Saturday 21 November 2020

Heller Bobkit Commando Set

A while back now I purchased on a local auction site  the Heller Bobkit Commando set. The Bobkit range has always interested me due to the quick assembly snap fit vehicles and the figures that only seem to have been released in these sets.

The packaging is very 1980s

The contents of this set did not disappoint, as it contained five individual figures, a McDonnell Douglas MD 500 Defender helicopter, a VAB APC, a Renault J series truck, and Hotchkiss M201 light utility vehicle.  The set also came an instruction sheet that I have reproduced below:

Side A: Advertisement for other Heller products
Side B: Easy to follow instructions

Everything was complete and undamaged - except for the helicopter rotors that required careful repair. I haven't assembled the helicopter yet as I want to paint it before assembly, but I very quickly build up the other three models.

VAB APC and French Commandos (Esci Warsaw Pact figure for scale comparison)

The figures are quite animated and will make a nice addition to the  French figures from the ESCI NATO set. Detail on the VAB is basic, but it assembled quickly and was fun to put together. I expect that once painted it will work nicely with my other VABs

 Renault J truck and Hotchkiss M201 light utility vehicle 

The reason why the Hotchkiss M201 light utility vehicle looks like a Jeep, is because it is a Jeep! The French built them under license after WW2. Further details can be found here.

Overall, the set is a very nice collection of quick build models that are useful additions to a 1980s French force. I enjoyed building them, and hope to paint them and some other French vehicles over the upcoming Christmas break.

Thursday 6 August 2020

1815 Dutch Militia

A key part of the Dutch forces required for the 100 Days campaign are the Dutch militia units. The figures are metal figures I purchased on Ebay. Neither I, or the seller, know the figure manufacturer.

Mystery figures

Unlike the Dutch  regulars, the militia wore a stovepipe shako, so seeing the above figures in blue jackets and white trousers (which according to the Volley and Bayonet campaign guide was the summer uniform the militia should have been wearing during the 100 Days), I figured were ideal for using as militia.

Ready for painting and basing

The figures included two flag bearers. According to most sources the militia didn't officially have flags, but there is speculation that unofficial flags were carried in the field due to their practical value in showing where the center of the unit was in battle. I figured I could paint a pattern similar to the flags shown at War Flags.

De Eerens' 2nd/1st Netherland Brigade

These metal figures are enough to populate two of the five militia stands I need for the Netherlands order of battle. The rest of the stands will use Hat figures from the Waterloo Netherlands Militia and Belgian Infantry set (PSR link here), and converted figures from the HAT Waterloo Dutch Infantry set (PSR link here), and the A Call To Arms Netherlands Infantry 1815 set (PSR link here).

Sunday 24 May 2020

Generals of the Netherlands 1815

As part of building up the forces needed to conduct the 100 Days campaign, I wanted to start building the force needed for the Army of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Having stockpiled a number of the various HaT sets required, I figure it would be a straight forward project that I could slowly work on.

The labelled command stands.
The required  V&B ToE for the campaign is given in the V&B Napoleon Returns supplement. An Excel spreadsheet with labels for all the require stands can be downloaded from Keith McNelly's Volley & Bayonet website here. The site is well worth exploring if you play Volley & Bayonet, as it has a number of useful resources. Keith also has a group on Facebook devoted to V&B that also has some useful material, but also a growing membership that seems quit open to sharing idea and information.

HRH The Prince of Orange from the Waterloo 1815 Napoleonic Mounted Line Officers set.

Dutch Divisional Commander from I Corps Anglo-Allied Army. The two figures on the left are from the Italeri French Imperial General Staff set, while the last one is an Eagle Games General mounted on an Esci horse from their 'Scots Greys' set.
 Unfortunately, this project was disrupted by my discovery that I would need significantly more Dutch Militia wearing stovepipe shakoes than I had planned on. My figure needs had been based on the information contained within 'Napoleon Returns' which doesn't quite match up to information contained in other later sources. Additional troops, spare heads, and other sundries have been ordered, but there have been some quite understandable logistical delays of late...

The Eagle games general was originally produced as a generic commander for use in Eagle Games' "Napoleon in Europe" game.
On the plus side, I had the figures I wanted to use for my Dutch Generals, and if I was prepared to do the block painting of the figures, Kat would give me a hand with the detailing work and the horses. This was an offer I happily took up.

II Corps Dutch Divisional Commanders
The astute observer will note that the label placement is a little lumpy on the stands. This is due to me basing the figures before applying the labels. Happily, I will be avoiding that mistake with the rest of the Netherlands army.

Sunday 10 May 2020

Dedicated Gun Markers for Volley and Bayonet

Before the recent lock down measures, Rhys and I played the Quatre Bras scenario from the V&B 2nd edition rule book. During that game we made use of Risk playing pieces to remind us which stands had dedicated guns.

After painting they received a gloss varnish.
 While the roster sheets provide that information, having a small cannon on the stand is a more obvious reminder.

In V&B terms this represents a French brigade. By adding the marker, I can visually show that it has dedicated guns.
I painted up eighteen guns as I felt that was a reasonable number. The paint job is very basic, but I think suitable for the purpose. 

The Risk pieces received a basic paint job and a brown wash.
Of course, once I had painted the markers I needed a way of storing them. Fortunately, I had an Altoids tin that I had painted previously, but not used, for another project.

Perfect fit, with room for more
The previous project had a Napoleonic French flavour.

Sunday 12 January 2020

OPFOR Update

Since I figured I was due for another blog update, and I haven't quite sorted out what I was intending to post - I thought that a simple update post showing a couple of recently completed items that are linked by a common theme would be an appropriate filler post.

3d Printed BRDM-2 Us
 First up are two 3d printed BRDM-2Us that I purchased from a seller on Ebay that offers some more unusual vehicle types for sale. While the printing is not of the finest quality, it does produce once painted a reasonable result.

The model itself doesn't the usual upper hull details and additional hatches that are associated with the BRDM-2U, but it will do for now.

Shellhole Scenics Russian Female Radio Operator
 I had purchased some figures from Shellhole Scenics some time ago and decided to start painting a few of them up at the same time I was painting up some other Soviet and Russian figures. This is the radio operator from one of their command packs that also includes a boy runner, a nurse, and a regional commander.

A pair of S and S Models ZPU 23/2 AA guns
One of these guns I had painted up a year or more ago, while the other was only complete in the last couple of months. Currently they don't seem to be on the S and S models website, but I'm sure that an email tro them would quickly determine if they will be available in the future.

Thursday 2 January 2020

Children of the Tattered King

It has been over a year since my last blog post, but even before then, output had been sporadic over the previous two years.

A tattered yellow King and mustard robed cultists. 
Despite the lack of blog posts I have been active playing games, making models, and painting figures. I just haven't posted anything to the blog - despite taking pictures with the intention of doing so:)

One of the games that I have been playing is a rather fun Steampunk skirmish system called 'In Her Majesty's Name'. Naturally, I have been building various quirky forces in 20mm rather than move to another scale.

Cultists from the Stan Johansen Road Warrior range.
The system allows a great deal of flexibility in creating forces, so I decided to create a force themed as a Hastur cult. One of Hastur's manifestations is 'The King in Yellow', and one of the titles that is used to refer to this manifestation is that of the Tattered King (although it might be more correct to say avatar - however I am no expert on the mythos).

RAFM The King in Yellow figure from their Cthulhu Miniatures - Classic range.
Given the above, I though that a good name for my cult would be 'Children of the Tattered King' as it captures the vibe of the RAFM figure. Originally I was going to paint the cultists yellow, but after the difficulties I encountered painting the king yellow, I felt mustard would work for the rank and file cultists.

A nice mix of weapons - my favorite is the chainsaw.
The Stan Johansen cultists are full of character, and are equipped with a wide range of equipment. I am tempted to order the cultists with  heavy weapons, as they would make a nice addition to the rest of the cult. They are however shorter than the Elhiem Hooded Cultists that I am going to use as high status members of the cult.

A trio of crossbow wielding cultists.
To disguise this issue, I have mounted the Stan Johansen on MDF bases, rather than the washers I have been using for other figures. I haven't completed basing the cultists - they will get a basing similar to that of the RAFM figure.

The figure on the far right may be used as either an engineer or crew for a mechanical construct.

Plenty of gun packing cultists too.
 Another group of Hastur worshipers and generally unpleasant folk are the Tcho-Tcho people. I intend to use GW Night Goblins to represent them as their teeth and size (relative to 20mm figures) match some descriptions of the Tcho-Tcho, and they have a distinct style of clothing.

GW Night Goblin that I am going to use as a Tcho-Tcho.
The Tcho-Tcho are often described as being red skinned, but so far I have gone with a pale skin colour, but I might experiment with some red skin colours to see what they look like.