Sunday, 29 December 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Dr. Horch and Frankenstein in a MiniGeneral production

Master Richard and Master Colin told me I have to have 18 Horch 108 for the Shützen regiment of the 7th PD. I have still 6 more to do but I hope they forgive this big fail of mine... hmm, I think I'm watching too much Handmade's tale.

In this picture I tried to catch the environment of those famous pictures of  Rommel's 7th Panzer Division columns near Abbeville. The vehicles are MiniGeneral 3d prints but 42 of the 48 crew are my own Frankenstein type of convertions from soft plastic figures.

The vehicles are just great. A bit difficult to clean as you need to get used to this material but in the end you get a very good model, sturdy, 8 parts only (6 are the separate wheels) and with good detail. A true wargames friendly model.

Sometimes I read very unfair critics to 3d prints and even to MiniGeneral, which in my opinion ranks among the best of them. They are related to the printing lines that still exist and to the difficulties in cleaning the extra plastic. Regarding the first you can use some special primers that deal with most of the problem, even if this problem is getting solved with the advances of priting technology (which I have no idea of what it is). On the issue of extra plastic, sorry my friends but if you don't have the patience to clean it with some good pliers and a fine X-Acto you better use resin or metal that cost 2 or 3 times more and I also hope you are rich enough and live long enough if you want to build big units for our beloved RF! Finally the 3d prints from Minigeneral, or BPM models don't lie to you. They are clear on the pictures they show on their websites about what you are getting. They are pictures of samples coming fresh from the printers sometimes with only a quick cleaning and showing the actual product. If you like them go for them, if you don't there are other options.

The figures in this Horch 108 are built from Esci torsos and a Revell driver from the German artillery set. The arm and MG34 came from spare Zvezda parts of the BMW combo. Then the trick started with GreenStuff  arms and legs. In the end the original boots were glued to the GreenStuff legs while the last ones were still drying.

In the same vehicle you can see a third small part of the original figures that were put to use, the Kar98 and the MP40's you see in the back of most of the models.

In this other Horch you can see torsos from DAK Airfix, Matchbox, Atlantic and Esci all happily sharing the same Uber.

Again more Esci, Atlantic and Matchbox in a different Horch. 

Two DAK figures from Airfix and Esci entered this one and suit nicely the 1940 campaign. 

Here you have the lot ready to be primed and based. The windshields were also covered with GreenStuff to simulate canvas covers as used in the 1940 campaign by most of the vehicles closer to action. 

The painting of the Horch cars was plain Panzer Grey as most of the soft skin vehicles didn't receive the brown camouflage colour. 

Apart from the side crosses some visibility white was applied in the exposed corners of the cars and a card licence plate was added to the front. 

Another Zvezda MG34 was added to this Horch this time without the arm that holds it. On the back seat you can see one Hasegawa hard plastic figure from their Sdkfz 7. All others are my own conversions from Esci, Airfix and Atlantic. 

Here you have again the first model showned already painted. The result of the mix of these MiniGeneral 3d prints and these converted figures is quite pleasing. With far less money spent then if using resin or metal (or even plastic kits) you can have a large group of decent models enlarging your collection. 

Another view of the same.

In this one you have a Revell NCO with a MP40, an Atlantic driver and a Revell artillery seated figure. The MG34 firer had his left leg torn apart and replaced in a seated position even if he looks as just having given birth to triplets!

Another happy family from Hasegawa, Esci and Revell riding along the Somme valley in that hot spring of 1940...

The painted lot.

With 6 more to go the 7th Motor Rifle Regiment is nearing completion. 

Next: More Bussaco 1810. 

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 15) - Leith's Division

Leith's Division approaches its area around the Santo António pass. To the right the Loyal Lusitanian Legion (LLL) starts its move to the far end of the line close to river Mondego and Penacova, in the center stands Spry's Portuguese Brigade and finally Lt.-Col. Barne's Brigade. The Division was engaged in driving back Reynier's II Corps.

Barne's Brigade is made of the 1st, 38th and 9th foot Regiments. The figures are some of the usual Belgian Hat and Revell and Esci conversions with Stovepipes made of EverGreen plastic tubing.

Here is the infamous Tomar Militia Regiment the only allied unit to have fled the battlefield with the first shots. This Militia regiment was attached to Spry's Brigade.

The bodies of the figures are Italeri Austrians (1st box), the ideal uniform for the Portuguese as our 1806 uniform was based on the Austrian 1798 uniform. The heads are completely different: I used ACW Confederate hats and a crest made of GreenStuff.

Like this they became quite close to the original you can see in this drawing by Bob Marrion in Charles Grant book 'Wellington in Defence 1810'.

Here Charles Grant clearly mentions that the crest was also used by the Militia (in fact it was an official part of the uniform) and I opted by using it.

This is the rest of Spry's Brigade with 3rd, 8th and 15th Portuguese Line Regiments. The
models are Revell, Esci and Hat.

Once again some Italeri Austrians were used as Portuguese with heads from surplus Hat 'Red' boxes of British Peninsular infantry. On the back the old but trusty Esci figures.

Now for the LLL. This large unit was made of Portuguese immigrants in England. The figures are Esci and Hat Belgians. The officer is a Revell figure from the riflemen box as this unit was in a fact Light Infantry.

Next: transport for the Schützen of the 7th PD in France 1940. 

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Age Of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (Part 14) - Picton's Division

Picton's Division awaits the French assault coming from Pendurada. The environment is the area of the "ledge of rocks" in Chandler's book. In this place some of the most dramatic events of the battle occured and the Portuguese infantry  finally earned Wellesley respect with one of the most famous charges downhill of the entire Peninsular campaign. 

Starting with Lightburne's Brigade and left to right you have the the 5th foot. The figures are mostly Revell Esci minis with Stovepipe shakoes and Hat Belgians painted as British Peninsular as they nicely suit them. 

Now the 83rd foot again with Revell conversions, Hat Belgians and a few Esci conversions.

Mackinnon's Brigade starts with the 74th foot. This was an Highland Regiment but only the officers dressed typical Highland uniforms. The figures are mostly Hat British with an Italeri standard bearer and a Waterloo1815 officer on horse.

The 45th foot with a mix of brands and some Revell and Esci figures with Stovepipes made out of EverGreen tubing. This can be easily done with 2,4 mm tubing and a tuft from GreenStuff. 

The famous 88th foot with the brands above indicated and more EverGreen tubing for some of the shakoes.

Campalimaud's Portuguese Brigade starts with the Infantaria 9. The figures are Esci and Italeri French bodies with British Belgian shakoes. The 1812 French uniform particularly suits the Portuguese because of the tight boots both armies used. In the long gone days of this making there was still no internet and this flag is hand painted. 

The other Regiment of Champalimaud's Brigade is the Infantaria 21 composed of Hat Belgian infantry and Revell's. 

General Picton is the Waterloo1815 figure without the tall hat and with a blob of GreenStuff instead to simulate the red nightcap he apparently used during the battle. On the same stand I opted for a trooper of the 4th Dragoons as its bodyguard (figure is a Waterloo1815 with a Hat bicorne). In the other stand is Brigadier José Joaquim Champalimaud, a figure from the box of the Italeri Austrian/Russian Staff.

Next: more Blitzkrieg or more Bussaco depending on Santa's whishes. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Rapid Fire! Poland 1939 in 20mm - Armoured and artillery reinforcements

In the last few weeks I've been entertained again with the Polish army for the 1939 campaign. My idea is to make: 
- a full infantry division (1 in 9 battalions made and 0 artillery),
-  a 7TP Tank  Battalion  (done), 
- Three other tank companies with other models (Vickers E-done; FT17 and One-turret Vickers- still to be started), 
- an independent artillery regiment (just started), 
- two cavalry brigades (0 made up to now), 
- an armoured train (done),
- and the 10th Motorized Brigade (just a few vehicles made). 
- 6/7 aircraft (almost done)
Like this I can have units for some of the most balanced battles of this short but furious campaign. 

 Its a very interesting campaign and if was not not the wrong strategic atempt to defend the whole border (and also the Soviet attack on the eastern border) the Polish army just might have extracted a heavier toll from the Germans and maybe , just maybe, the British and French would have intervened in the western German frontier and History could have been different. 

The two small TKS TD with the 37mm Bofors were given to the 10th Motorized Brigade and seem to have entered in action. The model is a MiniGeneral 3d print. 


I just scratch built the ammo trailer in EverGreen plastic card and the crew in two component paste.


The heads for the crew came from FtF and Revell (a WW1 German head that fits nicely the 10th Motorized Brigade infantry).

The last Vickers Mk.E also from MiniGeneral. The  rest of the company already made are FtFmodels. According to Robert Rycharski information the Vickers tank companies were mixed so I will have to organized them with both single and double turrets models. 

These last 8 MiniGeneral 7TP are enough to complete this tank battalion (1X command tank; 3X companies with 3 tanks).   The other two already on the shelves are FtF.  

Reconnaissance vehicles: the 'Ursus' wz.29 and a few models of the TK and TKS tankettes all from MiniGeneral. With the ones already made from FtF I can use two of them for the armoured train 'Smialy' and three of them in each of the cavalry brigades. 

The first battery of 75mm 1897 guns for the 10th Motorized Brigade. The 4CP's are FtF.

The guns are Hat with FtF figures.

The wheels came from the Hat Polish artillery crew set. Only four were provided and the other four were casted in two component paste. 


The horse artillery is again Hat. The artilley pieces came from the WW1 US artillery set and the figures are Hat  Polish artillerymen. 

The limbers are scratch built in EverGreen and the horses were converted from the Hat Persian Medium cavalry. Here a big Thanks to Robert Rycharski for the excellent pictures he sent me for the Polish 75mm 1897 guns and limbers. 

The Horses had the harness made in two component paste. The sitting figure and the horse rider came very handy for this battery. Well done Hat!!

Next: More Polish or a return to Bussaco.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 13) - Hill's Division

Gen. Hill's Division was not engaged during this battle and was posted on the extreme British right not far from Penacova on the Mondego river. I pass on the IP3 road almost everyday with the Bussaco ridge on my left and I'm sure I can see Hill's men on its top!

This is Col. Duckworth's Brigade. It had (L-R) the 31s, 3rd, 48th/1st battalion, and the 66th foot regiments. The figures are mostly Hat. 

A few of the stands of the 3rd foot regiment. The figures are Hat but the standard bearers are Esci conversions from the figure using the rifle as a club.

The Brigade commanders are Revell figures with new heads form StreletsR and heated arms for some variety. 

I also used one mounted horse for the 39th Foot. The figure is the Airfix Waterloo British officer with a new head and Revell Horse. The standard bearers are Esci and Revell conversions.

Again some more Revell figures for the 60th rifles. 

Now for Inglis Brigade with the 57th foot. Mostly Hat but with an officer that you may recognize as an Austrian figure from the Esci set of Austrian/Prussian infantry with a new head and an NCO from the Airfix Waterloo British infantry with a new stovepipe shako from Hat. 


The first row is the rest of Inglis Brigade with the 29th and 48th/1st Battalion of foot. On the back is Wilson's Brigade with the 39th, 28th and 34th foot Regiments. Mostly Hat again. 

Next: Plenty of Polish AFV's and artillery for the 1939 campaign.