Saturday 21 December 2019

Staying solemn at Sollum

I ran this skirmish game a couple of weeks ago using A Fistful of Lead rules and a scenario from a Skirmish Campaigns book. Jerry, Martin and Gary were the Italians while John represented the Coldstream Guards.
The Brits had but a single rifle section with part of a platoon HQ.  If front of the dug in infantry they also deployed some wire and a minefield. The white building is one of a batch I bought last year while the others are my recently made high-quality Libyan mud huts.
 Though the Italians looked to have a tough job ahead, things quickly went wrong for the Brits. Their Bren team was killed early on.  Here, the veteran Sgt. Bass takes to the rooftop to hose down the enemy with his Thompson SMG. The Brits were a mix of Airfix, Matchbox and Timpo.
 The photos are rather out of sequence - this one is from late on when the Brits are on the run and the southernmost Italian section is advancing.
 The Italian figures were a mix of CTS and Waterloo 1815 (HAT). Jerry seemed to strongly identify with the bare-chested machine gunner. Worrying.
 Earlier in the game. The northern Italian section (Gary) has neutralised the Bren team while the middle (Martin) lays down a hail of fire.
 Jerry’s chaps rush forward. Eventually...
 Empty positions are occupied.

 The British officer having being wounded, Sgt Bass MM was the last man standing...
 ...but it couldn’t last. Eventually he too expired in a hail of fire. A sad end and an unexpectedly glorious victory for Il Duce’s forces. On to Egypt then.....

Monday 16 December 2019

Fort Thüngen

From Diekirch we caught a train for the 45 minute journey into Luxembourg City. First stop was Fort Thüngen  - formerly an artillery fort which formed part of the city’s defences, it is now a well-stocked museum.

Above and below -  fortress guns c1840. 

19th century light field gun. 
A large diorama which uses 1/72 figures to depict the retreat of the Austrians following the fall of the city in 1795.

 I was rather pleased with this sinister shot of Dr. Guillotin’s finest.
 A fine 3D diorama of the city fortifications lives under a glazed floor.

 The museum contains several fine paintings. This is the Battle of Thionville, 1639.
Detail from ‘General Hatry at the siege of Luxembourg in 1795’.

Sunday 15 December 2019

Beaufort Castle

Back to my travelogue from September now. After a couple of days in Trier, Germany, we set off back into Luxembourg. After a fairly short drive the first stop was Beaufort Castle which most recently suffered battle damage in the winter of 1944!
 Mrs G adding tone to the surroundings.

 Behind the medieval castle is a slightly newer chateau - this is currently undergoing refurbishment.

A few miles further on we found our overnight stop at Diekirch which sadly had a good seeing to during the 1944 Ardennes campaign. Now it is home to a brewery and a rather splendid WW2 museum. The spacious campsite is in the south bank of the river Sure about a 15 minute walk from town. We stayed for several days and availed ourselves of the riverside cycle paths.

Saturday 7 December 2019

Tamiya US Military Police

I recently finished this nice little Tamiya set consisting of a motorcyclist and an MP on traffic duty. The ‘bike was rather fiddly but everything seems to have turned out OK.

Monday 2 December 2019

I can’t believe it’s not bunker - part 3

The bunkers are now painted and complete. Here - in these hastily posed photos -  we see some of the comrades skulking bravely behind their mighty concrete walls. Well, OK, flimsy plastic but best not mention that to these chaps. 

Sunday 1 December 2019

I can’t believe it’s not bunker - part 2

The high quality Soviet bunkers have been based  - otherwise they were rather wobbly - and undercoated in black. More paint will be applied when this coat dries.

Saturday 30 November 2019

I can’t believe it’s not bunker

I spotted this ancient margarine tub heading for the bin a few weeks ago. “So what?” I hear you cry. Strange to say, it put me in mind of photos of Soviet WW2 pre-fabricated concrete MG bunkers I’d been looking at. Having successfully rescued the thing I at once set to work to produce yet more of the museum-quality terrain for which I am rightly famed.
The first step was to cut it in half.... I cut out the vision/firing slits. These are quite tall so as to accommodate both kneeling and standing firing figures. Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode!

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Soviet Naval Infantry - part 3

Hot on the heels of the Pegasus figures are this lot from the Zvezda hard plastic set.  The stripy shirts were something of a challenge - I tried two variants and on balance prefer the lighter version (the chap with the bundle of grenades).
That's all from the Black Sea Fleet for the moment.  That said, I do have another of these Zvezda sets so I might use it for some conversions.

Monday 25 November 2019

Soviet Naval Infantry - part 2

Now finished and clearly looking forward to repelling the Hitlerite hordes  - these photos show the Pegasus figures.  To my eyes (which aren't that great) they look pretty good.

Sunday 24 November 2019

Setting Europe ablaze

A few weeks ago John ran this game and also provided all the figures and terrain. It concerned a Commando raid on a German communication installation on the Brittany coast. Jerry and I commanded the raiding team - what could go wrong?
Above - our team of elite diehards.
Jerry (right) and I posing for what might be our last photo.
Having been cast adrift by an MTB some distance out to sea, we set off in our wee boat - hand carved by John. Despite tides and a degree of navigational incompetence we stepped ashore more or less where we’d hoped.
After we landed things moved very quickly and I forgot to take photos for a few turns. In short, we eventually overcame the pair of guards at the checkpoint (left) although one fought savagely and wounded two commandos.  Meanwhile the rest of us crossed the wire  - we made Jerry lie on it and ran along his back!   A brief gunfight quelled the chaps in the communications hut and having secured some prisoners we placed timed charges and headed off. The bangs nearly started early as it was later revealed that our escape route had taken us through a minefield!  But we got away with it and as the boat set off the silence of the night was profaned by a series of explosions. More than were strictly necessary as it happens, but no sense in taking unused charges home, was there?
Europe ablaze. Well a bit of it.