Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fiat Ansaldo M13/40

I remember seeing this kit in the local hobby shop as a child, and thinking how cool it was to have kangaroo markings on a tank, so when I got the Italeri re-release of the old ESCI M13/40, I wanted to build it up as one of the Italian tanks captured by the Aussies. Here is the near completed result:

The kit was built almost OOB, except I replaced the tow hooks with some bent wire, and drilled out the headlamps so I can eventually add some clear lenses. The instructions for installing the pioneer tools was not particularly clear, so I ended up putting one of the brackets in the wrong position. The diagram for installing the tools is better in the instructions for the ESCI/Italeri Semovente 75/18, so I'll probably move the offending bracket to the proper position later on.

I decided on the sand color scheme, because that's how I remembered the kit, but there is some controversy as to what color these tanks actually were. A number of the captured tanks look to be a dark color (Italian green?) in period photographs, and in one case, it almost looks as if the sand colored paint was removed from the tank.

The last bit to finish up the model is to find an Aussie tank commander. I think I have some British tankers somewhere, so one of those will probably do.

Italeri also makes a quick build kit that has two M13/40's for about the same price as the ex-ESCI kit. Some of the details of the quick build kit seem simplified, and the commander's hatch in the turret is molded shut, but it looks to be a decent kit. I'll have to pick up a box sometime in the future.

Moving to diecast models, we have the M13/40 from Altaya. This is one of the nicer Altaya models, with hollowed out barrel, and good overall detail.

One odd thing was that the tank was screwed into the base with tamperproof screws - why?

Luckily, I recently received a TP3 head screwdriver that I purchased from Amazon for a mere 99¢.

The two models are almost identical in size, but the positioning of the hull is a little different, with the Altaya model being a hair shorter, and the hull sitting more forward with respect to the fenders compared to the Italeri model. I also noticed that the Italeri turret is higher than the Altaya turret.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spell Casters

The following is a quick listing of the figures that I consider likely candidates for use as magic users and clerics in 1/72 scale.

The first image is of two different versions of Ral the Evil Wizard from the Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night line (Ral Partha 01-001), an illusionist from the Fantasy Adventurers line (Ral Partha 03-064), and a wizard from the Wizards and Clerics boxed set (Ral Partha 98-001).

Next are a dwarf seer with crystal ball from the Dwarven Personalities blister pack (Ral Partha 01-070), an elvin spell caster from the Elvin Personalities blister pack (Ral Partha 01-076), a half elf spell caster from the Half Elves blister pack (Ral Partha 01-106), the Magic Master from the Wizards and Lizards line (Superior WL-006), and two wizards which I believe are Grenadier.

Additional non-human spell casters can be found here, and here.

The following clerics are all from the Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night line. The first figure is the Cleric with Staff (Ral Partha 01-004), followed by three clerics from the Clerics blister pack (Ral Partha 01-073), and finally, the Patriarch (Ral Partha 01-006).

Next are the female spell casters. The first figure is the Enchantress from the AD&D Females boxed set (Grenadier 2007), followed by the Enchantress from the Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night line (Ral Partha 01-055), the Sorceress from the same line (Ral Partha 01-029), a priestess and sorceress from the Wizards and Clerics boxed set (Ral Partha 98-001), and a sorceress and cleric from the Female Adventurers boxed set (Ral Partha 98-013).

Finally, I list some of the available miniatures in plastic. The first three figures are from the Caesar Adventurers set (Fantasy 104), while the last figure is a D&D CMG Halfling Enchanter (Desert of Desolation #18).

Many of the older 25mm metal figures have disproportionately large heads and limbs, with some being more chunky as well, but except for the Superior Magic Master, they still tend to scale out to about 6 feet or under in height. I think that many of these figures can be used as is, but others would look a lot better with a head swap, and some minor modifications.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


The myconid was introduced in Dungeon Module A4 - In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords. The cover of the module shows our intrepid adventurers, recently freed from slavery locked in fierce hand-to-hand with the mysterious mushroom men. This cover proved to be quite misleading though, as the myconids tend to be a rather peaceful race, and even my normally bloodthirsty players failed to engage in any sort of combat with a single myconid.

♫ Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya ♪

Despite their lack of usefulness as a hostile encounter, I still have quite a number of miniatures representing these creatures.

First up, is the impressive Reaper Mushroom King (3041), and two Mushroom Men (2679).

The larger miniatures come in two pieces, but are quite easy to assemble. The Mushroom King is covered in details, and one of my favorite miniatures.

Next are two Hasslefree Agarix (HFW500 A & B), and four Ral Partha Mushroom Men (01-046).

The Agarix come in a pair, with a sprue of four separate arms which can be mixed and matched to generate a number of different poses. I found the arms a bit fiddly to glue in place, but they are nice, well cast miniatures. The delicate looking Ral Partha Mushroom Men come in a set of four, and are nicely detailed. They are still available from Iron Wind Metals and Ral Partha Europe.

The Grenadier Fungoid (Monster Manuscript MM27) and the D&D CMG Myconid Guard (Aberrations #41) are in the next picture.

The Fungoid seems a bit out of sorts, and perhaps missed his melding session. The miniature is still available from Mirliton. The D&D CMG myconid is OOP, but I don't think it's so difficult to find.

Last up, are the Khurasan Fungoids (PLA-15). These are tiny miniatures with very small caps. I think they're quite suitable for juvenile myconids.

15mm myconids

25mm-28mm myconids

28mm myconids