Sunday, 15 January 2023

The British/Empire infantry division 1915-18 and Corps support, Great Wa...

This Division is made of converted WW1 British infantry and WW2 Japanese Airfix and Atlantic figures with pinned Brodie helmets. The Artillery is mostly Irregular Miniatures and the tanks are Airfix and Red Star. The few aircraft are the usual Airfix and Revell. Made years ago and before better models showed I even had to make the Lewis LMGs out of GreenStuff.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Great War Spearhead II in 20mm. The support weapons of the British Infantry Corps in WW1.

I´ve just finished rebasing a full British infantry division and supporting artillery and waiting for the arrival of a few boxes of Hat Canadians to make the missing division. I´ll show you these in a next video. In the meantime, and as an appetizer, here goes some tanks, command  and mortar stands. 

The Mark I tanks are Airfix with no change but the anti-grenade cover for the one in the middle. 

For a staff car this old timer will do. I already found a few in the local fish market that were converted for French and Belgian WW2 staff cars. The only serious change was the wheels, replaced by 3d printed ones (even if not correct).

The figures are Airfix artillerymen for the seated figures and Emhar for the officers. The one to the right got some Evergreen in its shorts and became a proper Western front Officer.  

For a much better model of a true British staff car you have the Roden Vauxhaull D-type.

The 6" Newton mortar is Hat and crew comes from converted old Aifix and Emhar artillery box. 

The Emhar mortar doesn´t have a bipod and got an Evergreen one... well as all the others, based on the Airfix Stokes, the one with the ugly triangular with full plastic piece as a bipod.

The crew are all sorts of plastics, Emhar, Airfix Infantry (including the medic) and Airfix Horse Artillery. 

Emhar Brigade command stands with the helmeted figures converted from shorts to trousers. 

Next: Maybe the video of the WW1 British Corps.  

Fire&Fury ACW rules in 20mm - The 'Sunday picnic uniforms' of Bull Run 1861

This small collection of miniatures was painted around some 40 years ago, glued to some ugly card and kept inside boxes all this time. The promise was to return one day and base them accordingly (to F&F bases), after building all units for Gettysburg. So this group shows some of the most famous units of the ACW present at Bull Run that didn't use funny and innocent uniforms throughout the rest of the war (like the Fire Zouaves), or simply didn't participate in no other major action (like the US Marines).  Also in late 1987 a very nice group of articles were released by the Military Modelling magazine with Bull Run as one of its subjects which helped many modelers and wargamers to venture into the first battle of the American Civil War, before a relative standardization of its uniforms. 
In terms of plastic figures we had in those days the famous ACW Airfix and Revell boxes. These were intended to show "standard" uniforms from late 1861 on without, for instance, any Zouaves (firstly shown with the Italeri box and later with HAT miniatures). So the 'Sunday picnic uniforms' had to be made up in plastic from different sources...

The first source used were the cheap Chinese/Hong Kong copies of the WW2 Japanese hard plastic from Esci. These figures were abundant everywhere in the 80's and fortunately for this case they were not very detailed. By cutting the brim of the Japanese field hat you can have reasonable Zouave figures. This group is the famous Confederate Louisiana Tigers. 

This time the same Japanese were used for the US Marines. Only a small cut on the top of the hat and a careful paint job of the jacket to make it longer and its done. These figures also have an Airfix WW1 French cornet copy and, this week, they got a converted Revell officer with a new kepi.

I already have these ones for Gettysburg but not with the Havelock cap covers that made them distinctive at Bull Run (together with other units that also used them). The figures are French Foreign Legion from Esci and Airfix, with the bottom part of the coats disguised as large trousers with the help of GreenStuff (this last surgery was only made last week but improved its appearance) 

The 11th New York volunteers, the famous 'Fire Zouaves' were again made of Hong Kong WW2 Japanese copies. A cut in the brim of the field hat and they are done. The flags were also hand painted in 1987...

There were some flashy officers in the battle and as F&F use figure markers. This one is an old conversion of a Russian Crimean war officer from Esci with a cowboy hat from Revell. 

Next: The support guns of the British Infantry of WW1.

Thursday, 29 December 2022

The French Infantry Corps 1915-18, Great War Spearhead rules in 20mm

This corps, as well most of my WWI miniatures, was built and painted decades ago. This forced the new ones to be painted in the same way as the previous ones, PVA primed and block painted, for the sake of consistency. This also allowed for a much quicker painting method and to bring reinforcements that turned divisions into Corps. Again most of the infantry and cavalry is plastic with plenty of conversions and tanks, artillery and airplanes are resin and metal.

Monday, 26 December 2022

Great War Spearhead II in 20mm. The support weapons of the French Infantry Corps in WWI

Many years ago I built a number of armies for WW1. They were painted in a simple block painting and glued to some fragile 6cmX2cm rectangles. Recently I started to change the basing to GWSH style and trying to have a full corps of every main belligerent of this conflict. For that I´m in the process of adding a number of stands to each miniature army and thus returning to the block painting style to go along with the many miniatures painted in the past. On the down side they don´t become so flashy but on the other hand you speed up painting really quick which is particularly helpful when you need many hundred figures. 

After doing this to the Germans, which you can see in the two previous videos on this blog (or on the You Tube to be able to see it bigger), I went to the French. The rifle companies of the six regiments made up to the moment are not shown as they are simple Revell, Airfix and Pegasus figures with nothing special to say about them, instead you can see here a number of conversions that I hope can be useful to anyone modelling French WW1 in 20mm. For the full French corps there is a another video being prepared were you can see everything altogether. 

The group already converted and ready to be painted. Everything was primed with PVA glue. 

For each infantry regiment you need a 37mm TIR gun. These guns were used to take away MG nests and the sort and there was also a wheeled version. The gun tube comes from the HAT US WW1 box and needs a proper support as the one offered in the box suits only the Hotchkiss 8mm MG (there are a total of four different guns per sprue but only one type of support). With some styrene you can have a simple and effective support as shown in this picture. Don´t bother too much with detail as the figures lying on top of the support will hide most of it.  

I used conversions of the  relatively useless Revell laying down figures shooting the Lebel rifle for artillery men together with some Pegasus extras and even some old rifleman from Airfix with new arms.  

The painted lot, one 37mm TIR for each infantry regiment. If you don`t want to bother making these gun conversions you can use the StreletsR Colonial Foreign Legion ones which, for obvious reasons,  are not very easy to find today. 

The corps needs a total of 18 (or 24 if you want divisons with four regiments) Hotchkiss 8mm HMGs. The majority are Revell which have two per box but after using plenty of them for WW2 I had to made up the last five. I used HAT MGs from the US WW1 and the WW2 Foreign Legion boxes with converted firers from the wounded Airfix WW1 British (with GreenStuff arms) and Chauchat firers from Revell. 

The laying down Revell figures are also useful top make binoculars observers and loaders after cutting the rifle and applying some heat to the arms. 

So all these figures ended doing something that they were not designed for. 

The French used a number of different trench mortars including the British Stokes but I wanted something different as these 86mm Boileau- Debladis compressed air mortars. I used the Newton 6 inch included in the HAT US WW1 box as a start and added a number of plastic parts to make it reasonably close to the Boileau-Debladis mortar. The compressed air container is made from a WW2 or modern aircraft bomb. 

No, the mortar bombs are not Italian but just the colors I found in the web for these, even if  not 100% sure about that. The figures are from the WW2 French artillery set by HAT. 

A picture of the real thing for extra detail. 

To the left you see the Corps command stand and to the right the 2nd division command stand. 
The radios are made from pieces of styrene and the radiomen are Airfix figures with new GreenStuff arms and are intended to portray some rough examples of the TSF posts. 

The officer figures comes from the HAT WW2 French artillery, WW2 Pegasus and WW1 Revell sets. 

All my HAT WW1 cavalrymen were sucked into the 5e DLC for 1940 so I had to improvise for the six stands of cavalry necessary for the infantry corps. The horsemen of the HAT WW2 French artillery were used for the effect with lances made out of broom sticks. The horses are Napoleonic Italeri with some GreenStuff extras used to conceal the pistols. 

The cavalry rifles came from a number of WW2 plastic sets and need to be on the back of the cavalrymen. 

The figures were also helpful as the right arm can help to hold the lance with the help of a piece of leather as originally. 

The Cavalry MG is another scratch-built thing with Italeri Napoleonic horses, Esci wheels and styrene and metal tubing carriage and gun. 

I found this one in the invaluable GBM magazine (of course...). 

The Hotchkiss MG started as a 12,7mm Browning and after cuts and additions got closer to the intended gun. 

The majority of my WW1 artillery is Irregular Miniatures but these 75mm 1897 guns are 3d prints from MiniGeneral with FtF wheels. 

The artillerymen are Hat WW2 artillery figures and conversions from Airfix and Pegasus with Greenstuff arms. 

Next: a video on the French Infantry WW1 corps.

Sunday, 4 December 2022

The German Infantry Corps of 1916, Great War Spearhead rules in 20mm

This video enlarges the previous one from one division to a full corps. The miniatures are Irregular Miniatures for the artillery, Britannia for the Jagers and plastic (Airfix, Revell, Hat and Emhar) for the Infantry. The Aircraft and tanks are Vacuum-formed and Revell and Airfix kits.

Friday, 18 November 2022

Able Archer/ RFR rules (?) - Russian invasion of Ukraine 2022 in 20mm (part 11) - 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 in 20mm

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 10) - 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.