Another great little kit from Hasegawa in Japan. They are pretty old kits I think but Hasegawa models are always really fun to put together. I have yet to find one that I did not enjoy. I have two later Stuarts from S-Model almost finished to make up a trio of light tanks. So even though I think this older model was mainly used by US forces I have added him into by British just because I felt like it and found him on eBay for a bargain price from someone.
The kit comes in the usual grey softish plastic and is a nice easy build. Usual average rubber type tracks, once they are painted and based they are decent enough. I switched out the awful crew man for an excellent AB figure. You can model hatches open so that’s a good thing. I also added an aerial I think in the right spot, well it looks like a base for an antenna. The turret MG I changed for a much better one from a Trumpeter kit spare, and I added some Cullen hedgerow cutters onto the front as they fitted so nicely. I am not sure cutters were ever placed on the front of these tanks but it looks to me as if they should have been.
A nice olive drab paint job, British decals and some dirt and dust finishes him off ready for a patrol in the bocage. Although armed with a pop gun and paper thin armour not sure what use he is going to be if things get hot……..
This was another eBay find. Its actually just an old Esci kit that was reboxed as Humbrol. It’s a kit I first built in the early 1980’s as a young lad. I would have twisted most of the parts off the sprue and glued it all together and got him into the action without a drop of paint. How I was easily pleased in the 1980’s, which is probably why I liked the music back then too……. It’s amazing how a smell can teleport you back in time, and the smell of this kit gave me such vivid recall. It must be something about the cardboard box and maybe the plastic, anyway call me weird, but it took me back in time.
I remember this truck being my favourite vehicle for my Allied forces. Originally I built him with the canvas tilt on. This time I left the back open, mainly so I can fit in some passengers or cargo sometime. The kit really stands the test of time and puts together very easily. Something about trucks that I really enjoy building. I tried to put some cable using wire around the front winch, but could not quite manage it. I did add some clear plastic as a windshield as that is not included in the model. The original decals had long since perished so I added some of my own. I like the Allied star on the bonnet, which I think came from a Unimodel kit.
A man from my reliable supply of AB Figures British drivers is at the wheel, I cant remember if the kit came with a crew man. If it did it was probably rubbish so I threw him in the spares box. I love this kit. I think it’s the only Dodge truck available in this scale in plastic, so you better go and find one on eBay.
I seem to find eBay a great source of old Esci kits if you are looking around! I have a bunch at home now gathering dust that I need to get cracking on.
Another excellent publication from my friends at Pen and Sword. I have read a couple of books before by Mr Bernage and they are always very interesting.
“Objective Falaise” is jam packed with maps, photos and first hand stories from a couple of Allied offensives after the Normandy invasion. They revolve around the attempt by the Allies to surround the Germans near Caen in the Falaise Pocket. As an avid wargamer the book gives plenty of scope to adapt many of the stories and situations into a scenario for the table top. For someone interested in World War Two military history its also a very well written and invaluable resource for an important post D-Day confrontation.
The maps and photos are particularly good, some of them copies of original combat maps, from larger scale maps of the terrain down to more small scale maps with individual tanks marked. The photos also show some “then and now” type comparisons. Also very cool photos of actual wrecks in situ and even bits of tanks that a farmer salvaged and kept on his farm.
My favourite part of the book is the story behind the demise of the famous Tiger Tank commander Michael Wittman. It gives a full run down of his last fight and images and maps of how the situation unfolded. Excellent stuff. This part will definitely be used by me in a table top scenario some time in the future.
My only real criticism, which is common for this kind of book, is the lack of one main map with a step by step chronological guide that links all the text and stories together. Without this type of easy to follow reference I did get a bit lost in the story and how each day progressed. Too many small maps that were hard to read in relation to the overall tactics and movement. So I did get a bit lost from a geographic perspective. Overall its a good read and very useful and interesting for historians and wargamers alike.
Continuing on with painting up my British Infantry company for battles in Normandy here are a group of eighteen figures I recently finished. They were part of an amazing eBay purchase I made from a lady in the UK which had included a bunch of AB figures plus some unidentified British soldiers. After hunting around on the net for a while I figured out that they were from Stonewall Figures Combat Miniatures range in 20mm.
Stonewall Figures – British
They are much chunkier than AB and CP models and have a little less detail. While the detail is not as refined they are still really nice figures. The faces are full of personality and the poses are all really natural. The detail is very clear which makes these guys very easy to paint, and I had a blast painting this group. There are some really different poses, including squaddies carrying stuff, one with a benson and hedges stuffed in his gob, and another bloke waving his hands around shouting “Cor blimey guvnor!” I have plenty of rifles plus some SMGs and officers.
They mix in very well with all my other metal figures from AB, CP and SHQ. I think in the remaining eBay stash i have some heavy weapons and even a stretcher bearing group. Also a while stack of German Panzergrenadiers who are in the painting queue with a million others. Anyway if you need some extra squaddies to bulk up your forces I would definitely check them out. Here they are in one big group and then smaller bunch of 4 -5 men.
Just another quick blog while I am on a major mission of painting up my remaining pile of British figures. Another favourite figure maker of mine in the UK is CP Models. They do an awesome range of World War Two in 20mm – check them out at CP Models
This little trio of figures will be required when any of my British tank crews bail out and need to fight on foot. An officer with a revolver and the gunner and driver clutching SMGs make up the trio. Blurry photos sorry but my phone camera is useless and needs to be upgraded for taking tiny pictures.
CP Models really give AB Figures a run for their money. I have a whole stack of German panzergrenadiers all primed and ready to go. It’s only my laziness in front of painting endless German camo schemes that is holding me back. CP figures are really nice to paint as their detail is so clear and defined, it makes it easy. Great faces and great poses, you really cannot fault them.
These guys have just jumped out of their Sherman tank. I cant see any damage maybe its just run out of gas and ammo……….
Happy Christmas everyone from down here in sunny Australia. A Boxing Day post while watching the cricket, who could wish for a better day! I am feverishly trying to finish off my company of British infantry so I can replace all my plastic figures, which I am not so keen on, with far better metal ones.
Here are another ten British infantry from my favourite AB Figures. I actually picked these up in an eBay bundle of all sorts of metal figures. It turned out to be a total treasure trove of figures from a lady in the UK who labelled them Anthony Barton figures and I think the naming bypassed all the other modellers like me who would have jumped all over them. The cache also included some Stonewall Figures which i had never heard of, and will be detailed in my next blog or so.
These AB Figures are a squad of ten, including one sterling MG and one Bren gunner, who will be my CO and NCO respectively. They are all in marching, patrolling stances with guns slung over shoulders or carried. As usual with AB the poses are natural and look great, plus the sculpting and detail is second to none. These guys really do paint themselves. The faces are so good that one wash of a red brown over base flesh pretty much looks good enough. Unfortunately my phone camera and photo skills really do not do them justice. Although the faded background does make the photos look like a hazy sunrise patrol. Taking photos of small soldiers really does require extra light and a good camera. Neither of which I have.
I tend to repeat myself a bit, but AB Figures really are the top shelf of wargaming figures, if you did not get any for Christmas, make sure you go out and grab some for a New Year’s present to yourself! Check them out at AB Figures
Finally after months of building and painting, and getting distracted by any number of other things, I have managed to get some terrain onto my table ready for a game. I am going to give the Rapid Fire rule set a run and see how it stacks up with all the other rules I have tried. Ultimately I am going to write my own rules with all the good bits from all the rules plus some bits from Squad Leader too. Still a work in progress but one day I will get there!
I picked the first sample battle Lingevres from the Rapid Fire Rule book. I finally finished my big church a couple of months back so that was the main bit of terrain I was missing to fight this little engagement. I expanded the map a little bit to include a ruined side of town. I wanted to try out some of the big piles of rubble I had recently made. I had bought some pre made red bricks from Green Stuff on line, which although were listed as 28mm, work fine. I also read a very simple rubble making tip of hitting a red brick with a hammer until you have the correct size scale bits. Plus i had made some grey and black and white rubbly bits out of modelling clay. Mix all these sources together and i ended up with a big bag of rubble. I was very happy how it came out spread around all my ruins and over my ruined car pieces. Certainly adds some atmosphere to the ruined side of town.
Check it out! I have to finish thirty British infantry and some PIATS this week and then we can get the party started!