Monday, 23 November 2020

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - More wheels and tracks for the German side

At the crossroads of Karl-Heinz-Rumenigge, still in German soil, a column of towing vehicle prepares to give a ride to its guns. Lurking in the woods the Neubaufahrzeug of Pz.Abt,zbv 40 prepares its engines to join the column. 

The Kfz 69 are FtF  and the Sdkfz 10 are BPM 3d prints. Both will pull the 37mm Pak, 20mm AA and 75mm IG of several units. The BPM models need some sort of paste in the areas were the printing lines are more visible. Besides the original BPM figures I added a few S&S figures in their relaxed poses to this lot. 

The FtF kits are little marvels of enginneering with lots of detail and very easy to put together. 

And what to say about this BPM model? One piece and its done. 

The S&S passengers are very nice. This one is looking at his wrist watch and holds a map or at least I think thats what he does. The driver is my usual plastic torso with GreenStuff arms.

The Neubaufahrzeug are Minigeneral 3d prints with Fujimi tankers with Greenstuffed bonnet. I painted them in plain Panzer grey as the rest of the lot hoping they can one day reach the plains of Ukraine in 1941. In fact the few Neubaufahrzeug B, after its usage in Norway 1940, were sent to Russia and lost there against BT-7s.

As can be seen here they almost participated in the French campaign but became disheartened at the sight of the Char B1bis and fled to Germany behind their 20mm armour plates... After all they were Propaganda tanks. 

Next: a few more models for the 21st PD in Normandy.

Friday, 13 November 2020

Rapid Fire! Market Garden in 20mm - Oddities and such (part 11) - More German wheels and guns for the new RF book


This week's finished items for OMG: On top, a Renault AHN will be used to complete Graebner's unit, on the left, a few more 20mm Flak 38, this time towed by Steyer heavy cars and on the right several 120mm mortars to equip both Heer and FJ. 

The Renault AHN is S&S and the figures came from both Valiant German boxes. Unfortunately only one of these Renaults was on the bridge on the 18th September 1944 and thus no more than one can be modelled. 

The uniforms were painted with a mixture of SS and Heer uniforms due to the volunteers that crewed this vehicle and other Ford and Opel LKW and PKW of Graebner's column. 

The MG42 firer originally had a MG15 but the beauties of hard modelling allows you to interchange many parts. The oil drums are clay cast pieces kindly sent to me by Reprimo Wargaming. 

Maybe I will build another truck with oil drums based on the trucks of the previous post (they are a reasonable match for the Fords used by the Germans) in order to have one that represents the eight or so Opel and Ford LKWs that tried to cross the bridge. They are fun to make and the variety of poses provided by Valiant is an appetizer for this extra model. The grassy base will be an eternal problem as the Arnhem bridge had very little of it...

A very different story with these Flak 38. The guns are Minigeneral and most of the crew figures are Revell engineers with new arms. The Sd.Ah.52 tailers are old Esci that came with the 20mm FlakVierling. They were leftovers as I used the gun tubes for something else. New wheels and mudguards had to be added. 

Some cases of 20mm ammo were placed on the new arms of the Revell figures as well as a new pair of binoculars in one of them. 

The stand gets a bit to long with gun and trailer but I think it results in an different and lively piece. 

Two Steyers to pull the Flak 38s from  Raventhorpe RTR range were built straight from the box, that is, painted! Only some foliage made of  two component paste was added. 

Also some badly needed 120mm mortars with Heer crew joined the German shelves. I already have some for the SS and LW infantry but none for the Heer. The crews are Valiant and a few more mortar shells were made of two component paste and placed in rifle armed figures. The shell cases were made of 3mm thick styrene. 

I tried to stick the models into my usual 4cm poker bases but some new 6cm bases had to be cut due to the size of the Valiant figures, true servers of the Nazi doctrine of racial superiority!! Even if big, they are lovely figures that allows a huge variety of poses and conversions. 

Finally one stand of FJ 120mm mortar was made with the Valiant weapon and converted Esci German paratroopers. 

Next: maybe a dive into France 1940 or more OMG. A return to Zululand is also in the horizon...

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Rapid Fire! Market Garden in 20mm - Oddities and such (part 10) - A few Allied missing bits for the new RF book

This week a few more new models were added to the Allied side. The Armoured Cars and trailers came in recent parcels but the Jeeps were old models waiting to be built or repainted for years. The idea was to make the a Recce squadron for a British divisions at Garden and the first few Jeeps for the US 101st Airborne division. 

The AEC armoured car is a BPM 3d print as well as all trailers. The Staghound A/C is RTR Raventhorpe. The Jeeps are Airfix (the ones that comes with the LVT-4, grey colour), Fujimi (the green one with trailer) and Hasegawa (with the Browning MG). All models got plenty of extras as figures, stowage, jerrycans, windscreen covers, etc. 

The drivers are plastic Esci or Revell figures with arms from the spare box. 

These models were great fun to build. I used tissue paper for the windscreen covers and PVA to stick them. 

The MG armed Jeep got a Valiant Browning and the binoculars figure from Hasegawa bent with fire until it could man the MG. 

The final result gives a nice and different model. The helmets of the Hasegawa figures got the 1st aid kit for them to look like paratroopers. The US vehicles were painted GW Castellan Green. 

The RTR is easy to put together with only turret, gun and body as separate parts. The stowage is already modelled in its place so only a figure, an MG and a antenna were necessary as extras. 

The BPM AEC A/C was painted first with thick varnish before the grey primer and again this seems to cover most of the printing lines. Even so this technology is getting better and better and detail is also increasing. These British vehicles were painted Vallejo WW2 Russian Uniform. 

Next: more OMG or France 1940.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Rapid Fire! Market Garden in 20mm - Oddities and such (part 9) - A few more German missing bits for the new RF book

This week a few more German bits were finished for the new OMG book. Unfortunately not much German kit is missing in my collection as this army is by far the most interesting of the campaign due to its highly "irregular" look with units coming from all branches of the German military. This post reflects that nature. 

From Shellhole Scenics came this beautiful PzJager 35R(f) intended as "reinforcements for the 59th Division" (p.22). 

Just a few extra stowage, antenna and crew and one more is ready. 

As a commander for this one I used this Esci figure bent with fire on the knees and hips until it became a seated figure. If they don't obey ... you have to force them.

The other figure is a PSC figure with another head from the same brand. 

These two Sdkfz 10/5 are 3d prints from BPM with scratch built trailers. Holland was the passage for the Allied bombers into Germany and was thus filled with AA weapons as reflected in the OMG book. I suppose that the unarmoured version was more common in Holland, by looking at pictures, but I already have several of those from Britannia.

The trailers are made of small blocks of RoofMate covered in stowage. Don't forget to apply a good coat of PVA glue before any primer on RoofMate. 

The crew was made after hacking a number of hard and soft plastic figures. The seated figures had their legs made from two component paste. 

A number of old 37mm Pk36 were still being used by the German FG and at least one is necessary in two different scenarios. I have all my Kettenkraftrad in the 1942 Ramcke Brigade so for now these three guys will have the pull the gun by hand. The figures are Airfix and Revell and the gun is Matchbox with an additional lower shield. 

Finally, on a visit to Ale-Hop I found these civilian trucks that can be used for the mounts of the Grenadier Battalion  1036 after a repaint. The grey one got a canvas cover from an Italian truck from MiniGeneral and a Valiant figure in Zeltbahn. 

This time I didn´t use new wheels as the original ones are reasonable. The red truck got another leftover canvas cover. 


I used the truck colours shown in the OMG book as a clear reminder to Master Colin and Master Richard of my obedient, servant, slave-ish, doggy-style-position ways towards those two Gods of wargaming, yes, the ones who should be dealing with kicking Saudi Arabia out of Yemen and Covid-19 at a global level. Dixit!!

Next: more OMG or France 1940.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Rapid Fire! NW Europe 44/45 in 20mm - German 21cm Mörser 18

Well, frankly I don't like to say negative remarks about models. For me, models are pieces of heaven that God sent to earth in the form of small bits of plastic, resin or metal for the fruition and pleasure of men (and woman alike as it keeps us at home). But this one simply drove me crazy! Why Revell needs to place 130 small parts, sometimes 3 parts in a 5mm lenght of a model thats ends up being 15cm long? This one was clearly designed for that friend of ours that when in a modelling contest abandons the conversation with you as soon as the loudspeaker announces that the winners will be revealed in seconds. There he goes running like crazy, expecting to receive 1st prize! After all he spent a good part of his life looking behind the magnifying lens, marvelled at the spark of the cigar on its 1/72nd figure or the button on the belt on its last jet fighter's seat that no one else can see!!  This is really a model for them: dozens of small parts, parts divided into other small parts, parts, parts, parts! And look at the box, almost the size of an Airfix playset with 100 figures and a castle!

The model on its own is a marvel of engineering, everything fits well and the end result is very good. But can't Revell understand that their biggests buyers are not our friends that run crazy as soon as the loudspeaker calls them - I mean the true (static) modellers - but we, the wargamers, or model hoarders? We are the ones that after buying 2 or 3 times the same model, still think that 2 or 3 more will be necessary as we never know when Nostradamus can be right. I wish PSC, Armourfast or alike could have made this one as I never missed these brands as much as I did in the last four previous and precious days. When the last tiny part was glued I just felt a big relief and pleasure as if smoking a cigar after getting laid with Miss Colombia... 

The artillerymen are old Matchbox figures. They have little gear and several poses are in standing positions. With new arms made of Greenstuff they become ideal for the job. The figures using the ram should be some 4 or 5 but that would extend the base too much and space is something that I start to value. The hands and arms are too big in this picture and they were trimmed to look more real when the paste dried out. The officer is the eternal Airfix DAK officer in the copied enlarged version. 

For the ram I used a stretched paper clip.

This Mörser becomes very spacious due to the long metal claws. At the same time they are a nice detail making a very realistic model. 

I still couldn't find some proper ammunition for this gun and so I only used some ammunition boxes. They exist in resin but as usual are quite expensive. I´m thinking about using the ones from the German guns of the D-Day Airfix playset but first I need to find were I put them.  

The trailer is a nice detail but another multi XXXX part thing. In the end this model is a good addition with the drawback of being heavy on building time. But hey, it was a gift from a friend so what the heck!...

Next: More Market Garden additions.  

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Rapid Fire! Dieppe 1942 in 20mm (part 3) - The last Churchills of the Calgary Tank Regiment

The mailman arrived with these two on friday and the OMG project suffered an halt. Nothing that OMG is not used to with so many delays along Hell's Highway and all those bridges. 

With these two Churchill III I finish the Calgary Tank Regiment. This was a unit I wanted to do since childhood. I remember reading the old threee volumes of The Reader's Digest WW2 and getting hooked to the pictures and to a nice map of the attack. One more page closes in my "Wish I could do it" calendar.

The models are Dragon pre-built Kits bought from Clive Dudley friendly and fast service and they take two minutes to put together. In fact you just need to take them out of the box and they are ready. These are different from the more usual die-cast models of Altaya or Amercom as they are the same plastic kits of the brand built and beautifully painted. Not cheap but the end result is great. They become very light and the brand usually places a metal bolt inside for extra weight.

The colours matches my own Hasegawa MkI and Mk II pretty well which was a true relief. 

The only change I made was in the turret markings as the original ones are very small, maybe some three times smaller as they should and new handpainted ones were made. For not having two Beefys this one became Bert, the Churchill III that was photographed closer to the Casino. 

From here you can see the beautiful original painting of the models using the main tone first, dirting with diluted black all crevices and then drybrushing the main tone + white. This is also my way of painting tanks (the only difference is that these are better painted) and they fit very well next to the Hasegawa ones.

In the meantime I changed the turret symbol colours to dark and light blue as the yellow was wrong.

 Next: before the mailman arrives I´ll built a Revell´s 21Cm Mörser 18 for Normandy.