From the Shed: 20mm British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) from Under Fire Miniatures.

I got a few sample of the recent BAOR range from Under Fire Miniatures and have got some paint on them.

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An a close up of one of the miniatures (with some gravestones)…

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They are really nice figures and I’m reliably informed that there are expansions to the range in the form of support weapons on the way.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

More beating around the Bush (Horizons)

A bit ago Bill and I went to see his friend Nick to playtest the latest army lists developed for Nick’s ruleset ‘Bush Horizons’. See the earlier game here.

There was a new amphibious assault army list as well as an air assault list; Bill went for the naval options whilst I was left with the helicopters. We both generated our forces and then got Nick’s wonderful toys organised.

We didn’t bother with any of the campaign systems as we wanted to just test the combat.

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The helicopters allowed me the sieze the airfield objective in a coup de main assault very early. After that I just used my helicopters and aircraft to try and whilttle down Bill’s units as he approached… to be fair there wasn’t that much he could do be slowly approach and weather the storm, opposed beach landings are never good for the attacking troops.

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A bit more cover on the table would have helped but Bill was unlucky not to down anything with his AA as I pushed my attacks quite aggresively.

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As usual it wasa pleasure to use Nick’s models and i look forward to getting another chance to play.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Not from the Shed: Teaching my Nephews to paint.

Given it has been the summer holidays for school kids across the UK I have been doing my ‘Uncle Pete’ bit and have started to teach my nephews (11, 9, 6) how to paint.

The oldest has wanted to get into Warhammer recently after playing it with friends at school and his younger brothers have expressed and interest too. So I dragged my paint across town to help them paint some figures they have picked up.

 

The oldest has started collecting Space Marines and did this character figure.

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The middle one prefers fantasy and work on this Lizardman.

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The youngest just wanted to do the ‘cool bad guy a cloak’ so painted this Nurgle Plague Marine.

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I did this Age of Sigmar figure whilst I was there to show them some techniques.

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A great day introducing the next generation into the hobby.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

From the Shed: M1 Abrams

Just finished this modest expansion for my 6mm Cold War collection: two battalions worth of M1 Abrams for 5core: Brigade Commander. This are the first production models with the 105mm gun.

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For those ‘Cold War goes hot’ games I think that for tabletop games the balance of forces is ‘best’ in the early 80s, much later and the mix of 120mm APFSDSDU tank shells, MRLS and Apaches skews the balance too much.

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I added some roads on the bases of one battalion to differentiate it. Also I went for the plain forest green paint job on these as that way they could be easily distinguished from the M60s (in MERDC) and the later M1A1s (in NATO 3 colour).

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A trio of M1s on smaller bases rounds out this little force.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

A new look at the Battle of Kursk.

A bit back Bill of Under Fire sent me this news article that he had found:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48963295

I looked for the journal article that it mentioned, and at the time of writting, it is available for free here:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16161262.2019.1606545 (just click on the PDF tab) which is always nice to see as so much academic work is hidden behind rather expensive paywalls most of the time.

It is definately worth taking the time to download and read if you have the slightest interest in the Eastern Front of WW2. I will flag up a few quick points though…

Although the Germans are now believed to have lost signaficantly less tanks than previously, although I don’t think the attritional strategy suggested by the author would have worked in the slightest: the economic output of the Germans was dwarfed by that of the allies. Even for the duration of the summer I don’t think it could have forestalled the Soviet offensive, leaving aside the human cost the Soviet materiel losses were replaceable.*

The battle was still an operational defeat (the salient was not reduced) and a strategic defeat as the Nazi forces never regained the initiative on the eastern front for the rest of the war.

For those of us who like to play wargaming campaigns with our tanks it does seem that retaining possession of the battlefield at the end of an encounter, thus allowing you to recover/repair as many tanks as possible, mitigates the majority of losses as relatively few tanks that are knocked out in combat are reduced to flaming wrecks. That is definately something to factor into future games.

The strength of the SS divisions vis a vie the Whermacht ones, far stronger, nearly twice as big in some cases. Whilst the early SS formations suffered from a paucity of equipment by this stage it seems clear that that trend had been reversed.

I hope you have found that of interest and if you read the articles and have any comments I’d love to hear them.

Cheers,

Pete.

* Some rough numbers to argue my case. The Panze IV, Sherman and T34 are roughly comparable. Between 1939-45 the Nazis made 9000 Pz IVs, between 1940- 45 about 50,000 T34s were made, in slightly less time (1942-45) about 50,000 Shermans were made.

From the shed: Old- School sci- fi figures.

Recently I treated myself to some figures from my favourite range of old figures: the 1990s vintage Copplestone designed ‘Future Skirmish’ now sold by Moonraker.Back in my teens they got used when I used to run RPG sessions of Cyberpunk 2020*; I always loved their ragged post Apocalypse look.

Here they are painted:

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The figure on the left is more modern: a Casting Room cultist with a weapon swap that I have done to use as a medic/ Rougue Doc (he is painted red and white with a Plague Doctor mask so works for me) in Necromunda.

I’ll add them into Necromunda as hired guns or use them in other Sci- Fi games that come along.

 

A nice trip down memory lane….

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

* Which will return as a tabletop RPG to tie into the release of the Cyberpunk 2077 computer game.