Saturday, 25 February 2017

Girls Night Out

We had a SYW/AWI game at Julians last night (Friday) It was on the hex based cloth - Julian and I were the British and Chris, Nick and John the French - the less said about the game, the better - lets just say that Churchill may have been right when he described the surrender of Singapore as the ‘worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history’,  but last night Julian and I came a close second! I did take some photos but the quality was not good and in any case the defeat was so ignominious that I would rather not think on it any more!

Amongst the British troops arrayed against the French were this unit - they fared no better than their more traditional colleagues unfortunately - all these figures are from Eureka in Australia......

War of 1812 British Artillery

I have finally finished the three guns and one limber from the Victrix hard plastic set. I had to rebase the first crew because the crew maneuvering the gun did not fit on the same size base as I did initially! Also, I ran out of the Selleys compound I normally use on my bases and due to impatience to get them finished, I used a different basing technique. Also, I needed to fix the gun and the guys maneuvering the wheels onto the base together, so they remained in contact with the wheels and didn't end up pushing on open air - I don't usually fix the guns to the bases but in this case I did - so I used Liquid Nails glue to do this and that was another reason why the basing was a bit different.

I don't really like the "odd man out" basing so they may get hauled off and rebased when I get my hands on some more of the basing compound.....SIGH!

In any case, here are two views of each of the three crews, plus a couple more of all three together as a battery. I am thinking of mounting two of the limbers on a narrow piece of card that runs across the full length of the back of all three bases, so make them into a mini diorama - although not as nice as the example that is on the Victrix website...

Above and below - Gun Team One - ready to fire

Above and below - Gun Team Two - FIRE!

Above and below - Gun Team Three - Realigning the gun

Above and below - the first completed limber

The last three photos are of the entire "battery"- the middle gun is the "odd man out" basing - doesn't look TOO bad here, maybe I will leave it as is.

The latest news is that my combined Old Glory War of 1812 order is now in New Zealand with our wonderful customs service, so hopefully, I should get my hot little hands on them in the next few days!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

First British Gun and Crew Completed

I have been out for dinner at the Wynyard Quarter in Auckland with my dear wife this evening, so only have one gun and crew completed from earlier in the day. Painting these has reminded me that I found it a bit of a chores last time I did hard plastic - when I did a War of Spanish Succession force using primarily Wargames Factory figures. All the detail of a metal figure  is here - and more - but it mostly does not stand out the way the detail does on metal, so your painting has to be much more accurate.

Anyway, I have done as good a job as I could be bothered to on these and they look ok to me.  Four views, one from each angle

War of 1812 Victrix British Artillery

Here are all three crews assembled, and place with one of the two guns so far completed.

Two crews are in "firing" poses and the third is re aligning/loading their piece

I have now commenced painting the first crew and one of the guns so will post pictures of them upon completion. I also had an email from Connie at Old Glory to advise my 1812 order has been shipped with USPS so hopefully the figures should arrive in 7-10 days

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Old Glory War of 1812 Order

Just for interest, this is my order for Old Glory 1812 troops - bearing in mind a 40% discount, this significant number of troops is going to cost me around NZ$450 The command and artillery packs only have 20 figures so cost a bit less - unlike most manufacturers these days who give you six command instead of eight standard figures, but charge you the same price because they sell less of them....! By adding the six Marines and Canadian Voltiguers I got from Knuckleduster recently, I will have enough of these for two battalions of each.

WAA-14 US Light Dragoons with Command x 1 ($36.00) [id = WAA-14]

WAA-10 US Riflemen with Full Kit Skirmishing with Command x 1 ($36.00) [id = WAA-10]

WAA-08 American Command in Leather Shako x 1 ($26.00) [id = WAA-08]

WAA-07 American Command in Felt Shako x 1 ($26.00) [id = WAA-07]

WAA-04 American Infantry in Leather Shako Advancing x 1 ($36.00) [id = WAA-04]

WAA-02 American Infantry in Felt Shako Advancing x 1 ($36.00) [id = WAA-02]

WAB-01 Glengarry Light Infantry Skirmishing with Command x 1 ($36.00) [id = WAB-01]

WAB-04 Royal Marines with Command x 1 ($36.00) [id = WAB-04]

WAB-05 Canadian Voltigeurs x 1 ($36.00) [id = WAB-05]

WAA-12 Artillery Crews in Shako x 1 ($26.00) [id = WAA-12]
Latest Project - the War of 1812

My second purchase for the War of 1812 came by luck. I was scanning through Trade Me (an NZ version of eBay if you are not from this part of the world) and came across a box of Victrix 28mm hard plastic British Napoleonic Artillery - 15 crew three guns and three limbers for a total of around NZ$30 - a pretty good deal.

Unfortunately on arrival two or three parts were missing from the kit including one wheel and one of the gun carriages axle assembly - bit of a nuisance! I can possibly use one of the limber axles as a substitute - two limbers is plenty for three guns I feel! The guy I bought them off has apologized and said he will have a look to see if he can find the missing parts but I wont be surprised if he cant

Anyway so far I have done two of the three five man crews, two of the guns and one limber - no painting as yet, just assembly - pics below

The artwork on the Victrix box

The rear of the box with assembly instructions for the guns and limbers - you can choose from four different artillery pieces, including a howitzer

The box contains three identical sprues as above - pity about the odd green colour of the plastic - I would prefer plain white!

The two guns assembled as long barreled 9lb pieces

The first artillery crew - you get a choice of cylindrical or Belgic shako and the officer figure has a separate add on coat tail so you can have the longer Peninsula coat with a bicorne or the more modern shorter coat to match the Belgic shako

All the parts for one limber - pre assembly

Above and below, three views of the assembled limber

In addition to these plastics, I have also just renewed my "Old Glory Army" membership, which gains a 40% discount on their already pretty competitively priced figures - 30 infantry or 10 cavalry for US$36 - and have ordered a swag of US and British troops for the War of 1812 - hopefully these should arrive in a couple of weeks and then it will be head down, arse up at the painting desk in my garage for a few months! I have been accused of being a bit to partisan about the British Army, so this time I have specifically gone for the "other" side (plus I already have stacks of Napoleonic Brits I can use anyway!)

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Answering a query re my 15mm WW2 Soviet Collection

This is just a convenient way to pass on these images of the various Soviet SPG's I have in my collection

On the storage box, these are described as being IS2 and IS3 tanks but I am not 100% sure this is accurate.....

I think above and below may be ISU 122





SU100 winter camo

All these are just guesses based on the apparent size of the armament and the chassis they are on ...I believe SU were on the T34 track system and ISU on the IS track system....

Appeal for feedback

It would be interesting to know if anyone is actually reading this blog!

I have had the odd comment now and then and I do know that if you don't have a gmail account, you cant comment without setting one up - or something like that - but I would like to think this blog is entertaining more than just myself! So if you are reading some of my comments, please leave me some feedback on what you think of it...Thanks!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Early WW2 15mm game...somewhere in France, 1940..

We had two players per side plus an umpire, our host, for todays 15mm game. Paul and I took the Germans whilst Rick and Chris were the BEF, attempting to hold a river line and prevent the Germans from capturing any of the three bridges necessary to continue the advance into France. The rules used were in house as, after many years of trying, none of our group is a very big fan of the Flames of War ways of doing things!

This map gives a rough idea of how the table was laid out. The Germans could start anywhere on the table edge at the bottom of this map and the British could be deployed ANYWHERE on the table - some ambushes seemed to be the order of the day!

A general view of the table - river and railway line ran the full length of it. The Germans were attacking from the left as you look at this picture. In classic Whermacht style, we decided to concentrate all our forces in one area and thus concentrated on attacking on the left flank of the table as we looked at it IE top left corner of this image.

Initial advance by Kampfgruppe von Paulus's panzers

British mortars

British RA 25lb battery - they plus the mortars above were the only British troops visible on move one!

First platoon of Kampfgruppe von Russ's infantry advance on our extreme left flank, supported by PAK 36 AT guns

German advance continues - Von Russ infantry on left and Von Paulus panzers on the right

Von Paulus reaches his first objective - a wooded hill line. His recce troops in SdKfz 222 located a British artillery observer (FOO) in the woods.

Von Russ's infantry clear the first lines of woods

SHANKFOR springs a surprise! Three gun portees deploy, fire and retire in the same move, knocking out one panzer in the process

Infantry from NORFOR redeploying from the flank that we decided to ignore

I rolled a 6 to call on air support, Chris failed to roll a 6 to drive it off, and our Stuka took out one of the gun portees!
This map shows how the Germans concentrated their attack on their left flank and left half the defending British force hanging in the air on the other flank. NORFOR spent half the game redeploying from their original positions in an attempt to get into action against the Germans.

Von Paulus's artillery battery arrives on the table

Von Paulus's panzer advance in the centre continues

The second infantry platoon of Kampfgruppe Von Russ arrives in vehicles and advances rapidly down the left flank towards the first bridge

A view of the second platoon from a passing Stuka!

My second success in summoning air support came shortly afterwards - this time, the Luftwaffe caught elements of NORFOR in the open and exacted a heavy toll - one AT gun and three stands of infantry were destroyed

The British 25ib battery in action

Von Paulus panzers destroy the remaining two gun portees . At the same time, the recce troops killed the British FOO
The second infantry platoon debus from their transport

Von Paulus's recce advanced to the railway line and discovered three British Matilda II tanks of SHANKFOR in the woods ahead - and were immediately engaged and destroyed!

NORFOR infantry deploy in a wood as they relocate towards the centre of the table

NORFOR's mortars are ready for action but have no targets to engage

My third Stuka strike - one of the three Matildas is hit. This was the last successful intervention by the Luftwaffe - from this point onwards, they either failed to appear or if they did, failed to acquire their designated target.

By this stage, the leading infantry from Kampfgruppe Von Russ had reached the first bridge

This third map shows how the game evolved. The Germans advanced up the left and took the bridge in that sector, then advanced along the northern bank of the river to threaten the second bridge. The British attempted to bring their infantry across from the top right of the map but were easily contained by one platoon and a few panzers, whilst the main German force smashed the British armour

Kampfgruppe Von Paulus panzers head to the right to confront the advancing NORFOR

The first armoured component of Kampfgruppe Von Russ arrives - PzKfw 38(t) advance to support their infantry colleagues

SHANKFOR springs a trap - three light tanks ambush the advancing PAK 36 AT guns

Result of the ambush - the leading PAK tow in flames on the road just short of the river - in the next move, the same guys knocked out a second PAK

Retribution! The infantry HMG's on the bridge knocked out two of the ambushing light tanks

View of Kampfgruppe von Russ infantry advance

British tanks emerge from the woods in the top centre of the previous picture and engage panzers of Kampfgruppe von Paulus

Their success was short lived however and next turn, they are both reduced to burning hulks

The Stuka searching unsuccessfully for another target

The German battery in action - they mainly engaged in counter battery fire

Having neutralised the British ambush, Kampfgruppe von Russ infantry and panzers seize the first bridge and continue to push forwards

Another view of the action around the first bridge - British armour burns as the Whermacht infantry advances

British infantry of NORFOR holding the line of the railway in the centre of the table. They spent several turns doing nothing more than ringing up the RA on the telephone and calling in artillery bombardments on the opposing Kampfgruppe von Paulus forces.

The target of the repeated RA "stonks" - infantry, panzers and PAK 36 AT guns of Kampfgruppe von Paulus seal off NORFOR

The effect of constant counter battery fire by the German artillery - one of the 25lb guns burns

The view of Kampfgruppe von Paulus from the NORFOR lines

Kampfgruppe von Russ clear the first woods over the bridge

The second panzer unit and infantry platoon from Kampfgruppe von Russ crossing the captured bridge

View from Kampfgruppe von Paulus positions on the heights overlooking the second bridge - the British Matildas of SHANKFOR are in the woods in the distance

A pilots view of the same position as shown in the previous photo

The second infantry platoon crossing the captured bridge in their motorized transport

The Matildas finally advanced from their shelter and knocked out a couple of panzers but after a
couple of rounds of fire, they were knocked out despite the fact their armour was basically impenetrable to almost every German gun on the table!

Final view of the game as it ended - Kampfgruppe von Russ have captured the first bridge and are closing in on the second one.

Paul and I thoroughly enjoyed the game but it was pretty hard for the Brits! They probably needed to have some more light/medium armour - not Matildas as they are too strong - 6 of them would have been like giving the Germans 6 King Tigers in 1944/5! We also had the better tactics I think - interestingly, we initially were going to concentrate our attack at the other end of the table, which would have made it even more one sided I suspect, as we would have been confronting only infantry and 4 heavy AT guns - all the British armour would have been hiding at the wrong end of the battlefield!