Wednesday 30 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Who Needs This Kind of Temptation?

Gorgon Studios have just released some more WW2 figures for the Norwegian campaign. It is very hard to resist this kind of temptation, I think it is only the shipping cost that has prevented me sending off an order already...

French Foreign Legion in anorak (photo Gorgon Studios)

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Transfer Request!

One of the joys of early war Germans as opposed to late war ones are the helmet markings. Whilst I am happy to skip these in 15 or 20mm, they do need to be recreated on 28mm models. Fortunately for the kack handed like me you no longer need to try and hold a 000 paint brush steady, but you can use decals from the likes of Warlord! As they had a post free offer on I popped in a small order for some German and American infantry decals which you will hopefully see adorning some toy soldiers very soon!

Monday 28 April 2014

Superkrieg: Walküre

Busy day today, but I did manager to finish off another Superkrieg figure - this time the Nazi's top fighting fräulein Walküre!

The miniature is a straight repaint of the Wizkids Lois Lane, Superwoman model, again using a red. black, white Germanic palette.

2014 Painting Target: 182/1000

Sunday 27 April 2014

Superkrieg: Der Todsturm

Painting on the Danes has been slower than planned but I have managed to complete another Superkrieg character - the Nazi super Der Todsturm!

The basic figure is a Wizkids Nova Corps Recruit but this time I replaced the head with a Warlord German helmeted one from the Blitzkrieg plastic set. I decided to paint the miniature in Germanic red and black and added a plane tailfin swastika to complete things.

2014 Painting Target: 181/1000

Saturday 26 April 2014

Another Brick in the Wall...

You may have seen that Warlord have released some plastic stone walls recently, just over four foot of wall for £14, part of their collaboration with Italeri (as can be seen from the box).

I'm not sure whether £14 for four foot of wall represents good value but you can purchase exactly the same product in an Italeri box for almost half the price (their rrp is about ten euro). Now I admit the box isn't as nice but the price difference is a bit surprising.

Some people have wondered if the product has been upscaled from 1/72nd to 1/56th or that the box contains more sprues but it has been confirmed by Warlord not, the product and quantity is identical. The 19mm tall walls which are six foot in 1/72nd are about four foot in 28mm. I picked up a couple of Italeri boxes from a seller via Amazon for less than the Warlord rrp which arrived today and they should prove useful for both 20mm and 28mm games.

I have to admit to being somewhat surprised that Warlord thought they might be able to get away with releasing Italeri's product with such a hefty mark up in this day and age and I confess that I shall be looking twice now at any future collaborative efforts (such as the planned vehicle kits) to ensure that I am not being taken for a ride...

Friday 25 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Fighters from the Sky!

When I was a kid I was fascinated with the Fallschirmjäger. Given the fact that I had Featherstone's Wargaming Airborne Operations booked out of the library on a near permanent basis, loved the comic strip Fighter from the Sky in Battle and thought the Airfix German Paratroops were so cool looking they often defected to allied side to fight the Nazi in my games of toy soldiers, I suppose it was to be expected. Nearly forty years on, despite a general antipathy to the Germans as a wargames force, it appears that fascination has been rekindled...

I have already picked up most of the miniatures I need from Crusader for a platoon of Fallschirmjäger for my planned Tunisian project but on a whim I added a section of paratroops to a second order from Black Tree Design to take advantage of their 35% off sale (this time I grabbed the Italians as they were now showing the 35% discount) which arrived yesterday. The intention is to paint these up for early war actions and they will be useful for fighting the Danes, Dutch, Belgians and Norwegians.

I may try and paint them up over the weekend (along with some more Dane conversions) and have found a really useful painting guide on the Artizan website here. This is just as well as I was going to paint them in the blue-grey trousers I recalled from the Airfix box (above) but seems to be somewhat inaccurate! :-)

Thursday 24 April 2014

La Phalange Africane

I've just started reading Rick Atkinson's An Army at Dawn, the first of his trilogy of books looking at the evolution of the U.S.Army in WWII. This volume concentrates on North Africa and whilst I am only a hundred pages in I am finding it fascinating and well written.

A bit of aimless Googling regarding the Vichy French forces using (you do get different results) led to some articles about a unit I had not heard of before - La Phalange Africane (the African Phalanx). Whilst only a small unit of a couple of hundred troops, it was raised by Nazi sympathisers in the Vichy government to continue the fight against the Allies in Tunisia after the French Army in Africa switched sides after Operation Torch. The Phalanx fought under German command against Indian and New Zealand units in April 1943.

They appear to be an interesting looking unit, wearing French uniforms with German helmets and boots and German weapons and despite their limited service they have picqued my interest enough that I may raise a section when I get around to my Operation Torch project later this year.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Romani Walk Italia - Donate Now!

Last year authors Ben Kane, Anthony Riches and Russ Whitfield walked Hadian's Wall in Roman kit (yes, hob-nailed sandals!) raising £18,000 for charity. This year they are donning their kit again and walking from Capua to the Forum in Rome!

Médecins Sans Frontières and Combat Stress are the worthy charities that will benefit from their sterling efforts and if you would like to help them reach their target, you can do so here. There is only two days left so donate now (and if you are in the UK tick the Gift Aid box so the tax money goes to charity not the Treasury!)

Tuesday 22 April 2014

"This is Genocide! This is Extinction!"

Just caught the trailer for season four of Falling Skies - so much tabletop potential, roll on June!

Monday 21 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Vorwärts in London?

I have spent most of this afternoon listening to the Championship matches on Talk Sport (well done Burnley!) whilst converting some more Warlord Germans into Danes. Eight more figures are at varying stages including a Marsden lmg gunner. I have made use of arms from the other Warlord sets I bought in the sprue sale a while back which has given some useful variation.

I have also continued playing the BBC Battle Academy game and having finished the Fall of France campaign immediately jumped into the Operation Sealion one. As I am sure you know Sealion was the planned invasion of Britain and not something I have really thought about too much for wargaming but I am considering that once I have completed the combatants for the Blitzkrieg campaign I may well see about raising a section of Local Defence Volunteers and the enigmatic "stay behind" Auxiliaries (which are great fun to play on the iPad) for WorldWar: 1940.

Sunday 20 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Danish Infantry I

It could be argued that there is something rather nutty about spending a longer time converting and painting miniatures of soldiers than their real life compatriots actually fought! Having the spark of interest ignited by the Fall of Denmark e-book and finding lots of interesting sites on the web, I found I just had to have a small force of the first troops to oppose the Germans' Operation Weserübung.

Whilst most illustrations of the Danes show them wearing their greatcoats, period photos show a mix, with many carrying theirs wrapped (upside down) around their back pack. The basic uniform is similar to the German one so I decided to try and convert some of the Warlord plastic Blitzkrieg Germans.

Unfortunately all the Warlord models have the anti-mustard gas cloth pack across the chest which kind of defeated the object of the exercise as this needed removing (and caused a lot more work than planned). I made one backpack with rolled greatcoat out of Green Stuff and used Instant Mold to create some more. I also tried that with the helmet, but this didn't work so in the end I have made these from scratch each time, using the German helmet as the basis, filing the angle by the ears and building up with Green Stuff. The Kar 98 rifles were modified slightly with Liquid Green Stuff to give an approximation of the Krag-Jørgensen's the Danes used.

Overall I'm quite pleased with how these have turned out, I've three more almost finished and am trying to summon the courage to convert a Bren into a Marsden lmg. I have yet to decide whether to convert the rest of the section from the Warlord plastics or use something else (maybe the BTD greatcoated Germans).

2014 Painting Target: 180/1000

Saturday 19 April 2014

Superkrieg: Nucleus 7

Fighting alongside the U.S. Army and Professor Isotope against the Nazi menace is Nucleus 7, another character for Superkrieg!

Nucleus 7 is a WizKids Bart Allen miniature, repainted in a similar U.S. military scheme as Professor Isotope with the addition of a U.S.A.A.F. decal across his chest for a splash of colour. I am really pleased with how this figure came out given the limited palette.

2014 Painting Target: 178/1000

Friday 18 April 2014

Superkrieg: Professor Isotope

As the Nazi superhelden smash the Allied forces in across Europe and North Africa, America enters the war bringing its own supers to the battlefield - led by Professor Isotope!

The basic figure is a WizKids Max Mercury clicka, with his collar trimmed down. I have decided that most of the Superkrieg heroes and villains will not be as garish as those in the Marvel and DC universes and most costumes will have a military look to them colours wise. Consequently Professor Isotope is largely green and brown which contrasts nicely with his blue skin.

2014 Painting Target: 177/1000

Thursday 17 April 2014

Christmas Come Early...

It's definitely been a case of "Christmas come early" here in Bleaseworld.

Not only did my orders from Black Tree Design and Hannants arrive (yes, I was a bit shocked by the BTD one given all the bad publicity they get) but I collected my Empress Miniatures Devil Dogs Kickstarter from David Manley whose mate had picked it up at Salute after the Post Office non-delivery SNAFU (thanks Chris!)

And whilst I was picking that up Parcel Force delivered my Devil Pig Games Heroes of Normandie Kickstarter in a box so big I am glad SWMBO was at work when it arrived! :-)

Looks like I have a lot of painting, token punching and rule reading to do...

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Superkrieg: Übermann

Strike whilst the iron is hot! I have spent most of my free time working on some historical Blitzkrieg era conversions but whilst the Green Stuff was drying I dug out a handful of old WizKids figures and painted one up as Nazi superhero Übermann.

The miniature is a hero I'd never heard of called Stonewall, I have decided with this project to generally pick lesser known characters for repainting and I think he works well with panzer grey skin and Germanic red and black boots and pants.

I've a couple more Superkrieg figures on the workbench next to the Blitzkrieg historicals and I'll fit these in between working on the WW2 figures.

2014 Painting Target: 176/1000

Tuesday 15 April 2014


I went to see Captain America and the Winter Soldier today which I enjoyed immensely and it got my brain thinking over a stillborn project - Superkrieg. Whilst I enjoy most of the many superhero films (and even a few of the comic books) the idea of superhero wargaming has never really appealed, even if I dabbled with Saul a few years back with the WizKids game.

However I did have an idea (that must of been partially inspired by Captain America) that a game of low to medium power superheroes in the environment of World War Two could prove fun. I started to rough out a background and a set of rules based on the Voyages Extraordinaires system and even bought some white metal super hero miniatures (West Wind IIRC) but soon was distracted with other projects.

I am thinking about returning to it though. The painting up of the Blitzkrieg era infantry sections plus a pile of WizKids plastics I picked up off eBay a while back have got the mental juices flowing again, so watch out we might soon be seeing the B.E.F. not only having to fight off the might of the Wehrmacht, but also the Nazi superhero Übermann!

Monday 14 April 2014

Silly Season at Black Tree Design...

Lots of companies appear to be having "Not at Salute" sales including Black Tree Design who have a 35% off their WW2 infantry and a 15% voucher for your next order. BTD don't have the greatest reputation for speed of delivery on occasion, but this kind of discount was not to be ignored so I looked into the crystal ball for future WW2 projects...

I'm quite enjoying the variety of raising just sections for WorldWar: 1940 and whilst I am in a Blitzkrieg mood at the moment (and working on some conversions to fill the nationality gaps) I availed myself of the 35% off to pick up some French (for potential conversion), Gebirgsjäger, regular German infantry and some Soviet Sailors.

I did fancy some Italians and Germans in greatcoats but for some reason they were only showing as 15% off so I will hold off for another day and another sale...

Sunday 13 April 2014

Silly Season at Hannants...

Mark on his Winter of '79 blog posted that Hannants were selling off their remaining J.B. Models stock at silly prices - £1.99 per box instead of the RRP of £8.99.

I've ordered a few box of M113 FSV's, Saladins and Saracens. I'm not 100% sure what I will use them for but I know I would regret not getting a stock in at under 25% of the RRP. I found one idea here, Project ’46 – The Third Great War 1946-55, which is kind of along the lines of the Fatherland idea I posted about here.

Saturday 12 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: French Infantry III

As I didn't go to Salute today I grabbed some time on the workbench and finished the third batch of Warlord French infantry...

Here is the complete section. I am very happy with these, they have come up nice. Just need to decide which force to do next now...

Ooh look, Black Tree Design have 35% off their WW2 range this weekend!

2014 Painting Target: 175/1000

Friday 11 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: French Infantry II

The second batch of Warlord French infantry were completed yesterday evening but I ran out of daylight to photograph them, so I did it now before a work telecon...

I used the Flames of War painting guide for these figures and think the end result looks pretty representative of the 1940's French.

The Warlord early war plastic Germans have arrived from Caliver so I am hoping to get some time today to stick some together once I polish off the remaining four French.

2014 Painting Target: 171/1000

Thursday 10 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: French Infantry I

The Blitzkrieg bug continues with its hold on me and following on from the French vehicles I have managed to complete the first of the French infantry section - the lmg team.

The miniatures are from Warlord and I must say that the Defenders of France set contains some wonderful miniatures, even if my set did not quite have what the box said it would have! (I do wish Warlord would sell them in smaller groups of four and remove the random element in the boxed sets).

I really enjoyed painting these and the remainder of the section are not too far behind (I start the whole section together then spilt them down into smaller groups to finish them off).

2014 Painting Target: 167/1000

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Allez les Polonais!

I manage to grab a bit of time this lunch hour to finish the Renault R40 (or Char léger modèle 1935 R modifié 1939 to give it its full name) I have been working on.

A die-cast Solido model I picked up in Sainte-Mère-Église a few years back, I painted it up as a tank of 3e compagnie, 1e section, 10e Brigade de cavalerie blindée polonaise (Polish 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade) serving in France 1940.

Again just a case of base coating Vallejo Fortress Green, Strong Tone dip, some weathering and hand painted markings, but seems to have come up quite nicely...

2014 Painting Target: 165/1000

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Continuez Sur le Camionnage!

I managed to finish the 28mm 3D printed Laffly S20TL from Bob Emerson. A simple kit but nicely detailed, it painted up well using the same techniques as its 15mm cousins (paint, dip, drybrush), though the dust weathering is slightly heavier based on reading Terry Wises' Blitzkrieg book on camo schemes of the period (Northern France was VERY dusty in May 1940!).

On with the Renault R-35 next...

2014 Painting Target: 164/1000

Monday 7 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Crusader or Warlord? That is the Question...

Having painted the Dutch and having commenced work on the French, my thoughts have turned towards other armies. The Germans are fairly straightforward, I've ordered a box of thirty plastic Warlord Games early war Germans from Caliver. Whilst I am not looking to paint thirty, I have some fledgling idea that the spares could be used for conversions.

The B.E.F, however are not such a straightforward decision. I really, really liked the Crusader Minaitures early war British. Whilst not marketed as B.E.F. they are lovely figures and look the part except for the lack of a gas mask case (and pretty much all the photos of the B.E.F. I've seen have them with gas mask cases....

The Warlord B.E.F. figures do come with the gas mask case but I must say I am not that keen on the photos I have seen of the miniatures and the random nature of the box may give me a prone Bren team, something I am not too keen on (a personal whimsy)...

So do I buy the Crusader figures and try and add some Green Stuff gas mask cases, or go with Warlord, even if the figures aren't quite as nice? Problems, problems...

Sunday 6 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Dutch Infantry II

Here are the remaining Koninklijke Nederlandse Landmacht miniatures from the Gothic Line blister; a Lewis gun team and an officer with bugler...

Researching the Dutch has been quite interesting and if I ever get around to the Pacific I do fancy raising a small force of Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (Royal Netherlands Indies Army) with their slouch hats (the pack comes with a couple of heads for conversions).

2014 Painting Target: 163/1000

Saturday 5 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Dutch Infantry I

I managed to finish the first of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Landmacht (Royal Netherlands Army) today. Gothic Line Miniatures are the only company I know of who manufacture 28mm Dutch infantry for the 1940 campaign, which is a shame as they are an interesting looking army and certainly posed more of a problem for the Germans than was expected.

Gothic Line Miniatures have released just one code with ten miniatures in the blister, this is a shame as you only need one of some types (eg. officer) and could do with duplicates of the riflemen if you want to model a full section (or a platoon for the likes of Bolt Action). Outpost Wargames manufacture some Romanians that wear the same helmet and have puttees which might be compatible and allow for expanding the unit. For a section level skirmish game, I am going with an understrength eight man section.

The models are a bit quirky, not Copplestone/Artizan standard, but reasonable enough and they have painted up pretty good. The blue-grey Dutch uniform is a bit of a problem, the plates in the Osprey Hitler's Blitzkrieg Enemies 1940 looks too grey compared to photos on the internet, but these themselves vary considerably (some looking green-grey). In the end I went with some old GW Shadow Grey with light grey added for highlights...

2014 Painting Target: 159/1000

Friday 4 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Pantserwagen Possibilities?

Painting on the Dutch infantry has gone well today and hopefully they will be finished over the weekend. I've also managed to slap some paint on some early war French AFV's too. This of course led me to thinking about Dutch AFV's for the tabletop.

Royal Netherlands Army Panterswagen M38
Of course no one makes a 28mm Landsverk L-180 / L-181 (Pantserwagen M38 / M36 in Dutch service) but reading through his useful Flames of War Dutch Army briefing, the author suggested using a Soviet BA-10 as a proxy. With the Baker Company Russian Truck Kickstarter offering BA-10's as an alternative to the basic GAZ truck, I may pick up one to convert.

Looking at the long list of Landsverk users in WW2 on Wikipedia, someone really ought to make a 28mm model. Be a lot more useful than a Sturmtiger!

Thursday 3 April 2014

Blitzkrieg: Dutch Courage

Over the last couple of years I've mentioned my plans to convert Panzerfäuste into a historical set of WW2 section level skirmish rules - WorldWar: 1940. I have been stockpiling miniatures but today a small box arrived from Portugal that saw some of the miniatures move from "Lead Mountain" to the workbench. Not only that, they were based and undercoated! :-)

The miniatures that inspired this flurry of activity were a blister of ten WW2 Dutch Infantry from Gothic Line Miniatures, I now need to decide on an appropriate paint for the uniform (this photo of a re-enactor shows the distinctive colour of the Dutch uniform).

Of course this has led me to searching out websites on the Dutch army in May 1940 and the War Over Holland site has proven to be full of information and has pages of photos. Het Nederlandsche Leger 1939-40, a Dutch language site is also very interesting, chock full of photos, including many colour ones of uniforms in museums.