Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I Know Nothing! No-Thing!

Hey folks! Finally managed to get this objective finished.

As you may be able to tell from the title, if not the figures contained within, this is an objective marker attempting to imitate the good old Hogan's Heroes show. I had a Morris CS8 that wasn't needed laying around, and since on the show they often had this truck take part in various schemes and antics (not to mention, ruses) I figured it'd be fun to combine it with two or three random figures I had laying around, and remake a possible scene from the show.

Here, we see Hogan himself, 'caught' in the middle of one of the plans, being confronted by Col. Klink, as Schultz in the background finds Newkirk in the back of a truck that was supposed to be empty! (Or at least, not filled with a Newkirk.) Also making an appearance is the ever-useful tunnel exit from the camp through a hollow stump.

Modifying the various models was fairly straightforward, and luckily easier than I feared. Schult's model is a Winter Grenadier figure that has epoxy putty to expand his waistline. Klink is another figure from the same blister, with more greenstuff to make a monocle. Newkirk is actually all German as well: A Panzer IV turret commander, plus the cap from a German Dismounted Tank Crewman. Luckily with a different paintjob, and the fact that it's just chest-up, Newkirk's famous Corporal's outfit, (and dashing sideburns) are enough to sell him.

Hogan was the one that scared me the most as a conversion. The base model is Jock Campbell, which my friend and I noticed was a good head shorter than most other British desert figures. This was harder on my friend, as the real Campbell, (between 6ft and 6'1") can't be based with other British figs or he looks like a child.

For my part, I had bought the blister to use his truck for my Sonderkommand Dora group, and had the gentleman himself sitting around waiting for this. Wondering how I was going to bring him up to proper height, I discovered the original cast is, for some reason, just too short on the torso/waist region. I delicately sliced him in half, cutting in such a way as to not sever the arms, and then used putty (and pins) to properly expand his height, sculpting a new butt, and properly-high waistline. he now stands as tall as Klink as he did in the show.

Hogan is also, of course, smirking. I don't think there was really ever an episode where Hogan didn't get to enjoy a smirk of satisfaction, so in this narrative it suggests perhaps this 'capture' was on purpose as well!

Also slightly painful to my rivet-counting ways, I had to intentionally paint these guys 'wrong' in a sense. The truck doesn't have standard British-In-German-Use markings, but a painted-on German army flag. The gear used by some of them is painted as best I could to the show, not history per se, and the snow is intentionally very fake looking, as befits a show mostly filmed in locations where none falls.

Why this objective? Other than now having two funky "Hollywood Objectives", it also is a generic enough one that it could be used for any allied force, or even any German ones! (Who knows how wild their antics would have gotten!)

Friday, December 06, 2013

Visions of Night

As I struggle with my first significant source-light painting, and with finishing off an entire company of Panthers, I moved once again to my freeform scratchbuild/conversion. Every now and again I feel an urge to build things. It's a puzzle where the 'pieces' are whatever bitz I can find or get, and the 'picture' is as many historical or contemporary photos as I can hunt down.

With that said, I ended up with one 'unassembled' Panther from my two boxes to make the company. I figured I would turn it into a Tank Ace, until I made my company commander cool enough to make him a Tank Ace enough in his own right! It was during my Panther research I came across the Panther with night-vision setup, and the guys at Missing Lynx do a great job of detailing it and showing photos. I knew I had to have one. At first I contemplated doing a "Solution C" but it seems the prevailing belief is that Solution C (three scopes, one each for commander, driver, and gunner) was about as likely as a KV-5. Settling on the Solution A, I first set about making the back bin (which is the easiest), and then after significant delay, set to work on the scope. Here's the pieces I used:

Kudos to anyone who knows what that bottom-centre piece is from!
I clipped the back end of a leftover part from another model to form the base of the scope, which was glued to a plastic cylinder, itself on a small triangular piece of plasticard. The lamp is a leftover piece of pewter something which I was lucky enough to find in my scrap bin and almost exactly replicates the size of the device.

So hard to hold on to..
Assembled, this entire device is still only maybe 3 or 4 mm square, and while unfinished, it is now ready for mating to the panther ring.

First, a commander from the Panzer IV H box was shaved down and slotted into the cupola. After that, the assembly was glued in place, making it look as though the commander is trying to line up the turret.

Finally, liquid greenstuff helped to make the various locking rings for the night vision scope itself. With this complete, the Night Panther is ready for stowage, and then painting!