On the workbench - November 2018

Made good progress last month but still some bits to do as annotated below
  • First to Fight WW2 British desert 37mm mounted in portees (sorted out the portees and underway here's a WIP picture)
  • Start on rebasing my SYW/AWI French army, this will also involve replacing 3 regiments (a third of infantry are rebased and the replacement regiments are nearly finished)
  • so loads more SYW/AWI French cavalry, artillery and commanders
  • four regiments of Napoleonic Polish Infantry, plus some gunners
  • Napoleonic Russian Guard Artillery
  • WW2 French 75mm guns and crews
  • plus a batch of palm trees for the club

But most importantly off to Crisis in Antwerp


AWI French rebasing - infantry

Just manged to finish a batch before the month end. These are the more colourful units. From front to back, L to R Chasseurs Voluntaires de Sainte Domingue, Lauzun's Legion Infantry, Deux Ponts Infantry Regiment, Dillon Infantry Regiment
Grenadiers de France (or possibly Bombardiers de la Marine for the AWI)

Most are composed of Revell SYW Prussian Infantry, excet the Grenadier which are from the Austrian set.


Early WW2 - German vehicles

A nice collection of vehicles from First to Fight to add to my Early War Germans. At the rear variants on the sdkfz 251 Ausf A L to R 251/6; 251/4; 251/1 Front row a pair of kfz70 Krupp Boxer trucks then an sdkfz 247, sdkfz 221 and sdkfz 223.

Generally nice kits, but the assembly instructions are not clear and it is worth checking with pictures of the vehicles to make sure where all the pieces fit.

just need to add some crewmen/passengers


WW1 Tropical Infantry - back to East Africa

Although these Hat British Infantry could be used in the Middle East, my main intention was to use them in East Africa.

The machine guns come from the Strelets dismounted camel corps with head swaps


WW1 Dismounted camel corps

I decided to only paint the same number of dismounted figures as I already had mounted. This should provide me with enough dismounted figures for when I get around to adding some horse mounted troops to the force. To the right are the Australians and the left the British.

In the middle is the machine gun from the Australian set along with an odd pack camel I acquired from the Early War Miniatures rummage box.


Jersey fortifications - Elizabeth Castle

Elizabeth Castle replaced Mont Orgueil as the principle defence of Jersey from the reign of Elizabeth I to Victoria, and is another site that must be visited (wiki link), It's on an island and can only be approached on foot at low tide or an amphibious vehicle at other times.

Approaching the castle across the causeway.

Impressive walls of the outer ward, which encompasses all the land above high water.

The keep

The parade ground and barracks which contain exhibits and the history of the castle.

A couple of models showing the development of the castle.

linked by a mole there is a rocky outcrop with the hermitage of St Helier and a chapel. It gives a good view back to the south side of the castle.

Some of the exhibits, a Pak 38 and a naval 88mm

A fortress gun.

The view from the keep, as usual converted by the Germans into an observation post.

The parade grounds and barracks. Beyond is St Helier harbour

Yet more German modifications

An impressive line of carronades.

In the reign of Queen Victoria a new fortification, Fort Regent was built above St Helier. Although it's been converted into a leisure complex, it has kept all the original features and well worth a visit. I didn't take any pictures as it was raining heavily when we visited.


British 2pdr portees

I've completed a pair of deployed 2pdrs along with their associated portees. The 2pdrs are all Zvezda and the portees converted Airfix Austin Fire Tenders.

The main points of assembly are seen in the progress picture. The white or dark grey parts are from the original Airfix kit, the mid grey from an Airfix QLT and the brown from the Zvezda. Note it was easier to cut and fit the undeployed sub-frame for the gun


Jersey fortifications - Mont Orgueil

The castle at Mont Orgueil is well worth a visit if you are on Jersey (wiki link). It is remarkably intact having been in use from an iron age fort through to the German occupation.

Its position overlooking Gorey and the Royal Bay of Grouville.

The introduction has a nice model of the castle, but it's difficult to photograph with the reflection

Looking up at the mssively reinforced keep with a Tudor artillery position on the right.

Sir Hugh Calveley (a cheshire lad) heavily involved in the HYW (link)

The view to the north.

The reason for the reinforced keep was to be able to have guns on top to contest the hill that overlooks the rest of the castle.

German conversion of the turrets into observation posts.

View from Gorey pier below

Of course Mont Orgueil was outdated in the age of gunpowder and was replaced as the principle fortification by Fort Elizabeth (next post) but it remained in use, especially by the Napoleonic spymaster Phiippe d'Auvergne.


Last of the camels - Arab revolt

The final batch of camels are at long last completed. Again a splendid set of figures from Strelets with lots of character. I'll mix them in with my old Airfix Bedouins to increase the numbers.

I'm sure I'm going to be tempted again whenever Strelets release their Rifs


WW2 German Fortifications on Jersey

As you walk around the coast on Jersey it is almost impossible to avoid the large and small concrete structures covering every single beach and cove. The Channel Islands Occupation Society has a very useful website and many of the structures are open in summer (CIOS link) and there is more details on the Occupation Detectives (link)

The Marine Peilstand near cape Gros Nez

on a sunnier day!

Batterie Moltke, with some guns they recovered from the sea beneath the cliffs.

The Jersey Military Museum, inside an old bunker on St Ouens bay with an R35 turret on top.

Strongpoint Corbiere, more bunkers on the SW cape along with another Marine Peilstand converted to a coastguard lookout

Batterie Lothringen, two very short visits, it really needed longer to appreciate this site on cape Noirmount

Interesting details of an action between PT boats and German minesweepers (link)

The Naval Observation post is much lower than the previous pair

A memorial at the small cove where commandos landed in Operation Hardtack 28 (link).

Finally the war tunnels, that were turned into an underground hospital. Lots of interesting stuff on the occupation but very little eye candy.

I was intrigued by Operation Constellation/Condor (link), a plan to invade Jersey in 1943 and the German raid on Granville in 1945 to capture some colliers (link)