Giant Robot

The first episode with the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) was Robot.

Mortally weakened by the Spider Queen on Metebelis 3, the Doctor is forced to regenerate. His recuperation is cut short as UNIT investigates a spate of robberies involving components for a top-secret disintegrator gun. The culprit is quickly identified as a highly sophisticated robot built by Professor Kettlewell, being ordered to act against its Prime Directive.

Just how is the robot being used to carry out the sinister agenda of the Scientific Reform Society? Can the Doctor rescue Sarah from the robot’s clutches and avert a nuclear war?

I really like this episode, lots of UNIT action (even if they do use an Action Man Scorpion Tank in one shot).

Action Man Scorpion Tank

Many years ago I picked up some Harlequin Miniatures, one of which was the Giant Robot, which (eventually) I got around to painting.

Here is the finished miniature.

Here is my workbench feature on the Robot.

This is the “normal” size of the Robot when we first meet it.

Of course…

Spoiler Alert

One of the plot points in the story is that the Robot does get bigger… that’s the reason the novelisation is called Doctor Who and the Giant Robot!

In that blog post I wrote about the large action figures from the Doctor Who series.

I wish I had bought one of the 7″ Action Figures of the Robot as that would be perfect for the big version. If I see one, I might get one, but I don’t think they make it anymore, which is a pity.

I did though more recently see that Eagle Moss did make a collectible figurine of the Robot and did think about getting one.

Well I was in our local store, MT Games, it sells a range of second hand SF memorabilia, and on a recent visit I noticed they had one of the Eagle Moss Robots, so I bought it.

Doctor Who Giant Robot

I need to take some photographs of it another time, but the model is 6” (15cm) tall and I think perfect for 25mm games involving Doctor Who.

It also makes me realise I may need to do a little more work on the 25mm version of the Robot.

Asuryani Flyers for Aeronautica Imperialis

These are the Asuryani Flyers (though I think of them as Eldar Flyers) that came with the Wrath of Angels boxed game.

You get three Nightwing fighters.

The primary aircraft employed by the enigmatic xenos known as Craftworld Aeldari, Nightwing fighters possesses a level of speed and manoeuvrability that appears preternatural. In battle, squadrons of Nightwings weave around enemy aircraft, tearing their foe apart with bursts of fire from shuriken cannons and bright lances. The Asuryani air fleet is full of intensely fast, hard-hitting yet fragile aircraft. Nightwings are all of these, with the speed and maneuverability to stay out of the line of fire and set up an ideal tailing position before unleashing devastating firepower. 

There are three of these in the Wrath of Angels boxed set. These are the painted versions on the GW website.

There are three models on the single sprue you get in the Wrath of Angels boxed set.

These were simple models to construct, though the swing wings were a little fiddly.

They do move, but I kind of expect them get “stuck” once undercoated and painting.

Next step will be a white undercoat.

In the Wrath of Angels boxed game, you also get three Phoenix Bombers. Continue reading “Asuryani Flyers for Aeronautica Imperialis”

Constructing and Undercoating the Bolt Action Home Guard Mark IV Tank

I have a 15mm Home Guard Mark IV Male, but as I am in the process of building a Bolt Action 28mm Home Guard force, I did want to add some armour to them with a Mark IV Male World War One tank put into service, even if it was merely as a mobile pillbox.

I mentioned this idea in an article I wrote on a French themed Operation Sealion, Otaire de Vigneur.

To add a bit of diversity to my games, I also have one of Minifigs’ World War One British tanks, for use by a Home Guard unit (stolen from a local museum no doubt).

Now when I wrote that article and bought the miniature it was only an assumption and what I thought would be a nice idea, and probably had no basis in truth….

Well just shows a little historical research never hurt anyone, as the Bovington Tank Museum has on display a Mark IV Male tank that was used just in this way. It was used in World War One and then presented to the Navy. When war broke out in September 1939, the Tank Mark IV (Male) number 2324 was refurbished for Home Guard duties; according to the Bovington Tank Museum website.

Our exhibit, a male tank, was presented to the Royal Navy’s Gunnery School, HMS Excellent after the war to commemorate their help training Tank Corps gunners and it was temporarily refurbished for Home Guard duties in 1940. (Believed to have been achieved by removed parts from another tank possibly on Southsea Common.)

This photograph is from HMS Excellent in 1940.

Mark IV at HMS Excellent
Mark IV at HMS Excellent

One thing clear from this photograph is the disruptive camouflage they have used on the tank.

So though I thought my idea was probably if Operation Sealion had happened, I didn’t think and didn’t realise that it had in fact happened despite the fact that the Germans hadn’t invaded.

So as I also have the Royal Navy Section this gives me an excuse to use this model.

Having started looking at the model again after washing the resin and cleaning the castings, I started construction.

The tracks fitted really easily to the hull of the tank.

The sponson were simple to fit with the metal castings of the main weapons.

I added the exhaust, but decided against adding the “unditching beam” rails that are included with the kit.

Mark IVs were also the first tanks fitted with “unditching beams” by field workshops. A large wooden beam, reinforced with sheet metal, was stored across the top of the tank on a set of parallel rails. If the tank became stuck, the beam was attached to the tracks (often under fire) and then the tracks would drag it beneath the vehicle, providing grip.

The period photographs of the Home Guard Mark IV show the tank without these rails.

The next stage was to give the model a white undercoat.

Then it is on to the basecoat, where I did have some problems…

Messerschmitt BF109G-2/Trop

This Messerschmitt BF109G-2/Trop was on display at RAF Cosford.

Messerschmitt BF109G-2/Trop

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is a German World War II fighter aircraft that was, along with the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. The Bf 109 first saw operational service in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II in 1945.

Messerschmitt BF109G-2/Trop

Sokar pattern Stormbird for Aeronautica Imperialis

Sokar pattern Stormbird.
Sokar pattern Stormbird.

I have in previous blog posts discussed what possible future aircraft we coud see for Aeronautica Imperialis. In the first of the discussion pieces I went through prospective models, and I followed this with an updated version back in May when the Wrath of Angles boxed set was announced.

One model I mentioned was the Stormbird. Having recently constructed the Aeronautica Imperialis Thunderhawk Gunship I was reminded of the Stormbird and did start to think about if we would see an Aeronautica Imperialis model.

Stormbird is a catch-all term that refers to a series of various super-heavy dedicated attack landers that were once used by the Legiones Astartes as their primary means of deploying forces into combat. Stormbirds also served in air support and general planetary transport roles during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras in the late 30th and early 31st Millennia. 

Forge World have released a 40K scale model of the Sokar Pattern Stormbird, which is a huge (expensive) resin kit. I have seen the model at Warhammer World and it is one big model

The Sokar Pattern Stormbird was one of the later patterns of Stormbird developed during the Great Crusade and was used as the design precursor to the smaller, more widely produced Thunderhawk gunship.

Sokar pattern Stormbird
Sokar pattern Stormbird

The Sokar pattern Stormbird is a dedicated attack lander. It has served as a high-durability orbital assault craft, a mobile bastion and firebase which could land a Space Marine strike force and withstand heavy ground fire while its cargo or troops and war machines disembarked to press the attack. 

I could see Forge World making and releasing a Sokar Pattern Stormbird in resin for use in Aeronautica Imperialis, though such a large model may be problematic from a rules perspective. The Thunderhawk Gunship is not as big as the Sokar Pattern Stormbird and even that looks like it might be problematic from a gaming perspective, as it might be too big for the board.

This then got me thinking about other large flyers and that they would have similar issues.

In the olden days I am sure Forge World would have just gone ahead and produced a model, as they did with the Epic scale Thunderhawk Transporter they did for the original release of Aeronautica Imperialis which was shown off at GamesDay 2006.

They (appeared) to be more independent back then, now they seem part of the planned release cycles.

So will be see a Sokar pattern Stormbird for Aeronautica Imperialis from Forge World, I actually don’t think we will.

See the Sokar Pattern Stormbird 40K scale Gallery.


Space Marine Thunderhawk (in plastic)

Well of course I am talking about the new Adeptus Astartes Thunderhawk Gunship for Aeronautica Imperialis. Of course one day we may see a 40K scale version, but not today. I did manage to get a box of the Aeronautica Imperialis Thunderhawk when it was released.

The box comes with two sprues with the parts divided between them.

Construction was actually quite simple and I found the model came together quite easily. It was an interesting build and it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

You can model the landing gear deployed or stowed. I decided that I would have it deployed, maybe I could use the model as scenery (or an objective) in future games of Adeptus Titanicus.

What I was less sure about was the “attack wings” that can be constructed in a manner so they can move, but mine don’t stay in place and just flop down. I think I might keep them loose (for painting) and then take a view.

The model is very large compared to the other Aeronautica Imperialis models I have, the kit comes with an extra part to extend the flying base, so the Thunderhawk can fly higher than the other models.

The next step will be a white undercoat.

Undercoating and basecoating the Grot Bommers

I did say in a post last year that these would be my next purchase for Aeronautica Imperialis would be some Grot Bommerz.

The obvious answer for me is a pair of Grot Bommerz. I do like the concept of these, though I am not a big fan of the actual models, but Orks is Orks, so they are next on my shopping list.

Well in the end I got a box as a present, so the decision was made for me.

The diminutive Gretchin have long been enthusiastic supporters of Ork aviation, whether gleefully pushing bombs out of open bays, crawling into tight spots to fix engines, or acting as spotters and even gunners on ork planes. It doesn’t take long before they become obsessed with flying just like their bigger kin, begging for their own turn on the control stick. Some enterprising Ork meks decided this arrangement could be mutually beneficial, and created guided missiles that could be flown like a tiny, gretchin-sized airplane. Fitted with a short-burn rocket engine and stuffed with unstable explosives, some rabid grots are happy to climb aboard just for the (short-lived) thrill of speed and freedom. They’re loaded into the wings of specially-fitted Grot Bommers, and launched in support of the Air Waaagh!

Having constructed the models I gave them a white undercoat.

Having built and painted the models I have actually grown to like them. I like the amount of detail and they certainly are big models compared to the other (tiny) planes I have now in my collection.

This is one of the models.

Here is the other one.

The next stage was a basecoat.

I used the Blood Angels Red contrast paint.

As is usual with my painting there are still some white patches…

Next stage will be adding the detailing before washing the model.

Boulton Paul Defiant

The Boulton Paul Defiant is a British interceptor aircraft that served with the RAF during World War Two. The Defiant was designed and built by Boulton Paul Aircraft as a “turret fighter”, without any fixed forward-firing guns.

In combat, the Defiant was found to be reasonably effective at destroying bombers but was vulnerable to the Luftwaffe’s more manoeuvrable, single-seat Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. The lack of forward-firing armament proved to be a great weakness in daylight combat and its potential was realised only when it was converted to a night fighter.

The sole surviving Boulton Paul Defiant, RAF serial N1671 is on display at RAF Museum Cosford. When I went it was still being assembled.

Boulton Paul Defiant

When I was young, I remember seeing the Boulton Paul Defiant Airfix kit and being impressed as it had a turret!

It has legs…

As part of the boxed set of the Precept Maniple Battleforce as well as the Warlord, the Nemesis and the Warhounds you also get one of my favourite titans, the Reaver Battle Titan.

The Reaver Titan forms the mainstay of most Titan Legions, and is a key component of many Adeptus Titanicus maniples. Swifter than its Warlord cousins and more durable than the smaller Warhounds, with a wide range of devastating weaponry, the Reaver Titan is the perfect addition to any battlegroup.

The kit comes with three sprues for the Reaver.

I started construction and have finished the core legs.

Reaver Titan legs

I will paint these before adding the shields on the legs.

I will add the legs to a base before undercoating and painting