Friday, 31 May 2019

20mm WW2 Volkssturm

Time to work on a platoon for Battlegroup Fall of the Reich, this time the last levy of Volkssturm, ready to defend the cities of the Reich.

The core platoon consists of a 4 man command squad with single panzerfaust, together with three 8 man rifle squads, each with 2 panzerfaust.  There is also a single 3 man MG34 team.  As options, I've included a sniper, 2 man panzerschrek team, 2 man artillery observer team and 3 man MG08 MMG team.  When referring to these figures as men, there are three female figures, several youths and a fair few older men too.

The figures are mainly from the Pegasus Defenders of Berlin box, augmented by a handful of Caesar Afrika Corps figures in caps - some in long trousers painted as regular infantry, and others in shorts painted as SA.  There are also a handful of Escii German infantry, including the panzerschrek figure (at last a use for an early war uniformed figure carrying a late war weapon).  The Escii figures are largely painted as regular infantry in helmets, although one or two are in dress SS uniforms.  The Pegasus figures include a lot of figures in overcoats, which I've shown as a mix of civilian and military types, worn with hats, berets and field caps or occasionally helmets.  Two of the female figures are dressed in Hitler Youth girls uniforms and one as a secretary, armed with a pistol, and wearing a blouse and skirt with a very fetching little matching hat - I suspect given the heavy coats of most of her comrades, she would be very chilly!

The command squad, mainly Pegasus with a Caesar DAK figure on the right.

Escii sniper and panzerschrek firer.

Mainly Pegasus figures.  Note the Escii figure carrying a mine in dress SS uniform and the secretary type in lilac skirt and hat.  Next to her on the left is a girl in Hitler Youth uniform.

More Pegasus figures with an Escii grenadier and a kneeling DAK figure.

The MG34 team.  DAK figures with a kneeling early war Caesar infantryman.

The MG08 team.  Kneeling DAK figure, prone head-swapped Pegasus figure and MG08 and firer from Emhar WW1 German artillery set.  I had to rebuild one of the the MG08 legs using a staple.

Artillery observer team.

Then, not really part of the Volkssturm, but a useful AT asset available to such a battlegroup is a team of Hitler Youth tank hunters.  Six figures with 5 panzerfausts.  The three front right are from the Pegasus set and the central 2 are clearly meant to be boys.  Left front and rear are DAK figures, while the officer type in helmet is an Escii German.  The DAK figures have panzerfausts added from the Sgts Mess German AT weapons accessory pack.

I suppose the ultimate FHQ for a Fall of the Reich battlegroup.  At least it would be a use for this rather sad vignette from the Pegasus set.

Had some fun with these - repurposing a job lot of figures that I've picked up at various show's bring n buys.  The Pegasus figures are really nicely detailed and paint up well.  They are also made of a relatively soft plastic, which means they are great for head swops, and the Sgts Mess accessory packs were useful for adding panzerfausts to get to the required number per rifle section and to convert the Hitler Youth DAK figures as tank hunters.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

20mm US M10

I picked up this old Armourfast kit from a club member and gave it a little freshen up.  Being an Armourfast kit, there were no crew and the fighting compartment lacked any detail of the gun breach.  I crafted a breach from some leftover sprue and converted three crew members from the Hat WW2 US tank riders set, cutting away their weapons and trying to leave them open handed.

I only added a couple of Allied stars, one air recognition on the turret top and one on the rear of the vehicle.  I figured these were meant to fire from ambush/concealed positions, so the last thing the crews would want would be big white stars on the front or side armour.

I think the rear deck needs some stowage for that lived-in look, so I need to dig out some tarps, boxes, haversacks and fuel cans to make it more homely.

The Hat crew look the part.  The soft plastic of the Hat figures made them ideal to carve and cut, with care, and they fit well into the compartment.

This photo shows the rudimentary breach that I added - it won't pass detailed examination but is fine on the tabletop.

I've got quite a few more US vehicles ready to go, so will hopefully be adding some new photographs soon, although I have several projects on the go, so much depends which I manage to make progress on first.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, 20 May 2019

20mm WW2 German armour

I picked up some late WW2 German armour from Early War Miniatures at the Vapnartak show, back in February.

First up, a pair of Hetzer tank destroyers (Jagdpanzer 38s or SdKfz 138/2s).  I did these in an ambush pattern, as this seems to have been pretty common for this vehicle, which seems to have been deployed in hit and run settings.

I haven't decided what unit they will belong to, so no unit insignia as yet.  The version on the right with the commander in the turret will be a platoon command vehicle and I will add a third vehicle to make a platoon.

I think they need Balkan crosses on the rear hull plates as well.

Then for a change, a recce option based on the Pz 38t, an SdKfz 140/1 aufklarungspanzer.  Designed to provide tracked mobility on the eastern front and armed with a 20mm autocannon.

Again, no unit insignia until I decide which unit they will be assigned to.

Nice model, this one seems to be built of the bouncy resin that EWM are using on most of their models, which is nice if they happen to get swept off the tabletop and they seem to paint up nicely.

I've had these models on the painting table for a couple of months now, so it's nice to be able to finish them and put them in storage to make room for more bits and pieces.  I'm having a bit of a tidy up on some 15mm models that need finishing, ahead of a couple of games coming up in the next month or so.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

20mm WW2 British HQ vehicles

Having decided on how to mark up the British vehicles, here are the first efforts.  All are marked up with the Jerboa of 7th Armoured Division.

First up, a Humber Heavy Utility car from 7th Armoured divisional HQ.  This can transport an FHQ when I'm playing bigger battles or need an overall higher command vehicle on table.  The model is from Anyscale Models and was really simple to put together and took the paint really well.

Next up is a bargain bin show special from Early War Miniatures, picked up for £1.  I had to do a bit of repair on some bubbles around the wheels and the underside of the vehicle, which I filled with Miliput and attempted to score some treads to match the tyre detail on the original.  The driver and officer are from EWM's British drivers set, while the two rear passengers are from the Hat British tank riders set.

This is another EWM bargain bin special, a Humber Scout Car, again with Miliput used to repair some casting flaws.  The twin Vickers K guns and mount are from Sgts Mess and the crewman is from the British tank riders set from Hat.  The camo net on the back is made from Miliput and hides a major casting flaw that was too big to do a full repair on without looking too odd compared to the rest of the model.

So, all three vehicles could be used as an FHQ transport, while the Humber Scout car or the Jeep could be used as an artillery spotter, forward air controller or recce vehicle.  I still need to find some decals suitable for census numbers and tactical markings, but they can be added later.  Lots more armoured cars in the queue for decals, so hope to have those done and posted shortly.

Thanks for looking. 

Monday, 13 May 2019

20mm Airfix Cromwell

Finally finished the Airfix Cromwell tank - one of the £5 Aldi bargains from last year (I do wish I'd picked up enough for a troop now).  I posted the first pics of the unpainted vehicle a couple of months back.  The commander is from the Hat British tank riders set.

I added some assorted stowage from Sgts Mess, chiefly some Jerry cans, ammo boxes and tarps.  Decals were as supplied with the kit.  I can't find a reliable photo showing the bridge marker on a Cromwell fitted with the Culin device (it would normally go on the left hull front as you look at the vehicle from the front, where the Culin is attached).

The vehicle is painted in Vallejo Russian uniform, washed with dilute Agrax earthshade and dry brushed with Iraqi sand.  Wooden tools and boxes are beige brown while bare metal tools and wheel tyres are black grey.  Tracks are flat brown and orange brown mixed.  Engine cover is washed in Nuln oil.

This is the first in a series of British recce vehicles that I'm working on, most are painted and gloss varnished, but I'm in the process of adding decals and it's a slow process trying to find a consistent marking scheme and then making sure I have the correct decals.  British vehicle numbers in 20mm seem to be really poorly represented, although divisional and tactical markings are well covered.

As ever, thanks for looking.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

20mm WW2 German support weapons

I picked up some odds and ends for support weapons at the Vapnartak show earlier in the year.  First up, an Early War Miniatures PAK43 AT gun, plus 4 crewmen in winter parkas.  The gun was tricky to put together - I'm not a fan of the folded up and taped/stapled instructions in the EWM blister packs as they are very small and difficult to see the detail, plus, by the time you've unpicked the staples and cut away the tape, they are almost illegible.  However, the models do go together relatively well and look good.

Detail of the crew.  I used the Farnworth guide to try and get these guys in a spring reversible oak leaf pattern, so the white winter lining shows inside the parka hoods, while the spring pattern is made up of green blebs on a tan earth base colour.

I also picked up another 20mm AA gun with an SS crew from Grubby.  This went together well and makes a nice little group.  The crew wear London grey uniform trousers and my attempt at an autumn oak leaf pattern, similar base colour to the PAK43 crew with blebs of brown and orange-brown.

And finally a 120mm Mortar and crew.  I realised after that I had mixed up the crewmen - the guy with the range finder should have been with a Fortress PAK38 AT gun and should have been a bloke covering his ears, but I've managed to swop them, so now the mortar crewman will appear as part of the Atlantic Wall defences.

All nice figures, with lots of raised detail, making them really straightforward to paint.
Thanks for looking.