Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Polish Vickers - One Down - Several to Go

After a prolonged battle with my casting components, the first test casts of my master for the Polish Vickers are in, and overall I'm about 95% pleased with the good ones. I'm still not completely sold on both of the grates on the air intakes, but I don't have a "Plan B" at this point. I have a couple of ideas which I may go back and explore as time allows. Unfortunately my RTV hasn't been cooperating, and the lifetime of the molds has been short. I only got two near perfect casts of the hull before the first mold broke down, and the second mold had mixing issues from the outset. I've gone ahead and made up a few more hulls just in case I can't get everything to behave.

I'm using two types of Alumilite resin at this point. I generally prefer the tan resin as it seems to cast with fewer bubbles than the white. Unfortunately my tan resin is a bit old and isn't behaving well at this point either. I've got some new resin and RTV on order, but they won't arrive until later in the week. The turrets and hull top plates for the single turret variant are casting pretty well at this point. In the tan resin I even got the gun barrel to cast hollow!

I'm trying the hull once more in RTV along with the twin turret hull top and a few other odds and ends for the army. I expect I'm going to need to do a fair amount of casting for the field cars and other vehicles for the brigade, so I want to get as much moving as I can as quickly as possible. At this point all of the masters for the vickers tanks should be done. I may update the single turret version a little for future casts, but it will only be minor changes around the hatch ring. As I mentioned before, the biggest challenge for this project was the rivets - as you can see from the very perforated sheet of plastic card below. I haven't counted the number of rivets I punched (given you lose some to flying across the room).

However, the final product appears to be pretty decent overall. Because of the slight shrink of the resin, final fitting of the tracks is vitally important. My goal is to have little to no gap between the air intake and the fender as on the original.

I may do some additional detailing of the fenders before painting as well, but I wanted to see how the overall vehicle was looking. I had planned to use the commander from a Battlefront 7TP tank, but the commander figures I received were small and poorly detailed. Visually the French tank figures are similar to the Polish ones (similar helmet and coat - at least for the Black Brigade), so I just borrowed one from a Battlefront Somua S-35 tank (FR050).

Apart from grates on the air intakes (which I think are okay, but not perfect) I'm pretty pleased with the miniature. If I can get a few more cast up I should have enough for two platoons. I'm back to work after the holiday tomorrow, so I'm hoping I can keep the positive momentum going!

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