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Topics - Captain Blood

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General Discussions / Citroen 11CV
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:31:34 PM »
I am the proud possessor of a Rubicon Models Citroen Traction Avant 11CV picked up at Salute - another beautifully crisp lightweight resin kit.
Does anyone know, for the military option, would it be painted and marked like a military vehicle - or just black like a civilian car, but with official numberplates?
(I'm going to do the former, either way. But am interested to know if that's purely fantastical / wishful thinking, as opposed to strictly historically accurate...  ;D)

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Showcase & Gallery / Rubicon 15 Cwt. CMP truck completed
« on: March 21, 2018, 10:05:10 PM »
So, with newly restored eyeballs following a double cataract op entailing two months off painting; followed by various experiments with expensive custom milled modelling specs (£250 - completely useless) and cheap optical devices (optivisor - £25, brilliant) to get me back in the saddle, I have now finished my Rubicon 15 Cwt. Canadian Military Pattern truck.
 
Very nice model, quite easy to put together - but somewhat fiddly to paint with all those nooks and crannies.
The fellow with the Thompson is concocted from a 1/56 Rubicon body, 1/56 Perry arms and a Tamiya 1/48 head - doesn't look too top heavy though  :)
The stowage is from Rubicon with a couple of Perry bits.









And a couple of 'en scene' shots...  :)






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General Discussions / Have you changed your plastic?
« on: January 05, 2018, 02:23:21 AM »
I’ve been building my Rubicon CMP truck, using the Revell Contacta liquid poly cement I’ve used for many hundreds of hard plastic figures and several plastic kits, including from Rubicon.

But to my slight consternation, the glue is behaving differently on this kit. Usually, as intended, the effect of the liquid poly cement is to rapidly dissolve the two surfaces to be bonded, and then fuse them together to create a new bond.

On this kit however, the cement is failing to dissolve the plastic. It’s just sitting on the surface of the plastic. It’s like the plastic is harder, shinier, somehow impervious to the intentionally corrosive properties of the glue. Half a dozen times, components which I thought were firmly stuck, have just come apart under the slightest pressure - revealing that the liquid poly cement has not behaved in its customary way. It’s just dried as a film on the surface of the plastic...

I haven’t experienced this with any other plastic kits, which leads me to question if something has changed in the composition of the material the kit is being produced in.

It’s pretty annoying  :(

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Hot off the press, it’s the new 1/56 scale Rubicon BMW R75 motorcycle + sidecar kit (DAK version).  Pics and a bit of a review follows…

First up, I should declare that I've bastardised the Rubicon crew figures slightly, with the addition of a few Perry DAK parts. That’s because the style of the Rubicon helmets and field caps (nice as they are) is slightly different. And being OCD about such matters, I want all my figures in this army to have a consistent look. I’ve also added a few Perry pouches, water bottles etc, because the Rubicon crew figures lack a little definition in places (see below). And finally, I swapped some Perry arms onto the pillion rider, simply because I decided I didn’t want the whole crew in short sleeves.

The motorcycle and sidecar itself is a lovely little model. Obviously given its scale, it is a wee bit fiddly to put together, but very cleverly designed and very sharply moulded. Overall, 9/10.
The only negative is where the components attach to the frame in a couple of instances, which makes one or two key parts very difficult to get off the sprue absolutely cleanly, and without a tell-tale change in the line of the component. But I guess even with the best of frame planning, it's inevitable.

I’m no expert, but as far as I can tell, most details are present – rendering such a detailed piece of kit in this small scale necessarily means some simplification is needed.
The only detail missing that seemed a bit of an odd omission to me, is the corrugated shock absorbers on the front forks. Odd, because the spring under the rider’s saddle is modelled in detail.

Of course, the overall effect of a model M/C + sidecar with three crew is as much about the figures as the vehicle.

Here, I have to be a tiny little bit more critical. I say this with love, because I think Rubicon are brilliant. I am full of admiration for the way they have entered the market from nowhere in such a well planned and executed way. They’re dedicated to clever design, great models, good value, and keeping their customers in the process. But if they are going to make the jump from designing and making model vehicle kits, to making miniature figures, I think they are going to have to raise their game just a little bit more.

Why do I say this? Because while the poses of the three crew supplied are perfectly good and interesting - the sidecar machine gunner is particularly good – and there are a number of options supplied (field caps or helmets, MG34 or MG42), unfortunately some areas of detail on the figures are very soft to almost non-existent.

The figures’ hands, for instance, are pretty much devoid of fingers – just mitts really. There’s little or no moulded definition to paint to. The lace-up boots have no detail to speak of either. The ammunition pouches similarly are just squarish blobs.  Ditto the pistol holsters. Other areas are better – the clothing is done well, and some of the upper body detail – epaulettes, etc., is good. Overall though, if you’re accustomed to the definition and fine detail of, say, Perry plastics, then the Rubicon figures leave a little bit to be desired.

I can only assume this is down to sculpting rather than moulding, because – in common with all Rubicon kits, and I’ve made four now – the moulding on the vehicle parts is as sharp and well-defined as you like. I wonder therefore if there’s been a deliberate attempt in the CAD process to soften the lines and detail on the figures, in order to make them look more natural and organic alongside the hard contours and sharp edges of vehicles and machinery.

Anyway, overall the effect is really damned good - it looks the business. So I’m not complaining – just saying that I think Rubicon can do even better than this when it comes to adding crew figures to their vehicle kits. And especially if (as widely speculated, or perhaps hoped!) they are one day going to start producing infantry sets of their own.

Other points – the kit comes with a very generous sheet of waterslide decals, which evidently will also serve the forthcoming Kettenkrad kit. Enough number plates of every conceivable WW2 German denomination, to supply about 40 motorcycles – so plenty of choice. Again, almost unbelievably fiddly getting the tiny front mudguard  number plates in place. Took about half an hour just to do that. But the end result is worth the faff I’d say.

There are some nice options included: You can build the model without the figures if wished, and there is a tarpaulin cover for the sidecar compartment included as an optional extra. Similarly, you get a choice of hard shell storage boxes or leather/fabric saddlebags.

At the end of the day, it may be small, but it’s rather lovely, and only costs 12.00 GBP, so it’s not exactly a pricey purchase. Highly recommended.


















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Showcase & Gallery / DAK Tiger I
« on: January 04, 2017, 05:05:32 AM »
Rubicon Tiger I for my burgeoning Western Desert wargaming collection.
I've built it as early production model, although I've cheated slightly by using the mid-production turret top - mainly because I wanted the MG34 and 'swing aside' commander's hatch.
I'll add a Perry panzer commander in due course.
I tried to get the colour to the kind of 'green sand' I saw from photographs of some of the early DAK Tigers.

Only one tiny criticism of an otherwise brilliant kit - the surface moulded-on details of cables, tools etc was indeed extremely fiddly to paint accurately... If Rubicon ever redo this kit, those surface moulded items could really do with a whisker more relief / definition.

I'm hosting these pics on Lead Adventure Forum, a German based forum, so for the pictures I've smudged out the tiny swastikas within the DAK insignia - showing Nazi symbols is still against the law in Germany, and even a miniscule infringement could land the forum owner in legal trouble...












A few close-ups...






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Showcase & Gallery / A15 Crusader Mk. III.
« on: December 24, 2016, 06:40:05 PM »
Hi.

Just built and painted my first Rubicon kit. In fact, the first plastic AFV kit I've made in more than 30 years, since my adolescent fascination with Tamiya...

I went a bit too heavy on the initial wash, but on the whole, it's worked out okay. I'll know better next time :)

The tank commander is bodged from Perry plastics with a Green Stuff beret.

I fear I may now have acquired a taste for this AFV modelling malarkey... Oh dear...  ::)  lol

















This is for use with my Perry collection, like these:






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