Friday, January 25, 2013

From SylvainR: 1:2400 WWII French Naval Force (86 points)

From Sylvain:
This is "La Royale" in 1940, as French sailors affectuously refer to their "Marine Nationale", even centuries after beheading Louis XVI.
I just finished a batch of 14 destroyers, 14 cruisers and 4 battleships. The cruiser category includes 6 light cruisers, 5 heavy cruisers, 2 old battleships (Lorraine and Bretagne) and 1 carrier (Béarn). Note that one of the modern battleships, the "Jean Bart", does not have a B-turret, as it was not completed when she had to flee France for Dakar.
This close-up shows an old WW1 era battleship close to a Dunkerque-class battleship and a Richelieu-class battleship. I decided to have a unified color scheme: the French Navy in 1940, instead of painting the most fancy camouflage scheme for each ship. "Gloire", a light cruiser, had what is probably the most disturbing razzle dazzle camouflage ever seen (see picture 44).

A light cruiser, a heavy cruiser and an aircraft carrier (seen at top of post). The cruisers were built as responses to the Italian vessels of the same type, that were fast and well armed.
Three destroyers and a light cruisers. It is difficult to appreciate how big the destroyers are in reality, and I have no British destroyer handy to make a comparison. The Washington treaty did impose strict weight limitations on battleships and cruisers, but none on destroyers. So the French produced destroyers on steroids that were the size of older light cruisers and were designed to go as fast as 45 knots (in theory).

Excellent work Sylvain! I'm very impressed at your progress with this project, bravo! I also look forward to having you and Peter dream up some scenarios for us to try these models out.

Sylvain's French fleet will garner him a well-earned 86 points. Great job!

From GregB: 28mm Mahdist cavalry (90 points)

From Greg:
This submission includes a group of Mahdist cavalry from Perry Miniatures awesome Sudan range.  Among them is the combo armoured Emir and armoured standard bearer, together with six more regular cavalry dudes, three of them sporting capture Remington rifles (likely obtained from one of the hapless Egyptian columns the Mahdi's men had slaughtered earlier in their rebellion).   

The Emir and his "flag dude" have rather amazing and bonkers patterns painted/quilted onto the cloth "armour" of their horses, while the riders themselves are clad in chain mail in addition to their more standard tribal garb.  I do not believe the cloth covers any kind of barding for the horses, but in researching these figures I came across many photos of incredibly complicated and brightly coloured coverings for horses in Africa, traditions that survive to this day in many isolated parts of the continent. 

I did my best to copy a particular pattern of a horse cloth that was captured at the battle of Omdurman.  It is the same pattern the Perry Miniatures' page shows off - though painted much better.  I went a little cross-eyed trying to figure it out, but it was worth the effort and I was pretty jazzed with the outcome. I have had these models in the pending pile for some time, so I am excited to get them done. 
The flag is sourced from "The Virtual Armchair General". Not the best quality banners I have worked with, but the service from the fellow was top notch - no complaints there. 
The Mahdist cavalry horde is now ready for a duel with the 10th Hussars!  And I am praying this puts me back in front of Ray...the bugger...

Beautiful work Greg! That cloth horse barding is fabulous - I really like the colours you've used.

This group will give Greg a base of 80 points but I'm adding another 10 for the barding and the banner. Well done and great work but it still leaves you 1 pip shy of Ray... He's very wiley, that Mr. Rousell.

From ChrisP: 15mm WWII Soviet Tank Company (105 points)

From Chris:
This is a Soviet Tankovy Company, in 15mm ready for a mid war tournament next month. I worked out a white-wash technique using blister pack foam which I am pretty happy with, so I used it again on these.
First up, we have 7 T-34s, as well as a spare 76mm turret. These are all old (quite old) models from Battlefront, comprising a mix of obr 1942 T-34s, some with solid road wheels, others with spoked wheels. The command tank is the hero, Marya, mainly because she looks cool!
Next is a single Battlefront T-70, which will be the Company Commander for the company. Nothing really different about this tank, simple whitewash and a chap poking out of the turret!
Lastly, there are ten T-70s from the Plastic Soldier Company. I am unashamedly a Battlefront fanboy, owning a ridiculous amount of their stuff, from early war to Vietnam! So, I had mixed feelings about the PSC tanks. Yes, it allowed me to get twice the number of T-70s for the same price, and the quality actually is not to bad to be honest. Am I swayed away from Battlefront? Well, given the nostalgic qualities of making plastic kits (so many memories of fingers stuck to Bristol Bulldog wings), I enjoyed pulling them out of the box.
In a head to head shot of the Battlefront and Plastic Soldier Company vehicles, I can tell the difference, but to be honest, I don't mind too much. 
Next? I really need to get on to painting some 15mm Auzzie Anti-tank for a tournament tomorrow....

Great work Chris! I really like the dappled frost/whitewash effect. I'll have to remember that packing foam idea... Good luck in your tournament!

This company of Soviet tanks will give Chris 105 points with a few points extra for the commanders.

From Curt: 28mm Spanish Civil War Light Mortar Teams (20 points)

A few more figures to add to the SCW collection. Here are two mortar teams, armed with 50mm 'Valero' light mortars. 

The Valero mortar (designed by infantry Captain Vicente Valero de Bernabé y Casañez) weighted in at about 7 kilos and had a maximum range of around 500 meters - though it could be used at very close quarters if need required. Overall it was a very robust and successful design. In fact the WWII era British 2" mortar was a licensed copy of the Valero  model which remained in service until the late 80s.

While these 28mm Empress models are excellent (Paul Hicks sculpts, I believe) it's interesting to note that the gunners' poses are not entirely accurate. This particular mortar was not fired automatically by dropping the shell down the tube but rather utilized a firing trigger located near its base.

A well preserved example of a Valero 50mm mortar. You can see the curved trigger where the barrel meets the baseplate.

Nonetheless, these quibbles aside they are great figures to work with. This entire range from Empress is just spectacular in my opinion - such great character.

This pack has been purposefully sculpted to be fairly generic so the figures can be used for either Republican or Nationalist. I have grouped them by uniform colour to represent a mortar team from each of the combatants.

These two teams will give me 20 points.