Bank Holiday Revision

My finals for this MSc module are in early June, so the end is in sight, and I am revising hard …. waving, not drowning!

Waving, not drowning



Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames

Don’t Take a Knife to a Gunfight …

8th Army Artillery

… and if you are going to a gunfight, take lots of guns!

8th Army 25Pdr Field Regiment

Field Regiment. Flames of war 25pdrs, Morris Quad gun tractors and India pattern carrier. Some Peter Pig crew.

The 8th Army has enough field regiments now to equip five divisions, with two regiments of medium guns, one heavy and one light antiarcraft regiment.

Royal Artillery Field Regiment

Spot the new PSC CMP gun tractor on the left and a QRF Austin truck that is – to my eyes – indistinguishable from the old Denzil Skinner die cast.

Keen viewers will spot the usual out-of -scale substitutions, placeholders and WIP models scattered about.

A mixed bag of Artillery In this  Composite Regiment

More Denzil Skinner castings of the Morris Quad gun tractor by QRF, with a mixed regimentof 18pdrs and 25pdrs. Zvezda Dingo.

If Rommel  comes unexpectedly though, the rounds will still be heading down range en masse.

IMG_7757 (2)

The 4.5″ regiment is made from Really Useful Guns with Peter Pig crews, Zvezda Matador gun tractors and a Skytrex Dingo

88th and 94th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

88th and 94th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. FoW AA guns, QRF tractors. Skytrex Humber A/C standing in.

Light AA Regiments and 27th (London Electrical Engineers) Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery

27th (London Electrical Engineers) Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery with two light antiaircraft regiments.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames

Wide Wheelbase 25pdr

PSC and Zvezda have opened up the 15mm market with excellent, if sometimes baffling choices of models. Zvezda is streets ahead in accuracy, with PSC ocassionally making schoolboy errors, such as the axle length on the new 25pdr and gun tractor kit.

Wide Wheelbase 25pdrs from PSC

However, PSC make the better wargames pieces, with a wide choice of options in their kits, and generous inclusion of crews and stowage. Taken together, the wargamer is spoilt for choice. Where all, manufacturers fall down though, is in the anatomy of their figures, and for that , the customer is to blame, preferring the “heroic” look over accuracy. There is nothing that the average bodger like me can’t fix though. Peter Pig’s older figures are amongst the best along with Skytrex.

PSC started well, their first two sets offering well-proportioned figures that were in line with 20mm figures, but soon descended to the currently popular 28mm fantasy look.

25pdr Gun Line WIP

My 25pdr gun line is coming on nicely now.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames

On the Workbench – PSC StugIII Part 2

PSC Stug IIIs with Stowage

With a face that only a mother could love, the StugIII is ugliness personified, yet it extended the use of the PzIII chassis to the end of the war in four ways:

  1. It was cheaper to build (82,500 Reichsmarks (RM) compared to 103,163 RM for a Pz III, and faster too – no turret.
  2. The profile was lower, making it harder to hit – did I mention the turret?
  3. By employing artillery crews, it put more guns and troops under armour at a time when the panzer arm was struggling to keep its strength up.
  4.  By limiting the traverse of the long 75mm gun, it enabled it to be mounted on a lighter, existing chassis without shaking it, or the crew, to bits with the recoil.

So throwing a heap of stowage onto the back of mine only enhanced the brutalist Corbusier look that was going on. PSC is very generous in the amount of stowage that it adds to its sprues*, so a pile has been added to the back decks.

IMG_7752 (3)

All the photo tutorials argue that natural lighting is a bad thing, casting shadows. But hang on, isn’t that how we view objects in true-scale?

*Customer feedback – throwing extras into a kit increases sales, it does not diminish them. I get two models out of some of PSC’s sprues, but it does not mean that I buy half as many kits as a result.

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

On the Workbench – PSC 15mm Sturmgeschütze

IMG_7770 (2)

The Sturmgeschütz sprue gives the option to make up later variants of the gun from G onwards with the earlier box mantlet or the Saukopf. With a bit of creative bodging, two models will come out of this sprue, as long as you are happy to have an early and a late G model respectively.

I’m fairly relaxed about mocking up close approximates of tracks from dowel and card, but it struck me that I had a redundant old RoCoPz IV in 1/87 scale, so the tracks were cut down to make a “close enough” match. Having accused German production of being ramshackle in my last post, in the picture above, I have exceeded anything they could have cobbled together.

Repurposed RoCo Pz IV tracks on the Stug III on the right

The profile at the back doesn’t look quite right from the side, but the Schurtzen plates will hide most of it.

StuG IIIGs, early and late models

And from the front, I’m not going to notice unless I’m really bored enough to count rivets.

Count the rivets on the front glacis plate

So … two models for the price of one. I shall stick some stowage and camouflage on to hide the odd missing bits, and probably a few tank riders for good measure.

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

A Proportionate view of German Armour


Produktion von Panzer III

The output of German armour in WWII was, in some ways, rather ramshackle, with designs running on past their sell-by date, frequent upgrades to keep obsolete designs in the war, and newer models pushed into service without proper testing. They shared this approach with the British.

In an attempt to make sense of the ratios of various models in service, I just reduced the numbers by 100, then rounded up or down to the nearest integer. The base figures have been lifted from various uncredited sources, so should be treated with enormous suspicion. These figures are for all fronts, and are vehicles produced, not in frontline service. They take no account of losses. Nonetheless, some interesting comparisons emerge:

  1. 57 Pz IIIs compared to 75 Stug IIIs.
  2. 83 Pz IVs compared to 61 Pz Vs and 13 Tiger Is.
  3. Half of the 38(t) hull production (30) was Hetzers (Jagdpanzer 38s), and these in the last two years of the war.
  4. Armour prodution peaked in 1943.
  5. The rough overall proportion of major hull types is: 4 Pz 38(t): 8 PzIII : 8PzIV: 4PzV: 1 PzVI.
  6. Taken year by year on  a 1: 600 ratio they are roughly:
  • 1942: 1 Pz 38(t): 5 PzIII : 2PzIV
  • 1943: 2 Pz 38(t): 5 PzIII : 10 PzIV: 3 PzV: 1 PzVI.
  • 1944: 4 Pz 38(t): 3 PzIII : 7 PzIV: 6 PzV: 1 PzVI.
  • 1945: 2 JagdPz 38(t): 2 StugIIIG

So this list, unchecked as it is, throws out a few surprises. It also surprised me to discover that the Panther at about 117k Reichsmarks (RM), was not that more expensive than a Pz IV at about 86k RM. As usual, wordpress has destroyed the formatting of the table.

Model 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Total
Pz I 2 2 2 6
PzII 2 3 1 6
Marder II 5 2 7
Wespe 5 1 6
 All PzI/II Chassis 2 4 5 6 7 1 25
Pz 38(t) 1 4 7 2 14
Marder III 139   3 3
Marder III 138 1 8 3 12
Grille 2 3 5
Hetzer 17 13 30
 All 38(t) Chassis 1 4 7 6 10 23 13 64
Pz III A-F 1 4 5
Pz III G-J1 5 17 2 24
Pz III J2-M 20 20
Pz III N 4 3 7
Pz III (f) 1 1
Stug III A-E 2 5 1 8
Stug III F-G 7 30 8 10 55
StuH 42 2 9 1 12
 All PzIII Chassis 1 11 22 34 36 17 11 132
Pz IV A-F1 3 5 1 9
Pz IV F2-J 9 30 31 4 74
Stug IV 10 1 11
Jagd Pz IV 7 7
Jagd Pz IV 70 8 4 12
Sturm Pz IV 1 2 3
Hornisse 3 2 5
Hummel 4 3 7
Mobelwagen 2 2
Wirbelwind 1 1
 All PzIV Chassis
3 5 11 66 42 4 131
Pz V 18 38 2 58 (1)
Jagd Pz V 2 2 4
 All PzV Chassis

20 40 2 62
Tiger I 1 6 6 13
Sturm Tiger 2 2
Jagd Tiger 1 1
 All PzVI Chassis

1 6 9
Tiger II 4 1 5
Ferdinand 1 1

1 4 1 6
Total 4 22 39 58 126 96 29 374

The :

  1. Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle (2011). Panzer Tracts No.23 – Panzer Production from 1933 to 1945. Panzer Tracts. pp. 60–65.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames

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 🙂

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


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.


Filed under Off Topic, WWII