Friday, April 1, 2022

More 15mm WWII Soviet Heavy Metal

 All,

The gears of war continue to grind slowly forward.  Over the past couple months I've picked up quite a bit of WWII Soviet gear and wanted to document it, so here you go.

The whole mess:
-11 T-34/85s
-9 IS-2s
-1 KV-2
-1 T-34/7
-20 sets of tank riders

A closer look at the tank riders.  As you see, everything is completely painted, I just need to touch up a few things.  

The IS-2s.  The ones in front are the new Battlefront plastics, the ones in rear are the old Battlefront metal and resin models.  They seem to fit surprisingly well together.

And the T-34/85s, all the old Battlefront metal and resin models.

The KV-2 is plastic, not sure of the manufacturer, while the T-34 is all metal, not sure of its manufacturer either.

A closeup of some plastic IS-2s.

Again.

Very stern looking.

And the metal/resin models.

I think this TC has suffered some sort of injury ;)

The T-34/85s.  A lot of these had barrel problems in shipment, I did what I could to fix them, only one has a droopy barrel.

Some closeups.

Another.

This poor devil done last his head...  I'll have to remedy that.

The KV-2.

Again.  Yeah, only one; I can really only see using it in smaller, skirmish-type games, so I didn't want to have too many of them.

The guy I bought the T-34/85s from lost one of them (i.e., there were supposed to be 12, not 11), so he threw this in, in addition to discounting for the missing tank.

Again.

Cross of Iron, anyone?  I like it, they look mean.

A close up.

Another look.

Pretty cool.  And I'm super amazed by the dude I bought the tank riders from; who needs 20 sets of tank riders???  Pretty incredible!

And on some IS-2s.

Well, just wanted to document some additions to my WWII Soviet forces, thanks for looking.  I'm trying to keep the gaming ball rolling this weekend, despite very limited time, though I think I may have an innovative solution.  The older boy has won both of my 'Battle of Biazza Ridge' fights, and his little brother keeps complaining that the Germans have tanks, so I'm thinking to run a hypothetical counterattack by US infantry with armored support (there was no US counterattack in real life because the Americans didn't lose Biazza Ridge), which would mean I can use the same table for a third straight week.  Yeah, kinda cheesy, but would save me a bunch of time.

Anyway, more to come!

V/R,
Jack


Friday, March 18, 2022

15mm WWII US Airborne - Med/North Africa

 All,

More US paratroopers??? Yes, more US paratroopers.  Hopefully the final batch ;)  You've already seen temperate and urban, so here are my US paratroopers for North Africa, Sicily, and Italy, and just in the nick of time (I think I feel a game coming on).  These guys are a bit interesting, at least to me.  First, they came from three different guys on Ebay (some of which were used for my previous temperate and urban forces), and they were all painted, BUT, they didn't really fit with my desert motif and certainly didn't fit together, so despite the fact they were all completely painted, I had to repaint every single one of them.  Not completely though; I only had to do about 2% of the flesh, 5% of the web gear, and about 10% of the small arms, but I had to re-do every single uniform and 95% of the helmets, as well as all the basing.  You will notice that some of the troopers have US flags on their right shoulders; I did not do those, one of the other guys did, and when I re-did the uniforms I was careful to leave the flags on the guys that had them, though I did not put flags on the rest of the guys.  And I had to re-do all the 82nd Airborne divisional patches.  After seeing Steve's guys and how cool they looked, I decided to change my divisional patches up; my previous 82nd Airborne guys I did a blue dot on a red square.  Steve's guys reminded me that the white was actually more prominent than the blue, so I did a white blob on a red square, which is definitely more realistic, but I actually don't like it as much as I liked my blue on red patches.

The other interesting thing about these guys is that they are different sculpts than I'd seen before.  From what I'd seen, Battlefront had three types of US paratroopers: the 'old' metals, a bit cartoonish and on the smaller side, then the newer plastics (like in the 'Open Fire' box), which were a bit bigger, and then the newest plastics (from the Airborne Rifle Company box, UBX64), which are absolute monsters.  But it turns out that Battlefront did some metals that came before the 'old' metals that I keep referencing.  These guys are a little bigger and are really well sculpted, with great weapons, gear, and proportions, and they really stand apart due to all the helmets are 'clean,' i.e., they don't have any netting or scrim on them.  Which seems to fit pretty well with a lot of the pics of the 82nd Airborne in Sicily and Normandy.

The whole mess, consisting of:
-Commanding Officer
-Executive Officer
-Five Rifle Platoons (three rifle bases, a bazooka base, and a Platoon Commander - PC- base)
-One Machine Gun (MG) Platoon (PC and three guns)
-One Light Mortar Platoon (PC and three 60mm tubes)
-One Medium Mortar Platoon (PC and three 81mm tubes)
-One Pack Howitzer Platoon (PC and two guns)
-One Anti-Tank Gun (ATG) Platoon (PC and two guns)

Another look, from the side.  I've got these guys sitting on my desert mat from War Sigil, and they match up pretty well on it.  Maybe too well...

The Commanding Officer stand, three paras with a jeep.

Another look.

A closeup.  Here you can see the guy at center, with the M-1 Garand, is one of the original Battlefront metal figures I was talking about, while the guy at left, with the Thompson SMG, is one of the 'old' Battlefront metals.

A closeup of the CO.  That's right, that's the CO, Jumpin' Jim Gavin with his trusty Garand.

The XO stand, with radio seated at far right.

Another look.

Closer look at the RTO.

Another look.

Three of the rifle platoon commanders.

A closeup.

Another.

Again.  Man, these sculpts are just fantastic, great poses and proportions.

A trio of bazooka teams.

Good looking figures and poses but, as always, Battlefront makes those tubes way too thick.  Nothing I can't live with though.

Another look, with a nice shot of the divisional patch.  Like I said, this probably looks more realistic, but I'm kinda partial to my blue over red.

A look at three of the rifle squads.

I love these figures.  If the bases look kinda funky, it's because I'm a lazy @#$%...  These guys were painted up for a temperate climate, with green flock on them.  I tried scraping it off but no dice, and I wasn't about to pull all these guys off their bases and re-do them, so I just painted desert yellow over it, washed them, and glued on some scrub brush.  Not beautiful, but a lot faster and ready for the table.

Another closeup; the trooper at far left has a BAR.

Again.  At far right you can see the horizontal leader stripe of an NCO.

A look at the next set of rifle squads, these with M-1919A4 machine guns packed up and advancing.

A look at the gun over a guy's shoulder.

A look at the A-gunner with a box of ammo in his right hand and a tripod over his left shoulder.

Opposite view of the A-Gunner, with a clear look at the tripod.

A head-on shot.

And a look at three more rifle squads.

Two Garands and two Tommy Guns, with one rifleman pitching a frag.

Closeup of a BAR man.

Closeup of a dude with a Thompson on rock'n roll.

The machine gun platoon.

The PC stand.

A closeup of one of the guns.  Look at those flags, pretty cool, but I was too lazy to put flags on the rest of the guys.

Another look.

And one more.  Again the two guys at left are the 'original' Battlefront metals, while the guy at right is the 'old' Battlefront metal.  Can't really tell too much of a difference here, but the 'old' guy is a bit smaller, has different proportions, and his helmet is netted and scrimmed.

The 60mm mortar platoon.  Yes, I know they shouldn't be in a mortar platoon, but rather the rifle platoons will each have one.

The PC stand.

A closeup of a dude with a Thompson advancing.

A closeup of a mortar team.

Another.

The 81mm mortar platoon.

The PC.  For the CO and XO I put a silver dot on the front of their helmets for a Colonel or Lt Colonel, while for the PCs I put a white dot for the Lt or Captains bar that was painted on their helmets (in real life).  Yeah, I know I'm kinda mixing things up, but the way I look at is I can play different echelons with these same guys, where three rifle stands and a command stand can be a rifle platoon, company, or even battalion, so the CO stand is actually the company commander, battalion commander, or regiment commander.

A closeup of one of the 81mm mortars.

Another.

And one more.

The pack howitzer platoon.

A look at one of the howitzers.

And their PC.

Another look at a howitzer.

And one more.

And a look at the ATG platoon.

The PC.

Again with the PC.  I couldn't help myself, I had to show you guys; I was trying to straighten up the dude with the Thompson SMG and snapped him off at the ankles, so I glued him into a bush.  It's working so far...

A look at one of the 57mm guns.  If the gun looks weird it's because it's a plastic model I stole from a Battlefront 8th Army kit.  The shield leans way too far back for my tastes, but that's how it fits into the plastic model.

Another look.

And once more.  I'm pretty happy with my dry-brushing efforts on the guy; I'm not very good at dry-brushing, but this seems to have turned out alright.

So, there they are, ready to rumble.  Tin Man posted a very interesting batrep over on his blog, about a gangster shootout.  I wasn't at all familiar with "One Hour Skirmish Wargames," but it convinced me to take a look at some batreps and reviews and they gave me some ideas, so I have since bought the book.  Stand by Steve, Biazza Ridge here we come!!!

V/R,
Jack