Category Archives: 15mm Miniatures Wargames

This Used to be Such a Nice City …

Once the basecoat was dry, block colours followed, then black to outline the windows :



And a limited palette of  colours to provide depth …


This used to be a People’s Paradise *Sigh*




Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Modelling, WWII

Built-up Areas – Going all Tony Hart

Readers of a certain age will remember Vision-on and Tony Hart*. There have always been variations on a theme of Charles Grant’s ruined buildings (with or without the not-ruined covers), and the success of Graham and Phil’s built-up areas seen previously got me thinking about variations on the “rows of burned out windows”. I wanted to do  something like the cut out skylines that you see in collages of cityscapes. In other words, a profile with a bit of depth created by shading and layers to create the illusion of a city rather than a 1/100 bombed out building.

Still bemused? Here is the first cut using cork, card, basswood and thin marine ply :


Test for contrast :


And the first undercoat with added detail for the illusion of depth:


A bit of painting to follow …

There is a lot of good stuff around on blogs at the moment, so of course I can’t find the links that I just know are there :

Bob Cordery’s L-shaped buildings :

*Everyone else will just Thumble-it on their Smartphones


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Modelling, WWII

Men Looking Heroic in Trucks

More progress on the motor rifle infantry leaves them ready to play as Green troops in their first battle with a basecoat, ink wash and helmets painted. Faces and detail to follow.  Motor Rifle 3 My original Peter Pig trucks have had a drybrush of the Crafter’s Acrylic Cashmere that I have been using for the Soviets to produce the light stone colour that is sometimes seen on vehicles.

Motor Rifle 4Hopefully,  the authentic Soviet  ‘Posing Heroically in Trucks’ look has been nailed!




Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Infantry, Modelling, Soviet Army, Trucks, WWII


A major operation like KHARKOV ends with troops being pushed back into boxes willy-nilly. The organised chaps like Treb and Phil have labelled boxes with dividers and slots for their armies, but that takes away some of the random surprises that this campaign has generated, so I let a degree of chance dictate where some of the troops end up for the next battle.

KHARKOV highlighted the need for some more Soviet motor rifle troops mounted in trucks. I already have these splendid fellows :

Motor Rifle Troops 1

But a few more will free up my dismounted motor rifle troops to form more infantry divisions, of which I have too few. An hour profitably spent, sticking some of the excellent PSC Soviet infantry in summer uniforms into the back of a Zvezda Zil truck, produced this :

Motor Rifle Troops 2

I am a huge fan of the anatomical proportions of these sculpts, and less so of the newer late war British infantry, although I suspect that I am in the minority here. My motor rifle troops are mounted onto a card sabot, so that the truck can double as a logistic unit if required. Having introduced Phil to the idea of WW2 units on bases, and tanks with turrets glued on, he has now brought me around to the idea of not gluing loads into the back of trucks. If I’m not careful, I shall find myself yearning for rare earth magnets next :-)

On the plus side, some of my dodgier substitutes* are being pushed lower down the order of battle as the trend for more 15mm plastic continues. The kits are bringing some much-needed availability into the logistic train.

More Suspicious Substitutes - this time KVs

More Suspicious Substitutes – this time KVs

*As far as I am aware, the Soviets did not practice the German concept of Ersatz Fahrzeuge, so  Soviet substitutes are marked as Замена оборудования (zamena obrudovarnihya – replacement equipment). This comes straight from here and an online Bing translator, so I have no idea if the phrase is correct or not.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Infantry, Modelling, Trucks

Winter Offensive 1942 – Kharkov 4

Just when it seemed that the Soviet attack was losing momentum, this sight greeted General Kempf as he flew over his hard-pressed Panzers in his Fieseler Storch:


A hastily grouped Kamfgruppe was thrown into the path of the advancing Soviet breakthrough tank army in the hope that this would give the infantry divisions time to consolidate their positions in KHARKOV and DNEPROPETROVSK.

Kharkov_27The assault on KHARKOV was renewed by a regrouped 270 GR , reinforced with breakthrough artillery. at this point, after five hours play, spread over two evenings, the game drew to a close. The Axis forces had hung on to the key cities of KHARKOV and DNEPROPETROVSK …. just! Soviet armour was about to burst through the insubstantial screen thrown into its path.

Readers will have noticed the heavy and erratic hand of Soviet photographic censors throughout the pictoral coverage of this report, so I leave you with evidence that the occupiers of DNEPROPETROVSK had stripped the countryside bare and were furiously laying in supplies for a winter siege as the evening drew to a close.


For the German view of the battle, see Phil’s excellent Festung KHARKOV report here. For a more idealogically correct official history of the Great Patriotic War, see Graham’s considered report here. Don’t worry if the two reports are incompatible; it’s why they’re fighting!


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Hungarian Army, Land Battles, Soviet Army, Wehrmacht, WWII

Winter Offensive 1942 – Kharkov 3

As the second evening of this game started, reinforcements began to arrive for both sides: Command and control assets for the Axis* and more breakthrough armour for the Soviets. The following series of photographs illustrates the intense nature of the fighting all along the front. Despite continuous counter-attacks, the Germans were allowed no respite, and were pushed out of KHARKOV by 270GR.

Kharkov_20 Looking east, as the Hungarian 10th infantry division crumbles, 5th SS Panzer division moves to plug the gap opening to the south of KHARKOV.

Kharkov_21To the north of KHARKOV, 10Pz is assailed by 5 Shock Army It can be seen that KHARKOV has already succumbed to 270GR‘s ferocious assault.

Kharkov_22Stukas batter KHARKOV as armoured counterattacks close in to the outskirts of the city.

1 Pz Gruppe were not taking the loss of KHARKOV lying down, however. Ferocious counterattacks succeeded in dislodging the Soviet occupiers, but not without cost to both sides.

Kharkov_23270 GR are thrown back out of KHARKOV with heavy losses.

Any relief that 1 Pz Gruppe might have hoped to receive from XLIV Korps in the south was dashed by the developing Soviet offensive against DNEPROPETROVSK. Just as 51 Army had been halted by 9 Pz, the lead division of 28 Army entered the battle.

Kharkov_24The attack on DNEPROPETROVSK develops.

… to be continued.

* The two Sdkfz 263s that came directly from QRF arrived on the morning of the first game, a fortnight after ordering from a third party. A quick look at the castings told me that they were not stick and spray jobs. In the event, a lot of filing, filling and bending was needed to make the models presentable. I would imagine that the mould had not been spun for some time. Spot not one, but two Sdkfz 263s in the photo below.


Leave a comment

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames