Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Littlefield Tank Collection Part One

 Hi Kids, The Chuckster wrangled an invite to the world famous Littlefield Tank Collection on his last trip to Cali!  How was this arranged?  Black helicopters, dead drops, go-betweens, secret payoffs and government handouts?  Nah.  Just a couple emails and US$20.00.  Then I had to fly to Cali, rent a car, follow a trail of breadcrumbs.....  All kidding aside, this collection is probably the best I've ever seen in the USA; much larger than Danville, Manasas, or Ft. Knox; and better condition than Aberdeen (which pretty much doesn't exist anymore).  I'd rate it just behind Bovington Camp and the Imperial War Museum Duxford. I still have to visit that one in Indiana.  There isn't a guide book to go with these shots, so I could get some ID's wrong, but I'm not a expert with these things.  Also, most of the restored examples are in buildings, and for some strange reason they didn't want me starting them up and pulling them out into the sunshine, so a lot of the shots are strange angles and partials; but hey, what can you do?  Here we have an M36 Tank Destroyer, I think they brought it over from Yugoslavia.
 These are the prototypes of a new armored Hummer, T54/55 behind them.  The Soviet beast is for sale if you've got US$45K sitting around.
 A Brit Centurion and an up-armored T54/55.
 Some kind of arty and an M3 Stuart.
 Hummer wannabees.
A nifty French tank, the AMX-13!

 An Israeli Super Sherman, I think this is one of the M50's, but I wouldn't swear it.  Does that look like a 105 to you?
 The business end.
 Churchill AVRE, complete with 165mm gun, and assorted hardpoints for carrying stuff like mine plows.
 A little tiny PZ 1.  And I mean TINY.  If it had a handle you could just pick it up and walk out with it.
 One of the four large buildings, this one with the sexiest tank of all time, the Chieftain!
IIRC this was an M2 arty tractor halftrack.

 Of course, it's not ALL tanks, here's a 23mm quad mount from the Soviets or one of their client states.
 Oh yeah, dead sexy!  Another view of the Chieftain!  When the Brits surplused them they were only US17K!  A used tank or a used Honda?  Tough choice.
 One of the few M103's ever made.  At this point of history guns had trumpted armor, so there wasn't a whole lot of point to building more superheavy tanks.
 A Brit armoured car, the Saladin.  They had its alter-ego, the Saracen, also.
 A T-34/76.  Yes, that kid is lifting the hatch.  That's how easy they are to operate.
 Another line-up shot, with what might be Scorpion, French armored cars, an M48 and M88 way at the end.
Gotta love those Scuds!

 The Brit mate of the M103: The Conquerer. They made even fewer of these.  The Guide said this was the only vehicle they delivered in two loads; hull and turret.  It was just Too Honkin Big.
 The other side of that goofy looking French Armored Car, Panhard EBR.
 Eland 90. Much sexier than the 8 wheeler.
JS-3.  Stalin digs em!

 The US M551 Sheridan.  I heard shooting normal 152mm ammo was a life changing experience.  The Shillelagh missile was a bad joke.  Aluminum armor, too.  Most of these are in artificial reefs now.  If this was designed in Russia the dudes responsible would be in the artificial reef too.
 The line-up from the other direction.
 Some of the yet-to-be-restored tanks outside. I can see a Valentine, a Sherman, and some arty and recovery vehicles.  The tours are limited to 3 hours and none of these were in the tour.
 A line of CVRT, not sure the exact models; Striker, Samson?
 That last one looks like a big wheel Ferret or maybe a Fox.
The courtyard view, there are four large buildings each crammed with cool stuff!

Well, I've been told my huge posts with 100+ pictures are tough to download, so I'm going to break these reports up into bit-sized chunks. So tune in tomorrow for more Littlefield action!  For those of you who don't dig tanks, you'll get to ignore me a lot more often!  So everybody wins!

Oop Armored Blood Dragon Vampire on Foot finished

I really dig the Lahmians but rolling into combat with no armor and relying on some Black armbands of gold to save you isn't really a winning plan. It can be thrilling but not the Evil Mistress of Probability will make you pay for your Hubris.        Enter the Armored Blood Dragon on foot.

I have had this model for a long time and I accidentally broke it in half while trying to adjust the pose. He was repaired and finally finished. I plan to have him lead the unit of Grave Guard tooled out to slaughter. I contemplated painting the skulls like antiqued bone but instead went with a gold final highlight.

The posterior view. After getting the gild base where I liked it I went back with a chainmail and mithrl silver light dry brush to bring out the edges of the armor.

More Vampire Counts in the painting pipeline, if I keep this Up I might have to break down and buy the current Armybook.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Old school Skeleton Archers Finished

I finished up a unit of old school style Skeleton archers for my 3rd edition warhammer fantasy battle Undead army.

The start of the unit was four of the skeleton archers from the original Skeleton Army box I bought back in '89 or '90. When I hopped back on the third edition train I wanted a unit of skelton archer. I searched out the skeleton bits box and found five sets of the 20 year old archer arms. I only had to use one set of the newer askelton archer arms. I had plenty of newer but also oop skelton bodies so I set to work.

One of the newer style bodies with the twenty year old skelton archer bits.

My favorite pose. A pose that you can no longer acheive using the newer GW skeleton archer bits.

The odd man out, unit champion, uses the new skelton archer bits that have the bow in the right hand. I still had enough of the original quivers to equip all of them the same so he doesn't stick out too much.

I am working through my Vsmpire Count collection getting everything built and painted. I still have a handfull of characters, A black coach, a corpse cart, more skeletons, more Wraiths and Spirit hosts that are still in progress.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cretan Archers from Wargames Factory Numidians

I finally finished building my unit of Cretan archers from Wargames Factory Numidian plastics. My plan is to use them as skirmishers for my Achaemenid Persian army to face off against the Macedonians.

The command models are mostly standard Numidians with helmets and Persian Infantry bows on their backs. The Numidian box came with fourteen bows but i wanted to have twenty models in the unit so I used the Persian bow quivers to make sure every models had one.

Three Cretans with their bows stowed and ready for the charge.

A close up of the standard Numidian archer with a sheathed sword, arrow quiver and shield on their backs.

The full unit based and ready for primer.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Oop Grave Guard unit finished

I started these back in October 2011, Oop Vampire Count Grave Guard. I was side tracked and they were left on the side of the painting table three quarters of the way finished.

The unit mostly finished, just waiting for some highlights and some shields.

Shields added and a few more highlights added. The shield have been primed black and given a couple washes of scorched brown for a base coat.

 The Oop Grave Guard standard bearer. I want to free hand a design on the banner but I haven't picked one I like.

The Oop Grave guard champion. He has a shield like the rest of the halberdiers with a Imperial Purple base coat.

Oop Grave guard Musician. The reds have a subtle highlight that the camera doesn't pick up. I just need to build that light box set up so I get a better level of photo. The command models are actually from a later release than the Halberdiers but still blend in well with them.

The first two poses of the Oop Grave guard halberdiers.

The second two poses of the Oop Grave Guard halberdiers. I have just base coated the shields. I plan to come back with a design once I decide which one I want to use.

Finally the unit ready for the table. My plan is to use the Skeleton Grim Reapers I converted as back rank troops so I can have a 35 model strong unit of Grave Guard with great weapons.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Art from the Chuckster

 Hi Kids,  Figured I'd let the masses out there see that the Chuckster isn't just some troglodyte lurking in the Basement all the time.  He also has an artsy-fartsy side.  It doesn't show much, so every once and awhile ya gotta fly your freak flag.  Most art leaves me cold, its only exceptional images that catch my eye, such as Star Trek Motivational Posters for example.  I only have a few pictures, and here they are:  First off is "The Animal," a picture of an F-4 Phantom II from Vietnam.  It is pictured at tree-top level, on this mission it came back to base with palm leaves and impact damage.  Yes, this was an actual event, although I doubt the artist was nearby at the time.  Look close at the left of the picture and you can see the palm tree disintegrating from the impact with the wingtip.

Second is a little chunk of Africa I brought back from a trip to Tanzania 10+ years ago.  It is a bateik (bateke? batteek? aw who knows?) of some African Wild Dogs chasing a Zebra.  The Wild Dog has the highest success ratio of the African predators, supposedly about 90% of animals they chase loose the race.  Possibly due to the dogs taking turns chasing them to the point of exhaustion.  Goes to show dogs are much smarter than cats.  But we all know that anyway.  No title except the lady called it "Wild Dogs" at the store in Arusha (I think?).  Wanted to buy a 3 foot tall wooden Elephant carving too but I couldn't get it in my suitcase.
Here we have "The Animal" again, I was trying like mad to get a decent picture since the flash and lighting conditions were conspiring against me.  Its a good thing I used a digital camera and could delete the 35 pictures that looked worse than these.