Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I took a few Napoleonic musicians and made them into WWII Germans.

I trimmed down various swords and other parts of their uniforms.

The selection of instruments was small so I had to make my own trombone, and Glockenspiel.

The various drums were "stolen" from other figures and grafted onto these.

In the book German Military Chaplains in World War Two there are many pictures of funerals of bands. In many of the books on the Volksstrum there are a few musicians playing music as these new solders march off the defend the last ditch.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Big Guns

Heavy artillery like this gun operated in batteries of 2, 3, 4, or 6 guns.

They were usually assigned to corps. These were powerful and long range guns that were welcome additions to any corps.

Guns like this would have a forward observer team, a fire direction center, and even a weather team. Long range guns are very sensitive to wind, and moisture in the air.

Guns like this would typically fire a few rounds and then move. They were too valuable to risk leaving in one spot for too long.

Often, batteries would have several positions prepared in advance so they could move quickly and resume firing right away.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Resin Gun Photos

My completed ArsenelM 170mm German artillery in a studio photo. An HO 1/87th scale resin, etched brass and aluminum kit.

The front wheel assembly. You can see the fine detail on the resin wheel.

Very nice view of the breech end of the gun. Note the etched brass walkway along the side and the detail parts. Some were left off for wargaming, too fragile, but it would make an even more detailed model.

An even better view of the etched brass. Glued on with superglue.

The gun in action with a crew from the Revell 105mm light field howitzer. These guys look pretty good with the gun despite the 1/87 to 1/72nd scale size difference. I got a bunch of these Revell kits just for the crews, horse teams and limbers.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dinosaur Wargames

The addition of dinosaurs can spark up any wargame. These are some of the rules that I use for dinosaurs in my wargame rules.

Dinosaurs have the desire to eat and be left alone. All dinosaurs move randomly; roll one 6-sided die in distance, and arrow die for direction. Herbivores will usually move in herds of three or more and will move away from noise or movement. Herds move as a group. Some carnivores may move as a herd also. Carnivores move toward noise, and movement. All dinosaurs will charge the nearest attacker, if attacked.

Count three hits per template, and single hit for other weapons. If a hit results, check the hit location to see if the weapon penetrated the armor. If the armor is penetrated, use a six-sided die to determine the damage.

Dinosaur Attack

Dinosaurs make bite attacks in the same manner as melee. The range is equal to the height of the dinosaur. Herbivores get one six sided die and the human gets one six sided die. High number wins. If the dinosaur wins, the human is killed. If the human wins he escapes unharmed, the dinosaur is not injured. Carnivores get one 10 sided die and the human gets one six sided die. High number wins.

Dinosaurs also can attack with their tails. The range is the area from the tip of the tail to the hind leg. All dinosaurs get one six sided die and the human one six sided die. High number wins. If the dinosaur wins, the human is killed. If the human wins, he escapes and the dinosaur is unharmed.

DINOSAUR TYPE Speed Special Skills if any
Die Roll Hit Location Armor Effect
1 Head Dinosaur dies
2 Shoulders Dinosaur charges and dies
3 Chest Major wound, creature stands
4 Abdomen Major wound, creature scared away
5 Front legs Minor wound, creature charges
6 Rear legs Minor wound, creature scared away

Dinosaur armor may be due to bone, such as a triceratops frill. Body mass may also act as a type of armor, a brontosaurus is so massive that small caliber weapons could not penetrate to lungs or heart or other vital organs.

Friday, September 25, 2009

1/72nd Scale Soft Plastic Figure Sets to Make

There are many 1/72nd scale soft plastic figure sets that I would love to buy, if some company would make them. I am certain that they would be popular enough to sell well.

Cro-Magnon man
Male and female and children, with throwing spears, clubs, knives, bows and arrows

Neanderthal man
Male and female and children, with spears, clubs, knives

Prehistoric Mammals
Saber tooth tiger, giant sloth, giant birds, mammoth, bison latifrans

American Civil War
US Navy Sailors Naval Landing Party

First World War
US Army Cavalry 1918
British style helmet with Springfield rifles, .45 pistols, .45 revolvers, and sabers

US Army Heavy Artillery 1918
British style helmet with Schneider 155 mm French howitzer,
Do the same gun with a WWII era US Army crew with rubber tires for WWII

Interwar Adventures
Spies, secret police, espionage people
Fedora hats, trench coats, cameras, pistols, submachine guns, male and female, German, British, American, and Soviet

Oilfield and Construction Workers
Hard hats, jump suits, shovels, picks, axes, transits and surveyors, big hammers and wrenches and jackhammers and toolboxes, wheelbarrows

Scientists and Archaeologists and Paleontologists and Hunters
Pith helmets, fedora hats, bare headed, male and female, kneeling with brushes, dental picks, working with test tubes and chemical glasses, microscopes, cameras, guns

1920’s American Roaring 20’s Gangsters, Police & Citizens
Police with revolvers, Thompson submachine guns, shotguns, Browning Automatic Rifles, Colt .45 pistol, Gangsters with Thompsons, sawed off shotguns, various handguns, male and female and citizens with double barrel shotguns, and walking, running

World War Two
US Navy UDT Frogmen Divers
Swimming trunks, with flippers, mask, snorkel, demolition charges, knife, small assault team with Thompson submachine guns, Colt .45 and M1 Carbines, Hard hat divers with hammer, wrench, knife, cutting torch

US Navy Landing Party For Raiding and Amphibious Landing Control
Helmets, and Sailor hats, Thompson submachine guns, Colt .45, Springfield rifles, demolitions charges, signal flags, ship to shore radio, Aldis lamp, Officers with maps and binoculars

American Infantry Philippines Bataan 1941/42
British style helmets, M1 and Springfield rifles, BAR, Browning water-cooled machine gun, Colt .45 pistol and revolver, Lewis guns, grenades

26th Cavalry Philippine Scouts 1941/42
Campaign hats, Colt .45 pistols, M1 Garands mounted and dis-mounted

Russian Panje ponies and wagons

Heavy and light baggage wagons for use by Russian and German troops

Hungarian Infantry

Dutch Infantry, European and Far East, Pacific

Cold War/ Cuban Missile Crisis 1963

US Army Infantry
M-14 rifles, M-1919A6 light machine gun

Cuban Infantry
Mix of US and USSR weapons, beards, Ridgeway hats

To the best of my knowledge none of these sets are in the pipeline from any soft plastic figure company. I think these sets would be popular and would sell well. All of these sets come up over and over again in discussions of new figure sets. Since I don't do ancients, or Napoleonics there are no sets from those eras.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


A World War Two German Panther company could have as few as ten tanks and as many as twenty-two tanks.

10 Tank Panzer Company
Company Headquarters: 1 Panther tank, 4 light vehicles
1st Tank Platoon: 3 Panther tanks
2nd Tank Platoon: 3 Panther tanks
3rd Tank Platoon: 3 Panther tanks

17 Tank Panzer Company
Company Headquarters: 2 Panther tanks, 4 light vehicles
1st Tank Platoon: 5 Panther tanks
2nd Tank Platoon: 5 Panther tanks
3rd Tank Platoon: 5 Panther tanks

22 Tank Panzer Company
Company Headquarters: - 2 Panther tanks, 4 light vehicles
1st Panzer Platoon: 5 Panther tanks
2nd Panzer Platoon: 5 Panther tanks
3rd Panzer Platoon: 5 Panther tanks
4th Panzer Platoon: 5 Panther tanks

The actual TO&E was supposed to be 22 tanks. Typically when units were deployed they started with 22 tanks. As the unit would sustain losses they would reorganize into the smaller company sizes. If units were formed or re-formed and not enough tanks were available, they would use the smaller TO&E.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Flak Tower

An armored regiment of two armored battalions lined up with a flak tower in the background.

The flak tower is massive and provides protection for tens of thousands of civilians.

The small swallows nest sections hold light anti-aircraft guns. A small building is visible in the background.

The Reichstag, it's signature columns at the front.

Trucks and Tiger II tanks at the front of the buildings.

The flak towers are five stories high, but they are large stories.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Missiles

The fuel for nuclear missiles is so toxic that they have to use these space suits when they are working around it.

Another view of the truck. When taking vehicle pictures, to 45 degree angle views are the minimum. I also like a side view and front view too.

This plain old standard family van is another Air Force vehicle. Another use for a standard civilian model. Check those model railroad stores for HO scale versions of vehicles like this.

This is the inside of the missile silo. Very cool, and all in a nice pale green and light gray.

Another view of the command center. Photos like this enable the model builder to make unusual subjects for wargaming. During the Cold War there was always the fear that Soviet commandos would raid the missile silos and try to disable the missiles. They had military police on site to prevent this from being successful. To lightly armed elite forces fighting it out over nuclear missiles. Esci, Italeri and Caesar all make good troops to try on a scenario like this one.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Missile Cars and Trucks

Years ago I visited Green Valley, Arizona and their nuclear missile silo. This is part of the above ground facilities.

When I go to museums like this, I always try and take photos of any vehicles that may be present. This is a US Airforce station wagon. This gives me a use for a civilian station wagon model. Civilian vehicles are often used by the military and museums like this often give examples of them.

This four wheel drive king cab pickup truck was also used by the US Airforce at this missile site.

Here is a front view showing the same vehicle. Note the brush guard on the front.

This photo shows the very familiar M-151 MUTT Jeep. The difference is this one has a hard cab and flashing red lights on the roof. An interesting conversion project for the Roco Jeep.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

FT Mac and 16 Inch Guns

In World War Two the United States Army Coast Artillery Corp made sixteen inch gun bunkers.

The guns in these bunkers faced the ocean. This is the rear entrance to resupply the guns.

These bunkers were so massive that they are still in existence today, here at Fort MacArthur, San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, USA.

A giant blast cover hangs over the top of the gun aperture to protect from aircraft bombs.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wargame Photos

Many years ago we played a NATO vs Warsaw Pact type wargame at my Wargaming Place. This photo shows my wargame table with storage shelves underneath. The cardboard boxes have since been replaced by plastic underbed storage boxes. The vehicle are an Armourtec T-62 that has been hit and black cotton balls have been placed on it. A Roco Minitank T-34 recovery vehicle conversion is attempting to repair it. Trees are Roco and others, terrain is Geo-Hex.

An overhead view of the same table. HO scale train tracks, and the asphalt road is made from roofing shingles cut to size. Cheap, durable and since they are asphalt they really look like roads.

The table is covered with indoor / outdoor carpeting. The church is a paper building, the bridge is by Bellona Battlefields.

A Roco M42 Duster followed by an Abrams attacks a Soviet attempt to deploy a bridge over the Bellona Battlefields stream. The BTR 152 is by Roskopf. While a bit underscale the Roskopf Soviet vehicles were very good wargame pieces. Strong, easy to put together and cheap.

Various American armor from Roco, M113, and M88 enter the table from the edge of the board. Bellona Battlefields dragons teeth along the rail line. The brown circles are craters from 155mm artillery strikes. You can also see part of the book collection in the background. Recently this was moved to the Library room.
I just had a couple thousand photos digitized and will share more of them in the next few years. They include many actual vehicles as well as many old wargames. I like to take photos of the wargames so I can see how far we have come when looking back on them years later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Parade Photos

My friend COL Jim likes to go to military parades. Sometimes he takes me with him. One of the secrets to parades is to remember that they start and finish someplace.

While that may seem obvious, the secret part is that they often set up military displays and allow close up picture taking at these locations.

These photos were taken at an Armed Forces Day Parade in the city of Torrance, California.

It is not every day you get to take close up photos of .50 caliber machine guns, rocket launcers, and sniper rifles.

And grenade launchers too. Next time you go to a military parade, try and find out where the units form up and where the parade ends. Sometimes you can even go a day early or a day late and they have photo opportunities too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

German Heavy Tank TOE

In World War Two German heavy tanks, the Tiger I and Tiger II were organized in companies of 14 tanks. The tanks were not separated by type, so a Tiger I or Tiger II could be in the same company and Tiger II with either turret type can be in the same unit as well.

Platoons had four tanks each.

Three platoons of four tanks each, plus a headquarters platoon of two tanks made up a company of fourteen tanks.

Three companies of fourteen tanks, plus a headquarters platoon of three tanks made up a battalion of forty-five tanks.

As late as January, 1945 there was at least one heavy tank battalion that was at full strength.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reichstag, Victory Column

Troops standing in front of the Reichstag.

A battalion of troops ready for review.

The Leader drives past his troops to review them.

Victory Column.

170 mm Gun

Finished at last!!

While these models are fragile, they are very nicely detailed. The etched brass parts are excellent.

The aluminum barrel has been drilled out in the end and looks very nice.

The wheel is great and you can see the walkways are a nice detail.

This is a big model and I will have more photos after I paint it up. I am building several and will have more as I continue to work on them.