Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Rapid Fire! Lord Lovat Special Service Brigade in Sword beach 6 June 1944

  Here they come:  at 0820 Lord Lovat 4 commando hit the beach in front of the Riva-Bella casino.

The true casino had nothing to do with that magnificent building portrayed in "The Longest Day" film.
Instead the germans destroyed the area in front of the casino looking at the sea, the casino itself,  and fortified the place.

 Sentry Models has or had the film version on sale which is a lovely piece.

I based this scratchbuilt complex in "D-Day Then and Now", a two book study of the battle which is probably one of the best on the subject. It has only a few far away photos of the complex, so some items are not historically correct. Obviously the lovely photos on Colin Rumford Rapid Fire! D-Day were of great help to scale down the building.

On top of the complex I placed this resin Flak open emplacement that I bought for something else  (I don´t remember the manufacturer, any help?) which from the photos seems to have been the model used on the true fortification.

The Casino included a 75mm of French origin. In this case a simple tubing of Evergreen on a carved hard styrofoam.

The SS brigade was modelled from the Esci; Revell and Matchbox British infantry boxes.

Lord Lovat was made out of the helmeted Esci officer with a Nato Matchbox Paratrooper beret.

Bagpiper  Bill Millin was modelled in three parts: head from a somewhere bereted figure, the body from Esci 8th army bagpiper and legs from another Esci figure.

LCI (s).

Everything was built on the sturdy side an inspiration I received from the Britannia Miniatures style.

The LCI (s) were made in various materials after seeing many photos of the vessel: card, plasticard, wood, etc.

The late Dave Howitt from Britannia Miniatures sent me these metal AA Oerlikons. I miss talking to him on the phone, he seemed a very nice person as he was always patient bearing with me. A great hug to you wherever you are. It was a very sad day for me when I read you were gone.

The bridge officers were taken from various Airfix kits and the Matchbox Flower Class Corvette.

 Some of the berets were cutted and burned helmets modelled with the fingers while hot and melting.

Now for some support: Revell Cromwell turned a Centaur CS with scratchbuilt 95mm gun and Britannia figure.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Rapid Fire! 1/72nd 8th Army armour El alamein

Bishop (Esci) with added trailer (Esci 25pdr) and bins. The commander is an Esci modern soft plastic figure with his arm lowered.

PC: the photos are dark because most attacks during the El alamein campaign were made in night time... just for you to know.

This Crusader 2Pdr is a Armourfast double kit with added stowage and Bessa and Esci crewman.

Armourfast Crusader II mixed with Altaya.

The Crusaders III 6pdr are Hasegawa.

Airfix Matilda with crewman made out of an Esci torso and Valiant head.

Matildas from Airfix, Altaya and Fujimi.

Hasegawa Grant.

Left Row are Hasegawa and Altaya ; right row are 1/76 scale Airfix.

Hasegawa Honey.

The Honey on the top is a Matchbox 1/76 scale kit, with Britannia metal crewman´s head.

Altaya Bedford portee 6 pdr with Esci 25 pdr artilleryman.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Rapid Fire! Lehr Battalion Ramcke Brigade El Alamein 1942

This is my latest batch of figures and stands for the Ramcke Bgde. The Lehr (instruction) battalion was the heaviest of the brigade with artillery and AT guns. In this photo you can also see 4 more  Pak36 for the AT battalion of the brigade (1 missing to finish the unit).

The work started with a scratch built 75mm recoiless gun in Evergreen and Rocco small spare wheels.

The figures are the usual mix of bodies and heads from several brands all happily glued with Loctite super plastics/soft plastics.

Painted version with Kettenkrad.


The Kettenkrad (Hasegawa). After a missed experience trying to copy(sorry Mr Hasegawa) in resin the small thing  I decided to paint the only I had. Nowadays silicone, at least the one I´ve been buying, glues to the plastic matrix, which makes the duplication of parts impossible at least for me.

Worldwide request: PC, JMM, JF and the rest, could you give me spare Kettenkrad? I need 10 more. If not I will have to spend a lot of money ordering Academy or Hasegawa kits just to use some sprues... I will pay you in the usual way... No,no it is not what you are thinking!!

The figure is an Airfix torso with Greenstuff  arms. The vehicle has a number of stowage that was useful to hide the little pieces of silicone that got stucked. The FG42 gun in the rear was a way to justify why the left side artilleryman had a ammo belt across his chest, after forgeting to carve it off.

Revell and Esci conversion.

Airfix conversion.

Disguised Pak 50mm. It had to be desguised because it is one more mock up built from a number of different parts, and with the distinctable and difficult shield (awfuly done) well hidden.

Hat Pak 36.

Revell and Airfix all happily mixed together.

Half the brigade is done. Two more battalions to finish.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Rapid Fire! Battalion Huebner Ramcke Brigade El Alamein 1942

 Last ones:
This is the Battalion Hubner from Oberst Ramcke Bgde. At least this is my lazy interpretation of this soldiers as they had a much more varied equipment and clothing. But as I am doing all 4 battalions and support units I had to find an easy way to do them all. And painting all with the same basic uniform is easier.

 The figures serving the MMG and mortar (Valiant), the AT gun (Esci), etc are mainly conversions. All figures are Esci and Revell. There are also some smaller 1/76 Airfix , but these have Esci heads to scale them up.

Mixed and matched figures. Some are full conversions, other only have a new feldmutze, the majority are out of the box figures.

You can see a lonely Flamethrower in the middle, which is one more conversion from Esci Green Devils legs and Revell pioneer torso.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

DAK Artillery (170mm and Lorraine 150mm) and Pz III´s

The Famo is a Revell kit and the 170mm Morserlaf is  Skytrex. Revell also produces the Morserlaf, but the Skytrex kit is in  metal and this piece was "heavy " artillery, so Skytrex was the obvious choice...

The figures are Skytrex and Revell soft plastic.

The Revell figure on the left is pulling the string to make the gun fire.

The pronged claws grabbing the piece to the ground were made in Evergreen. This is the fragility of this kit, as the Revell one is more detailed and has this parts to offer. Both kits are about the same price.

Now for the Sdkfz 135 Lorraines of the DAK. These are Skytrex metal kits, now produced with the hulks in resin, as metal price keeps on increasing and with this formula Skytrex keep very good prices.

One of the nice things about these vehicles is the unique camouflage. Four of these make the full complement for both Rapid Fire! DAK Pz divisions (two for 15Pz and two for 21PD).

The crew includes plastic figures, as some of the metal ones went to the Morserlaf.

These Pz III are Altaya (left, Pz III N ) and Italeri double kits (PzIII L).

The half tank crew man is an old Esci figure that belonged to the Kingtiger.

The great advantage of this double kit comparing to the Armorfast is the detailed hulk and wheels, on the other hand Armorfast offers the extra wheels to be carried laterally, which the Italeri doesn´t. So make your choice.

Either way these double kits now on the market are a good way to build armoured forces quickly and on the cheap side.