Beaverette Armoured Car

I’m not sure why I am so attracted to Early War British Armour. In my youth I was obsessed with the more ‘glamorous’ German Armour and the idea of Blitzkrieg. But as I’ve got older, the quirky nature of the British Armour and the ‘Dads Army’ attitude to making the best of what they had has taken a hold in my imagination. So my focus now is building a collection representing these vehicles and weapons.

Beaverettes of 53rd Reconnaissance Regiment on manoeuvres in Northern Ireland, 1941

A perfect example of making the best of what you have is the Standard Beaverette Armoured Car. It really is an armoured car. That is, a car with armour bolted on to it. The first version of the vehicle was a Standard Motor Company chassis with 11mm steel plates bolted on to it. The steel was backed with 3 inch oak planks for extra protection. The driver could barely see where he was going and needed the help of an additional crew member to watch the roads. It was named the ‘Beaverette’ after Lord Beaverbrook, who was desperate to get some sort of replacement for the Armour lost in France and Dunkirk. The armament generally consisted of a Bren, Lewis gun or Boyes Anti Tank gun. Later models were used by the RAF for airfield defence and had twin Vickers or even a Turret from the Bolton Paul Defiant night Fighter.

The Beavette was never used overseas and production stopped in 1942. It was used mainly by the Home Guard and as has already been mentioned, by the RAF. Indeed, I first was made aware of the Beaverette when researching the ‘Rogation Raid’ on Torquay ( my home town), a ‘tip and run’ air raid that occurred in 1943. Beaverettes formed part of the towns Anti Aircraft defense that shot down 6 of the 21 Focke wulf 190 raiders.

I decided I had to have one for my collection.

Beaverette Armour car from 1st Corps

After a great deal of searching, I found that 1st Corps made a lovely model in 1/48th scale, complete with crew. The model consists of a resin body with metal Accessories – wheels, hatches and of course, the crew. It was a simple matter to wash, clean and assemble it and prime it ready for painting.

Beaverette crew painted & car primed
Basic colours added

I used my airbrush to base coat the model with Mig Ammo Khaki Green (1939- 42) MIG113. I then hand painted the camouflage using British Olive Drab (1944-45) MIG0112. I should have masked off the model and used the airbrush again but I was too lazy and it seemed easier to use a brush. I wasn’t too worried about the colour either. Clearly, a 1944 olive drab isn’t going to be exactly the right shade but it gave me the effect that I wanted. In some of the reference pictures that I found, modellers had used a green/black combo but I quite liked the version below, which looks to me like the dark green on Khakhi green used by the BEF and so I based my scheme on this.

After the camouflage, I weathered the model with a pin wash of Dark tone ink around the rivets and panel lines and then I dry brushed the model using the original camouflage colours, lightened with Iraqi sand. The tyres were painted using Mig Ammo Rubber and tyres MIG0033 and darkened with a wash of dark tone. The markings were added using a combination of generic 1/56th markings that I had spare from Warlord games and I hand painted some of them. the vehicle number is ficticious. I then airbrushed the whole model with Mig Ultra matt varnish and when this was dry, I added some weathering in the form of pigments on the sides and wheel arches.

Weathering, crew and markings added
The other side!
The front view!

I had previously painted the crew in normal British army Khaki and added them, together with the bren gun to complete the model. So another model goes into the cabinet!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see our range of MIG ammo paints and accessories here:

MIG AMMO

we carry a huge range of Vallejo paint and accessories here:

VALLEJO

We dont carry 1st Corps models but you can order them direct here:

1st Corps

Happy Modelling!

Where did the month go?

The good news is that I haven’t lost my painting mojo, more a case of losing my blog writing mojo! I last wrote about my Lord of the Rings project but also mentioned that I had started a WW2 Cromwell tank. Well since then, I have completed the tank, I’ve also expanded my collection of Home guard weaponry with a Blacker Bombard and a Northover Projector. I’ve also painted two Medieval wagons for my WOTR project, added eight Kern to my WOTR skirmish contingent, played at least 3 games of Never Mind The Billhooks, spent a weekend gaming including a Crimean War Battle, a Zombie apocalypse and a Swiss Burgundian play test. Oh, and I have finally tracked down a Beaverette Armoured Car for my Home guard and that is on the paint station as I write.

Beaverette Armoured Car under construction!

In this blog, I’ll show you the Cromwell that I have completed.

The Cromwell is a 1/48th scale resin model from Blitzkrieg miniatures. I prefer the larger 1/48th scale models as I think that they look better with the modern ’28mm’ figures which although are nominally 1/56th scale, in reality they are not a scale at all but a size. I know that not everyone agrees but I find that the 1/56th scale tanks look too small against the figures, especially when the figures are based. I am using 28mm crew and as you can see, they look fine.

Cromwell with basic paint job

The painting process was straight forward enough. After washing the tank in hot soapy water, I primed it with Vallejo Matt black model air primer. I then used the airbrush to spray it with Mig Ammo British 1944-45 Olive drab MIG0112. I had a bit of a wobble over the colour. I started to get hung up on whether I was using the correct shade of green. In fact, the whole process of completing the tank was almost derailed by being side-tracked into trying to produce an IPMS competition standard replica rather than a representation of the tank that would look reasonable both on the gaming table and in my own display cabinet.

Inked, Dry Brushed, tracks and road wheels painted

Putting aside such pedantry, I got on with the model and having airbrushed the basic colour, I used Army painter dark tone ink to add shadows to the panel lines and around the rivets. I then gave the tank a couple of dry brushes using the original colour, highlighted with Iraqi Sand added to the green and then white to get the top lights. The road wheels were painted in black ( a mistake – I think that black grey would have been better) and then the tracks painted with gun metal. All the running gear was then heavily ‘muddied up’ with a mixture of browns daubed and dry brushed on. I also added some mud pigment to get a ‘crusty’ effect in places where I thought that the mud would accumulate.

Mud, markings and aerial added

I took pragmatic approach to the markings. I suppose I could have sent off for some decals but I used a fictional vehicle number on the turret and I hand painted the Squadron triangle symbol. The final touch was to add the aerial. I’ve painted this black because it looks black to me in the photographs but I do wonder whether it would have been the same colour as the tank.

My tank collection – Cromwell, Matilda II, Matilda I, Vickers Mk VIb

So another tank is added to my collection. It wont win any prizes at competitons but then it isn’t going to be entered into any! The important thing for me is that it looks like a Cromwell! On to the next model!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see the Blitzkrieg range of both 1/48th and 1/56th scale tanks here:

BLITZKRIEG MODELS

You can see our range of MIG ammo paints and accessories here:

MIG AMMO

we carry a huge range of Vallejo paint and accessories here:

VALLEJO

We carry a full range of Evergreen Plastic – ideal for modelling and converting:

EVERGREEN PLASTIC

If you haven’t got a piece of wire….the 50mm spears are here!

50MM SPEARS

If you prefer proper brass rod or tube, we carry a huge range of Albion Alloy metals here:

ALBION ALLOYS

Happy Modelling!

Workbench update 06 May 2021

Having completed the Landsknechts, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to start as my next project. I took the easy option and resorted to my Lord of the Rings collection moving onto the next issue of the Magazine ‘Battle Games in Middle Earth’. Somewhere back in April, I found the time to complete Legolas, the figure that came with issue 8. As I was absorbed in my Bombard project, I neglected to take any photos other than the one below of the finished figure, before basing was completed.

Legolas, basing still to complete

The next issue of ‘Battlegames in Middle Earth’, issue 9, came with an Uruk-Hai Scout. Issue 10 came with another sprue of 10 Uruk-Hai Warriors, so it made sense to paint all 11 figures as one batch. I cleaned up and assembled the figures and then primed them with a black undercoat. I then dry brushed them with gun metal to pick out the armour, painted the flesh using Vallejo Game Colour Dark Flesh and then the various straps and leather ‘kilts’ in either Leather brown or flat earth. The hair and spear staffs were painted in German Cam. Black brown. I then inked the armour with Dark tone and the rest of the colours with strong tone.

Uruk-Hai in progress as a batch paint job.

I went back over the colours and highlighted them using a lighter shade or simply the original colour, tidying up any obvious errors. I added the teeth and eye’s to the scout captain and based the figures with Vallejo textured paste and sand. The bases were painted with my usual emulsion paint ‘Delhi Bazaar’, and highlighted with progressive mixes of this mixed with Iraqi sand. The final touch was the Gamers Grass beige tufts.

Uruk-Hai based and ready for action!

So another 11 LOTR figures are added to my collection – next up is Boromir. Just 81 magazines to go to complete the collection!

Cromwell basic colours applied – weathering and markings to add.

As well as the Uruk-Hai, I also have been working on a Blitzkrieg miniatures Cromwell tank. Here’s the progress so far. I’ll perhaps cover the stages of this project in my next blog. I now have four British tanks in my collection and I am quite pleased with the results. I have taken the view that these are going to be used as wargaming models which has liberated me from being too picky about the details. The result is that instead of getting bogged down and never finishing anything, I am making progress. The result should be a nice collection to go in the cabinet that shows off British tank development in World War Two – and of course, should I ever get around to it, I will have a nice selection for my war gaming!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

The magazines that I am referring to are long out of print but still available on ebay should you wish to collect them.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see the Blitzkrieg range of both 1/48th and 1/56th scale tanks here:

BLITZKRIEG MODELS

You can see our selection of Gamers grass here:

GAMERS GRASS – ARCANE Scenery and Models

Happy Modelling!

Workbench Update 24 November 2020

I continue with my steady output of models during lockdown. Over the last fortnight or so, I have been working on a number of projects, none of them particularly connected to each other.

Whilst discussing how I might adapt the ‘Never Mind the Bill Hooks’ rules for use in a fantasy setting, I decided to dig out my Lord of The Rings Magazine collection. These were published weekly by Deagostini in conjunction with Games Workshop and each magazine came with a free sprue of plastic figures or a free metal miniature from the GW LOTR range.

goblins!

goblins!

After 20 or so years of these being hidden away in my wardrobe, I decided to paint the figures that came with the first magazine, 12 Goblins of Moria. It was a nice break from my usual subjects and using only the magazine as a painting guide, I soon had them finished. Quite what I will do with them is another matter. For now, they are in my figure cabinet and issue 2, complete with a set of Elves and Men of Gondor is ready for me to paint, should I have the urge!

Bren Team and commander

Bren Team and commander

I had also ordered some more units for my BEF force. I really liked the look of the new releases from Curteys 1st Corp and ordered myself a bren team, Officer set and a Matilda mark 1. The models are lovely and extremely well sculpted and produced. I was particularly impressed with the quality of the Matilda 1. The bren team and officer were painted up in a batch using the technique I have covered in my previous blogs. I left a link below if you would like more information.

Matilda Mk 1 and tank commanders

Matilda Mk 1 and tank commanders

As well as the bren team, I also painted three tank commanders, one for the Matilda and one two for future tanks!

Matilda Mk 1

Matilda Mk 1

As for the Matilda, I am still in the process of finishing this model. I just need to add the markings and a flag for the aerial and touch up a few details.  I have decided to use a slightly different colour scheme to my Vickers Mark IVb. Although the dark green on the Vickers tank matched the references that I have, The pictures that I have for the Matilda show a lighter green in the camouflage, so I went with this. I suspect purists will recoil at the mis match but I know that one of the two will be about right! I am at the age now that I would rather get on and paint a model rather than spend endless hours researching and never actually get anything finished.

Matilda Mk1 and Vickers MkVIb

That said, I do find myself revisiting projects and re- touching or adding bits as I think of something else or find a new piece of information. A case in point is the Medieval Church that I have been working on.

Sarissa Church

Sarissa Church

Back of the Church

Back of the Church!

I have been working on this church on and off for some time now. There are still bits to do. I have plans to add a few graves and improve the ground work – I have asked Santa for a static Grass applicator. I also want to do something fancy for the windows. I have mounted it on the Sarissa terrain tiles – this will enable storage as I can remove the church from the tiles. I have grand plans of creating my own Medieval village and the tile system will let me ‘grow’ the village, building by building.

Winston Churchill goes to Church!

Winston Churchill goes to Church!

Lord Callans Merry Band!

Lord Callans Merry Band!

On my conveyor belt of things to do, is the next unit for ‘Never Mind The Billhooks’. I had half a box of Perry’s WOTR infantry left over and decided customise them to produce a mixed unit of Billmen as a unit for Lord Callans retinue. All being well, I’ll cover these in a separate blog in the future.

I’m keeping busy during the lockdown and I think that the key to avoid getting stale or losing interest in a project is to keep a bit of variety on the work bench! It might seem that I spend forever out in the garage but I tend to work in short bursts of no more than a hour or so. What has increased my output has been to do something every day. I hope that you are having as much fun!

If you would like to see a step by step guide to how I paint my British World War Two Infantry, click here:

PAINTING WW2 BRITISH INFANTRY

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available POST FREE at the time of writing, from my shop. The Links will open in another tab on your device.

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Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can see our Woodlands scenics range, including water effects, here:

WOODLAND SCENICS

Gamers grass tufts can be found here:

GAMERS GRASS

Vallejo plastic filler and Milliput is available here:

FILLERS

MDF bases can be found here:

MDF BASES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

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The full Sarissa range can be found here.

SARISSA PRECISION

If you are struggling to find an item, use the shop search bar! For example, type Church to see all the churches that we carry….

CHURCH

Happy Modelling!

Painting WW2 British Infantry

I thought that it might be useful to document a step by step guide to painting WW2 British infantry, as much for my own reference but I hope that it might be useful for other wargamers. The figures that I am using are Crusader Miniatures British infantry. I wanted some additional troops for my growing BEF force and fancied a bit of variety from the superb Warlord BEF figures. The Crusader miniatures are every bit as good, both in terms of sculpting and casting and completely compatible size wise. However, I had made a mistake in thinking that these were early war as opposed to the Late War packs in the Crusader Miniatures range. I am by no means an expert on uniforms of WW2 but these figures are missing the gas mask pack worn on the chest, the rifle bandoleer and the entrenching tool is a two piece item rather than the earlier one piece. I suspect that this means that a purist would say that they are not suitable to join my BEF force. Fortunately, I am by no means a purist and they look great, so they are in the platoon!

Based and primed.

The picture above shows four of the figures, cleaned up, primed with leather brown Army Painter spray, attached to Sarissa 25mm MDF bases and the first vallejo colour applied, Vallejo Flat Flesh 70955. Unless specified, all of the paints used are from the Vallejo model colour range.

Burnt Umber

All of the uniform is painted with Burnt Umber 70941.

US Olive drab

The helmets and water bottle are painted with 70887 US olive drab.

Webbing done

The webbing, packs, belt and gaiters are painted with 70988 Khaki.

Rifles

The rifles and entrenching tool handle were painted with German Cam. Black Brown 70822. I also paint the hair with the same colour – not that there is much to see!

boots black

The detail on the rifles, bayonet cover and boots were painted Black 70950.

Flesh washed

The faces, hands, Helmets, water bottle and all khaki were painted over with Army painter soft tone ink. It doesn’t matter if you get some on the uniform, you will be over painting this in future steps

english uniform

The uniforms were painted with English uniform 70921, leaving the burnt umber in the shadows and creases.

2020-08-22 17.54.32

The Helmets and water bottles were repainted with 70887 US Olive drab, leaving some of the shading at the base of the helmet and around the webbing of the water bottle. All the Khaki, except the gaiters was repainted, again, leaving the shadows caused by the soft tone ink. I decided to leave the Gaiters a dirtier dark colour.

high;ights

The Webbing and packs are highlighted with German Camouflage Beige 70821. The wood on the rifles highlighted with flat brown 70984.

2020-08-23 15.16.01

The uniform is highlighted on the tops of the creases with 70880 Khaki Grey.

flesh highlights

The flesh is highlighted with Flat Flesh 70855 and then skin tome70815. The rifles and shovel handle highlighted with 70846 Mahogany Brown.

vallejo paste

The flesh is highlighted with Flat Flesh 70855 and then skin tone70815. The rifles and shovel handle highlighted with 70846 Mahogany Brown.

section ready

Bases painted with Dehli Bazaar Brown emulsion and then highlighted with an Iraqui sand mix. Sprinkled with  Woodlands Scenics green grass T1349.

Crusader and Warlord WW2 British Infantry

Crusader and Warlord WW2 British Infantry

And that’s another section completed – well nearly. They need a bren gun team to join them – I’ll get that painted later. Here’s a final shot of the two sections that I now have completed. On the right, the warlord figures, on the left, Crusader. They are in Movement trays for organisational and display purposes. If they ever do take to the table, the movement trays wont be in use.

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available POST FREE at the time of writing, from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can find the Warlord Games WW2 British sets ( including the Dads Army set) here;

WARLORD GAMES WW2 BRITISH

we carry a huge range of Vallejo paint and accessories here:

VALLEJO

Sarissa bases and movement trays are available here:

BASES AND MOVEMENT TRAYS

Crusader miniatures are available from North Star Games or from Arcane via special order email.

Happy Modelling!

 

 

BEF Section and Vickers VIb completed

I’ve had quite a productive couple of weeks since my last blog, with a number of projects moving towards completion. The Vickers VIb is now more or less there. I still have to add some stowage but I have yet to find exactly what I need for this or take the time to make it from scratch. However, I have completed the weathering and added some markings. The decals are sourced from Warlord Games and supplemented with some hand painting. I also added the aerial and flag – another cut down 50mm spear from Arcane Scenery, the flag is just paper. So for now, I’m calling this one done.

VIckers VIb

VIckers VIb

Vickers VIb other side!

Vickers VIb other side!

It’s worth pointing out that the markings that I have used are conjectural, and I have used a number of different picture references of tanks to come up with the layout. To be fair, the experts aren’t really sure of the markings used as there doesn’t seem to be a standard layout. The white squares do indicate that the tank is part of the BEF in France.

I’ve also completed the first BEF section along with a movement tray that is really just to facilitate display and to help organise my force for when I get to using them in a game

BEF section in their 'movement tray'.

BEF section in their ‘movement tray’.

Bren Team

Bren Team

Also now complete and based are the HQ section comprising of a 2 inch Mortar:

2 inch Mortar Team

2 inch Mortar Team

and the Boyes Anti Tank Gun:

Boyes AT Gun Team

Boyes AT Gun Team

The HQ is a man short, with just three figures at present. I’m on the lookout for a medic or spare man to make up the numbers.

HQ section

HQ section

The last unit that I’ve added is the Vickers HMG as a support, which means that I have completely finished the Warlord Games BEF boxed set. I’m not entirely happy with the Vickers gun and may revisit it but for now, it will do!

Vickers Gun Team

Vickers Gun Team

I’ve also been busy basing up my Dad’s Army Home guard Platoon, using one of the ‘new’ scenic MDF bases from Sarissa. The main characters all fit into the ‘sabot’ bases that I have made and can be removed should I decide to game with them.

Dads Army on Display Base

Dads Army on Display Base

I’ve also transferred the Vicar, Verger and Warden to renedra paved bases, so they look more at home.

Vicar, Verger and Warden

Vicar, Verger and Warden

Finally, I’ve made a start on a Home guard Smith gun. The crew are complete and the gun needs weathering and the set basing.

Smith Gun for Home Guard - W.I.P.

Smith Gun for Home Guard – W.I.P.

Smith Gun (2) - the other side!

Smith Gun (2) – the other side!

I still haven’t worked out whether I will game with these figures or I am just collecting them for my display cabinet. The thought of painting another 20 BEF figures isn’t as attractive as painting a few more tanks and weapon sets, such as the 2pdr AT gun or some of the quirky home guard weapons, the Blacker bombard and Northover projector. I suspect it will be a mixture of all three!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available POST FREE at the time of writing, from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see the Blitzkrieg range of both 1/48th and 1/56th scale tanks here:

BLITZKRIEG MODELS

You can find the Warlord Games WW2 British sets ( including the Dads Army set) here;

WARLORD GAMES WW2 BRITISH

You can see our range of MIG ammo paints and accessories here:

MIG AMMO

we carry a huge range of Vallejo paint and accessories here:

VALLEJO

We carry a full range of Evergreen Plastic – ideal for modelling and converting:

EVERGREEN PLASTIC

If you haven’t got a piece of wire….the 50mm spears are here!

50MM SPEARS

If you prefer proper brass rod or tube, we carry a huge range of Albion Alloy metals here:

ALBION ALLOYS

Happy Modelling!

Vickers VIB Light Tank

Now that I have started my BEF force, it seemed sensible to add a tank as a support. One of the most numerous tanks supplied to the BEF at the start of the war was the Vickers VI mark B. Armed with a 0.303 machine gun and a 0.5 inch Vickers heavy machine gun and with a maximum speed of 35 mph, it was a useful recon vehicle but somewhat under gunned and under armoured compared to the contemporary German tanks that it would be facing. That aside, it is a lovely little tank, full of character and a nice subject for my collection. My first decision was to decide on what scale I would use.

The 1/48th scale Blitzkrieg Vickers VIB as supplied.

The 1/48th scale Blitzkrieg Vickers VIB as supplied.

The common scale used by Warlord and Rubicon, and as a result, by many war gamers, is 1/56th scale. In theory, this should match the ‘scale’ of 28mm figures. However, I find that most war gaming figures are closer to 30mm in size and due to the manufacturing process, tend to be more ‘chunky’ than a true 1/56th scale figure would be. By the time that you mount figures on a base, I think that they look on the large size compared to the vehicles. I also have grand ideas of building a collection of 1/48th aircraft, so with all this in mind, I went for a 1/48th scale Vickers produced by Blitzkrieg Miniatures. You can see more on my thoughts as to what scale is best for your figures in a previous blog here:

Blitzkrieg tanks – what scale should I choose?

Vickers tank - Profile publications

Vickers tank – Profile publications

Colour Schemes for Vickers in Profile magazine

Colour Schemes for Vickers in Profile magazine

As usual, the next task was to do some research on the tank and it’s colour scheme. I have quite a few old Military Modelling magazines in my collection and I was pleased to find that I had a couple of really good articles describing the tank and modelling the tank in 1/35th scale. I also had an old tank profile publication devoted to the Vickers. It is an old publication, now long OOP, I suspect. My copy still has the price of five shillings on the cover! I also did some research on the internet and there is no shortage of reference, both in terms of pictures and videos. The challenge for me was to convert this knowledge into a wargaming model rather than a massively detailed scale modelling project. The Blitzkrieg model is good enough to paint and use straight on the wargames table but I wanted to add some detail so that it looked good in the display cabinet.

Article from Military Modelling collectors edition #16

Article from Military Modelling collectors edition #16

Modelling the Vickers VI in 1/35th scale from the same magazine

Modelling the Vickers VI in 1/35th scale from the same magazine

There were four areas where I thought a bit of detail would enhance the model. The drivers mirror is an obvious feature that is impossible to mould onto a resin cast kit. The Aerial platform at the rear of the turret is also missing. The muzzle of the 0.5inch machine gun is also not moulded onto the kit. The final ‘missing’ detail is the lack of tools or stowage – to be fair, from the pictures that I have seen, the Vickers did not seem to be carrying much in the way of stowage. Certainly not the amount that you see on tanks later on in the war.

Drivers mirror, Muzzle and aerial added to model.

Drivers mirror, Muzzle and aerial added to model.

My approach to modelling these details was to represent them rather than attempt to make scale replicas. So for the drivers mirror, I used a 50mm metal spear! It looked about the right thickness and is rigid enough to withstand a bit of wear and tear on the war games table. I just cut it to about the right length using the pictures as a reference. I then cut out a small bit of 20/000 thou plastic card of about the right size for the mirror, using a file to gently round the edges. I drilled the hull in about the right place and using Expo thick super glue with accelerator, glued the assembly into position.

The aerial platform - some sanding and shaping needed!

The aerial platform – some sanding and shaping needed!

I took the same ‘cavalier’ attitude to making the aerial platform. I used a piece of 20/000 plasticard cut to about the right size and glued it to the back of the turret in about the right place. I then used another piece of the 50mm spear to make the support and again used super glue to fix it in position. To make the aerial holder/cover I cut a piece of plastic tube to about the right size, sanded the top to a curve and then filled it with Vallejo putty. Once dry, I again sanded it to the curved shape. I will add the whip aerial, using thin brass rod or stretched sprue, once I have finished the painting.

Close up of the 0.5 inch machine gun muzzle.

Close up of the 0.5 inch machine gun muzzle.

I then made the muzzle of the 0.50 Vickers gun using a piece of plastic rod. To get the cone shape, I put the rod into my trusty hand drill and spinning it around, used some sand paper to produce a cone shape at the end. I then cut this off and stuck it into the gun mount. This extra work took around an hour or so and would have been even quicker if I had not had to make at least two copies of the bits as I kept dropping them on the floor and losing them. I’m convinced that there’s a spider under my work bench that shares my hobby and is collecting the bits that I drop!

I’m leaving the stowage until after I have finished the painting. I’m trying to decide whether to buy some ready made stowage or just make some out of milliput and spares. I’ll probably go for the latter option but feel happy adding this to the finished model.

Model primed in Vallejo Black primer.

Model primed in Vallejo Black primer.

Onto painting. I should mention that the first job that I did was to wash the model in warm soapy water using an old tooth brush to give it a good scrub down before I started any modelling. With resin tanks, this is vital, as the silicon mold release agent will cause your paint to flake if you don’t get rid of it. For some reason, it is always a problem with resin. I never bother with plastic kits or metals and have never had an issue but resin is problematic – if you miss a spot, it will flake your paint! I then primed the model with Vallejo black primer using an airbrush.

Painting in progress. - You can see the original Olive drab that I thought was too light on the front of the tank- I've missed a bit when repainting!

Painting in progress. – You can see the original Olive drab that I thought was too light on the front of the tank- I’ve missed a bit when repainting!

As far as the colours go, you could write a book on the subject! Mike Starmer has written quite a few and is evidently the foremost expert in this area. Google him for more information. I took my usual pragmatic approach and used MIG Ammo colour Kahki Green MIG113, which has been designed specifically for painting British armour 1939 – 1942 with Mr Starmers input. Once again, I used an airbush to apply this coat. When it came to the camouflage pattern, I used blutack to mask off the pattern, approximating to the picture in the Profile publication. I initially airbrushed on Mig Ammo 0112 Olive Drab. This looked dark enough in the bottle but when on the model it looked too light to me. I decided to repaint this using Vallejo German Black Green 70979. I also added a couple of drops of black to make it even darker. Rather than re mask the model, I simply brush painted it over the Mig Olive drab.

Front view of the Vickers VIb

Front view of the Vickers VIb

Rear view showing exhaust and aerial platform.

Rear view showing exhaust and aerial platform.

I then picked out some details – mirror and lights were painted silver, exhaust system Matt black, tracks, steel, aerial cover white. I have just started the weathering. A quick dry brush with the khaki green and dark green lightened with Iraqi sand just to pick up the edges of the armour and the rivets. I used army painter strong tone to run into the panel lines. And that is about as far as I have gone. I’ve now put the tank to one side whilst I order some markings and add the stowage before final weathering and ‘dirtying down’. I’ll re visit this process in another blog. For now, the Vickers VI is serviceable for the wargames table – if we get the chance to play!

Vickers VIB (almost) ready for battle!

Vickers VIB (almost) ready for battle!

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The BEF force is growing.

I am gradually getting to grips with the organisation of the British army in WW2, and more specifically, the BEF in 1940. I would have thought that after being immersed in the button counting world of Napoleonic’s, a more modern period would be easy to grasp. Well I don’t find it so. It doesn’t help that I have been influenced by all of the war films that I have watched over the years. In the films, the Hero – Sergeant, or who ever was in charge, always seemed to be talking to his platoon of ten or so men. I now understand that a Platoon is a much larger body of men, and it is the Section that is the building block for the modern British army.

Lieutenant and Sergeant command the platoon.

Lieutenant and Sergeant command the platoon.

Having read various internet articles on the subject, which to me appear vague – originally eight men to a section, then eleven ( including the corporal), then may be ten later in the war, all depending on casualties, I became confused. I could have saved myself a bit of time if I had just looked at the Perry’s Eighth army plastic boxed set. They explain it all very simply in one diagram! So one full strength section comprises of 8 men with rifles ( probably) and two men that make up the Bren gun team. Ten men to a section. Three sections to a platoon. You then have a small Platoon HQ, which generally comprises of the Platoon Commander – a Lieutenant, the platoon Sergeant, a couple of runners, an anti tank gun team ( Boyes rifle or PIAT) and a 2″ mortar team. So I need to paint around 38 figures to complete a platoon. That will do for me, I cant cope with a load of if’s but’s and maybes!

Boyes Anti Tank gun

The confusion that I was feeling was because a variety of extra weapons teams or transports, organised in additional Platoons at Battalion level, can be attached to or deployed with the basic rifle platoon to give it some extra muscle. So you might have an extra Vickers HMG attached to your platoon or a couple of 3″ Mortars, or even an anti tank gun fighting with the rifle sections. Also Sergeants and Corporals might be carrying a sub machine gun rather than a rifle. Just to make matters worse for me, the battalion or regimental markings are very subdued. No brightly coloured facings or flags on the modern battlefield!

BEF section - some basing still needs finishing!

BEF section – some basing still needs finishing!

The same sort of approach was taken to deploying tanks. It’s not like the cavalry of my Napoleonic army, where you model the basic regiment and line them up all together. I’m sure that there were occasions when that happened, but again, it seems as though tank platoons or companies were attached to infantry or visa versa, as the need arose. I suppose that the commanders took a pragmatic approach and allocated whatever resources they had to acheive their objectives. In the case of the BEF, particularly as the fighting got underway, things became more chaotic and deployment was more fluid. With casualty replacement less likely as the campaign progressed, the ideal section or platoon rarely existed. It’s all very different to building ‘blocks’ of men that will represent a fighting unit.

Bren Team - Section LMG

Bren Team – Section LMG

I suspect that once I have decided on a rules set, the size and type of force will become clearer. To be fair, I need to play a bit of catch up in terms of the history. Most of the books that I have read deal with the grand view of the battles rather than the specific units at platoon level. In most WW2 games, the action takes place at platoon level. In effect, one model soldier represents one soldier in history. This is in contrast with earlier historical battles where the action took place in the main at Battalion level. I guess, that wargamers moving from WW2 back to Napoleonic wargaming find it just as confusing as I do moving the other way!

In the meantime, it would be nice to finish my first section!

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Whats on the Workbench? 02/07/20

I seem to be affected by lockdown lethargy. Whilst Facebook is filled with people apparently charging through their lead pile and painting army’s, I seem to have slowed my output even more than usual. It’s two weeks since my last blog post and I’ve had to resort to a ‘What’s on the Workbench’ post as in that time, I haven’t actually finished anything!

Warlord Games B.E.F. force - W.I.P.

Warlord Games B.E.F. force – W.I.P.

In fact, my lead pile has got slightly taller as I’ve acquired yet more WW2 British infantry to paint. I think that I have strayed into collecting mode again, picking up items that will look nice when they are completed rather than painting for gaming or working towards a cohesive army. I’ve been helped in this direction by the lack of any opportunity to actually play a game. The closest that our group has got to gaming is to meet up for a socially distanced burger in the back garden one evening and have a chat about life in general. Still, at least we have remained in touch.

Hodges, the Vicar and the Verger from Dads Army.

Hodges, the Vicar and the Verger from Dads Army, by Warlord Games

So what have I done? The Dads Army contingient has grown with the addition of Hodges, The Vicar and the Verger. I still have the ‘civvy’ versions of the characters to paint. I’m also working on rebasing the other members of the Dads Army Platoon. I’ve decided that I dont like the plastic ‘plinth’ bases and I’ve converted them to MDF ones. Once again, I have yet to finish this but should get them completed tonight, if all goes to plan.

Dads Army at Hougomont!

Dads Army at Hougomont!

As you can see, I’ve also acquired a model of Hougomont. The model is by a Company called WoFun, based in Romania and my good friend Andy Callan is doing some work for them. Like all the models available from WoFun, it is laser cut MDF ( or acrylic for the figures) with a printed finish. Andy passed me the Hougomont model to test build. It’s an early test shot and the sharp eyed reader will spot some errors, which will of course be corrected for the final release. Once again, although I have put the majority of the kit together, the walls and North gate are yet to be completed. I also intend to base the buildings. The buildings are so well cut that at this stage I have simply slotted them together, without the need for glue! I will go back and glue everything but I think that I will keep the set as modular buildings to be used in our games once we get back to the table!

At the moment though, it is the early war British that are on the paint table and I suspect will be for some time. I still have no real plan for them but perhaps once lock down is over, a game of Bolt Action or Chain of Command will prompt me to complete a force for the gaming table.

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Dont Panic Mr Mainwaring!

My dive into the lead pile continues! I had some Artizan British World War Two infantry that I had undercoated ages ago as part of a project that just never took off. I was probably diverted by another Napoleonic Battalion or my venture into the Wars of The Roses. As they were sitting looking at me from the top of the heap, I thought that I might as well paint them. The problem was that I had no idea what colours to use or where to start. As usual, the internet was my friend. A quick check on you tube and I found plenty of help and so decided to jump in.

Artizan WW2 British Infantry

Artizan WW2 British Infantry

I wont presume to give a step by step guide as to how I painted these figures. I am still learning and I suspect have a long way to go before I am any near competent or have any expertise in what uniforms the British wore in what part of WW2. I would simply refer you to the you tube video below. I used my usual block paint and Army Painter quick shade for these figures and I was fairly pleased with the result – they’ll do for the wargames table. I must say that the Artizan figures themselves were superb! Beautifully sculpted and cast and a joy to paint.

The finished section of Artizan Infantry

The finished section of Artizan Infantry

Encouraged by my initial results, I decided to have a go at painting the Warlord games Dad’s Army Set. I had bought these ages ago, when they were first released. I love the show and I also have an interest in the Home Guard – I didn’t serve, before any one else says it, but my Step Granddad, Victor Beer, did. He was in ‘H’ Company of the Torquay Home Guard. I have been researching some family history and so it seemed appropriate to carry on and paint the Warlord figures.

Jack Jones and his Van!

Jack Jones and his Van!

I had also acquired a diecast version of Jack Jones Butchers van that featured in the show. One of my favourite episodes was the one featuring the rifle drill. When it came to painting these figures I followed the guidance in the Art Master Studio you tube video ‘How to paint Artizan WW2 British Infantry’. Having watched the video through once, I actually painted along to it, pausing it if I needed to and pretty much followed the instructions and paint guide exactly.

I very much enjoy these video’s. Toby, the guy doing the painting, is extremely good at explaining exactly what to do and the fact that it is in real time allows you to see how the paint actually goes on and how he uses his brush. I am a great fan of ‘Toby’ – never met him but his painting skills are superb and he reminds me of Bob Ross in his relaxed delivery! As an aside, if you would like to learn how to paint horses, his video is my ‘go to’ guide!

Dads Army!

Dads Army!

Having painted Corporal Jones, I then carried on and painted  Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson, Private Pike and Private Godfrey. Private Walker and Private Frazer are on the painting bench at the moment. There’s still a bit of work to do – I’ll base them once they are all painted – I think that I might opt for flatter MDF bases rather than the plastic ‘plinth’ style supplied. With the Vicar, Verger and Warden Hodges still to paint and the Dad’s army Characters in Civvies also to do, I think the this project will keep me busy for a week or so!

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