Saturday 31 August 2013

20mm WW2, 1st Infantry Division

My Airfix conversions and WW1 20mm stuff seem to be quite popular, so I thought it was time to meet some more of my 20mm WW2 stuff. These are generally organised as divisions for Megablitz these days, and I chose Tunisia/Italy as an interesting theatre with an eclectic mix of stuff although for games they have usually stood in for some other unit in NWE instead.

My first ever Megablitz division was 1st Infantry Division, which dates from the late 1990s. My only original 1970s Airfix element in this unit is anti-tank regiment, the rest was bought new (or second hand). The division is organised as it was for Operation Torch, including a whole brigade of Guardsmen (24th Guards Brigade).

1st ID in its storage box.

Three infantry brigades, each of three battalions. Originally I bought metal FAA figures for these but they were too nice to use so I got some plastic figures instead!

The infantry with their brigade transpart columns.

The transports are resin models from Frontline. Cheap and easy to build.

The recce regiment, two Matchbox Humbers and a White Scout Car.

The Scout Car is also resin, acquired second hand I suspect it is Frontline but I am not sure.

Divisional Field Artillery, being a cheapskate I only bought two regiments.

Venerable Airifx 25pdrs but with FAA gunners.

MG battalion and AT Regiment. The 6pdr and carrier date from the 1970s, and I seem to have mislaid the carrier for the MG battalion.

AA Regiment. Airifx Bofors and Morris tractor. I have a few boxes of these unbuilt but have yet to summon the energy to build another one.

Div HQ and staff. Resin staff car and utility vehicle

Div staff also has this rather magnificent piper, maybe from the ESCI 8th Army set?

Divisional logistic element (along with the brigade transports), a second hand Airfix Matador.

Thursday 29 August 2013

20mm First World War British (Part 1)

These are my 20mm plastic WW1 Western Front British troops. Being a bit sad I also have WW1 stuff in 15mm and 6mm, so at some point I'll take some photos of those.

Various stands lined up, a 1918 brigade in Great War Spearhead terms.

Infantry stands. These are all Emhar, they look a bit rough close up but take an inkwash nicely.

Support elements, Vickers guns and Stokes mortars plus the inevitable officer looking one way and pointing another.

A field artillery regiment, Emhar 18pdrs.

The guns from the side.

These have been a very serviceable army and have seen a fair bit of action over the years, generally being forced over the top time and again as I try out various permutations of high intensity trench warfare rules. The figures are painted with Humbrol khaki over a black undercoat, the webbing picked out in GW 'bestial brown' and the whole thing washed in Windsor & Newton peat brown ink.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Airfix conversions: artillery Sdkfz 7

This is another ancient Airfix conversion gleaned from the pages of Airfix magazine. A simple conversion of the Sdkfz 7 into one adapted for artillery command. Basically it just has a big box on the back for all the various bits including the battery commanders Schnapps. My 'Battle' Germans used to ride around in a trio of Airfix Sdkfz 7s, and this was the fate of one of them.

A fairly simple conversion, but I added a couple of step rails from plastic rod.

It is just a big box on the back, replacing the existing halftrack rear.

This vehicle is currently serving in the artillery regiment of 26th Panzer Div.

Saturday 17 August 2013


We have been to Bagradas on various occasions before using both Strategos and CnCA, but I was tired and it was all a bit of a rush getting sorted this week, so Bagradas it was once again... For those who don't recall the events of the 1st Punic War 2250 years ago, Bagradas featured a successively victorious Republican Roman army under Regulus coming up against (yet another) Carthaginian force, but this time trained and  commanded by the veteran Greek general Xanthippus, paid by an ever more desperate Carthage. As usual we played this on hexon terrain using my 20mm Ancient figures.

John took the forces of Rome and Tim the Carthos.This scenario is one of the more bloody ones, requiring seven victory banners (destroyed units) for victory. The relative scores will be indicated in the captions.

View from the Roman rigt/Carthaginian left. Not much terrain here.

Everyones favourite Carthaginian war elephants, supported by Libyan infantry.

Carthaginian right, cavalry (Hasdrubal), light troops, heavies and warband. Xanthippus can be glimpsed leading the heavy infantry behind the warband.

Carthaginian left, cavalry (Hamilcar) and light troops.

Roman left, cavalry, auxilia, legionaries screened by Velites. Triarii in the rear.

Roman right looking much the same as the left. The photo of the centre was too blurred to use.

The action opened with light troops scurrying forward.

The entire Roman line rolled forward on a 'line command'. Scary stuff!

The Carthaginians threw forward their cavalry to support the skirmishers

And destroyed a unit of Velites. 0:1

The elephants rolled forward in the centre.

The Romans pushed out Velites supported by princeps and Regulus himself to see them off. One elephant went down in a hail of javelins. 1:1

The elephants bypassed the Velites and crashed into the Roman line, pushing back the terrified legionaries and overunning a unit of Triarii. 1:2

The desperate Romans surrounded the elephants and took one down, but the other rampaged, stomping on the Roman units around it. 2:2

Carthaginian cavalry charged the Roman left, overunning a unit fof Velites. 2:3 

The surviving elephant overran the two weakened legionary units, 2:5

Massed auxilia and velites took the final elephant down. 3:5

A slight lull ensued as the Romans reorganised and the Carthos double timed their heavy infantry forward

The clash of infantry in the centre cost the Romans another unit. 3:6

Regulus made one final effort, but it was not to be and the seventh Roman unit died in the counterattack.
So, a resounding victory for Carthage and probably the most devasating elephant attack we have ever seen in CnCA. In this scenario they usually spend most of their time stomping on their own men, so Tim was quite right to get the forward as fast as possible. John did a god job of reorganising his shattered army, but it was not possible to overcome the  the damage the elephants had done as they had destroyed three of his most effective units.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Plastic Soldier Company 15mm Russian Infantry

Apologies for the  hiatus in posting over the last couple of weeks, I've been away and it is a very busy time at work this time of year. Finding today a little bit less 'exciting' than the last five, here we go again.

I bought these figures quite a while ago now (at Triples 2012 iirc) but didn't get around to painting them for ages. One box of of infantry and one of heavy weapons was more than enough for an entire reinforced company using my 'team' type basing with enough surplus figures for individually based commanders and gun crews for my Skytrex 45mm AT guns.

Reinforced rifle company plus 45mm AT and 76mm Field guns.

A figures are a bit monopose, but with all the headgear variations there is a decent variety and they are easy enough to convert as they are hard plastic. I mainly did pose conversions on the officer types to give a bit more variety. The infantry boxes stretched to four rifle platoons (three infantry, one SMG) each with three sections of three elements which will also obviously scale up as companies or battalions for higher level games. I differentiated subunits by headgear (helmet, pilotka or mixed).

SMG section in helmets. As with many wargames figure sets, there are far too many SMGs included so I mixed a few in with the rifle stands as NCOs but also did a full SMG platoon.

Rifle section in helmets. Two rifle stands (one NCO with SMG) plus an LMG team.

Rifle teams in pilotka. The grenade throwing pose is very nice, as is the wary rifleman advancing.
The heavy weapons box means these chaps are well supplied with heavy weapons, which again will be useful for heavy weapons elements in higher level games. There is a slightly odd mix and I felt it could do with more Maxims but it is limited by the four sprue format. In the box you get eight AT rifles, four maxims and four each of 50mm, 82mm and 120mm mortars. You don't often see Soviet 50mm mortars, but I can't help thinking four more maxims would have been more useful.

Examples of each weapons team: Maxim, prone AT Rifle and 50mm, 82mm and 120mm mortar teams.

Various officer types are included (mainly kneeling junior officers) although there is is only one higher officer in a cap in the typical 'look one way and point in the other' pose so beloved of figure manufacturers. He is accompanied by a female orderly, but again I couldn't help thinking that more proper officers would have been handy. I chopped a few of the figures up to change the arm positions which helped with the variety a bit.
Higher HQ stands, officer figures lightly converted.

Along with gun crews I also made up some engineer stands, useful for both tactical and operational games. They were bodged up from various crew and rifle/SMG figures.

The flamethrower man was converted from an SMG gunner as I really didn't want to buy a whole box of BF flamethrowers.
They were all painted in a fairly simple way.

  • Undercoated black, misted with white spray from about 2' up onto the highlights.
  • Main coat of Vallejo British Khaki, leather webbing in GW bestial brown, boots black, helmets Russian Green, Plash Palatkas dark earth. 
  • Overall inkwash with W&N peat brown ink. 
  • Light drybrush with Iraqi Sand to bring out the highlights. The tan drybrush removed the need to paint canvas webbing items seperately. 
  • Sealed with Matt vallejo varnish.
  • Based on builders sand with static grass clumps.
  • Magnetic strip applied to both the underside and a small square on the rear of the base for markers.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Airfix Conversions: Mobelwagen

Once I 'graduated' to micro armour in the 1970s, my old Charles Grants 'Battle' armies were slowly chopped up. The Germans used to have three Panzers IVs, and one of them was used for this conversion. I think the plans were in Military Modelling, and I can't for the life of me remember where I got the quad 20mm guns from.

Mobelwagen based  on the Airfix Panzer IV. New superstructure built from plasticard, and the common fault of the tracks being too long corrected by judicious clipping so they are nice and tight.

I acquired a pair of these Quads 20s from somewhere or other, possibly ex Roco? One of them ended up here.

This model was repainted a few years ago and based up for Megablitz. It is currently serving as the Flak battalion for 29th Panzer Grenadier Division.

A bit of stowage on the back, not quite sure how the crew have fixed the spare wheels in those locations, they are obviously creative types. I seem to have had a fairly steady hand for painting markings at some point, not sure I could do that now.