Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Blood in the Streets, Part Deux

The After Action Review from Potomac Wargamers has arrived in my inbox, with some really smashing pictures of my game from August. I figured, why not share it with you all?

Download it here!

Picture taken from PW Review, Picture by Fred Haub

Picture taken from PW Review, Picture by Fred Haub

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

More for Battlegroup WW-II, to the Rhine by Christmas, just in time for Christmas!

To quote a favorite movie of mine:

In September 1944, Montgomery devised a new and spectacular plan code named "Market Garden". Eisenhower, under great pressure from his superiors, finally sided with Montgomery, and "Operation Market Garden" became a reality. The plan, like so many plans in so many wars before it, was meant to end the fighting by Christmas, and bring the boys back home.

From the movie "Bridge Too Far" (1977)

 I always liked the fighting around Arnhem for the subject of a World War II game, and I've fought and refought the battle influenced by the book "A Bridge Too Far" and the subsequent movie with Sean Connery, et. al. many times in my teens and 20s (where I gained a reputation as a wargamer as being a bit hard on paratroopers). 

  But with the recent scholarship with Martin Middlebrook, and Robert Kershaw, amongst others, we are getting a nuanced view of a battle that until the 1970s, was rather glossed over in the triumphant view of the Allied advance across Europe. Cornelius Ryan, for all of his faults, was a good historian, and he did a good job of illustrating a battle that has had a ton of ink spilled about it since. 

  Now, I am happy to say Piers Brand has entered the fray with a supplement for my favorite game, Battlegroup. He's putting out a scenario pack simply entitled, Battlegroup: Market Garden. I must say that I am rather excited about this, and I have had some British Paras waiting for an opportunity, as well as some American Paras in M43 Uniforms waiting to duke it out with scratch groups of Germans for the bridges at Eindhoven, Nijmegen, and Arnhem. The supplement as usual, promises a lot of potential background, and even if you don't run the scenarios provided, you have more than enough to run other games set during the fateful struggle for the bridges.

Cover for BG Market Garden, Photo from Ironfist/PSC

The book will be 96 pages and have a collection of scenarios, a history on the battle and even a mini-campaign. It also has amendments and additions for both the German and Allied army lists. Keep in mind, the book requires ownership of Battlegroup Overlord (currently OOP) or Battlegroup Overlord, Beyond the Beaches.
Contents and 1st page of BG Market Garden, Photo from Ironfist/PSC

PSC is taking preorders now, with release to occur the weekend of November 3rd. so have your wallets ready! I am already warming up the movie soundtrack...When I get some time after the wedding, I will post up my British paras and we'll begin to build them out for Market-Garden!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Hat Anti-Tank Guns...a review....and a Photo Essay from Nokesville's Armor Show

So, as some of you know from my Battletech blog, I was recently at the National Capitol Model Soldier Society show. I will spare you the tale of how I did in competition as I have already discussed it on the Battletech blog. But, I did pick up some needed AT guns for my 20mm WWII Germans, namely some Hat Pak 36 37mm Guns (4 guns and crews for $9) and Pak 36 (r) 76.2mm (4 guns and crews for $9). They'd been well reviewed on Plastic Soldier Review, (hereafter referred to as PSR)  and the images from PSR suggested hard plastic guns...right? Wrong. I should have read the print at the bottom of the page: Plastic (Fairly Soft)

Well, I put them together during a modeling weekend at a friend's house. I was seeking to get some stuff off of my shelves and assembled before I take a bit of nuptial related hiatus. So, I managed to assemble all of the guns, a pair of early model Mk-IIIs from First to Fight (which were really, really easy to assemble, thank you Piers Brand for turning me onto them) and a pair of Armourfast M4A3 with 76mm I intend to pair with another pair of assembled M4A3 and turn into Lend-Lease Soviet "Emchas" (Yes, I know there's a difference between the A2 and the A3, but I think in this case, the three foot rule applies.), I also put together a Pak 97/38 Gun from the 50mm PSC ATG Kit.

Most of the kits went together quite efficiently, and gave me little, if any fuss. This was especially true for the First to Fight Mark IIIs. The Armourfast stuff? I needed to superglue the tracks to the hull...the model glue wasn't cutting it for some strange reason.

But the Hat guns? There was a special place in hell for those devilish things....

First, I had to superglue the guns to the carriage. Nothing else needed it..but the guns would not secure themselves. This was after I shaved the plugs and bored out the hole to make the guns fit in the first place! And this was for all the guns...the 37s and the 76s.

I won't lie..this led to a lot of frustration, and some "Let me come back to this before I toss it across the damn room" moments. But, some patience, and some english, and I got this result below:

Here is everything I put together that weekend, the M4s from Armourfast on the far left, with the First to Fight Mark IIIs right next to them, the Pak 36s in the center, and the Pak 36(r)s all around, and the PSC PaK 97/38 in the upper right.

Here is a closeup on the Pak 36(r), I had no idea really how big these guns were. they dwarf everything I have built. Perhaps my RAFM PaK 43 might be bigger when I assemble that?

So, I got the guns together. Now eventually, to paint them...that is if the paint holds...I have some ideas on that, and I think I can get it done, but I had to mount the guns before anything else...the damn things would not have held up otherwise. Honestly, I do not think I will be buying any more guns from Hat anytime soon, I still have to figure out how best to straighten the barrels.

In other news, I also attended the Americans in Wartime Museum's Open House last weekend...and I was happy to see a lot of the usual mix of ironmongery and reenactors out there. Just one problem..I think reenactor attendance was down this year. It certainly seemed that way. But, there was enough eye candy to be seen, and some new eye candy no less!

Enjoy folks, and be inspired...plenty of painting fodder to be had here!