Friday, January 27, 2012

Plastic Soldier Company's Allied M4A2 Sherman Tank

Recently I purchased for the first time a kit from Plastic Soldier Company.  I picked up their Sherman Tank box.  There are 5 tanks in the box for $30.00 which isn't a bad price for 5 tanks.

Each tank and all of it pieces and variations come on one sprue.  Each model has the possibility of being three different tanks.  A 75mm Thin Mantlet, 75mm Wide Mantlet and a 76mm Cast Drive Cover.
I decided to make the 75mm Wide Mantlet version.  After taking all of the pieces off that I needed, I should point out that the only instructions are one page, front and back.  The different versions are color coded with a picture of what they look like on one side and an exploded view of the pieces coming together.
Everything goes together by visual representation, also there aren't any reference numbers to correspond the different variations to one model type.

While building it I did have some issues with the tracks and the fenders.  The tracks come in two pieces and they require one to put the top part of the track on the chassis wheels first and then mount the chassis to the tank.  This prevents the track from falling off while waiting for the glue to dry.  Once that dried putting the bottom part of the track on required some fiddling as the track does not fit snuggly up against the road wheels.  Also the two tracks do not touch when applied.
This will require adding some green stuff or some other filler to close the gaps.

The fenders do not have any guides or notches to place them against to ensure a proper fit.  So arranging the fender so it was level proved tricky.  I did a number of dry runs before adding the glue.  I'm not happy with the way it went together since it left gaps on the front.

Overall the model went together quickly.  I do think that it would be easier to have had rubber tracks in the kit or pre-molded tracks all ready applied to the chassis wheels.

Here are some photos of the completed model.  It has not been painted as I'm waiting to finish all 5.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ritirata! Inferno! (Retreat! Hell!) Sicily July 12th 1943

This past Saturday my gaming group and I got together to play a WWII battle that I came up with using the Too Fat Lardies new "I Ain't Been Shot Mum" 3rd edition.  This particular scenario came from my creative imagination and what I thought could have happened between the Italians and Germans if they had cooperated a little bit more during the invasion of Sicily.

The Italian commander was given the task of holding back the on rushing Americans with one Bersaglieri Platoon and 3 R35's and one Semovent 90/53.  Throughout the game the Italians would receive some reinforcements in the form of one regular Italian Infantry platoon and two German rifle platoons.

The American commander had at his disposal 3 rifle platoons, 3 Shermans, 2 MMG and 3 60mm motars.

The Italians started dug in and opted not to use blinds for their concealment hoping it would slow the Americans down in trying to search them out.
This is the table setup before the American placement.

The Americans came onto the board covering a wide front and scouting for the enemy.

In an attempt to draw off some of the American forces the Italian commander released some his scouts.

The dug in Italians spotted a portion of the Americans and found the tanks almost immediately.  The Italians would also draw first blood when the Semovent opened up and took out a sherman on the first shot.

Despite the loss of a sherman, the Americans responded quickly immobilizing the Semovent and destroying an R35 sitting behind a wall.

Soon after the tanks fired the American infantry found the waiting Italian infantry in a grove of trees and a house.

In the most characteristic style the Americans threw everything they had at the Italians and after a few rounds of fire, the Italians lost their bottle and took off.

Out of a 12 turn game I had planned we finished 5 turns in 4 hours and we had to call the game because of time.  The reinforcements had only started to come on by this point and had no effect on the battle.  I want to set this one up again because I think it has the potential to be a hard fought battle for the Americans if they aren't careful.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Playing Favorites.....

A couple of blogs I follow Trouble At T'Mill and Mylardiesgames are carrying on a little game called Playing Favorites.  As a war gamer you pick your favorite rules, figures, period and so on.  I liked the idea and decided to follow along.....

To start off with the toughest of them all for us gamers....


This is tough as there are many periods I like to game but two really stand out as the top one and two.   World War I for its sheer size and the almost dogged way the armies held onto out dated tactics and ushered in a new era of warfare that changed the world forever.
The other is the American Revolution.  There are far to many reasons as to why I like this period but one of them is because I grew up in NJ and lots of the battles and marches etc were all within driving distance for a young kid who loved history.


15mm fills the role of most of my armies, although I do have 10mm and some 20mm figures as well.  This does not count my naval and air forces.


Piquet tops my list of my favorite set of rules.  I use them to cover my interests in WWI and the AWI.

Board Game

Paths of Glory by GMT.  This game has provided me and my friends countless hours of fun.

Figure Manufacturer

I love Pendraken figures.  They are crisp and clean molds and they look fantastic before and after painting.  In 15mm I like Peter Pig.  Sometimes they can be a little chunky but the detail is excellent.


This is easy my gaming group here in Portland, OR.  We have been gaming together for nearly 12 years now.  We are a diverse set of individuals and I am proud to call them my friends.

Inspiration: Film

The film, really its a series from HBO, the Band of Brothers.  It is an outstanding piece of film that really captures the soldiers and their struggle to survive and function during WWII.

Inspiration: Book

Saratoga: The Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War by Richard Ketchum.  This book really captures the feel of the period and brings together the two opposing forces in real detail.

Inspiration: Art
John Singer Sargent's painting "Gassed" from 1919

I hope you have enjoyed my favorites.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Some great WWII Bomber Footage.

This is some great bomber footage on a raid into Japan.  P-51's escort a B-29 flight on a bomber run.  It's rather long around 30 minutes but well worth it.

The Last Bomb