Monday, November 14, 2016

Product Review: Trenchworx WW1 Mk.IV Tank

I bought this kit for my planned German Revolution project as Freikorps armored support with a gift certificate from Operation Sting provided by Trenchworx. The model was shipped very quickly (about 3 days) and also arrived quickly (another 3 days). As with all Trenchworx products, the model comes packaged in its own box, wrapped very well in bubblewrap with clear, detailed instructions. 

First impressions were pretty good. For a resin kit, it's fantastic to have some clear instructions, making this kit very approachable for new modelers. The resin looks and feels nicely cast, with little to no noticeable mold release. The components consist of a main body, two track assemblies, two Male sponsons, two Female sponsons, and the various detail parts.


Assembly was fairly straightforward however, there are VERY prominent mold lines running along the inner edge of each track assembly. In the picture below, you can see the mold line. This is, by far, my biggest issue with this model because, to fix it, requires cutting and sanding each individual track section to be level. This eliminates the fine riveting detail on each track section and takes forever to complete.


The biggest redeeming feature of this model are the magnetized, interchangeable side sponsons. This enables the modeler to quickly and easily switch the tank to either Male (cannon-armed), Female (MG-armed), or Hermaphrodite (one cannon, one MG). It should be noted that the Hermaphrodite version of the Mk. IV is highly contentious among scale modelers, as no visual evidence to their existence is known.



Another issue with this kit is the tiny muffler exhaust pipe. Despite being the smallest piece of the kit, it isn't attached to any sprue and I, inevitably, lost it. It would also have been nice to receive a pair of dorsal rails for the main body. These were fitted to many Mk. IVs to carry logs or fascines as anti-ditching devices.



In the end, the completed kit is nice and the scale seems correct (total dimensions are ~6"L x 2"W x 1.75"H). However, without the certificate, I wouldn't have been happy to pay $40 for this kit. Let's be honest - for a 1:56 scale kit, $40 is extremely overpriced, especially considering that many 1:35 scale Mk. IVs are the same price.

Pros:

  • Interchangeable, magnetized sponsons to change to Male, Female, & Hermaphrodite versions
  • Poseable MG and cannon
  • Overall nice detailing and scale

Cons:
  • Very prominent mold lines on tracks
  • Exhaust pipe has no sprue and is easily lost
  • Lack of dorsal rails
  • VERY expensive

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Death on the Danube: Lorried Hussar Infantry Squad

After the mad rush to complete my Hungarians earlier this year for Bolt Action Nationals, I hadn't really planned to do anymore regular infantry squads. But, inevitably I came across two packs of GWM Germans for under $10 and snatched it up. I painted these troops to represent lorried Hussar (mobile) infantry, using the Rubicon Opel Blitz I had painted up earlier this year for their transport. With the inclusion of the WW1-era Bergmann SMG and MG08/15, these could represent either very early (pre-1940) Hussars during the Slovakian invasion or those of late 1944-45 when pre-war stocks were raided to resupply troops during the Soviet invasion.

Uniform color is VMC English Uniform with some midtone Green added. To distinguish them from the Honved (regular) infantry squads, I added more green to the uniform. They are also recognizable by their bright "cornflower" blue collar tabs, unlike the green collar tabs of Honved. Kit is mostly VMC Red Leather, with some Territorial Biege for canvas and Reaper Dark Leather for strapping. Helmet color is VMC Brown Violet, "whitewash" done with Reaper Misty Grey/White reverse crippling.

Weapons are Pavement, highlighted with Pewter Grey, extreme highlights in Light Grey, then washed with P3 Armor Wash. Wood is VMC German Brown, with highlights/grain done in Biege. Glass is Admiral Blue, gem effect highlights in Cool Blue, flare in White.




Additionally, I touched up the paint on all the bases of my Hungarian infantry and re-did the snow to make it look a bit more 'fluffy'. Below is a picture of the force I'll be bringing to Operation Sting this weekend, meant to represent the fledgling Szent Laszlo Division in the early weeks of the Siege of Budapest, along with the last of the Panther tanks from German Feldherrnhalle Division for armored support.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Another 15mm Soviet Commission

Continuing with this year's tradition of Flames of War Soviet commissions, here is (likely) my final one for the year. This time it's an objective marker diorama of some Soviet cavalry seizing a knocked out Sdkfz 251, a platoon of captured German halftracks for Spetsnaz commandos, and a Zis-5 Pioneer Truck. Minis are by Peter Pig, halftracks are PSC, and the Zis is from Zvezda.

The halftracks are all painted in similar colors and schemes to lend an air of continuity between the pieces (Soviets seize captured German vehicles and put them back into service as Trojan Horses). Basecoat is VMC Middlestone with soft-edge blotch camouflage done in VMC German Dark Camo Green and Testors Acryl Rotbraun, this is then washed with Reaper Umber Wash. Tires are Pavement with a P3 Armor Wash, tracks are Pavement base with a heavy wash of Testors Acryl Rust and a light drybrush of GW Boltgun Metal.

Russian cavalry figures are all VMC Russian Uniform, Wehrmacht figures are all VMC German Uniform; both get a liberal wash of GW Ork Green. Stahlhelms are done in VMC Brown Violet, Flesh is VMC Flat Flesh washed with Secret Weapon Flesh Wash (a surprisingly good wash which has a big problem settling in the bottle, unfortunately).




On the captured halftracks, an Testors Acryl Russian Armor Green is painted over the portions where there would have been Balkankreuz. This is done to much the earlier Russian Tankovy I completed for the same client. 



Last but not least, is the trusty Zis-5 Pioneer Truck. This is a stock Zvezda 1/100 Zis-5 with some stowage and barrels from the Battlefront Stowage sprue added to the truckbed. To differentiate this from the AFVs of the previous Soviet commission, I painted this a Brown Violet with a very heavy GW Ork Flesh wash for a very deep, mid-tone green. To simulate the effects of harsher weathering on the wooden truckbed, I heavily drybrushed this section with a lighter Brown Violet/White mix. The truckbed canopy is VMC German Dark Camp Green. Tires are my usual Pavement with P3 Armor Wash, headlights are done using Reaper HD Yellow and Pure White for a jeweled effect. The windows are Admiral Blue, with a Admiral/Cool Blue midtone, and Cool Blue highlight with Pure White jeweled effect.

Decals are all I-94, dirt weathering using Secret Weapon Dark Earth dry pigments.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Canyon Diablo: Completed Hell St. Buildings

It only took several years but I'm happy to say I've completed many of the Hell St. buildings for Canyon Diablo. First up is the small Atlantic & Pacific telegraph office and the "Cootchy Clatch" Saloon under construction....


The livery and stage coach station...


The "Road to Ruin" Saloon...


The General Supply Store...


The Land Office...


The Bank...


and finally, the Poultry Seller.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

New EoG Logo Designs!

If things look a little different from previous visits, it's because my good friend over at Dzign House Graphics sat down and made me a cleaner, more refined logo design for both the blog, Facebook page, and various forum handles. Duane is amazingly talented and customer-focused and I highly recommend using his service if you are looking for graphic design work. It constantly amazes me the connections one makes among so many talented people in the gaming community.