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.

Friday, 30 June 2017

15mm West Germans

I have returned yet again, after another week of excitement and adventure.

Ok, I lied, it was another week of paying bills and running about after the family. I did manage to get a bit of painting and a small bit of gaming done though, so it's not been a total waste. On Monday night I managed to get out of the hospital early enough to pop around to Zobs to see what was going on. Nathan and Zob were playing Command and Colours Ancients, Romans vs Carthaginians. They seemed to enjoy and were on their 3rd or 4th game when I left.  Panjo and Andy were trying out The Walking Dead game from Mantic, yet another kickstarter that Panjo went for.  They were good enough to let me watch/join in and I ended up pulling the cards while they ran around with the survivors. Seems like a decent game, nothing amazing but a decent system for escalation of the zombie threat and zombies reaction to noise. Good enough that we are giving it another go next week anyway, without Nathan as he is getting married on Sunday and still no Colin as he is on holiday somewhere warm and sunny.

Painting wise I have been cracking on with my 15mm Cold War project. The Russian vehicles are all done as seen in my last post, so I turned my attention to the West German platoon I had planned. No Marders for me though, instead I am doing an M113G equipped platoon, just to be different.

The German platoon seems to have been quite small, with just a small 5 man command squad and two 7 man grenadier squads. Less than 20 men all told, way less than the British platoon of about 30 men. Anyway, all the resources I could find gave the following organisation

Command Squad - 1 Officer and 4 Soldiers all with G3 rifles,1 also has a Panzerfaust 44.
Grenadier Squads - 1 NCO and 5 soldiers all with G3 rifles, 1 also has a Panzerfaust 44 and 1 has a HK69 GL, plus 1 soldier with an MG3 LMG.

These are all transported about in 3 M113G APCs(although I painted 4 for some reason), 1 per squad. I also sorted out a couple of "extras", a 2 man Milan team and a 2 man Redeye SAM team. Finally I made up a jump-off point/objective with a couple of spare figures and an M577 command vehicle.

Battlefront have supplied all the vehicles and figures for this small force, the M113s being Vietnam models bought in their last sale. Only alteration was to replace the M2 50cal with an MG3, or MG42 to be exact. Luckily I had a few spares from the Sd251 kits I made a long time ago.

I need to add some armoured support for them, but again I want something different. I have some Leopard 1's but plan to use these for my Dutch Platoon from Armies Army, when they finally arrive. I don't want Leopard 2s as they are too new and shiny for my M113 platoon, so the options are either a couple of M48A2GA2s or some Jagdpanzer Kanones. Nobody does an M48A2GA2 although I think the Battlefront Israeli Magach would do, it has the right gun and a reasonable cupola. Only QRF do a Jagdpanzer Kanone, so that at least is an easy option. But which do I go for? Decisions decisions.

I have also been painting up my British vehicles from Armies Army.  This force will be a bit larger as the platoon is bigger. No pictures yet though as they are not quite finished. I have Chieftains, Fv432s, a Spartan and a Landrover plus the necessary figures. All I need now is a couple of Recce vehicles, either Scorpions or Scimitars.

That's it for now. I am off to Nathans wedding on Sunday and we have family plans for tomorrow, so sod all will get done this weekend. Hopefully after that I will be painting either Russian or British infantry.....unless the Dutch arrive! Have fun folks

Saturday, 24 June 2017

15mm Cold War

Not content with just painting tribal types, I have also started painting some of the Cold War collection I have been gathering for the last year or so. Last year I picked up a bargain pile of 2nd hand Soviet kit at Firestorm Games table sale. The box I had was fairly packed with vehicles, so I have been painting green like a mad man.  

The box I bought had a mix of 9 T-80, 3 T-72, 3 BTR-80 and 8 BMP-2s. All except the BMP-2s were base coated in a reasonable base colour, so a quick spray and then washes, several drybrushes and such made it job done on them. I also added some aerials. The BMP-2s are a shocking colour, it looks like bronze green or similar and is way too dark, so they are currently sitting in paint stripper in the vain hope that they will be recoverable. Luckily they are metal so won't be hurt by the paint stripping efforts.

Here are the T-80s, 3 with ERA and 6 without. These were a bit battered and bent but all were repairable and look ok now I think.  I believe that these are QRF models, but don't know for sure.

The 3 T-72 models are Zvezda, a bit lacking in details such as the cupola MG but good enough to make a platoon.

The BTR-80s are also Zvezda models, decent enough for the job of carrying a Soviet MR platoon.

I also had a box of Team Yankee BMPs included, so set about with the modelling cement.

So here we have 5 BMP-1s, the original Soviet IFV. Vastly more capable than the M113s and Fv432s used by most of NATO, these really are nice kits. One nice touch is that each sprue contains both the BMP-1 and BMP-2 hulls and turrets, but only one chassis. So out came the thinking cap and a bit of sneaky chopping and gluing resulted in this

Some chopped up plastic bases from various boxes of figures and a 1 cent Euro coin(the ideal size and magnetic) in the chassis, then a couple of magnets glued onto the underside of the hull resulted in removable BMP hulls.

Here are the BMP-2 versions, better armed than the earlier version with an improved missile and a rapid fire 30mm gun instead of the 73mm smoothbore of the BMP-1.

I went in on the pre-order of T-55s from Plastic Soldier Company. I like the kits they make, really good quality and usually with a range of options.  The T-55 box was just great with options to make T-55, T-55A or T-55AM versions.  I went for the AM version, upgraded with extra armour and a laser rangefinder.
So finally the 5 T-55s finish the current force. I am now sat here looking at a small mountain of 15mm Soviet infantry. I have enough for 2 platoons but need some ATGW teams to complete the force. Hopefully I will get a bit of paint on them this weekend, but family duties are calling.