A while back my friend SC John gave me a box of the much discussed Perry Miniatures "Desert Rats'. He bought some Afrika Korps Germans from the same range and we decided to put together a desert themed battlefield, with 2 nice looking armies.
Just to make sure, here's the box set that I got:
Upon opening, I noticed one thing right away: these models have absolutely great detail. The sculpts are crisp with plenty of detail, including tiny shirt buttons. To be honest, i realized I am not a good enough painter to honor these little guys. Here's the radio man, which will become my forward observer for my Spitfire.
You can see the nicely detailed torso, with plenty of detail to work with - far superior to Warlord. it's not really strange, keep in mind the Perry twins have been in this game for a long time and have sculpted plenty of model classics. The only complaint I have about the set, is that there are no shirt sleeve decals. I had to paint mine on, which looks fine from afar but poor upclose.
Here's the painted squad:
All the models are on Games Workshop bases with Litko magnetic adhesive for easy transportation. I kept the ground on the base minimalistic, the way desert looks where there is a lot of foot traffic.
Much has been said about the Desert Rats' size, which is slightly smaller then the Bolt Action models. I have even read people saying they wouldn't model or play them, since the size difference bothered them so much....well here is a comparison, with a Victoria Miniatures (traitor)guardsmen included. The medic is metal, and the metals are actually a bit bulkier then the new plastics from Warlord.
Now you can't tell me the Perry minis are SO far off, you won't play with them?
WE DID it! After only ONE day we collected the needed 1200 dollars to bring this Purple Heart back to this heroes' family!. Thanks for all who helped!!)
SC John/ SC Mike
Many of the long time readers of this blog will remember our past fund raising projects. We took on some huge projects, with great teams and brought a bunch of great people together from our hobby world to work together and give back as a group. This year I have decided to kick it down a notch. No raffles, no weekly updates from teams of blog hobby superstars. This time I am simply going to ask our readers and friends to help us do something that we feel needs to be done.
This year I am asking for your help to make a holiday miracle happen.
This is Jackie Nesbit, he was a member of the 17th Airborne 466th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, he was killed in combat during Operation Varsity on March 24 1945
This is a photo of Jackie and his wife Elizabeth Nesbit just before he was deployed to Europe. Jackie and Elizabeth had a daughter Patricia, she was born after Jackie left for the war, they never got to meet each other, she was one month old when he was killed in combat
Patricia as a young girl
This is Patricia now.
After the war Elizabeth remarried, and the family moved around a bit, sometime during that period, the Purple Heart Medal that was sent home after Jackie's death was lost.
I came across some messages online from Patricia's son in law, in which he was searching for the Purple Heart to return to Jackie Nesbit's daughter Patricia. He is ex Army, and so am I, we both understood the importance of returning this medal to his child, so I offered to help him.
The original named medal has been found in a private collection, and the owner has agreed to sell it for the amount he has invested in it.
Unfortunately these things are very collectible and command a high price. If it was 20 bucks I would just buy it and send it off to the family, who wouldn't. That's when I got to thinking, whats a few bucks to do the right thing? I know a bunch of people that would help pitch in a few bucks to make this right. I bet they all know a few friends too.
This year I am asking all of you to pitch in and help return Jackie Nesbit's Purple Heart to his daughter and her family.
You aren't going to win anything, I'm not going to grow a mustache, but maybe we can get together and make a holiday miracle happen for a little girl that never met her father and see to it that her family has something to remember him with.
Jackie Nesbit's remains were recovered from Holland and buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery
After finishing my US 1000 point army for Bolt Action, my friend John got a hold of some new Perry miniatures, the British 8 army box. He also bought some Perry Germans and we decided to build and paint two armies, based in Northern Africa in the early forties.
I decided on the British and I have been working on my first squad of ten troopers, and they are almost done. In the meantime I built and painted a Spitfire for the army, basically a fancy phantom model that doesn't really have a role in Bolt Action, but looks cool. We use the plane with the forward observer so we can get some fire come down on the enemy's heads.
I picked up this box set from Airfix: 1:72 aifrcaft of the aces.
It comes with three planes: a Messerschmitt BF109, a P51 Mustang and the Supermarine Spitfire in an early rendition, the MK1a. It cost me about 30 bucks and came with paints, surprisingly good quality actually and with good colors and with a few brushes.
Anyway, for my desert army I painted the Spitfire up in desert camo. Here's the camo (but not color) pattern I copied:
And here's the model I just finished. I tried to make him look a bit weathered as well:
Of course the Airfix kit doesn't have the correct decals for the Northern Africa campaign and since the model will not really play a role in the game and is more for good looks, I decided not to follow through and purchase correct decals. Interesting to note is that in a lot of WW2 images, the Spits in the desert didn't have letter markings on the bodies, like above and below:
Here's a desert pattern from Eduard, that does include letters, but blue ones, outlined with white.
You can see that the color scheme in the original color picture and the one above is more yellow, but the one below has more muted colors and that is what I went for in my model, since that fits better with the troops.
I based the model on a long, 14 inch bamboo skewer, with a resin 60mm base. It's very stable and it's height makes it look great with 28mm models. Warlord has also advised to use 1/72 models for the game.
The airfix kit comes with the blue paint needed for the bottom and in my collection of Games Workshop paints, I could not find the right one; i was glad for the little mini cup of blueish paint!
And here are my palettes, just like everyone elses I presume! Trying to find the right colors takes some time.
I guess I will start off showing off the vintage WW2 uniform that I wore last week for Halloween. I borrowed it from my friend John, who has a large collection of original WW2 uniforms. This one is early-mid war with all the wool and no cotton. It was hot but great fun and plenty of people were pleased with the show of respect for the greatest generation. I work at a busy store and the uniform brought people to tell stories about their family members and the experiences during wartime.
Here's another model for Flames of War, a cast hull Sherman. I don't play FOW but John had some models laying around and I said I would paint them up for him. The box came with some stowage so I added some. It's hard to make it look good, since it is so small!
Behind it is the Sherman I painted for my own Bolt Action army.
I magnetized the turret, which was not easy, since the resin is so dense. But in the end it was well worth it.
I saw a picture from 1944 where you can a Sherman that has all the soldiers' packs hanging of the back, so I figured I will do that on this one. SC Mike
I finally finished my US 1000 point army. Modeled on the 92nd with all African American soldiers and one white captain, which was, amazingly, the reality. Its has been fun to honor these heroes with a little troop of models!
Here's the my 30 cal MMG group. I decided to add all three on a 60 mm base and added some ruins and bricks.
Since the army has 10 10 man units, I decided to make one look like they are observing.....
Without the Jimmy, the workhorse of World War 2, the Allied advance from Normandy all the way into Germany would have not happened. This truck, used all over in Europe, was used as transport, cargo and tow vehicle and no less then 800.000 were built.
The official name is GMC CCKW, which soldiers promptly renamed as the Deuce and a half, a 6x6 truck, that was designed in 1941.
My model, a 1/48 scale version from Tamiya, features the open top version with canvas roof, that was designed late in the war. This is also the long wheel base version, which gave the cargo hold a lot more space.
I painted the model with the usual greens and browns and weathered it moderately. I changed the driver's torso to a Bolt Action model, since the 1/48 scale would be too small and this worked out just fine. I did use the smaller leg part.
Early in the war, the cargo floor was made of steel, but in mid war it was changed to wood, due to shortages of steel. In the end of the war, the period that I am modeling, spring of 45, the cargo floor was made of steel composite. So when you model one of these, make sure to figure out what period and materials apply to your version.
You can see in the photo below that transport of troops in late war was key using these trucks. Unfortunately the Tamiya model doesn't supply benches for the back, but I would be a cool project to create a group of soldiers for the back, that you could use during movement in Bolt Action but take out and swap with fighting models, once they have deployed
Here are the side views of my model. Despite the Testors matte finish, there is still some gloss, mostly on the tires.
Below you can see I tried to have the gas stains show a bit on the fuel tanks.
A scene in France in late war. It's a great image and pretty much looks made for a Verlinden diorama. Of course I would st have to find a Willys jeep from Tamiya in 1/48 scale and they are hard to come by.
Painting the window frame took me ages, making sure to be super patient and not dropping paint on the glass part. In the end it worked out well.
Hope you enjoyed this and make sure to sign up as a follower! Also, I would be so grateful if blog hosts could add me to their blogrolls. I will be happy to do the same, as long as your blog deals with Historical Wargaming. I will also delve into Flames of War in the coming months.
My friend John gave me some of his Flames of War Americans to paint up and it seemed like a fun project. Now, having painted a few models, I decided to paint a bunch of his models, because it's fun and because he doesn't have to do it. So here is the first one, as a test....I will have to improve a bit on this...
....and here is a M8 Greyhound. I recently finished one of those for my Bolt Action US Army, so it seemed like a good moment to capture Mama and baby.
The decal doesn't come with the blister of the Greyhound, an oversight I think, so I grabbed a little one from a Sherman Squadron decal sheet. I think it makes it look a lot better.
Having played a few games of Bolt Action now, it has always been kind of anticlimatic when one of the vehicles on the battlefield blows up and we have to use black felt to make it look like smoke. So I figured I would throw something together that looks decent:
I used some old clump foliage from Woodland Scenics:
...and spray it black. After that a bit of dry brushing with orange and yellow and an overall drybrush of light grey and voila! It's done:
I attached the clump foilage to a Games Workshop base (and magnetized it for easy transport). It works nice, since the base is just small enough to fit in the turret openings on my models. That way the smoke really seems to come out from the inside.
Easy does it. I am planning on make a few more but bigger.
Part of me realizes that I am glad this is a game for all of us. When I was looking for a good historical image for this post, I saw a lot of exploding tanks and it made me realize those images are real, which all the victims being real people, not models. I think I like Bolt Action partly because of that, it's my way of paying respect to history and the soldiers who were sent out in those days.
Recently Warlord released a all metal model of the M5 3 in anti tank gun for Bolt Action. When the news about it came out, it was accompanied by the photo above, of African American soldiers in action with this big cannon. The photo sparked my interest since I am modeling a group of soldiers from the 92 Inf Div, the African American division.
After doing a bit of research I found out that the image that Warlord used was actually a training session in England in the mid forties. The M5 3 inch was already becoming less popular, because it was so heavy and thus not very maneuverable. During active duty in 1944, casualties in the M5 battalions was high and they were no match against the light and mid size tanks that they were facing. At the end of the war, the army preferred the self propelled anti tank options like the M10 and the M5 was phased out.
Of course the siuation below would seem like a good position: cover the road through the village and wait for a target to show up, but imagine the enemy bypassing the village and the soldiers having to turn the gun on the double. This image was taken in Belgium, you can also spot the winter clothing on the men.
Once dug in and camouflaged, the gun seems powerful, like an 88 mm, but you can see how big and heavy it is:
Here's my painted version:
I playing with history here, knowing full well that the 92nd in Italy didn't have M5'3in guns, but for gaming purposes it is nice to have a Heavy anti tank gun.
The gun is slightly underscaled compared to the real thing, but that seems like all the other Bolt Action vehicles and guns.
The actual African American battalion that did fight with these guns was the 614th Tank Destroyer Battalion, that worked it's way up from Normandy. I would love to get ahold of some decals that have this logo on it:
that would look cool on the models. And I will finish with this action shot somewhere in France, looks like a coastal region: