Friday 5 April 2024

Cheeky Cromwell


A quick and fun build of a Cromwell from my Christmas stash (Airfix 1/76). Very pleased with it. A bit big for my 80mm hexes but still usable.

Reading around the subject of Cromwells while I was modelling I was interested to learn that the very large 17pdr Challenger variant was actually lower in height than a Sherman (2.77m to, say, 3m). I always imagined it as the same size as barn, so I am quite interested in seeing if there is a 1/76 Challenger available.

BTW many projects are in various stages so I'm planning to post a few updates this month.

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Ooh shiny!


Well, once again Norm has helped me spend my pocket money. And very well spent it is too. 

Norm posted about Velikie Luki by Legion Games back in December. This is, to be honest, one of my favourite battles alongside Quatre Bras, amongst others. This is largely due to the close run natiure of the situation. I have very fond memories of the GDW game White Death from the the 1970s which treated the battle at battalion level. It featured use of impulses and also used one of the best ever battalion level combat systems. This is the sort of system that creates narrative. 

From a game played forty years ago, I still recall the massive Soviet artillery barrage that failed to hit a fortification hex, a Soviet infantry regiment being cut to pieces by a German battalion supported by a 20mm FLAK battalion, an artillery unit of 3rd Mountain Division abandoning their guns and evading the advancing Soviets to reach thier own lines. As you can tell, I played the Germans in that one.

Despite a reasonably sized map, it came with 400+ half inch counters. Even setting up the game would be challenging now, actually I have nowhere to put it!

For some time I had had my eye on the Vae Victis issue with their Vilikye Louki game but Norm's review swayed me. Interestingly enough, I ordered the game from the US. It arrived very quickly. Although the shipping exceeeded the cost, it was well worth the final price.

I recommend Norm's review for a complete picture of the game. The points that are important to me are that the map is small, the rules are short and there are 64 counters all in. The rules are straight out of the Jim Dunnigan wargames design book which means that the game is the thing, not figuring out how to play it.

Needless to say there are many other projects on the go. The problem is finding time to get on with them!

Saturday 17 February 2024

Tempest completed!


Well, a little later than expected but here is the completed 1/144 scale Tempest V. As you can see, not a perfect paint job but I'm really pleased with it. It looks better in daylight from a distance. I'm looking forward to some ground support in NW Europe!

On the modelling side of things, I built up a little stash over Xmas from the Aldi Airfix offer. I have a Spitfire, P40 and a Cromwell tank. I'm really impresed with these modern kits, so much better than I recall from the 1960s. Almost 1/48 scale detail in 1/72. So impressed have I been that I went out to find a Bf109 E.

I tracked one down at The Railway Conductor model shop in the depths of the countryside. Not actually the depths, 15 minutes or so from where I live. An interesting shop, it is in an old barn where we used to take the kids to see new born lambs many years ago. Worth a visit. The countryside is also worth a look, the finest rolling countryside not in Devon!

Having rediscovered the joys of scale modelling, I will return to the subject in the near future once I have got on with some other projects.

Sunday 21 January 2024

Primer power!


Continuing the theme of poor photography and diversionary activity, here is a 1/144 Revell Tempest. Bought ten years ago to encourage my children to enjoy sniffing glue and cutting their fingers, I found that the canopy was missing. I filled in a form on line and a replacement canopy eventually arrived. In the meantime, I had used an Airfix Spitfire for educational purposes.

So I have had this chap sitting around dusty and unpainted for a long time. I finally had the urge to finish it off. A quick brush, clean, sand and prime. Unpainted, the Tempest looked quite uninviting. However, two coats of Vallejo primer and it starts looking very nice. RAF day fighter colours here we come.


Sunday 14 January 2024

Lift off...


The Fairey Battle is completed at last! I am very pleased with it. I have been learning some scale modelling tricks on this one. It is a lot more complicated than it used to be in the olden days. You might detect some panel lining (even tho its not really a panel lining sort of kit). I have also used Vallejo Decal Fix. Even Captain Beefheart couldn't get these decals off!

I have also done some research on colours. This is K9353 from 218 Sqdn in 1940. Painted in bomber scheme with black undersides and Dark Green/Earth upper sides. I used Vallejo 894 Cammo Olive Green and 921 English Uniform. It looks OK to me, even if a little dark.

I found a couple of useful resources:

  • an on line copy of British Aviation Colours of WWII which gives the official RAF instructions on colour schemes and also includes facsimile colour chips;
  • a site dedicated to Luftwaffe Camouflage Schemes, this includes some excellent diagrams showing the development of scehemes over time with RLM colour references. 

Over Xmas I also got a Spitfire, P40 and Cromwell from the Aldi's range of Airfix starter kits. These kits are really nice and I'm looking forward to making them. Panel lining here we come!

Sunday 24 December 2023

Christmas catch-up


I had originally intended posting this some weeks ago but real life has meant that I now have an accidental festive edition.

I have been collecting some reading for the mid-winter. Looking forward to getting to grips with these. At first glance Blood and Ruins looks to be outstanding.

I have seen Brazen Chariots discussed elsehwere in blogland. I bought it and read it in one go. For an old book (slightly younger than me) I'm surprised that I hadn't come across it before. Nevertheless, a real eye opener from a command and control point of view. Much of the activity involving buggering about on a compass bearing until you find something to shoot at. Not something you will see reflected in Flames of War.

As foreseen in my last post, I have finally finished the Hs126 and tidied up the Stukas. I have also refurbished my one and only Bf109.

I have really enjoyed painting these and can't wait to start on the Brits next.

Well, it is time for festivities including Norm's very excellent annual Christmas post tomorrow. So, on that note, Happy Christmas one and all!

Monday 13 November 2023

More Zvezda airforce


Room for a run up here!

Shakey Hans!

Multiple projects causing severe confusion about what to do next. So, time to finish off some aircraft. Two Stukas today. Perhaps the HS126 tomorrow.

Then, oh dear, a Blenheim, a Battle, a Tempest MKIV (Revell) and a U2 and a LAGG 3. That might be a plane too far. Let's see.