Saturday, 25 September 2021

Will McNally's Rules - AWI and the battle of Brandywine 1777 in 20mm (part 32) - The 71st Highland regiment

The 71st Highland Regiment was present at Brandywine with three battalions totaling around 1200 men. It was thus the biggest regiment at the battle and it was kept as the reserve of Knyphausen Division and as train guards. 

The figures are in fact plastic game pieces in 1/72nd scale from the Hold The Line boardgame by Worthington Publishing and PSC. I lost my mojo for AWI a bit before the release of the original game with had some 200 beautiful figures inside. Later when the mojo came back I could only find in PSC the separate bags of  Scots and Hessians. Now finding Hold the Line figures after all this "post July" s##### is very difficult which is really a pity as they are really great. 

As you can see they go very well along Esci and Airfix pipers and they could go even better if  instead of clipping the base I had just cut a part of it. The figures were glued with hot glue and then with cheap super glue. The bond made by the two materials is extremely strong. 

All the figures are the same but with the colorful uniforms of the Scots the single pose gets lots of life. 

Most of them got red hair, of course! And they should have white trousers by the time of Brandywine but they also look much more Scottish like this. 

Two other poses were made from the original: officers and the flag bearers, using Greenstuff for new arms.

These three command stands are the ones with pipers and changed poses. I used wire for the first time for the arms of the officers waving the claymore sword which made some of them too long. Then laziness prevented me from changing them.

Next: France 1940.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Rapid Fire! NW Europe 1944-45 in 20mm - US Airborne and ground reinforcements.

The command group of Combat Command X of an US Armored Division meets in the middle of the Norman bocage. Fearful of a German incursion, the commander request all possible protection from the vicinity and so some Airborne 57mm AT guns and M8 HMCs shows up and make an impregnable ring of steel around him... What a bull###t story! Sorry, but nothing else came to my mind as an introduction.  

This time some additions to the US Armored Division and the Airborne Division. With the Dodge WC53 Carryall and the M8s HMC the Armored division is now complete and the Screaming Eagles finally got some AT protection and tows for the 105mm guns. 

The Carryall is a Matchbox die-cast model I found last month in a second hand toy fair. It looks to be in a smaller scale than the usual 1/64 of many die-cast cars and probably suits our 20mm size pretty well. New plastic wheels from Atlantic, antenna and covered engine (white paste) was added and it looks OK. 

And here it is together with some old metal US command figures, presumably SHQ, given by my friend Jorge Faria.  

The M8s are RTR and will be sent to the three mechanized infantry battalions and their assault gun platoons. The figures are Irregular Miniatures cut by the waist. I chose helmeted figures as for open topped vehicles.

The tiny M8 HMC become very colorful with plenty of markings. 

Half of the  US 57mm AT guns are PSC conversions (muzzle break erased, right side of front protection cut and shortened legs). The artillery men are converted Revell and SHQ figures ( these last ones with EverGreen first aid pads and pockets in the trousers). 

To the left you can see two SHQ 57mm guns and the two PSC to the left. 

Finally the Jeep tandem tows for the 105mm M1 guns were painted, as I had them built for years. The Jeeps are Frontline Wargaming attached to each other with the typical  'A' structure made of plastic card. The drivers are the usual plastic torsos with Milliput arms. To driver to the left is an old Airfix figure driving with his left hand and holding the Thompson with the right hand in a typical Cowboy style. 

Next: French 1940 or Brandywine 1777. 

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Rapid Fire! Western Desert 1940-43 in 20mm - Rehearsal for another of Benito´s anniversary


This time out of Benghazi, at Ras-al-Sand-Green-Board, the Italian troops that will parade on the 29th of July are rehearsing their task far from the eyes of spectators...and spies. The black line dividing the two boards is obviously an irrigation ditch (eh,eh). 

When building and painting Desert Italians I try do as many as I can at the same time in order to catch some other armies that are far more numerous in the collection. This time two infantry battalions got a second life with some repainting (they were already painted for years and inside some old boxes but with the uniform color painted both on the helmet and puttees which was wrong) and the addition of the support weapons. Also some artillery and a few more tanks were added. Like this the Ariete division is not far from concluded. 

The second battalion of the tank Regiment is done with the third starting with the two models from the far left. The models are 3d PLA prints from MiniGeneral and Italeri double kits. 

The crew figures came from MBM Netherlands and very pretty they are. 

The MiniGeneral model is a late M13/40 as you can see from the cut down mudguards.

Generally I don´t bother opening the hatches in order to place figures. Simply new doors were made from plastic sheet and the figure was cut down to size. 

The M13-40 from Italeri is in fact a M14-41 as it has the perpendicular bars in the engine grill and the mud cleaner on the drive sprocket. With two antennas it becomes the Centro Radio variant used by command tanks.

These Fiat Dovunque 35 SP´s are MiniGeneral and all will go to the Bersaglieri regiment. The two to the left have Waterloo1815 47mm Elefantino guns from the Folgore artillery box. The ones to the right are original models with the Breda 20mm AA gun. 

The crews of the Elefantinos are converted French from Hat with Revell US Marine heads and GreenStuff for the plumes. The ammo box in the back of the figures was erased or  heated for it to look like a water canteen.

The Breda AA guns have firers converted from a number of parts until they sit properly (with the help of my trusty lighter). The ammunition supplier is a Waterloo1815 conversion and the driver is MBM. 

The 100/17 guns (ex Austrian from WW1) are Hat and they are an important asset of the infantry division. 

I tried to make new rubber wheels for them but left the idea very early due to its complexity. Besides these old wheels were also used and transported with the help of the Carellos Elasticos. 

Here you can see the variety of figures used to crew the 100mm guns: Esci, Hat and even some Japanese Atlantic legs on the top right Esci figure which also got a Waterloo1815 Carcano rifle. These 100mm gun stands are two sheets of cardboard glued together with PVA as I was lazy to cut them from wood. In the end I spread cheap super glue all over to give the base extra resistance, the trick Mário Laranja used in its Carentan houses. 

The second 149mm gun was added to the Corps Heavy Artillery Group.

The model is Italeri and probably ranks among the simplest models ever to be placed inside a box with the gun having just nine parts. The figures are outstanding and you can have plenty of extras from the three Italian artillery boxes made by Italeri (this one, the 90mm gun and the 3RO SP). 

An example of what you can do with the Italeri extras are command groups like this one. The Radio is a scratch built RF3C model. 

A piece of 3mm hard stryrene was used for the bulk of the radio and a piece of plastic broom bristle was folded for the antenna. 

The riflemen of the two infantry battalions were painted for years and stored in boxes. This time Grey Green was painted in puttees and helmets. A few helmets also got some ochre. All other support weapons and groups were made in the last few days as you can see from the different color of the uniform. I settled with Vallejo Desert Yellow for Italian uniforms and Citadel Balor Brown for vehicles. 

The Elefantino guns are Waterloo1815 with converted Esci Alpini and officer from the gun box with trimmed trousers in order to look like infantry boots (originally this figure had paratrooper´s trousers).

The RF1 man-pack radio in a command stand of a battalion. The radioman is Esci and the officer is Waterloo1815.

The 45mm Brixia mortar is a contraption made of multiple plastic parts with converted Esci figures. 

My Bersaglieri battalions already have the Breda as MMG so I scratch-built these old Fiat-Revelli  MMG´s from the Revell WW1 Germans also using the figures from this set. 

The Solothurn 20mm AT rifle was also made from various bits of plastic. 

The Ariete is almost finished but still missing are some 8 M13-40, heavy prime movers for the 149mm guns, 3 ton Fiats and the 508 'Coloniales' which means  that this division still needs a few posts to be finished. 

Next: a few US additions for Europe 43/45.