The IDF was the first army to use heavy APCs and I figured it would be interesting to explore their tactical use on the table top… so given I’ve got some suitable figures knocking about I turned to my 3D printer and went to Wargaming 3D and bought this file
The Achzarit was built on the chassis on the T55 tank, the Israelis had captured so many of them in the 73 wars that they decided to convert them to APCs given the losses suffered by their M113s in Lebanon in 1982. The turret was removed, the engine turned sideways which allowed for a back door to be fitted and a whopping 14 extra tons of armour added. They were first used in combat in 2002. In IDF service it is slowly being replaced by the Namer APC that is purpose built on the Merkava IV chassis.
The 3D printer allowed this project to be done affordably given that the kit is either available from Butlers Printed Models for a rasonable price or Cromwell in resin for a high price, assuming you can get hold of it anyway. Printing time was about 18 hours at the finest resolution and some of the detail is a little over scaled after scalling it up so much but it is more than adequate for my purposes.
First up is the compound that I made with the parts from Maenoferren which he had 3D printed. I’m really pleased with how this one turned out. Should get lots of use from Colonial through to 21st century. A big thanks to him again.
I also got some paint on the last bits of Ainsty Casting‘s Sewer section that I had sat about undercoated for at least a couple of years.
It is a nice system don’t get me wrong but it has been a bit of a white elephant costs wise. Today, knowing what I now know I’d go for printed mats but there is still an tangible tactile fun manipulating the resin blocks, not dissimilar to Lego really.
For a couple of things I’ve done in the past with it see here and here.
One of the best things about being a gamer is the real sense of community that there is, one of the best things about the internet is that it connects people together who share interests but otherwise wouldn’t meet due to geographical separation. Thanks to the generosity of two bloggers I’ve got some more goodies to play with.
Man of Tin was kind enough me a sheet of stickers that I was unable to locate in my home town. These will be turned into signs for Zombie apocalypse games as soon as I’ve stocked back up on plasticard.
Maenoferren generously gave me some bits that he has made with his 3D printer that he has no use for.
I had some spare foamcore and an MDF base lying around so knocked up this quick compound with the two houses.
I also put some paint on the Sci Fi terrain bits, specifically the chemical tank too.
These sorts of gestures really are the best and both brightened my day immeasurably when they arrived- many thanks to both bloggers, It is something I fully intend to pay forward.
As an aside the quality of the prints is really good, far better than the stuff I bought from Shapeways some years ago. So good in fact that I’m going to save up for my own printer- I really think it will be the future of the hobby (amongst other things) so it will be good to get in early for once I think.
Some more from my shed- some assorted bits that I had lying around finally finished, all in 20mm too…
A set of WW2 British Commandos, these are from Wartime Miniatures (seemingly defunct now). These ones are wearing the Denison camo jacket, a similar pattern to the airbourne one, making them emminently suitable for a game set on Walcheren Island as part of the operations to clear the Schelt esturary. Shame that it looks like more poses with different weapons won’t be forthcoming.
Sticking with WW2 we have these:
A small group of Honved (Hungarian Army) from this set of plastics. I did these as paint testers for a bigger Crossfire/ Megablitz project, more of which later. Not the best sculpts in the world but they paint up very nicely.
Staying with plastics I have done these:
A set of figures by Dark Alliance inspired by the popular S.T.A.L.K.E.R. PC games. I’ve got several of each pose in the box so for the first lot I picked out a few poses to do with a winter theme (I’ve a fondness for winter basing at the moment). Not sure what I’ll do with them but they make their way into a game some how.
Sticking with PC games I made this:
A set of firing range targets after seeing similar ones in the co-op shooter Insurgency that I played with friends a while back. Bits of foam, ground texture and scrap from the bits box went into making this. Should be good to suggest a camp or base somewhere in MENA.
These 20mm figures from Liberation miniatures were speed painted by me in a couple of days. The simple uniform that is being modelled here (good for the Iran- Iraq war, Gulf War and right up to the 2003 invasion) combined with the great painting style made for an enjoyable painting experience, even though I was painting so many at once.
The full group of 32 figures.
A Squad with a representative and varied mix of weapons.
The tragic long running civil war in Syria has thrown up many examples of improvised military equipment over the years: from home made sniper rifles to converted apcs. Ace models have recently immortalised two such weapons in a plastic kit.
Hell Cannons are the name given to large improvised mortars that have been built by the rebel forces/ Free Syrian Army in the past few years. Consisting of a large metal pipe fixed to a truck axle they fire homemade shell that are mostly made from propane gas canisters. As can be imagined they are not particularly accurate and neither do they have a long range, barely reaching overa mile. A more in-depth look at them can be found here .
Ace kits are a east European manufacturer of limited run plastic kits that cover a wide variety of subjects that are often not covered by the bigger companies. Given the limitations of their short run production their kits have a repuation of being difficult to build; the finesse and fit of the parts is not up there with the likes of Revell or Dragon. That said the two guns were built over the course of a single evening. I thought it was a nice touch that several examples of the relevant ‘shells’ were included too.
Painting was mostly done with a sponge to get the mottled camo and rust effects and didn’t take long at all.
The first gun is from the Ahrar al- Shmal Brigade nd was seen in the Idlib area in 2013.
The second gun was built and used by the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo in 2017.
I have bought some suitable figures from Elhiem to use as crew but I’ve not painted them yet.
Been getting on with some painting, trying to reduce the lead mountain and more importantly those many boxes of figures I’ve got lying around which are started but not finished. I seem to have developed a habit of cleaning, prepping, basing and undercoating figures then leaving them sat in that state in a box for months. Tidying the shed found lots of abandoned projects in that state today. Additionally the take up far more space than if I’d left them in their packets in the bare metal… any way I digress, on with the pictures.
First up is a generic insurgent sniper for the Middle East/ North Africa region. I made a little scenic base for him to fit into too to add a bit more interest.
I painted his trousers in a Russian camo pattern, you can just make that out hopefully.
Armed with the ubiquitous SVD sniper rifle.
I’ll use this idea for other figures too as well as trying a rural base.
Here we have 8 Soviets with a mix of small arms wearing the tropical uniform as seen in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
I’m getting drawn by the retro appeal of the 1950s to gaming the Cold War in that era. I painted up a three squads worth of Brits. They are suitable for that short window of time after the introduction of the SLR but before the WW2 still uniforms were withdrawn; so 1954- 1960.
NCOs have Sterlings the section LMG is the 7.62mm version of the Bren the L4. Section AT weapon is a bazooka (one is slungg on the back of the figure on the left.
One each of the Rifleman poses in the three squads.