26 May 2016

Liberation Miniatures Royal Marines - Batch 1

So I've finally finished my first batch of Royal Marines - so of course had to share!  These figures are all from RH Models or Liberation Miniatures as I call them from the FALK range using just the figures with berets. Now I know that the Marines did not go into combat wearing their berets, but I like the thought of having a few figures in green berets mixed in with some standard British infantry in helmets to make up a full platoon and to give it a Royal marine look.

So here is what I have painted so far:


Blowpipe (or Javelin) Operator (left) and Boss Man (right)


Platoon Sergeant with L1A1 SLR or FN-FAL (left) and Platoon Officer with Sterling SMG or L2A3 (right)


84mm L14A1 Carl Gustav MAW gunners


Gimpie gunner with L7A2 (left) and L4A4 Bren LMG gunner (right)


51mm Mortar L9A1 operator (left) and radio operator (right)


Couple of the lads with L1A1 SLRs


3 more lads with L1A1 SLRs



Gunner and Loader with L7A2 GPMG on a L4A1 Buffered Tripod for sustained fire.




Milan ATGM Team




That's the whole damn lot!  You'll note I left all their pants an olive drab like colour (actually VMC Reflective Green) to again reinforce a slightly different look.  And of course it meant one less thing that I needed to paint in DPM!

I have about thirteen more marines to do, plus an Elhiem medium mortar team (in helmets) which will work for any of my British forces.

That's it for now.

Thanks

Richard

18 May 2016

Straight into it... Arctic Front project start

So just to keep myself pushed in the right direction - I went out into the garage and picked out four helicopters that will go to the fron to the queue.


The Sea King/Commando's need very little work - I just need to get rid of the IFOR markings and extend the tiger stripes in their place.  The Wessex and Ka-25 look like they will need complete make-overs.


I also have a few 1-tonne Land Rovers to get finished:


And of course a couple of Scorpions to add to my completed Scimitars


So a bit of work to get on with - and that's excluding the figures...

Onwards and upwards

Richard



17 May 2016

Concentrate - Damnit!!!

This post is all about me publicly hitting the virtual reset button in my head and trying to force myself to focus on one "major" project at a time. 

I find that even with the best of intentions I often (quite too easily) wander off down little sidetracks which means I have umpteen different projects on the go at once and it feels like nothing is getting achieved or finished.

So last night I had a massive clean-up, and everything on my desk not related to just one project was removed and hidden away in the "drawers of shame" - to rear their heads at some later stage.

For the remainder of this year I'm going to try and focus on my Soviet Invasion of Scandanavia - 1986 project - first mentioned here in November 2014 and expanded on here in  July last year.  Just to pound it home and give my plans some geographic structure, yesterday I went and bought a map!


With this I want to plan a proper campaign - and maybe even run a campaign weekend with numerous players if I can generate enough interest.  This doesn't mean I won't play and take photos of actions on the Central Front - this project is just about new things only.

I believe this is quite manageable - even if I have to supply most of the forces.  My first point of concentration is finishing my Royal Marines - representing the 3rd Commando Brigade.


I've recently shown some RM Land Rovers and now I'm working on the infantry.  Then I have to finish off a couple of Scorpions and a couple of 1-tonne Land Rovers.  Then I'll be dealing with the helicopters - a few Sea King Commando and Wessex Junglies.  I'll use my SAS figures as SBS and Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre troops and the force will be done.


Sub-Project Royal Marines finished... well, that's the plan...

Let's see what happens...

Richard

PS - the cunning among you may note that the scope of a Soviet Invasion of Scandanavia - 1986 so so broad, I can really do just about anything and claim it is part of the project! Clever eh!

12 May 2016

Bergpanzer 2 - Coming Soon

I read some great news on The Guild this morning and had to share it.

For those of us who appreciate classic Cold War Bundeswehr vehicles we are in for a treat.  Brian Walsh from The Hobbyden has just announced they they will shortly be producing a Bergpanzer 2 conversion set for the Revell Leopard 1A5 model.


It will look just like this - although slightly smaller.  Brian posted a photo of the master model which I have reproduced here:


It looks very impressive and goes straight on my must get list.  Now... if only Shaun from S&S Models would complete his Jaguar 1 and 2, my West German forces could be completed.

So - great news!

Richard

09 May 2016

Combat Air Patrol - F-15C Eagle

As part of my WW3 wargaming/rules writing/tinkering around, I fiddled with some rules for having a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) up, so you could attempt to gain local air superiority over the battlefield (your tabletop!).

Whilst I really like this as a concept and I think it can add a little flavour to the game, what this meant was you need some kind of marker on the table to say your CAP is up.  Sounds like an excuse to buy some cool 1980s fighter plane models and put them on the table!

So I had my airbrush out for the first time in a year or two last weekend, really in readiness to paint the green cam on the Harrier and Jaguar, but I wimped out and did a couple of other things instead.  At one point I remembered I'd base coated a cheap as chips F-15 a while back and it might be a good tester to see how badly I sucked at using my airbrush.

This is the result:





Looks quite good a 3" - just don't look too closely!  A really cheap and dodgy model, I have no idea of the brand, but if I did I'd say avoid it like the plague!  I have a taller perspex rod to display it on the table at a higher altitude, but it was too tall for the photo, so I replaced it with a shorter one.

So my first NATO CAP marker is complete.  Now I just need to complete the RAF, Luftwaffe and Soviet CAP models, then the interdiction models, then the actual on table models.....  LOts of planes needed!

Have fun

Richard

01 May 2016

AT 105 Saxon

Just to keep you all on your toes, and to violently display my lack of ability to stay on target, I thought I'd post up something completely new for a change.

I'm sure I've discussed this before, but I tend to start collecting a particular force by getting a full platoon's worth of infantry.  I try to make sure I have a few command figures, a few figures that will work as FOs etc and some support weapons.  To the platoon I try to add a matching platoon of appropriate APCs, such as this platoon of FV432s.


For most infantry, one set of figures can be used for at least a couple of different vehicle types.  Standard Soviet motor rifle infantry can be mounted in almost any type pf BTR or BMP.  Bundeswehr troops can be mounted in Marders, M113s, Fuchs, trucks or can even step in as helicopter borne paratroopers.

Same goes for my British infantry armed with the FN FAL.  So far I can only mount them in the FV432 as all my Warrior MCV's have SA80 armed troops.  Time to fix that.

Enter the AT 105 Saxon APC - which you can read more about here if you so choose.  Whilst not what I would call a front-line APC, it certainly had its role and would certainly have been seen in the rear areas of the BAOR and possibly in other parts of the theatre, where ever British troops were being reinforced.

I now have a platoon of Saxons - 3 older BW Models kits and 1 Cromwell Models kit.  I had started one ages ago and a couple of weekends back when I was hankering to finish something, I decided to well... finish it.  As a bit of a tester.

So here it is:






This version is slightly different to the other three - the stowgae box arrangement and the variety of tools etc seem to point to it not being a standard troop carrier - but I'm not sure which variant it is.  However, in the meantime it will stand in as standard Saxon - until of course I get more...

So I'm pretty happy with how that one came out.  Will start work on the remaining three some time soon.

Hopefully next up - another completely random posting!

Thanks

Richard


28 April 2016

Deutschland '83 - The Second Attempt...

I'm half asleep right now so if the post makes little sense I apologise up front.

Earlier this year, with much anticipation, I purchased the German DVD TV Series "Deutschland '83" from the UK, only to find once it arrived that I had failed to buy the correct copy and mine was solely in German.  I sent the DVD back and got my money back - but some of the "joy" of the purchasing process had been taken away from me and I didn't immediately re-purchase it.

A few weeks ago I was perusing Amazon UK and stumbled upon it again and added the English subtitiled version to my basket - but still did not buy it.

Then last weekend while looking through a local DVD/Music/everything else related to those things shop, here in Oz - I found the DVD set for the first time - and purchased it immediately.


Monday was a public holiday and we ended up binge watching the whole series (8 episodes) in one hit.

I don't want to spoil it so will only speak in general terms.  The story follows a young East German (Martin), who is currently doing his time as a Border Guard.  Unfortunately for him, he is the right age and has a similar appearance to a West German lieutenant (Moritz) who is about to take up his position as aide-de-camp to a General in the Bundeswehr who has intimate involvement in the upcoming Pershing II deployment to Europe.  Martin's aunt is also fairly senior in East German Foreign Intelligence - and volunteeers his services to her boss.

The East Germans are desperate to get more information on the Pershing II deployment and Martin is recruited - somewhat forcibly - to become Moritz and step into the aide-de-camp role.  Martin/Moritz is the officer on the right in this photo.  He is standing next to the General's leftie/greenie son.



The first episode has the classic scene of the young East German stumbling into a western supermarket for the first time and being completely overwhelmed.


The show runs through a series of events as Martin/Moritz's intial success as a spy forces him to undertake more and more complicated tasks and he gets deeper and deeper intertwined in the whole pot.  This all eventually leads to the Able Archer exercise and what we know nearly happened as a result of that.

I loved this series.  I loved the setting, both in time and location, the detail and the connectedness of the events shown in the series to reality.  The uniforms, kit, vehicles (basically all soft-skins) - all looked pretty much top notch to me.


The 1980's sound track is excellent and the show gives you a bit of a look at West Germany (and east Germany) in the eighties, with great period TV news clips, life on university campuses, the expanding peace movement etc.  This means that much of the show was very believable, but even in the bits that I thought was just a bit too far fetched, I was willing to suspend my disbelief, so much was my buy-in to the series.

Both my wife and son enjoyed the series as well - and they certainly do not suffer from my 1980's Cold War rose coloured glassess syndrome - so are definitely not as biased as I was.  I'm glad of that too - as I thought it might have been a situation of me loving it, while they suffered through it - but it did not turn out that way.


So - I had pretty high expectations for this show.  I've been burnt in the past by expecting a show or a movie to be fantastic and then being disappointed when it turned out to just be good - or even great.  Deutschland '83 did not disappoint and I am very pleased to see it looks like they'll be making Deutschland '86 soonish.

So - if you haven't seen it yet - I'd advise you to go out and get it.   NOW!!!

Thanks

Richard