Saturday, 13 May 2017

PaK36 sabot bases — WiP Part 1: The Bases

I found a blister of Battlefront's 15mm German PaK36 37mm anti-tank guns in my stash of unbuilt stuff.

 Regrettably, the crew figures supplied with it are mostly dressed in camo smocks and helmet covers, so they're not really suitable for my 1939-40 German army unless I field them as SS — which I am reluctant to do, because frankly the SS were a real pack of bastards. I don't really fancy the idea of commanding a bunch of war criminals, even in make-believe.

However, the issue is not insuperable, since I have a bunch of laser-cut MDF sabot bases I had made a while ago. The idea of using these bases, rather than fixing the crew permanently to the base, is so that I can swap out figures as required, or remove casualties during a game rather than keeping track of them via book-keeping. That means that if I get some early-war Heer crew from someone like Peter Pig, I can swap them in to the existing gun bases. Easy-peasy.

The figures are all glued to 12.5mm (½") steel washers, which fit into the 13mm holes in the bases. The MDF bases themselves are glued to thin card so that the figures don't just fall straight through.

The two holes where the gun itself will go are filled with a couple of plugs left over from the laser cutting; unfortunately I don't have very many of these, I didn't foresee their usefulness when I got the bases cut, and I suppose most of them were just thrown away as scrap.

The card is trimmed flush with the edge of the MDF, and tiny 3mm x 1mm magnets are glued in the cavities. These are what will hold the crew figures in place during a game — they're not completely necessary, but they do add a bit of insurance against scattering figures all over the table with a particularly fumble-fingered move.

On the base on the right, I've squished some figures down over some cling-film over the magnets to ensure that the epoxy isn't higher than the thickness of the magnets, but with the second base (on the left) I didn't find that a necessary step.

The magnets I sourced from China, very cheaply. It cost me about ten dollars for 500 magnets in this size.

Next stage was to mount the guns in place.

I've left the loader figure in place during the gluing to ensure that the position of the guns and the loader figures is compatible.

Part Two
Part Three