 scale self propelled gun/howitzer to see how they would scale against GW.

I settled on 1/35 scale as they seemed the closest to the Basilisk's 9.2cm width and most are close to the 20cm length of the GW model. I can''t find any height measurements for the proxies, but the Basilisk is about 9.3cm high. I went with enclosed self propelled howitzers so I can add GW stowage etc to try and make them look more 40k. Here are the options that are almost the same size:

Trumpeter Soviet 2S3 - 24.0cm long, 9.3cm wide and unknown height - £32.39 (eModels)

Trumpeter PLZ-83A - 19.3cm long, 9.5cm wide and unknown height - £23.39 (eModels)

Trumpeter Russian 2S1 - 21.2cm long, 8.2cm wide and unknown height - £34.19 (eModels)

Tamiya German M109A3G - 25.0cm long, 9.0cm wide and unknown height - £32.39 (eModels)

But then there are the absolute beast options which are longer mainly due to the gun barrel:

Trumpeter JGDF Type 99 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer - 32.0cm long, 9.4cm high and unknown height - £26.99 (eModels)

Meng Model Chinese PLZ05 - 31.2cm long, 9.7cm wide and unknown height - £35.99 (eModels)

Meng Model German Panzerhaubitze 2000 - 33.9cm long, 10.2cm wide and unknown height - £35.99 or £44.99 with extra armour as shown above (eModels)

Academy R.O.K. K9 - 33.0cm long, 10.1cm wide and 8.8cm high - £23.39 (eModels)

Trumpeter Russian 2S19 - 33.9cm long, 10.3cm wide and unknown height - £52.20 (eModels)

All pictures were used without permission (except my own Basilisk) and the prices were correct from eModels on 19/08/2016. eModels is a 10 minute drive from me so makes sense to use them and they had everything in stock.

Most of these tanks look similar as there really is only so much you can do when strapping a 152mm or 155mm gun to a tank body. I'm leaning a bit more towards the Russian 2S1 or the German M109A3G on the "smaller" tanks. And I don't have a preference on the big ones - as they are all suitably impressive - maybe the German or Chinese version.

So what are peoples opinions on proxies? And which of the alternative kits would you use?

Bear in mind that I very rarely actually game and that they are purely for building and painting.

Comments, ideas and choices are appreciated.
Saturday, 30 July 2016
183 - Sandpaper and Continual Punishment - H47 Artemia Hellhound: Part 3

183 - Sandpaper and Continual Punishment - H47 Artemia Hellhound: Part 3

I had a bit of spare time so continued with a tiny bit of progress on the Hellhound. In case you've missed the start of this, take a look at Part 1 & Part 2

The promethium tank has been glued in place and only required a small amount of filing on the bottom in order to make it sit flat. The track guards were also tidied up and glued in place.

The green stuff filling was given a quick going over with some fine sandpaper to remove the worst of the rough finish. I didn't spend ages on sanding so hopefully that won't come back to bite me later on. The turret is still loose and will not be glue in place - though I may magnetise the guide peg. I've still got to tackle that wonky barrel as well. Some careful bending will be required as it seems a bit twisted as well.

Not content with one ForgeWorld model to deal with, I bought another one. 

This time round though it's a discontinued Vanaheim Pattern Griffon Mortar. Not a bad find and still a cool looking model.

The Chimera base had been put together and the only resin that has been attached is the base plate/side thing. My only concern is the alignment as the resin isn't level with the inner parts of the Chimera which could make adding the gun shield tricky. Has anyone built one of these before and could offer tips?

Thanks for reading.
Thursday, 28 July 2016
182 - Glue and Green Stuff - H47 Artemia Hellhound: Part 2

182 - Glue and Green Stuff - H47 Artemia Hellhound: Part 2

I knew that putting the Hellhound back together was going to be a bit of a pain - see part 1 for more info. All of my dryfit tests showed there would be gaps in a lot of places which no amount of filing or cutting would easily get rid off. Instead, it would be a battle with green stuff and superglue.

The underneath of the tank was where some of the biggest issues were. I used superglue to attach everything and had to hold it together for a few minutes as the side sections kept trying to detach themselves from the hull.

Once the super glue had dried, I used some green stuff to try and fill in the rather large gaps. I'm not really sure where the tank has joined properly so I went with filling as much as I could. The biggest gaps were at the rear where the resin section was not as wide as the Chimera base. A bit of green stuff later and most of the gaps were taken care of - though I will have to revisit some.

Things on this side of the tank weren't quite as bad and only required s small amount of filling. There was a chunk missing at the front that was more challenging to fill, but I used the flat edge of my knife and the flat edge of a sculpting tool to get the green stuff as square as possible.

The other side was more difficult and there was a substantial gap between the resin and the track unit. Some of the green stuff fell through the gap and is now rattling around inside the tank which is a tad annoying. I took a bit more care after that and managed to get the gap filled in.

Where the resin top joins to the hull also needed some filling which wasn't too bad. At this point I had run out of mixed up green stuff so didn't completely fill the gap. Once everything has dried/cured I'll gently sand it down to tidy up my attempts.

As I know the clean up will never be amazing, I will cover up some of the issues with some track armour. To get all three pieces to fit right, some modification needs to be done to the medium piece. In the right hand picture there are some faint cuts where the piece will be sawn off.

A little bit of sawing later and I'm left with a flat (ish) edge which will connect nicely to the larger track guard.

A quick mock up using some blu tac to hold everything in place. Obscures the view of the green stuff quite well whilst giving the tank a bit of a more rugged look.

And here is the join. I need to smooth the edge's down to get a better fit before gluing anything in place.

The promethium tank will be attached next and I also need to try and straighten the Inferno Cannon.

Thanks for reading.
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