Friday, 30 January 2015

Axis and Allies: War at Sea - GHQ: World War II Micronauts

A few years ago I started to get involved with collecting Axis and Allies War at Sea ships. War at Sea is a war game that was developed by Wizards of the Coast. It is an enjoyable game. Each ship had its own characteristics, some of which were more reasonable than others. The ships themselves were fairly well made considering they were super cheap, made from flexible plastic and roughly painted. But Wizards of the Coast decided to cease producing this game and sadly it is hard to come across some of the rarer ships and when you do it is expensive. However, War at Sea developed a dedicated community. So, although the ships are no longer made the game itself is supported by the War at Sea gaming community.

Axis and Allies: War at Sea.
these three examples are HMAS Sydney (Back), HMAS Canberra (Centre) and HMAS Nizam (Front)
As a starting point for miniatures, War at Sea was great for me. It gave me an indication of what could and couldn't be done at such a small scale (War at Sea miniatures are 1:1 800 scale). Some ships were attractive and had good details. Others, however, were ugly and poorly sculpted. Because the ships are no longer produced I wanted to find a way to continue. And I want to continue with nice attractive ships.

Luckily there are other companies that produce model ships at different scales (no one else does 1:1 800). One scale that I considered was 1:1 200. Being a larger scale the ships tend to have more details. Also, there are several manufacturers of the scale (or close to it). Some manufacturers are of exceptionally high quality. The store Alnavco gives a good example of the range available. Sadly, for me I think that these are too expensive to collect in large quantities.

I think the best value for money (considering the very fine details) are the 1:2 400 GHQ micronauts. These are the ones that I'll be converting my War at Sea navy to in the long term.  The range is good, the sculpting is great and they are made from metal. The only thing I don't prefer about them is the size (other people find the tiny size a bonus). This makes it harder to paint for me but also a good enjoyable challenge. It also makes storage very easy! If you've not seen them before have a look at the GHQ range.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Uniforms of the World

I recently came across an excellent website that I thought I should share. It is a good one because it really helps for those that want to paint miniature figures and need a style and colour guide. The website is called Uniforms of the World and you can purchase a guide to the uniform of your choice for as little as 70c. Full CDs of uniform pictures for entire countries and periods can be purchased for a bit over $20.

An example from Uniforms of the World

Alternatively the Osprey Publishing's Men-At-Arms Series is an excellent resource for those who prefer their books to be made from real paper.

An example of one of Osprey's Titles

Monday, 19 January 2015

Class 14 Locomotive - Graham Farish

I saw this on special on the eHattons website. I had to get it... such incredible detail in these new N-scale locomotives. Graham Farish who make this Class 14 (D9555) are doing wonderful things with detailed model railways. The D9555 still runs on a preserved railway in the UK.

Sadly, I bought this on eHattons when I had some money. I have not had much for quite some time so alas my fleet has remained at two locomotives. I'll show the other locomotive in another blog post.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A Princely Sale

Yet another one of my hobbies is miniature metal casting. There is something about melting metal that is just so much fun. I'm also interested in the metallurgy, so I guess that  is also an attraction. 

I have purchased a small number of metal moulds from Prince August who are based in Ireland. There will be some specific blog posts showing how they work in the near future. But I thought I'd mention that the company is selling some older stock very cheaply. I think it is a great time to buy... so have a look at the Prince August website if you are interested.