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In a week where 20th Century wargaming has taken off … (Eastern front, Cold War, WWI and me planning a naval game) … it is time to post some recent photos …

VBL 16 01

Flanked by some QRF ferrets and some PP regulars, the threat of a game spurred me to finish a VBL scratchbuild I had had lingering on my desk for (literally) years …

The VBL is a really cool lightweight armoured jeep.  Not often you will hear me use that sort of hip terminology but it seems appropriate here … the VBL is also just so French …

VBL 16 05(follow link for VBL info and picture source)

Mine comes because I had a QRF BA64 which I really thought had so many issues it needed recycling and the VBL looked like a good model to build on the redundant chassis.

Actually it is quite a challenge, and every panel is scratchbuilt from card or tin sheet … the result is quite pleasing little model best described as inspired by the VBL (rather than a scale model of it) – given it will find use in AK47 Africa, its knocked-off characteristics are probably entirely appropriate …

VBL 16 03

(Phil’s ‘cut’n’shut’ VBL … it’s very French, you know … )

VBL 16 02

In the pictures you will also see a rather large container/trailer … also recently added to the scenery box …

This is another of those pound toys, gutted, primed and repainted for the table.

VBL 16 04

Worth every penny, I think …

Also now finished, that Stalingrad pastiche inspired by the Univermag store …

Gen St 01(Phil’s finished Stalingrad pastiche)

As described a few blogs back, it is knocked together from Warbases MDF components.  I finished it to match the other Stalingrad style concrete ruins … simple but effective …

Gen St 04(MDF by Warbases, figures by Peter Pig half track converted from a Zvezda Russian truck)

Gen St 02

I decided to dress it up a bit with some Soviet propaganda posters … so downloaded a few and printed them in a viable size on my basic inkjet printer.   I was really just messing around an hoping I might get something usable from the time … Actually I think it ‘makes’ the model …

Gen St 03

So some more credible progress on my outstanding projects pile …

Meanwhile there’s those other games to report … and that naval game for CoW … and I was going to sort out that Soviet Artillery park …

Best get on, then …

Moscow resumes …

Moscow 2016 01

So after a short gap whilst NQM Chris has been building his new wargames room (see the NQM blog, various entries), action around Moscow 1942 has resumed (you can imagine there has been desultory fighting since the last episode while the forces regroup …) …

This was very much a leisurely picking up of threads but we got some sharp actions fought through as the snow camo Russians pushed in on the outer zones of their capital …

Moscow 2016 02(15mm Russians … Peter Pig, Battlefront and vehicles by mixed manufacturers … assault the outskirts of Moscow)

Shrewd observers will see my recently acquired and reviewed Zvezda T60 getting its tabletop blooding, middle shot, driving in over the anti-tank defences in the first close assault of the game.  Getting new toys into action is always a pleasing moment for me as a collector/player.

Moscow 2016 05

Of course these winter warriors were fairly light and mobile and against dug in defenders, the fighting was slow and attritional (and by the end of our session, only the outer trench lines had been cleared out) …

We did get some proper NQM mobile warfare, however, as some outlying formations were encircled and overrun …

Moscow 2016 03a(NQM: tank divisional action in open country)

Moscow 2016 04(contact!)

Moscow 2016 04a(encirclement!)

We were also able to pick up the attacks on the city from the previous game so, as befits NQM, got 3 or 4 actions running simultaneously in a fairly fluid treatment of the battlespace.

I will be following the NQM blog as Chris has planned running a few more days of action on the board before boxing the kit back up – so watch this space …

Moscow 2016 07a(NQM Moscow: as the collage shows, Chris gave the chance to sprinkle a few new accessions around the table which all adds to the effect)

So, Divisional artillery and motorised infantry next … and my operational level Russian forces will be nearing completion.  And good to get some motivation from playing the game.

Look forward to a number of new completions featuring here shortly.

T60 update …

Following a discussion on The Miniatures Page  I have updated the pictures on the T60 reviews … subsequent to the original reviews I had altered the turrets (so the comparison I published a couple of posts ago was slightly misleading) – so I have switched the turret modifications back and redone the photos …

T60 redux 02

Zvezda is the clear winner and it wouldn’t be too difficult to fabricated an open turret hatch and add a commander.   Unlike the other two, of course, the Zvezda turret is permanently closed.

TBP tram 01

If you are in the UK it is a Bank Holiday weekend … gardening, relatives, second-guessing the weather etc.

Now I’ve got plenty of proper painting to do – but I picked up this die cast tram in the Bring and Buy at Triples for a £1 or so earlier in the year and it has been asking to be painted ever since: so to add something different, here it is.

It is generic (I’m not making it out to be anything in particular … and doubtless it will find its way onto the streets of Stalingrad although all the trams I have seen in Stalingrad pictures are single-deckers … ) … so all caveats apply.

It is a bit of fun, nevertheless …

It has had the usual treatment (break it apart; undercoat it all over in Humbrol black, then dry brush it back to life) – no idea why this simple method works so well on die cast toys but I really do like the effect.

TBP tram 02(toy tram repainted for the wargame table)

… and a clear acrylic base as I generally use with non-military items …

Not sure of the manufacturer … and size-wise I guess it is more like 10mm or 1:144 (but that would suit my ‘one scale down’ usage for buildings and infrastructure) … anyway, for compatibility, here it is with some 15mm figures …

TBP tram 03(figures by Peter Pig, (work in progress) building from Warbases components)

The partisan figures are a PP mix – I think some ‘U Boat crew’ and some SCW types … and the building is that Stalingrad one – still not finished …

TBP tram 04

TBP tram 05

TBP tram 06

… so I think quite viable in a 15mm environment and a nice bit of ‘street furniture’ …

I have enjoyed myself this afternoon – and it is nice to have a little one off project that can be done and put away in a session (and nice to keep up with my regime of buy it and paint it in real time)

What should I really be doing (other than clearing some stuff in the garage)?  Well I’m actually working on my PBI Sahariana patrol … and it is nearly complete … (I’m doing bits and bobs in tandem with painting the tram and some other little fixes) …

TBP tram 07(Sahariana patrol in 15mm for PBI: figures (mostly by Peter Pig, Vehicles by Battlefront, Skytrex and FiB)

Some of the kit will be familiar but I’ve never completed an actual ‘all in one box’ PBI company – but I reckon it’ll all be done by tonight.

Will take a while to photograph and edit up for you, however – so I hope you enjoy my little tram for now …

Acc Apr 16 and T60 01

While at Salute I picked up some of the recent Zvezda releases including a new light tank for the Red Army and a couple of generic/African straw huts from The Square

Acc Apr 16 and T60 02

At £1 each, they will make nice additions to my AK47 resources (and having had a little play, I will pick up some more in due course) …

Inexpensive also describes the T60.  Like most of the Zvezda stuff it is also pretty good (also good and pretty) … nicely made, assembles quickly (and unlike some of the wheeled vehicles, everything fits pretty well so no expletives needed when putting it together) …

Acc Apr 16 and T60 03(Zvezda’s T60 clips together in minutes)

The plastic takes a Humbrol undercoat well although a delicate touch is required to bring out the shallow detail well when you dry brush …

Acc Apr 16 and T60 04

Acc Apr 16 and T60 06(Zvezda 1:100 T60 Light Tank)

Acc Apr 16 and T60 07

I did a more detailed review of the Skytrex and Battlefront models a while back (Reviews page half way down, now edited) to which this new Zvezda model is a worthy competitor … it gets the turret right and has a nicely modelled gun … Here it is alongside the others ..

T60 redux 01

T60 redux 03

NB that the Battlefront/Flames of War model has had the storage bins and other details stripped to represent the glider-convertible A40 variant …

Acc Apr 16 and T60 11(my T60 family)

So a good value addition to the current options and a useful wargame model.  I like it.  And nice to get some more kit into the collection during what has been a busy time with other commitments.

Acc Apr 16 and T60 12

Apologies for not having posted recently … commitments in other periods and activities have taken over much of my time … but I did manage to get back to an outstanding project …

You might remember the review I did (reviews, scroll down for it) of the excellent generic Warbases buildings …

Stalingrad generic 00

Well, a while back, I bought a few more with the intention of using them as a sort of kit – to make a more iconic Stalingrad building by linking and tampering with them a bit.

OK – well they have hung around for quite a while but I had a play the other day …

Stalingrad generic 01(Stalingrad project … 2 Warbases buildings, some cut up bits and some Warbases windows/doors)

I made one or two adaptations to corner link the units, plus I cut a couple of card segments for the entry.  The doors are just 4 ‘windows’ from a Warbases accessories pack.

Stalingrad generic 02(and here it is stuck together)

Stalingrad generic 03

It isn’t a scale model of the Univermag store, of course – it is just a generic building (but I hope it will add a little more plausibility to an abstract broken cityscape).

More anon with paint and figures …

Stalingrad generic 04

Scharnhorst 01

Couldn’t resist when I saw one of these in the model shop when calling in for some Humbrol enamels (I undercoat in Humbrol and they are hard to get from shows …

This is not a new kit but seems a bit rare – I was pleased to get one and ignored a few higher priorities to get it made and painted …

Scharnhorst 02

At £7.50 it wasn’t too bad: although quick, unlike Duke of York/PoW,  it was a PITA to assemble (nearly all of the holes needed a twiddle of my file before any of the parts would plug in) …

Scharnhorst 03(Revell’s 1:1200 Scharnhorst kit)

OK – it’s not absolutely finished … there’s a bit of touching up and varnishing to do – and all of the recent ship accessions need basing up but it’s good enough to put away for now under the buy it and use it rule.

Scharnhorst 04

Here are some more pictures …

Scharnhorst 05

Scharnhorst 06

Scharnhorst 07

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