Friday 28 February 2014

Russian Division HQ

While casting around for suitable figures to kit out a WW1-era Russian HQ I found this interesting set from Trumpeter.  OK, so they're 1/35 scale rather then 1/32 but who's counting?  More important is the fact that most are wearing the pointy 'Budenovka' hat which became common apparel in the Red Army during the Civil War.  So completely wrong for 1914 then.  But I rather like them.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

French LOG

I have mentioned before (and provided plenty of photographic evidence) that many of the softskins vehicles in my 20mm WW2 forces are rather dodgy diecasts.  The French do not escape this and one of the Corps logistic trains includes this useful offering from Lledo.  This manufacturer obligingly provided 'load' which clipped on (and indeed off...) thus facilitating the spray painting of the lorry while the load remained - aside from some weathering - as Lledo intended.  Hence this culturally appropriate Perrier* wagon.  Well the general needs something to dilute his Absinthe...

*although their last outing indicated more of a taste for Vichy water.....

Friday 21 February 2014

A tree-mendous discovery

Following the success of my recent lumberjacking project I have found another (rather bigger) artificial Christmas tree to tear apart!  While clearing out the cellar of a house my wife owns and is selling, I discovered untold treasures.  Well, to be honest I discovered a modest amount of rubbish in amongst which was this splendid item.  For the moment it has taken up residence in my garage but I hope to embark on the task of chopping it up over the next few weeks.

Thursday 20 February 2014

Kubel kapers komplete

My Tamiya Kubelwagen (see also the earlier post) is now complete.  As it is for use with figures painted in a 'traditional toy soldier' style I have deliberately left it 'clean'.  It is seen here with a couple of 1/35 Soviet tank officers - I think the chap (sorry - the comrade) leaning nonchalantly on the windscreen frame fits in particularly well.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

A to Z of Wargaming. C is for....

Clutter.  In most of out toy/hobby rooms clutter is ever-present and no amount of tidying will ever banish it.  In my own toy room every horizontal surface is fair game for clutter and even hiding a lot of it away in boxes and drawers fails to prevent it's spread.
The photos show but a small part of the issue.  Above, on an area of shelf  less than 2 feet square can be seen toys in at least nine different scales and several stages of completion/neglect.  Below, well, all sorts of cr*p really.

Monday 17 February 2014

Wheely good guns.

As part of the recruitment drive for my 1/32 scale early 20th Century 'Russian' (or Tratvian) Army I needed some more machine guns.  As I already had a few spare Charbens MGs (see this earlier post) it seemed churlish to consider anything else.  I did, however, decide to make them more 'Maxim-like' by adding wheels.  A rummage in the spares box yielded some 1/72 PAK-40 wheels which I thought looked vaguely suitable.  Having now painted the ensemble I am rather pleased with the end result.
The photo shows a pair of the newly varnished Maxims with excited officers shouting encouragement.

Big lads' Napoleonics - part 2

Picking up where we left the action in part 1, the Frenchies are advancing in some strength.  The Old Guard (above) looked particularly impressive, but as we shall see later, their time will come.
The French gunners were constantly busy.
The ford soon became the hotly contested focal point of the battle.
Even Sharpe's lads had turned up!
The thin red line faces French skirmishers.

As the French surged across the river desperate measures were required...
This multi-national gun crew was led by 'La Passionara'
Soon everyone was keen to get in on the action!
The French forming the first of several squares.
I particularly like the 'before' (above) and 'after' (below) shots of the attack on this French square!

I have no recollection of how the battle concluded, but I do remember that it was great fun!

Friday 14 February 2014

The gentle art of forestry

As we were packing away the Christmas decorations (this was a few weeks ago!) I was instructed to take our increasingly sad looking small tree out and dump it.  Given my deep environmental concerns* I clearly couldn't live with this sort of waste!  I remembered that the trees used in Paul W's garden (see below) bore a striking resemblance to bits of artificial tree and so a cunning plan was born.  Above can be seen one of my new 'trees' temporarily planted in a lump of blu-tac and under close guard.  Interestingly, the rest of the regiment are keeping their distance in case the tree falls down....

The tools of the trade.  The branches were first removed from the tree with the hammer and then cut into tree-sized pieces using the pliers.  A brief but brutal process.
While only a small (2 foot tall) tree, it yielded enough little trees to fill this container.  My tea mug is there for scale.

*I like my environment to be awash with toy soldiers and related ephemera.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

More aid from the colonies

Fellow blogger and all-round good chap Paul over at Plastic Warriors has sent me more presents!
Firstly this fine t-shirt which bears the logo of the RNZAF.  I'm not really this shape - it was draped over a box for the photo.  I'm wearing it now though.  Wrapped in the t-shirt was a good old Matchbox kit of the Sdkfz 234/2 'Puma'.  I am planning to build this and add it to one of my Megablitz panzer divisions.  But not anytime soon.
So in one fell swoop Paul has addressed my shortages of dodgy t-shirts and German armoured cars!  Thanks old chap!

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Big lads' Napoleonics - part 1

While looking for something else* I recently rediscovered these photos.  The game was one of several played at John Bassett's house in Cheltenham in February 2005 and was presented by Mike and John Curry (he of the History of Wargaming Project), using 1/32 toys from their extensive collection.
The forces were largely British on one side and French on t'other.  As you might imagine I was pleased to see this unit of my kilted compatriots.

An assortment of gunners crewed the French 'grand' artillery battery.
The Britains Deetail French Cuirassiers looked impressive.
I think these chaps are Austrians.
An overview of the game showing toys, terrain and some feet.
There seemed to be a lot of those bloody Cuirassiers!
The French infantry looked a lot more managable.
The Frenchies looking for trouble.
The Austrians(?) taking up position in the ruins.
The French fording the river.
More French crossing the river.
To be continued.......

* And no, I can't remember what I was originally looking for.

Monday 10 February 2014

Into the Void - WW3 again!

This was another of a series of games run by Martin using his 2mm toys and my NATO Brigade Commander rules.  He has already posted the briefing and game report on his blog, but his report may be tainted with western bias and accuracy.  So what follows is the view from the HQ of the Soviet 34th Air Assault Brigade.
With a team of comrades such as this how could we fail?  Kayte, Mark, John, Connor and Pete anxiously await their orders.  They were right to be anxious because I was issuing those orders....
The initial drops went quite well, though Mark (east on Hamelin) ran into some local police units.  Kayte's battalion (nearest the camera) was clearing the road of obstacles - we shall soon see why....
Airstrilkes had been ordered on previously identified military installations.
Pete's battalion in control of both ends of the main road bridge.  The poor sods in the middle of Hamelin are the local Heimatskommando battalion who soon fell prey to some excellent marksmanship from the paras.
The other military installation we bombed turned out to be a fuel dump.  It went up with quite a bang!
Having consolidated our position in Hamelin it was time to...... in the heavy kit.  A flock of Antonovs soon disgorged a battlion of BMD-mounted paras, along with companies of AT, AA, engineers, recce and of course the Brigade commander's personal supply of vodka.
The mech battalion dashes off to take up position.

Having more toys on the ground certainly made us feel better.
From left - Recce, AT, Bde HQ and engineer companies head Hamelin-wards.
Soon the Bde was deployed with the paras dug in around Hamelin and the heavy stuff facing west in preparation for an attack by the Capitalist Reactionaries.  So far we're still waiting....
The recce co. was sent off to link up with the Spesnatz detachment which had been inserted the previous day.  Dressed as West German police they had taken control of this bridge as an alternate crossing site.