Saturday, August 31, 2013

Quick Update: Bolt Action US captain plus a purchase!

I finished a Captain for my Anzio American BA army. The officers in the 92nd were white, so I painted him that way. He a armed with a BAR and a pistol. The figure is nice and comes from the metal command blister, but I did change his head to make him a bit more regal.

Today I also bought this:
On the press release Warlord actually added this image with African American soldiers preparing the gun, it looks like Northern Italy since the uniforms look early war to me. It will make a nice informative picture for my model, when it comes in

SC Mike

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The tank museum Part Three (final): Russians, British and others

Here's the final part of our visit to the Militairy Vehicle Technology Foundation. this past weekend with a more random selection of images, including some Russian tanks so here we go:

The parking lot had some IDF vehicles, old armor from the Israeli Defense Force.
 The Sherman was used in the 1967 war. You can see the desert markings on it. There is also an M75, the precursor to the M113, on the left behind it.
Here's a Russian T 34 /85
Forward hatch and compartment; as you can see on the picture above, the opening is pretty small

Hull Art! 
Some nice details come in handy once you start modeling this bad boy! 
and a pic of the information sheet. Every vehicle in the museum has it, and I loved reading where the actual vehicles came from. 
Don't remember what tank this was, but this gives a good idea of the addition of extra armour. For modeling purposes, that should be easily replicable with greenstuff.

The museum has a large WW2 weapon collection. Here's a Russian RPG, still in use in many conflicts

and a British PIAT 
Here's a Russian T34/76, built in 1942 
again, with nice details in case you ever would want to build one in scale! 
And here's a British Churchill 

The museum has countless modern tanks as well, vehilces from all over the world, including Leopards, Challengers, Russian SCUD missiles and much, much more. Please give them a visit, the nicest people, all volunteers, running the visiting days. Remember, send them an email with your visit plan, since the place is NOT open except for appointment. 
Here's the website: MVTF

Hope you enjoyed this!

SC Mike

Monday, August 19, 2013

The largest private tank museum in the world: part two: Germans

Here's part two of our excursion to the MVTF, the Militairy Vehicle Technology Foundation. For more about the museum, which is privately owned, go here

Yesterday we looked at a bunch of American vehicles, today I figured we will look at the German WW2 tanks and other vehicles.

Here's the star of the museum: a fully restored Panther tank, only one of two fully restored Panthers in the world. 
This particular vehicle was found in a bog in the Ukraine in the 1990's and brought back to life here at the museum. 
You can see the anti magnetic textured armor on the side of the Panther 
You can see the size difference between the Stuart and the Panther, this tank is truly huge 
The museum has two 88mm Flak guns, this one actually served in Spain, before WW2. 
All the details have been restored
Here's one of my favorites: the Kettenkraftrad. This vehicle looked in perfect shape....
with original weapons mounted on the back of the halftrack 

Here are two halftracks 

and the inside. You get a good feel for the how soldiers were transported. 

I always feel ambivalent about seeing the SS logo, but no one in the museum is glorifying the dark past - it's meant for education. When I showed this image to my 9 year old daughter, she asked me about it and it gave me an opportunity to tell her a bit about it. 
Here's the Afrika Korps corner

 Check the hand grenades in on the right
and this amazing, running, BMW with sidecar. John mentioned this would probably be close to 100.000 dollars worth. 

Last post will feature British and, for my friend Tony, Russian tanks!

Here's the link to the first part of this series

SC Mike

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A visit to the largest private tank collection in the world: part 1!

This weekend the heart of Santa Cruz Warhammer went on an excursion to the Militairy Vehicle Technology Foundation (MVTF). It's located on a huge private property south of San Francisco. The museum was founded by billionaire Jacques Littlefield in 1975 and since then has become the largest collection of militairy vehicles in private hands - the foundation aims to restore vehicles and educate the public about them. It is really an amazing site and I will run all the images in 4 posts, since they are really picture heavy. Please give yourself a minute and enjoy.

The museum has more vehicles then buildings,  and driving up you see tanks and other vehicles all over the place, some in good shape, some totally rusted. Realize that many purchased vehicles came in unrestored, and since they haven't had any love, they are just sitting there.

Here's building 4, the smallest one. We started our two hour tour here, with our knowledgeable guide, dressed up in ww2 uniform.

In this first post I will focus on US vehicles in WW2, since that is my main interest now, since I have started some Bolt Action modeling.

Let's start with this M20 light armored vehicle, who's little sister M8 greyhound I just finished as a 1/48 model. This vehicle was completely restored and is in working order.

 I loved that all the vehicles has real working interiors, with many weapons, bags, boxes and other accessories to look at. Really cool. Here's the interior of the M20, as you can see, you are free to peek in all the vehicles to get a good look at how it must have been to drive around in them (cramped mostly).
Hull names galore, here a Sherman, ready to be used on your next Bolt Action or FOW tank.
 Here's Glenn in front of a M4A1 on a WW2 trailer.
Here's a beautifully restored Jeep, with lots of little accesories. I took a bunch of images, detailing stowage, so I can use it in future modeling projects. 

On to building 1
 Here's the oldest tank in the museum, a 6 ton 1917A1, american built. Notice the bulletholes in the panels; all panels were 'tested' to make sure it could withstand bullets, if it could take two shots, it was deemed good. The tank never saw action. It looks like the Imperial Guard's Krieg regiment would like a few of these...
Here's another M4A1 Sherman with cast hull.  
 Allthough the hull art is original, this particular Tank was not the one that used that marking. But the loving restoration does the memory of the original vehicle, from the 37th tank battallion of the 4th Armoured Division in 1944.
This is an original ww2 training cupola. With the two kids in there, you can see tankers would have been short people! 
Here's an incredible M3A1 scout car.  You can see the information in front of the vehicle - each one tells the history of the design and of the acquistion of this particular one.
Here's the same vehicle, except with halftrack. Also notice the weapons on the side. 
 Here's an M10 Achilles Tank Destroyer. Again, notice details that would be easily to model, like the tow cable.
And here's Glenn in front of a M3 Stuart 'Honey'. Glenn is working on a small BA force that has one of these little tanks in it - it's based on a Alaskan WW2 unit that saw action on the Aleutian Islands. 

Here's the website of the museum HERE
You will need to email them for a tour and the cost is 20 dollars per adult. Remember, the museum continually needs funds and all the tour guides are volunteers, so grab all your gaming friends and head out there, it's located near Palo Alto on the freeway 280 side up to San Francisco.

Next post: all the German stuff! Stay tuned!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Paying respects

On the weekend we made a day trip to San Francisco and also visited the National Cemetery in the Presidio. About 30.000 soldiers have been buried here, from post Civil War till the current day, with the most current being that of a young soldier who gave his life in Iraq. There were fresh flowers on this grave but his picture had blown away in the wind, so my daughter and I fixed it back up.

It was humbling, walking around there. I don't want to cheap sounding, but it moved me being there and it reminded me that the many conflicts our country has been part of, has asked a lot of it's citizens. I also was reminded of things I have no knowledge of, but want to know more about, like the Spanish American war in the late 1800's.

My daughters and wife loved walking around there and reading the inscriptions, some grandiose, some just loving and heartfelt.

For more pictures about this amazing memorial site, click here

And here's a statue a El Cid, the militairy genius from the turn of the first milennium, a grand figure, fighting Muslims and Christians the like. The statue is in front of the Legion of Honor in SF.

SC Mike