Scratch built School

Here is a scratch built school for my war table I just completed. I used foam core, card, filler with fine sand for the wall texture, and scale scenes brick and roof tiles that are printed on mat photo paper. I also used bits of balsa wood for window details.

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Weekend AAR of Operation Bagration Front

Another week in the books working hard to produce some new scenery and finish up my giant basing project.  I managed to finish off nearly 30 pine trees and 10 large 5′”-7″ deciduous trees (both of the woodland scenics range) and glued them to bases but did not have time to finish the aesthetic appearances of the bases, but bear with me as I was able to complete my PAK 38 crews, and new Normandy building meant to be a part of my “Saving Private Ryan,” inspired town of Rammelle.  I also nearly finished some new PSC wet stowage Shermans for a Normandy game planned for this weekend, but ultimately made me go back to wanting a eastern front battle, and saving a Normandy game for next weekend when I hopefully receive my pre-ordered copy of Battlegroup Overlord from Iron Fist Publishing/PSC.   Anyway, I opted to play a scenario of my own invention on the eastern front during 1944 summer.  Below is a map of the board, with the main objective being to hold/defend the bridge or take the bridge. We are currently using my house rules for skirmish games while awaiting our BG ruleset.

Kursk PAK Front

Lauren as the Soviets won the dice roll for choice of offense/defense, and chose to defend the bridge.  for her forces she chose:

-about 100 Infantry

-4 Zis 2 57mm AT

-2 Zis 3 76.2mm AT

-2 45mm AT

-2 SU-122s

-1 SU-76

-2 SU-85

-1 122mm Howitzer

-1 BT7

and

-11 T-34s   (she chose to reinforce on turn 4 with the majority of the infantry 85+ and all her T-34s, while deploying a PAK front of her Arty and Tank Destroyers)

 

The Germans led by yours truly had in their command initially:

around 40 Waffen SS panzer grenadiers

3 Panzer IVHs

2 StuH42s

3 Sdkfz 251/d

1 Panzerwerfer with two timed barrages coming on the 2nd and 3rd turns

and an Sdkfz 232 for recce,

with reinforcements on turn 5 of:

2 Panzer IIIJs

3 Panthers

2 Opel Blitzes  towing PAK 38 50mm

and an additional force of 25 Panzer Grenadiers of the 3rd Waffen SS division

below is a shot of the board at the start of the game.

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Some shots of the PAK front at the start….

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The Grenadiers and StuH42s take to the right flank

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Simultaneously the Germans Send their armored car to recce the area by the bridge…

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Contact!

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The German Recce destroys the BT-7 with a lucky roll and continues its patrol finding the PAK front and Calling in two separate rocket barrages from the Panzerwerfer.

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Destroying;/killing the crews of the Soviet Arty.  Also the StuH42s take a couple of guns down in a barrage of their own.

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the Panzer IVs move up to take some ground towards the river

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A great shot of the StuH42s advancing

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Along come the soviet reinforcements….

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and subsequently the German reinforcements for a showdown of massive armor…

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The AAR to be continued in the next post!

 

 

First Wargame Post: Normandy Breakout

I originally intended for this game to be a mini version of a breakout by the Germans from the Falaise pocket.  I was playing as the Germans and Lauren was the American Forces, and Lauren won the roll and chose to be the breakout forces.  Here is a drawing of the board we modeled for the game:

map game 1

The Breakout forces start on the bottom left and are supposed to move to the end of the road in the top right, while the opposition tries to enclose/stop the breakout forces from advancing with two divided forces starting in opposite diagonal corners of the table.

For the Americans breaking out there were two timed barrages occurring at turn 6 and 9 with reinforcements showing up on the 11th turn.  Below are the total US  forces:

-5 Sherman Fireflies (just filling in until I beef up my US Shermans)

-2 Sherman 75mm

-2 Sherman 105mm

-1 Preist

-3 M3 Halftracks

-2 GMC trucks

-2 M36 tank destroyers

– about 100 US paratroopers

-about 40 US Infantry

Vs.  Germans whose reinforcement show up in turn 7- with no timed barrages:

-2 Wespes

-2 Tigers

-2 Panzer IV H

-1 Marder III M

-2 Jadgpanzer IV L48

-1 sdkfz 234/2 puma

-1 sdkfz 234/4 PAK wagon

-2 88mm AA

-1 75mm PAK 40

-3 sdkfz 251 D

-60-70 Panzer Lehr

-18 FJs

roll for first action/turn with Lauren taking the honors.

Some Pics of the layout pre-battle:

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This shot is a view of the path for the breakout from the US startpoint

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An overhead shot of the layout from the breakout perspective.

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Two shots of the defenders side.

Game report to be continued in the next post……

Major Haul from last week- Reinforcements

Shots of some kits I received from Megahobby.com and thewarstore.com.  Both are fantastic deals for wargammers, especially the war store for Plastic Soldier Company, easily the cheapest outlet for this brand.  Both online stores are based in NY on Long Island so they ship in a day and both took me by surprise as they came on Thursday from UPS.    UPS  attempted delivery while I was at work, and i had one more chance to be home for delivery.  I was naturally devastated by missing the kind parcel-men in Brown, and so I went on the hunt for my packages.  After work I tracked down the truck carrying my reinforcements and brought these beauties home to my ecstatic relief.

 

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A shot of my ravenous face once I intercepted the packages from the parcel-man.

 

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Unboxing the Italeri Stone Walls I was very pleased with the weight/durability of this kit.  They are heavy and sturdy and I think another box will suffice for my stone wall needs right now, and at $14/pop they are reasonable sets as I was loathing trying to manufacture these important but boring pieces of scenery (my previous attempts at DIY both were miserable failures)

 

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A PST Katyusha for some Soviet Flavor- the wit has a tremendous amount of parts which will be a project to tackle on a day where I have incredible patience and focus.

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I’ve been dying to get my hands on this kits for the crews even more so than the guns.  Although some lighter AT guns for my mid-early German Forces are certainly welcome!

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I was very Indulgent with a purchase of an additional pack of Zis 2/3 because I only built out the Zis 2 version of the 57mm AT.  Naturally I needed some of the 76.5mm version so this was a necessity.

 

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Some PSC T-34 76/85 to round out my T-34s to 11… gotta love the durability and ease of build in these great kits… perfect for wargaming.

 

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PSC Sherman Wet Stowage 76mm version- there is no optional 105mm howitzer or 75mm version turrets which was a disappointment  but the 76 was nonetheless the one I was really gunning for.

 

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I am very pleased with my PSC Panzer Lehr Divisional Markings and will probably go back and purchase a few more sets of these great decals.

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Zvezda 85mm AA Soviet at $7.50 a steal and had to buy two of course- easy build, nice looking moulds on two sprues

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Zvezda Soviet AT rifle teams at $4 each for 2 guns.  Had to buy two.

 

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and Finally the Soviet Tank Riders By Hat- I would like to find  a way to fix them to the tanks where they can be removed as needed- if anyone has an idea or method they use i’m open to suggestions.

 

I also received some medium green static flock for my basing project, tamiya olive and dark yellow spray, woodland scenics undertone, and mat adhesive.

Finally I have something to work on….. a decent haul I think…

 

Cheers,

 

Ted

Project Updates/Board is Installed!

After a very frustrating couple of months with no good solution for board storage, (hence no game board in NYC to play on) I came up with the idea to hang the board on our apartment wall with a mural on one face to help with its aesthetic.  After negotiating with my wonderful and understanding girlfriend, we opted for a 8’x4′ board covered by a lovely 6’x4′ poster/mural of Monet’s Le Havre as seen Below.  The actual hanging was facilitated by driving three nails into the grout of the exposed brick and using picture hanging wire and hooks to make it easily accessible for gaming purposes.

 

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I primed the board with Rustoleum Grey Primer, and fixed the vinyl poster with 3M adhesive strips.  Needless to say Lauren is as thrilled with the result as I am.

With Access to a board and my entire collection of scenery armor, and troops being delivered by my mom from storage, I was able to spend a glorious Easter Sunday playing two scenarios which will both have their own posts later with Battle reports.  Below is a teaser.  I used woodland scenics ready-grass as my surface, which i taped down for the game with double sided tape.

 

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Some other projects that are in process currently:

-Basing tress on washers

-Basing all troops/arty crews on coins (waiting on my woodland scenics products to finish the basing- will do a tutorial)

-Building Haystacks with clay and formers

-Painting Pegasus Russian Farm Houses, Italeri Stonewalls, and other armor/troops that are primed

-Refurbing old Tress

-Refurbing allied armor

-making more building for Normandy Games

 

I will be one busy guy!

 

Cheers,

 

Ted

Updates for Tuesday

I am updating with my projects for the week.  My longest standing issue is trying to find a way to fit/build/store an appropriate board in a NYC 300 sq/ft apartment.  After much negotiation with my lovely and understanding Girlfriend Lauren, (she is game to play me and help with these projects, the saint), is allowing me to install a board that will double as a mural on the wall.  The plan is to build a frame out of 1×2″ firing strips and panels of 2’x4’x1/4″ board to make an 8×4 ft. gaming table.  I am planning on covering one side of the finished board with a Woodland Scenics Readygrass vinyl mat, and the other side with a lovely poster measuring 48″x72″.  Additionally I wanted to make the board expandable with holes built in for pegs to attach two additional sections on on the side a 2’x8′ section and one on the bottom of this widened piece measuring 2’x6′ creating two additional sizes of boards measuring 8’x6′, and 10’x6′.  This largest board is 60 sq. ft., while the original is 32. I think making peg holes in the boards will be an awesome way to expand and grow with my living space size.  Below are two schematics showing the plans:

 

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And the two expansions, which will be built at a later date:

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I’m planning on a trip to home depot to buy the lumber and supplies to finish the first 8’x4′ board and will use 1 inch screws to put it ll together.  I am also banking on the fine folks at home depot making these 10+ cuts for me!  Hopefully I will have such luck.

 

To conclude my ramblings, I want to say that I have been basing my men on pennies for skirmish rules/my pre-ordered Battlegroup Overlord ruleset that I am eagerly anticipating.  if you pre-order today Plastic Soldier Company will give you a free sprue of their new US late war infantry sets, as well as entry to the raffle for some great prizes.  I guess only the first 500 pre-orders will get these great offers.  

 

Basing has been a real pain in the you know what!  I have been struggling with this for a long time and finally bit the bullet.  I have spackled about 200 of my men of the intended 500.  I will use Woodland Scenics Earth Undertone and static grass flock.  If anyone has any suggestions to help me in this conquest please feel free to send suggestions!

 

I will also update on my Ukrainian sets which have all been primed and are ready for the base coats of Dunklegelb (tamiya TS-3 dark yellow spray).  I also want to do a post on a couple squads of ESCI Fallshirmjaegars I painted to mix into a Normandy Wargame.  

 

Excited to get the board project going, and finally put up some shot of the board, and hopefully and game quite soon!

 

Cheers and happy Tuesday!

 

-Ted

The Soviets Are Here! Part IV: The Billion Man Army

So during this whole massing of Armor, I intermittently painted the bulk of my infantry.  By the end of it all (130ish plastic souls) I felt like I had painted the real Red Army circa 1943.  The men are a mix of Pegasus, ESCI (soviet infantry and Warsaw Pact converts), and PSC arty crews.

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The Pegasus men were surprisingly hard, as their Waffen SS kits are both molded in soft-plastic.  They painted up nicely along with the PSC crews which did not come with bases and were fiddly to put together.  I chose to base the crews individually from the traditional method of making a whole gun base.  I do this because my house rules include being able to capture an enemy gun and use it, so I Wanted to separate the guns from the crews.  I also incorporate rules where the guns fire a set number of shots based on their surviving crews so guns take casualties an are only out of commission once they have been spiked by opposing forces.  I guess some food for thought.  As I am still in the process of rewriting sections of the rules, I will not be publishing them on my blog until I feel they are ready for the masses, but look out for a future post!

 

Cheers,

 

Ted