Saturday, August 31, 2013

Happiness is...

...a well stocked tank part. 

We had a visit from Mr. E, Savage and Tootsie last night.  Tootsie flounced off with Mrs Kinch for a while to do...whatever it is women do when their men folk are profitably engaged in sticking toy tanks together. Mr. E, Savage and I had a chat and we did some work on the Soviet armoured horde that will be facing my BAOR in the not to distant future. 

Fortunately, Andy at Grubby Tanks resin Soviets are neat little casting and are very affordable. Some of the casts needed a bit of work with green stuff, but we actually got 10 T-62, 10 BMP-1 and four BDRM 2 cleaned up, filled and stuck together in an evening. 


The BDRMs which will be making up the recce platoon even got as far as a blast of Tamiya Dark Green and a wash of Badab Black as per the painting instructions that I stole from the Guild.  I think the Tamiya is a bit darker than the Russian Green recommended, but we shall see how the BDRMs look once they've had a drybrush of Russian uniform. 

We call it the turret factory

Savage and I were discussing this afterwards and noticed how quickly the time went. This is definitely a nice way to spend an evening and get a lot of ground covered in a short period of time. We got all those tanks to a state where they were ready to take paint in less than three hours whereupon we rejoined the ladies.

The wood for the War Room still hasn't arrived, which is a bit frustrating. On the other hand, I managed to widen the trap door without causing the floor to collapse, so getting boxes up and down isn't the problem it used to be. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

17th Lancers

The Charge of the Light Brigade by Caton-Woodville

I've written before about how every wargamer as "the battle" one that has captured his imagination and never quite lets go.  I would say the Waterloo is "that battle" so far as I'm concerned, but failing that - Balaklava is a close second.  I, like most, came to it via Tennyson, but my interest was further piqued by Flashman, read at a too tender age in the public library and the Errol Flynn film. Though it took me a little while to realise the Mohammed Khan was not in fact an integral part of the story. 

The Crimea is a sometime thing for me and I will be building armies for it. I just intend not to hurry. In the meantime, these chaps will be serving on the sub continent.  

These are Strelets British Lancers, painted and sometimes converted by our man in Budapest. 

These look like a Caton Woodville come to live. Wonderful stuff.

The chap on the left is a bit of a puzzlement. The 17th didn't carry standards at the charge, so I was a bit mystified when I saw this figure. I eventually decided that a lancer waving a Russian flag is a fine victory point marker and I asked Kris to proceed accordingly. 

I like to think of him, snatching it from the remnants of a shattered Russian column and riding off, bullets whizzing around him.

Two lancers at the charge and a casualty. 

The last thing many Russian gunners ever see. 

Moving forward. 

I love the sense of movement in these figures - if I was in two minds about the Crimea before, I'm decided now. 

Group photo. 

You can almost hear the thunder of hooves. 

A forest of lance points. 

Clearly, the officer in the centre is a bit more enthusiastic than the other ranks. 

Looking very sharp indeed.


Run away!

I usually use casualty figures to mark where a unit has been wiped out. It helps keep track of victory points and so forth. Now as it happened, this isn't the casualty figure from the Strelets set.

On the other hand, I really like the pose, it looks like a photograph that shows a stricken lancer who has been thrown clear. There is a casualty figure of a lancer being thrown over his horses head, but Kris has rather cleverly converted him into another charging lancer. Can you spot him in the pictures above?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

FV 432

This looks considerably less green in reality. 

I fear I may have made a dreadful mistake. I was hoping to get a bit more work done on my FV 432, so I finished stowing them the other day.  I undercoated them in Army Painter spray black, which gave good coverage and was going to form the basis of the black parts of the camouflage.

Moving onto the next step, I masked off portions of the vehicle with blu-tac and gave it a blast of Tamiya British Green which seemed as good a choice as any. The result have been really dark, the picture above actually looks better than the model does in reality, mainly I suspect because of the flash.

I had hoped to be able to breeze through these in time for a game on Saturday. It doesn't look like that is going to happen. Frankly, I should have listened to this chap

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thomas Aktins Esq.

NOTE: I actually wrote this some time ago and only came across it in my drafts today. I was under the impression that I'd posted it in July, but it appears I was wrong. 

"Picture of Tommy Atkins, circa 1905"

One of the drawbacks of working alot at the moment has been that there hasn't been much wargaming. However, I tend to keep simple jobs like basing for when I want to unwind.  This means that if I have twenty minutes to spare or just want to decompress after work, there's something I can do to keep my hands busy and progress my projects. I find coming home after working nights is particularly good for this as I am fit for nothing, but I will be out of sorts if I go to bed immediately. 

Firing a trifle high I think. 

All figures painted by Krisztian Takacs

These are all figures from the Plastic Soldier Company's British Infantry box

An observer, a sniper and a Bren gun team

These are all uniformed appropriately for the Normandy campaign

One of the advantages of the PSC set is the collection of spare heads that be used to convert figures. These men are all painted with flashes for the 56th (London) Infantry Division.

A Radio team and a medic from the rear. 

And from the front. 

Note the use of the plug in extras, this figure can be equipped with a Bren gun or a Rifle.

Grenade throwing. 

These pictures were taken by Krisztian, These chaps currently in the basing queue and will be ready shortly. Then it will be time to get weaving on some British armour. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

BAOR: Work in Progress

The Royal Loamshires vehicle park

Mrs. Kinch and I had a quiet night in watching a movie, so I took the opportunity to get a bit of work done on the Loamshires. I have six FV 432, two open topped and four closed, all of which are from Grubby tanks. They are nice models and very little filling or sanding was required to get them up to scratch.  The Landrover is a resin piece that I'd forgotten I had, I think it might be Hobbyden, I'm not sure. 

I was doing so well and had taken one FV 432 (not pictured) out to undercoat it, when I stumbled across this article on stowage for Cold War British vehicles by Andy Rix on his Cold War Gamer blog. This set things back a bit as my FV 432 were distressingly bare. I had to dig out the stowage box. Fortunately, I had plenty of greenstuff and some Hobbyden resin stowage lying around, so I was able to make a start. Savage is wallowing in the depths of Capri Sun addiction at the moment and will be bringing me some straws on Saturday to make fascines. 

Terrible photo, but it was snapped on the run. 

Another section of Elheim BAOR and three Grubby Tanks crew for the second open FV 432. These should be fine as I'm getting quite used to painting DPM now. 

One thing I've noticed over the last few days is that the FV 432 doesn't have a nickname. I've heard it called the wagon and the bus, but those are quite generic names. Apparently, it was once called the Trojan, but that was quietly scrapped after causing much hilarity on NATO exercises as it is a popular brand of American condom. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Elheim BAOR

I took delivery of some Elheim BAOR, but I need some Royal Military Police for a scenario. The Military Police are often overlooked by wargamers because their work takes place behind the front line, but in a Cold War Gone Hot scenario front lines don't quite mean what they used to. In the event of a Russkie attack, the RMP would take up duties including, but not limited to.

- dealing with refugees
- traffic control
- prevention of desertion/crime
- protection of VIP
- dealing with prisoners
- ensuring that soldiers have proper haircuts, shiny boots, etc. 

These are two Liberation Falklands War era British who have had a change of regiment. I very much doubt that the red beret would have been worn under operational conditions, but clarity when gaming, it certainly helps. These two were painted using the DPM technique showcased by Mark over at the excellent Winter of '79 blog. I should probably add a cap badge to the beret or something. 

Crew for FV432 from Grubby Tanks

These are nice figures. Again painted up using Marks tutorial. I'll be gluing the commander (left) into the wagon, but the other two who are designed to stick out of the rear hatch will be added to a 2 cent coin. 

Another view, I'm quite pleased with how these turned out. Perhaps not quite as sharp as Elheim, but they are still nice figures. I'm a little apprehensive about the Grubby Tanks FV 432, not because there is anything wrong with the model. Entirely the opposite, its very nice indeed and I hope I don't bugger it up. 

A GPMG gunner and a chap with an SLR from Elheim's BAOR patrolling pack. 

I love these figures.  They have bags of character, the features aren't oversized and they aren't running around like headless chickens, just two professionals out patrolling.   

Three more lads out patrolling. I mixed in some guys with plain green trousers rather than DPM as that appears to have been a common occurence, at least from what I can tell from photographs. I was in two minds about the furniture on the SLR, but from what I can tell most of the SLR were black plastic by 1979, though I've seen one or two wooden ones. 

Another view. 

An idea Krisztian introduced me to is the painting stick or in these case cork. This has been a revelation and I only regret I didn't start doing it sooner as it makes the miniature much easier to get at. Again, I like the no-fuss appearance of these figures. Very low key. 

A shot from the rear

I mainly took this to show the web, which is very similar to the sort we were issued with in the Reserve. '58 pattern, I believe and in this configuration it was known as C-FO. I can't remember what the C stood for, but the FO stood for fighting order. The other configuration was C-MO, which added an awkward pack to the yoke at the back. C-FO was great for running around in and you completely forgot about it after a while. I presume as mechanised infantry their packs are with their vehicle, which I would imagine would be the case most of the time.  

So far so good. The best part of a section done and not looking too shabby. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Royal Loamshires

The new Elheim British Army of the Rhine are out and each one is a little gem. While I have quite a few Liberation figures kicking around, these new chaps have turned my head completely and I've ended up with the bones of a platoon. My Liberation guys were actually for the Falklands, so these lads will be done as proper Mechanised Infantry without bergans. 

I have four FV 432s from Andy over at Grubby Tanks and I'm in two minds about them.  I know the FV 432 usually held back and covered the advance with fire from the GPMG, but not entirely sure if one or two men from the section stayed with the track as that will obviously effect how many infantry I'll have to paint. I'll be putting an order into Elheim anyway as I need a few more LAWs and some Soviet VDV, so I better make my mind up before then. 

The Grubby Tanks FV 432 come with crew, but I'll be basing the lads in the open tracks on two cent coins so that I can dismount them. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

British Artillery

Panzer tank - Eight hundred - base of poplar tree - fire!

Just a quick update, while I luxuriate in the pleasure of a day off with Mrs. Kinch. I've been assidusouly ignoring my Cold War and Napoleonic projects to finish off my Second World War British the last few days. With my infantry sort and four units of armour in the bag, it was time to concentrate on some artillery.

These are Britannia 17lber and 6lber guns that I got through Mike's good offices. I've just managed to stick them together before heading to bed.   They should take care of most of my British artillery needs for the time being, though I will need a 25lber before too long.
I love this

I have been described as prematurely curmudgeonly by certain persons who are not strangers to this blog and to be fair they are probably right. I am a Luddite and I'm deeply suspicious of all things modern - however, I am passionately attached to my Iphone and particularly the ability to play audiobooks on it.  However, I got this piece for a few quid in a market and it's fantastic, the improvement in volume isn't huge, but it is just enough to drown out background noise. There's something gloriously absurd about fitting a speaking trumpet to an Iphone though - I think that's half the attraction.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Now this looks like fun.

Excerpt from a soviet tank driving manual detailing the final stage of the t-62 training course. 

Reading the Red Menace

The eponymous Chieftain tank 

As I'm working on a Cold War game at the moment - I've been reading around the subject. Isby's "Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Union" is superb if lengthy - so I've been reading some Cold War Hot fiction to lighten the palette. 

The Kindle store and free PDFs have proved invaluable in this regard. I have read several books on the third world war.

Thus far they are Chieftains, Red Army and Red Storm Rising. Red Storm Rising is typical Clancy stuff.  Interesting from a naval point of view but without much detail on the central front which is what I'm interested in. Writing about par for a thriller. The naval battles were played out with Harpoon - a naval wargame of legendary complexity.   I find Clancy a guilty pleasure - like cheap sweets - his characters are not models of depth, but he (and it must be said Larry Bond) are eager for things to happen and to tell a story. The absence of which is the besetting sin of modern fiction.

General Creamor is very keen to play the board game - which he can link with the Hunt for Red October board game I got him a while ago.

Chieftains by Robert Forrest Webb is much bleaker and focused on the chaps at the sharp end specifically the armoured troops.  Some well written stuff on the realities of living in armoured vehicle for prolonged periods of time. The ending is atrocious and essentially reads like the author wrote himself into a corner. I'll be culling a bunch of stuff about AFVs from it for my game.

Red Army is a book by an American spook specialising in the Red Menace and
is probably the best of the lot. Not as good on technical detail, but well
written, things happen and some nicely observed characters. I'm about three
quarters of the way through - my money is on a shock soviet win.

Last shot in the locker is Team Yankee, which isn't available
electronically, at least legally - so it will have to wait a while until I find a copy.