Friday, 18 November 2022

Able Archer/ RFR rules (?) - Russian invasion of Ukraine 2022 in 20mm (part 10) - A new Ukrainian motorized battalion and its IMV´s

 One more Ukrainian battalion on the shelves slowly trying to get equal to the numbers of the Russians. The infantry figures are more of the usual plastic figures and its usual conversions (Esci, Revell and Orion) but the most interesting are the MSL Shield 4X4 armored vehicles that you can find in Chinese shops and supermarkets. The idea here is to place each infantry company in the MSL Shield vehicles and the command and support companies in the Humvees. 

In this picture I was still trying to picture the MSL Shield vehicles as the more usual IMV Kozak 2 vehicles with the double antenna at the front, but somehow its possible that a true accessible model of the Kozak 2 comes to the market (there are 3d prints but expensive) and that was left aside and the MSL vehicles idea stayed firm. Ukraine managed to buy (at least open information, with probable licence to build more) 11 of them from Italian TEKNE company with ex president Poroshenko´s money (he says...) and some crowd funding. The vehicles are on the service of the 79th Air Assault Brigade. You can find plenty of photos of them as Poroshenko flooded the web with its pictures, like this one:

"Yes, I wish I was wearing that green uniform the small guy is using..."

The MSL Shields and Humvees are the kind of Die-Cast toys supposedly 1/64th  scale but, I think and according to pictures, much closer to the  20mm size miniature and thus reasonable 1/72nd scale. Here you can see them with new wheels, surplus Hasegawa and Atlantic, and the top transparent plastic parts on the MSL Shields that need to be erased. They still don´t have the MG posts on top of the roof you can see in other pictures but important here is really to replace the Hot Wheels type of wheels by something bigger and more convincing.

The roof MG posts on the Humvees are different from the MSL Shields ones and all are made from plastic card and a Revell lying down figure cut appropriately by the waist. 

The delivered MSL Shields were all plain green but I camouflaged them in the usual Ukrainian digital camouflage for the sake of uniformity. An extra spare wheel was also attached to the right side.

This is how they look nowadays. Eventually I believe they will be painted in the digital camo in the future. 

The camo netting hides the ugly cuts made to erase those transparent plastic parts in the original toy model. 

The Humvees got white crosses for the Kharkov offensive but this is no limitation as this symbol has already been seen in the Kherson area maybe due to the transferring of units from one area to the other. As extras from the original you can see the weapon station, the engine exhaust pipe, the surplus wheel and the antenna. 

The command and heavy weapon's figures of the 2nd battalion are the usual plastic brands this time with yellow tape in the uniform and helmet. 

An example of an Ukrainian infantry company with converted Esci (US infantry and NATO boxes) and Revell (German Paratroopers and PzGrenadiers) figures. The rifle armed figures got their weapons converted to the AK-74 with some cuts and the famous curved ammunition clip and an anti-tank RPG. The Ukrainians received thousands of them from their partners and nowadays you see many times each infantryman carrying at least one of those. As many of the bullet proof vest are also camouflaged I didn't bother painting them differently from the uniform.

Next: a return to WWI most probably

Saturday, 5 November 2022

The German Infantry Division of 1915-16, Great War Spearhead rules and i...

This is my first video on a series related to WWI. This one shows the German Infantry Division at the beginning of 1915 when the regiments were reduced from 4 to 3 and packed into one sole brigade. The figures are mostly Airfix, HAT and converted Revell and the artillery is Irregular Miniatures.

Friday, 14 October 2022

Able Archer/ RFR rules (?) - Russian invasion of Ukraine 2022 in 20mm (part 9) - Ukrainian APC's for the Kharkiv offensive


While on the Kherson offensive the Ukrainian vehicles have yellow painted squares on the northern Kharkiv offensive they showed up with very distinctive white crosses some so big that are wrapping the entire vehicle. All vehicles are repainted Die-cast Altaya models with the exception of VAB with a figure manning the Browning 12,7 HMG which is a Heller kit. 

The figure on the right side VAB APC is a Esci torso with Greenstuff ath The French VAB APC is not in fact made for much action but more for transport. The Ukrainian need for infantry protection and speed made them being used as IFVs with several already destroyed.

The very old BTR-60PB is still being used and was eventually used to saturate the battlefield with relatively soft targets, as seen recently in some videos where speed looks to be the rule,  making the aiming of the Russian defenders more difficult. 

Next: maybe a video on the Arnhem buildings. 

Saturday, 8 October 2022

The Carthaginian army at the battle of Cannae, 216 BC, in 20mm size for ...

This time something different. Most of the models are HAT, Revell and Italeri with plenty of Newline Designs to go along. The disposition of the figures is made for the understanding of the battle and not for a true DBM game. DBM rules are made with fast gaming in mind and each army proposed within its lists are far smaller than this one. So here you can see the entire Carthaginian army with 1 element to representing 200 real people.

Friday, 7 October 2022

Able Archer/ RFR rules (?) - Russian invasion of Ukraine 2022 in 20mm (part 8) - Ukrainian new and old material and some musicians

This post is a mixture of old material - the Zil-159 command truck and the Polish/Czech T-72 M1 - and new - the Polaris buggies with the Stugna-P ATGW. Also a few Wagner PMC figures joined the previous group on the modelling table for a few days. 

The Polish/Czech T-72 M1 have been very active on the Ukrainian counter-attacks on the Kherson and Kharkiv fronts. These two have the yellow squares used in the Kherson counter-offensives at least in one of the sectors. Close to them were seen some Portuguese M-113 and also the Dutch YPR-765. 

The models are Revell and Altaya Die-cast. Both had plenty of Kontakt explosive reactive armor (ERA) cassettes placed in the most likely areas to be hit for some extra protection. Each ERA block is made of two small rectangles of 1mm thick Evergreen plastic sheet glued together. The frontal ERA are Modelcollect leftover parts. The Ukrainians pay more attention to camouflage than the Russians so gauze was mixed with PVA glue to model some of it around the gun barrel, front and turret.  The tank commander is a Xan Miniatures figure. 

The Polaris Stugna-P armed buggies are used apparently by some SOF and they have been used for quick hit-and-run attacks. 

The models are Die-cast Matchbox models in 1/64th scale. A few days ago I was looking at a parked civilian one and they are really smaller in 1/72nd scale. The military version has some extra protections at the front but they are complicated to scratch built so gauze was used to disguise that part. Only a piece of extra armor can be seen in front of the driver. The Stugna-P ATGW is scratch built and the Esci crew got new arms made of GreenStuff. 

Some kind of command vehicle is necessary for the Ukrainian brigade so I used this old ICM Zil-157 for that purpose. The original idea was for it to be built once more to my Iraqis but there is at least one photo showing this old model in the current war.  

Only some resin 3d printed jerrycans and some gauze was added for it to look nicer. 

Mixed in this lot are some Russian Wagner PMC soldiers which have been used by the Russians as some of its best assault units together with the VDV. I´ve used different colors for the Wagner uniform than the greener Russians as I think Wagner doesn't use the Barmitsa or the Permyachka infantry equipment. 

The figures are easily found on Aliexpress and are made in 3d printed resin (no brand name though). The detail is simply amazing and they are sturdy and clearly designed for 1/72nd scale wargaming. They also end up being better for wargaming than the Alex Miniatures I´ve showed you a few post ago as they are far more resistant with the Alex Miniatures being better for dioramas. 

 Next: more Russo-Ukrainian war or maybe a return to ancients.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

A way to store and organize wargame models

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Able Archer/ RFR rules (?) - Russian invasion of Ukraine 2022 in 20mm (part 7) - The Lend-Lease SPG´s for the Ukrainians

This one is a quickie as I don't have much to brag about. All models are Die-cast Altaya with extra antennas and figure on the Pz Haubitze 2000s and flags on the M-109s. The M-109 are the A6 Paladin model but close to the models the Ukrainians received from different sources. Only the Gepard was painted in NATO colors as it was green originally. Luckily the original paint schemes are quite good so a bit of black wash and some sand dry brushing and the erasing of the German crosses and licence plates  makes them good for the Ukrainians.  

Next: More 2022 Ukrainian and Russians or a video on the way I organize the basement to store the collection, something thousands of you have been asking. Well in fact it was just one of you but that one is worth a thousand.


Wednesday, 21 September 2022

The Germans at Mortain, Aug.44, for Rapid Fire! rules in 20mm size. Part...

The 17. SS Panzer Grenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen arrived Kampfwert IV, very diminished at Mortain, so it was placed under the command of the 2. SS Pz Division Das Reich division during the operation.
Panzer Lehr had its casualties during Operation Cobra exaggerated by its commander, General Fritz Bayerlein, so that the division would be able to rest. It somehow worked and the division was placed in the reserve during Operation Luttich.

Rapid Fire! in 20mm. Filling gaps in WW2 (part 6)

This one is just to complete some Russian OB´s where these four types of vehicles and guns were in short supply or didn't exist. 

The M-72 motorcycle with side-car was one of the two more common motorcycle in the Red Army (the other one was the Lend-Lease Harley Davidson 42 WLA). The models are Zvezda.  Still need to apply some colour on the uniform insignia but not sure exactly which.

For Steve Shann´s book "Seelow Heights" you need a pair of Bren Carriers. The models are 3d PLA prints from Minigeneral and the figures are my own conversions from soft and hard plastic figures (Esci and Revell) with arms made of GreenStuff. 

Two missing straight from the box Zvezda 76,2mm Infantry Guns model 1927. Only the coated figure came from Italeri.

Another Minigeneral 3d print, a Lend-Lease  M17 MGMC based on the M5 half-track, again for Steve Shaan´s book. 

Next: last part of the video on the Germans at Mortain. 

Sunday, 18 September 2022

The Germans at Mortain, Aug.1944, for Rapid Fire! rules in 20mm size. Pa...

While the 116.PD was a newly formed division with plenty of problems and missing units (even if interesting in modelling terms with several old AFVs), the 1.SS PD LSSAH was one the most powerful units in the Mortain offensive, still with a big quantity of PzIVs and Panthers.
Note: when mentioning the Recce battalion of the 1.SS PD I say that it "was not present at the battle of Normandy" when I wanted to say it was not present at the battle of Mortain.