Friday, 22 June 2018

Panzer Leader Arras Scenario

I managed to play another 1940's Panzer Leader scenario, although I must confess to have been a bit of a laggard with the photography. Although this picture sums it up, as the Orange British counters met the German 88mm Flak gun (see below):

A graveyard of British Mechanised counters. The British started with six Matilda I's and three Matilda II's, two Bren Carriers carrying a two pounder AT gun each and four lorries. The British town with a combined infantry/armour force but were worsted when they got within killing range of the 88mm Flak and 105mm Howitzer firing over open sights. 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

OK Yes More 15mm Panzers (and Armoured Cars) and some PSC Shermans

Please don't judge me. Another massive Ferdinand? I now have a pair and so will have to fight Kursk (?), makes sense to me; plus these little German 222 Armoured Car 'runarounds' plus a friend to go alongside my other Russian BA-10 armoured car (see below, note the 222's caused me the first bit of real heartache I have experienced with Zvezda kits - some filler will be required before I paint one of them):

Then I decided to make up a bog standard box of 15mm PSC Shermans I had hidden away in the loft (see below, I fell love with them, blame "Fury" which I already have made from the US 'long barrelled' PSC box):

They come in "fives" so I made three up as British - well apart from the one with the British Commander they could be US as well (see below, "30 XXX" style going to Arnhem [without Fireflies]):

An experimental US one (see below, with side-skirts and US Commander):

The a 105mm Infantry Support model (see below, suitable for US or British use):

I am thinking the Fury "Shermans v Tiger" engagement - which means I should really make up a German Tiger I. The premise of all this is still "What a Tanker" but I could be brought into an experimental game of Flames of War (Don't Judge me) or be useful for CrossFire (but that is mainly infantry and all these tanks would be overkill methinks).

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Sci-Fi Additions

Post 'Star Gruntz' it was time to make a quick pass through the "old discarded toy-box" or rather the toys that the wife thought I had bought for the kids. Some "French PAV looking" cheap knock-off Matchbox/Dinky toys for example (see below, generic APCs IMHO waiting for "space" customisation):

Seen from a slightly different angle. Yes they are in the process of being undercoated Airfix Primer Grey - when I last had some! (see below):

Primed and all ready for a black or brown "Vallejo Dirty Wash". This is my cheap way on making the Yaeter 'land mobile' as well as 'air mobile' - er, on the very cheap. Perhaps I am suffering from 1940's style "Star Tank Fright", if such a thing exists (see below):

A "Star Wars Bi-Ped Walker" [soft plastic toy] gets the same treatment. Yes, nothing is sacred from the kid's toy boxes - you just have to be very quiet when you take them or play "swaps" with a video game (see below):

The "Clone Wars" Revell "Republic Gun Ship" was at least mine but despite being not 15mm I invoke the "anything flying can be smaller" wargame rule. I don't like the Republic colour scheme and it also needs a bit of filling - and it I am doing that I might as well go the whole hog and repaint the whole blooming thing (see below):

The Yaeter vehicle colour scheme is as per the "infantry suits": Satin/Gloss white with a dirty black/brown wash. If anything dirtier looking than the infantry - perhaps even with a bit of weathering rust courtesy of the Revell Weathering Pack!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Father's Day "Toys"

I gotta say this choked me up. We were away with friends on Father's Day so I thought my presents were going to be either forgotten or delayed, but they surprised me (see below):

My own "Tanker" ruler and "Tommy Style" enamelled Tea Mug, perfect additions for the Painting Tray Area!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Hungarian Toldi Tank (20mm)

This wee beastie from IBG Models caused me no end of heartache. Whereas the other recent builds were "fast-builds" this brute was an intriguing subject but as a light tank was by definition small. Sadly it was old school, as in "many, many parts - including the tracks". I persevered, but where I would contemplate making other Panzer III Ausf As or Panzer II Ausf As,the Toldi Mark 1 will be a lonely child. It is definitely a "modelling project" *see below): 

The assembled product is seen below. I could have made the other three IBG Models kits in the same time as I made this one and probably caught up on an episode or two of a Netflix favourite. The suspension is the most interesting part to me from an engineering sense. The rear wheel is flat to the floor unlike other German and Allied tanks. After the delicate wheel and track assembly was put together I had to take my heart in my mouth and press the whole thing to the floor to make it look like the picture on the box lid. Thankfully it did not break in the process otherwise an grown man's sobs would have filled the internet (see below):

It will be a long, long, long time before I get three of these for a game of "What a Tanker!" First I need a Jack Daniels and Coke! In words from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness: "The Horror! The Horror!"

PS: Looking back it's "a very nice to have" but what a problematic birth. I need to get my hands on some Hundarian WWII Infantry now. Surely HaT should be able to help ;)

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Sci-Fi: Start Gruntz 15mm (Part 5) Meat grinder and the Locals Bug Out - New Kid on the Block (Yaeter: Top Dog for Today)

Missile after missile hits the tank to no apparent effect. It's retun fire is getting dangerous as there is only so much punishment even hi-tech armour can take. Then much to the surprise of the Yaeter the Zard forces show hidden capabilities. The 'Zard Tank' in fact turns out in fact to be an APC as infantry de-bus (see below, the Zard Commander was one ice-cool dude as I thought it was purely a big old fashioned gun bus):

The inevitable happens, a Yaeter Trooper is dropped. The problem with small squad sizes is that morale can be brittle, so one fail can scupper you. The Zards despite their losses are holding firm. Thankfully the Yeater pass their first morale test! The "pinned and pinning" element of the Yaeter plan is starting to unravel. There are half a dozen Zards down but they are have a persistent gun-line with reinforcements pouring in (see below):

To the relief of Alpha Squad the de-buse Zard infantry shots "miss" and they find themselves exposed and are picked off  by a combination of Omega sniping and Alpha shooting. The Gamma Commander orders Beta Squad to close with the enemy's flank (the pivot part of the operation) but this is risky as it means a bare-assed run across open ground. The Zard hold their nerve and drop two Yaeter - another tense morale test is passed [helped in no small way by the Omega Commander's iron resolve]. The Yeater retreat back to cover. They seem to be in a no win stand-off where extraction will be problematic (see below):

Then Delta Squad comes in with a hard punch to the deep flank an rear of the Zard occupies Shanty Complex. Unhindered by a very quiet and defensive New Pole force who seem to be very content in watching these interesting events unfold they 'double timed' across the brojen ground and occupied excellent shooting positions in parallel Shanty buildings. The rounds of laser fire came as a complete surprise to the Zards who were fixated to their front. A careful Omega Sniper Team (Two) took care to take out the NCO. The resulting failed morale test put the Zards on a very defensive footing (see below):   

This was ruthlessly exploited, as while the Zards were rallying, a second round of flanking fire decimated the original Zard and reinforcement infantry. Effective resistance dissolved (there was nobody left to take a morale test) and the vehicles "bugged out" (see below): 

The Yaeter took the ground and advanced on the landing pad (where the Attack Shuttle had previously been) and searched the buildings for intelligence. The Zards escaped by virtue of their faster movement on vehicles while in the words of the New Poles leader, "I give the Yaeter this day, tomorrow may be another matter".

Great game, loved the figure collections on display and yes I would like to play another game. I do have the urge to expand the Yaeter arsenal and equipment roster .. in a low-budget controlled fashion. 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Sci-Fi: Start Gruntz 15mm (Part 4) The Firefight Starts

The Yaeter are a little put off by the appearance of the "Zard tank". Still the Yaeter are missile armed (AT and AA) so they "may" make short work of it and turn it into scrap. There is only one plus a scout car that looks like a crazy Beach Buggy (see below):

Yikes here comes the tank, rather too confidently for my liking (see below, nice paint job, beautiful weathering):

Yaeter's "Alpha Squad" come under fire but weather the storm of  long range 'normal kinetic' and 'magnetically accelerated kinetic' rounds (I am getting to dislike that Zard Tank and its upgraded infantry weaponry). However this action seems to come as an unpleasant surprise to the Zard as they expected much better results. One has to think that they would have killed the New Poles by now, but the hi-tech armour of the Yaeter has defeated their "Frontal Attack Option A" (see below, the Yaeter go "prone" and 'hug the dirt' like a pro):

The return Yaeter fire is even more of a concern to the Zard as an Omega Ream (One) pulls of an impossible shot and takes out a Zard Squad Commander. The round is not kinetic and burns straight through the Zard Personal Protective Armour (ZaPPAr) patent protection against all be the heaviest New Pole "shots", as if it wasn't there (see below):

The Yaeter Gamma Commander takes stock of the situation: Alpha Squad is in the process of either "pinning the enemy's attack" or will be "pinned by the enemy's attack" (aka somebody has to be under the guns), Beta Squad with himself should "pivot" in the middle to 'flank the enemy' while Delta Squad will angle in to "punch" into the rear of the enemy formation. Looks good on paper but so does any bold combination of arrows and circles. The question is can they pull it off before attrition goes against the Yaeter small squad size (see below, bottom left: Alpha (pin); middle left: Beta and Gamma (pivot) and top left: Delta (have to scamper across to throw a punch) .. well that's the plan, but will anybody be left by the time Delta show up?):

The Zard infantry scamper through the 'Shanty Town' making good use of its cover, however the Yeater advanced weaponry still takes it toll and pins them behind heavy cover, whereas the Zard Tank brazenly rolls up the Yaeter position (how many Starship Troopers can hide behind a rock?). Rather than suffer another exchange of cannon fire the Yaeter Squad Leader instruct Missile Man to let loose the 'bang stick' (see below):

Hoping for a spectacular explosion the Yaeter troopers are sorely disappointed. Rather than a mini-HMS Hood style magazine explosion there is a "whimper of a fizz" and a puff of smoke. Critical damage perhaps? No, it almost immediately starts firing back. This seems to be an old fashioned tank with hardened armour, plus reactive charged panels and ECMs. The Yaeter missile seems to be suffering from a little bit of space fatigue and is adjusting to the new aerodynamics of the planets atmosphere. Still the Zard finds this anti-armour capability an unpleasant surprise in itself, which is a not a bad thing, as it may make them more cautious and buy a bit of extra time for Delta Squad to move up (see below, nothing more than a ricochet, also note the military beach buggy in the background):

Next: Hard Rain Gonna Fall .. but exactly where?