Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Converting the big gun.

Here are a few images of a HLBS 8 inch Howitzer kit that has been converted to represent a 6 inch gun (possibly a Mark VII-ish). It will be a while before I get this painted up so I thought I would post up images of the bare build. A few bits have been removed from the resin carriage and others added and the gun itself is 12cm of styrene tube with card additions. Thanks to the State Library of Victoria, I now have a digital copy of the handbook for the 4.7 inch field gun. That will be next.


Thursday, 22 September 2016

More itching... MORE SCRATCHING!

This time, the 1896 6 inch 30 cwt Howitzer. This obsolete gun saw service in all theatres of operation during the Great War. It was the main medium howitzer for the BEF in 1914 and was gradually phased out on the Western Front and elsewhere once the 6 inch 26 cwt gun was introduced in 1915. The gun can be seen in photographs from 1914-15 taken in Belgium and France and in photographs from Mesopotamia, Palestine and the Balkans.
The bare build.



 
 Now with a lick of paint.


Boom!
 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Scratching the itch. A project revisited.

After last weekend's "Kut" game at Newbury, the painting mojo has turned itself off. The game was the culmination of a very productive and rewarding few months of work. I think I just need a little break before resuming projects currently on the table. However, the desire to build something was rather strong. This was fuelled by the realisation that to take Mesopotamia will take more than field artillery and that should I be asked to take part in anything similar in the future, I needed to bring assests to the table.

Last summer I bagan to experiment with cereal packet scratchbuilds. I made a 6 inch 26cwt howitzer. As a first attempt I was pleased with it but time has passed and I've got a little more experience under my belt. It was time to try this one again.

The first build was slightly over scaled. I changed direction this time and found the scale drawings available on the Landships website and took my scale from looking at contemporary photographs. The wheel on the 6 inch 26cwt gun comes roughly up to shoulder height. On me (an average sized bloke), that is 1.5m. So I scaled the wheel to 1/56 using computer trickery and the result is a gun that is much better in terms of scale. Off I went. I found the thick card, the thinner manilla card, the styrene rod and tubing, the brass wire, the superglue, the PVA and those little glass microbeads that are used to decorate fingernails in nailbars.

Here is the bare build.




The brake handles are created using "Instant Mold" making a mould from a piece from a HLBS
8 inch howitzer and then filling the mould with greenstuff.

Now with a lick of paint.





There...much better for size than the first one I made back in 2015.





Sunday, 11 September 2016

"Caught at Kut" demonstration game, Colours 2016, Newbury 10th September.

Or perhaps "What I did Yesterday."

A huge "thank-you" goes out to Adrian Shepherd who invited me to take part in this game. This is probably the first time I have done something like this in over twenty years. The inner twelve year old was released and I felt a surge of competitiveness. I try, like Mr Spock, to supress such unseemly emotions. The concept was all Adrian's. Terrain boards were created and borrowed, lots of figures painted, boats scratched and painted and vignettes to dress the table produced.  Absent chums graciously lent troops. I think the game went down well. Joe Public took many photographs and engaged in discussion about the game. The Wargaming press spent a fair bit of time photographing the whole production and twisting arms for contributions to future editions. I had a great time. Enjoy the pictures. I couldn't take more as I was actually playing the game right up until 5.00pm.
Starting points viewed from the British-Imperial rear. HMS Firefly and an Indian Marine tender in the foreground. The tender carries a RN diving team ready to deal with Turkish mines floated down on the current.


General Townshend in Kut waves to his would-be rescuers. Or is he simply waving "goodbye" to his military career?

The British left makes a big mistake breaking the cover of the ancient ruins. 

God bless the RFC! Called in to bomb the tower in the distance which was housing an irritating HMG that was holding up the advance on the right. Thanks to some spectacularly poor dice rolls all efforts to do so with artillery had failed.

The British reserve brigade and guns moving up to support the stalling advance.

Johnny Turk responded by strengthening his foward trench.

These Turks on the Turkish right were dangerously exposed and within a couple of turns they were gone along with the HMG thanks to excellent Indian Musketry and the two inch Stokes mortar that would eventually find its mark.

The DH2 closes in on the bomb run.

The DH2 would drop a bomb right in the middle of the top of the tower.

Meanwhile Johnny Turk floats his beastly mines.

British Imperial reserves are brought up as Turkish strength in the forward trenches begins to wane. The Turkish Albatross proved very ineffective in bombing. 

Britsh reserves begin to deploy and move forward. The RHA guns were very sluggish.

Having dealt with the tower, the DH2 banked to the left and began to straf the Turkish front line...

.
... with dire consequnces.

A wretched sniper that was responsible for quite a few casualties

Turkish heavies deploy as the game entered its closing turns

The four inch naval gun on board "Firefly" proved very ineffective. Rubbish in fact. I blame the bloke that built it.

The British on the left finally advance. The Turkish HMG would be removed this turn by the "toffee-apple" mortar. 

Just as the British Imperial effort to assault the Turkish position began to move in....many more Johnnies arrived along the wadi.

Thus far and no further as the day ended.

Kut fell to the Ottoman Empire.... again!



Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Mutton Chop WW1 British Cavalry Trooper

Meanwhile, in the background, this chap has been lurking waiting to be worked on towards the end of a few painting sessions where the right paint on the palette needs to be used up.




I really do like Mr Hicks' sculpting of this range and I hope that he will add to the number of mounted figures. Purists may moan that the harness around the saddle is not quite correct but some greenstuff around the strap over the horse's chest would change this into a bandolier and a sharp knife can easily remove the strap that goes around the horse's tail. It is good to see some clutter on the saddle. A Woodbine Wolseley headswap will allow these figures to serve in the Middle East.