Archive for the ‘ Model Review ’ Category

Sd.Kfz. 251/3 (Funkpanzerwagen)

Building, painting and collecting armies is great but in order to complete the unit you sometimes run into important vehicles or parts that are not made in the appropriate scale. I was unable to find a suitable Sd.kfz. 251/3 command vehicle for my 2 armoured infantry companies. I decided to scratch build using a couple of Revel Sd.kfz. 251/1s.

I built a small fixture so that when I made the antenna from aluminum rod they were the same size.

Simple fixture

Italeri Kit 7010 Dodge WC51

After all the building, painting and pictures of my German Army I thought I had better finish off my American 4th Armored division before I start the next battle.  Most of Combat Command A and B are complete except for the second Armored infantry company (pictures coming soon). The 3 infantry platoons were built and painted but the A/T platoon and headquarters were still on the shelves. Unfortunately, when I was moving a couple of years ago the 3 infantry platoons were also roughly handled and those that were complete were damaged. After building and priming the halftracks and 2 1/2 ton trucks I started building two Italeri Dodge WC 51s to add to the headquarters.

The first thing that strikes you when you look at the box is the size of the box and the great picture of the vehicle rushing through a storm. On the back of the box is several nice colored pictures with markings.

Italeri 7010 1.72

The box is a little deceiving and way oversized for the contents inside.  I remember the smaller Esci box was not even filled when I built my first 2 Dodges 15 years ago. The original Esci # was 8039 U.S. Light Truck WC 51 3/4 ton. Actually the only thing that fits the box is the instructions.

Dodge truck 2

As with all old Ecsi kits from the early to mid 70s there is a lot of detail on the finished kit. This one is no exception. In fact for the size of the model it is probably a little overkill but overall it looks really nice when complete. The detail may be nice but the mold is showing its age. The amount of flash and the number of sink holes on this particular example took a lot of work and extra time to fix.

Dodge truck 3

The instructions are fairly straight forward and clear except on some of the steering components. Also there are errors that I found on the springs and the front pulley mounting which is not clear. The picture below shows just how detailed this kit is.

Dodge truck 4dodge truck 6

More sink holes even on A surface parts like the tarp. Some penetrating all the way through. More putty and sanding.

Dodge truck 5

Finished model. Now for the painting.

Dodge truck 7

The base coat I use for the American Army is a mix of about 90% Tamiya’s XF62 and about 10% Vallejo 915 Deep yellow. Dodge truck 8

Finished model ready to join the Armored Infantry Battalion HQ.

Dodge truck 10Dodge Truck 9

Overall a great little addition to the American army. It is getting hard to find these so I was fortunate to purchase enough for my requirements several years ago. It would be nice if the mold was refurbished if anyone decides to reissue this kit.



Airfix QLD & QLT Review

The choice

I first noticed this truck set by Airfix while picking up some paint at my local hobby shop. At first glance I had images of old Airfix models that I had built in my childhood and that have been in production for many years. Typically I only buy Airfix kits for soft skin vehicles that are not made by other manufacturers. In other words, in my armies they are generally a cheaper fill in to complete a unit. Let’s face it, an armoured division has to be mobile right? Yes but at what cost? A transport and resupply truck isn’t exactly the star of the battlefield. Last year I purchased several of the IBG Models QLDs, QLTs and other trucks made in Poland. These are great kits in huge, virtually empty boxes at a price that leaves your wallet gasping for air. With this in mind I looked at a few internet sites that have more details of the Airfix Kit and thought I would take a chance.


Note the two large IBG boxes in the back each with one vehicle versus the Airfix box with two vehicles inside.

Inside the box


The first thing you notice about the Airfix kit is the quantity of parts and level of detail. There is very little flash and the parts fit together very well. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. It only took me about 3 hours to make each of the two trucks in the kit. They were a pleasure to build without too many fiddly parts like the IBG models.


Airfix (on the left) IBG (on the right)


Although the Airfix trucks are slightly smaller, being 1/76 scale versus the IBG trucks at 1/72, the size difference it is not significant enough to outweigh the cost and detail of the Airfix versions. The size difference would be only noticeable if you mix both IBG and Airfix in the same unit. Overall the Airfix set is a welcome addition to the soft skin vehicles in 20mm and at least a viable option to the more expensive IBG trucks. Now when is someone going to come out with a Bedford MWD GS 4×2 15cwt truck in 1/72 or 1/76?

28mm Napoleonics a step up or down?

Most of my 40 years in wargamming and miniature collection has been dedicated to 1/72 scale models.  I have collected and still have Napoleonic in 1/72 and 15mm but always eyed with envy the 25 to 28mm lineup. When Victrix and Perry Miniatures came out with their new plastic Napoleonic I couldn’t resist any longer.  There are many advantages and disadvantages to a 28mm collection. Let’s start with some of the pros and cons of a larger scale.

Scale of Battles – one may say that even 1/72 scale is still too big of a scale to get the true feel of a division matching on the field. This may be true but on a 12 x 6 foot table there is ample room to focus in on attacking an enemy’s flank without having the center involved. In 1/72 I usually build an army based on a company represents a battalion. This gives a really good impression that there are actually troops in the battalion and allows for it to take actual casualties without an instant morale check. For example I can easily fit my 1200 civil war soldiers on the table with room to manoeuvre.

Once you migrate to a 28mm army you may have to downsize your army from division to brigade level or downsize your actual unit. I understand and appreciate why wargammers make their units smaller and smaller but really; a battalion with 20 to 25 (1:30 ratio)figures? In my humble opinion, 20 – 25 soldiers around a set of colours looks like the colour guard! I find that even a 1:20 ratio looks a little thin but it does give you more tactical options. Based on my preferences, I have decided to stick to my company equals battalion standard. So for example, my British Peninsular army that equals anywhere between 40 and 100 men in a company. Why the variation you may ask? Well manpower replenishment was difficult in the Peninsular so through battle casualties, disease and desertion regiments were generally under strength. My 3rd Buffs regt. has 75 men including officers and NCOs. This really equates to a 1:10 ratio. I am willing to sacrifice large-scale divisional operations for bigger units. So my choice of scale will lead me to very large-scale skirmishes or small brigade level battles.

Painting and Detail – no doubt that the reason I went to 28mm for the Napoleonics is the detail. The uniforms and colours are amazing. I don’t mind that my WWII soldiers have a minimum amount of painting detail. I am not going to spend hours painting eyes on a soldier so small that you will never see it on the table. It is the combination of tanks, soldiers and other weapons that make the impression on the field not the individual detail of one soldier. 28mm on the other hand, lends itself to the detail of the individual soldier. To me, once I paint eyes on a soldier that soldier becomes a personality. I have even researched the officers names of the 3rd Buffs and have named mine accordingly. Again these preferences will lead me or constrain me to skirmishes or small brigade level battles.

I am looking forward to hear from other wargamers as to your opinion on the subject.