Category Archives: 15mm Miniatures Wargames

Well worth the wait – PSC kickstarter

L to R: PSC, PP, FoW 15mm 15cwt trucks

In Summer last year, I backed the PSC kickstarter, being particularly interested in the CMP gun tractor, for which no-one makes a kit. Cutting a long story short, they arrived this week, after a few emails. They were originally posted in November last year, but never reached me, thanks to the chaos surrounding the postal strike – thanks posties!

PSC CMP, Peter Pig, Flames of War

Will and Anita at PSC came up trumps, and were a pleasure to deal with. The kits themselves are well worth the wait, and have added some much-needed artillery to my collection. The CMP trucks will form the basis of brigade signal wagons for my infantry divisions in the Western Desert as I think that they may have tended to use soft-bodied 15cwt vehicles rather than the office-bodied Morris 15cwt that the RAF used. I am happy to be corrected on that assumption, but I have based it on my own experience of the RAF – they don’t like draughts when they are sitting on radio stag duty in the wee small hours 🙂

Based on appearances, the Piggie in the middle appears a little too short, and is a bit coarser in features, but all are good models.

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

Dominating the Enemy

cropped-banner1.jpg

Thinking back over the year just gone, it struck me that when players clash with the little lead chaps,  you often see a particular manoevre in close assaults. The attacking player will put his model half over the defender or the defences, to emphasise that he has broken into the position, and is about to overrun the enemy. He does this before a single die has been rolled, in the expectation that things will go his way.

2nd Tank Corps Break Into the Northern Advanced LineLook at the dancing Cossacks – things have gone their way!

This leaves the defender in somewhat of a quandry. Does one point out this ungentlemanly behaviour and seem peevish, or does one let it slide and invite the player to remove his overly-familiar troops when the attack fails?

KV1 of 16 Motor Rifle Corps Breaks inConfident KV-1 vs. a dug-in doorknocker

A good umpire will, of course, not allow this sort of untidy behaviour, and will invite the attacker to place his troops more decorously until he does actually win the firefight …. or not.

20th Panzer Grenadier Division is Attacked

An optimistic BA-10

As can be seen from the photographic evidence, I have not always been a good umpire, but to be fair to the players involved, I have had to illustrate this article with one or perhaps two Soviet-style propaganda shots!

Happy New Year!

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Filed under "Rules" Explanations, 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Land Battles, Wargames, WWII

More Tilting

Flatbeds are much more useful on the wargames table than trucks with covered canopies, but having overdosed on PSC 15mm Raupenschleppers the tinkerer in me thought,

“what would a tilt frame look like?”

Raupenschlepper Ost with Brass Wire Tilt

Here is the answer: For good measure, I added some canopy struts to one of the QRF  Bedford QLBs that had been assembled earlier. Now it is just crying out for a couple of scruffy gunners lounging in the back.

Bedford QLB with Brass Wire Tilt

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Artillery, Modelling, Trucks, Wehrmacht, Western Desert, WWII

Aussies – WIP

9th Australian Infantry Division

[A] batch of some 50 or 60 Australian prisoners were marched off close behind us—immensely big and powerful men, who without question represented an elite formation of the British Empire, a fact that was also evident in battle.*
—Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel, Commander, German Afrika Korps, Battle of Tobruk, 1941.

I’ve made a start on  9th Australian Infantry division. I already had one brigade of more-or-less fully painted Piggies (so Veteran troops then), and have added another from the PSC late war British infantry. All that I have managed to do so far is base them up, undercoat them, and add some black for boots and rifles – so green troops for the time being**. Progress has been slow, as on the 1:1 scale front, the garage is turning into a Man Cave (The Den is much too nice now and I have to wear slippers in there).

9th Division contained all the original volunteers and was of very high quality. 10th Division had a proportion of jailbirds in it, with correspondingly lower performance (cannot remember where I read that).

Box 005 Oct 2016

Major General Leslie Morshead

Comd staff car (C3), Ammo Truck (L3), POL Truck (L3), Ambulance (L3), Workshop Truck (L3)

Petrol Company Group

M3 Stuart (Honey)

  • 2/2nd Machine Gun Battalion (not modelled)

  • 2/3rd Pioneer Battalion

    • Truck (L3), Comd, 2 Pioneers (E3)
  • 2/7th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 2/8th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery (As Above)

  • 2/12th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery (As Above)

  • 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery

    • Universal Carrier (S3), 6pdr (S3)

6pdr and Universal Carrier

  • 4th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery

    • Morris Limber (s3), 40mm Bofors AA (s3) (or portee)

RHA

  • 2/3rd Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 2/7th Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers (As Above)

  • 2/13th Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers (As Above)

  • 2/4th Field Park Company, Royal Australian Engineers

    • Low loader (L3), D7 bulldozer (L3)
  • 9th Australian Division Signals

    • Signals truck (C3)
24th Australian Brigade

Brigadier Arthur H.L. Godfrey

Comd staff car (C3), signals van (C3)

  • 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion, Western Australia (WA)

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)

Australian Infantry Battalion

  • 2/32nd Australian Infantry Battalion, Victoria (Vic.)

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion, South Australia (SA)

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
26th Australian Brigade

Brigadier David A. Whitehead

Comd staff car (C3), signals van (C3)

  • 2/23rd Australian Infantry Battalion, Vic.

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 2/24th Australian Infantry Battalion, Vic.

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 2/48th Australian Infantry Battalion, SA

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
20th Australian Brigade   (As Above)

Brigadier H. Wrigley

  • 2/13th Australian Infantry Battalion, New South Wales (NSW)

  • 2/15th Australian Infantry Battalion, Queensland (Qld)

  • 2/17th Australian Infantry Battalion, NSW

* Miller, Ward (1986). The 9th Australian Division Versus the Africa Corps: An Infantry Division Against Tanks—Tobruk, Libya, 1941. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: US Army Command and Staff College. OCLC 14129655 Accessed in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Division_(Australia) [3 Nov 2016]

**The urge to add some captured Italian Bush Artillery and an M13 with Kangaroos on the side will prove irrisistable at some stage.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Infantry, Western Desert

Tyred Out

Marmon-Herrington Mk II

Tyres provide the modern wargamer with the equivalent of button painting. Every wheeled vehicle has at least four of them, often more, and don’t get me started on wheeled Wehrmacht Aufklärungs vehicles with eight wheels apiece, or panzers with rubber rims to their wheels!!

21PzTkRegt

there are some bright spots though: muddy tyres and tracks just need a wash or a dust over, and the 8th army were fond of roughly painting wheels to spill over onto the tyre itself. Excellent!

A range of options from “merely passable” to “If he’s paying attention to the tyres, he’s probably losing the battle” can be seen above and below.

Medium Tank Brigade (or an entire understrength tank coprs). Peter Pig and Old Glory UK

With its lend-lease transport and motorised AA, this must be a Guards Divisional HQI start by painting tyres black or charcoal grey. Some years later, they may get a drybrushed highlight in a lighter shade, or some mud or dust splashed over them. Visit Olicanalad or YesthatPhil to see properly painted tyres.

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4th Indian Infantry Division

The 4th Indian Infantry Division were old desert hands by the time of the battles at EL ALAMEIN. Here they are, having fought through solidly since GAZALA:

4th-indian-div

4th Indian Infantry Division

Major-General Francis Tuker (known widely as “Gertie”)

Comd in India Patt Carrier or Jeep (C3)

4th-indian-divisional-recce-regiment

  • 1st Field Regiment Royal Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 11th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 32nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 149th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • India Patt or Universal Carrier (S3), 6pdr (S3)
  • 57th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • Morris Limber (s3), 40mm Bofors AA (s3) (or portee)
  • 2nd Field Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 4th Field Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 12th Field Company, Madras Sappers and Miners

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 11th Field Park Company, Madras Sappers and Miners

    • Low Loader (L3), D7 bulldozer (L3)
  • 4th Indian Division Signals

    • Morris or Bedford Signals truck (C3)
5th Indian Infantry Brigade

Brigadier Dudley Russell

Comd in India Patt Carrier or Jeep (C3), signals van (C3)

  • 1/4th Battalion, Essex Regiment

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 4th (Outram’s) Battalion, 6th Rajputana Rifles

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)

British Indian army Inf Bn

  • 3rd (Queen Mary’s Own) Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
7th Indian Infantry Brigade

Brigadier Arthur Holworthy

Comd in India Patt Carrier (C3), signals van (C3)

61st Indian Infantry Brigade

Brigadier Francis E.C. Hughes

Comd India Patt Carrier (C3), signals van (C3)

Brit Inf Highland Bn WW2

argyll-and-sutherland-highlanders-tartan

By now, it will be obvious to even the most casual reader of this blog that I mix and match British desert infantry. A few turbans, Glengarries, Tam-o-Shanters and slouch hats mixed in with a lot of steel battle bowlers and berets make up the necessary numbers. I must get some of those splendid Kiwi scout hats to add to the mix.

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51st Highland Division

51st Highland Divisional Troops

Here is another iconic Western Desert division, if only for the seminal Airfix Universal Carrier and 6 pounder gun kit*  They arrived in time for the second battle of EL ALAMEIN

51st-infdiv

51st Highland Infantry Division

Major General Douglas Wimberley

Comd staff car (C3)

  • 126th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 127th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 128th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • FOO (O1), Quad limber (S3), 25pdr (S3)
  • 61st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • Universal Carrier (S3), 6pdr (S3)

6pdr and Universal Carrier

  • 40th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • Bedford QLB Limber (s3), 40mm Bofors AA (s3)

Bedford QLB Artillery Tractor with Bofors 40mm AA Gun

  • 274th Field Company, Royal Engineers

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 275th Field Company, Royal Engineers

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 276th Field Company, Royal Engineers

    • Truck (L3) + optional trailer (L3), 3 Sappers (@E1)
  • 239th Field Park Company, Royal Engineers

    • Low Loader (L3), D7 bulldozer (L3)
  • 51st Highland Division Signals

    • Signals Truck (C3)

51st Highland Division Infantry Brigades

152nd Infantry Brigade

Brigadier George Murray

Comd in staff car (C3), signals van (C3)

  • 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 5th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 5th Battalion, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders**

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
153rd Infantry Brigade

Brigadier Douglas Graham

Comd in staff car (C3), signals van (C3)

  • 5th Battalion, Black Watch

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 5th/7th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
154th Infantry Brigade

Brigadier Henry W. Houldsworth

  • Comd in staff car (C3), signals van (C3)
  • 1st Battalion, Black Watch

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 7th Battalion, Black Watch

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)
  • 7th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

    • Comd (s3), 3 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), 3″ Mortar (s3)

*My 15mm Not Quite Airfix version of the carrier and gun is in there. No need to put your hand up again Arthur, but I’m surprised that you’ve never modelled the South Africans 🙂

** In the late ’70s a Sandhurst cadet was in our (Alamein) company. Commissioned into the Cameron and Seaforth Highlanders, his uniform was replete with kilt, sporran, epaulettes, Skein Duhb, claymore and what-not. It took him twice as long to prepare and don his clobber, even without underpants,  as us simple Sapper chaps.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Infantry, Orbats, Western Desert, WWII

Bedford QLB Artillery Tractor

Bedford QLB Artillery Tractor with Bofors 40mm AA Gun

A good deal of my research consists of trawling the net for photographic evidence. I am always suspicious of photographs of restored vehicles; as the restorers can, and often do, paint the vehicle in a scheme that takes their fancy. In the absence of anything else though, it is a start.*

Bedford QLB 51st HD

Two such photographs are of a Bedford QLB decked out in desert colours for 51st Highland division, and a QLR signals van for 7th Armoured Division.

Bedford QLR

As ever, I would be grateful if anyone has more information or supporting evidence.

*No prizes though, for pointing out that the  40mm Bofors in the top picture is an American-crewed stand-in

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The Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiments, Royal Artillery at Alamein

 

The anti-aircraft assets deployed at El ALAMEIN by 8th Army, above divisional level troops, are summarised below:

12th Anti-Aircraft Brigade

  • 14th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

  • 16th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • Morris Limber (s3), 40mm Bofors AA (s3) (or portee)
  • 27th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • Morris Limber (s3), 40mm Bofors AA (s3) (or portee)
  • 88th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

  • 94th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

    • Matador Limber (s3), 3.7″  AA (s3)

Matador Tractor and 3.7" AA Gun

Undercoated 150cm Searchlight

57 HAA was despatched in October, presumably arriving after the Battle of El ALAMEIN

QF 3inch 20cwt AA GunQF 3inch 20cwt AA Gun

In October 1942, 57 (Wessex) HAA Regt with 213, 214 and 215 Batteries was sent to North Africa to join 12 AA Bde in Eighth Army. Two of the batteries were equipped with the older 3-inch 20 cwt gun on a modernised trailer, rather than the newer 3.7-inch. This was because the lighter 3-inch was easier and quicker to deploy in the rough country anticipated for this campaign. The regiment remained with 12 AA Bde to the end of the campaign in May 1943

(Routledge, p. 179; Table XXIV, p. 162; Table XXV, p. 164.) in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Wessex_Artillery#cite_note-RA-35 accessed 19/9/2016

  • 2nd Anti-Aircraft Brigade (for HQ and railway protection[1]) HQ with 8th Army HQ

    • 2nd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

      • Morris Limber (s3), 40mm Bofors AA (s3)

    • 69th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery (199th and 261st batteries)

      • Matador Limber (s3), 3.7″  AA (s3)

 

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7th Armoured Division

Hands up if you are a WW2 wargamer, who has not, at some time, painted something from 7th Armoured Division, (The Desert Rats).*7armd-div Here is the NQM version. It comprises an eclectic mix of Command Decision, Flames of War, the defunct MM Models, Plastic Soldier Company, Peter Pig, QRF,  Roco and the odd scratchbuild.

7armd-div-2

The full orbat can be seen on the 8th Army page.

Summary Orbat: 7th-armdiv-1st

Divisional troops:

1st Household Cavalry Regiment

11th Hussars

2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry

44th Reconnaissance Regiment

3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery

4th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

97th (Kent Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

65th (Suffolk & Norfolk Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery

15th (Isle of Man) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

4th, 21st, Field Squadron, Royal Engineers

143rd Field Park Squadron, Royal Engineers

7th Armoured Division Signals

4th Lt Armd Bde

4th Light Armoured Brigade

Royal Scots Greys, 4th/8th Hussars, 1st Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps (Truck Mounted Motor Battalion)

22nd_armoured_brigade

22nd Armoured Brigade

1st Royal Tank Regiment, 5th Royal Tank Regiment, 4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters), 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Motor Battalion)

Not shown is the under command:

1st Free French Brigade Group

 

*If you did put your hand up, take it down again if you have painted an Airfix Tiger Tank in desert camouflage  🙂

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Orbats, Western Desert, WWII