Saturday, 31 March 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - 75mm gun towed Battalion

In 1940 the French Infantry divisions still relied in the famous - infamous for the Germans -  'soissante-quinze' (uau, he even speaks French, ladies are saying). The gun was still pulled by horses and the wheels LP were the ones of WWI. As Hat is taking an eternity to release its WWI/II artillery limber I used the Irregular Miniatures version.

The models are very nice. Irregular Miniatures uses always the same poses for the many other Useful Crew range but the distinction between the countries is well made. The French crew members are in shirt order and with their capote in Russian style, something not very common but Ok.

I took the oportunity to build the Alby Latil TAR for the 155mm GPF that you can see here

and here

These Alby kits are expensive and take a lot of time to arrive.  On the other hand they are some of the best around. Even their resin smells so good that you will want to chew it!!

Next: More French  or German stuff for 1940.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Rapid Fire! Blitzkrieg in 20mm - IBG Panzer III A

Early Panzers in plastic are rare. But aparently IBG will solve the issue with a collection of German tanks (and a nice magazine to go along) for Blitzkrieg. This is number one and IBG is clearly copying FtF fellow countrymen on having a fast built kit, very detailed and with a small magazine packed with information  Only after buying these three I read that only 10 PzIIIA were produced which makes one of them redundant for RF! Better more than less...
The model is very good, easy to build and with delicate parts on the FtF style and nothing to do with PSC. The only remark I would point out on this one is the size of the 37mm gun which looks a bit too small. No crew member as in FtF tanks ( the new Polish Krupp Protze has two...) so a tank commander from PSC was added.  
Next: More France 1940.   

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - A few more bits.

Just a few more AFV's I just finished for the French 1940. The UE carrier and trailer are Lancer Miniatures and simplicity in itself, The Hotchkiss 38 from S-Models are very easy to assemble even if they have some photo-etched parts and finally the W-15T-CC from Ace, a true nightmare to build with dozens of avoidable small parts in order to have in the end a relatively simple vehicle.

I made this H-38 a command vehicle with Skytrex figure and scratchbuilt antenna.

The other H-38 had the shorter 37mm gun and a differently painted turret as it happened so often with Franch tanks due to different manufacture and repair places.

The W-15T-CC has a crew with a driver from Skytrex and gunners from converted Matchbox French infantry that comes with the Char B1bis.

Ace could be more Wargamer-friendly and make simpler models... I think most of the brands still didn't understand that their biggest buyers are in fact wargamers.

The UE carrier has some extras on its trailer but the rest is as it came.

Next: Probably the new PzIII A from IBG.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - A few more French and British motors, with some nudity.

Well, I hope to have caught your attention with the title. More on that a bit more ahead.

Not far from Bleuville, in fact in the same basement, a group of allied vehicles gathers in support of the next counter offensive... 

 The group is a mix bunch of Altaya and some die-cast  trucks I found in a toy shop.

The trucks are generic but look a bit close to the vast panoply of different Renault, Citroën, Ford and Latil trucks (close to half a million) that equipped the French army in 1940.

Wait... on the left truck... is there a naked women...!?!?

Exactly! The French had such a different array of camouflages that even some nudes were cleverly conceiled on them. Of course the markings belong to the artillery! Maybe this vehicle will become a good objective marker... 

 What? Me? A  pervert? What about this picture of the real thing? 

As you can see I`m just historically accurate. 

This picture is taken from the French book 'L'automobile sous l' uniforme' probably the best reference for soft skin vehicles of the French army in 1940 and with a reasonable quantity of information and pictures also about tanks.

I felt more comfortable about these models after reading this book as they are fair approaches to the many models available for the French many even requisitioned from the civilians. But not only the French got this treat.  The variety of BEF trucks was also so big (many Bedford models O, OY, MC and Morris) that these are surely close to some of them.  I'll use them for the artillery, train or even for some infantry if I can't find enough Bedfords 15 cwt trucks.


This was the original form of the trucks.

The main change was the replacement of the small wheels by some bigger and more 'military' chinese leftovers. Two of these were glued together to make one wheel. Then I glued some plastic canvas covers I had around and luckly they fit nicely.

Lastly the Altaya models. Only the left Char B1 bis is a repaint from the German version. The other Char B1bis was a 4 Euro buying from last weekend local 2nd hand market. It had no mantlet, antennae and central rail and all these parts had to be scratch built.  It received a light coat of black ink and some sand drybrushing as well as the Panhard on the right and they are ready to defend France.   

Next: More French 1940 stuff.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Rapid Fire! 6th Guards tank Brigade in 20mm - (Part 4) Missing Churchills for the Coldstream Guards

33 Churchills and 9 Achilles later I can consider this brigade completed. There are still missing 6 M3/M5Stuarts, two for each of the battalions but I have one dozen spread out on my two 1944 British armoured divisions and maybe I skip these ones as they can be used also in this brigade. Fortunately nowadays are great days for wargamers and two boxes of PSC will eventually solve the problem.

These last missing Churchills are the MkIV from PSC. They are sturdy and detailed models with the usual options. I added a few extras as camouflage net and Hessian tape as well as bedrolls and other stowage items.

I just couldn't resist the symbols of the 6th guards and I painted them only on the back of each tank as the front part is covered with extra protection tracks.   


Here you can see better my trick for both camouflage net and Hessian tape: The camouflage net is Noch birch leaves placed on a blob of wood glue and the Hessian tape are small rectangles of paper placed under the camouflage net.

Next: back to France 1940.