Another FAMO

This time for my late war German forces. Again a De Agostini die-cast picked up cheap on ebay and repainted with stowage and crew


Deutsches Afrika Korps - filling the gaps

The appearance of some cheap die-casts has allowed me to fill a few gaps in my DAK. The FAMO, light Horches, sdkfz 232 and 234 all were needed for various Rapid Fire scenarios. The heavy Horches were some metal models I had already, but needed some crew added. Crews are various plastic figures chapped up to fit.

Another pair of almost finished items - any guesses?


WW2 French Command base plus Gendarmes

Continuing the clear out of oddments before year end. These are resin figures by Retrokit/Solfig, the detail is not all that crisp, but they are quite unusual subjects. Close up the officer figure does have some resemblance to De Gaulle.

Typically once I'd taken the picture and packed the figures away I spotted that the Gendarmes pistol hadn't been painted - it's now been rectified.


It's Christmas

and I've been good again, so a nice selection of presents were under the tree

So what do I plan to do with them:
  • The Stradioti will provide Light Cavalry for the wars in the Balkans against the Turks and potentially for a future Italian Wars project (but I'm not starting any new periods)
  • Roman Senate - will be used for civilians and also have potential for some sort of skirmish
  • Tecumseh - more reinforcements for my woodland indians
  • Red Army of the Winter War - reinforcements for my WW2 Russian winter forces now I have created more than enough Axis.
  • Romanian Infantry - I had forgotten these when I created my winter Axis forces
  • Soviet Assault Group - Engineers for my Russians, I've only got a few so far
  • Honours of War - Has had good reviews and I'd like to try them with my SYW forces
  • Fighting Sail - buried away somewhere in the stash is a large number of Napoleonic ships, hopefully this will inspire me to get them out assemble, paint and use them.


M21 Half tracks

I had always been short of half tracks with mortars for my US forces. I had hoped that the Hasegawa M4A1 version would have met my needs (link) but I couldn't face getting any more. Gradually I found a couple of diecast M21s at reasonable prices (thanks Bob) Then they appeared cheaply on ebay so I bought a couple more so I could replace my two existing models. They needed repainting to match and crew added.

The crew are from the Plastic Soldier US sets, which I had spare. The old vehicles will go on ebay in the new year


Ottoman Artillery C16/C17

My Ottomans now have their own artillery, up until now I've used some Cossack gun crews instead. These are the new figures from Redbox and they come with a number of extra figures that can be dotted around the guns.

There are two set that for the Sixteenth century (left) and another for the Seventeenth (right). The guns are the same but the figures vary between the two pack
The hot is odd, I found references to it being either red or black so I went for a dark red!


It's the bishops

Another bargain, I acquired a while ago these Valdemar resin figures provide a command stand for my medievals, I'm not sure you would get this many bishops together on a battlefield but the look fun.

Having photograped them close up in good lighting I can see a couple of bits I missed!

The horse fo the mounted bishop was rather undersized so I replaced it with a bigger plastic one. The colour scheme came from the Valdemar packet.

For the flag I hunted around the medieval section of the excellent Dansk Figurspilsforenings hjemmeside medieval section until I found something suitably ecclesiastical fo go with the figures


German winter transport

It's a bargain! Having discovered some heavily discounted die-cast vehicles It didn't take me long to realise that although I had enough German transport overall, I didn't have any for winter campaigning, so an order was placed and after stippling and dry-brushing here they are

Accompanying them are some MMS winter SP and vehicle crews that I bought at this years charity auction that will be used with various vehicles I have already painted.


Russian winter trucks and AT guns

I've had the Russain trucks for a while as I bought them at Bovy last year. It's a reminder to myself that I really ought to take my glasses with me to the B&B and check things properly before buying. Superficially they looked OK but the models were covered in thick coat of spray paint that hid a previous bad paint and construction faults. Once stripped of the old paint the models had to be repaired before repainting, luckily I had some suitable spare parts. The Katyusha took two attempts before I got it looking OK, it's reinforced with steel wire.

The 45mm AT guns are from Plastic Soldier and were no problem at all. All the trucks and guns were painted my Russian green and then stippled/drybrushed white


Museu Nacional Militar - Lisbon

Quite an amazing place, a mix of military museum, ornate palace and tribute to one of Portugal's poets Luis de Comoes (Tripadvisor link) It's situated in the old arsenal and spread out over two floors, be careful about the route you follow as once up the stairs you need to visit the Napoleonic and WW1 collection before heading into the medieval/renaissance armour or you'll end up having to retrace your steps like we did. Many of the elaborate rooms with arms and armour are very dimly lit and flash photography is not allowed.

For example

This photo of Museu Nacional Militar is courtesy of TripAdvisor

To start downstairs, lots of ancient cannon and an amazing ceiling

Intersted in headgear then this is the room for you

Plenty of models of artillery

Interrsted in the ECW or TYW then this is an interesting period when Portugal fought for its independence from Spain.

The room dedicated to Luis de Comoes.

Peninsula War

WW1 quite a few dramatic models and pictures

Back downstairs, yet more cannon.

I couldn't take any pictures because cars were in the way, but the central courtyard is surrounded by pictures of Portuguese battle in blue tiles.

Was it worth 3 Euros - definitely


A few more 28mm Saxons

The final batch of Gripping Beast Dark age warriors have been completed to boost my 28mm Saxons for either Saga or any other skirmish game.


Recon 2015

I battled my way across the Pennines through storm Desmond to get to the friendly local show at Pudsey. it's not a great show for eye-candy, but it's great to meet up with lots of friends.

So only a few pictures, mainly the Harrogate club's Kampfgruppe Pieper game set in the snowy Ardennes. So some ideas for my winter games

We put on the battle of Liverpool again, starting off the first game with a very young participant

Battle of Tawnersley Moor 1643 (an obscure ECW battle) - Nice to be able to read the research that was done.

Bolt action in the jungle!

Purchasing - not a lot as I'm officially not allowed to buy toys in the run up to Christmas. But I picked up some half price items in a traders closing down sale, a box of PSC British Halftracks and on impulse a box each of 28mm Gripping Beast Arab Heavy and Light Cavalry. Then a couple of bottles of paint and that was it.


Yet more cossacks

These are mainly Zvezda figures gained though a trade a few years back plus a few Orion mounted cossacks added in.

I hadn't added any flags to my existing units so I added so extras to these.

The flags can be found on the 1/72 depot site (link)



As well as some cossacks (next post) I completed the Lucky toys Vlad Tepes set. originally I though I would mix them in with the cossacks but they didn't match up, so I kept them as separate units.

I based up the mounted figures as light cavalry, which are on deeper bases that can be turned though ninety degrees to show tey are skirmishing.

I expect they'll be used as unreliable allies for my Ottomans.


On the workbench - December 2015

Crumbs another year has almost finished. November was spent trying to catch up with October's over-runs and in December I will have to clear up all those bits and pieces of half started ideas so I can get a clear start to the new year. In addition, after the fun of the £2 diecast tanks from the works the entertainment continued with £4 Deagostini diecasts on ebay and Amazon, so I have quite a few amassed now. Quite a few need repainted and/or drybrushing to fit in with the rest of my collection..

I've some finished units to post and I hope to get the following finished by year end.
  • 28mm Saxon spearmen for Saga, etc. (only the shields left to paint)
  • A small group of armoured bishops as a medieval command stand
  • Eight diecast transport vehicles for my winter Germans
  • Two Russian trucks and a Katyusha for my winter Russians
  • A selection of MMS German winter vehicle crews
  • Renaissance Ottoman Artillery - 4 guns plus crews, etc.
  • A couple of Russian 47mm AT guns in winter camo


Maritime Museum

After the Museu do Combatente it was across the road to the Jeronimos Monastery, I visited the church and cloisters, then moved on to the Maritime museum, which occupies two side of the monastery.

It's a huge number of rooms many filled with model ships in cases from many eras. Helpfully I had read up on Henry the Navigator a year ago so it was easy to assimilate all the information on the age of discoveries.

The vessels used at the time seem unbelievably small

The trading post (fort) of Diu in India, a marvellous setting for a obscure campaign (link)

Lots of classic ships from the age of sail

Some splendid marines in green with red facings

steam/sail hybrids


More modern Portuguese ships

Then you move to a modern extension containing real vessels

A royal barge last used for Queen Elisbeth's visit

It took over two hours to go round and it could easily have been three. Perhaps I should have taken notes as there was so much material that was new to me, however with the internet I can still check up on the bits I remember.


Museu do Combatente Lisbon

There is a new military museum adjacent to the Tower of Belem. Its theme is those who fought in Portugal's Twentieth Century wars.

It;s inside a more modern fortification and is overlooked from the Tower.

I has a selection of guns and equipment like this 75mm pack howitzer.

It is concerned with all the military forces involved in foreign combat including the police.

Part of the original equipment of the fort

Yes that is a Stuart at the far end.

I didn't take any pictures inside. One room had modellers collection of aircraft and it's surprising how many different types the Portuguese airforce fly.
The most interesting section of rooms was the African liberation struggle - lots of intriguing pictures, but with Portuguese captions so it was difficult to get a proper impression.
Each of the casemates had a section concerned with one arm of service with explanation of the uniforms and past and current roles. Finally like many museums at the moment there was a WW1 trench experience.