One matador, no bull

I’m not sure about you, but I love to buy random kits and 15mm scratches this itch nicely, since you can often pick up a model for less than $20. Usually with only a few parts and quick to paint I find they can be a pleasurable thing to do between larger projects.

And that is why I now have a Matador truck from Zvezda. I’ve done it in desert colours because all of my other British in 15mm are themed around North Africa and there is a remote chance it will be used one day.

In the meantime, it means one more mini in this world is painted. And for today, that is enough.

stomping tanks

The creators of Konflikt 47, Clockwork Goblin, have released a selection of their weird war designs in 15mm resin. I posted my tesla turrets late last year. And now it is time for the German walkers.

I picked up a Thor heavy panzermech. They are a beast. A king tiger on legs.

And a zug of light walker, panzer spinne.

I have one of these in my 28mm Turkish army. While I’m unlikely to get more in the larger scale, I can see these four in a supporting role for the Thor similar to the Panzer III accompanied early production Tigers.

I used a paint scheme inspired by Normandy in 1944, which will match a much older 15mm German force that I have.

The models are great. Crisp, clean molding and good fun to paint. I suspect that Clockwork Goblin will add to their range over coming months. And that could prove to be very tempting.

Flames of 47

The talented folk at Clockwork Goblin have gone back to their roots and released a series of Konflikt 47 miniatures in 15mm resin. I’ve picked up some walkers and a pack of 5 Tesla turrets to swap out on an existing Sherman troop from Plastic Solider Company.

The resin parts are clean, with little or no clean up required beyond the usual wash to prepare them. They take the paint nicely too.

There are no particular rules, but given Konflikt-47/Bolt Action works in 15mm (or 20mm, for that matter) just fine. Also, I think Tank Wars works even better at this scale, so 15mm is a perfect chance to put lots of toys on the table.

I couldn’t find in my cupboard any Allied decals in the right scale, so the final touches can wait. But these are ready for the table.

I’m still plodding along with my Turkish force. Next steps are to finish the last couple of units in the queue so I can take some nice photos to jazz up my home brew army book.

Tobruk Besieged

In the crazy back and forth fighting across the Libyan coastal plain, one battle was more static, but no less brutal. The port of Tobruk, taken from the Italians in January 1941 was subsequently besieged by Axis forces from April until December. At over 240 days it is the longest ever siege endured by British forces.

The models are all 15mm from Battlefront; mostly metal although some of the vehicles are resin.

All three armed services were critical to the successful defense of Tobruk. The Navy, RN and RAN, kept the garrison reinforced and supplied and allowed the evacuation of wounded soldiers. The RAF and RAAF, some based inside the perimeter, kept the Luftwaffe at bay and supported the troops. The bulk of the defenders were made up of the 9 Div AIF, who relieved the by then veteran 6 Div just before the German advance out of Tripoli triggered the Torbruk Handicap that led to the Great Siege.

This is a selection of my Western Desert force. While it could be used to represent many of the battles in 1940-41, it is motivated mostly by the 9 Div and supporting elements from the British 3rd RTR, 3rd Hussars, 51 Field Regiment RA and 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (a specialist machine gun unit).

A 25pdr of 51 Regiment RA in a stone sanger
Battalion HQ staff officers c0-ordinate the defense
2pdr a/t were outclassed later in the war, but at this stage were more than a match for Italian tanks and could even stop the Panzers of the 5 Leichte Division, although often at great cost to the gunners
Cruiser tanks from the 3rd Hussars; 7 RTR were also present (with Matilda tanks)
An aerial view

Not sure when these will reach the table, but it is bonza to be close to finishing this army after so many years incomplete. Now I’m thinking I need an Axis force to oppose them, but there is always another project.

Time for a big stonk

Apparently a stonk is a thing, and the way to get one delivered is to get your supporting artillery regiment on the telephone or radio. Before Montgomery made artillery essential to his battle plans, the Royal Artillery Regiment were honing their craft as part of the Western Desert Force. This battery of 8 guns from a field regiment will support my desert campaign Australians.

Field regiments were armed with 25 pounder guns, introduced early in the war and so successful they were used for many years after all around the world. I have included some some Italian guns. This is a nod to the bush artillery, a unit made up of support troops during the Tobruk siege in 1940-41 who used captured Italian guns. I suspect they provided more moral than actual support, given the highly technical game of arty, but it is a wonderful image and a terrific insight into the courage and tenacity of the garrison.

The RA regiments supporting the Australian divisions in North Africa were mostly British formations, pointing to the international nature of Western Desert Force (and later, the 8th Army). Australian artillery were mostly deployed for home defense and later in the Pacific.

It is a lot of models: 8 guns, with HQ, staff, FO and enough trucks and universal carriers to transport them all. This battery will make up a large part of any force they are included in, but they will also throw out a lot of firepower. Fun fact: the artillery were the largest component part of the British Army.

See you in the Bardia for lunch!

Motor pool

Holy Cow Batman! It has been six years since I have done any work on these little fellows, a 6 Division Australian force for the Western Desert. It is way past due to get some wheels for them. Weapon carriers for reconnaissance, trucks for troops, and Morris Quads for the artillery.

They look pretty rough up close, but they are only small, so look OK at “gaming distance”
Brm, brm

Transport is essential, so these trucks will be very handy for the troops (alas! still mostly sitting with undercoat) and the equally essential field artillery (also still sitting with undercoat- see a pattern?).

Still, progress on a long neglected project. I’m calling that a win.


No! Smaller than that!

Looking for something else I found a squadron of Sherman tanks with a rattlecan base coat and nothing else. I can’t date them but I reckon they must be around 5 years old. Yep, well past due to get a little attention at the paint table.

They are 15mm from Plastic Soldier Company. My brother tells me they are early war because the hulls are rounded and not the riveted late war bodies. I thought the 1:72 one I completed recently was little. These are very cute. Here is one sitting next to a 1:56 version from Warlord Games.

The commander took about 45 seconds to paint, including shaking the paint pots.

I enjoyed painting these tanks. It seems some more 15mm may be in order and I happen to have a half finished British desert army. As you do.

The British Are Coming

I’ve completed the other half of the miniatures from my Great War board game, the British forces. The Germans are here and my first game here12182996_1646466885601110_6564853086038948751_o

While the mix of miniatures is basically a mirror of the German forces (the same number of MG, bombardiers, etc), the poses are different. In particular, the poms have bayonets fitted ready to go over the top and get stuck into the hun.

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Based in the same way and otherwise with a similar palette, the two sets will look OK together on the board.



Detail of the backpacks

There is an extension focused on tanks on Kickstarter at the moment. It is good value and the models look like they will be the same high standard. But, you read it here first folks, I’m declaring my first world war collection finished.  Given the number of other projects I have on the go, I’m content with the base set.


Over the top

The kickstarter went off and the game is now available retail and Andy and I finally sat down to a game of Plastic Soldier Company’s The Great War.
My initial impressions of the game were good and our first couple of games did not disappoint.

Andy had painted his Brits first and I did my Germans, so the board looked great. The photos not so much, given I was just wielding my phone under the kitchen light.

We played the second of two “training” scenarios. We skipped the first as we are both comfortable with the basic mechanics from playing Memoir ’44. The second mission represents a local assault by the British and introduces the opening bombardment mechanic.


Andy’s Brits get ready to go over the top

The format of the game won’t surprise anyone familiar with the Command and Colours series such as the popular (and cracking) Memoir ’44.  At first glance, Great War seems to have more bookkeeping, with HQ resource tokens and two separate command decks to wrangle. However, what become apparent very quickly is that this additional level of resource-management brings an engaging layer to the game as the troops themselves are not super mobile as they either defend their trench line or get ready for the mad charge across no-mans’ land.


German’s stand to

The key to winning is to play the cards in your hand in such a way that they provide force multipliers. It is a long, dangerous dash across the wire infested field between the trenches. Without playing your cards with cunning, combining them to boost a unit’s ability to attack or survive the inevitable counter-attack, you will find your attack stymied or defenders overwhelmed.


There are several features that seek, mostly with success, to bring the flavour of trench warfare.  Artillery, an off-board resource, can be really important, but just like the real thing outcomes can vary wildly from an ineffective spume of mud to sudden, brutal devastation. Machines guns are also really dangerous, but to win, eventually you need to have your infantry up close taking or holding ground.


We played twice, switching sides. I had the luck on the night, winning both times, initally defending as the Germans and then as the attacking British. Both were narrow victories and both were bloody-fought affairs.

Some generals may find this randomness frustrating, and it can be as your push on your left flank bogs downs from lack of suitable orders. It is this simulation of the friction of command (and the fog of war) where C&C games excel, and your flexibility as a general to exploit the luck of war that is the wellspring of fun playing The Great War.  The tension for both players is pretty constant and there is no opportunity to switch off during the other player’s turn, which I think is a big plus.


Andy and I will back for more.

Have you played The Great War or any of the other Command and Colours games?
I’d love to hear about your experiences.


Germans Stand To

Andy started painting the British, so I started with the Germans, both of us having secured a copy The Great War via Kickstarter (but now available to all from Plastic Soldier Company).  I’m yet to play but Andy has and reports good things with the latest addition to the Command and Colours game family.


German forces stand to in their trenches (on the game board)

I have completed the Germans, so when we do finally get to together it will be over beer and painted armies, and it is hard to ask for much more than that.



Machine gun team


Mortar team – they don’t need line of sight


After painting 28mm for a number of years, mostly at the heroic scale, 15mm certainly was a test for my eyesight.  Being smaller does have one advantage, there is less surface to paint which speeds things up a bit. Seeing some of these models close up in the photos has exposed my rather rough painting technique. They look much rougher than they do in their diminutive glory, so I think they’ll do the job.