Saturday, August 28, 2010

Old Glory M3A1 Stuart assembly.


In my last post, I mentioned that I went crazy and started a new Flames of War army. I went with Old Glory Miniatures for my tanks and unfortunately their site had no pictures of the tanks, so I was taking a chance on ordering them. A few years ago I assembled and painted a few Old Glory German tanks for my buddy Tom, and I was not impressed with these models. They all looked like they had been stepped on and smashed. They just did not look right to me, but with Battlefront Miniatures getting ready to raise prices, I took a chance on Old Glory and hoped my previous encounter with the models was a fluke.

Now below is a picture of what the real M3A1 Stuart looks like.

And here is a shot of what you get from Old Glory, notice there is no instructions in the bag.

So when I got the minis I did what most people do, I went to the Internet to see if there was some sort of instructions for assembly. Guess what? There wasn't, so I decided to do one here on my blog. I also know a buddy of mine (Jerry) purchased these same models and will need help with them.

So lets take a look at what is in the bag, below is a shot with everything laid out, you get three vehicles per bag and most parts are pretty clear as to what and where they go. But there is a few pieces that I had no clue of what they were for.

Here are some of the pieces that were unclear, on the top right are some sort of barrels, on the top left are some sort of storage box and the center are the hatch's for the turret.

First up was gluing the tracks to the hull, this was pretty easy since they only go on one way. I used thick super glue and clamped the tracks to the hull while the glue set up. There was very little flash on the hull and some minor flash on the tracks that was easy to clean up.

Next up came the turret assembly with the main gun. The turret front has a hole for the gun & mantel to line up, although I did have to trim the mounting pin on the mantel down as well as file some of the front of the turret down to get a flush fit.

Here is a shot of the Hatch's and turret, you will notice that there are 6 hatch's, 2 for each turret. The hatch's on the left are for the left hatch and the 3 hatch's on the right go on the the right side.

Now next up is mounting the machine gun on the turret, you will notice on the right is the MG and you have to carefully cut it off the sprue. I also used a 1/32" drill to make a small hole for the MG to mount to. I had to look at real pictures on the M3A1 to find out where it has mounted. Come to find out it mounts to the back of the turret. The Drill bit is pointing at the spot.
Here you can see it better, it is the tube stuck on the back of the turret behind the right hatch.

Here is how it looks once mounted on the turret. I am not sure about the piece sticking off the bottom so I left it on.

After the MG was mounted I secured the gun mantle to the front. Something I had to look at real pictures was how the gun mounts. Did the MG on the mantle go on the right or left? Well it goes on the left side, also the gun mantle has a very unique front that is larger on the top than the bottom, if you mount it the other way it looks like it is too big on the bottom and to small on the top. It's hard to see in these pictures, so just mount it with the MG on the left if your looking at it from the front end.

So here is what you should have at this time, looks pretty much done, but wait there is more!

What are these parts and where do they go? Well it seems that the barrel looking things on the left are extra fuel barrels. Most pictures you do not see them on the tank, but early non war pictures and other scale models show them on the vehicles. On the right are extra storage bins that go towards the rear which I will show you.

First up the fuel barrels, I painted the areas where these mount too.
Here is what they look like mounted in place.

Next up the extra storage bins, well once again looking at real pictures, these mount to the rear on both sides in the area painted red.
So here is a shot from the rear showing you how they mount. You will notice that the storage box has a slant that should be facing towards the rear of the tank.
And here is a side shot with them in place towards the rear deck of the tank.

So there you have it, a quick lesson on how to assemble the Old Glory M3A1 Stuart Tank.

I have to say, that these Old Glory models did not have any of the same issues like the ones I did for Tom. In fact I like these better than the Battlefront minis M3A1's, I am very happy that I purchased these vehicles.

Next up will be the assembly on the M3 Lee tanks I purchased from Old Glory, so stay tuned...


Monday, August 23, 2010

Operation TORCH

So, a few blog post ago I talked about my growing Flames of War DAK army and I also said I was going to show off some pictures of it. Well I never got around to doing that, but I will so hold on since I am about to add two more armies to my Flames of War collection!

A few of us here in Phoenix have started building Mid-War Desert War armies (DAK, 8th Army, Americans, Italians) for FoW. I only have my DAK which means I can only play a few of my friends (I do not like to play out of period or fight the same armies against each other.) So I had been thinking of building another army so I can play a few other folks in our little group.

Now I have always loved the Desert War of WWII and it may have to do with all the stories my Grandfather told me since he was in Operation Torch. Well a few years ago I picked up this awesome book by Rick Atkinson called An Army at Dawn, The War in North Africa, 1942-1943. This is an awesome book and I only got through half of the book. Well about 4 weeks ago I grabbed the book of the shelf and started to re-read it again. Now with our little group playing FoW in North Africa, this book fueled the passion to build an American force for FoW.

The only problem was which army do I start to collect and seeing how funds are extremely tight, how do I acquire said army? As some know too, Battlefront has either, or is going to raise their prices on their products. So what is a gamer to do???

Well enter Old Glory Miniatures and their wonderful Army Deals! Some of the guys were about to order a few things for Robs Civil War game for Black Powder. So armed with a 40% off deal I set out to purchase a army. I had decided that I wanted an American Tank Company but with a twist. You see during Operation TORCH, the US sent various armoured vehicles (aka Tanks) to fight the Germans. Most of these were the Sherman's, but other smaller tanks were sent such as the M3 A1 Stuart Tanks. Now as luck would have it, when the Americans went to unload the Sherman Tanks, they found that the access hatch to unload them was 4" too small and the bigger tanks could not fit. So I thought why not use some M3A1's for my tank company!

So there you go, a light tank company is born, below is a shot of all the vehicles that I acquired. (4 packs of 3 M3A1 Stuarts, 2 packs of M3 Lees, 2 packs of T19 mobile artillery and a few M3 75mm guns). This will be the basis for my Tank Company.

But wait, it does not stop there! You see, the 40% off suckered me into buying a Motorised Rifle company for the Americans as well! So below is the total haul form the OG order! Now I did also order a few 105cm Artillery guns for my DAK troops, but for the most part it is all Americans baby!
So there you go, a glimpse into madness that is my FoW addiction. I plan on showing the assembly and painting of this army as well, so stay tuned for that...


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sixguns Ablazing!

So yesterday I was invited to a friends house for some Legends of the Old West gaming for a sort of LotOW Campaign day. A few of the usual suspects (Rob B, Mike G, Tom O) were also invited out as well. There was a total of 8 of us playing various Posse's, I took an Outlaw gang called El Rojo Diablos.

My Desperado leader named William Blackhart who started out with a Heavy Pistol and a knife.

Next up are two Kids, on the left is TJ and on the right is Billy, both armed with Sixgun's and knives.

I also had 4 Toughs to start but ended up with 5 Toughs at the end. Starting on the right is Cisco with a Rifle, Bart, Red, Whittey and Slick were all armed with Sixgun's and knives.

I had one Rowdie which was Lawrence with a Shotgun and knife.

After my second game, I Hired a Mexican Bandido named Jose' and had him for my last two games.

We each got in 4 games against each other and we used the Posse with the highest Infamy rating to determine who would play who from round to round.

First game I played was Jailbreak against Rob E friend Mike. He was playing a Lawmen Posse. I was the attacker trying to rescue Billy from jail. Well I lost with everyone in the Posse having to test for injuries.

Second game was against Rob E playing his Cowboys in the Bar Room Brawl scenario. After my Rojo Diablos beat the Cowpokes to a bloody pulp I had a win.

Third game was against Mike G and his awesome looking Lawmen Posse playing another Jail Break scenario. This time I was able to at least get into the jail and look for the keys but ended up having to bail out and Head for the hills since the Lawmen were dropping my Posse like no ones business.

Last game was against Tom O's Desperado posse. We rolled up the High Noon scenario and set about shooting each other up! In the end I made him Head for the Hills and came out of the scenario as the winner. By the way, Tom's Posse and mine were the highest Infamy ratings and it was a battle for 1st & 2nd place.

Well after the battle Tom edged me out in Infamy with a rating of 111 to my 107! So even though I won, I still lost! But all in all it was a great day of gaming with some great guys.