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: 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.

From the Shed: Beute Panzer Platoon.

One of the tank history blogs that I follow (and highly recommend) is http://www.tankarchives.ca – a bit ago they did a post on French tanks in German service after 1940. After reading it I thought it would make a nice project for my 3D printer.

The tanks were sourced from the ever prolific Bergmann from Thingiverse. Doing this project really made me appreciate my £d printer as it is not something I would have done if I had to buy the resin models as before.

The tanks were actually all printed out a long time ago- just after the publication of the blog post- but have waited for paint until I got the decals for them. I wanted to num,ber them properly as one platoon: 331-335, third company, third platoon, tanks 1-5 with number 1 being the command Somua.

I may yet print out more and do them in the later camo scheme for use in Normandy and the Balkans towards the end of the war….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Vietnam Tunnel rats.

Another quick post- found these lurking underneath a piece of paper whilst looking for something else. I painted them when I did the Navy SEALs but did photograph them at the time.

The old Platoon 20 range for Vietnam is rather extensive and has some really characterful models in it. I should gets some more really but it will wait as Vietnam isn’t on my projects list.

Still might do- damm my scattergun approach to hobbying….

I’ve noticed in the photo that one of the bases needs touching up- I’ll do that before I store them away.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: German bases for Crossfire/ Megablitz.

Crossfire uses a base of troops to represent a squad (usually 3 figures) and Megablitz uses 2 on a 40mm base to represent a battalion. I thought I would base for Megablitz but then convert the Crossfire rules to use 40mm base widths rather than the imperial size suggested. As long as I adjust the artillery template in game I should be fine. The good thing about Crossfire, or at least its USP is it has no ranges and no fixed turns. I did these as a bit of a tester for my idea.

The single figures are platoon commanders for Crossfire.

Megablitz is a great but underrated system, had one game of it. Feels like playing a freeform board game in a way as it is concerned with high level battles. Each player usually commands a division so you can play some of the major actions of WW2 rather than just slices of them.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Winter War Finns.

The first batch for my Winter War project has been finished (no pun intended).

after the Soviet invasion in 1939 the Finns fought a desperate rearguard action against massive odds and did inflict some quite severe reverses on the Soviets… ultimately the Soviets proved to numerous and too implacable, resulting in a negotiated peace that saw the Finns lose some territory.

On to the figures though. These are a mix of the old Wargames Foundry 20mms and the more recent Euerka miniatures from Australia. The former are a nice but limited in poses. The Euerka stuff covers a lot more ground so to speak, including a nice redition of the Finnish Lahti-Saloranta M/26 light machine gun but I would say, if I was being a bit nit picking that the gun barrels look a little fragile.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: The RDF light tank aka LAV75.

The RPG Twilight 2000 is a classic game for all of us who are nostalgic for the Cold War eras (something comforting about a simpler bipolar power split I think). In the first edition it introduced some fictional vehicles in the game world that it predicted would be in service at the turn of the millenium. One of these was a light tank called the LAV75. A crew in hull design with a 75mm autocannon design to support airbourne operations. In really life it was based upon the RDF light tank which got to prototype stage, it was designed to replace the ill- starred Sheridan.

There are model available of the RDF tank in 6mm that I’ve painted previously but I was looking for something in 20mm to go with my duplication of forces. I asked on a Facebook group and was pointed in the direction of a GI Joe toy design- the Mauler tank- based on the same RDF light tank prototype. Close enough for my purposes I thought so I promptly printed a couple out.

Here the pair are in the bare plastic and assembled. The RDF (and LAV75) didn’t have the side skirts but given the design of the model’s running gear I added them.

They should provide a nice addition to my 20mm collection- fictional tanks for fictional wars… why not? It ties in nicely to both my 6mm collection and the old RPG, which has just had a very successful kickstarter rerelease.

Cheers,

Pete.

Game and Painting Projects for the next few months…

During lockdown I’ve had a bit of a think about what I want to work on as I’ve got loads of half- finished projects lying around. So I wrote a list…

… and found it was a bit longer than anticipated. Still it should keep me focussed and get the backlog of unpainted bits cleared quicker than I have been doing. This is what I either have on order or have in the shed in varying levels of pre paint preparation. One of my new drives is to get forces in both 6mm and 20mm so I can do a campaign where games can be run at different levels, I started doing this with printing out the two different sized watch towers. I’ll start with my Cold War forces first before moving back to Vietnam then World War Two and before.

6mm:

Helicopters and Rules: During a bout of insomnia I wrote some helicopter rules for gunships versus tanks in the cold war. I’ve a few helicopters and suitable ground targets to paint up so I can begin testing the rules.

Cold War US: Got enough to do several 5core: Brigade Commander battalions of Cold War Americans with M60 tanks and M113 APCs.

Early Cold War Brits and Soviets: As I have these in 20mm I’ve got a few useful bits spare that I can make a start with in 6mm.

African: This will be based around the later 80s battles with the SADF 61 Mechanized Battalion.

Afghanistan: So much of my Soviet stuff will cross over here that it should be fairly easy to pull some extra Taliban stuff together. Will look at basing for both 5core: Company Commander and Hind and Seek as the 6mm infantry is so cheap. Vehicles will be good for both.

Riverine stuff: Based on a magazine article I read and my interest in Colombian military history from playing Andean Abyss I’m considering getting a few bits for 1990s South American brown Water Navy games.

20mm:

Winter Brits: I’ve wanted some Brits for ages and as several of my gaming friends already have Summer infantry, I went for a platoon’s worth in the winter issue windproofs for the very end of the war. I may even do some in all white too. Some Brit vehicles in winter whitewash could look good too. I’ll also do some Bren Carriers for them as they always strike me as a quintessential British WW2 vehicle.

Winter War Finns and Soviets: I’ve had some bits of winter Finns lying about the shed for ages, but I finally ordered enough for a game and some Soviets to oppose them. There is a Skirmish Campaigns scenario book available, so I’ll concentrate on building forces to play through those games.

Crossfire/ Megablitz based WW2: Having played a bit of Crossfire at the historicals club I decided that it was time I got my own suitable based forces for the game. To keep things flexible, I’ll arrange things so that I’ll be able to use them in other games such as Megablitz. I dug out some old plastic figures and made up a Soviet and Hungarian force- they just need painting now.

Boer War: A random buy of a box of rather nice plastic figures started this project. I think I’ve got some Boers in the shed too that I can add in.

Cold War US: I’ve already got the vehicles done so I’ve got a platoon of infantry based and undercoated to go with by two scale Cold War project.

IDF vehicles: I’ve got the infantry done and I’ve found some nice 3d files so this will be a job for the printer. Be a big cost saving printing these out given the price of Israeli Army vehicles these days.

28mm:

Necromunda: Apart from the lovely new Van Saar models that have been released that I’ll be getting for my main gang I’ll just concentrate on getting the Goliath, Delaque and extras I’ve had in the shed for ages painted.

40k: Finish Death Guard Army, continue Chaos Space Marines (I have some Alpha Legion on the painting tray at the moment), Start Ad Mech force I need some opposition, right? Will start with a Kill Team sized force then expand out from there.

Cyberpunk: As a child of the later 80s/ early 90s Cyberpunk was my favourite science fiction sub- genre and now the new TTRPG is out I’ll revisit this. Also, there are some nice new skirmish games out there for table- top battles. Any scenery needed will be 3d- printed, I think.

Zone Alpha: I’ve been really quite taken with this little ruleset. It is the sort of narrative driven skirmish wargaming that I enjoy so much as well as having a great aesthetic too. I’ve got a few bits for this in both 28mm as well as lots suitable in 20mm. The Copplestone Future War partisans are next on the painting table so watch out for those soon.

My small-scale air war and naval haven’t made this list as they are all pretty much done. So really this represents less what I’ll be playing and more what I’ll be painting. Given that games are relatively few and far between painting is what I tend to do most of at the moment. As much as I’ll try to keep to this list there will doubtless be something shiny to distract me- which these days is mostly finding an interesting file to print….

Cheers,

Pete.