26 December, 2016

28mm Civilian Vehicles, Part V: more Siku

Part five of a continuing effort to document scale-appropriate toy cars for 28mm gaming. In this post we return to German manufacturer, Siku. Siku cars are usually imprinted with engine and performance statistics; these have been omitted from the profiles in the interest of brevity.

(28mm figures from the Northstar "Fistful of Kung-fu" and Copplestone Castings "Future Wars" ranges provided for scale)

2010 Volkswagen T5 Transporter
Scale: 1/58 (WB: 3000/50.6; W: 1904/33.2)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "1070 / 1338"
Note: while the van pictured is a kombi, a panel van version is also available.

2006 Dodge Charger
Scale: 1/58 (WB: 3048/52.7; W: 1890/32.6)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "Dodge Charger / 1435"

2003 Porsche Cayenne (9PA)
Scale: 1/58 (WB: 2855/48.4; W: 1928/33.3)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "Porsche Cayenne Turbo / 1062"

1980 Mercedes-Benz SEC (C126)
Scale: 1/58 (WB: 2850/47.2; W: 1828/32.4)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "Mercedes Benz 500SEC / 1052"

2008 Toyota Land Cruiser (J200)
Scale: 1/55 (WB: 2850/51.1; W: 1970/36.0)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "Toyota Land Cruiser V8 / 1440"

Siku Hurricane
Scale: N/A (WB: 51.4; W: 37.8)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "Siku Hurricane / 0878"
Note: an original model by Siku, boasting a 7320cc 10 cylinder engine producing 760PS, 559pkW, and 8970U/min - top speed is 321km/h.

25 November, 2016

28mm Civilian Vehicles, Part IV: Majorette

Part four of a continuing effort to document scale-appropriate toy cars for 28mm gaming. In this post we take a look at models from Majorette, another European manufacturer making many cars with a nominal scale of ~1/55. Newer offerings tend to run closer to 1/64 except for compact and subcompact cars, however older Majorettes tended to be larger and many mid-size cars can be had as well.

(28mm figures from the Northstar "Fistful of Kung-fu" and Copplestone Castings "Future Wars" ranges provided for scale)

2007 Renault Twingo II
Scale: 1/55 (WB: 2365/42.5; W: 1655/30.1)
Line: Majorette
Imprint: "Twingo / Ech: 1/64 / Ref: 206B"

2010 Honda CR-Z (ZF1)
Scale: 1/54 (WB: 2435/44.6; W: 1740/32.7)
Line: Majorette
Imprint: "Honda CRZ / Ech: 1/55 / Ref: 220B"

2008 Renault Scénic III
Scale: 1/58 (WB: 2700/46.5; W: 1844/32.1)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "Renault Scenic / Ech: 1/64 / Ref: 221F"

2009 BMW Z4 (E89)
Scale: 1/56 (WB: 2496/44.4; W: 1790/32.3)
Line: Majorette
Imprint: "BMW X4 Roadster / Ech: 1/56 / Ref: 244F"

2007 Fiat 500
Scale: 1/55 (WB: 2300/41.8; W: 1627/29.5)
Line: Majorette
Imprint: "Fiat 500 / Ech: 1/55 / Ref: 286C"

1979 Toyota HiLux Third Generation (N30)
Scale: 1/55 (WB: 2585/45.1; W: 1610/30.9)
Line: Majorette
Imprint: "Toyota Pick-up / Ech. 1/56 / No 292"

24 October, 2016

28mm Civilian Vehicles, Part III: Jada

Part three of an ongoing attempt to catalogue scale-appropriate toy cars for 28mm gaming. Today's selection is from Jada, who make many ~1/55 scale vehicles, mostly sold as 1/64 scale vehicles.

(28mm figures from the Northstar "Fistful of Kung-fu" and Copplestone Castings "Future Wars" ranges provided for scale)

2011 Nissan GT-R (R35)
Scale: 1/54 (WB: 2780/49.4; W: 1902/51.5)
Line: Jada Fast & Furious 1/55
Imprint: "2009 Nissan GTR / Scale 1/55"

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 (off-road)
Scale: 1/57 (WB: 2950/50.9; W: 1920/34.4)
Line: Jada Fast & Furious 1/55
Imprint:"Dodge Challenger SRT8 / Scale 1/55)

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (off-road)
Scale: 1/54 (WB: 2743/51.6; W: 1842/33.9)
Line: Jada Fast & Furious 1/55
Imprint: "1967 Chevy Camaro / Scale 1/55"

1970 Dodge Charger (off-road)
Scale: 1/58 (WB: 3000/49.0; W: 1950/36.2)
Line: Jada Fast & Furious 1/55
Imprint: "1970 Dodge Charger / Scale 1/55"

1970 Plymouth Road Runner 440 6-Barrel
Scale: 1/57 (WB: 2946/50.3; W: 1941/34.8)
Line: Jada Fast & Furious 1/55
Imprint: "1970 Plymouth Road Runner / Scale 1/55"

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396 Hardtop Coupe
Scale: 1/57 (WB: 2845/49.8; W: 1915/34.3)
Line: Jada Fast & Furious 1/55
Imprint: "1970 Chevy Chevelle SS / Scale 1/55"

13 September, 2016

28mm Modern Military Vehicles, Part I

A selection of the 28mm modern military vehicles that I've collected (with Copplestone Castings "Future Wars" miniature for scale):

Mitsubishi Type 73 1/2t truck (Kyosho - 1/57)
Revised 1996 "Pajero" model.

Ford M151A2 MUTT (Kyosho - 1/57)
A later model than the version used during the Vietnam War, but the closest in this scale I'm likely to find. The camouflage version is hideous and will need repainted in NATO 3-color camouflage.

General Dynamics M1A1 Abrams tank (Kyosho - 1/60)
Part of the iDriver Pocket Armour series... it can be driven remotely using the bluetooth function of your phone.

Norinco Type 59 (No brand - 1/50)
Larger than most vehicles I use, but because the T-54/55 family of tanks are so small (there was a height maximum for crews) I think it mixes well enough... the length, hull deck height and turret hatches are similar in size to the 1/60 M1A1; the tracks are actually the spares from that model.

Amaraz BTR-80 (No brand - 1/55)
Great size and very cheap.

From L-R: Mitsubishi Type 73 (Kyosho - 1/57), Volkswagen Type 181 (Matchbox - 1/58), Ford M151A1 (Kyosho - 1/57), and Willy's MB (Matchbos - 1/55)

23 August, 2016

28mm Civilian Vehicles, Part II: Siku

Part two of a continuing effort to document scale-appropriate toy cars for 28mm gaming. In this post we take a look at a few models from Siku, probably the manufacturer with the largest collection of ~1/56 scale diecast cars. Siku cars are usually imprinted with engine and performance statistics; these have been omitted from the profiles in the interest of brevity.

(28mm figures from the Northstar "Fistful of Kung-fu" and Copplestone Castings "Future Wars" ranges provided for scale)

2001 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W203)
Scale: 1/54 (WB: 2715/48.6; W: 1728/33.1)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "Mercedes Benz C320 / 1375"

2005 Audi Q7 (Type 4L)
Scale: 1/55 (WB: 3002/51.7; W: 1984/37.8)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "Audi Q7 4.2 FSI Quattro / 1429"

2008 M3 Coupe (E92)
Scale: 1/56 (WB: 2761/47.5; W: 1821/33.7)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "BMW M3 Coupe / 1450"

2007 BMW X5 (E70)
Scale: 1/56 (WB: 2933/49.6; W: 1933/36.9)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "BMW X5 4.8i / 1432"

2011 Volkswagen Amarok
Scale: 1/59 (WB: 3095/50.2; W: 1944/35.1)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "VW Amarok TDi / No.1443"
Note: Normally I would consider 1/59 too small for 28mm passenger cars; however, because the actual truck is so large. I think it mixes believably as a mid-size pickup.

1972 Jeep CJ-5
Scale: 1/51 (WB: 2121/42.1; W: 1740/33.9)
Line: Siku Super Series
Imprint: "Jeep CJ-5 / 1053"
Note: Normally I consider 1/51 too large for 28mm passenger cars; however, given the relative smallness of the CJ, and the lack of a truer scaled version, I have decided to include it.

05 July, 2016

28mm Civilian Vehicles, Part I: Welly

A selection of Welly brand diecast cars, suitable in scale for 28mm gaming. This is the first in an ongoing project to document toys suitable for gaming.

(28mm figures from the Northstar "Fistful of Kung-fu" and Copplestone Castings "Future Wars" ranges provided for scale)

2003 Peugeot 206 (5dr)
Scale: 1/53 (WB: 2442/46.5; W: 1655/53.0)
Line: Welly NEX 1:60
Imprint: "Peugeot 206 / No.2231"

1970 Volkswagen Type 1 "Beetle"
Scale: 1/52 (WB: 2400/46.5; W: 1539/29.5)
Line: Welly NEX 1:60
Imprint: "Volkswagen Beetle / No.52222"

1998 Volkswagen New Beetle
Scale: 1/55 (WB: 2515/45.2; W: 1721/31.8)
Line: Welly NEX 1:60
Imprint: "Volkswagen New Beetle / No.2061"

1979 Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen SWB (W460)
Scale: 1/56 (WB: 2400/41.4; W: 1700/31.8)
Line: Welly
Imprint: "MB 300 GE / No.9593"

1998 Volkswagen Golf Mk4 (1J)
Scale: 1/56 (WB: 2512/44.4; W: 1735/31.3)
Line: Welly
Imprint: "VW Golf IV / No.8140"

1974 Trabant 601 Deluxe Limousine
Scale: 1/48 (WB: 2020/41.5; W: 1505/31.6)
Line: Welly NEX 1:60
Imprint: "Trabant 601 / No.52325"
Note: I consider 1/48 scale far too large for 28mm miniatures, even for cars as small as the Trabant. I personally prefer the slightly leaner Maisto Trabant 601 (1/51 scale) for 28mm miniatures, but I've included this listing for those who prefer larger vehicles.

14 June, 2016

Make No Mistake: This Blog is ANTI-GUN.

This blog discusses firearms in the best way - in the context of paper and pen RPG gaming. No firearm herein has ever taken a life... has ever injured anyone. They are fictional and harmless. I despise their real-world counterparts. I hate real guns - you got a problem with that - you know what you can go do to yourself.

Let's talk about Force Multiplication

Force multiplication is a military concept that attempts to quantify the efficiency of improved technology or tactics over the baseline, of an infantryman for example. The most significant infantry force multiplier of the last century was the crew served machine gun capable of laying down fire equivalent to SCORES of standard infantry men. However, I think the move from bolt or lever action rifles to semiautomatic rifles presents one of the deadliest force multipliers in our recent history. Consider:

When the Second Amendment was drafted, a trained soldier with paper cartridge and Minnie ball could be expected to fire 4 aimed shots per minute. And carried 20-30 cartridges in his kit - enough for approximately six minutes of sustained aimed fire (20-30 shots).

By the end of the 19th century the metallic cartridge and bolt action magazine fed rifle, such as the Lee-Enfield rifle, afforded an aimed rate of fire of approximately 20-30 shots/minute; a force multiplier of approximately 6x the baseline. Meaning that each soldier was roughly as effective as six American Revolution/Civil War soldiers. Additionally a soldier usually carried a load of 9-10 5rd clips with which to reload, affording approximately two minutes of sustained fire (55-60 shots)

In 1936 the United States adopted the M1 Garand rifle, the world's first widely issued semiautomatic service rifle. Without the need to manually cycle the action and reacquire the target, and with a single 8rd en-bloc clip for reloading (rather than injecting two 5rd stripper clips) the M1 provided American infantrymen the capability of 40-50 aimed shots/minute... a force multiplier of approximately 11x our baseline. A single soldier now had the firepower of a SQUAD of minnie ball armed infantry. It provided American soldiers with twice the firepower of Kar98 equipped German soldiers, prompting Patton to call it "the single greatest battle implement ever devised." Infantrymen typically carried sufficient clips for 2 minutes of sustained fire (80-96 shots).

The AR15 rifle, the semi-automatic version of the M16 military rifle, provides a shooter with 45-60 aimed shots/minute, a slight improvement over the M1 made possible by lower felt recoil, larger magazine capacity (20-30 versus 8), and faster reload times facilitated by a detachable box magazine. This firearm, when compared to our baseline, provides a force multiplier of ~13x. This means that in order to wreak the havoc that Omar Mateen did, would require no less than thirteen men armed with Pennsylvania rifles. A single Beta C-mag would provide about two minutes of sustained, aimed fire (100 shots). A typical load bearing vest/magazine pouch rig might hold eight magazines (easily more) which would feed the weapon for five minutes of sustained, aimed fire (270 shots).

Put another way, if Mateen had conducted his massacre during Washington's administration, the casualties would number around FOUR dead and FOUR wounded.

Were civilian gun ownership limited to revolvers and bolt or lever action firearms, with a maximum capacity of six and ten respectively, we could still expect to cut the death toll in HALF at the very least.To do so would not require the lengthy (and unlikely to succeed) amendment process; merely adding semiautomatic weapons to the definition of Title II weapons in the National Firearms Act of 1934. It worked to clear the streets of submachineguns and other automatic weapons, there is no reason to doubt it would be effective at reducing crime's force multiplier here.

14 May, 2016

Spy-Fi and Modern Military Widget

Came across this little generator today. Very useful in generating codenames for operations and projects, be they espionage, or military actions; think Operation Gothic Serpent, or Project Blue Book... now you can have Operation Field Gazelle and Project Orange Drought.

I give you:

Project Codename.

11 April, 2016

UltraModern Armoury Graphics

Whipped up some slides for the UltraModern Armoury template. Not my most favorite, but they will do until more suitable images are available.

Handguns - SIG-Sauer P228

SMGs - IMI Uzi

Assault Rifles - SIG SG552 Commando

Rifles - H&K SL9SD

Shotguns - Benelli M4 Super 90

Machineguns - Browning M1919A4

Heavy Weapons - Milkor M32 MGL

10 April, 2016

April Paintings

Aside from doing a bit of work on the UltraModern Armoury. I also managed to paint up some WW2 infantry this month.

First up were seven USMC, the Ceramcoat Sea Green airbrushed on as a color base very nicely, and was able to be touched up by brush. German Camo Beige web/canvas gear, Leather Brown boots and holsters, and helmet covers of Khaki with Camo Olive Green and Mahogany Brown spots washed over in Khaki. Weapons are Gunmetal and Mahogany Brown; base is Iraqi Sand.

But that is a lot of white folks. I think one of the things that has kept me from historical WW2 games is the segregation of US Forces. So one of the things I decided was to integrate my units. There was some integration of combat units, notably K Company of the 394th Infantry Regiment (coincidentally a Pittsburgh unit) after the Battle of the Bulge; I have decided to fudge the dates and have my platoon, based on K/324th, integrated while the unit was fighting in North Africa. It's ahistorical, but I don't care... so much of the hobby is ahistorical... I'm changing this one.

So here are my first Army guys:

06 March, 2016

Five And A Half More...

I finished painting more minis this weekend. I was rather taken by the finished colors on the urban guerrilla pictured at right. I had used two Ceramcoat shades of green on her clothing and they finished rather nicely I thought, so I decided to use those colors as the basis for my trooper schemes. You can see the results here, the male troopers are ex-Grenadier castings by EM-4/Mirlington, the female is from Copplestone Castings.

The troopers were done a bit slap-dash, but they came out well enough. The guerrilla (a Copplestone Castings' Partisan) was painted to a much higher standard, with yellow marking stripe on the grenade and a storied baseball team cap.

At the far left is the other plainclothes cop from Northstar's "Fistful of Kung Fu" line. Probably should have gone for a higher contrast between vest and shirt, but I wanted to try that purple. Sue me.

Trooper Scheme:

Uniform: Ceramcoat "Timberline Green"
Armor: Ceramcoat "Dark Forest Green" with VMC 053 "Chainmail Silver" scratches; with VMC 010 "Bloody Red" optic lens on the helmet.
Boots/Holster/Electronics: Ceramcoat "Charcoal" with VMC 053 "Chainmail Silver" drybruch on the edges of electronic devices.
Firearms: Ceramcoat "Charcoal" barrel/GL/magazine with VMC 053 "Chainmail Silver" drybrush, and VMC 062 "Earth" receiver
Beret: VMC 011 "Gory Red"
Pouches: Army Painter "Army Green"

Urban Bases: Ceramcoat "Hippo Grey", drybrushed in Ceramcoat "Bridgeport Grey" and flocked with Woodland Scenics "Burnt Grass" static grass.

03 March, 2016


Slight overhaul of the blog design yesterday. It seems the template I use is not fully supported anymore, particularly the wallpaper has been discontinued. So a quick modification of the banner and a drop in of the Delta Green web-kit background have brought things back to a look i am content with. the delta green background is particularly fitting, I think, as this blog was started six years ago as a campaign chronicle and web-supplement for my Delta Green campaign.

I also painted up an 18th miniature last night - he was all I got done yesterday. I wasn't feeling great yesterday morning, so after dropping the kids at school I laid down for a two hour nap that ended when my daughter came home from school. Anyway, a Copplestone Casting's biker from the Future Wars line to go with the one I painted last week.

Oh and happy news yesterday that Copplestone Castings sales and ordering will be managed by Northstar from the 14th of this month (which is the day before payday, woot!). This puts most of my favorite lines (Northstar, Artizan, Crusader, and Copplestone) in the same online shopping basket. Woot!

02 March, 2016

Painting Miniatures of Color

I am a really big fan of diversity - both in life and my gaming table - one of the reasons I prefer Vietnam era wargaming to the segregated army of WW2, for example. However painting miniatures that read on the table as non-white is not as easy as it might seem.

This is a skin tone tests for non-white characters. In all I'm rather pleased with the results... the only disappointment is the dirtiness of the white suit... but the photo accentuates it and it looks better in real life.

All the skintones were Vallejo Model Colors. For the three Asian figures on the left (Yakuza gangster "oyabun leader" painted as a low level chimpira in flamboyant red suit, and a "heroic cop" both from Northstar's Fistful of Kung Fu line; female "citizan militia" painted as a Hong Kong SDU officer) were painted with VMC 036 "Bronze Fleshtone". It is a bit stereotypically yellow, but it reads as "Asian" more than any more nuanced tones I've tried. It shall be my go to Asian skintone.

Next we have a "news team minder" painted as a city detective (from Copplestone Castings's Future Wars line) painted with Valleho Model Color Extra Opaque 140 "Heavy Skintone" which I think will read well for both Hispanic/Latino/Chicano and North African/S.W. Asian characters.

Finally "corporate babe 2" (also Copplestone Castings; Future Wars line) painted as an armed female corp with Vallejo Model Color 044 "Dark Fleshtone"which I fine to be a very attractive, rich black skintone in miniature - the photograph really doesn't do the actual miniature justice... she looks gorgeous in person... with just a hint of dirtiness to the white suit. I will definitely be using this color more often.

So those are my basic skintones for non-white miniatures... I would like to find more shades for each that could offer more variety while still remaining identifiable at scale... I have four or five shades of Caucasian/white fleshtone by comparison. However the fact is that real skintones aren't as defined - my wife and I are nearly the same shade for example... and at scale the slightly cartoonish choices of skintone become more important to distinguish the miniatures intended ethnicity. In my previous batch of minis I had experimented with "Heavy Fleshtone" for a lighter-skinned black woman, and "Elf Skintone" (VMC 004) for Asian characters... the results were a Latina-looking woman and two white-looking women respectively. Indeed the Asian characters skintones (two at center) are hard to distinguish from the the three "white" skintones used on the redhead corporate babe with the sword (VMC 089 "Cadmium Flesh"), the partisan in magenta watchcap (Ceramcoat"Medium Flesh"), and the biker on the end (VMC 100 "Rosy Flesh"),

25 February, 2016

Eleven Minis Painted and Counting...

I've actually gotten some painting done. Six old west minis (mostly Foundry and an Artizan) that were actually started back in Pittsburgh at one of our paint nights... what... three years ago? Four? Well they are finished.

I also finished five Copplestones (I think the biker is one of his Grenadier sculpts from EM-4/SG mirlington) from scratch. In the background are two 1/55th scale cars... the Unimog 1500 is from Siku and was picked up on Ebay last fall... the Honda CRZ is from Majorette and was one of two I picked up at the supermarket two weeks or so ago.

I've got about a squad's worth of WW2 US Infantry from Artizan cleaned and mounted, and a platoon's worth of Copplestone Casting's Chinese troops that will be painted as WW2 Royal Thai Army, all waiting for dry weather to be primed.