Saturday 18 December 2021

Skytrex Warsaw Pact Troops

 Some time ago I purchased a large number of Skytrex Firefight 20 figures from the UK. While long out of production these figures still have a great deal of character and their sculpting style lends itself well to my style of painting.

Armed with a mix of AK-47s, SVD-63s, and RPKs

The purchase was made up of from a variety of their modern ranges, including:
  • Dogs of War
  • Vietnam War (both North Vietnamese and US Forces)
  • Cold War East Germans
  • Cold War Soviets
I like the look of these larger stands with prone figures.

Unfortunately there wasn't quite enough of the East Germans or the Soviets to make a reasonable stand alone force. So I decided to combine the figures into one force and paint them all in my usual Soviet paint scheme.

Crew served support weapons.

One of the nice things about this selection of figures is the number of support weapons that is present. I was particularly pleased to discover two packs of  AT-3 Sagger ATGMs

Close up of the Sagger stands.

When these figures were produced information on Soviet and Warsaw Pact produced weapon systems was hard to get and was often based on blurry photographs and speculation.As a result the detaails and scaling of some of the weapon systems are a little off.

AGS-17 stands.

The biggest error is in the size of the AGS-17 Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGS). It is rather larger than it should be. I did debate replacing them with a more accurate version, but I decided against it as it would have involved a great deal of effort removing the weapon from the gunner (it is a one piece casting) for ultimately marginal benefit.

82mm Mortar stands.

The mortars are most likely meant to represent the model 82-PM-41 82mm mortar a WW2 era system that soldiered on in the Cold War. While the 2B14 Podnos 82mm mortar had entered service during the 1980s, the bipod for that weapon attaches further down a much longer barrel, so it is very unlikely to be intended to represent that weapon system. 

Other support weapons include a couple of RPG-7s and a pair of SA-7 Grail MANPADS.  The SA-7s are rather chunky and held at an angle suggestive of being an anti tank weapon rather than an anti aircraft weapon.

Also included in the selection were two figures that could be used in Command Decision as command stands, and three figures that could be used as radio stands or as FO/FAC stands.

Overall I am very happy with how these figures have turned out. I can only hope the rest of the figures turn out as well.

Sunday 5 December 2021

Soviet Anti-Tank Rifles

 I am currently attempting to finish a number of unfinished projects that are overdue for completion. This weekends effort was finishing off some WW2 Soviet Anti Tank Rifles (ATRs) of which some had been lurking around uncompleted since at least 1999 - if not even earlier!

I have started using larger bases than the standard Command Decision base for some prone figures and support weapons - particularly where the figures the protection a larger base can provide. 

Esci Russians converted using resin Leva Productions parts

The first two stands  use figures from the Esci Russian Soldiers set (PSR review here). Two prone LMG gunners had their DP-27 LMGs removed and respectively replaced with  PTRS-41 and PTRD-41 ATRs from the Leva Productions WW2 Russian Pioneer Equipment set  that also contains dogs with anti tank mines, demolition charges, flame throwers, and various other combat engineer stores. (Henk of Holland has details on Leva Productions and other Leva sets)

Spot the Clone 

One of the figures on the right hand stand is a scaled down clone of an Airfix 1/32 scale Russian. I have a number of these Hong Kong produced figures spread throughout my Soviet forces.

More ATR stands

Since I was already doing some ART stands I figured I could paint up some metal figures of unknown manufacture that I acquired in the early 2000s but had done nothing with. I had enough to make four ATR stands - each equipped with a PTRS-41. 

ATR stands or AMR stands 

I hope to be able to integrate these stands into both WW2 Soviet and postwar Soviet/Russian equipped forces as either ATR stands or as Anti-Materiel Rifle (AMR) stands. Post WW2 both the PTRS-41 and PTRD-41 ATRs have seen service, with the most recent use being in the current conflict in the Ukraine as an AMR (click here for more information). Given that, it would also seem very likely that they would be used in that way by various forces in Twilight 2000.

Saturday 6 November 2021

3D Printing Round Up

 Late last year I was fortunate to receive as a late Christmas gift a 3D printer. Since then I  hae been experimenting with it to produce models and terrain pieces. Most of what I have printed, I haven't taken photos of and as a result it hasn't made it on to the blog.

M1133 Stryker MEV upscaled to 1/72 scale

M1133 Stryker MEV file located here

As I don't know how to digitally model items in 3D, I am reliant on the hard work and talent of others. The files that I am using to print are sourced from:
  • 3d printing community sites that host free files, 
  • Websites that sell files,
  • Kickstrarters, or
  • By direct arrangement with the file creators.
I suspect that the vast bulk of people using 3D printers to produce gaming aids are reliant on the efforts of others to produce the files they print. Hopefully this potential market means that folk who create files find it worthwhile to continue doing so.

1/72 M1074 Joint Assault Bridge 

M1074 JAB file located here

105mm L118 light gun (file from here)

My 3D printer uses filament so doesn't produce models with the same crispness as a resin printer. I am planning to obtain a resin printer in the future in order to produce more detailed models and figures.

NZLAVs around a vehicle obstacle ( obstacle file here)


1/72 Scale Technical (file located here)

As I intend to post more on this blog there will be more 3D printe items in the future.

Tuesday 2 November 2021

Duchy of Warsaw 13th Infantry Regiment

I have completed another brigade stand for Volley and Bayonet, but unlike my more recent efforts - it has nothing to do with the 100 Days campaign. Instead it is a Polish infantry regiment from the army of the Duchy of Warsaw.

Waterloo 1815 Polish Infantry painted as the 13th Infantry Regiment

In late 1809 the Duchy of Warsaw added another six infantry regiments to their army. One of these regiments was uniformed with captured Austrian uniforms which resulted in them wearing white coats with white lapels, light blue collars and cuffs topped off with a czapka. More information on Polish troops during the Napoleonic period can be found here.

I also based up a skirmish stand.

This produced a uniform that is in my opinion quite pleasing to the eye. So when some painted examples came up for sale on a local internet auction site I asked Kat to to put a bid in for me. The figures are all from the Waterloo 1815 Polish Infantry 1812/14 set (click here for the PSR review).  

Only four each of the standing firing pose and the reloading pose is supplied in each set according to PSR, so this group of figures has been collected from three separate sets. 

A view from the side.

The figures were individually based which required me to unbase them carefully in order to rebase them in a pleasing manner for V&B. The unbasing process did damage the paint job slightly on some figures, and the ramrods were painted as wood rather than iron, so some minor repainting was required.

The rear view

The flag had also been painted as blue with a golden eagle, so I repainted it to more closely match what most secondary sources have described the flag. Once the touch ups had been completed I used a very light black wash to pop the detail in the figures.

Monday 4 October 2021

Tcho Tcho Goblin Hastur Cult

 As a quick break from my 100 Days Napoleonic project, I decided to finish off a project that I started last year - namely completing painting up figures for "Children of the Tattered King" a Hastur cult for In Her Majesty's Name (IHMN). My previous post dealing with these cultists is located here, and it in I hinted at my idea of using GW Night Goblins as Tcho-Tcho cultists.

Looks like Bak Bon Dzshow is back on the menu boys!!

Naturally this would mean yellow would feature heavily in the paint scheme:) The fleshtone was a nice pale clay colour, with a heavy brown wash appliedd in an effort to tone down the yellow and make everything look dirty.

Tcho Tcho bow in the foreground blocking the view to the spearblock behind.

While the Tcho-Tcho don't feature in the background material provided in IHMN, the nature of the background doesn't preclude the introduction of elements of the Cthulhu Mythos (click here for a basic primer on the Mythos). Indeed, IHMN is flexible enough to accommodate material from a variety of sources.

These banner holders will work as specialist wielders of arcane powers. 

The intent is to use these figures against both 28mm and 20mm forces. In 28mm the figures will use a Hastur cult flavoured Pygmy list with the Tcho-Tcho being the bulk of the force using Pygmy stats, while in 20mm I am making a custom list where the figures will represent the more robust purpose bred combat monsters that some backgrounds have the Tcho-Tcho breed for war. Naturally the 20mm list will largely consist of the cheaper, and more expendable, human cultists detailed in the previous IHMN post.

These fine fellows are intended for use as either leaders or champions.

The internet is full of different interpretations of how Tcho-Tcho can be dealt with in games, and how they can be used in a manner that doesn't rely on the usual tropes.  A nice discussion on this can be found here, and here. It should be noted that the only certainties regarding the Tcho-Tcho is that they seem to originate from Leng, are non-human (but may have interbred with humans at some stage), and when ever and where ever they manage to establish settlements on Earth, they are feared and despised by their neighbours.

Cannon Fodder Garden variety armed cultists.

Of course this raises the possibility of Tcho-Tcho communities across the world, each with their own distinct culture that has resulted from interacting with human neighbours, while still maintaining a core set of cultural characteristics that are uniquely Tcho-Tcho.  

Five more cultists, for a total of nine spear.

The more I look into this, the reater the possibility of me grabbing a copy of Delta Green, GDW's Dark Conspiracy RPG, and seeing if I can get something suitable worked out for a nice game of Stryker.

Saturday 2 October 2021

Airfix French Heavy Cavalry (12ème Régiment de Cuirassiers)

 I have recently completed painting another V&B stand for the 100 Days Campaign. I have not added the unit label to the stand yet, but it is the 2nd Brigade of the 13th Cavalry Division which was part of the French IV Cavalry Corps.

Finally finished after a decade!! 

The brigade is represented using figures from the Airfix French Heavy Cavalry (Cuirassiers) set (PSR review here) painted as the 12th Cuirassiers(click here for the uniform plate from the "Les Uniformes pedant la campagne des Cent Jours Belgiue 1815" website).

Spot the additional figure

The Airfix set only contains 9 mounted figures so an additional figure was added to the stand from the stockpile of figures I have been hoarding have acquired for this project. 

Ten mounted figures on a brigade stand is currently my record for cavalry stands

While the paint job on these figures was recently completed, the paint job was begun in 2011 (click here for a view of them from 2011), while the figures were purchased in in mid to late 1990s when Airfix re-released the set. 

Note the lack of a ID label

So now I only have four more Cuirassier stands left to paint.

Wednesday 22 September 2021

More 1815 Dutch Militia

I have now completed both D'Hauw's 1st/1st Netherland Brigade and De Eerens' 2nd/1st Netherland Brigade both of which form part of II Corps st Netherlands Division.

Both brigades side by side

In my last post regarding painting and basing Dutch Militia, I mentioned that the metal figures I was using purchased from eBay from a seller who had them listed as manufacturer unknown.

Rated as poorly trained with low morale they hopefully will have lucky dice

Fortunately a number of readers (Doug - from Doug's Soldiers blog, Archduke Piccolo -from Archduke Piccolo blog, and two anonymous commenters) were able to identify the figures as Warrior Miniatures 25mm Napoleonics, and part of their Spanish range (click here for more details).

The flag is pure conjecture

As these are smaller 25mm figures they do seem to work well with the rest of my Napoleonic collection which is primarily 1/72 plastic. They also seem to work with other figures....

Silver bayonet anyone?

Saturday 18 September 2021

Prussian 25th Infantry Regiment

I have just recently finished making another two V&B stands for the 100 Days campaign. The brigade stand represents the main body of the Prussian 25th Infantry Regiment (25 IR), while the skirmish stand represents a detachment from the main body.

Full frontal Prussians

An excellent online source for the uniforms of the 25 IR is "Les Uniformes pedant la campagne des Cent Jours Belgiue 1815" website (click here for the Prussian 25th Infantry Regiment entry). This has been the main source of information for my paint scheme.

The bulk of the figures have come from the HaT Waterloo Lutzow Freikorps & Nassau Grenadiers set (PSR review here). The figures are perfect for the 100 Days campaign as the 25 IR as they were still primarily wearing the black uniform of the Freikorps.

Unfortunately the set doesn't contain any officers, musicians, or flag bearers. However it does contain a figure with a ring hand, which means that accessories from the HaT Waterloo Dutch Infantry set (PSR review here) can be used to create a passable musicians and a flag bearer.

Skirmish stand that can be detached from the main body.

Noting that some sources have some senior officers of 25 IR wearing the uniform of regular line officers I decided to use a rather nice figure from the Strelets Russian and Prussian Chiefs of Staff (PSR review here). I think having the officer in the regular army blue and grey is a nice contrast to the black uniforms of the rest of the figures.

I couldn't find any definitive answers with regard to the flag used by the 25 IR - or even if they had one! Based on what I could find, I decided that a draped red flag would look good and be easy to do.

Thursday 2 September 2021

KGL 3rd Regiment of Hussars

 I am continuing to slowly raise forces in order to conduct the 100 Days campaign as outlined in the V&B scenario book "Napoleon Returns". In order to do this I have been reviewing both my existing collection, and the Orders Of Battle (OOB) listed in the scenario book to see what additional stands I need to acquire. Fortunately I don't need to paint figures for every unit in the campaign - just ones that would be representative of the stand listed in the OOB. 

Label added on stand with bonus paint smear.

Greatly assisting in this project has been the set of unit labels for "Napoleon Returns" from Keith McNelly's excellent Volley and Bayonet site. Keith's site is an invaluable resource to Volley and Bayonet players. I have printed off the labels and started the process of identifying existing elements in my collection to populate the respective OOB for each of the three armies required. 

Full frontal Hussars! Only eight of the twelve figures could fit.

The most recent result of this project has been the refurbishment of one of my older stands that I acquired many years ago, but required quite a bit of work to restore as the original head swap conversions had parted way from the bodies.

According to PSR the saddles are correct for the Crimean War.

The base figures are from  Esci Set 230 British Light Dragoons (PSR review here) with the heads coming from Esci Set 227 French Line Infantry (PSR review here).

Only after basing the figures did I realise that I only put one figure on with a carbine 

The paint job seems to have been based on Haythornwaite's "Uniforms of Waterloo in Colour" which aligns well with the information from the "Les Uniformes pedant la campagne des Cent Jours Belgiue 1815" website (click here for the uniform plate for the 1st Squadron 3rd Hussars KGL).

The main differences appears to be regards the colour of sash barrels for troopers, and the colour of the saddle cloth. Since the Esci horses have the wrong saddlery for the Napoleonic era anyway, I wasn't going to correct it, nor was I going to change the coloured barrels on the sashes. So it is possible that all my troopers are wearing the officer sash instead of the correctly colored trooper sash:) 

Now with added black wash on the horses and troopers:)

Previously I had used these figures as generic light cavalry, often representing sub par cavalry, as I wasn't sure what nationality they were:), but their tabletop performance had always been first class.I hope with their recent refurbishment that this will continue:)