Friday 17 December 2010

Raventhorpe Ready to Roll trucks

Finally my Panzer grenadiers have some transport. I decide to go for trucks as I'm planning to do a genzpart battalion for the 21st panzer division in Normandy (with all those interesting french equipment).
After a bit of research I decided to go for the Raventhorpe ready to roll range

I bought a Stoewer car, a Horch car, three Opel blitz and a ford v300. Generally I was impressed
No assembly required
Cost (cheaper than metal, similar cost to plastic kits)
Already based (I like to base my vehicles)
They were a bit rough in places, big lumps of resin are not that easy to clean up.
The area between the vehicle and the base is solid which I'm not keen on
I painted them up using magic wash and dry brushing. I really should do the number plates but at the moment I'm hoping to find some water slide transfers to do them, as painting them is a non starter.

With the trucks done I just need to finish the Kampfgruppe HQ and a couple SP 20mm AA guns to finish my first Rapid fire force, hopefully in time to get some games in the new year.
Cheers Jon

Thursday 16 December 2010

Bargain rule sets from Northstar

Well winter is here and rather predictably my painting output has dropped like a stone. For those who don't know my wargames room/ painting area is my garage which is at the bottom of the garden, while I've done it out nicely boarding up all the walls, adding a new floor and installing a heater. This time of year it is still rather cold and unappealing when weighed up against surfing the net or watching telly in a nice warm house. Add in the snow and sub zero temperatures, sick children, the coming of Christmas and work and painting wise the last two and half weeks have produced very little on the hobby front.

Having said that a couple of nights ago I forced myself to go down the garage and paint up my newly arrived Ready to Roll trucks for my SS panzer grenadiers from Chiltern miniatures. They painted up surprisingly quickly so hopeful some pictures will be posted up in the next couple of days.

In the mean time I picked up three sets of Chris peers rules going cheap from North Star

First I picked up armies in crisis which is basically a WW2 version of Contemptible Little Armies with a few bolt ons. Not a big fan of CLA mostly because I feel the no moving and firing rule encourages both sides to play too defensively. Mostly there is little advantage to moving into firing range of the enemy who can then fire on you knowing you can 't return fire for a turn. Having said that they're simple and quick and I'm tempted to use them for solo games where I can tinker with the rules without upsetting anyone.

Second I picked up Empire of the Steppes which covers purely the 90 odd years of the great Mongol conquests. Again this appears to be CLA with add bolt ons for period feel. Having said that it looks like it would give a good game and really tries to capture steppe nomad warfare something many ancients rules don't do very well in my opinion. There are also around thirty army lists which are interesting and appear well researched

Last but not least is Advance the Flag ACW rules. These look very interesting, there are some similarities with Chris Peers other rule sets but this set is aimed at Corps level actions so a base of multiple miniatures represents a regiment and four bases a brigade. I'm quite taken with these I bought them thinking I might do something with my Perry plastic ACW miniatures as they are aimed at 28s. I actually think they would look better with 2/6/10mm miniatures though as four 28mm miniatures representing a regiment looks a bit odd to me. Of the three sets I think these are the ones that are most likely to form a new project for 2011.

Cheers Jon

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Panzerwerfer and Opel radio truck

A couple more vehicles for my German Rapid Fire project. Both these plastic kits where knocking about in my kits box both are made by ESCI (which probably tells you something about their age). Quite frankly they where horrid kits to put together lots of fiddly bits and instructions that miss out half the components do not make for a fun time.
The first five pictures are of an Opel blitz ambulance that I've converted into a radio truck. Not much of a conversion really I added a bedstead aerial from my bits box and some stowage made from some bits of balsa and plastic covered with some PVA soaked kitchen towel. I also added some plasticard windows to the cab rather than leaving the cab open and having to bugger about with a driver.
The second set of pictures is of a sdkfz 251 with rockets. I saw a picture in wargames mag somewhere of one of these set up firing it's rockets so I thought I'd give it a go. I assembled the rocket boxes and then drilled out the rockets an added wire. I dipped the wire in PVA and covered them in cotton wool to represent smoke from the rockets and then glued them into the boxes. I also added a Valiant miniatures officer for some interest and replaced the original MGs with Valiant ones. I'm quite pleased with the way it's turned out however it's quite flimsy so I don't think this one will be making any trips to the club.
Cheers Jon

Thursday 25 November 2010

First panzer grenadier battalion for rapid fire

Well finally got my first battalion finished for rapid fire. This one is supposed to be a battalion of 20th panzer grenadier regiment 9th SS panzer division. The miniatures are 1/72 Valiant Germans from both the Germans in Normandy and classic Germans boxed sets.
It's a pretty standard Rapid Fire set up three companies of infantry (8 miniatures each) an HQ (six miniatures) and a machine gun company (9 miniatures 2MMG and a 120mm mortar). Of course it's not quite finished as they are missing the battalion's trucks but those will have to wait until payday.
Next up is a German infantry battalion to represent troops from the 716th static Division.
Cheers Jon

Monday 22 November 2010

German 37mm SP AA gun

Not a very productive weekend due to family commitments but I did get this Hasawega SP 37mm AA gun done. I figured as the club has plumped for late NWE my Germans will spend a lot of time being bombed and strafed by allied air power so some mobile AA is in order. I found this kit in my plastic kit box it must of been there a while as the price sticker was from Beatties a chain of model/toy shops that went bust many years ago.
The kit is quite nice but the crew supplied with the kit where horrible (helmets looked all wrong, static poses and massive size differences) so I decided to convert up some spare Valiant Germans to crew the gun. The two seated figures where the worse requiring some chopping and green stuff work. All in all I quite like it. Next job is to finish of the heavy weapons for my first Panzer grenadier battalion.
Cheers Jon

Thursday 18 November 2010

Useful German Camo article

while rooting around the net looking for info on the dreaded German camo subject I found this helpful little article thought I'd post up a link for anyone else who has struggled with the subject like I have.

Monday 15 November 2010

Valiant Germans and diecast panthers

first update for a while as real life has been winning out over hobby time the last couple of weeks. I managed to finish the sea witch (my pirate ship) and base coated in time to play some pirate games at the club against Jim (some pictures here on Jim's Blog ) but I want to finish it properly before I post up pictures here.
The Slann are still on going the cold one riders are close to being finished, and I've added some extra scouts and painted up a couple of character models, When the cold ones are finished I'll post up some pics.
In the mean time Jim kindly flogged me a box of valiant Germans at a knock down price so I've been distracted into making a start on the rapid fire in 1/72 project that I've always wanted to do. Up above you can see pictures of my first attempts at painting 1/72 infantry these miniatures are supposed to represent SS panzer grenadiers of the 9th SS panzer division. to be honest once I started researching German uniforms for late war I wish I hadn't lots of different camo gear plus field grey (a colour which no one seems to be able to agree on) and the SS and Heer wearing different stuff it all got a bit confusing. In the end I plumped for a mix of field grey and 1944 pattern shirts in pea dot (I think).
Pictured above are the first batch of 12 infantry there are 18 more on the painting table and then I need to build the support weapons (mortars, Panzershrecks and HMGs). As with most of my projects this is threatening to get out of hand as I picked up two extra boxes of valiant Germans (one of each type classic and Normandy) to go with the one Jim sold me which works out as 204 German infantry. At the moment I'm thinking of four rapid fire battalions one SS panzer grenadier battalion, a battalion from the 21st panzer division, an infantry battalion and maybe a fortress battalion made up with the left overs

As well as the infantry I've added a couple of re-painted diecast Panther tanks to support my SS panzer grenadiers.
Cheers Jon

Sunday 31 October 2010

Slann slave troops

Another unit for my Slann army done. This time captured human slave troops led by a Slann slave master. These miniatures are TAG Aztecs and a Citadel pre-slotta (circa 1984) Slann. These guys as you'd expect aren't great troops under the rules but they do bulk out my infantry force rather well. Just the Slann cold one riders to go now plus 3 extra lizardmen and a few extra scout miniatures I picked up. After that it's onto the Pygmy ally contingent.
Cheers Jon