Saturday, August 28, 2010

28AUG10 N-scale/10mm vehicle discussion

I've recently discovered that N-scale works great for the 10mm wargamer in some respects, and vice versa; depending on the company making the product! However, I obtained these N-scale 1:160th scale vehicles due to my wife and father in law being into N-scale layouts (which also make good wargame tables... or wargames tables make good places to set up N-scale layouts... Good justification to the wife for setting up a 10mm armor collection and playing surfaces!). Besides, thats been a dichotomy between two hobbies for decades. I'm behind the times in learning these little tricks! For more on scale, check out the Wikipedia article about wargaming and hobby scales! I know I've got to put a bookmark there myself...

First off, lets knock out vehicles that are okay for wargaming, but really, really, really would piss off the most precise type A personality realism N-scale hobbyist! Noble Miniatures makes some N-scale "Trackside Treasures" vehicles of which my wife purchased me the WWII US Jeeps (TT-2101) and 1940's Studabaker 2 1/2 Ton Trucks (TT-2117).

What I like about these, is that they are durable enough that I can probably transport them and play games with them without concern about anything breaking. For the N-scale model railroader, the molding will drive you insane! I had a mold mark 1/16 of an inch halfway up the canvas cover on the back of the deuce and a half i assembled! However, for the wargamer, this is a minor problem. We like realism and quality molds too, but its not as critical to wargaming as it is to realistic model railroading. Both of these vehicles took me only a few minutes to clean up and assemble with some CA glue. Do be aware, they do contain lead. Don't let your kids play with them like toys, and take precautions you always take with lead (though I'm sure the EPA will ban these figures someday...). You'll best find these kits at your local model retailer as if you go to the manufacturers website, its not entirely user friendly and geared toward the dealer and not the modeler... Not a bad thing as its intended to give your local dealer your business!

Finally, we come to the masterpiece. I doubt there is a more experienced company producing high quality kits and accessories for both wargamers and model railroaders than GHQ! While I know them best for their Microarmor, I was pleasantly surprised when I ran across their M1A2 kit (GHQ Stock # 58003) at my father in laws favorite train store in Omaha NE. I've known about the kit, just didn't see it until I was there. My jaw just about hit the floor, and I had to buy two kits... and a flat car... and some chain... And I had the intention of mounting them to said flat car for my wife's train. Until I assembled one!

Now I think I'll need to get a few more... At least to start an Armor Company, and get some Bradley IFV's and Modern US Infantry to go with them! Then I'll make a flat car load...

The stainless steel photo etched racks were intimidating to me at first, mainly because I've got very limited experience with photo etched parts (see my Stryker article for my first experiences!). However, for as small as they were, they went together VERY WELL, and were indeed pre-scored at the fold points where required for ease of construction. The casting on the turret was darn near perfect and required little clean-up. I had no problem finding the small holes for the photo etched parts to be glued to!

I'll take the GHQ vehicles on and off the wargames table any day! The detail they can pack into that small package, and the fact that the PE parts are stainless, makes it both highly realistic and durable for the wargamer. Obviously, the most type-A realism model railroader would be exceedingly happy with the minimal work they will have to put into super detailing these tanks for their railroad!

Here are all of the vehicles for a good realistic size comparison. Each square of the cutting mat is 1/2".

Not bad, obviously the Abrams dwarfs them both! I remember my days as a 'crunchy' as the tankers would call anyone not in an Abrams! Anytime I was out in the field at Ft. Riley or the National Training Center and heard the sound of an Abrams approach, I'd wake from a dead slumber and ensure that they weren't coming at my humvee without noticing I was there!

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