Zvezda 1:100 (15mm) T-60

Aww Idda Lidduw Cyoote Tankie

This finely-modelled offering makes its successor, the T-70, look like a hunky, over-engineered brute! It falls under Kemp’s law: If you can see over the top of a tank, standing up – it doesn’t count; so not a suitable tank to go Rommelling in.

The model can be seen next to a T-70 in the pictures below, and  the chap standing next to it is one of the PSC 25pdr gun crew. He would be able to see over the top if the sculptor had put the correct anatomical length into the knees and abdomen, but as it is, he is the same height as the crouching loader, who is standing next to him on his left.

Three years ago, I would have needed lots more of these little tanks, but as the campaign is now entering 1943, the T-70 is more prevalent. You don’t last very long if you go to war in a biscuit tin.

The plan view shows the tiny size of the T-60. The lovely Mrs K. wandered past and made noises to the effect of “Awww look adda cyuute lidduw tank”. She has a point.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Modelling, Soviet Army, tank, WWII

PSC Kickstarter 2 – CMP Tractors and 25 Pounders

4 Regiments of 25-pounders forming

The new CMP tractor sits nicely in size in between the Fow 1:120 and the Denzil Skinner 1:100 scale Morris Quads, so a crafty wargamer will place the Skinners closest, the CMPs in the table centre and the FoWs at the far end to give a false sense of perspective. John Sandars was a past master of this wheeze, except that he used 1/35th and 1/72nd models in his dioramas.

Manning the Guns

Here are the WIP photos. I was delighted to see that the British gunners look like people, and not Orkses. They are still a little short in the leg, but they fit in nicely with everyone elses’ caricatures. I should have gone in for fantasy gaming *sigh*

The Gun Line

I thought it would be fun to see if the kit could produce one of the cut-down narrow-wheelbase 25pdrs used in Burma. The nearest unfinished gun is a reasonable enough approximation. The cam net on the back of the CMP hides the fact that I struggled to get a close fit at the back of the tractor. It also frees up a spare wheel. I am going to need a total of 8 for the extra four 25 Pdrs that can be part assembled from the kit sprue, and will have to find four spare limbers from somewhere.

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

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 ūüôā

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

Truescale German vs Heroic 28mm

truescale-german

The Grand Duchy of Stollen recently published a rather ernest American lass telling us about common painting mistakes¬† – I know all about that sort of stuff, ‘cos I make those mistakes shortcuts all the time. Buried away in the video though, was this direct comparison of a teenage reenactor against his 28mm heroic counterpart.

If I met someone proportioned like this, I would definitely run away to the nearest pie shop to bulk myself up. Even though they are scaled to pretty much the same height, the truescale chap looks to be both taller and further away.; rather like the Father Ted sketch with Dougal.

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Heavy Metal – Lamming and Hinchcliffe

Hinchcliffe and Lamming Medieval Cavalry Form UpThese fearsome 25mm fellows last saw light in Armati games over 15 years ago, but their high medieval heyday was in the basement at Knox Road, when they would regularly be roughly handled by YesthatPhil – usually from the flank or behind. Nobody wanted to try their luck from the front!

 

Baron Shagnastie's ChevaucheeThe oldest model in the picture above is Baron Shagnastie – a veteran of the Scottish Campaign at Sandhurst from the late ’70s – he is the stumpy chap with a red duck on his head, and I think he might be a Greenwood and Ball figure, or possible, a Garrison. He is a single-piece casting, and like most twisted meglomaniacs, is a little short in the saddle.

 

A Profitable ChevaucheeI am proudest of the Hinchcliffe Sergeants – they were all individually modified in my second year at Uni. Most of them still have their arms, I didn’t know about pinning or superglue in those days. they were a raggedy crew, straight back from a chevauch√©e, complete with looted sheep and stuff slung across their saddlebacks. They are based for Armati.

 

De Gough's BattleSir Frederick appears here with a big heap of Lamming knights and sergeants. The different style of sculpting is very noticible, the Hinchcliffes being far more fluid in every way, but en-masse they just blend in amidst the welter of heraldry. The De Goughs were traditionalists, and have clung on to older styles of armour, deeming the more modern bascinets to be “a bit poncey“.

Your Last Ten Seconds of LifeTo emphasise the point, this is the view that an unlucky man-at-arms would have from the front rank of the opposing army.

Moonlighting in Skirmish GamesYou can see from this view of the bases that some of the lads have been moonlighting in skirmish games and RPGs. Dungeons and Dormice was a legend in its day!

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Robbin B’stard and his Merry Men

No medieval wargames collection would have been complete in the Eighties without a merry band of outlaws. Here are two of mine.

Robbin B'stard and Little Jim wait in AmbushWhat could be more innocent than two people enjoying a country stroll?

The short fellow dressed in Lincoln green is Little Jim – a Minifigs Wood Elf, if I recall correctly. I forget which firm made Robbin B’stard. I’m pretty certain that he was a fantasy figure picked up at a show somewhere – not chunky enough for a Lamming, and not arched enough for a Greenwood & Ball or regimented enough for a Minifigs. *sigh*. Perhaps someone will recognise him?

The Knob on the End of your Staff, or your Life!Got any more gold, Mister?

The Bishop of Boston (Lincolnshire, not America!) has had the top of his crozier robbed. He is a Minifig, and a very undernourished bishop by today’s heroic 28mm-going-on-32 standards. His carriage and retinue are nowhere in sight. Some of the Humbrol enamels used to paint these figures have chipped a little over the years, but on the whole, they have fared pretty well.

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Buried Treasure – Sir Frederick de Gough

Sir Frederick de Gough

You know how it goes – finally, the tidying up in the Man Cave reaches that pile of box files patiently sitting in the corner, and you open them. After the puff of dust subsides, you see forgotten treasure glinting in the gloom!

Sir Frederick de Gough and his brother (the one with the big pointy stick) were the very first pair of Hinchcliffe 25mm metal figures that I ever bought (From Sherman’s Model Shop in Scunthorpe). It must have been over 45 years ago now.

I even soldered the florist’s wire lance on and felt very grown-up doing it. Chromate primer was followed by oils and enamels that have stood the test of time. He has battled his way up and down the length of the (25mm) British Isles over the years. Fred earned his name and achievements from the local Grammar school. Only he remains unchanged.

I will be a bit busy until June, so expect more burrowing into the past as boxes come to light.

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Dominating the Enemy

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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

Merry Christmas

Here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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Every year, the Germans show “Dinner for One” on New Year’s Eve. It is largely forgotten in the English-speaking world, as the Germans purchased the broadcast rights some years ago.

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In a year that has had more than it’s fair share of intolerance, I shall be raising my glass to friends on the continent, and doing my best to improve the bit of the world that I have influence on for everyone, not just the ones that think and believe exactly as I do.

Peterborough Christmas Lights

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Relentlessly Modern – With Added Pigs

Art Deco with a Modern TwistSuburbs of Stuttgart

The reaction of everyone we told that we were going to Stuttgart for a midweek break was:

“Why?”

Put simply, Stuttgart has an excellent Christmas Market, museums featuring Porsche  Mercedes, Lindt Chocolate, and the largest* pig museum in Germany, if not the world.

Helipad at a New Hospital ExtensionNote the new Hospital Helipad

By day, Stuttgart is relentlessly modern, its railway marshalling yards having had more than their fair share of RAF and USAF attention. Despite this, large swathes of mature parkland cut through the northern part of the city, making a pleasant day’s walking between fuel stops.

Stuttgart has lots of Hills and Trees

One such was at Killingberg – a well-executed modern estate in cubist white. It works because the Germans do not try to decorate their public spaces with large amounts of fast-food litter.

The New BrutalismVery New Indeed

By night, the Centrum turns into an illuminated fairyland, and the locals crowd in to enjoy Bratwurst, Pommes, Lebkuchen and Germ Kn√∂del; all washed down with Gl√ľhwein, Blonder Engels and Eier Punsch.

Weinachtsmarkt Stuttgart

The highlight of the holiday was a walk deep into the industrial riverside, where, by the gasworks, was the Slachthof (Slaughterhouse Inn) and aforementioned Pig Museum.

Schweinbahn

Almost everything Pig-related was there. Not since the Dutch National Airline Sick Bag  Collection has there been such eccentric devotion to a cause.

Zinn Schweine - for Phil SteeleZinn Schweine for Phil Steele

Pigs Being Rude

More Rude PigsPigs Being Rude – for Martin Goddard

Suzanne Expresses Surprise at the Quantity of Pig-related LiteratureAre all these Books about Pigs?

The line that hooked us was “Pig enthusiasts can visit the museum then enjoy one of the relatives in the Schlachterhof next door”. Judge for yourselves. Lekker!

Schweinshaxe in a Vegetable-free Zone

*Size claims should be treated with suspicion. Here is the largest maze in Holland.

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