25 January 2021

I can drive (drive !) my very own tank

It's been a while since there were any posts on the blog so with good intentions maybe we can remedy the situation in 2021.

I've been playing around with some music and videos and uploaded a medley of photos to youtube with what could be some appropriate music. Turn it up very loud if you like a bit of rough late 70s music.




 #thestranglers #tank #oneseventytwoscale

11 December 2020

Ersatz M10 - Work in Progress

A quick update on some work in progress.

I'd wanted this Dragon kit for some time, and I think Dragon first put this kit out about 10 years back, maybe even longer. 


I was put off by the high price of the kit and was glad when I saw one online at a reasonable price. The box was a little dog-eared but the contents were complete.


And to be honest I'm glad I found this cheap because when I took it out of the box, I noticed the flexible tracks were in a little plastic bag which was full of a kind of sticky oil. 

Very strange I thought.

Then a kind of  "Quatermass and the Pit" event happened as I took them out of the bag - after their years of being preserved in there, they crumbled and cracked into little pieces ! 

Dragon's not so flexible tracks

So now I've got myself a lovely Ersatz M10 with no tracks.

I've gone the quick route to solving this and susbstituted the whole track and bogie assembly with a one-piece set taken off an old CC-Lee Panther kit I had in the stash that I never got around to building.


Now undercoated on the painting table waiting for a little free time over the weekend to try and finish it off.


So, a lesson learned with regard to this Dragon kit and its old flexible tracks - over the years they leach oil and fall to bits.

In spite of the track problem, I've got a vehicle I've wanted for quite some time.



01 September 2020

Airfix US Paratroops - Some Conversions

When these figures first came out in the mid-seventies I was very disappointed when I eagerly opened the box, only to discover that they were moulded in grey plastic !!  In my mind, they should have been made in the usual Airfix olive green plastic that all my other allied figures came in, I mean grey plastic was reserved for the Germans ....

(one of those original mid 1970s grey impostors in the foreground, and a more recent olive green offering from Heller)

Anyway, my childhood traumas aside, the set really does have some very well sculpted figures, albeit a little on the small side.

I had some pictures of these Airfix figures on the old and now defunct MiniatureZone website but until now I hadn't remembered to upload them here.

So here they are - these figures as you can see were moulded in good old olive green from a more recent offering by Heller - when I say recent, it's relative...... these were probably made about 10 - 12 years ago

The Airfix US paras lack a bit of heavier firepower so these little fellas got a few support weapons added.

Below, the standing figure on the left has had his Thompson replaced with a Bar taken from an old Esci US Para figure, while the MG team has been given a 0.30 cal Browning taken from the Revell US Paras set.



The mortar is from the Pegasus German set


Finally this one below was a complete bodge, it's supposed to be a hand-cart. Not very convincing, but I gave it a try at least.


And the figures once painted.




There are no parachutes in the Airfix set so we got a parachute taken from the Revell German Fallschirmjäger set, and the dropbag came from the Revell US Paras.


No bazookas for the Airfix guys either, the figure on the right had his carbine replaced with something a little more substantial.



And the rest of the gang, just vanilla Airfix US Paras


The figures are a joy to paint and they're well detailed and have stood the test of time, they still look good compared with more modern figures.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and feel free to comment. Will try to get another update soon, so keep safe and check back in a little while.

24 August 2020

Operation Barbarossa - Bolt Action Skirmish Game in 1/72 Scale

Pictures of another recent scenario with three of the regular crew (Alex / Carlos / Juan). In the game we kept distancing measures in place, and face coverings when necessary.

The game was a skirmish operation roughly based on / around the time of Operation Barbarossa put together by Carlos, composed of a small mobile force of German Panzergrenadiers supported by a couple of Stugs. 

Russian infantry were defending a small village and as the game progressed they received increasing support from BT-7s.



 

 Germans start moving in towards the village

 

 
 
The Russian commander looks out at the oncoming enemy.


 

 

 A political Commissar in the meantime keeps to the rear to "persuade" any dubious Comrades to hold their ground.

  
The Germans continue their advance 

 

Mortar shells come raining down on the awaiting Russians.


 

Bolt Action rules allow you to add medics. In this case the lovely Svetlana made an appearance to help out the boys under mortar fire.

 

 German squads arriving on foot through a small wood reach the outskirts of the village.

 

Stug surfing ! On the road into the village, a StuG tears down the road loaded with a squad of improvised tank riders.

 

 More BT-7s make an appearance. 

 

The Germans on foot who reached the outskirts have a tough time out in the open and stack up more and more casualties. 

 

The Stug surfers dismount but pay a high price, the Russians holed up in the houses practically decimate them in a hail of gunfire

 

Another BT-7 enters the fray and causes a lot of headaches on the Western flank. The fast-moving tanks get in behind the Stugs and disable both vehicles.

 

Meanwhile the remaining infantrymen are pinned and the German player decides enough is enough, he can't win this time so he concedes he's fighting a losing battle, and the victory is given to the Russian player.

 

The Commissar looks on at the retreating Germans - this time he hasn't had to persuade anyone to stand their ground.

 

The game was difficult for the Germans, too much ground to cover and probably not enough forces for the attack - but who said battles were fair ? 

In any case, we were thinking of maybe tweaking the scenario and playing it again sometime. The Russians didn't really do much apart from just shoot every turn in a static defence and the arrival of four BT-7s sealed the fate of the Stugs. 

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and as always the only victims in this battle were just little toy soldiers. 

Keep safe and in the next update we'll try and maybe get some photos up of a pre-Covid colonial game played back in February, or some photos of a few Airfix US Paratroop conversions