Friday, 29 June 2018

Holidays 2018 - Dorset and Wales

Hi folks,

Sorry for the lack of posting recently, I've been off gallivanting around the south of England and the middle of Wales!

Hobby wise, I had the chance to pick up the new Team Yankee book 'Free Nations' as well as a few FoW bits and bobs which have been sequestered away by the lady wife for my birthday. I also managed to pick up a few interesting books - 'Fighting the Invasion', which is full of translated German reports relating to D-Day and 'Assault Crossing', which covers the 49th Wessex Divisions crossing of the Seine. '6 Armies in Normandy' is also interesting, covering the perspective of various forces fighting in Normandy. From the Tank Museum, I also picked up some copies of documents regarding my grandfathers regiment and a book about modelling Sherman tanks.

Hobby wise, as usual I took along some stuff to build - having first asked permission! I find that taking some stuff with me to assemble in an evening means I then don't have to spent as much time building models at home when I could be painting them...

German halftracks from PSC and Battlefront (the Battlefront ones were by far the easier to assemble). 4 of the PSC ones are built as 'Stummels' using the PSC upgrade kit, while one is built as a 'standard' 251/1D transport. Two of the PSC ones will be HMG carriers while the other two have been upgraded to Mortar carriers, again using the PSC upgrade sprues.

Another 5 German Panzer IV's, from PSC, And a single Tiger, also from PSC. All now filed away awaiting their turn in the painting queue. Having just painted 12 Panzer IV's I do feel like I should start on those I've just built, but at the same time I'm a pit sick of painting Panzer IV's and I've still got German armour in the painting queue currently!

Locations wise, I got to spend a day in the archives at the Tank Museum and Bovington as well as a visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovil.

I also stumbled across a 'vintage vehicle rally' which had a load of WW2 stuff:

And a couple of random plinths in some of the seaside villages we visited:

As well as the obligatory Welsh castle - which also included an ECW battlefield:

View of the Battlefield site from the castle grounds

All that remains of the castle...
 And with views like this:

It's easy to see why someone would build a Castle up there in the first place! It offered views into both England and Wales, I understand.

I also saw a load of these both on the ground and in the air:

As well as F-15's, V-22 Ospreys, Chinooks and Hawks in flight over Wales and Dorset.

Other than the hobby and military stuff (which is, as usual, my main focus when it's about), we had a lovely time in both countries, with the weather being amazing in the second week and the only failing of the Welsh holiday home being the internet - but it had a pool and a hottub, which made up for that slightly. It was also set in a very rural location up on a hillside with some stunning views. We travelled a lot to the seaside, ate bucket loads of ice cream and tried to keep cool! Great couple of weeks!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Finished: Command Panzer IV's and Flakpanzer 38t's

Hi folks,

Better progress with painting in the last week or so, with four tanks finished in this week. I've also managed to get the next two on the modelling table - a couple of Brummbars. I may also add my German radio truck, but will have to sort out figures to go around that.

These finished models are again for 12th SS Panzer Division.

First up, my two command tanks for my Panzer Companie. This time around, these are Battlefront models, which scale pretty well with the PSC ones. They do have slightly different hull shapes, but I am happy enough using these as my HQ vehicles. Again, some seafoam branches were applied - I've a new method of doing this, using gloss varnish instead of superglue, and matt varnishing before I put the leaves on. This sped the process up and seems to bond the branches well to the hulls.

These are numbered 704 and 705. 705 is actually the commander, while 704 is the 2ic.

To provide some cover from the dreaded Jabos, I've also got a couple of dinky little Battlefront Flakpanzer 38t's.

These are un-numbered, as I could find no decent info on what markings they should have. Online searches showed possibly the number 12 in use, but no context or confirmation that the vehicle shown was even 12th SS.

Gun crews received some greenstuff on their helmets, to make them the SS covered style. A small amount of stowage and some tree branches finishes them off. As usual, I also mixed up the uniforms, so they have a mix of Heer and various SS camo patterns.

Only the Brummbars, 3 Stugs, 5 Panthers, the radio truck and 3 Kubelwagons to do of the planned German stuff, so progress is being made!

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Somewhere in Normandy.... 4th Ed FoW Historical (ish) game

Hi folks,

Dave and Martin have already got posts up showing off this game, so I thought I had better put my pic's up before I forget.

We used the 4th edition Flames of War rules, with my usual few tweaks for random events using tiddly winks, and a little bit of 'roleplay' thrown in - were we tend to do things which make sense rather than strictly follow the rules (we would apply this to any game, not just FoW). Basically for this game I was being the 'Gamesmaster' and controlling the dastardly Germans while Martin played the plucky British Para's and Dave played the swaggering Yanks.

Terrain was a mix of what Dave had and some stuff I brought - mainly hedges from me.

Bottom end of the town

Top end of the town and the bridge

Road into the town, where the Yanks will be advancing

The table looked pretty sweet, we did our best to make it nice and busy.

Wider view of the table

Some wider shots of the town. The Para's had to conduct a night attack on the town, while during daylight the Yanks had to attack up the roads to relieve them. 'Hold until relieved...'

View of the 2nd, wooden, bridge

The game started with a few turns of night time fighting, while the Para's attempted to secure the whole town.

The muzzle flash tokens show what bases have fired at night

Para's use smoke to reduce incoming MG fire

A bit of a mixed melee around the town, with the wooden bridge defenders forming an all round defence. 

2cm German AA holds one end of the bridge, along with German infantry in the other buildings. Para's secure the end closest to the camera. 

Some of the Para units around the town didn't do too much for the game...

Smoke on the German MG42's holding the wooden bridge. 
Fighting rages around the town

However, all the buildings on this side are secured by the Para's

Para's moving up the road to help - German reinforcements came in randomly all over the board, which resulted in some odd situations
Such as a platoon of Panzer IV's rocking up in the rear - thankfully intercepted by some Para stragglers which included a couple of PIAT teams and Gammon Bomb armed Para's. When daylight broke, it revealed a battery of German 10.5cm guns firing on the advancing Yanks. 
Meanwhile, the Para's tee up to try and take the bridge, relying on a wide flanking move. 

The lead two Panzer IV's drive into a Para ambush, the others break around in the close terrain

The Yank recce makes progress up the road, encountering German ambushers on the way. 
The Bridge remains just out of reach...

Those Yanks better hurry up!

But there are a lot of Para's lurking in these hedgerows...

Different focus, showing the terrain from a different angle. 

P-47 doing some sterling work dealing with surprise StuGs!

Great game, lots of randomness going on and the table looked cracking. Great to get newly painted stuff on the board - it was both the Para's and the Yank's first outing, with my German tanks getting their first showing as well.

Hopefully, we'll get some more games soon!