Monday 27 April 2015

Beute T30 halftrack, Tunisia `43

Captured T30 half-track based loosely on this photo
This vehicle was part of I/Panzergrenadier-Regiment 86 

Old Skytrex model (thanks to Alan Owen) 
I build the shield out of plastic card (poorly I know) and added mixed stowage.
The gun crew are SHQ, the driver comes as part of the kit, I gave him a quick head-swap

Friday 17 April 2015

More 10th Panzer bits

Lost my painting mojo for February/March and most of April, I`m still not myself, but decided I had to force myself off my arse and get stuff done, heres the first attempts -

Another 251C for my 10th Panzer/Tunisia project, I`m not 100% sure whether this will join II/69 PG or become the second vehicles of 3/49th Panzer Pioneer?

Minimi 251C with added stowage, the crew are mostly SHQ

A couple of spare infantry (SHQ)
Medic and casualty (Elhiem)

Monday 13 April 2015

Spanish 1980/90s Nato force

Quite a while back Richard Crawley of the SOTCW started a 20mm participation game project based in the fictional country of Andrevia. Now I don`t do moderns much and didn`t have anything suitable to take part so build a small NATO element, to be different I decided to choose Spanish.

For troops I mixed and matched any wearing fatigues and M-1 pot helmets armed with a mixture of G-3 or MG3 LMGs 
 Platoon20 Yanks (I swapped the M60 for a MG3)
 M113 & M106 mortar carrier (both Esci kits) I added the MG3 to the mortar carrier
 Soldats - Elhiem (Iraqi), converted Platoon20 Egyptian (head swapped, added MP5)
 Another converted Platoon20 Egyptian (again head swapped, this time with G3), Elhiem West German 
 Elheim West Germans
 The soldats above with another M113 (Airfix)
 same figures witha NATO Jeep (repainted die cast toy)
 S&S Models resin BMR600 APC with added stowage rack
 VAMTAC (Spanish Hummer copy) repainted die cast toy
 Elheim West Germans, the last two converted to Ca90 LAW operators
 Same figures with VAMTAC
 More Elheim Germans
 S&S Models resin M557 command vehicle and AML60
 Britannia Miniatures British 1980s RTO converted to Spanish with a head swap and minor additions
 My second S&S BMR600 alongside the first 
 M60A3s (Esci, Revell and S&S)
ACE Models AML60 with a commander by Liberation Miniatures

Sunday 12 April 2015

Prototype tanks in Morocco

Whilst in Spain as always i found myself browsing the book stalls and came accross Emilio Marin Ferrer's - Guerras de Marruecos 1859-1926, couldn`t resist so bought it :-)

Now i know a fair bit about the various conflicts, sometimes buying these books is more a case of looking for something new or "patting" myself on the back for knowing stuff or even more smugly looking for errors - sorry :-(

This large 250 page tome appears to be a good general history of Spain's various attempts to pacify the Berbers, well illustrated and decent text (in Spanish of course).

In the section about armoured vehicles, I suddenly came across a surprise -

St. Chamond Chenillete M-21
France designed in 1921 a mechanical device that attempted to use two sets of interchangeable traction: wheeled and tracked. Such exchange theoretically could be performed in 10 minutes, but always from the outside of the carriage.They were built between 9 and 10 units in 1922. As the French Government was not interested at all for these cars, sold all foreign governments in 1923: 3 to 7 to Finland and Spain. The rudimentary car was unsuccessful in any event, and soon were scrapped in their countries of arrival and / or returned to France.

In Spain ...
On August 5, 1923, reached 7 units of Chenillette to Melilla. The first task was to move them to Dar Drius. In the course of 75 Km, one of them broke down and was towed back to Melilla. The other 6 reached their destination, but all suffered mechanical damage. In Dar Drius, Captain José Alfaro checked over the machines and made his report. The results were painful: first, only two were found to be operational units. The engine did not have an access door, so we had to remove the entire car to access it. No frontal or side peepholes, only for the driver. Although undoubtedly the most surreal failure was the fact that, since the driver sat at the front with his open vision port, any bullets fired could get directly into the tank, and in most cases reached and inflicted injury to the crew member .
His subsequent fate is unclear, but none mentioned in the official records of the Army since 1924, so it follows that they were withdrawn. The most accepted theory is that two units were scrapped in Morocco, and the rest were returned to France.

Saturday 11 April 2015

Spanish Civil War coastal battery

During the Easter break we once again decamped to Spain for a break and some piece and quiet. We stayed in a modern urbanization near Alicante, very pleasant.

The urbanization sprawls across the seafront and up the sides of a headland south of the city, the scrub land around is a maze of cycle trails and paths, all well sign posted; I quickly noticed one of the signs read "gun batteries"; so my darling with with a saintly smile allowed me to take the family for a nice long walk in the country :-)

The gun battery dates from the SCW, the Republicans had to try and protect the port of Alicante from potential naval attack, they also placed several anti-aircraft guns around the battery to both protect it and act as an AA screen against Nationalist aircraft targeting the City.

The site is only partly cleared, but some restoration work is being done. There are also several notice/information boards (written in Spanish/French/English) which were very informative.

Coastal battery
The two main gun pits are concrete, each housed a Krupp 15cm gun.
They are set in defilade hidden from their potential targets out at sea, the two pits are linked by tunnel to a concrete ammunition bunker to the rear.

Command bunker
Whilst in excellent condition, the bunker has suffered for vandalism and graffiti

Anti aircraft positions
These are dug/cut out of the rocky hillside, these held either a 76.2 mm or 40mm Bofors gun

These three buildings are in very poor state of repair

A map from the information board, showing the direction of attacks by Nationalist cruisers and aircraft against Alicante