Sunday 17 May 2015

Rubicon Models SDKFZ 251/D Review

I love Hanomags. When I first started second world war reenacting the first vehicle I ever rode around in was an Sdkfz-251/D, and it was an amazing experience. The vehicle is surprisingly small and when you jump out the hatch you learn very quickly not to have your entrenching too hanging off your belt, as it tangles very easily...!

Rubicon were kind enough to send me a test shot of their recently released Sdkfz 251D 3 in 1 kit, and my apologies to them that it has taken so long to get around to reviewing it.


This is a very nice kit, and allows construction of an ambulance version, a personnel carrier, a pioneer version, and an anti-tank gun variant that allows you to build the 37mm anti tank gun with either early or late gun shield. It's worth noting though that if you pick the Ambulance version you won't be able to swap the bits out and use it as a transport model, at least not easily.

I built mine as an Sdkfz 251/7 the Pioneer version with assault bridges. It may be possible to make the model and not glue the bridges down, but I think they would fall off fairly frequently and potentially get lost.To add a little interest to the model I turned the front wheels slightly, by gently (And nervously..) applying pressure to the wheels once they were fitted.

Detail is very nice and very delicate. Some drilling is required to open up slots on the mud guards and hull depending what version you decide to do, and it's really worth sitting and reading the instructions once or twice before building, and to go in with a plan on how you will make the model.  I'd recommend some dry fitting too before committing to glue.

As mine was a pre-release version of the model I found a few fit problems with the hull, however I suspect these have been resolved now. It's nothing a little filler can't fix too.

I painted mine using Vallejo Middlestone, Luftwaffe Camo Green and Red Leather, then used artists oils and Mig pigments for the weathering.

Assembley took me around 20-30 minutes once I had decided the version I wanted to build. Now that the kits done I have a nicely stocked bits box with stretchers and a 37mm anti tank gun too that I can see being worked into a conversion in the future too.

All in I'd recommend this kit, and the 251 family from Rubicon, and I'll probably do a comparative piece in the future with this and other 251 kits similar to my recently finished series of StuG articles.

Rubicon models website can be found at this link And as ever more of my work can be seen at Volley Fire Painting Service

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Warlord Games Veteran Grenadiers review

Tonight I'm looking at Warlord games Veteran grenadier set. These figures have been available for a few months now, and I've finally gotten around to writing up the review!

The Figures
The set contains 10 metal figures, wearing a variety of uniform suitable for representing German soldiers from 1945 onwards. Although billed as Heer veterans they could at a pinch also be painted as Waffen SS. 
Each soldier is wearing very light fighting order, consisting of a bread bag, waterbottle, and ammunition pouches for the MP44 (StG44) assault riffle that he carries.  Some are also wearing Zeltbahn ponchos, that could also be buttoned together to make a tent. 
Uniforms are very accurate, and I really like the light order that they wear as this is the most frequently seen way of wearing field equipment seen in photos of the period. 

Each figure has a separate head, with 7 in helmets, and 3 in M43 forage caps.It's worth spending a bit of time matching heads to figures, as some of them work better with particular bodies. A couple of the faces I wasn't to keen on, however once they were on the figures and painted they have since grown on me. Some of the helmets also have molded on foliage as well, which further reinforces the 'in the field' look of the models.

Figures are clean and crisply moulded, and I found clean up to be very quick and hassle free. 

10 25mm MDF bases round out the sets contents.


I decided to paint these figures in Heer uniform, as I want to field them as Volksgrendiers alongside the new plastic set. 

As a base colour I use Vallejo's Russian uniform for my field grey. Reflective green is used for helmets, pouches and gaiters, whilst I use middle stone for the bread bags. 

For the splinter pattern camo I use a base coat of khaki, highlight and shade this, then use Vallejo either Flat Earth or Leather brown, (depending how dark I want to go), to do the bulk of the angular disrutpive pattern. Onto this I then paint smaller patches of reflective green.  Once the camoflage pattern is in place, I give the camo item a thin glaze of a mix of army painter soft tone and green inks, then do some highlights of the base colour mixed with increasing amounts of pale sand. Splinter camo is very time consuming, but can be striking! 

I wrote a guide that can be accessed on the Warlord Games site called Painting Ostfront Germans that has some more reference photos and also a list of Games Workshop alternative colours if you can't access Vallejo.


To texture my bases I use Vallejo Dark Earth texture paint, and layer this on fairly thickly. On top of this I 
Use PVA to attach clusters of course olive green flock, and Gale Force 9's dead grass. Once this had dried I decided to add some snow, so mixed Vallejo water effect with baking soda and painted this on as a thin paste into selected areas. I didn't want to give the effect of deep winter, going more for an early spring vibe. 
To add colour, I also added a few dead leaves. I've no idea where I got these from, so they are being carefully horded on my projects! To finish the figures off I also added some green leaves onto the foliage of the figures helmets.


A great and characterful set of figures. Retailing at £15 for the set this works out at £1.50 per figure, and also includes the base, unusually for historical figures, yet very welcome. The separate head system also allows for more variety so you could probably get a couple of boxes without getting excessive variety if you wanted too. 
The figures also fit perfectly in size with the rest of Warlords range, and could be used to increase the amount of assault rifles in your existing units as well if you wished.

Warlords figures can be purchased from all good games stores, and direct from their webpage here, 
As ever, more of my work can be viewed at Volley Fire Painting

Saturday 2 May 2015


I was lucky enough to get my hands on a sprue of the T800 Endo skeletons for upcoming Terminator Genisys miniatures game developed by gaming legend Allesio Cavatore.

These figures are very, very simple to put together, and are fantastically detailed. I've always loved the Terminator films, and I'd probably put them as my favourite movie franchise of all time.
As such I wanted to do something a bit special with painting mine, so I did some light conversion work on both to make them look as if they are striding through the post nuclear war zone seen in the movies, as well as giving them that classical chrome look.

Simply using a silver paint wouldn't quite cut it, so I went back to m scale modelling stash and dug out some Alclad II Chrome lacquer. This stuff isn't for the faint hearted as it requires a truly immense amount of preparation work, but is well worth it. I've been asked a few times for a step by step, so here it is. I only have these two figures at the moment so can't do a stage by stage with photos...

  1. Assemble the figures, prime with grey primer. Leave to dry for about 12 hours. I use a cheapish primer from my local hardware shop.
  2. Spray the model with gloss grey paint (In future I'll use black as it gives a richer colour). Alclad II is a lacquer rather than a paint reacts with whatever is under neath. using a matt paint or a primer will give a dull finish, whereas a gloss base will give a shiny finish, which is what we want for Skynets finest. There is a TON of information on the net about using Alclad, so I'll not go too into it. 
  3. After leaving the gloss layer to dry for a minimum of 24 hours spray it with your Alclad Chrome. Alclad can only be applied using an airbrush, and you spray it on by misting on layers and letting the metal effect build up slowly. The lacquer is pre diluted so you just have to spray it through the airbrush, it's quite a delicate finish until it hardens too, so take a bit of care how you handle the models. 
  4. Cleaning the airbrush is worth it's own step as it's so important with Alclad. To clean the airbrush after you will need some cellulose thinners, and you'll need to give the airbrush a serious strip down and clean. Mines been in an ultrasonic bath for about 2 hours. after having a good soak in cellulose thinners and it's just about clean now. It's also worth getting a respirator mask when working with any airbrush, but especially so when working with Alclad.
  5. Whilst you've been cleaning the airbrush your Terminator will be dry enough for the next stage. First up I paint army painter dark tone into the darkest resesses of the figure, as well as picking out the teeth in white, the eyes in red, and the plasma rifle in black grey, then leave this to dry. 
  6. Mix some pledge multi-surface wax with some army painter soft tone to make a thin, but glossy glaze, and paint this over the entire Terminator to accentuate the detail, but retain the chrome finish.
  7. After the glaze has dried, pick out the eyes with some bright scarlet paint, and paint the vents on the weapon white. 
  8. Paint purple ink from the Army Painter over the vents of the weapon
  9. Paint white dots along the center of the weapon vents, center of the eyes, and teeth, and your done. No need to varnish as between the Alcad  and the glaze the paint finish is now extremely tough.

You can check out more of Terminator Genisys Miniatures game at the River Horse Website, the game is being distributed by Warlord Games And as ever you can see more of my work at Volley Fire Painting. Alclad paints and even airbrushes and respirators can be purchased from SNM Stuff