Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kerr & King 15mm WWII Buildings

I have been steadily plodding away at tiling my Victorian terrace, but its mind numbing work, so I take a break from it every so often and fit in other bits of hobby work in between batches of gluing little card tiles...

Here's a few Kerr and King Resin buildings I painted up for Flames of War gaming; Western Europe buildings, two bombed out, and one a two story.

The roofs come off for figure placement and the two story building is also in two layers. The intact building I finished a couple of weeks ago, the two bombed out ones, this weekend.



Being resin they need quite a bit of work trimming away excess resin flash, and hole filling with liquid greenstuff, but the effort is worthwhile, as the buildings turn out well once painted...

 

German transports drive by...


Oh well, 15mm interlude over for now, back to gluing tiles...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

9 months later...

... Nope, not what you were expecting from the title! The 'firm clashing of two bricks' saw to that possibility being negated, many moons ago... ;-)

No, in this case, a combined 9 months of waiting, for an order, never to arrive from MaelstromGames, and then never to be honoured by the new company set up from the ashes of the old; Maunsfeld Gaming...




... and then trying to explain the whole farce to my bank; ANZ, and VISA...

ANZ bank


 ...about a whole pile of Flames of War goodies that never materialized...

Flames of War


...even after getting a nudge from Ian at the Blog with No Name, who called at the store, on my behalf to see what was going on... only to be 'fobbed off' ? Thanks again to Ian for his help.

But in one form, my persistence paid off ... I at least got my money back from VISA today... NZ$216 back in my account today! :-)

Now, what to spend it on! ;-)

Seriously though, some interesting lessons were learned, and cautions raised about ordering goods online, even from companies that you had dealt with successfully over a long period of time...

I am just grateful ANZ/VISA came through...

Still, I will also most certainly be intrigued to hear what eventually happens to the chap behind Maelstrom/Maunsfeld that allowed all the shenanigans to happen...

The good thing for me now is, the items I had been waiting for, and delayed buying in the meantime, in case they turned up after all, I can now confidently get on with sourcing... the 88's were the first of these...


Monday, June 24, 2013

88's

The dreaded '88', or to give it its more appropriate name, the FlaK 36.

FROM WIKIPEDIA:
The 88 mm gun (eighty-eight) was a German anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery gun from World War II. It was widely used by Germany throughout the war, and was one of the most recognized German weapons of the war. Development of the original models led to a wide variety of guns.
The name applies to a series of guns, the first one officially called the 8,8 cm Flak 18, the improved 8,8 cm Flak 36, and later the 8,8 cm Flak 37.[N 1] Flak is a contraction of German Flugzeugabwehrkanone[3][N 2] meaning "aircraft-defense cannon", the original purpose of the eighty-eight. In English, "flak" became a generic term for ground anti-aircraft fire. In informal German use, the guns were universally known as the Acht-acht ("eight-eight").[N 3]
The versatile carriage allowed the eighty-eight to be fired in a limited anti-tank mode when still on wheels,[2] and to be completely emplaced in only two-and-a-half minutes.[2] Its successful use as an improvised anti-tank gun led to the development of a tank gun based upon it. These related guns served as the main armament of tanks such as the Tiger I: the 8.8 cm KwK 36, with the "KwK" abbreviation standing for KampfwagenKanone (literally "battle vehicle cannon", or "tank cannon").

Full link here.


The 88, was easily towed, by the SdKfz7 halftrack, with boggies attached to front and rear sections of the cruciform mount, with side sections raised to either side of the gunshield whilst on the move.


The gun could still be fired, whilst on its carriage, though with limited elevation and traverse. Amazingly it could be rapidly deployed for full action, in as little as two and half minutes.

Once deployed, with its semi automatic loading mechanism, it could put out 15-20 rounds a minute.

Here you can see it deployed in anti aircraft roll, with boggies detached and the gunshield appearing to be lowered slightly...


An iconic German weapon of WWII, used throughout the war in both Anti-Aircraft and Anti-tank roles. I believe its use as an anti-tank gun, was first devised from use in the deserts of North Africa... where attacking British Armour would be drawn onto a position of 88's and rapidly destroyed. The 88 could penetrate the armour of any allied tank, at great range.

The 88 in action...




I have long wanted to add a battery of these guns to my German forces and I finally managed to do that this week. I got lucky ordering from WaylandGames when they had a free shipping deal on, and once they arrived last weekend, I rapidly set to working on them and had them assembled and painted up in a week, just in time for them to be tried out in a game on Sunday arvo...

I am glad to say they did not disgrace themselves (as is usual with the first in game use of freshly painted troops!), though they only really provided a deterrent role, but they did pick off some British pack howitzers at extreme range.

Painted up in my style of German, Late War tri colour camo pattern.


I hope to make regular use of them in both my MidWar and LateWar armies, in both Europe and Eastern Front theatres.

The boxed set also came with the detachable boggies, an interesting touch, that I will get round to painting up eventually to add to the scene, though they are not a priority... now that I have these completed, I must get back to adding the tile shingles to the roof of my Victorian Terrace building...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Grenadiers - FoW

When I ordered the German pioneer platoon I completed recently, I also ordered another grenadier platoon - the idea being to bulk out my infantry forces such that I would be able to field the full three grenadier combat platoons, the pioneers and have a platoon to use as infantry scouts, or another Regimental/Divisional infantry support platoon...

Also, some of the new Bridge by Bridge lists, that accompany the Market Garden books, have companies with a great many Ersatz and Sicherungs (replacements and security) platoons, both quite cheap in points costs, meaning large infantry forces can be fielded.

So having an extra platoon of grenadiers was bound to come in useful somewhere along the line...

Completed recently...

Late War Grenadiers

6 x Rifle/MG teams plus Command SMG/Panzerfaust

I have also been recently considering force composition from a new perspective.

My playing group are looking to embark on the Firestorm Bagration campaign set, and as the German defender on the receiving end of Soviet attacks, I figured I am going to be on the defensive and better get a grip on how best to defend against Soviets hordes, whether Infantry, Armoured or both...

One of the problems facing the defending Infantry force is that many of the defensive missions means the defender will have reserves, meaning only half your force starts on table, the rest arriving later in the game. So you have to be able to hold out with half your force deployed, against the full force of your opponent. This has altered my thinking in force composition recently. I am also exploring how best to use the German Kampfgruppe special rule... I had always dismissed this as merely a way to even out odd numbers of platoons in a company, by making a greater number of smaller platoons, which in turn makes them brittle. However I have been looking at ways to make a large Kampfgruppe, meaning a greater proportion of your force can be deployed at the start, in these defensive situations...

One of the typical German problems is small sized platoons, especially compared with Soviet Hordes and even American Rifle companies... so a large Kampfgruppe; drawing elements from combat AND weapons platoons, and combat attaching HQ elements and further combat attachments from the remaining weapons platoons,  may be one way of evening the playing field a little...

There are of course pros and cons... a single large platoon will have more staying power, in terms of morale, as casualties are inflicted, but a single artillery/air strike could pin down the whole platoon. Hopefully then, though, there would still be enough teams present to put out enough fire to throw back an assault...

I'll see how it goes...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Typhoon Fighter Bomber - FoW, and decalled British Vehicles...

In between, weekend activity work on my Victorian Terrace house, I have been steadily working away at other model painting...

 I recently finished my Typhoon Fighter Bomber for my British FoW forces, primarily aimed at accompanying my XXX Corp Guards Armoured force for Market Garden, though also useful for D-Day service, especially with it sporting the Allied Invasion stripes, and for the remainder of the allied North West European theatre of action...

I did paint one up some time ago for our Hit the Beach scenario, that we demo-ed at the Kapiti Wargames Club last year...

However, that was for my mate Paul, as part of our groups planes swaps, after the FoW V3 rules changed how they handled planes in the game...

So after a long time, I finally got round to doing one for myself...




The typhoon in action...firing rockets... exciting stuff, you almost feel sorry for the Germans on the receiving end!



After getting a set of Allied Recognition marking decals for my British that I recently used on the British recce Stuarts and UCs, I set to marking up the rest of my British vehicles... and so it only seems right to feature the Typhoon, alongside JOE Vandeleur and his Forward Air observer...


Avres...


Dingos...

Humber LRCs...

Daimlers...


M3 half tracks... I got these to tow my two 17pdrs...


Lloyd carriers... for towing my 6pdrs...


...and a command UC for the AT gun platoon, whether 17pdrs or 6pdrs...


I will probably get round to adding some divisional markings at another time... I did also re-matt-varnish the older vehicles; Half tracks, Lloyds and UC as these had been done originally several years ago, (you can probably tell by the different shade of green, though I think they still look fine). The re-varnishing was done as they had originally been 'matt' varnished with GWs purity seal, which gave mixed results back then at best, and I have since switched to the brush on vallejo matt, which is far superior...

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Victorian terrace - WIP 11 - Lights at Night...

In the prior post you saw a quick video of the lights after first being rigged up... I was, as you can imagine, quite thrilled I'd got them all working and in position. Afterall, it has been over 25 years since I last played about with basic electronic circuits, in my school days. But the one thing I could remember was Ohms Law, which in my head was V=IR. Thankfully as well, I found several helpful pages on the internet.
This was particularly helpful...

http://electronicsclub.info/leds.htm
 

 However looking at the lights twinkling in the building again, I realised a lot of the lighting effect was too 'direct'.

The LEDs give the majority of their lighting directly straight out the 'top' of the LED, with little from a sideways view.

So this morning, I slightly bent back the LEDs so they were not pointing directly out the windows. This time the lighting is far more subtle, giving more a background glow to the windows, which was the effect I was after.

You can see the effect quite nicely in the dark...

video

Now I am happy to press on with the roof and painting...

A couple of quick pics for Monty... the internal rigging... not pretty but you don't see it from the outside ...

view from the underside

view from the top

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Victorian Terrace - WIP10 - ... and there was light!

OK, managed to get the lights rigged up inside the house as well today. As it turned out the straightening pieces of MDF I had to fix earlier to the insides of the walls to correct the warping, turned out to be the perfect place to attach the internal lighting circuit too, simply hot-glued  into position...

I hope this upload works... here's a quick video of the twinkling light effect...

video

So next on with the roof tiles, then painting...


Victorian Terrace - WIP9 - Let there be light! .....

With the main house building work completed, it was time to turn attention to the lighting. Having seen first hand the great effect Joe has had with his VSF mega walker project, I knew the same lighting effect would be perfect for my house...so thanks to Joe, I sourced the twinkle effect LEDs and resistors from Evil Mad Scientist in the US (great name for a hobby supplies company), and got hold of some basic components for the rest of the wiring from a local supplier...

So, ... the scene is set...



The first few bulbs connected, in a simple parallel circuit...


A couple of hours on a Saturday arvo, and the 20 LEDs are wired and working...


... who is that Evil Mad Scientist,  with a twinkle in his eye...???  ;-)

I now just have to figure out how best to get the lighting rig in the house!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Victorian Terrace - WIP 8 - Final clay cladding and brick etching

Just a quick update to show further work on the building.

I have clad the yard walls in clay and etched in the brick pattern today. A lengthy fiddly process as it was all awkward angles to get at, but no other way off doing it (having learned the hard way of not doing separate MDF pieces with clay as they warp as the clay dries...)

So as the clay dried on the fixed in position yard walls they did not warp, wahay!The chimney stacks also had a little more clay added to blend them in better and brick etching done too.






So with etching complete, next step would be to add card tiles to the roof, of main dwelling and outbuildings.

However I want to rig up the internal lights first, and figure out the best position for battery pack and switch. At this time I am thinking about gluing down main roof, and having battery pack on lower inside wall of main dwelling which will be accessible from the underside of building and rigging the switch inside one of the outbuildings which will have a flip top roof.

I have ordered the LEDs and resistors I need from a US based company, and got the battery holder, wiring and switch from a local electronic component supplier.
Once LEDs arrive I can get busy!
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