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Archive for July, 2021

The 198 ID project plus Chris generously donating some pieces that would make an ideal HQ for the operation against Rostov (completed in the last update) has given a distinctly Axis flavour to the blog – but there are Russians on the workdesk too.

With a refurb to some of these motorcyclists, I have added a couple of extra machines and resolved how I want to depict the unit .

It’ll be just like the other motorised soldiers … a big base (with the others, it’s a truck or carrier base) which is the unit in transit mode … to which you add a machinegun/leader base when the unit is fully deployed for action …

So, as shown here, between two scout units … all three of these units would just be depicted by the big base when e.g. transiting along a road out of action – add the extra base and it becomes fully deployed: ‘combat base plus supports’.

The m/c combo is a Piggie BMW, converted to M72 with DP …

(you just need to reshape the sidecar and replace the MG)

From the TofOandEs, some of the Motorcycle Battalions were all combinations, some mixed combos and solos (most of these are M72s, but I’ve slipped a Tiz 600 in there for a bit of variety – converted from the Piggie WWI bike)

The ‘wheelie’ is because I imagine the terrain to be bumpy. There is a good image of some motorcycle troops negotiating a very dusty ‘road’ in the Kuban …

In the b&w picture, there’s also one of those little supply trucks like the ones I put in the infantry HQs. It’s a Zvezda Zis, but I cut the plastic out to give them open windscreens. For a simple/speedy conversion, I cut out the complete piece, then add the door pillars back in from card (rather than try to take the window out without damaging the pillars – which is a nicer technique but requires a bit more finesse) ..

They also have a reduced carrying area (which in this case included a metal tilt from the spares box which will give it a nice, weightier, feel on the table). Anything to make these pickups a bit different from the bigger workhorses.

After a little flurry of blogs, I have some medieval things to attend to – so there might be a little pause.

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Following swiftly on the CoW report, I’d like to add an update on the German HQ group from June.

They are pretty much done now. I did a little experiment with some decals – a learning process. I’ll get the surfaces flatter next time. Still not so bad (especially given they’re not even the right size) …

Anyway, here’s the group, followed by some of the individual models. I hope you like them!

The mobile phone camera is a bit harsh on the 3D printing striations. They’re not so noticeable with the naked eye.

‘K’ for Kleist, of course. The slightly oversized numberplates work fine on the back. I’ll have another go at the car pennon *wry smile* (we’ll get there in the end).

Figures by Peter Pig, cyclist and friend by Paint and Glue courtesy of NQM Chris. The bicycle is very fragile. There’s a wireman there so they can keepin touch.

The radio truck is an old bit of Matchbox optimistically grafted onto the back of a Zvezda Art of Tactic Opel Blitz. It looks nice now it’s tidied up (here, with the Flakpanzer for a bit of protection) . ..

The air recognition flag is painted but the swastika is a decal. Again it turned out OK I think.

Peter Pig crew, as you’d expect. The gunner took a bit of persuading.

In action …

Well I never …

Stalingrad won’t be much fun.

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Yes … somebody parked a tank on the lawn. Well, lots of tanks .. just another day at Knuston Hall.

Well, how wonderful to be out wargaming again … meeting people many of whom you’ve only seem via Zoom since more than a year ago … CoW 2020 got cancelled. This one went ahead with limited numbers, Social Distancing, sessions outdoors where possible. But it was still great and still packed with games, toys and bright ideas.

(just a sample of the wide variety of sessions at CoW … tabletop games, committee games, skirmishes and pirates … )

The plenary game was a fast and furious look at the machinations in Hungary in its last days as part of the Axis: I was the Hungarian Foreign Minister, looking to open a channel to the Soviets whilst hoping I wouldn’t end up on trial for the government’s evident war crimes. Sorry, that was Magyaria, of course … a fictional country …

On Sunday morning I was in a reconstruction of a wargame originally played in the Cabinet Office in 1975, called WintEx ’75, an excercise in thinking through the transition from peace to war in the event of a Soviet invasion in Eastern Europe. Actually, the game’s precepts reflected classic 70s establishment paranoia, and was mostly about controlling and combatting the enemies within, than about taking on the Warsaw Pact.

Some of the paranoia would have been eminently justified, I’m sure. An illuminating and well-prepared session. Lots of paperwork.

The game on the lawn was based on the attack at the second battle of Villers Brettoneux. I volunteered to command a British tank as my Grandfather had done it for real.

Firing was adjudicated an an adjacent range using toy canon and matchsticks

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