Wednesday, 24 June 2009

My Site Launched

I've been contemplating this a while. I'm not entirely convinced by the blog format for presenting a portfolio. And so, with that in mind, I've set up a site using as a host.

I set the site up about a week ago, and opened it to a sample group. I've now set the status to public. I'm still undecided on the name, but I doubt the URL will change. Please check it out and feel free to comment - either here or via email.

The URL:

So what does the site contain, and what its purpose?

First the latter: my intent of the site is to present my modelling portfolio, consisting of reviews, articles, tutorials, current and completed works (albeit links if published on another site) on a single site, in an easy to navigate format.

What does and will it contain? Well really what I mentioned above: I'll be listing all the articles (reviews and features) I've had published on other sites. I may be posting some articles, tutorials, and works exclusively on my site, but we'll see how that plays out. I'll also be reposting most of the content of this blog there which will hopefully make it easier to find.

The site format is not without its limitations, but as far as I can estimate these outweight the limitations of the blog format. We'll see how this goes - wish me luck!

And please visit the new site!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Alpine's German Infantry Set (Review)

Manufacturer: Alpine Miniatures
Item Code: 35081, 35082, 35083
Medium: Resin
Review Publication Date: June 20th 2009

The first four years of WWII saw very little change in the basic uniform and equipment of the German Infantryman, with most changes due to economic cutbacks. This set of figures from Alpine Miniatures is an excellent example of both the early-mid war German infantry commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

35083 – “German Infantry Set” is a set of two 1/35th scale resin figures sculpted by Yukio Honma, this being his second pair of 1/35 scale figures for Alpine Miniatures. The two Wehrmacht Infantry Officers, both wearing early war clothing, are portrayed in fairly relaxed stances: the commissioned officer looking through a pair of binoculars; while the other poses with his right hand holding his lowered rifle and the left over his binoculars. Released during April 2009, the box-art is painted by Man-Jin Kim, his first such commission for Alpine Miniatures (subsequent to this release he has done more).

Both figures are also available individually as figures 35081 German Infantry Officer and 35082 German Infantry NCO.

While some may find the poses featured in this figure set inanimate, I find the figures rather versatile as they can be used in a variety of scenes. This set need not be represented as infantrymen per se, nor limited in terms of time period as early war uniforms were worn virtually throughout the war. This figure set by Alpine Miniatures is a terrific example of the various aspects of the early-mid war German European theatre uniform.

As we have become accustomed to from Alpine, the casting and sculpting is magnificent, with only a barely noticeable amount of flash on one figure. The map case and water bottle “issues” mentioned in the text are easily corrected.

In terms of painting, trousers could be painted in the initial stone-grey or the early feldgrau (only difference between the M38 and M40 trousers was the colour as the pattern remained the same). Similarly, the primary cosmetic difference between the M36 and M40 tunics being the collars colours.

This is another excellent pair of figures from Yukio Honma and Taesung Harmm’s Alpine Miniatures. The quality of the cast, and the versatility of the subject should prove to be very successful. Recommended.

Click here for my full review on Armorama

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Melbourne Model Expo 2009

The 26th Annual Australian Open Plastic Scale Model Championships, or simply Model Expo 2009, was held over the Queen's Birthday Weekend of 6-8 June 2009 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. For Victorians this 3 day modelling spectacular is seen as the event of the modelling calendar.

I had been looking forward to attending my first Model Expo ever since we decided to emigrate. And so, with that I obtained permission from her supreme highness to attend all 3 days of the Expo. Speaking to friends, I was able to formulate a strategy on how to attend so as to maximise viewing pleasure. Sounds odd, doesn't it?

Day 1: I decided to only arrive at the show after noon, which is when the entries closed. Without the missus in tow, this would be the day I'd do my shopping. Obviously I'd also do the footwork on seeing the entries.

Day 2: Missus in tow, Saturday was my photography day. I took over 500 photos with my new Canon EOS 450D. Amazingly I was simply shooting on fully automatic and in my opinion I got some great shots. I was really impressed. The missus wasn't though, but she didn't complain once over the three and a half hours I took to shoot most of the entries. (The diorama shown here is one by my friend Matt Beattie)

Day 3: Day of the Swap & Sell. If you've never been to a S&S, picture a pirahna feeding frenzy. The S&S was held seperately to the Expo (although same location). Unfortunately the room they held it in was undersized, in my opinion, for the number of sellers - and subsequent buyers. Although I picked up 2 reference books really cheaply, it wasn't long before I got a bit claustraphobic and left. Not that there were really any kits that tickled my fancy.

The full feature article on

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Blues Miniatures' SS-Unterscharfuhrer 1944 (Review)

Manufacturer: Blues Miniatures
Item Code: WL35008
Medium: Resin
Review Publication Date: June 6th 2009

WL35008 SS-Unterscharfuhrer 1944, a 1/35th scale resin figure, depicts a SS soldier wearing late war clothing, lying on his left side amidst building rubble, perhaps lying in ambush or under cover waiting for the enemy to move past. The figure is sculpted by N. Pizzichemi while the rubble base is sculpted by R. Giannino, who also painted the box-art.

This Waffen-SS soldier wears a reversible, padded winter tunic with the autumn camouflage on the outside and white inside, reversible camouflage padded mittens, belted trousers and leather lace-up ankle boots with M1942 canvas anklets. He wears a steel helmet, with ‘bread bag’ strap attached for foliage, over a M1942 tubular woollen balaclava. He wears M1939 leather infantry Y-straps and M1911 ammunition pouches; behind his left hip is his bread bag with water bottle attached with his gas-mask case slung to the rear as well. He also carries two M1924 stick-grenades in his belt and a Karabiner 98K.

This is the first Blues Miniatures figure I have had the opportunity to review, and I must admit to being suitably impressed. Despite one or two relatively small issues I might have had with the figure, such as the drapery of the left arm and the inadequate muzzle detail, the rest of the figure more than makes up for these. The pose is different in scale figure terms in that it is not one we see all too often, and yet it is one every soldier assumes at some point. The figure simply screams to be placed in a diorama or vignette.

This is a terrific figure from Blues Miniatures, and the addition of the base virtually makes this figure ready to present directly from the box. Recommended.

Click here for my full review on Armorama

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

RACV Motor Show - Australia Day 2009

I've been meaning to post this for a while, but since I'd promised it to my friend Mike High, then Associate Editor, for publication on but was unable to deliver due to technical difficulties on the Kitmaker group of sites, I've only got around to having it published now. Sadly Mike has since resigned his position, but I do like to keep promises to friends - well at least attempt to keep them.
Actually, speaking of AutoModeler, Mike's resignation has left the site without a driver so, dear reader, if you do know of any modellers with a serious auto fetish who are interested in running a site, contact the Kitmaker publisher (contact details can be  found on Until then, and on a temporary basis, Armorama Associate Editor James Bella and  I have volunteered to help out with AutoModeler. Unfortunately my auto knowledge is limited to air-cooled VW's, so I'm definitely not any kind of subject matter expert, but I do know my way around the Kitmaker engine.
Anyway, enough on that, more about the real purpose of this blog entry.

The King's Domain Gardens in Melbourne was the venue of the RACV's, in conjunction with the Federation of Veteran,Vintage and Classic Vehicle Clubs, 2009 Australia Day (26th of January) Motor Show. A real favourite with families, and in addition to many family activities, the Kings Domain Gardens featured the famous historic vehicle display, with more than 500 veteran, vintage and classic vehicles.
This being the first Australia Day for both my wife and I, we set forth to the Gardens, spending a wonderfully warm day out car looking - and it’s amazing, I did not get one "they all look the same" comment from The Missus, as even she enjoyed the day.