Monday 19 December 2022

(1/72-1/76-20mm) Homage to the LRDP and SAS

These were my originals, salvaged from the loft, in a "North Africa Box" - I think they had been lying there for over a decade. The classic Revell-Matchbox LRDP Chevrolet and Jeep, plus a a bunch of Dixon 20mm metal SAS miniatures. They had been mostly base coated so I completed "the gaps" in the coverage (see below, their "potential" is evident): 

The same kit slightly different angle, there must have been a trigger happy cameraman on duty (see below, note the original paints were Tamiya, I toyed with using the  (partial) Tamiya collection I still have, but decided to move onto the Vallejo Game Colour range - partly because it is easier to squeeze out the paint after shaking):  

I decided to add a basic brown/sepia wash (from the dregs of a large Vallejo dipping pot - which I liberally dipped more water into, as not to spoil everything with a tarry residue instead of a light wash) spread over the base paint and then repainted the base colour back over (sparingly) after which I would then follow up with "spot highlighting" later (see below, my frequent chats with the "good" painters from various GW shops seemed to be paying a dividend, transferring 'fantasy techniques' back to historical WW2 and why ever not; a little close up of the detail):  

Panning out with the picture to see a wider scope and the "weather worn look" is what I was hoping to achieve (see below, a nice little "nuisance and mischief making" LRDP/SAS combination to harass the Italian and German DAK rear areas): 

Note: The exact painting sequence of these shots might be out of order. 

I plan to use the vehicles and figures as follows: a two man team in the Jeep and a three man team in Chevrolet, hence five SAS dismounts (see below, now I do know I have two more kits somewhere in the loft to pull out and make, so that will represent my SAS Squadron as thankfully I have sufficient Dixon metals to cover them too): 

I do like the animation of the original Matchbox figures (see below, slightly smaller 1/76 as opposed to 20mm metal [Dixon size] but their relaxed posture I think is just right, and of course a man with a classic pointing arm!): 

So there it is, thank you BBC "SAS Rogue Heroes", you certainly bought some life into some old toys I had stashed away :) 

Monday 5 December 2022

BBC Series - SAS Rogue Heroes (North Africa)

With some trepidation I started to watch Episode One of the new BBC - SAS Rogue Heroes series. It had come with dare I say it, surprised recommendations from fellow some wargamers whom I deeply respect for their taste and acumen, so I took a deep breath and watched (or rather binged it on iPlayer). The jury was out in parts, the legend and the lore of the SAS are so easily overdone but as the story progressed I was totally hooked (for better or worse) but would it hold up in the cold light of day? It certainly had all the trappings of a professional marketing sell, the line-up of actors had clout, a "sexy rock and roll-heavy metal" sound track to boot and a very pacey delivery! (see below, would this montage of history, fiction, rock music and brat-pack acting [in a good sense] actually work?):     

And the verdict was .. well .. after some (short) deliberation .. I thought it was bloody brilliant! Somehow it all came together and seemed to get the gist of all the madness and stupidity associated with that era of the war - spot on. The wife even watched the series all the way through with me (partly due to the link with Sex Education actor and the lad who played the strapping Irishman [despite the beard]), it was simply such gripping television. Well done BBC how you pulled this off I do not know, in my heart I was expecting a "bitter lemon". There should not be a way that 1970's and 1980's rock music [Motorhead] could work for WWII - but it did. How? I still don't know, but do not care! Previously I was an instrumental "Where Eagles Dare" soundtrack person for top war stories but heck, (Rock Music) it worked, along with racing jeeps across the desert. You would, wouldn't you? The depiction of the LRDP was superb, they could have been over easily done, but no, a taxi service with guns who could navigate the desert like nobody else could. As for the storyline: I was laughing at moments, crying at moments and literally in awe - terrified at what was going to happen next - moments when I though "don't be daft - they wouldn't would they?" It has left me rushing for Michael Asher's history of The Regiment for the back story (it has been on the bookshelf long enough waiting to be read) .. and I bet I will get an Xmas book (and there are a few of them already out there) from the supermarket book isle! Sure I will find "discontinuity errors" as bits will have been simply "ripping yarns" but I love the disclaimer .. "the most incredible and unbelievable bits are the bits that are probably true"! Spoiler alert .. the last episode ended with Stirling down (captured), but will there be a Series Two following Paddy Mayne (and perhaps shots of Stirling musing in Colditz)? Meanwhile I unpacked "Undaunted: North Africa" and took a look at my 20mm Western Desert collection (with the classic LRDP set and some Dixon SAS metals, Strelets SAS-North African figures and Italians/DAK). There is a game or two in there to be had there ;)