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Monthly Archives: July 2012


AAR – Battle Report – Skirmish in the Lea Valley

A small scale skirmish of remnant forces on the edge of the Lea Valley occurred as Axis motorised forces try to push down into London.

The remains of a HG Heavy Recon company tried to take the area near a vital crossroads but was destroyed after a valiant counterattack by the US 3rd ID.

The area was a representation of the Axis having crossed one of the few roads across the Lea Valley to try and enter the Tottenham/Hackney area from the Essex border. If I had more time I woud have tried to recreate the water/roadbridge in an area such as Ferry Lane/Tottenham Hale. Google maps shows me this area has changed a heck of a lot in the last 20 years since I was there, so it makes the job harder. Historically, the whole Lea Valley area made of an open stretch of impactical land, being river/marshy with only a few road crossing east/west into NE London. You can find examples of pillboxes spread around the area, such as to the north of Waltham Abbey around Fishers Green and the River Lea and the Lea Navigation). Any force trying to cross the marshes and rivers would have met difficult going, lack of any roads and defensive fire from the Home Guard! Link to pdf. Wiki Outer Stop Line London.

The Axis forces attacked down the Main Road but overstepped the mark and were outgunned by AT and Sherman fire. The Shermans then pushed on and took out Wespes and AA guns to clear the Axis temporary HQ out!

Another Victory to the Allies in London (6-1).

Axis: (Attacker)

HQ, 2x Wespes, 2x AA trucks, platoon of 4 Panzers (610 pts, CV)

Allies: (Defender)

HQ, 2 x AT guns, 1 Rifle Platoon, 4 shermans (675 pts, CV)

Mission: Free for All.

Analysis: The Axis had an uphill struggle from the start, losing in points. a Few Panzerscrecks on the Axis objective could have made all the difference at the end! The dice rolling went badly for the Axis. They got unlucky on a couple of occassions, losing a Panzer to a lucky bazooka in defensive fire as they assaulted the AT guns.

Key Pictures:


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DBA – Building a Campaign force – Part 1 – starting up

I thought it was about time I had brief rest from Flames of War and scenery and tried something else. I have had a number of 10mm ancient figures laying around for a while in various boxes along with metal bases cut for the DBA rules set. Here’s the background on DBA from wiki… De Bellis Antiquitatis

Using the DBA v2.2 rulebook/army list from January 2004 I set about a little project. To try and create 6 armies from the stock of figures I had with as few new purchses as possible to be able to use them with the campaign rules in the rulebook.

The models I had seem to fit best into one of the following campaigns:

1st Punic Wars 264BC, 2nd Punic Wars 218BC.

The main reasons for this being that I have Carthaginians, Polybian Romans and Gauls already. The other forces would probably make use of left overs or a few cheaper options for the game which I will go into later.

If you don’t have a copy of the rules (with all the army lists in it) it is one of the cheapest purchases you can make to get a well rounded and fast playing game. My set cost 6 pounds several years ago. As the figures are in 10mm, the costs of building an army are not massive. However, the most popuar scales seem to be 15mm and 25/28mm, so go with the flow!

Each army needs to field 12 elements (teams/bases).  Some armies only have 12 with no choice, others have more and can field option from within these.

For example the Later Carthaginian army can make use of a varied force including Cavalry, Light Horse, Spears, Auxiliaries, Warbands, Psiloi (skirmishers) and Elephants. A total of 17 Elements from which 12 must be drawn for battle.

Conversely, the Polybian Romans can only field 12 elements including Cavalry, Blades, Spears and Psiloi.

The other armies that I could use in the Punic Wars campaigns are: Syracuse, Siciliot, Libya, Spain and Italy.

Here’s an example of the kind of figures you can use:

Suppliers In the UK I have used are:

Pendraken (tend to be sold in packs)

Irregular Miniatures (you can get individual figures)

Magister Militum (sold in packs or pieces for vignettes)

I have found service from all of the above to be good. Ian at Irregular has been helpful in choosing miniatures in the past – you can just bob him an email and he will advise on prices and such – he really is a friendly guy whom I met on a vist to York several years back).

Next time: building the Polybian Roman army….

What’s hot and what’s not – CNC Lolly Sticks – NOT

Here’s a new feature for my blog – a write up of something that has made a real impression for good or bad.

In this case I was just going to say forget it and get on with life. In this case…

Its not the cost of something that matters its the principle…..

In order to carry on with my hedging project (link) I needed some more lolly sticks. I could wait a few weeks for the kids to eat some ice pops in the warm english summer….. okay I bought some on ebay.  Cheapest uk supplier as I recall.

50 wooden lolly sticks delivered. Lovely. Until they arrived today.

The sticks are marked “CNC Scenics”, “Manufactured in Great Britain” and “High quality product”. They should be brilliant…!

Wrong. Before opening the packet I could see there were problems. First off there were 48 not 50. What’s 4 percent between banks err friends……

Then I found 16 that were split, cracked or warped. That left 32 that were acceptable for the hobby uses they are supplied for (they looked like lolly sticks). The quality was not high and definately  not what you would want inside your lolly. I can only assume that the rejects from lolly factories get sent to CNC and used for their ‘high quality products’ (your words CNC not mine).

Deeply unimpressive CNC. I will not be using or recommmending ANY of your products. If I got this failure rate from other scenic item suppliers or model makers I would probably have trading standards involved!

CNC your lolly sticks SUCK.

Who would have thought that you really needed your wits about you when making such a life changing purchase.

Back to sucking lollies in the sun….

Picture: The wrapping, a sample decent lolly stick and the others that didn’t make the exacting grade of “wooden lolly stick”…. (some have the edges chipped off at the back or are weak from poor materials)

Scenery Item – Road Junctions

I decdied I needed some more road parts for a recent Flames of War AAR. As I was modelling road junctions, I would need something to connect them together.

Based on the same method I used in the original roads, I made three junctions, one wide enough to match the tarmac road to the rougher tracks, the other for the muddier tracks.

Here’s the article: link

Dogs and Devils HG Schwere Aufklarungsschwadron – the next additions

Another two platoons added to this force. This represent about 290 points in this army list.

An MG platoon (motorised Aufklarungs) with KfZ 70 trucks and a pair of Kfz 10/5 2cm flak trucks.

I missed out the staff car for MG platoon on the photo (added another truck by mistake!)

I used the MGplatoon to double as a Herman Goring Panzergrenadier MG platoon in a recent Flames of War AAR.



Scenery Item – making a base for a Wood

I decided to go for a quick way of getting a base to represent the boundary of a wood using a material that wouldn’t bow out of shape.

I tried a piece of foamcore (foamboard) and a sheet of sandpaper.

Just cut the shape you want in the foamcore (you can angle the edges to make the next bit easier) then place it in the sandpaper and cut around it leaving a 15mm gap all round. then cut into the edge of the sandapaper all the way round about 2 cmm apart. Use PVA glue on the back of the sandpaper and fix it over the foamcore. Pull the edges of the sandpaper over the back of the foamcore and glue flat. You now have got rid of those unsightly foamcore edges with the sandpaper and textrued the base all in one!

When dry, paint in a suitable green colour, I used a herb green emulsion from a tester pot at Homebase (UK) (it was Sanctuary Olive Grove matt). Quite nice and it stands out from the rest of the gaming table. I haven’t added flock / static grass / bushes yet, but that will no doubt follow.

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Scenery Item – Ivy Trees

Finding myself in need of a couple of woods for a Flames of War AAR but without any larger clump foliage, I tried to improvise some ivy covered english trees.

I had some Woodland scenics tree armatures, a bag of mixed flock and pva glue.

Basically, take some pva glue and smother the branches of a tree. Dip the tree into the bag of flock and there you have trunk and branches covered in leaf-flock.

The mix was a bit too yellow for my liking and a bit too much glue on the branches. Sometime less is more.

If you think trees should always have leaves look at the real picture in the slideshow…

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