Sunday, 18 March 2018

The French are here.

Another quick post as the varnish has dried on my WW2 French platoon. The figures were a Christmas present from my long suffering wife, which I bought and she promptly stole and wrapped up back in October. 

They are Bolt Action figures and, despite the lack of variety in poses, I reckon they look ok now they are painted up.

The Chain of Command French platoon has three squads of twelve men, each with an LMG and a rifle grenade(VB) launcher. The platoon HQ has two senior leaders, one junior leader and another VB launcher. The differ from other units as the VB launchers can all be gathered into a team under the HQ junior leader, thus giving the platoon its own inherent indirect fire support.

The only support team I have so far is a Hotchkiss tripod MG, although some more assets may arrive soon.
A closer look at the infantry. Not going to win any awards but at least they are all done.
I also picked up a couple of tanks, just because I liked them. First up is a Blitzkrieg Models Renault R35, one of the most numerous tanks in the French forces. It's small. it's slow and it has a pretty feeble 37mm short barreled gun, but it does have a decent level of armour protection.

Finally for now is a Warlord Char B1 heavy tank. It's a big beast and will use up a lot of support points, but it's a pretty model.

So there you go, some opposition for my early war Germans finally. I am off now to annoy the grand children as my daughter and her family couldn't get home last night due to asshats crashing in the 1/2" of snow we had and blocking the roads. At least I can still make a cuppa.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

It can't have been 6 months!

It's hard to believe that it's been 6 months since I posted here. I have been a bit down and struggled with being ill again, a continuous run of infections around my stoma have really knocked me and I have taken a while to get through it. Not everything has stopped, I have still played a few games and still painted a few bits, it's just been the social side of things that have taken a hit.

But just to upset you all I have returned. And by "you all" I mean the one person who reads this tripe.

Gaming has primarily been boardgames of several types. Zombicide, Blood Rage, Mythic Battles Pantheon etc. Wargames have mostly been Chain of Command, with the occasional foray into Congo and Death in the Dark Continent

As for painting, I did very little last year, but after having a break I have managed to get a bit of my mojo back. Not a vast amount but at least a bit of it has returned. So I have finally painted some 15mm Germans for Ian at the Exeter club, which inspired me to paint some German vehicles that have been sat in my plastic pile for too long.

Ian's German Infantry
Ian's infantry were a mixture of Battle Front and Peter Pig, 94 figures all told based for IABSM.

Early War Sdkfz 251s and Panzer 38ts
Next up are some early war German armour. Five Sdkfz 251 halftracks including a command 251/10 with it's mighty 3.7cm pak gun. These are supported by a trio of Panzer 38ts, ready for France or Russia. The half-tracks are Plastic Soldier Company while the Panzers are Zvezda models

Later war Sdkfz 250s 
Some more half-tracks were then stuck together and slapped with paint. A box of Plastic Soldier Company Sdkfz 250s were made up as a mixed recce force. A command 250/11 with it's 2.8cm Pzb leads a pair of 250/1 infantry carriers and a pair of 250/9 recce tracks with 2cm cannons. A decent mix of vehicles that can either add support for Chain of Command games or be recce elements for Battlegroup games.
Late war Panzer IIIs
A trio of Panzer IIIs wereadded to the line up, picked up at a bring and buy somewhere some time ago. Pre-made but unpainted, they will now be part of my late war German force. Who needs Panthers or Tigers? Also, see if you can spot the error in construction. I didn't notice until after I had painted them and don't know if it is worth fixing.
Late War Sdkfz 251s
Finally for today is some more 251's, Battlefront models this time. A quartet, painted up to mechanise my German infantry.

All told that's 20 vehicles, so it's been not too bad.

I have painted some other bits for WW2, but these will appear tomorrow hopefully as the varnish isn't dry yet. Later folks.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Early War Germans for a Operation Sealion game

I have fallen into the 25mm WW2 pit again. After selling all my late war bits a while ago I now find myself with a rapidly expanding Blitzkrieg German force. The platoon I posted last time has now been completed with the addition of a fourth squad, two commanders and some support options.

To start we have the additional squad. German platoons were reorganised from three squads of 13 men to four squads of 10 after the invasion of Poland, so that is what I have painted. Each squad has an MG34 and an NCO(Junior Leader) with an MP40, so there is plenty of firepower available.
The only dedicated support weapon inherent to the platoon was a 5cm Granatwerfer (mortar to you and me), a typically over engineered piece of kit that was of questionable worth. Compared to the British 2" mortar it was heavy(14kg vs 4.8kg), fired a similar weight of shell(0.9kg vs 0.96kg) to a similar range(510m to 460m). The 2" was more useful as it had HE, smoke and illumination shells while the 5cm only ever had HE.

The platoon command is made up of two senior leaders in Chain of Command, an Officer and a Senior NCO. They are joined by a tripod MG34 and its 5 man crew in this picture. Sustained fire MGs are awesome suppression weapons and are a vital addition to any force.

Some heavier firepower is brought by the le.IG 18 7.5cm infantry gun. A small and light weapon, this was used as direct support for the infantry with 6 being assigned to each infantry regiment. This has a 5 man crew and an NCO to command it.

To take out (hopefully) any enemy armour the Pak36 3.7cm anti-tank gun was used. This again has a 5 man crew with NCO in command and is a lovely little gun.

No German platoon is complete without some combat pioneers. These hardy souls were used for all sorts of dangerous tasks and were well trained and equipped. In CoC they come in 3 man "teams", either demolition, wire cutting, mine sweeping or flamethrower equipped. I have painted up enough to make 2 teams in total but with specialists to represent each of the types. Plus an NCO to lead them.

I also painted a deployment point or objective by using the Warlord German High Command pack to represent some senior officers discussing the battle. They are seen here with a forward observer figure to call in mortar or artillery support.

The final addition for the Germans(so far) is a pair of armoured vehicles. A mighty Panzer II and an Sdkfz 222 armoured car. Both are nice kits, the 222 is from Warlord while the cracking Panzer II is from Blitzkrieg Miniatures.

Just to keep it interesting I also bought a few bits of support for the British. From Footsore Miniatures I added a militia Vickers MG and Boys anti-tank rifle team. Cracking figures, these are the first VBCW I have painted for a long time.

Some transport has also been painted, a Humber 4x4 Heavy Car and Bedford OYD 3ton truck. These are from Anyscale Models and paint up quite nicely I think.

Armoured support comes from the Queen of the Desert, the A12 Matilda Infantry Tank. This is a heavily armoured monster in this period of the war. It's frontal armour was 76mm thick, more than double that of the contemporary German tanks (Panzer II/IV had 30mm) and more than the French "heavy" Char B(60mm). It even stands up quite well later on, the standard M4 Sherman only had 76mm thick armour. However it is slow, really slow. This one is another Blitzkrieg 1/56 model and looks great.

Finally there is the "secret weapon", a mighty Smith Gun! A real emergency weapon, the whole gun turned onto it's side to fire, the turntable and roof being wheels. It looks awesome and makes a nice change from the usual 2pdrs.

So, there it is. Most of these will be on the table today at the Devon Wargames meet. I'm off now to do something even less productive. Take care folks.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Back to 25mm WW2 figures again.

This afternoon/evening has been very productive. I don't know why but I have been painting and basing like a mad man and finished off quite a lot. Everything here has been in my unpainted pile for several months/years, so it's been quite good to get some of it done.

First up is a Warlord Blitzkrieg German infantry platoon, less the officer and mortar as I don't have them. All told it's 30 figures, all plastic and all finished.

They are organised in 3 squads of 10 men, each with an NCO with MP40 SMG, a 2 man MG34 team and 7 riflemen. I really like these figures, they are nice to put together and paint up well even if you slap it on like I do. These have even had the helmet decals and NCOs rank badges added. They may well end up on eBay though, I am not doing 28mm WW2 anymore...........

I could keep them to do a Operation Sealion game though, using my VBCW figures as opposition.......

I could.......

Couldn't I?

Hmm, do I order a command pack, 5cm mortar and AT rifle team then, just to complete the platoon?

Decisions decisions. ;-)

Yes, I know I have no willpower thank you.

I also finished off a conversion of an old pre-Warlord Bolt Action Universal Carrier. I always liked the fact that the Germans used pretty much everything they captured from small arms up to warships.

I decided to make a 3.7cm PaK 36 auf Selbstfahrlafette Bren(e), which is a long and complicated way of saying "We put a PaK 36 on the captured carrier". I got the PaK from the Rubicon Sd251 kit I made a while ago, the crew are cut up Bolt Action German grenadiers and the stowage is from my bits box and a mix of plastic and resin items.

I think it came out pretty nicely, with the crew looking a bit more dynamic than the ones in the Bolt Action kit you can buy. It's another "Should I keep it or sell it" conundrum though.

 I reckon I'll keep it as it is a one off and I like how it turned out. I can always blag it into a Sealion game as captured after Dunkirk and used against it's former owners.

Last but by no means least, I also finished off some winterised Germans I made up with Russian greatcoat figures from the Winter Russians box by Bolt Action. A simple job of using German heads, arms, weapons and webbing and voila, a 10 man squad of troops fighting in the snow. The snow is simply a PVA and bicarbonate of soda mix, applied quite thickly and left to dry. I think it works and it is much cheaper than buying any sort of special snow basing material.

So that's it for now again. I am off to do something less productive so have fun folks.

Last few 15mm Cold War for now, plus a few ladies

I have nearly finished the last of my Cold War forces that I have here, the last few bits are painted up now and that's the lot...........until I get some more. 

Firstly we have a minor conversion to an Armies Army YPR-765 PRI. To give my small Dutch force a bit of long ranged anti-tank capability I decided to add some missile firepower.  A bit of research and I discovered the Dutch converted some YPRs with the TOW launcher turret from the US M901 ITV. At the time I looked nobody made this in 15mm(more on this later) so a bit of modelling was needed. Luckily Team Yankee do the ITV as a plastic add-on for their M113 kit and you can buy a sprue of bits individually. One quick order later and a sprue duly arrived. The modification is simplicity itself, just switch the IFV turret for the ITV turret and it's job done. 

Slap some paint on, add some netting and here it is, ready to support my Dutch troops against the Soviet horde.

As is typically the way with these things, just after I had stuck all the bits together and started slapping the paint on I received an email from TSS/QRF. Amongst their new releases was, you've guessed it, the YPR-765 PRAT! Typical. Ah well, I've made it now and I am happy with how it came out.

In addition the the YPR I used a spare M577 to make up an aid-station objective/jump off point marker. A few mixed figures from my Dutch, ANZAC and US spares and here it is. Its also my first attempt at the US MERDEC camoflage, hopefully it came out ok. 

Finally I ordered another Fv432 from Armies Army to carry my Milan teams around, as well as a few figures to make the teams up to 3 men each. Here they are in all their DPM glory, that's my BAOR force done, until I get some Scorpion/Scimitars for them anyway.

The last pictures are of a Dead Man's Hand gang of "Daughters of the West". These are for a nice chap in Germany for his wife to use against his gangs. Nice figures that made a change from all the Cold War stuff I have painted lately. If you read this Carsten, I hope your wife likes them and doesn't beat you too badly.

Anyway, that's it for now. I have nearly finished a few more things so there may be another update soonish.

Take care folks and I hope your dice are good to you.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The BAOR arrives......well, a small bit of it does anyway

 It brightened up yesterday so I managed to varnish my Cold War British contingent. These are all from Armies Army again and yet again are lovely models with no issues that I have found. I got these last year but the painting mojo for them didn't arrive until recently, so I have finally got around to painting them all up.

First up is the Mechanised Infantry platoon. Three squads of 8 men each with a GPMG and Caarl Gustav led by a 4 man command team with a 2" mortar.  All ferried about in four "mighty" Fv432s. Unlike Team Yankee these are available either with or without the peak turret, I decided on 2 of each just to mix it up a bit.

A closer look at some of the infantry and my attempt at 15mm DPM camo. I am fairly happy with the way they turned out but they are much more work to paint than Russians.

A closer look at the battle taxis, the Fv432. A similar design to the M113, basically a box on tracks, the 432 differed in being steel rather than aluminium and also being decidedly British by having a BV or "Vessel Boiling Electric". Basically it is a hot water system but I guess it wasn't military enough to call it a kettle. Still, +1 morale for having a cuppa in the middle of a firefight?

Now we come to the support options. At the front are a pair of Milan teams, a pair of Blowpipe SAM teams and a tripod GPMG team. I really need another Fv432 to carry the Milan teams about, along with a couple more figures to fill the ranks. Behind them are a Spartan APC for the Blowpipes and a Landrover for......well, I like them! Finally the heavy stuff, a trio of Chieftains ready to slap some T-72s around. I love the look of the Chieftain, it looks like it's going to ruin your day.

A closer look at the Milan teams with the Blowpipes behind them.

The Landrover is a lovely vehicle, I still want one if the boss ever lets me. I added the camo netting in the same way I did for the dutch, but didn't add the flock this time. I am not sure which I prefer yet so these "may" get flocked later. It's dwarfed by the Chieftain though, like most things are I guess.

Finally, for now, we have the Spartan and a Chieftain. The Spartan is a small APC, only able to carry 4 or 5 soldiers, but it's quick. It was used to carry specialist units like SAM teams and recce troops while the bigger Fv432 carried the infantry about. Behind it is the command Chieftain, given away by the open hatch and commander figure.

So that's the lot for now. I still need to add a few things, some Scorpions and/or Scimitars, an Fv438 Swingfire carrier and possibly some more infantry to make an Infantry Combat team. Hmm, not just yet though cos we is skint. Apparently a new microwave and flowers for the garden rank much higher than figures for me. Good job I love her innit. ;-)

Anyway, that's it again. Catch you later.

Friday, 21 July 2017

The Soviet Infantry arrives and so do some Dutch

I am still painting away at my 15mm Cold War forces. As I stated previously, my intention is to have a platoon with a few support options from several nations. So, without further ado, here is my Soviet Motor Rifle Company.........
Soviet MR Company, because I could!

Yes, that's right, my platoon purchases got a little bit excessive and now I have enough figures to field a full company with support options.

I now have 3 platoons each made up of 3 squads of 7 men plus 2 platoon command figures.  Then there is a 3 man Company Command group as well, making a total of 72 figures but that is not all of them, oh no there are more!
A closer look at my painting efforts. :(

Soviet Support Sections and plenty of them!

These are the support options I have painted up as well. First are two sections of 9K111 "Fagot" (AT-4 Spigot) ATGWs, 2 teams per section. Then we have two sections of AGS-17 "Plamya" grenade launchers, again with 2 teams per section. Add in a PKM machine gun section with 3 LMG teams and finally a SA-14 air defence section with 3 teams again. That's another 42 figures all told, making 114 in total for a game that I planned a platoon a side for. All these are Team Yankee figures that I picked up cheap here and there over the last few months.

I have no willpower at all. Now I need some more BMPs as I don't have enough for the figures I have.  

Dutch Infantry and Armour
Close up of the YPR-765s
In addition to the Soviet infantry I have also finished off my Dutch platoon with it's rather more limited support.  The Dutch organisation is a bit different to the previous German platoon, with three sections of 8 men lead by a command section of 7. Each rifle section has an FN-MAG lmg and a Carl Gustav rocket launcher while the command section has 2 M47 Dragon anti-tank missile launchers. These are carried around in 4 YPR-765, an improved M113 with more armour and a 25mm rapid-fire gun in the turret. A bit more capable than a basic M113 I think. Support is limited to a trio of Leopard 1 tanks which are technically the wrong version for the Dutch but they will do.

The infantry and YPR-765s are from Armies Army and are really nice models.  The detail on them all is great and the castings are clean and paint up nicely, even if your a bit ham-fisted like me. ;)

The other YPR-765s
The "Big Cats", but not that big
The Leopards are Team Yankee and are also nice, but why are they resin and not plastic like all the others? 

The camouflage netting is made from dyed bandage sections, cut to size and fixed with watered down PVA glue, then painted up and finally flock was glued on.  I am not sure how durable the flock will be, but a few coats of varnish should increase the longevity.
Armies Army Dutch infantry

Now all I need is a set of rules for them.  Initial plans for a Chain of Command variant are now in other hands as there will be an "official" version at some point, hopefully soon. Also there is going to be a Battlegroup set at some point as well. That's in addition to the copy of Force on Force that I have as well. Hmm, decisions decisions.

So that's it for now.  The British are done, just waiting on varnish but it's a trifle damp today to spray them. Up next....who knows? I sure as hell don't! Have fun folks.