Yet more DAK panzers

Another batch of matchbox Panzer IIIs completed, I now have enough for the Rapid Fire Alam Halfa scenario.

The only thing now missing is a couple of Marder IIIs and Plastic Soldier Company will be producing them soon.


US 57mm AT guns

A slight divergence from plan, I needed to finish my US infantry for a game tomorrow, which meant I had to work with the resource to hand to create the guns and teams. So four of the guns are an Airfix hybrid with Plastic Soldier Company barrels and wheels and the crews are from the US heavy weapons set.

For thos who like comparisons, in the foreground and inset, there is from left to right a Plastic Soldier Company 6pdr, one of my conversions, then an original Airfix 6pdr.



For those interested in the ruins shown in a previus post, here are some more pictures and details.

The basis was a pile of leftover Linka, that was too badly damaged to use for ordinary buildings. I based them in triangular modules so I could reconfigure them as needed in two shapes L and T. The L shapes is just a corner wall made of two pieces of Linka with broken end pieces added, The remains of the first floor was added from card and then a couple more broken Linka pieces was used to extend the wall upwards.

T shapes construction was broadly similar except the Linka was used to create a straight wall and the leg of the T was made from foamcore. Groundcover was filler mixed with gravel and topped off with matchsticks and small Linka pieces. Painting was grey car primer then a sand base shade for the outer walls and and a pale grey for the inside walls, The external walls were drybrushed terracotta to bring out the bricks. Inside the walls had a dirty wash and various other washes and dry brushes were applied to the rubble

All finished off with green doors and window frames plus some paper posters, which also served to hide some damaged pieces

An overhead view showing some possible configurations


DAK sdkfz 250 & 251 crews added

Eventually got around to adding the remaining crews to my half tracks


US Forces - the next steps

While working on other bits I'm debating how to tackle the remaining parts of my US force for Rapid Fire. Ideally it should be able to provide either of the two US orbats in the Normandy Battlegroups book, 2nd Armoured and 29th Infantry Divisions, plus any of the scenarios in the other scenario books. THis leads me to deciding how to handle my two remaining units, which are already painted to an OK standard, but need rebasing.

The engineer battalion (only figures shown) Generally OK, but the .3 cal MMG are quite poor mouldings, and I do have enough spare plastic soldier versions so I could replace them.

The Reconnaissance Squadron (again only figures shown) I've only got two troops instead of three, so I need to add one and I'm not all that happy with the 60mm mortar conversions, I might do something with the Italeri version.

Finally the AT guns, I need five 57mm AT guns and crews, trouble is, that unlike the British/German/Russians Plastic Soldier don't make any US crew figures. The 6pdr with the Loyd carrier came with the relevant parts to make a US version, but that would leave me with a lots of unused bits (carriers & figures), so I'm trying to work out some compatible solutions. I'm debating converting some US heavy weapons figures and swapping the wheels and gun on some Airfix 6pdrs for the PSC gun and wheels left over from my British version. I'd then have to try converting the half track to a gun tow version used by the Armoured Infantry.


Last batch of US infantry and some extras

Last of the current batch and a slight difference to my other units as I have used Italeri figures, most have backpacks so they suit a "leg" infantry battalion.

The heavy weapons are Plastic Soldier Company as before

Now the extras, a couple of radio jeeps, one for the Artillery battalion HQ and the other an Air-link vehicle, these are Brittania and for some reason one had the correct crew, but an Airborne jeep instead, so this makes them easy to distinguish.jeep. Scattered around are three OP teams.


Drop in crews for DAK sdkfz 251s

Nice to have kept a reserve of the old first edition Airfix Afrika Korps, they are just the job for making drop in crews for the 251s


Yet more US Infantry

Same figures as for the last two Rapid Fire battalions, so not much I can say.


On the workbench - August 2014

Looking back at my July plans it seems like I've not made much progress, but I forgot to mention that I hoped to start work on my US Infantry, and in fact I did manage to complete a couple of battalions. So despite have lost another week down in Bath hopefully I can finish more this month.

So what is still there?
  • 2 x US Infantry Battalions plus a few odd bits
  • 2 x British Desert Bedford QLD
  • 2 x British Desert Bedford QLT
  • 3 x German DAK Panzer III plus a Befehlspanzer III (will give me enough armour for the Alam Halfa scenario)
  • 1 x Tiger I, an early version by Fujimi that will do nicely for Tunisia
  • 2 x German DAK Panzer II
  • Convert four old Bren carriers to Vickers HMG variants
  • Crews for my DAK sdkfz251s


The long way home - Thornbury show

Took the opportunity of stopping off at the IPMS Avon show at Thornbury, a combined modelling and wargaming event, to meet up with other SOGGs and to dodge the rain. There were two very large halls, here's the first

The Society of Gentlemen Gamers game was Naqb Rala from the Rapid Fire Monty's Desert Battles book, here are the main Italian positions held by Folgore.

Free French forming up for the attack, Heimat at bottom right is held by Folgore.

Some lovely conversions by Don, Carriers with 25mm guns

French advanceing on Heimemat

More odd armour Conus 75mm SP guns

Heimemat falls to the French

German reinforcements arrive and hide behind Raqb Rala

Some other games
WW1 Italian front

Operation Chariot the assault on St Nazaire

HMS Cambelltown rams the dock gates

A large Saga game

My booty, mainly from the Bring and Buy


A trip through the Marches

Instead of taking the usual M6/M5 route down to Bath, I took the scenic route down through the Welsh Marches and a chance to visit a few more castles on the way.

First stop Stokesay, where last time I visited the gatehouse was being restored. It's now looks quite bright

Then on to Grosmont, one of a triangle of castles owned by Hubert de Burgh

Quite an impressive sized castle for one that is free to enter, perhaps it is bacause it is a bit off the beaten track.

Then onto his second castle at Skenfrith, again quite substantial and free.

plus quite an unusual church

Unfortunately his third "White castle" was closed on Mondays, so the next stop was Monmouth

The old town bridge

There isn't much left of what was originally a very large castle, but the neighbouring Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Museum is worth a visit.

A final stop was Tintern Abbey, normally heaving with tourists, but quiet for a change

Then only a short run down to the M4 and onto Bath. Overall a very pleasant way to spend a day and didn't feel like the usual long ordeal.


Second batch of WW2 US infantry finished

Only a few differences from the first battalion as this will be an infantry rather than an armoured infantry battalion.

For Rapid fire this means two less bazookas , but I have swapped the 30cal air cooled MG for the water-cooled version (rear right).