Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What Are These?

My new 10.5cm Haubits m/4140s will be replacements for these models that came with the Swedish army I'm rebasing for Cold War Commander.   They are small howitzers or perhaps mountain guns and look like they'd probably be 105mm calibre.  It would be nice to know what they are supposed to be so I could consider reusing them.

Anyone know?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rangers Lead The Way

Next unit completed for Arctic Strike are these; 1/75th Ranger Battalion.

The unit consists of two HQs, two HMGs, twelve Ranger rifle platoons, and six M79 Dragon ATGWs.  Realistically, it could have more Dragons but this organisation is what you can build from a bag each of Heroics and Ros US Infantry and US Infantry Support Weapons.  Now I just need to find a use for all the spare TOW launcher teams!

.50" cal HMGs (with cat litter rocks)
HQ units.  In CWC they represent the command and control capabilities
of the battalion; not necessarily actual real life command sub-units. 
These Rangers total about 1,000 points in CWC.  The plan i that they'll be the first of a few such units (for both sides) that I organise so that there are troops for any visitors to try out during Arctic Strike.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ludicrously small-scale modelling

I need* some Haubits m/4140 howitzers for my 1/300th scale 1980s Swedish army.

A little research suggested that I could knock something up using the barrel of a Soviet D30 122mm howitzer and the cruciform baseplate of a German 88mm flak gun.  Heroics and Ros provided the 88s and Richard Phillips kindly sent me eight D-30s with the request that I make four for him as well as the four I need.

Here's the prototype on the factory floor.  The black square by the way is the 30mm square base it's to eventually sit on:

The cruciform chassis has had its legs bent downwards.  The D-30 gun has had its huge breech-block shortened and the muzzle break cut off.  I've then added a length of Slater's Microstrip under the barrel to represent the recoil gear.  Finally I've started to add the distinctive square muzzle break using Liquid Green Stuff.

Here's the stockpile of parts for the next seven!

And here's the prototype with tiny (2.5mm) lengths of plastic rod to represent the distinctive balancing gear alongside the barrel.  Not sure I can be arsed putting these on all eight!  I'll paint this one before I make up my mind about the whole batch.

* At least Bruce Rea-Taylor's By Air and Sea suggests that I need them but I've recently come across a website that suggests they were withdrawn during the 1960s; hey ho!


Jamie and I are just back from a trip to Fiasco in Leeds to help Phil Gray run the First Corps/SOTCW participation game Operation Kutusov.

We spent a fair amount of time talking to people around the game but did get time for a little shopping.  Jamie bought a Pendraken Miniatures American War of Independence army pack (enough for two HOTT armies he reckons) and I bought a Hovels 25mm scale church.  I have a theory that you're not a proper wargamer until you own a Hovels church.

We also had a little time to look at the other games.

Pegasus Bridge

Lance & Longbow Society - Italian Wars
Third Afghan War

Monday, October 22, 2012

Not So Sharp Practice

This month’s Saturday Afternoon WargameTM wasn’t a huge success.  The Sharp Practice rules were OK and I’d even say the scenario was reasonably balanced but sadly an unfortunate series of chance events rather destroyed the balance of the game.

Jamie and Ron - the British commanders
The scenario had French and British infantry racing to capture a bridge that might become important depending on the outcome of a larger battle being fought nearby.  In an effort to confuse things slightly I threw in a patrol of French dragoons tasked with rescuing the wounded son of the French general from an inn next to the bridge.

The British had three (8 or 10 man) musket-armed units and a large (12 man) unit of rifles.  Two of the three British Big Men were “lion-hearted” meaning that the British force would be hard to drive off.  The French had four line infantry units, one unit of voltigeurs, and the Dragoons (all units being 8 men strong).  I gave the French more big men because my play-testing suggested that the Rifles would be lethal in this scenario.

Sadly, the random events conspired to spoil things for the British.  On their second turn they got the “Damnation!” card, forcing them to surrender all but one of the useful cards they held at the start of the game.  On the following turn even worse luck intervened.  Apparently the Rifles’ powder had got damp and none of them could fire.  There was a 1 in 36 chance of this event occurring if a random event was called for and it happened to hit the unit that was crucial to British success!
The Rifles with smoke to show that they've fired - then we checked the
random event and discovered they hadn't! 
I persevered with the game knowing that there were three “Ammunition” cards in the deck that would solve the problem.  Sadly the British didn’t generate enough random events and never got one of them!
The French seize the bridge and enter the inn.  The figures on the roof
represent men who have dismounted and entered the building.
The French are first to form a firing line.

The Rifles did manage to drive off the enemy Voltigeurs by means of a well- timed bayonet charge but there was no way they were going to win the day without firing.
The final position after the Rifles have driven off the Voltigeurs.
Sergeant Dawkins and those sodding Riflemen.

I have to say that the rules, apart from the random event problem, worked reasonably well.  I think most of the players would be up for trying them again, but for now I have to concentrate on Cold War Commander so it’s back into the drawer for the Napoleonics.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sharp Practice playtest

I had a bit of a go at Sharp Practice to test the forces (but not the scenario) I'll be using for next weekend's game.  Here are some clickable pics.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Johnnie Crapaud

I've not posted much of late, partly from lack of motivation and partly becasue what I have been painting hasn't been much good.  I've been going for quantity very much at the expense of quality.

However, I have now got enough toys together to allow me to play Sharp Practice.  here are the Frenchies.  Brits to follow shortly.

Most of my French Collection.

A group of Nassauers.  Airfix French infantry, some of them converted
using Airfix British Hussar busbies with wire-and-glue plumes.
They won't be appearing in my first game.

Fusiliers; three groups of eight figures with a sergeant and two officers.
Esci figures.

Light infantry voltigeurs (Zvezda figures). 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

On the Workbench - Ice-breaker!

This was going to be a secret project for the Crisis Point: Arctic Strike, the big Cold War Commander game coming up in Spring 2013 but discussions on the Yahoogroup have tipped my hand.

It's a 1/285th scale model of the USS Burton Island, a 1950s US Navy (and later US Coastguard) ice-breaker.  The box art suggests that it's a limited edition reissue of a old kit.

The completed model will be about 28cm long with a beam of about 7cm - quite a tubby little craft.

My current dilemmas are how far to continue with the build before I start applying paint and how far to continue with the build before I cut it down to the waterline.