Friday, July 30, 2021

Entropy and the Military Modeller

 When I was a kid and indeed a young adult, I built model kits by the score. Not very well, mostly, but I did get better in the end. Alas, like with so many things, once built, they would languish in a box or on a shelf from which occasionally they would tumble and so the pile of broken off lets, prop blades, antennae, struts and pitot tubes would pile up, one day to be stuck back on.

That's what I thought, anyway. Other forces doubtless intervened to clear way the shattered Luftwaffe and RAF casualties and so over time, very little of my early output survived. I once put together and painted a half dozen of the wonderful Matchbox T-34/76 when I was very much under the spell of the 'Command Decision" Barbarossa 25 campaign book.. How useful they'd be to me now! Yet, all that remains is a single wheel-less and unturreted hull.

Still, it's not all bad news, as last night I came across this:

From an abandoned airfield somewhere in Russia...

In not too bad shape; most of the bits are still there apart from a tailwheel and an antenna. I'll give the old girl a dusting, fix her up with some Tamiya extra thin glue and some stretched sprue and she'll be good as new.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Early War Soviets defend the Motherland!

 Or oppose the crossing of the Bug. These figures and the aircraft are pretty self-explanatory.

Zvezda Soviet Infantry
These infantry are basically the first couple of companies of my first Soviet Rifle battalion.

Airfix Hs-123
German ground-support. These remarkable aircraft were produced before the war and participated in the Spanish Civil War. Production was discontinued although the aircraft continued in service. Their value was such on the eastern front, that Wolfram v. Richthofen asked that Henschel put the aircraft back into production only to be told that the jigs for its construction had been done away with in 1940! The machines that were in service continued in action until late in the war there were none left.
Almost there..!
I think once this unit is complete, I might get together a company of border troops and a pill box for the Stalin Line. I think I have a spare Miniairons T-26 Turret somewhere...

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Here come the "Siberian Rifles"


Zvezda Ski Troops
Some opposition for all those greatcoated and bed-sheet draped Germans in the ruins of Cholm.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

From the Blitzkreig to Stalingrad

 I've been whiling away the winter weeks and COVID induced lockdowns here in Melbourne painting for the early part of the Second World War. On top of having Richard Marsh's scenarios for the Eastern Front, I also recently picked up the newish Blitzkreig Battle Groups supplement for Rapid Fire. I was also picking through old issues of Wargames Illustrated and was taken again by Richards' old display game based on the siege of Cholm which took place after the initial German march on Moscow broke down in the face of Soviet resistance and the rigours of the Russian winter.

I noted and really admired the pictures of the Zvezda figures from their "Art of Tactic" as well as the "German Platoon" sets in the newer of the RF! publications, so I was determined to use them myself. Naturally I seem to have missed the boat both with their German and Soviet platoon sets which seem to be almost completely unobtainable at the moment which is a huge pity as the figure are superb, so I have settles purely on the Art of Tactic figures with some ring-ins from here and there. 

The goal then is to put together a couple of battalion each of "winter" and "summer" Germans, a couple of three battalion regiments of likewise "summer" and "winter" Soviets and a battalion of  BEF British.

A air amount of painting as been completed as you can see. Paints as ever are GW. Mostly Death Guard Green for the tunics and Administratum Gray for the trousers and helmets. Vehicles got a base coat of Tamiya German Gray, a wash of GW Nuln oil and then dry-brushing in Administratum Gray which was lightened for lighter layers of dry-brushing with white.

Zvezda PAK36

Matchbox SDKFZ10 and Pegasus IG18

Zvezda Command types

Zvezda German infantry and MG34 team

Zvezda German infantry

Zvezda German "Winter" Command

Zvezda German "Winter" Infantry - note the 'moving' mortar grew. Super engineering.
Pegasus German Infantry at Stalingrad.

Size comparison Pegasus and Zvezda.

The BEF, again by Zvesda.

Thanks for looking in. if anyone has one of the German or Soviet Platoon Sets going spare, do drop me a line..! The Strelets Germans in Stalingrad set would be welcome as well! :^)

Monday, May 31, 2021

Sorry, blog, I've been neglecting you.

 So here are some pictures to cheer you up.

I've spent the past months blitzing away at my old WH40K stash. Painting has gone rather well and I think I've gotten through about 50 figures and vehicles. So here we have a small sampling of what's been through the painting pipeline... The eagle-eyed among you will doubtless be able to tell what is what among these and doubtless some may be horrified by the de-blistering and painting of some items. But. It was either that or eBay.

Monday, April 26, 2021

A Weekend in the Stash Pile

Late last week I was looking at my various stashes of figures as a break from painting Willies when I happened across an older GW box set that I had bought some years ago, probably from eBay. It's the "Battle for Macragge" set with a small force of Space Marines and a slightly larger one of Tyranids plus some cool terrain and objective markers.

My set was minus all the rulebooks and fluff, but the box had become a repository for all my various Space Marine bits and pieces. The humus was rich and deep and perhaps it was time to go to harvest.

It wasn't until I started painting them that I realised how cool the Tyranid plastics were and how well they'd respond to the Contrast paints I wanted to use on them. Two thumbs' up GW. I went with A green and bone combination that I will use on everything. It contrasts nicely with the orange-yellow of the groundwork which was felicitous as I chose that as a contrast to the dark blue of the Marines. 

Army colour choices - sorted!

It's a Mars-like world, newly colonised, the soil rich in oxides of iron that are being trickle-mined by gen mod plants. There is no heavy industry yet and only a few millions of colonists who've only lived on this world for a couple of generations.

When the Tyranid invasion came, there were only a few millions of fighting creatures. It was never known why this was although in the aftermath, Tech savants theorised that it was a hive that was either immature or severely compromised. The planetary defense corps held it's own handily, although Marines were sent to help them finish the job. 

What was not realised in the aftermath of the first campaign was that remnant forces were still extant at the Southern pole of the planet and also that Genestealers had gotten in among the Civilian population.

The Tyranid Remnanters grew in strength over time.

And when the time was right they struck in terrifying numbers. The Defense Corps and the Marines may have held them. Just. 

However, then the Cultists struck from within.

The situation is dire. All fronts are collapsing. The troops are in full retreat. All they can hope to do is cover the civilians as they stream toward the evacuation transports at the spaceport, harried and desperate carrying nothing but the tiny bundles of their dearest possessions.

All is lost.

Hive Fleet Remnant
The pile of shame had quite a few disparate Marine bits, so I tried experimenting a bit with the poses. Space Marines are famously inanimate so I wanted to get them moving. I think I may be winning.

Ahem. These Marines are losing rather badly. They are troops thrown together from several companies; remnants of squads, the cooks, drivers and batmen all scraped up and put on the line. Equipment is serviceable rather than regulation often being patched together and cannibalised. These are not squeaky clean Ultramarines. These are Marines who have caught the nasty end of the stick and are reeling to keep their balance.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

A few items for the Sikh Wars

I've been doing a little painting these past few days and thought I could share a little of that with you, dear readers. These few subjects are additions to my small Sikh Wars forces in the shape of general Sir Hugh Gough

The Bombay Horse Artillery. Surely one of the more outrageously colourful units ever.
Sikh infantry of various regiments. All 'Willie" figures by Edward Suren, of course. Add to these the 25 or so British infantry already painted and certain things I am planning on adding - Sikh Artillery, some British lancers, irregulars of various kinds and you can see where this will go. I am not planning on building for any particular battle, but rather aiming on building a representative collection that I can play with using "The Sword and the Flame". Perhaps four units of infantry a side, a couple of units of cavalry and a battery each. The British side of this collection then may expand to work in with a "Crimean" collection. I wonder if Napoleonic Highlanders would work in with these?