Sunday 26 February 2012

Book review – In Rommel’s backyard

In Rommel’s backyard – A memoir of the Long Range Desert Group, by Alastair Timpson with Andrew Gibson-Wait, 2000, close to 200 pages.
Alastair Timpson was the second-in-command, and later commander, of “G” (Guards) Patrol of the Long Range Desert Group during September 1941 to December 1942. He kept records during the war and didn’t think them very interesting for anyone but himself and his family. He died in 1997 leaving a lot of materials for a book, but it was unfortunately not very readable for the public. His son offered it for publication, and Andrew Gibson-Watt edited the material down to this book.
It is about G patrol, and more in detail on what happened to Alastair’s half-patrol, “G1” or “G2”.
This is a very good read, and will give you a real feeling for what happened, both during the desert trips, road-watch, attacks on and by the enemy and much more. A couple of good maps in the front of the book made it possible to follow the movements of his patrol and that is so important in a book like this. Good maps really makes a difference, and here they are just right. Maps have unfortunately been rather bad in the other LRDG books I’ve read or is reading. Now I have this book on the side to be able to follow what is happening in the other stories.
Lots of interesting details, like when in March -42 “G” Patrol painted their new vehicles in “the most glorious pink, yellow and green” with the comment “if they did not elude detection from enemy aircraft they would at least dazzle them”. One of the drivers said he would not be seen driving in Cairo in such a thing, but he grudgingly obeyed orders.
Also details on how the patrols were organized, life and difficulties in the field, in-depth about some of the rather scary action they went through, and much more. In the end there is a real good list of books about the LRDG.
This book seems to be the book to read if you would like to get a feeling on what the LRDG did. Highly recommended! I give it a rating of 4,5 of 5. 

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Happy Birthday to The Miniatures Man

One year since the first post and I think that is cause for celebrations. Unfortunately it is Wednesday today, so the champagne (or probably Gin and Tonic) will have to wait until Friday.

The year in the back-mirror:
A total of 6500 pageviews, steadily more views every month. With this trend I think that every human being will check my blog at least once per day in just a couple of years, and that is hopefully something I can make a zillion dollars/pounds/Euro/kronor on J.
Most viewers from The US, closely followed by the UK, then Sweden, Germany, Spain, Russia, Australia, Canada, France and Italy. Visits from every continent (except Antarctica) and several countries on each continent. This is actually quite cool.
32 Followers, and there seem to be a bunch of people following via e-mail. I’m currently following some 60 blogs, and hopefully “My blog list” works now.

Total of 92 post (including this one) during this year. The most popular by far is the comparison of Pz IV:s from Airfix, Hasegawa and Plastic Soldier Company, and below that in popularity is a mix of posts on battle reports, miniatures (in top 10 there are 20mm WWII and 28mm fantasy and SF), terrain-making and a museum review. Book reviews seem to be moderately popular, so I’ll continue with them for a while at least.
The absolutely coolest comment came in The Dardanelles Patrol book review. The commenter’s great grandfather was the navigator on the WWI submarine in question.

The blogs with most referrals to this site are, and - thanks for the traffic guys! (And a big thanks to all the other blogs linking to this one)
This has been an interesting trip so far. My primary goal when I started was essentially to list which paints I used on which miniature, as I kept losing all those crucial pieces of paper with scribbles on them all the time. For that this blog has been great and I use it to check on colours used all the time.
A positive side effect of all the photos is that I take more time to paint my figures now, as it is sort of embarrassing to show something that I’m not happy with. For example I’ve started to paint the eyes on my 28mm:s, something I didn’t do very often before. The result was my absolute favourite model so far, Elori Ebonscythe. I don’t think I would have achieved that without the blog.

Lastly, a big thank you to Laffe and Thomas who got me into blogging. Don’t you guys complain about me not completing a tank/gun/squad/scenario in time – it’s your fault I spend too much time in front of the computer, time I could have used at the painting table J

All in all I’m very happy with this year, and I hope you have enjoyed it also.
There will be more.
Cheers /Joakim

Sunday 12 February 2012

Long Range Desert Group Jeep in 20mm

This metal LRDG jeep comes from the Skytrex range of 20mm, or 1/76 scale, vehicles, number 20/146" LRDG jeep with twin Vickers and crew". What I got seems to be the Jeep from that set, and the crew from 20/147, that is the SAS jeep, and also included was a .50 cal machine gun. Not bad at all actually, as I prefer that crew.
So this is the jeep minus crew. As the steering wheel is cast with the driver it is obviously missing from this picture. I painted the jeep with Vallejo 916 Sand Yellow, a wash of Devlan Mud and another coat of Sand Yellow as a wet drybrush.
A really nice little jeep, but…. Well, we’ll see about little, when I compare this to the jeep from the Revell/Matchbox jeep from their LRDG-set. Coming soon to a blog near you...

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Book review – Sting of the Scorpion

Sting of the Scorpion – The inside story of the Long range Desert Group, by Mike Morgan. Approximately 250 pages and 32 pages of photos.
This book covers the LRDG from its start in the desert of North Africa and the well-known action there, through training in Lebanon, disaster in the Greek archipelago and final action in the Balkans.
The book is essentially a collection of short stories, or snippets, collected from veterans. Mostly a short introduction, a couple of lines, on what’s to come, and then a page or two of story. The stories are in the veterans own words, on everything from daily life to battle.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand it does give you a feeling of how life in the LRDG was, it is well written and quite a few interesting pictures, on the other hand it is just a lot of anecdotes. The latter makes it hard to get a feeling of the whole picture.
As I’m in the process of reading a handful of books about LRDG I believe this will give me an extra dimension to the history of the unit. But if you want to read just one book about LRDG, and get a chronological account of the action, then this is not the book for you.
I give it a rating of a weak 3 out of 5.

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Artemis the Huntress, 28mm female ranger

Artemis the Hunter, number 14014 in the Reaper Warlord series and sculpted by Werner Klocke, could be used as a ranger or fighter. She is one of those figures that have spent a long time in the tin-mountain.
Colours used:
Trousers: Vallejo 886 Green grey, shirt: 876 Brown Sand, leather details: 875 Beige Brown, wooden parts: 843 Cork Brown, bag: 874 Tan Earth, hair: 847 Dark Sand, amour: 053 Chainmail Silver. Coated with Army Painter Strong Coat and Vallejo Matte Varnish.