Thursday, 29 October 2020

Rapid Fire! Market Garden in 20mm - Oddities and such (part 9) - A few more German missing bits for the new RF book

This week a few more German bits were finished for the new OMG book. Unfortunately not much German kit is missing in my collection as this army is by far the most interesting of the campaign due to its highly "irregular" look with units coming from all branches of the German military. This post reflects that nature. 

From Shellhole Scenics came this beautiful PzJager 35R(f) intended as "reinforcements for the 59th Division" (p.22). 

Just a few extra stowage, antenna and crew and one more is ready. 

As a commander for this one I used this Esci figure bent with fire on the knees and hips until it became a seated figure. If they don't obey ... you have to force them.

The other figure is a PSC figure with another head from the same brand. 

These two Sdkfz 10/5 are 3d prints from BPM with scratch built trailers. Holland was the passage for the Allied bombers into Germany and was thus filled with AA weapons as reflected in the OMG book. I suppose that the unarmoured version was more common in Holland, by looking at pictures, but I already have several of those from Britannia.

The trailers are made of small blocks of RoofMate covered in stowage. Don't forget to apply a good coat of PVA glue before any primer on RoofMate. 

The crew was made after hacking a number of hard and soft plastic figures. The seated figures had their legs made from two component paste. 

A number of old 37mm Pk36 were still being used by the German FG and at least one is necessary in two different scenarios. I have all my Kettenkraftrad in the 1942 Ramcke Brigade so for now these three guys will have the pull the gun by hand. The figures are Airfix and Revell and the gun is Matchbox with an additional lower shield. 

Finally, on a visit to Ale-Hop I found these civilian trucks that can be used for the mounts of the Grenadier Battalion  1036 after a repaint. The grey one got a canvas cover from an Italian truck from MiniGeneral and a Valiant figure in Zeltbahn. 

This time I didn´t use new wheels as the original ones are reasonable. The red truck got another leftover canvas cover. 


I used the truck colours shown in the OMG book as a clear reminder to Master Colin and Master Richard of my obedient, servant, slave-ish, doggy-style-position ways towards those two Gods of wargaming, yes, the ones who should be dealing with kicking Saudi Arabia out of Yemen and Covid-19 at a global level. Dixit!!

Next: more OMG or France 1940.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Rapid Fire! NW Europe 44/45 in 20mm - German 21cm Mörser 18

Well, frankly I don't like to say negative remarks about models. For me, models are pieces of heaven that God sent to earth in the form of small bits of plastic, resin or metal for the fruition and pleasure of men (and woman alike as it keeps us at home). But this one simply drove me crazy! Why Revell needs to place 130 small parts, sometimes 3 parts in a 5mm lenght of a model thats ends up being 15cm long? This one was clearly designed for that friend of ours that when in a modelling contest abandons the conversation with you as soon as the loudspeaker announces that the winners will be revealed in seconds. There he goes running like crazy, expecting to receive 1st prize! After all he spent a good part of his life looking behind the magnifying lens, marvelled at the spark of the cigar on its 1/72nd figure or the button on the belt on its last jet fighter's seat that no one else can see!!  This is really a model for them: dozens of small parts, parts divided into other small parts, parts, parts, parts! And look at the box, almost the size of an Airfix playset with 100 figures and a castle!

The model on its own is a marvel of engineering, everything fits well and the end result is very good. But can't Revell understand that their biggests buyers are not our friends that run crazy as soon as the loudspeaker calls them - I mean the true (static) modellers - but we, the wargamers, or model hoarders? We are the ones that after buying 2 or 3 times the same model, still think that 2 or 3 more will be necessary as we never know when Nostradamus can be right. I wish PSC, Armourfast or alike could have made this one as I never missed these brands as much as I did in the last four previous and precious days. When the last tiny part was glued I just felt a big relief and pleasure as if smoking a cigar after getting laid with Miss Colombia... 

The artillerymen are old Matchbox figures. They have little gear and several poses are in standing positions. With new arms made of Greenstuff they become ideal for the job. The figures using the ram should be some 4 or 5 but that would extend the base too much and space is something that I start to value. The hands and arms are too big in this picture and they were trimmed to look more real when the paste dried out. The officer is the eternal Airfix DAK officer in the copied enlarged version. 

For the ram I used a stretched paper clip.

This Mörser becomes very spacious due to the long earth anchors. At the same time they are a nice detail making a very realistic model. 

I still couldn't find some proper ammunition for this gun and so I only used some ammunition boxes. They exist in resin but as usual are quite expensive. I´m thinking about using the ones from the German guns of the D-Day Airfix playset but first I need to find were I put them.  

The trailer is another nice detail but also a multi XXXX part thing. In the end this model is a good addition with the drawback of being heavy on building time. But hey, it was a gift from a friend so what the heck!...

Next: More Market Garden additions.  

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Rapid Fire! Dieppe 1942 in 20mm (part 3) - The last Churchills of the Calgary Tank Regiment

The mailman arrived with these two on friday and the OMG project suffered an halt. Nothing that OMG is not used to with so many delays along Hell's Highway and all those bridges. 

With these two Churchill III I finish the Calgary Tank Regiment. This was a unit I wanted to do since childhood. I remember reading the old threee volumes of The Reader's Digest WW2 and getting hooked to the pictures and to a nice map of the attack. One more page closes in my "Wish I could do it" calendar.

The models are Dragon pre-built Kits bought from Clive Dudley friendly and fast service and they take two minutes to put together. In fact you just need to take them out of the box and they are ready. These are different from the more usual die-cast models of Altaya or Amercom as they are the same plastic kits of the brand built and beautifully painted. Not cheap but the end result is great. They become very light and the brand usually places a metal bolt inside for extra weight.

The colours matches my own Hasegawa MkI and Mk II pretty well which was a true relief. 

The only change I made was in the turret markings as the original ones are very small, maybe some three times smaller as they should and new handpainted ones were made. For not having two Beefys this one became Bert, the Churchill III that was photographed closer to the Casino. 

From here you can see the beautiful original painting of the models using the main tone first, dirting with diluted black all crevices and then drybrushing the main tone + white. This is also my way of painting tanks (the only difference is that these are better painted) and they fit very well next to the Hasegawa ones.

In the meantime I changed the turret symbol colours to dark and light blue as the yellow was wrong.

 Next: before the mailman arrives I´ll built a Revell´s 21Cm Mörser 18 for Normandy. 

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Rapid Fire! Market Garden in 20mm - Oddities and such (part 8) - Missing bits for the new RF book


This week was the turn of a few bits I had around to be built and painted for the new RF! book. All but one (the Churchill AVRE)  are made to fullfil the wishes of Masters Colin and Richard in their new OMG awesome book. 

The 152mm Russian guns of Korps Feldt shown on diagram on p.36 are apparently the M1937 (ML-20) model. Also according to the diagram the crew is FJ. Mine are converted Esci and Revell figures with the help of GreenStuff arms. The Esci are particularly suitable as they are mostly in static positions and the new arms holding some shells makes them quite realistic. 

The guns are Irregular Miniatures but somehow the models didn't carry the shield and the vertical springs which were easily made in EverGreen styrene. 

Here they are ready to unleash ze Trommelfeuer over the 82nd Airborne

The StugIII with short 75mm gun mentioned in p.22 as reinforcement for the 59th ID was the hardest of this group to build. Its based on the StugIII G from Esci, and it was transformed into an E version. The short 75mm gun came from the Airfix PzIV and a bunch of small parts had to be scratchbuilt like the headlights, the antenna racks, the side boxes and the tall round command turret had to be turned into a square and older one. 

With this model I started to use a new mixture of static grass and the results are quite pleasing. 

Nigel Maddaford sent me this nice picture of the probable inspiration of Masters Colin and Richard for adding this one to the fight against the 101st Airborne and fortunately looks like an E version due to the longer side boxes. 

While talking to Nigel he also pointed this picture of a short 75mm StugIII C/D on Firefly No 8,  about the German army in Holland. I also have it and after reading the text, yes,  it also could be this older version.  

The figure is the original Esci with a Feldmütze from PSC. 

This repainted Altaya M-10 was also added to the British forces. I already have several Achilles in the shelves of the Churchill brigade but this is my first British M-10.

Finally this Matchbox Churchill AVRE is not for Market Garden as the 79th AD wasn´t in Holland by then. I just finished it because I couldn't convert it to none of the Dieppe models. This is my fourth Matchbox Churchill AVRE, the other three are carrying the Girder bridge for D-Day. 
The Hessian tape is made of thin stripes of paper and the camouflage nets and foliage are made of blobs of PVA glue mixed with Noch birch leaves. 

Next; depends on the mailman but more OMG models most probably. 

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Rapid Fire! Dieppe 1942 in 20mm (part 2) - The Churchills MkI and MkII of the Canadian Calgary tank Regiment

Amidst a hail of invisible fire from 37mm, 47mm and 75mm guns the Calgary Churchills are dealing with the treacherous shingle of Red and White beach right in front of main Dieppe. 29 tanks of the regiment left the TLCs, 2 sank, 12 bogged down and only 15 (16?) left the beach somehow and went over the seawall and reached the promenade. 

The models are all Hasegawa and "National Treasury " (the green one, copied from Hasegawa, very cheap but basically the same mould with worse plastic). They were collected along the years and I ended up with too many Churchill I and II. In the real event, four Churchill I, five Churchill II and  three Churchill Oke landed at Dieppe which means a  maximum of three early models on the table for RF!. On the contrary  eighteen Churchill III got to the beach and at least three models should be there. As the Churchill I and II are five in my collection I will just add one Churchill III (probably Dragon) to represent the 29 models ashore. 

By looking carefully at the bible for modelling the Calgary Regiment - Dieppe through the lens, from After The Battle - you can find a total of five/six different model variants of the Hasegawa Churchill at Dieppe. From Left to Right:
1- Churchill I with the 3" gun in the front hull.
2- Churchill I still with the louvres.
3- Churchill II with hull Besa.
4- Churchill I with the chespaling track-laying device.
5- Churchill Oke flamethrower.

A view of the under part of the track-laying device made of different plastic and metal types. The chespaling on its turn is made of carefully modelled two component paste. 

I used for this model the excellent site Unlucky General which has a series of posts about Dieppe.

A thin broom stick was used for the release cable and the commander is a hard plastic Matchbox figure with new headphones. The rear vertical structures were a way to extend the exhaust pipes and avoid  the water while leaving the TLCs. They were made of hollow metal tubing (like the real thing). 

In the end I got "Chief" the first tank to hit the beach at Dieppe. I hope to find the  colours of its  pennant as this one was the commander of C squadron, Major Allen Glenn. 

 Now some time for the Oke version. The Hasegawa copy was used for this one. The plastic is hard to glue but in the end with some extra cyanoacrylate you get the same thing as Hasegawa's. 

The  armoured box for the flame-throwing equipment is made of three layers of styrene and the tube is EverGreen. 

The flame-thrower is made of three pieces of stretched sprue.  

"Boar"was one of the 3 Churchill Oke of the Calgary. Even without the use of its flamethrower due to the loss of the armoured box while exiting its rampless TLC, "Boar" fought the entire morning and finished at the beach as a fort for the retreating Canadian infantry. The figure is PSC. 

In fact this was the look of the Calgary tanks before reaching the beach. Three box-shaped ducts (louver extensions) were fitted to the air intake vents of the Churchills for them not to drown the engines. Due to hurry or technical problems some of the tanks didn´t jettisoned the vents and fought with them throughout the battle. 

The vents were made of styrene sheet. Here you can see also the fire extinguisher on the turret and the metal extended exhaust pipes. 

"Company" was quickly immobilized at the beach and was not able to use its 3" gun but used the other weapons to good effect. 

The nice markings of the regiment are another attraction for this brave unit. You can find all of them for each of the 29 Churchills in "Dieppe through the Lens" down to the serial numbers. 

The two last tanks are "normal" Churchill I and II. Even so and like all others they received antennas, the metal extended exhaust pipes and taller engine exits. The tanks of Dieppe were painted SCC-2 a brown colour (also called Dogshit brown). I mixed 60% GW Mourfang Brown with 40% GW Balor Brown for that effect. 

Next: Probably some influence from the latest RF! books that must be arriving.