Friday, February 27, 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Just for Ragsta (and everyone else)!

One of my readers, Ragsta, asked for a group shot of my East Gemans. Ask and ye shall receive. I apologize that everything is so small, but there's so much of it I had to get a long distance away to get any decent shot. Thank you to Mrs. History PhD for allowing me to commandeer the kitchen table and clear all the shi... umm... valuable things off of it. 
My goal is an armored regiment and a motor rifle regiment, both with all the appropriate support units. Still a way to go. 

In the foreground is a panzer heavy reconnaissance battalion. In the center is a T-55 battalion from an armored unit. The background on the left is about half of a T-72 battalion for an armored unit and on the right is just one company of a tracked (BMP-1) motor rifle battalion to go with the armored regiment. 

The foreground is a battalion of the 20th Motor Rifle Division mounted in BTR-152's. Behind it are the appropriate support platoons. In the rear on the left is a spare company of BTR-40's, so I can swap them out with one of the other companies. And rear right is an armored support company of T-34/85M's. 

The foreground is a first-line wheeled motor rifle battalion in BTR-60PB's and immediately behind it are its support platoons. Then there is a large gap where there should be a second battalion with support platoons, which I have yet to begin. And in the far rear, is a battalion T-55's configured for a motor rifle regiment. 

Next are anti-aircraft units, both self-propelled guns and self-propelled missile launchers. 

Then divisional radar assets in the foreground and a towed 152mm artillery battery in the background. 

Two 100mm antitank gun companies, as well as an antitank missile vehicle company, which all go together to make a panzerjäger battalion. 

Along the side are some alternate, tracked prime movers, in case I need to attach the panzerjägers to an armored unit instead of a motor rifle unit. 

And the artillery. From left to right, a towed 122mm battery, a self-propelled 2S1 battery, and a self-propelled 2S3 battery. Two other towed batteries are still in the works.  

And finally the rocket artillery. Left to right, BM14-16's, Grads, and Uragans. And in the background, Frog-7's and Scud B's. 

Whew!! A lot of stuff, but a fair little bit yet to be completed and then some Poles and Soviets to do. Oh, and this doesn't include my East German Air Force. And then on top of everything else, I still have quite a way to go with my Danes and West Germans. Lord!!

Ok, now I have to put it all away before Mrs. History PhD wants to start making dinner. More next time!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Big Fred and Small Fred

Quite some time ago, more than a year, I did a bit of minor conversion work and I turned out a SNAR-10, NATO reporting name Big Fred:
and a PRP-3, Small Fred:
(In this photo, the radar dish is at the rear of the turret and folded down flat in the traveling position). I 
did this simply because O8 didn't make them. However, this past month, Marcin very kindly obliged and produced some. I bought a few and I've now dug out my converted ones and replaced them with Marcin's:

Big Fred (SNAR-10) is a battlefield surveillance radar used for finding and tracking stationary and moving targets, such as convoys, rocket or tube artillery, and even individual armored vehicles. The radar is sensitive enough that it can even see bursts of artillery shells and so can be used to correct the fall of shot from friendly batteries. Big Fred is effective to a range of about 12.5 miles (20km). 

Small Fred (PRP-3) is an artillery counter-battery radar, again with an effective range of about 12.5 miles, used to locate enemy artillery and mortars. It is also used to direct the fire of friendly artillery. The PRP-3 has been superseded by PRP-4 which mounts a more advanced radar, Tall Mike:
It's the contraption at the back of the turret that looks like a plastic patio chair. It's on a telescoping pole that extends upward out of the rear part of the turret and it's retracted for traveling. 

That's it for this mid-week post. More from me this weekend.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Scuds, Frogs, a Hoplite, and a bit of cavalry

This weekend I've again been trying to tidy up several partially completed projects that are littering the wargaming bookcase. 

The first is an East German Mil Mi-2 Hoplite:
The Hoplite entered service in 1965 and Soviet/WarPac forces used it primarily for liaison, reconnaissance, and air ambulance duties. Here's my East German Mi-2:
I've still got a Polish one to go. Unfortunately, once I finished this, I found that the model is literally too small for even my tiniest East German decals. There's just no room for them, so it will just have to go into battle "naked". 

Next up is my very first 1/600 cavalry! I decided to start off by continuing the Saxon theme that I began while doing the infantry a few posts ago, so I chose the chevauxleger regiments:
I specifically wanted to begin with the Prinz Clemens Regiment, but after I began painting these tiny things, I saw that doing the facings was entirely out of the question. Just too damned small!! But then it occurred to me that this was actually a benefit. Rather than have to paint the three individual Saxon chevauxleger regiments, I could use one to represent any of the three! So, here's the finished command stand:
Trumpeter in reversed colors.

As usual, I started out doing the command stand separately so that I could simply switch it out to change what regiment I'm representing. However, at 1/600, the standards of the individual regiments are totally indistinguishable, so the command stand can also be used with any of the units, as long as the trumpeter's color matches. Also as usual, I've deliberately made the pole for the standard overly tall and the standard itself a bit larger than true scale. 1/600 stuff benefits from anything eye-catching. 

And lastly, I'm also trying to finish off the final few stands of Scud B's and Frog 7's that have been lying around "for a coon's age" as my grandma was wont to say when I was a kid:
As with the last time I painted some of these, I went with Vallejo Gunship Green (895) for the missiles themselves. 

Well, that's a few things cleared out of the "to do" pile. Only 5000 things to go! I plan to get it all done in time for my 186th birthday! More BS next time!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The last East German rocket artillery

This post finishes off the unguided rocket artillery for my East Germans (finally!). I've churned out a battery of BM14-16 rocket launchers:

Even though O8 labels this a BM14-16, by 1981, an upgraded version, the BM14M, would have been in service, the difference being that the earlier version was based on a ZiS-151 truck, while the upgrade was based on a ZIL-157. At 1/600 scale, the two are pretty well indistinguishable from each other.

The BM14 fired 140mm unguided rockets and the launchers came in a variety of tube numbers; 16, 18, and 20 being the most common. Though the BM14 was officially replaced with the BM-21 Grad in 1963, the older system was never entirely withdrawn and upgraded versions stayed in frontline service with all WarPac armies until the fall of the Iron Curtin.

Here's my version:
And the usual BTR-60PU for the battery commander:
As well as a 1V18 for the forward observer:

With my past rocket artillery, I've painted the back of the launchers red, as that's the color that the individual reloads were, I suspect because the primer charge was packed in a red wrapper. But every image of the BM14 that I could find showed no red on the backside of the launcher, so I left it off and just went with a dirty, dark rust color to represent the built-up smoke residue from having fired multiple salvos.

That's all for now. On to the next project!

Friday, February 6, 2015

My Spoon Rest radar

In a previous post on my East German SA-6 Gainful battery (January 2, 2015), I noted that the pack from O8 came with a Straight Flush radar vehicle, but not a Long Track radar. One other radar that was quite commonly seen accompanying the Gainful was Spoon Rest. In the SA-2 Guideline pack, there are two radars, Fan Song B and of particular interest, Spoon Rest B:
Spoon Rest B would be appropriate for the 1960s, but as my LANDJUT campaign is set in 1981, I would need Spoon Rest D:
The only appreciable difference at this scale is that the B model is based on a ZIL-157 truck, while the D model uses a URAL-375D. Spoon Rest is actually still in use and the latest model is the E. When Spoon Rest A went into service in 1956, it replaced the earlier Knife Rest B:

In order to get a Spoon Rest, I bought O8's Guideline and now I have the entire pack left over, as I have no use for the rest of it. Anybody need a slightly used SA-2 battery? In any case, here is my Spoon Rest stand:

The antenna cut-out was quite flimsy, so I took it to work and had it 5mil laminated. Now it's much sturdier. Quite a nice little addition to my combat support stands.

As an added bonus, for those of you who game Vietnam in 1/600, the North Vietnamese SA-2 sites used Fan Song A in the earlier stages of the war and upgraded to the B model when the Soviet Union made it available later. So let me show you how to convert the B model that O8's pack comes with into an A model. Here is the B as it comes in the pack:
Now, to convert it into an A model, simply remove the radar dish on the left, like this:
Can you tell that one of my areas of specialty in field intelligence (the odd couple of decades ago) was Soviet radars? 

Ok, another installment later in the weekend!