Posts Tagged ‘Normandy’

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.

Built from scratch and meant to fit into a Normandy WWII

terrain landscape..

I went for the disused ,overgrown and neglected look in

the end. I like the idea of it sitting in one corner of the farm

slowly rotting like the apples, awaiting better days.

Perhaps a pile of rotting apples next to it might be the next

bit of scratch built terrain ?

In an attempt to get started on my Bolt Action terrain

boards I am getting stuck into the fine detail. I wanted

something extra and typical in a Normandy farm yard,

thus the cider press.

Normandy is covered in apple orchards and is famous

for its drinks made from apple juice. These include,

Cidre(Cider) apple wine fermented from apple juice,

Calvados(apple brandy) distilled dry fermented cider

which is then aged in oak barrels, Pommeau(aperitif)

unfermented apple juice and apple brandy aged in oak

barrels and finally Benedictine(herbal liquer) a mixture

of plants and spices distilled in oak barrels.

All these were made on an industrial scale and more

importantly a very local scale. If you had century old

apple or even pear orchards on your land then all

you had to do was build a rustic apple press from

spare timber and let the happy times begin.

My simple press is meant to look as rustic as

possible and simply works by dropping apples

into the wooden barrel usually within a muslin

or cloth wrap. The long pole will be attached to

the top and would have been turned forcing a simple

wooden block board down squashing the apples. The

pomace(juice) runs out via a funnel/pipe at the bottom.

Obviously at the moment its not complete and requires

some legs and painting. If your wondering what the silver

bands  are around  the barrel,they are artist foil.

I will post up the finished product soon perhaps with a

scratch built apple run as well.

Oh I have also been making some Cidre bill boards to

advertise on the road side.

Below is a typical Normandy cidre press found

on every farm.

puma1

The Puma or Sdkfz 234 Sonderkraftfahrzeug was a fast, well armed German reconnaissance

car during WW2. They were produced from 1943-1944 with a well armed 5cm L/60 gun and a

Tatra V12 diesel engine which enabled the vehicle to have a top speed of about 55 mph.

The vehicle had 8 independent steerable wheels and a front and rear driving seat, enabling

a quick exit from danger when needed.

These 3 models are made by Skytrex(Command Decision) 234/2`s and are made of metal. Personally I think

plastic would have been a better idea as they weigh quiet a bit. I have painted all three in

Normandy campaign colours and left the exact division open to interpretation, thus the

minimal markings.

Hope you like them ?

Click on any picture to enlarge.

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puma3

puma4

puma5

Well its a SS Panzer Abt 101 Tiger in Normandy but as

to who is commanding it is anybody`s guess?

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Final thoughts on this model was that it came out really
well especially as its a different scale for me from the
normal.
As to the model quality itself I was a little disappointed,
with certain parts just not lining up correctly.

Next up I am painting a JTFM Stug which is apparently 1/56
scale at its best ? We will see.

Windmill1

Ok its finally finished.

I ended up going for a simple plasticard base and just

basic vegetation. If the base had been any bigger it would

of limited the amount of places I could of used it on a terrain

board.

So to sum it all up. Due to lack of 15mm windmills on the market

in the Normandy style, I decided to scratch build one. The tower is

made from plastic tube and has modelling clay on the outside giving

the stone effect. The top of the windmill is styrene with modelling clay

on the outside giving the tile effect. I also used balsa wood to make the

sail connection.

The sails are borrowed from another 15mm manufacturer of windmills and I used

an iron rod to connect the sails to windmill. Thus the sails actually turn and

are not fixed in place. The door on the windmill is balsa wood and the windows

are pinched from an “N”guage model railway building.

I tried to go for the overall look of recently abandoned.

Anyway it was lots of fun making it and hope you like it.

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Windmill3

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Things are on the move finally. I finished the top

which is styrene covered in modelling clay. I also managed

to get the connection between the sail and mill sorted

which took an eternity to get just right.

Its presently had a few starter coats of paints on it and I am

about to base it on something a bit bigger. The basing will

help it stand up and keep it safe from big clumsy hands like

mine.

More soon.

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Untitled-1

I have been wanting a windmill to sit on

my terrain boards for ages and fed up with the

lack of ready made terrain to do the job I

decided to have a go at building one myself.

So here is the plan. First,I cut off a small

length of black plastic drainpipe tube. After much

thinking I decided to achieve the stone effect with

DAS modelling clay as it gave me the ability to get

exactly what I was after. Its simply moulded around

the drainpipe and I used a small knife to mark out

the stone relief, windows and door.

Next up I need to create a roof, build some door and

window frames plus add lots of paint. I have found a

windmill sail from a bargain bucket which can be adapted

to the correct type. This should help speed things up.

Below is the DAS modelling clay after sculpting.

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Only got to wait 3 days now for it to dry lol.

Been playing with hedges again and having lots of fun in the process.

My hedge is made from fish tank filter, wire and sea foam. There are also

a few other bits added for fine detail.

I have also been painting up a huge amount of German armour so seems ideal

to combine the two.

First up the hedge with vehicles hiding behind it :

Click on any picture to enlarge

Hedge2

The vehicles:

Hedge4

Hedge3

Hedge5

Hedge7

Hedge8

Hedge6

The proof those vehicles really were behind the hedge:

Hedge1

Finally another hedge close up :

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Its no bocage hedge ,but more of a normal type.

Thanks for looking.