Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tratvian artillery

The Tratvian army continues to gently expand.  As a (slight) change from painting infantry I finished the gunners.  These chaps are all converted from Armies in Plastic figures, with shells made from a balsa skewer stolen from the kitchen.  There are four 3-man crews but they are having to work in rotation as there are only two guns at the moment!  The guns are the Britains 'Gun of the Royal Artillery' (Britains code 9715), both of which I picked up still boxed!  I expect that somewhere there are collectors softly weeping at the sight of these guns actually being used...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

HMS Glorious

Fans of proper modelling will be pleased to learn that Wg Cdr Luddite has sent me photos of some of his new toys.  First up is HMS Glorious as she appeared in 1940.  The Wg Cdr tells me that this is a GHQ 1/2400 casting.  With aircraft in the same scale lined up on deck.  He doesn't get out much...

Monday, 29 October 2012

The apocalypse?

Not quite, but four horsemen nevertheless - from my collection of 20mm 1940 Frenchies.  The five Light Cavalry Divisions in France at this time were part horsed and part motorised units.  They seem to have been used as recce screens for higher level formations.  The photos on this page don't include the whole division as I use the cavalry as a 'bolt-on' to convert one of my DLMs (Light Mechanised Divisions) to a DLC.  Clear?  Didn't think so.
The cavalry figures and their mounts are Raventhorpe metal castings.  I still can't paint horses.

The armoured component of the DLC included these AMR-35 light cavalry tanks.  Hinchliffe metal kit.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

F-84 Thunderjet

It's been a quiet week on the blog - not least because I've been away for a couple of days, and I haven't played any games since the beginning of the month.  Hopefully what passes for normal service should be resumed next week, but to keep you going here is another recently painted 1/300 model. 
This F-84 (maker unknown - probably Heriocs & Ros) came in a batch of aircraft I bought years ago.  I decided to finish it with French markings, over a simple paint scheme of sprayed on 'chrome' silver.  I can now see from the first photo that I should have spent more time straightening the tail surfaces...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Silnyi class destroyers

To accompany my Soviet cruisers I clearly needed some destroyers.  A study of the 1922-1946 volume of Conway as usual provided some inspiration and a pair of Airfix Tribal class DDs were soon being hacked around.  The results, in the shape of Silnyi and Slanvyi can be seen below.  The turrets were sourced from a Revell Scharnhorst and the torpedo mounts cut from plastic sheet.  I really must get them into a game sometime.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Matilda II

Hot on the heels of my Matilda Mk1 is this Mk2.  Built (quite some time ago!) from the Fujimi kit, I painted this to look like a well-travelled BEF tank.  This was the first (and so far only) time I'd built the Fujimi Matilda and it's quite a crisp little model.  A little more involved than the Airfix kit of the same tank, though the latter still holds up well. For a look at some Airfix Matildas (built for service in North Africa) see my earlier post here.  The commander figure is a Raventhorpe metal casting. 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Matilda I

I took these photos ages ago - at the same time as I posted the photos of my other early WW2 Brits - then kept forgetting to post them!   This Matilda Mk1 was built from the Skytrex metal kit and was already quite elderly when I acquired it nearly 20 years ago in battered but unbuilt condition.  I feel that the paintwork is certainly showing it's age, especially in the harsh glare of the camera flash.  Do I need to repaint it?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Another dose of the Trats

News just in from The Tratvian Empire!  The Tsar's army continues to expand, and further recruitment has taken place in the province of Armeezenplastec.  These gallant chaps have been formed into the 1st Rifle Battalion and have recently been mustered for a photoshoot.  Further units are being recruited just as quickly as I can paint them.  So quite slowly then.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Staying on the rails

My previous post (Von Gow's Express) prompted many comments, including several enthusing over the use of trains in wargames.  And quite rightly!  One which concerned me was from Pete who suggested that the use of trains in 20mm scale games was "unlikely".  Not being one to shirk a challenge I dug through the blog archive and reproduce photos below of trains taking part in 20mm Megablitz games.  Pete, I hope you are suitably inspired!
38th Army's train at the Kharkov game in June 2012.
The same train getting it's comeuppance from 23 Panzer Division.
The same armoured wagon at Kursk (2004).  This started off life as a Hornby 'steel' wagon.  I made a roof from thick plastic card and added a pair of 1/87 scale BT-7 turrets.  The observation cupola between the turrets was built from bits in the spares box.
Though built for a Soviet train, wagon '431' gets around.  Here it is masquerading as a Polish train at Mokra (1939) in late 2010.
A rather fuzzy RAF recce photo of a 'rail gun' put together for 'Operation Blockbuster' in 2009.  This is actually a 1/144 scale 'Karl' SP mortar with a long barrel added from plastic tube.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Von Gow's Express

This was a game run by Martin and using his 6mm toys and my NATO Brigade Commander rules.  The action was set in 1944 and centred around a German scratch force sent from Sevastopol to stem the advance of the Stalinist hordes. 
For some reason I was again typecast as the chap in the shiny jackboots while Martin ran the Russians. 
My forces consisted of a Flak battalion (part mounted on a train!), two infantry battalions and an assault gun battery.  I had to stop the Sovs getting any tank or motorised infantry off the western edge (left in the photos) of the board.
The train which saw the scenario swiftly renamed!
An overview of my defences - the two Flak batteries can be seen on the raised ground to the left...
...while the StuGs lurk in the woods near the river.  This is a very old GHQ casting.

KG HQ parked up near a Flak battery.

The train scored an early success against an advancing T34 battalion.  I blew some up and the survivors' morale failed!
Another view of Von Gow's Express.
Soon a second T34 battalion was seen off in similar style.
Once a goodly pile of Soviet tanks had been accumulated it was time to fire the artillery and send in the Stukas!
Realative peace still reigned on 'Flak Hill' - the only firing was at some nasty Commie partisans
who appeared from the south.  What a rotten trick.
Sadly the train's luck couldn't last forever and more hooligans in T34s overran it.
Further Soviet perfidy was soon on display in the shape of swarms of Sturmoviks.  Happily they missed.
An overview of the game as we drew it to a close.  The Soviet tank units have all been worn down to the point where none dare suffer more casualties.  The motorised infantry battalion (bottom right-ish) has abandoned it's trucks and crossed the river but seems content to skulk in the woods.
In celebratory mood Von Gow orders the 88s to be polished.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Little Wars dress code

My previous post prompted many comments querying the players' attire.  As can be clearly seen in this photo (from Mark Hides), standards have slipped since HGW's day.  From left:  Lloyd (umpiring), Martin (apparently thinking), your humble correspondent (adding quality), Ian and and Dave (heckling).
 Does it look any better in black & white?  You tell me.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Little Wars in The Time Machine

During last week's Little Wars game, it struck me that some of the photos were very evocative of the original pictures in HGW's books. Just for fun I converted a few to what used to be called 'black and white'.  The combination of shiny toys, block-style buildings and a varnished hardwood floor certainly works for me.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Krasnyi Kavkaz

Krasnyi Kavkaz (Red Caucasus) was originally laid down in 1913 but due to minor mishaps including wars and revolutions it wasn't completed (to a much modified design) until 1932!  Happily my version didn't take quite as long to build.  Though a 1/1200 cruiser I based it on a 1/700 destroyer hull (see the earlier post).  Although only one such vessel existed in real life I was unable to resist building two of them. 
The photo below shows the completed builds before paint intervened.  Turrets and funnels are balsa. Boats, catapults, cranes and foremasts from the spares box.   The gun barrels and mine rails (at the blunt end) are florists wire.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Little Wars (with nicely painted toys)

Further to my earlier post, Steve has sent me some photos of his toys from the LW game last week.  As you can see, he's not a fan of the traditional toy soldier look!
Crown Prince Arnold reveals his plans.
The Gulliver like figure of Bish receives his orders from the prince.
Part of the army forming up.
The Uhlans moving forward to occupy the town.
The infantry begin to move forward.
The town is occupied and the horse artillery deploy for action.
On the right flank the Svenhaselstein Foresters prepare to open fire .
The field artillery moves up. Towed by elephants. These were a gift from the chief of the Mahtumba tribe in Umbongo, Svenhaselstein's colony in East Africa.
First casualties : The infantry engage on the left flank
The medical staff prepare to do their work.
Having successfully taken and held the town, under heavy fire until the Guards regiment arrived to take over, the Uhlans now redeploy to the right flank in support of the Foresters.
In the centre, the Guards prepare to deliver a volley.
On the left the Brigade commander looks on as his men advance.