Zvezda 88mm Gun & Crew

I needed some heavier anti tank weapons for my German Army in Normandy and you cant really be without one of these famous 88mms. I don’t think Zvezda call it an 88mm, its something like a heavy flak gun or similar. Anyway the Zvezda kit is an awesome model and very easy to put together. I picked it up at around USD 5.50 from the Ukraine, so pretty reasonably priced. It goes together very easily and has good detail, perfect for my needs. I think on a par with the Hasegawa 88mm (which I will show in another post sometime). The Zvezda gun comes with a base and crew, but I wanted something a bit more exciting. So I made a square MDF base that would fit the gun plus some room for the crew. This was textured with PVA glue and sandy dirt from my front garden. I replaced the Zvezda crew with a much better crew from AB Figures, except for the gunner who was part of the original crew. I glued the crew onto the base in some modelling clay to blend them in, and also added some shell casings and live ammo boxes to add to the scene. The crew were painted in my usual peadot plane tree whatever SS camo scheme, which is getting better, and more time consuming, the more I do it. The 88mm gun was primed black, sprayed dark yellow and then given a wash in chocolate brown/black. After a highlighting in a lighter sand yellow the gun was glued onto the base with the crew. I found it much easier to place and paint the crew once they were attached to the base, and then add the gun afterwards. I added some green flock to the base and hey presto we are ready to rock and roll.

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Red Brick House

Finished my latest Normandy house this week. This nice little red brick number will add some more residential addresses for my Normandy villages and some good hiding spots for house to house action.

My semi-detached two storey house is scratch built from a simple plan I drew up. Starting with foam board walls which I covered with plastic sheet embossed with a brick pattern. WIndows are framed with balsa wood, plus shutters, doors, lintels, doorsteps all done with 1mm balsa wood from Bunnings. Its all mounted on 3mm MDF for strength. Chimney pots are made from some hard plastic tubing I got from somewhere, can’t remember where, just cut into short 6mm sections and glued on.

The interior has some wall paper (wrapping paper) and a removable 1st floor with attached wall so you can have men on the ground floor and first floor. The roof is also detachable, and I made this out of some plastic sheet I bought that is embossed with a roof tile pattern.

The whole thing was painted a mix of red oxide and bright red, then I rubbed ground up white chalk pastel into the surface. This created the effect of white mortar between the bricks. Window frames and other details done in white, and the shutters red and yellow for a bit of a change.

The base was covered in sand then painted dark brown and flocked in a couple of grassy colours. Pictures below!!!

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Dragon Horch Heavy Cars in 1/72 Scale

I needed some more transport for my German squads to get them smoothly and quickly round those little Normandy lanes. These Horch cars from Dragon Models came up, and at two kits in a box for less than $20 from BNA Models, I could not miss the opportunity. As usual with Dragon kits I found them really nice to build, with enough details to make things interesting, but not too fiddly to be annoying. Everything fitted together perfectly, and I would highly recommend this kit. I am on the look out for maybe a halftrack or two from their range.

I added my usual drivers from AB Figures and painted them up in the finest dunkelb. All ready to go. Photos below show them in convoy with a Panther and just posing in a country lane.
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Pont De La Croix

Like many other wargamers out there I grew up with Gavin Lyalls “Operation Warboard” and endlessly reading his excellent battle of Pont De La Croix. I have seen a few posts on various blogs and in magazines about recreating this battle again. So 30 years on from when I first fought it on our ping pong table, my brother and I are going to refight an old favourite.

Below is the original map from the book followed by my interpretation on my 6′ x 4′ foot board at home. All the terrain and scenery is scratch built. Except for the trees that come from Hong Kong somewhere at less than 50cents each. This made me realise that I need a bigger table, my church is a little big for such a village, and I need to get something better than my bleached and sprayed felt ground sheet. The ground does not look quite right for me, needs to look more textured and natural. Let battle commence!

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