Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Vril and the Hollow Earth.

GröFaZ and ET?  No thanks!
For a few weeks I have been considering the various options when it comes to "weird" World War II.

Now as it is a fantasy subject there is no reason that Minotaurs couldn't be enlisted in the Heer fighting against a race of Soviet Gnomes. However, I wanted to keep the whole thing a little more believable (if it can be plausible in the slightest!)

Interesting but over-done.
It is well known that various German societies and some senior figures were searching for "Vril" or Hyperborean technologies.  Indeed the quest for perpetual motion and free energy was still considered attainable at this time.  

Some fringe types had decided the Earth was hollow (there are still believers) and that an advanced race lived in a subterranean realm illuminated by a hidden Sun!  

Then of course there is the whole "Haunebu" area where the Germans were supposedly cooperating with Aliens to build flying saucers - a crackpot's wet dream!

Anyway the options are pretty simple:
  • Alien Tech - Flying discs, rayguns and Antarctic bases.
  • Anti-grav research based upon "Die Glocke" style experiments.
  • Vril animated machines and creatures.

The concept - Vpz II circa 1943/4.
I have opted for an admixture of Vril and Anti-Grav technology.  

The Anti-Grav will allow me to field small scout vehicles that hover above the ground.  The weaponry will be strictly in-period and I am planning to base this on the Sdkfz 234 series.  

The number of vehicles will be very small as they are produced contrary to Hitler's wishes* and manned by the secretive and paranoid "Projekt Ostara" personnel.

Currently I am awaiting the delivery of the basic chassis from Jez at Old Crow.  The model I have chosen does not really look too futuristic and with a turret transplant should have a real alternative WWII feel - I just hope the turrets I have in my spares box fit as I have not been able to measure or handle the chassis!

The choice of Vril will also allow me field zombies - Hoorah! - as corpses could easily be reanimated by such an amazing substance!

More to follow - albeit slowly - as vacation season approaches...

*A fact often overlooked by "Weird" enthusiasts is that GröFaZ detested the Occult and the bizarre theories of Himmler and Rosenberg.  He was far more interested in weapons specs, troop numbers and production than in the search for an Hyperborean civilisation and magical substances.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Counter-attacks on the Dniepr late 1943

For your delectation another period newsreel showing troops desperately attempting to hold the positions in Ukraine.

Following the post-Kursk retreat, the first major pause was at this river line.  A formidable waterway, the Dniepr would have made a great defensive position.  However, the fortifications were not built and GröFaZ insisted upon holding the "essential" Dniepr bend - resulting in the usual mess.

Some great shots of troopers advancing behind a Tiger I and much more - enjoy!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A walk on the "Weird" side

Warm Acre body SoTR head - an experiment!
Recently I have been taking something of a pause from the grim realities of the historical Eastern Front - I have been thinking about the whole Weird War II genre.

For my more "serious" readers, this wargaming niche revolves around various Occult or Alien intervention during the 1939-45 war.  It can be a pretty dark and Satanic place full of Vampires and zombies or a mech-packed sci-fi battlefield - often a mixture of both.  Now I am the first to say it is all nonsense but nevertheless it can be entertaining to let the mind wander...

I decided to create a small skirmish force for "Projekt Ostara" (more of which at a later date)  Without delving too much into the background story, Ostara is guided by suitably mad scientists under the patronage of some shady figures.  Viral contamination, alien tech and the obligatory walkers are all present - but I wish to maintain a distinctly 1940s feel.

So with this in mind I have been searching for walkers that look "right" - this has been no easy task.  The Dust Tactics and AT-43 miniatures often look quite splendid - especially the former as the designers have taken care to equip the vehicles with "period" weapons.  Although good, all still appear a little "high tech" for me - especially when it comes to the Manga-style feet and legs.  The SoTR offerings from Westwind Productions are attractive but prompt similar concerns about being "too modern" looking.

I had reached the end of my tether and decided to abandon the whole idea but then chanced upon Games Workshop's "Imperial Guard Sentinel".  This bipedal beast is small and rickety looking - just up my alley.  In addition it is a plastic kit - thus making conversion simple.  Most importantly the feet look spot-on!

The Sentinel undergoing back-dating.
After braving the local store (full of sweating teenagers with an over-worked and over-enthusiastic staffer trying to cope) I set to work on removing the GW feel.  At the moment it is in the very early stages of conversion but I think it has promise.  Once the styrene cement has set I will get to work removing rivets and adding some epoxy putty weld seams.  In addition the hatch needs to be worked on so that a commander can be added.

The vehicle is armed with an auto-loading 7.5cm L/24 cannon and is intended to be a recon support vehicle - somewhat akin to the Sdkfz 234/3.  The crew will be (a cramped) two men with a medium range wireless set

I am very interested to learn if others have used these models as a base for "Weird" walkers.