Derby - the booty and the fate of the box!

Firstly may I introduce the mystery man who accepted the box of assorted plastic goodies(for more details see my earlier post). Having made the handover , I then found him again a bit later sitting at a table trawling through the box. I hadn't intended to take a blurred picture but it does add to his air of mystery.

His real identity will be revealed in due course, but enjoy guessing.

Onto the booty - I had decided in advance that I would try and only buy stuff for my current projects. I was a bit unhappy at Plastic Soldier that they didn't sell any reinforcement packs for their 1/72 range, so I'll have to try and find a single sprue of German Heavy Weapons elsewhere. I had hoped that they would have the US Heavy Weapons by now, so my US upgrade project will now be deferred to the new year. As a result a modest round of purchases mainly from the B&B:
  • A pair of 20mmZone Lorraine Schlepper 150mm guns, newly out in lightweight resin based on the old Skytrex master, just what my DAK need, there were lots of interesting new vehicles on the stand, but these will allow me to assess the quality of their offering.
  • Italeri Panzerjaeger I, a gift from David P, which will go to boost my Barbarossa forces
  • Another gift, an Italeri Persian Cavalry chariot, which enables me to use my Celts as Galatians
  • Italeri French Imperial General Staff -  a few figures of generals and ADCs off the B&B, which will be quickly painted for the Leipzig game 
  • Italeri French Dragoons - again a number of oddments from the B&B, but will provide the Empress Dragoons for the game
  • 2 x Matchbox Sdkfz 251 - honest I do "need" them, I just have to check how many 10th Panzer used in Tunisia
  • a single Matchbox Panzer III - I'm slowly collecting enough to be able to do the Alam Halfa scenario from RF Monty's Desert Battles  
  • Matchbox Priest
  • Plastic Soldier M3 Half tracks  (3)
  • Zvezda German 81mm Mortar a single pack as I keep running out of mortars
  • 2 x Zvezda German 105mm Howitzers - these are to provide a second artillery battalion for 2nd Panzer, which is better than the 75mm FK-16 nA that I would have been using (link)
  • 2 x Zvezda German 37mm AT guns (one for the early war AT posted earlier this month and the another for use on a Sdkfz251/10
  • Twenty pots of assorted Vallejo paints for £6 - I always need odd colours and this had quite a selection and I hope the assurance that they're all still OK is true.
  • Finally a copy of Blitzkrieg Commander (BKC) so I can consider resurrecting my 6mm WW2 eastern front and western desert stuff.
The only other positive from the show was the chance to meet up with lots of old friends and compare war stories.


Derby show - the pictures

To start with, here are pictures of some of the games at Derby

Arab-Israeli Golan hieghts game

That's a lot of tanks

Dug in Israelis

Israeli rear positions

Another view of the horde

Bicocca 1522

The Swiss advance

French defences

Big boys toys - the Sudan in 54mm

Ottomans v's Persians Baghavard 1745 in 6mm

Lance & Longbow - Hedgeley Moor 1464

More big toys from the SOA - Bosworth 1485 in 54mm

More medieval - Flodden 1513

Rapid Fire - Tunisia 1943 in 28mm

28mm again, the Warlord Pegasus bridge


Off to Derby, but...

A few more bits completed, in the foreground I've touched up a couple of old Matchbox 37mm Pak36s and I intended to buy a couple more tomorrow at Derby, the crew are Zvezda. In the background is a pair of Revell 105mm's and crew that I have rebased and again brought up to current standard along with the battery commander.

If you are at Derby, please pop by, I should be found on the Lance & Longbow stand/game


A few WW2 bits

Just finished of a few bits that have been lying near the workbench, The Panzerjaeger I was started while I was sorting out the Fujimi PAK 40 that came with it, I now have a pair to use with my DAK. The matchbox panzer II and Airfix sdkfz 7 came in the batch of models I purchased a while back.

I've also started work on more stuff I need for the upcoming games. My WW2 German engineers need a bit more work than just rebasing them so that's been started, and after careful checking of the orbat for 101st Airborne I've got to paint a few bits for them. Also I've sorted out more figures to use for Napoleonic casualty markers.


Back to the real world!

It's warm! 25C today, but only a few days ago I had this

So much for a late summer walking holiday in Austria. However I did enjoy the walking, though I didn't get as high as I would have liked.

Two magazines to read and Derby this weekend, Hurrah!


In memoriam - Donald Featherstone

Like many others I decided to play a Featherstonian game to mark the passing of Don.

Many years ago as a young sprog I remember finding his book "War Games" in the local library and spent many hours/days/weeks reading and re-reading the text and imagining when I could have a collection to play the games described. Of course times moved on and rules with them and I have never actually played a game from the book. So the die was cast and a decision made, it would be the "Action in the Platville Valley". I found a willing volunteer (Ian) who also had a copy of the book.

What can I say, but the hobby has moved on enormously since 1962 when the book was written, now one might despair at the quality of rule writing and how it covers various situations that will crop up in a game. Here are a few omissions (from a very modern perspective and no disrespect intended as the players probably knew how to handle it, but never wrote it down) which caused us some problems:
  • Changing formation - how long does it take what's the mechanism?
  • If a unit losses 50% and all it's officers does it test morale once or twice (since there are no modifiers for more than one cause)
  • Describing all the terrain in a scenario, e.g what class of river was bull creek?

As for the battle itself, it produced a great deal of entertainment, especially when searching between the ancient and horse and musket rules for how to handle a situation (basically melee and morale were covered in the ancients section) Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so there are no pictures of what was a very messy battle.

It just shows that nostalgia is exactly that, we have built on the foundations that Don established and for that alone we should be thankful



German late war Pak 40s

Here's the completed AT guns for my new Germans, crews are from the Plastic Soldier Pak38 set with the 75mm shells and ammo cases combined with a Fujimi and a pair of Matchbox Pak 40s. The Fujimi is on the left and the far nicer Matchbox versions are on the right.


Medieval Transport 2

Another pair of wagons from the Strelets Crusader Transport sets. A handcart and a donkey cart with a very suspect harness arrangement.


Back to the Boche

So I've almost completed the Germans I had planned to take to the D-Day+6 Game. My original plan was just to paint up a single RF battalion and use another existing battalion, but when I laid out the Plastic Soldier figures I realised I had enough Landser for two complete battalions and would just be missing an MMG and Mortar team. Still on the Workbench are a pair of Pak 40s and their crews. To make up numbers I converted three figures with Panzershrecks into riflemen by carefully paring of the shrek, which I had already glued on previously(?) and replacing it with the spare rifle from the infantry set.

Hopefully at Derby I'll be able to pick up a spare Heavy Weapons sprue, but I've already got some spare MMGs and Mortars if necessary. So apart from that the only other task will be to tart up my Engineers to my current standard.


For trade/sale - September 2013

Having updated my wish list, here's what is available for trade. Given the escalating postage cost, it might be easier to hand over at a show. The next one I'll be at is at Derby on Saturday 28th September.

Price (pack)
Revell Panzer Grenadiers one rifleman missing
Airfix AWI casualties/Lying down
Airfix British Paratroops (34 figs)
Airfix RAF Ground crew (11 figs)
Hasegawa Japanese Pilots (4 figs)
Hasegawa US Pilots (4 figs)
Hasegawa GermanPilot painted
Assorted Afrika Korps (51figs)
Airfix British Paratroops complete set
Airfix Chieftain part assembled in box
Airfix Commandos (37 figs)
Airfix Commandos complete set
Airfix 8th Army (24figs)
Airfix French Grenadiers (6 figs)
Airfix German Paratroops complete set
Airfix Japanese Infantry complete set painted
Airfix Panther Assembled
Airfix Scammel Tank Transporter complete in box
Airfix sdkfz 234/4 Assembled
Airfix Sopwith Camel some struts damaged
BP Casts – US 57mm & crew
Dwarves (3 painted figs)
Esci Japanese Soldiers complete set painted
Esci Russian Guards (30 figs, some broken)
Fujimi German Infantry in Gasmasks  complete set less mortar
Hasegawa Panzer IV Assembled
Italeri Russian Infantry complete set
Italeri Tiger II missing hull hatches
Matchbox 8th Army (26 figs)
Matchbox M40 GMC Gun missing
Perry 28mm figures (2 Foot Dragoons)
Perry 28mm figures (6 riflemen)
Redbox Gansters & Police (one sprue of each)
Revell SYW Austrian Dragoons (8 firing figs)
Zvezda Macedonian Phalanx Complete set
Zvezda P40 Tomahawk complete in box
Painted items

75mm Pak 40 & crew
50mm Pak 36 (metal) & crew
Festes-Haus Zu Ransbach
Ploughed fields
Asiatic Archers (6 figs)
Asiatic Archers (15 figs)

Still some more bits to sort out, including some books
If interested in anything add acomment with an email address and I'll get back to you


French cyclists 1940

As requested by AJ here's a close up of the cyclists and they've been rebased since the last picture. The figures are from the Airfix WW1 French set and if you look carefully you'll spot the pin used to keep the figure upright and prevent flexing. I've based them with some Esci WW2 French to make up the numbers.

Mike - no plans at present for a big 1940 game, but who knows, though I expect next year will see a D-Day game of some sort.

Pierre le Poilu - I would like to add some horsed units, especially some limber teams, I had planned to use the HaT WW1 French Artillery, but it is moulded in that awful soft bendy plastic. I suspect I'll wait till something else appears rather than carrying out some conversions.


Leipzig 1813 Project - part 2 - Planning

Before I post the final orbats that will be used for the game, here are some of the ideas I am using.
  • Rules will be Black Powder with my Napoleonic Variations (link)
  • Each division will be represented by a (Black Powder) brigade
  • As far as possible all units will be standard sized with the same stats, exceptions need to be clearly identifiable
  • All Generals will be rated 8 with a few exceptions
  • Once a division (brigade) is broken it is removed from play
  • To aid identification of divisions, all units in them should be as similar as possible and different from adjacent divisions.
  • The target is to have four or more units per division (three can be a bit too vulnerable)
  • Artillery will be treated as a Corps asset
  • built up areas will be represented by a single building that can hold one infantry unit
  • For the timing of reinforcements, each turn will represent 30 minutes. 
  • Start time will be 10:00 with the Allies deployed and making the first move.
Ideally I'd like to work with less than 60 French infantry units (I've got far more allied, so this should not be a constraint. Looking at the units involved on the 16th October on the southern flank this means I should be using a ratio of 1,600 actual men to one infantry battalion. Similar scaling gives 533 cavalry to one cavalry unit and 24 actual guns for each model battery.

Table size will be 1.8 x 3.6 (6' x 12'), which should allow me to cover most of the areas actually fought over.  So reinforcements will march onto the table


Medieval Transport

Finished some of the Crusader Transport, the two wagons and a few civilian figures. The figures are very nice, but the wagons are quite crude. I've added a removable load to the open-backed wagon, so I can use it for other purposes if necessary.

Sean, the bases are 40mm x 120mm

Leipzig 1813 Project - part 1 - useful links

I thought I'd keep an entry of any useful websites I've found for my upcoming refight

Nafziger OOBs

Maps of the Battlefield circa 1914 useful for the topography (just ignore the railways)
Lieberwolkwitz - the main map covering the southern flank
Naunhoff - east of Liederwolkwitz
Pehritzsch - northeast of Liederwolkwitz
Note the codes, the first two digits are northing and second the easting to find more maps search "MTBL nnee"


My French Army of 1940

As well as painting some extra figures as detailed in an earlier post I also reorganised and rebased the rest of my French forces. So here's what I possess.

The whole army

The pretty armour - H35/H39 and R40s backed up by Char B1s and S35s with a few FT17s thrown in

Transport plus a bit of armour. Certainly need a few more R35s

Some of the infantry, the fourth battalion is incomplete, but I plan to use it as a source of figures for a Reece battalion

Artillery, a couple of 47mm AT guns backed up by trio of 75mm guns and a 75mm mountain gun

Another view of the transport

And the armour

The whole arny again

Further work to do on rebasing the cyclists so I can have a company of these as part of the Reece battalion


End of an era

Just seen a post that Donald Featherstone had died yesterday in hospital following a fall at home.

Since he was my original inspiration though his book "Wargames" I hope he ends up in Wargamer's heaven with lots of toy soldiers.


On the workbench - September 2013

Well there is no firm plan this month as I'm planning ahead for a couple of events in October, first off is a club games weekend and given the date it had to be Leipzig 16th October 1813 so I'm busily sorting out the forces and I'm bound to find something I need to paint.

Then there is a replacement for the "big game" so I'll be down to Plymouth to play in the D Day +6 game. I'm taking my US Airborne, but also the 2nd Panzer for someone else so I'll be taking the opportunity to paint up the Plastic Soldier Germans that are in the stash to represent this force.

The Crusader Transport is nearing completion, so that will appear in about a week, and otherwise I'm going to paint whatever takes my fancy


A couple of Napoleonic Generals

A couple of Generals just to finish off the September painting. On the left a rather generic Russian General for my Guards brigade, using a HaT Spanish officer. On the right General Founier-Sarloveze, not one of the nicest characters of the Napoleonic wars and was depicted in the film the Duellists. The figure is an ADC from the Zvezda French HQ set.