11 July 2020

Progressing my Norwegian project

Over the last couple of years, and especially in the last few months, I've been purchasing the final pieces for my Norwegian project that has been discussed previously here. 

One of the primary reasons I had not pushed my Norwegian project was the lack of a NM135 model.  Recently I've discovered a couple.  One a 3D print file and the other from Hobbyden.  Brian Walsh there has recently produced a NM135, which is a primary component of a 1986 Norwegian  mechanised infantry force.  Hopefully I'll have 4 NM135s coming in the next little while. 

As a result of some commission work I did recently for a friend, I have also been able to get enough troops for a Norwegian platoon, plus a few others. I won't be showing them until they are painted though.

I have a bunch of diecast Leopard 1s and M48A5s so that's the tanks taken care of, with a bit of tinkering.

So what I was missing for my Norwegian's was primarily aircraft.  This has now been resolved:

Obviously the first thing you need is a F-16.  What better than this specific Norwegian F-16A+ by Fujimi.

Next I needed a F-5A Freedom Fighter.  These are relatively hard to find - everywhere you look you can find F-5E which are just not right.  Although this is Hasegawa kit comes with Dutch and Canadian decals, I'll sort out something to make it Norwegian.

The final aircraft I needed was one of these.  Talk about rare as hen's teeth.  Just had to have one of these for my Aerial Forward Observer.  No choppers here pal.  This is an original 1970's Airfix kit.  Only problem is now I feel like I'm being barbaric if I open it up and make it... 

Anyway - that's it for today.  Next update will be another project, where I've actually made some real progress, not just bought stuff.



07 June 2020

Scenes of the Cold War - Harburn Hamlet Edition

Earlier this year, literally just before the COVID-19 lockdowns came into effect, when life was still relatively normal, my wife, her brother and I visited her recently discovered (by us anyway) half-brother and his family in Scotland.  It was an all-round excellent trip, made all the more so for me when it turned out not only were they all wonderful people, but he is a very talented sculptor -
- but also a Roman History fanatic and armour maker:
One day we visited the shop in Edinburgh (Harburn Hobbies) that sells his range of Railway/Village/Dockside terrain accessories called Harburn Hamlet.  If you click on the link you'll get an idea of the ranges that are available.  My brother-in-law designs, sculpts and casts all these models and his wife paints them all.  They are not made out of plaster, but a very durable resin-like substance which of course I have forgotten the name of ...

It was great to visit Harburn Hobbies and get a look around a Scottish Hobby shop.  If you are ever in Edinburgh I recommend you drop by.  I happened to also be my birthday so I made sure to treat myself to a few things.  Not tons - as I had to stick it all on a plane to cart home.  I bought from the OO scale stuff and took some photos yesterday to show you what it looks like and how I plan on using some of it.  If you are getting into BG:NORTHAG on any other 1/144 or 10/12mm scale gaming, the N Gauge stuff is right for you.

Here's some shots of Harburn Hamlet stuff - very quickly set up - with some figures for scale.  The shots were also a test with my new panoramic background.  I'm quite chuffed with the look.

These are CG 219 - Corn stooks traditional (5).  I love these and think they look great - especially in a WW2 setting.

These two images show the rows of vegies I bought home!  The top pic shows from left to right CG 282 Vegetable rows (2) - cauliflower - 1 row of CG 254 Rows of greens (pack of 2) - the other row is a couple over - CG280 Vegetable rows (2) green cabbage and then CG 281 Vegetable rows (2) red cabbage.  To the side in the first and up the back in the second is CG 250 Vegetable Plot with timber edging.  The second pic has some Elhiem figures in the front and a couple of M113s in the laneway behind.  All the small buildings and telephone box are from NOCH.

That's all the individual components.  I've been after stuff to make the backyards of my houses a bit more interesting and these are a great first step in that direction.

Finally I got these two raised flower beds.  I'm mainly thinking of using them on roads like this - but I guess they could be used around fancy houses etc.  Their codes are SS 320 Platform flower bed with 3 tress and SS 324 Formal raised flower bed.

What I've shown is only a very small selection of what Harburn Hamlet has available.  If you are in the UK especially, but anywhere actually - have a look at the website and scroll through the catalogue.  I'm sure you'll find something there that will suit your wargame table.

Heartily recommended.



22 May 2020

Soviet Military Police and Technicians/Drivers

In my Wargames Soldiers & Strategy scenario I needed to have a squad of Soviet Military Police manning a checkpoint near the SA-10 Battery.  I also needed some figures to represent either various drivers or armed SAM Battery technicians.  In both cases I couldn't find many options.  Elhiem has a single Soviet MP and nobody I could find did some unarmed support troop type figures.

So I had to do something a bit different.  For the MPs I relied on Elhiem figures - as the actual MP is Elhiem it seemed to make sense.  I got a second MP figure, and then painted up a couple of "random" figures to look like MPs.  Here they are

You can see that the first and third figures are actually the same figure - one just has his arm adjusted.

For the drivers/technicians I used Liberation Miniatures.  They have some chaps in a kind of relaxed summer uniform and I thought (particularly their hats) allowed them to fit the bill.  Here they are

Obviously they are armed - but that is fine - as the scenario allows for a portion of drivers or any non-technical Soviets to be on guard near their vehicles.  To be honest I really just wanted these figures for the photos for the magazine.

More on that in a future post.  That's all for now


27 April 2020

9K31 Strela-1 (SA-9 Gaskin)

I always wanted to have a SA-9 Gaskin or two - principally an ACE Models one if possible.  But alas, to-date, that seems likely to never happen.  I did however snag an ACE SA-13 Gopher (which for some reason it doesn't appear that I've ever taken a photo of it and posted it here).  At one point I decided to use a spare Britannia BRDM-2 hull and marry it with the Gopher SAM launcher turret,  You can see the entried about that here and here.

I was never completely satisfied with that - mainly because you could only have one or the other.

So a while back a friend of mine was putting in an order with Butler's Printed Models and asked if I wanted anything.  I'm not a dive in feet first kind of person, so decided to order 3 turrets - which handily enough BPM allow you to order separately.  I got an SA-9 SAM turret and two M901 ITV TOW Hammerhead  turrets.  I'll deal with the later in another post, but once arrived I cleaned up the turret quite quickly and tried it out on the BRDM-2 hull.  I was very satisfied with the result.

I then painted it very quickly and took just 1 photo for some reason.  Here's the completed model:

Very happy with the purchase.  It looks like BPM does some great prints and others that are not so great based on what my mate ended up buying.  Glad I put my toe in the water, but also glad I didn't spend up big.



15 April 2020

Soviet Trucks

It's been a while since I posted some newly completed stuff so today I'd thought I'd post up some Soviet trucks I either built & painted, repainted, or simply fixed up a bit.

I mentioned I recently had an article published in Wargames Soldiers & Strategy Issue 106.  I needed to take some photos for the article so I decided to add a few new vehicles and tried to make a couple of old vehicles look a bit more realistic.

Just over 3 years ago (hard to believe) I bought this Fabbri MAZ 535-A Artillery Truck:

Obviously I didn't want something that wouldn't have looked out of place in a May Day Parade for my photo which was supposed to be in the middle of a war in Norway.  So I repainted it.

That looks a bit better to me

I also had a what I think was a Trumpeter Jiafeng CA-30 fuel tanker which was part of a large swap I did years ago.  It had no instructions - but fortunately also came with Soviet markings.  Well it is an exact copy of a Zil-157 fuel truck.  So I built and painted it to provide fuel for the generators of my SAM Battery.

Sadly the decals were 20+ years old I reckon so they fell apart as I applied them.  All I was able to salvage is what you can see and there is a bit of silvering.

Finally I had ICM Ural Command Vehicle that I built here 10 years ago (geez) and it was very clean so I tried to weather it a little with a couple of new techniques (new to me anyway).  Here's how it came out:

So all in all I'm pretty happy with that lot.



30 March 2020

My Unofficial Battlegroup: Cold War - UPDATE - New French AFV Data

One thousand apologies for not posting this sooner - but here is the most up-to-date copy of the French AFV Stats.  Looking at it and the most recent NATO Gun Data table, I don't believe I have added the different French weapons into the table.  That's a job for another day - but at least you can see the AFV data now.

French AFV Data

Once you've had a look through let me know if you find any obvious errors etc or missing vehicles etc.



29 March 2020

Finally... a new update

Hi everyone

Unbelievably it's been months since I last had the opportunity to post an update on this blog.  Like many I'm currently in self-isolation/quarantine at home after returning to Australia from the UK.  I imagine I'll be in this situation for quite a few months and again like many I'm going to use the opportunity to get a few things back on track - including this blog.

I have had some positive things happen over the last few months - with one of the most prominent being a published scenario in Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy magazine (Issue 106).  I'll have more information on that soon, including fixing the odd error that made it into the magazine and adding some stuff that was missed out a whole lot of random events that can spice up the scenario.  I'll see if I have any other pics that I took for the article that didn't make it into print and will share those as well.

But today I thought I'd share some photos of what's on my workbench.  Many of these of models I'm making/painting for a friend and a couple are for me.  I thought this would be a good way to bring the blog back up to speed.  I've also some pics of figures and some vehicles to post up as well - they'd be in the near future.

So - once again - on with the show:

Here's a couple M109Gs by S&S Models.  Not sure how well you can see but the spades at the rear are down for firing.

Here's another S&S Models vehicle.  This time a MAN Utility LKW  gl (4x4 Truck)

Next up are a couple of M113G's, this time from Hobbyden.  Very nice, straight forward models which just needed a bit of green-stuff to fix things like air bubble holes in the smoke dischargers.  Once painted I'll add the Commander's hatch , the pintle mount and the MG3 that come with the model.

This is another Hobbyden M113 variant.  This time a Panzermorser which comes with a metal 120mm mortar.

Yet another Hobbyden model.  This time a M577G.

Final M113 variant.  A  unique West German vehicle the M113 Beobachtungspanzer.  There was some significant damage done to this model, so it needed a fair amount of green stuff to fix it.

The final three models are actually for my collection - not my mates...

Back to S&SD Models - a lovely little Iltis with the soft top up.  I'll be using this for my Fallschirmjager Command of OP vehicles - amongst other uses.

Finally a couple of old school Unimogs, again from S&S Models.  These will be for my Danish Motorised Infantry.

So that's it for now.  Next post will be more W-I-P photos after cam netting has been added to some of the vehicles.

So stay well everyone, wash your hands and keep away from everyone!