Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Usambara Railroad: Sarissa Passenger Car

I've been ignoring this project for a bit, but finally decided it was time to offer some passenger service on the rail line. As with the rest of this project, this car is part of Sarissa's railway series.

I had originally planned to modify the car by adding in some O scale seating from the railroad shop, but realized it wouldn't give me enough space to place figures inside the card. As such, this car is straight out of the package, with only some sanding of the hard edges. I might look at adding removable seating in the future though.

As before, I wasn't able to find any references as to the paint colors used on the actual cars, so I used passenger cars from Germany proper as a guide. I wanted something that would contrast with the red-brown used on the freight cars, so decided to go with a green color. This particular pattern is based on a paint scheme used by the K.P.E.V. I've opted to go with a 2nd Class car, as I couldn't imagine there would have been much 1st Class service on the line. Numbering was done using the Woodland Scenics dry rub decals.

Construction wasn't too bad, though I did manage to snap a beam in the roof as I was fitting pieces.  The car is a bit stumpy and I think the windows look out or proportion to the rest of the car, but it will get the job done.

And below is a final shot of the full train. It's not huge, but will occupy enough space on my usual 4x6 table.  Once the goods shed is finished, I think I'll consider this project complete.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

IJA Veteran Infantry

Back with some more infantry for my Japanese Army.  These are the veteran infantry (sometime called jungle fighters) from Warlord Games, supplemented with a couple of their plastic figures. The figures use the separate head system, which gives you the opportunity to add more variety and mix the heads with the plastic system.

I think the sculpts themselves are generally decent to good, and the faces have a lot of character.  One thing i didn't like is the the rifle lengths are shorter than their plastic counterparts. I understand you have to make the rifles sturdier in metal, but would have liked better consistency with the plastic figures. Casting quality was ok, with some of the details soft on the underside and some flash to dig out.  However, considering the amount of gear the troops are carrying, I guess it's to be expected that not everything can be crisp if you still want to get the figures out of the molds.

Overall I'm happy with this purchase and thing they will look great on the table.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

IJA Type 94 Tankette

Instead of an armored car for my Japanese forces, I've decided to add a Type 94 tankette (九四式軽装甲車). This particular tankette began production in 1935 and were assigned to infantry divisions for use in reconnaissance.

Rather than go with the Warlord Games version, I opted to get mine from Trenchworx, as my previous purchases from them were of such great quality and the price was cheaper. However, this particular kit didn't live up to its predecessors.  While the resin portion was top notch as before, the metal pieces had casting issues.  The treads were fine (though a bit of flash to clean up), but the  turret and towing hook did not have enough metal in the molds, leading to malformations.  

For the turret, there was a large seam visible on the right side, and the left rear side is not fully rounded, with a "dent" where the turret feeds into the body. 

The towing assembling had only a nub where the hook should have been, so I was forced to shave it down and build one from scratch. 

I had wanted to go with the all green scheme for 1935, as seen on, but ended up going with the 1939 scheme used at Nomonhan, as I though this would better hide some of the turret defects.  Though no markings were present on that example, I've opted to mark my tankette as #6 in Japanese.  For the khaki-iro and midori-iro, I've used the same paint colors as on the previous tank

Some comparison shots with the Chi-Ha to give you a better sense of size.

I ended up with something acceptable in the end, but I hope my casting issues are an exception that slipped through rather than the norm for this kit.