sábado, 19 de maio de 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - 11th Cuirassier regiment of the 5eme DLC and a scratch built rare little tank.


With the Germans crossing the Meuse River the three horse squadrons of a cavalry regiment of the 5eme DLC moves into contact. 

The figures are the WW1 Hat French  cavalry with a few  changes.  

Many horses are ESCI from the Napoleonic Scots Grey box. I used all horses in a standing position for the limbers and horse holders of the next post. Specially the ESCI horses had all legs 'in the air' so they needed to get stuck to the base with hot glue. This procedure makes the stands quite compact and paint stays much better.

 Also made are these three OP for the artillery. I used horses in the standing position and one officer per stand.

The command stand. Only the officer came directly from the box. The cornet has a new arm and the standard bearer carries a printed flag.


All cavalrymen had the lance carved out of its right arm. Then the arm had to be bent with a lighter (see the black dot on the elbow area) for the figure to grab the reins with both hands.

An arm of a Hat British cornet was used for this figure. All ESCI horses also had new equipment made out of two component paste.

The OP officers have arms from PSC German figures from the Pz38t box.

As you can see these horses really need to stay properly glued to its base and hot glue is a good way to avoid all those legs  in the air.

I also built a AMR35 ZT3. As only one is necessary per division I scratch built it in plastic card.

The command figure is from Lancer Miniatures.

The AMR 35 ZT2/3/4 was a rare thing and only some four existed per GRDI.

 The camouflage is based on the Minitracks version on its site. But 25 euros (PP included) for a model 5 cm long made me scratch build this one.

 Still in the factory.

The rivets were not a big sucess. Here they are not yet trimmed but even so I should have not atempted to reproduce them. They look as if a bird... you know...

The cuppola is a blob of two component paste modelled into shape.

The rough begginings.

I reproduced the tracks of the AMR35 from an AMC35 from Skytrex with Bluestuff and then with GW Greenstuff . After copying the tracks I cut out one of the wheels as the AMR only has four of them .

The original AMC35 from Skytrex that kindly let its tracks to be copied.

Next: Support squadron and horse holders for this Cavalry Regiment. Probably also a few other models that came from Lancer Miniatures will be included in the next post.

sexta-feira, 4 de maio de 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Reinforcements for the DI and DCR

 French reinforcements deploy in the road juncture of Vielle Église not far from Stonne and pretty close to Hannut. Well its just some 150km away from each other but doesn't look like that in the picture, right?.

They are Lancer Miniatures with the exception the three Citröen cars.  

These two Renault R-35 are going to the battalion of tanks of the  DI. I have two other from old Skytrex and, obviously, they are the same models with these two having resin hulls. I painted the turrets with a different camouflage from the hull as French tanks  were painted at factory and different parts of the tanks were also produced in different factories.

The camouflage is based on Militaria hors-serie No 98 Tonnerre sur la Ligne Weygand.

These three Citröen Traction Avant started as destroyed vehicles and parts of resin and plaster home-moulded barricades a friend of mine from Germany sent me years ago. The vehicles were half buried side ways in debris and had no right side wheels. So a tricky process of carving them out of the rubble started to give them a new living look.  

The camouflage was based on several pictures of L'Automobile sous l'uniforme book. Two of them will go to the artillery (red triangle on white field) and another to an infantry battalion command company (yellow rectangle on white field).

Here is the rebuilding process: new wheels had to be made from two component paste, also lights and bumpers were scratch built. A lot of resin and plaster had to be taken out from the undercarriage but the result became reasonable. In the end some sanding was necessary as well as the usage of static grass to conceal some faults.

The APX 47mm AT guns have Revell and Irregular Miniatures crew. The Revell minis were born as Chauchat firers and were transformed into artillerymen.

The same happenned to the 25mm AT guns crew. I left the UE Chenillettes plain green this time as something plain green in the French army of 1940 is something different for sure!

The changes on the figures were the carving out of the Chauchat and the making of some (big) hands made of two component paste. Then the smallest rounds of ammunition I had in the spare box were used for the 25mm gun crews and some a bit larger for the 47mm gun crews. Finally some rifles were glued on the back of all crew.

Finally I painted the two last Somua MCG5 for the towing of the 105mm Schneider artillery pieces of the DCR. Same camouflage as on the other one for the sake of unit uniformity.

Next: Most probably French cavalry for 1940

sábado, 28 de abril de 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Last Somua S-35 tanks for the DLM

Again in record time these Somua arrived from Clive Dudley so CTT are back to the hands of the people! Long live the Revolution or the Lord be praised - you choose your option!!! I received three Somua with the colours for the French campaign of 1940. I just had to change the numbers and paint the usual black wash- lighter colours- sand dry brushing. The other three came with the colours for Vichy/Tunisia 1943. I primed these ones and used the same colours as the Somua I have from Heller and Skytrex. I ended up with a total of 18 Somua - 9 with the Altaya colours of the 1st DLM and other 9 with the colours of the 3rd DLM.
I also took the antennae of all Somua but two which are the battalion commanders.
This psychedelic camouflage was made up and includes the French Light Green which was from time to time part of French vehicle camouflage specially up to 1939.
Next: a batch of Lancer Miniatures for France 1940 arrived a few day ago.    

quarta-feira, 25 de abril de 2018

Rapid Fire! Russian Contemporary Wars in 20mm - Georgian Dana SPG Independent Artillery Brigade

The Georgian Independent Artillery Brigade splits in two in the vicinity of Zhinvali during the invasion of South Ossetia in August 2008. 

The models are the new BPM Dana SPG. BPM is making better and better models. True there is a little bit of printing lines but they are getting less visible  with each model they produce. Each takes five minutes to deal with the extra plastic printing material and one minute to glue the gun to the turret with the hull being the third separate part.

I just added the mirrors, antenna, crewmen a Dskh also from BPM with a few extras as a longer barrel, aiming point and ammo box.

The crew is either German PSC with the cap slighly carved out or copies of Irregular Miniatures Russian WWII paratroopers.
Next: More Somua for France 1940 . Another batch arrived in 5 days. CTT is back in all its glory so praised be the lord!

sábado, 21 de abril de 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Somua S-35 tanks but mostly considerations on mail service.

Well I'm starting to get surprised. Recent parcels have been quicker to arrive than in the last few years. And a few days ago, unexpectedly, a parcel leaving England on the 13th of April  arrived on the 18th. 5 days trip like old days!
Our Portuguese mail, CTT,  got privatized a few years ago during the Troyka regime and very quickly a public enterprise famous in Portugal and award winning in Europe for its fast quality service became a pile of trash. Going to their balconies was shameful, loads of books and Cd's for sale, puppets and other stuff, corner places selling insurances and working as banks. Nothing against that if the main service - Mail - is not harmed. But it was. In the last few years, specially from abroad, parcels took ages to arrive, 25-30 days was common to  a parcel from England. Suddenly a parcel from China was arriving faster!
Agencies were shut down, people were replaced by other people and CTT became a grocery store. But in the last month I heard on TV that the government, after thousands of complaints about lost and late mail, was to correct this situation and pressing CTT to get back to their true business - Mail. Apparently the warnings worked and in the last month a few parcels arrived really quickly and the record was beaten with this one remembering me of the good old days when CTT was a public enterprise.
These Somua models are Altaya. At the moment I have 12 Somua with the last 6 on the way from the same supplier for a full complement of 18 Somua for a French DLM the rest being Hotchkiss.
As I do you with all Die-cast the models were glued with Super Glue in some small parts like gun, antenna and tracks; slightly touched with black ink in all crevices and finally dry brushed slightly with sand. Like this you break some of the excess of shine these nice models have and make them look like your own built models. New big white numbers were also painted as usual with French cavalry tanks.
Next: The previously mentioned Danas, French Cavalry or Panzers for 1940 or the last 6 Somua I mentioned if CTT continues its good recent practices.  

quinta-feira, 19 de abril de 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Last tows for the 75mm guns of the DI

These are the two last limbers for 75mm guns of a French DI. They are scratchbuilt in plastic card and the horses are copies of  Britannia models. 

The only factory models are the crew of these limbers and in fact these leftovers are the reason for  choosing to scratchbuild these two pieces.


The wheels are leftovers of the 75mm guns that got solid wheels. The limber box itself received rear doors, towing hook and side handlers all made of plastic card. 

I used the Irregular Miniatures models as the matrix of both the two Airfix limbers and these ones. 

A final detail are the cables made of thin cord uniting the horses to the limber. 

The Britannia horses were copied with InstantMold and filled with two paste filler. 

Next: whether the Dana artillery systems for Georgians 2008 or French cavalry or a few more Panzers  both for the 1940 campaign. 

domingo, 15 de abril de 2018

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - More French Artillery for the DI and DLM

Two more battalions for the French artillery. To the left the wheeled 75mm are for the Infantry division and to the right solid wheeled guns are for the Mechanized infantry. All guns and crew are Hat Industries.
The guns come from the US WWI artillery set and the crew from the newer French WWII artillery crew.
Hat is taking ages to produce the WWII limber so I used two limbers from the Airfix WWI British artillery set. The seat part was lenghtened, rear doors for the ammunition were added and a new axis was built from plastic card. Also some thin rope was used as harness. For joining all parts hot glue and super glue were used
The size of these sets is the same I used for the Irregular Miniatures ones from a few posts ago for the sake of uniformity.
In two stands I used one Matchbox French conversion from the figures which go along the Char B1bis and Renault FT-17. The figure is 1/76th scale and a taller base was used so all figures are the same size.
In the box  of the Hat French artillery there are some four nice solid wheels for the 75mm gun. The other four you see in the pictures were casted from the original ones to a total of eight.
The figures are very nice and active and Hat thought about everything. There are extra solid wheels for the guns  and even seated and horse riders for the limbers. The seated figures are also good for any French vehicle and portee infantry.
Next: More limbers and tractors for the 1940 French artillery.