IABSM: Poland 1939: 2nd Armoured Battalion

Another list for the plucky Poles: this time covering forces based on one of the three light tank companies from the 2nd Armoured Division.

FT-17 Tank photographed at the Musee d'Armee, Paris

FT-17 Tank photographed at the Musee d'Armee, Paris

These units were equipped with somewhat obsolete French FT-17 tanks, some of which were still only armed with machine guns. To give you an idea of how bad they were thought, the platoon and company commanders didn't actually ride in the tanks, but drove around in field cars or on motorcycles!

To see the list, click on the pic; or click here to go to the Poland 1939 home page to see all available lists.

IABSM: Poland 1939: 10th (Motorised) Cavalry Brigade

A third list for the Poland 1939 project, and this time it's the turn of the 10th Motorised) Cavalry Brigade.

The brigade consisted of cavalry units converted to the role of motorised infantry, and was the only fully operational Polish motorised infantry unit of the campaign. The infantry element of the brigade consisted of the 10th Mounted Rifle Regiment and the 24th Uhlan Regiment, each consisting of four company-sized motorised rifle squadrons; an HMG squadron; and an AT platoon.

This was the formation christened the "Black Brigade" by the Germans because of the black jackets worn by the Polish motorised troops.

Click on the pic to see the list.

Or click here to go to the Poland 1939 page with all the lists.

If you gotta go, then you need somewhere to go...

I was in Twyford the other day, and passed a model shop selling dolls houses and model railways. Obviously I couldn't pass up a shopping opportunity like that, so wandered in to see what I could find.

Well, I found some brushes and some bits of scenery (including some lavender field effects, but more on that in a future post). Most of it was the wrong scale (whatever model railway builders call 1/72nd scale...the Hornby scale, if you like) but I did manage to find a plastic kit to build a walk-in men's toilet. 

So despite the fact that it's the wrong scale (it doesn't look too out of place, though: I've got it sitting at the back of Pegasus bridge at the moment - more on that later, too) here's a little pissoir or whatever you call the UK equivalent.

Apologies for the slight over-varnishing (I may have to give it another coat with a new can) but in this close-up you can see the detail.

Nice detail. Very grimey!

IABSM: German Aufklarung unit

A bit of a break from Polish army lists today: some painting instead.

I've been wanting to add a reconnaissance element to my late war Germans for some time, but have been distracted by all the Arab/Israeli kit sitting on my painting table. Now that that's gone, it was recon all the way!

First up was the infantry recon element: a platoon from the Aufklarungkompanie described in both Battle for Liberation and Vpered Na Berlin. This consisted of eight half-tracks: one SdKfz 250/1 as command, one 250/10 with PaK 36, and then six more 250/1 carrying the three squads of infantry.

Command Element

With eight half-tracks to buy and paint, I decided to go the Plastic Soldier Company way: half the cost (at least) of buying them in metal, and the extra two half-tracks could go towards my next unit: recon for the panzers.

Building them was pretty easy. The only tricky bit was fitting the two crewmen into the cockpit. One stands, firing the MG, the other sits on the bench, presumably complaining that its his turn with the gun now! The problem is that it's a very tight fit to get both stander and sitter in place and, if you're not careful, you end up with Herr Stander's bottom firmly pressed into Herr Sitter's face!

The half-tracks paint up nicely. I undercoated in a dark yellow, then used one of the sponge things you get in a Battlefront blister to create a camouflage pattern with a light green and then a dark brown. In order to keep things consistent (und orderly, ja!), I made sure the camouflage blobs for each colour were in the same places on each half-track.

1½ squads-worth of half-tracks!

The crew were painted in German uniform rather than camouflage. I could have gone splinter pattern, but I felt that the contrast between the half-tracks and their crew worked better than if I'd camouflaged both. BTW, I only painted the bits of the crew that can be seen...and had to go back and paint the drivers' helmets as I forgot to do them as I did the others.

A wash with Agrax Earthshade (what did we do before Agrax Earthshade) and a bit of highlighting and the paint jobs were done.

Decals were then applied...and I've just realised that the numbering that I've used doesn't make any sense in that I have treated the main body of the unit as two squads of three half-tracks rather than three squads of two half-tracks. Doh! I have also had a problem with the backing film showing, despite using a decal softener as I applied them. It's a pain, but I shall have to learn to live with it.

The other 1½ squads-worth!

Anyhoo, a coat of matt varnish softened the colours so they looked less clown-like, and we're now all ready for some recon action. 

Nice figures: PSC = highly recommended.

IABSM Poland 1939: New List Added

I have now completed and posted the second of the IABSM v3 OBs for the Polish army of 1939: that of the 3rd Light Tank Battalion.

The 3rd Light Tank Battalion was a make-shift unit consisting of only two companies of tanks: the 2nd Company, equipped with double-turreted 7TPs; and the 5th Company, equipped with single-turreted, improved 7TPs.

Originally intended for the 10th Motorised Cavalry brigade, the 3rd remained in Warsaw for the city's defence, and was attached to the central city defence HQ.

As ever, the core content of the list comes from Alexander's work on the Anatoli's Game Room blog, and is gratefully used with his permission.

Click on the pic to see the list, or click here to visit the Poland 1939 page containing all the IABSM v3 lists published so far.

IABSM: New Project: OBs for Poland 1939

Today marks the start of my latest project for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum!: the creation of a set of v3 compatible army lists for re-fighting the September 1939 invasion of Poland.

I have been looking to model a 1939 Polish force for some time but, being someone who likes to have things handed to them on a plate, have been waiting for the v3 Blitzkrieg! theatre supplement to arrive before starting to buy figures. Until now, that is, when I have decided to produce IABSM v3-specific lists myself.

The impetus behind this project are the superb September 1939 campaign army lists for Flames of War that appear on the Anatoli's Game Room blog. Their author, Alexander, has given me permission to use his work as the basis for a set of IABSM lists which, combined with my own (much more limited) research, will appear on this website over the next few months.

The lists will follow Alexander's format of, where possible, concentrating on specific formations, especially for the armoured and specialist units. I'm afraid I don't think I'll be posting the Armoury until all the lists are up...but only because I want to put together all the stats for the various troops, weapons and vehicles on offer all in one go.

Today's launch includes the posting of the first of the lists: the 1st & 2nd Light Tank Battalions i.e. a force built around a company of 7TP jw (i.e. single turret) tanks. The OB also provides the detail needed for those elements of the the two battalions that appear as support options for other lists.

You can follow the progress of the project and download the various lists from the Poland 1939 page, available by clicking here or from the IABSM dropdown in the page header, above.

IABSM AAR: Operation Compass #05: Tummar West

Another quick battle report from our friends at the Stipsicz Hussars.

They are currently playing through the Operation Compass scenario pack, and have hit scenario #05: Tummar West.

The "three day raid" is now fully underway. Next on the British list is the Italian camp at Tummar West. Click on the pic below to see how they do.

TFL Painting Challenge: Longest Day of the Year Update

So apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days: I've been away. Nice, however, to get back to an in-box full of entries into this year's painting challenge.

So, in no particular order, we have:

  • Matt Slade with a great 28mm prison wagon
  • Mr Davies with a mix of 28mm and 6mm figures
  • Carole continues her foray into Imagi-nations with light troops for her Bordurians
  • Chris Stoesen pops in a building and some trees
  • I am Bruce returns with a fistful of Soviets
  • Mr Plowman goes large
  • and last but not least, Andrew Helliwell continues to expand his Wars of the Roses collection

Today's pics are from Messrs Slade, Plowman and Helliwell...

IABSM: Japanese Type 89 Chi Ro Tanks

Next part of my catching up with the Japanese Battlefront pre-Pacific releases: the Type 89 Chi Ro (aka I-Go) medium tanks.

These come in boxes of five tanks, which is a bit weird really, as they fought in platoons of three tanks with a two-tank HQ. Must be Battlefront economics to always sell this sized tank in boxes of five.

Anyhoo, as you'd expect from Battlefront, these are lovely models: nicely detailed, and with relief deep enough to really bring out that detail when washed. Quality control was very good as well:  no missing parts, no horribly contorted parts, and everything went together very easily. You see, Battlefront, you can do it right!

The five tanks above were painted using the guide on the FOW website: spray undercoated in a deep yellow; camouflage added; then washed with GW Agrax Earthshade. All I would suggest is that you think about where you want the thin yellow line to go before you paint the main brown and then green camouflage stripes i.e. plan your paint job rather than just starting willy-nilly.

The command figures are also well detailed. I love the pointing-chap, but I'm not sure about the bloke with the sword. Leaving aside his grip (that's the martial arts geek emerging from his lair!) I'm not sure that it's very practical to carry a katana, even a WW2 cut-down one, in a smallish tank such as a Chi Ro. Surely that's what a wakisashi is for!

Nice models, recommended for re-fighting Khalkhin Gol.

TFL Painting Challenge: a Wednesday update

Entries for this year's challenge still steadily pouring in. Here's the latest batch:

  • Kev pops in a few more ECW markers for Baroque.
  • Mervyn adds to his SP Indian Mutiny collection (I liked the 'rocket man' joke)
  • Carole starts the OpFor for her Imagi-nations campaign
  • Mr Luther has completed some of his never-ending projects
  • Andrew Helliwell brings his monster re-basing session to an end
  • The Hodge-meister goes all undead on us
  • Steve Burt has built a building for his Egyptians to fight over
  • Fred Bloggs submits some Austrians and a fistful of orks
  • And finally Mr Naylor also sends in some Austrians: a gun and crew

Todays pics are below:

Undead chariots from Mr Hodge

Sepoys for SP Indian Mutiny from Mervyn

15mm Cavalry Markers from Kev

IABSM AAR: Operation Compass #04: Nibeiwa

A quick battle report from the Stipsicz Hussars, whose excellent blog can be reached by clicking here.

The Hussars return to the sands of the Western Desert to play out the fourth scenario of the Operation Compass scenario pack: the British/Indian attack on the camp of Nibeiwa.

Click on the picture below to see all:

Those of you who read the report will note that the Hussars comment that all the scenarios in the Compass pack so far seem very biased towards the British.

Well, that's because they are designed that way for two reasons: firstly, they are historically accurate; and secondly, the idea is to give the British players the sense of superiority (and the Italian players the sense of inferiority) that were such characteristics of the campaign as a whole. It gets more difficult for the British as the pack goes on!

Japanese Self-Propelled Guns

With Battlefront bringing out their new range of Pacific Theatre miniatures, I thought it might be about time to catch up on the models I missed from their pre-war Manchurian Theatre range. I do always seem to be one range behind!

First off the production line are the Type 4 Ho Ro self-propelled guns:

So, wanting to put a bit of background in for this post, I've done a bit of research. Apparently only twenty-five Ho Ros were ever produced, which means that I have about a sixth of the entire production run!

They were also not very useful, as the crew had no protection,  and you had to turn the whole vehicle in order to acquire your targets. Excellent!

They also fought only in the Philippines and on Okinawa: so no good for Manchuria either.

All in all, an excellent example of a model that I am going to struggle to field on the tabletop. I wonder how many other wargamers have collections full of the same!

TFL Painting Challenge

A quick painting challenge update today.

In no particular order, we have:

  • Steve Burt with a few more Egyptians
  • Carole with the last of one half of her Imagination project
  • The Hodge-meister makes up for lost time with a big entry including a core Peninsular French force for SP2
  • Thomas make a welcome reappearance with a double handful of 28s
  • Mr Luther submits a huge number of 6mm vehicles rescued from the dark recesses of his lead mountain
  • and finally Mr Slade...with huge numbers of FWI infantry and a rather pleasant log cabin

Today's pics are from Carole, as I like her colour scheme; Mr Hodge and Mr Slade:

IABSM AAR: BoB #3D: Zhena

The first battle report from the games of IABSM that I ran at this year's Operation Market Larden games day in Evesham.

For those not familiar with the event, some thirty Lardies gather deep in the heart of tractor country for a day of superb gaming followed by a curry and the usual mild drinking session! My thanks, as always, to Ade for organising the event so well.

Back to the action.

My morning game featured scenario 3D from the Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack: a small German force holds the village of Zhena during Operation Bagration. The Soviets are attacking in large numbers, but reinforcements are on the way. Will the vital road junction be held?

Find out by clicking on the picture, below:

TFL Painting Challenge: Large Update

Sorry there was no post yesterday: I was in Evesham all day at the annual Market Larden wargaming day. I ran two great games of IABSM taken from the Bashnya or Bust scenario pack, but more on that later in the week.

Meanwhile, the rest of you were thundering in your entries to the painting challenge, so in no particular order we have:

  • Three entries from Matt Slade: AWI British, some markers, and some 28mm Panzer IVs: this is obviously an attempt to get me to withdraw my threat of docking him 1,000 points for claiming that Highlander 2 is a great film! Highlander, yes, but Highlander 2? I don't think so!
  • Steve Burt sends in some more Egyptians
  • Carole pops in some Imaginations cavalry and a few bits and bobs for her ACW collection
  • The Mad Padre has five lovely 28mm figures, including three not-Foyle's War characters
  • Kev, our favourite Fat Wally, posts some more ECW figures
  • Mr Plowman has a dozen Dark Ages foot that made an appearance in Evesham in the raffle
  • Mr Helliwell is still basing like mad (240 foot figures!)
  • As is the Oracle (I didn't forget the tree!)
  • and last but not least, Mr Naylor shows us some Austrians in 15mm

Today's pics are a mixed assortment:

Characters from the Mad Padre

Re-basing from Messrs Helliwell and Oracle

Carole's Imaginations Dragoons

6DW: Israeli 3rd Platoon Finally Done!

As regular readers of this blog will know, I have been avoiding finishing my third and final Israeli infantry platoon for a couple of weeks now.

I don't know what it is, but sometimes your painting mojo just escapes you, and no matter how hard you try, you just cannot pick up a brush and go back to those figures that, only days before, you couldn't wait to complete.

So it was with my final platoon of Israeli infantry. They got to the half-way stage, and then no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't face finishing them. First I ran out of black paint, then I decided to clear a couple of backlogged big items from my painting table, then I just had to paint my new Ironclad Miniatures terrain: the sorry tale goes on!

Finally, however, they are done: completed in between waiting for the undercoats and basecoats and basing on the windmill and chapel to dry!

That's a complete infantry company done now, along with all the armour I need for the moment: just the support weapons to go!

Russian Chapel from Ironclad Miniatures

My stock 15mm WW2 Russian village consists of a large number of 4Ground wooden huts. Very nice, loving the smell of lasercut mdf in the morning and all that, but quite same-y.

I leaven them with different churches (I currently have two, but have my eye on at least three more!) but still feel that a bit of variety would help dress the table.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned how I had bought and painted an Ironclad Miniatures Russian Windmill at the Vanquish wargames show. This was a good start on the leavening front, but as I was about to pay for the windmill, the Russian chapel also caught my eye.

Okay, so it's not a full church, but would be ideal as dressing for small villages that wouldn't necessarily merit the full house of God treatment.

The chapel has the same footprint as a 4Ground hut, and looks as if it would take two FOW medium bases inside it (see below to see how it comes in two bits).

Again undercoating in sand, I painted the roof dark grey, and then washed it with a black ink. The whitewashed woodwork I achieved by block painting in a light grey, and then very heavily dry-brushing with white. Although the knob on top looks very dull, I've since brightened it up with a bit of extra shiny gold paint to properly give those enemy artillerymen something to aim at!

It's a nice little model: also recommended.