01 September 2020

Airfix US Paratroops - Some Conversions

When these figures first came out in the mid-seventies I was very disappointed when I eagerly opened the box, only to discover that they were moulded in grey plastic !!  In my mind, they should have been made in the usual Airfix olive green plastic that all my other allied figures came in, I mean grey plastic was reserved for the Germans ....

(one of those original mid 1970s grey impostors in the foreground, and a more recent olive green offering from Heller)

Anyway, my childhood traumas aside, the set really does have some very well sculpted figures, albeit a little on the small side.

I had some pictures of these Airfix figures on the old and now defunct MiniatureZone website but until now I hadn't remembered to upload them here.

So here they are - these figures as you can see were moulded in good old olive green from a more recent offering by Heller - when I say recent, it's relative...... these were probably made about 10 - 12 years ago

The Airfix US paras lack a bit of heavier firepower so these little fellas got a few support weapons added.

Below, the standing figure on the left has had his Thompson replaced with a Bar taken from an old Esci US Para figure, while the MG team has been given a 0.30 cal Browning taken from the Revell US Paras set.

The mortar is from the Pegasus German set

Finally this one below was a complete bodge, it's supposed to be a hand-cart. Not very convincing, but I gave it a try at least.

And the figures once painted.

There are no parachutes in the Airfix set so we got a parachute taken from the Revell German Fallschirmjäger set, and the dropbag came from the Revell US Paras.

No bazookas for the Airfix guys either, the figure on the right had his carbine replaced with something a little more substantial.

And the rest of the gang, just vanilla Airfix US Paras

The figures are a joy to paint and they're well detailed and have stood the test of time, they still look good compared with more modern figures.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and feel free to comment. Will try to get another update soon, so keep safe and check back in a little while.

24 August 2020

Operation Barbarossa - Bolt Action Skirmish Game in 1/72 Scale

Pictures of another recent scenario with three of the regular crew (Alex / Carlos / Juan). In the game we kept distancing measures in place, and face coverings when necessary.

The game was a skirmish operation roughly based on / around the time of Operation Barbarossa put together by Carlos, composed of a small mobile force of German Panzergrenadiers supported by a couple of Stugs. 

Russian infantry were defending a small village and as the game progressed they received increasing support from BT-7s.


 Germans start moving in towards the village


The Russian commander looks out at the oncoming enemy.



 A political Commissar in the meantime keeps to the rear to "persuade" any dubious Comrades to hold their ground.

The Germans continue their advance 


Mortar shells come raining down on the awaiting Russians.


Bolt Action rules allow you to add medics. In this case the lovely Svetlana made an appearance to help out the boys under mortar fire.


 German squads arriving on foot through a small wood reach the outskirts of the village.


Stug surfing ! On the road into the village, a StuG tears down the road loaded with a squad of improvised tank riders.


 More BT-7s make an appearance. 


The Germans on foot who reached the outskirts have a tough time out in the open and stack up more and more casualties. 


The Stug surfers dismount but pay a high price, the Russians holed up in the houses practically decimate them in a hail of gunfire


Another BT-7 enters the fray and causes a lot of headaches on the Western flank. The fast-moving tanks get in behind the Stugs and disable both vehicles.


Meanwhile the remaining infantrymen are pinned and the German player decides enough is enough, he can't win this time so he concedes he's fighting a losing battle, and the victory is given to the Russian player.


The Commissar looks on at the retreating Germans - this time he hasn't had to persuade anyone to stand their ground.


The game was difficult for the Germans, too much ground to cover and probably not enough forces for the attack - but who said battles were fair ? 

In any case, we were thinking of maybe tweaking the scenario and playing it again sometime. The Russians didn't really do much apart from just shoot every turn in a static defence and the arrival of four BT-7s sealed the fate of the Stugs. 

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and as always the only victims in this battle were just little toy soldiers. 

Keep safe and in the next update we'll try and maybe get some photos up of a pre-Covid colonial game played back in February, or some photos of a few Airfix US Paratroop conversions

14 August 2020

Youtube - Post-Apoc Dwellings Inspiration

My plans to visit the UK to see the family for a few days were recently foiled by the 14-day quarantine restrictions on visitors from Spain.

So with that in mind we took a break for a few days on the island of Fuerteventura here in the Canary Islands.

While we were there we visited a remote desolate spot that's quite a way off the beaten track and is difficult to get to. 

It's on the far southern tip of the island and when we got there we came across an impromptu semi-permanent "village" that's been put together by the local surfer / bohemian / alternative lifestyle population that the island tends to have attracted from all over Europe.

The old trucks and beaten up caravans and containers they've used to put together their village is quite inspirational if you're looking at making some Gaslands / Post-Apoc dwellings / scenery.

I've put a short video up on YouTube, just click on the image below if you're interested in seeing it and it will open in a new window.

And please be assured that it's shanty-town that, from the locals I spoke to, has been built by people who've decided to live here this way in an alternative lifestyle (many of whom had nice cars and jeeps parked outside). If it had been anything otherwise, I wouldn't have put these images up.

Keep safe during these strange times.

26 July 2020

Youtube, some game videos.

I've been able to get together for a few games with the regular crew recently (keeping in mind while we game social distancing measures and face coverings when necessary of course)

We wanted to do something different, a live youtube feed of the game yesterday but it wasn't possible in the end as as apparently youtube requires you to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers before you can broadcast live from a mobile device.

Anyhow, we recorded a few videos and will upload them to the youtube channel.

One of them is below, with a bit of added music. It was a quick pre-game video of us making the shell holes that the advancing Canadians would try and use as cover as they advanced.

Rules were Bolt Action and the scenario was taken from the Warlord Games website and the little toy soldiers and tanks are all 1/72 scale miniatures as always.

The other videos have we're uploading have a lot of chit-chat in Spanish, so if you don't want to hear us making noise and jabbering on it might be wise to turn down the sound a little.

You can reach the channel on the following link below (it will open in a new window)