Saturday, 21 January 2017

AHPC - 2nd entry, British 5.5" Medium Guns Finished!

Hi Folks,

Apologies to those of you who have already seen this unit over on the AHPC blog, but I feel like I should post here as well. Just to keep everything together! I've also taken some better pictures.

This weeks entry was 6 x BL 5.5" Medium Guns. These heavy hitters were introduced into service in 1941, replacing some of the 6" 26 cwt Howitzers which had been used in British Medium Artillery Regiments prior to that date (also in use was the 4.5" Medium Gun - a very similar looking artillery gun). They first saw action in North Africa in 1942, and continued in service with British Territorial Army units until the 1980's. The last known firing of one of these guns 'in anger' was in 1999 during the fighting in Kashmir.

These 6 guns bring my unit up to a strength of 8, with me having finished the other two last year.

In my army, they will be representing a battery of the 79th (The Scottish Horse) Medium Regiment , Royal Artillery. This battery represents the guns of 4 AGRA (Army Group, Royal Artillery) in my Operation Totalise project - supporting the Canadian II Corps. I've had a bit of a wobble about this, as one reference mentions the unit having 5.5" guns, while another mentions 4.5" guns. I've since found another source which gives the unit 5.5" guns, so I'm 'sticking to my guns' and going with 79th Medium Regiment

Now to worry about the various command teams and vehicles for this unit! I know V4 will do away with a lot of those, but I have the figures so may as well do them!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

AHPC: Limbered (Towed) 17 Pdrs Finished!

Hi folks,

I managed to get my first actual challenge entry completed this week (aside from the bonus round entry of the Sextons). Sticking with my Gunuary theme, I took the easy option of finishing my towed 17 Pdrs. Not a huge amount of work in these as no crew to do!

These guns are from Skytrex and the first two were picked up after I spotted them on Ebay and decided it might be cool to do the guns being towed. I picked up another two from Skytrex, who offer them both limbered and deployed. A quick email to them confirmed that they would sell me only the limbered ones (instead of one of each, which is the normal pack).

'Brain Weasels' (and Dave D) are now telling me I should do the same with my 6 Pdrs... I know it's brain weasels as the thoughts always start with 'wouldn't it be cool if...'

One quick paint job and basing, and they are good to go! For the bases I decided to use the same large FoW bases as the deployed guns. In my head if the towed guns were put under an artillery template it seemed sensible that they be the same size base as the others - as in game terms they are the same model/unit.

The idea behind these gaming wise is that if the guns are being towed I have a model for this, and a seperate model for them deployed:

The battery moves into position - ready to hunt big cats!

Unfortunately time and different brands of static grass have resulted in slight differences in the shade of the basing. Not much I can do about that, I think. I could try some watered down PVA on the old bases and re-coat with the new static grass. Not too sure it's worth it as I suspect that the colour has just faded in the light.

The full unit on the move - a 17pdr battery of 61st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery (51st Highland Division).

Work progresses on the 5.5" guns and I hope to have there done by next weeks submission date (Thursday). Once these are done I'll be starting on my bonus round entry for 'east' - probably either some 3mm Soviet helicopters or some 6mm Soviet armour. Then back onto artillery vehicles for 'Gunuary'.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

AHPC7: 1st Painting Challenge Entry

Hi folks,

So this year, as I mentioned previously, I decided to enter the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. I've gotten off to a slow start, what with moving the week of the Challenge starting. I didn't really pick up a brush again until the start of the New Year. My first aim was to get an entry into the 1st 'challenge' Bonus round. As this was 'Armour' I was able to fit it in with my 'Gunuary' focus. You can find my entry here.

My first entry was therefore four Sexton Mk. II Self Propelled Guns. These vehicles belong to 2 Pulk Artylerii Motorowej (2nd Polish Motorised Artillery Regiment) of the 1st Polish Armoured Division. They are to join my 24th Polish Lancers (and other planned Polish lists, including the Cromwells). 

The Sexton was a development brought about by the inability to fit a 25 Pdr gun into a M7 Priest. Using the Priests 105mm gun was causing supply problems, as the British and Commonwealth forces did not use this type of ammunition in any other weapon system - whereas the 25 Pdr was used in all of the 'Field' Artillery Regiments. 

With the M7 Priest unable to be converted, work was undertaken in Canada by the Canadian Army Engineering Design Branch, to create a vehicle similar to the M7. This was done by converting the hull of the Ram tank (which had been developed but was not used in a active combat role itself). This design proved to be successful, with two versions being produced - the Mk1 (based on a Ram hull) and the Mk II (based on a Canadian built Sherman hull - the Grizzly). A total of 2,150 of these vehicles were produced for the British and other Commonwealth armies. The name Sexton was chosen to continue the religious theme of the Priests these vehicles were based on (and previous SPG's such as the Deacon). The Sexton continued in operational use until 1956!

As usual, these vehicles have the relevant unit markings on them - with the exception of the gun battery specific markings (normally blue boxes with one quarter red, the quarter changing depending on the guns number within the battery, along with a letter and number combo). Bridge Classification on these SPGs are 27, and the AoS decal is a red over blue box with a white 76. On the front right is the Polish 1st Armoured 'winged hussar' symbol, while on the rear is the AoS box, the winged hussar symbol and the white oblong with 'PL' in black lettering. All decals came from Doms Decals. I also applied a small allied circle to the lover front hull, as there was no decent flat surface to put them on to be visible from above. 

On the sides of the hull are a medium sized white star, along with the WD numbers (starting with the letter S for a self propelled gun). 

The crew were painted separately and glued into place once the vehicle was completed. The FoW website actually has images with 4 crew in the vehicle, one of which is sitting on the gunners chair. However the article mentions that there were added by the painter and are not part of the kit - which is a shame!

Stowage was added as normal, being a mix of Battlefront, Peter Pig and Skytrex. 

I've already completed the OP tank for this unit, so just the (soon to be made obsolete in V4) command and staff teams to do. 

I also have some small fixes to do - adding some darker static grass to the rear of the base to show the tracks passage, and adding some spent shell casings as well. These will come later once I'm on track with the rest of Gunuary and the AHPC. 

Next up, the limbered 17 Pdrs and then the 5.5" guns - which are more or less done but need crew painting.