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Friday, 20 July 2018

Sortie into the attic

For the past couple of weeks I have been raiding some boxes close to hand at the edge of the attic space above my garage, but I have been unable to find some of my old Airfix figures.  So, a sortie was planned to go up amongst the dead flies, cobwebs and mouse droppings in near 90F heat to recover all of the boxes.  Most have been unopened since the 1990s and many contain figures from the 60s and 70s. 

The figures and vehicles are kept in old model boxes and it is not clear exactly what each contains. Having retrieved all of the boxes I spent a fun afternoon opening them up to reveal the contents:

The plastic and card boxes are brought down:
Each containing loads of smaller kit boxes:
A few are unmade, but most contain battalion plus size units of artillery, tanks and infantry:

Having retrieved the lot, I emerged triumphantly from the garage, dusty, covered in cobwebs and very sweaty. Over the next couple of weeks I will go through these and re-base them and reorganise - until I get bored and move on to something else!

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Army Reforms - Germans and British

Continuing with the seemingly endless rebasing sessions I have now reorganised two lots of old Matchbox 1/76 soldiers.

First up are some Germans, supported by an Airfix PAK-40 anti-tank gun:
And from the same manufacturer, British infantry, with an Airfix 6 pdr anti-tank gun:
The same lot with their transport and OP scout car:
Although not quite the same as my old Airfix figures, I quite like the Matchbox offerings as they have a good variety of supporting weapons in the form of machine guns and mortars, that were not included in the Airfix sets.

Having unearthed these old figures I have started to open up boxes of made up old Airfix kits, that I have started to base, where appropriate. To start off with I am putting my towed artillery on bases:

The first group is British field artillery by Airfix:

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

More Army Reforms - Infantry

I have more-or-less decided that my WW2 wargames will be played on a hex mat using modified Memoir '44 (M 44) rules. To that end I have been slowly reorganising my model figures and rebasing them. My groupings of figures are designed to be used at various levels, so a group can be a platoon, a company or a battalion. Most often they will be used at battalion level.

I have boxes of painted loose figures that were used in the 1980s in a series of large WW2 wargame mini-campaigns, one of which included a D-Day assault on the German held Isle of Man!

I digress.  My infantry 'groups' are a cluster of 'units' and essentially consist of four rifle units, one or two machine gun units, a mortar unit, an anti-tank unit and a command unit (I use the term unit in that these 'units' are stand alone elements when it comes to using the M 44 rules),  I have drafted some additional rules that allow these 'units' to perform as such on the table - for example a machine gun unit is classed as infantry, has a strength of two figures, rolls three dice out to a range of 4 hex.

I will set out a summary of these rule additions in a future post. To illustrate here is an Airfix US infantry 'battalion' that I have just rebased, set out as above:
I have also rebased my Russians, and here are two Battalion groups, representing a Regiment/Brigade:
I am working on a German group, made up from old Matchbox figures. I have still to work out how to incorporate transport for my troops - for example does a machine gun armed half track become a unit? Lots of mulling over to be done!

Monday, 16 July 2018

Army Reforms - British Armour

Having been advised of a source of 1/87 scale tanks, I contacted Butler's Printed Models (BPM) and placed an order. Unfortunately the early German vehicles that I was after are not yet available, but I was able to obtain some additional British tanks. These were six Crusaders and three Grants, which have now been painted and weathered:

I thought at just over a fiver each they were good value and the service from BPM was excellent too.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Operation Goodwood - Abandoned

I have always wanted to play a game that represents one of the big WW2 battles and have had an enduring interest in OP GOODWOOD fought after D Day in 1944.  Looking on line, I found the Memoir '44 game that attempts to simulate this action. So I set about converting the M '44 map to my wargame table. I looked at 20mm figures to start with, but this just did not look right, and so I set it up using 1/300 models. This is the battlefield as laid out, the allies are on the right, Germans on the left. The central village representing the town of Cagney, Caen would be off the table at the top:
The view from the other (Caen) end:
Having set it all up I began to play, but after the initial moves I felt that I just wasn't getting the feel of such a big operation. The scenario had no allied artillery in play - yet the allies deployed a huge amount, and two Corps worth of armour and infantry were represented by just  6 units of tanks and a similar number of infantry on the British side.  This means that three models represent roughly a brigade and one model a regiment/battalion.

Despite the initial attraction, I just could not get into this battle. It sat on the table for several days, after which I packed it all away - maybe I was just not in the mood!

Monday, 2 July 2018

Army Reforms - The Panzers Arrive

I have repainted and beefed up my Afrika Korps panzer force. My original Roco Minitanks have been reinforced by another six from the Spanish firm EKO. Here they are off the production line:
One of the new Pz IIIs:
They are very similar to the Roco version, but are different moulds.

Here is a Stug III, which I believe only served in N Africa in limited numbers:
I am trying to source some 1/87 scale Panzer 1 and 2 models, but so far I can find none that arereasonably priced in the UK.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Peninsular Warriors - more highlanders

These figures were very kindly given to me by a fellow collector and have been on my to do list for quite a while.  These are older Warrior 25mm figures, made of a much softer bendy metal, but they paint up just as well. This unit depicts the 79th Cameron Highlanders: