Tuesday, 27 August 2013

M109 Artillery Update

I need to touch up the Green on the M109A3's to give it more balance, there is a little too much Black and a bit too much tan. They should match the M113's but I was painting under a daylight bulb late on Saturday night. But you all deserve a fresh post.

1/100 DECALS

So I'm after some Charcoal Black US Decals (Stars and Vehicle Numbers) anyone know where I can get them? Or are one of you wonderful readers out there able to make them? 

It's literally just the US Star and some registration Numbers like this...

The Black Stars on the Front and Side

Yup, these have been sitting on my Painting Table along time... Slowly getting there.

Need to find a better Green in the Vallejo Range, trying to match the colour of the Blackhawk below (any suggestions welcome!). More to follow...


Dan is working hard, as well as working his Day Job to get the Art work done and we've revised some points costings sensibly to reflect some extra Options (like Half Tank Platoons!). Also don't forget to enter the Caption Competition it's free and you've a decent chance of winning (if you are witty! ). 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Thanks for the Support, and if you can donate what you can, so I can keep Dan producing the awesome Books.


So for a bit of fun, I'm putting up a Caption Competition once a month. Prize this month, is a BF AH-1G Huey Cobra, which you can use in Vietnam or Convert over to a Mid 80's Camo Scheme and use with the US Forces.

  • I will judge the winner, rules...
  • Keep it just this side of reasonable, swearing for swearings sake is bad, if it's used in a good context it can embellish and reinforce a point, other things like REMF are acceptable. 
  • One entry each and you can delete and re-submit if you think of something better before the deadline.
  • Ends 31st August 23:59 ZULU and the winner will be decided on the 1st Sept. 
  • I will announce the winner and contact them or ask them to contact me via E-mail with their postal details. If they don't claim it by the end of the next month I'll give it to the next best Caption!

Rapier like wit at the ready Gentlemen.....

My own phyrric entry because I cannot win!

"The Young Cavalry Lieutenant was confused by the concept of Air Cover!".

Monday, 19 August 2013

Model Review - BATTLEFRONTS M109's

So I picked up some M109's last week because I really like the look of them and they are pretty at actually pretty good value (£19) which considering you get Decals and Magnets to mount both kinds of Gun isn't bad..

I wasn't interested in the M108, or mounting the 0.50cal's so I suppose I gained some extras and more vehicle crew, so all good additions to my Bits box.

The M109 went through alot of Upgrades in it's venerable and ongoing Career. But the variant that is used in the Cold War period of the Mid-80's was the M109A3, which was pretty much ubititious and used by all NATO Forces giving some great Logistics savings and streamlining!

This has a different much more capable Barrel then the original M109.  So a bit of work was required to bring this upto Spec.

First off, I cut up the existing Barrel removing the Muzzle Brake and the huge disk on the Barrel leaving a Stub, I then carefully with a Pin vice drilled a central pilot hole and then gradually widened it with a succession of slightly larger drill bits. All I can say here is, patience and confidence, I find if you are timid with it you will make mistake, be confident and deliberate (just like handling a firearm).  I drilled approx 7mm in to make sure there was a deep and secure hole for the Brass Rod.

So I then glued this in place on the Mantlet / Turret Ring and then drilled out the Muzzle Break, a small piece of plastic rod I had in my bits box. Then I glued in the piece of Brass Rod, with the Barrel sleeve and Muzzle break on. I then smoothed it out by encasing the whole rod in a thin layer of Green Stuff / Epoxy (you can see this on the top of the vehicles and also filled in the area around the Mantlet). 

I continued this throughout and forgot to take many pictures, but the key to a good finish is to gentle file the Epoxy on the New barrel lovely and smooth and even.Giving this...

Which I think is a reasonable approximation of what I want, okay it's not amazing but it's fairly decent.

Sunday, 18 August 2013


So these three items were sent to me last week, but due to work, life, a funeral and everything else getting in the way I've been neglecting you all of late.

So you've probably heard these models weren't really what we expecting or really what we wanted.

So the Good.....(The Dark Green ones are QRF for comparative purposes).

Well actually the T-72 and BTR are actually fairly decent models,  there is a reasonable amount of detail, although it doesn't have the AA MG or even the ERA blocks as per the box cover.

 I've done some measuring and the Zvezda stuff is pretty much 1/100 (the height is usually 1-2mm too high or too low).

The QRF BTR is a very different beast, I know this is a BTR 70 compared with a BTR 70, but even so they aren't this different in real life!

The Bad, the oh so very Bad.....

ZVEZDA M1A1 Abrams.....Well it looks like they never finished it, or they sent the wrong file or Prototype to the Production line.

The detail in some sections is decent - Like the top of the Engine, if this had been carried throughout the model I would have been pretty happy.

But other area's have no detail whatsoever! No side skirt detail, nothing, no panels no rivets, no equipment nothing!

No tow points or lower hull Glacis detail.

No details, no lights, no tow points, no additional detail. No Turret bushels no storage, no Mesh, no detail on gun sights, no MG's, no Smoke Launchers.


I actually really like the Soviet Stuff, it's chunky, reasonably detailed, sturdy and with a degree of weight and heft I wasn't expecting.

The Abrams's just bad.....and I would avoid it.

The key bad point is the Price, £6.50 or $10.10 these models are priced well beyond their relatively value. You would be especially furious if you bought the Abrams. If the price was about £4.50 / $7 - I could live with the Soviet stuff and it actually would be worth grabbing them. Especially if you were doing an BTR Motorised Force, or a T-72 Armoured Force. Maybe someone will start selling these in bundles on E-bay for a discount - If so with 15%- 20% off they would be a good buy, as it stands I cannot invest in these. There is much better stuff out there cheaper!

I'm waiting on the BRADLEY......Not holding out much hope.

I also picked up a Box of Battlefronts M109, I'll do a review on this boxed set in the next few days!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

STAZMATT's Collection of Cold War Forces

Another great member of my Southern Hemisphere Fraternity (or should that be Chapter?)....

STAZMATT aka ( Hazza31B on TMP) is an avid collector of minaitures much like most of us, and has also had the priviledge of serving in the Australian Royal Armoured Corps.

So he is yet another Former-Military guy who can shed some light on the World of Armoured and
Mechanised Warfare.....But I'll let him describe himself in his own words...

" I'm a late twenty-something father of 2 living on the central coast of new south wales Australia. I'm a Former Australian Army Tanky, Pastry Chef and currently a stay at home dad. 

My local club is The Newcastle Legions which has a very large FoW following. At the moment im collecting a Guards Tank Force And BAOR Force, on my work bench is the beginnings of US armoured CAV.

Still trying to get people to try something different and run demo games when I can. My wife gives me the odd game or two and is pretty supportive of my hobbies( she still occasionally harasses me about playing with little men though)"

Matt's excellent Blog is here and is well worth a look, as he is very diverse in his Model collections and it makes for an interesting read (Grumpy Dads Wargaming).

Monday, 12 August 2013


I recently got an update of some Force Expansion for Colonel Kelly's CMBG.

(Looks like a great Sunny Day in Canada - Cannot imagine anywhere more pleasant on a fair weather day!)

Once again we see the generous extra weapons on the BF M113's being put to excellent use.

He is working on his Infantry currently.  His gaming group is well worth a look, and has lots of fantastic FOW orientated content.


I've been quite surprised at the amount of e-mails and donations made, it's very humbling, and it will all be sent to Dan to help him with the Artwork side.

I'll be keeping the details of those who have donated and I think I will do something significant as a genuine Thank You from me, and also as bit of a Community based back and forth.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Some Big Presentation Changes!

So me and AMROTH (Daniel McCoy) have been discussing things off-line and he's done a kind of Pilot of a Force List just like his excellent Israeli 6 Day war stuff.

As you can see, Dan has taken what I have done and built on it considerably.

This is experimental, it's a pilot, unofficial and it's available here for a look, so you can critique and make suggestions.


So why aren't we doing this to everything right now, right this minute!!


In doing much of this, Dan is incurring cost as we don't want to use Copyrighted pictures and leave ourselves exposed legally so he is doing new, original art work.

I give my time for free, through choice as this is something I believe in and want to do. Dan is a busy man, and as a Graphic Artist time is money, even if it isn't normal full cost even a minimal amount is a bit of recompense for the investment in time he gives to the benefit of the community, Something I have asked him to do and don't mind paying for myself.


I will not charge money for this, it's immoral and legally wrong as this is based on Battlefronts Flames of War Rules and their Intellectual Property, this is a homebrew rules set for the community. I will not profit from this project and don't want to, other than the feel good factor of delivering something of high quality to the community.

So if you want to help you can...

1. You could also make a donation if you see fit, my details on PAYPAL are the same. (

2. Spread this site around the web and get some more elements out there. There are some area's of the internet and communities I am unknown in, especially things like 15mm Sci-Fi and I think the content I provide is useful to those who may want to buy modern vehicles.

Overtime, we will bring the Force Books and Rule Book (Hopefully) upto the standard piloted above.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

US Command Vehicle M577

I've had some little pointers from a friend, about using Nylon Bristles from a Normal domestic Paint Brush and using them to make "Whip Aerials". They look pretty effective.

This M577 is from the expanded Battlefront Vietnam Range. I've done it in the same camo as my earlier M113's.

I really like these models and the 4 for £19 is pretty good value. I will buy another box of these, so I will have a pair as 4.2" Mortar Carriers and an extra one to make the Command M113, this will leave me one spare but I will no doubt use that another NATO list, or making another US Platoon in future.

I'm trying to find out what markings these things had back in 1986 - Specifically the Cavalry. I think I have seen Charcoal coloured Stars rather than the older style White Stars. If anyone can help or has a decent reference or URL available if you could share it in the comments section.

Additions to my US forces in the next 6 months

1. 3 x AAV's
2. 2 x LAV
3. 4 x Abrams M1 or M1A1
4. 6 x BRADLEY
5. 3 x M109
6. 2 x M106

I will look at the ZVEZDA Stuff when it arrives (God knows when?) and will decide at that point whether I will use that stuff or buy others...

Kharasan has an interesting M1A2..I might buy those because despite being the wrong mark, they look AMAZING.


I've also started re-doing and neating up my Brits, adding the aerials and re-varnishing them (the original Varnish didn't work so I've gone back to Polyurethane Varnish rather than Model Varnish, and then I spray it with DULLCOTE once the Varnish has cured approx 48hrs).

I will be adding to this shortly with the following:-

1. 2 x FV Spartans
2. 3 x FV432 ( 1 Extra FV432 for HQ and 2 x FV432 Mortars )
3. 3 x FV Abbots
4. 2 x Tracked Rapiers
5. 3 x Scimitars

This will give me a nice rounded out, force