Friday, 29 November 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 12) - Spencer's Division

Nervously awaiting the French assault here stands Spencer Division, solidly anchored on the western part of the battlefield, close to Sula village. This division has some of the most famous British units of the Napoleonic wars and also provides interesting uniforms. 

Wellesley itself came to pay a visit to General Spencer and check for the last time the defensive line. All figures are Italeri with a coated officer from Irregular Miniatures.

Scattered on the slope there are several companies of the famous 60th Rifles. Figures from Revell. 

On reserve stands Lowe brigade with the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th KGL regiments. Figures are mostly Hat with a few boy-drummers from Esci with new Stovepipe shakoes. 

I organized the bases of the Anglo-Portuguese with only two ranks, reflecting the British practice (the French have three as you can see in the previous posts). 

Blantyre's Brigade can be seen here with the 61st, 24th and 42nd 'Black Watch' regiments. As the units were small I didn`t use any flags on them. Again mostly Hat miniatures with the Scottish being Esci, Airfix, Italeri with a converted officer.

Packenham's Brigade presents here the 23rd Line, a fusilier Regiment. Even if they they didn't use their bearskin hats in the Peninsula I portrayed them like that (who doesn't like the cover of Chandler's bible on the Bussaco battle?). The bodies are Revell and Esci with French Esci bearskin hats. This conversion has to be careful as you need the peak of the shako for the correct shape of this headdress. 

Another Packenham unit is the 79th Line, another Scottish regiment from the same sources as the 42nd.

Finally the 2nd and 3rd Guards from Stopford's Brigade. Mostly conversions from Revell with a few Belgians from Hat in the middle.

Next: wether more British for Bussaco 1810 or more Polish 1939.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Rapid fire! France 1940 in 20mm - The Motorcycle Squadrons of the RDP of the DLM

In a recent comment in FB, Richard Baber referred to the high cost of the metal motorcycles of our beloved scale. I already have four of the SHQ French combos and yes, they are lovely but yes, they are expensive, around five or six pounds each. 

For some time I was thinking of a way to have between 12 and 16 more but the price (something like 100 pounds total PP included) kept me aside as I prefer to spend my money in vehicles. I kept this number in the dozen as some Simca cars will also be added probably EWM or MiniGeneral. 

Also an excellent FB post from Robert Rycharski showed how beautiful can be the Zvezda German Combo when turned into a French one as well as how some old Airfix Afrika Korps can be turned into very nice French Motorcyclists.

This is the way I did it. 
- After looking at numbers used I decided to make the Gnome et Rhône AX-2, one of the many models used in greater quantity.
- The one-piece Motorcycle with driver from the Airfix Forward Command Post was used as a start. GreenStuff was modelled for a longer coat, for the typical French ammo pouches, helmet and for the typical loose trousers of the motorcyclists.
- For the side-car I built one in EverGreen and GreenStuff and glued inside the torso of a Hat artilleryman with a few extra details like the goggles. 

- Some old resin wheels were used for the side-car.
- Some plastic and copper tubing for both the side-car and motorcycle and an extra rear seat for the motorcycle. 
-Here you can also see to the right one of the six (less than half of the French combos had them) FM29 LMG made from EverGreen plastic card and tubing. 

Later I found better to fill all holes with GreenStuff and to cut the right arm of the motorcyclist for better moulding (the right arm was made in GreenStuff and modelled in its place after the motorcycle came out of the mould). The head was also moved and now is looking forward for a more natural look.

Then both parts were pressed into BlueStuff moulding substance. After drying, GreenStuff was pressed into the Bluestuff and here you have them. 

After gluing the two parts and an extra rifle to the back of the driver everything was primed black.  I used a greenish paint as seen in many reenactment photos for the motorcyclists coat. 

The motorcycles were painted black as with the previous SHQ models. This colour was the pre-war scheme with green only showing up from late 1939 and in imported American models. 


For painting details I used this picture from GBM 127. 

Only strip-tease and Metallica are missing. If Metallica doesn't show up we don't mind having only strip-tease!

For the dismounted motorcyclists the new StreletsR WW1 French were used. The trousers were modelled accordingly as well as the helmet and goggles. Also the Lebel rifles were shortened for them to look as MAS36 rifles. The symbol of the mighty Sporting Clube de Portugal at the back of the picture can be seen and is the inspiration for all my work. This is why most probably Porto and Benfica fans can't reach this level of efficiency!!

The figures were painted in the same style as the seated ones.

The new StreletsR box comes very handy as you can convert them and make plenty of different units both from WW1 and WW2.

In this stand the FM29 was transformed from the original Chauchat.

Finally some Laffly V15T from MiniGeneral with EWM drivers were added to the EDAC of the DLM. 

Next: More Bussaco 1810 with Spencer Division. 

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 11) - Armée du Portugal artillery and 8th Corps Cavalry

This post ends the French army for Bussaco 1810 and concerns the full French artillery and Saint-Croix cavalry division. 
The artillery is mostly Esci with conversions and Hat limbers. The cavalry is Italeri. The are also some very old Airfix guns and crews, some converted to horse artillery. 

The artillery gun of this foot artillery battery is Esci Guard artillery with shakoes from the line infantry. The officer is Ykreol. The limber is the very useful Hat model. 

The horse artillery crew is Esci from the British Horse artillery set, again with French shakoes. The limber and d rivers are Italeri. 

Saint-Croix cavalrymen represent the 4e, 9e, 14e and 26e Regiments de Dragons. All figures are Italeri with a trumpet from StreletsR (26e Dragons, top right). 

Next: The British- Portuguese army for Bussaco 1810. 

Monday, 4 November 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Dragons Portés for the DLM from LesArméesOubliés and a few other

A group of Dragons Portés leave the woods of Maison Terrifique to take positions by the road...

LesArméesOubliés is a French brand made by Guilhem, an extraordinary talented sculptor who already has plenty of stuff for French 1940 and Foreign Legion 1942. I decided to have a go at them and forget for a while my own conversion talents, undeniable as you well know, but not always enough!

If you buy a set of Dragons Portés from LesArméesOubliés you get a set of 32 beautifully sculpted figures, all different and very well researched. Some have the capote, others the vareuse and a few have goggles. I added a few more goggles mainly as a way to make an even more distinct unit from the regular infantry. This can be easily made with tiny blobs of EverGreen modelled with a toothpick.

These are the command figures. I added radios to two of them.

As you can see the figures are very realistic and well proportioned.

Also from Guilhem came four Hotchkiss MMG's (the other one is on the 2nd picture) that he converted from the Pegasus  set. Not a single figure is the same as another and goggles were well made by Guilhem with the GreenStuff + toothpick technique. 

After finishing the Lafflys S20TL I needed more Dragons Portés. I already have a battalion of Chasseurs Portés (with a different uniform) for a DCR and a regiment of Dragons Portés for a DLC but the organic of the Dragons Portés of the DLM is different.

This was the original DLM regiment, an all plastic unit before the arrival of the miniatures from Les Armées Oubliés.

It ended with half of the figures in metal from LesArméesOubliés, Pegasus conversions and StreletsR plus some Hat miniatures for the heavy weapons with a few other conversions.

The StreletsR are from the WW1 French summer box. They suit well the Dragons Portés of 1940 if you cut slightly the Lebel rifle (and bayonet) for it to look like a MAS1936.

In this company you can see the extra goggles made for half of the figures, the VB grenade launcher (figure to the left, ordering to advance) and in the far right stand the Chauchat turned into the M.29 LMG with some cuts and bits of EverGreen.

Command sections for the battalions, mostly Hat with scratchbuilt radios and two figures with the Bonnet de Police from StreletsR. The one pointing has a pair of Fujimi binoculars hanging from the neck.

The 60mm mortars are scratchbuilt and have Hat figures.

The same for the 81mm mortars. The Hat French artillery box is very useful for other small weapons and even its officer can be used in many ways as shown in the command sections. 

These six Hotchkiss MMG's are scratchbuilt in this way:
- the body and weapon of the firer are BlueStuff copies of the StreletsR Foreign Legion.
- The tube of the gun has a pin inside for extra strenght.
- the head is a copy from EWM.
- the other two crewmen are Hat French artillerymen. 

Next: More Napoleonic for Bussaco 1810.