Tuesday, 24 July 2012

European Houses: Calais House - Review

Hello all,

In today's mail my first house from my subscription deal turned up, the Calais House.

Now I'm a big fan of the Gale Force Nine Battlefield in a Box range, but I will try and give a honest review.
The build is what you would expect if you have bought any of the other Battlefield in a Box terrain. It's very solidly built and painted to quite a good standard, not award winning but more than good enough. One slight problem with my building is the two floors are slightly different colours. This isn't a massive problem as I can either dry brush or wash the build to bring the two levels together, but I'll wait for the extra bits before I try anything just in case they are also a different shade.
 It's a lot bigger than I thought it would be from the description on the Battlefront web site.
The Building comes in 3 parts (as you can see above). Each of the 2 floors can hold 2 infantry bases with ease.
 A lot of people have complained that the range might look a bit to similar from building to building. I can see why people would be worried, but as you can see from the above picture by not using the upper floor you make a fairly different looking cottage from the house. This combined with the extra bits you get in the subscription deal leads me to think that a village of these buildings will look different enough to look good.

Overall I'm happy with the buy. The colours being a different shade was annoying but not enough to put me off the range. I'm now looking forward to the next one, shame I have to wait a month.

Review Score - 8 out of 10.

Thanks for reading and until next time.

Ben

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Black Bull - Cromwells

Hello All,

 I make no bones about it, my favourite allied tank of WW2 is the Cromwell. I just love the way it looks and luckily I love it's rules in FOW (who doesn't like movement 16" Shermans with Protected Ammo?), but I have never liked a list that included it in FOW. I was put off by the reluctant rating and the added Fireflies (As they're not fast) with the 7th Armoured list and I wasn't keen on the cost of them with the Welsh Guards. Then awhile ago the Taurus Pursuant PDF came out with the 15th/19th Kings Royal Hussars list and they seemed to tick all the boxes. They had Challengers not Fireflies (I still can't believe Challengers are Light Tanks!), they didn't cost an arm and a leg in points and they are confident. I was busy with other projects at the time but the other day I was in my LGS and saw they had 3 Cromwells and 1 Challenger on the shelf, I had a gap in my painting schedule so thought I'd pick them up.
 As I have just finish my Irish Guards I was worried I'd be bored painting up more British armour. I'm not sure why but I found these alot more interesting to paint and I think the way I paint them looks better on these than my Shermans. It might be because these are Battlefront models and not Plastic Soldier Company like my Shermans. It might be because I was far more interested in paint these over the Shermans. I could also be because they are resin and not plastic. I'm not sure but I'm really happy with them.
Like my Irish Guards I wanted to try and make the tanks look as actuate as possible, so after a bit of research I pieced together how I think all the unit marking should have been.
I have worked out a 1575pts list that I aim to get over the next few months.
  Confident    Trained   Armoured Recce Squadron
Market garden British
British Late-War
PlatoonQtyUnitPoints
Headquarters
Armoured Recce Squadron HQ  p.13
2Cromwell IV155
Combat Platoons
Armoured Recce Platoon  p.13
3
1
Cromwell IV
Challenger A30
335
Armoured Recce Platoon  p.13
3
1
Cromwell IV
Challenger A30
335
Armoured Recce Platoon  p.13
3
1
Cromwell IV
Challenger A30
335
Weapons Platoon
Luttrells CS Platoon p.11
1
3
Captain Luttrell in Cromwell VI CS
Cromwell VI CS
210
Brigade Support
Scout Platoon  Confident  Veteran   p.18
6Universal Carrier with extra hull-mounted MG205
Company Points:1575
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: Taurus Pursuant - 11th Armoured Division PDF

As always thanks for reading.

Ben.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Fighting Irish - Shermans

Hello All

I have had a busy weekend painting and have finished off the Shermans for my Irish Guards I previewed in my last post. I have had the models for a fair few months and bar a Typhoon they were the last models I needed to paint for my Irish Guards army.

Sorry if the pictures are great I had a few problems with my camera set up tonight...
I was trying to do this army to be a accurate as possible (thanks to the FOW article on the Irish Guards this was quite easy). As a whole this wasn't hard to do, that was until I did the Squadron makings on the side of the tanks. From what I have read the Guards had the middle blacked out but the only decals I could find had clear centres. So not wanting to fail at the first hurdle I decided to paint the area behind were the decal was to be applied. This worked quite well and I only had to touch up a couple of the black areas. I then decided to double the pain and add a really small number decal over the top of the squadron decal. But I think the end result was worth it.
A quick word on the decals, they are all from Dom's Decals. He has a great range of WW2 unit marking and you get lots for your money. The only problem with them (and it's not really a problem) is that all the decals come as one big decal so you need to cut them quite close to reduce silvering.


The army as a whole. In the end I don't think the individual Shermans are the best models I have every painted but I think the army as a whole looks good.

I have just a few last touches to put onto my Cromwells as I hope to have them up in a few days, so keep an eye out for them.

As always thanks for looking Ben.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Thunderbolt

Hello All

A quick post today about a Thunderbolt I got in a trade from Rangerdane on the WWPD Forum for 2 Hetzers I had for a Hungarian unit I never got around to doing.

The model did come painted, but I wanted to change a few things to fit my personal taste. I re painted the cockpit, added the red (the red is a lot more red than in these pictures) and touched up or changed a few details on the model.
Overall I'm happy with the end results. I plan on using this for my US Paras that I'm starting soon, but until then it will be standing in for a Typhoon in games with my British until I can get the nerve to paint invasion strips... that might take a while!

Finally a sneak peak at what I have coming up next.
I'll be doing the Shermans first to finish my Irish Guards army and after that 3 Cromwells and a Challenger for a 15th/19th Kings Royal Hussars army I have always wanted to do.

Thanks for looking.

Ben

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Operation Sea Lion - The Hungarian 1st Army Part 4, The Final Part.


Hello All

Welcome to my final narrative piece about my Hungarian Army and my gaming groups story for WWPD's Operation Sealion campaign. I just quickly want to say I have had a lot of fun being part of this campaign. The community has done a great job with AAR and the great spirit and effort you all they have put into this. But none of this would have happened if it hadn't been for the guys from WWPD. You guys do so much for this great game and I truly want to thank you for all your hard work. Not just Operation Sealion, but also your blog, your pod cast and the great amount of time you put into helping others in the hobby. If I could have 10% of the impact on the hobby as you guys do I would be a happy man.

I also hope everyone has enjoyed my write ups. I don't claim to be an expert writer but it's add a lot to my games and my experience of the campaign as a whole and hopefully they haven't been much work to read. So getting back onto the subject lets finish off the story of the Hungarian 1st Armies part in the Invasion of Britain....

The Hungarian 1st Army In Britain 1944 - June 19th to July 15th

A Tiger of the 509th Schwere during the failed
encirclement of Worcester
The 19th June saw the 1st Hungarian Army move back into the line as part of Operation Sabre; the continued attack on Worcestershire. They were placed in the second wave to combat any counter attacks the Allies might try. The first few days of the operation saw the German units in the front line finding the Allied defences hard to crack. The biggest gains were made around Worcester, were the 509th Schwere Panzer-Abteilung came within a mile of encircling the town; only to be blocked by a daring counter attack from the US 3rd Armoured Division. After this the offencive ran out of momentum and the Axis forces consolidated the small gains they had made and the orders came down to start moving units out of the front line to aid in the attack on London.

A Hungarian Panzerschreak gunner waits in ambush for
the Shermans of the 3rd US Armoured.
The line wasn't quite for long. The 509th Schwere attack around Worcester had created a bulge in the line and on the 29th June the Allies launcher a counter offensive to try and cut off and encircle the troops in the bulge. Lead by the US 3rd Armoured Division the attack broke through the over stretched units on the front line. The Hungarian's were then thrown into the attack to try and stop the Offensive and made contact with the force elements of the 3rd US Armoured later that afternoon. The Hungarian efforts to stop the attack were in vein, the US forces beat off the repeated counter attacks from the Hungarians and the Axis were pushed out of Worcestershire. Both sides were exhausted and the front once again settled down.

Burnt out Canadian Sherman in Essex on 7th July
At this point the Hungarians were pulled out of the line and sent to bolster the London offensive. The Invasion of Britain was entering a critical stage, the British Navy was starting to have a big impact on the Axis supply lines and the Axis forces were in need to make a final decisive stroke to finish off the British. Entering Essex on the 4th July the Axis forces were 30 miles away from the coast and cutting off the London. The Hungarians attacked on the 7th July and ran into the Canadian 4th Armoured Division. The Canadians blindly walked into a Hungarian ambush with all of their heavy Tiger and Panther tanks, the Shermans were caught in the open and 20 Shermans were left as burning wrecks in very short order. Routing the Canadians the Hungarians pushed on to the coast and by night fall were 15 miles away. The next day the 1st Army looked to push on and complete the encirclement of London, but any ideas of advancing were cut short. The US 4th Armoured Division lead by General Patton himself crashed into the forces protecting the flanks of the 1st Army causing them to fall back 20 miles. With their flank exposed and in danger of getting cut off and surround they had to fall back to.

Two Hungarians and a German Soldier surrender to British
troops during the Hungarian retreat to the coast.
With the failed encirclement of London General Jány and his army had to wait and see what happened in London; the results wouldn't take long to become clear. The British in London would not budge, they fought for every street, every house, every room. With more and more Axis troops poring into the offensive cracks started appearing in the front line all the way across the country. The situation become critical on the 14th July, the Allies launcher an offensive to relieve London. The German High Command (OKW) was left with no option than to order the evacuation of Britain. The Kriegsmarines were holding on by their finger nails, the Allies were not only far from defeated but seemed to be getting stronger and the RAF and USAAF were starting to take control of the skies. The Hungarian forces, furthest from the evacuation zones, were in danger of having there lines of retreat cut off, to compound the problem they received their orders to fall back after all the German forces in the area. The situation become dire on the 15th July when the Hungarians found a combined forces of the British 11th Armoured Division and the US 2nd Armoured Division were between them and the evacuation zones. The Hungarians repeatedly attack but were unable to force a breakthrough. With time running out General Jány ordered the army to split into small units and ordered a general break out. This was mostly unsuccessful and out of the 80,000 men in the army less than 3,000 men were evacuated back to France.

The war in Britain was over, the Allied forces had won. The Hungarians had on the most part fought well, but in the end they lost most of their heavy equipment, all of their Tiger and Panther tanks along with almost all of their other AFV and of the forces committed to the battle over 95% of the men were either killed, wounded or captured; among the captured men was General Jány.

As always thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the write up.

Until next time Ben.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

So I Bought A House Today... No Wait A Village!

Hi All

So I was looking over the Flames of War site this morning for the weekly update and I saw they had put up a subscription deal for their new Western Europe Building sets. I was planning on buying all the building anyway as they look good, I'm a massive fan of the GF9 Terrian sets and I wanted a village for my Flames of War games (Also I knew if I didn't buy them I knew I regret it).
The deal seems a good one to me. You get free P&P and you also get alot of add on bits for the buildings for free. These bits include:-

Walls and Monuments
and Out Buildings
All in all a great deal and somethings I had to sign up for! The only down side is I'm now planning on spending more money roads so I have enough for the village!

I'll do a review when the first one turns up.

Thanks for reading and until next time

Ben

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Late War Hungarians - Part 10 Panthers

Hi All

So this month I start my idea of monthly hobby plans to help keep me focused, great idea I thought! Anyway tonight was my first night were I had a chance to paint (I have been building a lot of stuff this month, but very little time to paint), so what do I paint from my list you ask? My Irish Guards Shermans... no. My Ker and King buildings... no. Must have been the DIY terrain then... no. No I ignored the list and went back to my Hungarian Panthers, best laid plans and that.

I will say there was some logic to painting up the Panthers, was trying a new black lining technique I sort had worked out from talking to Steve from WWPD and from looking at his painted up models. I still think my painting style to based on painting 28mm models and so is taking too long for little reward (the effort vs reward scale as I like to call it). I was sure I could paint the models much fast without a big drop off is quality. So I had a mess around and here are the results


I'm happy with how they have turned out, and very impressed with how fast I painted them, bar airbrushing then I painted all 3 in around 3 hours, which I would like to think is fast in almost any ones books.


The models are the Plastic Soldier Company Panthers I reviewed back in March (yes it did take me that long to get round to painting them!).

From my understanding a research the big Hungarian symbol on the side isn't historically accurate, but I saw Chris over on Wargamer on Tour but the markings on his Panthers and I thought it added a lot to the overall look of the model.
Next up for my Hungarians is 2 Nimrods and some 149mm Howitzers (which are very rude for the points!).
This last picture shows the difference between the new scheme and the old one.... I personally think the Panther looks alot better than the Tiger. I think I'll have to redo bits of the Tigers to get them to fit in better.

 Thanks for reading and until next time

Ben

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Operation Sealion AAR: Fighting Withdrawl

Hello All

Another Operation Sealion game, this time against Adam's Canadian Armoured list. We were fighting as part of the encirclement of London in Essex. I was using my an experimental Hungarian Armoured list I have been playing around in my head with. Just before we start I forgot my camera so Adam was taking the pictures, but he didn't get time to post the AAR before he went on holiday. So I apologise if the pictures aren't great and he only took 4 pictures... any way here we go

Mission - Fighting Withdrawal
Points - 1750pts
Campaign - Operation Sealion

Army Lists

Confident    Trained   Canadian Armoured Squadron British Late-War
PlatoonQtyUnitPoints
Headquarters
Canadian Armoured Squadron HQ p.93
2Sherman V135
Combat Platoons
Canadian Armoured Platoon p.93
3
1
Sherman V
Firefly VC
290
Canadian Armoured Platoon p.93
3
1
Sherman V
Firefly VC
290
Canadian Armoured Platoon p.93
3
1
Sherman V
Firefly VC
290
Divisional Support
Anti-tank Platoon (SP), Royal Artillery p.114       
4M10C 17 pdr270
Field Battery (SP), Royal Artillery (4th) p.117
2
1
1
4
Cmd Rifle team
Staff team
Sherman OP
Sexton
205
Light Anti-aircraft Platoon (SP) (4th) p.118
3Bofors 40mm SP110
Air Support p.119
5Limited Air Support Typhoon                        170
Company Points:1760
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: Turning Tide (D-Day)
Confident    Veteran   Harckocsizó Század
Tank Company
Hungarian Late-War
PlatoonQtyUnitPoints
Headquarters
Harckocsizó Század HQ p.207
1Tiger I E
Warrior Föhadnagy Ervin Tarczay in Command tank
270
Combat Platoons
Harckocsizó Platoon p.207
3Tiger I E585
Harckocsizó Platoon p.207
3Panther A550
Regimental Support Platoons
Self-propelled Anti-aircraft Platoon p.209
2Nimrod115
Divisional Support Platoons
Rocket Launcher Battery Confident  Trained   p.225
1
1
4
Cmd Rifle team
Observer Rifle team
150mm 43M rocket launcher
110
Air SupportAllied Platoon  p.172
3Sporadic Air Support Hs 129B115
Company Points:1745
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: Grey Wolf


I deployed on the top of the big hill over loving the bridge and ford with my Panthers in Ambush. Adam deployed 2 Sherman Platoons to cross the bridge and a Sherman Platoon and the M10's facing the ford.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Hobby Plans for July

Hi All

I thought I would do something a bit different this month. My painting production has been down in the past few months so I'm going to post monthly goals on the blog to help keep me focused. I would also like everyone to post friendly reminders as the month goes on as I dare say I will forget what I'm meant to be doing from month to month (lets face it I'm a hobbyist, all it takes is something shinny to distract me!).

So what I have got planned for this month?

Painting wise I'm planning on finishing off my Irish Guards, this will be:-

A Sherman Platoon (2 Shermans and 2 Fireflies)
A Stuart Platoon (4 Stuarts) - This one might end up in next months if they don't turn up on time

 This will let me use this list
  Confident    Veteran   Guards Armoured Squadron
British Late-War
PlatoonQtyUnitPoints
Headquarters
Guards Armoured Squadron HQ p.17
1
1
1
Sherman V
Sherman V with .50 cal AA MG
Warrior JOE Vandeleur in Humber
240
Combat Platoons
Guards Armoured Platoon p.17
2
2
Sherman V
Firefly VC
390
Guards Armoured Platoon p.17
2
2
Sherman V
Firefly VC
390
Guards Armoured Platoon p.17
2
2
Sherman V
Firefly VC
390
Weapons Platoons
Guards Recce Patrol p.18
3Stuart VI165
Company Points:1575
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: Hell's Highway

I have some Terrain on the go, so I'm planning on making and paint:-

3 Kerr and King buildings to finish my French Set
2 Large Woods - I say woods I have made a few bases to use the GF 9 trees I have
5 Wood Strips for the sides of roads - sort of the same as above

Building wise I have a Soviet Army and US army on the go so i would like to get all of them built this month:-

20 Plastic Soldier Company T34's - for a Mid War and Late War army
Kommissar Dedov's T34 for the company HQ
3 ISU 122
Spetsnaz Platoon for 5 bases of infantry and 3 German Half Tracks
8 M18's
5 Stuarts
Support vehicles for the Tank Destroyer company

I have also been busy with a few trades on the WWPD Forum trading section, so I have some US Paras on the way to me for yet another project! But that's for a future month (probably September/October).

So let the painting and building begin and please keep sending those reminders!

Thanks for your time Ben


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Wargaming Girl's Half-Birthday Giveaway

Wargaming Girl (Tamsin) is having a giveaway to celebrate her first 6 months of Blogging. She has a great blog and it is ell worth checking out if the giveaway or not.

Ben