Saturday 31 December 2016

Final pictures of 2016 ... Half Tracks II (and just made the ton up: 100 posts)

On the other side of the "transport track" is the redoutable M3 Allied half-track from Plastic Soldier Company (PSC), not as sexy as a Hanomag perhaps but functional (see below, three M3 half-tracks full of Tommies):

PSC also provide the US with a crew version to complement the British (see below, full of GIs):

This fills out a platoon or company worth of armoured infantry (depending if you play Chain of Command or Command Decision) In addition to PSC, Academy do a M3 half track which gives nice variation in models (see below, side mounted 30 cals being of interest, so points it to the US forces):

A couple of extra shots of the German Hanomags mentioned in the previous post (see below):

Another close up of the Hanomag 251/2 81mm mortar (see below):

That's a few plastic boxes of models shifted from the loft to the "to be painted" boxes in the cupboard ;)

A final note for 2016: 

I seemed to "struggle" with the blog this year, barely making 100 posts. Lots happening, mostly good, moving jobs and a growing (as in kids getting older) family makes inroads into hobby time. HAd fun and used some games to keep in touch with some old friends which was good

Best wishes to one and all in advance of 2017 ;)

Friday 30 December 2016

Cleaning up 2016 .. some more plastic "put-togethers" (PSC WW2 Hanomag 251/1, 251/2 and 251/10 Half Tracks)

Little bits and pieces that I did in 2016 ,,, seems right I post then in 2016!

As half-track transports are needed for the fourth scenario in Airfix Battles and being in a fidgeting mood, earlier in the month  I slapped together the PSC Hanomags that had be queued in the "to do" pile for the last six months. The beauty of PSC is that they go together very, very nicely with good detail in double quick time. The PSC pack I was putting together was the "special variety pack" however on reflection I really just needed the standard variants (already having two old Esci engineering Hanomags, a Hasagawa Stummel short 75mm and an old Esci version of the flame-throwing beast) but the Mortar carrying variant (251/2) was a must.

I started the builds with a standard 251/1 (see below, nicely packed with troops and extra kit on the side):

Next the 251/10 Commander A/T variant  (see below, likewise pleasantly cluttered with extras):

Another standard 251/1 APC, with plenty of extra's to ornament the sides a busy looking  (see below):

Finally the 'strange' 251/2 Mortar variant (see below):

That leaves me with a lot of German camo painting in 2017, but I am pretty much there for my Command Decision German armoured infantry (Panzer Grenadiers) OrBat.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Keeping up with the Jones' : Friends Wargaming Periods

Pretty thing alert! Pretty thing alert! Be warned 28mm metal "Shiny Things" close to hand. Danger close! Danger close! The warning comes as I am being invited to a local "all day big event" in January 2017 and the temptation to contribute to a longer term "group" project runs high (see below, an English 17th Century battle-line, looking very steady behind fortifications):

A new period for me, post ECW when muskets became the thing and pikes became the past, but hung around in "dribs and drab"s. This also means a new rule set to digest (Under the Lilly Banner), but I think I will try and "wing it on the day". Don't know the battle and don't know whether I will be 'good guys' (see above) or 'bad guys' (see below, some fine Frenchmen "in bleau"):

Looking forward to a "grand day out" ;)

Sunday 25 December 2016

Merry Xmas

The strap-line says it all
I hope you have a good one
To one and all

Monday 19 December 2016

28mm 8th Army Progress

After many a cut, glue and splice "The 8th Army" boys have taken form (see below):

I decided to follow the basic "Order Of Battle" pattern as per the Perry's literature for 37 out of the 40 figures. That gives me three basic infantry sections (NCO, Six rifles, Bren Gunner, Loader, Rifle) and a command section (Junior Officer, Senior NCO, Radioman, Boyes AT Rifle and Loader, 2" Mortar Man and Loader). In Chain of Command terms the extra body in the Perry's list is the Radioman however pair him up with another Officer type figure and you have a nice FOO team, that leaves two "extra figures". The choice seemed relatively straight forward as the most useful piece of kit in the British Infantry platoon arsenal is the 2" Mortar to lay down additional covering smoke. Another one of these please!

This necessitates a slice and slice of plastic as I had to convert the laying down Bren team to be "walking with the Bren" so I could make the second mortar unit. All is well that ends well though, next up is the painting job ;)

Thursday 15 December 2016

Airfix Battles Scenario Three - Bring on the Tiger (Part III)

Even as, with dramatic effect, smoke started billowing out from the freshly killed Sherman, the Americans launched another spirited counter-attack (see below, the smoke was courtesy of the jubilant German player's modest special effect talent):

With amazing alacrity a dare-devil Sherman bounded the complete length of the table and swung point blank onto the Tiger's more vulnerable flank side. So disturbing was this to the German player he burned an Interrupt card. Using this special event card (and removing the card's use from further play on this vital turn) the Tiger itself swung round to face the "cheeky" threat head-on to lessen its vulnerability (see below, the Sherman had originated from behind the top middle tree-line):

The exchange of fire left the Sherman in an extremely damaged state, morale faltering as it retreated away from the Tiger but still alive  (effectively on one hit point) and in the game - importantly not handing the Germans any "double armour victory points". Having blunted the German armour reaction potential the American Infantry counter-attacked. Firstly retaking the Objective then pouring withering fire of the ful-strength German Squad to devastating effect (see below):

In fact the only man left standing was the atached German Infantry Commader who escaped by teh skin of his teeth. The Americans now held the key terain feature and looked to edge the tactical situation. The German only had a hald squad on infantry he was capable of moving (see below):

In desparation the German Infantry tried to attack teh wounded Sherman. The sight of another burning Sherman might just be enough to shake the Americans (over 50% casualties). The anti-tank squad took care aim and fired ... (see below):

And missed. Too bad the signal to retreat was made and the Americans had pulled this one out of the bag. The German tanks were required elsewhere and the German Infantry was too thin on the ground to hold the Americans up. It was time to live and fight another day.

An excellent game played in great spirit with some good old fashioned 20mm or 1/72 (or even 1/76) scale toys of yesteryear. I need to paint some half-tracks and anti-tank guns for Game IV. Something I intend to do over the Xmas break.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Airfix Battles Scenario Three - Bring on the Tiger (Part II)

The German Panzer Commander was not going to be drawn into a headlong rush and methodically subjected the already battered American squad to a hail of machine gun, long barrelled 75mm and shells of  the dreaded Tiger's 88mm. This was all too much and American's were eliminated with ruthless efficiency (see below):

To the German Panzer Commander all seemed to be completely under control. The American Infantry were hiding out of line-of-sight and the American Tankers were reluctant to show themselves for fear of meeting their nemesis, "The Tiger" (see below):

This complacency was soon to be shattered as the Americans "bounced back" in a brave and spirited counter-attack. A Sherman blasted through the 'boccage' and stood ready to strike down the exposed German infantry. The long range shots of the Tiger were woe fully off the mark (see below):

The Sherman commander trained his 75mm cannon on the hapless Grenadiers. Time seemed to stand still, certain death was but moments away (see below):

Years of bitter combat experience on the Eastern Front clicked in and the Panzer IV Commander executed a daring flank attack (by virtue of an interrupt). The "hunter" had suddenly become the "hunted" (see below):

With a slug already in the barrel the Panzer IV succeeded at short range where its heavier cousin (The Tiger) had failed at long range. The Sherman was decapitated to the relief of the petrified German Landsers (see below):

Once again the situation seemed to be in back under control and the Germans started thinking about sealing the matter once and for all, There would be more more turn and one last throw of the dice in the game. The German had all of his armour in play and one and a half squads of infantry. The Americans were down to two Shermans and only one squad of infantry. The German Commander knew they were the threat as they were the only unit capable of retaking the village Objective. A lot depended on the next initiative roll, the loser being the "nail" to the other players "hammer".

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Airfix Battles Scenario Three - Bring on the Tiger (Part I)

The third Airfix Battle was situated in the badlands behind Omaha beach as the Americans attempted to break out. The vital objective was a farm house top-left. In addition extra points were awarded for armour knocked out, in particular the Americans would like to "bag a Tiger". Playing German I placed my infantry on the flanks and the armour in the middle (see below):

Possessing the initiative I orchestrated a quick infantry strike on the Americans, in light cover, to the (German) left of the Objective (see below):

The dirty American gangster commander interrupted me and retreated into the Objective (and hard cover to boot!), exactly where I wanted to go. The "Dirty Dogs"! (see below)

Not to be outdone I assaulted this position with my second squad of infantry and in the subsequent firefight I mauled the Americans and finally took the Objective. The Americans sought protective cover to the top right of the picture (see below):

However by feeling of euphoria was short lived as I realised I had placed my troops in full sight of an "angry phalanx" of US Army Sherman tanks. Admittedly they only had 75mm guns, but that didn't stop them opening fire in unison on the German defenders to devastating effect (see below):

Still albeit technically in control of the town (and holding the Objective marker) the German troops (now much less in number) suffered a bad case of morale failure. Hope seemingly deserting them and they retreated, aka ran, back a terrain square (see below):

The German infantry had shot its bolt but was there anything the German armour could do?

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Fantasy with a twist .. Roman Style

Put this down to the result of one of those two minute "conversations" you have with a friend at a wargame show. Something I was not remotely intending to get into, sounds an interesting project for "K" to do, he likes that sort of stuff ... until after a night of despair Xmas shopping on Amazon I lightened my mood by slipping this into my trolley (see below):

Fantasy ghosts, ghouls and Minotaur monsters with a Roman backdrop, plenty of Roman "Red-shirts" (akin to Star Trek expendables) to take "incoming fire". At the moment it is something to read over the Xmas break,

Think it will be good Beer and Pretzel stuff, akin to Frost Grave :)

Monday 5 December 2016

Matilda 11: Close Support Tank .. WIP

Originally I had intended to convert a standard Airfix Matilda II into a Matilda II CS version cannibalising spare bits from the Hasagawa Churchill I/II kits I had previously made (some twenty years ago). These all came with a 3" hull mounted howitzer in the Churchill I configuration. However just prior to my 'model knife cutting sprue' I happened bu chance to a wargame show (Parade Ground 2016, Stockton/Middlesbrough) and via the Grubby Tanks stall picked up this little chap (see below). I noted in the kit description the CS Howitzer was actually 3.7 inch so the intended bit of plastic I was planning to use might well have looked "short and silly". Also resin is quicker (90% done) than a model kit to build so the idea was sold in my head and a purchase made (see below, bottom left long barrel is teh 3.7" howitzer in metal):

A pleasant by product of this is that the three unmade Airfix Matilda's can now be assigned to other projects:

  • The Russian Front, a pair of whitewashed Matilda's sent via the Arctic Convoys to help Russia in 1941/42 (and also play on old Wargames Illustrated scenario I have wanted to do for years, though it will also mean the purchase of some SHQ Aerosans .. not a bad thing)
  • The Pacific Front, a Matilda Frog (flamethrower) variant which requires a bit of modelling on my part) and perhaps a normal Matilda to stand guard over the other two (which means one 'final' Matilda purchase .. which should help Airfix out in its current financial situation)

Watch this space in 2017!

Sunday 4 December 2016

An unplanned distraction .. Necrons .. some of the large biped robot varients

In my defence, they were in a sale! (see below):

Unpainted, raw plastic but they still look nasty .. meanwhile er, back to WWII, in silly large scale plastics.

Thursday 1 December 2016

28mm WWII Perry Plastic 8th Army Bren Team

Something I said I would never do .. (see below, 28mm WWII Perry 8th Army Bren Team):

But they are "very nice" Mr Kipling! The intension is "just" to build up a platoon of the 8th Army to combat a platoon of the DAK in Chain of Command .. watch this space!