Archive for the ‘1/56’ Category

The rifle section was the core building block of the British army organization of WW2 and was the chief instrument in Normandy in closing with the enemy and destroying him.
In 1944 the British rifle section consisted of ten men. The section was commanded by a Corporal who would normally divide his team into six riflemen, which he led and a bren gun team of two with a Lance corporal commanding (so two groups of 7 and 3 men).

The standard infantry man was equipped with a Lee Enfield number 4 .303 rifle and could fire at targets up to 550yds away. This bolt action rifle was reliable and accurate.

The section leader carried a 9mm Sten gun which even though was an inaccurate and somewhat unreliable weapon was favoured for its effectiveness in close quarter battles, especially as it was able to fire 500 rounds a minute.
Each section was issued one Bren gun and the two-man team that operated it was known as the “gun group”. The team consisted of a No1 who carried and operated the Bren and a No 2 who loaded and spotted targets. The No2 also carried spare ammunition and barrels. Additional ammunition for the Bren was also carried my all members of the rifle section. The Bren usefully also fired 303 rounds and had an effective range of 600 yards. It fired 500 rounds a minute

Individual riflemen were also equipped with grenades, the No 36 grenade and White Phosphorous grenade (Phosphorous grenades were used to produce smoke).

In combat the section centred on the Bren gun with its considerable flexibility and reliability. As the 1937 training manual,” Application of Fire” stated the lmg was main fire producing weapon and led to tactics revolving around this weapon.

In attack the British section would split into two. The Bren gun team of 3 men would move to the flank and provide suppressing fire on the target while the other group of riflemen(team of 7) would close with the enemy. Ideally the Bren gun would get to 90 degrees of the target allowing a cross fire between the two groups.
The rifle team would close with the enemy using grenades and bayonets to finish the job off.

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This was my first real adventure of using foam card to scratch build a bit terrain
and I think it went really well.

Ok, so why scratch build your own terrain ? Your fed up with the lack commercially available
terrain on the market and you want something different, a piece of terrain that will stand out
on the gaming board as something special. Plus you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

I choose foam board as its the cheapest(its cheap if you buy in bulk) and easiest material to work
with. I used Kapa lined foam board as it has a simple outer layer than can be peeled off and then
sculpted. A word of warning, there are lots of companies that sell foam board but I have yet to
find any that easily peels off the outer surface, thus making it useless.

The sections of the house were easy to cut with a very sharp knife and glue together using simple
pva glue. The stone texture was created by stripping off the outer layer of the foam card and using
a pencil to gently mark the individual bricks.
I had the windows and doors made in bulk from laser cut mdf(£20 will get you 30 doors and 60 windows of various sizes),leaving me plenty spare for additional projects.
The outer wooden panelling is made from balsa wood strips, the lower barn type building roof is a scalecast mould
and the taller house roof is made from embossed sheets.
The chimney is also foam board and the chimney pots are 1/48 scale dolls house chimney pots.

Right, a big update on what I have been up to so far.

First up I have completed painting 13 Fallschirmjager from Foundry and another

six from Warlord, all metal. There is a nice mixture of postures and the two manufacturers

go well together. Please note the flame thrower and Panzerschreck figures came with the group so

I painted them up as well even though I am not aware of these types of equipment being used in the

invasion of Crete but they would of been present with the occupation force later on.

Next is two small buildings from Charlie Foxtrot models. Both come from the pan tile Italian range but

fit perfectly into any Mediterranean setting. I added a scratch built trellis for the outside of one

building as I found a really nice picture of a similar building being used as make shift field hospital

with injured troops recovering under the shade. It also gave me a chance to finally use the pink

scatter and create a beautiful Bougainvillea climbing up.

I have also started on two DFS 230 gliders. One is from Sarissa(28mm laser cut) and the other is plastic kit by Hobby in 1/48 scale. The strange thing is that the 28mm kit is bigger than the 1/48 kit and I have measured both and the 1/48 is very accurate for scale.

Finally I have started converting a Sarissa aerial kit into a radio transmitter station.

I have now painted up a small squad of Warlord Games figures. These figures are labelled mid-late war by Warlord Games but as long as you ensure they have the right weapons for the period they can easily fit it. At the time of the invasion of Crete new uniforms were starting to come through to the troops on the ground, specifically camouflage tops and helmet covers. There are lots of pictures of Germans on Crete wearing mixed uniform. Please note I have not confused the later pictures of occupation troops wearing camouflage which is a common mistake, often made.

I must admit of the all the figures painted so far these are my least favourite. They are plastic
and seem clumsy as in the way the bodies are sculpted. Whats also apparent is Warlords Heroic scale
which shows up the large oversized heads.

They will also need a weight added to the bottom as they are easily knocked over. I will have to raid the 2p jar again lol

In 1941 German forces invaded the island of Crete in an operation code named, “Mercury”. They used an elite force of Fallschirmjager(parachutists) to invade from the air and the resulting battle would go down in history as a disaster for both the attacking Germans and defending allies.

So you guessed it, I am in the process of painting up a 28mm Fallschirmjager force for operation Mercury and all the other bits needed to complete the project. This will include a mixed force of Allied troops, anti air defence , tanks, Cretan terrain, a Ju52, a DFS 230 glider and loads more.

As mentioned above I am starting off with the German Fallschirmjager force. These guys were elite, veteran troops and highly motivated . The plan to capture Crete was simple, parachute from Ju 52 transport planes or land by DFS glider and capture an airport. Once an airport was captured reinforcement would come from the air as the Germans had air supremacy over the island.

In reality things didn’t go quiet to plan. The Fallschirmjager preferred tactic was to land directly on top of a target(this tactic had brought great success earlier in the war) and use the element of surprise and confusion to over whelm the enemy. Unfortunately German intelligence was particularly poor and would lead to some units dropping directly onto camouflaged Allied forces, resulting in severe German casualties. To further disadvantage the Germans they jumped with minimal personal weapons and on landing they had to find canisters dropped at the same time with most of the larger weapons and spare ammo. Not an ideal situation if you have just landed in an Allied Position !

Luckily the Allies defence of the island was poorly coordinated allowing the groups of spread out Germans to eventually capture the airport at Maleme which enabled them to capture Crete.

The Germans suffered over 6,000 casualties(dead and wounded) on Crete and the Allies lost 1700 and 15,000 were captured. The huge lost of elite German troops and transport planes(350 Luftwaffe planes were lost) were to end the days of parachute drops for the Fallschirmjager as Hitler was not prepared to accept such losses again. The Fallschirmjager would become foot sloggers from that point on.

Anyway that’s the historical narrative covered, now onto the troops and figures I`m going to use. The Fallschirmjager of most WW2 experts conjures up a vision of camouflaged troops armed to the teeth with the best weapons the German war machine could provide, but we are wargaming in 1941 and thus fit into the early war period of the Fallschirmjager.

Your typical Fallschirmjager soldier would have been dressed in a green jumpsuit with a blue Luftwaffe colour helmet. Weapons would have been a rifle ,machine gun ,pistol and grenades. Any other weapons were dropped separately in a canister.

The figures I have used are a mixture of manufacturers. I have used 1st Corps, Foundry and Crusader and a few from Warlord Games. The first three manufacturers specialize in early war troops and I have included a few Warlord Games figures(they only provide mid-late war figures) to show the tiny emergence of different uniforms that started to appear in small numbers on Crete.

These are the first 16 completed figures which are a mixture of 1st Corps and Crusader. They go together quite well and its hard to spot the differences unless you pick them up and really closely check. The bases are covered in a new ready made scatter called, “Mediterranean Soil” by geekgaming.

The pictures below are 1st Corps.

The bottom two pictures are Crusader.

I`m very happy with how they have come out so far and the difference between the two makes

of figures is minimal. I have also started cracking on with the terrain.

More soon.

In anticipation of the hinted eminent release of Warlord Games

breaking into the post war Korean Conflict I have been experimenting

with some of the Bolt Action models already on the market. To be honest I

think Warlord Games have been subtlety changing late WW2 figures for a while,

thus enabling an easy transition into the Korean War. The allied soldiers and weapons found

on the Korean battlefields of the 1950s were not much different from the soldiers and weapons

at the end of WWII. Take British armour as an example, Cromwell and Churchills tanks were still

being used, all that’s needed is new Centurion kit.

In fact apart from the Chinese forces and some Korean heads the models are already in place

for a war.

A lot will depend on what time of year you decide to place your games in. The Korean winter was

especially harsh and had Allied troops wearing a miss mash of clothing in an attempt to just

keep warm. The summer returned troops to similar looking WW2 field kit.

I have used the Bolt Action Commando troops to experiment with as Commandos were actually

present in Korea and they have a good selection of heads with berets and the large back packs

are ideal look for constantly marching look so often seen in pictures of Allied troops in Korea.

I have added a self moulded beanie hat made with green stuff and extra back packs of rolled up

tarps.

Could these be a couple of Glosters patrolling along the Imjin ?

Just an update on what I have been painting as of late.

One 5.5 inch gun with crew and an AEC Matador tractor to

haul it. The ammo pile is just a small extra I made.

This is my finished diorama.

First up are the pictures with a backdrop.

Next come the pictures without a backdrop.

Loads of fun making it and lots of room for improvement.

I have decided to give the Warlord games, “Summer Offensive Painting
Competition” a go under the diorama section. I am going with Bolt
Action and basing the diorama on the picture below. After
that I am taking artistic licence.

Early days so far on my Stug III but lots more to come.

I have been playing Bolt Action for some time now and it was
about time I sorted some half decent terrain out.

The aim was produce six terrain boards and ensure everything was
easy to set up and put away with the minimum of fuss. The ability
to stack everything away in a small space was also a high priority.

The boards were extremely simple (2 x 2 feet) and made from a wooden
frame with an mdf base. A styrene block was inserted into the recess and
sealed with masonry paint. I even managed to recycle some old Flames Of
War boards into the process. Each board was given a basic flock coating
and a road textured with sand was added.

I then created a typical Normandy walled farm complex that can be easily
removed and put away in a box. The superb buildings are from Ham and Jam
and come pre painted at a crazy low price. The price is even lower if
you buy in bulk at a wargaming show.
All the building have been modified slightly by me, so foliage added, weathering,
metal building braces, interior painting, interior scatter, interior flooring,
interior ladders and external telegraph points.

I have also created a few items to add to the Normandy theme. So we have green
house, cider press, milk churns, a rusting bike, hay bales, telegraph poles and wires,
road signs and adverts, flower planters and water troughs, a well, a cart and anything
else you can spot. I also created plenty of trees, bushes, hedges, walls and a road block
if needed.