Sunday, 25 August 2013

Hiccups in 15mm...

Readers will be aware I have embarked upon the creation of a 15mm "Kowel 1944" themed army for the Bolt Action rules system.  This is due mainly to space constraints as I have a lot of 28mm figures lurking about.  That said, the relatively low cost is also very appealing to a cheapskate such as myself.

Anyway, I had been working on a rediscovered StuG III G and things were going well.  However I had niggling doubts concerning the cast cupola armour.  This started production in late '43 but try as I might I could find no photos or film of thus protected vehicles in spring '44.  It bothered me...

Salvation came in the form of Battlefront's plastic StuGs, one of which is being reverse engineered to late '43 spec.  More of this process in the future.

I had a rare burst of enthusiasm yesterday and got the required SPW assembled.  These are from the PSC kits and are rather nice.  Although I think some reinforcement of the front wheels will be needed as they appear fragile.

The next stage is to add foul-weather canopies to the 251s, sculpt some limbs and sort out detail on the StuG.  With a bit of luck the holiday weekend will allow this.

As can be seen in the photo below, I have found a LeIG and some mortars that, when added to the Infanterie, will bring me up to the desired 1000pts.  I am determined to complete this project, although the pull of the Renaissance is getting stronger.

Friday, 2 August 2013

StuG im Schlamm #2

Another evening spent on this creature.

Added stowage comprising: oil drum, cast box, jerry can and two pieces of wine cork covered with a "greenstuff/Milliput" tarp.  The drum was drilled and pinned into the chassis to act as an anchor for the other bits.

I didn't like the over thick hatch cover, so made one from a disc of styrene sheet.  MG guard was reshaped and trimmed.

Spare track links and gun/mantlet had been taken from a PSC sprue.  The end of the barrel drilled and joins filled with liquid Squadron putty.

Various details to be added tonight. Plus the figure sculpting...  I may well fabricate some schürzen from plastic sheet.

I am fairly happy considering the mediocre nature of the Battlefront model.  Apologies for poor photos, a dingy room coupled with a Nexus phone camera doesn't equal good pictures!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

StuG im Schlamm!

Presently, I am on holiday in North Wales.  As it rains a good deal and I have three children to mind at night - I took along some modelling supplies as a diversion.

The current project is Bolt Action 15mm and I decided on a 1:100 StuG.  Having found some (long forgotten) Battlefront resins when I moved last week, I chose one of these as the Beastie to work on.

Only after a long hiatus and viewed next to PSCs plastic versions, have I realised just how horrible the model is.  Hardly a straight line and so many inaccuracies - ho hum.

I have made a scenic base from Milliput surrounding a steel "repair plate".  The plate is in there to make the thing usable with magnetic storage - an obsession of mine.  Added to the base is a dead Ivan (Peter Pig?), a goodly amount of texture and (intentionally messy) tank tracks.  The sides have been sanded to make the construct more "base-like"!

I am trying to decide on the mantlet.  The topfblende may be too late for this spring '44 baby but it is my preferred option at the moment.  Time will tell.

Commander is going to be in a privately "acquired" hooded jacket.  The base figure is an old beret wearing bod I found - he may be from Skytrex.

More to do tonight, now off to a castle or three. :-) 

Friday, 26 July 2013

The benefits of scale creep - 1:76 workshop

As my last posting shows, I am toying with Bolt Action as a good system to use for fun and fast games.  I reckon I could even coerce my kids into playing with me.

However, I don't fancy laying out a few hundred plus pounds on armies for them!  I have decided to "do" Bolt Action in 15mm - problem solved.

As always my preferred setting is the late '42 - early '44 period. Inspired by an old newsreel showing the relief of Kowel in early 44, I started thinking of terrain.  Light industrial was the decision but I started to wince at the thought of fiddling about in 1:100 rather than my usual 28mm / 1:48.

I wanted a small factory and chanced upon the local "Modelzone" and it's bankruptcy sale.  This is where I found the above.  Not cheap at £11 but well cast, sturdy and just right to go with the Hovels ruined chimney I have picked up.

For your delectation a few snaps showing a (supposedly 1:100) Battlefront Grenadier posing next to the resin cast Airfix 1:76 "European Ruined Workshop". I think you will agree it is pretty near spot-on in size and it sports plenty of firing angles and cover positions.  Detail is very good and as can be seen this is present on interior surfaces also.  There is an etched brass fret for the window frames.

On the downside, there are some bubbles (two) and the walls are thick.  The former easily filled, the latter no bad thing on a games table.

There are a lot of other nominally 1:76 buildings in the series and all are on sale at Modelzone for about 75% retail price.

If your nerve can hold, wait a few weeks and I am sure they will reduce the price even further.

All I have to add is a nicely detailed baseboard and I have a generic setting for myriad skirmishes.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Bolt Action: Armies of Germany.

I bought this supplement for Bolt Action as I had decided the ruleset was eminently usable.  Sadly, I must say the contents do not quite match the high standard of presentation.

I am fully aware that as an "expert" I am bound to be overly picky but some inaccuracies really grated.  For instance, the rules state that the early war Waffen SS was better equipped than the late.  Pure nonsense as the SS-VT had to beg borrow and steal equipment.  This resulted in use of Czech firearms, WW1 helmets and even Spanish armoured cars!  Only later on did the W-SS start to receive first rate kit in preference to other formations.

In addition, I understand that the rules are meant to complement Warlord Games' miniatures. However does thus really justify the vehicle omissions?  It seems stats are provided for WG models and if they don't produce it - tough.  This reminds me of a GW codex requiring you to use approved models only.

Thus said, there is nothing the book that cannot be easily corrected but the fact remains that corrections are required.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Back to the (Ost)front!

After an indecent hiatus, I decided it was time to resuscitate my wargaming project and create a force from the myriad items I have in the WWII crates.

I have decided to use the rather popular "Bolt Action" rules by Warlord Games.  The decision was based on their widespread use and the fact I got a brand new copy of the rulebook for £12 on Amazon!

The plan is to create a 1000pt army from parts I have to hand.  This will avoid further spending on models and give my force a more realistic feel.  No "rules lawyerism" here, just 1000pts of grim Landsers trying to fend off Ivan with whatever they have available!

The 1943/45 force will be assembled in two 500pt chunks.  The first will be on foot featuring understrength squads and support.  The second will be mechanised and sport armour and higher command (Major von Hächtel and his unique Hanomag!)

Hopefully this will spur me on to get an army finished before the New Year!