Posts Tagged ‘WW2’

The Tithe Barn in Crepon, Calvados has been around since the early 1500s and is still standing to this day. I spotted the barn on a random Google maps search and immediately fell in love with it and had to try and recreate it for my wargaming board. It fits in perfectly as a unique bit of table top terrain and has the advantage of being multi purpose as covers anywhere from 1500 up to present day. My immediate aim was to drop it onto my WW2 Normandy board.

By a stroke of luck I discovered the barn actually played a small part in the Normandy landings shortly after Crepon was caputured as a Rafadrome. A Rafadrome was a theatre created by the RAF Beach Squadron for some much needed R&R for the troops after battle. Click on the attached link for more information: https://rafbeachunits.info/units/uk-beach-squadrons-april-august-1944/4-beach-squadron/rafadrome/

The barn walls are constructed of foam card including the external buttresses. The doors are made from balsa wood and the roof is plasticard ,covered in York Model Rail roof tiles. The internal roof beams/joists are also made from balsa wood which has been shaped and stained to give the look of age old wooden beams. I hope I carried off the effect ?

Boths sets of doors fully open for gaming purposes and the roof lifts off easily as well. The roof basically sits on the foam card walls via gravity.

A bit of Crepon WW2 history to set the scene. Crepon is 6.5 km inland from the Normandy beaches and on the 6th of June 1944 was held by 7. Kompanie, Grenadier-Regiment 736, 716. Infanterie-Division,4. Kompanie, Ost Battalion 441, 716. Infanterie-Division and 2/Artillerie-Regiment 1716, 716. Infanterie-Division. Crepon was attacked on the 6th of June by 7th Battalion Green Howards Regiment, 69th Infantry Brigade, 50th Infantry Division and 4th/7th Dragoons Guard, 8th Armored Brigade, 50th Infantry Division and was captured. After being taken Crepon became a supply/assembly area for fresh forces arriving from the beaches.

Enjoy the pictures.

Crepon tithe barn1
Crepon tithe barn 2
Crepon tithe barn 3
Crepon tithe barn 4
Crepon tithe barn 5
Crepon tithe barn 6
Crepon tithe barn 7
Crepon tithe barn 8
Crepon tithe barn 9

Small update of the project so far. The pictures taken show the first time I have put the whole thing together with surroundings just to get a feel for the project and how it all links together. Lots of work still to do inside and the roof needs a bit more work but apart from that its coming on nicely.

Chateau Saint-Gilles
Chateau Saint-Gilles

The rifle section was the core building block of the British army organization of WW2 and was the chief instrument in Normandy in closing with the enemy and destroying him.
In 1944 the British rifle section consisted of ten men. The section was commanded by a Corporal who would normally divide his team into six riflemen, which he led and a bren gun team of two with a Lance corporal commanding (so two groups of 7 and 3 men).

The standard infantry man was equipped with a Lee Enfield number 4 .303 rifle and could fire at targets up to 550yds away. This bolt action rifle was reliable and accurate.

The section leader carried a 9mm Sten gun which even though was an inaccurate and somewhat unreliable weapon was favoured for its effectiveness in close quarter battles, especially as it was able to fire 500 rounds a minute.
Each section was issued one Bren gun and the two-man team that operated it was known as the “gun group”. The team consisted of a No1 who carried and operated the Bren and a No 2 who loaded and spotted targets. The No2 also carried spare ammunition and barrels. Additional ammunition for the Bren was also carried my all members of the rifle section. The Bren usefully also fired 303 rounds and had an effective range of 600 yards. It fired 500 rounds a minute

Individual riflemen were also equipped with grenades, the No 36 grenade and White Phosphorous grenade (Phosphorous grenades were used to produce smoke).

In combat the section centred on the Bren gun with its considerable flexibility and reliability. As the 1937 training manual,” Application of Fire” stated the lmg was main fire producing weapon and led to tactics revolving around this weapon.

In attack the British section would split into two. The Bren gun team of 3 men would move to the flank and provide suppressing fire on the target while the other group of riflemen(team of 7) would close with the enemy. Ideally the Bren gun would get to 90 degrees of the target allowing a cross fire between the two groups.
The rifle team would close with the enemy using grenades and bayonets to finish the job off.

 

I needed some more scenery for my Bolt Action boards and

noticed there is a lot of farm equipment made by Britains that

would nicely do the job on fleabay. Its 1:32 scale according to

the official guide but I think a lot of the Britains stuff fits in

quiet nicely if your not to particular.

You get a white plastic kit in sections for £10 and not much else.I

managed to get a grass roller thrown in as well(it all helps).

I assembled the greenhouse and added some wooden boards for

plants made from balsa wood and added a stone paving effect

path inside.

I then based the greenhouse on plasticard and added various bits

inside giving the look of a discarded neglect. The rusty roller went inside

along with some Noch plant pots and various odds and ends. I also

added an out of control creeper escaping through the roof.

The glass is clear plasticard with a green wash to represent mould and

decay.

And goodnight from the greenhouse.

In an attempt to get started on my Bolt Action terrain

boards I am getting stuck into the fine detail. I wanted

something extra and typical in a Normandy farm yard,

thus the cider press.

Normandy is covered in apple orchards and is famous

for its drinks made from apple juice. These include,

Cidre(Cider) apple wine fermented from apple juice,

Calvados(apple brandy) distilled dry fermented cider

which is then aged in oak barrels, Pommeau(aperitif)

unfermented apple juice and apple brandy aged in oak

barrels and finally Benedictine(herbal liquer) a mixture

of plants and spices distilled in oak barrels.

All these were made on an industrial scale and more

importantly a very local scale. If you had century old

apple or even pear orchards on your land then all

you had to do was build a rustic apple press from

spare timber and let the happy times begin.

My simple press is meant to look as rustic as

possible and simply works by dropping apples

into the wooden barrel usually within a muslin

or cloth wrap. The long pole will be attached to

the top and would have been turned forcing a simple

wooden block board down squashing the apples. The

pomace(juice) runs out via a funnel/pipe at the bottom.

Obviously at the moment its not complete and requires

some legs and painting. If your wondering what the silver

bands  are around  the barrel,they are artist foil.

I will post up the finished product soon perhaps with a

scratch built apple run as well.

Oh I have also been making some Cidre bill boards to

advertise on the road side.

Below is a typical Normandy cidre press found

on every farm.

trophy

The rules in a nutshell:

Look at the pictures below which contain 6, 15mm Tiger tanks from

Schwer SS Panzer Abt 101 driving down a Normandy road in 1944, made

by various manufactures. The Tigers have been painted, some are

slightly converted and camouflage has been added. So all 6 Tigers

are battle board ready.

Your job is to identify which tank belongs to which manufacturer,
simple ?

All you have to do is post your guess to be entered into the competition. You
must identify the maker of tanks. Each tank has a 3 figure number on the turret
and below it to identify it. You must match the tank number to one of the six
manufacturers listed below.

  1. Zvezda.
  2. Battlefront.
  3. Forged In Battle.
  4. Peter Pig.
  5. Skytrex.
  6. Plastic Soldier Company.

The competition will stay open until the end of June and the winner will be judged by me. In
the case of a draw the names will be put into a hat and a winner drawn out. Only one guess
per person is allowed.

The winner will receive a Battlefront 15mm Tiger Tank.

The pictures:

Click on any picture to enlarge:

Comp1

Comp2

Comp3

Comp4

Comp5

Comp6

Comp7

Good luck everybody.

.16e

Been playing around with basing anti tank guns and

wondered what you think of these bases ? Its aimed

to fit with a Normandy background. I think the walls

look a bit too pristine for my liking, perhaps something

a bit more crumbling ruin ?

Please ignore any static grass on the edge of the bases

as its just a tester.

Click on any picky to enlarge.

12a

12b

13c

14d

IMG_0416a

Feedback is very welcome.

🙂Normvil1

Warning, lots of large pictures. Just click on

a picture to enlarge.

Just wanted to show you how I have been getting

on with my continuing Normandy boards. Still a long way

to go but all 3 boards are coming along nicely. As you

can see from the pictures the 3 additional boards

allow me to crawl out of the Normandy bocage and right

into the local village for a bit of street fighting.

The name of the church and village are fictional so

don’t bother looking for it lol

Normvil2

The buildings are all mixed manufacturers and the centre

piece church is a Loic Neveu masterpiece. If you really

need to know who makes any particular building just contact

me for the details.

)Normvil3

As mentioned in previous posts I have been using Google Maps

to get inspiration and ideas from,especially the church. Most

French villages have a church surrounded by a circular wall and

often sit right in the middle of the village with a road curving

around the church. There is often a war memorial right next to

the church as well.

Normvil15

A few bits of info on the church. The gates to L`eglise Saint Andre

are scratch built and the stained glass windows are a combination of

free hand painting and see through plastic. The roof is removable

so you can fill the church with soldiers to your hearts content.

All buildings on the boards are removable except the walls which are fixed

in position. Also to help with storage the telegraph poles are fixed to the

board with magnets so easily moved.

Lots more to do especially at the more built up end of the village but

light is shining from the end of the tunnel.

If your wondering that’s a Panzer Lehr Division rolling through 🙂

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15mm WW2 Wargaming Terrain Review

I have been building a lot of terrain as of late and decided to
write a review of what’s available on the market ,specifically
if your wargaming anything to do with Normandy but its still
relevant for most other WW2 wargaming at the 15mm size, particularly
Western Europe.
My review is based on many things including, how detailed the terrain is,
how large the terrain range is, how easy the terrain is to construct, the
uniqueness of the terrain and how customer friendly the company are.

The first 7 reviews are of terrain manufacturers  that I have bought,
modified, played and lived with. They are rated after the review out
of a total of 5 points.
Following that are a list of other terrain makers I have yet to
experience but deserve a mention. They are not rated.

1. Najewitz Modellbau.

10599282_10202936027014706_8814317668114891441_n

Najewitz has a 15mm range that covers Normandy, Italy and Historic. The
Italian range is not available yet but apparently available soon and the Historic
range is limited. Saying that, it’s the Normandy range that is the real jewel in the
crown. There is a Pegasus bridge(for all those who want to play with Horsa gliders),
a fantastic walled farmstead and various sets of houses to make up your Normandy
town or village. The resin buildings come as kits and are unpainted but are
extremely well made and high in detail. An example price would be 45 euros for the
farmstead(which includes a house, a barn, a hay loft, a small shed and a complete surrounding
wall and mini gatehouse for the farm). This sounds pricey but your getting some seriously
good kit. So far I have only found one other manufacturer
of 15mm terrain that produces buildings of this high quality.

Rating : 4.5 out of 5.

2. Loic Neveu.

artimage_184063_2845465_20100725002866

Yes it’s a French website, but hold your horses. Do not be put off by the French language
and look past the words and have a good look at all that beautiful terrain. Loic Neveu
is an ex French paratrooper who runs the site which is called Decors. All you have to do is send
him and e-mail for a quote and he will work out the costs and get back to you in English, easy !
Onto the models themselves. The 15mm terrain range is huge and is probably the biggest out there
that I know of, strangely not many people are aware of this. WW2 terrain covered includes Normandy,
France ,Germany ,North Africa and Russia.
The quality of the terrain is fantastic and comes with huge amount of detail. Its all unpainted but there
is a great selection from a tiny sandbag gun pit up to the gigantic Normandy church. There is even a range
of civilian cars. One thing I really like is the ability to buy nearly everything in the range as either perfect
or battle damaged.

Rating : 4.9 out of 5.

3. Flames Of War /Battlefront/

New-House-Sub-03

 

Everybody has a piece from the Battlefield In a Box range and to be honest the stuff is quite good. It
comes fully painted and is instantly ready for battle. Its reasonably priced and looks good on the table.
Now the down sides. As mentioned everybody has a piece, so your terrain is not going to stand out
and will look like all those tournament games at your local wargaming show(couple of buildings thrown
on a green bit of felt with a strange floating road). The range is also quite limited and I found difficulty
in getting hold of various bits of stock.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5.

4. Keer and King

kk193a

Keer and King have a large range of terrain including French, Dutch, North African,Russian,
and Oriental. Included in this range is a large amount of fortifications and bases. The simple
French building pictured above will cost you £16 plus postage. I have one gripe with the product
and that is its feels and looks a bit block like to me. It is also not as highly detailed as the Goldfinger
and Najewitz terrain.

Rating: 4.1 out of 5.

5. Hovels.

26e5

Hovels seem to have been around of ages and I think of them as the back bone of model terrain.
If you need a bit of terrain and cannot find it else where,Hovels will have it. Hovels have a huge
15mm range but only a small section is dedicated to WW2. One thing to point out though is that a large
amount of the 15mm ranges carry across to WW2 and will easily sit on a WW2 battle board. A drinking well
from the Napoleonic range or the great barn(see picture above) are timeless and will simply fit in,
which is a great credit to Hovels. Hovels terrain is very well priced and you can buy the
product ready painted if you choose. The Great Barn pictured above will cost you £13 unpainted.

Rating: 4.3 out of 5.

6.  Tiger Terrain

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Tiger Terrain as of yet only have a small selection(just covering Normandy) of stuff
but its high quality and the range is growing. I particularly like the Norman church and
the outhouse toilets are excellent. The walled gardens are also a great idea. All models
come unpainted and are resin. The house above on the left would cost you £9 without
the walled garden.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5.

7.  Timecast

lm_1-copy

When the Normandy and Northern France models first came out I thought they were
a bit of a revelation. For me they were the first guys to build terrain specifically aimed
at wargaming Normandy in 15mm. If you want ready made buildings that are painted
then this is most likely the way to go. Now the draw backs. The terrain only comes
ready painted and for me that’s a pain as I like to personalise kit. It also to my eyes and
standing next to other WW2 15mm terrain looks slightly smallish in scale. One other tiny
fault is that I have found that over time the windows(which are stuck on inserts) drop
out. £17.40 will buy the church above.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5.

 

And now for the rest which are not rated just links and a brief description.

 

8. Crescent Root.

So far as I am aware the only 15mm terrain Crescent Root make is Middle eastern style.
Its made from textured coated MDF and from the pictures it looks stunning.
Lets hope they get into 15mm Normandy terrain shortly as their terrain in 20mm and 28mm
is also fantastic looking.

9. Gamecraft Miniatures.

Gamecraft miniatures specialise in MDF kits. They do a town and country range,
a foam board range(with lots of Middle East stuff), European town and villages
resins kits and modular tile and road systems.

10. The Miniature Building Authority.

They cover a 15mm European range which comes in pre-painted resin.

11. Miniatureworldmaker.

Specialises in 15mm terrain that would suit any period. There is no WW2 specific section.

12. JR Minis.

Small range of 15mm WW2 terrain.

13. Gelaendestuecke.

Beautifully hand painted WW2 scenery from Germany.

14. Total Battle Miniatures.

The 15mm range covers Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the Middle East.
On top that they do some very nice road systems suitable for 15mm as well. You can choose
painted or unpainted.

15. Paper Terrain.

Exactly what it says on the tin, terrain made from paper. The main advantage is cost,
you get a lot for building for your money.

16. Antenocitis Workshop.

Only a small range and its nearly all fortifications.

17. Warbases.

15mm MDF covering WW2.

18. Rifrafminiatures.

Its resin and comes painted or unpainted.

19. Epsilon.

Ready to play terrain all painted just for you.

 

——————————————————————————————

Hope you enjoyed my basic review and please note that I am

aware that not everybody was included. If you would like some

other terrain makers added then just please ask. I am happy to

review anything if its WW2 related and especially Normandy

themed. If any information is incorrect or out of date please

contact me and I will attempt to rectify it.

 

Please note : The views and ratings  stated above are solely my own

and may not reflect the views of the manufacturers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Normandy Tiger

Normandy Tiger

Normandy Tiger

I have not painted up any German armour for a long while
so on finding a Battlefront Tiger 1 E early still in my
large box of things I have never got round to painting it was game on.
Now the initial impetus came from finally watching the film, “Fury” and
no need to go into the failings of that film. Linked to a recent trip to
Bovington Tank Museum and a new burst of activity on my Normandy terrain
boards it was full steam ahead. Those of you who know your Battlefront
kits will immediately realise I had a problem because the Tiger has rubber
road wheels, no spare tracks and most importantly no zimmerit on it. All
these things are kind of vital for a Normandy Tiger. My first issue was solved
by a few rubber wheeled Tigers still serving in Normandy specifically I went for
tank number 131 belonging to Ustuf Walter Hahn of the Schwer Abteilung 101 .
Next problem was the Zimmerit, so time to experiment with fine household filler
and a sharp knife. In the end is was rather tricky but worked.

NormTig5

The model was airbrushed using Vallejo colours and it took me quite a few coats
to get the effect and colour I wanted. Unfortunately I`m no expert with an airbrush
and I`m sure a lot of people would have completed the job a lot quicker than me.
The spare tank tracks attached to the turret are PSC extras and so is part of the
stowage. The helmets are spare from somewhere ?

NormTig6

Next up being Normandy and the sky being full of Allied planes just itching to bomb
something friendly or not ,some serious camouflage was called for. I have found it
really difficult to get camouflage correct on tanks as 9 times out of ten it just looks
crap. So in my best effort yet I went for the car filter scheme, which has been broken
up into tiny bits and sprayed green and brown . Scatter was then added for effect.
Decals were a problem as I was unable to find any tank numbers in 15mm that are
green with a white outline(colour of the SS 101). I partially solved the issue by
attaching clear decals with white outlines. The green of the tank comes through
the decal, its not perfect but way easier than attempting free hand.

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Hope you like it and the scenic backdrops ?