Sunday 31 October 2021

Le lion de Verdun

Some years ago I was fortunate enough to pick up a set of WW1 French generals.  While not clearly branded as Mokarex they are very much the same style and clearly by the same maker. Here is the first to be completed - General Petain - all ready to lead the defence of Verdun. 

Saturday 30 October 2021

Mokarex Great War French

 I’ve mentioned this slightly odd range of hard plastic figures before: LINK

While I was sorting out some WW1 French figures recently it occurred to me that I should deal with a few of the apparently random selection of Mokarex soldiers I’ve had kicking around.  I used the same blue as for my existing later war Armies in Plastic units:  LINK

A suitably grizzled looking chap trudging towards the front line.  He’s bound to be popular with my pipe smoking readers. 

A lines of communication guard, clearly feeling the cold judging by his scarf and mittens. His place on the equipment issuing priority list is evident from his wearing wooden clogs rather than boots!
A well turned-out squaddie in 1916 rig. Very smart. 
This chap’s ‘Crapouillot’ 58mm mortar was badly damaged so,I rebuilt it with some plastic tube.  
He looks a dangerous man!

Friday 29 October 2021

Rommel at Cosnes, 1914 - part 2

 I sent players their briefings and some options a couple of days before the game.  The terrain had been laid out on a 60x39 inch area of my table.  Broadly the Germans had to recce the area and not take too many losses.  The French had to stop them and then get away.

Above - the view from the German end.
A detachment of French lurking in the orchard.
More French take up position on the hill.  The things which look like clumps of bamboo were my attempts at making stands of cut crops.  I'll cover them in a separate post.

While Rommel worked his way through the woods on the German left, Russell's chaps had a nice lay down on the edge of a field of crops.  The pink markers indicate prone figures.
Don't those red trousers stand out?
French on the forward edge of the orchard trying to spot....
...Rommel and his lads in the wood.
As soon as anyone had a target shots rang out...
...and soon a couple of the French were wounded and down.
In the wood, Rommel has paused to encourage a soldier who has been hit.  Hit so often in fact that he was soon being referred to by both sides as 'victim.'
Having apparently cleared the hill would Russell's detachment advance?
Simon led the French on the hill, John was the Sgt. in the orchard while Cpl. Diego and his friend skulked at the rear.
As the Germans advanced, Sgt. John began to pull back through the orchard.

'Victim' down again.  Oh dear.  Rommel can be seen in front of him.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Rommel at Cosnes, 1914 - part 1

Picking up a few more 1914 French recently prompted me to revisit this Skirmish Campaigns book.  Thus it was that a couple of weeks ago I set up the first scenario and five players joined me on Zoom as we ran through it using A Fistful Of Lead.  Above - Young Lt. Rommel poses with a later literary effort.

The Germans were played by Russell and Pete - the latter as Rommel himself.
The French were commanded by John, Simon and Diego.

If you've been counting, you'll have established that the six of us were entertained for two evenings by a game with only 19 toy soldiers!  All are 54mm metal from my own collection.  I can't take credit for any of the original paintwork.

I'll reveal the action over a further two posts.

Tuesday 26 October 2021

SCW Carlist Militia


I bodged these figures a while back and recently painted them to represent Carlist militia.  The main part of the transformation was adding big floppy berets from Miliput.  The same material also provided satchels and blanket rolls.  The original figures are a combination of Airfix DAK & Mountain Troops and Replicants/Marksmen ACW types. 
Much of the webbing was carved from the WW2 figures and the heads trimmed down to secure the berets.  As usual they were finished off with a coat of Ronseal Light Oak Satin varnish.  
As usual, they are a long way from both Spain and perfection but I think they give the right impression.

Monday 25 October 2021

SCW Nationalist Regulares - again

 A couple of recent games have revealed the need for more Nationalist troops.  I had already bodged a couple of companies of Moroccans (see this post from far-off 2019) and thus it was off to the unpainted plastic mines to see what could be adapted.  The ever-useful HAT ACW Zouaves sets looked a promising starting point for more Regulares, so a little bodging and painting later, here is the next batch.

I crowded them on to some bases for a quick photo session between rain showers.  There are a few head swaps in there and the standard bearer is my usual adaptation (carve away musket, replace with brass rod flagpole, add paper flag, varnish).  Some of the chaps have cloaks made from kitchen tissue soaked in PVA.

On the weapons front, mostly I cut down the original muskets.  The figures with 'ring hands' intended to carry musket at the trail were crying out to be re-armed.  Some have Airfix Lee-Enfield rifles, others LMGs from various kits.
They look quite a mean bunch. I have a further batch converted and undercoated.

Sunday 10 October 2021

A Partizan view?

Today, for the first time in two and a half years, I attended a wargames show!  Partizan, these days at the Newark Showground, is effectively my ‘local’ show being only a 40 or so minute drive away. It was good to meet up with friends, notably (and apologies if I’ve missed you): John, Tim, Russell, Diego, Simon, Tom, Graham, Phil, Chris K, Chris A, Mick, Mark, Kayte, Terry and Bob.  And of course this was the first Partizan since the sad death of Duncan Macfarlane.  He was much in my thoughts.  

As always I was part of a team presenting a participation game. This year we had Tim C’s ‘1812’, which allowed a solo player to take the part of Napoleon and fight his Russian campaign in only ten minutes!  The game was set on a lovely map and used some of Tim’s beautiful 1/300 H&R figures.  

Diego (left, wearing my Napoleon hat) plays while Tim runs the game. 
The same game, with me seated to Diego’s left. Photo by Russell. 
Part of the map. 

The show seemed to be well attended. I gather that by 1200, a healthy 700 people had been admitted. Well done to the organisers!  The nice weather made queueing no hardship. Both of these photos by Russell. 
There were plenty of participation and display games. Here are just a couple.
Impressive 28mm fortress porn. 
I was pleased to see this Little Wars game with ‘proper’ old 54mm toys!
While there was a fair retail frenzy going on my own purchases were few. This assortment of paintbrushes cost a very reasonable £16. 

Sunday 3 October 2021

Boomerang bounces back - part 2

Here then, is the finished Boomerang, resplendent in fresh paint and decals.  The latter were cobbled together from the decal box.  Above is the complete and finished model in 'flight', while below is the pre-varnish paintwork.  A quick win and an interesting little thing.

Saturday 2 October 2021

Boomerang bounces back - part 1

More tatty plastic now, in the shape of this Boomerang. Although it’s not boomerang shaped.  If you see what I mean. I remember seeing this kit in Airfix catalogues but it’s the first one I’ve owned. 
It’s not in bad shape so should be a quick win. We’ll see….