Sunday, 29 December 2013

7th Edition 40K: Really???

According to the rumour mill, 40K 7th edition will be with us this summer, or maybe not.

It seems only yesterday that they released 6th edition and started new codices.

I will probably pass and jump in on edition 8 or 9. I realised the other day that I have only played two or three games of 6th since it came out but I'm not sure why.

I guess I'm just bored with 40K. Endless tinkering is no substitute for new creative ideas particularly when the system hasn't settled down long enough to get to grips with. It's all getting a bit like Formula 1 where they produce a new reg shortening/widening the front wing by one cm in an effort to make it less of a procession.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

RAF Roller

One of the earliest British armoured Fighting vehicles was an MG armmoured car based on a Rolls Royce chassis. These were deployed in early WWI and were still soldiering on in the desert in 1940, having fought in Russia, India and China in the meantime.

This is a classic Copplestone model that I have painted as an RAF support vehicle in the Middle East in the interwar years.

It is straight out of the box except for the addition of a Lewis gun for AA protection.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Protect and Survive: 21st Century Twitchers

A very useful drone identification guide can be purchased from here. It includes tips on how to dodge the sensors.

Should also be useful for drone twitchers, bird watching is so last century.

Happy Xmas

Have a blast this Xmas.

[Photo nicked from Bell of Lost Souls]

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Bolt Action: Freikorps Experten

Actualy they are Great War Miniatures Stormtruppen with light machine gun, anti-tank rifle and flamethrower. These weapons were used by Freikorps in the assaults on Berlin and Munich.

The bases are painted in brown ochre then Citadel technical 'mud'. The nearer ones have been washed in dark brown and crimson to bring out the cracks.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Freikorps Anti-Tank Rifleman.

Another lousy three second exposure picture I am afraid.

It's dark up here on the roof of the world.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Happy Winter Solstice

Summer Is Coming

The winter solstice passed just after 1700 GMT this afternoon.

I hope everyone had a great day despite the Atlantic storm, and the driving rain etc.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Steam Driven Prime Mover

My Blackshort Legion has acquired a steam-driven Foden lorry.

The model is diecast metal by Matchbox and is loosely 1:43 and avaiable for small change still in the box in eBay.

I keep buying these things to kitbash but they are so nice that I can't bring myself to apply a hacksaw.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The First

If this isn't the first armoured fighting vehicle to go into combat then it must be one of the first.

Appropriately enough, it's a Rolls Royce.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Bolt Action: Partisans

These are partisans that could serve as any 28mm European civilian militia force for the early and mid 20th Century from Sparticists to Marquis.

They are mostly Warlord Games and Foundry but with additional interesting bits and pieces from smaller manufacturers.

I like painting partisan forces because the colours are a little more interesting and dramatic than endless variants of khaki. I particularly like the factory girl in the boiler suit - mid picture

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Freikorps Officer

28 ml model of a Freikorps officer from a Geat War Miniatures model.

The 'mud' on the base is the new 'technical' paint from Citadel which drys powdery and cracks like dry mud. It tends to flake off as well so needs varnishing. Jury still out on this stuff.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Well I'm damned!

Well, well, well, this is an official Home Guard combat car based on a Humbar Super Snipe and known appropriately as a Humbarette.

I also came across this! Apparently based on a Sunbeam.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Destruction of a British Improvised Armoured Car, Palestine 1938

The Arab revolt in Palestine in 1938 led to clashes with the British Army. This is the aftermath of an attack on Barclays Bank. The armoured car seems to have been caught in the blast. Apparently the driver was killed.

Home Guard Armour

I came across this photo on flickr while looking for Home Guard improvised armoured cars. The photo was taken by John Phillopson and is amongst a group of what I assume are a Home Guard re-enactment society.

This vehicle is based on a Triumph Standard 10 and has mock armour on the radiator and windscreen. The weapon is a Boys anti-tank rifle: just the job for taking on a Panzer Mk IV.

As far as I know this is not based on a real HG car but you never know.

In any case, it is a rich source of inspiration.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Polish Esratz Armoured car

I think this was scratch-built as I don't recognise the manufacturer. It's a polish armoured car used in a Bolt Action game and owned by Scott Simoneau: see here.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Bolt Action Oberland Freikorps: Update

This is how far I've got with my Oberland Freikorps for Bolt Action.

I have so far:

Lt Gruber

Sergeant Spotter: with field telephone.

Heavy Armoured Car: captured Russian Garford-Putilov with 3 MMGs and a light howitzer in a rear turret.

Light Armoured Car: scratchbuilt form a Times Gone Past diecast toy.

Self Propelled Gun: light howitzer on an unarmoured toy lorry.

Rifle section: ex-stormtroopers with rifles, smgs and hand grenades from Great War Miniatures.

For those who care about such things, the pic is a five second exposure in a dimly-lit North European room with a large south-facing window rebalanced by Paint-Shop Pro to get rid of the worst of the colour shifts.

The same picture using a TTL flash on full Nikon auto bounced off the rear ceiling, lightly adjusted with PSP.

As above but using heavy light saturation by bouncing the flash of the close, left-hand, white, side wall. Brightness reduced by PSP.

Anyone have a preference?

Oberland Freikorps

Sticking with an interwar theme for the moment, here is Lt Gruber and his electronic warfare specialist from the Bavarian Oberland Freikorps.

Sorry, N. European light in winter is a pain to photograph miniatures in, low levels and on the horizon, but I hope you can distinguish something.

The models are actually Great War Stormtroopers which tended to be where the Freikorps got their recruits.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Bolt Action: Battle of Snodland

The Strategic Situation: In the spring of 1937  the takeover of the Medway docks by Red Rita of the Chatham Soviet was a major strategic blow to Prime Minister Mosley as Comrades in Spain offered to ship arms to their compatriots in London through the docks. Mosley's BUF Blackshirts were heavily engaged in urban warfare in the East End of London so he had no troops to spare for a new front.

Viscount Sidcup, aka Spode, offered to recapture the docks with his Blackshort Legion operaing from his ancestral home near Sidcup gold course, and Mosley was desperate enough to take him up on the offer.

Spode's Cunning Plan: Spode learning that Red Rita, leader of the Chatham Soviet, had place a blocking force at Gad's Hill near Dicken's Home at Highbury decided to trap and destroy the Soviet leader. He had been reading Alexander's biography again and fancied to see a likeness between his own strategic genius and the Macedonian.

Accordingly, Spode ordered the Blackshorts to march very ostentatiously East down the old Roman road of Watling Street to Meopham. There he secretly split off a mobile detachment under the command of Captain The Honourable Rupert Pikely-Trotter who had been thrown out of the Drones Club for cheating in the annual tiddlywink competition.

While the Blackshort Legion demonstrated to the front of the Reds, Pikely-Trotter was to drive south over the North Downs and through the lanes to Snodland then up the A228 along the north bank of the Medway to take Red Rita in the rear.

Where it All Went Wrong: The regular British Army swore an oath of loyalty to the monarch and his/her legitimate descendants but what to do when there are two crowned kings: Edward VIII in London and George VI in Canterbury? The Colonel of the Queen's West Kents decided to declare Martial Law in a military zone around their barracks in Maidstone and await events.

When Pikely-Trotter's detachment turned south they unknowingly entered the West Kent's self defence zone, triggering a response.

Pikely-Trotter's detachment drives south towards the A228. He led the column in his Jag, followed by a Vickers 'Dutchman' light tank, and a light armoured car towing a 13 pdr howitzer. A platoon of infantry struggled to follow in a charabanc hired from Delboy's Superior Motor Company.

The Jag was suddenly riddled with machine gun fire. The driver stalled the engine and Pikely-Trotter hid below the dashboard.

The fire is revealed to come from a West Kent's Morris armoured car and Vickers Light Tank.

The Blackshorts deploy off the road from a cramped position between two houses, all the time under fire. Pikely-Trotter shouts orders and exhortations to his troops from below the dashboard of his jag as the driver pumps the starter motor.

 The Blackshrt tank is thrust forward to screen the deploring Blackshort infantry. Pikely-Trotter's Jag is beginning to resemble a colander (note the suppression markers) but nothing vital is hit. It still won't start.

The full scale of the West Kent's ambush becomes clear. Note the carriers moving up the back lane behind the town.

A west Kent carrier armed with a Boys Antitank Rifle ambushed the Dutchman and sets it on fire with a side shot into the engine compartment.

The first shot from the Blackshort's howitzer land amongst a West Kent detachment and causes carnage.

The Blackshort armoured car gallantly charges a West Kent two-pounder anti-tank gun which puts a round through its engine.

 The Blackshort gun line is overrun. Pikely-Trotter leaves the dubious protection of his Jaguar, which bow has a flat battery, and makes a run for it to oversee the attack from the rear.

Demoralised, the Blackshort infantry follow their leader. The West Kents let them go.

Spode will not be pleased.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Reds: Maxim Gun

Another Copplestone Back of Beyond set - a Red Army Maxim Gun.

I watched a demonstration given of how one of these was used, well the Vickers-Maxim equivalent which was very similar except for water cooling.

They had a rate of fire of about ten rounds per second: the slow pop-pop-pop noise gives no indication of the actual bullet discharges.

You laid it on a bearing on the mount, lifted the safety lever and held down the trigger for a count of four seconds (forty rounds). Then you gave the side of the breech a firm slap with the heel of the hand which changed the bearing slightly by a degree or so and fired another four seconds and so on until you covered your arc whereupon you started back the other way. After an hour's continuous fire you changed the barrel. They almost never jammed.

The target zone would be 1,000 to 2,000 metres away, one hundred to five hundred metres was point blank range. This was an area fire weapon. It was not swung around and fired at individual targets like you see in the movies.

A dozen of these guns could stop a divisional sized attack. At the Somme German Maxims were hitting advancing British troops when they were still half a mile behind the British front line. At 2,000 metres the plunging fire came down into the trenches and bunkers.

Around 1.2 million men were casualties on the Somme and a further 0.9 million at the associated Battle of Verdun. Maxims caused at least one third of them. Artillery killed most of the rest.

Thursday, 5 December 2013


Finished my first four units of Reds for the Russian Civil War using Bolt Action rules.

They are an officer, an infantry section, a field gun and an armoured half track.

Commissar Paranoyski and bodyguard.

Field gun

The business end of the somewhat rickety field gun.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Club Night: In Her Majesty's Name

Popped around to the Medway Club yesterday for a game of In Her Majesty's Name.

The above photo shows Mik's Green Martian leader kitbashed from GW bits. He has done a superb job blending the four arms.

A picture of the game in progress, Mik is on the right.

I brought my Thule Group for their first outing and was soundly thrashed by a Chinese Tong. The Baron was not amused.

I really like IHMN. It's a simple, flexible, playable system with a great deal of tactical skill.

The guys behind our table were playing The Five Doctors using the DWMG system which is still available free here from the same guys who have brought us 7TV.

Terrific terrain!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Bolt Action 1936: Spode's Blackshorts

   Spode's Blackshort Mobile Column: 28 mm army for Bolt Action

   1936 was the year Europe went mad. Hitler invaded the Rhineland and units of the French army mutinied when ordered to resist, sparking the French civil war. Sparticists in Hamburg and Bremen mounted a coup while the German army was engaged in the west and the Spanish Civil War broke out.

   In England, Edward VIII appealed to the people in a radio broadcast to be allowed to marry Mrs Simpson against the advice of his ministers. The government promptly resigned and the opposition refused to form a government. Edward appointed Mosley as Prime Minister who formed a 'King's Party' government.

   Archbishop Cosmo Lang refused to crown Edward and crowned his brother instead as George VI. The British Civil War was on.

   Viscount Sidcup allied his Blackshort militia with the King's Party and he used his wealth to form a mobile column.

   The Blackshort Mobile Column was commanded by Captain The Honourable Rupert Pikely-Trotter who had been thrown out of the Drones Club for cheating in the annual tiddlywink competition. Pikely-Trotter converted his Jaguar SS into a command vehicle. His driver was Sergeant Mad Mick Murphy who always drove one-handed so he could hold a grenade in the other.


   The Mobile Column was built around rifle/ bren-gun platoons of three sections. Spode bought Tommy guns for the NCOs.

   Each platoon was supported by light mortars and Boys anti-tank rifles.

   Artillery support was provided by late-war 13pdrs. Spode bought the very latest mobile phone technology to equip his artillery spotters.

   Armoured support was largely provided by improvised armoured cars armed with light machine guns.

   Although Spode did manage to acquire a handful of Vickers 6 Ton 'Dutchmen' intended for an export order that fell through due to the European crisis.

   The first test for the Mobile Column came when they were dispatched from Sidcup House south through the lanes over the North Downs to seize control of the Medway Gate so as to shut in the Chatham Soviet but they never reached The Gate being intercepted at Snodland.

   But more about that later.