Sunday, June 30, 2013

IJN Hiryu Shapeways model 1/1800

After completing USS Texas last week I had been putting off IJN Hiryu.  I decided to tackle her today.  I was initially reluctant as Carrier deck detail painting is not more forte.  Today only proved that.

When we last left IJN Hiryu she was primed and ready to go.
Shapeways models Primed
I found a nice drawing of the IJN Hiryu online to follow as a guide.
I decided an a neutral gray for the hull and deck that is not tan and used that as my base coat.
Initial base coat
As you can see in the picture about that the fine primer I used seems to have a bit of an issue accepting the acrylic paints and require a second coat.  This only seems to be an issue on larger flat areas.  I first noticed it this weekend when  was doing the WWII aircraft on the wings a fuselage.

IJN Hiryu Starboard View
I was able to get the the IJN Hiryu painted the way I wanted with basic colors pretty easily.  As I knew all along the trick would be getting the deck lines, aft red stripes and Red Circle in place.  I had anticipated this being an issue and at the suggestion of other modelers I purchased fine tip red and white paint markers.

IJN Hiryu Port View

I could not find a decal the proper size so I went ahead and free handed the Red circle.  I was able to do an OK job on the aft red stripes with a few touch ups.  Unfortunately the deck lines were just not happening for me.  The marker was just too thick.  I then resorted to a piece of wire as a applicator, but my hand was just not steady enough.  In the end I decided my IJN Hiryu will be unique for the time being and go without the deck lines.  I hesitated to even try, but at least I can say I gave a good try.

At some point I may give it a try again with a refined method or preferably hire it out to someone with a proven ability.
IJN Hiryu with "Team Poseidon" War at Sea Card 

Overall I am satisfied and for now it is definitely suitable for gaming and much better than what I had before.

USS Texas with "Team Poseidon" Card
I am much happier with the results I achieved on the USS Texas, but it certainly is not the models fault.
After completing two of these I can assure you it will not be long before I place my next Shapeways order.  I will just likely stay away from carriers or at least the ones that require much deck work.

 (USS Texas Link)

Shapeways is most certainly a viable alternative for 1/1800 scale ships now that WotC has bowed out of the market.  

If you are interested in acquiring either of these two Shapeways models you can find them here:

 Shapeways Tiny Thingamajigs by Matt Atkinson

Until next time.......Have a safe and happy July 4th!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

WWII Pacific planes 1/200 AIM (Part 3) Finished

After a late night last night and Household Six letting me put off the "honey do" list this AM I was able to finish my latest addition to the Pacific Air fleets.
All 20 Models 4 Val, 4 Zero, 8 SBD Dauntless, and 4 F4F Wildcats

Drop Tank on Zero

I really like the AiM models as they have more detail than I expected and painted up really nice.  I was very impressed that the Zeros included drop tanks and the SBD and Vals had bombs that were additional parts as opposed to molded on or none at all.

SDB Dauntless

The most impressive part were the decals.  I could not believe the level of detail for a 1/200 game model.  they include individual numbers many of which I could not initially see printed in white, but make all the difference when applied to the models.

The decals were also the most difficult and time consuming part of completing these models, but in the end very much worth it.

F4F Wildcat

The models themselves were $4/ea and a decal sheets for 3-4 planes was another $4 so essentially the total investment per plane is $5/ea plus time and effort in painting and detailing.  in the end I am very satisfied with the end product and highly recommend AiM to other gamers.

SBD Guadalcanal

This addition opens up many opportunities to my air combat games.  I can now put entire squadrons of SBD Dauntless in the air.  I have enough to do the majority of the pacific scenarios for CY6 or anything I can dream up for Wings of Glory or AAAF.

 While the decals are very historical I opted for some variations on my paint schemes giving me both green and gray VALs as well as Zeros.

Early War and Midway SBD

With the Americans I took some liberty as well.  The SBD were for Guadalcanal and USS Enterprise Scouting 6.  I opted to make a couple of the SBD early war.  There were only enough Guadalcanal decals for 3 of the Wildcats so the 4th also took on and early war scheme as well.

Wildcat Early War and Guadalcanal

Until Next time.....Watch your Six!

Friday, June 28, 2013

WWII Pacific planes 1/200 AIM (Part 2)

For anyone that was in doubt 1/200 is my WWII scale.

Making progress on these models:

All have been trimmed, washed, primed and assembled.

These are the first fighters I have ordered from AiM previously B-25s and BF 110Cs.  Very impressed that bombs and drop tanks were included. WoG models do not even have these.

Starting to paint tonight. ;)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WWII Pacific planes 1/200 AIM (Part 1)

I recently placed a larger order from Armaments in Miniature (AiM) to round out my WWII pacific air forces. 
4 VALs, 4 ZEROs, 8 SBD Dauntless, 4 F4F Wildcats

I picked 1/200 scale because I play Wings of War/Wings of Glory which is done in 1/200.  In the last year I also started playing CY6 and Axis and Allies Air Force.  Instead of collecting planes in multiple scales I simply use my WoG models augmented with 1/200 models from other manufactures like AiM and AIR200.

I really like AiM because they are inexpensive and light weight.  They also come with a base screw so they mount on stands easily on stands with magnets which my stands already have.

This order will allow me o play several CY6 scenarios from the Pacific theater.

Next up I will trim the excess flashing, wash, paint and then decal.

more to come......

Monday, June 24, 2013

Is there such a thing as too many games?

Recently I discovered the answer is yes.  Heresy, I know, but was time to finally admit that my game collecting was bordering on hording.  Now that Ares has taken over Wings of Glory and are releasing new sets on a regular basis along with the upcoming Sails of Glory (Age of Sail game) kick starter which will be out this summer I decided it was time to purge some of my collection.

As a result I evaluated my game collection and decided to sell off about 1/3 of my collection.  I loved them all, but I only have time to play so much.  I figured it was best to find some of them a new home.

The ones that did not make the cut included:

Complete Avalanche Press  Second World War at Sea collection- I love these games, but most were not punched.  I had purchased them with the thought of using them for Naval Campaigns.  The collector in me took over and soon I had   almost everything available.

Complete Avalanche Press Great War at Sea Collection- For the same reasons as above I just could not justify keeping these sitting on the shelf when they were not being played.

Tide of Iron.  A great Game system, but since I also own Memoir 44 and Axis and Allies Minis it was redundant and just did not get played that often.  In fact the Normandy expansion was still not punched.

I also sold off some of my extra 10mm Gordon & Hague ACW collection, extra Wings of War planes and a balloon set as well as some older Axis And Allies titles and Avalon Hill Boxed games.

All in all I would say I did pretty well.  I did not expect to get current retail prices, but several of the titles were very collectible especially some of the AP games.  In total I netted over $1000 which more than paid off my Sails of Glory order and padded the hobby account for future purchases. ;)

Bulk of current collection
My collection is now reduced, but I am comfortable that all will see some action in one way or another in the coming years.  I have also decided that post X-mas each year I will evaluate my collection to determine if some titles need to find a better home where they will see more use.

My collection now centers around historical minis such as Wings of Glory, Memoir 44, Axis and Allies Minis (Naval and Land) and the new X-wing game.  I have also retained several classic Avalon Hill titles along with other classic board games you can see pictured.

So yes for me there is such a thing as too much, the trick was finally realizing it.  We will see what the collection looks like a year from now.

Until Next time......Happy Gaming!

Wings of Glory at The Last Square Game day 22 June 2013

This past Saturday The Last Square in Madison, WI hosted a benefit game day.  Two of my favorite games Wings of Glory and X-wing were on the schedule.  Unfortunately due to other commitments I was not able to make it until mid afternoon just in time to get some of Karl's famous brats and take part in a four on four WoG melee in the skies.

We had several rookie pilots so we stuck to the standard rules and organized a four on four contest.  It started as two Camels and two SPAD vs. two Albatross and two Folker DRI.  I teamed up with the Germans in my new Albatross.  Each time a pilot was downed they regenerated with a new plane and started at the table edge.  We were playing for tickets to put into the door prize drawing.  Each time you downed an enemy you earned two tickets.

It started out pretty even with two separate battles forming at each end of the table.

Soon the German's gained the advantage downing a Camel.  A Entente pilot made a crucial error and maneuvered away from the action allowing the German's to have a brief 4-2 advantage.

The British and American pilots were determined to be accounted for and soon downed my wing man in his trusty DR1. Unfortunately for them they had taken too much damage.  I was hot on the tail of a Camel when it limped off out of the battle area with only 1 point remaining denying me the kill .  My fellow flyers downed another camel and the odds were now 4-2 again.
As time was drawing to a close there was one remaining SPAD which was able to get off a lucky round downing a final German and then made a hasty retreat out of the battle area.

Overall a German Victory downing 4 Entente flyers to 2 losses.  Most importantly fun was had by all.

Until next time, Watch your six.........

USS Texas Shapeways model 1/1800

Now that I am back home and have time again for hobbies it is time to start sharing.

This is one of my recent projects.  Those that follow or collect WotC War at Sea know that it is not likely that another set will be done by WotC.  As a results the fans have taken the game into their own hands and produced a set of 72 card s(Team Poseidon) which includes many units WotC never got around to.  Another set of 72 cards (Team Neptune) is due out this summer.  You can find out more information on the cards at the foruMINI a site dedicated to Axis and Allies Naval, Land and Air Minis games.


The original intent for models was to use proxies or scratch built models.  Now with the advent of 3D printing gamers are now designing highly detailed units in the unique 1/1800 scale as well as other war gaming scales and offering them for sale through a company called Shapeways which does 3D print on demand.

Now instead of War at Sea being a CMG players can order the hard to find or overly pricey ones through Shapeways.  The only catch is you have to paint them yourself.

I had postponed trying Shapeways for several months, but finally decided to test the waters with USS Texas and IJN Hiryu after seeing the results from others.


Models as they arrived:


I ordered in White Strong Flexible (WSF) material which is the least expensive.  Based on reading others reports I was expecting them to be a bit grainy which they were, but not as bad as others had made it seem.

To "smooth" them out I first washed them.  Dried them completely.  Then applied several coats of clear coat to seal them as WSF can be a very absorbent material.

Once satisfied I primed them using Testor's fine spray primer.

The primer really did the trick.  I noticed a couple of grains on the hulls which easily scraped off before applying the final of 3 coats of primer.

I then painted the model as I would an other.  I have to say I am very pleased with the results as it fits in very well with my collection of WotC models.


Finally with the Team Poseidon card:

Next up will be IJN Hiryu, but that may take some time as I figure out how I am going to do the flight deck details.

Until Next time.....