Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Rubicon Tiger Review, PT1

Morning everyone (It is now anyway...)So, here's part one of my Rubicon 1/56 scale (28mm) Tiger review! In this part I'll describe how the kit goes together, how I sculpted the Zimmerit and talk a little on the kits accuracy. In Part 2 I'll talk about the painting and weathering of the model, and compare it in size with Warlords and Die Waffenkammer's Tigers. Onwards!

 For me, the most impressive thing about the kit is the option to build any production variant, with optional road wheels, gun mantlets, turret roofs, hatches, smoke launchers spare tracks and head light configurations. The instructions are also clear about which parts go with which variant too I'm pleased to add. This kit also comes with a fairly extensive transfer sheet with crosses and numbers.
Rubicon's Tiger comes packed in a box the size of small castle, and it's crammed with parts too, with each sprue packed in it's own individual bag. Parts are very well moulded, and detail is very crisp. The design of the suspension and running gear is superb with each set of tracks being made up of three layers of wheels to give a far better level of detail than can be achieved in resin or one piece tracks.

Detail is very crisp, tools are moulded with good depth and relief, and the Engine decking is handled well.  It would be utterly be fantastic if one of the aftermarket companies such as Eduard brought out a photo etched upgrade set with engine grills, but I suspect that's wishful thinking!

After much pondering I've decided on building a late production vehicle with steel road wheels, late style turret with square loaders hatch and sliding Cupola, as well as Zimmerit anti magnetic mine paste. This was applied to all mid and late production Tigers. One hurdle in this though is the kit doesn't come with Zimmerit! I think Rubicon was wise to do this, as plastic Zimmerit doesn't tend to look that good in my opinion, and is relatively simple to apply, just time consuming to apply.

To make the Zimmerit I use pretty much the same techniques as was done on the real vehicles. I apply white Miliput applied evenly approximately 1mm deep along the the entire length of the surface to textured, leave it approximately 20 minutes for the Miliput to harden, then use a razor saw to add texture, dragging the teeth of the blade along for around 2mm. I then change the position of the saw slightly to add some variety to the texture pattern. It's very tedious, however does look good. The whole model too around 2 hours to Zimmerit, but I think it was worth the effort. 

That concludes part one, and so far I'm thoroughly impressed.Come back soon for part 2, with extra coatings of Dunkelgelb and Michael Wittmans!

More info on Rubicon models can be found on their website, here
And as always any comments or to see more of my work check out

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ruicon Models Tiger, Panzer IV, T-34/76

 Afternoon everyone!

DHL have just delivered a veritable box of treasures courtesy of those fine folks at Rubicon Models.

I have been very kindly sent a Tiger, T34 and Panzer IV to review, so drop me a message here or through Facebook letting me know which you'd like to see.  The ideas I have for finishing the models are the following,

  • A Tiger 1 Late Production, with home made Zimmerit, probably painted up as a vehicle of Schwere Panzer Abteilung 505, painted in Dulkelgelb with the charging knight image painted on the turret. 

  • A plain green T-34/76 for Operation Barbarossa time period, with lots of sublte weathering and dust effects. 

  • Finally, as I've already reviewed the Panzer IV I'll do something a little different and kit it out with extra stowage, crew and maybe flags and foliage.

 So let me know and I'll roll the kit into the paint mines and get cracking after work over the next few days!

As ever if you'd like to see more of my work, or would like to let me know which you'd like to see please check out the Volley Fire page at;

Friday, 14 November 2014

Rubicon Models Panzer IV

Ok, time for a proper article I suppose! Bursting onto the 28mm Wargaming scene recently is the company Rubicon Models, they have an already good range of high quality injection moulded plastic kits, and today I'm looking at their Panzer IV kit.

The kit comes packaged in a nice sturdy box with a fancy picture on it, and details what your getting inside. I don't have a picture of it as I was so excited to get on with the build it went straight in the bin! Due to some clever engineering the kit gives you the option to build either a short or long barrelled Ausf F, an Ausf G or an Ausf H with Schurzen, and includes the short barreled 75mm L24 gun, and both the Long barrelled L43 and L48 75mm guns.

Design of the Schurzen in particular is worthy of not, as it simply clips onto the model. There's a slight simplification of detail, but anyone who has struggled with Schurzen in the past will really, really appreciate this engineering trick.

Construction couldn't be simpler due to the clarity of the insturctions and fit of the parts. The only tricky bits are the head lights on the front. I do feel Rubicon could have given some specifics on what parts are for which variant, but chances are if that's something that will keep you up at night you already know anyway!

The only place fit was a little off was on part of the transmission housing, but that was solved in about 2 seconds with some filler. In this area of the kit I was especially impressed with the quality of the spare track, with the retaining bar clipping into the supports. Great touch and nicely detailed.
 The rest of the construction was simple and didn't pose any head aches, and took around 20 minutes to complete.  The tracks were simple, being molded in one piece with the front set of wheels and sprockets being separate from the parts to give really crisp and precise detail.


 The tank is scaled to 1/56, and looks spot on next to some Warlord Games German infantry.
I painted the model using my Iwata Eclipse airbrush, spraying first German Panzer Grey, then Basalt Grey, then finally a 60-40 mix of Basalt Grey and White over the model to create interest. To tone the colours and contrasts down I then over sprayed with a mix of gloss varnish and panzer grey in a ratio of 80-20 in favour of gloss varnish.
 Kit transfers were applied using a lot of softner. I found the transfers a little thick and they took a while to settle down, but once they did they looked good. Everything was well printed and in register as well.
 After the transfers had cured over night I weathered the model using artists oils in washes to build up streaks of rust and wear to the paint, before applying Games Workshop Agrellan Earth and Typhus Corrosion special effects paints to create the mud. Once all that had dried I bursh painted some Pledge floor wax over the tank to seal it, then dulled everything down with some matt varnish. And there she was, done!

 In conclusion this is a superb kit I'd recommend to anyone. One thing to bear in mind though is that if you wish to build an Ausf H with Schurzen you will need to sculpt Zimmeritt paste on if you are wanting to be totally historically accurate, and also create a round disk shaped hatch seen on later versions of the mark IV. Overall  I give the kit 8 out of 10 bottles of Schnapps overall, but a huge 9.5 out of 10 if building an F or G variant!

As always, more pics of my work can be seen here

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Fame at last!

So Wednesday rolled around and I got back from lunch with my mate to discover that my 1940-42 German army has been featured on the Warlord Games website!

A fantastic honour, and a great set of models to work with. I'll write a more detailed review of the Blitzkrieg plastic set from Warlord soon, but wanted to show off some of the work you can expect to see from me in the future. 


As always, contact me here on at my work page;

Jumping on the bandwagon!

Well, the time has arrived for me to actually start writing down some of my painting and hobby musings!

 I'm a full time painter of figures and models for war gamers and collectors, and as such have a pretty large amount of experience of different manufacturers products, both in models and paint,which I'd like to share with you!

My main focus here (At the moment), will probably be on the Second World War, though other periods appear pretty frequently too. What I'm intending to do is share a bit of hobby knowledge and maybe some reviews and painting tips as well. I'll try and keep the updates weekly, though no promises!

If you have any questions or would like to see some more expamples of my work, please check out my works Facebook page