Monday 30 May 2016

Somua S-35: Arrowhead vs Pithead

I have been planning a 21st Panzer unit with captured French tanks for Normandy battles. I have a few Pithead models to experiment with before getting the full unit but as I got an unfinished Arrowhead S-35 in a recent job lot on ebay and I had finished the Pithead test S-35 I though I would do a post comparing the two models.

Pithead are 10mm metal models and are on the larger side of 10mm. Arrowhead are 1/144 scale multi piece metal kits and are sometimes a bit bigger than the plastic pre-painted 1/144 tanks from Takara or CanDo.

Size wise the two models are similar in height and width but the Pithead model is a bit shorter. The detail is a bit finer on the Arrowhead model but it is £3.99 compared to the Pithead £2.60.

Some individual shots of the Arrowhead model:

Some individual shots of the Pithead model:

Both look nice and to check out which is the most realistic on size I notice that the 15mm FOW vehicles had the S-35 a similar height and length to a Panzer III. So both S-35 are compared to a Takara Panzer II below; conclusion is the Arrowhead model is probably the closest to other 1/144 vehicles which is not a surprise given they are supposed to be 1/144. But there is not really that much in it.

So my conclusion? Well I guess you can say the Arrowhead model is a 'better' model but I am going to go with Pithead for the following reasons:

  • for the 21st Panzer I also need R35, H39 and Marder I and Arrowhead only do the H35 other than the S-35. Mix and match of the two makes is not a good idea so this is a killer reason;
  • Even if Arrowhead did the other tanks I need I would still go for Pithead. The extra cost to go with Arrowhead would be around £30+ for the unit and while that is not a huge amount, for a unit that would not get used that often it seems a waste. I am happy to spring for Arrowhead for main battle vehicles as they will get used enough, but not for such a scenario specific formation.

For an easy way to see all my WW2 posts check out the WW2 Summary page.

US 6 wheeled trucks

I bought some New Millennium Toys models a while back - US M5 halftracks German sd kfz 251 and sd kfz 7 halftracks and an American 6 wheeled truck. I did not know at the time they had holes in the bottom to fix the vehicles on to a plastic display stand. A bit of a pain but it is possible to cut away those pieces. The trucks I gave a wash of Games Workshop Agrax Earthshade to bring out the detail and tone the colours down, cut off the bits from the bottom then based them.

So here is a truck unit of six vehicles:

This is what the trucks started out like and as you can just about see on the finished based version the two pieces sticking out the bottom have been cut away

I also converted a few to make a US engineering platoon which you can check out here

For an easy way to see all my WW2 posts check out the WW2 Summary page.

British Tetrarch airborne light tank

Got one of these when I last ordered from Gramodels as a test case. I need to get hold of a Pendraken one (did not realise they did them until recently) before deciding which to go with. So a quick post to just look at the Gramodels version and I will do a comparison later on once I get a Pendraken version

To note Gramodels are 1/150 or 10mm scale resin kits.

A size comparison with a Takara Sherman to get a sense of the size of the Tetrarch.

For an easy way to see all my WW2 posts check out the WW2 Summary page.

Saturday 28 May 2016

KV 2 platoon

My Russian KV 2 unit uses the Metal troops 1/144 pre-painted models. I have given them a wash with Games Workshop Agrax Earthshade and closed the turret hatch on one but that is all. Metal Troops models are nice but very expensive and very difficult to get hold of now. I managed to get a couple on the way through Hong Kong once then was lucky enough to find three more on ebay for not too bad a price. All they are waiting for is some tank commander figures. Trouble is the only ones I can get at the moment are head and shoulders figures and it really needs a full body figure - like Arrowhead do for US, British and Germans but not Russians!

I have just finished an Arrowhead 1/144 metal kit of the KV 2 and hence I have done a post to compare the two makes - see later, but first some pictures on the Metal Troops models, 2 in green and 3 in winter white.

Now the Arrowhead model against the Metal Troops version. They are very similar but the metal troops model is a big larger on all dimensions, although not by much. The main difference is the surface detail - metal kits do not have as much surface detail cast on to the model as a resin or plastic model.

A quick comparison of the Arrowhead KV 2 with a Takara KV 1. The sizes match up very well indeed.

For an easy way to see all my WW2 posts check out the WW2 Summary page.

Friday 27 May 2016

3D printed Sherman Calliope

I previously posted on my Calliope unit where I had bought 3D printed turrets. These turrets were some of the first models CDG made and the the 3D printing gave a very bobbly finish - nice detail but a rough surface. When I was buying all the late war experimental stuff I decided to get some replacements with the whole tank 3D printed. The first batch of purchases came with one Calliope and it lacked detail and so much sprue around the rockets that it was impossible to remove without destroying the model. I was not impressed and cancelled the Calliope orders yet to ship (I was buying as they came up on ebay and they only listed one of a model type at once). They did send me one they had cleaned up to replace the first and it was a different earlier material that took the detail much better and obviously did not shatter in the same way when the sprue was removed - it was not just my clumsiness honest! I know they have changed the material yet again since I last purchased so who knows what the Calliope is like in terms of detail and ease of clean up but

So first the finished model of the latest fully 3D printed Calliope. Overall it actually came up very nicely:

And now with the full unit (I was buying more as the latest FOW book has 5 in a unit):

Comparing to the old ones which use a Takaras M4A3 hull and the CDG turret. The Sherman versions are different, the new one is based on the M4A2 and is very slightly narrower and higher than the Takara model but overall fits in well in terms of scale.

The Calliope turret is much smoother than the earlier ones and the detail on the top of the rockets has printed much better too.

For an easy way to see all my WW2 posts check out the WW2 Summary page.

Thursday 26 May 2016

28mm Napolenoic "Prussian" Dwarf Landwehr

Several years ago I got some Alternative Armies Flintloque fantasy Napoleonic 28mm figures. The game is a skirmish system based in an alternate reality where the French are Elves, the British are Orcs, the various Germans are Dwarves, the Austrians dogs and the Russian undead. Some of their early figures are really nice, particularly from the boxed scenario sets. I painted a few but did not get round to the rest but now I quite fancy doing some more as you don't need a lot for a game. The first one I did was Colonel Etienne Gerard of the 10th Crown Hussars.

I had bought quite a few which I  mostly got rid of and only keeping the first two boxed sets of rules, scenarios and figures. As I had already started painting a Krautian Dwarf Landwehr standard bearer I kept hold of that and here is the final painted figure. I gave him a flag from the site I use to print off my 6mm Napoleonic flag scaled to suit this figure - warflag