Friday, April 22, 2011

Converting Axis & Allies Panhard AMD-35s for FOW

I recently found out via TMP that the second version of Axis & Allies collectible miniatures are now "true" 15mm - at least the vehicles and infantry. Always looking for cheap alternatives to Battlefront miniatures, I was intrigued, so I went over to CoolStuffInc and ordered an entire platoon of Panhard AMD-35s for $7.50 shipped! Technically, this miniature is the captured German version of the AMD-35, the Panzerspahwagen 204(f) from the North Africa expansion.

Here are the AMD-35s as I received them. What I initially thought was a poor casting line on the left side of the turret is actually correct. Unfortunately, I learned that after I had cut down the turret and made it even.

The biggest problem are the front wheels are the incorrect width, much wider than the back wheels (which are just about right). I was able to solve this by sanding down the inside of the wheels with my dremel and then finishing them off with a jeweler's file.

The second problem (which may not be one to some gamers) is the flange on the turret. This holds the turret down unto the body itself. The turret is still able to turn with or without it, but it's not easy to take the turret off (to add smoke) with the flange in place. I simply cut mine off with an X-acto blade.

The pic above shows that these minis really are true 15mm, this is the 204(f) next to a stand of Forged in Battle French infantry.

First, clean the mold lines. There were only a very few - 2 under each rear storage panier and some excess flash on the inside of the wheels, easily scrapped down with the edge of an X-acto blade.

Here, I cut off the commander's hatch and then, using a Dremel burr grinder, bored a shallow hole under where the hatch was. Then, using the cut-off hatch, I cut a replacement hatch out of thin plasticard and glued it in the "open" position. I then took a spare French artillery crewman, cut off his legs, and glued him into the open hatch.

To make the unique radio aerials that the AMD command car was equipped with, I took a 20mm length of guitar string and unwound the outer string with pliers, leaving a 1-2mm length of outside wire at the bottom to simulate the aerial mounts.

By unwinding the opposite wire, I was able to make enough wire to mount the aerial itself on the rear fender. The nice part about the AA mini is that there is a small upraised circle molded into the fender right where the rear aerial would be mounted.

To mount the front aerial, I cut a small length of plasticard tubing and glued it into the front left fender.

To give the minis a little weight, I simply used some spare pewter slottatabs from 25mm minis and glued them inside the body.

After the addition of some stowage made from greenstuff and a second crewman mounted in the turret rear doors, the cars were almost done. The only thing missing was a small armored visor on the front driver's hatch and one on the rear drivers hatch. I simply cut and glued some plasticard strips on them and they were perfect!

Before priming and painting, be sure to wash your Axis and Allies minis in very warm water with dishwashing liquid and to rinse them well!

Total savings vs. Battlefront AMD-35 platoon - $37!

No comments: