Archive for the ‘WW2’ Category

Tiger 01

This game mirrored some real events that took place in the Winter War … but for our purposes, the mission takes place in North Africa, just after the Vichy French forces joined the Allied cause.

Tiger 02

Some isolated German paratroops have taken possession of a broken down Tiger tank.  A French armoured car patrol has run into them and called up support.

The game is PBI and support for the Germans will come in the form of 2 ‘platoons’ of Saharianas … for the French, infantry is arriving and there will be an airstrike.

As you can see on the picture, the French player has been allowed to place a small platoon in ambush.


Tiger 03

The main objective is the broken down Tiger in the middle of the table.  It is not manned and has no function other than as a marker.

There are two secondary objectives …

Tiger 04

The Paras transport assets …

Tiger 05

… and the field kitchen and its essential victualing resources.  Because you just have to have one.

The Game:

At the start of the mission, some Laffly armoured cars are in a firefight around the gates to the old Casbah …

Tiger 06

The German AA truck was actually taken out by an anti-tank rifle from some of the Legionaires approaching from the East.

Tiger 07

But there was also a MG42 crew on the roof.

Tiger 08

… which effectivel pinned the Laffly’s down … and ultimately took them out.

Tiger 09

(one of these is destroyed, the little dice means the other is immoblised but might be recovered – unfortunately it got hit again … )

Meanwhile, the Arabs burst out in the buildings and close assaulted the Paras.

Tiger 10

Actually the placing player forgot they were in the square and machinegunned it.  So the first action was resolution of those hits … one of which went on the old jaloppy … and, on a saving roll of 1, turned out to be the group leader (PC equivalent and a Regular French Officer as it happens) …

If only you could plan these things.

In a bloody melee, the Arabs were thrown out …

Tiger 11

(PBI-style … the French airstrike lands in 3 empty squares)

Equally frustrating, the Hawk fighter missed its target (the required die roll allowing the defender to define the ‘off target’ drift).


We diced for these in traditional PBI style (which caused some predictable consternation as not everyone likes the mechanism) … I usually build arrivals into the scenario, but for this gathering I wanted to retain some flavour of the basic game.

Tiger 12

The Axis did rather well, getting their Company Commander and his jeep on early …

A fresh patrol …

Tiger 14

… and my newly painted Semovente – bought at Campaign, painted during the week – and straight onto the wargame table.  It had to be done.

Tiger 13

Amongst the French arrivals were these truck mounted Hotchkiss AA guns … quite vulnerable but about the best support weapons available to the French commander.

Tiger 15

But by this time the game (and real) clock was running it – and the intitial ‘coup de main’ had failed.

Although a bigger engagement could go either way, at this stage the French held none of the objectives and had lost a number of key vehicles (indeed all of the Lafflys … ) …

Fortune had allowed the Axis build to be more immediate and, as the picture shows, a strong grip was closing around the French footholds.

Tiger 16

Many thanks to the players for entertaining me for a coupe of hours – I really enjoyed seeing it play out.

This game still works for me.

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A Day Out at Warfare …


I went to Warfare for a day out with the Society of Ancients, and in amongst the usual duties, I got to do some shopping and play some games …

There were a good number of 20th Century games … I particularly liked …




This wintry landscape was a compelling demo of Chain of Command inspired by the Band of Brothers Foy episode.

I don’t do 28mm skirmish games but this one was worth the hype.  We had a long chat … one of the passers-by had even worked on the original programme (and he was impressed too) – well done everyone!



So … Schweinfurt … well this was a Staines game and this time you get to play the heroic fighters who sortie out to repel the American bombers.   Nicely done – but it is futile … everyone is shooting your way, flak and Fortress 50cals …

warfare-2016-20c-03(Schweinfurt: flying into the bomber stream)

So, you are taking damage all over and, realistically you need to get lucky with your limited gunnery to do much damage to the big beasts … I set a couple of them on fire before all my ammunition was spent (and as you can see only just got out in one piece …) …


So, some traditional stuff and some good ideas … in all, I enjoyed this German take on the bombing war.

The shopping is also worth reporting …

In amongst a bundle of Zvezda boxes, I got a couple of Russian trucks (actually Katyushas, but that’s because I’m adapting them so opted for the extra wheels).

Anyway … hurrah!  When I got them home and started a build, it turns out to be a new sprue … and gone is the lousy bend and clip engine cover!  Now you get 3 pieces, top and side panels, that pop onto lugs on the engine!  Yes they have listened to our moans.  This is the sprue …


… and, ‘work in progress’ …


… a nice neat front with none of the frustration that used to be part of this package.

Given the Zis 5 model shares a sprue with  Katyusha, I’d assume Zis 5s have got or will get the same improvement.

worth sharing I think.  I was very pleased with this chance discovery!

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All quiet here for a few weeks I know but things have been moving on … there’s a couple of accessions updates to log and I’ll add some reviews and modelling notes in due course …



Some special forces have arrived: French inspired security types (Professionals, you’d think) made up from the excellent Peter Pig French Paras plus some other odd spares …



ak-specials-02(P.B.Eye-Candy: Peter Pig 15mm figures for AK47)

You might notice there is one of those splendid Recoilless Rifle motor scooters in the unit …


Home made from the PP weapon and some aero modelling spares, I think it turned out OK and has been on my list of cool kit for some time (a box has been ticked)  – remarkably, French paras had them in Algeria …



… and I have cobbled together a PBI platoon from some trial items Chris Kemp gave me …

Now he’s a big fan of Plastic Soldier Company (not really my cup of tea) and insisted I try a Blitz truck sprue and some Fallshirmjaeger …

I built the trucks OK …


I’ll insert a link to a review when it’s done (so you can see what I think of them) … they’re OK, and I’ll use them to ship about a platoon or so of paratroopers.

I added a pack of PP metal ones to the plastics to make up a viable unit (and I have to say liked them a lot more than the PSC ones) … anyway, here are some pictures …




fallshirmjaeger-05(P.B.Eye-Candy: 15mm Fallshirmjaeger for PBI/NQM)

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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 …

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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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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.

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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 …

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