Wednesday, May 4, 2011

krupp conundrum...

 I looked high and low to find a Krupp gun for my Spanish-American games. I knew Emhar made a 1/35 scale model but I could not find a retailer who had one in stock. So, the week after the big Span-Am game I attended the Indianapolis Toy Soldier show and what were the first things I found? A 1/35 scale Emhar Krupp gun as well as a metal one by Britains (I think). Go figure. The metal one came with a limber which unfortunately needs repaired. That will be a later post.

 I was impressed with the Emhar model. The gun itself was well designed and went together easily. All the parts fit tightly and accurately. There was some creative engineering in the design of this model. I was impressed, too, with the sculpting of the three supplied figures, an officer and two gun crew members.

 Being a habitual whiner (and therefore a requirement), there are only two complaints I can voice. First, the officer's sword blade was too thick and in my case was bent. The resulting fat saber just didn't cut it. Kind of looked like the officer was waving around a giant bratwurst. But the blade was easily cut away and replaced with a piece of strip styrene.

 The second complaint is not really an attribute of the model. It's more one of my intended use: the model is fairly fragile and somewhat delicate. Knowing that gamers can be ham-fisted (and knowing that this is just part of the game) I'm worried that this hard-to-find piece of equipment will not survive its first deployment. It might be worth it to permanently affix this model to a base for added rigidity and to provide a bumper in case it is dropped. Something to think about.

Speaking of basing, I've also been tinkering with my technique. These figures were glued to poker chips. The bases were then coated with a mixture of left over grout (fine sand could be substituted) and used coffee grounds. The whole base was then painted with artist's gesso to seal it and then painted a light tan. Next, a dark brown wash and dry-bushing with an even lighter grayish tan. Finally, some ballast pebbles, flock, static grass and some clump foliage were added for variety. The final results? I don't know... I like the non-uniformity of the grout/coffee mixture but I think I went too far with the rocks and bushes making the bases too busy. I'll keep refining the technique.

While I bought the model to use for the 1898 Spanish troops, I couldn't resist painting the WWI German figures. WWI is one of my favorite topics. Having played Memoir '44 in 54mm several times, I think it would be so cool to play the WWI variant in 54mm. This might be my next project.

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