Friday, January 15, 2021

Luftwaffe & Fallschirmjager Flak crews

Luftwaffe & fallschirmjager crews

One of my project list goals for 2021 was to add crews to my flak guns, AT guns, and mortars both Luftwaffe and fallschirmjägers for my 20mm Normandy collection.

Quite happy with the results, I think the splittertarn variants may need a little work but overall happy. Good to get back painting 20mm again. a wide mix of figures SHQ, AB and Simons Soldiers. I need to pick up some more flak 88mm, I have a project in mind......


Matt Williamson  

Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Great Escape


 The Great Escape 

Rolling out our Spring Offensive for 2021 please visit our website French Wargame Holidays for full details



Friday, January 8, 2021

German Flak 88mm 18/36/37/41 8.8cm cartridge, shells and storage reference

Luftwaffe Flugabwehrkanone 8.8mm shells and equipment 1939-45

As my mind turns towards painting projects for 2021, I commenced on my part finished projects project drawers on my painting station....even though last year I concentrated on completion of a number of these one drawer remained untouched, my german artillery and AA guns and crew draw it is quite full of part completed pieces and crews. With that task in mind this week I commenced painting the Luftwaffe field division, Fallschirmjager and Luftwaffe AA and artillery crews. As always I like to gather all of my research and print it out on use my Imac as a digital resource. I quickly found I had nothing really for the markings on my AA boxes and sort of remembered what rounds looked like. I then decided to add my research here as a quick reference for me so I could just open one page or document when required. some of us are mad enough to add marking to shells and boxes.....

8.8 cm projectiles

The 88mm gun ammunition was classified according to type of projectile as High-Explosive (HE) or Armor-Piercing (AP), smoke (Nebelgranate) or training practice projectile (Ubungsgranate).

The High-Explosive shell (Fp. Füllpulver) and the Sprenggranate (Panzersprenggranate (Pz. Spr. Gr.) contained a large charge of high explosive with one of the following types of fuzes:
  1. 8.8 cm. Sprgr. Patr. L/4.5 (kz.) m. Zt. Z. S/30 (8.8 cm. fixed H.E. shell, with spring-wound mechanical time fuze) 30 seconds.
  2. 8.8 cm. Sprgr. Patr. L/4.5 (kz.) m. Zt. Z. S/30 Fg1 (8.8 cm. fixed H.E. shell, with inertia-operated mechanical time fuze) 30 seconds
  3. 8.8 cm. Sprgr. Patr. L/4.5 (kz.) m. A.Z. 23/28 (8.8 cm. fixed H.E. shell, with percussion fuze) Percussion fuze, superquick or delay (0.11 second) action
  4. 8.8 cm. Pzgr. Patr. m. Bd. Z. (8.8 cm. fixed A.P.C. shell, with base-detonating fuze) no delay. The Armor-Piercing projectile (Panzergranate, Pzgr.) was provided with an armor-piercing cap (Haube) to aid in the penetration of armor plates. It contained a small explosive charge and a base detonating fuze with a tracer element in its base.
Markings HE projectile
14 is the bursting charge number
Jg1942E is the Place, Day, Month, year of fusing with work mark.
IV is the weight class.
Stg is the type of steel used for the shell.
FES is the type of bimetallic driving band.
Sprgr A.Z. type of fuze.

8.8 cm Pzgr. Patr. 39 Kw.K 36

The Amour Piercing round
1 Distinctive mark only used for 8.8cm Pzgr. 39.
Fa1043 is the manufacturing place, day, month, year.
92 is the number indicating the bursting charge numbers.
7rdf 5.43 is the place, day, month, year of shell filling.
2.89 kg is the weight of propellent powder.
lg1 441 identify the type of propellent powder and the place of fabrication.
Fa is the Armory or Arsenal where cartridge was made.

The Armor Piercing shell was used in Flak guns as well as in the PzKw VI Ausf. E Tiger tank. The ballistic cap is made in two pieces, originally black from early 1943 the noses of 8.8cm – 12.8cm AP shells were painted white to help loading them in the dark. 

Cartridge case

The cartridge case were brass, there are markings on the side wall of the cartridge in black unless noted.


German Marking - English Equivalent
2700 k.g -2,700 kilograms
Digl. R.P 8 (495-5, 4/2.75) - Diglycol powder, number, grain size
Tgl 41 P - manufacturer, date, delivery number
L14, 5, 41K manufacture date workers mark
P.T plus 25 (in red paint) - powder temperature plus 25

The principle marking for identification on the base of the cartridge case is the number "6347," which appears on all the cartridge cases of the German 88-mm complete rounds. It will be noted that the primer design marking is "C/12nA St." The caliber and model of the gun may also appear on the base, for example, "8.8 cm. Flak. 18."

Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht 88mm packing and storage boxes

Generally German 88-mm rounds are packed in two ways, first was in individual sealed steel containers particularly for use in the early part of the war, the tropics or on U-boats, more common as the war continued as the use of a wicker basket which three rounds fitted into. They were shipped with one complete round, they are painted a slate gray color.

The steel container is hermetically sealed by a rubber gasket under a removable steel cover. 

An example of grey U-boat container sold at auction in 2019, Note the wo tags are pasted on the cover.

I have a photograph of one above in dunkelgelb from the Bayeux museum. Not known if this is original.

Container Tags 

These tags were pasted on the container and on tags on the wicker baskets;

 One tag of black paper is printed with white ink as follows:
"8.8 cm. Pzgr. Patr.
Bd. Z. f. 8.8 cm. Pzgr."

The other tag of white paper is printed in red as follows:
"Fur Tropen!
Normale Pulvertemperatur

Wicker Container. 

The wicker-type container contained three rounds. A metal cover is held in place by a leather strap. The base is also of metal. Round rubber stops at the bottom of the container protect the fuzes against jarring. The rest of the container is of wood and wicker construction. The wicker carriers were then placed in larger wooden boxes for transport, these crates contained three wicker baskets. I have found no markings for these boxes yet.


I have seen boxes also in use around some positions, but found no marking references for them for anti-aircraft ammunition, there are lots of references for anti tank rounds though. The boxes can be grey, or natural wood and can carry a single round or three rounds like the wicker case.

The single pak 43 box 


German 88-mm Anti aircraft gun material US war department document 

German Artillery of WW2 Ian Hogg

German 88, the most famous gun of the second world war Terry Gander

88mm Flak 18/36/37/41 and pak 43 1936-45 John Norris

My private photo collection 

I hope you find this useful for your modelling efforts.


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

French Wargame Holidays Plans and Projects 2021


 2021 Plans and Goals

Today I have set time aside for planning 2021, even in these uncertain times we still need to shoot for something otherwise you end up in the wilderness of nowhere. It is also important to focus as it helps with mind activity during these strange times.

2020 has had some highs and lows and we have taken those lessons and have already started to adapt our business, looking at how we can take advantage of the change in Tourism in France and the world in fact. With this in mind we have tweaked a few changes to our business, hopefully making a difference until a vaccination program has rolled out and a recovery for the French tourism economy has occurred in the future.

We will be releasing a New Holiday Wargame Package for pre-purchase as discounted rates for couples or a small family looking for a week long or more getaway holiday over the next 24 months. 

Until the vaccinations occur broadly, it does look like large numbers of people gathering may be a problem so we will be limiting our number of guests to make it more private and safer for everybody. 

The view of "Salon de Guerre" wargames salon across to the 17th century chateau opposite

French Wargame Holidays

This year our focus remains on couples visiting for a wargame and cultural holiday with us. Your stay with us with be low key and private, continuing our tourism awarded 5 star rating for service and delivery.

  1.   The most exciting is new addition to our 18th century accomodation, we will be also offering an self catering apartment of 180sqm, 3 bedroom, large lounge, bathroom and cooking facility. This newly renovated apartment will enable a family or small group of friends to visit and the ability to lower their costs for a week long stay and reduce the cost of dining every day with us or in Mayennes' fabulous restaurants every day.
  2. We will continue our personalised private tours of battlefields and local cultural and historical locations in western France away from the crowded tourist locations. 
  3. We will continue additions our wargames collection with its focus on local battlefields so a guest can walk the ground and play on the table while discussing the history of these important battles of military history.
  4. The addition of two new battlefield tours which will be announced and commence in late summer.
  5. Release of two French western theatre specific WW2 scenario books and a Medieval painting guide in spring, and hopefully a Revolutionary Wars rule set by the end of Summer (if play testing can be completed) 
  6. Release of my 18th-19th century French buildings range released with the rules.

Wargames plans and Goals

My main focus will be on completion of the TTSFN (Total Terrain System For Now), followed by the completion and addition of miniatures for a "walk the battlefield in the morning, wargame in the afternoon"wargame and tour series. Then the release of the scenario books and the 18th century buildings with the rules.

Wargaming painting will predominantly be focused on additions to the collection the only possible new range will be the Franco Prussian War, plus a addition of a skirmish fun game or two for evenings or family gaming. 


  1. Complete two Chateaux and gaulois fort build 1500 x 1200 board (by far the biggest project well underway) 
  2. Complete Pegasus bridge tiles (pour the canal and river sections.....I know should of been done)
  3. Complete Ardenne Abbey tile, two buildings to be painted, plus tile done.
  4. Six more 600 x 600 crop field tiles
  5. Four more undulating 600 x 600 city tiles built for the city of Mayenne capture in August 1944.
  6. 20mm Buildings Standardising and basing buildings to drop into rather than on top of terrain. 
  7. Two 300 x 600 bridge tiles with four drop on bridges 
  8. Six stream tiles 300 x 600 and four river tiles 600 x 600 and two 300 x 600
  9. Eight 300 x 600 railway embankment tiles
  10. One large Railway station 300 x 600 tile
  11. One warehouse 300 x 600 tile
  12. One Railway junction and shunting yard 300 x 600 tile
  13.  One bombed railway yard and station tile 
  14. Trees lots and lots of trees......scratch built and based about 300 need renovation and manufacture
  15. Table scatter and mini dioramas, I have a few in planning mostly for ww2.
  16.  One Wurzburg radar station 600 x 600 tile with bunker complex.
  17. One large railway bridge to cross a gorge 300 x 600
  18. Watermill board 28mm 300 x 600 for Baugé
  19. 28mm 18th-19th century buildings a master cast range resin or STL files
  20. 28mm Medieval buildings resin and STL files
  21. 28mm-40mm Roman Gladiator amphitheatre depending upon what I decide with the figures purchased. Low Priority

Wargames painting plans

  1. 28mm Hundred years War : continuation of my English, French, lombards and Scots. lots to complete, plus need to pick up a few boxes and personalty figures.
  2. 28mm Plantagent-Capetian wars continuation of my 1st Barons war project. I will be focusing on Arthur of Brittany revolt here locally against John Lackland. 
  3. Breton Wars of independence continue adding figures, mostly French and mercenary troops left to complete, need to pick up some more cavalry and a box of infantry.
  4. WW2 20mm additions to my 1940-45 Germans, Americans, British, Canadians, French and Poles. Need to pick up some more shermans and American armoured cars, plus arty.
  5. 28mm French Revolution additions to the collection, a primary focus this year, picking up some of the new Revolutionary Armies Range of Chouans and Republicans to add to the collection.
  6. 28mm Normans additions always need more, waiting for the new Victrix Cavalry releases
  7. 28mm Vikings additions always need more, possibly another bag of Victrix
  8. 28mm Caesarian Romans additions I want to do another legion.....6th or 13th, I need a box or Warlord to complete this and some artillery.
  9. 28mm Napoleonic additions to my Hanoverians, Austrians, Russians, Prussians and French always handy. Lots to paint, want to complete some more French Guard Cavalry, Hanoverian cavalry and guns 1814 and my 1812 Russian Fusiliers and buy some of the Perry Russian cavalry when it is released.
  10. 40mm Gladiators or perhaps 28mm not certain yet.....a evening game addition
  11. 1/72 ww1 aircraft not high on the list but a I have the kits built already just need paint.
  12. 28mm Imperial romans .......more additions another 200 odd figures Not high on the priority list but a itch that needs scratching and I have promised myself to complete them this year.
  13. Franco Prussian war....with Perry Miniatures new releases in plastic coming.......cannot resist!
  14. Cold war......ok not in France but I do want to complete my Swedes and Russian airborne as I received for Christmas the board game "Deadly Northern Lights".... and my BOAR/Falklands
  15. 1/1200th age of sail British Fleet and complete some more French.
  16. Arab-Israeli War 20mm I know not in France.....but still want too so much.
We are still renovating our 18th century maison my main plans this year revolve around completion of the outbuildings exteriors, another two storage rooms on the fourth floor in the main house and painting our shutters and doors on the main house, along with changes to the  garden, including the Orangery repaint and courtyard paving, plus new stairs to the upper never ends there.    

Hopefully get as much painted and achieved this year as last. All the best to your plans