Saturday, 28 April 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Last Somua S-35 tanks for the DLM

Again in record time these Somua arrived from Clive Dudley so CTT are back to the hands of the people! Long live the Revolution or the Lord be praised - you choose your option!!! I received three Somua with the colours for the French campaign of 1940. I just had to change the numbers and paint the usual black wash- lighter colours- sand dry brushing. The other three came with the colours for Vichy/Tunisia 1943. I primed these ones and used the same colours as the Somua I have from Heller and Skytrex. I ended up with a total of 18 Somua - 9 with the Altaya colours of the 1st DLM and other 9 with the colours of the 3rd DLM.

I also took the antennae of all Somua but two which are the battalion commanders.

This psychedelic camouflage was made up and includes the French Light Green which was from time to time part of French vehicle camouflage specially up to 1939.

Next: a batch of Lancer Miniatures for France 1940 that arrived a few days ago.    

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Rapid Fire! Russian Contemporary Wars in 20mm - Georgian Dana SPG Independent Artillery Brigade

The Georgian Independent Artillery Brigade splits in two in the vicinity of Zhinvali during the invasion of South Ossetia in August 2008. 

The models are the new BPM Dana SPG. BPM is making better and better models. True there is a little bit of printing lines but they are getting less visible  with each model they produce. Each takes five minutes to deal with the extra plastic printing material and one minute to glue the gun to the turret with the hull being the third separate part.

I just added the mirrors, antenna, crewmen and a Dskh also from BPM with a few extras as a longer barrel, aiming point and ammo box.

The crew is either German PSC with the cap slighly carved out or copies of Irregular Miniatures Russian WWII paratroopers.

Next: More Somua for France 1940 . Another batch arrived in 5 days. CTT is back in all its glory so praised be the lord!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Somua S-35 tanks but mostly considerations on mail service.

Well I'm starting to get surprised. Recent parcels have been quicker to arrive than in the last few years. And a few days ago, unexpectedly, a parcel leaving England on the 13th of April  arrived on the 18th. 5 days trip like old days!
Our Portuguese mail, CTT,  got privatized a few years ago during the Troyka regime and very quickly a public enterprise famous in Portugal and award winning in Europe for its fast quality service became a pile of trash. Going to their balconies was shameful, loads of books and Cd's for sale, puppets and other stuff, corner places selling insurances and working as banks. Nothing against that if the main service - Mail - is not harmed. But it was. In the last few years, specially from abroad, parcels took ages to arrive, 25-30 days was common to  a parcel from England. Suddenly a parcel from China was arriving faster!
Agencies were shut down, people were replaced by other people and CTT became a grocery store. But in the last month I heard on TV that the government, after thousands of complaints about lost and late mail, was to correct this situation and pressing CTT to get back to their true business - Mail. Apparently the warnings worked and in the last month a few parcels arrived really quickly and the record was beaten with this one remembering me of the good old days when CTT was a public enterprise.
These Somua models are Altaya. At the moment I have 12 Somua with the last 6 on the way from the same supplier for a full complement of 18 Somua for a French DLM the rest being Hotchkiss.
As I do you with all Die-cast the models were glued with Super Glue in some small parts like gun, antenna and tracks; slightly touched with black ink in all crevices and finally dry brushed slightly with sand. Like this you break some of the excess of shine these nice models have and make them look like your own built models. New big white numbers were also painted as usual with French cavalry tanks.
Next: The previously mentioned Danas, French Cavalry or Panzers for 1940 or the last 6 Somua I mentioned if CTT continues its good recent practices.  

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Last tows for the 75mm guns of the DI

These are the two last limbers for 75mm guns of a French DI. They are scratchbuilt in plastic card and the horses are copies of  Britannia models. 

The only factory models are the crew of these limbers and in fact these leftovers are the reason for  choosing to scratchbuild these two pieces.


The wheels are leftovers of the 75mm guns that got solid wheels. The limber box itself received rear doors, towing hook and side handlers all made of plastic card. 

I used the Irregular Miniatures models as the matrix of both the two Airfix limbers and these ones. 

A final detail are the cables made of thin cord uniting the horses to the limber. 

The Britannia horses were copied with InstantMold and filled with two paste filler. 

Next: whether the Dana artillery systems for Georgians 2008 or French cavalry or a few more Panzers  both for the 1940 campaign. 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - More French Artillery for the DI and DLM

Two more battalions for the French artillery. To the left the wheeled 75mm are for the Infantry division and to the right solid wheeled guns are for the Mechanized infantry. All guns and crew are Hat Industries.

The guns come from the US WWI artillery set and the crew from the newer French WWII artillery crew.

Hat is taking ages to produce the WWII limber so I used two limbers from the Airfix WWI British artillery set. The seat part was lenghtened, rear doors for the ammunition were added and a new axis was built from plastic card. Also some thin rope was used as harness. For joining all parts hot glue and super glue were used

The size of these sets is the same I used for the Irregular Miniatures ones from a few posts ago for the sake of uniformity.

In two stands I used one Matchbox French conversion from the figures which go along the Char B1bis and Renault FT-17. The figure is 1/76th scale and a taller base was used so all figures are the same size.

In the box  of the Hat French artillery there are some four nice solid wheels for the 75mm gun. The other four you see in the pictures were casted from the original ones up to a total of eight.

The figures are very nice and active and Hat thought about everything. There are extra solid wheels for the guns  and even seated and horse riders for the limbers. The seated figures are also good for any French vehicle and portee infantry.

Next: More limbers and tractors for the 1940 French artillery.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - 16th Mechanized Chasseur Battalion (16éme BCP)

The 16éme BCP approaches Jolie Village on its way to Stonne in may 1940...

The 16éme BCP (Batalion de Chasseurs Portés) was the infantry unit of the 3rd DCR and had some particularities of its own. Apparently the motorcycle squadron didn't have motorcycles and the men were transported as the other two squadrons. Also the Lorraine 38L VBCP was not present in all three companies with some of the Chasseurs being transported in trucks (some say Citroen 23 other Lorraine 28). But as I had four Lorraine 38L I equipped all companies with them including the support company. As I still have no Latil M7 I used a Chenillette to tow the 25mm AT gun.

 The CO stand has a ER 17 Radio scratchbuilt in EverGreen plasticard. The 60mm mortar was made from a shortenned 81mm US mortar from Revell. The figures are from the new HAT set of French WWII artillery and the bugler is scratchbuilt. The Laffly V15 is Skytrex.

The  25mm and UE Chenillette tow are Lancer Miniatures and the figures are again HAT.

The rest of the support company has a HAT mortar stand (the mortar itself is again Revell US) and Revell French for the Hotchkiss MMG's. Here there is another problem: the 16eme BCP doesn't show up with their two MMG's (there should be eight in the real OOB) in the new RF! supplement for May 1940. But I placed them in this battalion not only because it must have existed in this unit but also because there were two LMG's per squad of 12 Chasseurs while the regular infantry only had one. So like this the unit gets more fire power as it should.

The Lorraine 38L VBCP is Lancer Miniatures.

Two of the four Lorraine 38L are in fact the 37 version that I was using for the support of the tank battalions. In RF! new book Richard and Colin ignored them and thus they were converted with styrofoam and plasticard into the carrier version.

One of the three Chasseur companies. All figures are based on the Airfix Chinese replicas of the WWI French set. I added GreenStuff goggles in all of them  carefully modelled on the helmets. The trousers and shirt are dark blue and capote is khaki according to this battalion´s regulation.

A few more conversions are the rifle grenade made fom a piece of Evergreen at the end of a rifle and the LMG Chatellerault 24/29 which is a chinese copy of the Bren LMG glued to a normal rifle firer.

Not necessarily  from the BCP I also painted the one-piece Somua MCG-5 from Lancer Miniatures. It can be used to tow artillery or used as a recovery vehicle for any unit.

Next: More French artillery for 1940.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Rapid Fire! - British bits for early desert

Just a reminder that there is summer and heat in the world also. I had these primed for a long time and finally, a bit out of context, I decided to paint them. The A9 are the surplus from three boxes of PSC that were intended fully for the BEF. Then I realised that not all were necessary even for the whole 1st Armoured Division. So they received some Counter Camouflage Scheme and began their trip to Lybia to join the 7th Armoured.  The same for the lonely M3 Honey from Matchbox.

A few bedrolls and antennae are the only additions to these models.

Next: a return to France 1940.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - More German Panzers and the usual conversions

6th Panzer conquers the Auberge Normande and pushes the 75mm French battery from last post away from the table. Well this is my way of doing wargames, one level below solo wargaming...

The models are PSC based for the PzIIIE and BPM for the Pz35T.

The BPM's are very  sturdy and efective models were even the Mg's are firmly attached to the model. This one became a command version with wire rear antenna. The figure is PSC.

The PSC PZIIIG became a E version. A lot of carving and adding had to be made in order specially to change the 50mm into the 37mm gun.

Here you can see the changes: the gun and mantlet was thinned down in a number of places; two Mg's were added to the right side of the mantlet and the periscope was added. In this picture the hull Mg is still there as well as the rim around the mantlet and gun. All these parts were carved out for the command version.

I have another group of six PSC PzIIIG to suffer the same fate and becoming E versions.

The rear antenna was made in plastic for the vertical tubing and wire for the horizontal part.

Next: a raid into the desert.