Monday, 25 March 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - The Chars D-2 of the 19e BCC and a little extra all from the new MiniGeneral 3D brand

In the crossroads of Maison Gris (don't look for it, I've just made it up) the D-2 tanks of the 19e BCC of the famous Gen. De Gaulle  try hard to join its parent tank division, the 4e DCR in the fightings around Montcornet.

The 4e DCR is probably the most interesting French Division of 1940 to be portrayed on the tabletop. Not only fought very well for the entire campaign but also had an assortment of tanks that makes it unique: Char B1, D-2, R-35 and Somua S35. Its Chasseurs Portés were carried in army buses which makes them very interesting and the subject of another article.

But were did these D-2s came from? Well they came from Portugal itself and from a recent company that produces them in 1/72nd scale and in 3D printed plastic called MiniGeneral. You can find them in FB under the name MiniGeneral by Sirocco. The prices are very competitive, less than half of a resin or metal equivalent from another brand. The models are multi-part in order to have less printing issues specially around the tracks as it was explained to me by the nice owner of MiniGeneral, Pedro Pato. 

There are still some printing lines but much smaller than in other companies as each of these models use the smallest available printing gauge and spend several hours under the printing machine. As usual with printing many scales are available. 

The list at the moment is focused on the French campaign of 1940 with plenty of French, Belgian, British and German AFV's. But nothing better than you see it for yourself on its FB page. In the future it will have plenty more stuff and many new periods namely other WW2 periods and the Portuguese Colonial Wars in Africa 1961-74.


The MiniGeneral D-2 has both versions of the 47mm gun, in this case the short one, the SA-34.

And this one the long SA-35 47mm gun. To this command model I only added the crew member (Lancer) and an extra front antenna. 

The camouflages comes from the Minitracks No 9, an excellent essay on the Char D-2 from the late Pascal Danjou. I didn't use the older more complex schemes with plenty of colours (including violet, but that was tempting) and used the more recent and closer to the actual fighting. 

Another view of the lot. The models paint extremely well and the grainy look on them is due to the GamesWorkshop primer I use. 

The only addition I made in all of them, apart from some crew and antennae, is the rear towing cable from Artesania Latina. 

Not for a DCR but for my 3e DLM, MiniGeneral also produces all AMR 35 variants, including this ZT3. 


The one on the left is a real ZT3. The one to the right is my scratch built version, built clearly around Christmas time.


Mine is obviously too big but it will continue to soldier in my shelves as they will not stay together in the same unit, so no problem with comparisons.

Next: Matilda MkI from MiniGeneral or T-34 1940.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Rapid Fire! Operation Barbarossa and beyond in 20mm - First batch of Soviet armour.

 A Soviet tank force is sent to the border late june 1941 on the news of the German attack...

I`m collecting models for the German Barbarossa campaign for many years both Soviet and German, but only now I felt the urge to build and paint them. My recent Cossack force and aviation also helped. Its another period of history in the middle of many others so probably it will be soon interrupted but hopefully it will start to be a regular item in this beloved blog of yours.

 The T-35s are S-Models. Two models in their biggest box of the range. I only added an old figure from Fujimi, the AA DT machine gun taken from soft plastic Esci figures and the usual pieces of stowage. The markings are pre-war but many Soviet tanks still had them in 1941, and like this they are useful for other previous conflicts like the Soviet-Japanese clashes of Khalkhin-Gol or the Finish war.

This lonely T-28 in a BPM model with the usual additions of crew, stowage and MG. The camouflage is the 7K Russian tan with black lining as usual in many early Soviet tanks. In fact the Soviets had most of their camouflaged in 7K and 6k colours on the 4BO Russian Green at the beggining of the war. The years of 1942 and 43 saw a decrease in camouflaged vehicles due to the hurry of speeding AFV's to the front and the final two years saw another increase of camouflage in soviet machines. 

This KV-1 E ("Ekrenami" - up-armoured) is Altaya and has turret sides armoured protections. Not exactly a Barbarossa tank, but I had it around ready for repaint. 

 The KV-2's are old Fujimi built straight from the box.

Ups! Upon advice the tip of the 45mm gun barrel is already cut off. 
 The six T-26 are all Fabbri die-cast repaints in the pre-war markings with the usual addings.

Next. wether a batch of T-34 1940 or the new MiniGeneral by Scirocco 3D printed models for France 1940 (you will want to kill when you see them!) .

Friday, 8 March 2019

Rapid Fire! WWII Don Cossack Regiment in 20mm.

The RF! Red Book includes the description of the Soviet Cavalry Regiment in p.59 (If it had shown ten pages later I would not dare to write it here, of course!). The Cossack cavalry squadrons were made years ago but all support units and carts were made after I saw an excellent article on Fb by Paul Seeman that really inspired me to finish this unit. 

The figures are Revell and are lively and easy to paint. I glued all horses legs with hot glue to its stand. If you don't do it they will stay 'in the air'and paint will eventually flake as they are very thin.

The engineer cart is Britannia with Atlantic horses from their Ancient Greek range. 

The horse tows for both 76,2mm inf. gun and 45mm AT gun were made from German Esci models with replaced barrels. The horse tows are scratch built. 

The Regimental HQ can be seen here with the three figure stand of the Engineer platoon. The HQ wagon is mostly made of Styrofoam but more on that later. 

The AA cart is another scratch built model using mostly Evergreen plastic card and metal wheels. 

The Tachankas MMG carts are also built in Evergreen plastic card using Esci and Atlantic horses.

The MMG's are Esci and the wheels are navigation wheels from the Airfix MkI WWI tank. They should have the double of the spokes but I was too lazy for that. 


Here is the lot minus the cavalry squadrons. 

The officer: - You go first, comrade!
The soldier on the left thinks - (you could f... yourself).
The one to the rear: - (Uff, I got out of this one!).

Two of the engineers are the ones from the Revell Cossack box and the officer comes from the same brand's box of infantry. The head is from the Esci French Napoleonic Grenadiers cut to shape to look like the the Koubanka. 

Plenty conversions here from Esci and Revell. 

The gun carts have the drivers made from the only Cossack torso that the Esci box provides. Legs and arms were modelled in GreeStuff and the original boots were then glued.

The Tachankas were the most complex to built but I tried to make the simplest version I could find in period photos. 

I used the front wheels of this Britannia wagon somewhere else and I had to use some Esci Napoleonic as close replacements.

The AA cart became a bit too big but after painting and mixed with the others it looks reasonable.

The AA quadruple Maxims were made from four Esci guns, plastic, metal wire and a base cut from a syringe cap.  

The HQ wagon was lucky to have some metal wheels I had around and its body is made of Styrofoam.  The Styrofoam was carefully marked with a pencil to give some relief. 

Next: Plenty of stuff in my head: maybe Barbarossa German and Soviets. Modern Iranians, Bussaco 1810 or some more French 1940. More aviation is another possibility as well as the WWII Japanese army.