Saturday 27 February 2016

Workshop kompanie, schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501

Workshop kompanie, Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501

I find these days I enjoy my modelling as much as I ever did, but it no longer matters if the model or unit I build ever sees a tabletop. Over the last few years I`ve built several one-off models based on photos so here are a few more.

I like supply and rear echelon units, I`ve not really built many workshop units, but when i saw these photos - why not.

 I know this is a Horch, but I didn`t have one.............

 Mercedes Kfz15 with AA machine guns (Raventhorpe) with trailer (also Raventhorpe)
 I slightly modified the car and changed the MGs for nicer ones from Sgt`s Mess
 Mixed crew - AB Figures, S&S and MMS (head swopped)
Note the 501st unit symbol on the front mud guard.
Loads of added stowage

 Matchbox M16 chassis (modified with Fujimi parts)
Again 501st symbol on door

 Mixed crew - AB Figures, S&S and various plastics
 Airfix "Ben Hur" trailer (modified)
Loads of mixed stowage

My complete unit with Tiger 112 and a Panzer IIIM

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Frozen Silence (film review)

Frozen Silence

This is a Spanish movie (subtitles) 

Russian Front, Winter 1943. A patrol from the volunteer Spanish "Blue" Division encounters a series of horses frozen dead at the surface of a lake. The bodies are partly submerged beneath the ice. When the patrol discover check out the area they find the body of a Spanish soldier. his throat cut and on his chest carved the words - "Have I not seen God,".
The man called upon handle the investigation is Arturo Andrade (Juan Diego Botto), a former police inspector, who takes the job with precision and professionalism. Arthur believes that the murder is related to Masonry. There is also a second hypothesis: that the victim was a pro-Soviet agent infiltrated the Division, and "Have I not seen God," a warning to other potential collaborators. 

So what you have is a murder mystery set in the depths of a Soviet winter during WW2. The fact that it is placed within the Blue Division gives it flavour with the politics of the recent conflict in Spain and differences between the Spanish and their German allies to the local population.

The acting is good, the lead character trying to do his job whilst all the time having to cope with the complicated politics and left over resentments of the Civil War; he is a simple policeman trying to solve a murder. This is NOT a war film per se, this is a murder mystery set during wartime, there is virtually no actual war. But the details, uniforms, equipment and buildings are very good, this is a well made, well researched movie.  

Friday 12 February 2016

Regulares Company

Regulares Company

These Moroccan soldiers served with the Spanish Army of Africa with distinction, they were first formed into units (batallon Indigene) in 1911. When the rebellion began in 1936 large numbers were flown across the Mediterranean by German aircraft to assist the Nationalists in their fight against the Republic. The Moroccan troops became feared for their skills and viciousness in combat, being brought up in the harsh environments of the Moroccan Mountains meant that their field craft was far superior the your average Spanish peninsula soldier or International Brigade volunteer.

I`ve taken these directly form my Rif War set-up, just touched up and repaired any damage.

The figures are mainly Bandera, Irregular and Tumbling Dice, but there may be others odd`n sods among them.


Support for the Republic

Some support for the Republicans

Airfix 13pdr with a mixed crew of various plastic Russians & Germans

Gun with tow
A re-painted di-cast

Nationalist support for Spain

I continue to paint and build stuff to take out to Spain to build up our available forces and enlarge our games.

The Germans lent Franco and his Nationalists loads of aid, here is some of the first shipment.

4 x krupp protze trucks (enough to motorise a reinforced rifle company under our rules.
3 are by Frontline wargameing with added plastic drivers (two with head-swaps), the vehicle with tilt is an old Matchbox model

Soft plastic gun(either by HAT or Strelets)
Crewed by various odds`n sods plastic Germans

Sdkfz 232 (6-rad)
Old Matchbox kit painted up as Nationalist
Now I have no evidence this vehicle ever saw service in Spain, consider it a prototype on trail.

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Spanish terrain

Spanish Style Wargames terrain

I was recently inspired by the posts of fellow SOTCW member Carl Luxford over on the society forum who posted photos of some buildings by Hovels. Now I haven`t bought anything from them in years, but his images did tempt me to visit their website. To be honest I was a little disappointed that they do not seem to have added much to their range over recent years. Anyway they do do several ranges which cross periods of my interest and I wanted some terrain to take out to Spain to start building on what we have out there, so I ordered a few pieces. As usual these would suit multiple eras that I game - Rif War, SCW, Mexican Revolution and even Tunisia.

Arched stone bridge
Beute M3 just for scale

Two storried Spanish house with archway
Combat Miniatures Boxer Rebellion Japanese for scale 

Village fountain
Again Japanese for scale 

Roadside Shrine
Again Japanese for scale
I`ve also tried out some "tufts" from Shellhole Scenics on this base 

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Crusade 2016

Crusade 2016

Annual wargames show held by Penarth & District Wargames Society in Cogan Leisure Center, Nr Penarth.

This is the only proper show I am able to attend as we work all the time. For me it is a great day out, I`ve been lucky enough to make a lot of friends through my time as editor of The Journal and it is great to meet these people face-to-face and chat about their businesses, the hobby world and just wargaming in general.

It was smashing to see and chat to Stuart from S&S Models, Elen & Gary of Sgt`s Mess, Mark Jackman of Combat Miniatures, Ian Clunie of Shellhole Scenics, Paul of Early War Miniatures and that stalwart of the UK show scene Andy Grubb. The show itself seemed very busy and everyone seemed quite buoyant about the year ahead. I showed a copy of the new style Journal around and those who were not members already seemed very impressed by the improvements made by the new team (I agree whole heartedly). 

Some photos I took of a couple of 28mm demo games