Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mail (and Karma) Coming and Going

I was pleased this week to receive a package from Sweden, courtesy of young Joakim The Miniatures Man, as I was one of the lucky winners of his blog contest.   Now I had no idea of the Canadian dollar - Swedish kroner exchange rate.   I looked it up, and 72 kr is a little over $12 in my money, so a very substantial act of generosity on his part, for which I am heartily grateful.

The generosity extended to the contents.  Inside was this terrific and somewhat ancient GW 40K model, an Ork Deffkopta.   I have several of these in plastic from when my son and I played this a lot, and it is rather remarkable to see so much metal in a kit these days.  I also have no idea of what this kit might be worth to a serious 40K collector.   

Since I did a giveaway on this blog last year, and may do one again soon, I can imagine the pleasure that it gave Joakim to package this up and post it to someone that he has never met in person.  I felt the same pleasure, especially seeing some of my painted work show up on other people’s blogs.  It does one good, and it is one of the pleasures of belonging to what Kinch calls the freemasonry of the hobby.  Long may its spirit continue.

In that spirit, Foy and I were talking about tactics and battlefield psychology recently, and the subject of Paddy Griffith’s came up.   On learning that Foy wanted a copy of PG’s important work, Battle Tactics of the Civil War, a work that any student of the period should know, I remembered that I had two versions, one a copy of the book proper that I bought at Antietam last year, and then this abridged copy that I’ve had for several decades now.  Back in 1995, when computer games came in boxes with actual printed manuals, a company called Empire Interactive released a  Civil War game that actually shipped with this book.   I vaguely remember that the game, which was DOS software, had very primitive graphics and was a strategic game with some lame battlefield tactical bits.   Someone actually thought it would make sense to put a book by an honest to goodness scholar in the box  - perhaps they thought of Griffith, a Sandhurst lecturer, because EI was a UK based company?  I wonder if  EI actually made any money on the game by including this book?  I hope Paddy Griffith got something for the deal.

 The cool thing about the book was that it is chock full of some terrific line drawings by Peter Dennis on the war and its conduct.  Here’s a sample.

There’s enough of the original Griffith book to get the sense of his argument.  So, off it goes to Foy tomorrow, and a small package of karma from Sweden is bounced on to the UK, the karma chain keeps going.   I find this sort of potlatch culture to be one of the more rewarding aspects of our hobby.

Blesssings to your die rolls and paintbrushes!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How To Find Those Annoying Snipers

This image from the daily UK MOD news feed was too good to pass up.  The caption reads “Shetland pony Cruachan IV, regimental mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, taking a liking to a sniper’s ghillie suit”.


From a recent Territorial Army recruiting day in Glasgow.



Monday, February 24, 2014

Imaginations, Silly And Otherwise, Are Good For You

This fellow on the horse with the gold crook is His Beatitude, Michael, the Archbishop Metropolitan of Freedonia, beating, I mean shepherding, his household regiment into battle.   His Blessedness was my alter ego on Saturday when I was kindly invited to hang out with my friend John (another wargaming pastor), his lovely wife Beth, and their friends for one of their delightfully lighthearted Imaginations Seven Years War battles.   How lighthearted was it?   Have a look at John’s report here, find the Freedonian commander with the long scarf and the mechanical dog, and you’ll see what I mean.

As an aside, the rules used were an old friend of mine, Age of Reason by Todd Kershner and Dale Woods.  It’s hard to believe that these rules were first published in 1995, almost twenty years ago.    I was in a club that used these rules extensively for several years, and I was pleased at how well they have stood the test to time.   AoR has steps, like multiple morale tests, that are reminiscent of WRG’s systems from the 1970s and 80s, and once you get to know the tables can have a predictable quality.    The random brigade activation system, managed by playing cards, introduces a degree of friction, though fans of friction may want to look at Maurice.

 But I digress.  Back to Imaginations.   One of the great pleasures of my youth was drawing maps of fictitious places.   Inspired by the maps of Tolkien’s books, I drew maps for various D&D campaigns, and have been known to draw the odd map even today.   Some of my favourite wargaming blogs involve imaginary lands that are richly and whimsically thought out - Stollen and Tradgardland to name but two.   

Why do we get such pleasure out of imagined places and history when there are so many times and places in history and geography to explore?  You could read my random thoughts on this, or you could track down a book by the scholar and author Umberto Eco, in his Book of Legendary Lands.  As Eco notes, people like us have been drawing maps of imagined places since the middle ages, for the same reasons we do today, control and certainty, and the same pleasures we get from fiction, “for in fiction everything is precisely and unambiguously as it was intended”.  Eco writes:

“The possible word of narrative is the only universe in which we can be absolutely certain about something, and it gies us a very strong sense of truth.  The credulous believe that El Dorado and Lemuria exist or existed somewhere or other, and skeptics are convinced that they never existed, but we all know that it is undeniably certain that Superman is Clark Kent and that Dr. Watson was never Nero Wolfe’s right hand man, while it is equally certain that Anna Karenina died under a train and that she never married Prince Charming."

Or, to put it another way, while we can be certain that Freedonia, Stolen, and Tradgardland will never be found on the same map, they are all real places, and it does us good to visit them.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday Painting Table


Hello fellow painters!   Not a lot to report these past few weeks, so pretty much the same cast of character on the painting bench.  The good news is that my hussars finally got together and agreed on their uniform colours, and presented me with their list a few nights ago.  The Ottoman Spahis are still arguing amongst themselves, but seeing as the red was out for two of the hussars, red will also be the dominant colour of the Spahi commander.  Also today I was able to go by my favourite model store in London, Ontario, and was able to pick up some Vallejo Luftwaffe Uniform for the lady pilot on the bottom right, a Bob Murch Pulp Figures casting.  She will be a recruit for my Weird War Two collection and just needs an aircraft.  Tamiya makes a nice 1/48 scale Fieseler Storch that she should be able to fly, I think.  


What isn’t seen on the paint table, but which ate up some precious hobby time in the last few weeks, was getting the stickers peeled and put on the blocks for the GMT Command and Conquer Napoleonics basic set (a Herculean task) and starting the assembly of a box of PSC 15mm Russian infantry in summer uniform.   For the later, I did some quick priming using my new air brush compressor, which was a great success.  They may get featured here on a Saturday soon.

Blessings to your brushes!


Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Followers and a Lincoln Movie

It’s Friday and several weeks since I did a Friday Followers post, and in that time, the number of people publicly following Mad Padre Wargames has risen to 143.   Hurrah!

The newest followers include:

Jonathan Frietag, a gamer from Spokane, Washington, runs Palouse Wargaming Journal, a blog that currently features some great Napoleonics figures.   Jonathan has quite a few periods of interest, and is a clever man with a brush.  He’s currently looking for ideas for a wargaming campaign.

Captain LOL is from Belgium and is an artist, which is not a word I use lightly.   He does large scale work, and does flesh tones like a master.   His blogs, Figurine Passion, and Comix, Horror and Movies fill me with awe and just a little bit of healthy envy.

Bruno Lorang has a lifelong interest in plastic models and describes himself as”a model maniac, the personal staff of my cats and embedded in a wonderful family” which sounds like a very nice life.  His blog is beautifully presented and is well worth a visit.

Cedric Mauvielle does World War Two … with zombies, and if that catches your attention (it caught mine), visit his blog, Lost Wargamer in HK.  Based in Hong Kong, Cedric is a great storyteller, whose posts are set in an alt WW2 where Europe seems infested with zeds and a few heroes are left trying (and not always managing) to survive.  I like his sense of imagination.

Tradgardmastre is from the UK and is a chap after my own heart, a gentle sort who loves gardens, his family, and has an alter-ego who presides over a whimsical 18th century Imagination called The Duchy of Tradgardland, one of my favourite places to visit in the wargaming blogosphere.   

Welcome to you all, gentlemen, and thank you for your interest in my blog.

Speaking of blogging, I noticed that the page view count for this blog is climbing steadily towards 95,000 hits.   That means I shall have to start thinking of some sort of contest.  

A brief film review.  While I was finishing this post I was watching the recent film Killing Lincoln, which follows Lincoln’s last days as interlaced with those of his killer, John Wilkes Booth, and narrated by Tom Hanks.  Billy Campbell did a capable if not convincing job as Lincoln (hard to compare to Daniel Day Lewis in the Spielberg film).  Civil War fans will find some great visuals here.  The CGI of Lincoln’s visit to captured Richmond, and a brief look at Washington Navy Yard with some intriguing but too briefly glimpsed warships, were nice bonuses.   Having watched this, I fear that I have little choice now but to watch Lincoln, Vampire Killer, which is currently a NetFlix option.  Isn’t there also a Lincoln, Zombie Killer movie out there as well?

Blessings to your brushes and dice rolls!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Panthers and Concubines

Ah, I thought that post would get your attention.

This Monday saw me and RabbitMan with a shared day off, and we decided to throw down our Normandy kit again and pit his new and terrifying 17pdr AT guns against my new and terrified Panthers.   James has written a cracking good bat rep which you can find here.   Without question, the stars of the game were his two loveable Newfoundlander gunners who turned the tide for the good guys, despite the return of the dashing and sinister Dynamic Panther Man.   I must say that while all the attention currently is on its sexy skirmish-level younger sibling, Chain of Command, the more I play IABSM the more I like it.  The intelligent modelling of friction and leadership, and the sense of a battle being a near-run thing, makes it really entertaining.   In our game on Monday, my tanks charged a section of 17lbers while one was still hooked on to its transport and the other had used all of its actions pivoting.  The whole game hung on which unit’s card would show up next.  Das ist verrückt as a German friend of mine liked to say.

And now for the concubines … and no, this isn’t me getting on the wargaming blogging bandwagon of showing scantily clad young women (Paul Foster and Loki, I’m looking at you guys).

Flanking bonus for concubines.

Several days ago I saw a piece in the New Yorker magazine on a TV series, Magnificent Century, that has apparently been burning up Turkish TV screens for some years now.   It’s set in the 1500s and focuses on one of the great figures of Ottoman history, Sultan Suleyman.   There’s a brief commentary on it by Elif Batuan here, if you’re curious, with some fascinating comments on how the show intersects with Turkey’s complicated identity and desire to be a major power in the 21st century.   After watching the first episode on YouTube, I found it a bit of a soap opera, with much attention paid to a spunky Russian slave girl who finds herself a Sultan’s concubine and throws herself into the role (and Suleyman’s arms), but there’s also some court intrigue, some history, and lots of eye candy.   I would say it’s a few notches up in class and credibility from that dreadful Tudors series of a few years back.  While it is set in the Renaissance, I think it will be useful for ideas for painting my 18th century Ottomans.

Have a look and see what you think.  Be warned, though, that it’s tricky to watch if you are painting or modelling, as there are a lot of subtitles.  There are also apparently four years of shows, each almost two hours in length, if you can track them all down.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Cats Die At Night: An IABSM Report (Part 2 of 2)

Some readers of my last post on this battle commented that the last photo only showed me with an untied bow tie, looking rather perplexed.  I was indeed perplexed.  Thank goodness for HowTo videos on YouTube.   I did complete my first hand-tied bow tie and looked rather natty as I took Mrs. Padre to the jazz club for Valentines Day.   Readers interested in that sort of thing can scroll down to the bottom to see that and to read the Padre’s advice for a happy relationship.
Picking up on where I left off, a confusing night action in Normandy got far more confusing and vicious before it ended.

Here one of the Panthers attacking the Canadian right flank rests, digesting its prey, a 6lber AT gun which it overran and crushed in its move, avenging its littermate, seen burning in the back right.   To the left, the AT gun’s section partners frantically pivot their gun, using one of their three actions.   Their other two actions go for an aimed shot on the Panther’s flank at near point blank range.  Incidentally, the blue dice are used to track Canadian casualties.   On my patented blanket terrain system, these dice behaved sub-optimally, frequently rolling away down slopes and getting me muddled as to who took what casualties.

Unbelievably, the AT shell fails to penetrate and the Panther suffers no adverse results.   Even in the dark, the tank commander knows that someone just rung his doorbell.  He pivots and drives forward, crushing his second AT gun.  Unlike the first overrun, I read the rules more carefully and learned that in an overrun, if infantry roll higher than any shock points they may have accumulated, they get another chance to use their AT weapons.  I hadn’t done this for the first 6lber crew, but I figured it made sense to give the crew one more chance as the beast bore down on them.  Of such things medals and heroes are made.  Alas, not this time.  The second shell missed and the Panther had its prey.  Nom nom nom.

However, it’s not going all the way of Jerries.  The supporting Cdn Achilles tank destroyer has snuggled up against the rear of a ruined house, enjoying the protection of the defending infantry and covering the road in overwatch.  The German Dynamic Leader card comes up and the armour commander rolls forward, determined to get in the centre of the position and wreak havoc. He comes on slowly, 1 action for movement and the other two for spotting, but sees nothing in the dark.  Just then, the Cdn CO, Maj. LeBlanc, sends up another precious flare.  The Achilles sees the Panther lit up and immediately fires, it’s 17pdr gun ripping through the front armour like tissue.  The Panther explodes, killing its crew and leaving the German armour leaderless.

On the Cdn left, the German panzer grenadier platoon dismounts and soaks the house and garden with fire, supported by their halftrack’s machine guns.  The Canadiens don’t suffer much as I treat this as speculative fire, and return fire at the gun flashes and shadowy forms lit by the burning Hanomag.  The Vickers gun is particularly effective.  However, when the German tanks join in, the Vickers is silenced, while Cdn infantry casualties slowly mount.

Good news for the defenders.  A troop from the nearby 1st Hussars quick reaction force enters from the Canadian centre edge.  

However, bad news for the Canadians as the 2nd grenadier platoon assaults the house.   They lose men but evict the defenders, who are now down a house as well as losing an infantry section, a PIAT team, a 2” mortar team and a Vickers HMG team.

Even though it is now getting some attention from the defending mortars, the 1st Grenadier platoon rushes forward up the hill to take the church, emboldened by their colleagues’ success.   This charge is occasioned by the German’s getting the Heroic Leader card, a one-time opportunity to do something splendid.  The young Leutnant leads his men through the mortar shells, his inspirational example removing a point of shock from the PzGrs and inspiring them to follow.  Two sections tack the Canadian section in the church, while the third rushes at the last surviving 6lber gun.

Success.  The Cdn defenders are killed or captured and the AT crew put to flight.   The Germans take some losses, but now hold two of the three buildings they need to win.  The PzKw IVs move up to support their little friends in the captured church.

The Achilles claims its second victim, sneaking around a corner to get a flank shot at the third Panther on the Cdn right, it’s spotting attempts helped by friendly infantry.  The Panther takes two in the gut and explodes.

Nearby, aggressive German training wins over self-preservation.  The surviving tank of the Panther HQ troop moves forward beside the pyre of his boss and engages two of the relieving Shermans.   The Panther is brightly lit, the Shermans are just shadowy forms, but by aiming at the muzzle flashes the Panther immobilizes first one, and disables the gun on the other.  Both Sherman crews bail out, but not before causing some damage to the sights on the Panther.

The PzGr 2nd platoon sees an opportunity to take a third building while it is relatively unoccupied.  Major LeBlanc’s company HQ stand bugs out just in time.

One of the relieving Shermans knocks out an advancing PzKwIV.

The situation this far.   Only one Panther is left in action in the centre.  The Canadians now hold only one of the four buildings.   A section of Canadian infantry still holds the woods on the top left, forcing the Germans to keep their precious infantry in their captured buildings to precent recapture.   The blind visible on the extreme right edge is the German company HQ (Big Man, two HMGs, and a tank killer section moving into the woods at the base of the ridge.

The two Canadian Shermans take cunning hull down positions in the blanket fold terrain, keeping a wary distance from the German infantry and their panzerfausts to their front.

Those Shermans have to go if the Germans are to capture the road at the table edge.  A squad of grenadiers and their two panzerfausts are sent out to deal with them.  Both shots miss badly.  The Grenadiers wisely withdraw before they are cut down by HE and coax fire.

The Achilles and an accompanying section of infantry, with Pte Blondin, the intrepid PIAT gunner, are trying to outflank the remaining Panther but are caught by the two HMGs now set up in the wood, when the German HQ card comes up.  Several Canadians fall, but fortunately not Blondin.  The survivors of the section are badly shocked.  The German company commander also uses the card to send his tank killer team forward with two actions, hoping to use their remaining action to hit the Achilles with a panzerfaust.

They succeed.  The Achilles explodes nastily.  They won’t claim their hat trick this game.

But fortune goes both ways.  Having relocated and regained their composure, Maj. LeBlanc and his FOO bring 25lber shells down on the church, chipping away at its defenders.   LeBlanc fires his very last flare (the red blob in this picture), which has decisive results.   It catches the two surviving PzKwIVs in its deadly light, and they are engaged by the two Shermans from their protective darkness.  The Firefly brews up the troop leader, and his mate shocks the lone survivor into retreating.  With that reverse, and a steady stream of HE now falling, and with fears of more of those flares, the Germans have probably felt they’ve done enough, and would likely think of withdrawing.

German high-water mark.   The game ends with three out of four objectives held, giving the Germans a partial and pyrrhic victory.  My observations about night actions is that they are best avoided.   As far as possible, I handicapped the German attack by forcing them to advance into unpleasant situations and to take punishment from an unseen foe.  The difficulty of maneuvering at night over unknown ground also slowed the German advance.   While there were several occasions where the cover of darkness minimized German casualties from defending fire, there were others where the German armour, caught by flares, took losses from the Shermans that could essentially hide in the darkness and pick them off.  This would have made a terrifically tense action with an umpire, given the right players.
In the action I was basing this on, the Chaudieres beat off the German attack but lost a platoon in the process, which roughly coincides with this outcome.  One can see why the Germans largely refrained from night actions after the first few days of the Normandy campaign.
To finish, here are the Padre’s two suggestions for a happy relationship.  First, make a big deal of Valentines' Day and other such occasions.  Dress up and go out somewhere.   Ms. Padre and I enjoyed a romantic evening at the local jazz club.  And yes, I did achieve a major victory over the bow tie, with some spousal assistance.  Bow ties are cool.

Second, share the wargames table.  I forced myself to finish this action in two days rather than drag it out forever, so Ms. Padre could get back to her jigsaw puzzle, cleverly protected by a sheet of plexiglass.  She thinks I have patience painting my little men.  I admire her patience with jigsaws, as I can’t stand ‘em.

Thank you for reading this long two-part bat rep.  Blessings to your brushes and die rolls!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Cats Go Out At Night - An " I Ain't Been Shot Mum!" Battle Report, Part 1

After a demanding week, I gave myself Thursday off to set up this table, for a solitaire battle using Too Fat Lardies’ I Ain’t Been Shot Mum (IABSM) version 3.   My objectives were to a) use my newly completed Panzers (see last post), and b) to see how confusing a night action might be.  The inspiration for this battle was an attack made the night of 6-7 June 1944 on positions of La Regiment de la Chaudiere by elements of 21st Pz Div.  For this battle I rated the Canadian and German troops of equal quality.   The Germans had two platoons of infantry in halftracks, supported by a full zug of PzIVs, a full aug of PZ Vs, and  an HQ aug of two PzVs led by the senior armour commander, a Dynamic Leader.   The Germans had two initial stonks of 105s, but no other artillery assets.
The Canadians had two platoons of infantry, dug in, supported by 4 6 pounders from the battalion AT platoon, and an Achilles tank destroyer.  A section of two 3” mortars was on table, on call from Company HQ, and a forward observer is attached who can call on a troop of 25 pounders.    A reinforcement card, if it turns up, allows the Canadians a chance of a tank troop from a nearby leaguer of armour support.   The Canadians are holding a small village on a low, rolling ridge.
To win a decisive victory, the Germans need to take 3 of the four buildings and control the road leading off the Canadian table edge.  The German plan is to probe on the Canadian right flank with the Panther zug, and to attack the Canadian left with one of the Grenadier platoons supported by the 3 Panzer IVs.  The remaining two Panthers and the other Panzer Grenadier platoon will attack up the centre when both flanks are engaged.   The plan is to go as quickly as possible.
Since it is very dark, I follow the IABSM rules and half spotting ranges and make the required spotting rolls high ones.  For tanks, I assume that all dug-in infantry and AT guns are invisible until they open fire.   To simulate the difficulties in attacking over strange terrain in the dark, I give the Germans a movement penalty of -1 pip per die.   All firing will be one band worse than it would be in daylight, unless the target is illuminated.

The German stonk is very successful, knocking out on of the AT guns in the Canadian left centre, by the church, and giving the other crew six shock.   Several infantry sections in the centre also suffer from shock and lose several men.  On his blind card, the Cdn company commander, Major LeBlanc, hastens forward to assist in rallying the shocked AT crew, while his two platoon commanders tend to their men.  While trying to set things to rights, they hear the sound of vehicles approaching in the dark.   Major LeBlanc orders a flare since as the Cdn senior he's the only Big Man with that capability.  I give him an EDNA (Ever Decreasing Number of Availability) four sided dice so that he doesn't have an unlimited number of flares, and his initial role is 3.  Lucky for him, he has a few flares.  He’ll likely need them.  The first one goes up, revealing German blinds moving up the central road.

This image pretty much wiped out this blog’s special effects budget for the month.  One of those blinds is a dummy, but the Grenadiers in halftracks and the two Panthers can seen during the flare’s hang time.

On the German left, the three Panthers bump into their first opposition.   A PIAT team gets a slight hit on one Panther, and gives it a point of shock.   An infantry section throws bundles of grenades at the centre tank, to no effect.   In their turn, the Panthers blindly fire HE in the dark, and actually kill two Canadians.

The Cdn FOO in the church gets his troop on the horn immediately, and a salvo of 25lber HE slams into the German halftracks clearly visible under the hanging flare.

A halftack is knocked out and the squad hastily dismounts, less one casualty.    Now they are illuminated by the burning Hanomag as well by the flare, for as long as it lasts (until the next Tea Break card).

Not wanting a repeat of that ordeal, the platoon commander orders his Grenadiers of 1 platoon to debus, and they rush forward to the hedge line across the road from their centre objectives.

Even with two points of shock on it, one of the 6lber crews makes a good spotting roll and discerns the hulk of a Panther in the dark, aided in part by the yelling of the guys in the nearby foxholes to shoot the bastard (I figured the proximity of the friendly infantry would help the AT guys to spot the tank in the darkness).  The AT gun rolls good strike dice, the Panther less so for its armour save, even though it had ten save dice to seven strike dice - epic fail.   The result is a helpful bonfire.

The happy 6lber crew do some celebratory fist pumps.

Which are unfortunately suspended as the crew runs for their lives while their victim’s littermate crushes their gun in an overrun attack.

Meanwhile, on the Cdn left, things were heating up as the German 2nd Zug of Grenadiers tries to push up, supported by the Pz IVs.  One of the Hanomags falls victim to the PIAT team in the house, and its passengers disembark with shock and a casualty.   The Canadians line the garden wall and prepare for action.  They are supported by their platoon 2” mortar and an attached Vickers MG team, so they should be able to hold the place for a while.

Situation Turn 5.  Cdns still hold all buildings, but have now lost two AT guns.  Germans are threatening buildings on the Cdn left.  On the Cdn right the Panthers are annoying but, as they are not supported by infantry, are not a major threat.  Major LeBlanc is having trouble with his flare gun (his card has not come up for several turns now), and wondering when his appeals for tank support will be answered.

PzIVs move up to begin shelling les Canadiens out of that house.

Meanwhile, on the right flank, Pte. Guy Blondin, a little guy from Trois Rivieres, his PIAT team member dead, manages to sneak uo in the dark and hit a second Panther with a PIAT round, shocking and immobilizing it.  The  German crew will eventually bail out, only to be rounded up at pistol point by Blondin and marched to the rear.  Definitely a Military Medal for Blondin.  Tanks in the dark with enemy tank killers sneaking around are sitting ducks.

There was no action on Friday night, other than me trying to figure this out before I took Mrs. Padre to the jazz club.  Action continued today and the issue is still in doubt.   I’ll finish the story tomorrow.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Panzers Marsch! New German Tanks

 School work really beat me up in a dark alley this week, but I have a few moments today to post pictures of the four 15mm panzers I’ve recently finished.  Tonight they are in action on my games table (except for the Tiger) and none of them have blown up yet.


Battlefront 15mm Tiger Mk 1 driving over some Battlefront resin roads - which explains where those resin tank tracks came from.  The lighting here is rather dreadful, but hopefully its sufficient to show my attempt at using  pigment pigment to show mud gathered on the road wheels and lower tracks.  Hmmm, that turret doesn’t look like it’s seated properly.  :(


The Tiger crew takes a selfie.   Obviously this wouldn’t do for combat to have the driver’s head sticking out, but I liked the look of it.  These pictures don’t really show it, but I used a little Vallejo Armour Aces Rust and did some chipping around the seams and edges, though for 15mm scale this effort borders on work wasted.


Pz MkIV in the livery of 12th SS HJ Division.   I am not a Nazi fanboy but my late war collection focus on the first days of the Normandy campaign.  The numerals on the turret skirting are from Dom Skelton, the 12thSS and German cross decals are from a BF set.  The model itself is a resin model from Gaming Models, which make decent and inexpensive product.  Slightly smaller than Battlefront stuff, but not noticeably so.  With the advent of Plastic Soldier Company, I’m not sure if Gaming Models are as much of a bargain as they used to be, but they don’t have to be assembled and they do a lot of stuff that PSC hasn’t got to yet.


Two Gaming Models Panthers, also in 12th SS livery - same decals.



 Cats always have a way of showing you their butts, with more pigment.


“Look Kelly, a Tiger has only one weak point, that’s it’s ass."




General Rommel’s new command vehicle, the KampfKampingWagen Westfalia Mk 1, tours the  panzers ready to repel the invasion.

These figures bring my totals completed this year to:

28mm Mounted: 7

28mm Foot: 20

28mm Artillery: 1

15mm Vehicles: 4

Kilometres Run: 157

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