Monday, 20 August 2018

15mm DAK vehicles

While working on my 20mm DAK forces, I decided to complete a couple of 15mm vehicles too.  I picked up another bargain Battlefront vehicle, an Sdkfz 254 recce vehicle.  This rather unusual vehicle, designed in Switzerland for the Austrian Army in the 1930's, was used by the Wehrmacht in a variety of early war theatres, including North Africa.

I used I-94 iron cross decals, while the vehicle registration plates are from Skytrex.

Then I used one of the spare Forged in Battle Kubelwagens to add a command or artillery spotter transport vehicle to my DAK force.

I still can't get over how hideous the driver of the FiB vehicle is.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, 13 August 2018

More 20mm WW1 Turks

I did these figures in a rush for Crisis Point 2018 back in April, but never got around to photographing them until now.  I only found them now as I was looking for a spare place in the trays for the Ottoman Camels.

These are Hat WW1 Turkish cavalry.  Nicely detailed figures, but done in their bendy/bouncy soft plastic.  After a spell in the washing machine, they take the paint well, but sadly, the lances suffer from warping and one or two of the horses stand very lopsided.

They were quite simple to paint and I'm quite pleased with them.

Sadly, from the front the unrealistically curved lance on at least one figure is annoying, but I can live with it.

I also struck lucky at WMMS back in 2017 and picked up a pack of the Hat WW1 Ottoman artillery and heavy weapons.  This meant I now have 4 artillery pieces (2 shown) as well as 8 tripod HMG, some snipers and bomber boys.

Two of the German supplied 10.5cm howitzers, each with 5 crew (including the seated gunner).

Four of the 8 MG08 HMG teams.  I've only used 6 and the other pair may finish up in German hands for WW2 games with some suitable crew swops.

These Maxim HMG teams are from the Strelets Turkish infantry in tropical uniform set and, despite looking unpromising straight from the pack, paint up quite nicely.

A selection of infantry from the Strelets tropical set.  Some nice poses, rather well done and they look fine on the table top.

I'm not sure if the Fez was still worn by officers, but they do stand out on the table top and look the part, so I;m quite happy with them.

These guys were used at Crisis Point and bring my Ottoman WW1 troops up to over 100 infantry, 12 horse cavalry, 9 camel cavalry, 12 HMG, 2 LMG (not enough), 4 10.5cm guns and 2 mortars.  Not a bad little force.  I think I have another box of the Hat Turkish infantry, which I'll use to bring the group up to company/battalion strength, depending on the rules set.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

20mm WW1 Turkish Camelry

My WW1 Turks were clearly in need of some Camel Corps troops and with Strelets releasing a set recently, they were a must have.

The complete set, 9 camels and riders plus three dismounts.

There are 9 figures on camels, six in helmets and three in desert headgear.  Then there are three dismounts, one holding a leash, presumably to attach to the head of a camel, and two infantry figures, one in helmet and one in desert headdress.

I presume the dismounted figure on the right is meant to be used as shown holding the head of a camel.  The sitting camel adds some variety, but for a wargaming unit, he is going to be of marginal use.  The two infantry figures are a bit of a waste as they will just be added to my existing infantry - I couldn't make out anything to distinguish them as camel corps troopers.  Overall, I'd have preferred an extra camel and rider in place of the three dismounts or maybe a pack camel in place of the two infantrymen.

The eight rider figures in action poses.

I use the term "action" but with one rider drinking from his water bottle, the commander figure and another shielding his eyes from the sun, there aren't that many "action" poses.  However, as they weren't really expected to fight from the backs of their camels, this isn't such a big problem.  The guy shielding his eyes would make a great scouting figure!

Guy drinking from water bottle.

Guy shielding his eyes.

Commander.  I put him on the standing camel so I can use him as a senior officer as well.

Group shot, some actually in focus.

I like this pose.  However, many of the figures like this guy have their heads turned at 90 degrees to the front, looking directly along their shoulders.  While this is great for casting, in reality it puts a heck of a strain on the neck if you try it, and doesn't look too realistic.

So, not a perfect set, but no one else does it in 20mm plastic, and it fills that gap nicely.  I might add another set if I see a bargain box, just to add some variety to my WW1 Turks (or should I say Ottomans, as Turkey is largely a post-WW1 creation from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire).

Thanks for looking.

Monday, 6 August 2018

20mm Afrika Korps project part 2

This week I have mostly been working on some more 20mm Afrika Korps vehicles, mostly resin castings from Andy Grubb (Britannia Miniatures), which I picked up mail order and at various shows.

First up, a pair of Panzer IIs.  The troop commander is a Plastic Soldier Company figure - he's obviously finding the hatch a tight squeeze, so must be very broad shouldered.  In addition to the stowage modelled on the original castings, I've added some tools and tarps from Sgts Mess.

I went with a Vallejo dark sand base colour, washed with Agrax Earthshade.  Tracks, metal tools, rubber tyres and MGs are in black grey.  Tracks are Tamiya metallic brown and Vallejo flat brown mixed.  Tarps are medium grey or field grey.  The commander's uniform is yellow green mixed 50:50 with Iraqi sand.  Black grey for headphones and wires.  Pink (white with a hint of red) and khaki grey for the Waffenfarbe.  I used Vallejo old rust pigment to distress the exhaust pipes and silencers.

Decals are I-94 for the iron crosses, vehicle numbers and air recognition flag, Plastic Soldier for the Afrika Korps insignia.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the final look to these.  Sadly, I'd planned to complete the platoon with a diecast vehicle that I picked up at the bring and buy at a show - forget where now.  Sadly, the colours are so different (and the diecast colours are hard to find a readily available match) that I shall allocate the diecast vehicle to recce duties and add a third Britannia vehicle, so the platoon retains a coherent look.

Next up, an Early War Miniatures Horch staff car, picked up for £1 from the miss-cast bin at the Phalanx show.  It's missing the front bumper and windscreen and needed some TLC to restore a large hole in one of the wheels, but some Milliput worked wonders.  The seated crew are from Britannia.

Decals were again Plastic Soldier for the Afrika Korps insignia, but Skytrex for the vehicle licence plates.

Next, some light AT guns in the form of 2 PAK 36s plus a single Kettenkrad to tow one of them.

The two PAK 36s are Britannia Miniatures, as too are the crew.  I found assembly of the guns a bit fiddly and it would be great if Grubby added some assembly instructions on his web site.  The figures were lovely and really straightforward to paint.  I've tried to show some variability in shirt colour, reflecting fading in the sun, while hats range from desert yellow to ivory, to indicate "old hands".

Finally, this is the Linberg Kettenkrad kit (ex-Hasegowa?) that was being sold last year for a fiver, along with a Schimmwagen, at Home & Bargain across the U.K.  This was a nice little kit, lots of swearing as it's pretty fiddly, but I wish I'd bought some Britannia crew for it, as the figures supplied look really stiff and unnatural.

Decals are again Plastic Soldier for the insignia and Skytrex for the number plate.  Front number plates are hand painted.  I might order a pair of Kettenkrad from Britannia to tow the PAK 36s and add a trailer to this one to transport a signals unit.

Lots more in the pipeline.  I've finished a company of DAK infantry - just need to take some pictures, and still have to photograph the DAK Panzer IIIs and IVs.  The painting table is currently split between some bargain Battlefront 15mm DAK and US vehicles, a box of PSC US Shermans and the first of my new Strelets boxes of Ottoman camelry.  I can feel the need to paint some camels coming on swiftly, so need to make way for them soon.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

20mm German panthers

I built 2 Plastic Soldier Company Panthers at Christmas and have been painting them off and on for several months.  The command vehicle, with commander standing in the turret, is in the standard late war three colour German scheme with a base of Dunkelgelb and splodges of Grau-Grun and Rot-Brun.

I used some rust and earth pigments to stain up the exhausts and wheels/tracks, which worked well.

The buttoned up Panther is in a basic Dunkelgelb factory finish.

Finally, this is an old Britannia Panther, slightly smaller than the PSC version.  I've added a PSC crew man and some decals to finish the vehicle off.  No divisional insignia as I've not decided what unit these belong to.

I'm pleased with how these have turned out and relieved that they are off the painting table as they have taken up a lot of room.  However, I will add another box of PSC Panthers to complete a platoon.

Thanks for looking.

15mm WW2 Battlefront German vehicles

Yet more of the discounted Battlefront vehicles.

First up, an S307 (f) (Pak 40).  One of Alfred Beckers conversions of a French Somua MCG half track mounted with a Pak 40 AT gun.  The crew compartment armour was thin, designed to withstand basic small arms and shrapnel, but open topped and so still vulnerable to plunging fire and tossed grenades.  However, the extra mobility allows it to emerge from cover and fire off a couple of rounds, with a reasonable expectancy of pulling back behind cover again.  Not a tank, but a useful mobile AT weapon.  Used by 21st Panzer Division in the fighting in Normandy.

This one is painted in dunkelgelb with grau-grun stripes, with lots of Iraqi sand dry brushing to simulate dust and dirt.

Then an Sdkfz 250/1, the final vehicle I need to complete my armoured recce platoon for Battlegroup Wacht Am Rhein.

An Sdkfz 250/7 with an 81mm Granatwerfer mortar, a specialist support vehicle for the armoured recce platoon.

More of these to come as I wrap them up.  Thanks for looking.