Wednesday, 27 March 2019

20mm WW2 Winter Germans - Early War Miniatures

I thought I'd try out Early War Miniatures (EWM) new range of winter German Panzergrenadiers.  I think these were formerly Sgt Major Miniatures.  A nice range of figures including riflemen, SMG figures, MG34 teams, AT teams with fausts and shreks, observer teams and loader teams.  I finished up with a pack of gun crew (for the PAK 41/43 that I bought) and a pack of 5 NCO/officer figures - painted below.

Photos were taken with my camera phone, which struggles with macro shots.

NCO in winter parka over greatcoat.

NCO pointing in winter parka and over trousers with a white fabric helmet cover.

NCO couching in autumn oak leaf parka with white winter overtrousers.

Officer pointing, again with autumn oak leaf parka and white winter overtrousers.

Pipe smoking officer in autumn oak leaf parka worn over a greatcoat.

Different angle on the pipe-smoking officer.

All 5 figures - at least this one isn't in soft focus.  Nice figures, the metal is very hard and a little brittle, but nice figures to paint with lots of raised detail.

I shall finish up with a full platoon from this range at some point.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

WMMS 2019 show and SOTCW Vaagso game

We had a fantastic day out at WMMS in Wolverhapton.  Will and I travelled down from Chester to meet Richard P and set up the SOTCW game based on Vaagso, the large scale commando raid on the Norwegian coast in December 1941.  Sadly, Richard C, who was planning on joining us, couldn't get out of his village on the outskirts of Sheffield due to heavy snow, which also closed a lot of the trans-Pennine routes.

We'd been allocated a table fairly central in the room, surrounded by interesting games and a good selection of traders, especially for me, Grubby Tanks, SHQ and Parabellum.

We set up the table on polystyrene blocks covered in a suitably sprayed sheet, with Richard P's purpose built dark blue Norwegian fjord bases.  Beaches, as per the originals, were rocky, using a mixture of grit and chippings strewn along the edge, with some excellent purpose built harbour walls and scratch built buildings designed by Richard P.  Will's polystyrene hills were laid under the sheet at the back edge and covered with trees to indicated the forested hills which confined the Vaagso operation to the village itself.

Richard P's most excellent harbour and buildings.

A mixture of Will's and my jetties, mostly from Blotz, Sgts Mess and, in Wills case what seemed to be the water tanks from a dozen or so Airfix RAF rescue set fire tenders.  All of the wooden buildings are from Will's and my collection, mainly Blotz, with a brick factory from Airfix.  Snow cover is courtesy of will and lots of cotton wool.

Richer P's stunning recreation of the Ulversund Hotel, the key position in Vaagso and the scene of intense historical action as well as some intense game action.

The commandos storm ashore.  British troops are mine, mainly from SHQ, with some Britannia commandos and Kriegsmarine doubling up as an RN landing party.  Will provided the German opponents and these are mainly plastics - I recognised several Caesar packs and there were probably others in the mix too.

And immediately hole up in whatever quay-side buildings they can take cover in.

The German armed trawler heads along the coast to investigate the gunfire, while avoiding drawing any attention from the assorted RN destroyers and cruiser that are looking for targets in the open water.  Armed trawler was scratch built by Will.

The loneliness of the battlefield.

A vicious exchange of gunfire takes place between the garrison of the hotel and the commandos in the village and fish oil factories.  An RN landing section advances to the right along the harbour to occupy more fish oil factories and secure the commandos flank.  Meanwhile, a platoon of Gebirgsjager returning from patrol make for the sound of gunfire from the hills behind the Ulversund.

Recce aircraft capture the first images returned to the UK of commandos stalled in the village while the Ulversund is defended.

The mortar team, firing at beyond maximum elevation due to the short range, makes the difference, whittling the defenders of the Ulversund down until they cannot return fire.  After setting demo charges in the fish oil factory in the foreground, the commandos were poised to advance into the Ulversund and search it, before again setting demo charges.

An altogether historical outcome, reasonably recreating the actual situation on the ground during the main phase of the Vaagso landing, where a lot of commandos had been killed or wounded in attempts to storm the Ulversund, which was only taken after a mortar was set up and chocked to allow it to fire at almost point blank range into the hotel.  The fighting was almost all over once the hotel fell and the defenders surrendered.  With wounded, prisoners, Quislings, Norwegian volunteers and commandos reembarked on the transports, by last light Vaagso was left deserted and strewn with dead, leaving the German relief troops to try and work out what had happened.

Will's show photos and pics of the game can be found here

while Richard P's write up can be found here

As ever, thanks for looking.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

20mm WW2 British recce vehicle progress

Still aiming to reduce some of the clutter of unbuilt and painted kits, I've continued to progress my British recce vehicle collection.

This is the Airfix Cromwell with a HAT British crewman spotting from the turret.  The Airfix kit was an Aldi £5 bargain in stores last summer and sweet to put together.  I particularly liked the flexible plastic tracks, which are so much easier to assemble than the old rubber affairs that needed soldering with a nail in a gas flame!!!

I've managed a bit more detailing on the six vehicles I posted on most recently (on the right below), as well as working on an old Staghound kit I bought from Paul at the club (left front), a Ready to Roll Daimler II AC and a Ready to Roll Staghound.  Crew figures for the Staghounds again from the HAT tank riders box.  These are all at the same stage of detailing now - I just need to get the Cromwell to the same stage and I can finish them all off as a batch.

Then, because I like new and shiny things, here are some German vehicles, all from Early War Miniatures, two Hetzers, on the left, and an Sdkfz 140/1, based on the Panzer 38t chassis with the turret of an Sdkfz 222 mounted on top, forming a recce vehicle.  Again these have been base coloured and washed, but now need detailing.

I managed to get the Cromwell kit primed and after this picture was taken, I base coated it, so it is now sitting on the table resplendent in Vallejo Russian Uniform.

My wife bought me a copy of the Farnsworth guide to WW2 German uniforms as an early Xmas present, although it didn't arrive until well into the New Year.  Using the step by step paint recipies, I saw a nice rendition of the 41 splinter pattern, which I thought would fit the bill for a box of Caeser plastic infantry in Zeltbahn that I got from Will at the club (cheers Will).  So, I trialled the technique on a couple of batches of six figures and really like the finished product.  Once the box is done, I'll probably have a go at some paratroopers in a similar camo pattern, which is suitable to mix with my early war versions in grey-green for Crete.

Then I picked up a beat up mis-cast Jeep from EWM at a show last year.  All the bubbles were filled and I've crewed it with a couple of seated figures from EWM and a couple of tank riders from the HAT box.  This vehicle will make a nice FHQ for a British force.

Quite pleased with how this one turned out, again still needs some detailing.

I also drilled out turrets and hulls for the Ready to Roll vehicles and added rare earth magnets so the turrets firmly fitted the models.  This worked out well, thanks to the inexpensive Dremmel clone tool that I bought in Maplins a couple of years back.

So, once the Cromwell is at the same stage, I'll be decaling and dry-brushing with Iraqi Sand, before gloss and matt varnishing and basing (I'll add bases to keep the models safe in transit when I'm going to the club, etc.).

As ever, thanks for looking.