Sunday, 30 June 2019

Rapid Fire! Desert War 1940-43 in 20mm - Last few PzIII for the DAK

A mixed column of PzIII's both from 15th PD and 21st PD approaches the oasis of Ras-El-Angelamerkel following Rommel's plan to invade Egypt.
These PzIII are the last eight I needed for the two DAK Panzer divisions. Now they total forty PzIII and  only one PzIVD and a few PzII are missing for my DAK tanks to be complete. At the same time that it's great to be finishing a Corps size unit like the DAK one can't avoid the feeling of some sadness for something that is now over and that you were building for so many years. Of course giving stupid names to the places were your models are being pictured helps lowering the gloom...
Six of the Pz III are J versions converted from the PSC PzIIIG/H by changing only the gun barrel.
The conversion is quite simple. I used some metal hollow metal tubing I bought in my last raid in Lisbon. You just need to drill the jacket with a 2 millimeters driller and insert the metal tubing. The Pz III J already had the long 50mm L/60 gun but still used the mantlet of the shorter L/42 gun instead of the space armour frame of the later L version.
The two command tanks are S-Models with PSC commanders. They are straight from the box constructions without the typical rear antenna of the standard Panzerbefelhswagen in short supply in the DAK.
The two 15Cm sIG33 PzII's are hot from the printers BPM models. They are a nice rendering of this important machine for the OB of the 90th Light Division and a not very common model as only 12 were actually built.

The usual stowage, antennae and crew was added as well as a left front vision slit that is missing.
You can recognize the crew from the old trusty Airfix DAK surrendering figure, Matchbox hard plastic DAK figure; Hasegawa Tiger commander and PSC 50mm gun observer.
Next: A return to France 1940 with an other hartbreaking finish of some important machines of this conflict.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Numbers for the 6th and 7th Panzer Divisions

Piercing the French-German border at the river Meuse close to the village of Je-ne-sais-pas-le-Nom, the Pz 35t's and 38t's of both  6th and 7th PD quickly rush to their objectives.

The Pz35t's are Minigeneral and have early Blitzkrieg marking for one of the battalions of the 6thPD.

Two battalions also finished for the 7thPD with these Minigeneral Pz35t's. I used different markings according to the different battalions they will belong to, one closer to the Polish campaign and the other with the big numbers for the French campaign.

The Sdkfz 221 and 222 are BPM and have the usual extras of crew, stowage, antennae and Nazi SOB flag.

Next: finishing the tanks for the DAK.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - The dismounted cavalrymen of the 5e DLC

The 11e Cuirassiers and the 12e Chasseurs dismounts and take positions on high ground very close to the village of Le-Boche-Arrive.

All figures are conversions from the Caesar figures. Two of the eight squadrons have a few bycicles to identify the the fourth squadron of each regiment that weren't provided with horses.

The conversion process had a ammunition bandolier made of GreenStuff stuck to the chest and back of most of the figures. The puttees were painted with black acrylic mixed with PVA glue for its lines to disappear and look like cavalry gaiters.


The other conversion was on the capote. For them to look like horsemen with unfasted buttons I filled the gap in the legs with GreenStuff and carved out the folded part on the back.

Next: Germans! Beaucoup d'eux!!!!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - The 51e BCC and its fabulous FCM 2C

The 51e BCC approaches the train station of On-va-être-Sabordés for its last journey...

The Char 2C number 91 was "Provence" and here represents the three tanks of the 2nd company. The Model is Retrokit. This camouflage is the last to be known to be applied on the tanks of the 51e BCC.

The other one is number 92, "Picardie", from MiniGeneral, and represents the 1st company.  I used a number of extra details to bring it close to the level of the Retrokit model. For the build up of this unit I used the Minitracks number 2 magazine and its invaluable information by Pascal D'Anjou.

The Minigeneral 3D model captures very well the looks of the Char 2C but needs a few simple extras. In this picture you can see the missing door on the right side, a few bolts and supports, antenna  and the crewman (yes, this was how the turret opened).  

Also another rear  door for the main turret was added. 

The crossing tail is not mandatory but adds some historicity to the model as at least one of the last  six serviceable Char 2C had this device when its remains were found by the Germans, 50km from Neufchâteau.

I also added some wood and chains typical of the French tanks still in 1940. 

I also replaced the side Hotchkiss MG's as the ones that came on the original model broke on my clumsy hands. 

The ShellHole Scenics Renault 35R is a small beauty. I onlly added the typical French square for the vehicles with trailer and a big licence plate as I´m always afraid Saramago´s Blindness arrives at any moment. 

 The rest of the details are a driver, another passenger and a few stowage. 

The Minigeneral Laffly 15  TCC was not part of the unit but it was  built and painted with this lot. Like this I have two of these Tank Destroyers (the other one is Ace) which probably will be enough for any scenario.

The  Laffly 15 TCC only had three crewman added, two of them are conversions from the Esci box of WWII French infantry and a scratch built FM 29 LMG.

Next: French 1940 dismounted cavalry. 

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Rapid Fire! Poland 1939 in 20mm - An all FtF and WaW encounter.

Somewhere in western Poland, in a clearly stormy (Daniel's) day, an advanced German HQ is surprised by a Polish motorised force. Well in fact these are just my latest models from First to Fight and World at War due to a recent visit to Lisbon. I was mostly after the new Polish cavalry but there weren't any so these had to do.

These two Krupp Protze will force me to start the 10th Polish Motorised Brigade with their 1916 German helmets.

These 4CP's will tow the Polish medium artillery, specially the 100mm and 105mm guns.

One more 7TP was added this time with a Skytrex metal figure.

Taking advantage of the primer cloud one more Heller PZL 23 was built and painted. As usual it has hand painted markings.

This was how it looked the German HQ a little time before the Poles arrived. Damn! We can't even invade a neighbouring country without being interrupted!!

All these vehicles carry the 1940 markings and are thus better for the French campaign. I also din't use any brown camouflage to take these models up to the Russian campaign. Besides the Brown camouflage was standard but there were numerous exceptions.  This Sdkfz 251/6 suits the vehicle used by Guderian in France. The figure inside is Zvezda and originally was shooting against airplanes, but here... is just checking the radio structure.

Another Befehls Pz 38t added with a PSC figure.

This Sdkfz 231 will fit nicely the Recce units for Blitzkrieg again with a PSC figure. I replaced the 20mm gun with a sturdier from Minairons Spanish Pz I.

Lastly something of a mistake. WaW (IBG in fact) covers so well the beginning of the war that they even do models that were used solely for training like this Stug III 0-serie model. PSC figures again.

Next: the 51e BCC with the mighty Char 2c ready to crrrrrush ze invader! Oh la la.