Last post of 2017 - Christmas games in Bristol

Luckily, despite being down with family for Christmas I managed to escape for a day of Rapid Fire gaming at Bristol Independent Gaming.

Only a few pictures as I got too heavily involved in my games

And I did manage to finish the Swiss - so they will be my first post for 2018


Winter Germans in greatcoats

Merry Christmas to all my followers, and thanks for all the supportive comments through the year. Possibly my final unit will be this platoon of WW2 German infantry in greatcoats. They are a mix of various greatcoated figures, particularly Italeri and Zvezda.

I will be adding the marching mortar crew I completed back in 2915, but I'm tempted to get another of the firing version (link)

I'm hoping to get the medieval Swiss finished by the year end, but life is getting rather hectic at the moment.


Seasonal late war German infantry

Just too late for the snow, this platoon with supports was painted and based for winter warfare in the snow.

Heavily dominated by StG 44 assault rifles.


Polish rebasing finished

I've now rebased my Polish and Hussars and Haiduks, so they match the rest of my Renaissance collection.

When rebasing the Hussars I decided to cut down the length of the existing lances plus adding extra as the original figures had too few of them to look right. I also reduced the units down to nine figures, thus I had to repaint the coats to ensure the units looked consistent.

The Haiduks were a simple rebasing job, the only tricky part was applying the basing neatly between figures in two ranks.

One idea I should have thought of was adding a small bead onto the lance to mimic the hand guard.


On the workbench - December 2017

Not quite the big push to finish off the year as there are certainly a number of areas where I won't hit plan. So a bit of a mix

  • Rebase my renaissance Poles so they can be used against my Muscovites
  • Extra medieval Swiss - carried over from last month
  • WW2 winter Germans - a couple of platoons
  • A trio of winter panthers
  • Six US M3 light tanks for Tunisia (or maybe twelve if there are enough components!)
  • plus try and finish off a number of the bits and pieces scattered around the painting table so I can have a clean start to the new year.


Pictures from Pudsey

A drive across to Recon in Pudsey for the last show of the year and it's a nice friendly show to finish the year. Not much eye-candy though. The Lance & Longbow took across the what-if battle of Chester 1318

The big spectacle was a Battlegroup game of operation Goodwood.

Nice terrain

but too many tanks for the table used and not including the masses on the table edge waiting to come on.

Sold a number of old units on the bring and buy and bought some interesting reading. David "Low Roller" donated me some more plastic to add to the stash


Some WW2 bits and pieces

Just to finish off the month I completed a number of bits

First a twin 13.5mm AA gun for my French and a command version of a M5 light tanks (I copied a version based on the M8 HMC). The AA gun is from Early War Miniatures and the M5 is made up from left overs from the PSC kit.

Three new Breda 20mm AA guns and another Sahariana. Crews for both came from mixed sources but mainly the Waterloo 1815 Italian tank vehicle and artillery crew set.


Russian Noble cavalry

After almost a month of painting odd bits of colour I've completed five units of Russian Noble cavalry and a couple of commanders to go with my Strelsy.

The figures are all Zvezda, mostly their Russian Noble cavalry, but includes some Polish Hussars to make up the numbers


German panzers in the snow.

I was a bit bored of painting Russian cavalry (well underway now) so I decided to assemble the three Panzer IVs I bought at "not Derby" and paint them for late war winter games.

I also had a spare Plastic Soldier Company Panzer III, so I added side and turret skirts plus upgraded the gun with a Matchbox 50mm L60. I'll probably use it as either a command or artillery observation vehicle.

Also completed at the same time was the Zvezda German winter HQ


More rework - sdkfz 222

Another small bit of rework, I replaced the turrets on my old Airfix sdkfz 222 with the version included with the Plastic Soldier sdkfz 250 kit

Of course it wasn't until I took the pictures that I spotted that 3 out of 4 had the MG in the wrong position!


Humber upgrades

Another little job ticked off. I purchased some metal replacement Mark IV turrets from Rolf Hedges to upgrade my old Matchbox Humber Mark II Armoured Cars to the correct version for NW Europe in 1944.


After, interesting to note the difference in colour even though I used the same Humbrol enamel colour, it has probably faded a bit too.

Tagging along behind behind is a SAS jeep that I bought at Newbury


Not forgetting the Germans

A couple of odd-balls out of the EWM miscast box. A Pionierkraftwagen to the left and a Steyr 1500 truck to the right. Both painted up for early war.

The Steyr came without a cab and I couldn't find any pictures showing this vehicle without one (until I finished it of course) The lucky thing was the RSO was made by the same manufacturer so I used the top from a left-over Plastic Soldier RSO cab and fitted it on top.

The Pionierkraftwagen is a big beast and I now feel the need to acquired a trailer with some assault dinghies on it. The crew are HaT tanks riders cut down to fit.


Keeping up with the Italians

Having found a pile of repairable vehicles in the Early War Miniatures mis-cast box at Newbury and "Derby" I have been working on repairing them. At the front two variants of the TL37 as a tractor and a light truck. The rear pair were acquired at Newbury without wheels so I used some old Airfix Scammel wheels for one and press-cast the others from Greenstuff using a Oyumaru mould.

Back left was the most complex repair a Breda 40 artillery tractor, where as well a filling the various casting errors I also had to re-create the cab-top. At the back right is a AS42 Sahariana, where I've added a scratched up 47mm AT gun.
Overall, quite time consuming, but satisfying to recover what would otherwise be wasted.

I missed the back centre, which is a Ready to Roll Douvenque with a 20mm Breda AA. All the crews have been modified to fit and come from a variety of sources, mainly the left-over drivers from the PSC 25pdr kit. They were given Reiver replacement Italian heads. I understand from Gary at Sgts Mess these are still available but not included on their website yet.


Oyumaru plastic clay

Over on Beano's Forum a user called Beano Boy posted about using Oyumaru to create simple moulds. These can then be used with greenstuff to create simple duplicates of a master. Here's my first attempts at creating some extra wheels using an old wheel from an Airfix Scammell.

Quite a sucess for a first attempt, but the greenstuff needs to be left a while longer than normal to harden fully.


GNW/SYW Swedish Cavalry

Some more units to add to my hybrid Great Northern War/Seven Years War Swedish army. As before I have used the Zvezda GNW Swedish Cavalry to produce two units of Cavalry and two of Dragoons. The uniform hardly changed between the periods and I have used the references on Kronoskaf for the uniforms and flags

On the left front - Bohusläns dragoons; rear -Karelska; right front - Östgöta Horse; rear - Smålands Horse.

I've not based the two officers yet as I haven't decided whether to add extra figures to the command base.


On the Workbench - November 2017

The year is flying by and another month has alredy ended with bits still on the painting table

The front two trays have the nearly finished Swedish cavalry, the back trays contain an assortment of various vehicles mostly Early War Miniatures rejects that have been repaired, plus a Zvezda German winter HQ group and MMG teams and a French 13.2mm AA gun.

Other items to be worked on this month
  • Zvezda Russian noble cavalry - I bought these to go with my Streltsy make a Moscovite force for Pikemens Lament
  • Miniart Swiss Infantry - yet another pike block, probably Lucerne/Glarus this time
  • Then if time permits, start on some more German winter stuff for the Ardennes


Eve of Edgehill

A last few bits for October - the Wargames Illustrated vignette of the Eve of Edgehill, plus an extra couple of bods found in a box of lead down at the club.

Shame I don't have any 28mm Royalists, they will just have to be objective markers!


Something unusual - aircraft wheels

Some bits finished for Thursday's game - Operation Caravan

My aircraft are all finished as flying models, but for the game I need them on the ground - this is OK for fixed undercarriage planes, but these left over bits will go under my aircraft to give the right effect. Here's one deployed

The SAS jeep is also just finished it's a repaired Early War Miniatures reject


German armoured cars - sdkfz 232, etc.

Just off the painting table four armoured cars from one Plastic Soldier pack. From the from counter clockwise sdkfz 231, sdkfz 232, sdkfz 233, sdkfz 263 all painted for early war. So how I have the option of replacing my old 6 wheeled versions.

The sdkfz 263 is a bit of a fudge as I had parts left when I upgraded an Airfix sdkfz 234/4 with bits from the Matchboz Puma sdkfz 234/2. The difference in the scales made it more difficult than expected

For Andrew, the fudge involved adding plasticard to either side of the Puma lower hull, but the tricky bit is matching it to the upper hull as the angles are different. Another difficult bit was cutting down the old Airfix mudguards, they are about 2mm too wide but the angle is about right. The rest is just a matter of normal assembly with the front and back hull filled with plasticard shapes to fit. The spaced armour was added to hide the distorsion.


Another milestone - 29,000

Hurrah, with the painting of the US winter infantry I've passed the 29,000 figure mark in my 20mm collection. For those including myself who like to see a breakdown. it certainly highlights where I've been concentrating since September 2016.

Period Sep-16 Oct-17 Delta
Ancients 2202 2282 80
Dark Ages 395 438 43
Early Medieval 492 492 0
Late Medieval 1029 1213 184
Aztec/Conquistadores 434 434 0
C17 Polish/Ottoman 631 789 158
C17 TYW 1036 1262 226
C18 WSS 720 741 21
C18 SYW 1866 1866 0
C18 AWI 1292 1332 40
C18 French Revolution 658 658 0
C18 Napoleon in Egypt 331 331 0
C19 Napoleonic 6632 6635 3
C19 Napoleonic skirmish 241 241 0
C19 ACW 1220 1220 0
C19 Anglo Zulu War 860 875 15
C19 Colonial North Africa/Sudan 1066 1066 0
C20 WW1/RCW 1225 1230 5
C20 Interwar French/Rif 180 192 12
C20 Early WW2 Europe 855 884 29
C20 WW2 North Africa 1238 1274 36
C20 WW2 far east 119 119 0
C20 late WW2 europe 2523 2557 34
C20 WW2 winter 401 537 136
C20 post WW2 373 373 0
Grand Total 28019 29041 1022

Hopefully I may pass the 30,000 mark by the end of 2018.


A significant diversion - more US winter infantry

Having acquired the extra infantry needed to complete two Rapid Fire US Infantry Battalions at Derby I decided to paint them straight away.

I included a number of extra figures so I could use them as a couple of Platoons for either Chain of Command or Battlegroup

These include the figures completed for a game in September

Makes me feel cold!



Just finished the Vikings, the pictures are not the best, but I decided to post anyway. I created three shieldwall units, a skirmishing archer unit plus a commander.

Figures are one pack of Zvezda Vikings plus a couple of old Airfix Ancient Briton archers to make up the number of archers.