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Other Hobbies... Miniatures Wargaming - PIX!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by fingolfen, May 5, 2009.

  1. fingolfen

    fingolfen Oregon Member

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    ... and now for something completely different.

    One of my other hobbies is miniatures wargaming. One of my favorites is "Flames of War" - a decent World War II simulation in 15mm scale - 15mm scale is about 1/100th scale - so the tanks are roughly 2.5" long and 1.5" tall with the tracks. Right now I'm working on a Finnish force from mid-1943 - here's some of the work I'm doing on Finland's armored force at the time...

    Finland started the war woefully unequipped with tanks. During the Winter War, they captured several Soviet vehicles and pressed them into service in the Continuation war. Part of my choice was esthetic - I wanted to go with the Finnish tri-tone scheme rather than the Soviet green on the tanks. This also allowed me the flexibility to use the same vehicles in a later war list (though I'd need to add a couple of T-34/85’s, Stug III’s, and the odd Panzer IV to the garage).

    So I figured that since Finland had so few vehicles, I may go ahead and endeavor to get them “right.” At this point I’m at the pre-primer stage. However, I wanted to make several modifications to some of the vehicles to better represent the actual vehicles in Finnish service. I’m basing my vehicles on the following three primary references:

    The Finnish Armoured Vehicles, Muikku and Purhonen (THE reference for Finnish tread heads)
    The Eastern Front – Armour Camouflage and Markings, 1941 to 1945, Zaloga and Grandsen
    World War II AFV Plans – Russian Armored Fighting Vehicles, Bradford

    First, the four T-28 tanks. I’m just getting started with these, but it looks like the number of modifications made on these were minimal. I need to do a bit more studying before priming.

    Here’s a side view of the first of the four T-28s with basic prep completed. Below that is a picture of the top of the vehicle with two of the turrets removed. As you can see I’ve magnetized all of the turrets. For large turrets I use 5/16” by 1/8” rare earth magnets. For the small turrets I’m using 3/16” by 1/32” rare earth magnets.

    fin2-38side.jpg

    fint-28top.jpg

    Next come the two KV-1s in Finnish service. As there were exactly two KV-1s that served with the Finnish armed forces in World War II (and BOTH survived the war!), and as I had pictures of both of them, I figured I’d try to make them both as accurate as possible. The only available miniature is the KV-1E miniature, which is really a KV-1E turret on a KV-1 M1941/M1942 hull. The Finns also made modifications to both tanks. The most visually obvious are the rounded corners on the fenders and the replacement of the Soviet lighting system with a system of their own.

    kv1eside1.jpg

    In the picture above you can see the rounded fender corners and the additional hull armor common to all KV-1E (and missing from the Battlefront miniature). The KV-1E also had bolt on armor on the lower hull between the road wheels and return rollers, but I decided to leave this off as these details are barely visible on the track units anyway.

    kv1eside2.jpg

    From the view above you can see the replacement lighting system (in the closed position) in on the front hull in front of where the Soviet lighting system originally was.

    kv1etop.jpg

    From the top you can see all of the rounded fenders and the rare earth magnet used to hold the turret in place.

    The Second KV-1 in some ways was actually harder as it is a Model 41/42 (depending on what reference you read) cast turret model. Battlefront does not currently have a model available for that configuration, though the hull of their KV-1E model is fine. This time around I decided rather than trying to add styrene sheet to the kit to sculpt the fenders, I’d just build them up with putty where required to achieve the necessary shape. This worked fine, though technically the fenders at the rear are a hair short.

    kv1casttop.jpg

    The turret is the KV-1E turret sculpted to shape to look like the cast KV-1 turret. The whole carving process took about two episodes of “Jane and the Dragon” my toddler was watching.

    kv1cast3-4.jpg

    kv1castside.jpg

    I know that the carving isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn close and captures the look of the original fairly well.

    At this point the KVs are ready for priming. I’m sure that will highlight some sanding and other flaws that will need to be neatened up before painting.

    I plan on finishing up the T-28s as well and determining what modifications (if any) are needed to the miniatures. I have the T-34s used by Finland on order (one model 1942 and a couple of model 1941 for now, though I know some of the ones purchased from Germany had variant turrets). I also have several T26 on order as well. I have BT-42 and the AA tanks as well, but those are effectively “out of the box” builds I’ll have photos of for the next installment.

    Should be a fun project...
     
  2. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    I love war sims, be they board based, PC based, or miniatures. When I lived in CA for a while there was a guy who had a 10x10 table that was fully 3-d with terrain. We had to use long 'shove-sticks' to move our forces around. But that was back in the days when we were all fueled by chips and guinness. Ended up gaming for three days straight. Ah, memories.

    Good work on those minis! Post more when you get 'em done.