Well, a combination of being away for a couple of nights the week before last, catching a cold while I was away, and said cold refusing to budge last week, means I’ve not been doing much on the wargames front recently! Seems that a lot of people could probably write the same at the moment! Fortunately, the first week in January did see me finish some bits off.
First up is a Dutch overvalwagen, basically a locally built armoured personnel carrier used by Dutch forces in the East Indies, with some seeing action in 1942 against the Japanese. I’ve seen conflicting info on this – one calls it a Ford and another a Braat, the latter source also stating it was an army model as opposed to a local defence force vehicle. Despite being locally built, they appear quite well designed and made (well, at least to me).
Model is resin by Den Bels Models, available via the Black Lion website. I just went for a plain bronze green finish, since I’ve got a couple of sources that refer to that colour. I’ve painted my Dutch artillery in that colour, although it’s a bit dark for my liking, but it usually picks up drybrushed highlights well!
Looking around on the Overvalwagen website I found a reference, and a single picture, to a version with a 37mm gun used by Dutch marines, so I thought I’d have a go at making that. The picture is a bit grainy and shows very little detail, so I’ve gone for the shouting-loud-enough-baffles-brains approach! I got the impression that the gun was a naval or fortress weapon from the late 19th century, so that was my starting point. Built a simple barrel, slapped on a breech, trunnions and a saddle and put the whole lot on a pedestal that let it fire over the sides of the vehicle.
I got the impression from the picture that a partial gunshield was fitted (unless it curved away sharply) so I just put a shield on the left side of the gun, plus a couple of levers and a handwheel. I left the whole thing separate from the vehicle so that I could choose to add it or leave it out at will! I could do with some crew for it, but not sure what to do about that! Like it nonetheless!
Alongside the overvalwagen I also finished a handful of Japanese infantry (and a single Dutch Lewis gunner). The Japanese were ESCI plastic figures originally painted in simple base colours in the eighties and gloss varnished to protect them. For some reason a couple of years ago I decided to try a wash on them to see how it might turn out, before tying it in anger on some “proper” figures (this was before I’d tried washes on figures). To my surprise, these turned out to be the best figures I’ve ever turned out with a wash! Don’t know whether it’s the combination of the gloss varnish, the right depth of detail on the moulded figures and the wash I used, but I had to touch up only a few details and they were done! Never repeated that success since. This current batch were washed along with the others, but have been patiently waiting to be finished off! I think there are still another half dozen or so to do and then I can get back to the business of failing to successfully put washes on figures.
I’m told that practice makes perfect but I can demonstrate quite comfortably that it doesn’t!