segunda-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - A few extras to the French infantry.

 Up no now I managed to build six French Infantry Regiments for a DI 1940. They were built many years ago with Airfix, Airfix copies and Revell miniatures and even some Japanese conversions that crossed half of the world to fight against Hitler (what?...).
No AA though, no rifle grenades  and no 60mm Brandt mortars on these days. This group of figures was made from more recent brands and to complete these missing bits. I ended by adding some horse transport aided by the unique GBM magazine information.

The Fourgon Omnibus Mle 1887 was still in use in the French artillery park and was used for many different tasks. It can't fight but its a nice piece for bringing supplies or ammunition.  

More than 300 20mm CA 39 Oerlikon were present in France at the beginning of the war in more than 30 divisions, mostly infantry, as replacement of the 8mm Hotchkiss MMG's and as a way to ensure some AA protection while the heavier 25mm CA Hotchkiss weren't arriving in numbers.

As most of the pieces in this post these ones are scratch built efforts. More on that a bit further ahead.

Also scratch built are the two Avant-Train to pull the AA guns. 

As usual the foot drivers are converted figures. 

The 60mm mortars are  a mix of scratch built tubes and the usual brands of figures. 

The plastic figures received metal rifles and were adapted to new functions.

The rifle grenades launchers are clearly bigger than they should but I just couldn't find any thinner Evergreen tubing that I could drill in order to get them stuck in the rifle. 

Some pictures to show how these were done: The 20mm AA Oerlikon are scratch built as well as the limber. The towing horses are Britannia, the wheels are Hat and the structure of the limber is Evergreen plastic card.

The drivers are the Revell WWI cornet and the Caesar marching figure. Both received new GreenStuff arms.

The guns started as Irregular Miniatures Type 89 Japanese 20mm gun. They were heavily transformed and lengthened mainly with Evergreen  but also with some minor other materials. The seated crewmen are the Matchbox figures of the Char B1bis with new arms and with the torso bent with the heat of a lighter while the others are Hat.

The 60mm Brandt mortars are also scratch built in Evergreen with Hat artillery men and Caesar with rifles from EWM.

The horse cart is Britannia with Hat crew. This model is from the WWI German range but suits well most early WWII European armies.

Next: The dismounted French cavalry for 1940 or  more Blitzkrieg Germans.

sábado, 2 de fevereiro de 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - French Divisional Headquarters

Close to the village of Nous-Sommes-Foutus a Divisional Headquarters tries to find a way to stop the Invading Germans relying on a new piece of information brought by a cavalry reconnaissance officer that has just arrived...

The figures are Hat, Revell and Caesar with the ageing French General being constructed from the torso of the Matchbox Montgomery, a pair of German legs and a kepi from the Esci Foreign Legion. 

The Revell officer showing the map is the WWI French officer with a new arm. 

The Caesar horse holder also received a new arm. The Horse is a Napoleonic Revell piece with some extra stowage. 

The Renault ADH is a Wespe Model. The model is a true collector's item and tipically from these kind of kits is not an easy construction. 

I strengthened the more flimsy parts with blobs of GreenStuff as you can see in the headlights and antennae. Also the junction between the axis and the wheels had the same treatment. 

The idea is to use this last build with the towed office from a few posts ago. 

Next: some attention to the plain French infantry material. 

domingo, 27 de janeiro de 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - The 12e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (5e DLC)

Just finished the last big unit of the 5e DLC, the 12e RCC. Its mostly a copy of the 11e Régiment de Cuirassiers that I made a few months ago. I used more of the Hat French WWI cavalry figures, EWM cyclists and MMG's, Lancer Miniatures 25mm AT gun and a few Caesar figures for some specific stands. 

The support squadron is EWM and Caesar mostly. The work on the EWM MMG's figures is on the coat in order to make it unbuttoned, and on the puttees in order to turn them into cavalry boots by using filler and painting them black. The horse holders are Caesar figures with Hat standing horses.

The 25mm SA34 AT gun tow was built in Evergreen. The horse is one of those nice Revell German horses of the artillery set pulled by a conversion from Caesar and a Hat driver.

The conversion of the Caesar front figure had to have a relocated rifle, unbuttoned coat and a new arm to pull the horse's reins. 

The whole group can be seen here on this nice picture of May/June 1940 taken from this post

The Mle 1911 cart for the Hotchkiss MMG's is also scratch built using Airfix horses, Hat driver and a Revell MMG. The cart itself is made of Evergreen plastic card with resin copies of some plastic wheels.

The three mounted cavalry squadrons have plenty of Esci horses as many of the original Hat were used for the horse holders.

The Esci horses were taken mostly from the Scots Grey set and a few details on the horses equipment were added.


The fourth squadron, like in the 11e Cuirassiers, ride their butt-pain bikes due to the lack of horses.

The HQ of the regiment has Hat cavalry figures and Caesar foot. The 60mm mortar is scratch built.

Not sure about the boxes for the 60mm mortar and ammo as I never found any picture of them. I just used some old ones from the Italian Esci Alpini set. 

The command stand is the usual Hat figures with the cornet having a Hat Napoleonic British arm instead.

The family moved to a T1 after the pictures but now they are on the way to a much bigger house on my basement.

Next: more French 1940 probably, command cars and the last two H-39 for all big units. Also the two cavalry regiments in dismounted positions is a possibility.

sábado, 12 de janeiro de 2019

Rapid Fire! French 1940 in 20mm - The figures of the Dragons Portés of the 5e DLC (Part 2)

The 15e RDP chooses a crossroads in an Ardennes forest to try to slow down the invading Germans. 

The Regiment figures are finished. The EWM and Caesar figures mix very well after painting. Of course the bodies and helmets are a bit larger  in EWM but not everybody eats the same amount of food. 

The rifle squadron of each battalions has 11 figures as Messieurs Colin and Richard say, seven from Caesar with the vareuse or the  converted Capotes and three EWM in the MMG. 

The support squadrons are the opposite with more EWM than Caesar figures. The Dragons Portés MMGs are a total of six for the two battalions. Not bad as it has to compensate the lack of riflemen in the regiment. 

The command squadrons are a mix of the two brands plus an ESCI figure with the 60mm mortar coming from the US range of SHQ. 

The work with the two component paste on the Capotes can be seen here. After painting the result is reasonable and they look like cavalry dress. 

Next: Maybe the last cavalry regiment for this division, the 12e Chasseurs, or some Iranian armour for the 1980-88 conflict. 

quarta-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2019

Rapid Fire! French 1940 in 20mm - The figures of the Dragons Portés of the 5e DLC (Part 1)

This group of 50 figures represents the full 15e RDP of the 5e DLC as each of its battalions only has one rifle squadron the rest being command and support squadrons. I used Caesar plastic figures and EWM metal for this unit. 

The Caesar set has beautifully crafted figures but no HMG/MMG of grenade launcher. I used the marching figure for the grenade launcher. The idea was to have the grenadier with its weapon visible, on the other hand a marching figure in the middle of action figures is not a very clever idea...

These Dragoons have the cavalry uniform so the Vareuse is Ok but the Capote of the original Caesar figures have its buttons fastened on the back in infantry style. I used two component paste to make the cavalry Capote front details and cut the folded part on the back with a X-Acto. 

The same for the officer. Even for infantry the original Caesar officer has the Capote fastened which was not the way for any officer to use it. Taking out that small detail and the lack of some weapons the Caesar figures are great. 

The radio man is the standing casually figure with a scratch built (sort of) French ER40A radio on its back. 

For the Brandt 81mm mortars I used the Esci figure with bipod from Atlantic and cut in some extra details. The other figures are Caesar. The figure on the left had its rifle taken out and placed on its back.

The 8mm Hotchkiss MMG are all EWM and the same trick on the Capote was used to turn these figures into Dragons Portés. 

Next: Most probably these figures already painted. 

terça-feira, 8 de janeiro de 2019

Rapid Fire!/Able Archer, the Gulf War in 20mm - The Iraqi 5th Mechanized Division Mohammed Ibn Al-Kasim (Part 6) - Iraqi III Corps support for both 5th MD and 3rd AD

Normally an Iraqi Corps artillery brigade has three battalions of towed guns. In Able Archer rules the 18 tubes of a battalion can be represented by 3/4 models (one represents five) so you have here a total of six battalions as the III Corps received extra battalions to support the Khafji operations. 

These are 85mm AA guns from Irregular Miniatures with metal Skytrex and Airfix converted gunners. 

These BM-21 Grad are Modelism kits and are a very accurate depiction of the real thing. 

The 152mm D-1s guns and crew are Irregular Miniatures. 

The 152mm D-20s are also Irregular Miniatures. 

These 122mm D-30s guns and crews are Skytrex. 

The 152mm M43/37 and crews are Irregular Miniatures and have shields and gun suspensions made in plastic. 

The 85mm AT gun D-44 and crew are more Irregular Miniatures. 

The closest PT-76 is a repainted Altaya and the other one is Skytrex both for a Corps reconnaissance unit.

This is the last big post on the subject as the material of the Iraqi Army is somehow covered. 

What do I have for the Iraqi RF!/Able Archer:
- the 3rd Saladin Armoured  Division;
- the 5th Mohammed Al-Kasim Mechanized Division.
- the Corps support. 

What can be done with all this:
- Any Iraqi Republican Guard unit due to the big number of T-72 and BMP-1 present in the 3rd AD.
- Any Iraqi unit equipped with T-62 due to their numbers also in the 3rd AD.
- Any Iraqi unit equipped with T-55/59/69 due to their numbers of the 5th MD.
- Any Iraqi Infantry unit due to the numbers of BTR-60 and OT-64 in both 20th Infantry Brigade and 5th MD.

What is still missing:
- Straight Flush control and radar vehicles for the SAM-6  batteries (I'll go BPM for these).
- Three more K-63 for the missing battalion of the 5th MD (probably S&S models).
- Command BTR-50PU for the Recce battalion of the 5th MD (one ACE model on the table but not a big will to build it).
- Towing trucks for the Corps artillery (not easy these ones).
- A few BMP-2 for the Republican Guard as I only have one and also a few AMX 10P for the same units (probably BPM)
- Two more infantry battalions (have five for the 3rd Saladin but need a total of seven for the 5th MD; need to find Arab modern Infantry, hoping to be Caesar).
- A few Mig-21/23/27/29 plastic kits boxed/semi-built, Die-cast on the shelves to be finished or repainted. 

Next: The painted infantry of the 15e RDP 1940.