But first some more eye candy … this time from Colours (Newbury Racecourse)
I kind of like planes in mid-air, and I have to say this ‘supported on the rocket trails’ idea is one I’d thought of (but never entirely figured out) … Here it is done on an epic scale (impractical for any kind of ‘normal’ wargame but shows the idea works well enough to be pushed beyond reason – FUBAR, I think was the term in Saving Private Ryan, but that’s another story) …
There are rods inside the smoke trail which push fit onto a very heavy base (which is part of the target terrain piece) – and to be very heavy the base is very large … Impractical? ‘It is what it is’, Ivana said.
Then again, it drew a crowd. As we’ve often said of shows, height will usually get a game noticed ….
But back to the question … when is a pointless project not a pointless project? When it’s part of a bigger plan.
The pointless project is converting a T34 to a SU122. Pointless because although these things are always enjoyable challenges, actually, in 15mm, at least, there are plenty of attractive SU122 models available.
It’s just a T34 chassis with a box on it (and anyone can make a box …). The point is that by buying a T34 and making the box yourself, you liberate a T34 turret for the armoured train project … or possibly to upgrade the turret on a scratch built river boat …
I’m sure there must have been a slogan in the Great Patriotic War that meant ‘you can never have enough T34 turrets’! So, with a few more hours of care and attention, my Red Army, which, as a collection, is optimised for Khalkin Gol and the Winter War will get some resources available for the 42/43 upgrades … meanwhile, the bits box builds up the resources for the armoured train project.
So I bought a T34 at Colours.
Trains are, of course, an essential feature in the logistics of 2oth century warfare – the most universal pipeline through which the resources of war are fed to the front. Supply trains were generally unarmoured, of course. Armoured Trains could be used police the rail system, were a rapid way of redeploying firepower, and enabled first response armoured support for threatened points in the line (a train can get its men and guns to a crisis faster than vehicles on road can – especially if the roads are Russian). For firepower, a typical BP43 train deployed 4 76.2mm tank guns (the T34 turret artillery cars), 4 37mm Anti-Aircraft guns, a DShk and a dozen or more DT machineguns for anti-personnel defence … so something like a platoon of tanks with generous AA support.
There were usually two or three infantry platoons per train (so a train is round about the size of a PBI force …). And the trains were organised into Battalions and Regiments.
My train (trains, really) are primarily designed for NQM and Megablitz use, so a train represents several units, and will consist of a transport base (the loco), an Admin stand (the Command Car), and two fighting stands – an AA car and (the tank-turreted) artillery car…. so, scaled-down, four pieces. Re Megablitz, you could argue for 1 or 2 SP per fighting stand (as each represents some 12-16 AA guns or tank turrets or a battalion of infantry, all with some sort of mechanised/armoured lift) … maybe 4 for a whole train unit. All towed by the TPT, of course, and limited to the track depicted, and with Recce attached to guard against sabotage (normal recce, normal EPs for repairs etc.). I suspect I will limit the trains to T, S, A and R orders, as, instinctively, M seems a bit un-train-like … (I see M as sort of roving and reacting, and Trains as ‘go there, do that‘ equipments). But that will be play tested.
Back to the SU 122, there’s a bit more milliput to smooth on and smooth down … then, these days, to get a better surface for the paint, I tend to give the whole thing a coat of gloss varnish – but hatches, fuel tanks and hand-rails beckon …