Thursday 23 May 2019

Reinforcements for the Armee du Levant

Reinforcements for the Armee du Levant

A few extra French bits for my Vichy Forces in Syria/Lebanon

Ft17 75 BS
An SPG with the 75-mm short-barrel S-type Blockhaus Schneider howitzer installed in the armored cabin. It was larger than previous guns, which increased the vehicle mass to 7.3 tons and cut its ammunition to 30 shells. High command saw value in the project and placed an order for 970 vehicles. By the end of World War I, a total of 39 vehicles were manufactured; after that, production was discontinued. At least one was captured in Syria/Lebanon

My rather crude model based on the Hat Ft17

Gen. Weygand reorganised the French colonial forces after the armistice in 1940, among his suggestions was mechanisation and the organising of mixed motorised columns. 
I saw this image and based my model on it:

The truck is by Shell hole Scenics (1.5ton Chevy), the gun is Hat, the crew are Elheim`s brand spanking new French tropical guys, I built the racks and added the stowage

Same gun with more of Elheim`s wonderful figures (he does two packs, I mixed them)

Monday 20 May 2019

le Groupe Special d`artillerie du 63rd RAA - GSAM

All finished with crew
The gun shield is quite right, but I can live with that, I may swap out the crew for nicer metal figures later

Monday 13 May 2019

GSAM work in progress


Now I like to build unusual French kit and after seeing these images, I have wanted to build one for ages.

Built secretly in workshops in Fez and concealed from the armistice commission, the French mounted 75mle1897 guns onto a variety of trucks. The ones pictured were built on Fargo 1.5 tonners, The batteries were called Groupe Special d`Artillerie du Maroc (GSAM)

They were deployed briefly against the Americans after the Torch landings and later transported by rail and road across to Tunisia to face the Germans and Italians serving with 63rd Regiment Artillerie d`Afrique
Now after much searching and asking questions from various clever guys - David Reasoner & Leland Erickson to name two, it was pointed out no-one makes a Fargo in 20mm, but any Chevy would do really.
As luck would have it Ian Clunie of Shellhole Scenics was in the process of making some new trucks among which was a 1937 Chevy 1.5 ton GS
And so I had a base for my project
Now I fully admit I am not in any way a great or skilled model maker, even at best my stuff is functional, so please excuse any obvious fudges and errors

First things first cut down the rear of the cab and build a new bed out of coffee stirrers 
The gun mounts are from Raventhorpe (German AA machine gun mounts)

This plastic truck bed was my first attempt, would have been OK, except I didn`t have enough plastic for a second one - bugger!

Next, I needed to get the ammo and storage bins which hung below the truck, for the general bins I used resin boxes from Hobbyden, but for the ammo storage lockers, I took two Hat French `75 limbers and cut them in two and fitted the halves on either side of the truck bed. To fit the tail end storage boxes I had to remove about 2mm from the chassis to make enough room for the boxes to hang.


The trucks had a hand-cranked rear brake on the rear wheels to hold the vehicle against the gun`s recoil, so I added a couple of hand wheels (left overs from various guns) and created a simple look-alike break using tinfoil and fuse wire

Now apart from some stowage the trucks are done, onto the guns.

As I said above the mounts were from Ravensthorpe, the guns are Hat, I simply cut down the carriages, just to keep the mounts, I then mounted the whole thing on a 5x5mm piece of 1mm plasticard. taking a notch out of this and fitting a gunners seat (out of the bits box).

The shield 
I hand made this using the tank off the Airfix Matador fuel-tanker, carving the rough shape with a blade - not perfect of 100% accurate, but good enough for me :)

 You can see the seat here to the right of the breach
The selected crews, a mix of Hat WW1 and WW2 plastic crews

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Mexican additions

Lost my painting mojo for a few months, and though i bought these back in January, they have sat on the painting tray since then un-loved.

Various painted conversions of Tumbling Dice figures  :) 

Rural scout corps (circa 1914)
In an attempt to increase the size of the army and absorb various irregular and anti-Madero elements into it. 
President Huerta re-named the Rurales as the Rural Scout Corps and folded them into the army (they had been under the Department of the Interior)   
I think these were Australian light Horse


Federal Infantry 
Wearing the 1910 era cotton uniform with kepi and havelock
British camel corps figures I think?