quarta-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2017

Rapid Fire! 20mm D-Day, the British Beaches - (Part 6) A few more Sword bits.

For the WN18 I already finished the observation tower and the Casino strongpoint. The true casino was levelled by the Germans and this building was built on top of it dominating a good part of the beach. The only place were I found some proper information was in 'D-Day Then and now ' books.

The first layer of the strongpoint is hard styrofoam which includes the barrel of the casemated 75mm French gun.

The second layer is a resin model of the standard AA type bunker from an unknown manufacturer.

Maybe I make a full WN18 in the future the problem being that this one will be pretty large and not easy to store.

In the mortar Tobruk there is an Italeri 81mm mortar. The sandbagged position can be useful for an extra Mg but doesn't make part of the original. 

The observation tower became a bit crude in the end of painting and I could have added some more details. Maybe I'll do it when WN18 is made as a whole piece.

The Britannia 20mm Flak gun was added to the roof. 

Two torsos of German figures were added for a "Sie Kommen" effect. 

A little bit inland of Sword beach on the western sector stood a 'chateau' from which I couldn't find much information. I made this one in heavy card inspired by the one from Raventhorpe.

The roof can be lifted as well as the 1st floor and plenty of figures can be placed inside. 

These Tobruks  are useful for several of the British beaches. Some will end by being integrated in one piece WN's. 

Some have Italeri machine gunners. 

Others have French tank turrets. 

Next: probably the last battalion of the British 6th Tank Brigade. 

sábado, 2 de dezembro de 2017

Rapid Fire! 6th Guards Tank Brigade in 20mm - Part 2, 4th Tank Battalion Coldstream Guards

This Churchill Tank Battalion was built around the 1/72nd scale ESCI model of the Churchill MkIV which you could see in numbers in the 6th Guards Brigade around the time of the Normandy campaign. Still four Churchills are missing, not for having problems dealing with the hedgerows but for having problem with nowadays mail from England and, on this case, from PSC headquarters. 

 I slightly improved the ESCI model with the usual different crew (Matchbox figure from the Humber AC), extra stowage, air recognition pannel and antennae. For the camouflage net/foliage of these ones I tried a new approach: I used Noch birch leaves on top of blobs of wood glue, let them dry overnight and repainted it in darker colours with a finish of lighter dry brush.

The 95mm CS Churchill is again a conversion of the Frontline Wargaming model with a crew from Britannia. The names of all these tanks are the true ones used by the Coldstream Guards in 1944/45. This one was 'Barossa' of  Peninsular fame.

Attached from the 79th Armoured Division is this Churchill Crocodile from Britannia with a crew figure taken from an ESCI  model.

This time the  Achilles supporting the Coldstream are 1/72nd scale Armourfast kits. I used all 1/72nd models in this battalion (including the PSC Churchills that are about to arrive) while the two other battalion have 1/76th scale models, both for the Churchill companies and Achilles batteries.  

Plenty of stowage, crew, and foliage was used on these ones as while these Achilles Armourfast models are very well designed they skip some important details.

Next: most probably the 3rd Tank Battalion Scots Guards to finish this brigade.

sábado, 25 de novembro de 2017

Rapid Fire! 6th Guards Tank Brigade in 20mm - Part 1, 4th Tank Battalion Grenadier Guards

Ready for Operation Bluecoat  the 4th GG advances with each company of Churchills acompanied by a troop (a model) of Achilles TD.
I call this Battalion the Airfix Battalion as all ten 75mm tanks are Airfix. In the near future I'll show you the other two battalions. One is Esci/PSC (Coldstream Guards) and the other is Frontline Wargaming (Scots Guards).
The only non-Airfix model is the 95mm CS Churchill which is a conversion on the Frontline Wargaming model with Britannia crew. The Co of the battalion has a small British flag for ease of recognition.
Both the symbol of the 6th GTB and the battalion markings were added as well as the company symbols.  
I cut the frontal fenders in some of the Churchills and I should have done it on more as  many were like this in the NW campaign of 1944/45.
Other Churchills have the PSC figure from their A9 tank. I also added petrol drums to the rear of some of them. The camouflage net/Hessian tape was made in GW GreenStuff.
To the rear of others I placed what was at hand to make them all different.
After some nice conversations with RF! enthusiasts on Fb I decided to place one Achilles TD per company. The three allocated from the RA to this battalion are metal Skytrex.

sábado, 18 de novembro de 2017

Rapid Fire! Russian Contemporary Wars in 20mm - Butler's Printed Models T-64BV

 A few more good models from BPM. These T-64BV easy to clean,  and quite detailed. I only added the antennae, some stowage, figures and the small basket for the discarded MG ammo cases. The only problem with these printings is generally around the tubes of the MG's always too large but on the other hand quite robust.
Due to the amount and time for printing these models become more expensive than most of other BPM models  (11.50 pounds) while a M113 APC is less than half price (5 pounds) probably due to its simplicity.
Next: The  British 6th Guards Tank Brigade in Normandy or some F-16 for the Portuguese Airforce.

sexta-feira, 17 de novembro de 2017

Maipo 1818 with Risk figures - Cazadores de Coquimbo

One more unit finished for Maipo 1818. This unit is the famous Cazadores de Coquimbo that belonged to the 1st Division ( Cor. Juan Gregorio de Las Heras) of the United Army.

terça-feira, 14 de novembro de 2017

Rapid Fire! '2008' Portuguese Army in 20mm (part 1) - M-60 company of the GCC of BrigMec.

Finally the big secret is unveiled! After my faithful followers having literally filled the Comments on the post 'Guess who's coming?' with the shameful number of one(!) comment (written by me!) I present you today the beggining of the Portuguese Brigada Mecanizada (BrigMec) with the M-60-A3 TTS company of the Grupo de Carros de Combate (GCC), the battalion tank unit of the brigade. This brigade is our heaviest unit and in 2008-09 had two of the M-60 companies replaced by Leopard 2A6 making it a very powerful big unit, leaving only one M-60 equipped company. Other main units of the brigade  are two battalions of Mechanized Infantry in M-113 APC and derivatives and a Group of Self Propelled Artillery with M-109 SPG. Other smaller units like reconnaissance, AA, engineers, services, etc are also available.

Also made is the CO of the GCC. I repainted this Fabbri Leopard and lenghtened the gun barrel as I made with the German Leopards I showed you a few days ago. I used also the same method of making the camouflage net.

Also from Fabbri are the three M-60 showed. They were also repainted as they are camouflaged originally. Painting these Portuguese tanks is interesting due to a number of nice symbols used: in the turret you can see the BrigMec symbol stencilled in White, and black company numbers; in the front hull you can see (L-R) in black and  yellow the authorized weight, the symbol of the GCC and its tactical symbol. Unseen in the picture is a license plate as we civilians have in our own cars painted in the front lower hull.

As usual plenty of stowage is also carried in our M-60 tanks in those big rear baskets.  

The figures I'm using for  the BrigMec vehicles are coming from the Modern US Tankers of Preiser. The colour for my Portuguese modern AFV's is GW Castellan Green.

Next:  T-64BV Russian tanks or Portuguese F-16 jet fighters.


sábado, 11 de novembro de 2017

Rapid Fire! '2008' German Army in 20mm - Tornado bomber from the supermarket.

A few years ago a brand of 1/72nd scale airplanes showed up in supermarkets and alike. Its name is New-Ray and had a number of diecast models like the Tornado, Mig-15, Mig-29, F-16, Thunderjet all in our favourite 1/72 scale.

They were funny to put together as they had some screws and even a small screwdriver inside the box to attach the few parts necessary. Pilots were very ugly and you need to take the canopy out, paint them and place the canopy back in place.

A New-Ray Mig-29 is already with my Iraqi airforce and I also bought this Tornado thinking it would end with British or Saudi colours. But then my big creation came ('2008' I mean) and the model ended in German colours. The original painting is also not very good so the model was painted again. The colours are from the 80's but saw service up to 2012. I used as greens both Vallejo German WW II uniform and Citadel Waaagh Flesh (a nice colour with a stupid name) and the grey is Vallejo Panzer Grey

While mounting the plane you can place the wings with variable geometry.

I hand painted all symbols and only added a metal air data receiver to the nose after drilling it.

But at some 2 Euro each you could not expect the best model Tornado around! The wheels are always the same in all planes, no fuel depots, no bombs or missiles and in the end some holes to be seen (of couse you can cover them but no one looks at the under belly of a plane during wargames).

In the end  you can have some reasonable and cheap planes for some happy wargaming.

Next: Wether some T-64BV from ButlersPrintedModels, some first BrigMec tanks ('Hey, what is that? It looks tasty' you're asking for sure)  or some 10mm Chileans. Lets see what I can finish first.

sexta-feira, 3 de novembro de 2017

Rapid Fire! '2008' German Army in 20mm - First Panzer unit of Leopard 2A6

Elements of a Panzer Battalion with the support of some IFV and an Eurofighter moves quickly to the defence of Blaustadt... The pilot of the jet was later convicted to pay all the broken antennae of this unit!

The Leopard 2A6 are original diecast Fabbri A5's. I added an extra piece of rod to the gun in order to simulate the new L55 120mm gun and desguised everything in the usual camo net that Leopards use.

Also some stowage was added, antennae and a careful sand drybrushing was aplied all over in order to break the shine of the printed colours. Also the wooden pick and shovels were repainted and some visors and aiming devices on the turret were painted in shiny black.

In fact the colours of the Fabbri/Altaya  German vehicles are so good that I didn't bother repainting them. Also many small decals are well placed and difficult to reproduce even with the smallest of the brush size. The three tone Green/Brown/Black of NATO is very well done and deserves to stay as made. Unfortunately not all vehicles of these collections are the same forcing plenty of repainting.

To make the L55 smoothbore 120mm gun I inserted a piece of 17mm plastic rod in the tube.

Then I plastered the gun tube and front chassis with blobs of GreenStuff. I used wire mesh carefully rolled over for the stippled effect of a camouflage net. Biting nails is good to see what we are doing otherwise details could be covered with a lenghty piece of yellow ...

The Marder 1 were easier. I only placed a pair of antennae and  a rolled camouflge net to the side. Then a light sand drybrushing and its done. First plan Marder 1 is an A1 from Altaya, second plan an A3 from Fabbri.

This Eurofighter Typhoon is an Altaya model.

The only addition was the usual pilot entirely made of GreenStuff  that I'm adding to all these diecast models.

Next: Probably more '2008' stuff.

quarta-feira, 1 de novembro de 2017

Rapid Fire! '2008' German Army in 20mm - SPG's and Recce.

In my first years of Modern wargaming I was around the Lebanon Campaign of 1982. For that I built a Syrian and an Israeli armies in 15/18mm, the scales on those days were you could find almost  everything you needed. Then in the 90's I started my Iraqi and Coalition armies in 20mm as the models for this period were already more abundant. Recently with my 'Russian Contemporary Wars' I explored the Chechen and Georgian conflicts again in 20mm as there is already a big flood of models for them. Even more recently I found Fb groups like Red Storm Rising Wargaming,  Iraqi Armed Forces research group and Tanks at Work, just to name a few,  were their main contributors place very nice articles on armoured warfare around the World.

Then the huge numbers of Altaya and Fabbri diecast models available- tanks, planes and helicopters -  made me think about creating European armies that on an hypothetical basis could wargame with my existing Russian, Iraqi, Saudi and US 20mm armies. 

These already built Altaya and Fabbri models allows you to build a French army (all sort of planes and helicopters are available, as well as the AMX-30 and Leclerc tanks, GCT 155mm and VAB APC); an Italian army (with a big obvious collection of planes and helicopters, don't forget that Fabbri is Italian and Altaya also has some of its roots there, Centauro and C1 Ariete MBT), a Swedish army (Saab aircraft and S-tanks ) and also almost everything you need for a modern German army. For all these armies the missing models or figures will be made out of plastic brands and 3D prints. Due to already having plenty of models built around the 2008 Georgian conflict I will concentrate around this year for all these projects. The cherry on top of the cake will be obviously the mighty Portuguese army!

It looks like a too ambitious  project but as you will see most of the models are already built and many will not be even repainted but only some details added.

So '2008' was born.

While the world is watching the Olympics of Beijing the Georgian army invades South Ossetia and Abkhazia bringing  Russia to the conflict. The Georgian invasion is smashed by  the swift Russian intervention of its 58th army already blooded in the two previous conflicts in Chechnya. Until now everything is true, from now on everything comes out of my devious mind. Fearful that Russian could go too deep inside Georgia, NATO moves its forces deeper into Poland while the US forces are mainly still engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia moves its forces closer to its own borders, spy aircraft are shot down from both sides and war(gaming) begins.

Number two in the Portuguese Altaya collection was this PzHaubitze 2000. Still very cheap at around 3€, before number three starts to 'hurt' I bought these four models really not thinking about using them for much. They were just big and cute. I even bought once the Revell model and then I gave it to someone. Now I wish I had bought a few more...

I only placed a pair of antennae, some stowage and crew. I also apllied a careful drybrush of sand colour all over and the usual basing.

The Luchs are a mix of Altaya and Fabbri, the Fabbri version generally being a little less careful in the painting (as well as in the boxing). Same details like the ones on  the SPG's were added. The crew member is a PSC British from their A9 tank set.

The Gepard is the Altaya version and was repainted to the CARC camouflage of NATO.

Next: Probably more Germans.