On the workbench - February 2011

With the exception of a few colonial casualty bases I've cracked through my January workload in fine time, so it's time to move on to my latest target. It's quite ambitious and I suspect it will take more than February to get them all completed, but here goes:
  • SYW Bavarian Infantry (4 x 24 fig battalions)
  • SYW Bavarian Grenadiers (24 fig battalion)
  • SYW Bavarian Cavalry (2 x 8 fig squadrons) - I know they didn't fight, but they did in the WAS - I'm also trying to find out details of their Hussars in the WAS, Knotel only shows an officer in 1747.
  • SYW Bavarian Artillery (4 guns and crews plus 2 limbers)
  • plus some command and casualty bases
  • finally some SYW black grenadiers for my imagi-nation.
So a big list, but difficult to break down into smaller chunks as they'll start off as big batches and then gradually shift over to work on individual battalions and squadrons.


Zvezda Germans

Just like the Russians the Zvezda Art of tactic Germans have a limited range of poses, marching and firing with rifles and knelling with an SMG. The MMGs are excellent and fill a useful gap, though I would have preferred a loader rather than an observer.
In the background are my Pegasus German mortar teams that I upgraded at the same time. I also mixed in a couple of Fujimi figures (third row)


Snow on their boots

The last of this current batch of Russians and the remains of the Pegasus Summer/Winter Russians. Addded to my Revell Siberians, etc I now have enough winter based Russians for two battalions, but of course no Germans yet!


On to Berlin

and other patriotic slogans, after some entertainment with the tracks my latest Russian Armour is finished.

First off the venerable Airfix T34/85. The kits were quite old and the tracks were rather inflexible and wouldn't bend round the road wheels, so I put them in the airing cupboard to warm up and they then bent into position. Next morning a couple had snapped so they were welded and glued back in place. Then off on holiday and on return, yes another one had snapped so another fix. No others have suffered the problem since then, but I do wonder what might happen once they get stored in the cold attic.

The nice thing about the kit is the second turret so you can also have a T34/76

Then there is a Fujimi KV1, I had track problems again, this time with them not being long enough (they must have shrunk) so I had problems fitting them, including snapping a front idler. I then had to drill it out and strengthen it with wire.
All now completed, but it shows the problems of leaving kits too long before assembly


Back from Morocco

After all the cold weather I booked a last minute holiday to Marrakech. A week of continuous sun was just what I needed. My wife and I managed to do every museum in the city, but there was nothing of note militarily except an old battered French 75mm gun in the middle of a traffic island by the main mosque.

Now back and refreshed after an excellent holiday. I've also managed to catch up on a substantial reading backlog as well.


Russian Infantry

I've completed the Zvezda Art of tactic Russian figures. The pair of MMG teams are easy to spot as I kept them complete. The rest are scattered amongst the Pegasus Russians in summer uniform and are the ones with helmets. Conveniently the Zvezda riflemen had puttees like the Pegasus figures, they are slightly bigger but not enough to notice in normal use.

The Zvezda infantry are not that cheap at £2.50 for 10 figures and given there are only 3 poses of which the pointing NCO is really distinctive I wouldn't recommend buying them. The MMGs are much better value as they provide something that is difficult to find in plastic except with full sets. The Pegasus figures have only one LMG in the whole sprue but otherwise a good standard set of plastic figures and with the puttees and side caps different from other sets.


M20's completed at last

Yes after several months the M20's are now finished. The big issue was the MG pulpit that doesn't fit securely against the braces. Eventually I added some thin wire around the front of the pulpit and then fixed it to the uprights. The gaps at either side were then hidden by filling with green stuff. I had the same problem with both models so it was not a one-off moulding fault, however it seems I have the older versions produced by Milicast so others may not suffer the same problem.

In the background is a Ready to Roll M15A1 AA half track with twin 50 cal and a 37mm that I acquired at Warboot and repainted.

I now have to sell my Italeri M20 that I was using as a stopgap. (link)


Targets for 2011

General items
  • Continue reducing the stash of unpainted figures, the target is 5,000 by year end. So I have to trade/sell/paint at least 1,500 figures and more to cover what I buy in 2011. Given I typically paint around 1,500 items a year it should be feasible.
  • Tidy up a number of armies and dispose of any old surplus painted figures, especially WW2, which has quite a number of figures I never use..
  • Upgrade more terrain, especially walls and hedges.

Major Projects (I’ve got most of the figures already)

  1. WW2 US Airborne Brigade
  2. WW2 British Airborne Brigade
  3. Medieval German/Swiss Army
  4. Frundsberg and Pommaine “SYW” forces in preparation for a new campaign.

Minor Projects

  • Terrain for the Siege of Peking game for Gauntlet
  • Italian forces for the “Big Game”, mainly a number of small units for Leros plus some Allied aircraft
  • Continue work on my new Afrika Korps, my plan is to mainly complete it by buying discount figures and vehicles.
  • Tidy up my figure database, I’ve not done a complete check for years now so I suspect it has some errors in it.


Review of 2010

Main Highlights

  • Size of painted 20/28mm collection rose from 22,515 to 22,836 figures; it passed 23,000 part way through the year before some disposals.
  • Unpainted stash reduced from 7,457 to 6,574 items
  • Sales of painted figures - 620
  • Sale of unpainted figures – 1,706
  • Painted 1,385 items

Painted Sales:

  • 110 25mm ECW (I decided that my old Minifigs were not in scale with my new 28mm plastic so that have gone to a better home);
  • 30 AWI Indians, really old Wild West figures used for the AWI/FIW before the new Italeri figures were released;
  • 30 Springwood Napoleonic Portuguese, these were the first version and all the rest of my British and Portuguese used the second edition figures.
  • 151 Wild West figures (plus a lot of Kilbri Wild west buildings) a big decision to give up the period;
  • 41 WW1 British (old Airfix) and 50 each of the Revell French and Germans, where I didn’t like the way I’d painted them in the past.
  • 100 WW2 Afrika Korps (I decided to sell my old figures and paint new), 58 Volksgrenadiers plus a number of old tanks and limbers.


  • Completed the 28mm ECW project with 36 cavalry and 123 infantry figures painted
  • Cleared virtually the whole haul of WW2 vehicles purchased at Crewe in February (I sold a few) plus a number of other bits making a total of 75 vehicles.
  • RCW period was completed (?) with the last few red infantry completed (92 figures)
  • On Terrain, I revamped and added a lot to my North African collection in preparation for the Tifaruin game at Gauntlet, and made some additions to the rest of my SYW modular collection. In all over 102 items, plus 20 flags.
  • Although I painted 290 WW2 figures over a third were upgrades to my WW2 Germans ready for the D-Day big game. The only other significant items were the Caesar French Infantry and the very useful Hat British MG and Mortar sets.
  • The Colonial period also had some attention as I’ve decided to start work on the Sudan, hopefully HaT will release the Ansar in the not too distant future and in the interim I’ll pick up any camelry that’s going cheap. So I added 167 figures in preparation and also painted 35 casualty figures for the Zulu wars.
  • My Napoleonics didn’t get much attention with only the Strelets French Camp and the Austrian Artillery limbers and wagons completed.
  • I reinforced my Janissaries with another 60 figures, but the main emphasis for the Renaissance was the 28mm ECW figures.
  • AWI was neglected but for 25 casualty figures and the SYW only saw a late effort with the Hanoverian artillery.
  • For my solo campaign I added a brigade of militia and a unit of Freihussaren to my Frundsberg forces, plus a few other bits.
  • The real pleasure was the continuing work on the WSS/GNW with new figures of Swedish Artillery and Russian Dragoons from Zvezda, plus the Strelets Court of Peter the Great. Overall 128 items painted.


The main highlights were the Rapid Fire D-Day "Big Game" and the Seige of Tifaruin at Gauntlet, otherwise it was a year of Black Powder games at the club. A nice close out was the Rapid Fire Pegasus bridge down at Clevedon.


On the Workbench - January 2011

Since last month had a French flavour this month I'll have a Russian theme. I hope to complete
  • The pair of M20's. At last I've managed to fit the MG ring securely so I can move onto painting them.
  • Russian tanks 3 x Airfix T34s (you can never have enough) plus a Fujimi KV1.
  • Russian Infantry/MGs using the Zvezda Art of Tactic figures and mixing in some Pegasus figures I have had lying around for a while.
  • The matching German Art of Tactic figures.
  • Complete some colonial casualty bases
In addition I'll have to review 2010 and lay out my plans for 2011


British 25 pounder

My last item painted in 2010 and the first post for 2011 is the venerable Airfix 25pdr. It was part of my acquisitions at warboot, but now completely repainted, rebased and crew added. Can't think why a 25pdr crew came to be in my bits box, but they came in handy for this.

RAF Museum, Hendon

In the course of my Christmas travels I managed to spend most of a day at the RAF Museum at Hendon, London. Although I'm not a great aircraft enthusiast, it was a great place to visit.

A couple of pictures from the first hall .

I must get around to visiting the other site at Cosford.
RAF Museum link