lördag 22 december 2012

PSC StuG III mini-review

When I bought the Universal Carriers I couldn't resist getting a box of SturmGeschütz III (or StuG III for short), also from Plastic Soldier Company. Today, amidst all the christmas preparations I managed to assemble one of them without SWMBO noticing. Well, she noticed, and she didn't look too happy, but I survived. I didn't take as many pictures (because I was in a hurry) so this will be a fairly brief review.

Starting the assembly with my trusty knife, clippers and a cup of coffee.

måndag 17 december 2012

PSC Universal Carrier review

I'm going to reminisce a bit first, if you are just here for the review you can skip right ahead to after the break where I will actually talk about the kit. Don't mind the train picture, there are no trains after the break!

I started my wargame hobby playing "carpet wars" with Matchbox and Airfix figures like many other wargamers of my age. We didn't have many vehicles since all that was available were the model kits from the same companies and you could get a box of 50 soldiers for the same price as the smaller kits. The choice was easy as you didn't have to build the figures. Some vehicles were eventually bought and assembled with great globs of glue and those that didn't get stepped on saw countless battles. The rules were very simple and homebrewn but slowly got more complicated. Esci began to release figures and models in 1/72 but to get them I had to visit a "real" model shop located in the outskirts of my hometown. As my model railroad layout also doubled as my wargames table, my allied forces travelling in Airfix carriers usually attacked a Scandinavic looking village and battled germans in Matchbox Panzer III's and Panthers transported by a German freight train.

My layout didn't look as good as this, but the train is the same one as I got. It usually transported Airfix Germans.
The Airfix carrier kit was one of my favourites since it was easy to put together and you got a 6-pounder gun  too. Those days it was all about getting stuff on to the table as fast as possible and getting more bang for your buck. Although the more complex Esci kits were better I still preferred some of the airfix kits (some were horrible though) and most of the Matchbox ones. I then started with Warhammer which fulfilled all my gaming needs. I still kept modelling but now the more complex esci kits and larger 1/35 Tamiya models were the focus of my interest.

As I rekindled my WW2 gaming about ten years ago I rediscovered the joy of building an easy kit for wargaming purposes. Now as much as before the main problem is getting the most bang for the buck while actually putting stuff on the table. Yet my standards have changed and I'm much more critical of the kits I build. The term rivet-counter is not that far away, I fear. When Plastic Soldier Company announced they were going to release their version of the venerable british Universal Carrier I was very happy as the Airfix kit really is quite bad, both under-scale and under-detailed. For far too long it was the only available carrier in plastic and a staple of many wargames despite its shortcomings.

So enough rambling, on to the review!

måndag 10 december 2012

Desert desserts

There's some bits and pieces left from Operation Supercharge that I haven't shown you. First off there are some cute little softskins to show.

15cwt lorries, bren gun carriers and a dingo scout car.
The lorries are part of the infantry company and scout car represents the FAO attached to the regiment. In El Alamein the british drilled their artillery arms heavily with integrated observers in the forward units. Most significantly they developed "the stonk" where a single observer could call down a barrage from all available guns covering an area of 2400x1200 yards within minutes. Many axis counter attacks were broken up as soon they were spotted by such stonks. The carriers are from the AT platoon; when the 6-pounders deploy you can leave the carriers on the table to provide some light support or in case you need to move the guns to a better position.

fredag 7 december 2012

Buckets of excrement!

Hi gang!

Todays small post concerns a very amusing thing I noted when I was clipping out and glueing all the stuff from GW's The Hobbit: Escape from Goblin Town set.

The game in question. (Picture courtesy of Games Workshop.)
Since it might constitute a mild spoiler for the Hobbit movie premiering in about a week (I got tickets, yay!) I will put the rest behind the break. Click to find out more, if you dare!

tisdag 4 december 2012

3rd King's Own Hussars, 9th Armoured Brigade, British Eight Army

I promised some more shots of the tanks I painted for Operation Supercharge, so here they are:

A troop of US-built Grant tanks. Note the camo.
Although I have found some info on the total strength of the brigade the numbers are conflicting. One source says about 90 tanks, one around 110 tanks. Both sources claim some tanks were lost or broke down during the assembly and march-up prior to the attack; it's possible the conflicting numbers is because of this and the lower number is simply the total that took part in the actual charge. None of my sources details the individual breakdown of the three regiments making up the 9th armoured brigade however, only that each regiment had mixed compliment of Crusader II's and III's along with the newer Grants and Shermans. The 3rd Hussars are listed as having 35 tanks at the start of the operation so I have simply gone for the easy way out and decided on ten tanks of each type as they are bought in packs of five. The difference of five tanks is to account for the tanks lost before the actual attack (see below).

Wayland games

Wayland Games