Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A wargaming trip to Constantinople 1453 - Part four (and last), the Military Museum of Istambul

The Military Museum of Istambul is a classic museum crammed with paintings, weapons and dioramas. In spite of its nationalistic aproach, in which for instance the thugs of the Armenian genocide were the Armenians themselves and the victims were the Turkish soldiers (when its more than proofed it was otherwise), its a nice and big space with plenty to see. Save yourself at least some 5 hours so you can see everything.

Regarding Constantinople 1453 there is plenty of information. The top picture  is a nice diorama of the conquest where you have to the right the Genoese Galata neighbourhood and to the left the main Constantinople itself.

Here you can see the road built by Mehmet II surrounding Galata in order to transport by land the besieging fleet after discovering that the defenders had a big chain protecting the mouth of the Golden Horn.

The remains of the original chain can still be seen in the museum.

Panorama style you can see a very beautiful and detailed painting of the main assault. I took  several sequential pictures L-R so the detail can be seen more clearly.

The painting also shows some scattered materials like artillery baskets, guns and helmets which enhances detail.

Even today you can find remains of the walls of Constantinople everywhere. Even normal houses or shops used them for its own benefit.

Istambul is a great place for holidays speciallly for the History lover and the Constantinople siege of 1453 is a great wargaming subject. I hope to have contributed for that in this series of posts.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Rapid Fire! Russian Contemporary Wars in 1/72nd - BMP-1's

Last addition to this series are these S-Models BMP-1. The models are superb, containing photo-etched parts sometimes even superfluous. 

As usual the drivers have arms made of GreenStuff. The torsos are PSC. This camouflage is close to the Russian BMP's of the peace keeping force in South Ossetia in 2008.

This camouflage is more usual and matches some of the tank companies I've painted. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Rapid Fire! Blitzkrieg in 20mm - Dutch and Polish aircraft

Some more Blitzkrieg planes. The one on top is the main Dutch fighter, the Fokker DXXI. 

I don't have much more for the Dutch. The ground forces can be seen in this old post: 


For the Polish I have an army filled with good intentions, with Hat and First to Fight models all waiting patiently on the shelves but with nothing painted or built yet.

The exception are these three planes. On top the famous PZL11 a model by Encore.

Here, the PZL23 Karas (Heller) and the PZL37 Los (Plastik). 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A wargaming trip to Constantinople 1453 - Part three, the Panorama

A few hundred meters from Edirne gate, just in front of the last picture in  the post about the Theodosian Walls, you have the Panorama Museum of the Conquest of 1453.

Its a very nice place, quite nationalist as many Turks like. You have in one floor plenty of images and text about 1453 and in the other a very good Panorama, Waterloo style with an accurate 360 degrees painting of the main attack to the Theodosian walls.

I took sequencial pictures (L-R) starting with Mehmet II place (the one in a white horse) with his Householse cavalry and Solak archers nearby. The units are very well placed in the Ottoman line of battle and the flags are particularly good.

The assault of the Ottoman cavalry: Azaps, Bashi-Bazouks and Sipahi...

... and Kapikulu cavalry in more heavy armour.

In this one I like to think the Byzantines are throwing Greek Fire from catapults. The lower part of the walls was the Mesoteichion. 

Janissaries are already breaching the wall in the top of the Mesoteichion area of the Theodosian Walls. 

The Gate of Spring under attack. 

The three lines of walls are clear in these two sections of the Panorama.

The effect of the Turkish heavy artillery is well depicted in this section of the Panorama.

The Constantinople walls were not built to endure artillery. In fact they were mostly built around the XI century when there was no such menace and also when the Byzantine empire was at its peak. Now it had only around 10.000 defenders to prevent its falling.

Orban's artillery was everywhere pounding the old walls. Orban was a Croat who designed most of the Turkish artillery used in the siege.

The balls thrown by the artillery were big stone balls. Some are present as 3d elements in the Panorama as well as some artillery and their size is impressive.

Long lines of Janissaries are preparing for the final charge. In spite of the importance of the event nowadays research places the Ottoman army around 50.000-80.000 and not the hundreds of thousands of XIX century literature.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Rapid Fire! Russian Contemporary Wars in 1/72nd scale - Painted T-80s and T-90s

The group of ModelCollect and Revell modern MBTs I've built some time ago are painted and shelved.
You can see the parent post on its construction here:


Somewhere in the Russian southern border (in fact my yard) a Russian tank force amasses waiting for orders.

The top row are T-80 BV and the nearer are T-90MS, T-90 and T-90A.  Frankly after painting the two brands are indistinguishable with only the weight showing the heavier ModelCollect.

The T-90MS is the state of the art Russian MBT (not counting the still scarce T-14 Armata...). The painting is based on the web where you can see this kind of sand and orange over green camouflage. 

The figures have GreenStuff arms so they can fit wherever I want. 

Here a PSC figure is preparing to fire its HMG with its new arms. 

The Russian flag is in all vehicles. Its an obvious exaggeration but Russian enemies also have the same material many times (Chechens, Georgians, Ucranians...) and the old style flag clears all doubts. 

Another nice feature of nowadays Russian armour is the different camouflages even within the same units.

The paints I refer in the next paragraphs are just the ones I use and not mandatory.

After some reading about Russian camouflages you can settle with this:

As base colours, they have two different shades of green, one lighter olive ( Citadel Loren Forest) and another darker (Vallejo 114 Russian Green, yes, yes, aviation colour).

As camouflage colours you can find two tones of yellow sand ( Vallejo 819 Iraqi Sand and Citadel Tausept Ochre), brown (Citadel Mournfang Brown), black (whatever you have),  grey ( Vallejo Light grey and (more recently) orange (Citadel Macharius Solar Orange).

For better results I advise the excellent Mig paints specially designed for these conflicts.

Friday, 9 September 2016

A wargaming trip to Constantinople 1453 - Part two, the Theodosian walls.

These are pictures of the north west and west walls part of the Theodosian walls, the only ones not protected by water and that took the brunt of the Ottoman attacks.

The total lenght of the Constantinople walls is around 20 km but the Theodosian walls on this post are around 6,5 km. 

 As can be seen most of the structures suffered serious damage. 

Nowadays they are well protected but probably most of the heavy damage must have been made during the siege and the assaults of April and May 1453.

The idea of this picture of a piece of wall  is to copy and duplicate in order to use in the scale model of Constantinople. 

The gate that leads to the grave of  Abdüssadik, one of the religious followers (sahabe) of Mohamed the founder of the Islamic religion, killed during the failed Arab assault of 674.  The grave is behind the fence you can see after passing the gate. 

At this spot also centuries later, the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaeologus, was last seen on the night of May 28, 1453...

Towers and structures of the north west wall. 

Gate of Charisius (also Adrianople gate, Edirnekapı in Turkish) from where Mehmet II, the Conqueror, entered the city. 

The inner side of the gate of Charisius.

From this picture (N-S) you can see the length of the Theodosian walls that overlap the line of the horizon.

This area, the Mesoteichion (middle wall) was heavily bombard by the ottomans as it descends to the Lycus stream and the attackers were in front in higher positions.  

Here you can clearly see the second set of lower walls that defended the city, and may be the third set of walls (breastworks). The area between the lower and the main wall was the Peribolos. 

In front of these towers (to the right of the picture) you have the Panorama Museum.

The area in this post is from the bend in the northern tip, in front of Keras,  up to the proximity of the 4th Military gate. 

Next: the Panorama Museum. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Rapid Fire! France1940 in 20mm - French Bombers!

Quickly built before the holidays, I managed to finish a few days ago these nice 1/72nd scale French bombers I had stashed for years. This one is a SMER (ex Heller) Leo 451. It was one of the best French machines of the war.

The only add-on to these planes were some machine gunners (cannon gunners on this case!). In order to speed building and painting I painted the glasses in a Rapid Fire!/Tintin style.

From AZUR comes this Maryland M 167. It has some pieces in resin which frankly are unnecessary and could have made the model much less expensive. Not sure but I think this model is an ex FROG and pretty old and thus the need for AZUR to add some resin parts to revamp it.

The bigger of the three is this Amiot 143 (SMER but also ex Heller). I used this colour scheme because most of them were painted in a quite ugly dark olive green. Used in numbers to attack German concentrations and bridges they were also shot down in numbers.