Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Monday, August 20, 2018

WWII Project - Another Sherman Part II

I sat down to paint and couldn't find the reference book I needed or the technique book I had been working from (I found them later on sitting on top of a rollway set of drawers that all my pigments and enamels are kept in). So in order to get something done I broke out the Rubicon M4A3 Sherman and started on that. First off there are two choices of machine guns, the gamer version and the modeler version. I opted for the modeler version. It is definitely less "beefy" than the gamer version and definitely smaller than the Trenchworx version.

During this session I managed to complete the turret. I decided to build the M4A3 with the T23 turret (two large hatches). It went together quite easily at this point. I grabbed the Trenchworx T23 turret from the M4A1 to compare and they are quite similar. I find the resin Trenchworx T23 turret to have much sharper details and I think I like their .50 cal MG much better. However, the two turrets are different. The Trenchworx version has lifting lugs on the sides towards the back while the Rubicon version lacks these. The Rubicon version has the rack for the MG on the back though. So kind of a toss up at this point.
This .50 cal MG seems almost delicate

The completed Rubicon T23 Turret

And matched up against the Trenchworx T23 turret

This is a better comparison shot, here you can see that the turrets are almost identical in size, but the Rubicon lacks some sharpness in detail, especially on the interior side of the commander's hatch.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


My wife and I had tickets for the Broncos vs Vikings on Saturday night. While the Broncos got crushed (didn't break my heart since I'm a Packers fan) we had a good time. Our last two visits we sat way up in the stands (seriously, like four rows from the top for the Packers vs Broncos game last year) so this time we opted for something a little closer to the field. Its amazing how your perspective of the game changes.

Section 135, Row 38, Seats 15 and 16

The horse statues outside the stadium

Monday, August 13, 2018

WWII Project - Another Sherman

A shipment from Rubicon Models arrived over the weekend. Another addition to the Sherman collection. If you have kept up with the posts on my Reaper Con Sherman entry I have been having issues with the Company B decals. I really ordered this one to snag the decal set as they are not yet available separately from Rubicon.

I am quite impressed with this kit though, it is one of the most current and its a very complete model. You can build either the M4A3 76mm or the M4A3E8 or "Easy Eight" version also armed with the 76mm gun but in this case with the a muzzle break. That means that there are a whole host of extra parts with this one. Two turrets (but unfortunately only one turret base so there is no way to make use of both of them), two 76mm guns (one with and one without the muzzle break, and a 75mm gun would have been a nice option as well)and two full sets of suspension components. There are even crewman with this one, although I'm not terribly impressed with them, they definitely lack a bit of animation. There are a few stowage components but not in any serious quantity so if you want to deck it out you will need to find a couple of other sources for those. Rubicon makes an Allied Stowage "kit" but it still doesn't provide enough options or that gypsy look that many US tanks tended to have.

Value Gear Model Building Details has some sets that they claim can be mixed with 1/48th and 1/56th scale vehicles. Debris of War has sets that are specifically designed for 1/56th scale and I find those intriguing. I'll think about getting something after the bank account has recovered from the latest round of house renovation.

The bonus side is that the kit actually came with two sets of decals so I can use them on the Trenchworx M4A1 and still have a full set for this M4A3! I'm seriously thinking about whether I can build this one fast enough to enter it as well.

Rubicon really does a great job with their instructions.

Monday, August 6, 2018

ReaperCon Projects - The Sherman Part III

More work was completed on the M4A1 76mm Sherman. It was time for the wash stage and a certain amount of cleanup that goes with it. This is a brown wash designed for a green base coated vehicle, i think its the AK one. Quite frankly I forgot to take a look at the bottle, it could also be from Ammo.

I figured that I would just go ahead and wash over the big stars which would pretty much completely remove them from the surface. I'll go back after these steps and reapply decals. The other issue I'm having is still on the driver's side of the tank. I have really messed up a section of the upper hull and I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do about it. I might try some steel wool and see what if I can change the finish enough to at least fix it. 

I applied the brown wash over the entire vehicle and then, using thinner, I slowly cleaned up the major surfaces leaving the wash, primarily, in the various nooks and crannies. It looked pretty good at the end of the session and I have gone in and started a little detail painting.

Just get it on there! I probably could have been a lot neater with this application and saved myself a lot of work

First pass at cleaning up the wash, looking pretty good and the tones added by the oils are starting to come back through.

Happy enough at this point to start a little detail painting
Of course on this side that spot is really showing up, I need to contemplate what to do here, I'm not going to strip down the whole vehicle at this point. I might strip this section, mask it off and reapply with the airbrush.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

ReaperCon Projects - Small Steps II

I had the opportunity to get a little more work in on the M4A1 last night. I started with the oil process to add more tones to the vehicle. This is simply add spots of oil colors and streaking them down the sides of the vehicle. If the streaks are to evident you simple keep streaking them down with the mineral spirits. Its an interesting process but I made a huge mistake on the right side, and this shows the quality difference between the I-94 decals and the Company B decals. I accidentally drag a brush full of mineral spirits across the Company B star and it started to disintegrate, you can see the effects in the picture. The I-94 decal held up just fine, no ill effects.

Now I have some things to fix, as something is cockeyed with the paint on the left side. Not quite sure what I'm going to do about that but at this point I just need to continue forward.

The evening's paint selection

The initial streaking and the disintegrating Company B decal

To many green dots and to concentrated on the center and the driver's side

Ruined the star on the turret as well, both sides, but you can see how the streaking adds different tones to the surface

The palete at the end of the evening

Monday, July 30, 2018

ReaperCon Projects - Small Steps

With all the stuff going on with the renovation I'm finding it difficult to get any serious painting time in on these projects. I may be reduced to a single ordnance entry, although I will try to get at least a single painter entry done. Will see how it goes. Here is an update on the progress (or lack there of):

Getting a few decals on is all I managed to accomplish. And they are going to need more work. There are two brands of decals here. The name "Hawkeye" is from a set made by I-94 for 20mm. Those are great decals. The stars are from Company B, and I'm not pleased with those at all. I give them another treatment and see if I can get rid of the silvering but I'm not confident. I may swipe some Rubicon decals from the Jeep kits and get rid of these.

Monday, July 23, 2018


We needed a break from everything that was going on so off we went to the Shakespeare Festival at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

We saw a production of Cyrano de Bergerac at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theater. Its a beautiful area originally built in 1938. The Festival is now in its 61st year. The production was fantastic and we had a great time. A wonderful way to break up a hectic week of work.

The sun was still shining as we got to our seats, although there were thunderstorms to the south of us.

Intermission time and a look at the set in after the sun has gone down. There was a pretty brilliant half moon visible through most of the performance.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Kickstarter Loot - Mantic Terrain Crate - The Battlefield Crate

Here is the last of the crates I picked out for my three crate deal; the Battlefield Crate. This is definitely more along the scenery line with fences and hedges rather than a bunch of craters and trenches (although those would have been good too). I picked this one simply to get my hands on the stone fences. I like the looks so much I picked up another box of fences with one of my two add-ons.
While I didn't really like the overall composition of the contents after opening it up I can see that some of it is going to be more useful than I expected.

A quick look at the Battlefield Crate;
Again, the box is identical to the others with the exception of the tag

Table of "Contents"

The classic ziplock bag shot

The Tents; there are three bags of tents. From my perspective the large tent is particularly useless but the rest of this should work out quite nicely for calamity.

Scatter; one bag of scatter I would have liked two. One the other hand I believe this gives me three bags of scatter total so Calamity will not lack for obstacles for gun fights.

The Wagson; one bag of this. Again the wagon itself is pretty useless and the horse is a bit small but the rest of it is quite useful.

The Wood Fences; two bags of this and I certainly could have used a third. Unfortunately there are only three sections of wood fence which makes this set a little small to be truly useful. The hedge is a nice addition, but I have no need of the large three stake section. The signpost could be quite useful too.

The Stone Fences; three bags of this. With enough walls to make at least a square area I think this one is  a great value. More appropriate for my Normandy battlefields than for Calamity though. My British and American Paras will be glad to have some very solid cover.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kickstarter Loot - Mantic Terrain Crate - Dungeon Crate

This morning I'm showing off the Dungeon Crate, the second of the three Mantic Terrain Crates I selected from their Kickstarter. While the Town Crate was a pretty easy pick for me I really didn't decide on the Dungeon Crate until the end. What really got my attention was the abandoned mine stuff. One package was not really worth the effort but when it shot up to including three packs at the end it made the Dungeon Crate an easy selection.

One of the typical complaints in the Kickstarter comments was the amount of redundant packs that were included in each crate. I found that to be one of the nicer features. I was far more interested in quantity of some of the stuff rather than variety, the abandoned mine equipment and the scatter terrain being a good cases in point.

Here is the Dungeon Crate
Same box as the Town Crate, complete with cardboard dividers, just with a different label

The contents sheet printed front and back

Yet another pile of ziplock bags filled with terrain goodness

The Treasury, there are two packs of this. the only piece of real interest to me is the pile of trunks on the left. That could probably be used in and around Calamity's railroad station.

This pile of armor and shields is pretty neat.

The trunks, they lack little piles of gold around them so that makes them much more useful. The amount of rolled and unrolled parchment might require a bit of work, although likely no one would notice during a game.

The Library, is the same one that appear in the Town crate. I have lots of shelves and desks now!

The Scatter, a really nice assortment of scatter, the crates, barrals and logs make this very useful in Calamity. There are two packs of scatter.

Wizard's Study, only one pack of this. The shelf is a duplicate from the library set and probably the most useful pieces from my point of view are the mirror and the chair.

Abandoned Mine; three pieces of this and everything, even the big crystal, is pretty usable. I just wish there was more track.

Close ups

Trips, one pack of these and probably the least useful pack out of the whole set for me.
I suspect that the mine equipment will be first on my list to paint. I can envision a lot of rusty equipment occupying the mines below Calamity. One of the two add-ons I purchased was another set of the abandoned mine equipment which came with two more packs. that gives me a total of five to work with.