quinta-feira, 30 de Outubro de 2014

Rapid Fire! 20mm - Normandy Bocage (corners)

A few more pieces of terrain for Normandy, this time some corners for Bocage hedgerows.

Also made are some fields, everything glued to those floor tiles I mentioned in the last two posts.

On the left side of picture you have a 50mm PAK just for scale.

The construction method can be seen in the Bocage tutorial of two posts ago. Nothing new just my will to have a Normandy landscape filled with green bocage.

sábado, 11 de Outubro de 2014

Rapid Fire! 20mm - Normandy Bocage finished.

And now for the finished Bocage boxes. 
The hedgerows themselves are made in the following way: pick some moss from the local woods... Ok, ok you have no woods nearby, then buy some cheap bags of Iceland moss that are sold around Christmas; then chop the moss with a pair of scissors or knife into small bits; mix them with green paint and PVA glue and apply them generously over the mounds. Don't make them too high as you will need your models to fire from the inside, at least in some places.

This is were you can use the pieces of carpet: directly inside the bocage box or outside if you prefer.

The house is a Chinese resin one, of a kind no longer seen. Fortunately some 15 years ago there were plenty and very cheap so I made a good stock. That will be another article.

Again the same principle. Without...

... and with carpet fields.

These ones are half-tiles but with the same kind of construction.

These ones are one-quarter tiles. 

All of the Bocage boxes have a balance bettween the earth of the mound being shown, small pebbles and some grass made of acrylic, PVA glue and sand. 

Let's see how they look in action...

Britannia 20mm SS soldiers man a 50mm mortar behind a small Bocage box.

Panzerschreck looking for Brad Pitt's Sherman...

Sniper at the gates...Sorry, I think I'm watching too many movies. 

Leave plenty of space inside the boxes as there must be enough room even for armour to manoeuvre. 

- Hey, Hans, nice French house...
- Franz! Dumkopf! Didn't you hear the guy saying it was chinese!

The lot. Seven boxes of Bocage and some fields to scatter around. I already have add-on Bocage but the old ones, built approximately in the same way, are in strips and not in boxes. The old ones are more pratical for wargaming but these ones are visually more appealing. 

I'll show you the ones in strips next time. 

What do you think about the way to make bocage? What is your style?

quinta-feira, 9 de Outubro de 2014

Rapid Fire! 20mm - Normandy Bocage Tutorial.

When someone is not fit or talented enough for a job we say here " go fishing" or "embrace agriculture". Well I decided exactly on  the second one. 

So for the latest days I've been making hedgerows and agriculture fields for the Normandy campaign. 

Here they go and this time the text will have little reference to miniature brands but only to Christmas, shoes, Chinese shops and other rather strange stuff...

The idea was to use some 30cmx30cm plastic and textile floor tiles I found under the varanda from some 20 years ago works and build "Bocage boxes".

Then glue some carved pieces of styrofoam/blue board with wood glue to the tiles. Trees were also made from blue board and attached to the "raised mounds of earth" with pieces of barbecue sticks.

Then the whole tile is painted with acrylics mixed with PVA glue and sand.

To others I applied the inner field inside the Bocage - pieces of green or sand yellow thin carpets bought on a chinese shop- first to the tile before painted. I ended by preferring this last method. 

Some cocktail sticks gets no tree as they will receive plenty of bush to make the pieces more varied. 

See? It looks more ... professional. Or then it's just the picture that got better. 

Many shoes were already cleaned on these carpets. The advantage is that the carpet gets lower than a new one. 
Besides after cutting the pieces you quickly spray greens and yellows to your discretion avoiding the spread of Ebola. 

Here they are all shiny and new. 

The internet is invaluable for this task as if you are not close enough to Normandy you can find hundreds of nice photos were you can get inspired. 

Next: the finished Bocage.

sexta-feira, 26 de Setembro de 2014

Rapid Fire! 20mm - British 1st Airborne Division, Arnhem 1944

The Arnhem buildings I've showed you many posts ago are finally complemented by the soldiers who fought on and around them.

My 1st Airborne division is still incomplete but some major engagements like Oosterbeek can already be played with these models. 

All these 6 pdr are built with Evergreen plastic. The crews are Esci, Revell and Airfix transformations. 

The 6 pdr jeeps (Airfix) have Evergreen parts for the ammo cases. 

Supply jeeps. The drivers are the old Airfix figures heated with a lighter and placed in their seats while still hot (and some still burning...). 

Matchbox Morris and 17 pdr.

The crews are transformations of several plastic figures with ammo taken from AFV  kits. 

Major Gough reconnaissance squadron. Most of the Vickers-K are scratchbuilt as well as the 20mm Polsten cannon. 

Medical and supply jeeps. The drivers are hard plastic Airfix with Valiant heads. 

The SHQ 75mm howitzers. 

SHQ command stands.

One of the 5 battalions painted up to now. All available brands are there. 

Some of the PIAT teams are made from the Revell infantry with Airfix heads. 

The radio man is a NATO Matchbox figure wıth a shorter rifle.

Plastic transformed figures again with Valiant Vickers. The two to the left are american but with all this smoke probably no one will notice!... 

And another one. This time everything is very British.

The same principle for the 3" mortars. 

The 2" mortar is a small Evergreen tube glued to another piece of plastic. 

Freshly landed.

A good part of 1st Airborne division is already made. Still missing are 2 battalions for the Airlanding brigade and the full 4th Parachute Brigade. 

I have 3 Italeri Horsa gliders on the construction cue and a crazy plan for some 2 Hamilcar gliders made from scratch.

Stay tuned. 

quinta-feira, 18 de Setembro de 2014

Alamo 20mm (part 3) - The armies.

The Texan "army". It is difficult to call it an army as it was a force around 200 men. 
Top left, the N.O Greys.
Down right, David Crockett's men.
Center, the main Texan force. 

The artillery was the most important part of the Texan defence, capable of sending shot and shrapnel on the attackers. 

Coronel Travis (Imex figure as the two next) with an added rifle.

The immortal David Crockett. Well, he was killed on this day...

Jim Bowie with his famous Bowie knife. On the day of the battle he was very sick and in bed were he was killed. Here he is in all it's glory gained in many duels.

A Texan artillery piece. Some other were siege artillery and others were former naval pieces. 

The Mexican artillery. Mostly Imex with Esci redoubts.

The Regimento Ativo Toluca  followed by the Regimento Matamoros. At the head of the column are the door breakers Zapadores (conversions using Esci and StreletsR figures). In the 2004 movie they are awesome!

The Regimento Permanente Dolores of Picadores (stingers). They are conversions of the Esci Polish lancers with Austrian 1805 heads. They killed every Texan that tryed to escape.

The assault ladders. Finally I have some usage to this  Esci old stuff. The artillery protections were also made from the same boxes. 

The Regimento Ativo San Luis followed by the Regimento Permanente Allende.


Detail of the Mexicans. For the plastic lovers you can recognise Revell, Esci, Airfix, Imex and many conversions. The greatcoats were part of the uniform of Mexican regulars so probably used in the night assault. 

The Mexican Estado-Mayor. Cós and the other generals are all present. 

Santa Anna itself. A conversion from a Italeri Napoleon figure  (quite suitable...) with a Russian General head.

Mexican markers for breakthrough (Esci French infantry officers from that crazy box which neither had 1805 uniforms nor 1812... Or had both depending if you see the figures from the front or the back...).

Regimento Permanente Aldama.

Regimento Permanente Jimenez followed  by the elite tiradores of the Zapadores, the best Mexican marksmen. 

Next: something else.