Sunday, 13 October 2019

Is 20mm still sellable?

I've finally decided to bite the bullet and sell off all my 1/72 (20mm) WW2 stuff. There's a large number of built & painted vehicles and quite a few kits still in their boxes.

I'm really not sure what demand there is for this stuff, and I am not sure whether to try and sell it in bundles, or as individual kits, or even what to ask for it. But there are some very cool kits in here, I am sure someone must want them?

1970s British

WW2 British

WW2 German Part 1

WW2 German Part 2


1970s US & Russian

The bottom box is an SU85, a T26 and a PzII

Skelp 2019

And another Skelp is over. It's a very nice wee show, and there are a lot of the 'faces' in wargaming circles in Scotand who make the effort to get to Forfar in October. Beautiful day in Forfar, with the run up from Dundee in glorious sunshine.

This year there were a wheen players up on stage with Magic the Gathering. From what I saw, they were so immersed in their own games, the rest of the hall could have been a wheatfield for all the interest it had. But well done to Highlander Games for organising it.

The Bring & Buy seemed a bit anemic unless you wanted 15mm unpainted ancients, although I did manage to direct Steve to some bargain supports for his US forces in 28mm. One bloke had decided to dispose of his 28mm Warlord Plastics other than his Germans and Russians, so there were some good bargains. Sadly for me, pretty much all stuff I already had.

The tables were a very mixed bunch..
A good selection
 The Wild West table for the Kirriemuir club got players of all ages, sizes and shapes.

'SPIT' (Stupid Projects in Twenty Eight Mill)
Arnhem? in 54mm? all buildings etc scratchbuilt, and also Dr Chris Brown there playing..   had a good chat with him. Interesting chap, and if anyone is going to put on an Arnhem game...

Battle of the Nile
Lovely mat for this one, though the waves may be slightly out of scale with these guys below..

 Very effective -
Battle of Hopton
Didn't get a note of who these guys were, but a very nice looking game with excellent figures, and I like the backdrop.
I offered to make drum noises to make the rowers go faster. When I looked round later they had some lovely markers for fire weapons. Simple, but very effective.

Moonbase Sturm Acht (or something) 
Nazis? On the Moon? Ok, not a new concept, but this was very nicely done with some great models, and a fun attitude. I think this was Gothenburg Gamers.


A well deserved winner from Dave Imrie et al. The Scottish sunshine made photography tricky, but this was a beautifully realised table, using Lion Rampant, Burgundian vs Swiss, all figures by the Perrys.

Pebble Island
Another fun game - sneak on to the airstrip and blow up the planes. It seemed to be a popular game throughout the day, Falkirk gamers perhaps?

The Leuchars club put on this rather nice game entitled 'The Last Samurai' - not sure of rules, but when I looked again, it seemed the atavistic sword-wielders had the upper hand!

Dead Man's Hand
Kirriemuir Wargames Club put on a fun participation game, grab the loot, don't get shot.. I think it needs more dust and tumbleweeds.


I was fortunate enough to have a winning raffle ticket that got me the paints on the left, otherwise Martin  and Co at Warbases seem to have done best - an old barn, a Russian house, and some haystacks. I picked up a couple of US engineers at the B&B, and otherwise a laser toy and some tufts.

All in all, a good day, so now it's Targe to look forward to . 

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

More tales about Buildings, Russians and Laptops

Sounding a bit like Talking Heads, but it's been an interesting week. Not only has work been 'challenging', but for a couple of weeks I have been struggling with a laptop that has had serious issues. Basically, it needed a 'keyboard-ectomy' and I was struggling with typing without certain letters. You try composing blogposts, (or anything!) without 'S', 'W',  'X', & '2'.

I've replaced keyboards in other laptops, but this is a HP 255 G4. Meaningless to most people, but it's an integrated keyboard, meaning you don't simply replace the keyboard, you have to dismantle the entire device from the underside to get to the keyboard so the whole innards have to be disassembled, motherboard, fan, heat sink, connectors, hard drive, etc..  just to replace the keyboard.

The HDD & DVD-ROM & DVD controller is off, still the fan, heat-sink, motherboard etc..  and see the expanse of grey metal revealed? Well; that plate is held on with literally dozens of little plastic welds, that need to be cut off, before you can even see the keyboard.

I can however reveal I am currently typing this on that very laptop pictured above. Mission accomplished, but what a mission! Very poor design. Nothing left over too, like spare screws, which is a good thing.

I also have been working on two TT Combat MDF buildings. I rather like these, they are very inexpensive, and since I always work up MDF buildings anyway, I don't need pre-painted or tons of surface detail. The roofs are from Warbases excellent tile-sheets. So far, I've surfaced and textured these, and done an initial paint-job, the roofs need paper flashing, one needs cap tiles, and both roofs need painting.

Actually finished..?  Well, earlier this year I misplaced a British 2" mortar team somewhere, so when I ordered replacements from 1st Corps, I went the whole hog and got two British teams, and for good measure, two German 50mm mortars as well. I decided while I had the field grey mix out; I should add in a couple of Warlord figures I had hanging around, a somewhat exaggerated officer and a medic. 

More work in progress, Kubel is done, so is the Char B1 Bis, the Pak 40 is just being started (why don't manufacturers make extra crew available?), a Resin Panzer IV I inherited and rebuilt ready for painting and weathering.  And then the Stuart is progressing slowly, there's a US jeep and two rather nice UK Airborne ones from 1st Corps.

Finally, the major project progressed a little with the reorganisation of what I had in the stash into a recognisable Soviet 1941 platoon plus supports. These have been sourced from Crusader, BTD, PSC and Warlord. I reckon they will be all pretty much compatible once the paint jobs are completed, and I already have a Warlord/Italeri T34 and KV to go with them.  I am also eyeing off the absolutely lovely Rubicon Models T26 and upcoming BA10 to add to the support options, and make a great opponent for my Early War Germans, that can easily do double duty for June - September 1941 and Barbarossa.

Finally, if you are anywhere in the vicinity on October 12th, the Angus Wargames Club are hosting Skelp in Forfar at the Reid Hall. It's a great wee show, and I hope to see you there. I will be with the Kirriemuir Club, helping put on our Wild West participation game, so come and say hello.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Another Platoon

While I have been quiet for a month or so, this doesn't mean I haven't been busy. In between exciting thing like dismantling my laptop to try and figure out why various keys have stopped working..  like w, x & s (Unsuccessfully, I have to copy and paste these letters from an old file.. )

A pleasant surprise a receiving a free copy of Armies & Legions & Hordes from Wargames Illustrated, a rather nice coffee table painting book. 

And I made a start on a new platoon for Chain of Command...  so far, cleaned up some Crusader, Black Tree and warlord soviets. They were first undercoated with my usual spray cheapo black primer, then airbrushed Tamiya khaki, a top light dusting of Tamiya buff and it gives them some depth, Tamiya dark green for helmets and I'm wondering what colour to hit them with next.


Tuesday, 20 August 2019

28mm Early War Germans complete

For some reason, these just seemed to take forever. I don't know, it was possibly that I had a first rush of enthusiasm when I finished my Early War French, and then the saga with BTD just left me fed up.

But they are finally finished and I am reasonably happy. Let me know what you think?

AT Gun 1.
In Chain of Command, most crewed support weapons have a crew of 4 or 5, sometimes with a junior leader.

AT Gun 2
So this gun only has one crew on his base, there are other figures I have listed as 'handlers', mostly made up from the Warlord plastics, that can be added to make up full crews. The square thing on the base is a dice frame from Warbases that will hold a 7mm dice to show casualties.
50mm Mortar
 These guys are normally in platoon headquarters with the platoon commander and platoon sergeant.

AT Rifle, sadly - not a support option in the Blitzkrieg book
This is a Warlord Games pack, picked up on a whim before I checked and discovered that the AT rifle isn't generally available to German units in 1940. OK, should see some use when I game Barbarossa, that'll really scare those KV tanks! 

The original command figures, 
I think the guy in the greatcoat is going to be retired, he looks way too senior for the scale of a CoC game, but I love the Warlord Games running 'officer' with the MP38. (Technically, the officer should be pistol equipped, but hey..  artistic licence and I will just count him as a pistol.)

More command and helpers.
The lads in the officers hats can stand in as Junior Leaders for the support weapons as required, the more disheveled chap on the left is the platoon sergeant, and the ones in front are the extra crew figures to make up full weapons crews.

Ammunition handlers
I sized this base so it can sit behind the AT guns, the Le IG and even the static MG 34 to make the crew numbers up. I figure that box could hold almost any kind of ammo.

Le IG 18 75mm
Another box, and I do like that kneeling figure. Adding the base above on the back of this one gives me the full crew while maintaining flexibility.

Squad 1
 Corporal, lance corporal, 5 riflemen and a light machine gun team of three men.

Squad 2

As above - you can see some of the great variety you can get with BTD.

Squad 3
As above, so below!

Squad 4
The Early War German platoons were organised into 4 squads, not the later three squad version. It also gives me the choice of another squad as a support option when playing post 1940 games.

Static MMG 34
Finally - the MG34 in its static role as a medium machine gun. To make up the crew I will need to use some of the handlers.

So far the painted German vehicles include a PzIV, a PzII a PzJager I, a Kubelwagen and an Sdkfz 222 armoured car. So the platoon is pretty well provided for in support options.

Now to decide whether to tackle GIs or Soviets next...

Monday, 12 August 2019

28mm Buildings and US Armour

So, I haven't managed to get much wargames stuff done, real life has been so very intrusive. I have managed to slap some more colours on the Early War German platoon and supports, but they are still a long way from being picture-ready. Some progress has been made on the buildings.

I am fairly happy with the building design, and unlike my first thoughts, I have tiled the roofs, but I now need to add weathering, signage, and a range of little details like a light etc. I haven't quite worked out what kind of workshop it might be, but I wonder if it could be a bicycle workshop? 

Cafe Normandie
Ok, I have to confess; I am a little disappointed with how this is turning out. Essentially I got this wrong. There's a trap for young players, in that the Cafe Normandie signage should go on the first floor (second for our USA chums), and each of the flooring pieces has uniquely keyed tabs for the walls. So check that your signage piece, and the unique rear section for the first floor (2nd for our US cousins etc...) fit on the same floor section. Dry fit, dry fit, dry fit.. 

I ended up with the Signage on the second floor, as I assembled it quickly without checking, and it seems like I blew the whole thing. I simply couldn't get a neat join at the corner intersections, and even after a grouting coat, the interlocking sections are still painfully obvious.

Having seen the sample assembled model on the website, and a sample 'in the flesh' at Claymore, I can't believe the issue was the model, but much more likely that I just boobed in the construction phase. I wish I had another one of these to try and get it right, but ah well. In hindsight, as well as that, I wish I had elected to have the windows either fully closed with shutters, or entirely open. The half closed ones just look odd.

Anyway - on to something I am happier with - the Rubicon Stuart/Scott model.

As Scott

As Stuart
I have left the top hull section unglued so I can swap them out. In an ideal world, I would have cut away the top of the glacis plate and attached it to the different hull tops as the glacis is different, with the Scott having hatches there, the Stuart on the top hull plate. Again in hindsight, this would have been relatively easy, and I could have used magnets to hold the alternative turret + hull-top + glacis in place. At the time though I was again. rushing it.

As with all the Rubicon models I have made, this was an absolute delight to put together, with no flash and really well engineered. About the only thing I did to improve the model was drill out the lifting eyes. The decal sheet looks excellent, but the one criticism I have of the kit is that the marking options are not included anywhere, and so you are left to do your own research - which isn't ideal when you are looking at specific registrations.

I'm still hunting for specific combinations, if anyone can help out, let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Cafe de Normandie - WIP

One of the pieces of loot from Claymore was the Charlie Foxtrot model of the Cafe de Normandie, originally in Carentan. I've seen various versions of it.

My version is still awaiting clean up, roof tiling, drainpipes etc, plus signage, but I may make it something else, a hatshop perhaps..

So far, assembly (shell only), grouting adhesive, wash with very thinned Coat d' Armes super-shader, adding frames and doors (after painting separately). The shutters will be off-white.

Fairly happy so far.