Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Deal Wargames Society - Rapid Fire Game Last Night


Well for only the third time ever I have attended a Wargames club meeting ! This was my second visit to the ever accommodating Deal Society who are a very friendly bunch , the last time I visited was about 18 months ago, so not exactly a regular! I would be if I wasn't so knackered after a long day at school. Adrian White hosted a game of 'Rapid Fire' as umpire for me and Mark to play I luckily also had Kevin from the club on my side who had played a game of 'Rapid Fire' before, so I have to confess to having an advantage which helped with the end result.


The elite 9th SS Panzer division had to capture a British held (or I should say Scottish) held chateau, I did plead for a special bagpipe dice bonus rule....but alas to no avail. I was a little concerned about 'Harry Huns' two jolly Panthers versus my 3 Churchill's! The British Set Up included ; 4 companies of infantry , over half of which were dug in around the Chateau, 5 Bren Gun Carriers, 3 Churchill's, one 6 Pounder AT, a 2 and a 3 inch mortar, Vickers MG and rather importantly two off table 25 Pounders. The German set up included; 2 Panthers, a Flammpanzer 111, a Hanomag Sd.kfz 251  with a Pak gun, 4 other Sd.kfz 251's, a heavy Mortar plus a number of elite Infantry squads equipped with Panzerfausts and a Flamethrower. The Germans were classed as elite The Brits as standard infantry.


The British Victory conditions were to take two settlements or destroy half of the German forces, the Germans had to take the British held Chateau or loose half their forces. The Brits won initiative and advanced towards the settlement on their left wing driving up the road with 2 Churchill's with a Bren Carrier in the lead, the rest advanced on the other side of the hedge in the same direction, The troops dug in at the Chateau received the 6 Pounder in support of their position which was also HQ's base. Smoke gave cover on the advance up the road . The Germans sent a Panther up the road to the first British Objective (the white houses) and advanced men and Flammpanzer in support around the objective via the wooded area. The rest of the German battlegroup advanced to the Railway line.


No shooting after the first round but as soon as the smoke cleared the Brits got their forward observers and carriers to the white buildings of their objective and occupied them, British infantry moved to their right flank as well to occupy the large farm on the right. The 6 Pounder hit one German half-track crossing the Railway line. The Germans carried on their advance to the edge of the white houses the Panther in the middle of the crossroads traded shot with three  Churchill's with no result and a British Carrier was damaged.


Then Total Madness broke out, one brave and foolhardy Churchill Tank Commander went ' head to head' with the nasty Panther the other two Churchill's 'bunked out' and went cross country, damaging the Flammpanzer which had 'brewed up' a carrier. The other Panther and attendant half-tracks had reached the farmhouse objective after knocking out the 6 pounder and its crew with magical '6' dice rolls.


At this point the German forces were doing rather well, the Brits were rolling (well me entirely) awful '1's at key moments with 25 Pounder 'Stonks' on the 'Jerry' held woodland failing to even burst an eardrum and thats when the radio communications worked! The Churchill fired at point blank with the Panther knowing it was a one chance or out scenario....rolled a '4' missed and no effect ! gulp. The Panther fired rolling a two! ....Churchill armour is thick its only saving grace.....the tank received only light damage and soiled 'kacks' for the crew!


Now most sane tank men would take the decision to beetle off in reverse around a building for cover thanking their lucky stars, changing underwear and swigging from the RTR hip flask...not our brave boys.....it was stay put and fire, The other Churchill's advanced to the hedge line engaging with the Pak armed half-track, The Germans occupied the Farm on the British Right Wing and saw the occupying Brits off who left through the back door for the Chateau.....it was even more looking like a German victory......and then the unthinkable happened I managed to roll a decent dice and the Churchill hit and destroyed the Panther in the white houses, the other Panther supporting the other attack poised to smash into the entrenched chateau troops failed its morale throw and hit reverse gear with much roaring from the 'Maybach' engine'



The German infantry at the white houses had some success 'flaming' a 2 inch mortar crew and most of the Bren Carriers, this was not a battle to be a Bren Carrier driver. However eventually the Flammpanzer after being damaged was knocked out by a Churchill in a complete 'flamer' and the Pak armed half track and infantry were pretty much mopped up by the British tank machine guns and main armament.


So half way through the game which lasted 9 moves of the 12 , both Kevin and I were not keen to do the dice rolling, not wanting to let each other down, by the end our luck had changed and the coup de grace was the rolling of '6's on a 25 Pounder 'stonk' into the German held farmhouse where massive casualties convinced the German commander all was finally lost as he was a gnats whisker from 50% casualties.


 So a good victory for the Brits and much wound licking for 'Jerry' ....an interesting scenario which Adrian has played before and this was the first Victory out of three games the other two being draws. Is it a balanced game...definitely the assistance of the 'off table' artillery helped victory, I benefited from being a team where as Mark was the lone German player, the game was very enjoyable due to Adrian's encyclopedic knowledge of the rules (I hate reading rule-books, like the pretty pictures ...but reading the writing uh oh) plus he supplied everything apart from the infantry which were Marks superb masterpieces. A box of his 20mm work is shown below the figures used in this game.


Now to re dress the balance , this was my second game this year as I had been well and truly 'thumped' at 'Travel Battle' which Mark won at the convivial  'Thomas Tallis' micro pub in Canterbury


I could plead intoxication after a few jars of real ale but really it was bad play on my left wing which lost me the battle so no excuses! Again although I have a set its not been painted like Marks example above and below which makes the game visually look a lot better.


There will be an update on painting projects soon, but now time for family stuff coming up to Easter and what looks like decent warm weather!!!

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Airfix Zoo Animals - Anyone Got Set Two!


Again missed Salute....venue, poor lighting, scrum at trade stands, travel costs, ancient mothers appointment with the consultant all led to yet another non visit. I also have been making too many purchases online as I have been re-energised in the hobby by starting a late Bolt Action WW2 US Army. This will be the subject of the next post, but in a similar fashion to Marvin on Suburban Militarism and his Uniforms of the British Army Cigarette card posts, linking 'painting' posts, I am going to do something similar but with box's of vintage plastic figures.



The First is not warlike at all! In fact a set I never had as a child but one with a complete charm of its own, Zoo Animals No1 . This I spied recently in a specialist toy antique shop 'Hidden Treasures'  in Birchington in darkest deepest East Kent. Now this shop is not the cheapest purveyor of model kits and wargames type figures but occasionally a few gems turn up like these! Courtesy I believe of a reclusive collector who would buy many boxes/packets of a single subject when released in the 60's and 70's. I wonder how many similar stashes are out there?!!!


The fellow calls in to the shop on an occasional basis with the latest gems...which have included three show-jumper figures (Rather rare, box art looks like princess Anne) half a dozen Halifax bombers in 2nd boxing and more American War of Independence 'OO' figures still on their sprues in the late 60's type box than you have ever seen in your life(more than any toy shop in the 70's even!)


This wonderful set was released in 1966 in that lovely cream plastic Airfix used at the time which I believe they referred to as 'Ivory' . The set contained 21 pieces including two keepers, two baby Kangaroos, an Ostrich, two waving Polar Bears (saying goodbye to the ice perhaps?!) two Lions, Tigers, two deer ?, two Antelope a Rhino, Elephant, Crocodile and a Dromedary. 


I have come across loose examples of some of the animals in boxes of 'OO' figures in tubs at toy fairs and many of them suffer from 'plastic fatigue' but thankfully these are still 'fresh' on the plastic injection sprue gates and are fine. The artwork is superb and very reminiscent of Ladybird book illustrations of the period and I believe is attributable to Brian Knight who painted the new illustrations for the figure boxes released from 1968 onwards and updated the earlier production sets to make them more appealing. Now the question is who has got a complete set of Zoo Animals No2. I have never seen a set even.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

East Kent Scale Modellers June Meeting


Photo's from tonights June meeting of the East Kent Scale Modellers club which meets every second Tuesday of the month at Manston Aviation Museum. Superb works on display as usual but my favourite had to be Roberts  1/48th Italeri Wessex . He still paints by Brush using Humbrol Enamels and his masterpieces always amaze me.

 Fleet Air Arm Wildcat/Martlet by Airfix with alternative decals

 Various models completed or being built on display and members talk about them in a nice relaxed atmosphere around the meeting table

 Airfix 1/48 Sea Fury

 The Wessex again with a very busy cockpit as supplied in the kit

 Warhammer 40K in the background , nice 1/72 Airfix Mustang to the left

 The whopping kit of the evening was this 1/72 Antonov 124! Its fuselage, nose, wings and tail are in fibreglass the engines, undercarriage and internal fittings all injection plastic.....it was seriously huge and heavy!!

Well an interesting meeting with some good stuff on display to inspire, I took along my Team Yankee Chieftain Tanks and 3D Printed models to show members how good these are becoming. Hopefully will take along something completed to show them and to put on the club stand at shows soon.

Monday, 11 June 2018

BROADSIDE SHOW REPORT


An enjoyable visit to Broadside in Sittingbourne in deepest darkest Kent today, as I said in my previous post this is a friendly local show which fills a leisure centre hall with club games and traders plus a very lucrative bring and buy room on a floor above. Luckily it wasn't a hot day and the leisure centre doors were open to aid ventilation!


The winning show game was Deal Wargaming Associations 'The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side' As the blurb said 'This wargame is set in the millenia-old war between predator and prey fought out over generations against the backdrop of the African Plains' The cast included gnu, Lions, Rhino's, Elephants, Warthogs, Giraffes, Crocs, Hippos Zebras and other herbivores. The rules were generated by a club member and games could take 30-45 minutes. It looked good, was different and attracted many players. Well done to Adrian and the other club members present.


My next favourite game really made me think hard about 6mm scale ....not something in figure terms that usually appeals but the Posties Rejects Marchais-en-Brie 8th September 1914 , Turning the German Flank in the First Battle of the Marne really was food for thought. It was well put together with a good basic playing board and effective scale scenary and that scale really gives you a proper eagles eye view of proper formations of troops.


The figures were Baccus 6mm  as were the buildings used. Hedges mounted on ice lolly sticks, there was even a captured French hot air balloon in play! I also chatted for the first time to Big Lee of the Blog Big Lees Miniature Adventures primarily about his visit to the Tiger exhibition at Bovington Tank Museum. Great to meet you Lee and the other Posties.


Next up on my 'favourite game of the day category was the Spanish Civil War aviation game, a photo of an early Heinkel He 111 from the game graces the header to this piece. I really liked the models Heroics and Ros and Scotia mostly with a few rare 'Amiots' thrown in from a 3D printing company. This was put on by the Spanish Civil Wargames Facebook group .

The chap dressed in Spanish Civil War uniform (I presume!) was very knowledgable and helpful, what really caught the eye were the miniature aircraft (always a sucker for wingy things) and they were quite well painted in this small 1/300 scale.

That 'Camo' and 'them markings' hard work in this scale well done to the brushman


The Milton Hundreds Group who put on Broadside are a very friendly bunch and I received an excellent briefing and the rules systems used on their British/Maori Wars game which also looked good mostly using the superb Empress Miniatures figures.

The games system uses cards not dice which are only used as damage counters. I received a complimentary Milton Hundreds Yellow dice and limited edition for the show Leofwine Wargamerson Purgatory card .....whatever that is, but very nice all the same!


The above was the games system used published by Eureka Miniatures/Mana Press


Skirmish Wargames had proof you dont need to spend all your wages on figures and scenary with a fun looking Conan Game using items purchased from Charity Shops ! It was called by Crom the Legend of Conan the Barbarian. This reminded me of the campaign rules written by Tony Bath many years ago using the Conan World as a Geographic setting.


Of course there qas the visually captivating Zeebrugge Game by Maidstone Wargames society pictures of which have appeared in the Wargames press already, but one more wont hurt, that ship is a masterpiece in its own right and nice to see in the centenary year of the actual raid.


Shepway Wargames Club took along a small version of their WW2 Ardennes game which I saw in its entirity at Trucks and Tracks show earlier in the year. They were using Chain if Command rules and the scenary was superb, I felt a chill just looking at it!


Sneaky Tiger


Below is some kind of Sci Fi 'miss the meteorite game' ...yes not my cup of tea but in to keep a balanced report!


Also of note was a Star Wars game 


Thats the games I took pictures of there was more besides, mostly board games but sometimes displays on stands and 'goodies for sale' also catch your eye. 


 I do love the covers of the books for  sale on the Helion stand  and many of the English Civil War titles were quite enticing.


Commission Figurines 'Ruins with Distinction' MDF buildings were rather nice and I purchased CBP1 15mm Berlin Strasse for Team Yankee 

Commission also make a range of MDF 6mm Figures for the Napoleonic period and actually they wern't bad !


The other 'real estate' specialist at the show is Blotz who again produce the ever popular MDF buildings. Resin has definitly declined in popularity. They produce some nice stuff and I will be ordering their 15mm fast food chain building for team yankee which they had run out of on the day.

Well thats it, a really enjoyable 3 hours spent in excellent company. Did I make purchases , well a few select additions but only a few stalls were discounting and no stall was selling rule sets which seemed amazing. I would have liked to purchase 'What a Tanker' and  'Chain of Command' but will have to get those direct from the 'lardies' there was also a lack of any other rules to whet my appetite and surprisingly no 'Saga'. I did have a good chat with the lady on the Foundry stand about what there is to see in their part of the world around Newark and the Battle of Stoke Field. They did not have any packs of Yeomanry Boer War cavalry so will have to order those or visit that area of the country during the summer holidays. 


 Above the Gravesend Gamers Guild Lego Game

The best value was to be found in the Flea Market...where there were few fleas but loads of 1/100th scale cold war aircraft kits and a couple of painted diecasts including a lovly RAF Jaguar. These cost £1 - £1.50 each, amazing value and I hoovered them up to give extra support in team yankee. A few Battlefront Tanks game sets were purchased and the superb Victrix new Gallic Warriors from PE2 Collectables who do give excellent discounts at shows.

Well I have rattled on far to long , but well done to The Milton Hundreds Wargames Club another triumph of organisation and I am looking forward to the 2019 show already!! 




Saturday, 9 June 2018

Attending Broadside Wargames Show Tomorrow & Shepway Modelling show 2017


Yipee the one Wargames Show I was determined to visit again after enjoying last years experience is tomorrow. I have not attended Salute since it was in Chelsea Town Hall and Colours in Reading many years ago. I used to treck to Cavalier (Tonbridge) in February until recently but now Broadside put on by the Milton Hundreds Wargames Club is the one 'must visit' in my Calender. It is close to where I live, well lit in a Leisure Centre, friendly and put on by a local club featuring other local clubs demonstration games and traders, although it does also attract traders from far and wide as well. See the link for full info. I am sure I had photos from last years bash but can I find them? so I will post some from tomorrows visit soon.

This makes up for the loss this year of the Shepway Modelling show which was due to be held today at Hawkinge Community Centre BUT the centre had double booked the show with a wedding!! 'Numpties' so my most local model show other than those held in the Lees at Folkestone and the bi annual event in Faversham was cancelled. Bad luck for Shepway modelling club who put a lot of effort into it on an annual basis.


So to make up for the cancelled show here are some photos of the superb models from the 2017 show entered into the competition and on display on exhibitors stands.


These were taken with my old Fujfilm Finepix before last years Nikon SLR purchase so probably not as good as hopefully future pictures will be, but these will give you a taste of a local model shows standard.

A Fine 1/48th Folland Gnat

 Zulu Action!

This was a small diorama in 1/72 I think re created from a photo from the 1940 Blitzkrieg of German troops on a knocked out Matilda


A Nice colourful P51 Mustang

Rumanian WW2 IAR 80 Fighter , a rare bird

Late Victorian Royal Navy Sailor 

British Napoleonic Infantry

 
 A bust of a bust!

WW2 German SPG, a Hummel I think

Nicely displayed 'Spit & Hurri'

Your guess is as good as mine!

A modern military 'Dozer'

Western Showgirl

Unusual French armoured car from 1940

A touch of 'sci fi'


Fairchild Flying Boxcar ..aweome beastie

 Its always a varied display at the show

 A great rendition of a 'Spad'

'Stug'

 Far East 'Spotter'

A Lady Lancer

'I'm Turning Japanese'

Superb D Day Thunderbolt

Very nice tank interior which for once you can see

View of one end of the competition tables

Well thats it , great shame there was no show this year but I am sure 2019 will be even better and I hope a run through of some of the items on display show what a variety of modelling skills are on display at a small local event, please attend them or they will be lost in this day of escalating costs.....or weddings!