Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Upgrading to a 'big boy' mortar: 4.2" chemical mortar

Goodness me it must be Christmas as I'm actually following up on my promises! Yesterday I said that I would be building and painting a US 4.2" heavy mortar from scratch and then sharing the results with you. Well, as expected, that's exactly what I did and it's exactly what I'll do.

First, here's the mortar before paint. I built it from some random bits I have left from a 1:35 scale Abrams tank kit and plasticard. It was a little bit fiddly to put together but wasn't altogether complicated.

This image of a real heavy mortar is what I used to base most of the details on. It's 'more or less' accurate and I think it's fine for table-top standard. There seems to be some variety in the construction of these mortars from looking at different pictures so the little differences shouldn't be too bad. 

Here it is with some crew models. I've used crew from other guns that I had. They fit in fine except for the bazooka loader, who's bomb is far too small for the mortar. See the historical picture above for reference to shell sizes. Perhaps I'll scratch up a new loader if I have time. 

 I thought it would be of some use to compare the sizes of the small, medium and heavy mortars. I'm a little concerned that my heavy mortar is too big. Having said that, I don't think it's 'silly' too big, especially when looking at the reference photo above. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Rangers lead the way! Pt 2.

Last week I finally finished the Rangers, hooray! In fairness they were not that much of a struggle to paint and I'm very happy with the final result. I used Blacktree Designs US GI packs and painted them in Vallejo model colours. The final touches were made using Company B 5th Ranger decals and Gamer's Grass tufts.

All that's left for my Nationals army is the 4.2'' heavy mortar, which I scratch built today. I'll be painting it tonight and hopefully showing it off tomorrow. Fortunately, I've painted up plenty of crew for other guns so I don't need to make any new ones. Phew!
The complete squad comprises: 1x BAR, 2x SMG and a Sgt. with SMG

I really like the beard/stubble effect on these Rangers. I'll spend some time this week going over some men from other squads to include some facial hair!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Motorised Artillery: the M8 Scott

Unfortunately, progress has been slow on the remaining 4 Rangers due to a heavy week in work so I don't have an update on them today.

Instead, I was able to find some time to apply the final touches to my Rubicon M8 Scott. I sourced the crew from the Westwind half-track crew set. Originally, I was pretty annoyed when I received the Westwind crew because they are absolutely tiny in comparison with all my other 28mm miniatures so I wasn't able to use them on my own half-track. However, they do make good open-topped crew figures for Rubicon tanks as their diminutive size allows them to squeeze in nicely. Phew, finally a use for them!