On the workbench - June 2012

Yes I've missed May as I spent too much time travelling/on holiday, but I did manage to catch up somewhat on the painting backlog. It's not long now to Gauntlet but luckily I don't have much to prepare for the game only some paddy fields. I've spent some time sorting out desert stuff so I plan to work on

  • A triad of sdkfz 251s for my DAK forces 251/1, 251/3 and a 251/7
  • Another three Airfix Grants
  • Get started on the Mahdist forces for the Sudan
  • Similarly with my DAK infantry
  • Some extra limbers and caissons for my WSS forces
  • and keep working on the odd vehicles that are still lying around
In the middle of the month is Phalanx, so I've already started ordering stuff to pick up at the show


Lancia 3RO with 90mm AT gun

They've been lucking near my painting desk for too long, so I got around to assembling the pair of Italeri Lancia 3RO plus 90mm. It's quite a big beast and the only option is deployed so I decided to base it up. Nice and easy to assemble and paint so finished in short order.
In front are a couple of minefield markers for the Italians


DAK transport

After the honeys some of the opposition, a couple of kubelwagens (Skytrex) and a couple of sdkfz 11 (Matchbox). The kubels had the crew and radios already fitted so they only needed painted. Depending on whether I use them for a battalion commander or an OP I may add another figure.


Honeys a plenty

Ready for the desert here is the 4th/8th Hussars organised for Rapid Fire. As it was impossble to source the Matchbox version of the M3 Stuart at sensible prices I opted for these models from Combat Miniatures. They are quite basic, but fine as wargames models

For those who are interested in a comparison and/or close ups here is one with the Matchbox version.

They took some cleaning up and the track units seem oversize for the model.


Sdkfz 263

it seems quite a while since I started this model. it was one of those picked up at Crewe over a year ago, but the resin frame antennae was a mess and looked very fragile. I thought I still had some old Matchbox Sdkfz 232 antennae somewhere, but could I find them!

Luckily Alan McCoubery from SOGG had a spare metal version, so it was just a matter of fitting the supports. After much debate I discarded the resin components and drilled into the hull to give a solid base to my new supports using florists wire. With appropriate dosage of epoxy resins I fixed the frame on top. The result a solid wargames model. Thanks Alan.


Triples - the purchases

Despite being short handed on the L&L stand I did manage to acquire some "essentials"

  • Three more Airfix Grants from Steve E to complete the number required for the Alam Halfa scenario in "Monty's Battles"
  • A copy of the new "Pike & Shotte" rules, so my ECW figures should get an outing shortly
  • A pair of radio equipped kubelwagens from Skytrex for my DAK units.  I know they are metal, but it's far easier than converting them from a plastic version, and cheaper too.
  • A second hand Airfix Bren carrier kit as I still need another 6pdr.
  • A old Esci French Artillery set - as I use the guns for my SYW forces.
  • The new German Heavy Weapons from Plastic Soldier, just because they look nice and I now plan to use the 81mm mortar teams for my DAK forces.
  • A grab bag of plastic figures off the B&B  (see below)
Of course I would have liked more time to peruse the stands and I'm sure I would have bought more if I had.  I did discover that Javis has changed the colour of its Autumn static grass to a much browner colour.  Now I need to find something else to put on my desert bases.  Also heard that the reason for various Skytrex decals not being available is that the printer they used has shut down.  Grubby/Britannia were also a disappointment as yet again they didn't have what I needed, apparently they are struggling to keep up with demand, so I'll have to pre-order before my next show at Phalanx.

As for the grab bag?  It was full of surprises about 1000 figures in all from all periods except Napoleonic so that has blown my chances of keeping the stash under control.  About half the contents are not of interest so they will go to trade/sale.  The rest are all useable to some degree.  I'm particularly tempted by the Caesar Germans in Winter Gear as I already have similar Russians painted and I was wondering if I'd ever get around to doing the opposition.  The AWI Indians would not be something I would have purchased a second set of, but now I have them I'm tempted to paint them up so I can try the "French & Indian War scenario in Last Argument of Kings" and so it went on as I worked through the bag!


Triples Day 1 - Swiss get trounced

Back from Triples, only a one day visit this year. The Lance and Longbow game was Grandson 1475 with lots of colourful Swiss and Burgundian banners.

The Swiss Vorhut (vanguard)

The waiting Burgundians

Charles the Bold leading some Perry plastic men at arms

The Vorhut gets stuck in

Anything but a ten on a d10 and the swiss continue on - guess what I rolled

A couple of pictures of the Barnsley lads Sicily game, the terrain looks strikingly similar to Leros


Back from Italy

Back from a week on Lake Como, plenty of sun and walking. Didn't find much of historical interest apart from the gardens except a the small Castle of Vezio.

It's high above the lakeside town of Varenna

The grounds have a number of wraith-like scuptures around the grounds

Underneath there is a WW1 bunker that was part of the Cardonna defense line. This defense line was built just in case the Germans decided to invade via Switzerland.

At the north end of the lake there is a major fort and I only found out about it too late as it only opens on weekend at this time of year. More can be found here La Difensa del Lario


Fences - a slight distraction

While working on the barbed wire I came across a set of the old Airfix fences that were still flexible, so one I bought some more lolly stick for the next batch of barbed wire I decided to get them out of the way.
Originally they had small bases so they were self-standing (in theory). So I just drilled holes in the lolly sticks to take the lugs and added a touch of hot glue to secure them. Then it was nearly standard basing, except I was trying a new base paint colour as I can get any more of the colour I have been using. Since it's quite a close match I'll buy a large pot so I won't have the problem again for quite a while.



Luckily we had a rainy day in Dorset, so my wife let me go to the Tank Museum.  I had a great day and took loads of pictures (link)

Given my desert theme, here are a few examples, I think my camo schemes are close enough


Portland Castle

Another day another castle, this time Portland Castle, built by the Tudors to defend Weymouth.

It's quite compact

The main gun battery. This would have been covered with another battery on top

And there was some dressing up clothes, so here I am as a member of the Invalid Company of the Royal Artillery

And as a Tudor gunner

Just across the harbour was a couple of Phoenix Caissons that were part of the mulberry harbour.


Another trio of castles

On my way to Dorset I popped into three castles on the way to exploit my English Heritage membership

First was Old Wardour castle, which has a compact hexagonal design

As is almost always the case it's been knocked about during the civil war

But unusually it was done by the Royalists, by accident!

Then onto Sherborne Old Castle, which had an octagonal design. An impressive entrance gate

But very little left of the keep/bishops residence.

It had an unusual water gate as virtually the whole castle was surrounded by a lake.

But only the stairs remain.

Then onto Maiden Castle for a bracing walk, but I left my camera in the car!


Proud Dad

I may have been absent for a few days, but I've been visiting family, culminating in my younger daughter Josie's graduation ceremony at the Sheldonian theatre in Oxford

I'll post some more pictures from my travels shortly


Thanks Beth

It's great having a daughter who reads your blog and then indulges your interests:

  • Alan Moorhead - Desert Trilogy (had been thinking about reading this before the big game)
  • In Rommel's backyard, a memoir of the LRDG by Alastair Timpson (Hopefully some scenarios for my LRDG as well) 
  • The Great Game - on secret service in High Asia by Peter Hopkirk (sounds like a great read)