Tuesday, 24 September 2013

6th Australian Division #2

Progress on WDF(Toy) continues. I have completed the Divisional HQ unit: 2 figures with a Tilly Utility Car; three infantry brigades each of three battalions. The head swaps worked pretty well, better than I expected to be honest. I think the brigades have a real Digger feel to them now. The brigades each have their own character: 16th Australian Infantry Brigade is made up of charging./running figures. 17th Australian Infantry Brigade is made up of advancing/static figures. 19th Australian Infantry Brigade is made up of shooting figures.

The division has some way to go before completion: three artillery regiments plus tractors/LOG; divisional recce; divisional engineers plus truck; RASC LOG column; two British infantry battalions and last but not least the anti-tanks.

The pictures:

Div HQ @ Left
Front to Rear: 16th Aus Inf Bde, 17th Aus Inf Bde, 19th Aus Inf Bde

Div HQ Close-Up
"I've got the BBC Forces Programme!"

Close-Up 17th & 19th Bdes

6th Australian Infantry Division Infantry

All the best!

PS I will be at the Derby Wargames Show this Saturday if anyone else is going we could meet up for a chinwag and tea. Splendid!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Transports & Markers

Hello all, been absent for a few days but I've been working hard to progress WDF(Toy). First up is some Brigade Transport. According to Megablitz, and the actual TOEs of British Infantry Divisions, each of the component brigades, usually three, had enough lift capacity for, well, everyone. This is splendid because it means that the British are completely motorized. Less splendid is the use of soft-skin trucks instead of beefy armoured ones. Still you can't have everything.

As per my own Terms of Reference I have ignored the slavery of scale and gone for the Zvezda option for the brigade transports. Thus one 15mm scale Matador truck model is capable of shifting three battalions. I wanted a slick way of representing the upload of troops so I've gone for Markers: a single infantry figure with a number written on the steel paper base. This Marker will be placed upon a magnetic square on the back of each Matador when the Brigade goes Mobile, Retreat or Transit. The toy troops will be removed from the board and then replaced when the time to de-bus arrives: probably three buses at once; just like in real life.

The pictures:

Trucks DeLuxe

Markers: Finest

Markers: Value

There are three 'jokes' in today's blogplop which, probably, only Brits will get. For that I apologise. For using a mix of scales to achieve my objective I do not ;-)

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Fuel For The Front #2

Been busy with other things the last few days so painting and modelling have taken a back seat. Today I have been quite productive: got the Diggers of 6th Division painted up and based: 3 x Brigades plus a Divisional HQ; 3 x Brigade Transports undercoated and base coated and completed the POL unit for 7th Armoured Division. The bowser is from the RAF Refuelling set and could, in theory, find itself supporting a Toy Desert Air Force as more POL units come on line. For now it's with the tanks.

I completed the toy as per the box instructions but closed the rear doors and left out all the gubbins that went within. You may have noticed the cab is glazed. I did this by cutting thick card to fit and glue in place. Painted a dark blue with a lighter blue worked into the wet paint to produce the highlights. The vehicle was painted Vallejo 'Sand Yellow' and then a wash with that Army Painter stuff. Once dry highlights were applied using the Tamiya weathering powders and the cheeky little make-up brush they provide. Based on foamcore and terrain is the usual mix of PVA and a sand colour with sand and gravel sprinkled onto the wet mixture.

Sadly I do not possess a sand-table. It's too wet to photograph outside so a piece of sand-paper is standing in for The Western Desert.


Friday, 13 September 2013

6th Australian Division #1

The 6th Australian Division, commanded by Major General Iven Mackay, became part of WDF on 14th December 1940. They were posted in to replace 4th Indian Division which was sent to East Africa. The Australians were still in training when ordered to join WDF. They gained quickly a reputation for being well organised, tactically astute and ruthless in attack thus being a one-for-one exchange for 4th Indian Division.

I bought a box of the Matchbox Australians and then did some mix-matching with the desert troops I already had. Mainly head swaps but also one torso grafted onto a new pair of legs. This was the Australian officer who was modelled galloping forward while looking to his side: a ridiculous pose. I pinned the heads with cut-down dress makers pins and a blob of all purpose glue. I also used modelling putty to fill in holes in the head-neck interface. As you can see from the photos the camera sees things the eye doesn't! The toys are at the head-swap stage but prior to having a heated needle run over their excess flash bits. I went for a mix of hats and helmets but with helmets predominating.

The officer got new legs, holster, water bottle and haversack the lucky bleeder!

I like the way he's holding the phone away from his ear. 
Must begetting a right bollocking!


Thursday, 12 September 2013

7th Armoured Division #3

In its 1940 incarnation the division had two armoured brigades: 4th and 7th. Each brigade had three tank regiments so in Megablitz terms that is three toy tanks per brigade: six in total. The two brigades are being put together concurrently as funding allows. The regiments were as follows:

4th Armoured Brigade (Brigadier JRL Caunter)
7th Queen's Own Hussars (Light Tanks)
2nd Btn, RTR (Cruiser Tanks)
6th Btn, RTR (Cruiser Tanks)

7th Armoured Brigade (Brigadier HE Russell)
3rd The King's Own Hussars (Light Tanks)
8th King's Royal Irish Hussars (Light Tanks)
1st Btn, RTR (Cruiser Tanks)

A13 Cruiser Tank
1st Battalion Royal Tank Regiment

Mk VI Light Tank
3rd King's Own Hussars

On Patrol

Mk VI Light Tank
7th Queen's Own Hussars

I have been reading up about the Caunter Camo Scheme and what has come over clearly is that there is no definitive way of doing it. This is fine because I am very happy with the way these tank regiments have turned out. 

The tanks: A13 is a resin model from Frontline Wargaming. The two Vickers are from the venerable Airfix kit. There's an A & a C built so you can probably work out what's coming next. I really like the Frontline model but I will going with the S-Model version of the A13. Or with an A9 or A10 if the models are available.

All the best!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Fuel For The Front #1

More Western Desert Force (Toy) hi-jinks tonight. I picked up an Airfix RAF Refuelling Set from the Bring-&-Buy at this year's Salute. The vehicle its are complete but the groundcrew figures were AWOL. Still for £4 who's complaining?

The continuous supply of LOG and POL is vital in Megablitz games so scoring the set was quite a coup. As you know the set includes two refuelling vehicles so that's 7th Armoured division's POL needs more than taken care of. I decided that the Bedford QL Fuel Bowser would be built and then posted to 7th Armoured as its POL column.

The build, due to the large number of kit sprues, was a little daunting at first. But I read through the instruction sheet (I know! Crazy!) a couple of times and the mists cleared. The build was straightforward and presented only a couple of problems. The main one being the cab the parts of which didn't fit together all that well. Green stuff will be used to fill gaps between parts as per. I really didn't fancy painting the interior of the cab so instead I cut some white care to fit over all the windows. I glued these card shapes to the inside of the cab and then fitted the roof. I'll paint the windows in similar fashion to other vehicle windows which you can see around this blog.

The refuelling tank was also a relatively easy build especially as I just glued on the aft doors in the closed position. The hoses and their housings, despite their delicate nature, also went together without incident. In fact the only issue was the pair of tank supports which I managed to glue together back to front. Still, they'll be buried beneath the fuel tank and they support the bowser perfectly well.

Here are few pics of the QL in its 'raw' state: post-build but before hole-filling and undercoating.

Hello to new blog-followers: No Pasaran Miniatures & Steve63; welcome and thanks for following!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

7th Armoured Division #2

Today's Megablitz offering is the first of the 7th AD's divisional troops. I suppose technically they are support troops but we already have a Support Group and according to this OOB these toys are not part of the SG. What we have here is 3rd RHA with their 2pdr AT guns and Morris tractor/LOG vehicles. I may have a go at converting my next A/T regiment into a 2pdr-Portee. As we all know the 2pdr, at this stage of the war, was pretty deadly to all Italian armoured vehicles; less so to trucks and the like due to not having a HE round. the bizarre thing is that a 2pdr HE was available but was never supplied.

3rd Regt RHA:

The toys are by Zvezda (2pdr) & Corgi (Morris Truck)

All the best!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Western Desert Force #1

Here we have the first of WDF(T)'s HQ and Corps troops. As per my Megablitz Terms of Reference I've used what I had available which in this case means a HQ unit of a Vickers Medium II Tropical. Yes, I know the Vickers Medium was never used in combat but I like the look of it and it was handy. Slightly more on message for the rivet-obsessives is the battalion of Matilda IIs: 7th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment.


The Caunter Scheme is much duller than the flash has made it.
I can't paint a straight line to save my life.

7th Battalion RTR:

Matilda is by Airfix, Vickers is by Frontline. All painting with decorator's roller by me.

On to Beda Fomm!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Donald Featherstone 20th March 1918 - 3rd September 2013

I doubt there's a wargamer of a certain age in UK who didn't start their wargames adventures without using at least one of Don's books. I remember us reading avidly everything Don produced. I think we taxed our Librarian quite a bit!

Sadly the friend I started wargaming with and the man who provided the books and inspiration to wargame in the first place have now passed away. Rest In Peace both of you.

7th Armoured Division #1

The British 7th Armoured Division was the immediate successor to The Mobile Division and as such was a transitional unit ie not the following the orthodoxy of '43-'45. I feel this makes it more interesting, as I do about the period of WW2 from 1939-1942. Eminently suitable for a Megablitz project then!

The 7th AD possessed two tank brigades in 1940 but they're not ready yet. However parts of The Support Group are. So it's them who have been photographed first. The Support Group was commanded ably by 'Strafer' Gott during Operation Compass. The Support Group comprised two battalions of Motorised Infantry (1st KRRC & 2nd The Rifles) and a regiment of 25pdr guns (4th RHA). Thus far I have finished one of the motor battalions and the regiment of guns.

1st Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps
Support Group
7th Armoured Division

4th Regt RHA
Support Group
7th Armoured Division

The KRRC get to swan about in an Airfix Matador truck; figures by Revell. The RHA is the Airfix 25pdr with the Quad acting as a tractor and LOG vehicle. The Morris in the background is part of another regiment, of which more later.

Updates As They Happen! (In case anyone was baffled by UATH!)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

4th Indian Infantry Division #2

I've been working hard on my Western Desert Force (Toy) and their Italian opponents as well as fitting in a visit to Partizan last Sunday which yielded some rather good toys for both the British and Italians.

As you know I did some head-swapping to yield my Indian battalions. These were then painted up and British battalions were also added to make up the three infantry brigades of this formidable division. I have also finished the Divisional HQ and Royal Signals.

I took the pictures tonight out in the garden. The garden is still in a semi-wild state and there was something big and grunty meandering about. This explains the slightly shaky nature of some of the pictures.......

The Divisional HQ & Signals:

Dodgy Royal Signals Truck & Gallant Divisional CO 
With Bodyguards And Austin Tilley

The Brigades:

5th Indian Infantry Brigade
LtoR: 4th/6th Rajputana Rifles, 3rd/1st Punjab Regt., 1st Royal Fusiliers

11th Indian Infantry Brigade
LtoR: 4th/7th Rajput Regt., 1st/6th Rajputana Rifles, 2nd Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders

16th British Infantry Brigade
LtoR: 1st Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 2nd Leicester Regt., 1st Queen's Royal Regt.

The figures are a mix of Hat, Revell and Zvezda. The vehicles are a Corgi Austin Tilley and a bodged conversion of a dirty die-cast Matador truck. All are based on foamcore. The 'flocking' is a base of PVA and some cheap emulsion mixed together and daubed on. I then sprinkled a mix of budgie sand and grit on to the bases. Leave to dry and dab of dry brushing on the rocks. Figures painted with a 4" brush by me.