Sunday, May 19, 2013

Flower Containers

So I plan to set my VBCW battles in Kelso, which blocks off the pedestrian area of the town square with large flower containers:
I don't know if such containers were present in the 1930's, but I'm going to include them as they look nice and would provide some cover when fighting in the square.

To go about recreating these, I picked up some 3/4" metal pipe crimp rings from the local DIY store.  It was about $5 for a pack of 10, and I like the heft they have.

 To fill in the bottoms, I cut out some circles from cereal box card and glued them into the bottoms of the rings.  The exposed card was painted brown, and the rings were wrapped with concrete texture paper from
The insides of the containers were then coated with glue, and flowers from Wee Scapes were trimmed to appropriate sizes and added.  Finally, they will be sealed with matte spray varnish.

They are a bit undersized compared to the real things, but  my model square is going to be compressed in size,  so I think they'll work out great.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hedge Rows

During my lunch break today, I took a stroll through a local craft shop and found this in the dried flowers section:

I have been wanting to make some hedge rows for a while, and this seemed like potentially good material.  The rolls are produced by a company called Panacea, and come in 36" (91.4cm) lengths, of either 3" (7.6cm) or 6" (15.2cm) widths. The rolls appear to be made of synthetic brown threads coated with a fine textured natural moss that gives the impression of small leaves. I grabbed the 6" roll, which was $12.99, along with a rough foam block to cut down for the hedge cores.

I cut the block down to strips that are 6" long and 2" high. These were given a base coat of dark brown craft paint, then dry brushed a light green:
I spread wood glue on the outside and covered them with strips from the moss roll.  The rolls have some holes in them, so patching was required.  The moss roll is naturally springy and wanted to pull away from the foam core, so I had to compress the hedge under some medium weight books to get good adhesion.
The moss was shedding fairly heavily off the hedge, so I decided to coat it with a generous amount of Krylon low odor spray glue.  This seems to have solved the issue. Finally it was sealed with a spray matte varnish to dull the shine from the glue.

They aren't the fanciest of hedges, but for a quick, cheap terrain piece, I think they actually look pretty good.    

Friday, May 17, 2013

Diecast Vehicles for VBCW Part III

Another set of vehicles arrived today (my last order for a bit):
  1. Lledo DG 043 1931 Morris Van
  2. Lledo DG 013 1934 Model A Ford Van
The Morris van arrived in a new box type, but as you can see, it has the same dimensions as the one seen in Part II of this series.
Both vehicles look reasonable with the miniatures, with the door tops around head height or slightly higher.

Comparison with the Ford truck:
Again, they all seem similar in scale.

 I could not find a photo of this particular Morris van, but here is a 1930 box van:
Source: Grace's Guide
 It looks like the door tops would be head height, which matches my van.

Here is the Model A Van:
Sadly there is only a child in the photo, but I would guess that the door tops would be slightly lower than adult head height.  Looking at a photo of a Model A sedan, this seems likely:
So I would say the Model A is a good fit for 28mm miniatures, perhaps even slightly oversized.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Diecast Vehicles for VBCW Part II

So, two new vehicles have arrived.

Lledo DG 034 1932 Dennis Delivery Van
To me, this looks like a fairly good size match for my figures.  The door height is about the same as the Ford Model A truck from the earlier post. 

Lledo DG 016 1934 Dennis Parcels Van
 Looking at the door height, I think this one might be slightly undersized for 28mm figures. However, all in all it's not too bad (especially since it was on $4.99, including the shipping).

Size comparison of both with the Ford truck:

I wasn't able to find photos of either van, but here is link to a Dennis van similar to the 1934 model:
Though there is no person in the photo, the chairs behind the van would lead me to believe the tops of the doors should be above a man's head. So I think my belief  that the parcels van is too small is likely true.

One of the tricky things in trying determine the size of Lledo vehicles when looking at online auctions, is that their box sizes have changed over time.

To help you in sizing up vehicles, here are the dimensions for these two box types:

  • Height (not counting the top tab) 6.0cm, 2 3/8"
  • Length 12.6cm, 4 7/8"
  • Height (not counting the top tab) 6.6cm, 2 5/8"
  • Length 14.2 cm, 5 5/8"

Monday, May 6, 2013

Diecast Vehicles for VBCW

I have been looking for civilian vehicles for my 28mm VBCW gaming, but have been struggling to find some that fit with my 1/55-1/56 military vehicles. Most models seem to be 1/48, and the majority of diecast cars seem to run approximately 1/43.  Both of these option are way too big for my preferences, especially since my building are underscaled (around 1/63, slightly bigger than model railroad S scale).

I asked for advice on LAF, and got various opinions on what looked good and what didn't, but got no real consensus other than people were using some models from Matchbox's "Models of Yesteryear" and Lledo's  "Models of Days Gone" lines (both discontinued, but available second hand).

Some additional Googling turned up a Russian Matchbox site that had photos and scales for the Yesteryear series.  Based on this I made a short list of Matchbox vehicles between 1/50 and 1/60 size that seemed promising.  Sadly, I couldn't find such a guide for the Lledo cars, and had to eye it based on photos helpful LAFers added to my post.

After a bit of searching on eBay, I took the plunge with two vehicles:
  1. Matchbox Y31-B 1931 Morris Courier (though oddly the stamp on the bottom of the lorry says 1933 Morris Pantechnicon - not sure if they are sharing parts); 1/59 given scale
  2. Lledo DG 020 1934 Ford A Stake Truck; no given scale
So How do they look compared to my Copplestone Lanchester armoured car?  I've placed each vehicle against my cutting board grid (sorry it's in inches, 1 inch = 25mm), and added Musketeer (smaller) and Artizan (larger) figures for comparison (base thickness is 3mm).

Lanchester 6x4 Armoured Car
Morris Courier

Ford A Stake Truck

 To my eye, these three vehicles look fairly reasonable to one another. How do they compare to reality?

Source: Wikipedia
The wheels on the model Lanchester seem slightly oversized, but the figures come up to the height of the door, which is a good match to the historical photo.

Source: Grace's Guide
Sadly, I could not find a photo of the Morris Courier, but here is another model from the same era. From photos I've seen online, most of the lorries and vans from this time seem to have cabs about this size, so I think it is a reasonable comparison.  Though there is no person standing next to it, based on the people inside, I think the Matchbox Courier is an acceptable fit.
Source:  Wikipedia
Finally there is the Ford A truck.  In this photo, the man's head is slightly below the top of the door. My 28mm figures are closer to the roof line of the Lledo truck, but if you subtract the base thickness, it isn't too far off of reality.

As such, I think I'm off to a good start with both brands. The Lledo seem to go a bit cheaper on eBay (I got mine for $7 with shipping, vs $17 in total for the Matchbox), so I think I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for these even though I'll have to guess at the scale for each individual model.  Luckily my Ford came in the original box, so that will help me gauge how large (or small) other vehicles are in comparison.

As I add more, I'll post additional size photos.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Corner Shops

Back with another building from  This is kit T021: Corner Shops.

The kit can be built with the corner shop on either side, and you have the option of adding a second shop or just a rear entrance off to the side.  A small yard off to the side is also included. Advertisements are from kit T005.

The first shop is Ducketts Grocery. There are an impressive array of interior fixtures included, so I was able to add quite a few shelves of goods, along with a counter and fruit/vegetable display.

Next up is the Shaun of the Dead inspired Winchester Tavern. Includes a full bar with food, a table in the back, and darts to keep you busy in case of Fascist occupation or the dawn of the zombie apocalypse.

Between the food supplies and booze, I expect this building will be a major strategic objective during my games.