Wednesday, 21 March 2018

German and Soviet Artillery for Rommel

As I have played a lot of Rapid Fire! over the years, I have never really had much need for the bigger artillery pieces as RF usually uses smaller field guns and anti-tank guns and rarely needs much bigger pieces. However, Rommel is a higher level game so artillery is also on the larger side. This prompted me to buy a couple of pieces to up my game. 

The first up are these two German 10.5cm leFH18 from Forged in Battle. Each come with five crew and are really nice models.

I painted them in Middlestone so they can be used for mid to late war (I have a couple of others in grey that I got for Stalingrad). The FiB models are really nice and crisp with a lot of detail. I added a couple of Plastic Soldier Company's shell boxes to round out the bases.

Facing them on the other side of the hill are these two Soviet 122mm obr 1938 howitzers.

These two pieces came from Battlefront and again are full of detail, like the extra shell cases.

These will add a bit of firepower to future Rommel games and means I don't have to use proxies anymore!

In other news, today is the 100th anniversary of the Kaiserschlacht; the series of German spring offensives on the Western Front. The German army initially smashed through the British and French lines, but ultimately it was a desperate last roll of the dice to end the war in a favourable position. However, the offensives were without an overall strategic goal, quickly ran out of steam and was stopped in many places by the defenders and all gains were quickly retaken later in the year.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

To The Barricades!

As I have been working on a few buildings for urban games, I treated myself to a Kerr & King tram barricade that I have been wanting for several years now. K&K produce some of the most detailed scenery in my opinion and I have a few of their buildings, so I knew I was getting something nice.

I wasn't disapointed and it is packed with detail and character. I painted it in a typical middle European tram colour (I've seen a lot recently in Vienna).

Here it is in place with some of the buildings I have recently built and painted, so you can see how it looks in an urban setting. It will fit in very well with any urban games we play.

There's not much more to say, except this is an excellent terrain piece and well worth the money! 

In other news, I am selling a few bits and pieces on Ebay (with auctions ending on Sunday), have a look by clicking the links below:

Tamiya 1/48th Panzer II 

Tamiya 1/48th Afrika Korps Figures

Baccus 6mm British and Dutch figures

Star Wars Original Trilogy Scripts

The 'Nam Comic collection

If you click on the link to see my other items, I am also selling some Judge Dredd books and comics and 2000AD and Batman comics.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Box Finds

Along with the wrecked vehicles I found in a box, there were also a couple of other non-wrecked vehicles. So I dealt with them and added them to their respective forces. 

The first up is is this 75mm GMC M3 from Battlefront, again bought by Ninjasaurus Rex and passed over to me to paint. It's a resin body with white metal gun, wheels, tracks and crew.

I added some stowage from my big box of stowage and it was done. These were used as an early tank destroyer, using a French 75mm gun as a stop gap. The M3 TD was quickly obsolete after the fighting in North Africa ended, but a couple ended up in Italy, so it will be added to my small American force for Rapid Fire.

Next up was this Command Decision SDKFZ 251c. I had bought this as a bridge layer vehicle for Stalingrad, but only ended up using the bridges on a Plastic Soldier Company 251 and the body of the halftrack stayed in the box. Until now:

I painted it in the late war three tone camo pattern and added a few PSC crew to round it out.

I think that you can never have too many Hanomags!

In other news, I am selling a few bits and pieces on Ebay, have a look by clicking the links below:

Tamiya 1/48th Panzer II 

Tamiya 1/48th Afrika Korps Figures

Baccus 6mm British and Dutch figures

Star Wars Original Trilogy Scripts

The 'Nam Comic collection

If you click on the link to see my other items, I am also selling some Judge Dredd books and comics and 2000AD and Batman comics.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 10 March 2018


I was looking through  a few old boxes the other day and found a bunch of Peter Pig's wrecked vehicles. Ninjasaurs Rex had bought them a long time ago and passed them over to me to paint, I promptly put them in a box and forgot all about them! I thought it was high time that I finish them and they didn't take very long to complete.

The first is this SDKFZ 251/C in a pretty bad way:

Next up is this Panzer IV F1:

And finally two Kubelwagens. These originally were joined together on one base, so I cut it in half to make two seperate wrecks.

Ninjasaurus admonished me for flocking the bases as they were supposed to be for Stalingrad, but the bases were already covered in foliage so it would have looked weird to paint them concrete grey, so Ya Boo Sucks to you.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Eyeballs, Huge - Bulged Like Squids

On Sunday, Generals Ninjasaurus Rex and Dean called over to play the attack on the Sambre-Oise Canal in 1918 as a Square Bashing game. I gave a lot of background on of the battle in THIS post, so there's no point in me repeating myself here. Ninjasaurus and I took the attacking British and Dean took the defending Germans. The forces were:

1 x Higher Command
2 x Professional LMG Infantry Battalions
8 x Regular LMG Infantry Battalions
5 x HMGs
4 x Field Guns

1 x Higher Command
1 x Professional Infantry Battalion
5 x Regular Infantry Battalion
6 x HMGS
5 x Field Guns

The board was set up as below, with the Sambre-Oise canal running across the centre of the table. Whoever held the majority of the four towns of Landrecies, Ors, Catillon and La Folie by the end of the game would be the winner.

The British set up on their start line, and Dean placed his German defenders. He declined to hold the left flank and put his strength around Ors and Landrecies with his Higher Command positioned in La Folie. The depletion rolls affected the amount of German battalions on the board and Dean elected to put the affected units in reserve rather than lose too many bases immediately.

The first move saw a general advance from the British, avoiding the woods and aiming for the crossing points of the canal. On our right flank I headed for Catillon as it was undefended and also aimed for Ors to support Ninjasaurus' attack.

Attacking across the canal into Ors was out of the question as the canal gave a great defence line to the Germans in the ruins. However, German gunfire caused a few casualties. We decided that the first to fall was the poet Wilfred Owen who was killed during the crossing in 1918.  

With the Germans remaining in their defences, the British artillery opened up a point effect barrage on Ors, this can be extremely effective against tightly packed units and some German field guns and MGs were damaged in the blasts. The German field gun that was situated in Ors was destroyed, so things were looking good!

This allowed us to get infantry into the flanks of the town ready for an assault. Meanwhile on the British left flank, my units moved in to capture Catillon and attempt to check the threat from the German reinforcements that had also arrived.

Then, disaster! A German point effect barrage dropped right on top of the undefended British infatry!

Despite this, the British assault went in, but the lone machine gunner in Ors blunted the attack!

With a failed attack, accurate bombardment and a threatened flank the British attackers failed their morale and fell back across the canal crossing. The German barrage pinned the other British units and nothing could be gained this turn!

The German artillery were not on target with their next attempt, a suppression barrage which overshot it's target and fell behind the main British force with minimal effects. 

The professional British infantry got back into position ready to assault Ors again, but by now, German infantry had also taken up the defences in the town along with the MG crew.

My efforts to destroy the German reinforcements was desultory and even three battalions against one failed to shift them.

A pincer attack on Ors was equally ineffective, resulting in more British casualties and no gains.

With the Germans winning the fight the board appeared to be covered in British casualties!

Another attack just mounted up the British dead, but we had to keep going to be within any chance of even drawing the game. The clock was ticking down to endgame as well! All was at stake!

A German aircraft appeared over the battlefield (the explosion marker) and hovered menacingly whilst the British steeled themselves for another attack. On our left flank professional German infantry appeared from Landrecies to threaten the British infantry.

More German reinforcements arrived to bolster the defence line and the professional German infantry caused massive casualties on the British left flank!

A British aircraft arrived and drove off the German crate, meanwhile on the ground, a final British push proved too much for the Germans in Ors and they were forced out of the buildings. Finally the town had fallen!

The Germans had one final chance to capture the town, but their attack failed, even though they caused massive British casualties. The British were trapped against the canal and this caused even more misery!

But the town remained in British hands and the game was a draw. This is how the field looked at the end of the fighting. The British had gained Ors and Catillon, but had no chance of threatening Landrecies or La Folie.

The result was nothing like the historical battle, where the three towns were taken quickly by a British army that had spent four years developing into a modern flexible fighting force. Dean's idea to hold only three of the four towns proved viable and made it very difficult for the British attackers to winkle out the Germans. The lone machine gunner in Ors certainly deserved an Iron Cross for their heroic defence of the town. It will be interesting to play this scenario again and see if a different result occurs! 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Albrecht Strasse WIP pt.2

Continuing on from Part One of this WIP, the next thing to do with the Albrecht Strasse building was the paint the exterior walls and the detailing.

After blocking in the main colour, I painted the doors, window frames and brickwork. I then neatened these up with the basic wall colour and it was done pretty quickly.

Then I began weathering the exterior, which started with an oil paint wash and finished with weathering powders.

Just enough weathering to make it look battle damaged and in a poor state of repair.

Once I sealed the model with varnish, I added the rubble to the interior and around the outside.

This was again, my premixed rubble, meaning I don't need to paint it!

The final act was to add the broken beams, made from painted matchsticks. These were glued in with PVA and the whole thing was left to dry again.

So another building has been finished in quick time, I now have one more Commission Figurines building waiting to be finished and I will have completed this batch of buildings. However, I have been eyeing up a large factory building on EBay for a long time...

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Albrecht Strasse WIP pt.1

I went to St Kilda for a work posting last week, but I got stuck on the island when the helicoptor was grounded due to high winds, so things have stalled a little. However, before I left I began work on another Commision Figurines building. This is the Albrecht Strasse building. This time, instead of painting the interior, I used the 1940s wallpaper that Ninjasaurus Rex had created. This was simply a task of cutting the strips to the right height, sticking them to the MDF with PVA and then cutting out the individual windows. Also, I made a dividing wall from mounting card, which was also papered:

Next, I used matchstick to make the floor joists, but also used silver sand to represent the missing floors, where the beams would have sat. I left a few walls blank to paint as though they had been plastered. Then, I also painted the window frames and the details.

The final interior step was to weather the walls, I washed them with Burnt Umber oil piants thinned with White Spirits. I finally used weathering powders to add dirt and grime. Lastly, I glued the building together on its base and left it to dry. The, as I said, I had to leave for week, so this is how it looked when I left:

Whilst on St Kilda, I saw this 25lb Mark III 4" QF naval gun that had been emplaced on the island after a German U-Boat attack in 1918.

This is the ammo storage bunker attached to the gun position:

And the concrete anchoring post for the Marconi radio mast that the German U-Boat was trying to destroy:

There are worse places to be trapped than St Kilda:

Thanks for reading!
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