Sunday, 31 January 2021

More Brits

 Another few days work

Early War Miniatures Morris CS8 15cwt with AA Bren

Now I was a customer of Tom`s Tins (who are now EWM), Tom always did interesting and different kit from the norm which was right up my alley as I like odd and different! Paul has taken the range and expanded it (of course adding some of the old Skytrex range as well), I understand Tom Lobby still some sculpting!! I saw this advertised on the EWM FB page and ordered it straight away, the model is a one piece plastic/resin cast with some  white metal parts (I added some stowage too) the crew are really nice the Bren team particularly nicely sculpted, they come with Aussie bush hat or helmet heads - I used helmets so the vehicle could be British or Aussie as required.  

Classic Airfix 6pdr & crew

After some new info came to light about the allied blocking positions in the Lower Dorsales in Tunisia during the German offensive in January/Feb 1943 I found I needed an extra 6pdr - now as it happened I had just found one in among some stuff I got of John (Bannockburn Boy over on the SOTCW forum) when he was having a clear-out a few yrs back. 

To be honest I probably don`t need the crew (and they are pretty awful by todays standards), but what the heck, its my tabletop. 

Playing in the garden (again)

Monday, 25 January 2021

A modelling re-think

A modelling re-think

 Way back in March 2017 

I built this Chevy 30cwt with 20mm Breda AA for 2/3rd Lt. anti-aircraft Regt RAA in Syria

Now whilst I enjoyed the build and as a model it was OK it always seemed to me that the Breda Britannia Miniatures looked way too large, in fact Andy`s own Grubby Tanks Breda is to my eye a better scale piece and I had planned to do a swap at some point. Then you will remember i bought those di-casts before Christmas and the 30cwt Chevy came with a nice 20mm Breda   

So I swapped out the gun and replaced the two Raventhorpe crew with suitable (smaller) plastic figures from the bits box -  one a Matchbox Australian Vickers gunner, the other a Matchbox DAK MMG gunner with a Airfix 8th Army head :)


Finished model

 Much happier with this 

Now waste not, want not, I scratched together a tripod mount, used the wheels I removed from the towed gun, head-swapped the original Raventhorpe gunner and painted up a couple of plastic Italeri Italians to create a ground deployed Breda and crew for my Italians too :)

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Italian Recce

Italian Recce 

The last of those di-casts I picked up before Christmas.

Started out like this

A simple paint job and wash and a scratch crew from the bits box, I also added the extra pintle Breda HMG as you often see these in photos.

Whilst I was looking for images of AS42s to find colours, I found this interesting image

As I happened to have a few Jeeps in my dwindling stash and do like odd things, I built this as a command vehicle for my Italian recce battalion, the radio op was a Matchbox Australian (head swapped)

On patrol in the garden

Friday, 22 January 2021

Peter Cushing - Wargamer

 Peter Cushing

Now for s long as a can remember I`ve played with toy soldiers, my parents house and garden in Rhondda were strewn with little plastic men for my entire childhood and kept resurfacing right up until we finally moved my mother down to Swansea in 2012! Buying me presents for birthdays, Christmases or just rewards was dead easy - a packet or box of Airfix soldiers - any period or nationality, it simply did not matter as they joined on side or the other in a vast melee across the house and garden. If I was particularly lucky a Dinky or Matchbox di-cast vehicle would add a motorised or armoured element too. 

War movies, Commando comics and Christmas annuals by Warlord and Victor also fueled my obsession.

In my early teens I discover "real rules" and books by Charles Grant, Terence Wise and Donald Featherstone and began building plastic kits.

About the time I went to secondary school I also discovered another interest - horror movies. Particularly late Saturday night creature feature features on BBC2 from the Hammer studios, these introduced my young mind to Dracula (and his various buxom victims/brides); Frankenstein and his monster and Mummies, etc. 

They also were my first introduction to Mr Peter Cushing a man of many roles, an actor of skill and finesse, who became a firm favourite of mine (and still is nearly 50yrs later).

When I was about 14 my Dad brought home a copy of "Past Forgetting" by Mr Cushing which he`d picked up cheap at a bookbinders sale. I wasn`t much of a reader so he thought it may encourage me (many 100s of books later it obviously has). The book contained several images of Mr Cushing`s Hammer years, but to my amazement two images of the great man with model soldiers and a copy of HG Wells "Little Wars" book! Reading the text revealed Mr Cushing was an avid collector and wargamer! To say the least I was thrilled to note I shared a hobby with this man who I admired.

Below I have collected images from across the net, some of which I have posted onto the FB page of "A Gentlemans War" others just found though Google. I don`t claim ownership of these and if anyone does and wants me to take them down please just let me know, I am using them to illustrate and pay homage to Mr Cushing and our shared hobby. 

Peter and his wife Helen

A couple of coloured stills from the Pathe news piece on Peter`s hobby

This photo was taken at the little museum at Whitstable which has some cases on display of Peter`s personal posessions including this WW1 bunker scene with cardboard soldiers including Peters orginal sketches.

A link to a YouTube video about Mr Cushing and his collection you`ll have to cut/paste into your browser, but it does work.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Restaurante Maria, Tangel

 Restaurante Maria, Tangel

Nr Mutxamel, Alicante

Tangel is a small village between our nearest town - San Vincente del Raspeig and Mutxamel. 

The place is quite nice, a single street of interesting Spanish style houses and a small church, there is also a garden centre (which is why we go there usually). There are also two small restaurants, we`ve tried both and like the food, so as it was Debbie`s birthday yesterday we (Chris and I) took her to the garden centre and then onto a lunchtime "menu" meal.

We ended up a Restaurante Maria - the food is highly recommended and very well priced, but for those of us with military interests the walls are covered with posters, flags, badges, hats, paintings, etc of Spanish military and police (local, municipal and Civil guard). The Foreign Legion is represented including two very good portraits of the founders - Franco and Milan Astray!

Now my spoken Spanish isn`t good enough (as yet) to ask a lot of questions, but the place is interesting and I will try and visit again.

I didn`t take photos as the place was busy, but did find these on the net: