Sunday, 6 October 2013

On the up...

Recovering from workplace trauma

The last few weeks at work have been pretty horrendous. It will be some time before things settle down a little and I will just have to persevere. My bloggering activities have suffered as a result because my mind is elsewhere. However, on the plus side the family is well and I have been engaging in some hobby related activity, albeit on a fairly low level.

I did manage to get to Derby the other weekend. I can't get used to the new venue. Although it is a simple 45 minute drive from my house, the parking is great and there are lovely views across the valley, the event lacks the ambiance of the Derby University atrium which was both relaxing and pleasant. As an example, these photos show the venue in use for gigs and interesting cars. Its great for these activities but as a great big box with no natural light (other than that filtering through the access doors) I find it gloomy and cramped.

I did however make an investment...

I have many Airfix Shermans and Matchbox Firefly's waiting to be built but, because Wargames Illustrated once gave away some plastic Valiant US infantry, I decided to have a go at PBI. Because the figures are true1/72 I bought some Armourfast Shermans to go with them. Two came in a pack and they looked OK but I really wanted three so I purchased a pack of three 1/72 Allied M4 A1s last year. This meant I had five and three of them came with cast hulls. They didn't look right with the Armourfast welded hull versions so I left everything for a while.

When I read that the new M4 A4s came with two alternate hulls, I had the idea of swapping out the cast hulls for the welded ones and the problem would both be fixed and produce some Fireflys. A cunning plan indeed.

I now have a total of 8 1/72 Shermans. The two original Armourfasts will remain unaltered. I have now started making up two cast hull M4 A1s which will become Sherman IIC Hybrids. These use the hull components of the M4 A1 and the Firefly turret. Beware that the pimply bit on the underside of the turrets is different between the two PSC sets. Choose the right components! I spent sometime wondering why things didn't fit and then levered off the half glued turret base and put the right one on!

Here is the first attempt...

I'm really pleased. Although there are a few fit issues, the model is very heavy and chunky. Very nice to handle.

Once I have built two IICs I'll make up the remaining cast hull vehicle with a spare M4 A4 hull to go with the Armourfasts (which are M4s with sand skirts and applique hull armour). The remaining M4 A4s will be made up as M4 A4 75mms (Sherman Vs). Funnily enough these will go nicely with my Valiant British infantry which will also do for PBI.

Even writing these thoughts up has cheered me enormously, as has the fact that at least one or two people have read earlier posts which I find very pleasing. Hi!

Well, this is obviously proof that workplace stress invokes a very weird reaction from the average wargamer who never needs an extra excuse to buy masses of the same thing and spend lots of time making these things into other things. Hey ho!