16 August 2011

Soviet 120mm Mortar Teams

This week I've added a couple of 120mm Mortar teams to my Soviets.

As I understand it, the Soviets developed an excellent 120mm mortar just prior to WWII. It was such a good design that the Germans simply copied it. Since then it has been improved at least a couple of times, but the basic design remains the same. You can read a very brief description of this development process here and here and finally here. I'm going to "pretend" that my mortars are more likely to be the PM-43 variety rather than the 2B11 Sani developed in 1981, as I doubt all units would have them within the timeframe I'm dealing with and because the model I used is a WWII variant.


For these teams I used Liberation VDV and Cam Jump Suit figures for the mortar crews. I found someWartime Miniatures 120mm mortars at Cancon earlier in the year (like January!) and thought they would look pretty good together. They are based on large GW round bases - 60mm I think... Here they are:




I'm basically happy with the result - but I tried something different with the basing and I'm not happy with that result. I won't be using static grass and Silfor tufts together again. I also don't have any 120mm mortar bombs or appropriate sized boxes which could have made the bases that much better...

Onto a couple of youtube clips:

This first clip is from WWII but as it is about a german copy of the Soviet 120mm mortar I thought it worth having here. It gives you a good idea of the size etc.

This is a clip about a modern US Marine's 120mm mortar - gives you a good sense of the size of the rounds in particular

That's all for now

have fun


04 August 2011

M106 W-I-P and S&S Group Build

A while back (March actually) I posted an update about the S&S Models +15 Club - you can read it here if you are so inclined.

In the post I put forward my keeness for an American M106 Mortar Carrier and for the similar West German variant.

In an impressive display of responsiveness two S&S M106s arrived in the post on Monday. I spent the last couple of nights cleaning and assembling and now mine looks like this:



Yeah - I know - crappy photos, but the best I could do at short notice!

These wil be my entry into The Guild's next Group Build which is sponsored by S&S Models

I might make a little diorama - but from the little research I've done I think in reality that these vehicles would have deplyed about 200 metres apart when firing - so a diorama might look kind of sad with the tow in action right next to each other.

Next I have to decide how to paint them... I find US Armour cam colours in the 1980's a fairly confusing topic.

It appears that in 1970s the US Army came up with a camo scheme names MERDC. Here is an excellent photo of one version of it borrowed from the Plastic Warriors blog. An excellent and inspirational blog it is too - so I hope they don't mind me using this picture :-)


That looks truly difficult to paint and I'm not sure if I can be bothered - however as an end result - it's pretty cool.

In Europe though - it gets even more confusing becasue as I understand in the early 1980's all M1s and M2/3s arrived looking like this:


This picture is borrowed from another exceptional website called Armoured Acorn. This site has fantastic pics of a range of Canadian, NATO and even WARPAC AFVs - as well as a whole heap of other stuff like Soviet TO&Es so is well worth looking at.

Anyway later in the 80's a M113 might have looked like this:


From the same site as above. This was meant to be the standard NATO 3-tone camo. Fortunately this is a little to late in the 80's for what I'm trying to do so I can safely ignore this one.

Amusingly enough, in action I'm sure they all actually looked like this:


Photo from the armorama website. That's supposedly a MERDC cammed M1 - pretty hard to tell.

So... perhaps I need to paint my M1s and M2/3s in Forest Green (I'll be using FoW War Paint US Armour), and my M113s, M901s and M106s in MERDC? I've no idea!

That's all for now - have fun