Saturday, 31 January 2015

Lending Support

Recently I have been painting some of the 20mm First World War figures that I had left over from the first few batches of these figures that I painted. One of these was an Early War Miniatures Lewis Gun team. While I was making up this crew I thought I'd also paint a HaT Lewis gun and crew from their WW1 British Heavy Weapons box, just to see the differences or similarities. To be honest, there isn't many, just the detail is clearer on the EWM team (on the left in both pictures).

I also painted these guys using Sidney Roundwood's recommendations (his painting guide can be found on his blog or by clicking HERE). These turned out darker in shade than the previous First World War figures I had painted, but I like the contrast of the shading on the tunics and trousers on these more than my original figures.

I guess I can put the earlier figures down to testers and paint any new additions in this style. I also painted three more HaT figures from the same box set as more crew for the Vickers HMG I already have.

Again, the new painting scheme is quite subtle:

You can see the contrast between the new figures and the old ones when they are grouped together.

I have more new British First World War figures waiting to be painted and they will be done in this scheme rather than the old one, so stay tuned for more updates in that respect. 

Before I go, don't forget that I am selling bags of pre-painted rubble on Ebay, I have three colours, Black, Dark Brown and Brick Red. Please take a look on Ebay HERE if you are interested.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Unquiet on the Western Front

On Saturday, Ninjasaurus Rex and Dean called over for a game of Through the Mud and the Blood, it was to be our second game of it and I was wanting to try out some of the Germans I have recently painted. This included the heavy flammenwerfer team from Early War Miniatures. As the first game of TtMatB was a German defence against a British attack this one would reverse the roles and have the Germans attacking a British entrenched position augmented by the addition of a pillbox.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Plastic Soldier Company 15mm Panzer 38(t)/Marder III Review

The new Plastic Soldier Company's Panzer 38(t)/Marder III variants was pencilled for a release long before Christmas, but there was a problem with the moulds and apparently the kits didn't go together very well, so there was a bit of a delay in them being released properly until recently. This is one of the good points about PSC, their customer service is second to none and we were kept informed about all the delays and problems they were unfortunately having in getting this kit on the market.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

A Greater Crater

Taking a break from the relentless Stalingrad project, I was digging through my lead pile and found that I had a few spare Early War Miniatures vac-formed shell craters kicking about. These come from their sheets of craters and I had used the others for First World War terrain pieces. There was six single craters and a double crater left over so I splashed a bit of paint on and they are perfect for games of Through the Mud and the Blood. I can also use them in Square Bashing for large calibre gun craters.

They were undercoated in grey spray paint, then painted in Vallejo German Camouflage Black Brown, which was then heavily dry brushed with Khaki and finally German Camo Beige. The last stage was to simply inkwash them in Army Painter Dark Shade. I was going to add some sand to the edges to blend them into the table more but I don't think they really need it. Simple and effective and a change from Soviet uniforms...

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Final Soviet Battalion For Stalingrad

This week I finished off the second battalion of the 650th Rifle Regiment, this is the last big block of Soviet infantry I need, but the whole unit is still not completed! It feels like it will never end!

This unit comprises of three companies each of eight men with a HQ unit of a CO plus three men (two of which are an AT Rifle crew, that have not been finished yet).

The figures come from my usual mix of Plastic Soldier Company and Peter Pig; that box of PSC Soviets is still serving me well for this project!

As I said, this is the last big block of figures that I need to paint, but I still have quite a lot of support weapons to paint, including AT Rifles, Mortars and MMGs.

I don't have the support weapons for the Rifle Regiment and the 308th Division yet, I am still waiting for my mate to send me some spares through, so this project will take a bit of a slow down until they arrive. When they are finished I'll post some pictures of the complete formations. However, in total, the project is still only about halfway through, as I haven't even begun work on vehicles and guns yet!

But with a holiday in San Francisco looming and me looking at £170 worth of tanks, guns and vehicles still to buy for the project, it is quite a way off (any donations are gratefully received!!). This is a list of the stuff that I still need to gather together:

1 x Soviet Quad AA MMG
2 x Soviet 45mm AT Gun
1 x Soviet 76.2mm AT Gun
3 x Soviet T34/76 Mod 43
1 x Soviet T-70
1 x German StuG IIIb
1 x German Panzer III K Command
3 x German Panzer III J
2 x German Panzer IV F1
1 x German Panzer IV F2/G
1 x German Sdkfz 251/17C
1 x German Sdkfz 251/1C
2 x German Opel Blitz
1 x German 150mm SIG 33
7 x German Horse towed wagons
3 x German 105mm Howitzer
2 x German 150mm Howitzer
15 x German Rifle infantry
6 x German LMG crew
3 x German SMG

So, as you can see I still have quite a mountain to climb!

Speaking of raising money, I am selling bags of the rubble that you can see on the bases of the figures. I have three colours, Black, Dark Brown and Brick Red. Please take a look on Ebay HERE if you are interested.

Thanks for looking!!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Bits and Pieces

This is a quick update of the few bits and pieces that I have added to the Soviet defending forces of Stalingrad. First up are these two artillery observers of the Guards Mortar Battalion. These two guys control the offboard Katyushas and AA battery, so they'd better stay in cover. One figure is from Peter Pig, the other a Command Decision mini.

Also finished are the support elements of the second battalion of the 650 Rifle Regiment. It's a 50mm mortar and a Maxim MMG. The mortar is from Peter Pig, whilst two of the Maxim crew come from Peter Pig, the third one comes from Command Decision. The MMG itself is also from Command Decision, with a converted Peter Pig 50mm mortar crew figure. I am nothing if not inventive with the usefulness of my spare figures...

And finally for this post, the heavy 120mm mortar that is attached to the 308th Rifle Division mortar battalion. This unit needs two 82mm mortars adding, and they will be on order soon. Again, this is a mix of Peter Pig and Command Decision.

I am still in need of a few more support weapons to finish off the Soviet infantry and a very kindly chum is going to send me some of his spare figures to bulk up what I have, so I can't wait until they arrive!
Also the rubble mix that I used on the figures is available for sale on ebay, please have a look HERE. There's three colours: Dark Grey/Black, Dark Brown and Brick Red:

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Send Three and Four Pence, We're Going to a Dance

Like the Russian bear advancing across eastern Europe in 1944, my Stalingrad project slowly grinds itself along. The latest additions are more Plastic Soldier Company and Peter Pig figures in the shape of the 650th Rifle Regiment, who are relief forces for the initial 308th Rifle Division defending forces. These are actually the last big block of figures to paint and no one is more relieved than me... 

This is the 1st battalion of the regiment (minus the AT rifle and 82mm mortar, which will be coming as soon as I have ordered them!) and consists of a HQ and three companies, each of eight men, plus support from a Maxim MMG and a 50mm mortar.

The previous Soviet units have been depleted battalions of about eleven or twelve figures, but this one has a full strength of three companies each of eight figures:

The main bulk are a mix of Plastic Soldier Company and Peter Pig, but the support weapons are all from Peter Pig (with an ammo box from Command Decision!).

Alongside the battalions of the regiment is the SMG company, a small but deadly unit:

And the Regimental HQ (led by Major Pechenyuk), with a mix of Plastic Soldier Company figures and Command Decision. This was also a chance to add a female figure to the mix, from the PSC Russian Infantry set:

This unit still needs its second battalion, plus the various AT rifles and 82mm mortars (these are also needed for fleshing out some other units as well), but we are definitely a step closer to finishing painting all the figures that I need.

Also the rubble mix that I used on the figures is available for sale on ebay, please have a look HERE. There's three colours: Dark Grey/Black, Dark Brown and Brick Red:

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The King In the Car Park

In August 2012 the high profile archaeological discovery of the remains of Richard III in Leicester prompted Perry Miniatures to produce a commemorative figure of the King on horseback rising through the tarmac surface of a car park. I was going through my lead pile and found that I had bought the figure when it was released in 2013, so, in one sense you could say that the King had been discovered twice in two years...

I spent a weekend afternoon painting Good King Dick and the figure was a pleasure to paint, although I'm not too happy with the face and could have done the flesh shading better. The red and blue colour scheme was taken from Richard's livery, as superbly painted by Graham Turner.

Don't believe the Tudor-inspired Shakespeare propaganda that he was a child murdering hunchback; as a fellow Yorkshireman, I can vouch for his decency. The poor lad was de-horsed and stabbed up by a Welsh halberd wielding lord at the Battle of Bosworth. This act brought the War of the Roses to an end and put the Tudor dynasty on the throne of England. I, for one, have never forgotten this treachery and am willing to go to war against Lancashire again in an instant.

It's a really nice figure, with a lot of humour; the King is rising from a disabled parking spot, perhaps a nod to his supposed hunch-back, or the fact he was disabled in battle after the loss of his horse? Plus it shows off the sculpting skills of the Perrys perfectly, I don't game in 28mm, so this was the first time I have really seen their work up close. Sculpt lines are clean, the pose is dynamic and everything is proportioned well.

This is the first War of the Roses figure I have ever painted, but maybe not the last as I have been looking longingly at the Bloody Barons rule set for a few years now..

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Truce: The Day The War Stopped; a Book Review

One of my Christmas presents was the very timely The Truce: The day the War Stopped by Chris Baker. The book was released to coincide with the anniversary of the infamous 'Christmas Truce' that occurred on the Western Front in 1914 and is the perfect antidote to the vast amount of mawkish sentimental mythologising of the event that has been building in strength over the last few months.This post is a review of the book as I read it very quickly and found it difficult to put down.

(Image from:

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Final Battalion of the 308th Rifle Division

The fourth and final depleted battalion of the 308th Soviet Rifle Division was completed the other day before the introductory Stalingrad Christmas game we had, but I present them here to complete my postings of the entire unit.. It is another small formation of seven riflemen and supporting arms; that box of Russian infantry from the Plastic Soldier Company is serving my purposes very well!

This battalion has a 5cm Mortar and an anti-tank rifle for the support, the mortar is another Peter Pig set and the AT Rifle is from Command Decision.

The whole 308th Rifle Division has pretty much been cannibalised from my lead pile, so it just shows the usefulness of these mountains of metal... However, I am getting to the point where I will have to actually start spending money on figures again...

I know I keep saying it, but this unit is now nearly done, especially with the addition of the sub-machine gunners company. This is six men armed with the PPSH41 SMG, the figures come from both Plastic Soldier Company and Peter Pig (the ones in the greatcoats). These get a +1 bonus when firing, but can only fire at short range, so they are good in the close up fighting of the Stalingrad environment.

These six men add to the 308th, but we are not finished yet! There is still the mortar company to finish along with a Quad AA MMG, and the support guns. All those will have to wait a little while longer as I have spent loads on the festivities and the war chest is rather sparse at the moment!

Also the rubble mix that I used on the figures is available for sale on ebay, please have a look HERE. There's three colours: Dark Grey/Black, Dark Brown and Brick Red:

Thanks for looking!