Monday, 29 February 2016

Belgium 2016

I'm back from touring Belgium in the 'Command Bus'.  Having arrived on the Hull to Zeebrugge ferry, we mostly toured Western Flanders but also visited Tournai and Waterloo.
The weather meant that I don't have all that many photos but here are the first of the few.  Above and below - the main square in Bruges.  It's a nice enough city but I don't see us rushing back.

You'll not be surprised that I revisited Waterloo - it was interesting to compare the state of the ground with the rather drier version I saw last July.

Spot the Command Bus!

Friday, 26 February 2016

Back soon!

As you may have gathered from the recent dearth of posts, I'm away this week with limited communications.
Sara and I are touring Belgium in our motor home and have so far taken in a fair bit of Great War sights and some older stuff. Plenty more on that soon.

As I type this we're in a cafe in Poelkapelle  - just along the road from the Tank Rgt memorial and the Guynemer monument.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

More mortar mangling

Needing another 120mm mortar for a Motor Rifle Battalion, I set about this 82mm(?) from a cheap Chinese-made set.  Having removed the bipod I 'sharpened' the end of the barrel and added a length of plastic tube.
 A new bipod was made by bending a bit of brass tube which was then drilled into the mdf base.
Behold the ensemble - and indeed the tools which were used in it's creation!  I know the barrel is way too long for a 120mm, but as they say in the Forbodian Peoples' Army "if you're going to have a mortar, have a big 'un!"  That probably sounds better in the original Forbodian.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Hunting the Holy GRAIL?

Some time ago I built a few SA-7 for my 54mm Cold War WARPACT forces.  One was issued to a Militia battalion so I still had one on stock for the Category 3 motor rifle battalion currently on the modelling table.  This battalion is mostly made up of WW2 Russian figures - a mix of Airfix and some Chinese made figures I picked up in Belgium last year.  It was one of the latter I selected for special duties as the AA missile operator.
 This comrade looks remarkably cheerful to say he's just had his PPSH cut away (ooh, nasty!)
 Next his hand was drilled to take a length of florists wire...
 ...while the SA-7 was also drilled. thus justifying this post's rather lame title!
The wire was bent to 'clamp' missile tube to hand, and then a liberal blob of PVA was applied.  No doubt we'll soon see this chap again when he's properly dressed.

See also this earlier post.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Jolly Junkers - part 2

The Revell Stuka is now complete, and it's not bad at all.  I opted for a basic but 'clean' green over pale blue scheme and used the markings from the kit - along with swastikas from the decal box.
Painting the cockpit framing was a bit involved but the kit presented no real problems.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Megiddo 1457BC again

Having tried out this scenario as a solo game, last week I unleashed it on real players!  Tim C and Martin led the Canaanites while John was Thutmose III of Egypt.  This game also saw the debut outing of my 15mm Hittite City Walls - bought at COW last July and painted a few days before the game.  Here are the Canaanite chariots drawn up before the gates of Megiddo.
 The armies arrayed for battle.
 Thutmose (later know as 'The Napoleon of Egypt') led the army personally.
 The Egyptian left led the hostilities with some skirmishing cavalry.
 Soon Thutmose dashed forward and unleashed a hail of arrows.
 The Canaanites soon got their right flank nicely lined up
 The Egyptians get stuck in again.
 The Pharaoh's lads had the numbers...
 ...but it didn't go to plan - even a general perished!
 Next the Canaanite chariots rumbled forth...
 ...bitter fighting ensued...

 ...and verily they smote the enemy.  By now the Egyptians were really struggling
but soon it was allover as the Canaanites emerged victorious.

An what of Thutmose?  Well he survived the battle but is now know to history as the 
'Napoleon III of Egypt'....

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Jolly Junkers - part 1

The same box which supplied the Spitfire also contained a Ju-87.  Would it, I wondered, be a better kit? The set, by the way, contained all four of the kits illustrated together with paint (hmm, whatever) and glue (always useful) for a mere £13.50.
The parts looked OK - I remember Revell kits in this colour plastic in the '70s.
Some warping aside, the parts weren't a bad fit but liberal quantities of tape held it all together while the glue set.
Looks OK so far.
No too much filler was used
The undercart feels quite sturdy - as befits a Stuka!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Megiddo 1457BC

Having spent a bit of time re-boxing my 25mm pointy-stick era figures to make finding the required toys for a game a bit easier, I celebrated by setting up and playing through a solo Command & Colours game.
The historical battle saw Thutmose III (later - much later - know as the Napoleon of Egypt) duffing up the Canaanites outside the city of Megiddo.
 For the Egyptian army I used my actual Egyptians, while the Canaanites were assembled from my Assyrians and the 'Random Biblicals' box.
Some of the figures were doing some splendid silly hat wearing.

Thutmose opened by moving forward his left wing
The Canaanites responded on the same wing
Thutmose then played his 'killer card'.
His chariots (bottom of the frame) dashed forward and arrows were twanged at the enemy.  The dice reveal that one Canaanite chariot was eliminated!
The Egyptians then trundled off again.  Cheeky!

The Canaanite right was sent against the foe...
...and soon honours were even.
The Egyptian right engaged in some skirmishing to annoy the enemy...
...prompting a 'sh*t or bust' charge by the Canaanite chariots and cavalry!
The ensuing bloodbath saw off an Egyptian chariot...
...making the 'score' 2:1.
A whirling melee developed in the centre
Beset by enemies on all sides, the last Canaanite chariot - and it's accompanying general - died horribly.
A load of Egyptians milling around.
By now the Egyptians were well in the lead....
...and their left surged forward.
The Canaanites replied in kind.

This evened things up a bit
But the Egyptians - led in person By Thutmose got stuck in again...
...and killed a further enemy unit, clinching a victory for the Pharaoh.
Last Wednesday I tried the same game but with real players.  Report coming soon...