Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1/72 WWII Wargaming- US Forces

I bought the new Warhammer Historical Kampfgruppe Normandy rules... like a week before their 50% off sale!
Anyhow, I like the rules and so have put the Russian front on hold while I crank out some Shermans. I've started with a small force (about 250pts): A HQ unit (1 jeep w/3 men), a platoon of 5 M4 Shermans (2 w/75mm gun & 3 w/76mm gun), an M10 tank destoyer, an M4 105mm, a recon M5, an M8 armored car and a 10 man squad( which is all I have painted so far). I have enough German forces painted to give these guys a great fight and I'm looking forward to doing an AAR with photos of my first game.

The jeep is Academy models and is a little small for the Italeri US figures that I cut up to make a crew. Then again, Italeri are bigger than most of the figures I'm using but not so much that I won't use them at least until I have AB Figures' units painted.

The M8 armored car is an Italeri kit. The tarp and packs come with it and are very nicely sculpted. I'll have to find a crewman to stick in the turret...meh, probably won't last long enough in the game to bother.

An M4 105mm will be good support for the tiny infantry force. This is an Armourfast M4105 All the US vehicles were painted with the Flames of War all in one primer and base coat US armor spray. Then some quick weathering : a sloppy light wash of medium brown and maybe a little dark gray paint, followed by a tan/pewter gray dry brushing. Decals are Skytex and an AB commander was added.

M4a3 Armourfast Sherman.

I'm using a Hasegawa M3 Stuart. I'm basing my force on the 2/6 armored infantry battalion attached to the 1st armored division in the Italian campaign and depending on how early in '44 the scenario might be, I don't think it's too sacriligeous to use instead of an M5. Plus I've always loved this kit....and the Haunted Tank! I used a tank crewman from the new Hat Industrie US tank riders set. Posture is a little odd but the detail is nice. The set includes about 36 GI's lounging on tanks and 8 tank commanders in 2 poses.(Hat recently released tank rider sets for UK, US, Germans & Russians)

An Armourfast M10 tank destroyer. I'll need a few of these.

For now I'm using Italeri US Infantry. One box has enough figures to do a 1-1 platoon including bazookas with extra 60mm mortars and MMGs. The sculpting is pretty nice although the MMG and mortar figures have long been dogged for not being prone. The figures are at the big end of 1/72 figures like some ESCI sets but I think still useable with PSC & AB figures.

Monday, August 1, 2011

1/72 WWII Wargaming- Wespe, Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IV

I purchased 2 of the Italeri Wespe and a Dragon Models Hummel kit for the SP battalion of my artillery regiment. I just finished a Wespe. The kit was easy to build up until the final step of gluing the tracks on. Like the old ESCI kits the "flexible" plastic tracks will split if you even stare at them wrong. Unlike rubber tracks which can be superglued on in realistic fashion, superglue seems to hasten the tracks breaking as both did on the Wespe  within 30 seconds of being wrapped around the drive sprockets over  little super glue. I switched to Loctite plastic/vinyl glue and at least got them serviceable. The  kit comes with a seated driver and a standing crewman which would have been useable but  which I replaced with Caesar Miniatures panzer crewmen anyway.

I completed my first three PzIVs from PSC too. The purest scale modeller may have some issues with the thickness of the schurzen pieces but the wargamer will be overjoyed at the speed and ease of assembly along with the durability to be able to survive the clutches of the careless gamer. I really love these kits and looks forward to more great  PSC 1/72 releases. The only modification I made was to swap the commander out  (they provide two different busts but IMHO they are too big & thick) with a Caesar Miniatures Panzer crewman and I glued the commander hatch halves together since they do not provide a single CO's hatch suitable for an H model.

One more company of panzers and Pz Regt  GD should be able to take on the 13 T-34/85s of my Russian guards tank brigade.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

1/72 WWII Wargaming- German Radio Vehicle & 81mm mortar. Russian AT gun.

It was the multiple vehicle quick assembly kits from Pegasus, Plastic Soldier Company & Armourfast that lured me back into 1/72nd WWII gaming but I knew that to field some of the more specialized vehicles I would need to purchase detailed model kits. I bought an ACE Models K.f.z. 17 Radio vehicle for my Arty Regt HQ. The kit contain a dizzying 100+ parts, with much cleaning, sanding and gnashing of teeth required. I did a pretty hack job on it and I'm glad that its finished. I'll probably only need one more radio van for my army. Ha, I've become so spoiled and impatient due to Testors liquid cement and Armourfast type kits that I expect to assemble a  1/72 vehicle in 20 minutes or get all cranky about it. In the picture below, the building in the background is a Pegasus Hobbies Russian log house (Izba). The farm house, barn & wooden fence are from a Mini Art set  1/72 East European Farmyard.
The sandbags, bench, radio and funk soldaten warning division HQ that they are about to be overrun are all from the Airfix forward command post set.

I also finished the support weapon company of 1st Bn PzGren Regt GD. The Pegasus Hobbies 81mm mortar is shown below.

 Last is a Russian 76mm AT gun by Italeri along with some PSC Russian Infantry a few Caesar partisans and a Pegasus BA-6 armored car. The AT gun set comes with 2 guns with movable trails and 12 crew.

Thanks for visiting and thanks to you all with gaming blogs of your own that have provided me inspiration and much enjoyment.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

1/72 WWII Wargaming- German Artillery

This is the Revell kit "German Artillery". Components are shown in Plastic Soldier Review:

It is a soft plastic kit and goes together well with Loctite Vinyl Fabric & Plastic flex adhesive:

 My plastic Arty Regt GD will eventually have an SP arty Bn and several  towed  battalions of 10.5cm & 15cm.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

1/72 WWII Wargaming- Infantry figures.

I'll end up painting a lot of infantry for this game and I want to get them done quickly and simply while still trying  to be neat enough so that they will look decent on the table. I've just finished the HQ and support weapons sections of a partisan brigade. The figures are from Caesar Miniatures' French resistance fighters set and Balkan partisans set.

A 50mm mortar converted from an Italeri Russian inf figure with the mortar tube cut down and his head swapped for a partisans.

A Partisan machine gun team converted from a Zvezda machine gun team and Caesar partisans.

A Caesar miniatures French underground fighter
Caesar Miniatures partisans surround a PSC German Infantry figure

A test figure painted as Waffen SS from the Caesar Miniatures Panzer Grenadier  set.

Lastly a Pegasus Hobbies 12cm mortar from the German mortar set. The set comes with 3 8cm mortars, 2 12cm mortars and 23 crew.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

1/72 WWII Wargaming- German 88mm Flak 36

This is a Hasegawa kit. It comes with 2 different barrels ( one for the 18 model and the 36 I assume),  two detachable wheeled carriages, 6 crew, four 88mm ammo boxes, a few rounds and several spent casings. The kit was straightforward enough and the only conversion I made was to swap the crew heads for spares from the PSC German infantry sprues as the original helmets are awful. the PSC heads are a hair bigger but not too much so I don't think and worth it considering the aforementioned originals.

Monday, May 2, 2011

1/72 WWII Wargaming- Panther G & Opel Blitz

 Armourfast Panther G. The Box makes two tanks. They go together very quickly and contain very few parts. No commander figure is included but the commanders hatch can be glued closed or converted easily to attach in the open position. The main gun must be assembled static horizontally. An Orion commander is mounted in the closer tank with a Ceasar panzer crew figure in the far one. An airbrushed late war 3 color camo scheme and some basic weathering wash & drybrushing makes these kits highly serviceable wargame pieces.
The Pegasus Opel Blitz. Look no further for your motorized needs! 2 truck kits included, each with a pop on/off molded plastic canvas covering. With canvas top removed, the troop space contains benching for passenger figures if you provide your own. The kit does provide a nice driver figure in soft cap for each model. Very few parts as to be expected and the kit goes together in minutes. The best part about this kit in my opinion are the thick axle posts that match up to the holes in the tires very snugly and solidly allowing the tires to be glued on quickly and set down to dry without risking poor looking wheel alignment.

1/72 WWII Wargaming- more kits: T34-85s.

The below tanks represent elements of the Russian 15th Guards Tank Brigade. A PSC T34 85 (closest below), 2 Pegasus Hobbies T34 85's (next 2 w/commanders) & 2 Armour fast T34 85s (buttoned). The commander figures are all Preiser. I used the new flames of war Russian Armor  primer/basecoat spray paint.

Plastic Soldier Company T34/85. I really like this kit. Each box makes 3 tanks and contains 3 sprues. Each sprue makes up a T34 chassis and a model 41 turret (pictured directly below) and a model 85 turret (2nd picture down).  Each tank only has a few parts and assembles very easily. Focusing on the model 85 version; The hatch is separate to glue on but must be cut to glue open as shown in the pics. The gun barrel is way huge! (edit- PSC reports that thay have corrected the barrel issue). The turret has a wide center post and swings smoothly on the chassis. The barrel must be glued in place. A commander bust is included. It's a nice sculpt but looks a little fat compared to the Preiser commanders that I already had (and used instead)

 Pegasus Hobbies T34 85s. Another very nice kit. The box yields 2 T34 85 tanks. Two commander cupolas are included; one molded with open hatch (shown) and one molded buttoned up. Each cupola has two pins which fit into the recessed  turret top area so you can glue them or swap in game (the pins are short though and the cupola will fall off if turned over). The kit was easy enough to build, contains few parts and can be built to allow the gun to traverse  vertically. No commander figure is included. Looking at the pictures now I'm a bit upset that I didn't do a better job sanding the lines where the turret tops and bottoms join but too late now they're in the field! Not the worst thing I've done anyway;  close observation often reveals cat (we have three) hairs embedded on the kits that my aging eyes failed to notice during painting.
Below is an Armourfast T-34 85. Very easy to assemble and each box makes two tanks. No commander figure is included. The separate commanders hatch can be glued on closed or easily converted to glue open. The gun barrel can be assemblerd to traverse vertically. The tracks are the least detailed of the three kits reviewed. I like the Pegasus and PSC kits a bit  more but will gladly use the Armourfast ones I have completed.

1/72 WWII Wargaming

Some pictures of painted WWII 1/72 plastic soldier and  model kits.

A Dragon Models mid production Tiger 1 with a Ceasar miniatures panzer tank crew commander. My Kampfgruppe is based around the division's Panzer Grenadier Regiment but I will also be eventually fielding all three of the divisions panzer battalions including Tiger I's from the 3rd,  heavy, battalion.

 The Kampfgruppe HQ and a Tiger 1 from GD's 3rd Panzer (schwere) battalion. The turret numbers will need to be changed however as 217 will not work. GD's heavy tank battalion turret number sets started with S, A, B or C depending on whether the vehicle belonged to the HQ company or companies 9, 10 or 11.

An Ace Traction Avant 11CV and a Dragon Models Sd kfz 251 transport the KG headquarters. The figures are Plastic Soldier Company German Infantry and Preiser Panzer Grenadiers (set pr72503)
The church is Italeri.