Posts Tagged ‘WWII’

Painting British WWII tanks using an armoured car!

Posted on October 18th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Hello again, this time I’m going to talk through how I paint my bolt action British tanks. To do it step by step I needed an example and I have no tanks left to do so here’s a British AEC armoured car mark III from warlord games. It’s a 1/56th scale mo…

Painting British WWII tanks, using an armoured car!

Posted on October 17th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Hello again, this time I’m going to talk through how I paint my bolt action British tanks. To do it step by step I needed an example and I have no tanks left to do so here’s a British AEC armoured car mark III from warlord games. It’s a 1/56th scale mo…

Small yet Mighty!

Posted on October 15th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Most of the posts on this Blog will cover the broad aspects of games, painting and collecting. People who follow it will have seen some of the models we have. But these models and the games they are used in depict only tiny snippet or window into that world. A large game, let us make an example of Horus Heresy (a game best suited to large battles from the dawn of the Imperium) might have a 100+ models and a good handful of tanks. It stirs the soul for us Wargamers when we see two lovingly painted forces clash on themed terrain. When you play those games, you can well imagine yourself as a fearless hero leading your forces to battle. In Horus Heresy and even Historical games like Bolt Action.

But You can have more…

This article will be about even bigger games again. Now not all of us can afford a football pitch sized table and fighter command Battle of Britain style move sticks to shuffle the forces around. Enter the 10mm Wargame! Most of the Games we play are around the 28mm size (Heroic scale or 1/54 scale) 10mm Scale is a different monster. Many of you will remember Epic and Warmaster, it’s this style of games I am talking about today!

This is my late war American Army. Left to right  (Models on small round bases are Recce units and are a mix of M5 Stuart Tanks, M8 Greyhounds and Willis Jeeps) Models on square bases are HQs and or Artillery.




Top: M26 Pershing Tank Company, Sherman Tank Battalion (including 76mm, 75mm and 105mm Sherman variants) 2nd Sherman Tank Battalion (same as first) Anti-Tank Battalion (M10s and M18s with a fully company of 76mm Anti-tank guns and 2 Artillery Companies (x1 with Priest SPGs and x1 with 105mm guns with trucks).

Middle: Mechanised Regiment (x3 Battalions mounted in Trucks and Halftraks). Engineering Battalion

Bottom: Old Blood and Guts Patton himself! Then an Infantry Regiment (x3 over strength battalions)

I have a Japanese army for Bolt Action. That roughly represents two re-enforced platoons form a WWII Japanese army. But for my 10mm Forces I have quite a bit more. When you shrink the scale, you increase the numbers. When you play 10mm games (sometimes called “Grand Scale”) you become more than a front-line commander, you are elevated to an Army Commander! Rather than a dashing and heroic Captain or Lieutenant on a horse at the battle of Waterloo you become Wellington himself. Imagine the film Saving Private Ryan, that for my example is Bolt Action – Squads of soldiers in a desperate battle to survive and achieve their objectives. Now one of my Favourite games is Blitzkrieg Commander – this is like the film The Longest Day. In this game you don’t have time for squads and individual actions, you are too busy fighting the entire D-Day invasion!

Blitzkrieg Commander is a very clever game that borrows from Warmaster and a few other Grand Scale games. It covers all WWII periods and the vast majority of the Forces too. Your army centres around a Commanding Officer (CO) and a number of Headquarters Units (HQ) they in turn are responsible for commanding your forces. Each CO or HQ has a command Value, that determines how effective they are at commanding the forces attached to them.

Quick Example; Each HQ is in Command of a Battalion of Infantry. In that Battalion might be nine platoons of Soldiers accompanied by machine gun, anti-tank, mortar and recon platoons. Then you may have two more battalions of soldiers. Let’s not leave out the support, maybe you could have a tank battalion or two (also needing an HQ) and why not throw in some artillery and air support. 

Oh… you have a Tiger Platoon? Well I have a Tank Regiment!


Sherman Tank Battalion, with HQ (Stuart Command Tank) on a square base and Recce (M5 Stuart Light Tank) On round base


 Blood and Guts Patton, Take care he will slap any privates not up for the job!

Now you don’t just fight a one of the many battles on D-Day, you fight THE battle of D-Day. 

Small scale yet Mighty Games!

All of the Models shown are from Pendraken Miniatures with the Exception of the x3 M26 Pershing Tanks, that are from Pithead miniatures.

Small yet Mighty!

Posted on October 15th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Most of the posts on this Blog will cover the broad aspects of games, painting and collecting. People who follow it will have seen some of the models we have. But these models and the games they are used in depict only tiny snippet or window into that world. A large game, let us make an example of Horus Heresy (a game best suited to large battles from the dawn of the Imperium) might have a 100+ models and a good handful of tanks. It stirs the soul for us Wargamers when we see two lovingly painted forces clash on themed terrain. When you play those games, you can well imagine yourself as a fearless hero leading your forces to battle. In Horus Heresy and even Historical games like Bolt Action.

But You can have more…

This article will be about even bigger games again. Now not all of us can afford a football pitch sized table and fighter command Battle of Britain style move sticks to shuffle the forces around. Enter the 10mm Wargame! Most of the Games we play are around the 28mm size (Heroic scale or 1/54 scale) 10mm Scale is a different monster. Many of you will remember Epic and Warmaster, it’s this style of games I am talking about today!

This is my late war American Army. Left to right  (Models on small round bases are Recce units and are a mix of M5 Stuart Tanks, M8 Greyhounds and Willis Jeeps) Models on square bases are HQs and or Artillery.




Top: M26 Pershing Tank Company, Sherman Tank Battalion (including 76mm, 75mm and 105mm Sherman variants) 2nd Sherman Tank Battalion (same as first) Anti-Tank Battalion (M10s and M18s with a fully company of 76mm Anti-tank guns and 2 Artillery Companies (x1 with Priest SPGs and x1 with 105mm guns with trucks).

Middle: Mechanised Regiment (x3 Battalions mounted in Trucks and Halftraks). Engineering Battalion

Bottom: Old Blood and Guts Patton himself! Then an Infantry Regiment (x3 over strength battalions)

I have a Japanese army for Bolt Action. That roughly represents two re-enforced platoons form a WWII Japanese army. But for my 10mm Forces I have quite a bit more. When you shrink the scale, you increase the numbers. When you play 10mm games (sometimes called “Grand Scale”) you become more than a front-line commander, you are elevated to an Army Commander! Rather than a dashing and heroic Captain or Lieutenant on a horse at the battle of Waterloo you become Wellington himself. Imagine the film Saving Private Ryan, that for my example is Bolt Action – Squads of soldiers in a desperate battle to survive and achieve their objectives. Now one of my Favourite games is Blitzkrieg Commander – this is like the film The Longest Day. In this game you don’t have time for squads and individual actions, you are too busy fighting the entire D-Day invasion!

Blitzkrieg Commander is a very clever game that borrows from Warmaster and a few other Grand Scale games. It covers all WWII periods and the vast majority of the Forces too. Your army centres around a Commanding Officer (CO) and a number of Headquarters Units (HQ) they in turn are responsible for commanding your forces. Each CO or HQ has a command Value, that determines how effective they are at commanding the forces attached to them.

Quick Example; Each HQ is in Command of a Battalion of Infantry. In that Battalion might be nine platoons of Soldiers accompanied by machine gun, anti-tank, mortar and recon platoons. Then you may have two more battalions of soldiers. Let’s not leave out the support, maybe you could have a tank battalion or two (also needing an HQ) and why not throw in some artillery and air support. 

Oh… you have a Tiger Platoon? Well I have a Tank Regiment!


Sherman Tank Battalion, with HQ (Stuart Command Tank) on a square base and Recce (M5 Stuart Light Tank) On round base


 Blood and Guts Patton, Take care he will slap any privates not up for the job!

Now you don’t just fight a one of the many battles on D-Day, you fight THE battle of D-Day. 

Small scale yet Mighty Games!

All of the Models shown are from Pendraken Miniatures with the Exception of the x3 M26 Pershing Tanks, that are from Pithead miniatures.

Japanese Attack!

Posted on October 6th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

The Imperial Japanese Army, ready for war.Here is a quick painting guide for the Japanese Infantry.Step A1: Primer – Halfords brand Grey primer2: Vallejo Japanese Army Uniform – Tunic and Trousers3: Vallejo Violet-Brown – Putties4: Vallejo German Cammo…

Japanese Attack!

Posted on October 6th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

The Imperial Japanese Army, ready for war.Here is a quick painting guide for the Japanese Infantry.Step A1: Primer – Halfords brand Grey primer2: Vallejo Japanese Army Uniform – Tunic and Trousers3: Vallejo Violet-Brown – Putties4: Vallejo German Cammo…

Too Many Big Cats

Posted on October 4th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

I’m back and suffering holiday blues along with jet lag, I really do not want to serve the great British public at the moment, but needs must. I was going to give the club a miss this week as by late afternoon all I want to do is lie down in a darkened…

Too Many Big Cats

Posted on October 4th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

I’m back and suffering holiday blues along with jet lag, I really do not want to serve the great British public at the moment, but needs must. I was going to give the club a miss this week as by late afternoon all I want to do is lie down in a darkened…

Tanker’s Tuesday: British Tank List

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

British Tank List:Challenger II  10 eachChieftain   10 eachCenturion  30 eachComet       10 eachConquer    10 eachCromwell  10 eachChallenger (WWII) 3 eachChurchill   10 ea…

Tanker’s Tuesday: British Tank List

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

British Tank List:Challenger II  10 eachChieftain   10 eachCenturion  30 eachComet       10 eachConquer    10 eachCromwell  10 eachChallenger (WWII) 3 eachChurchill   10 ea…

Tanker’s Tuesday – Smashing the Gothic Line

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Tanker’s Tuesday – Smashing the Gothic Line

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Worst Case Scenario #15: A Pint-Sized Campaign for the Battle of Ortona

Posted on September 25th, 2017 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

A few years ago I painted up a force of WWII Canadian infantry and a troop of Sherman tanks with the idea of staging a game set around the 1943 Battle of Ortona – ‘Canada’s Little Stalingrad’.  I’ve enjoyed reading JohnM’s posts recounting his gro…

Worst Case Scenario #15: A Pint-Sized Campaign for the Battle of Ortona

Posted on September 25th, 2017 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

A few years ago I painted up a force of WWII Canadian infantry and a troop of Sherman tanks with the idea of staging a game set around the 1943 Battle of Ortona – ‘Canada’s Little Stalingrad’.  I’ve enjoyed reading JohnM’s posts recounting his gro…

The Cretan Runner by George Psychoundakis

Posted on September 20th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

I’ve been reading a really excellent book about the Cretan Resistance against German Occupation during WWII. I bought this book while on Holiday in Crete but its available through Amazon and other sellers and is well worth reading if your interested in irregular warfare and resistance in Crete. Its written by George Psychoundakis who during the war served as a runner or courier for the resistance, crisscrossing the island on foot with messages and reconnaissance reports. Travelling in all weathers in constant danger of capture and execution by the Germans his story is a fascinating insight into the workings of the resistance and the Cretan struggle against the invaders. 
George was a young shepherd boy when the Germans invaded in 1941. He knew the island well and moreover he knew how to cross its often mountainous terrain on foot. Distance isn’t measured in this book in miles or kilometres but rather in the time taken to walk from one location to another. He joined the resistance and quickly took on the crucial and dangerous job of war-time runner. The physical strain of this role is hard to comprehend with many journeys covering immense distances and terrain that even a mountain goat would find daunting. Sometimes he would be carrying important documents and sometimes munitions or explosives. All would have earned him an appointment with a firing squad had he been captured. 
George was an intelligent lad and unlike many of his compatriots was literate and well read. After the war, he wrote his memoirs as a form of self therapy, describing his time as a runner. It was only some years later these were read by a former SOE officer who revisited the island and met with his old friend George. This officer was Patrick Leigh Fermor, later Sir Patrick, and he convinced George to let him edit the handwritten manuscript and publish it. The result has become a unique, honest and insightful account of the resistance movement in German occupied Crete. 
The book traces Georges ‘career’ throughout the war and is filled with often well observed accounts of missions that would have otherwise been lost to history. While many tales tell of the dangers and hardships of their existence and the retribution dealt out by the occupiers it is also filled with humour and comic observations that say so much about the determined pragmatism of the Cretan people. 
Amazingly after the war George found himself in jail as a deserter from the Greek Army, despite being awarded the BEM (Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service) by the British. It was only after 16 months that George’s plight was discovered by his former employers and his release was secured. He later went on to serve during the Greek Civil War but his life was largely one of extreme poverty until the publishing of this book. Despite this frugal mountain life, and the limited schooling he had as a child, George went on to write several other books including translations of the Iliad and Odyssey from ancient Greek to the Cretan dialect. From 1974 until his retirement, Psychoundakis, was a caretaker at the German war cemetery on Hill 107 above Maleme. He died in January 2006.
Although much of the book does not directly describe the fighting against the Germans it is a none-the-less fascinating insight into the resistance movement in Crete. In particular its description of the harshness of the terrain, and the cat and mouse games played avoiding German patrols, are highly evocative. Anyone interested in playing skirmish type games of resistance, hit and run, guerrilla type warfare in mountainous terrain would do well to read this book. 
Author:     George Psychoundakis

Format:     Paperback, 368 Pages
Publisher:  Penguin (2009)

Rating:      ★★★★★   Highly recommended

The Cretan Runner by George Psychoundakis

Posted on September 20th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

I’ve been reading a really excellent book about the Cretan Resistance against German Occupation during WWII. I bought this book while on Holiday in Crete but its available through Amazon and other sellers and is well worth reading if your interested in irregular warfare and resistance in Crete. Its written by George Psychoundakis who during the war served as a runner or courier for the resistance, crisscrossing the island on foot with messages and reconnaissance reports. Travelling in all weathers in constant danger of capture and execution by the Germans his story is a fascinating insight into the workings of the resistance and the Cretan struggle against the invaders. 
George was a young shepherd boy when the Germans invaded in 1941. He knew the island well and moreover he knew how to cross its often mountainous terrain on foot. Distance isn’t measured in this book in miles or kilometres but rather in the time taken to walk from one location to another. He joined the resistance and quickly took on the crucial and dangerous job of war-time runner. The physical strain of this role is hard to comprehend with many journeys covering immense distances and terrain that even a mountain goat would find daunting. Sometimes he would be carrying important documents and sometimes munitions or explosives. All would have earned him an appointment with a firing squad had he been captured. 
George was an intelligent lad and unlike many of his compatriots was literate and well read. After the war, he wrote his memoirs as a form of self therapy, describing his time as a runner. It was only some years later these were read by a former SOE officer who revisited the island and met with his old friend George. This officer was Patrick Leigh Fermor, later Sir Patrick, and he convinced George to let him edit the handwritten manuscript and publish it. The result has become a unique, honest and insightful account of the resistance movement in German occupied Crete. 
The book traces Georges ‘career’ throughout the war and is filled with often well observed accounts of missions that would have otherwise been lost to history. While many tales tell of the dangers and hardships of their existence and the retribution dealt out by the occupiers it is also filled with humour and comic observations that say so much about the determined pragmatism of the Cretan people. 
Amazingly after the war George found himself in jail as a deserter from the Greek Army, despite being awarded the BEM (Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service) by the British. It was only after 16 months that George’s plight was discovered by his former employers and his release was secured. He later went on to serve during the Greek Civil War but his life was largely one of extreme poverty until the publishing of this book. Despite this frugal mountain life, and the limited schooling he had as a child, George went on to write several other books including translations of the Iliad and Odyssey from ancient Greek to the Cretan dialect. From 1974 until his retirement, Psychoundakis, was a caretaker at the German war cemetery on Hill 107 above Maleme. He died in January 2006.
Although much of the book does not directly describe the fighting against the Germans it is a none-the-less fascinating insight into the resistance movement in Crete. In particular its description of the harshness of the terrain, and the cat and mouse games played avoiding German patrols, are highly evocative. Anyone interested in playing skirmish type games of resistance, hit and run, guerrilla type warfare in mountainous terrain would do well to read this book. 
Author:     George Psychoundakis

Format:     Paperback, 368 Pages
Publisher:  Penguin (2009)

Rating:      ★★★★★   Highly recommended

Tanker’s Tuesday : Part II The Tank Lists

Posted on September 12th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

Having once again looked at Peter’s vast collection and setting up my own along similar lines i.e. US Green (MERDOC Camouflage) good guys, and Gray bad guys.I’d thought I’d get a rough count of my (US) tanks.85  M1A2 in 6 units44  M…

Tanker’s Tuesday : Part II The Tank Lists

Posted on September 12th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

Having once again looked at Peter’s vast collection and setting up my own along similar lines i.e. US Green (MERDOC Camouflage) good guys, and Gray bad guys.I’d thought I’d get a rough count of my (US) tanks.85  M1A2 in 6 units44  M…

Tanker’s Tuesday : PETER SHULMAN’S WAR

Posted on September 12th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Peter’s War is the story of an outdoor war game that artist Peter Shulman has been playing for more than sixty years. It has some very unusual aspects to it that make it totally unique. It is in fact a huge installation type work of art. At the present…

Tanker’s Tuesday : PETER SHULMAN’S WAR

Posted on September 12th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Peter’s War is the story of an outdoor war game that artist Peter Shulman has been playing for more than sixty years. It has some very unusual aspects to it that make it totally unique. It is in fact a huge installation type work of art. At the present…

The Battle of Sawkhan

Posted on September 6th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

I’ve taken advantage of my day off and the fact that my daughter (aka the Young Padawan) doesn’t go back to school until next week. We decided to play another Desert Raiders game using the same cut-down Flames of War rules that I used in the Rejects de…

The Battle of Sawkhan

Posted on September 6th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

I’ve taken advantage of my day off and the fact that my daughter (aka the Young Padawan) doesn’t go back to school until next week. We decided to play another Desert Raiders game using the same cut-down Flames of War rules that I used in the Rejects de…

Tanker’s Tuesday: Pacific Tank Battles

Posted on September 5th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

Tanker’s Tuesday: Pacific Tank Battles

Posted on September 5th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

Too chilled to blog!

Posted on August 31st, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

The family and I got back from our holiday to Crete in the early hours of Sunday morning and we managed to keep the relaxed holiday pace going for a couple more days. I went back to work today so its back to reality until next summer! Any readers that also follow me on Facebook will have seen a small selection of my pictures from the holiday (I took nearly 2000 in total!!!) and will know that between eating good food, swimming and exploring the countryside we also managed to squeeze in a little bit of history and a couple of museums. Unfortunately I didn’t get to visit the Battle of Crete and National Resistance museum, something that will have to be rectified on another visit!
So time to show a few photo’s. I’ll spare you the many pictures of the amazing scenery or us swimming or enjoying local food and just focus on some of the historical sights we visited. 
For the fantasy/mythological minded this magnificent cavern is supposedly the birthplace of Zeus. To reach here we had to climb 300m up a 1 in 4 pathway in 33°c heat…it nearly killed  me! 

Having crawled the last few meter’s we found access to the cave involved descend 180 steps to the bottom.and of course climbing 180 back out. The view was utterly worth the effort though. 

Visiting Crete means visiting the partially reconstructed Minoan ruins at Knossos. The site was very interesting (we had an excellent guide) but very very busy. 

After Knossos our guide took us to the Archaeological museum in Heraklion. The vast majority of the best finds from all the islands Minoan sites are kept here making this a world class collection. These ceremonial swords date from 1400 to 1300 BCE

While in Heraklion I made a lone detour away from the main group to visit the Battle of Crete Memorial. This magnificent monument is often overlooked by tourists (ironically the majority being Germans!) but is well worth visiting. 

The monument is surrounded by bronze plaques showing details from the Axis invasion of the island in May 1941 and the resistance that followed.

I also found this other monument spanning the period of the Balkan War of 1912-1913, WWI 1914-18 and the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922

Another day and another trip out, this time by boat to the island of Spinalonga. The Venetians controlled the island from 1205 to 1669 until the Ottomans took control. The Venetian garrison on Spinalonga however held out for another 30 years before surrendering. 

To pass the time the Garrison played boardgames.

Spinalonga was a very strong fortress just a few hundred yards from the mainland and their Ottoman besiegers…but in the end they ran out of provisions and had no choice but to surrender. 
While in the small coastal town of Hersonissos I managed to persuade the family to visit a small nautical museum

This model shows a Minoan ship and is based on illustrations found in the excavated temples on Crete

On another trip out we visited a small mountain village and an old Cretan
house that has been turned into a museum. It showed how the people lived
just a generation ago but I was more interested in some of the photo’s on
the walls….these people have been fighting for their independence for
a looong time. This guy was probably fighting the Turks.  

This photo looks like it dates from about the turn of the century so could represent a local militia

This looks like it dates from about WWII but it could be slightly later. 

Every village we visited or passed through had a war memorial of some kind. Even in this small mountain village there was a memorial covering various conflicts from the Balkan Wars through WWI and of course the Battle of Crete (WWII).

Out on a boat trip I saw this WWII observation position cut right out of the rock of the coast near the port of Agios Nickoloas. 

After visiting the very busy Knossos I was eager to visit one of the other major archaeological sites of the Minoan Era. The ‘Palace’ at Malia is similar in layout to that at Knossos but is not nearly as frantic.  

The small museum on site also has some excellent 1/250 scale models of the layout. Is it just me wondering how to use this in a game?  

This site doesn’t have the ‘reconstruction’ seen at Knossos but that means the real layout con be seen and explored easily. 
I took many many more photo’s but I couldn’t possibly show them all here without sending everyone asleep. Now that life is settling back into its usual routine I’ll start playing games and blogging again in earnest next week.