Thursday, April 13, 2017

Arts of War: Artistry in Weapons across Cultures

I visited Harvard University over Spring Break and found an interesting display of weapons and armor at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, which runs through 2017.


Armor from Kiribati in Micronesia with a porcupinefish helmet.

Front

Back


Tlingit armor from the Pacific Northwest.

Ring mail fashioned with Chinese coins


War helmet representing totemic killer whale


Pictures of other pieces of armor in the collection.

Spanish breastplate

Moro armor from Mindanao

Yi armor from Western China

Ifugao shield from Luzon (left)
Papuan shield (right)

Shields from Papua New Guinea

Spanish shield (Adaga) from Mexico (top left)
Pueblo shield from New Mexico (lower left)
Kayan shield (Kliau) from Borneo (right)

Indian shield (top)
Persian shield (middle)
Ethiopian shield (bottom)

African shields

Pictures of various weapons in the collection.

Maces

Clubs

Clubs

More clubs

Spear throwers

Axes and daggers

Swords and daggers

More bladed weapons

There is also an online exhibition which features some of the weapons and armor on display and additional items in the collection.

The final picture is of a small scale model (not quite 1/72) of the main temple at Tenayuca that is on display with the museum's collection of Mesoamerican artifacts.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

T-26 Quickbuilds

The Soviet T-26 was one of the most widely used tanks of the interwar period, and took part in many conflicts that are of particular interest to me.

Two quickbuild models which I have assembled are produced by Pegasus and Minairons.


The Pegasus kit is only 15 parts, and goes together pretty easily. The only real criticism I have with the kit is in regard to the track assembly.

The return rollers, appear as single cylinders, as opposed to being two joined wheels. The same applies to the rear idler.


The tracks have a little too much sag, and are on the crude, chunky side, but they still give the appearance of being proper tank tracks.

It has been mentioned that the tracks stick out a little too much on these models, but I only noticed that on the left front corner of my build (I had already painted the tank by that time, so it was too late to do anything to fix it).


The Minairons kit has 10 parts, and can be built as either the double turreted A version, or the single turret B version. The kit goes together without issue, but it seems less detailed and more toy-like when compared to the Pegasus kit.

The main gun of the Minairons kit does not reflect the appearance of the actual gun, but that was a minor issue I could overlook.

A larger issue was that I had to inscribe additional panel lines to define the second hatch on the turret. The second hatch seems to be present on the 1/100 models, so it's unclear why they would be missing on the 1/72 version.

The panel line needs more work to make both hatches match.

The tracks are simplified with a very shallow pattern. The return rollers are featureless cylinders that protrude directly out from the sides of the hull. The drive sprocket and return idler are similarly rendered.


I glued the track assemblies so that the bottom edge was not flush with the hull, since during test fitting it seemed that not doing so would make the tank sit lower than the Pegasus kit.



The Pegasus T-26 was given Finnish markings, while the Minairons T-26 was painted with Republican markings from the Spanish Civil War.


Here is a comparison of the quickbuild tanks with a diecast Altaya/Eaglemoss T-26.




This particular Eaglemoss kit is made with a metal hull, and has quite a bit of heft. It even has the triangle security screws underneath, so maybe it is from some old Altaya stock.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lindworm

The lindworm is a northern European dragon typically depicted with just two front legs. The name is derived from lindorm, a Scandinavian word used to describe dragons in general.



Lindworms are a common motif in the marginalia of medieval manuscripts, in illustrations of alchemical texts, and featured in the Norwegian fairy tale Prince Lindworm.


A related creature is the Tatzelwurm which has been reported to have been sighted in the Alps even within the last 10 years.

Two miniatures of this creature have been made. A metal Medieval Wyrm (HOT110) from 15mm.co.uk (left), and a plastic Tatzlwyrm (Legends of Golarion #28) from Paizo (right).


The Medieval Wyrm takes its inspiration from a picture showing Hans Fuchs encountering a Tatzelwurm in 1779.


The unfortunate Herr Fuchs suffered a fatal heart attack from the encounter, but was able to describe the creature before dying as being 5–7' in length, with clawed front legs, and a cat-like head.


Subsequent stories of the Tatzelwurm throughout the years were similar, albeit the length was typically reported as being closer to 1–3' in length.

Both of the figures look perfect for use with 1/72 scale figures. I'd say that they were more Lindworm than Tatzelwurm since they have traditional draconic heads, as opposed to cat-like heads.

The only figure that I can think of which fits the description of the Tatzelwurm is Madcoil from the Ral Partha Elfquest Personalities boxed set (Elfquest 96-003).


Madcoil is much larger and bulkier than the other figures, but it definitely has the feline head.