Monday, 18 December 2017

US Army Cavalry Platoon, part 2!

and here is part 2 (complete project) of my 15mm US Army Cavalry Platoon. M8 Greyhounds from Forged in Battle, Jeeps from Battlefront.

Here is a close up of a single patrol group.

But I cannot just stop at a single platoon so I have some attachments...

As you can see in the background...
Cavalry units also had a troop of light tank, M5A1 in 1944-45. I have a full box of PSC ones just here...

For your pleasure!

Close up of two of them. I really like them. They are very nice models, and, differently from their recent cousins the M3 very easy to put together... with the exception of the turret hatches that were a pain to cut. Tthey are split, but PSC has them in a single piece that, if you want to represent them open, have to cut by yourself in two. It was a pain and I ended up botching one attempt, and having only one TC around...

But this is not the end... I do not play only 1 to 1 vehicles rules, but also a bit larger ones... so my platoon for Battlegroup or IASBM can become a full troop for Battlefront WW2:

 With the simple addition of an HQ vehicle (a battlefront M8), and, in this specific case a reinforced troop with a platoon (two sections, one model equal two or three real vehicles) of M5 light tanks.

Finally... by the end of 1944 the shortcomings of the Stuart were pretty much evident to everyone, friend or foe, so something new was trickling to the units...

The M-24 light tank. Faster, better armored, and with a 75mm gun derived from the one used on the B-25G...
Two  old Battlefront models (when the M-24 were sold in blister and not in the platoon box), resin of course. So you had plastic and resin in the same post!

France et Saint Denis!

or... sous a l'anglaise...

Mainly a 'little' Lion Rampant French retinue for the 1415-1429 period (yes I am picky I have also a Crecy retinue slowly progressing too), in 28mm from the talented sculpting hands of the Perry Twins and my (hopefully talented) painting hands. Actually it is not that little or small, in Lion's terms is a whopping 30 points. I have also another half unit of crossbowmen (waiting the other half), and I will surely add some more knights, I can do another 6 dismounted, but I am looking at some mounted color for my force.

The figures themselves are a mix of Perry plastic with some older WF metal (pavisiers, still sculpted by the twins. There is some cheating because in three bases I have put 5 instead of 6 men (thus one unit will be 11 instead of 12, and another 10 instead of 12...).

First unit of dismounted knights in detail.

And the second unit...

Before you scream I played with based units and, with appropriate casualty marker it was not a proble, actually it saved me time in moving units, plus, considering Lion is not ultra-exact on figure ration (yes it say 1 to 1, but the rules are more abstract than required for a 1 to 1 ration) it makes perfect sense that casualties represent not just outright kills but also exhaustion and loss of cohesion. So no need for figure removal.

The crossbowmen.

The voulgiers, infantrymen with two handed weapons (offensive sergeants for Lion Rampant) flanked by the two blocks of pavisiers.

Talking of Pavisiers (sergeants for Lion) here is the second unit (I painted then after the other unit so they are the 'seconds'), WF figures with hand-painted shields representing the city of Meaux (left) and Angiers (right).  I just realized I don't have a close up of the first unit of pavesiers from Caen, but...

... you can see them here, on the back of the crossbowmen.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Jacob Devers' tank, the M26 Pershing

In 15mm, of course...

In 1943 General Jacob Devers, then head of the Armored Command, took a strong interest in developing a new heavy tank to dela with the German Tiger tanks, recently encountered in Tunisia. In response ot his request the Army Ordnance Department start design work on several new projects including the T-23 with electricla transmission (a pet peeve of Ordnance) and the T-26 with a 90mm gun. These programs faced severla issues, from the simple fact the T23 and its transmission was not working to resistance from several officers led my the all powerful chief of Army Ground forces, General Leslie McNair, to the idea of a 90mm tank. Finally a new heavy tank the T26 (later standardized as M26) Pershing. If you want  a more detailed account go there:

or even better grab a copy of Steve Zaloga's 'Armoured Thunderbolt' if you just want to look at the 15mm version...

scroll down!

 (reduced) Platoon shot. All three, BF plastic Pershings. They can be or a reduced strength platoon, or the heavy section of a full platoon.

 Platoon commander tank.

They are nice models, crisp as I got used with BF plastic. I have to say that while some people whines about the plastic move, I find the plastic model a massive improvements. The MG are much much better, and the parts fit better than the the older resin-metal combination. I have recently built two M51 Ishermans and they were a real pain. I will say plastic yes, but the resin/metal vehicles are a no go right now, especially if I can get them in plastic or from other manufacturers. For the quality provided the price is overblown. While the plastic are still more expensive than PSC, at least they are overall cheaper than the metals and the quality is usually much better.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

United States reconiassance, Part 1

Well my US Army cavalry platoon (WW2) is done and pictures are being taken. Again they are not too crap...

Three jeeps, Battlefront Models, they are their winter Jeeps. The Road is paper, despite what some people says I think that paper terrain is very effective for relatively flat features like roads. I did not like those on a huge plinth that sometime appears on blogs or fora, especially if they have just the the road surface and nothing else.

Something... unplanned!

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

again some update from the Forward HQ. First something that I was not even supposed to do. I had some old QRF M48 tanks painted (twice I am afraid...) at least a decade ago sitting around and unused. I was thinking to get rid of them via gift or donation or even LAF forum sales...  then I got struck by the idea to try to do something new. I had some stuff that could be thrown together in a small Jordanian force (I hate when people says 'army') for 1967 and 73 and decided to give it a try.

For once the pictures are even good! I know the model itself is not perfect, but it looks the part and the new camo works, at least for me, quite well. It has now been joined by two other friends (making an M48 tank platoon and an armoured infantry platoon for the 70s (with US helmets and M16, themselves recycled PP Vietnam US Infantry).

Saturday, 11 November 2017

US Army reinforced platoon

Another long absence from the net… or at least my blog. And in the interval, I have slaved myself painting… and taking my usual bad pictures (almost crappy I would say, I need to improve, not even a good camera will save me).

But let’s post something just to keep my projects moving.  28mm today, and… I completed a project. US Army late 1944 early 1945. It is done. No more stuff to paint at home! Yes it sounds incredible (and I am thinking maybe I can buy something new, obviously…). But everything I bought is not built and painted.

It is the result of several years of works, in two countries! It is also a combination of different manufacturers. The first figures are original Bolt Action bought straight from Paul Hicks in person, at more than 10 years ago...  supplemented by Artizan Designs, Empress (sculpted again by the talented Paul Hicks), and some more recent BA miniatures from Warlord (the 57mm ATG). Vehicles are Hobby Boss, original Bolt Action, current Bolt Action and Rubicon. Some of them have already appeared in the blog but lets go to see the details.

The core of the Force is a full strength infantry platoon, with Platoon Command, 3 squads, and some supports.

Platoon Command with Bazooka team.

The Infantry Squads, you can see different style of basing. In the past, before having access to plastic and MDF round bases I was doing square bases b myself with 2mm plasticard and then magnetizing them. I decided to do the whole force in this style.

Again the infantry
Static antitank support in the form of a Warlord 57mm ATG (US license built british 6pdr). The crew is in winter uniform. The sculpts are not exceptional, but they work.

The platoon is also suppoerted by a MMG squad (yes the .30 cal was designated LMG but it was in the weight class of MMG and it was belt fed).

You can also see the leftover after years of cllecting... start of a 2nd platoon? arrrghhh....

you can also see General Patton (original BA) inspecting the platoon while standing in a M3A1 HT and an additional Bazooka team and a sniper team.

Then we move to the 'heavy metal'

Two Hobby Boss Shermans (M4A3 with 75mm and 76mm, both 1/48 plastic), a Rubicon M4A3E8 (1/56) a Rubicon M36, an M8  Greyhound Armoured Car, and M8 Scott HMC  and a M5A1 Stuart.  The Scott would really befit from having crew, like the M36 Jackson.  Now some comments on mixing scales. I do not think it is a problem, usually, but sometime can be. The eagle eyes will see the difference between the M4A3(76)W and the M4A3E8 very quickly.  The M8 Kit could have been built as an M-20 or an M-8. I have seen people on other blog trying to make both version at once. considering the excellent Rubicon model has different interior for the two versions (as in reality), the 'plug in' idea is frankly rubbish. 

BA (original)  M3A1 Halftrack, Resin 1/56, preceding two Warlord Plastic Tank Destroyer, the M10 and the M18 (both Italeri products, both bough in UK... considering Calderara is not too far from my Italian Home...). I have no preference between the Italeri/WG and the Rubicon kits. Both now are extremely good. Sometime one is better than the other as in the case of the M8, the Rubicon Greyhound is much better. I really enjoy building them. A big advantage off the Italeri TD is the fact that thye have crew included.

Oh well end of post! I hope you like it.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Samokhodnaya Ustanovka

And I am back! Not that people missed me so much (maybe), but maybe you missed my 15mm and 28mm tanks… so here we are… this time we are talking late war Soviet Union (i.e. 1944-45), with some self propelled guns and tank destroyers.

First of all a trio of Zvezda ISU-152. I needed some big HE stuff just in case my soviet troops encountered pillboxes (and whatnot, maybe even tanks…). They are plastic, they are cheap, and you could build them either as ISU-122 or ISU-152. I think I will grab another trio soonish to have the 122 mm guns, just in case.

Now I like them but there are some caveats. The sides are quite flat compared to their direct competitors (Battlefront), this is due to the different moulding process and sprue configuration. On the other hand because the rear plat of the casemate is a separate piece it does have good detail. The really weak point are the tracks, not so much the wheels (quite nice) but the tracks themselves. They are just softly sculpted with a generic ‘impressionistic’ representation. They also miss commander and hmg.  Said that they cost much less. Said that the vehicle is also well represented. It is up to you. I am happy with 3£ per tank.

Now let’s stay in the land of Comrade Josif for the ISU’s (Iosif Stalin Samokhodnaya Ustanovka) little cousins, the SU (Samokhodnaya Ustanovka) -100/-85.  Why -100 or -85? Well because this trio is a mix of old and new. There is a new Zvezda SU-100, and two old, resin, BF Su-100 or Su-85M. I was 100% sure they were 100, but the gun is shorter, but this could be a product of old BF castings (ladies and gentlemen I bought these two before getting my MA… more than 10 years ago…). There are also small errors in the hatches on the casemate, and they look smallish as the BF model of the first generations (I think one of them was even a sandy coloured resin… not even a gray one!) but the round TC ‘sponson’ (It is not a cupola) gave them as Su-100 hulls, so they could be -100 or -85M.

I like the Zvezda much more. One particular thing is that the casemate plates were separate pieces so they have more detail. If you want to read more on the whys of this, there was an article on the Flame of War website months ago on the problems linked to plastic injection and the loss of detail on the sides, but it boils down to the fact that for plastic injection you use a hard two pieces mould. Being hard it means you cannot have detail in area that you cannot remove (or you get a fancy slide mould…).

Okay for today this is all. Enjoy the terrible rattling of the steel tracks of the proletariat!