Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Memories Of Old and Those Yet To Be Remembered...

I finally took some pics of my old terrain. It was inspired by the pages of Miniature Wargames and consisted of 2 foot by 2 foot squares of styrofoam. I did the texture with a mix of green poster paint, plaster of paris and a now defunct product, green sawdust from Life Like railway products.

 These pix weren't from a wargame, just a set up to take some photos with one of those little tourist cameras. The figures were a mix, some conversions and some 25mm Warrior Miniatures painted as Neapolitans. My raging river had an island and a bridge and was in an "L" shape. The roads were all measured from the center of the tile and were 2" wide, plaster of paris with brown poster paint, run over with suitable wheels.
 Back then I used to mount Airfix figures on cardboard, then later seal the open sides with masking tape. You can see that on the RHA battery. Later I tried plaster of paris or glue and sand. I never got the hang of it. That's why I just gave up and started with the wooden dominos.
 Washington's Army have joined the Spanish grenadiers. Looks like a new crop is coming in on that combed farm field.
My Portuguese guarding the crossroads. I guess the cazadores failed to show up this time. I miss my old terrain, but it sure took up a lot of space. Looking back has made me nostalgic and I am currently abusing a 5 foot by 5 foot section of cardboard with glue, tape and beach sand.

Well then, onto new items.

I have noticed a change in the offerings from the Chinese and the dollar store armies. To whit:

New tanks. Of note are the two WW2 tanks, a Lee/Grant and what appears to be a Russian T35!
The scaling is awful, the T35 is diminutive, and the Lee is a bit too big. However, beggars and chosers...
The Lee I think is based on the British version, the Grant as it has a large turret. If one spent the time you might get a decent model to mix in with other tanks. The soldiers are Airfix, and Esci for scale.
The T35 is just too small, but it certainly is useable as a fantasy war tank. The new way of mounting the wheels and axles is annoying, necessitating some surgery to get those treads in the mud.
Other models are faintly recognizable, having turrets, short guns and the same hull.

Other items of late are trucks:
 I like these. They are big and clunky, but look at the tank transporter! I had a go at this one with my XActo razor saw and it comes apart quite nicely. I removed the tank and its tiny size reduces it to the pre war variety, perhaps an Italian or Japanese two man tank. I removed the huge gun and made a field gun out of it on an Airfix French Napoleonic gun carriage. I haven't had a go at the oversize guns, but with some camo netting they might make decent heavy artillery. The wheels are of interest though, they look like all metal wheels from WW1 or from an anti tank gun. Sadly, they don't turn and are moulded onto the truck, so surgery would destroy the truck to save the wheels.
 The next batch are a return to tiny scales. Long trucks with two cabs. One a modern streamlined version, and the next a long nosed version that would do for WW2! But a lot of cutting to get rid of the nuclear missiles and?railguns? on the back.
A blurry shot of the grill. Smallish, but useable with a bit of paint and imagination.


  1. Some interesting stuff here that might just 'fit' my Army Men project, though, with the exception of the Lee/Grant, the scale might be on the 'too small' side. This despite my going in for underscale heavy equipment compared with the figures.

    I like those Napoleonic nostalgia pix.

    1. Thanks for commenting! I haven't seen too many larger scale tanks and trucks of late, but I do see a lot of mixed scale items, ships, 54mm men, planes and little tanks. A company here in Canada called Toy Galaxy sells bubble packs of these. I also check google and alibaba for upcoming Chinese toys.

  2. I enjoyed the old pics. I did 2x2 terrain boards c 1980 based on 4x2 ceiling tiles of the sort designed to hang in a frame. They were made of some sort of pressed fibre. I built hills, rivers and roads and flocked them with acres of flock but didn't realize that I should have painted them first. As the flock slowly wore thin the very pale tan that showed through was disconcerting but by then they were starting to warp anyway and since I only finished 6 ot the planned 12, the layouts were getting a bit monotonous anyway.

    As for the cheap toys, no one seems to stock that sort of stuff around here anymore.Too militaristic. Probably just as well.

    1. Hello Ross. Peter Gilder's terrain is what convinced me to try to make terrain squares, and Ian Weekly articles in Miniature Wargames. Flock looks great, but glued sand stays in place better. I have been watching a youtube of a D&D player who is making terrain squares from new pizza boxes. Interesting idea.
      Yes, I've noticed fewer soldiers available lately, and they are mixed scales. 1/72 scale according to the package is in reality an inch and a half tall.

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  3. Nice looking dio, beautiful pics!

  4. Thank you. Looking at the pix has made me want to try again sometime.

  5. Quality Hong Kong/China kak, how did I miss this post? Will look out for them, they look similar but different to some stuff carried by Funtastic over here in Poundland stores, the T35 will be a copy of the old Primo (? Promo...?) for Roco Minitanks model - I guess.


    1. Hello Hugh! All the tanks would need to have some surgery to make them more recognizable. For example, the Leopard tank's turret is set too far back, and the Grant's turret is centered incorrectly. It sits OK if the 37mm faces forward, but looks funny otherwise. I've been enjoying your Preiser posts, I've got some steam engines in HO and have been squirrelling away victorian era looking figures and wagons. Somewhere in my head I have a Sherlock Holmes period set, but I fear it might just be me chasing rainbows.

    2. HUgh, one more thing, (I'm sounding like Columbo here), check out the new Risk! Europe. A lot of figures just a bit undersized compared to Airfix. The cavalry have the annoying habit seen elsewhere of being a little taller than the infantry.
      I saw it here:


      Got the link from Ross McFarlane's "Battlegame of the Month" blog.