segunda-feira, 16 de outubro de 2017

Rapid Fire! 20mm D-Day, the British Beaches - (Part 3), Commando and Royal Marine Commando LCI(S).

According to Rapid Fire! D-Day supplement you need two LCI(S), one for Gold and another for Sword Beach to transport the Royal Marine Commando and Commando units on the day.
I made them in plywood mostly with many plastic parts added.
The Oerlikons are Britannia metal parts with plastic crewmen.
The funnels are pieces of Evergreen tubing heated to shape. As usual I made the masts extra large for more security.
I left plenty of room vacant for the 35 figures each boat has to carry.
These two were a fun to built and most of the inspiration came from the Sentry models that RLBPS is kind enough to show on its site.
Next; The Ouistreham Casino.

domingo, 15 de outubro de 2017

Rapid Fire! 20mm D-Day, the British Beaches - (Part 2) WN16 ('Morris Strongpoint') gun casemate.

Smacked in the middle of Sword beach, on high ground stood the WN16 with its casemates with 100mm Skoda guns. The fire of these guns was controlled by the nearby WN17 (the 'Hillman' strongpoint).   The delay in taking the bunker complex has been cited as a reason for the Allies not completing their major D-Day objective of taking Caen.
The casemates for the guns was of the 669 type.
The 100mm Czech gun was made from the HAT WWI 77mm Feldkanone 16. I just added the covers for the wheels for the gun to look its part.
Next: more on the issue...

domingo, 8 de outubro de 2017

Rapid Fire! 20mm D-Day, the British Beaches - (Part 1) Sherman DD's

This new series will try to show you my British (and German, obviously) stuff I have to wargame the three beaches were the British and Canadians landed on the 6th of June 1944. While I can consider Omaha finished - with the exeption of a few terrain boards missing- the British beaches of Gold, Juno and Sword are far from finished but I can already show you plenty of dedicated models made for them.
I used three cheap Airfix Shermans, bought probably to have more LCM's, in order to make an extra company of Sherman DD's.
Most of the details are Evergreen plastic card and two-part filler used on the canvas parts.
The radio box on the back of the turret and big red and white numbers made these DD's undoubtedly British.
I copied most of the details from my first DD company made of Britannia models.
While basing the British DD's I took the oportunity to base the US ones (Atlantic) and to place wheels on the three water-line US DD's  I had.

quinta-feira, 5 de outubro de 2017

Rapid Fire! 20mm D-Day 1944 - Omaha Beach - The full setting.

In the last weekend, in Coimbra, we had a nice toy fair. I took the opportunity to show my Omaha Beach. Unfortunately I didn't finish the last four 60X60cm boards of sea and sea and sand and I had to cram the whole setting on an area of fifteen boards (total 300cmX 180cm). Like this some of the German WN's had to be placed to the rear of others. Good enough for someone not very familiar with the events though...

At sea the things got no better. Many of the landing craft had to be left at home as there was clearly no room for all of them, otherwise the table would look like a Marina.

 In this picture it's better for the skipper of that LCT to  clear the way for the hurrying Destroyer!

In the eastern corner of the beach more overlapping can be seen.

Sie kommen!

And also here more sie kommen! They are sie kommen everywhere!!!

Destroyers come to hit those pesky openings on the bunkers.

The landing at full force.

Will the defences hold? They did but only in miniature.

Getting closer.
'Itza a beautiful zight, Gerhardt but I zink its time to leave!' I used Valiant figures this time for the German infantry (Valiant minis can really be seen from afar).
Next: the British D-Day beaches.

sábado, 16 de setembro de 2017

Mozambique 1894-95 in 20mm - Portuguese forces (colonial and metropolitan)

The Lancha-Canhoneira Capelo is finished and painted. I used the colour scheme of scale model present at the Museu da Marinha (Navy Museum) in Lisbon.

I added seven crew members, all of them conversions. The legs are from Revell Union soldiers  brandishing their rifles and torso and heads are from Australian copies. Their arms were then heated and twisted until they looked like manning a gun. Some have a small shell hardly visible on the photos.

The flag is from the Internet and is wrapped to the pole with metal wire.

I chose not to place any rigging on the boat as it would break easily on handling due to the small size of the model. Like this it became sturdy and detailed enough.

Batalhão de Caçadores 2 forming square. This tactic was used by the Portuguese on all occasions, marching (the right column would be slightly forward so the top part could bend left and form a square, the same happening to the bottom of the left column who would bend right), camping and fighting. The Portuguese army in Mozambique was around 2.600 in its peak  against a total 60.000 warriors in the ranks of Gungunhana so this defensive tactic, used also in the offensive, was well needed.

Most  of the figures are Foreign Legion Esci with some British colonials mixed in.

The Portuguese uniform had a black kepi, blue coat and white trousers. In africa the kepi was covered with a white cotton cover and the white fatigue coat used instead.

Only the officers used the blue dolman even if this meant a better target for the enemy.

The Polícia de Lourenço Marques (nowadays Maputo) was the best unit of the Portuguese army in this campaign and they even managed to restaure the broken side of the Marracuene square with a daring counter-attack something unique in Colonial warfare.

Caçadores 3 da África Oriental. These (mostly) Angolans had a similar uniform to the metropolitan units but usually they weren't wearing boots and the rest of the uniform had sometimes home-made pieces, specially trousers.

Figures are mostly Esci but to give different positions I used many legs from Revell Australians who donated their heads to this cause.

Batalhão de Caçadores 3.  In 1895 the broad-brimmed hat starts to arrive with the new Metropolitan troops and becomes a symbol of this campaign.

Again figures are Foreign Legion Esci with Australian heads from Revell. Also some assorted legs were used to increase variety.

Regimento de Infantaria 2. Again a mix of all plastics described above. This line of men, with the first rank kneeling, was the most suitable to form square under attack.

Esquadrão de Lanceiros 1 of Captain Mouzinho de Albuquerque. The hats could have one of the side of the brim up, specially officers hats, but pictures of this campaign show them  looking like Confederates ones at the end of the Civil War...

As I told you on the previous post these models have pieces from many origins and legs made of GreenStuff. Mouzinho de Albuquerque itself  is next to the cornet in its blue dolman.

B.E.M artillery pieces. WWII buffs will recognize the artillerymen as Germans from the PSC PAK38 A/T gun set. This set can easily spare many figures as each of the four PAK38 has six figures when for wargamers only three are generally used.

The tows for the B.E.M's. Airfix horses with Esci figures heavily converted.

The Nordenfeld MG's with its tow consisting of just one mule.

Again some of the crew are PSC with new headgear.

Next: wether back to Liberators in 10mm or to my last Gettysburg Union division made from the new StreletsR figures.

quinta-feira, 14 de setembro de 2017

The Portuguese campaign in Mozambique 1894-95 in 20mm - WIP

Years ago, after finishing my Anglo-Zulu War figures, I started another campaign were I could use once again the Zulu army without many changes. It was from the idea of reusing the Zulus that I started the actions around the uprising of the Landins and Vatuas (Shangane, for the British) of Mozambique against the Portuguese rule during the years of 1894-95. These African tribes were affiliated with the Zulus and most of its weapons and garments were similar so my 20mm Zulu army could be used once more this time a few years later and a bit to the northeast of Africa. The major battles like Marracuene, Magul and Coolela were big affairs not smaller than most of the engagements of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879.
The Portuguese army, both the colonial and the metropolitan, had to be made from conversions asnothing exists in 20mm.  First I made all infantry necessary using French Legionaires from Esci and heads from Confederates and Australians and many others to portray the Portuguese uniform in Mozambique. In my help came three excellent articles on this campaign by Jorge de Freitas in Miniatures Wargames No 144, 145 and 146. On those days of 1995 wargame magazines were packed with more information and had less pictures so the total 12 pages of the series gave a good insight of the military actions, organization, equipment and uniforms.  Then with a few extra books, namely the Portuguese Tribuna book 'Moçambique 1895, a campanha de todos os Heróis' by A.J. Telo, photos from my visits to the Army museum in Lisbon and nowadays precious internet, I got the rest of the information.
After finishing the infantry my patience finished too and I moved to something else. With the return to the period I'm making boats, artillery and cavalry so I can have a fair representation of any of the Portuguese Columns of that campaign based for Battles For Empire 2. 
The boat you can see is the Lancha-Canhoneira  (Cannon-boat) Capelo. Most of these boats were bought in England and then mounted in their destination. This one became famous by transporting Cpt. Mouzinho de Albuquerque on its daring raid that captured the leader of the Vatuas, Gungunhana.
The boat has a simple stucture of blue board carefully cut and sanded to shape. the rest is mostly Evergreen plastic card, some metal parts like nails, barbecue sticks and wood.
The boat was equipped with two 47mm guns and two Nordenfelt MG's (with 5 tubes of 11mm). All are made of plastic card and tubing.
The propeller at the stern is a bunch of four Poker files glued and cut together.
 Total lenght of the boat is 30 cm including the base slightly smaller than the original.
The Portuguese made B.E.M (Bronze, Estriado, Montanha) of 7cm was the main gun of the Portuguese for this campaign. The gun was entirely made in scratch. The blue part came from Esci/Italeri French Napoleonic guns, wheels from Revell and the rest is Evergreen or other bits of different styrene.
 A picture of the real thing for more detail.
To pull the B.E.M's a file of two horses were used. Here you can recognize the Airfix horses from the WWII German Mountain set with a few additions.  
 The Nordenfelt MG's (three tubes 11mm each) were used by the army (five tubes for the navy). Once again different plastics were used in its making.
The tow for the Nordenfelt's was a sole mule. This one is taken from the Esci WWII Alpini set. The driver is the wargaming useless figure from the Esci British colonial set that wavers its helmet probably at the end of Rorke's Drift action. I replaced the waving arm with one from GreenStuff, a new head from the Esci French Legionaire set and the rifle was also repositioned. 

The Esquadrão de Cavalaria 1 of the famous Cpt. Mouzinho de Albuquerque.

The horses are from several plastics, torsos from colonial British officers and Scots Grey with Australiam heads freom Chinese copies. For the first time I made the legs in GreenStuff so they can seat perfectly on the horse.

 Lances are from plastic brooms and rifles were placed on the troopers backs.
Next: Infantry and the above miniatures already painted.