Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Germans...First off, Aufklarungs Battalion

SHQ 250/1's +250/7 lurking at the back.+ Milicast 250/8's, ..Prieser, Lamercraft and AB crews

This project has been ongoing now for a couple of years, and theres still a way to go...plus its huge, so I'll do it bit by bit. I'll start with the Aufklarungs battalion.

The idea for these was for a Generic Panzer reconnaisance outfit that could be used for Italy, Russia and maybe Normandy (one day)
I wanted a unified look to all my German stuff, and plenty of crew figures on the vehicles, having said that, they were assembled bit by bit, a few E-bay purchases, and then the bulk of the 250's from SHQ..I'm not 100% happy with the painting but they will do. The effect is ok though
The above pic has 2 armoured infantry coys of 4 x 250/1's, with AB dismounted infantry deployed. One can also include a 250/8 (Milicast models) in each of these coys to give them a bit of 75mm support, or they can be grouped into a heavy coy. The AB stuff is so fabulous its hard not to just keep buying and painting it all.
The Prieser crews are great fun, hard plastic, in mad poses, but good for guys bailing out with a sense of urgency about them.

Prieser and Lammercraft crews bail out!

To back these lads up we a light armoured car company of 3 x 250/9.
I can use these for '43 onwards. These are Milicast models, really lovely. They are the best around and worth the money. I went for the extra detail bits of etched brass hatch covers and 20mm barrels. Again, Prieser crew

Milicast 250/9's

However I couldn't resist also giving myself an earlier/ more obsolete option with these SHQ Sdkfz 222' s- I've always had a thing for these little armoured cars.

SHQ 222's

Finally there is a heavy company, 2 x 234/1, and a 234/3. All of these I picked up on e-bay, so no idea of their provenance. I just added a few AB, Lammercraft and Fantassin crew, a quick re-paint and foliage.
Add in a towed Pak and or an infantry gun to taste.
This gives a pretty large unit with a lot of options, I feel its not going to be fielded in its entirety too often, but I like to build units at fullish strength and then leave bits out rather than be restricted in choice for a scenario.
The final piece of the reconnaisance jigsaw is a Hasegawa 234/2 Puma which I've got to make up- its on the "soon" list....Pics when its done

Sdkfz 234/1's - nose of the 234/3 poking in.

The Soviets

Altaya T-34 with AB tank riders

Took a few pictures of my burgeoning WWII Soviet stuff today. This project was begun at the end of April this year, so pretty good progress so far.

The aim is to assemble enough kit to do either an Infantry division or a Tank Corps with add-ons for both.
These are all for a 1 vehicle = 1 platoon style scale. Suitable for CD, Spearhead, etc.
I've bought a lot of Dragon/Altaya pre-painted stuff.If you know where to look these can be got VERY cheap. A big chunk was 18 Altaya T-34's on e-bay for less than £70 including P&P
About £3.90 a vehicle painted!...Impossible to match really. They are not quite as good as the Dragon models but form a good nucleus for the Tank corps.
So far there are:

28 T-34's
4 KV1's
4 SU152's
2 SU85's

These are sporting about 90 crew figures and tank riders

To back these up most of the infantry are painted, a few still to base. About 300 in total when I'm done. The majority are Fantassin models.
On order are:
6x BA64 (Frontline)
6x Trucks (Frontline)

Still to come will be 4 x SU76's plus some carriers, either White scout cars or Bren carriers.
After this a light tank battalion...not sure which yet, T70 or Valentines?..Hard to resist the Valentines.
Then I just need a few more trucks/tows and more Anti-tank guns. Currently I only have 4 x 45mm and 4 x 76mm.
I'm aiming for some of these to have an outing at the WHC in about 10 days time, I'll take some up there for a weekend out of their boxes. Gerry is doing an early 44 bash. Lots of photo opprtunities I hope!

MMS tankriders on a Dragon T-34 (nice figures, but multipart metal...a pain in the arse to put together)

Dragon KV1, Fantasin Tank riders

Dragon T-34 in the background, Elheim Infantry (removed from their HORRIBLE slotta bases)

Many more pics here:http://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w138/christot2001/

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Hardly in the beginning

Stephen's Scott's Young Guard crunch into me at the WHC (Sept'08)
By way of introduction:
Here I am, a longstanding wargamer. If you need my history read "Achtung Schwienund" by Harry Pearson. Like just about every late 40 something British wargamer I've ever met its all in there. Read it. it will make you laugh. (providing you are a gamer, otherwise you will think its rubbish)
Anyway, this is more about the future than the past.
So why a blog? Seems to be the way to go, and I want to use it, not only as a record of thoughts, games, figures, painting etc; but also a marker for my progress to my goal. Which is the one wargames accessory I don't possess. Namely; a games room, shed, palace, whatever.

About 16 or 17 years ago I took stock of my wargaming life, I was involved (when I was in the UK) in club gaming. Which was great. I had been a member of the Cambridge club from the age of about 15, and had gone through all the evolutions of a small town wargames club. We had a great time, played everything over the years: Points Ancients, fantasy, Napoleonics, ACW, ECW, Renniasance, WWII, Moderns....I had 25mm, 15mm, 20mm, 6mm armies in all manner of periods. The club was pretty vibrant, a good long meeting time, all sunday afternoon and evening, nice terrain, and, crucially...good people... but...it wasn't enough. I wasn't playing the kind of games I wanted to play.
It took a long while to figure it out. The final crystalisation was when a friend (John Lander) suggested we go to he Wargames Holiday Centre for a weekend to play Borodino...ok...off we went....and there it was... an Epiphany! This was what i wanted! .... A MASSIVE table with THOUSANDS of 25mm figures on it. Like the majority of gamers I thought "hang on, thats all very well...but that requires commitment, money, time, dedication, I just have a hobby involving a few toy soldiers"...but..if that is what you want, then maybe that is what one has to do...But, it didn't happen....I did move away from club gaming, it just wasn't enough for me any more, and I figured that instead of a weekly 3 hour fix an occasional 2 day orgy was a preferable solution, so I played a lot at the WHC, built up my own decent 25mm Napoleonic collection (about 4,000 figs), helped build a big shed in John's garden to put it all in...life was sweet....no more piddly 3 hour ACW games,it seemed a good compromise.
However, here we are, many years on and now I reach another nexus point. This is no longer enough. John has his shed, Gerry and Mike have the WHC, Mr Marshall QC has his flat, Noel has his garage, Nick Farrell has a business unit (for God's sake!) all of which contain other peoples' fabulous permanent wargames solutions. Not mine. I am a guest at all of these establishments. They are all great, I enjoy visiting all of them, but none of them are mine. They all have their good points that others do not possess, their own individual flavour. It is high time that I joined these ranks, and was able to put on the games I want to for my friends, rather than guesting at theirs.
So we reach another point...Now my games goal is not just to play big,beautiful games, but put on big, beautiful games. Its the next logical step.
Now this is not quite so simple....There is no room in my house...there is no room in my garden.. So a move will be on the cards. I don't know when, but it is likely in the future. It will happen in the lifetime of this blog. That, I promise myself.
In the meantime there will be fun!
A record of games, painting projects (for the first time in my life I now own a decent camera) trips, figures, thoughts, rules, et all et all

We will begin.