Sunday, 21 July 2013

Lanark Wargames Club

Now it's getting out of the summer holidays time, I thought I would post about this.

Up until recently I spent most weekends with my son and missed my 'local' wargames club down in Law ( As such, I had thought a bit about a weeknight club in Lanark.

I took the step of finding out about possible locations to hold a club, and there do seem to be some options. My schedule means I couldn't attend anything on a Wednesday night, so I have been trying to drum up some interest from those people that attend the Law club.

The basic idea is to get ideally 6 to 8 people who would be interested in coming along once a week or once a fortnight. I'm looking at hiring a venue from maybe 6.30pm or 7pm till 9.30pm or 10pm. Ideally on a Tuesday or Thursday night.

If you are interested, or know anyone who might be, please leave a wee message in the comments below!

Julys progress

Not many posts recently mainly due to me not making much progress other than assembly. The Steam Summer sale and a great deal of Fallout 3 has not helped either.

Anyway, I have done a bit of work prepping. I now have all the various gun and vehicle crews ready on their lollipop sticks. Priming may follow shortly...

Vehicle wise I have spent a bit of time adding stowage. I still need the finer chain for my Sherman Crabs (I ordered these on the 11th of June from White Ensign Models, and still no sign of them - I have now asked them if I will have the chain by the 1st of August else I want a refund).

Stuff I am trying to get (and I will be looking for at Claymore on the 3rd of August) includes some spray primer, some upright PIAT gunners for my Universal Carriers (I need 3) and possibly some fine chain for my flails. Stuff I would love to see at the bring and buy would include Sherman I's, Churchill Crocodiles, 25 pounders.. although currently my 'waiting to be painted' shelf looks like this:

Sorry about the blur

Here you can see the Plastic Soldier Company M5 Halftracks all built.

And these pics don't include the other 10 Universal Carriers or 5 strips of UC crews...

One weird thing I noticed recently - I now have 6 'de-frocked' Priest APC's. They all came from Battlefront, all came from the same packs, and yet they all seem to be slightly different sizes. Not sure how they have managed that!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Everyone has baggage!

Having spent the last week hiding from the scorching sunshine, I spent some time working on the models I have got assembled so far. The next step has been putting the various stowage and extra Armour on. I've not seen a huge number of pics of Skytrex 15mm stowage on the web, so I thought I would post my progress so far.

Sherman I's (M4's) with some extra armour in the form of spare tracks and spare bogey wheels. Also, a couple of rolls of baggage.

Close up of the Shermans.

Close up of the Shermans.

Rear decks. This time I took a lot of time thinking about where the decals would be going, and tried to avoid putting anything in the same place.

De-frocked priests - I didn't do much to these two as I had done nothing to the others. I may paint up some baggage to attach so the six of them all look the same.

Humber LRC recon vehicles with some extra little bits. These guys were effectively high powered saloon cars with armour on them. However, they were so successful that they remained in service all through WW2 and even  served after the war.

Other side of the LRC. These guys are armed with a Bren light machine gun on the roof and a Boys Anti Tank rifle in the hull. Pretty light weaponry by late war standards, but still useful.

Daimler I's. Some of the baggage I bent using some needle nosed modelling pliers - this means they fitted better on the wheel rims and rear deck.

Rear decking of the Daimlers. I'm tempted to use some greenstuff as well as I think these could be detailed out a bit more. All the roof hatches are open as in true recon style, all the commanders will have their heads out.

Sherman Crab (M4A4 Sherman with a frontal flail attachment for clearing mines - I'm still waiting on the chain for the drum. The Battlefront one seemed too chunky for the model). I left the front hull clean but added a little to the rear deck.

As these tanks had the job of clearing minefields, they had several ways of marking the cleared paths. The protruding L shaped bits on the back corners are guiding lights so following vehicles can follow. The boxes on the sides of the hulls were filled with powdered chalk that would trickle out as the tank flailed the ground marking the sides of the cleared path.

Universal Carriers - these are the Forged in Battle minis that came with quite a lot of baggage already cast on them, which I really like. I have 4 of them with .50cals, 4 with extra hull mounted machine guns (.30cals and Brens) and 4 that are plain. I want to add Piats to the 4 plain ones but need a good way of showing them - and I've come up with nothing so far.

AVRE Churchills. I have to say I am surprised how much I like these models. I would seriously consider a Churchill based armored unit at some point in the future.

Rear of the Churchills.

40mm Bofors AA guns. Spot the home made sights.

Close up of the gun-sights.

Oddly dark picture of my two Loyds carriers.

Another view of the Universal Carriers.
One thing you might note it the lack of crew and hatches on the vehicles. I've still to decide on these for the units, and the crews will be painted separately.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Skytrex Sherman Tank Stowage (Part 1)

Building the plastic Sherman V's I got with with the old open fire boxed set, I enjoyed adding the various bits and bobs on the sprues to the tanks. As well as green stuffing up my own stowage. From my reading and studying many pictures, I think that any vehicle crew living and fighting from their mounts will cover said mounts in bags, crates and extra armour where possible.

The down side of getting the resin Sherman I's is that the packs contain no stowage options. This means the tanks would look very 'clean'.

I had a look about online, and discovered that Skytex did Universal Stowage Packs in 15mm. I also wanted to get some more vehicle crews (specifically, for my Recce unit) so ordered a pack of their tank commanders. I also ordered some of their wounded Brits, mainly for future modelling opportunities.

Universal Stowage. Jerry cans, camo net bundles, barrels and bedding rolls.

Tracks + MG's from one side.

Tracks + MG's from the other side. You can see here some of the spare track segments, MG's and spare wheels for the tracks.

Tank commanders. Some of them in rather dubious poses. I like the variety in jackets and headgear.

Wounded Brits and stretcher bearers.

2 sizes of barrels, various rolls of canvas/bedding, jerry cans, wooden cases and camo netting.

These are currently being tidies up prior to me starting to put them on the tanks. Lots of .30 cal and .50 cal MG's as well. One thing I am always doubtful about is putting the MG's on tanks, as I don't think it was something that was widely practised in the British Army. However, it may be a disadvantage in Flames of War...

More to follow, once these parts are on tanks!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Battlefront Customer Service (part 2)

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about some issues I had with one of the packs of Sherman I's I bought at Wappinshaw. The pack contained 2 left hand side track units.

I sent an email to Battlefront Customer Services, and two days later received a replacement part. Brilliant I though. The part needed some trimming to fit, but I got that sorted, glued the tracks on and...

Spot the difference - the replacement (right hand side) track unit is bulkier and has a different tread pattern.

This picture shows the different tread pattern for the replacement (top) and the slightly different lengths.
So I replied to the email i had got from BF, telling the story and sent them these pictures. . It was thought that the difference in track unit were due to the top one being for an American M4.  I got an apology and again a day or so later received another replacement.

Great, thinks I. The part is the same tread pattern and has the correct fitting for the tank... then I realise its a left hand side tread. D'oh!

At this point, I'm scared that BF customer service thinks I am trying to build Shermans from replacement parts. I dropped the chap I had been dealing with another email explaining that yes, it was the correct part but that it was for the wrong side.  I also offered to return the extra left hand track units I now had!

Today, a package arrived with a correct right hand side track unit. The pack also contained a whole replacement Sherman I pack. 

So here's a wee pic of the whole collection. 1 correct and 1 incorrect right hand track unit, 3 correct left hand track units and one complete Sherman I (with plastic track units). 

All in all though, BF customer service has been top notch and has shown me that the models may seem to be slightly more expensive than some of the producers out there, but their standard of service is really top notch. A big thank you to Mikolaj at Battlefront for all his help sorting this out.

Battlefront Customer Services details for replacement parts can be found here.

Monday, 1 July 2013

15mm Daimler a/c and Doms Decals

Some more quick pics from the stuff I had been putting together before my holiday Jaunt. I picked up 3 packs of Daimler I's (BR311). The 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps were the recce regiment of the 51st Highland Division. They were a little bit of an oddity as they used the Daimler armoured cars while most other recce regiments still used the Humber's. The Daimler is considered to be one of the best British fighting vehicles of the war, and remained in service up until the 1960's.

These were used alongside Humber III LRC (Light Recon Car). 

To go along with these I also picked up some new decals from Doms Decals. I was missing the British Infantry Divisions recon tac signs, so I have now got some. I also picked up some 79th Armoured Division badges and some tac signs for my AVRE Churchills. To complete what I need for my flails, I also got some standard Armoured Brigade tac signs. I have had some issues tracking down the numbers the AVRE's should have.

Doms Decals also have the bridge weight circles for the various vehicles that would make up the units that the tac signs could be attributed to - and a list of which bridge weight goes with which vehicle. Very useful! 

I've not got any to compare, but from the Battlefront FoW decals I have seen - these are more to scale. The FoW official decals looked like they were more 20mm or 1/72 than 15mm.

Custom orders from Warbases

Back from Wales and starting to thing about all these models I've got to paint! *Gulp*

One of the things that was waiting on my when I got home was an order from Warbases - a Scottish company that I have used previously for bases.

The laser cut wooden bases are the same size as the Battlefront ones, only lacking the sloping edges of the plastic ones. I try to group the bases by unit (so my artillery all uses the wooden Warbases bases, etc), so the difference isn't too big a deal.

So, my custom orders then. The first thing was that I liked the look of the plastic FoW movement template, but didn't want to fork out the money for an actual FoW one. Same with the artillery template. So I dropped Warbases an email, and this is the end result:

Warbases also offered to do these in clear acrylic for a little more, but I was happy with the laser cut wood. These were £2.50 for the measuring template and £2.25 for the artillery template. They very very kindly added the etched distances on the measuring template off their own backs.

Next came a realisation that the large bases I had wouldn't fit my Sherman Crabs (Flails). So again, a little custom order:

Behind you can see the regular large bases. I'm still waiting on the chain I ordered for the Flails, as I'm not convinced that the chain that is provided is the correct scale for the tank.

So, some great customer service, fantastic prices and quick delivery. Warbases comes highly recommended!