Tuesday 31 March 2020

Goings on at the garage

I acquired this mdf kit a couple of years ago and built it over the weekend. I think it’s designed to accompany 28mm toys, so 1/56 scale or thereabouts.  It arrived in my possession without instructions so I blundered my way through assembly. In spite of this it turned out OK and I gave it a basic paint job using emulsion and cheap acrylic paints.
It looks like a lot of old village garages used to - and not just here in the UK. It’s pictured here with a couple of 1/43 scale diecast cars. A side project of mine is an attempt to amass a collection of models of all the cars I’ve owned. At the petrol pumps is a Volvo 850 in more or less the same colour as my 1992 2.0 20V GLT (owned 1998-2000) while lurking inside is a Saab 9-5 standing in for my 2004 Aero (owned 2009-2013).

Monday 30 March 2020

Tatty twin Tigers - part 2

Here are the completed Tigers, resplendent in my version of the rather glamorous ‘ambush’ camouflage scheme. The challenge now will be to concoct a game which justifies their use!

Sunday 29 March 2020

Tatty twin Tigers - part 1

In a batch of stuff from eBay a few months ago were three battered 1/48 Tiger B. From at least two maker, some of the bits came in this old Nitto box. I amalgamated the various bits to make two (more or less complete) tanks. Both already had a base coat of dark sand so I leafed through Panzer Colours for inspiration. 
 Completed models coming soon but for a preview check out my post on the Analogue Hobbies Quarantine Challenge blog.

Saturday 28 March 2020

Romanian Emil - part 2

 Despite the lockdown this week I’ve actually been quite busy so having daubed the underside pale blue, it was only Friday evening before I got round to continuing the paintwork (above).
This morning I finished off the paintwork - such as it is - and hopefully I’ll be able to slap on the decals later on.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Stalingrad - the Matrix Game (part 2)

This evening we played through the second part of the game. Over both nights we took about two and a half hours to run through all 9 turns. Not bad considering the mix of experience among the players, including one who’d never previously endured a Matrix Game.
Eventually the Germans were thrown back to their start lines and much blood was spilled. I have summarised the narrative of the game below.
The clear winners were agreed to be Stalin and Chuikov, who each achieved their three objectives. Chuikov’ s survival was something of a surprise as he personally led at least half a dozen assaults!
My thanks to all six players for making this such an enjoyable experience.
 A couple of random photos taken towards the end of the game. 

Summary of narrative:

Turn 1. Panzers  conducted armed reconnaissance to the south of Stalingrad preventing Soviet surprise counter-attacks. General Chuikov Conducted aggressive close defence. Major German attack into Red October Factory by SS and assault pioneers supported by artillery fire.

Turn 2. Hitler successfully argues for German combined arms bonus to apply in future combat. Stalin busts Chuikov down to colonel and promotes Tarasov to general. Chuikov conducts passive defence. Attack on Red October factory is reinforced. Tarasov mounts passive defence holding off the SS. 

Turn 3. German reinforcements arrive. Chuikov leads counter-attack across river, Germans capture Red October factory.

Turn 4. Germans bomb, shell and attack Kurgan Hill, repel Soviet attack on Red October.

Turn 5. Soviet reinforcements arrive at Volga ferry, Chuikov reorganises his defence of Kurgan Hill, but massive German assault captures Kurgan Hill. 

Turn 6. Germans establish observation posts on Kurgan Hill, improving effectiveness of artillery Luftwaffe. German reinforcements arrive at Goumrak. Winter begins to take hold, Soviet reinforcements flood in via Volga ferry. 

Turn 7. Bitter fighting over Kurgan Hill - Soviet assault bloodily repulsed. 

Turn 8. Von Paulus digs in at the airfield. Massive struggle for Kurgan Hill is bloodily repulsing by exhausted German defenders. Abortive German attack to Southern Station sustains casualties. 

Turn 9. Hitler makes speech claiming great victory in order to boost morale on the home front. Stalin claims the job is done but continues to send reinforcements. Massive Soviet assault on Kurgan Hill pushes back Germans to airfield perimeter huge casualties suffered on both sides. Red October factory falls to renewed Soviet assault led by NKVD troops. 

Stalingrad - the Matrix Game (part 1)

While we’re unable to play face to face games it’s important to find alternatives. I’ve played matrix games before by email and it occurred to me that with systems like Skype we might be able to run such a game for several players over the course of a couple of evenings.
Thus it was that I found myself hosting a Skype call with six players located in Sheffield, Derbyshire and London.
I had decided to run the Stalingrad game written some years ago by Tom Mouat as this is a fairly simple military/political game on a familiar campaign. I printed the map onto a dozen sheets of A4 card and to represent the military units I dug out toys in what I hoped would be a truly offensive* variety of scales.

Last night we played through five of the nine turns, with part two to follow this evening.
The roles and (carefully cast) players are:
Hitler - Martin
Stalin - Jerry
Von Paulus - Simon
Chuikov - Bertrand
Hube - Tim C
Tarasov - Richard
The map at half time, with the front line marked in red. 

* 1/32, 1/48, 1/72, 1/144, 1/300. So far.

Friday 20 March 2020

Romanian Emil - part 1

Searching for 1/72 air support for my 1/32 Romanians, I spotted in a pile of unbuilt plastic this Hobbyboss kit of the Bf-109E-3.  I remembered building a brace of Hobbyboss 109G a while back and that they had gone together very nicely. 
Confident that I had some crumbling Romanian decals, I opened the box for a look. Like the Gustav, it seemed a simple and well-moulded kit. But the best was yet to come.....
....yes indeed - as well as the Luftwaffe decals the kit also contained a Romanian set!
Crisp parts. And not too many of them!
15 minutes in and time to think about paint. 

Thursday 19 March 2020

Romanian infantry WW2

To accompany my mountain troops I painted some line infantry. These figures are Classic Toy Soldiers plastics. CTS sell the same figures listed as Italians and Romanians, though the helmets are very definitely Italian in shape. So my dilemma was - do I just paint them or alter the shape of the helmets?  Predictably I opted for the easy option!
The complete figures. Enough for a weak battalion in our Sevastopol 1942 game.

A damn useful book!

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Romanian Mountain Troops

 Slightly better photos of the finished figures. Now read on.....
Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, I am continuing to plan and prepare for this year’s games. For the Sevastopol 1942 game I wanted to have some Romanians available and as no specifically Romanian figures are available, a gentle ponder was required.
I decided on bodging some mountain troops and used the Hat/Waterloo1815 WW1 Italians as my starting point. I trimmed down the helmets and added Milliput berets. You can find a lot of issues with the result but I purposely kept the figures rather vague as they may be called upon to serve as various other khaki-clad beret wearers. Spaniards and Belgian Chasseurs Ardennais spring to mind.
 A bad photo of the finished figures. 
Work in progress - the chaps before varnishing. 
I’m thinking of doing more Romanians - possibly adapting the CTS Italians.
Brian C has taken a different approach, mining his apparently bottomless pit of plastic figures - see also Brian’s post here.

Monday 16 March 2020

COVID-19 and COW - an update

Coronavirus/COVID-19, Wargame Developments, and the Conference of Wargamers 2020
It is now apparent that the current pandemic is going to have a significant impact on life for all of us. In the light of this, we have decided on the following measures:
• Until Knuston Hall informs us that they will not be able to host this year’s Conference of Wargamers (COW 2020), we will continue to plan for it to take place.
• Bearing in mind the number of members who fall into the group who have been identified as vulnerable (i.e. those who are over seventy years of age and/or who have an underlying medical condition), anyone wishing to cancel their booking for COW 2020 may do so without penalty.
• Anyone wishing to cancel their booking for COW 2020 will receive a full refund of all monies they have paid less the cost of being a member of WD for 2020-2021 (i.e. £25.00). Those wishing to cancel are asked to contact the Membership Secretary/COW Bookings Co-ordinator by letter to the address shown below or by email (wargamer1950-AT-gmail.com). [Please replace the ‘-AT-‘ with ‘@’ when entering the email address.]
• It is intended that THE NUGGET will continue to be published on a regular basis, but that it may be necessary to temporarily move over to an electronic format (i.e. PDF) rather than a printed format. Such a move would last for as long as is absolutely necessary, and it is hoped that a printed digest would be produced and distributed after the pandemic is over.
• It may be necessary to move publication from nine-issues-per-year to once-per-quarter. This is because so much of the content of THE NUGGET is dependent upon COW.
We have not taken these decisions lightly, but we have done so in order to ensure the safety and well-being of our members and to secure the future of Wargame Developments. We may have to change the above in the light of future developments, and we ask for your forbearance in advance.
Finally, we hope that all of you and your families will remain safe and well during the pandemic.
Bob Cordery, Tim Gow, and Matthew Hartley
COW Refunds, 84 Eglinton Hill, Shooters Hill, London, SE18 3DY

Saturday 14 March 2020

Calatafimi, 1860

This was a Battle Cry game played with 54mm figures on my Hexon terrain. Most of the figures I had painted specially for the game. They were a mix of ACW and Napoleonic plastics, largely ‘converted by paint’. I think at least seven manufacturers were represented!  I also built some hills out of 1-inch insulation board to better match the stature of the figures.
Unfortunately my photos have become rather jumbled but I hope you’ll enjoy them anyway.
British napoleonics standing in for Royalist forces.

The Royalists with the flag began life as ‘Alamo’ Mexicans.

Monday 9 March 2020

EE Lightning

The latest escapee from the Partizan 'plane purchase pile is this shabby Lightning.  Probably the Airfix kit, it is dustily resplendent in the markings of No.5 Squadron.  
5 Sqn used the Lightning from 1965 until 1987.

Sunday 8 March 2020

Esci 7.5cm light infantry gun - part 2

 It’s been hanging about for a while but I finally finished this kit today.  Here it is posed for some hasty photos.