Monday, 10 May 2021

Bob can bodge it!

What do you get if you cross a Pzkpfw III ...

... with a Jagdtiger?

A Sturm-Infanteriegesch├╝tz 33B!

Looking through my box of ROCO bits and pieces, I found a Pzkpfw III hull and the casemate from a Jadgtiger. I wondered if I could utilise these to build a self-propelled gun, and after a quick look through my reference books and at a photo on Wikipedia, ...

... I realised that I could bodge a Sturm-Infanteriegesch├╝tz 33B from the parts.

I downloaded a drawing of the Sturm-Infanteriegesch├╝tz 33B from the Internet, ...

... which I then scaled down so that it was 1/87th-scale. Using the drawings as a guide, I cut the Jagdtiger casemate to the right length (it was already the right width), and after cutting away part of the Pzkpfw III’s upper hull, I was able to glue the casemate into place. I then added a suitably shortened gun barrel from my spares box, and used thin pieces of plastic to blank off the open end of the casemate. Some further detail (e.g. hatches, jerrycans, a storage box) was added using more bits from the spares box ... and the model was finished!

The resultant model is not a 100% accurate scale model, but I think that it’s good enough for wargaming.

It is a long time since I bodged together something like this ... but I have proved to myself that ‘Bob can bodge it!’ (With apologies to the lyrics of the BOB THE BUILDER theme tune!).

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Is it worth publishing a simple terrain generator booklet?

Since I published my simple terrain generator as part of THE PORTABLE COLONIAL WARGAME book, I have had several requests for just that section of the book. I am therefore thinking about publishing that section of the book as a separate booklet so that non-Colonial wargamers can have access to it.

Doing this would take very little time and effort and would seemingly meet a need. I’m not currently rushed off my feet with other projects (my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project is progressing slowly but surely), and I could easily fit it in quite literally whilst I am waiting for the paint to dry!

Friday, 7 May 2021

In Darkest Aithiops: The Battle of Limpopo Bend: first battle of the campaign has been fought

The first battle between the Azeitonians and the m'Butu has been fought ... and a report on the battle can be found on Archduke Piccolo's blog.

The location of the Battle of Limpopo Bend is indicated by the red arrow.

I enjoyed this battle report so much that I almost (and it was very touch-and-go!) stopped work on my present Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project to get some of my Colonial figures out of storage and onto the tabletop. The temptation was great, but I managed to resist it ... this time! I am not so sure that if this campaign proves to be as enjoyable to read about as it obviously was to take part in, I know that my resistance will be sorely tested.

Please note that the map and photographs featured above are © Archduke Piccolo.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

The new German vehicles for my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project

Yesterday, I finished painting three new German vehicles for my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project. They are a Kubelwagen, a heavy passenger car (what I think is a Steyr 1500A Kommandeurwagen Kfz 21), and a 6-wheeled SdKfz 231 armoured car.

The rather poor-quality photographs do not do them justice, but the vehicles will make useful additions to my collection. I have a few ideas what vehicles I want to tackle next, but for the moment I am undecided whether to do some German, Russian, or possibly even Hungarian vehicles.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

In Darkest Aithiops: The m'Butuland Expedition

If my regular blog readers have not already paid Archduke Piccolo's blog a visit in the past few days, I thoroughly recommend that they do as soon as possible!

He has started a new campaign, this time set in Darkest Aithiops (Africa), where one of the major Colonial powers (the Azeitonians ... who are based on the Portuguese) are mounting an operation to reach the semi-mystical Montanhas Diamante (Diamond Mountains).

An expedition, led by Tenente-Coronel Joao Pablo Relaxado (the Governor), is advancing into the territory controlled by the m'Butu. The m'Butu are a peaceable people, but their Chief (Bara Kuta) will not sit idly by whilst the Azeitonians march through his tribal area, taking what they want as they proceed.

The m'Butu are not the only native power in the area. Sheikh El Bazir controls the nomadic desert-dwelling Touaouin (pronounced Twawin), who are renown fighters, and ooperating from the island of Zanzingabar there is a force of corsairs led by Wazir Yezdi. The Touaouin and Zanzingabar can be relied upon to exploit any opportunities for plunder and mayhem ... should they arise.

The stage is set, and the Azeitonians are on the march ...

Please note that the map featured above is © Archduke Piccolo.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Two tanks

I finished painted the bases of the two tanks that had been languishing hlaf-finished on my worktable sine last year.

They are by no means masterpieces, but they will suit my purposes, and will fit in with the other vehicles I have painted for my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project.

I have already undercoated the next batch of vehicles and hope to get them finished over the next few days.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Working on my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project

Before I began the rationalisation of my modelling paints and tools, I had planned to begin work on renovating, basing, and varnishing a large number of 25/28mm pre-painted Del Prado Russian Napoleonic figures to add to my existing collection. However, after finding the two half-finished tanks on my worktable during my recent sort out, I decided to deal with them first ... and this led to me recommence work on my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project. Besides the two tanks, I now have a Kubelwagen, a heavy passenger car (probably a Steyr 1500A Kommandeurwagen Kfz 21), and a 6-wheeled SdKfz 231 armoured car on my worktable in various stages of being painted and based.

After the current batch of vehicles is finished, I may well work on some more before going back to my Napoleonic project. I have no definite plans or timescale as such, and just intend to 'go with the flow'. Experience has shown that life tends to be far less stressful if I do that.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Warships after London

I bought my copy of WARSHIPS AFTER LONDON: THE END OF THE TREATY ERA IN THE FIVE MAJOR FLEETS, 1930 – 1936 when it was published a year ago, and I have just finished re-reading it.

The book is a follow-up to John Jordan’s earlier WARSHIPS AFTER WASHINGTON: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FIVE MAJOR FLEETS 1922 – 1930, which was published in 2011. In the latest book, the author looks at the developments in warship design that took place in Great Britain, the United States, Japan, France, and Italy during the period immediately after the signing of the London Naval Treaty of 1930. The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 had already placed limited on the total tonnage of capital ships and aircraft carriers each of the signatory nations could build as well as set upper limits on the tonnage and armament of cruisers. The London Naval Treaty sought to extend those limits to cover smaller warships. The changes can be summarised as follows:

  • The maximum tonnage of an individual submarine was set at 2,000 tons standard displacement, and it could be armed with 6.1-inch/155mm calibre guns. Great Britain, the United States, and Japan could build up to three submarines of 2,800 tons standard tonnage and the French could keep the Surcouf, which was armed with 8-inch/203mm guns.
  • Cruisers were split into two categories, Light Cruisers (armed with 6.1-inch/155mm calibre guns and Heavy Cruisers (armed with 8-inch/203mm guns), and the major nations were limited as to the total tonnage of Light Cruisers they could build (192,200 tons for the British, 143,500 tons for the Americans, and 100,450 tons for the Japanese) and number and total tonnage of Heavy Cruisers that they could build (Great Britain was permitted 15 Heavy Cruisers with a total tonnage of 147,000 tons, the Americans 18 totalling 180,000 tons, and the Japanese 12 totalling 108,000 tons).
  • The size, armament, and total tonnage of destroyers was also set as follows: 1,850 tons standard tonnage per vessel, which could be armed with guns of up to 5.1-inch/130mm calibre, with Great Britain and the United States being permitted up to a maximum tonnage of 150,000 tons and the Japanese 105,500 tons.
  • Ships of less than 2,000 tons standard displacement, and with an armament not exceeding four 6.1-inch/155mm calibre (152 mm) and a maximum speed of 20 knots, were exempt from tonnage limitations.
  • Ships of less than 600 tons standard displacement were completely exempt for limitations.

The ships that were built under the terms of the London Naval Treaty were the most modern ships available when the Second World War broke out in 1939, and this book goes a long way to explain how each of the signatory nations designed and developed ships that would serve their particular requirements whilst remaining (not always very successfully!) within the limits set.

WARSHIPS AFTER LONDON: THE END OF THE TREATY ERA IN THE FIVE MAJOR FLEETS, 1930 – 1936 was written by John Jordan and published in 2020 by Seaforth Publishing (ISBN 978 1 6824 7610 9).

Friday, 30 April 2021

Nearly over ...

It took me longer than I expected, but I have nearly finished rationalising the storage of my modelling paint and tools. They are now in an eight-draw REALLY USEFUL BOXES unit that is mounted on castors so that it can be moved around my toy/wargame room. It is presently next to where I usually sit, which means that everything I need when I am painting and modelling is now within arms reach.

I still have a few bits and pieces that I need to sort out, but that should take me less than thirty minutes to do ... and then I can finish off the two half-finished tanks that were the starting point of this task.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

A task that has grown ...

It started because I needed to find a new pot of black acrylic paint to finish painting the two half-finished tanks that I had found on my worktable last Saturday. In looking for that single pot of paint, I discovered that I had modelling paint stored in at least five different places in my toy/wargame room ... and rashly though that I really ought to rationalise it all so that it was in once place.

That was a big mistake.

What started as a simple little task has seems to have blossomed into a full-scale reorganisation of the storage of my modelling and painting kit, of which I have far more than I realised! The downside of this is that at present, the table in my toy/wargame room seems to be covered in piles of various assorted storage boxes and trays. The upside of this will be that when it is complete, all my kit should be in a single multi-draw unit from REALLY USFUL BOXES.

I hope to be finished later today ... and then I can finish those two tanks!