Saturday, 27 July 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - June 40 Desperate measures (part 1)

With the German Fall Gelb operation victorious, the French prepare for Fall Rot and for the defence of France. For that they use everything that can move or shoot against the invaders including much outdated equipment.

A good example are these AMR Citröen Kegresse P28. Apparently the ones still running were collected by the COMAM (a centre for cavalry vehicles) and used in battle. There are several photos of Germans around these vehicles some of them abandoned or destroyed.
The models are very nice MiniGeneral miniatures with the usual copies of the Skytrex tank commander. In reality only one of them has an interphone, all others are eating apples in order to reflect the French lack of radios.

This Potez 452 in navy colours  is an Azur model and was built simply because I had it for years in the stash. It can also be used for the Franco-Thai war of 1940-41.

The figures are Matchbox.  

The last model of this post is another Azur kit, the Hanriot H-232. In reality it was a training aircraft but I'm imagining  its usage as a reconnaissance plane.

Next: More desperate measures with a new FT31 BCC and SPG artillery. 

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Rapid Fire! the Pacific War in 20mm - Japanese Landing Craft

Before getting back to France 1940 you can see here a group of freshly built and painted Japanese landing craft arriving at a lost small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in search of boots... oh,no, sorry that is Gettysburg... in search of water. Just in case, they land a reconnaissance vehicle to see if there are any hostiles.
The landing craft are Hovels. The armed one is an Armored Boat AB-Tei / Type C Landing Craft and the other one is the more common Daihatsu Type A landing craft. The reconnaissance vehicle is a Sekigahara 1941 model from BUM with many changes.

I painted the landing craft driver in navy colours even if he has puttees and probably should have been painted in army colours.
The flags are internet prints.

Both ship's decks were painted wood colour. Not sure about the extent of the wood (if any) on the armoured boat but it becomes more lively like this.
My idea for the future is to build several of my own Type A landing craft in wood and card board and I needed this one for measurements.

The vehicle is a Sekigahara 1941 model and an experimental vehicle built in very small numbers. Well, in fact its numbers were so small that only one was built and in 20mm thanks to my devious mind. So, sorry, this thing never existed.
 This resin model came along a box of SCW figures in an old BUM box. Probably BUM was trying to pass the model as a Tiznao or a home-made armoured car of any sort. So I had to find a way for this model to survive. In fact this is a pity as BUM is a Spanish brand with very nice SCW figures but with these kind of very lousy vehicle models, specially their older ones. They should be more careful about presenting stuff from their own history. Besides this, the wheels that came with the model were more of the bycicle size and there was a nail offered for the gun!  
I used some decent wheels and a DSKH Soviet Mg from the Matchbox T-34 instead, painted the inevitable yellow disruptive camouflage stripes and the navy flags and managed to have another Japanese vehicle... sort of.

Next: a return to France 1940, particularly the terrible month of June.


Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Mini Panzers from MiniGeneral

The German armour gathers around the village of Maisons Folles and prepares itself for another push against the allies.
All models are MiniGeneral 3D prints.

These two PzBefehlswagen I A only had the figures as extras. They are Fujimi torsos with GreenStuff arms.

Two more PzIA to join its brothers from Minairons.

And two more PzII C to end this lot.

Next: Desperate measures by the French, or maybe some Japanese landing craft.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Battery of towed 155mm C for the DI

Close to Bois Perdus (who saw, or was forced to see, the Zelda series  knows were it is) a battery of French 155mm C deploys in order to deliver some devastating fire on the invading Boches.
The guns are ACE and the end result is quite nice. The worst part is what happens since you open the box until you finish building it with over 60 parts to glue for you to have a gun, some of them no bigger then 1mm. This ACE newer models are already designed in computer and far superior to the first type of short-run models but they keep on having zillions of tedious small parts which for wargamers are a true pita, to say the least.
The crew are WWI Revell conversions with GreenStuff arms. The ammunition  sockets camefrom the Ace models themselves.
The limbers are also conversions but using the trailer supplied by ACE.
The crew are GreenStuff copies of Hat and EWM figures with Italeri Napoleonic horses from their outstanding box of French high command. The limber box is Evergreen plastic card with leftover Hat  wheels from last post 4.5 QF guns. Some true cord was used as harness for the horses.
The lot prior to painting.
Next: Most probably more French stuff to the desperate fighting in June 1940.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - British reinforcements for all BEF contingent

The Brits are trying once again to drive the Germans out of France. This time they count with extra tanks, Recce units and more artillery.  Will they succeed? C'mon... haven't you seen Dunkirk the movie?
Most of this new models are 3d prints with the converted artillery and artillerymen.

A friend of mine printed for me eight Morris CS9. Six of them are ready and belong to the 12th Lancers and two others will be built and painted later for the Western Desert in the striking Counter Camouflage scheme. A big hug to my friend Carlos Chiça who printed them for me.

The model is a beauty and the original plans are from Thingiverse and were made by Jeremy Connaughton. I added some Matchbox crew, the usual stowage, unit plate, antenna and supports for both the Bren and Boys AT rifle.

Two more MiniGeneral A13 MkII arrived in the last batch this time with the smaller mantlet and Besa MG.

Also four MarkVI B arrived from MiniGeneral and two of them got the usual PSC crewmen.

And now for something different. You are probably thinking 'What gun is that? It doesn't exist in plastic! And it must be plastic as the moreon that makes all this is a big plastic consumer!!'.

You are right. These are all conversions including the crew. Don't worry, the secret didn't live for long and is about to be disclosed.

Here it is: the QF 4.5inch guns are Hat WWI models with wheels taken from my youngest kid's toys. As he is only 2 YO he will need plenty of time to discover they are missing and in the mean time everything will be varnished and placed safely into the shelves.
The wheels need to be lowered in relation to the wooden wheels from the box. In this picture you can see a metal bar connecting the wheels from under the carriage.
The figures have the torsos of the Hat WWI US artillery with WWII British legs from the Esci set. I used the Hat US torsos because they already carry the gas mask bag and are true artillerymen  holding shells and bars. On their back I placed some GreenStuff bedrolls as the British artillery did in 1940.

Next: More 1940 French Artillery this time the heavy  Canons de 155mm C.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Farewell to the Char B1bis

3e DCR and 3e DLM tanks meet at the top of Point de Rencontre hill in order to prepare for another counter attack against the invading Germans. 
This is also an emotional post as in one stroke I finished the last two Char B1bis I needed from a total of 13 and also the four H-35 necessary for the two reconnaissance squadrons of the Dragoon regiment. I started the Char B1bis group many years ago with the Matchbox model and continued with the Altaya and Lancer models. These last two from MiniGeneral are the last ones I need for a RF! French DCR.
So no more of these in the future.Take a good  look at them dear follower as they are the last of its kind and you will never see them in your life time!... Well you can always go back on the pages of this fantastic blog and review this and other Char B1bis posts again!!
The MiniGeneral Char B1bis includes a variant with an open hatch for the commander, in this case the usual Skytrex figure. GBM magazine provided all information for the painting of the 41e and 49e heavy tank battalions camouflage and markings on its 127 and 128 recent  issues.
The only change in the MiniGeneral model was the gun tube that is too thick. Not bad on its own but too thick side by side with the other brands so I replaced them with surplus barrels from the PSC A9 tank.
The Hotchkiss H-35 are also Minigeneral and the only adding is the typical towing chain on the back. The painting and markings of these tanks came from the GBM HS1 issue on the  mechanized cavalry.
The parade of the 14 Juillet. Printing lines in MiniGeneral, and other 3d printing brands actually, are getting less and less noticeable and the sceptics should start to consider them as a viable way to enlarge their collections.
Next: most probably more Brits for France 1940.