Saturday, 23 November 2013

Scratch built farm


Just in case you thought I had left the country, here are a few shots of a small farm (7" x 7") that I have recently completed. I have been pretty busy (honest!) and have a whole range of new buildings under construction. Colin Murray of Warbases, from whom I sourced my windows, will now be making the basic frames for me. As he rightly pointed out, using a laser cutter is much less arduous and time consuming than doing it by hand. This means I will get a better quality frame that I can then decorate, texture and paint. I have some 20 different modules designed so far, many of which can be combined to make larger, more complex models. I am particularly working on some larger, urban dwellings to represent towns rather than villages. This number will continue to grow over the next few months. Please keep an eye on the blog and hopefully there will be more to see in 2014.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Scratch built buildings

Here are some close up pics of some of the buildings I made for the Seelow Heights game at Partizan. They are actually fairly generic and would do for most of Western Europe. They are all constructed from 3mm MDF, with the windows and doors cut out with a sharp Stanley Knife. The windows were all made to order (laser cut) by Warbases, who did an excellent job; they are quite happy to make any size or window pane combination on request and are very reasonably priced. The doors and shutters were specially cast for me by Tony Chadburn of Raventhorpe Miniatures and are a real time saver.. For the bases, I use 2mm plastic card - this offers a durable, non warp surface and is easy to work. For the roofs, I tend to use the Wills range of plastic sheets; they work well for 20mm buildings, although I do usually hand tile for larger (28mm) structures. The roofs are, of course, removable to allow figures to be placed inside.

Although figure painting is still the core of Nations in Arms' business, I am starting to take on more commissions for terrain pieces such as these. If anything you see is of interest, please let me know.

House with attached barn (front and rear views) £80.00


House with detached barn (front and rear views) £80.00


Detached house (front and rear views) £45.00


Different house with attached barn (front and rear views) £80.00


Larger detached house (front and rear views) £40.00


Detached house (front and rear views) £45.00


Half-timbered detached house (front and rear views) £50.00


Over the coming months, I hope to feature more buildings, terrain boards and other terrain pieces, as well as figures from my collections as they continue to grow.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Seelow Heights at Partizan II

Well, I finally made it to the show with everything done. It was a real push at the end, but I got there! The game was well received and went very well. Unusually for a demo game, we actually got a result - a late Soviet win!

I have also managed to solve my blogger gremlins (or rather my computer expert has), so hopefully I will be able to post more regularly.

The calm before the storm; a village in front of the main German positions. All the buildings are scratch built, mainly with 3mm MDF; I will try and post some more detailed pictures later.

A view of the table and the wider hall. There were, as usual, some very nice games at the show - still the premier showcase for demo games I feel.

Some views of the main German lines. Although badly outnumbered, the German positions were strong. We were using Rapid Fire, with a few additions. German troops in the trenches enjoyed a whopping -3 when being fired at, other than enemy infantry in close range, who suffered a -1 on their firing dice. With all the big gun AFVs the Soviets had, they needed all the help they could get.

A Hetzer lies in wait for the Soviet advance guard.

A Hanomag mounting a PAK 40 prepares to engage the advancing Soviet armour.

The village as seen from the main German positions.

The leading Soviet troops probe cautiously towards the village.

The leading ISU152 assault gun receives light damage from the lurking Hetzer.

Timely reinforcements in the shape of IS2 heavy tanks.

The 152 goes up in smoke but the Soviet grip on the village tightens. The garrison was an improvised SS panzerjager group with a hetzer platoon and a reinforced infantry company with extra panzerfausts.

By this stage the village was almost completely in Soviet hands. The German player commanding here had awful dice and was unable to hold the enemy up for long, or inflict much damage.

Over on the other flank, the first Soviet infantry assault on the heights was beaten back with heavy losses.

A column of heavy Soviet armour systematically demolished the German positions. Bad dice were not a problem here as a dug in German 88 was despatched with a double 6!!

Back on the German right flank, the Soviets prepared for the final attack.

At the critical moment, more bad dice throwing for the German commander. Firing at short range at the closing Soviet infantry, only minor damage was done and they were able to storm the position.

In the centre, the late arriving Soviet T34 battalion advanced slowly in the boggy ground but added valuable fire support onto the German positions, which gradually crumbled under the relentless pressure.

All in all a successful game. The Germans were unlucky to lose both their 88s early on, before they had been able to cull the advancing Soviet armour. The German armour, such as it was, was also largely ineffectual, again mainly down to poor dice - such is war.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the game and we all had plenty of time to do our shopping and chat to the many people at the show. Although it did seem a touch quiet, especially in the afternoon, it was, as always, a great day out.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Partizan II 2013

Nearly there  - just the finishing touches to put to the buildings and few remaining vehicles. It has been quite a job but it will be nice to see it all laid out. Unfortunately my on going problems with Blogger are continuing and I just can't seem to get it to upload any pictures. I had hoped to preview the game before the show, but this isn't going to be possible, so if any of you are going, come over and say hello.

When things settle down, I will try and get some expert advice and get the Blogger problem solved. I am also hoping to launch a Nations in Arms web site to properly showcase everything. So please bear with me - it will be worth it!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Seelow Heights Orders of Battle

Since the last post I have been working hard on the small mountain of figures for the game. Partly due to a very generous discount from Andy Grubb of Grubby Tanks, I have gone for Britannia  for most of the figures and vehicles, with a few odds and ends from other manufacturers where needed. I am hoping to have the terrain boards finished in a week or so and will post more pics when I do. I also need to make a load of buildings to go on them and these will also feature on the blog before the big day. This post is just to give a quick rundown of the scenario and orders of battle.

The game features essentially a massed frontal assault on the village of Seelow itself and the German defences either side of this key town. Soviet tactics will need to be fairly direct to achieve the objective within the wargaming day (always shorter at a show like Partizan with all its distractions!!). The Soviet forces are as follows:

Two Rifle regiments, each of 3 battalions. Each battalion has a small HQ group and 3 assault infantry companies of 10 figures each (I am using a figure scale of 1:10, rather than the usual 1:15). For the purposes of this game, the heavy weapons  are deemed to be in the follow up waves.

The infantry are supported by a regiment (4 vehicles each) of IS2s, ISU152s and SU76s. These will provide the direct fire support to get the infantry onto the heights as the artillery is in the process of displacing forward following the initial bombardment. There will also be a battalion of 7 T34/85s following on. The flat ground in front of the heights is very waterlogged and difficult for vehicles: if they leave the roads, they could bog down! The heights themselves are also impassable to vehicles other than on the roads. This will not be an easy job for the Soviets, who can expect heavy losses.

The Germans on the other hand are a very mixed lot indeed. Occupying Seelow and the trenches around it is a battalion of Volksturm (around 30 figures) and 2 Wehrmacht march companies (6 figures each), supported by a couple of Luftwaffe flak  batteries borrowed from Berlin's air defences. The rest of the line is held by elements of the 20th Panzer Grenadier Division comprising around 30 infantry, a couple of MMGs and mortars and a PAK40. In front of their position, occupying a village (still to be built) is a small SS tank hunting unit, with a mixture of Hetzers and heavily armed infantry. There is also a chance that some German armour may appear in the valley at some point.

Work on all of the above is ongoing and I will post some pics as soon as I can.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Seelow Heights 2

Here is another pic which gives an idea of the basic terrain layout. There will be 6 boards in total, each 30" square. The 3 under construction at the moment contain the high ground defended by the Germans and consist of a network of trenches and dugouts holding both infantry and heavy weapons. The heights are split by a small valley (centre left) and the outskirts of the town itself will be on the main part of the heights to the right. There will be a couple of small villages in front of the heights and probably a single module hamlet on the high ground to the left. each holding small detachments of Germans. The low ground in reality was very waterlogged and extremely difficult going for vehicles moving off road - this will be reflected in the game by patches of marshy ground and small copses and movement/bogging penalties in the rules. I will be using Rapid Fire! with a few additions and amendments.

The orders of battle are still a work in progress. The figure scale will be 1:10, rather than the usual 1:15, with Soviet companies of 10 figures and German at 6-8 figures. There will be probably 2 Soviet rifle regiments in the main attack, supported by units of tanks and assault guns. Fire support will be limited to direct fire weapons as most of the Soviet artillery was in the process of moving forward following the initial bombardment of the German front lines, now abandoned.

Hopefully the Blogger gremlins are now sorted out and I will be able to post regularly, as I progress with the project..