From the Shed: IDF Achzarit in 1/72pics.

The IDF was the first army to use heavy APCs and I figured it would be interesting to explore their tactical use on the table top… so given I’ve got some suitable figures knocking about I turned to my 3D printer and went to Wargaming 3D and bought this file

The Achzarit was built on the chassis on the T55 tank, the Israelis had captured so many of them in the 73 wars that they decided to convert them to APCs given the losses suffered by their M113s in Lebanon in 1982. The turret was removed, the engine turned sideways which allowed for a back door to be fitted and a whopping 14 extra tons of armour added. They were first used in combat in 2002. In IDF service it is slowly being replaced by the Namer APC that is purpose built on the Merkava IV chassis.

The 3D printer allowed this project to be done affordably given that the kit is either available from Butlers Printed Models for a rasonable price or Cromwell in resin for a high price, assuming you can get hold of it anyway. Printing time was about 18 hours at the finest resolution and some of the detail is a little over scaled after scalling it up so much but it is more than adequate for my purposes.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Viking House.

Nicola and I have started to play the excellent new Viking skimish game from Little Wars TV Ravenfeast. I figured we would need a few houses to make the game more interesting and go with the one Dark Age building I already had from War Bases in MDF.

A quick browse on thingiverse found this file of an A frame house, so I ran 2 off and we painted one each.

A quick print on the coarsest setting and it has turned out great. Here is a 28mm plastic figure for scale.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Varnishing disaster saved on Great War Tanks

I wanted to do some more Great War tanks in 15mm to go with my board game. I scaled up the Bergman design from 1/200th to 1/100th and ran off a pair of MKIVs. The plan was to paint them in German colours as captured tanks using the fancy new paint set I had got. The colours went on well and I was happy with the decals too… however, when it came to varnishing I got the dreaded white mist effect:

I was quite annoyed as you can imagine and nearly binned the models, such thoughts are only possible with the cheapness of 3d printing, but remembered that I had no more decals for them.

I risked revarnishing them on a dry day with gloss varnish, I vaguely remembered hearing somewhere that this work, and this managed to save them. See the reults here:

Really glad it did as they look pretty good now. Also it shows the limitations of scalling up a model to twice its size. Some of the detail is a little chunky now. At least it will survive game handling.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Smugglers boats and Narco Subs.

One of my more leftfield projects from my recent list was a 6mm South America riverine set up. The first bits have been done for it…

Here we have 4 fast boats and 4 Narco subs. These will be great objectives for the game, I may also write a mini smuggling game to go with them too. These are 3d resin prints I bought from Spinneyworld and are wonderful models.

The colours and schemes are authentic one that have come from this excellent source, however not all of the schemes I picked have neccassarily been used on these particular craft, but I thought in this case the rule of cool trimuphs, at least for the visuals.

I can also highly recommend the author’s website for all matters naval.

Right now to get some more boats and infantry done for them….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Late War Brits.

One of my 20mm projects was to do a platoon of late war Brits. To be a bit different I’ve gone for a platoon’s worth of figures in the Windproof 2 piece camo suit (mostly beccause my gaming friends have standard Brits….)

I’ve just finished up a test section of figures to get my colours down.

The figures are all from AB bought here.

Right now I’ve got those done I can work on getting the full lot done.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: More Finns.

I got the 2nd half of my WinterWar Finnish Platoon painted.

They have a pretty undergunned platoon compared to a lot of comparable WW2 countries organisations: only 2 LMGs and 2 SMGs with the balance being rifles. Still what the Finns lacked in firepower and equipment they made up for with tactical nounce.

The miniatures are all from 1/72 Scale Miniatures and are lovely characterful sculpts.

I also got a copy of the Skirmish Campaigns book on the Winter War.

I’ve gone through the book and worked out what else I need to get hold of to finish the project off… not that much really. I’ll look forward to playing the games using the old Arc of Fire system. Some bits are a bit clunky and their isn’t enough focus on the role of NCOs but it is still one of the better WW2 rulesets out there imo.

Next job for this project is to paint what Russains I do have as opposition and then to start playing some games.

Cheers,

Pete.

VCOW 2021.

Last weekend I attended the Virtual Conference of Wargamers put on by the Wargames Developments group.  There have been COW events run annually since the early 80s but last year, because of covid19 it was run as a virtual conference over Zoom. That was such a success that they decided to run another virtual conference 6 months later. The conference was a mix of speakers giving lectures as well as gaming sessions; I had put myself down to give two talks. Games had to be prebooked in advance, with the weekly gaming sessions I’ve been having online with the Sheffield contingent of WD I had played a few of the games already. This meant that it simplified my choices somewhat.

Friday:

Before the conference proper started there was a virtual battlefield tour. An expat member of WD walked us through the Breacourt Manner battle where Lt. Winters took out German artillery on DDay- known to most people through the excellent Band of Brothers TV series. It was nice to see the pictures and videos used for the presentation; they gave a real sense of the nature of the flooded ground that characterised the area inland from Utah beach.

The conference kicked off with a talk on modern Counterinsurgency gaming by the always knowledgeable Brian Train. This was followed by me with my PhD student hat on giving a lecturer on the use and development of counterinsurgency games. I was fairly nervous following Brian given that I am at an early stage of my research and he pretty much is the authority on the subject having designed many games on the subject. I was quite pleased with how it went overall.

After those two talks I played in an excellent Traveller RPG set on a cargo freighter. I don’t get to roleplay much and sci fi roleplays even less, so I really enjoyed this one. It was a playtest for a module that should be released fairly soon. I intend, having now played it myself, to pick it up and give it a run for other in the not too distant future.

Saturday:

An early- ish start saw me at the computer to listen to my fellow PhD research Nick give a talk on tactical games. His talk was excellent and covered the analytical studies of low level combat very well.

I then followed this up with a talk on 3D printing for Wargamers. I didn’t try to be too fancy but just outlined what I had learnt in the year that I have had mine. It is clear from this blog how much use I’ve got out of it and the cost savings I’ve made, and I wanted to get that across to the fellow WD members.

I then played in a Napoleonic skirmish game using Table Top Simulator. As the name suggests TTS is a program that allows users to recreate a virtual table top that can be used for either miniatures of board games that can be manipulated just like a physical set up. The camera view for this skirmish game was kept fairly low down so you could only see what your character could see leading to a surprisingly tense game. It was great fun even if I kept getting my characters killed.

Following this I played in a planning game where, as part of the British team, we had to plan the defence of the Isle of Wight. The scenario was 1941 and the amphibious assault on the little island was to be a diversion for the main assault on mainland UK. I really like this sort of game, looking at maps and debating deployments. Once the planning was done the 2 German planning cells presented their plans and by way of assessing all of them, they were all quickly played out using a simple system.

Finally I played in a Operation Valkyrie game about the events of 20 July and the bomb plot against Hitler. For some reason in this I was oddly restrained to the point of timidity, my ‘good idea’ in the game coming too late to be implanted… still it was a fascinating game and one I learned quite a bit from.

Sunday:

The morning started with a fascinating talk on wargaming the 1960s- looking at different way that turbulent and important decade. Clearly, for a lot pf the attendees it was their childhood/ youth so there was a degree of nostalgia creeping in. I really enjoyed the group ideas part of this session.

The last game of the weekend was an excellent committee game. This time defending Estonia from cyber attack in a grey zone/ hybrid warfare type scenario. I love these sorts of games that could easily come from tomorrow’s newspaper headlines.

The weekend ended with the AGM.

All in all it was a great weekend’s event. The hosting and sessions were all of top quality and I can’t wait for the next one.

Cheers,

Pete.

Introducing The Angrian War Room: Nicola’s blog.

I want to give a big shout out to my wonderful girlfriend’s new blog ‘The Angrian War Room’

https://theangrianwarroom.wordpress.com/

It will feature her painting, gaming and history based projects. I know some of what is coming up and I’m really excited for you to be able to see what Nicola has been working on and has been planning for the future.

If you could pop over to her blog and say hello and follow her I’d be very grateful. Also if you need any further encouragement she has just put up a battle report where we both played the new Ravenfeast rules by Little Wars TV, I got horribly slaughtered in the game so you can relish the victory over me with her there.

Cheers,

Pete.