Monday, 31 August 2015

1980s British higher level HQs and CO

Here are the CO and higher level HQs for the British formations I've put together.  They are mounted on 60x40mm bases, slightly larger than the 40x40mm bases I usually use, but I wanted to be able to differentiate the higher level HQs from the battalion and company HQs.

First up, 4th Armoured Division CO, three FV439s, two Sultans and a Scorpion.

The Brigade HQ for 11th Armoured, a single Sultan, FV439 and Scorpion.

The Brigade HQ for 20th Armoured, same mix of vehicles as 11th Armd.

19th Infantry Brigade HQ, a Sultan, Ferret and Bedford truck with office body.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

1980's British Scenic Bases

For the Cold War Commanders megagame at Broughton next month, we prepare scenic bases for medical aid stations, repair workshops and ammunition dumps, as these have a role to play in the game.

Here are my efforts for 4th British Armoured Division for 1985.

First up, the field hospital.  Heroics and Ros Landrover ambulances, along with 20ft and 40ft containers and piles of boxes from the Baggage Train and large tents from Leven Minatures.  Sorry about the shine on the tents from the camera flash in the first picture.

The maintenance and repair facility.  Heroics and Ros vehicles, a Chieftain ARV tows in a broken down Challenger 1.  Bedford truck with office body representing a mobile workshop with a CET 180 parked up.  20ft containers and stacks of boxes from the Baggage Train.  Camo nets are net curtain material cut to shape and Superglued in place, with a criss-cross of PVA glue painted on to stick down green flock.

The ammunition dump with three Heroics and Ros Foden gun limbers, two with the pallets off-loaded and covered with camo netting and 20ft containers, from the Baggage Train along with the piles of boxes, in their place

Finally, a Harrier hide.  Made from 40ft containers from the Baggage Train mounted on a plastic putty raised base, with a Heroics and Ros Harrier emerging from the hide.  Camo netting as above.  I'm going to have to invest in a bulk refueller to give the stand a bit more of a cluttered look.

I'm now working on the Corps Heavy Artillery M107s and M110s, plus some more Rapiers (both tracked and towed), three Stalwarts, another Chieftain Regt and an FV432 infantry battalion.
As ever, thanks for looking.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Regimental Museum of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia)

This weekend I spent dodging torrential rainstorms around Ross on Wye.  We visited Monmouth and I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of modern military armoured vehicles on display at the castle and regimental museum (well signposted from Agincourt Square).

First up an FV180 CET, painted up in desert colours.  It stands on a WW2 era Bailey Bridge.

I was particularly impressed with the colour of the tracks which was predominantly a rust red, which I think makes my flat brown painted tracks in 6mm scale look pretty good.

Then a Fox armoured reconnaissance vehicle, again in desert colours.


A 32pdr canon captured in 1855 at Sebastopol during the Crimean War.

Inside the museum, a dummy wearing what looks like the temperate PCS-CU uniform, which has an overall pastel green colour at more than a few feet distance.

An AK-47 assault rifle, minus the typical curved magazine, on display.

This display cabinet was interesting as it showed rifles from the 1870's (Martini-Henry), which is just out of shot at the top, through the long Lee-Enfield and short magazine Lee-Enfield, with an SA-80 towards the bottom.  There's also a Sten gun underneath the SA_80 and a Bren gun at the bottom of the display.

 Lots more to see there, including some very moving WW1 displays, as well as the full horror of a baby gas mask - the thought of having to put a baby in it and then sit wearing your own mask and having to hand pump the babies air is enough to cause sleepless nights.  There was also a nice display of an ARPs gas mask and respirator case, which reminded me of my Dad's, which he used to carry his lunch to work, long after his RAF reservist period had expired and well into the early 1970's.

The partial remains of the medieval castle can also be seen in the grounds of the museum, although these are pretty knocked about and ruinous, but worth a look if you are in the area.  There is also an interesting museum dedicated to Nelson a couple of minutes walk away and this curiously includes a section on Charles Rolls, of Rolls Royce fame, who lived in the area and was killed in an early flying accident in 1910.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Heroics and Ros Tracked Rapier - the radar assembly

The general clutter on my kitchen table.  On the left the projects I've run out of steam on, including Pendraken Colonial Egyptian cavalry, Modern Elhiem US Marines, various Battlefront bits and bobs and, on the right at the back, Napoleonic British foot artillery batteries.  The rest of the projects are odds and ends, mainly engineers for the 1985 British 4th Armoured Division, which will be making an appearance at the Broughton CWC megagame in September.

The tracked Rapiers, with thee odd U-shaped bits (radar gantry) stuck on to the missile turret.

A slightly more side-on view.  I clipped off the waste metal from the opposite end to the radar dish and then dipped the two ends in superglue, then gently pushed them into the slots either side of the missile array.  This seemed to grip them nicely and they are pretty solid now the glue has cured.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Ligny at Gauntlet 2015

Having been involved in a 15mm game based on Quatre Bras on the Saturday, it seemed appropriate to join in the big Ligny game organised by Will on the Sunday ( and ).  This was a spectacular game laid on using Will's extensive Napoleonics collection in 20mm, mainly using plastic figures collected over a lifetime.  For the second day of fighting, I joined the Prussian high command, bringing the number of players to three, versus four French players, including one representing Napoleon.

Looking southeast past Wegnelee towards St Amand.  Prussian forces have crossed the brook and taken position of various hamlets, which are the centre of fierce assaults and the exchange of surprisingly ineffective volleys.

Napoleon, in conversation with the umpire (Will), actually rolling to see if the Old Guard are available this turn; alas not this time.

Ligny in the distance, held by Prussian infantry and being assaulted by French infantry.  At this time, French artillery is counterbattery firing on Prussian artillery, so is not available to reduce the buildings.

The Prussians have assembled a Grande Battery of their own, opposite St Amand, although this failed to be as effective as the French artillery concentrations.  In the angle of the brook between St Amand and Ligny, French young guard cross the brook in an attempt to storm the Prussian centre.  Moving to meet them a thin blue line of Landwehr and Line infantry (my command on day 2).

The great cavalry stand-off beyond Ligny - neither side can cross the brook without taking severe punishment.

The left flank of the Young Guard get strung out and disordered while crossing the brook and then face volleys from the Prussian infantry.

The Prussian infantry initiative charge home into the left flank unit of the Young Guard and, against all expectations, the guard disintegrates and flees the field, sweeping away their supporting battalion in the rout as well.  Unfortunately, although I can't complain, the remaining guard units stand firm. 

The remnants of the Young Guard and Prussian infantry exchange volleys, in the background the drums are beating and the Old Guard is on the march.

Concentrated battery fire from the French artillery eventually pushed the Prussians out of Ligny, one city block at a time, although one unit hangs on in the centre of the city.

 The French make little headway in the fight for St Amand and the other hamlets.

Prussian and French infantry looking a little shaken, although fresh Prussians on the left start to swing the balance locally?

There the game ended.  Lots of fun and another of Wills great spectacles.  A big thank you to Will for organising it and furnishing all the models and terrain, to the Prussians for letting me play with some of their command and to the French for being such good opponents.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, 7 August 2015

1985 Battle west of Hannover

Ian wanted to try out some ideas for the Cold War Commanders megagame next month.  As the British defender, I was told to hold the airbase (on my left) at all costs, as well as hold the outskirts of Hannover (on my right).  So, I deployed two squadrons of Chieftains behind walls around the perimeter o the airfield, with FV438s occupying the woods on the far left, just out of view in the shot below.

FV438s line the edge of the woods to the left.  A tracked rapier waits behind the hardened aircraft shelters.

On the right, the outskirts of Hannover are garrisoned by a company of TA infantry.  A towed Rapier provides AA overwatch.

Woods in the centre are occupied by a company of mechanised infantry in FV432s.

The Soviet commander then scheduled two attack Hinds to strafe the area of the airbase, one of which was driven off by rapier, while the other managed two hits on a Chieftain.  Then a scheduled heliborne assault from Soviet MR conscripts.  Two helicopters were hit but not destroyed or aborted, so a full MR battalion arrived on the runway.

Meanwhile the Soviets brought on a MR battalion in MTLBs on the British left and a T-55 battalion in the centre, but failed to get the second MR battalion on board.  The FV438s made short work of two stands of MTLBs, seen burning in the front row to the left of the photo below.

The only action the TA company saw all night was a programmed strike on turn 1, which achieved very little.

Behind a convenient scheduled smoke screen (white rings mark corners) laid by the Soviets, the British Chieftains about faced and started to systematically knock out the bewildered conscripts milling about on the runway, with several suppressed stands visible (red counters).  Soviet IATW took out one FV438 and suppressed several Chieftains.

FV438s continued to target the MTLBs, knocking out three in the turn.  The T-55 battalion was peppered with FASCAM mines and then took a succession of Tornado attacks, initially with ICM, then iron bombs, which failed to kill any vehicle, but suppressed virtually the whole unit.

General Shaw awaits an interview with Lieutenants Kalashnikov and Beretta from the KGB.

Another fun game - some interesting ideas on the interpretation of the rules with Mike and Ian regarding line of sight and helicopters/aircraft plus the effect of using pop-up attacks.  Most enjoyable way to spend an evening.
Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

6mm 1985 British Lorried TA infantry battalion

This is the last of the battalion-sized battlegroups planned for my 1985 British force destined to fight in the Battle for Hannover, this September at Deeside Defenders in Broughton near Chester.

It is a TA lorried infantry battalion with three infantry companies, each supported by an MG and a Blowpipe stand.  Battalion supports include 81mm mortars, Milan ATGM, engineers and scouts.

A Company, HQ, three infantry and an MG stand in Bedfords and a Blowpipe in a 1 tonne landrover.

B Company, as above.

C Company, as above.

Battalion CO and supports.  Front row, Milan ATGMs and 81mm mortars in 1 tonne landrovers plus engineers in Bedfords.  Rear row, battalion CO, recce landrovers and scout infantry.

Scouts and recce landrovers.

81mm mortar teams - borrowed from the Mainforce WW2 British range.


Milan teams - only two in the TA battalions!

The battalion CO.

These guys are going to be garrisoning built up areas, woods and river crossings or other installations as they lack the AT firepower to take on Soviet tanks, but are great at holding terrain.  These hobby soldiers will need to be winkled out of their defences or bypassed, with all the associated problems that will bring to the red horde.

Now on with the upgrade to my Rapiers and various engineering assets.  Then is there's still time, extra Chieftain and FV432 battalions, as I happen to have the models, largely the result of a Bring and Buy purchase at Phalanx and another at Gauntlet.  I must also remember to post my pictures of the Lance batteries, always useful to deter some of the worst Soviet excesses!

As always, thanks for looking.