Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Finished!: 1st troop of 24th Polish Lancers

Hi folks,

Not much more of an update than the one I posted on Friday! I managed to finish all of my Shermans for my first troop of A Squadron, the 24th Polish Lancer Regiment, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, 1st Polish Armoured Division...

Just some pictures, which hopefully show off my approach with these guys. I've tried to keep the stowage fairly tidy and uniform, as well as the use of track links on the front of the tank (other than the single tank with sandbags).

These are all 'rescued' open fire plastic Sherman V's, with a bit of TLC applied to hide gaps in the hulls, etc.

Oddly enough, while in Edinburgh at the weekend I came across this chap:

This Statue in Edinburgh of a Polish soldier and Wojtec the bear commemorates the Scottish connection with the Free Polish forces and Polish people. The inscription, touchingly, reads:

"In memory of the
Polish men and women 
who fought 
'For Your Freedom 
and Ours'"

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Finished! 3mm (1/600th) scale Team Yankee aircraft

Hi Folks,

Busy weekend, having been up in Edinburgh for my 'Stag'. Got a decent amount of time in the castle, so for a geek like me that counts as a good day!

Last week I finished these models which have been sitting partially completed for a while. These are part of my 3mm Team Yankee project and provide the air support for the Russian and American armies. Below are pictures of Mi-24 Hinds, SU-25's and A10's. Aircraft models are all from Tumbling Dice.

The Hinds I have based in pairs, as the pair is the smallest unit size for this helicopter. I'll do my Cobra's the same. I'm not sure how Heli's will work in my conversion - fighting wise they will be the same, but I'm not sure that unlimited movement will work with the reduced scales. I am concerned now as well that pairs might not work due to the salvo weapon system - but I guess each stand could just put down two templates. Perhaps single basing would be better? After all, the smallest unit of aircraft that can be bought is also 2, and I have based these individually.

In game these Hinds have Anti-tank and anti infantry/soft skin weapons. 2 Hinds cost 5 points and normally make up a support choice (games at 15mm are normally 100 points a side). 

Russian air heavy hitters, these SU-25 Frogfoots perform much like the A-10. In Team Yankee they appear on the table where you wish them to fire from, then are removed from the table once they have fired/been fired at. Unlike Flames of War, in Team Yankee casualties to this unit carry over between strikes. These aircraft have a powerful anti-tank missile system, a salvo rocket launching system and a 30mm gun (pick one weapon for the attack, not all firing on one attack run).

Bringing the brrrrrrrrrt down on Russian tank formations, these are the air support for the American forces in TY. Featuring it's famous 30mm gun, Maverick AT missiles and salvo template cluster bombs, these aircraft are the bane of grouped tank formations. Fortunately for the russkies, they have access to both gun, infantry and missile AA options!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Finished: British and Polish Shermans

Hi folks,

Another busy week, but I managed to progress a few things. Tank wise I'm waiting on 3 bases drying and I can get all of this batch done. As it stands I have finished (other than a couple of touch ups) my 144 RAC tanks and my Polish troop command tank.

For the 144 RAC tanks I painted:

3 x M4's (Sherman I's)
1 x M4 Composite with 75mm (Sherman I Hybrid)
1 x M4 Composite with OQF 17 Pounder (Sherman Ic Hybrid)

The turret numbers all match the correct allocations for the unit - so each troop will have the correct consecutive numbers. I'm pretty sure that the inclusion of the Hybrid Ic Firefly won't be correct for the time frame. I think these tanks became available later in the NWE campaign, certainly by the Ardennes offensive. However the unit did use them at some point and I'm happy (!!!) to let this one slip. It's a nice model and nice to see it compared to my home made 75mm Hybrid conversions.

As usual, two aerials and a commander signifies a troop leader. These tanks complete the 4th troop of the Squadron and provide the '3rd body' tank for the command troop as well.

Painting wise on these guys I toned down my edge highlights, used some of the weathering powders/wax and used my own mix of Magic Wash. I think the result is that these tanks are a bit lighter than some of the earlier ones - but I think now the unit is completed model wise, a bit of work is needed to unify the bases and hull painting techniques, as well as the decals on the turrets. I've decided, bases on mixed written and visual evidence (sources which say the unit did not use geometric Squadron markings vs film footage where the bloody tanks of the unit did have them) to leave some with and some without geometric hull markings. I think the unit may have deployed using them, but that replacement tanks wouldn't have them added.

My first Sherman Squadron is up to full strength!

Next up we have a Sherman M4A4 (Sherman V) of the 24th Polish Lancers Regiment, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, 1st Polish Armoured Division. This is the troop command tank, and the other 3 are done but awaiting the static grass drying before they can be based!

This tank was one of the plastic 'Open Fire' models that I rescued. The sand bags (yes, they are supposed to be sand bags...) on the front help cover some of the damage. I decided for the Polish tanks to add pennants to the command tanks aerials. These are made from a little bit of yogurt pot lid and I received a lot of good tips from Steve and Bill on the MMM Hangouts while trying to figure out how to do them. Thanks guys!

The .50cal was from the Plastic Soldier Company half track box, and all my Polish command tanks have a similar mount. I think it looks much better 'at rest' on this tank than sitting horizontally. The mould line on the front hull I really thought I had gotten rid of, but is shows up on the pics!

I tried to follow guides and reference pictures for the placement of the markings, again to make the tanks look authentic and give a bit of variation from my other Shermans. I think these tanks should have the rear turret Squadron marking on the sides of the hull, but sources vary and I don't have enough of the blue triangles, so I have left them for now. I may revisit in the future!

For the Poles I had considered messing with my usual basing colours. Using red and white flowers, rather than yellow and white, really appealed and seemed like it might be a nice touch. In the end I went with the same basing as my other units.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Busy Busy Busy - Sherman Progress

Hi Folks,

With one thing and another it's been two weeks since the last blog post - although those of you who follow me on Facebook will have seem more regular updates. It's currently 3 weeks till wedding day, and the last few weeks have been busy with family events. Last weekend I got to see my son for a few hours for the first time in over a year, which was great. I was in Inverary, a historic Scottish town, and managed to get a few pictures:

Hobby wise, I've been chipping away at the 9 Shermans I've been working on. Decals all done, aerials in place, just the finishing touches before matt varnish. I've had my usual issues with the Polish armour, being a bit unsure about where to put squadron markings. I've seen various pictures with various options and I think I am just going to stick with the rear turret only. I might revisit this in the future, but I don't have enough of the correct decals to do the whole lot currently (rear turret, side hull).  Unit wise I decided that the Poles would be the 24th Lancers Regiment - I like lancers!

So, some progress shots:

The Polish troop command tank is currently without aerials as I plan on putting a pennant on the aerial and my have to do this before I stick anything together. Whether to use a copy of an early war pennant or just a white and red pennant, I'm not sure. We shall see!

Image found online, used without permission.
Still to put together the bases for these tanks and grab some crew for the turret hatches. I should have some of those painted somewhere already.

I finished the German MG nests (resin models from Small Terrain Scenery), leaving me with only the minefields to sort out:

Purchase wise, I've received a 'Katy' Ambulance, a British radio truck and a tracked 17 Pounder tow vehicle (based on the hull of a Crusader tank, I think) - pictures below (sorry about the quality). I'll do a review on these properly once they are put together. I also got a final 2 limbered 17 Pounders (to add to the 2 I got from ebay months ago, allowing me to model the unit being towed) and a model of a Sherman ARV mk1 (the same model as I previously converted, but for my Poles).

Gaming wise I've managed to get along to the club again, making it to the second meeting. Unfortunately with wedding and honeymoon it will be a few weeks before I'm back.

This week there was some variety of games, with 3 tables set up. 1 was American Civil War naval (Smoke on the Water?), one was an ancients game using Hail Caesar and the 3rd was a 1000pt Flames of War game between me and Steve/Yorkie.

Mine and Steve's game was between my Jocks (as per usual) and a Grenadier list.


We set up random terrain - this was all my stuff and the first time a lot of it had been out of the packaging.

We rolled for a random mission, and got 'surrounded'. As I had the breaching group, I got 'Always Attacks', so Steve was defending. He deployed his forces, I deployed mine and we got to it. I think we made it to turn 4 before we had to call it, and the game could have gone either way. I lost most of my tanks and all my A/T guns, but I had two platoons of infantry moving into position, had killed all the A/T guns and things were looking positive.

Another great game and we are both still picking up the rules as we go. Hopefully we will get quicker and be able to finish a game in a night!

So that's a quick roundup from me. I'll try and get these Shermans done and pictures up before the wedding, but it may be a while before regular service resumes - although I do have permission to take my Cromwells on honeymoon for those quiet evenings that the Mrs to be wants to read. But that will just be assembly!