Tuesday, 18 October 2016

20mm WW1 vehicles

These last few days, I've been making an effort to finish off some of the Shellhole Scenics WW1 models that I picked up at Phalanx back in the summer.

This is the Shellhole Scenics resin and metal model of the WW1 Mark IV Austin armoured car.  It was relatively simple to build, although a set of instructions on their web site would have been tremendous.  It builds into a robust model which looks the part to me.  It has that satisfying "Heath-Robinson" feel for a lot of WW1 vehicles, especially with the twin MG turrets.

I painted this one in khaki grey, dry brushed Iraqi sand and ink washed in Army Painted strong tone.

Shellhole Scenics  also make a rather nice model of the Whippet tank.  Again, this is a resin and white metal kit, but this one required quite a bit of internet research to work out where all the parts fitted.  I was also disappointed at the way the white metal tracks fitted to the resin hull as once glued, there is a weakness which allows the tracks to bow in at the base and can result in an unwary moment for the whole model to come apart in your hands.  I found that industrial strength superglue did the trick - I suspect I could throw it across the room and it wouldn't come apart, but I'm not going to try.

This model is also in khaki grey dry brushed Iraqi sand.  Rusted exhausts and tracks are shown in orange brown, while the tracks themselves are oily steel with light orange brown dry brushing.

I'll look out for a suitable set of decals for vehicle numbers and I need a commander figure to put in the open hatch.  I have some batteries and water bottles spare from the Early War Miniatures Model T Fords that I'm working on and these will find their way into the external bins on the turret sides.

And finally, for this post, here is Shellhole Scenics version of the Garforth-Putilov armoured car.  This one is painted in bronze green, dry brushed Iraqi sand, washed with Agrax Earthshade and varnished.  This has an even more "Heath-Robinson" look to it.

Shown with a passing Cossack to give an idea of scale.

These models should work for late WW1 in the Middle East and for intervention forces in the Russian Civil War.  They will also provide some mobile support to the Empire Intervention Force in the Andreivian campaign next year.

As ever, thanks for looking.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

20mm WW1 Royal Naval Division and Indian Army

The big push (excuse the pun) is one for WW1 figures and vehicles at the moment.  At the Derby/Castle Donnington show, I picked up a pack each of Shellhole Scenics Royal Naval Division infantry in helmets and hats.  Each set comprises a pack of 10 figures, one officer/petty officer with revolver, a two man Lewis gun team and seven riflemen, three advancing high port fixed bayonet, two advancing low port fixed bayonets and two attempting to fix bayonets while advancing.  The pack with tin hats also contained a bonus figure with bare head advancing at high port.

They were nice clean castings, which required very little pre-undercoat filing - there was a tiny amount of flash between the legs of two or three figures.  They were base coated in dark sea blue, khaki for gaiters and webbing/ammo packs and flat blue for scarf with white trim.  I was more impressed with the figures in tin helmets, but the figures in hats, although perfectly usable, appear to lack necks, with heads firmly growing from the shoulders, thus resembling Soltarans.  However, that isn't going to stop them making appearances on my table.

Wearing tin helmets.

Wearing hats.

These look the part and will be used for naval landing parties in WW1 and RCW scenarios and I hope they will make an appearance as part of the Empire Intervention Force heading to Andreivia in March next year.

Then we have British infantry in tropical kit from HAT Industries.  These are useful for scenarios set in WW1 in the Middle East, but can also form intervention forces for the Russian Civil War.  These, with a handful of troops in tin hats interspersed, will form the core of an Andreivian intervention force sent either from India, Persia or Palestine - pictures on the net of British soldiers in Persia (as it was then) show them in topees, tin hats and field service caps, not that different from a generation later in WW2 (think "It Aint 'Alf Hot Mum").

Then we have a 2.5" RML screw gun, crewed by Indian Army artillerymen (Sikhs I think give the turbans they are wearing).

I'm having lots of fun researching WW1 uniforms and troops who would have potentially been available at the end of the Great War to form a larger intervention force in the Russian Civil War than was actually used in real life.  This has also led to me reading around the subject of the Russian Civil War itself, which I knew very little about before, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, which I knew nothing about.

Next up will be a couple of vehicles, which I've just about wrapped up, and then I'm working on the first batch of British infantry in tin helmets.  I was lucky enough to pick up a box of HAT Australian Light Horse and some Caesar Late WW1 Germans (?Czech Legion?), plus an Emhar MkIV female tank kit, so hope to get them going as well.

As ever, thanks for looking.

Friday, 7 October 2016

20mm WW1 Don Cossacks Winter Dress

These guys have been loitering on the workbench for a while now, just needing a final push to finish them off.  This is a set of Strelets WW1 Don Cossacks in winter dress - they are wearing hooded greatcoats.  Quite nice figures, not too much flash and they took to paint relatively well, after a cycle in the dishwasher.

Apart from their use in WW1 scenarios, these guys will make an appearance in Russian Civil War games and also will be taking to the streets and hills of Andreivia for our game next April set against the backdrop of the Russian Civil War around 1919-20 in the fictional Black Sea country. 

I recently picked up a box of Strelets Don Cossacks in Summer dress, so these too will hopefully make an appearance in Andreivia in the Spring.

As ever, thanks for looking.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Aegean Strike 2016 - Day 2 action

Day 2 saw the tables modified to reflect the advances made the previous day.  This meant the town occupied by my Soviets was now almost on my base line.  Fresh troops appeared in the form of a BMP MR infantry battalion and 2 6 tank T-55 tank battalions, plus an engineer company with bridge layers.  The engineers made for the impassable stream on the Soviet right, the BMPs headed for the wood occupied by the Spanish infantry next to the castle and the 2 T-55 battalions advanced down the left wing.  The Spanish brought on the last of their reserves, a 4 stand Milan section and another infantry battalion in M113s.  A third command blundered on entry and suppressed itself, severely delaying their entry.  The Milans despatched the last of the T-72s in the Spanish rear, while the infantry deployed into a wooded hill near the baseline and the surviving M-48 battalion traded long range shots with the T-72s to polish them off.  Then, in came successive waves of airstrikes.  These were directed against the T-55s adjacent to the village, but a couple of high scatter rolls and some accurate Shilka AA fire resulted in most attacks being ineffective and ending with an air blunder, which caused air strikes on the nearest Spanish infantry, causing the loss of a stand.

The final effects of 5 waves of aircraft, not bad considering the number of potential attacks.

The following turn saw the other T-55 battalion advance and engage the M-48s, which were also struck by 240mm mortars, effectively wiping them out.

BMP battalion on the right shoots up the infantry in the woods, thanks to recce revealing their locations.

Another BMP battalion consolidates their hold on the castle (top left) and artillery clears out some of the infantry in the nearby woods.   Engineers advance to the ditch and prepare to deploy the bridges, while T-72s impatiently try to rush past down the flanks.

The Spanish infantry hanging on in the woods.

The final scene.  Engineers have deployed bridges on the right, while impatient T-72s race down the right flank.  BMPs wait impatiently to cross the newly laid bridges.  In the centre, the fresh BMP battalion and the remains of the second shoot up the Spanish infantry in the nearby woods.  On the left, T-55s try to take up overwatch positions in the woods on the left and hunker down next to the town to await the next phase of air attacks.

Viewed from the Spanish rear area, the surviving M113s, minus their infantry, prepare to flee the woods next to the castle..  Two infantry battalions prepare to pull back fro m their exposed positions and retire back off table.

So, at the end of day 2, after c. 15 turns in total, the Soviets succeed in pushing the Spanish back.  Although fed in in dribs and drabs, the Soviets finally outnumbered the Spanish 2:1, so they did a good job holding up the Soviet steamroller for so long.  The Soviets weren't particularly inspired, but played the numbers game and fed in reserves to maximise their effect on the game, relying on numbers telling in the end -  quantity does, after all, have a quality all of it's own.

A great weekends gaming, thanks to Mike A for providing such a sporting and amicable opponent, Mike Y for doing his best to get up to speed with a new period, games system and scale, while doing his best to wreak havoc on the Spanish flank.  Thanks to the umpires, Richard P and Gordon M, and to all the participants, it wouldn't be the same without the usual suspects and there were some notable faces missing through illness (get well soon!) or other commitments, so hope to see you all soon - and new faces are always welcome!!!.  Oh, and come on Pendraken, get the new version of BKC3 published and let's see CWC2 out before we get too much older.

Links to

Richard C's AAR

Richard P's AAR

Thanks for looking.

Aegean Strike 2016 - Day 1 action

Saturday saw the first day of Aegean Strike 2016 kick off.  My table involved a Soviet force pushing into Thrace, meeting a Spanish light infantry force probing for the Soviets.  I had some luck in starting first, which meant by turn 2 I had a BMP battalion secure in the main village in the centre of the board.  A battalion of T-62s attempted to push past the village and advance down the Soviet left flank.

Unfortunately, my other BMP battalion had failed to make the security of the smaller village with Ottoman castle and were left milling around in the open by the lakes.

The Spanish in M113s stalled just short of the security of the castle and woods, while their accompanying tanks stopped strung out along the road.

The BMP battalion looking to occupy the castle sensed blood with the M113s in the open and advanced towards the gap between woods and castle, but crucially failed to capitalise in failing orders after only one round of firing.  On the Soviet far right, Mike Y's recon company threw itself out on the far right in an attempt to swing past the impassable ditch and move down the Spanish rear areas.

T-62s continue down the left flank.

Waiting to op fire when those M113s start to move.

The Spanish had a counter measure though, in the form of a pair of attack helicopters, although that didn't save all the infantry.

T-62s make good progress down the left flank, but then start to receive waves of air attacks from Phantoms, unfortunately, I left their Shilka model in the box so they were pretty badly pounded.

The T-62s advance around the far edge of the village - a tactical error as they exposed their flank to the M-48s lurking at the back of the woods top left and I'd forgotten about the restricted visibility of Russian tanks.

The BMP battalion trying to get infantry into the castle and cover to counter the Spanish infantry deploying out of their M113s in the adjacent woods.

A good counter for Spanish attack helicopters, three Hind Ds attached to the Soviet recce elements clears the helicopters from behind the woods and strikes the M-48s off photo at left rear.

The other M-48 battalion emerges from the woods and makes my T-62s pay for exposing their flank.

More T-62s attached to the recce group swing around the Spanish rear areas to see off the last of the M-48s on the Soviet right.

Scratch the T-62s, but the T-72s engage the other group of M-48s, pretty ineffectually as it turns out.

The contest over control of the castle goes on.

As the sun sets, the T-72s get whittled down, inflicting little damage in return - some stunning low dice rolls for Soviet attacks and saves.

The spectacular Soviet naval landing on the Aegean coast with Turkish defenders in the foreground and Portuguese in the distance, both groups now lurking in the woods and olive groves as waves of Soviet BTRs, PT-76s and T-55s push inland.  I don't have a narrative for the action here as I was too wrapped up on my end of the table.  Next to us, the Soviets, with Bulgarian support, saw off a NATO counterattack by Spanish marines, and a follow up force of USMC failed to stem the flow, resulting in the Soviets clearing the table.  I must confess to not knowing much about the furthest table, I'll have to find out today.

So, about to head off for the next instalment.  Thanks for looking.