sexta-feira, 13 de setembro de 2019

Rapid Fire! Poland 1939 in 20mm - The first Polish infantry battalion

This RF! infantry battalion is based on the two boxes available from the Hat brand, the infantry and the artillery box, the latter providing mortar crew, telephone operator and officers. Hopefully this will be part one of a total of nine parts, as nine were the battalions in a 1939 Polish Infantry division. These battalions were particularly large, 1000 men strong, wich makes companies of 14 figures.

The uniform was painted with Vallejo Khaki Grey. I followed mostly the colours of the Polish reconstitution groups as they look pretty accurate.

 The "salamander" colour for the helmet is a mix of GW green with a little silver and the canvas stowage was painted Vallejo Dark Yellow. 

No 81mm mortars exist in the big 96 figures box of Hat Polish infantry. That can be explained as they were relatively rare (only 20 in a entire infantry division) but Hat provides four of the cute 46mm mortar per box. I built a few 81mm mortars in Evergreen plastic card and used the figures of the artillery box as crew. They are enough for the entire division I hope to build.

 Here they are painted and ready to defend mother land. 

 The sniper was leaned against a big bush for obvious reasons. They were rare and maybe two or three will be enough for the entire division. All other will have their telescopes cut and will serve in the normal infantry companies.

The bycicle platoon have bycicles from the Airfix command post set. 

 The command group have a mix of both Hat Polish boxes. 

Next; more Polish armour and airplanes.

sábado, 7 de setembro de 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - French Heavy Artillery Battalion for the DLM

One more unit done with the latest builds. The only new things are one of the guns and the command stand. This post can be interesting as the new gun is made from scratch and copies one from StreletsR models I've shown you recently. I tried to order more from Hannants but the Schneider 105mm gun sold out quickly and waiting is not my favourite business.

Here is the copied gun with Hat wheels as the StreletsR that served as matrix. The Somua MCG 5 are Lancer resin models and they were also used to tow the Schneider 105mm 1913 as well as the Unic P107 that masters Colin and Richard indicates (time to bow... 1,2,3 times, done).

The command group is a mix of Hat and StreletsR figures.

Now lets see the new gun. I copied all sizes from the StreletsR model to the left. The material used was Plastic card and thick hard foam.

The gun shield was bent in hot water for its particulat shape.

What really unifies the two guns are the same wheels taken from the Hat WW2 French Artillery set. Of course not all guns can be reproduced as easily as this one but I hope this one can incentivate some of you to try the same approach.
Next: Poland 1939 again.

segunda-feira, 2 de setembro de 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - The last Lafflys S20 of the DLM (part 2)

The RDP of a DLM meets at Point Trianglaire not far from all other places I keep on mentioning, in fact, always the same yard!

As I told you in the last post these are the last 14 Lafflys for a full Regiment de Dragons Portés (RDP). Everything is Minigeneral or based on the Minigeneral Laffly S20 TL. I used the Green/Sand camouflage on one of the battalions as it was the oldest type. The Green/Brown camouflage was used already after 1939 and the vehicles produced during the war apparently left the factory in these colours.

This Laffly was converted into the PC version. I added an MT trailer to give both radio and telephone capabilities to the unit to which is attached. This trailer was converted from the Hasegawa GMC trailer.

Another PC conversion with older colours.

Rear view of the same vehicle.  

The converted AT 25mm Hotchkiss portees had some foliage on the gun's shield as it can be seen in wartime pictures. In my case it was also a way to desguise the wrong shape of the shield I scratch built.

The figures are Hat from the French artillery box. As these figures are Dragons Portés don't forget to add a blue collar outlined white.

The standard version of the Laffly S20 had a FM29 LMG added and a converted firer with torso from Hat and legs from Esci Italian Alpini as the ones I showed you a few posts ago.

Lastly I converted a Lancer Resin Somua MCG 4 as a Recovery vehicle. As this one is expected to tow damaged vehicles it has the blue/yellow triangle so typical of French towing vehicles.

The crane was scratch built in plastic and drilled into the resin. The towing cable is metal from an old neckless my mother gave to me to this purpose convinced that its not silver or gold. I hope it wasn't.

Next: probably a big assault on 1939 Polish forces, but still not sure or some 1940 French artillery.

terça-feira, 27 de agosto de 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - The last Lafflys S20 of the DLM (part 1)

According to Masters Richard and Colin we need 18 Laffly S20 of different types for the three battalions Dragons Portés in a DLM. Four are already built and painted, three from SHQ and another from MiniGeneral.
This post is about the last 14 of them, all MiniGeneral, and two new models made out from their basic and very nice Laffly S20TL.

I wanted something different for the HQ company. The Blitzkrieg supplement mentions a standard S20 TL for it due to the need of transport, I think, of the 60mm mortar. But a few dozens of the Laffly S20TL PC were built for radio and command of the DLM's. They are a good alternative as they are quite distinctive, good looking and give some radio capability to our French miniatures. I don't know anyone who produces the PC version so I decided to convert a few of them. I also think that anyone who has the EWM, SHQ or MadBob standard versions can also use the next photos as a guide for their own conversions.

The PC version started with a careful measurement of the new roof made in wood which has to be carefully bevelled to this aproximate shape.

Using the front widscreen as a guide the back support of the roof is made out from plastic card.

Then comes the trickiest part. You need new sides for the truck. I built two in plastic card, one right and another left side, and used them as matrix for the other trucks. A long strip of plastic card for the windows are previously glued to the inside and you are almost done with the main body.

An extra Wheel is glued to the back. Around this point I noticed I bevelled the rear part of the roof and two component paste was used to remedy the situation.

Lastly the antenna set. Some lines are carved into small pieces of EverGreen tubing to look like the copper bases of French vehicle radios. These pieces sat into blobs of GreenStuff and a T part is made of thinner tubing. The more striking part is the triple the antenna parts which are made of bended broom bristles. I looked for my old surplus Matchbox Sdkfz 231 antennae  and I couldn't find them. If you have  them in stock use them as they are a good alternative after a few cuts. 

To complete the PC version I glued some sliced tubing to represent handlers and exterior radio parts.

Two other conversions are the 25mm portee version. First you need rebuild to shape a new windshield with a space for the gun to pop out. Then you have to break the middle divisor in the troop compartment for the gun to seat. Then comes a full scratch built Hotchkiss 25mm AT gun as the ones I have in stock simply don't fit. Mine were made from Plastic card and the gun tube from extra 20mm Minairons PzI's. The wheels are MiniGeneral 3d prints. There also some ammo boxes under and to the sides of the gun.

You also need a tow and some ramps. Frankly I already had a nice SHQ model of the Laffly 25mm portee and I copied most of the parts.

Next: this lot already painted and with a few additions.

quarta-feira, 21 de agosto de 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - StreletsR French artillery

These two StrelestR guns and crew are designed for the WW1 but can be easily adapted for 1940. The main aspect is a new paint job on the crew. The two rows of buttons in the capote need somehow to be desguised - I did it with a thick coat of varnish - and a belt need to be painted in each figure. The officer has the capote buttoned infantry style, so he can be an infantry officer giving a hand to his fellow artillerymen. Its an excuse as good as any other.

The 155 GPF was built straight from the box but this Schneider 105mm has new wheels from the Hat artillery box. Initially intended for the Hat 75mm gun these wheels were historically also used in the Schneider 105mm guns of the DLM's and DCR's.

Next: The rest of the vehicles of the Dragoon regiment of the DLM.

domingo, 18 de agosto de 2019

Rapid Fire! Blitzkrieg Refugees.

Refugees are another sad part of the German Blitzkrieg across Europe in 1939-40 and these figures try to show the European western civilians that fled from those invasions. While painting these guys I could not stop thinking that some of them came to Portugal or Spain, but many went to North Africa or Middle East where they were well received by the local communities, even if in those days they were still European dominated. Nowadays it's a shame what we see ın the EU with some countries denying help to refugees. If to the East those countries have no idea what is a colony in their History and have a natural fear of the refugees who comes to 'steal their job', in the West the same  attitude is particularly dangerous as Western European countries would still live in Middle Ages  if it was not for the exploitation of resources and people in the places from where the nowadays refugees come from.
But of course memory is a fragile thing. And even worse is the History knowledge.
The figures are Airfix from the old civilian sets and from Faller, Rocco and Preiser. They are different scale with Airfix around 1/76th and Preiser, Rocco and Faller in 1/87th scale. But they match well  if you want to make refugees as you may portray men and women of different size and ages. A total of 22 stands were built which makes more than 1 meter long of refugee column capable of hampering any possible Allied counter attack.

I built the carts out of EverGreen plastic card and glued piles of stuff and figures on top or hanging from them. The basis for this one are two Hat horses with extra harness, wheels from WW1 Airfix artillery and Airfix seated civilian figures. The stowage on top of the cart was made of two component paste.

This one is pulled with a pair of oxen from Preiser.

- Father, why is mom leading?
- My son, you will use in the future a new saying: size matters!

At this point spare wheels were scarce and this cart only has two and one surplus.

Even if school is closed you need to do keep on studying.

I placed grass only in one of the borders of each stand so that they can be placed on the road side. Well, this doesn't always work.

A mix of 1/76th and 1787th scale figures without no one getting offended.

Another mix.

I only had a few running figures and these try to portray wether the ones whom are late to enter the column or people running from the dreaded straffing of a Stuka. 

This stand has a RAF Airfix cyclist converted to a civilian.

As usual in war there are those who take advantage of other people. The guy in the rear is analysing the girl's ass even in this dire situation! Shame on him and on the one who made this vignette.

Even the dog came along.

Rich and poor, everybody is quite similar under the same circumstances.

Also the cow and the calf had to come as both received prizes in the last agricultural fair of the region.

Next: StreletsR new French artillery.