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.

UPDATE: And the Luftwaffe expands. Got the old Stuka back together and am currently putting the final touches on it and a 109E I stumbled across as well.
Airfix - the Luftwaffe's largest supplier..!

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! :^)