Saturday, November 14, 2015

British Air Support

I am currently expanding my British forces from German East Africa for use in Back of Beyond gaming as well.  The first part of said expansion is a bit of air support for my ground troops.  This particular plane is Bristol F.2B fighter, which replaced the RAF No. 31 Squadron's B.E.2Cs in 1919.

The kit I selected was an out of production Eduard's Weekend Edition I picked up on eBay for approximately $20US with the shipping. I had built some 1/72 Eduard aircraft before, and really enjoyed the kits.  With this being a "weekend" kit, I assumed it would be a quick and simple build, but I was sorely wrong.  The guiding principle the kit designer seemed to be following was why produce just one piece for a part, when five would be even better. He also believed thin parts were ideal, because who wants major support pegs having a thickness of more than 1mm.

As you can guess, building this monster was an absolute nightmare, and I came close to throwing the kit out on multiple occasions.  The supports that connect the lower wing to the fuselage were very weak and twisted as the glue dried, causing the fuselage to tilt to one side. The upper wing assembly is also crooked, as each strut had to be assembled separately using those 1mm pegs I mentioned, with more than half the pegs snapping off during assembly. 

 I went ahead and wired the wings up using some plastic line I picked up years ago in a Japanese hobby shop (it's similar to fishing line, but dark grey). You might think this was overkill, but I assure you the wings on this kit would never hold up without it.

I wanted  to use the plane both on the ground and in the air, so I drilled a hole in the bottom to accept a bit of brass rod.  The rod isn't glued in, but instead slides into a sleeve of washers glued in under the rear gunner.

The stand is made from a basswood oval (picked up at the craft store), with another washer sleeve to help support the brass rod. Pennies were added to the base for additional weight, and then everything was covered with texture gel and rock. 

The kit did not include any figures, so I ordered a pilot set from Copplestone.  They fit quite nicely in the plane and really have a lot of character. The pack also included some full pilot figures as well, which will make great objectives if a plane goes down during our battles.

 At the end of the day I've ended up with aircraft that is going to look decent on the table, but I'd never recommend this kit unless your are a complete hobby masochist.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dzu-Teh Yeti!

For some of our African games, we've included random animal encounters to keep thing unpredictable.  I thought it could be fun doing the same in our Back of Beyond games, so I picked up a couple of Yeti at the local hobby shop.  According to Himalayan  legends, there are three types of yeti, with Dzu-Teh being the largest.  Based on their size, these figures would definitely fall into that category.  Though modern depictions usually show the yeti with white fur, they are traditionally described as having brown to reddish-brown fur. This is mostly likely being that yetis are misidentified Himalayan brown/red bears. I've opted for this traditional look, using the bears and orangutans for inspiration.

The figures I purchased are from Reaper miniatures.  Overall, I think they are pretty good figures, though I'm not a huge fan of the how the fur lines up at the arm joints (the arms are cast separately). My only other nit-picky comment is the two figures were packaged with different bases.  However, I think this will get lost in the background once they are on the table.

Architectural Details for 28mm Back of Beyond Buildings

When I first started building Tibetan and Western Chinese buildings, I amassed  a small collection of doors, windows, and other details for my buildings. I hesitated to put them on the blog, as I wasn't sure what the legal fair use rules were. However, with more people looking for such elements with the release of my building article in Wargames Illustrated 337, I've decided to put part of my collection online. I've done my best to avoid images I know have restricted use, so hopefully this won't cause any problems. However, if you are the owner of the original photos from which these elements were collected and object to them being here, please let me know and I will remove them.

For some of these elements, I've already created variants for added variety, so you'll see all versions listed. Others just have a single version, as I have not yet used them on my own buildings. Elements come mostly from Tibetan and Chinese style buildings, but you'll also find a few items from Mongolia and Nepal and well.





Note:  Additional Chinese elements can now be found here.