Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Front & Back

At the risk of getting a Claymore in the gizzard, I have to confess I found the Guardian cartoon amusing.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Upnor Castle

View across the River Medway in Kent from Upnor Castle. On the opposite bank was the Royal Dockyard at Chatham, now Medway Maratime and Naval Museum. I took this photo a couple of months ago on a crisp winter's day.

IHMN: Cart & Horse

This another of the Past Times vehicles that I acquired from eBay for a fiver including postage. This would serve for any scenario from the late 19th C. up to the thirties. You could even use it in a 7TV game for something like an Avengers scenario.


Old Past Times diecast model suitable for 7TV or IHMN stuff. Can be got off eBay for a song.

"You could hear the hoof beats pound
As they raced across the ground
And the clatter of the wheels
As they spun round and round
And he galloped into Market Street
His badge upon his chest
His name was Ernie
And he drove the fastest milkcart in the west."

Benny Hill, 1971 

New Skateboard

I've treated myself to a new skateboard to celebrate a novel being accepted by those wonderful people at Baen Books.

Meet Sid.

We've named him after Sidney James because, well, he just is.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Bolt Action: Chinese Warlord Infantry

This regiment was known as The Tin Hats, as they wore a Russian copy of the French WWI trench helmet.

The gun is a German WWI SMG.

Figures by Copplestone Castings.

This picture is from an early Osprey and the olive green uniform is probably incorrect. Light grey was far more likely.

More or less the same models with more common headgear.

A more recent Osprey.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Bolt Action: VBCW: All purpose armoured car

I bought this little beaty on ebay for a fiver. All I had to do was touch up the paintwork a bit as it was very nicely constructed.

It can be pressed into service for a variety of factions in the interwar years or for anti-partisan operations.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Bolt Action: Lancia IZM Armoured Car

Another great 28mm miniature from Copplestone, the Lancia armoured car made in WWI. It had a roomy rotatable turret with two MGs. Originally, it had another small turret with an MG on top of the large turret but weight distribution issues caused it to be removed. The MG was relocated inside and fired through a rear port. The Lancia had decent ground clearance and off-road capability.

The Lancia was used by Italy, the USA and Germany in WWI and Italy in the Spanish Civil War. Some were still operational in Italian E Africa in WWII. Later the Germans took over surviving vehicles and used them for antipartisan operations in the Balkans.

Internal layout: the rails were added to the upper hull to cut wire.

Lancia IZM PanzerspƤhwagen, PK 501 on anti-partisan duty.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Bolt Action: Czech Legion

The Czech Legion were an elite group of units recruited by the Imperial Russian Army. After the Russian Revolution they remained loyal to the Allies and took over the Serbian railway so as to have an escape route out of Russia.

These are Copplestone figures. The Legion used standard Russian uniforms and equipment so can also be used as White or Red Russians.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all warmongers everywhere. And in celebration of the holiday I give you the Attack of the Chocolate Easter Bunnies.

The orkys don't stand a chance.

From a display at Salute '14.

Ragged Freikorps

This is the fourth figure in the Scheltrum ragged Freikorps pack As this one is wearing a stormtroopers helmet I painted him up as a Freikorper.

Broken Empires Freikorps: Partisans: VBCW

Some figures from the Shattered Empires range at Scheltrum, who have one of ther most useless websites in the business. Come on guys, people need to see your models to buy them.

These are 'ragged freikorps' but I have painted them as partisans. This range is suitable for all interwar militia or WWII partisans.

As black propaganda, the OSS changed the words Deutsches Reich (German Empire) to Futsches Reich - which could be translated as 'shattered empire'.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Gladius Bases

Bought some resin bases from Gladius. They really are nice quality and an absolute steal as £3 for ten.

Salute '14: Battle of Keren, 1941

One of the more interesting display games at Salute was the 28 mm Battle of Keren, East Africa, 1941. This was another example of a vertical playing board, see below.

I am afraid the photo doesn't do the playing board justice. It is actually steeply inclined.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Bolt Action: British Mk V Heavy Tank

A British Mk IV WWI male tank from Urban Construct. I have to confess that this resin model was like a blast from the past compared to Warlord's Panzer III. It comes as a single block and the original sculpt hadn't been properly fitted together squarely before creating the mould.

Still a bit of filler and a lick o' paint works wonders and the finished model ain't too drecky.

I intend to use it as a 'Ricardo', a Mk V, for my Russian/German Civil War games so it is well dirted up: two or three not very carful previous owners. I may even put another rust wash on as it still looks a bit new for something that was winched out of the harbour and refurbished.

The Mk IV and V looked superficially similar on the exterior. I have added a front Lew is gun. The Russian ones were mostly hermaphrodite with one male and one female sponson but a male will do.

Salute 14: Steampunk Hive

This little display caught my eye. I have always thought that it would be fun to have a 'vertical' table to play on for mountain or urban warfare. It makes as much sense for some situations as a horizontal play surface.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Salute 2014: Warlord Games

Warlord Games had a huge stand at Salute in front of the main entrance. My attention was caught by one of their painters who I hadn't met before. He was doing a fabulous job.

I regret that I didn't catch his name amongst the noise but maybe he will see this and identify himself.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Bolt Action: Japanese Snipers

Bolt Action Japanese Snipers from Warlord Games.

Suitable for taking on my Ozzies and Ghurkha.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Bolt Action: VBCW: Belgians

Finished my Bolt Action Belgian reinforced section.

This is a police squad with a regular officer (in the French Helmet) reinforced by a mg armed tankette and a Boys anti-tank rifle team.

The units could be added to any French or British detachment as allies for the battle of the Low Countries in 1940. They also make good VBCW comrades. I will probably use them as regulars for the Chatham Soviet.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Bolt Action: Panzer Mk III Special

This is one of the new Panzer III resin and metal kits from Warlord Games for their Bolt Action range.

The kit is superb, one of the best resin kits I have ever made. Every part has location lugs and it all goes together smoothly.

The Mk III was the primary German battle tank for 1942 & 1943. It was the mainstay of the Panzer Divisions at Kursk.

I have painted this model in southern eastern front colours.

Basically there were two types, the first with the early short barrelled 37mm and 50mm guns and the second from '43 on with a long barrelled 50mm: christened a Pz III special by British troops.

No pre 1944 German army should be without a Pz III.

They soldiered on to the end of the war in the guise of the Stug III assault gun.

Prithee sirah, how goeth the war?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Captured R35 Challenge

I came across this wonderful pic of an R35 French tank captured by the Germans and used as the Pzkpfw 35R 731 (f) . It has been recaptured by the Russians and rearmed with a 20mm gun such as used on the T60.

I am really tempted by this pic to buy a Warlord R35 and modify it

Bolt Action: VBCW: Polish Tank

This is a Polish 7TP light tank, essentially another Vickers E 6 tonner with a raised rear hull for an improved motor.

This is the variant with two small one man turrets armed with machine guns intended for trench clearing. The idea was that your drive up to the trench and then the turrets swing to fire down it in both directions.

The 7TP, like all Vickers E variants was a decent 1930s tank and a good match for equivalent German armour.

I chose to use another unusual prewar camo scheme with block paint coverage. Funnily enough something similar resurfaced in the cold war in Berlin where British armour used a monochrome block camo.

The model is 28 ml resin and metal from Warlord Games. The only problem I had was that the turret plugs were way bigger than the sockets so I had to cut them off and sand down the underside of the turrets. Positioning was then a little tricky.

A nice kit for interwar scenarios including VBCW.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Bolt action: Something Completely Different

Here we have the Warlord Games French Somua S35 heavy cavalry tank. It was the equivalent of the British A10 heavy cruiser or the Panzer Mk III, and in some ways a better tank than either. Its main deficiency was the ghastly ergonomics of the tiny turret and the high cost of manufacture.

By the standards of 1940 it wasn't a bad battle tank with decent armour and gun. It was unreliable but so were the British cruisers. With short production runs, everything was a prototype.

I couldn't resist painting it in a prewar French camo scheme. This one was derived from artillery usage. It was based on three colour palettes: sky colours at the top (pink, blue, lemon yellow), earth colours in the middle (sand, grass green, grey) and shadow colours at the bottom (dark brown, dark green, dark purple). This assumed that the observer was on the ground at a slightly lower elevation.

The white dots are safety features for night movement in column.

The French army put a stop to this smartish, possibly because the result didn't half stand out from the air (see pic below) or possibly because French tank commanders found it embarrassing motoring around the countryside in a vehicle painted like a tart's boudoir.

London Armageddon

London, twinned with Sodom and Gomorrah, is experiencing an apocalypse. A North African sandstorm seasoned with car pollution.

A zombie outbreak is expected shortly.

Pip, pip.