Tuesday, 19 May 2020

On the workbench - Bishop Self Propelled Gun

The artillery vibe continues under lockdown I have upgrade a OP and a Bishop Self propelled gun. Britains first attempt at an SPG.  I painted up this gun  as a First Army gun for my Mid War British Army. Only deployed in Tunisia and Italy. These vehicles  are very characterful, I love the Heath Robinson look of the Bishop.
I like a well worn look to my Mid War British vehicles so lots of mud North African mud on this one 
extra stowage and crew from AB miniatures 

Losts of extra mud on the rear deck 
File:The British Army in Tunisia 1943 NA1449.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
my main ... but not only reference image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_British_Army_in_Tunisia_1943_NA1449.jpg

 The final addition is this observers vehicle  inspired  by an image from the Taranto landings. PSC model  bren gun from the bits box

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The Invasion of Italy thanks to the Imperial  war Museum https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205204293

The crew are  a mix of PSC, HaT and Milicast

Monday, 11 May 2020

On the workbench Imperial Japanese Army Support units

Thats the Imperial Japanese Army force for Burma 44-45 done with a few support options Reconaissance and anti tank defences. I may invest in some Chi_Ha  tanks but first some games!
 A type 97 Te-Ke tankette reconnaissance vehicle 37mm gun version from 172scale miniatures
 Advancing with a foot patrol and sniper

Close up of a spider hole. I made several of these out of the extra miniatures from the platoon. They have either Type 99 LMG or the Type 97 20mm AT rifle  which I had a few spare. Liberally scattered around the battlefield should give a nasty surprise to pass allied infantry or armour.   

 I have made 6 camouflaged spider holes
 Two three man improvised Antitank teams. Antitank mines on a bamboo pole

 Close up of one team
 Another team stalk a Grant tank

 A 50mm grenade launcher battery for local support 
My FOO with scissor scope and RT operator. Artillary will be the main Anti tank defence for the Japanese

Sunday, 26 April 2020

On the Workbench British Anti Tank Battery and M5 tows Tunisia 1943

These PSC M5 half tracks where bought for the big Market Garden weekend in 2018 (see a paint job to far). I have too many for  my small NW Europe  Irish Guards. So these I have found a use for in my main period - Italy and Tunisia in 1943.  The main use for the lend-lease half track in this theatre was in Royal Artillery particularly Anti-tank battalions. I will use these in Tunisia and Italy in 1943-1944 as tows for 17 pounder and 6 pounder anti tank guns as well as forward observers and resupply vehicles and, eventually, as a ride for my Royal Engineers.
 This anthe M5 towing my 17/25 pounder Pheasant. I added the canvas tilts using PVA soaked tissue and brass rod.

 Deployed 17/25 pounder with AB crew
 Really enjoyed painting these as First Army crew
 Crew from a different angle
 Clse up of the 6 pounder gun battery on the move
 A good view of the tilts cheap to do and quick I really like the effect/ The guns are the early version of the six pounder without muzzle suppressor from Grubby.
 The six pounder deployed with AB crew for this crew the NW Europe  but painted to look a little more mediterranean.
 Loader team for Battlegroup using spare figures from the six and seventeen pounder crew Camouflage in desert pink and green

The six pounder has the AB western desert crew - more of an Eigth Army feel!

 The Western Desert AB miniatures loader team for Battlegroup These loader teams will get heavy use also be useful with my twenty-five pounder artillery battery

 Deatail of the crew in this ruined Tunisia building

My Antitank battery takes on three Early War Miniatures Panzer III's,
Let see how Column Bari like a wall of six pounders between them and Medenine. See my campaign reports and ARR for our Battle of Medenine campaign.

Finaly my two pounder with its Morris tow. All three guns in use by the end in North Africa .
 The two pounder deployed
 AB crew and toothbrouch thorn bush.

 With the wheels on for towing.

Monday, 13 April 2020

On the workbench - Churchill tanks 51 RTR

Just been upgrading and finishing my Churchill tanks mostly of 51 RTR 25 Tank brigade. This unit fought in Tunisia and Italy.
Three gun tanks from A squadron Audacious, Agile and Achilles.  Two of these are Mk IV's from the PSC kit I added the Black Dog stowage to one and added Lancer British stowage to the other. The third is a Mk III mark up as the HQ is the Dragon kit. There good for scale (unlike the diabolical Airfix Crocodile which is 1/76 not 1/72 as advertised just as a starter.)

Churchill tanks of 51 RTR lined up below a crest near the River Foglia, 30 August 1944. The tanks were supporting infantry attacking across the river. Wikipedia accessed 2020. 

 I have just completed two conversions the first is A Churchill Mk I Close Support Tank from North Irish horse the senior regiment tom 51 RTR in 25 Tank Brigade. Each regiment had 6 of these Close support tanks in 51 RTR they where held with HQ squadron. The North Isish Horse had them in B squadron. The standard MK 1 had a 3" howitzer in the hull and a two pounder in the turret with a co axial BESA  machine gun. In the field NIH had replaced the two pounder with a second 3 inch howitzer in the turret. They also added a Panzer III commander cupola - presumable to improve commander viability. This is the Hasegawa kit of MKI / MkII Churchill with a 3" barrel from the bits box and a Panzer cupola from a PSC kit. The commander is also from PSC 25 pounder gun  kit. NIH used Irish towns to name most tanks so this is BUshmills. I marked it up for 21 Tank Brigade after 25th Tank Brigade was broken up in late 1944.

 The last of the my Churchill tank projects. I have had this planned for a while a Churchill Crocodile. This one is Cyclops of 25 Armoured Assault Brigade 1945. The formation 51 RTR moved  to after 25 Tank Brigade was disbanded. Two companies of these Crocodile A and C compnaies. B company was flail tanks as well as  ARK bridging tanks - a project yet to come.

 Lots of kit bashing to get a decent crocodile model. Tjis one is a made from The Airfix wee kit and the PSC Churchil ( a mark VI).  All crocodiles where on Mk VII so extensive converson of the PSC Kit was needed. A MKVII / Crocodile conversion kit from PSC would certainly fill a gaping hole in the 1/72 plactic market for the later model churchill. Crocodile trailer and top of the turret from the Airfix kit  as well as flame thrower mantlet and sponson and drivers hatchets. The hull and gun from the PSC kit. I am very happy with the result

These are two extra turrets I have prepped to give more flexibility to the list making a Churchill NA75 (North Africa 75 added a sherman 75mm gun to the Churchill turret) and the 95mm close support tank

Appendix 1 Names of Churchills in 51 RTR

HQ squadron
A squadron
B squadron
C squadron

AMAZON - Daimler AC
BLACKFOOT  M3 recce troop
LONDON - Mk V Sherman

On the workbench - Bishop Self Propelled Gun

The artillery vibe continues under lockdown I have upgrade a OP and a Bishop Self propelled gun. Britains first attempt at an SPG.  I ...