Sunday, 25 September 2016

Bargain Kit?

Wandered in to the local Home Bargains discount store today in our little town and spy some kits from a manufacturer I've never heard of before, mostly 1/48 aircraft which really aren't my scale.  But in amongst them I spied this 1/72 Kettenkrad and Schwimmwagen.

Now it didn't look terribly promising judging by the picture on the cover, but hey we were only talking £1.99 here so worth the gamble.

With the package safely smuggled past SWMBO and back at the Bureau time to rip of the plastic wrapping and get a look at this mystery kit.

Well I can't say as I was blown away by how fully packed the box was.  As you can see there were 2 sprues, one for each vehicle and fairly small at that, some instructions and a small decal sheet.

The instructions and sprues, and the limited decals

back of kettenkrad sprue

front of kettenkrad sprue

Schwimmwagen back
Schwimmwagen back
A more detailed look at the sprues and you realise just how parts there are, certainly for the kettenkrad.  More for the schwimmwagen but still not a lot and a few of those are for the driver and other random figure included.  The actual production seems good with very little to no flash present.  So far so good, I'm reasonably impressed for two quid.

With a few minutes to kill whilst the boss was watching celebs in sequins I thought I'd have a bash to see if these were quick builds or not.

So the kettenkrad main body is just 4 parts (top, bottom, tracks), and they went together pretty well.

So just six more parts complete the vehicle itself and then the driver and passenger, not quite as impressive from a detail point of view and definitely early war from the uniform, the rifle being held by the passenger is particularly poor.

The driver had to have a bit of a trim to fit, but then most of could do with a losing a little bit of weight.

The schwimmwagen was never going to be as straightforward, but the main bits went together quite easily
There were a few bits which I thought might have been cast as part of the larger pieces which were quite fiddly to do, such as the side trim bits, the oar and the shovel.  

Again the driver is a bit poor with his arm positions, but I guess for the money I'm being picky and I could have trimmed the parts up a bit to get a better look and feel.

The whole gang together.
So are these quick builds?  Not quite though they are very simple and straightforward, and I'm not regretting spending a massive £1.99 on them.  Only quandary I now have is finding a use or role for them.  The kettenkrad I can paint up for DAK use but just can't see the need for an amphibious schwimmwagen in the deserts of North Africa, though I may paint it up that way just for set dressing.

So the other 1/72 kit I spotted might have to be purchased now, think I might be able to find more uses for it as well, and if it's any good I might just clear out their stock at this price.

Worth another £1.99, probably.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Breaking The Silence

I've been a bit quiet of late, what with the holidays and the general business of life, but I haven't been totally idle with The Bureau.  So as we trickle towards the 2,500 mark I thought I'd better get back on it and bring you all up to date.

Morris progress

Well really there hasn't been any progress on the Morris Quad itself, unless you count a bit of green paint splodged on the few pieces I'd stuck together already.  I intend this to be for North Africa but I read somewhere that the interiors were often left in the bright green colour they came out of the factory with, which kinda makes sense from a time and motion point of view.

Mmmm not got very far with this.

But what I have managed to do is make progress with is the ammo trailer and 25 Pdr.

Surprisingly odd way to have the barrel made up by Airfix mould makers but it looked ok in the end, I guess.

The actual Quad kit is more fiddly than I had originally anticipated and perhaps I would have been better waiting for the Plastic Soldier Company's quick build option which I'm sure will make life far easier.

Boxing Clever

Despite a lack of progress with kit modelling I have been enjoying myself turning this

Into this (so far)

I was inspired by the work of the chaps over at Irrational Number Line Games who posted their exploits on TMP and I recognised the box as one I'd seen lying around one of the floors in the office a while back.  So after some hunting around the deserted areas (more on that later) I unearthed one and so had the basis for my own North African/NW Frontier/Afghan/Mexican adobe complex.  So whilst SWMBO is watching her soaps or drooling over Poldark I can have fun cutting and sticking on a little table in the lounge, that way I am being sociable by being in the same room (even if she does roll her eyes at what I'm doing).
I intend to do a bit of a tutorial on this build so wont ramble on too much about it here, but.......  
If anybody has a good way of coating the walls to give an adobe effect please let me know, so far I have pva with paint or tile grout and I'm really not sure about either.


So as I sort of alluded to above we have deserted areas in my place of work because they are shutting the site down having slowly eroded the numbers over the past few years until they could trigger an occupancy review and move us 25 miles down the M6/M61 to our Bolton office (which is actually a business park in Horwich).  So my journey to work goes from sub 20 minutes (normally 17 or 18) to north of 45 minutes depending on the great British motorway system.  From office views of playing fields, the grounds of a stately home, a few houses, a golf course and then fields

to offices, dual carriageways and a football ground with the retail park just beyond 

What a stunning view!
Home of Horwich Trotters FC

From lunchtime walks with views like this:

Lunchtime walking route

Kite surfers on the Ribble Estuary

To walking round one of those cloned retail parks which could mean I could be anywhere in the country and wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Cloned retail park

Anyhoo our top dudes and dudesses, in their infinite widsom, thought this would be a spiffing adventure and we'd all love it.  The upshot is that our office block is now about 1/3 empty with piles of old files and other stuff, there is even an area of stationery that we can help ourselves to and permission to 're-purpose' furniture.  So amongst the various files and folders, pens and staplers I've liberated I have also been collecting some little bits and bobs to build some more adobe buildings from.  Will be keeping my eyes open for more stuff as it empties more, especially as we're going to be one of the last teams out.

I've also got my eye on some cabinets to sort my garage storage out, along with providing me with some gaming/modelling storage.  The kids loved their 'new' top notch office chairs as well.

And finally, a new little friend for the Bureau from my holidays, all the way from Athens.
Twit to woo