Thursday, 28 June 2018

Rapid Fire! - France 1940 in 20mm - Bunkerknacker!

As many times happens, Colin and Richard are to blame for this one. The Bunkernacker ('Bufla') shows up with importace in the lists of 1st PD in the RF! Blitzkrieg Battlegroups book. I looked for a proper model to buy and could only find some very expensive die-cast models made in Germany and sold in Czech Republic (or made in Czech Republic and sold in Germany, something like that).
For this conversion I used  the Airfix model of the 88mm and tractor that was previously destined to be used by the German Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil war.
The only markings are the Kleist army group symbol, licence plates and the white Balkankreuz.
The crew are converted hard plastic Matchbox figures. The arms were carved out and Milliput arms were added with plastic 88mm shells included.
There is a 3mm gap between tracks and main hull that was eliminated with a seam of hot glue .
The hot glue also makes the model sturdier. If you don't do something like this there will be a big hole that can easily be seen from this angle. I left this one without the brown camouflage for a possible use in the Eastern Front.
The main reference books for this model were Panzerwaffe- The Campaigns in the West by Mark Healy and Case Yellow from Firefly Collection.
The Airfix parts are world wide recognisable sand colour with Evergreen plastic card
in white.
The mantlet has to be cut down to shape and some parts added.
The rear ammunition baskets were made in another hard styrene I had around.
All original engine parts should be built and all new structures are glued on top of the original ones. This helps a lot the building process.
The driver cabin is the biggest effort but as this is a sole child the end result is good enough for me.
These venerable Matchbox figures ended their artificial carreer in the artillery! The Milliput arms can be seen as well as the 88mm shells (in fact 50mm shells from PSC as the Omaha WN's ate all true 88mm shells I had. The difference is not big because the shells are 1/72nd scale and the figures are 1/76th scale which helps to mask the difference) .
Next: last S-Models H-39's I needed already arrived, but I'm also inclined to build the artillery group of the Portuguese Brigada Mecanizada for my splendidly humble 2008 series... I will leave it in Jesus hands but as Jesus is my middle name, its in my hands :).  

Monday, 25 June 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Panzer reinforcements sneaking across the border.

Rapidly coming out of the woods of Jour Sans Soleil a German thrust of 15 new models is about to pick the French reservists by surprise. The German High command was worried as in this blog only French and British models were showing up in the last few months and thus it decided on a surprise attack.  
 Models are Zvezda (75mmIG, 20mm AA and Sidecars), BPM (PzIII E), IBG (PzII A)  and Armourfast (Pz IV C).

Armourfast makes these nice PzIV C's. I only added hull Mg, antenna, holding stucture for the spare wheels, picks and shovels (unseen on the other side), stowage and crewman. The detail is getting better at Armourfast but still some important details are missing.

On the contrary of Armourfast the BPM PzIII's bring all details already printed in the models. The detail is not as fine as the plastic models but they are also getting better and better. Additions are the usual crew (old Esci from their King Tiger), stowage and antenna.

The IBG new Pz II A are very accurate and as easy to build as Armourfast even if with more parts to glue. Additions as above with crewman from PSC. These models will join the shelf of the 6th Panzer Division as this early model of the Pz II was still being used alongside the Pz 35(t) in this big unit of the French campaign of 1940.

The 75mm IG of Zvezda had a third crewman from Airfix with new head from PSC as the original head had a canvas cover for later campaigns.

Another of the same extra crew can be seen on this 20mm AA gun stand from Zvezda.

The BMW R-12's from Zvezda are little treasures of plastic engineering. I only took out some of the Mg's and made new arms of Milliput for its crew.

A bird's view of each of the new models.  

Next: Portugal- Iran at 19.00!!! After the Euro Cup, the World Cup will be for Portugal for sure as we are playing the best football ever!
Just kidding...

Friday, 22 June 2018

Rapid Fire! 20mm D-Day 1944 - Omaha Beach (part 19) - Longues-sur-Mer battery

This is a forgotten model from the Omaha beach series. Its a sinthetique stone model by PN Sud Modelisme that represents one of the six bunkers of the kind in the Omaha/Gold area and includes a resin 152mm Naval gun.

I only added a protective wall made of wood for the back entrance and a camouflage net at the front.

 The only problem of such models is that they have to stay always in the bottom shelf, otherwise you will be out of shelves very quickly...

Next: The Germans mentioned in the previous post.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Luftwaffe aircraft

After the French and British  aircraft the Germans are finally arriving, following the historical sequence of events. This small collection of airplanes is odd as the most common types like the Me109 or the Stuka are only one each.
Here you have two Junkers Ju 52 from Italeri, undoubtely better for Holland and Belgium but also true in France.

This is an Altaya Messerschmitt Me110 with blue painted windshields from the inside.

 This is the Messerschmitt Me 109 E painted according to Osprey campaign series 3, France 1940. The model is Airfix.

Another Airfix model, a Junkers Ju87 'Stuka'.

A Matchbox Heinkel He 115. Have no idea what to do with it...

And a Dornier Do 17 also Matchbox.

Next: Probably more German armour for 1940.  

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - RAF aircraft

Well, nothing that was planned came out and instead some older kits decided to pose for the camera. Here several RAF squadrons pass over the village of Bleu Ciel on the way to another strafing mission. 

This Fairey Battle is an Airfix model. I need to find another one as this light bomber was numerous in the French 1940 campaign. 

The sole Bolton Paul Defiant is an Altaya Die-cast model. I repainted it as the original camouflage was black for night fighting. 

The Hurricanes are clockwise: Airfix, Altaya and Matchbox. I need to find at least one Blenheim bomber and a Lysander for reconnaissance to complete the group of British aircraft for France 1940.

Next: German aircraft for France 1940. 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Motorized Dragoon battalion from the DLM

A French  Motorised Dragoon battalion deploys behind some stone walls near Forêt D'Arbres (?!!!). Most of the vehicles and motorcycles are SHQ with Hotchkisses from S-Models. The dismounted motorcyclists are EWM.
The Laffly S20 from SHQ are lovely and simple models. In fact a bit too simple as they need a driver (copy from Skytrex) and a FM24/29 LMG firer.
The LMG firer was made from the torso of a Caesar figure, the one standing with its rifle at rest, with new arms made of putty and plastic Bren LMG's turned into Chatelleraux's with a few cuts here and there.
The Laffly S20TL CC is another  beauty with the usual extra flimsy 25mm gun barrel that SHQ likes so much. I know that like this it shows the real size but it also becomes too fragile. I had to place a plastic piece at the muzzle as there was nothing in its place.
The figures are Hat and they fit quite nice inside the vehicle. Are Hat and SHQ working together ?...
I could not find any reference as were to place the ramps of the  25mm gun so I placed them on both sides of the gun crew compartment.
I placed another two Bren LMG's conversions on the SHQ side-cars.
The dismounted Motorcycle squadron is EWM. Chunky and lively figures they are a pleasure to paint.
The H-39 from S-models are in fact for the  regiments of the DLM and DCR not for the reconnaissance squadron of the Dragoon regiment as these use the H-35. I added some stowage and crew from Lancer Miniatures and also an antenna from an Altaya Somua to the command version in first plan. My total of H-39 is 14 at the moment with only two missing to the total of 16 necessary for any of the DLM or DCR.
Next:  Probably a few German AFV's for 1940 or Portuguese 2008 I have cueing for a long time but that also  depends on the mailman...

Monday, 11 June 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Reinforcements for both allies.

In another traffic clogged crossroads right in the middle of the village of Carrefour Fou an allied mixed force of tanks and bicycle takes the oportunity for using the roads while the many refugees are having a picnic under the shades of the neighbouring woods...
One more Vickers MK VIc this time from Lancer Miniatures for the 1st Armoured Division. I only replaced the extra thin metal barrel with plastic and added a PSC crewman.
And four more A13 MK I from S-Models. The usual extras are the smoke dischargers, turret headlight and handlers, antenna and PSC figure. I finished 10 of the necessary 11 A13 MKI for 1st AD. Now the main problem will be to find an even bigger number of A13 MKII. Wait for a plastic version, or not wait for a plastic version that is the question...

No, its not the 1940 Tour de France (I just checked, it didn't exist in that year coming back again only in 1947) but the two squadrons from the 5eme DLC forced to ride bicycles.

The figures are EWM and quite nice they are. I was a bit afraid that the heads of EWM would be too big after seeing their website pictures but they fit quite well with most of the plastic figures, specially with the Hat cavalrymen. Figure, bicycle and weapon are all separate and the end result is quite good. I used GW Liquid GreenStuff to erase the detail of the putees and turn them into cavalry boots.

Finally four more H39 joined the ranks with a few others on the way. Again S-Models coming directly from China. The camouflage is the last one used. There were units in which roundels or big numbers were taken out as soon as the unit arrived to the combat zone but French markings are too beautiful to be left aside.  
Next: something around the same theme.