Thursday, 22 January 2015

Combat Wombat Assault Lander and Kitbashes

Another round of VTOL 15mm goodness.

First up is the Combat Wombat Assault Lander. Scotty at Combat Wombat very kindly sent this to me along with the missing pod from the first of my Bullfrogs - he's a clearly a gent of impeccable taste and refinement so I encourage you all to order oodles of his fine wares.

The combat Lander comes in 7 resin parts and 1 turned brass barrel for the nose mounted gun. The resin parts are three landing legs, the main body, two engine pods and the chin turret. There was some flash and a few bubbles on the model, but nothing that a few strokes with a file couldn't clean up, although I was rather brutal with the delicate edge of the engine intakes on one side and erased some of the raised detail. My own fault entirely.

All the parts fitted well together with minimal sanding to get the engine pods square. The gun required a small hole expanding in the chin turret to take the turned brass barrel. 

I have added a pair of missile pods to the sides to give the Assault Lander some extra teeth. The ship very much reminds me of the Raptors from the new Battlestar Galactica, and I recall there were several episodes where the normally unarmed Raptors were loaded up with missiles. The pods are actually made from a pair missile turrets designed for 6mm miniatures from Old Crow.

You can just see a chip in the resin of the lower corner of the canopy from my clumsy handling (or more accurately clumsy dropping).

Overall the assault lander makes for a really nice little model. It's generic enough that it could fit into a near-future game as an aerodyne or VTOL lander of some kind, a space opera or star-trek style game as a shuttlecraft or even some sort of combat lighter for a GrimDark game if you choose.

Next u is a kitbash of a Revell KA-50 Hokum snapfix kit.

I originally picked this up when Hobbycraft was closing down to use in Battlefield Evolution: Modern Combat as a proxy for a Chinese helicopter gunship. First game out I was chiding my nephew about being careful with his M1A2 Abrams tank models so as not to damage the delicate aerials on them when I turned around and knocked the unfortunate helicopter to the floor, snapping it's fiendishly complex contra-rotating rotor blades off and dislodging the cannon, never to be seen again. Much hilarity ensued.

Since then the chopper has languished in the bitz box. I eventually got around to doing something with it. Antigrav pods are the breech units of some spare weapons from the CMG Blackguard Mecha. The barrels have been chopped off and sanded down to leave the ribbed pods. I have some detailing parts on the way from Japan that I will use to add errr... detail to the pods before painting. Other bits include a spare cannon from my CMG ZAS tanks , rocket pods from Rebel Miniatures and spare missile clusters from Clear Horizon Miniatures excellent Raven VTOL.

I have to add the details as mentioned above, plus do some gap filling before she'll be ready for painting. I think the final decision on if the kitbash has worked will only come after she's been undercoated. At the moment the yellow/brown/green camo pattern looks juts too toy like. Watch this space.

Next we have a platoon of hovertanks kitbashed from a Battlefront PT-76 platoon that I got half price at SELWG this year (bargain!)

I have put the tracks in the bits box and replaced them with VTOL lift engines from Micropanzer. When I contacted Jason he originally had the lift engines as resin pieces and I wanted to check he'd be OK to cast up 50 of them (8 per tank plus some spares, 'cos who knows when you'll need a VTOL engine). Jason advised he was now able to produce them in metal and 50 would be no problem. As it happened I used 9 on each of the tanks anyway, so the spares came in handy.

Shots on my painting table. Sorry about the mess (flips a coin to the bartender...)

Each of the tanks got 4 lift engines on either side plus an upturned one on the rear as a drive engine. The engines had a gentle sweep down to a point behind the duct which I had to cut away. You can actually see the same piece in use on the Bullfrog Lander  from Combat Wombat as a lift engine in my previous post. I believe this is a result of Scott and Jason working together on some designs in the past.

I was originally going to replace the Battlefront supplied 76mm cannon with a 4mm steel ball bearing and a small disk of styrene to make a short barreled laser emitter, but instead I used another of Scott at Combat Wombats turned metal barrels. With just a short pilot hole drilled these fitted perfectly. I also added a pair of missile launch tubes from a die-cast toy and relocated the Dshk heavy machine-gun.

The turrets were affixed using the supplied 2mm rare earth magnets. I even managed to get all the polarities round the right way so any of the turrets could be used on any of the tank chassis.

I've also added flight-stand toppers from Litko (available from Figures in Comfort in the UK) which I find to be an excellent way of supporting most flying things. I use them on my Full Thrust ships, Tumbling Dice 1/600 aircraft for Air War: C21 and as flying stands for various 15mm. I've also chopped some stands down to give a grav-floater effect, as you can see in the group shot below.