08 May 2021

Shiloy Tshernez, the Spanish Blue Division in Russia, 17 January 1942

Shiloy Tshernez, the Spanish Blue Division in Russia, 17 January 1942


Uploaded a compilation of photos to YouTube from a game using a scenario adapted for use with Bolt Action wargame rules by one of my regular gaming buddies, Carlos. 

If you click on the video image below it will open in a new window


The scenario that Carlos adapted was written by Richard Baber and can be found on the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers (SOTCW) :  It's really worth taking a look, well researched and easily playable.

https://sotcw.co.uk/shiloy-tshernez-the-spanish-blue-division-in-russia-17-january-1942/

As always, we used 20mm (1:72 & 1:76 scale) figures, vehicles and scenery, and it was gamed using a sand table.

The scenario is  based on an actual action fought by elements of the Spanish "División Azul" ski company  on a combat reconnaissance patrol,  reinforced by 40 Latvians from the German 81st Infantry Division. Moving through snow, eventually coming to Shiloy Tshernez. The Spanish and Latvians tried to outflank and surround the village and to converge from all sides.

A good well-balanced scenario, and a game well played, thanks to fellow gamers who played this scenario, Carlos, Alejandro and Juan.

02 April 2021

Helmet Scrim for Smallscale Figures

Ever wanted to add a helmet scrim effect onto your minis ?  I've put together a short video on Youtube showing how I do it with just a little gauze bandage, some nail scissors and a touch of white glue.

 If you click on either of the images below it open up the video in a new window in youtube. 

 

20 March 2021

German and American "volunteers" in British colonial service

Feeling nostalgic and working on some British colonial era troops I was inspired by an article by "C. Jones" on modeling the Zulu War with 20mm Airfix figures that I found in an old July 1967 edition of the Airfix magazine.

As per the magazine article I used Airfix WW1 Germans.


I added heads with the pith hemets from the Esci/Italeri British colonial sets, and also used some more recent figures that weren't available when the author wrote his article, a couple of Imex ACW figures and a Revell WW1 German





The cavalry and horse-drawn artillery look like they might be nice future conversions.

19 March 2021

Jungle Incursion Game

Last Saturday I got together with a good mate Iván, who's been a gaming buddy of mine for many years. Unfortunately we hadn't been able to get a game in together for quite some time until now.

Iván said he'd like to put together a scenario and I did the part I most like, setting up the gaming table.

The scenario consisted of a Chindit type operation, two groups entering the table with a mission to locate a bridge being constructed at some point on the far edge of the table. 



It's the first time the sand table's been used for a jungle setting and ended up consuming practically every plastic plant, tree, shrub, and palm I own.

We were originally going to game using the Bolt Action rules, but as Iván was bringing his young son to game too, he put together some simple rules to accompany the scenario.


There were various points of interest that had to be reached before the bridge could be located, and each point coincided with an event occurring based on a pre-prepared table and dice throw.

Some of the events meant an encounter with indigenous jungle dwelling tribesemen, discovery of important information, an encounter with crocodiles when crossing a swamp, a Japanese patrol that had to be avoided at all costs, discovery of a compound with allied prisoners being used to build the bridge thanks to information from one of the tribesemen, recovery of airdropped supplies, and finally the location of the objective that had to be blown.


Iván used a "gamemaster" roleplay style together with the simplified rules so his son could take full charge of one of the Chindit groups.





An encounter with local indigenous tribesmen, looking suspiciously like Revell Sioux warriors


One of the dangers lurking in the swamps.

Takeshi Kitano

A Japanese patrol through the jungle.



One of the groups locate prisoners thanks to help from the tribesman and overcome the guard.


The guard's companions (drinking sake in an Airfix Jungle Outpost) hear the commotion and sound the alert.


One of the group separates and leads the liberated prisoners away to safety


The two groups meanwhile locate the objective and begin the attack. A firefight ensues, the guards are overwhelmed and the Chindits place their explosives and BOOM !


The Chindit commander celebrates victory !!!!



An entertaining afternoon, the roleplay style and simple rules meant a fast, smooth and enjoyable game, The young lad had a whale of a time, which is the most important and is what memories are made of.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures, I should have taken more, but at the time it wasn't feasable. I had in my mind ideas about maybe taking reposed shots and put together a more detailed report or story, but no doubt I'll end up sidetracked... too many projects :-)

By the way, I´ll finish by giving a plug for Iván. He's an illustrator for board games and has also designed and produced his own boardgame based on Nelson's failed attack on the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife here in 1797.  You can see some of his work on the links below : 


09 March 2021

Roco Minitanks 1/87 scale Dodge Command Car and Memories of Charles Grant's "Battle"

Possibly Brits, Aussies or Kiwis of a certain age might recognise the setup, it might also ring a bell with miniature gamers from other countries who had access to English publications many many moons ago

The Iron cross looks a bit out of place on the RED battalion commander, and I didn't expect it to show up so much but the final wash brought out a lot of the figure's fine detail.



The figures and vehicles are the same as the ones in the original book, German WW1 officer figure with an Airfix Russian head, accompanying Russian officer and the battalion command car is an old Roco Minitanks Dodge.


06 March 2021

Some work in progress - M35 Truck by 4D Models

I posted about these kits some time ago (HERE) and recently saw a good offer on the internet for a set of five so being a sucker for cheap-as-chips offers that are too good to refuse, well of course I ordered them - and just got them a couple of days ago.

I did a bit of chopping up and these reliable workhorses might be able to serve in a few modern game scenarios in other roles rather than just as the basic truck


I had an old 1/87 scale Roco Dragon Wagon that I was never going to use so I cut off the cab and swapped it for the M35 cab.




And it can now also be used to tow this military container.


I'm pretty sure the M35 wouldn't be suitable in this role, I don't think it's powerful enough, but I might be wrong, and please feel free to leave a comment in the comments' section if you do know. 

In any case, in spite of any inaccuracies I can live with them as these are just gaming models.

However, this next configuration really is pure fantasy. A long wheelbase and multiple wheels. 


The platform and crane came off a toy. Be kind to me, in my mind's eye it looks at least feasable. 

Next step will be painting, I'll try and update this article once they're painted with some pictures.

Keep safe all.


08 February 2021

El Alamein railway station skirmish game - Bolt Action

Covid restrictions have been limiting the amount of games we've been playing lately, and this game had been planned before Christmas but the local authorities here ramped up the restrictions on people from different households from meeting up and so we had to cancel. 

Now restrictions have been eased up slightly here on a regional level, and so four of us were able to get together again for this game. This was a skirmish scenario put together by my gaming buddy Carlos, German forces attacking with British and Commonwealth forces defending

We used Bolt Action rules. The game was played on a 1.60 x 1.20m sand table 

The British and Commonwealth forces were made up of a HQ, 2 x infantry squads, a Vickers MMG, 1 x 25 pounder, 1 x Matilda and a Boys AT rifle team. 

Attacking German forces consisted of a HQ + medic + FO in an Sd.Kfz. 250 hafl-track, 4 x motorised infantry squads transported in 2 x Opel Blitz & 2 x Sd.Kfz 251s + 1 off table mortar and a pre-attack bombardment. 

The Commonwealth troops started the game dug-in hidden, their positions noted down by the allied players. Allies also had hidden minefields covering the ground in front of the railtrack. 


German objective, cross the railway line and neutralise allied defensive positions


 

Germans group before beginning their advance towards the objective

 





Artillery shells fall
  

 

 

 A Matilda crosses the tracks, takes aim and shoots at the leading half-track.

  

 The first casualties are taken and the remaining troops dismount and hunker down.

 

 Indian troops with a Boys AT rifle shoot but miss miserably, and reveal their position in cover behind concrete filled oil drums.

 

 Another hit from the 25lb gun. this time on a lorry trying to ferry troops to the front along the left flank

 


 

 Aussies manning a Vickers open fire on the dismounted infantry.


 

 More British and Commonwealth troops start revealing their positions as they open fire on the advancing German infantry


 

 The Germans continue their advance and a half-track crosses the railway line, revealing a hidden group of British troops who are quickly mown down with fire from the vehicle MGs.

 

The half-track now supported by a Panzer III also having crossed the railway track, dismount and charge into the railway station and in bloody hand-to-hand combat overcome the allied troops inside

.  

 More Germans arrive and the the Commonwealth players decide that enough is enough and concede victory to the Germans.

   

 The game played out well, it was well balanced and the Commonwealth players were hindered by adverse weather conditions, a haze in this case, the result of an unfortunate die throw, which reduced visibility considerably and allowed the Germans to advance without suffering too many casualties.