Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recent Painting - Off to the Russian Front

BT-7 Light Tanks - Pegasus
 This is what happens when I read the wrong book at the wrong time - in this case Anthony Beevor's "Stalingrad".
BA-6 Armoured Car by Ostmodels
 The BA-6 had been floating about in a box for years, slowly shedding bits as it got knocked around. One quick refurb later...
M30 122mm Howitzer - Zvezda
 I kept the little pegs under the wheels as I'm still thinking about mounting it on the base it came with.
T-70 Light Tank - Plastic Soldier Company
 Not just looking at Stalingrad - I like the Richard Marsh scenario for Kohlm, a winter 1941-2 scenario where a German defensive "hedgehog" must hold out against powerful, but uncoordinated Soviet attacks.
StuIG 33 - Armourfast
 Nice model, shame about the tracks! Great fun to paint though. I'll try to source some stowage as I think this kit really needs some. Decals, too.
Praga Trucks - Ready to Roll
I really like the RTR products. I need another seven of these for my Slovak Rapid Brigade for Rapid Fire and look forward to painting them.

In the short term, I'm looking forward to obtaining and painting some T-26 tanks and some PSC StuG III assault guns.

Don't worry though, I'm still working my way through my Alzheimers and Germans. Oh, and the Fort is now finished! Not totally distracted.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Strelets 1/72 Plastics - not that bad are they?

My go-to place, my number one bible for plastic figures is of course the Plastic Soldier Review website. And why not? they have uniquely broad coverage, thoughtful reviews and their opinions are at the very least well-backed up by solid sources.

I do part ways with them a little on aesthetics, though. Seems to me that they have a very fixed view of what's acceptable in terms of figure scales and sculpting standards. Revell, Esci, Zvezda are at the one end and LW, Odemars and Strelets are at the other. And then there's their opinion on Valiant Miniatures!

I think this is a bit unfair on poor old Strelets at least. To me they look more like some brands of metal miniature and I think they have a degree of charm, and even a certain elan, especially when set against say Raventhorpe.

I am looking at them in the context of doing some Eastern Front gaming in the future and have to say that their ranges of "Winter War" Russians and Finns are pretty attractive. I think it would be possible to do worse than their ranges of "Stalingrad" Hungarians, Romanians and Italians too. This is especially so for me in the light of their having a German set coming soon as well.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Butterfly flaps a lazy wing

I don't know if this is a butterfly or the mere revival of a very old project.

I became interested a long time ago (1986?-93?) in "Case Green", Nazi Germany's plan to invade Czechoslovakia at the time of the so-called Munich Crisis.
I involved myself in ridiculous amounts of ferreting for details on German war plans, orbats for both sides, the Czech fortification systems and so on. I made the happy acquaintance of the Fujimi 38t and Esci 35t tank kits.
I ran across Richard Marsh's Slovak Rapid Brigade in an old copy of Wargames Illustrated and started to track down this company called "Raventhorpe" with their inelegantly sculpted, seperate head Slovaks who I intended with all cunning to paint as Czechs per the plate in the Funcken on WW2.
Happy days. Eventually though it all fell apart due to a lack of readily accessible information.
Times though have now changed and I have been doodling with some Barbarossa modelling brought about by Pegasus Minis fast builds and am quietly working away on my Slovak Fast brigade.

However it does occour to me that Alzheim is not unlike Bohemia-Moravia geographically and that way back then, I really enjoyed building my old Czech aircraft from those KP kits (which I still have a few of and are fairly cheap and abundant on eBay). I am also struck by the amount of Aero, Avia and Letov aircraft Alzheim bought from 1934 on. Her use of LT vz 35 tanks and OA vz 30 armoured cars is documented only in a few extremely grainy photos from the period, but the information is there. A little bird also tells me that Alzheimer troops wore uniforms very like those of the Hungarian or perhaps the Romanian armies of the time as well. Internet searches have given me a better understanding of the types of light and heavy "objects" which made up the Czech Alzheimer fortifications.

It may well be that Alzheim was not absorbed into Germany in 1866 after all.

Which brings me in my roundabout way to my purpose. Does anyone own a copy of Command Magazine #24? It's main feature is a hypothetical scenario on Case Green. I used to own it, but seem only to have retained the hex map and the tokens.

Monday, April 22, 2013

In praise of Plastics

I've given myself a couple of weeks off the 1866 Duchy of Alzheim project as I could sense a little burn-out starting to leak in around the edges.

In the meantime I decided to scratch an itch and do some fast-build plastic kits from Pegasus and PSC for a hoot.

I have to say i'm really impressed by the price and quality of these little beauties. I thre together four BT 7s from pegasus in the space of an evening and then spent the next 3-4 days paintng them up. Wow, were they nice. They compare very favourably with the old Ostmodels ones I'd been considering rehabilitating. I'm looking forward to their BA armoured car. I think thy will be very superior to the Ostmods one I refurbished whilst painting the BAs...

Pics to follow.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Not Quite the Dambusters

I and a colleague are hoping to put on a demo game a couple of times this year based on "Operation Chastise", the attacks on the German Ruhr Dams by 617 Squadron.

I've come up with the following draft of the rules which may be viewed here:

I've not made it entirely clear in them, but it's a public participation game where three members of the public can fly one of three Lancaster models at a dam whilst under attack from German night-fighters.

You'll sit in a little cockpit arrangement where are recorded your dynamically-changing speed and height as the jerries knock the tripe out of your crate.

Any feedback would be most welcome.

Yes, I'll be using 1/72 Airfix kits.

No, we won't be using that codeword.

Monday, April 01, 2013

The story so far...

A nice little force, just the thing.
 Happy Easter - I hope everyone has enjoyed the break. Easter Sunday was an unexpected bonus for me in terms of free time, so I made best use of it to finish my third Prussian unit.
 So here they are, posed next to the artillery as they are reviewed by their Brigadier and Prince Bismarck (no less!).
What next - more Infantry or... some Uhlans?
 I believe that the dismal Silesian tavern they are marching past is called "The Electors Arms" or some such.
That way - over yonder.