Tuesday, 17 March 2020

1/56 Tsar Tank Kit - Part 3 Completing the Kit!

Here's the last post covering the building of my Miniature Scenery 1/56 Tsar Tank...

Last time I had completed the main body and wheels of the vehicle and pre-painted the rear wheel assembly parts.

So first up I put together the Tank's rear wheel, I found the wheels were a very tight fit in the bracket so much so they don't rotate (they did on the test fit prior to painting).

This is the bottom view of the completed part notice the rectangular part that is below the pin I added this to ensure it would not slip out the bottom hole...it was cut from spare card from the kit...

Here's my tip for the day! Before spray painting laser cut MDF I pre-coat the 'cut' edges with a thin coat by brush, I find by priming the cut edges the finish is much more even. Here you can see some examples of areas I have primed...



I glued the plastic dome onto my top turret (another deviation from the instructions, it gives options of layer flats here or you can buy a file and print a dome) and primed the cut areas of the turrets...

...ready for painting!

The finished model!



...and here is the complete Tsar Tank facing off with one of my scratch built Martian Fighting Machines, I suspect the Slimy Blob inside the Alien Tripod is saying"WTF!"...

Next Time; 'Toys Soldiers' or even an AAR!

Oh did I mention Toy Soldiers well here's sneak peak of what I meant, more Robots! Captain Darling posing with the freshly constructed Automatons awaiting paint!!!


Monday, 9 March 2020

The Story of the PH Armoured Recon Tractor Mk II - Another 1/56 VSF Landship

The PH Mk II Armoured Tractor prototype in front at the Royal Arsenal Woolwich...

The story of the PF Armoured Tractor Mk II


1878, the Second Great Steam War dragged on and the Great Powers of the World were still  locked in an epic struggle for supremacy! In August Great Britain’s premier intelligence bureau S.O.E. (Stealthy Overseas Executive) proved successful in acquiring plans from the Imperial Russian Intelligence Department, Division Seven containing references to a new Super Landship they were developing. These details were brought to light by the ever-enterprising Special Field Agent Edward Bigger. Cunningly disguised as an elderly Babushka serving borscht in the canteen of the Saint Petersburg office of Division Seven, he uncovered secret blueprints scrawled on the back of a napkin. He then changed guise to that of a beautiful gypsy fortune teller and slept his way across Europe to arrive in Brighton a week later literally shagged out by his adventure! These were the sterling exploits that the Her Most Imperious Majesty Queen Victoria expected of her S.O.E. representatives!

S.O.E. boffins then poured over the plans and determined the proposed Imperial Russian Super Landship would render the current Landships of the the world obsolete overnight! As an aside little did they know the scribblings Bigger found were actually those of the Son of the Head of Division Seven, Alexei and they were pure figments of his imagination!

Sparked into action British technicians (led by Chief Designers Prof. J Parish and F Herriford whose surname initials were included in the vehicles designation) worked without rest and soon had dispatched blueprints of a revolutionary vehicle to the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich which was appointed to build a prototype to be known as ‘Object 69’. To speed construction the Royal Arsenal sub-contracted out construction of the major parts under the guise of building a portable rain water tank and it was not long before the prototype was ready to be tested on Salisbury Plains. Initial tests were positive so full construction was commenced of the vehicle which was designated as the PF Armoured Tractor Mk II. Once again Great Britain would reign supreme over its enemies her red coated soldier supported by the most modern steam powered conveyances available!

Statistics of the PF Mk II Armoured Tractor
Dimensions: 60 Feet x 30 Feet x 40 Feet
Weight: approximately 54 tons
Crew: 10 - 14 depending on armaments
Powerplant: 2 x Super Cooled Mini High Pressure Steam Turbines
Road Speed: 14 MPH
Armament: varied, Tesla Guns, Cannons, Grenade Launchers & Rapid Fire Rifles arranged in 2 turrets and 2 sponsons


Photograph of of Captain Darling posing with the new PH Mk II Armoured Tractor in front of warehouses of the Royal Arsenal Woolwich...

Overall view of the above picture setup...

Next time; the final part of the construction of the Miniature Scenery Tsar Tank...

Thursday, 5 March 2020

1/56 Tsar Tank Kit - Part 2 of the Build!

So construction of this monster Tsar Tank kit is now virtually complete ('monster' makes it sound a hard build but its really very easy). I have followed the assembly instructions I downloaded closely and have not run into any issues so far (okay one issue, but that was my brain fade putting the spoke parts together). I have now stopped to allow all the glue to dry completely before I carry out painting before final assembly.

Adding the pre-painted tracks to the bicycle wheels, this complete the wheels! Woo Hoo!


This picture of adding the details to the upper hull shows the clever design ideas used throughout their kits by Miniature Scenery, here you can see how the grey card added on the left side covers a join tab that is still visible on the right. This occurs all through the kit and when done virtually all the joining tabs are hidden! 

The hull complete the upper and lower turrets to look at now!

The tail wheel assembly, both turrets and the final drives completed, I included a couple of 28mm figures into this picture...

Before adding the armour on the sponsons I will need to paint the inner turret the final colour so when they rotate no grey card will show...

The parts still required to complete the tank beside it, note the dome resting on the top turret doesn't come with the kit, you can buy a 3D file for a domed top or use three parts supplied in the kit (they are round pieces of decreasing size) here instead...

The front and rear views (with wheels resting in place) with armour cladding complete and ready for painting...


Lastly I have realised I have some 28mm WW I Germans and RCW Russians (that would make okay substitutes for WW I Russians) so beside VSF use this may get a bit of alternate history  WW I action! Below id a picture of the Tsar Tank meeting a German A7V and a French FT 17 (both Trenchworx kits)...

Next time; Maybe a completed Tsar Tank?

Saturday, 29 February 2020

1/56 Tsar Tank Kit - BUT for VSF Gaming! - Review and Build Starts!

Hello! Yes I'm still here just been very busy with real life stuff and some 'other era' gaming!

Back to my favourite gaming genre though, VSF. A couple of unrelated things came together recently; my admiration for the ill fated Imperial Russian 'Tsar Tank' and my liking of Miniature Scenery's products...yes Miniature Scenery have produced a 1/56 scale flat pack Tsar Tank, oh yeah!

The Tsar Tank!
Image from Wikipedia...

I won't bore you with the full story of this behemoth (a quick net search can give you that) but it turned out to be an expensive failure. I do say failure but it may not be the best word for it, in 1915 when it was built Armoured Fighting Vehicles were in there infancy and many prototypes got even less further than this so I look upon it as a step in the development of AFV's.

Her's how the actual prototype Tsar Tank shaped up...
Dimensions: approximately 18m x 9m x 12 m
Weight: approximately 60 tons
Crew: estimated at 10 - 12
Road Speed: 17 KPH
Armament: several Cannons and HMG's in 2 turrets and 2 sponsons


Here's the size of the kit from Miniature Scenery...
Image from Miniature Scenery...

Links for the kit...
Miniature Scenery

Tsar Tank

So to my Tsar Tank, I'll be using it in my VSF games obviously as part of the Imperial Russian army but I'm also hoping it will give my Martian Tripods a run for their money! Not sure what I'll call it or of the 'creation' fluff but I'll get onto that later (the real story is so cool I may go with that but with a different Tsar!).

I plan to build this directly from the kit (there are some optional 3D printed parts but won't use those) except for in two places; I'll add a dome to the top of the upper turret instead of using the kit parts and I'll make some 'pads/tracks' for the front wheels.

The parts, they are well cut in MDF and thick card.There are also three pieces of dowel for axles/gun barrels. The design of the pieces is very clever and minimises any chance of mixing them up by allocating the tabs cleverly (nothing is foolproof though I'm evidence of that!).






Oh and I like the attention to detail in the packaging, the whole pack is designed with a hanger for shops included in the laser cut design (on all of the Twisted range of kits I've had too from them) very cool inclusion...


The assembly instructions are a download and when (if) printed are 36 pages long! There are 96 steps to follow but with optional armaments and upper turrets not all will be followed. They are clear but could have a little more descriptive text (I still managed to make a stuff up while constructing the bicycle wheels but thankfully it's not an issue!).

Here's what I've done so far which are covered by steps 1 to 24 and 65 to 72.

The main hull frame constructed...

Adding the sponsons and starting to 'clad' the frame...
Note the cannons for the sponsons are made from 9 parts (MDF & card) and go together well one can be seen lower right in the picture...

Test fitting cladding...

Test fitting the bicycle wheels, the spoke parts are designed in pairs and you see the criss cross pattern here...

The finished bicycle wheels in 'heritage' green and brass, note I've mixed up the spoke parts they still look fine and we're talking VSF here so I'm not fussed...

I don't usually like covering my builds in multiple posts but in this case because I'm excited to get it out there I will!

Next Time; more on building the Tsar Tank...or maybe something on 'Toy Soldiers'