sábado, 21 de abril de 2018
Well I'm starting to get surprised. Recent parcels have been quicker to arrive than in the last few years. And a few days ago, unexpectedly, a parcel leaving England on the 13th of April arrived on the 18th. 5 days trip like old days!
Our Portuguese mail, CTT, got privatized a few years ago during the Troyka regime and very quickly a public enterprise famous in Portugal and award winning in Europe for its fast quality service became a pile of trash. Going to their balconies was shameful, loads of books and Cd's for sale, puppets and other stuff, corner places selling insurances and working as banks. Nothing against that if the main service - Mail - is not harmed. But it was. In the last few years, specially from abroad, parcels took ages to arrive, 25-30 days was common to a parcel from England. Suddenly a parcel from China was arriving faster!
Agencies were shut down, people were replaced by other people and CTT became a grocery store. But in the last month I heard on TV that the government, after thousands of complaints about lost and late mail, was to correct this situation and pressing CTT to get back to their true business - Mail. Apparently the warnings worked and in the last month a few parcels arrived really quickly and the record was beaten with this one remembering me of the good old days when CTT was a public enterprise.
These Somua models are Altaya. At the moment I have 12 Somua with the last 6 on the way from the same supplier for a full complement of 18 Somua for a French DLM the rest being Hotchkiss.
As I do you with all Die-cast the models were glued with Super Glue in some small parts like gun, antenna and tracks; slightly touched with black ink in all crevices and finally dry brushed slightly with sand. Like this you break some of the excess of shine these nice models have and make them look like your own built models. New big white numbers were also painted as usual with French cavalry tanks.
Next: The previously mentioned Danas, French Cavalry or Panzers for 1940 or the last 6 Somua I mentioned if CTT continues its good recent practices.
quinta-feira, 19 de abril de 2018
These are the two last limbers for 75mm guns of a French DI. They are scratchbuilt in plastic card and the horses are copies of Britannia models.
The only factory models are the crew of these limbers and in fact these leftovers are the reason for choosing to scratchbuild these two pieces.
The wheels are leftovers of the 75mm guns that got solid wheels. The limber box itself received rear doors, towing hook and side handlers all made of plastic card.
I used the Irregular Miniatures models as the matrix of both the two Airfix limbers and these ones.
A final detail are the cables made of thin cord uniting the horses to the limber.
The Britannia horses were copied with InstantMold and filled with two paste filler.
Next: whether the Dana artillery systems for Georgians 2008 or French cavalry or a few more Panzers both for the 1940 campaign.
domingo, 15 de abril de 2018
Two more battalions for the French artillery. To the left the wheeled 75mm are for the Infantry division and to the right solid wheeled guns are for the Mechanized infantry. All guns and crew are Hat Industries.
The guns come from the US WWI artillery set and the crew from the newer French WWII artillery crew.
Hat is taking ages to produce the WWII limber so I used two limbers from the Airfix WWI British artillery set. The seat part was lenghtened, rear doors for the ammunition were added and a new axis was built from plastic card. Also some thin rope was used as harness. For joining all parts hot glue and super glue were used
The size of these sets is the same I used for the Irregular Miniatures ones from a few posts ago for the sake of uniformity.
In two stands I used one Matchbox French conversion from the figures which go along the Char B1bis and Renault FT-17. The figure is 1/76th scale and a taller base was used so all figures are the same size.
In the box of the Hat French artillery there are some four nice solid wheels for the 75mm gun. The other four you see in the pictures were casted from the original ones to a total of eight.
The figures are very nice and active and Hat thought about everything. There are extra solid wheels for the guns and even seated and horse riders for the limbers. The seated figures are also good for any French vehicle and portee infantry.
Next: More limbers and tractors for the 1940 French artillery.
sábado, 7 de abril de 2018
The 16éme BCP approaches Jolie Village on its way to Stonne in may 1940...
The 16éme BCP (Batalion de Chasseurs Portés) was the infantry unit of the 3rd DCR and had some particularities of its own. Apparently the motorcycle squadron didn't have motorcycles and the men were transported as the other two squadrons. Also the Lorraine 38L VBCP was not present in all three companies with some of the Chasseurs being transported in trucks (some say Citroen 23 other Lorraine 28). But as I had four Lorraine 38L I equipped all companies with them including the support company. As I still have no Latil M7 I used a Chenillette to tow the 25mm AT gun.
The CO stand has a ER 17 Radio scratchbuilt in EverGreen plasticard. The 60mm mortar was made from a shortenned 81mm US mortar from Revell. The figures are from the new HAT set of French WWII artillery and the bugler is scratchbuilt. The Laffly V15 is Skytrex.
The 25mm and UE Chenillette tow are Lancer Miniatures and the figures are again HAT.
The rest of the support company has a HAT mortar stand (the mortar itself is again Revell US) and Revell French for the Hotchkiss MMG's. Here there is another problem: the 16eme BCP doesn't show up with their two MMG's (there should be eight in the real OOB) in the new RF! supplement for May 1940. But I placed them in this battalion not only because it must have existed in this unit but also because there were two LMG's per squad of 12 Chasseurs while the regular infantry only had one. So like this the unit gets more fire power as it should.
The Lorraine 38L VBCP is Lancer Miniatures.
Two of the four Lorraine 38L are in fact the 37 version that I was using for the support of the tank battalions. In RF! new book Richard and Colin ignored them and thus they were converted with styrofoam and plasticard into the carrier version.
One of the three Chasseur companies. All figures are based on the Airfix Chinese replicas of the WWI French set. I added GreenStuff goggles in all of them carefully modelled on the helmets. The trousers and shirt are dark blue and capote is khaki according to this battalion´s regulation.
A few more conversions are the rifle grenade made fom a piece of Evergreen at the end of a rifle and the LMG Chatellerault 24/29 which is a chinese copy of the Bren LMG glued to a normal rifle firer.
Not necessarily from the BCP I also painted the one-piece Somua MCG-5 from Lancer Miniatures. It can be used to tow artillery or used as a recovery vehicle for any unit.
Next: More French artillery for 1940.
quarta-feira, 4 de abril de 2018
Just a reminder that there is summer and heat in the world also. I had these primed for a long time and finally, a bit out of context, I decided to paint them. The A9 are the surplus from three boxes of PSC that were intended fully for the BEF. Then I realised that not all were necessary even for the whole 1st Armoured Division. So they received some Counter Camouflage Scheme and began their trip to Lybia to join the 7th Armoured. The same for lonely M3 Honey from Matchbox.
A few bedrolls and antennae are the only additions to these models.
Next: a return to France 1940.
segunda-feira, 2 de abril de 2018
6th Panzer conquers the Auberge Normande and pushes the 75mm French battery from last post away from the table. Well this is my way of doing wargames, one level below solo wargaming...
The models are PSC based for the PzIIIE and BPM for the Pz35T.
The BPM's are very sturdy and efective models were even the Mg's are firmly attached to the model. This one became a command version with wire rear antenna. The figure is PSC.
The PSC PZIIIG became a E version. A lot of carving and adding had to be made in order specially to change the 50mm into the 37mm gun.
Here you can see the changes: the gun and mantlet was thinned down in a number of places; two Mg's were added to the right side of the mantlet and the periscope was added. In this picture the hull Mg is still there as well as the rim around the mantlet and gun. All these parts were carved out for the command version.
I have another group of six PSC PzIIIG to suffer the same fate and becoming E versions.
The rear antenna was made in plastic for the vertical tubing and wire for the horizontal part.
Next: a raid into the desert.
sábado, 31 de março de 2018
In 1940 the French Infantry divisions still relied in the famous - infamous for the Germans - 'soissante-quinze' (uau, he even speaks French, ladies are saying). The gun was still pulled by horses and the wheels LP were the ones of WWI. As Hat is taking an eternity to release its WWI/II artillery limber I used the Irregular Miniatures version.
The models are very nice. Irregular Miniatures uses always the same poses for the many other Useful Crew range but the distinction between the countries is well made. The French crew members are in shirt order and with their capote in Russian style, something not very common but Ok.
I took the oportunity to build the Alby Latil TAR for the 155mm GPF that you can see here
These Alby kits are expensive and take a lot of time to arrive. On the other hand they are some of the best around. Even their resin smells so good that you will want to chew it!!
Next: More French or German stuff for 1940.