Tuesday 21 May 2024

AOE (Age Of Eagles rules) 7th Belgian infantry in 28mm at Waterloo 1815


The 7th Belgian infantry line regiment was part of Bylandt famous brigade that fought at Quatre-Bras and also, two days later, bore the brunt of the massive d´Érlon´s attack. Here, using brigade level AOE rules, the 7th Beçgian line represent the entire brigade. The 7th was a veteran unit with many soldiers that previously fought for Napoleon. For a good story of this unit, use this link: 


The figures are a mix of parts from Victrix and Perry British plastic boxes. The main changes is the usage of the stovepipe provided in two different Victrix boxes on Perry´s bodies and the erasing of the lace. This last one is particularly time consuming. The officer in a circular stand is a marker for advancing/breakthrough unit (Irregular Miniatures with a shako from Victrix). Next to it is a Perry casualty marker. 

The good thing about mixing brands is that you don´t get two figures alike. 

 If you don´t want to have this trouble you can wait until Warlord releases a number of plastic boxes of Belgian/Dutch infantry and cavalry. They are next on their On the making list and I found them by accident while looking for inspiration for these ones. 

The Command stand. The Flag is warflag and all typical British uniform details - the strips of lace on both cuffs and coat - were erased with a scalpel and  now look more like a French uniform as it should. The "French" cuffs were simply painted on. 

The Grenadier company. 

Centre companies. 

Light company. 

Casualty and breakthrough markers. 

Next: The British Foot Guards at Waterloo

Saturday 11 May 2024

The French army at Waterloo for AOE rules in 28mm size

This is one of the three Waterloo 28mm armies I´ve been slowly building since the cheaper plastics from Victrix, Perry, Warlord and Hat started to arrive. These plastics were coupled with some metal from Perry, Victrix and Irregular Miniatures. Perry Miniatures gave a lot of life to this period with plenty of characters of many of his top brass officers, specially for the French side (and that includes Napoleon, obviously). Many times I refer Warlord as the battalion commanders when in fact many are metal Victrix. As usual you can see many conversions as the engineers in the cover photo made with bodies from Hat, heads from Perry and Milliput trousers.

Thursday 9 May 2024

Rapid Fire! Italeri 1/72nd scale MKI Horsas


These three were on the stash for a long time. The original idea was to have three to MKI standards, one per battalion, in order to transport the men of the Glider Regiment of an Airborne division and three other to MKII standards for the transport of heavy material like jeeps and 6 pdr AT guns. Like these the transport for figures is done. In fact, I was tempted to have the Britannia resin shorter versions instead to these much bigger ones. In the end I prefered these as they are more realistic. The models were quickly assembled without seats and cockpit details which makes the assembly pretty straight forward. The absence of the landing gear in two of the three models also helps as finding the right balance for them is probably the most time consuming part of building these Italeri models. 

So, one in pristine landing condition was built and painted ...

Another one so, so ...

And another one in very bad shape...

Plenty of scattered pieces from the landing gear were liberally spread throughout the base. 

Obviously these scattered pieces should be hundred of meters to the beggining place of the (crash) landing but the basing doesn´t allow it :) 

Due to the rush on making a 28mm Perry stand with Napoleon on it, and only when finishing the last Horsa I then realised that all fuselages were glued in the oposite way which makes the wings being placed some 2/3 cm to the front of the glider. 'Experienced modeller', sure... 

Some sprue plastic pieces were glued inside the broken wings for it to look like broken structures. 

Next:  a video on the 28mm French waterloo army or the German figures for Omaha. 

Thursday 2 May 2024

Able Archer/ RFR rules (?) - Russian invasion of Ukraine 2022 in 20mm (part 15) - The Russian Tor M-1/2 AA systems


Recently the Chinese brand 4D released the HQ-17 missile systems. Initially I had no idea what the HQ-17 was but it looked somewhat familiar. By reading a bit on the issue I found that the HQ-17 is a direct copy of the Tor Russian system (NATO name SA-15 Gauntlet). So three of them were ordered from Aliexpress.  A quick arrival was followed by  quick but also complete build. Like this, together with three Pantsir, I have six AA short/medium systems for the my six BTG´s of the beggining of the war. 

The differences between the Russian and Chinese variants are minimal. The Chinese version has bigger mudguards and these were cut down until the size of the Russian original version. Of note its important to say that the first batches of Tor had a chassis with 6 wheels while the later ones (M-1/2), including the Chinese,  had 7.  The latest versions of the Tor is still used in the Russian army while the Ukrainian army had to reactivate their own early versions (6 wheels). That is why all the three models went to the Russian side. 

Another difference between the Tor and the HQ-17 is the rear part of the chassis, with a different stowage box arrangement. That was solved with camouflage nets covering that part. 

Next: The Horsa gliders 

Wednesday 1 May 2024

The battle of Hastings, 1066 in 20mm size for Impetus Rules

This video shows my aproach in making the two armies on the field, the Saxon and the Norman, using plastic Revell figures. Some Italeri and even some Robin Hood Airfix were used. Of interest there may be the way to make Norman cavalry using Revell foot soldiers and horses from other brands. Also plenty of Saxon infantry got spears instead of swords as these were much more expensive. The shields of the Norman got glued paper photocopies (about 15mm lenght). The Italeri figures had much smaller shields (10mm lenght) and these got the bigger 15mm photocopies on top with the help of super glue and wood glue (used as filler) until the difference between the original shield and the paper one was barely visible.

Friday 26 April 2024

Rapid Fire! Western Desert 1940-43 in 20mm - First New Zealand Battalion

Another battalion for the Western Desert and Crete parading this time in front of the captured Fort Capuzzo. And, again, an highly improbable one due this time to the lemon squeezer hats. Most probably the New Zealand infantry used always the Brodie helmet in action but modelling them with their cherished hat makes them distinguishable on the table and/or shelves.

For that I used plastic British from all sources with pinned heads from Airfix US WW1 infantry. Even if some are 1/72 and others are 1/76 they end up forming a realistic group . Well, not counting the hats, of course. StreletsR has a nice box of these guys if you prefer not to loose time converting them and piercing your fingers.

Here, (L to R) Matchbox, Esci and Airfix all living happily in the same stand. The Esci figure got a new head and also a new arm as the original is holding a pistol and something more administrative was necessary. 

Both mortars are scratchbuilt (the 3'' has a bipod from an airplane landing gear) with figures from all brands. The middle figure in the 2'' stand is the old Airfix holding a Bren. The ammunition magazine was carved out for the figure to look as if carrying an ordinary rifle. 

As an example this company is made of  figures from the Matchbox,  Esci and Airfix 8th army boxes and  Esci WW2 box. 

Next: Russian Tor systems to finish the BTGs AA groups. 

Wednesday 24 April 2024

The German 'Specials' at Market Garden for Rapid Fire! rules in 20mm

These German relatively rare vehicles and with different markings makes a funny addition to a late German force and were also a pleasure to collect. They came from a number of origins namely (better writing them due to my Portoenglish even if the video is an highly professional job with lots of hand movement): - Char B1 Flamethrower - Matchbox conversions - R35 w/ 47mm gun - ShellHole Scenics - Fire Truck - Hasegawa conversion - Dodge w/ trailer - Esci and Airfix - Jeep - Airfix - Panhard 178 - MiniGeneral - Humber MkIV - Matchbox - Renault AHN - S&S - Umbaus - Converted 1/64 die-casts - French 75/36 AA guns and IG37 - scratchbuilts - Pz III F and M - Armorfast and PSC - StuH 42 and Stug III C - Esci - Colorful trucks - Alle-Hop (But you can have them from Aliexpress and such) - Soviet 152mm guns - Irregular Miniatures - Sdkfz 251/21 - Hasegawa conversions - PzV Panthers - Esci and Matchbox - PzVI KingTigers - Esci and Altaya - Command car - 1/64 die-cast

Monday 22 April 2024

The BR-20 bombers for Rapid Fire! Rules in 20mm size


Bombers from the 30s are one of my favorite themes in the history of WW2. I had these two Italeri Italian BR-20s for decades in the stash. Originally they were to be painted in Italian colors and fight in the desert or droping some bombs over England. But two other important users of the BR-20 were the Nationalist Spain and Japan. So, these two flew to these countries as I had no bomber for Franco and only one Betty for Japan. 

These kits are from the seventies but they withstood well the passage of time. These ones are from the 80s but look much more recent. My models had the German version on the cover and date from 1984. 

Around 1937 the Japanese bomber force was in desperate need for a modern bomber for its operations in China as their KI-21 Sally were taking too long to be produced. Knowing of its usage in the SCW, Japan bought 82  BR-20 from Italy. Like this they can be used in the war against China or in the first few months after Pearl Harbor against the Allies. 

The camouflage was the Italian one of the first 72 delivered (the second one of 10 was in the blotches camo you can see on the Spanish model). 

The big Hinomaru are provided in the decals and make the model quite striking. 

These should have been shown before the aircraft as they were made first. For a long time I wanted some bomber stands but all solutions didn´t seem right. So I glued two flutes using Araldite resin, as cyanoacrilate produces some vapor in the transparent plastic, and used two CDs as the ground base (heavily textured with small stones for balance) and the aircraft support base (painted sky blue). Like this the bombers are 35cm above the table in a relatively  stable base and fighters can be on top of one flute only at about 17cm height. 

The Spanish model was painted with green blotches using the same sand base as the Japanese version. 13 of them were delivered to Nationalist Spain. 

From period pictures this camouflage looks to have been very effective. Recently I saw a YouTube video on the shooting down of Yamamoto and apparently one of the strenghts of the US airforce in this action was the green painting of their P-38s which, coming from below and over the jungle, were undetected until the last second. 

All markings were hand painted. 

The markings are for an aircraft of squadriglia 230 whose symbol was was a stork catching a frog. 

Next: a video on the German 'specials' for Market Garden. 

Saturday 20 April 2024

The Arnhem/Oosterbeek houses for Rapid Fire! rules in 20mm size

This is a group of the most famous houses of the Arnhem/Oosterbeek battles in September 1944 between the British 1st Airborne and the defending/counter-attacking Germans. Most of them are scratchbuilt in heavy duty card and wood for the bases. The biggest help came from the Then and Now two big volumes on the battle were you can see many of these buildings in period photos but also from the two great RF! supplements on Market Garden. Movies like A Bridge too far and Theirs is the Glory made the rest. In the Netherlands there is a RF wargamer called Ludwig that also made this and much more covering the entire area. If you look for him in RF related articles you can find plenty of his tasty pictures. Obviously if you don´t want to scratchbuild these structures you can go resin or nowadays 3d prints were all this material is also available.

Sunday 7 April 2024

Rapid Fire! Western Desert 1940-43 in 20mm - Fort Capuzzo

Fort Capuzzo was an Italian large structure in the Lybian and Egyptian border built in the 20s to prevent the passage of the Sanussi tribesmen. In WW2 it changed hands several times as it was placed right in the middle of most of the more important offensives from both sides.This fort has been on my plans for some time. I never had the Airfix desert fort nor any nice resin fort and I wanted something with the proper gate of Fort Capuzzo. At the same time the building should be used in other periods of history (more on that later) as it should be something like 40cmX40cm. In fact it ended 40cmX33cm, large enough for a RF battalion to be placed inside. 

While looking for Lego Bionicles for my 6 years old boy in a Chinese shop I found these 1 euro tower & walls from the Christmas period. I brought four of them and Capuzzo started to have a shape, at least on my mind. 

With the help of the cheap 1 euro models and BlueBoard the construction was an easy affair. All windows were covered with hot glue gun  and the whole structure was glued to plywood. Soon I realized that the turrets should have been much shorter but it was too late. 

The gates of the turrets were turned inside and some makeshift inner doors are suddenly possible.

The way other periods of history are possible for this fort is by making the inscription "Ridotta Capuzzo - Amseat- "in a piece of clear plastic... 

... and take it out whenever is necessary. The plastic piece just need to sit in some L shaped pin. 

The most recognizable part of Capuzzo was its gate and some work was placed on it. Even so I skipped many details for this structure to be as generic as possible. 

BlueFoam was used in most structures as its a resistant and easy to work material. 

The blue foam was carved with brick shapes to go along with the plastic of the original tower & walls models.

When building something like that you have the choice of building it in a pristine pre-war looks or with  some sort of damage. 

I went for the second and with the help of some plastic breaking, small pebbles and a hot glue gun something already destroyed was achieved. 

The fort was in fact not a single structure but a big number of dwellings and separate buildings and walls. 

I kept as simple as possible thinking also about placing some extra buildings inside and outside of the fort. 

The true Fort Capuzzo from the sky. The towers were more detached from the walls than in my  model and the number of buildings was simply too much to replicate. In the end, a couple of extra desert buildings inside and outside will do the trick. 

Next: maybe some WW2 Mediterranean New Zealanders.