Thursday, 27 November 2014

BTR-70 with SA-9 - part 1

They say some people never learn.  So it was that despite the chastening experience of the Kitech Marder kit I threw caution to the wind and bought the same firm's 1/48 scale BTR-70.  I was drawn to this by the fact that it has the SA-9 turret - a variant of the BTR of which I hadn't previously been aware.
As it happens, with both the SA-9 and 'normal' 14.5mm MG turrets mounted, it looks to my eyes at least, rather too 'busy'.  Which is why the smaller turret now languishes in the spares box and will no doubt appear on a future dodgy bodge.
The good news - most of the major parts fit together fairly well.
The bad news - apart from the sodding wheels.  All eight of them.

The kit includes loads of fiddly detail parts which you will no be surprised to hear that I've discarded most of them.  This has been hanging about of the modelling table for several weeks now, having been sidelined by another acquisition - of which more news later.  I'll take more photos wen I get it finished.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Soviet Sappers

Hot on the heels of my questionably clad mortar crew is this rather smarter engineer unit.  These comrades were assembled from an ICM hard plastic kit.  The box proclaims them to be from the Afghan War of 1979-88, while the body armour suggests they have been 'in country' for some time.
Yes there is a dog in the set but I've not painted it yet.
They are nice models.  I replaced the rather fragile handle of this chap's mine detector with steel wire.
All were treated to my usual 'toy soldier' paintwork - complete with mad staring eyes!
The mule seems a rather camera shy.

And here they are on one of my 4-inch steel bases as used in Little Cold Wars games.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

PM-43 120mm mortar - part 2

Following on from this earlier post, I have finally completed the mortar and it's crew.  Though clad in uniforms from WW2  - or rather the Great Patriotic War - I carried out a 'paint conversion' exercise and painted them in the camo scheme introduced in the 1970s.  As usual with toys in this scale (1/35) I have gone for a 'toy soldier' finish.  They look OK to me.

These two photos show the mortar with 3 crew figures and mounted on a 4-inch square steel base as used in my Little Cold Wars game.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Kicking up a Rakete - part 2

Here is the completed Rakete.  Remember that most of the paint was there before I started.   I managed to nearly match the shade.
The crosses and numbers were sourced from the decal box.
They obey what Ian Drury calls 'Gow's Third Law'.
That is - the less plausible the conversion the bigger the black crosses need to be.

Quite a successful bodge I think!
Those SS-11 should give the Forbodian Peoples' Army something to think about.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Kicking up a Rakete - part 1

Regular readers will be aware that I have of late been scouring the planet for vehicles in 1/48ish scale for my Little Cold Wars project.  In the course of this search I noticed a small range of Tamiya models in just this scale.  The range included a Jagdpanzer Kanone - just the thing for my West Germans.  I expected a fairly basic kit but when the thing arrived (a little over £10 including shipping from the Far East) it emerged from the box in the condition you see below.
This is an image from the Tamiya website but I can assure you that my Kanone looks identical.  Being a motorised model the tracks are a little chunky but that aside it's a lovely thing.  In term of scale it works out nearer to 1/40 but I can live with that.
It soon occurred to me (as it had to the 1960s Bundeswehr) that a 90mm gun is all very well but what if these new-fangled guided missiles catch on?  Their solution was the Jagdpanzer Rakete with the 'kanone' replaced by er, 'raketes...'  SS-11 to be precise.

I decided to copy those clever Germans and another model was soon on order.
When it arrived I set to work removing the gun and it's mantlet.  I had expected this to involve a great deal of razor saw action but the gun assembly turned out to be a separate part which was easily(ish) prised off.
Missiles were aircraft weapons sourced from the spares box.  The periscopes and bow MG (not fitted to all such vehicles) were adapted from 1/76 scale truck axles.  So far so good.  I'd better paint the thing.

Sorry about the title.  OK so the spelling is different but it was too good to ignore.  Musical link here.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Sheffield Wargames Society Annual General Meeting 2014

The AGM was held on 12 November.  The minutes will be circulated to members as soon as they are ready but here are the main points:

1. Membership fees remain unchanged at £15.00 for the year with no additional weekly fees.  This, works out at only £0.30 per week and represents stunning value!

2. Members were reminded of the Society's new web presence at

3. The Committee for the coming year is as follows:
                                                Chairman - Tim Gow
                                                Treasurer - Dave Ranson
                                                Secretary - Paul Bishop
                                                Show Secretary - Lloyd Powell
                                                General Officer - Steve Thomas

4. The accounts Examiners are Si Harrison and Graham Northing

5. The Christmas open meeting will be on 28th December from 1.00pm
Not the AGM in progress

Sambre 57BC - part 2

We return  (after quite a break!) to the doings of a certain Mr J Ceasar.  By now the Romams had revoverd from their initial shock and formed a proper line.  Nice isn't it?
The Belgic types continued to hurl themselves at the invaders.
This caused a few worrying moments... problems for the Romans here, right?
On the other hand..  Those Belgic cavalry are tougher than they look.
This is getting very messy.
Roman reserve cavalry wondering if they're not altogether better off staying where they are.
Soon the Romans deployed to deal with the breakthrough...
...and order was restored.  These Romans do love a straight line, don't they?
The end came when Ceasar (for it was he) led X Legion in person and saw off another attack.  The dice reveal 5 hits on an enemy unit (which could only take 4 hits...)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Remembrance Day 2014

As usual Sara and I attended the Remembrance Day commemoration at our village church.  The service is actually held outside the church at the war memorial which forms part of the gatehouse to the churchyard.  This allows plenty of people to take part, and the local police help out by closing the nearby roads while the event is in progress.  With this year marking the centenary of the outbreak of The Great War the service was longer then usual and included the blessing of a new flagpole which has recently been erected in the churchyard.

I know the photos (taken on my iPhone) aren't great but that's not really the point, is it?

Saturday, 8 November 2014

West German Panzer Grenadiers

Following on from several earlier posts*, I have now completed my West German PzG Battalion.  Here are photos of some of it, with a repainted Leopard from the Panzer Btl sneaking in to some of the shots.  All of the figures are Airfix, while the MILAN AT missiles are scratchbuilt.

*Links to earlier posts:
Big Germans
Making a MILAN
Murderous Marder musings