Saturday, 25 July 2015

Joy of 6 2015

Sunday 19th July dawned in Cheshire as a gloomy, wet, blustery day, more in keeping with November than July.  I found myself aquaplaning on our glorious motorway network on the way to Birkenhead to pick up Ian Shaw (no harm done fortunately), before retracing my steps past Chester and across the Pennines to Sheffield (which was fun).  Best bit was trying to find a parking space other than an NCP car park charging nearly £20 for a days parking.

Having arrived, what a treat Jo6 was.  All the traders in 6mm you could wish for, with the exception of Scotia.  Loads of really inspirational demo wargames, ranging from ancients through to sci fi.  Richard and Jamie Crawley, Richard Phillips and Steve Graham had already set up the table when we arrived so it was a case of unpacking the troops and getting them on the table.  We had agreed that the aim of our (Cold War Commanders) demo game was to showcase the excellent terrain (chiefly due to the two Richards and Steve) we use in our 6mm mega games (next one is the last weekend in September at Broughton near Chester) and the sheer volume and all round niceness of our cold war forces, as well as have fun and engage passers by if they were interested.

As an aside to the main part of the day, my US Marines, 2 battalions in LVTP-7s and 2 companies of M60a-3s were tasked with advancing along the line of the road beside the fjord on the right of the view below, to nip out the Soviet beachhead in Bjerkvik in the right distance.

USMC armour advancing past a POMCOS supply and storage facility with cover from Seacobra gunships.

Soviet naval infantry in wait with T-55s coming through the town.

The Swedes making an supporting appearance on the left flank of the USMC

Swedes again.

Oblique view of the battlefield with the amphibious forces landing at Bjerkvik, lower right.

USMC armour and amphibians start down the road to Bjerkvik.

Seacobras pass the POMCOS site.

Infantry debus as supporting armour clashes with the T-55s pushing north.

T-55 column with vanguard deploying in the built up area.

A USMC close assault has failed to oust the T-55s in the village, but M60s have flanked the armour and start to take a toll, as do A-6 air attacks.

The roar of low flying B-52s remind the Soviets that NATO will reply to chemical/biological weapons with their nuclear deterrent.

A fun day out, lots of goodies purchased and a win on the prize draw were the highlights, although we were chuffed to win the "most friendliest game" category and stunned to come joint second in the "best game in show" category.  I have to say, the scenery was stunning.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of other games, but there were some fantastic layout including Waterloo, Great Northern Wars, ACW, WW1 and WW2 games on the go (the GNW game was my favourite, but the ACW game was great too).

Will definitely be there again next year.  Thanks for looking.

Friday, 17 July 2015

6mm 1985 British Mechanised (wheeled) battalion

Getting ready for the big Cold War Commander game (The Battle for Hannover) at Broughton in September, here is a Mechanised (Motor) Infantry battalion, mounted in Saxon apcs.  A and B Cos are left and right foreground, C Co. is rear left, Batt HQ is at the very back centre, with the 81mm mortar platoon in front and the Milan AT Co rear right.

A Co., three infantry platoons with Saxon transport at the front, Co HQ rear centre, Blowpipe MANPAD rear left and MMG support platoon to the right, all mounted in Saxons.  B and C Cos are organised identically.

Mortar platoon, two stands of 81mm mortars in Saxon apc transport.

The Milan AT Co., six sections of Milan, 2 in each Saxon transport.

The battalion HQ with command group, Saxon transport and landrover for extra transport capacity.

Just one more significant formation to complete, a TA lorried infantry battalion.  Thenit's on to the engineering support and some additional air defences.  All vehicles are Heroics and Ros, while infantry is from Mainforce (Magister Militum).
Thanks for looking.

15mm Napoleonic infantry

Having painted loads of FoW vehicles in the last couple of weeks, I decided it was time for a change of palatte.  I thought it was time to reduce the pile of unpainted lead a little, so out came the 15mm Napoleonics.  I'm still looking for a suitable blue for the French Napoleonic infantry, so first up is a battalion based for Black Powder, painted using Vallejo ultramarine.  In the photos, the flash has made this a rather bright blue, but the models themselves look much more subdued in normal light - I quite like this colour for the French.  However, I've now got a pot of Vallejo model air French Blue, which looks like it will be a very good contender.

So first up, Napoleonic line infantry from Lancashire Games.  These were made up from a Battlepack of infantry with a pack of line command.  A battlepack has enough infantry for three battalions based this way, so a battlepack plus three command packs and "hey presto" a three battalion brigade of infantry.  These are based on 6 40x20mm bases and can be used as is for battalion level games of Bllack Powder or split into two three stand units for bigger brigade/divisional level games.

Line infantry in greatcoats, again from Lancashire Games - same ratio of Battlepacks to Command packs gives a three battalion brigade.  These boys are painted in khaki grey greatcoats, with uncovered shakos.

Another battalion, this time in neutral grey greatcoats with ivory shako covers.

I have one more battalion in green ochre greatcoats on the workbench - I'm hoping to get these finished before heading off to Sheffield for Joy of 6 on Sunday.  If anyone is heading over that way, come and see us at the Bjerkvik Cold War Commanders table where my USMC will be being pounded by various Soviet/Warpac units.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

15mm Battlefront Morris Bofors platoon

Back to the 15mm gear completed last month.  Here we have three Battlefront Morris Bofors vehicles.  I thought it high time my Brits had some AA support, so these guys are it.

These were very difficult to put together, not least because there were no assembly instructions supplied or available on the web site, at least not that I could find.  Once I'd worked it out, they went together pretty easily, but it took a lot of research.

Thanks for looking.

Quatre Bras - sort of, in 15mm

Today was Day 1 of the Gauntlet show organised by the Deeside Defenders at the Aerospace Club at Broughton in Deeside, near Chester U.K.  If you are around, it's on again tomorrow - lots of great games, a handful of traders and some Bring and Buy bargains.

Ian Shaw and I laid on a 15mm Napoleonics game using Quatre Bras as a basis for the scenery.  We decided to make it a "what if", with an initial historical deployment, but timing and types of reserves arriving according to a dice throw.

Initial deployment saw my infantry brigade (four infantry units, one foot artillery and a skirmisher unit of rifles) occupy the wheat field and form line around the Quatre Bras crossroads, with the rifles occupying the farm.  Low hills to the left were occupied by my light cavalry brigade (Hussars and Light Dragoons)

The French came on with two infantry brigades (each three battalions plus infantry gun), while their light cavalry brigade was pushed forward of the brigade on my left flank.

French initial movement on table, viewed from the French side of the table.

The French left flank - these guys are actually Swiss.

The right flank with cavalry brigade screen.

The British line, wondering if they had made a terrible mistake.

The opening moves saw the French especially unlucky in failing to gain reserves, while the British brought on the Union Brigade, which crossed flanks from the British right to their left.  Light cavalry clashes resulted in both sides retiring to lick their wounds and rally off hits, with the British recovering quicker and breaking the French Brigade on their left flank.  However, the arrival of fresh French brigades on both flanks and a Cuirassier brigade on the French left, which moved to counter the Union brigade, gave the French courage and they advanced on their left onto the the infantry regiment in the cornfield. An initial French charge turned into a melee, which lasted at least 3 turns, with the French supporting regiment shaken by fire from their flanks further along the British line.

The French initial attempt to take the wheat field.

The French second wave taking up a holding position on the French right, with the Cuirassiers failing to relocate behind them.

Shaken troops all around on both sides in the wheat field.

British reserve infantry brigade swinging around to support the fight in the wheat field.

A smaller brigade of highland infantry advancing in support of the British line at the cross roads.

The Union brigade on the British left flank eye up Lancers arriving to their left.

The original British line regiment in the wheat field has fallen back, but the reserve British battalion has units charging home, against shaken French units n the wheat field.

The lancers don't do too well against the Union brigade, losing a unit, although 2 of the Union Brigade regiments are shaken.

The melee in the wheatfield with the former defenders rallying in the foreground.

The final scene at Quatre Bras, with fresh troops on both sides effectively reaching a stalemate.

Lots of fun and, despite an ad hoc reinforcement schedule, a reasonably historical feel to the game.  Ian and I both agreed that we thoroughly enjoyed this game.

Other games being played were Ligny in 20mm (which I'm planning on joining tomorrow), Waterloo in 6mm, Kursk in 15mm, an H P Lovecraft themed card/map game and others, plus an ancients competition.

I'll try and remember to take some photos of the Ligny game tomorrow!

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

15mm Plastic Soldier Company British M3s

Continuing my 15mm theme, here are 5 M3 half tracks from the Plastic Soldier Company.  They are going to provide transport, and hopefully some protection, for my motor rifle platoon in the upcoming Market Garden campaign.

Very easy to put together, paint up nicely and very light for carrying around.

Two views of a regular vehicle, lots of stowage supplied, plus plenty of crew for each vehicle.

I did one with a larger winch and hawser on the front and with a crew figure actually firing the HMG.  I plan to use this one for the platoon commander.

A nice little box set of 5 vehicles.

Thanks for looking.

15mm German panzergrenadier company part 1 Command and PAK 40 platoon

The last couple of weeks have been something of a 15mm marathon.  Phil has passed over to me loads of late war Brits and I picked up quite a few bits and pieces from Paul at the club too.  With my new found storage solution from Figures in Comfort, it made sense to fill the boxes and make room for other things, hence the intense 15mm activity.  First up though is another project for Phil, this one rather more time consuming - a Battlefront Panzergrenadier company box set.  He asked me to prioritise the PAK40s and Panzerschreks, so here they are.

First up today are the three guns of the PAK40 platoon.  As per the box artwork, these guys wear camo smocks and helmet covers, although I also painted camo trousers as well, rather than the field grey suggested.

One of the guns in more detail, together with the platoon command stand (these guys I did paint in field grey trousers).

The command stand, in slightly more detail.

A better view of the PAK40 command stand.

The CO and 2iC stands (CO on left with orders in hand and cameraman taking newsreel films.

The 2iC stand.

The CO stand - I wonder if Goebbels will like what he sees.

A slightly less oblique view of the CO and 2iC.

Two panzershreck stands.

Not bad models to paint, quite a bit of excess metal to trim off, which can be a pain on gun barrels etc.  Overall though, quite nice.  Will have to see how the infantry go now.

Thanks for looking.