Thursday 31 March 2016

Eindecker eins

Behold the first of my trio of Fokkers. I did a bit of research (gasp!) on colour schemes but eliminated those which looked difficult to paint. I rather liked the idea of purple stripes though. The sinister black crosses came with the kit, the numbers are from the decal box. The liberal coat of gloss floor varnish will help keep everything intact during damp alfresco games.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Poorly Panhard patching

Remember the broken Panhard AML-90 in yesterday's post?  I fashioned a new axle from a piece of aluminium tube, crimped at both end to better hold the wheels.  Of the latter one was the spare from the Panhard.....
...and the other was 'borrowed' from a Unimog fire tender.  I know I should repaint it.....

Monday 28 March 2016

Where's the fire?

My purchases at Triples last weekend included a box of cheap 1/43 scale diecasts.  Mostly Solido fire engines, these will no doubt show up on airfields or be bodged into other things.
The box also contained this rather challenged Panhard AML.  Aside from a wheel shortage it is very saveable.

I can see this little Berliet being bodged into a radio van for a brigade HQ.

The rear structure of this Unimog unclips, so I may decide it's of more use as a flatbed.

Sunday 27 March 2016

Furiously fettling Fokkers

Discussion with Funny Little Wars author Mr PW about our plans for a Somme game revealed a need for additional supplies of Fokker Eindeckers.  Happily the old Revell kit is quite easy to find for around £3 so I duly ordered a trio.
Despite its great age, the kit goes together quite well, especially if as I did you leave some of the fiddly bits and simplify the undercart struts.
Paint coming soon...

Friday 25 March 2016

OMON have a go if you think you're hard enough

OMON Otryad Mobilny Osobogo Naznacheniya or Special Purpose Mobility Unit) is a Russian 'special' federal police unit.
One gets the impression that it would be best not to pick a fight with them.
 I discovered these chaps on eBay a wee while back and was sufficiently curious to order a set.  Moulded in an almost rubber-like material they are towards the chunkier end of 1/32 scale.  Given the material I was concerned about their willingness to take paint but I needn't have worried.
The four-figure set comprises:
a beret-wearing officer/NCO  - a figure which would fit into many other units.
a shielded chap in the act of whacking an enemy of the state with his large baton (oo-er).
a chap with an AK lobbing a grenade.  Only tear gas, one trusts.
and a sneaky comrade clearly intent on picking off the mob's ringleader.

Friday 18 March 2016

Landrover ramblings

My Little Cold Wars British forces have recently been tooled up with a new fleet of 1/43 scale Landrovers.  These are all Corgi diecasts - readily available and startlingly cheap on eBay.
Most of the Corgi LRs around are Series Two Long Wheel Base versions - as indeed were the ones I had when a lad.  I've also managed to pick up a few of the earlier Series One LWB, a couple of which still have their tinplate 'canvas' tilts.

Typically my new Landrovers looked like this on arrival.  Actually this is quite a smart model.  They arrived with anything between a full set and no tyres but happily replacements are cheaply available.

Where windows were intact I masked them with tape.
Green spray paint followed, then I hand painted on the black camo and added printed number plates.

Wednesday 16 March 2016


Hot on the heels of my Tyne Cot post, here is another Great War cemetery.  This time is's the German site at Langemarck, into which were condensed a number of smaller German cemeteries.
The overall experience is if anything even more sombre than Tyne Cot.
There is some nice carving work - which doesn't photograph well - in the entrance.

The statues are really rather impressive - and very fitting.

The sheer numbers are very affecting.

The site contains a number of smartened-up German bunkers.

More about the history of Langemarck here:  link.

Tuesday 15 March 2016

More Soviet infantry

Behold the wonder that is my newly-completed Soviet Category 3 Motor Rifle Battalion.
Made up wholly of plastic figures, a few are from a cheap Chinese set found in larger Carrefour stores in Belgium...
...while most are the trusty old Airfix comrades.
We've already seen the mortar and SA-7 bodges.  This Sagger platoon lowers the tone still further.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Tyne Cot

No visit to the former Western Front would be complete without the inclusion of a war cemetery.  Sadly there are plenty to choose from - my Michelin map is fairly black with them.  We settled on the Commonwealth cemetery at Tyne Cot.  With 12,000 - I'll repeat that - twelve thousand individual graves and a memorial wall bearing a further 34,000 names it is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in Belgium.
I'd hardly call the visit uplifting but then that's hardly the point.  At least I got to go home afterwards.
The approach takes the visitor last several regimental memorials.

I was interested to see that the Bedfordshire Rgt memorial was supported by the Masonic Lodges of that county.

The cemetery is located on a ridge which was the German front line.  The Germans had a commanding view (above) across the Allied trenches and reinforced the position with a number of substantial bunkers (below).

I made it my mission to find the grave of at least one Black Watch soldier, and followed this photo with a random selection.

The sheer scale of the place is well, overwhelming.  There follows few but words but hopefully the photos speak volumes.