Sunday 28 April 2013

Char B1 bis in 1/76 from Revell/Matchbox

My French forces just got a substantial reinforcement with these two brutes.
They come from Revell’s remake of the classic Matchbox set with a Char B1 bis and a FT-17 with a scenic piece. A good set with two very different tanks, one puny WWI tank, still in service in 1940, and one monster, one of the really feared French tanks.
No problems assembling the tanks, great fit and clear instructions. The tracks are soft plastic, and with hindsight I would have glues them in place and shortened the track length a bit. Now they are a bit too long, and don’t fit tight.
When it comes to painting French armour I had a feeling that everything goes, but also had a feeling that that was not the case. Some research into Char B1 bis camouflage found a very interesting French site,, with a lot of info on French tanks. The page on Char B1 camouflage gave some very helpful colour plates, and I based my tanks on one of those plates.
Paints used (Vallejo unless otherwise noted)
Dark Green: 979 German Camouflage Dark Green drybrushed with 850 Medium Olive
Brown: 984 Flat Brown drybrushed with 818 Red Leather
Exhaust: Panzer Aces 302 Dark Rust
Tracks: Gunmetal washed with black and Citadel Devlan Mud
Grille: washed with black.
Decals from Aleran Miniatures, France -40 set for H39 and H35 tanks.
Everything got a couple of coats of matte varnish, and a light dusting of MIG P234 Rubble Dust pigment.
Ready for action.

Welcome follower tomw with his brand new blog Hapless Plastic, about everything modelling in plastic. Well worth a look and it certainly looks promising.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Finland in WWII – 160 000 photos!

This Thursday the Finnish Defence Forces made public their war-time photo archive. The interest was enormous, so the site crashed rather immediately. Fixed now.
So, if you have any interest in the Winter War, the Continuation War or the Lapland War you will find something here. You've got some 160 000 photos!
Swedish troops in Kemi, January 1940. Source SA-Kuva.
More Swedes, with a Bofors ATG. Source SA-Kuva.
Fronline. Source SA-Kuva.
Raate road. Source SA-Kuva.
Suomussalmi. Source SA-Kuva.
Just 15995 to go. Enjoy!

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Battle Report - Berlin 1945 revisited

The other week my family was away on a skiing vacation, and we took the chance to get a whopping big game in.
Daniel was umpire and stayed close to Berlin, just as last year. As usual based on a real battle, in this case the battle of Wriezen, April 17 1945.
The board from the Russian edge
Daniel and I set up the gaming board the night before, and were ready for action in the morning. Small houses, a woods and some fields, a factory complex, a town, railwaystation and a canal with bridge.
The road leading to the bridge and city centre
The woods, we see the factory in the background
First to come was Jonas, and he and I got the German force. We had some limitations as to where we could set up and knew there were Volksturm somewhere, but we would not know where until we had set up. Mostly hastily set up defences with a wide variety of troops. All our troops were set up hidden, mainly a thin line defending the outskirts of the town. We had some mobile reserves in the town square and a depleted battery of 81mm mortars near the bridge.
Last bread served
One concern was the limbered 88 that we desperately wanted to move back through the main road and emplace in the town centre.
The road to Wriezen
Roos, Fredrik and Mikael dropped in and were given command of the Russians.
The battle starts slowly with Russian smoke and cautious advance.  A short fire fight between recce forces leaves one Italian made Autoblinda 41 in flames and one BA 64 immobilised.
You're supposed to find stuff with your recce troops, but this.... This photo is taken a second before a panzerfaust takes out the BA-64.
Two SU-76 advances, and one is lost while trying to cross a road. Bad die rolls followed by a Hetzer shot. They really got flimsy armour…The other one meets the same destiny later.
The hordes advancing, but all armour in flames
Bad rolls (and more than a bit stupidity on my part) killed a Hetzer in an infantry assault.
Our mortars get into action placing some well-aimed shots in the middle of the bunched up Russian infantry. We also get requests from units on our flank for mortar support, and we give them the most of our fire missions.
Do you notice the lone Russian Big Man. Our sniper noted him...
We have two snipers on the board and they manage to take out two of the scarce Russian Big Men, and another falls from a mortar round. With only one Big Man left, they are in big trouble.

A flanking force of scouts suddenly appears behind the German lines, but they are cut down by cross-fire.
We get radio messages from the units on our right flank that it looks really bad there (it later turns out that our mortar support buys us some time on our right flank, something that probably saved our day). We make the decision to immediately draw back all of our troops into the town, to be able to defend the bridge.
That withdrawal works rather smoothly, but we lose some infantry to machineguns and artillery.
We get frantic calls from our flank that the defences there have broken. The Russians are coming!
 Out of ammo, the mortar crew picks up their rifles.
One squad vs an 88, a StuG, a Stummel and assorted infantry. 
Stummel lost to artillery fire 
And they come rushing over the bridge, but as we have redeployed they are cut to pieces. T-34:s materialize on the other side of the river, starting a fire-fight with my hull down Hetzer.
About here most all players have left hours before, only Daniel and I fight it out, just to see what happens. We call it a night. A very late night…
 A Hetzer retrea... eh, redeploying
Pictures by Daniel as my camera and family were on the same vacation.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Willys Jeep - a 20 mm comparison

I’ve built two different Jeeps, one Revell/Matchbox in 1/76 scale and one from Skytrex sold as 20 mm.
The Revell one is specified as a CJ-2A on the box, meaning Civilian Jeep, and that one was produced from 1945 according to Wikipedia.
I assume that is a mistake, and classify it as a Willys MB.
Revell vs Skytrex - they do look different…
Let’s look at the dimensions (according to Wikipedia):
The real thing: length 3327mm (I assume that includes the bumper), width 1575 mm
The real thing in 1/76 scale: length 44 mm, width 21 mm
Revell: 41 x 19 (approximately scale 1/82)
Skytrex: 46 x 23 (approximately scale 1/70)
One far to small, and the other one approximately right for 1/72
As to the looks, the Skytrex one does have a strange hood.
Better details on the plastic Revell compared to the metal Skytrex

Finally, a big welcome to two new Followers:
Carl with the blog Hitting on a double 1. This and that on gaming and modelling. Nice!
Mauther with Papermau, a blog on paper models. Good!

Monday 15 April 2013

Civilian cars in 1/76 from Oxford Diecast

In our games we like to have small details on the gaming board. Some furniture in the ruins, a piano in the streets, a couple of pigs running about or whatnot. A couple of civilian cars parked by a house is always nice.
I bought these and a couple of other cars a while ago from Oxford Diecast. They’ve got a lot of very nice cars, trucks, buses and even some military vehicles, from the twenties to now.
They are pre-painted with a very shiny finish, so the only thing I did was to give them a couple of coats of Vallejo Satin Varnish, and a black wash for the radiator of the Morris.
Minimum fuss and very nice ‘details’ on the battlefield, be it France 1940 or NWE 1944-45. Highly recommended.
A 1/72 nun showing off the Bishop's new wheels…
A Morris Eight Saloon Green & Black and a Standard Fly 12 Maroon

Sunday 14 April 2013

The list….

Thomas jokingly (I hope!) suggested another WWII scale, 28mm. Let’s say I was somewhat negative to the idea, as we already do 6mm and 20mm.
I then gave him a list of my unfinished 20mm models. Just from the top of my head. It was rather long…
I came home and thought about that list, went down to the hobby room and basement and started counting the WWII stuff waiting for the painting table.
The list grew, and grew, and grew….
So, an idea of what you will probably see on this site the next century or so.

Aeroplanes for the LRDG to destroy:
Savoia Marchetti (Airfix)
Storch (Academy)

Italian – also as LRDG-target
CV-33 (resin, Frontline) (ordered, and in the mail)

2x Char B1 bis (Revell, 1/76) – on the painting table
FT17 (Revell, 1/76) – on the painting table
5x H35 (resin, Frontline) (ordered, and in the mail)
Panhard (metal, Hinchcliffe)
2x trucks (resin, Frontline)

Van (resin, Frontline)
Truck (resin, Frontline)
2x cars (die-cast, Oxford Diecast) apply satin varnish to reduce shine – on the painting table
VW (die-cast, ?) - paint
Ambulance (die-cast, Oxford Diecast) - paint

SdKfz 263 (Roden)
Pz I (Fujimi, 1/76)
Opel Blitz (Roden)
3x Pz IV (2xPSC, Hasegawa) 
4x SdKfz 251(1/76, 2xFujimi, 2xRevell)
3x wagons (Hät)

British (to build or re-paint in correct BEF-camo)
LRDG Chevrolet (Revell) – on the painting table
6x carriers (PSC)
2x A9 (metal, SHQ)
A10 (metal, SHQ)
Matilda (Italeri)
3x Mk VI (Airfix)
2x Dingo (metal, Hinchcliffe)
Quad (Italeri)
25 pdr (Italeri)
5x 2pdr (plastic and metal, 2xZvezda, 2xHinchcliffe, Brittania)
5x truck (resin, Brittania, Frontline)
staff car (die-cast, Oxford Diecast)

BA-64 (resin, Frontline)

workshop (cardboard, Metcalfe)
water tower (cardboard, Metcalfe)
sand house (cardboard, Metcalfe)
2x ruins (resin)
ruined workshop (resin, Airfix)
country house (plastic, Italeri)
ruin (plastic, Airfix)

On top of this I have all these figures. Boxes and boxes of them…

I will continue to have my un-built kits spread out all over the place to camouflage the staggering amount of stuff. Oh, and keep this list away from the eyes of my wife!

So, what of the above should be the next thing on the painting table? Suggestions? What would you like to see in the blog?

And do you have a similar list, or are you one of those mythical modellers that finish everything before you buy anything new?

(I also have quite a substantial amount of 28mm fantasy/SF/modern. I don’t even contemplate doing a list of them…)

Saturday 13 April 2013

French 1/72 WWII infantry from Pegasus, Caesar and Battlefield Miniatures

The painting table has been terribly neglected lately, but at last something is finished.
This batch is some French WWII gun-crew, big men (for IABSM) and soldiers.
Paints used (mainly Vallejo):
Uniform: 873 US Field Drab (seem to be the best, will continue using that) or 879 Green Brown (the lighter tone)
Helmet: 888 Olive Grey
Belts: Formula P3 Bootstrap Leather
Boots: 871 Leather Brown
Equipment (backpack etc): 914 Green Ochre
Everything washed with Citadel Devlan Mud
Level 3 Big Man from Pegasus
Level 2 Big Man from Caesar
Two soldiers from Pegasus
Three crew from Battlefield Miniatures manning a 25 mm anti-tank gun from Hinchcliffe.