Saturday, 20 July 2013

20mm WW1 Germans (Part 3)

In my recent WW1 postings, Tim mentioned my 'one man and his dog' command stand, so by popular request, here are a few WW1 German command stands.

These are fairly typical 'officer with pistol' poses but I like the figure in greatcoat and helmet. Emhar and Revell respectively.

The magnificent Revell officer with binoculars figure.

Emhar officers, more relaxed poses.

Multi-based higher command stand. Emhar again, the same figures as above.

Finally, everyones favourite 'one man and his dog' command stands. Emhar officers plus messenger dog. I can't for the life of me remember who does the German messenger dogs, but as everything else is Revell and Emhar I guess they are one or the other.

These are finished the same as the other figures. Various layers of greys over a black base, these also look suspiciously like they've had an inkwash too. Bases are plain builders sand with clumps of woodland scenics mixed turf, but essentially they just look like mud. As with most of my other bases, they have bits of magnetic strip on which are useful for game markers. The single figures on pennies don't of course.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Soviet BMP Regiment

This is a 2mm BMP regiment, like the Tank Regiment, it is also set up mainly for use with NBC but with the capability to scale up to division sized games by swapping some components in and out with other formations.

BMP Regiment in its bespoke storage tray. This unit has 20 elements so fits exactly into its box, unlike the tank regiment which has 19 elements. Eagle eyed viewers will note it doesn't quite fit as I miscalculated the box size.

Three motor rifle battalions, each company stand with a pair of BMP models and half an infantry strip.

Tank battalion. T62s in this case but in less fortunate formations, T55s. Uses the generic T55/62 model.

SP artillery battalion, a pair of slimmed down M109s standing in for SP 122mm guns and a heavily filed BMP to produce an MTLB for the battalion command stand.

Regimental HQ. HQ stand, BRDM-1s and SA-9 both converted from Sdkfz 222s(!), recce company in BMPs and engineer company in BTRs.

These guys are heavily drybrushed Vellejo Russian Green (Green 894?) over a black base. It comes out pretty dark in the this scale so there is a lighter drybrush of the same colour lightened with ochre. Then a final very, very light highlight of Iraqi sand. I did try some washes but in fact the drybrushing seems to work better. 'Tracks' are just a highlighting slash of mud colour, although I painted tyred wheels black. Vehicles windows are done in a mid blue (reflected sky) the same as I do for larger scale vehicles and are actually quite effective. Based on very fine Woodland Scenics flock.

Converting the armoured cars is a complete pain and actually puts me off doing more stuff. I rather regret not doing this in 3mm now where the available ranges of modern vehicles are bigger, but I can get away with less fudging as to vehicle types with the bigger models, so horses for courses.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

COW 2013

I spent another excellent weekend at COW recently. WDDT(N) put on both Ten Rounds Rapid and a Fletcher Pratt naval game on the lawn but it was also an opportunity to play some other peoples games and catch up with friends. I also managed to shift a moderate amount of stuff on the Bring and Buy. I am sure the event will be more than adequately covered elsewhere and I didn't take a huge number of photos, but here a few.

Knuston Hall, bathed in sunshine.

Eager wargamers crowd around the session board.

John D Salt leads the British to a stunning victory in Ten Rounds Rapid.

Indian commanders plan their invasion of Goa.

The Portuguese are overwhelmed.

Prospective commanders assemble for the Fletcher Pratt lawn game.

Gibralter, Renown and three DDs in attendance.

Phil Barker contemplates suggestions for his new 1944 tactical wargames rules.

Funny Little Wars on the lawn. It was so hot that a shady spot around the flower beds was sought out.

Toms experimental Napoleonic battalion command game.

Jim Roche's excellent Saturday night sing song. The slide is the 1937 Fleet review, six miles of warships.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Churchill Mark 1

I started off  as a plastic modeller in the late 1960s before discovering wargaming and kept modelling up through the 1970s, both Airfix (what else!) 1/76th scale but also various 1/35th scale projects. As my wargaming moved more into 6mm I ended up chopping up a lot of my 20mm wargaming toys into various conversions. I can't claim any great originality with them, most were based on Airfix guides, articles in Airfix magazine or Military Modelling and occasionally on Bellona prints.

One model I was quite pleased with was a Churchill Mark 1, converted from the Airfix hybrid Churchill Mark IV/VII.

The finished model in mid war SCC2. Scratch built turret and various modifications to the hull. This is actually a Mark II(?) as it is missing the hull 3" gun. I am pretty sure it used to have the hull gun and I suspect it has fallen off at some point in the past.

The turret is a central frame made from plasticard filled out with milliput. Hatches and stowage boxes made up from card and the 2pdr gun is from the Airfix Crusader.

Main modification to the sides (apart from cutting off the track guards) are square hull hatches and rounding off the air louvres. The underside of the turret doesn't look very straight.Oh well.

Minor engine deck modifications with extra piping and an external fuel tank added, again from a Crusader.

This particular model is based for Megablitz and marked up as a battalion from 25th Tank Brigade where it can join my other Tunisia marked Churchills (a few Mark Is and IIs made it to Tunisia). It was repainted about ten years ago over the original scheme using black undercoat with a heavy drybrush of SCC2 (I used Humbrol khaki as a close enough match) and in this case, a rather heavy handed application of pale tan 'dust'.

As I recall I did this model around 1975 and it finally saw action in a wargame a few years ago when I ran Steamroller Farm using Lionel Tarrs WW2 rules from Don Featherstones book. A thirty year wait isn't bad!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Imperial Romans

I am already fairly well provided with Romans, albeit of the late Republican variety, however you can never have too many, particularly if considering the Roman Civil Wars. A while ago I acquired a few boxes of surplus HaT Imperial Romans from Tim, and our recent outings with CnC Ancients finally stirred me to doing something with them.  So hot off the painting table, I bring you Imperial Romans.

My well appointed work station. A shoebox full of paint and a tin tray covered in tools, glue etc all laid out on the dining table. My wife is very understanding, but this lot sets up and clears away in minutes.

The assembled might of Rome on their designated storage box. DBA based (using 25mm basing), 22 elements of four figures apiece with four different combinations of shield design and helmet crest or not with four command stands. This s a similar scheme to the one I used for my Republican Romans and allows various levels of representation and unit differentiation for different sets of rules. No hastati, princeps or triarii with this lot though.

Red crested chaps with lightning bolt shields. HaT Imperial Legionary set plus some figures from the command set, optio and standard bearer in this case.

Uncrested chaps with winged shields plus a Centurian. These are the HaT extra heavy legionaries but  just I painted their additional armour as flesh so they all look a bit more homogenous with the crested chaps

One problem with plastic figures are the goofy poses, HaT generally aren't too bad but I was a bit short of figures so I used some poses which would normally go in the spares box. Ninja pila throwers waving their  scutums at arms length and the famous 'overam gladius' move. Both these poses remind me of Brad Pitt in 'Troy'.

The flanking soldiers here are the worst of the lot, lets point our shields away from the enemy and step forward waving our swords. Hopefully their awfulness is masked by sharing the base with some command figures.

En masse they don't look too bad though. Crested and uncrested winged shield types.

Uncrested and crested lightning bolt shield types.

So, hopefully coming to an Ancient battlefeld near you soon, more Romans. I used to muck about endlessly with Ancient figures doing multiple undercoats, inkwashes, highlighting etc. These guys are very basic:

  • wash in detergent to get off the mould grease
  • strip off the flash (my least favourite job, rather shoddily done for these)
  • stick bits on, shields in this case (for the love of god why? just mould them in one piece)
  • undercoat with undiluted PVA
  • block paint, I do a variant of inside out but leave the flesh until later on, not first thing
  • overall inkwash with W&N peat brown ink
  • paint the shield designs
  • varnish with Ronseal matt floor varnish
  • job done

they are based on artists mounting board painted with terracotta emulsion paint  then flocked with PVA and builders sand plus clumps of static grass. For a more 'arid' look the sand has been drybrushed in magnolia emulsion paint and finally the bases are edged with black marker pen. I like a thick base which frames the figures.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

20mm First World War Germans (part 2)

Taking a break from the excitement in Vulgaria, more 20mm WW1 Germans, this time field guns and tanks. The artillery is all Emhar, although I do have some of the HaT long 77mm guns I haven't got round to assembling them yet.

77mm guns (early) although they were used for the whole war. The gun commander figure somewhat incongrously is wearing a picklehaube and waving a sword although the other chaps are in steel helmets.

I cut the swords off a couple of them. My usual 'heavy grey drybrush over a black undercoat' paint job. There are the usual problems with these models of getting soft plastic parts to stick together, these were done with superglue and then covered in undiluted PVA.

The figures and guns also had a dark brown inkwash and a final highlight of very light grey, which picks out the details.

Emhar A7V, marked up as 'Mephisto', the sole surviving example and famous for being the first ever tank knocked out in a tank battle . Nice easy kit to put together with very few parts.

This is a huge vehicle, as can be seen by the nearby figures. Basic colour scheme for this vehicle is dark field grey with disruptive red brown patches, strangely similar to the interwar Reichsheer scheme.

Like the guns this also had an inkwash and a drybrush, which picks out the large number of rivets.