Sunday, December 13, 2020

Bi-weekly update

 This weeks completed painting is another divison for the 1813 project. This time its the 39th division from the Confederation of the Rhine with a brigade from Baden and the other from Hesse.

No Divisional comand stand as I'm currently out  of round cut bases. 

Other projects that have come tocompetion over the last week.

A couple of months ago while looking for some ice-cream I discoverd 3kg of plums in the freezer from last seasons crop (you run out of things do do when you have 35kg of plums). So plum wine it was. After 4 weeks in the fermenter it was time to bottle it. Just to try something different I've done 1/2 of it as a sparkling wine. what was left of the plum pulp was used to make a plum saison beer (which is also quite nice).

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

On the Bench

Another month and another update.

This last month I've been painting more of Napoleons allies for my ongoing 1813 project.

First up is the Wurttemberg 38th division of 2 brigades. The Wurttemberg infantry were among the best of the Confederation of the Rhine troops.

Next is the Polish Dutchy of Warsaw VIII corps. The Poles were among the strongest supporters of Napoleon as they viewed him as the best chance of an independent Poland. The infantry contingent contained the Vistula legion previously in French service.

The artillery was a progression of cock ups. First up I ordered the artillery crews from the Polish range in Czapka which the artillery replaced with the Shako in 1810. As there's no quick way to replace them (with the curent Baccus ordering setup) I used the figures anyway. I also painted up some horse artillery using French Guard horse artillery. I also grabbed a set of artillery limbers and horse teams from the pack and painted and based them. Of course I completely forgot that I needed 2 limbers and teams for the scond artillery battalion for the other division.

I suppose I can always use them as corps troops. Next order to Baccus I will have to order the correct replacements.

The cavalry so far. A brigade of Uhlans (using the Imperial guard figures as I had them sitting round spare) and the Polish Cuirassiers with light lancer support.

The Corps commader Poniatowski and a couple of ADC's. Poniatowski was the only non French marshal created by Napoleon, even if he only got to enjoy it for 3 days.

 The 1813 campaign saw the end of an independed Poland for over a centry untill the end of WW1. 

With this lot off the painting table I now have to decide whats next. I have 2/3rds of the Middle guard (for some odd reason Bacus sell these guys and no other formed infantry in 48's rather than 96's) which punts them down the list a bit. Theres also the figures for the 39th German division of Baden and Hessians on hand. 

Or I could start on the Prussians.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A request

 I was asked on a mailing list for some close up pictures of my Russian WW2 cavalry. Flicking back through the blog to find the pictures  I discovered that I had not taken any. So here we go. I apologise for the painting in advance

 3 stands of Cossacks (H&R SR05)

Russian cavalry in helmets (H&R SR04)
Part of the cavalry divison tank battalion. I thought tank riders would suit this quite well (T34 is H&R S08A)
Tank battalion command unit. The truck with troops and flag is from the Irregular Spanish civil war range.
A rarity. A divisional command stand on table. The cart is also from Irregular.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

On the bench

 A "second" Sunday update (it being a holiday and all) I thought it was time to update whats been across my workbench in the last month. First up was the finish for the moment of the 1:600 aircraft replacement project (as I just got tired of it ).

Not everything based but mostly started. The Russian heicopters need completing but that waits for a second order the Mr Page is waiting on.
And the pile that its replacing...

Theres an interesting historical mix of manufacturers here. Heroics and Ros, some old NZ military minatures models (my, they were nice), a couple of Skytrex, some GHQ and local cast GHQ ripoffs and one that completey escapes me whic is saying something (a variable sweep wing Mig 23). This doesn't count the helicopters. All to eventually go on Trademe (uness anyone makes me an offer, money or trade, for any of the bits. I'm happy to split it off).

With this workbench out of the way I went to some IHMN figures. I had brought a pack of Perry Mahdist infantry a while back to provide the cheap cultists/filler that any evil gang needs. Plus they were 40 figures for 20 quid which is about what you want to pay for expendables. I had never assembled  any sort of multipose figures before  and its taken me a while to get into it (not just weapons but heads too). With all the options I eventually simplified it standising on the clothes and weapons. A first group was done with swords backed up by some guys with rifles.

The problem with the boxes like this is that theres only so many weapons, so at this point I was out of sword arms. It was then onto the spears and shields.

Finally, with the impending opening of the Baccus cart again (and with Heroics and Ros still sort of open, but not with my complete needs for any MSH projects) it was time to get back into the Napoleonics pile. First up off the blocks was the Wurtemberg contingent. By good management or good luck they were still a full division by Liepzig at the end of 1813 so its only 100 infantry with artillery and commanders.

I'm not quite sure what I am ordering next but given that the last order I made was on August the 13th, and its being cast this week (so I shoudl see it by December) I'm now ordering figures for Febuaray next year. Such is the current way of the world.

Sunday, October 18, 2020


 I was having a bit of a hunt through the back-blocks of my hard drive today and came across a TOE for Russian airborn units published by those nice chaps at the Army Infantry School in Fort Benning. Its part of ST 7-198 FY 84. N this is a handy document as I am rather sceptical of the TOE's that I have seen. Now I suppose I should hold any information from the 80's with a grain of salt as information on TOE's was very hard to come by (even more so at the arse end of the world). However the official TOE's for MSH are in places not much better (British anyone?)

Now I must admit that I have some misgivings about bits of it which I'll address at the end.

Divisional HQ     HQ infantry stand.

                            2 BRDM-2

Support regiment

            Artillery regiment 4 x D-30 122mm

            Artillery regiment 4 x BM-14/GAZ66

            AT battalion 4 x ASU-85

1 BMD regiment    HQ in BMD

                                1 BRDM-2

Mortar battery     1 x 120mm Mortar/GAZ66

AA battery           1 x 23mm AA /GAZ66

AT battery             2 x BRDM 2S/BRDM 3

3 Battalions    HQ in BMD

                    3 companies 2 BMD-1 

2 Parachute Regiments HQ infantry stand 

BMD coy 2 BMD-1

Mortar battery     1 x 120mm Mortar/GAZ66

AA battery           1 x 23mm AA /GAZ66

AT battery            1 x SD-85/GAZ66

3 Battalions          HQ stand 

                    3 companies 3 Inf stands

                                         1 SPG9

                    3 companies 3 SPG9

                                         2 AT3/AT4

Man the formatting for the new blogger is rubbish for something like this.

So issues I do have is a lack of regiment/battalion recce elements, engineering stands and 82mm mortars. The 82mm mortars might be replaced by SPG-9's as they would be easier to cart round than a mortar baseplate. 

Now oddly enough the airborne units that I have modeled seem to be from another source which from what I can tell was Jake Collins old site.

First up the parachute units. This appears to be a BHQ, 3 companies of 2 platoons, an 82mm and 120mm Mortar, an SA-7 and 2 AT stabds (mixed SPG9 and AT-4).

The BMD battalion is BMD comand (BMD-KSH), 3 compaies of 2 platoons, plus an 82mm motar and a 30mm GL

To cap this whole story off I have another TOE for 1979 in one of those annoying "every vehicle represented by a sillouete" which doesn't give numbers (which counting 30 trucks is just daft) or platoon/squad breakdowns. it also has some really odd stuff of which I'll give 2 examples;

-BMD companies have an extra platoon with SPG-9 in trucks. now why if you have 10 73mm guns would you want another 3 that are unarmoured?

-The Regiment has a battery of ASU-57, when these were phased out in the mid 1970's

So, a bit of a mess really, and no clear winners.

I'll leave you all with a picture of my ASU-85 battaion, possibly the worst idea anyAFV  designer could come up with.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Luftwaffe done

 A change from Napoleonics this weekend as I got the soldering iron out and based the SH German air support. First up, the FW190's. Again 4 on a base which is easier when the models are so small.

Cannon armed Stukas, only 2 to a stand this time round.

So why not mix the 2. And if 4 is good, surely 5 is better. Rudel makes an appearence with his backup band.

Finally I had a crack at mounting the basic Stuka's in some imitation of a dive bombing attack formation.

I'm not sure about this but given the limits of the base size it will have to do.

I also had a near first when I dropped an FW-190 under the modeling table. Its the first time I've thought that I have lost a model in quite a long time and it took a hard 10 minute search to find it.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Friday again

Well, after promising more regular updates, I've then gone and had 2 weeks off. Its a bit like having a GANTT chart at work, which are designed to give managers the ilusion that they are in control when the people following them know that they are obsolete the minute they are done and printed.

Anyway, in the last 2 weeks I've been working on the buildings for IHMN which are coming along but which have developed into a lot of work as they are just so nice. After a week of that I then went back to the Imperial guard to finish up the Chaseurs. For some odd reason this has taken much longer than I expected. However its all done now and the division is complete.

The old Guard

With this division done I've moved onto the Wurtemberg division from 1813. Hopefully this won't grind on quite so long.

And if I didn't have enough to paint sitting round at the moment, I've been pondering a "small" and a "big" project as well.

The small project is an addition to my MSH Warsaw pact forces. I currently don't own a BTR-60 regiment which I could use for either East Germans or Russians from the late 60's to the end of the cold war. Plus I think I can cover the support units from the spares I have lying around.. Polish marines would be nice but I would have to buy Danes as well and that starts being a "big" project.

The big project is a result of my purchase of the DBA V3 rules. I've only ever had the V2.2 rules but a visit to Book depository a couple of weeks back saw this wind up in my cart. I've always wanted to do a campaign set of armies in 6mm on the 25mm bases. And while I have an interest in western european armies of the 15th century, I already have more than enough 15mm elements for anything that I might desire doing. Other possibilities would be something based around the Ottomans or the later Crusades So I'm now waiting for the package to turn up t see just what tickels my fancy so to speak.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Interesting listening

 This postcast has an Interview withh Andy from Heroics and Ros. Its quite interesting on a number of levels. I was always worried how he was doing, but expanding the buisness 4 times since he has owned it he must be doing something right.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Friday night

 I'm going to start doing a friday-ish night update ofwhat I've been working on for the week. So without further ado let the slideshow begin.

Carrying on with the air support replacement project I've been painting Germans this week.

FW 190's
FW190's. I never realised they were so small.

A collection of Stukas
A wargaming cliche

The last photo comes from a story in "Stuka Pilot". Rudel writes that when his wing was re-equiped with FW190's they continued to fly cannon armed Stukas as well, though frequenty he was the only one flying them.

I have to sit down this weekend and do some soldering.

I aso finished up one of the P47 stands.

Makes a bit more sense now

I like the look though I'm not sure a large radial engine would toss out so much smoke. Now a delicate little P51......

The Imperial guard grenadiers got a flock and some flags.

I was having an e-mail chat with Mr Page this afternoon (slow Friday at work where I had several things to do, but not the kit or time to do them at the end of the week). He commeneted that next years project was rebasing his MSH stuff on 2mm laser cut MDF. For a moment I thought "wow that would be nice", then the pratical side of the brain pointed out just how many stands that might be. Initially the count was "lots" but then I wondered just how many stands it was. A quick guess was 1500 for both SH and MSH. 

After tea tonight I went into the room and had a quick approximate tally up and came up with a number of 2000 stands. And I was about to add that here when I remembered I had missed a box entirely.


Sunday, August 16, 2020

A bit of history

 One of the bonuses of getting a new phone is having access to the internet. Over the last 3-4 weeks I have started listening to some Podcasts from Gods Own Scale which has some interesting ramblings about wargaming wih the main aim being to promote 6mm wargaming. Theres even an episode chatting to Robert Dunlop who is a proponent of Great War Spearhead (which I really must have a go at). However I'm going to comment on his line which is "Keep talking about 6". I've noticed over the years (and moreso in the last 10 or so) that more people have noticed that you can play games in the more "pretty" periods of history that don't look like its a pub stoush on a Saturday night. Us 20th century "treadheads", as I think the owner of Baccus minatures once referred to us, worked out that 6mm was an ideal scale a lot longer ago, probably as its more convenient to fling sharp bits of metal 2000m at objects without it looking silly on a 6 by 4. Having a look through my collection last night I came up with these guys.

These were some of the first 6mm minatures I purchased back in 1983 and were fighting the cold war when it was Ultra-Modern. Still in their original paintjob which wasn't that bad for a 15 year old. They have survived being unbased due to a younger me baking the first layer of paint on; 200C in an oven for 10 minutes. It stinks and be very careful about the mix of metal that is used (lead doesn't melt at this temp, but I'm not sure about pewter). I also have in my collection Russians purchased before the colapse of the Soviet Union. So technically I've been talking about 6 for over 35 years. 

On the other hand, here's some figures on the painting bench this morning just after basing. There comes a time in every Napoleonic gamers life where he has to paint the French Imperial Guard. I have held off for a long time, but playing the campaigns of 1813 and 1814 means that unfortunately you just have to have these guys in the box. This week I've painted the Greanadiers, and am now starting on the Chasseurs.

In the last couple of weeks I painted most of the cavalry.

Front base is the 1st and 2nd lancers and behind is the Horse Grenadiers and Empress Dragoons. I've also done the Chassers de Cheval. Oddly enough I in the last couple of Baccus orders I forgot the Middle guard figures and so these were ordered during the last Baccus open cart session. Oh and if anyone has an interest in the spare figures that I haven't used (36 Horse Grenadiers anyone?) drop me a line.

After the Guardis finished I will probably start on the 3000 pts of Prussians curretly sitting in the sun. Theres a corps of Poles to do but it will be nice to have another opponent for the French.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

More modern air support

 As a follow up to the last post, Peter and I also went halves on some NATO aircraft sets. As part of my SH/MSH air support replacement program I got the following.

Front left to right Gazelle, Lynx and Harrier, back PAH-1, UH-1 and an out of focus Saab Draken (Danes). My Brits have never actually had any air support so I'm sure it will be apreciated.

Next up the Russians and more Helicopters.


L to R Mi-4 Hound, Mi-8 Hip and Mi-6 Hook with a Hind in the back to scale. Now I knew that the Mi-6 was big but this is just enormous. In teamYankee you would not be able to fire the length of the cargo bay. Oh and a Mig 21's as well.

Finally I could not resist his set after my reading on the air war over North Vietnam. A complete SA-2 battery complete wth the "Spoon Rest" early warning radar and "Fan Song" fire control radar.

 The "Spoon Rest" radar array is printed on acetate (though possibly a bit thicker might be nice). The "Fan Song" looks like it was invented by a mad scientist on a wild weekend bender. I'd hate to see it change direction quickly.

"It won't track the target".

" Then stick more radar dishes on it!"

Monday, August 10, 2020

More air support

 As part of my ongoing saga in replacing my SH and MSH air support I was having an e-mail discussion with Peter a coule of monts back. He was interested in buying some more 3mm aircraft (there is a bag of similar models in the Page strategic lead pile) but was not sure about buying packs of 8. My imediate reply was "so what are you interetsed in...". It turns out that great minds think alike and fools seldom differ (take your pick).

The offshoot was another order from Picoarmour. Again when it arrived I pondered the decontamination procedures and then remembered it had been in the post for nearly 4 weeks. I''ll split it into 2 posts with the first up being German air support. Now by late war this is rather optimistic but doesn't stop anyone collecting models does it.

So from left to right we have HS129's, Ju87G's, Ju87B's and some FW190D's. Again I.'m really impressed with the casting (the Stukas with 37mm are very nicely done) and I'm looking forward to painting them.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Back to Normality?

 Yesterday I participated in the rarest of events in these strange days, I went to a wargaming convention.

Call to Arms is the annual wargaming convention run by the Welington Warlords and due to its timing later in the year had not been blanketly cancelled. I had said yes to coming down several months ago. However I had forgotten what this entailed. Not in terms of game oganisation, but more from actual organisation. Out of bed at 5:45 for a 6:15 off. Sun rise south of Shannon and despite the procession of roadworks I was at the hall in Wellington by 8:20, beating my friends by 15 minutes.

 The game was WW2 Spearhead and featured an attack by the 6th Panzer division on a prepared Russian defence in July 1943. I can't tell you much else as I don't seem to have picked up the scenario notes.

The 3 battalions were in level 2 entrenchments with minefields in front. The black lengths represent anti-tank ditches.

I comanded the units on the right and Paul the units on the left. I had a halftrak panzer grenadiers and a tank battalion with a Tiger company in support. Peter had set up a simple but effective defensive belt. My motorcycle recon unit found the first minefield and I pushed the combat engineers forward to start clearing them. Meanwhile I tried to cover them with artillery and other fire. This failed on several counts. 1) its very hard to kill stands that are in level 2 entrenchments and 2) Throwing 1's and 2's does not call artillery in even if you are German. To cap it all off Peter had been making regular sacrifices to the dice gods over lockdown and my troops died under a hail of 6's. Who knew that 76mm artillery was so damn effective. 

 At this time Russian air support turned up. Now there are things that just go together, Rogers and Astair, peaches and cream and Sturmoviks and Tigers. Or maybe its like pheremones and one just attracts the other. Either way, the attack went in. Fortunately Pauls AA stepped up and drove them off.

I'm happy with how the 3mm aircraft look

While I slowly made inroads into the Russian numbers it wasn't enough and the Panzer Grenadiers broke just after the artillery finally turned up, running off leaving a pile of dead infantry and all the combat engineers.

 And with the AA protection gone (stripped off by Peters artillery) it was round 2 and this tme the Sturmoviks had their 3 pounds of flesh.

Oh well....

Paul was a bit more circumspect in his attack and took his time reducing the Russin infantry before dealing with the minefields. Finally the defenders on his flank were removed and his combat engineers moved forward to find....nothing.

Maybe recon by death does have some uses

With the gap now wide open Pauls troops swept in and started flanking the defenders. I also made ready to move forward on discovering that I too had no mines in front of me on the flank. My combat engineers had been spread out, but not far enough to find the gap. Peters only had 1/2 the number of minefields to cover the front and his poker playing skills were to the fore.

The Germans (well, what was left with them) swept through the gaps and tried to flank the second line of defence. However the Russian reserves turned up with elemenst from a tank corps (with 2 too many KV-1s).

A tank battle erupted at this point and with the Germans having no real space to maneuver it was a straight up slugfest. This was not going well for the Germans, and then the SU-152,s turned up (in front of Paul).

I lost a few more Pz IV's to Peters hot dice run and then we caalled the game as we ran out of time. It was nicely poised but I think that the russians probably had the upper hand with my 3 battalions all having taken a beating and Paul having had 1 battalion broken as well. We had aso not started on reducing the second line of defences. 

An excellent well balanced game. I will ask Peter where the scenario came from.

On other demo game caught my eye, a refight of Trafalgar using langton 1:1200 ships.

Battle about to be joined

Later in the day. The French and Spanish had tried to maneuver but struggled in the light winds.

So a very good day. It was nice to have a good game with a few laughs and also to catch up with a few people I had known in Wellington 15 years ago. I'm also well aware that we are very lucky that we get to meet up like this.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Streets of Venice home improvement.

Only a week late the second package from TTcombat turned up. The second pack was extras for the basic buildings. This was a collection of balconys and window gardens.

I'm not sure that I would stand on the trelise. The extras add a new gaming dimension to the buildings. Plus the laser cutting and assembly is top notch.
Another set purchased was a set of short walls. Again they are cleverely designed and go together really nicely.