Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Stop! Magnet Time!

Heinkel He.51s painted by Kevin Hammond
In order to host an upcoming Check Your 6! game, one set during the Spanish Civil War, I had to take some time and add magnets to the various aircraft that Kevin Hammond, he of Miscellaneous Miniatures fame, painted up for me quite some time ago!  Using my trusty magnet tool I picked up from Corsec Engineering, I not only knocked out the Spanish Civil War aircraft that were in need of magnets, but also some Korean War planes, painted by Chris Geisert, that were still needing this necessary accessory.

I was able to find some nicely priced magnets from K and J Magnetics.  Unfortunately, based on some completed aircraft I had picked up I ordered the incorrect size, very small fiddly ones, so I had to place another order after looking over my own aircraft to get the size magnets I truly wanted.  K and J offer a huge variety of sizes, with good shipping rates.  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Going Dutch?

No, my wife and I are not splitting the dinner bill....

For some years I've keep an Excel file listing the various World War II 15mm Dutch figures available on the market.  Believe it or not, there are four companies making the Dutch in 15mm.  Why this interest in the Dutch?  Underdog syndrome perhaps.  My friend The G Dog has a plethora of WWII 15mm Japanese an it might be nice to provide an alternative OPFOR.  From infantry to vehicles to 1/144th scale aircraft, one could put together quite the nice Dutch force.  But that list sits there, getting updated about one per year as prices change.  Well, even if I do not order any Dutch, here is a bit of a breakdown of what is available:

East Riding I believe are the old Camel Miniatures range, and from what I have seen from their Japanese figures, are the roughest of the bunch in terms of quality, which begs the question why their price point is on the high end of the scale?  However, offsetting the quality and pricing concerns is East Riding's outstanding customer service even if they do not offer pictures of their Dutch.  Of note, their Dutch are for the East Indies, not Europe.

Depending on your tastes, I believe the Peter Pig figures to be of the best quality.  Many gamers do not like the open mouth ghost like faces, but their figures are full of animation and crisply sculpted and cast.  They are also the most expensive figures available for the Dutch.  Service has always been good.  If you want the best, perhaps use Peter Pig as your infantry core then fill in with vehicles and support weapons from other ranges.  But, having said that, their Dutch are suited for Europe, and would not make ideal opponents for the Japanese.

QRF can run the gamut in terms of figure quality.  Their more recent ranges are good, even though posing can look awkward from time to time.  As their Dutch have been available for some time, I would guess the sculpting is okay, but not of their more recent quality.  Alas, they offer no pictures of their Dutch.  From a price point the are one of the more affordable companies and they often run specials.  Service is excellent.  Bear in mind that their infantry is KNIL (Dutch East Indies) and not suitable for Europe, but ideal for facing off against the Empire of Japan.

True North Miniatures (Old Glory) - Army Card prices shown
True North offers a nice range of figures for both Europe and the East Indies.  They are average in quality, but they offer more vehicles in their range plus a Fokker D.XXI in 1/144th scale.  Based on price and completeness of range, this might be the most cost effective direction for your Dutch force.  Service is solid, at times my orders arrive quickly, at others takes a bit longer.  And if you order from Old Glory on a regular basis, then buy their Army Card and save 40% on all your orders for a year.  For years I resisted taking advantage of this offer, but finally broke down and spent the money last summer.  It has more than paid for itself and I still have several months to go!

Oh, there is one additional company offering 15mm Dutch, in this case aircraft.  Armaments in Miniature produce three aircraft in their Dutch listing, the Fokker D.XXI, a Fokker C.X, and a Brewster Buffalo.  While 15mm aircraft may be too large for your needs, the quality of their resin aircraft is top notch.

There you have it, the Dutch for World War II.  If I ever buy figures, I'll be certain to post pictures!
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