A Company of Polish Tanks

Well, the beginning of one, anyway!

That twenty-two 7TP tanks: a company of sixteen "jw" single-turret tanks, plus an extra six to give me an HQ and platoon of "dw" dual-turret tanks if I need them.  That's 1st-3rd Light Tank Battalions taken care of.

It also means that I can proxy them as Vickers light tanks for use as the 12th and 121st Tank Companies.

All I have to do now is paint them all...

PS  I plan to do one, glorious un-boxing and construction session:  where I put together every tank in one go and use the opportunity to do a little test of Battlefront's quality control. How many of a batch of 22 identical products will be incomplete or damaged in some way? Fascinating stuff!

TFL Painting Challenge: Update

A quick update to keep on top of all the Challenge entries.

Today we have:

  • Andrew Helliwell with some AWI French and buildings
  • Conan and some Napoleonics from Mervyn Douglas
  • Travis sends in some more lovely Soviets
  • Ken from Blue Moose Arts has a variety of figures on show today: some very small ships and plenty of medievals
  • There's 28mm three tanks for What A Tanker from Lloyd
  • And five 28mm vehicles from Mr Davenport
  • And last, but by no means least, the king of basing, Stumpy, has been keeping his figure painter very busy again

As always, clicking on the name of the person above will take you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window), and here are today's pictures:

Soviet mortar team from Travis

A French Somua tank from Lloyd "the hat" Bowler

AWI French infantry in 15mm from Andrew Helliwell

Stumpy's latest basing: a quick 119 figures!

Back from Salute

I'm back from Salute now...and I must say that it was rather a good one.

First, the logistics.

No queue at all. Arrived at Excel at about five to ten. Had a quick coffee and a croissant right outside the door, then walked straight in. Was happily shopping by 10:10. Amazing performance compared to what has been the case in previous years.

Next, the venue.

The show had a much better feel this year. Okay, it was still dark, perhaps darker than I remember, and it did take half an hour or so for my eyes to adjust, but it seemed more open than in previous years. Plenty of room around stands, no backpacks in the face, and it was till bustling and crowded as ever. Very good.

Nice variety of trade stands. A few special offers:  Troll Trader especially, who took money off me for a cut price Battlefront, Battlefield-in-a-Box Bastogne Church and several very cheap Army painter spray cans.

Then, the games. Some nice looking, big games, two of which are pictured below:

I particularly covet that 15mm E-boat. It would look very nice on my table!

As for the Lardies, they ran two games: a General de Brigade game and a participation game featuring the newly published What A Tanker! rules (WaT).

I actually played in one of the WaT games, commanding a Sherman Firefly in the face of the some very formidable opposition:

How did I do? Well I think the answer is best summed up with another photo:

But then I did enjoy myself enough to buy a copy of the rules!

Anyway, in summary I thought it was a great Salute this year. Those who weren't there should feel sorry they missed out, and that's not something I say every year.

IABSM AAR: Wave Goodbye!

It's been far too long since we saw one of Mark Luther's amazing 6mm IABSM after action reports...but I'm pleased to be able to say that the drought is over.

Mark played one of my scenarios - Wave Goodbye - taken from the 2011 TFL Summer Special: a French armor counterattack is hitting the flank of a German panzer column in an area east of the Ardennes in May 1940.

Click on the pic below to see all:

TFL Painting Challenge: Mid-Week Update

Entries continue to flood in for this year's challenge. Not so many taking part, but those who are are hugely active...I can't believe how much some of you manage to get painted!

So, in no particular order, here's the latest batch:

  • Andy Duffell pops in a quick German armoured car in 28mm
  • Lloyd "The Hat" Bowler has been very busy this week: not only are there the usual finely painted 28mm Ancients, but a whole street full of 6mm card buildings, including a Vauban Fort!
  • More Ancients: this time from Matt Slade. Camels and Celts.
  • A terrific entry from Chris Cornwell: six 28mm Russian village building vignettes. Almost made me want to switch to 28mm. They are apparently for sale as well, so if you're interested, get in touch.
  • Travis sends in some farm animals
  • The Hodge-Meister is back with some more Gaslands 20mm vehicles. I bet you don't get cars that colour where he's from!
  • Carole Flint has some rather nice 15mm WW2 figures for us to look at: Panzergrenadiers and British recce elements
  • And last, but by no means least, Jonathan Davenport has a couple of 28mm German AFVs to submit

As always, clicking on the name of the person above will take you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window).

One quick thing: could I ask people to specify how many figures are in the photos they send in. All very well saying to me "Some Napoleonic Austrians", or similar, accompanied by several pictures of densely packed 15mm figures, but counting the bayonets, or the feet, or anything else that gives me a clue to how many there are, is a real pain in the backside!

Now as for today's pictures...well, they were all so good that I could almost post up everything sent in. Here's a selection:

Just one of Mr Cornwell's vignettes

A 6mm paper terrain Vauban Fort from the Hat & co.

15mm British WW2 carriers from PSC from Carole

28mm SdKfz 221 from Andy Duffell

IABSM AAR: Winter Wonderland

Those of you who live in the UK may be aware that the Wyevale Garden Centres always sell off their winter model Christmas trees in early January (see previous post here). This year, I’d taken full advantage of the sale and bought several packets worth, and then added a new snow mat from Tiny Wargames to put them on. Now all I needed was an excuse to get everything onto the tabletop, and a game this Saturday just gone gave me the opportunity to do so.

As I seemed to have bought lots of trees, it would need to be a big game. Out came the extra bit of table, giving me an 8’ by 5’ playing area, on went the new mat, and on went the new trees. The result: a winter wonderland of epic proportions.

This was to be a Soviet/German encounter battle set sometime in and around January 1944. As I found myself short of time in the preparation stages, I used the troop lists from one of the scenarios from the IABSM Bashnya or Bust scenario pack. A couple of the scenarios give listings of a re-inforced company for each side from which the players pick a number of platoons. As this was to be a big game, I used those lists but gave each side the entire list, not just a proportion of the list.

See how we got on by clicking on the picture, below...

Painting Challenge: Pre-Weekend Update

As I actually have a game tomorrow, Saturday, I thought I'd better clear this week's Painting Challenge entries today...and what a lot of lovely entries they are.

In no particular order, we have:

  • Mervyn with a few more skeletons
  • Some good looking vehicles from Travis: support for his Soviets
  • Mr Duffell gets his act together and sends in some Bretons
  • More Soviets, but this time from Ralph
  • That painting machine known as Mr Slade has more Ancient Britons to offer, and this time they've brought their dogs with them
  • Sapper finishes off his Ghaznavid army
  • There are some more Gripping Beast Romans from Carole
  • And last, but by no means least, Egg continues along the road to madness with some more farmyard "scenery": ploughs and everything!

As always, clicking on the name of the gallery owner in the list above will take you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window), and here are today's pictures:

I'll update the Scorecard tonight.

Matilda I from Zvezda

Real life and all the work I have been doing on the IABSM early war handbooks has kept me away from the painting table recently, especially as what currently lurks there is the company of 15mm PSC late war Germans with all their camouflage and bits of kit...so, it was a relief to actually sit down and paint something else.

What did I paint, I hear you ask? A company of this? A company of that?

Regrettably not: I managed one 15mm tank!

I was reading the IABSM BEF handbook and realised that I only had two Matilda I's painted and ready to go and, as all those of you who have kindly purchased the handbook will know, they came in troops of three tanks.

I did, however, have a Zvezda Matilda I in the lead mountain. Not sure why...but I think it might have been an impulse purchase using up the last few pennies at Warfare last year rather than anything considered. 

Anyway, I had one and I needed one, so built and painted it in a couple of hours.

The kit snaps together in about twenty seconds and, as you can see, paints up to be perfectly serviceable for the wargames table. I paid £1.95 for it, so very cost-effective for a tank that won't get used very often.

How does it compare to the Battlefront version?

Well, it's slightly smaller, particularly in the delicacy of the tracks, but not enough to make a difference at a distance of 3ft or so.

I am quite a fan of the Zvezda models. They are a great way of affordably fielding large numbers of tanks. Recommended.

 

Blitzkrieg in the West: The Low Countries now available

I'm very pleased to announce that the third in the series of early war handbooks for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum, Blitzkrieg in the West: the Low Countries, is now available from the TFL website.

The handbook is 88 pages long (bigger than either the French or BEF books) and contains two separate sections: one on the Belgian army of 1940, and one on the Dutch army of 1940.

The Belgian section contains sixteen separate lists covering everything from the Active divisions through to the Cavalry and then on to the Chasseurs Ardennais and Border Guards. There's also a section on the forts and bunkers positioned along the Belgian border.

The Dutch section contains seventeen separate lists covering everything from the First Line divisions through to the Light and Peel divisions through to the three independent brigades, the cavalry and the various territorial commands. There's also a short section on the defence of the main airfields and another on the defence of Rotterdam.

Both the Belgian and Dutch sections contain a lot of background information, so the handbook should be very useful for players of other game systems as well.

And don't forget the other two handbooks that are already available:

As one review on the TFL website says about the BEF handbook: 

Picked this up this morning – I got the French one last month. Absolutely brilliant resource that I really look forward to using. Can’t wait for the German one. *****

Jonathan

TFL Painting Challenge: Big Bank Holiday Update

Vast numbers of entries into the 2018 Painting Challenge coming in. I really must try and do two updates a week rather than the current one!

Still, it gives me the chance to post a Big Bank Holiday Update so, in no particular order, we have:

  • Egg with some Bundeswehr, billboards and, yes, farmyard equipment
  • Andrew Helliwell, fresh from Paris, with some French
  • A truly enormous entry from Matt Slade:  hordes of Ancient British followed by large numbers of dwarves and trolls and the like
  • An almost-equally-enormous entry from Stumpy:  German Fallschirmjaeger guns and such accompanied by some US Cavalry and French Marines
  • Travis has been building fences: lots and lots of fences!
  • A bumper entry from Carole:  Gripping Beast 28mm Late Roman plastics
  • Chris Cornwall sends in a platoon or two of WW2 French infantry along with two BT-5 tanks. I'm tempted to give him double points as he mentions how much he liked my Blitzkrieg in the West; The BEF theatre handbook for IABSM in his e-mail!
  • And last, but by no means least, Mr Burt pops in some Minifigs Malburians

As always, clicking on the name of the gallery owner in the list above will take you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window), and here are today's pictures:

lowcountriescover.png

And don't forget that the next in the series of my Blitzkrieg in the West theatre handbooks for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! should be available tomorrow.

This time it's the Low Countries:  Belgium and the Netherlands.

Recommendation: "The Attackers" aka "Istrebiteli"

Those of you who have Amazon Prime and are looking for something to watch could do worse than try "The Attackers": a Russian TV series of 12 episodes centering on the adventures (both in the air and on the ground) of a squadron of Soviet pilots in 1943.

Yes, the series is full of stereotypes (the nasty political officer, the ex-nobleman, the cold-hearted female pilot, the innocent novice etc) but it's also well written, exciting and, as far as I can see, reasonably historically accurate.

The aerial sequences are well shot, even if the CGI are sometimes a little clunky, and I love the way everything from the uniforms to the 'planes themselves just look so battered. A good proportion of the main cast is female, and they seem to spend half the time fighting the Germans and half the time fighting off the unwelcome attentions of their male colleagues.

I also like listening to the Russian (it's sub-titled) and am rapidly learning how to say the equivalent of "sir, yes, sir" in that language.

I've certainly been interested enough to get to episode 10, and will have finished the series before the end of the bank holiday.

Here's the title sequence to whet your collective whistles:

IABSM AAR: North of Caen

I was browsing the 'net, as one does, and came across David Burden's excellent blog Converj

On there was an equally excellent account of his first game of IABSM: a solo game split across four or five posts and using the North of Caen scenario from the rulebook.

I hope he doesn't mind (as I haven't found a way of e-mailing him) but I've merged his posts into one AAR for you all to enjoy.

Click on the pic below to see all, and make sure you visit David's blog to see the other good stuff on there.

Coming Next Tuesday: Blitzkrieg in the West: The Low Countries

Just in case people were wondering why it's all still been a bit quiet on here lately, it's because I'm still working hard on the series of Blitzkrieg in the West theatre books for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum.

The French and BEF handbooks are already available from the TooFatLardies website, and I'm pleased to announce that the handbook covering the Low Countries - Belgium and the Netherlands - should be available to buy right after the Easter Bank Holiday weekend i.e. Tuesday next week, 3rd April.

The handbook is 88 pages long (bigger than either the French or BEF books) and contains two separate sections: one on the Belgian army of 1940, and one on the Dutch army of 1940.

The Belgian section contains 16 separate lists covering everything from the Active divisions through to the Cavalry and then on to the Chasseurs Ardennais and Border Guards. There's also a section on the forts and bunkers positioned along the Belgian border.

 
 

The Dutch section contains 17 separate lists covering everything from the First Line divisions through to the Light and Peel divisions through to the three independent brigades, the cavalry and the various territorial commands. There's also a short section on defending the airfields and another on the defence of Rotterdam.

Both the Belgian and Dutch sections contain a lot of background information, so the handbook should be useful for players of other game systems as well.

So don't buy that extra Easter egg: save your money for Tuesday morning and a trip to the Low Countries!

TFL Painting Challenge: Thursday Update

Hello all. Despite the rigours of real life, there always time for a quick update to the Painting Challenge...and what an update it is. Lots of inspirational paint jobs to admire and emulate, and a volume of work that's nothing but impressive.

So, for today's update, in no particular order, we have:

  • Travis with some more 28mm WW2 Japanese...now joined by some 28mm late war German vehicles as well
  • Matt Slade & Ralph Plowman have, between them, produced some lovely Celtic Champions
  • The first of two "first entries of the year" : Kev "Fat Wally" Lowth is back with some more SYW Hussars
  • And the second "first entry of the year" award goes to Jason Ralls, with a host of WW2 kit in two different scales
  • Stumpy has been basing like crazy
  • Mervyn has an assortment of fantasy figures for us
  • The Hat, Lloyd Bowler, has sent in a lovely unit of Iberian cavalry
  • And last, but never least, there some Sharp Practice markers from Carole.

As always, clicking on the name of the gallery owner in the list above will take you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window), and here are today's pictures:

Iberian Cavalry from the Hat

A Sturmtiger from Travis Hiett. Note the "thrown track" marker that ca be used to indicate the vehicle is disabled

SYW Hussars from everyone's favourite Fat Wally

Shock markers for Sharp Practice/The Zulu Years from Stumpy

A rather nice R-35 from Jason Ralls

Some of Matt and Ralph's Celtic Champions

Late War German Infantry Squad

What with real life and working on the IABSM early war theatre handbooks (the Dutch and Belgian handbook is out at the end of the month:  almost broke me!) I have had no time for either painting or gaming so far this year.

So I'm quite pleased to be able to post that I've finally managed to finish the first of nine late war German infantry squads, shown here on a custom-made sabot base from Warbases:

The figures are Plastic Soldier Company in 15mm.

Just think: only another eight more squads to go. At this rate, the company will be finished sometime in 2019...not a very good showing for this year's painting challenge!