Sunday, 27 January 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - The 12e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (5e DLC)

Just finished the last big unit of the 5e DLC, the 12e RCC. Its mostly a copy of the 11e Régiment de Cuirassiers that I made a few months ago. I used more of the Hat French WWI cavalry figures, EWM cyclists and MMG's, Lancer Miniatures 25mm AT gun and a few Caesar figures for some specific stands. 

The support squadron is EWM and Caesar mostly. The work on the EWM MMG's figures is on the coat in order to make it unbuttoned, and on the puttees in order to turn them into cavalry boots by using filler and painting them black. The horse holders are Caesar figures with Hat standing horses.

The 25mm SA34 AT gun tow was built in Evergreen. The horse is one of those nice Revell German horses of the artillery set pulled by a conversion from Caesar and a Hat driver.

The conversion of the Caesar front figure had to have a relocated rifle, unbuttoned coat and a new arm to pull the horse's reins. 

The whole group can be seen here on this nice picture of May/June 1940 taken from this post

The Mle 1911 cart for the Hotchkiss MMG's is also scratch built using Airfix horses, Hat driver and a Revell MMG. The cart itself is made of Evergreen plastic card with resin copies of some plastic wheels.

The three mounted cavalry squadrons have plenty of Esci horses as many of the original Hat were used for the horse holders.

The Esci horses were taken mostly from the Scots Grey set and a few details on the horses equipment were added.


The fourth squadron, like in the 11e Cuirassiers, ride their butt-pain bikes due to the lack of horses.

The HQ of the regiment has Hat cavalry figures and Caesar foot. The 60mm mortar is scratch built.

Not sure about the boxes for the 60mm mortar and ammo as I never found any picture of them. I just used some old ones from the Italian Esci Alpini set. 

The command stand is the usual Hat figures with the cornet having a Hat Napoleonic British arm instead.

The family moved to a T1 after the pictures but now they are on the way to a much bigger house on my basement.

Next: more French 1940 probably, command cars and the last two H-39 for all big units. Also the two cavalry regiments in dismounted positions is a possibility.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Rapid Fire! French 1940 in 20mm - The figures of the Dragons Portés of the 5e DLC (Part 2)

The 15e RDP chooses a crossroads in an Ardennes forest to try to slow down the invading Germans. 

The Regiment figures are finished. The EWM and Caesar figures mix very well after painting. Of course the bodies and helmets are a bit larger  in EWM but not everybody eats the same amount of food. 

The rifle squadron of each battalions has 11 figures as Messieurs Colin and Richard say, seven from Caesar with the vareuse or the  converted Capotes and three EWM in the MMG. 

The support squadrons are the opposite with more EWM than Caesar figures. The Dragons Portés MMGs are a total of six for the two battalions. Not bad as it has to compensate the lack of riflemen in the regiment. 

The command squadrons are a mix of the two brands plus an ESCI figure with the 60mm mortar coming from the US range of SHQ. 

The work with the two component paste on the Capotes can be seen here. After painting the result is reasonable and they look like cavalry dress. 

Next: Maybe the last cavalry regiment for this division, the 12e Chasseurs, or some Iranian armour for the 1980-88 conflict. 

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Rapid Fire! French 1940 in 20mm - The figures of the Dragons Portés of the 5e DLC (Part 1)

This group of 50 figures represents the full 15e RDP of the 5e DLC as each of its battalions only has one rifle squadron the rest being command and support squadrons. I used Caesar plastic figures and EWM metal for this unit. 

The Caesar set has beautifully crafted figures but no HMG/MMG of grenade launcher. I used the marching figure for the grenade launcher. The idea was to have the grenadier with its weapon visible, on the other hand a marching figure in the middle of action figures is not a very clever idea...

These Dragoons have the cavalry uniform so the Vareuse is Ok but the Capote of the original Caesar figures have its buttons fastened on the back in infantry style. I used two component paste to make the cavalry Capote front details and cut the folded part on the back with a X-Acto. 

The same for the officer. Even for infantry the original Caesar officer has the Capote fastened which was not the way for any officer to use it. Taking out that small detail and the lack of some weapons the Caesar figures are great. 

The radio man is the standing casually figure with a scratch built (sort of) French ER40A radio on its back. 

For the Brandt 81mm mortars I used the Esci figure with bipod from Atlantic and cut in some extra details. The other figures are Caesar. The figure on the left had its rifle taken out and placed on its back.

The 8mm Hotchkiss MMG are all EWM and the same trick on the Capote was used to turn these figures into Dragons Portés. 

Next: Most probably these figures already painted. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Rapid Fire!/Able Archer, the Gulf War in 20mm - The Iraqi 5th Mechanized Division Mohammed Ibn Al-Kasim (Part 6) - Iraqi III Corps support for both 5th MD and 3rd AD

Normally an Iraqi Corps artillery brigade has three battalions of towed guns. In Able Archer rules the 18 tubes of a battalion can be represented by 3/4 models (one represents five) so you have here a total of six battalions as the III Corps received extra battalions to support the Khafji operations. 

These are 85mm AA guns from Irregular Miniatures with metal Skytrex and Airfix converted gunners. 

These BM-21 Grad are Modelism kits and are a very accurate depiction of the real thing. 

The 152mm D-1s guns and crew are Irregular Miniatures. 

The 152mm D-20s are also Irregular Miniatures. 

These 122mm D-30s guns and crews are Skytrex. 

The 152mm M43/37 and crews are Irregular Miniatures and have shields and gun suspensions made in plastic. 

The 85mm AT gun D-44 and crew are more Irregular Miniatures. 

The closest PT-76 is a repainted Altaya and the other one is Skytrex both for a Corps reconnaissance unit.

This is the last big post on the subject as the material of the Iraqi Army is somehow covered. 

What do I have for the Iraqi RF!/Able Archer:
- the 3rd Saladin Armoured  Division;
- the 5th Mohammed Al-Kasim Mechanized Division.
- the Corps support. 

What can be done with all this:
- Any Iraqi Republican Guard unit due to the big number of T-72 and BMP-1 present in the 3rd AD.
- Any Iraqi unit equipped with T-62 due to their numbers also in the 3rd AD.
- Any Iraqi unit equipped with T-55/59/69 due to their numbers of the 5th MD.
- Any Iraqi Infantry unit due to the numbers of BTR-60 and OT-64 in both 20th Infantry Brigade and 5th MD.

What is still missing:
- Straight Flush control and radar vehicles for the SAM-6  batteries (I'll go BPM for these).
- Three more K-63 for the missing battalion of the 5th MD (probably S&S models).
- Command BTR-50PU for the Recce battalion of the 5th MD (one ACE model on the table but not a big will to build it).
- Towing trucks for the Corps artillery (not easy these ones).
- A few BMP-2 for the Republican Guard as I only have one and also a few AMX 10P for the same units (probably BPM)
- Two more infantry battalions (have five for the 3rd Saladin but need a total of seven for the 5th MD; need to find Arab modern Infantry, hoping to be Caesar).
- A few Mig-21/23/27/29 plastic kits boxed/semi-built, Die-cast on the shelves to be finished or repainted. 

Next: The painted infantry of the 15e RDP 1940.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Rapid Fire!/Able Archer, the Gulf War in 20mm - Marines reinforcements for Khafji

With the last flow of material to the Iraqi Army we could still think that Saddam could win the 1991 war. In order to balance that I needed to get some reinforcements for my Marines in the Khafji sector. The issue was simple as all these five models  are Die-cast (Altaya and Armour) and just needed a few brush strokes.  

This is the Altaya LAV-25. It was necessary a full repaint as it carried the ETO colour scheme. 

Much better than the Altaya version you can see on the right the Armour model. Not only its much more detailed as it carries the turret MG. The usual stowage treatment and basing was applied and the Marines have some transport. In the future I'll go for the BPM range of LAV-25 which already covers all variants for the 1991 Gulf War. 

Finally another Altaya Cobra AH-1S joins the Marines. 

Next: Wether the infantry for the French 1940 15e RDP or the Iraqi assets from the III Corps. 

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Rapid Fire!/ Able Archer, The Gulf War in 20mm - The Iraqi 5th Mechanized Division Mohammed Ibn Al-Kasim (Part 5) - The attached 20th Infantry Brigade

The 5th Iraqi MD had an attached unit, the 20th Infantry Brigade, for its operations around Khafji. Sometimes this brigade shows in some sources to be a Mechanized unit but there is very little information on this one to be sure. I bet more on being a purely infantry unit as the 5th MD already had seven battalions of mechanized infantry and simple infantry seems more natural to be attached in order to have the departing lines for the Khafji operations protected and to occupy the territory that was to be (briefly) conquered. Everything about this unit in these photos is purely speculative and based simply on the material and vehicles that normally are present in an Iraqi Infantry Brigade of the 80's or 90's. 

I used nine BTR-60PB for the transport of the three battalions. Six are metal Skytrex (left, on the picture) and three are Altaya (right). The Altaya model is much more accurate as its a recent model  but the overall dimensions of the two are pretty similar. 

I was too lazy to convert the BTR-60 to the R-137/140 command-staff vehicles that the Iraqi also had so I used three BTR-152 I had at hand. 
This one is from BPM. The printing lines shows on the top part close to the HMG but the rest is fairly Ok. 

This one is ICM with Hasegawa crew. 

This Zil-157 is also from ICM. I just added a scratch built Zu 23-2 for this unit to have some AA protection. 

A better shot of the scratch built Zu 23-2 with Atlantic crew. I used green camouflage in this brigade as many Iraqi vehicles still had this scheme in 1991 left from the Iran-Iraq war.

Next: Gulf War US Marines reinforcements. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - French Army Command office

One of the problems of building a French army for 1940 in 20mm is the lack of command vehicles. The last issue of GBM  magazine (HS7) brings a probable sugestion in the form of the Remorque-Bureau (Trailer Office). Apparently the French, and probably other pre-WW2 armies,  used these wheeled cabins as offices. A towing vehicle is also necessary but I have no idea as to which model would pull these ones. 

This trailer is made from the leftover cabin of my Polish Smialy armoured train. 

The windows are painted card and the sentinel is a Caesar figure. The wheels are extras from the WWI Airfix Mk1 tank (rudder parts). 

The flag is a Napoleonic 1812-15 flag but if you fold it enough the inscription in it will not be readable and it can pass as a ceremonial French flag of 1940.

This was the toy I used for this trailer. Lots of cutting and breaking was necessary to make it acceptable. As you can see I quit taking out the glued paper and after finishing the conversion I just applied GamesWorkshop primer and it worked OK. 

And this is the picture of the original Trailer Office. 

This funny vehicle dates from the mid-20s and may even have seen service in WWI so probably it didn't get to May 1940. But I like to think that this one did. 

Next: More Iraqi 5th MD and III Corps assets or the figures of the Dragons Portés for the 15e RDP.