Hello! It’s been a while. And I have another post to do tomorrow or Friday.

But- this doesn’t mean I’m back. These are some of the intermittent appearances I may make. After all, I haven’t switched off transmissions for good yet…

Peter (co-author of the Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist rules) finished working on the Plastic Soldier Company 1/72nd Russian 45mm anti tank guns that he purchased some time ago. Here are his proud pics: 1DSCF45mmL66 2DSCF45mmL66 3DSCF45mmL66 4DSCF45mmL66 5DSCF45mmL66 . Look great, don’t they? Better than what I do! He commented that: “The guns had very few pieces, but the crew had to be stuck together, but looked awesome once done. There were four guns and crews in the box, and there were options to do the 45mmL46 or the 76mm infantry gun. Awesome value for one kit”.

~~~

He and I will be having a game of Panzerfaust:Armoured Fist in a fortnight. First game for me this year!

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This last game of Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist (click this link to get the rules for free) for 2012 was to be an Encounter scenario, using forces most likely to represent reconnaissance forces. The date is March, 1942. The failed drive to Moscow is a fresh and sore memory.

Forces are searching for each other in the regions west of Moscow. For Weather, a 6 was rolled – Clear. For Wind, a 1 – Still.

Here’s the map/board for the night: 1 Map 1 2 Map 2

Turn 1:

The Germans 3 details 1 could already see a company of BA armoured cars that were advancing at high speed. I order to try to reach better positions before engaging, I decided the Germans would all move at Full Movement speed.

More Russians then came into view after my movement, including infantry on horseback 4 details 2 .

The Russians had already set up some anti-tank guns 5 Russian 45mm L 56 ATGs . A 45mm L56 fired on a Pz 38(t) but missed. Being a small gun and at some distance, the Germans couldn’t see its muzzle flash and so couldn’t try to fire speculatively at it.

Russian 122mm artillery is attempted to be called down onto the Pz 38(t)’s. An 8 is required; a 4 is rolled. It’ll come down next turn (Peter did this too late in the turn and so penalised himself by delaying its arrival).

Turn 2:

All German forces continued moving at full speed 6 Germans moving at full .  The Russian 45mm L56 on the hill fired again, missing again. The BA company 7 What the Germans could see  all fire at my Pz 38(t) platoon and all miss. The Russian artillery comes down but only affects a Pz 38(t) on the wing, Stunning it for 2 turns.

Turn 3:

I roll 5 pips for my actions. Good, I need it to get everyone firing at the Communist hordes. I choose to continue advancing the company as a whole (so my two motorised infantry platoons continue to move forward to optimal combat positions) 8 Germans continuing to move at full but I spend pips halting my two armour platoons.

My SdKfz 222’s roll brilliantly, and cause three BA’s to be tracked. The Pz 38(t)’s hit the same BA’s, knocking the gun out on one and causing the crews to bail out of two others 10 Russians taking hits too .

As a result of this savage fighting, the BA company have to test morale. They are Stunned for 6 turns! But – they can still shoot, it just means they can’t advance – so I still have to be careful.

By now the other Russian 45mm anti-tank guns are set up and open fire, knocking out a Pz 38(t). Another hits my already-Stunned Pz 38(t) causing it to be tracked, then a third hit forces its crew to bail out  . I have to test the Morale of the Pz 38(t) platoon. I roll a 7, which is modified to 5 because of the Russian artillery fire, so we are fine (a roll that ends up being modified to 2 or below is bad).

A SdKfz 222 is hit and the crew bail out 9 Germans taking hits . I test the platoon’s morale – 3 – they are Shaken. I rolled to see how many turns they are Shaken for – 6! Drat.

Now I test my company’s Morale. 7, modified to 6; no problem.

Turn 4:

I move everyone, armour at full speed but infantry at 5cm so that the infantry vehicles (SdKfz 251/10’s) can shoot. Some infantry vehicles have stopped moving, allowing the troops to race into the buildings 11 Turn4 results 1 .

There is mass Russian shooting. A Pz 38(t) is tracked. My SdKfz 251/1’s use their LMGs to wipe out some Russian infantry with AT rifles.

The tracked Pz 38(t) fails his Morale check but the rest of the platoon passes.

Turn 5:

My infantry have all leaped off their 251/1’s and 251/10’s (apart from those needed to operate those vehicles’ weapons). Some are able to swarm into the hamlet’s hall (the game’s objective) and surrounding houses. But they lie low, as the Russians don’t know they are there and the opportunity to ambush is too good to pass up.

My SdKfz 222’s use their LMGs and 20mm cannons on the second platoon of 45mm L56’s, wiping out the whole platoon at once. But it’s not all good news, as the German guns and Russian guns have simultaneous firing times – so the L56’s shoot and score three hits on the SdKfz 222’s, killing the platoon commander and causing the others to surrender to the Russians.

I test my company Morale – 8 – fine.

A 251/10 lands a shell on a BA and stuns it.

My 50mm infantry mortars fail to land their shells on opposing Russian footsloggers. The 251/1’s let rip with their LMGs at the same footsloggers and kill a few 12 Turn5 results 1 .

My other 251/10 is destroyed and that platoon’s Morale fails.

I test the whole (surviving) company Morale – 5, modified to 1…Shaken. I can’t advance, but I’m still in the game 13 Turn5 results 2 .

Turn 6:

We declared this would be the final turn, as it was 11.30pm.

The 45mm L56’s on the hill hit my Pz 38(t)’s and kill the platoon HQ; the game ended right there 14 Turn6 as my Morale was now too low to continue fighting.

So I lost (as usual) but this time did reach the objective and occupy it (briefly). I’m improving each year! 1 win, 3 losses for 2012. Next year, I want to have 2 wins and 2 losses.

***

Here are some photos of other games being played at NWA that night:

Other games 1 Other games 2 Other games 3 Other games 4 Other games 5 Other games 6 . Those Warhammer 40K dudes? some of them are Stephen/cheetah185’s. You can see photos of his Warhammer 40K project on his blog, In my own time.

 

 

Still one month to go…

November 30, 2012

…but what a year it’s been. Some great hauls at swap n’ sells, plus purchases from private sellers; enough scenery finished to satisfy immediate needs; interesting posts from my fellow hobby folks (many of whom I’ve linked to…scroll down and see their blogs); two nominations for a Leibster blog award; Trainee Funker recruiting himself into my life.

My modelling output has really slowed and so has the frequency of my posts, so I don’t really deserve the award. If I’m helping people find information, then that is reward in itself. My fellow hobby bloggers have been doing fantastic projects and posts this year and so I really urge you to check their blogs if you don’t, or check one out that you don’t normally read.

Only 3 games of ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’ so far this year but aiming for a fourth before Christmas. A few days off between Christmas and New Year, so hopefully I can get lots of hobby stuff done then.

Thanks for reading – keep checking in, but don’t check in daily – weekly is more than enough.

Need WWII Russians?

September 15, 2012

Anyone modelling or wargaming the WWII Eastern Front (Ostfront) will need WWII Russians and plenty of them. This morning I’ve just read very high praise indeed for a new set of 1/72 Russians, Zvezda’s Set 8077, Soviet Infantry Platoon. Now, these figs are not intended for any particular wargames ruleset (although Zvezda do publish a ruleset called Art of Tactic) so you can use them with any ruleset, such as ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’. After all,  ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’ is a platoon level and company level game – Zvezda are selling you a whole platoon. Or you could just use individual figures for modelling dioramas.

Plastic Soldier Review has given this set of 38 figures four 10/10’s and one 9/10. Their review concludes: “The positive aspects of this set are many, and we have already gushed enough about them here. The negative points are limited to this being a time-consuming set to put together (some will see that as no great loss, and of course many will enjoy the experience anyway), and the noticeably well-equipped and neat/uniform appearance of the men – a feature that is hardly uncommon of many plastic soldiers in this scale and beyond. In a word – excellent. In two words – buy it!”

So – there you go.

Yesterday was the first of what will hopefully become a regular swap ‘n sell in Chirnside Park. Mrs Eastern Funker joined me for the drive and we arrived here: .

When I got inside, there were a number of different traders with something for almost everyone.

Here’s the view in one direction in the main room: and from the other direction: . In the next room: and in the last room: .

AFVs, boats, planes, trucks, cars, space vehicles (actual, not sci-fi), submarines and of course books about all of those and more. Well done Model Art Australia, Yarra Ranges Council and Rainbow Meats Chirnside Park – I hope to come along again next year.

Now, I’m sure some of you are asking, “Well, what did Eastern Funker get?”

Here’s my loot: Chirnside Park swap n' sell 6 - the loot!. The FAMOs were a steal at $10 AUD each and shall be used in some more distinct scenarios to some of those that Peter and I currently play. The StuG and Panzer III commence filling up new platoons, the US stuff is for more distinct scenarios and the JU-88 is for Panzerfaust’s bombing rules.

You would? Well, Peter has placed the most up-to-date version (4th edition, version 1.05) which he and I currently use at a new hosting service.

Click on this link

http://www.freewargamesrules.co.uk/uploads/7/0/8/1/7081303/panzerfaust_armored_fist_revised1v05.pdf

and it’s all yours, and for free!

WWII rules to cover all theatres of war: Europe, the Pacific, Eastern Front, Western Front, Africa – it’s all here! While intended for 1/72 and 1/76 scale figures and vehicles, you can go smaller. All the major and many of the minor nations (including Belgium, Rumania and Hungary) are included. It even has rules for amphibious, parachute and glider assaults. And currently, it’s FREE!

 

 

Back in September I showed you some small resin haystacks I’d bought and painted up. I discussed how I had painted them and what I was trying to achieve with colour and effects when I painted them. I also asked about what it means when a resin item is still ‘sticky’ to the touch, as one of them was still ‘sticky’ even after being painted and varnished.

Talking to a valued acquaintance on Friday night at Nunawading Wargames Association provided the best answer – the resin used for that particular item was at or past it’s effective ‘use-by’ date, and so had not hardened or cured properly – the chemicals in it when mixed with the hardener won’t react completely – so they will never stop being ‘sticky’ – just chuck the item out. He spoke with plenty of authority as he has cast in resin for well over 25 years. He’d cast me some wonderful large haystacks, taller than tanks, which I’d painted up – and I’d found the bottom of one was a tad sticky. It was a good opportunity to speak directly to a manufacturer whom couldn’t be evasive – so I provide the answer here for all of you to utilise as well. Photos? Here they are for you to see (with the camera flash on): .

I’d spent some weeks trying to decide how to do the final, light drybrushed layer, to get the lightest, outermost strands of hay that should be sun-bleached to look exactly as all the balesof straw I could see in my mind’s eye. At first I thought I’d just drybrush with Bleached Bone, but when I tried it, it looked a bit odd – a bit too much greenish-grey. So I tried a mix of Desert Yellow and Skull White…and it was perfect. It was exact. Not too white, still with a touch of yellowy-brown. Golden. It’s what you can see, on layers of Desert Yellow. In order for you to see what they look like without the camera flash, here are two more photographs – the colours are less distinct: . As far as I’m concerned, these haystacks are perfect. I’m very proud of them.

I have a photo somewhere of haystacks in the Ukraine just before the war…they were two storeys tall, huge things, so I’m ruling that these haystacks do block LOS for ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’.

 

As per the previous post, Peter and I decided to explore another time and place two fridays back…the time being Spring 1940 and the place being France for our second “Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist” game of the year. Only a brief description follows of what transpired – in fact, if you want it to be really brief, Peter (as the French) won a close victory.

The board was of a French country house or manor or large farmhouse situated in the middle of a large farm:   .

The Germans attempted a central and Northern thrust using Panzers and motorised infantry:  but French armour, beautifully camouflaged, burst from the woods across the small stream and upset the German plan:   .

The centre platoon of Panzers continued forwards towards its objective whilst a flanking platoon was forced to halt and return fire  but they were surprised by dug-in, very determined and well-aged French tanks whom forced them to stop for three turns (as per the purple die you see on the table).  German mortars were so disorganised that, even though on the table for nine turns, they never actually lobbed over a single shell:  and as Panzers were slowed knocked out one by one the French actually advanced and forced their opponents to retreat:   . The game ended with the motorised infantry failing to reach the centre of the table as French machinegun fire slowli inflicted increasing casualties and broke the German morale:  . I blame my troops’ loss on all the wine and cheese they had been pigging out on the night before. If only they stuck to beer and schnitzels…

It was an extremely close game, going right up till 11.30 at night. We tried out an airstrike by a Stuka (which was successful) and had both infantry and armour on the table. Fun! Next game is going to be Operation Barbarossa.

Many of the “other” things I’ve been working on the side for some time are now being completed. The Trumpeter StuG III C/D is a quite detailed yet simple kit to assemble. I was getting along with it so quickly that I stopped myself occasionally to make sure I wasn’t missing steps or pieces! The only real problem I had with it was the rubber tracks. They are one piece and have holes on one end and pins on the other, wich you press together and glue. The pins on my kit were perhaps two milimetres long and far too thin…they certainly weren’t going to stay in place under their own power while waiting for the glue to harden. I snipped them off, used cyanoacrylate and clothes pegs with bits of broken chopstick to get the tracks into position and stay in place.

I improvised a gun aiming telescope sticking out of the molded-open roof hatch by using a cut-off piece from a Hasegawa kit glued onto some leftover sprue. From more than a couple of feet distance it looks great.

It then received a Dunkelgrau paint job and rather than just Operation Barbarossa dust drybrushing, it got dust and then ink and paint to represent splashed-up puddles and the Autumn mud. Here it is:

I also had three other things on the go on the side:

You’ve seen the Horch resin kits before…I did four of them previously…I decided a couple of months back to do the remaining two on the side while waiting for all those StuG Gs to harden or dry. I tried a slightly different way of painting the reflection on the windscreen with these two. I like it better than what I did previously, but it’s still got a long way to go yet.

The log building is from Pegasus Hobbies, but I’m not sure which box or production/kit number it is, because I got it loose in an eBay job lot. It’s not the “Russian Farm Houses” (#7702) or “Russian Log House – Two Story (Large Karilian region izba)” because I’ve already got those. If you know, could you please let me know? They are great to paint as they have good, clean, well-detailed detail so you can really bring out highlights and shades.

I played a game of Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist on friday with Peter, but it wasn’t an Ostfront game. Photos but minimal report to come (as it wasn’t Ostfront).

Peter Stone is the co-author of  ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’ and my opponent for games of the same. He has his own blog, Toy Soldiers in Miniature: 15mm toy soldiers for DBM, DBA, FOG, FOW, Flames of War, Field of Glory where you can see his excellent 15mm scale modelling work.

‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’ is intended for 1/72 & 1/76 scale but can be played in 15mm. In which case, this army of the “battered bastards of Bastogne” could be fielded! They look great, don’t they?