Aside from posting videos and laying out tables, I've been chipping away at the lead mountain. Having finished up a load of infantry recently, I fancied something a bit different. I've had a few ideas percolating in my brain for a while, regarding stuff I wanted to do for Battlegroup. The FoW v4 Scenario I ran earlier in the year opened my eyes to the possibility of including such units in those games as well, so I decided to put aside the infantry and move on to something that was a bit more of a diorama.
With regards to the RAP (Regimental Aid Post), there are not a lot of pictures out there of these operating in Normandy. I've read a few books which gave details of how these might be set up and run (mainly in the excellent 'Stout Hearts' book by Ben Kite), and saw a 20mm aid post done by the talented Piers Brand, before finally settling on something. I had read one account of a Regimental Aid Post set up in a field, which was subject to enemy fire. To protect the wounded and medics, some Universal Carriers were parked to offer cover. Combining this idea with the other images I had seen, I mocked up a base.
The plan was to use two Universal Carriers, a large base (initially the size of a beer coaster) and various casualty and medic figures I had. I eventually ordered a beer coaster sized laser cut MDF base from East Riding Miniatures in order to get the same thickness of base as I use elsewhere.
The end result was a aid post designed to be placed up against a hedge or building, which would give a decent representation while being tasteful.
I'm reasonably happy with the outcome. I had decided, based on other accounts, to use some of the dead figures I had - moving them to the other sides of the carriers away from the living. I've some medics, working to treat the wounded, and a couple of stretcher cases and walking wounded ready to be evacuated when the ambulance jeep next comes up. Some piles of supplies and the likes help dress up the base, and make it look a little more set up and planned. Another medic escorts a Jock carrying a wounded man into the post.
Both carriers have some camo netting on the outside facing - an attempt not to draw fire. I decided that a red cross wouldn't be represented here, but I might revisit - perhaps with a sign stood against one of the carriers.
My research into this area has opened my eyes to an aspect of the technical ability of the allied forces that I had missed in my previous reading. Stout Hearts has some excellent info on how the medical services in Normandy operated. The chain of treatment was pretty short, with most of the effort going into immediate triage, treatment and then evacuation. Within hours of being wounded a man could be on a flight back to England and a established hospital.
One story in Stout Hearts tells of an officer visiting an aid post to see some of his injured men. At the hospital he feels faint at the sights and sounds, and is invited to lay on a stretcher to recover. The exhausted Officer falls asleep - and wakes up being offloaded from a Dakota in England!
In addition to the aid post, I painted up a Forward Air Controller as an interim model. I'm pretty sure a Dingo is incorrect for this role, and it should be a Humber Scout Car or an LRC. I only had a Dingo to hand, so went with that for now. I've now ordered the special character set for the Guards which comes with the Humber and the M3 Scout Car with the RAF officer.
I've marked the Dingo up as a 154 Brigade HQ vehicle. I'd no cap wearing binocular figure left, so had to settle with a tin hatted RAF officer.
On call above, are three Typhoons - the one with propellers I painted a couple of years ago, and used as a template for the other two.
You can see from the bases that these are all different models! The two propeller less aircraft as Battlefront models - one white resin and one grey. Both vary slightly in size, which is apparent close together but not so apparent apart. The propellered aircraft is a MicroWings clip together plastic Typhoon 1b, which cost less than £3! Again, it varies in size, but not hugely. I have ordered BF bases so that all three will have the same base, as well as the extended length stands to get them a bit higher off the ground. I also did a little more weathering after these pics were taken.
I'd have loved to have them all the same, with the same squadron markings - but for now these will do!
Next in the painting queue, I've switched sides! I decided to crack on with my 5cm A/T guns for my Germans. I then added to this plan slightly:
5cm A/T guns, 7.5cm Infantry Guns, 2 and 3.7cm AA guns... might as well have something to shoot at Typhoons with!
I've also managed to finish some outbuildings and gates:
More on these later!