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Archive for the ‘Red Army’ Category

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.

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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

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Moscow 2015 01

Here’s a quick photo diary of our Christmas NQM episodic Eastern Front game in the new extended Chateau K …

I’ve subtitled it Festung Moskau as that’s the way it seems to be going … we played about 5 days of the operation and it looks as if Moscow will be cut of as comrade Stalin has ordered …

Moscow has been in German hands for years, and the front line runs along the Volga canal – the Germans seem to want to hold it over the Winter …

Moscow 2015 02

I joined the game for a few days as crumbling attacks wore down the enemy all along the front with 1st and 3rd shock armies poised to break through weakening sectors.

I am sure more precise details can be followed on the NQM blog … it is all carefully managed despite its freewheeling appeal …

Moscow 2015 03(Chris gives the operational briefing on the big magnetic map)

So, here’s a player’s flavour of what happened …

Moscow 2015 04(Moscow suburbs and Gorky Park in the background … attacks fix the Germans in place … ) 

Meanwhile to the South Army Reserve Breakthrough Artillery move up to prepare the attack …

Moscow 2015 06(everything including the kitchen sink – well, including a speed boat flotilla for when the ice melts – pulls up to the start lines)

Meanwhile a gap had appeared to the South allowing the Guards Division to flood through and assault the airfield …

Moscow 2015 07

… and the static front started to tilt in the Red Army’s favour …

So the cavalry then broke through and the Tank  Divisions were unleashed … The Germans started pulling worn units out of the line to reform them …

Moscow 2015 08(Armoured Train and air units give support)

Moscow 2015 09(breakthrough!)

Over the next day or so, reserve units move up to support new attack into the city ..

Moscow 2015 10(Female soldier on point duty managing traffic at the bridgehead)

… and a bloody attack completed this phase of the operation …

Moscow 2015 11

… the sector was very well supported so Vodka and Accordions were brought up to bolster the troops for the coming struggle …

Moscow 2015 12(morale boosting at the captured airfield) 

… and at dawn the concrete began to shatter under dive bomb and howitzer bombardment before the firefight and attacks went in …

Moscow 2015 13(Festung Moskau: Red Guards take the South East suburbs)

Whilst the gravity was shifting in the South, North of the city more artillery and Sturmovik attacks were pummelling the defenders …

Moscow 2015 14

… progress remained slow …

… and the defenders in Gorky Park remained steadfast …

Moscow 2015 15(Festung Moskau: stand off at Gorky Park)

To Be Continued … thanks Chris, great game so far – and Happy New Year to all you P.B.Eye-Candy regulars …

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Red TnT 01

This week’s tidying up is a mixed bag of new builds, brushing up and/or basing to complete some more artillery units for the Red Army …

Last time’s searchlight unit was intended to go with an AA battery … they may look like soviet 37mms but are actually US lend-lease M1 40mm bofors guns (about 3,000 of these were received – about a quarter of those in service) …

Red TnT 02(40mm AA battery with tows and searchlight truck … BF guns and Zvezda trucks)

Red TnT 03(AA battery deployed)

Red TnT 04

I’ve gone for a slightly peculiar arrangement with one set of wheels apparently attached to the trucks, and the guns deployed cornerwise on a 30×30  base.  Although this is neither one thing or the other it gives the look I was after both deployed and towed.

Red TnT 05

The guns are Battlefront/FoW, with crew by BF and PP … the trucks are Zvezda with a bit of extra detailing of the cabs …

The Howitzer battery has been around for a while, but the deployed bases were recently added and the bases needed landscaping.

Red TnT 07

The units is now fully finished … in addition to the Howitzers (True North/Old Glory) and their tractors, it has a command/observer team in a T-26 radio vehicle (Zvezda conversion) its own log (a Voroshilovets converted from the same TN/OG Kommintern that I’ve used for the main tows) and enjoys the protection of an attached AA unit …

Red TnT 08(203mm howitzer battery deployed)

Red TnT 09

The really tricky bit was remaking the running gear to the Voroshilovets arrangement.

Red TnT 11

I sometimes see it suggested that there were very few actual production models of these radio/command tanks – yet they do turn up in photos from Finland (so either they got around a bit or there were some allocated to combat units.

They can be added to the range of vehicles that can be built from the basic T-26 model I think.

Red TnT 10

The anti-aircraft gun is one of a pair of SP variants I built from the Battlefront/FoW Zis truck a while back (but hadn’t fully finished for some reason) … now they are dry-brushed and landscaped.

Red TnT 12

I modelled them as mounted on heavier YaG style trucks using the bigger wheels from the QRF Gaz series.  Otherwise both have rebuilt cabs and MDF and card adaptations.

Red TnT 13

Most of the rear is card, the gun is one of the many spare barrels you end up with in Battlefront/FoW gun packs and the crew is BF and Peter Pig.  The mount etc. is scratch built.

Red TnT 14

For the SU-1-12 the gun is actually a PP WWI ‘stormtrooper’ gun (but looks exactly right set in its card gun shield).

Since I did these quite elaborate adaptations, I think Battlefront have released commercial versions.  So i’m glad I took the time to make fairly convincing models which will stand up to comparison.

Finally, another addition to the long list of ‘what can you do with a Zvezda truck’ …  Here I have grafted a fuel vessel from a pound shop tanker set onto a slightly extended Katyusha chassis.

Red TnT 15

I will probably attach this to some airforce ground units as they will need plenty of refuelling …

I’m quite pleased with this latest batch of rear echelon stuff – it has tidied up yet another set of otherwise unfinished projects … it give me confidence the I can get back to the long delayed trains and boats and planes

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Zis-12 searchlight 01

Again, this will be of more interest to operational wargamers …and will enhance air defence assets.

I’m just going to do a post here rather than a feature on the modelling page as this is a one off … a Zvezda truck plus a lamp from a naval parts range (picked up in the model shop) – everything else is scrap/scratch-built.

Zis-12 searchlight 02(1:100 Zvezda truck with searchlight)

I replaced the Zis bed with the slightly longer one from the Opel Blitz and cut and lowered it but I declined to do a full Zis-12 conversion as it didn’t seem essential to model all features exactly.

I then fabricated a chassis and cradle to carry the light.  As the assembled components are differently coloured it is pretty easy to see how the bits have come together in the WIP photo …

Zis-12 searchlight 03

The lamp I had picked up looks a little smaller than the standard Russian air defence searchlight – but as the example bottom right in the picture below shows, some variations are possible …

I decided to leave the lamp’s plastic lens clear and the interior white – and it seems to have worked … in the photos it picks up the camera flash quite strikingly I think.

Zis-12 searchlight 07

Zis-12 searchlight 04

Zis-12 searchlight 05

I picked up the bits for this quite some time back so this ‘Zis-12’ is another outstanding project ticked-off and delivered.   Although a bit fiddly at times it was pretty straightforward, really and I am pleased with the results.

Zis-12 searchlight 06

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Sov Art 01b(15mm Red Army guns – various makers)

So this week’s tidy up has been basing and painting up gun crews …

A 57mm Zis-2 anti-tank gun,  a 76mm M1902/30 divisional gun, a couple of F-22s, a M1909/30 152mm howitzer, and some big howitzers …

Respectively Battlefront/FoW, Quality Castings and Old Glory/True North.

Sov Art 01ci

The crews are a mix of (mostly) Peter Pig plus some Skytrex and Battlefront.

That QC old model 152mm howitzer has been waiting for its full crew for some time …

Undoubted stars are the 203mm Howitzers, however – Stalin’s famous Breakthrough Artillery …

Sov Art 03(True North 203mm B4 Howitzer from Old Glory)

I’ve done my best to assemble crews … mostly artillery men just stand around waiting to serve the guns.  Not a problem if you are modelling, say, a/t crews for a tactical game – but we need lots of bods standing around for operational games …

Sov Art 04a

Next up, I need to complete the supply wagons for the rifle corps …

Sov Art 02

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CKB 05

All the best to NQM Chris on his birthday.

We popped over for a splendid meal and I took with me 3 15mm Soviet 85mm AA guns which I had liberated at a good price from the B&B table at Colours the other day.   I thought a couple of them would make a good battery at Chris’s chosen scale so gave him a pair which I had assembled up deployed … and I made up one in ‘semi’- transit for my own collection.

CKB 01(Flames of War 85mm Soviet AA guns ready to paint and finish)

So Chris gets to paint 2 of them for the NQM collection, and I get the other one.

True to my ‘new deal’ I have done mine (can’t paint the lead pile overnight but accept it can’t be added to – so anything bought now gets painted straight away and put into service.   Hopefully stuff can be promoted from reserves too, doubling the virtuous consequences 😉 … ) …

CKB 02(completed FoW 85mm AA gun with Zvezda Zis-5 truck)

The ‘semi’ notation is because I’ve opted for an incongruous compromise … the gun is secured in transit mode, but I’ve decided to put some crew around it as if it was ready to fire.  I think it’ll look fine on the wargame table even though I suspect you’d never really see one clamped down but with a loader lining up a shell.

CKB 03

I still do like these all metal models and this one goes together OK.   It has the usual inadequate single drawing Battlefront supply in lieu of instructions, but a quick look at some photos of the real thing allows relatively pain free assembly.

So, for the technically minded: I assembled it with ‘Power Flex’ Superglue and mounted it on MDF (with some card shims under the wheels so I could landscape it is without burying the tyres; the gun is undercoated in Humbrol black enamel, dry-brushed in Vallejo acrylic, then blushed with Humbrol and finally dry-brushed.  The crew are mostly enamel with a tinted varnish …

CKB 06

CKB 04

Zaloga tells me that in 1943 brigades of these guns were formed as Tank Destroyer units specially to deal with the new German heavy tanks.   Otherwise they were reserved for air defence.

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