Friday, 21 December 2012

X-Wing Miniature game proxies : Revell Pocket Millennium Falcon

Revell Easy Kit Pocket Millennium Falcon with FFG X-Wing fighter
X-Wing has rekindled my interest in Star Wars fighter combat in a major way so I pulled the Revell Easy Kit Pocket Millennium Falcon from my stash of kits and gave it a coat of paint.

This was bought a long time ago on the off chance that the scale would match something and promptly put away after a quick look which led me to think it wasn't a very inspired model. Which turned out to be a pretty wrong impression...

This model is in fact pretty good and packed with detail (admitedly at least half of it made up but we're hardly dealing with studio scale here) and paints up a treat. There are some obvious flaws such as the fact that the fact that the cockpit is slightly too far from the fuselage but the overall shape is good. The fact that it is supposedly prepainted is probably its biggest handicap because the  "prepainting" is merely grey plastic with a couple of coloured panels. Which is fine if you think that the old Matchbox kits that were made in two-tone plastic were also prepainted.

Monday, 14 May 2012

15mm CH-47 Chinook testbed

As indicated here, I ordered the fuselage of an RC toy Chinook to check its compatibility with 15mm and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was in fact the correct size.

Here is a closer look at the beast which was quickly slapped together without too much care. It is still lacking engines and wheels which are on their way to me. Rotors also need to be added and I plan to use clear acetate disks to represent them. These will be held to the model with rare earth magnets in order to make storage easier and swap them from model to model.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Searching for an affordable 1/100 CH-47 Chinook

Lil' Flying Fokker Chinook
As a general rule, I use 1/144 models for flying gunships and air support with 15mm figures. However, transports helicopters which are depicted on the LZ obviously need to be in the same scale as the figures. While quite a few 1/100 helicopters can be found from a variety of sources, one of the most glaring omissions is an affordable CH-47 Chinook suitable for use with 15mm figures.

Basically, if you want to have a model of the workhorse of Operation Enduring Freedom your choice is limited to Lil' Flying Fokker's very nice but expensive CH-47 Chinook. This a resin and metal kit which looks outstanding but carries a hefty price tag of £30 which, alas, is far more than I am prepared to pay for a model.

While browsing eBay, a photo of a Chinook toy caught my eye : the Syma S026G radio-controlled micro helicopter which looked to be about the right size. Interest suddenly picked up because the seller's description included a fuselage length which appeared to be reasonably close to 1/100. However, paying the same price as the LFC kit for a toy and then gutting it wasn't really an attractive option.

On the other hand, spare parts for this toy are widely sold and it is possible to buy the body separately. This is actually quite cheap (about $7 US) and one was promptly ordered to check its usefulness as the base for a 15mm model. And the good news is that the fuselage actually measures 16,5 cm by 3,6 cm which makes it 1/94 in length and 1:105 in width, i.e. well within the usual variations found in 15mm vehicle scales. The result of my tinkering with the toy can be found over at the Chinook testbed post.