In memory of John Dowman ‘Mausman’

Just before the COVID pandemic hit i was greatly saddened to hear of the death of John Dowman. I new him for many years through various forums where he always went by the name of Mausman. Today would have been his birthday and The Wargamers’ forum, of which John was a moderator, organised a build in his memory. John loved tanks, German ones in particular, and combat oin the Eastern Front, he also had an interest in experimental vehicles… all things I shared. Although he did get rid of his experimental stuff in the end I was happy as some bits made their way into my collection. He was a a talented model maker- for a short while he ran a resin terrain company with a friend. He always belived in getting things out of the stash and on to the table as quickly as possible- something every gamer can agree with I think.

For the build I decided to do a 1/72 Dragon E100 with commander from SHQ. I hope he would have liked it.







I used to meet up with John once or twice a year when me getting down to the wargame shows in Newark coincided with his shore leave (John worked on the diving side of the off shore oil industry, he tried to get me to be train as a diver once, the pay sounded good but rather dangerous, maybe if I were 10 years younger at the time…). I’ll miss my chats with him.



3D printer- my initial foray.

As previously mentioned I recieved a 3D printer for xmas and the past couple of weeks I’ve been playing around with it. I have also been looking on various website for as many interesting looking free files that I could find to try out.


Assembly was a breeze with only one recalictrant cable proving to be difficult so I quickly printed off the test file to see how it turned out. I was rather pleased with the results. Fast and not too noisy (the cat is happy to sleep through it running)- generates a lot of heat though.


The next day was, however, less succesful due to what is best described as user generated errors. I tried printing out a different figure but that one failed when a support gave way.


I decided to get some simpler terrain bits printed, that is after all what I primarily want to use it for. I found some rather nice manhole covers/ sewer entrances so printed off a set of 6 for myself.


Given how pleased I was with these I tried my hand at rescalling some vehicles and printing them out. I found a 1:100 set of experimental/ prototype WW2 German designs and selected the smallest and resized it to 1:72. The first time I printed it I didn’t reorientate it so whilst one side printed out very nicely the other didn’t do well at all.



I asked about and it seems that the correct way to go is tracks down so I tried again. Much better this time, but when it cam to cleaning off the suppors I fear I may have lost some detail.


On person did suggest printing AFVs with them stood on their rear hull, I’m not really convinced but in the interests of experimentation I’ll give it a go.


I also resized some 1:200 WW1 tanks to 1:100 to use with the Great War board game I enjoy. It is a rather chunky print but once cleaned up I rather like it.


That is where I have got to so far. I want to try some more scenery before I go into full production to make myself a Necromunda set up.





From the shed: IS 7 Heavy tank.

One of the silliest things a gamer can do is get stuck in an arms race… trying to get the biggest/ most powerful unit… it is even sillier when this is with yourself. Bearing that in mind I present my IS7: a Soviet prototype that should give the Germans with their dug in E100 pause for thought.

is7 1

This beast of a tank, aka Object 260, was design in December 1945 and weighted in at 68 tonnes. Armed with a massive 130mm gun fed by an autoloaded it also carried 8 assorted machine guns (2 in the hull, 2 in the turret rear 3 co axially and 1 on an anti- aircraft mount). The behemoth had up to 300mm of armour and was proof against the german 128mm PAK (the main armament of the Jagdtiger and the planned armament of the E100) from the front.

is7 2

Seven protypes were made but it was not, for many reasons, decided to put the type forward for full production. It remains the heaviest tank the Soviets/ Russia has ever made; a surviving example is in Kublinka museum. It was followed by the IS8 which eventually entered service as the T10 (the name being changed after Stalin’s death).

is7 3

This 1/72nd kit is by Trumpter and was a pleasure to put together. I painted it with the usual acrylics. It should hake a decent opponent to all of the silly German experimental stuff I’ve got if I could only find somewhere big enough to take advantage of its main gun. It will probably be used as an objective in a skirmish game…. it may even face the Western Allies in a very early Cold War game… why not I guess?

is7 4




From the Shed: Dug in E100.

The Entwicklung series of tanks was an attempted rationalisation of the German tank production towards the end of WW2. You can read more about it here and here.

The E100 was a heavy tank,  comparable to the better know Maus, armed with a 128mm gun and a coaxial 75mm L48 gun.

e100 1

I bought this 1/72nd Dragon kit many years ago to use the running gear for resin conversion (into an even sillier 150mm armed jagdpanzer version) as such I’ve had the spare hull and turret sitting around planning to do it as a dug in version. A group build on the Wargamers Forum link gave me the impetus.

e100 2

e100 3


Next job is to come up with a scenario to use it in… I’m thinking Russian Engineers or Commandos sneaking up at night to blow it up….






Road to Peenemünde – AAR.

A week ago Monday the usual gang (Evan, Chris, Brian and myself) got together to play another NUTS! game.

I chose the ‘Road to Peenemünde’ game from the War Without End supplement as I wanted to get a handle on the ATGM rules, the game features an X7, as I was working on my modern vehicle stats at the time. Also I’ve got a fair bit of 1946 style what if? kit that hadn’t had an outing in ages. I won’t list the full briefing as it is in the book but basically it was a squad of Germans plus an X7 ATGM with a Maus against a platoon of Soviet infantry, a platoon of T34/85s, a single BA64 and an IS2.

My interpretation of the table- as seen from the German end.

My interpretation of the table- as seen from the German end.

Table size was the usual 6 by 4 foot. The House is by Hovels, Watch tower is a Fujimi plastic, Checkpoint by Grand Manner, One bunker was scratch built and the smaller on is a SOGGY special. The Maus is a Dragon kit.

The defending German squad.

The defending German squad.

The German infantry figures are from the TDQ range of alternate WW2 figures. The helmet they are wearing is more or less the same model that was adopted by the East German’s NVA after the war. It was issued in small number to Volksturm units in 1945. Looks like I need to tidy up the edge of that base too.

The world's first ATGM- the X7.

The world’s first ATGM- the X7.

The X7 missle, carriage and crew all come from FAA.

A half team of the infantry deploy in the woods.

A half team of the infantry deploy in the woods.

As does the X7.

As does the X7.

The game started with Chris’ Soviet infantry advancing up their left flank making best use of the cover available and trying to avoid the line of fire of the 2 MG42s.

Soviet infantry using a house to block MG fire.

Soviet infantry using a house to block MG fire.

Meanwhile the armour moved across the more open right flank using speed to try and close the range (not that the Maus was vulnerable from the front but Brian was hoping for flank or rear shot.

Pic showing off the 2 bunkers.

Pic showing off the 2 bunkers.

The Ba64 shot forward trying to draw out the fire of my defending infantry. Given it’s diminutive size Evan, controlling the Maus, ignored it…

Flying up the road it goes....

Flying up the road it goes….

The game basically came down to whether Evan and I could take out the Soviet tanks before they could get on top of us. Given their speed and small table we both had to make every shot count. Accordingly I let off an X7 missile.

Flying toward the T34/85, which spotted the missile and tried some evasive maneuvers.

Flying toward the T34/85, which spotted the missile and tried some evasive maneuvers.

Sadly I missed completely and got High Ex’d in return with predictable results.

Accurately placed HE can have deadly effects.

Accurately placed HE can have deadly effects.

Fortunately the Maus was doing much better, the IS2 was hit (good), but was over penetrated (bad) but then failed to pas a clank test and withdrew off the board (good). 2 more T34/85s fell to the massive 128mm gun but not before they had taken out my infantry to the immediate left of the Maus.

Given the activation die didn’t help the Russians, they failed to activate for 2 turns, their remaining T34/85 kept rolling forward.

3 tanks down so far,  the Maus is doing well.

3 tanks down so far, the Maus is doing well.

However Evan couldn’t seem to take it out. To make matters worse my Panzerfaust wasn’t in a position to help either. So the T34 trundled on and quickly got to the a position behind the Maus.

From this angle the 85mm gun can penetrate the Maus quite easily.

From this angle the 85mm gun can penetrate the Maus quite easily.

One lucky die roll later the game was over. With the Maus destroyed and a platoon of infantry about to over run, Evan and I conceded. The Maus was too slow to reverse and re position itself to keep the T34 in it’s front arc. I mentioned I’d much rather have 4 Hetzers with a total tonnage of a third of the Maus, rather than the single super heavy. Everyone agreed and it pretty much proved the pointlessness of the design. Unless you have an engagement range only usually found on the steppe or in the desert the power of the 128mm is totally wasted as you can easily be out maneuvered.

However the ATGM rules worked well and I’m looking forward to using them in some sort of counter factual WW3 game soon.