Saturday, May 14, 2022

Polish Army 1939 Part 1

Polish Army project part 1



This year I also want to revisit my 1939 Polish Army and complete all of the unpainted vehicles (30 odd), and paint two more battalions figures I already have sitting in storage, some dating back in 2012. I want to purchase some to fill out the ranks by adding another battalion with the new 20mm XAN infantry figures (match his original range sculpted by him for Fantassin Miniatures which make up my current battalions). I also want to get the resin Scibor vehicle crews and command figures as they look fabulous.

For the AA, artillery and AT guns I will add a mix of pieces. First to Fight plastic gun crews mostly to crew some plastic, resin and metal gun pieces and Early War Models metal crews for the specialists. Lots of horse drawn equipment is required so more HAT and EWM horse drawn wagons. For trucks FTF Fiat and Praga trucks and IBG kits for fiat staff and radio cars.

For the next article I will cover my organisation of my cavalry. I need to purchase FTF mounted Uhlan cavalry for command figs and horseholder. I already have the HAT plastic French for the mounted component. I would also like to add First to Fight dismounted cavalry portion and some SHQ also. I need to purchase the specific FAA miniatures for the 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade motorcyclists. Finally scratch build and purchase some more vehicles mostly soft skins mostly motorcycles but I may print some also. I have set a target of completion for next year for the cavalry.

My fighter and fighter bomber air component is complete except for a bomber, which I will wait for one to come up on ebay or such.

Rapid Fire does not have a official list for Poles yet, but there are some unofficial lists around on which I have loosely based mine on. Rapid Fire does have the charts for guns, vehicles and aircraft though which is helpful when playing.

The first task is to build a Infantry division of a single regiment, than add the support elements for extra goodies for game play, as I like to see supply and medical especially on the tabletop. The Polish Infantry Regiments were very large and basically followed the same structure, 3 battalions plus support elements. I am not planning on painting any reserve regiments or the static units, although I am tempted in the future to build Polish field defence bunkers.



9th Polish Legion Infantry Division
9th Dywizja Piechoty Legionów


Polish Army 1939 Rapid Fire Organisation

Division HQ
CO x 5, Fiat 518 staff car, Fiat radio truck, MP motorcycle

Supply company
10 figs Praga RV supply truck, 4 supply wagons

Medical Coy
10 figs Fiat 621 Ambulance, 2 x horse drawn ambulance



Fiat 621 Ambulance


Recon battalion
BHQ Co + 2 mounted on horses
1st coy 6 figs and horses
2nd coy 12 figs cyclists
MG coy
4 figs 1 x MMG wz30 with wz 36 Tatchanka horse drawn cart


MMG wz30 with wz 36 Tatchanka cart


9th Sapper Battalion
OC + 5 car, Praga RV truck with foot bridge trailer, mine detector, 1 motorcycle
1st Coy 12 figs Horse drawn wagon
2nd Coy 12 figs Horse drawn wagon

AA Battery

Battery HQ 
OC + 5, staff car , 508 radio car, supply truck

AA light coy
4 figs 1 x 40mm bofors AA gun and motor tow
3 figs 1 x MMG truck mounted

AA heavy coy
4 figs 1 x SP wz.97/25 75mm AA gun



Artillery

9th Light artillery Regiment
RHQ
CO + 11 figs staff car, horse towed radio/telephone trailer, 508 radio truck, horse drawn supply wagon, AA platoon MG Fiat 621 truck

1st sqn
8 figs 2 x 75mm wz 1897 Schneider horse drawn

2nd sqn
8 figs 2 x 100mm wz 1914/1919 Skoda horse drawn


9th Heavy Artillery Regiment
RHQ
CO + 11 figs staff car, horse towed radio/telephone trailer, 508 radio truck, horse drawn supply wagon, AA platoon MG Fiat 621 truck

1st sqn
8 figs 2 x 105mm wz.1913 C7P

2nd sqn
8 figs 1 x 155mm wz.1917 C7P


22nd Infantry Regiment

RHQ 
Co + 7 figs staff Car, Fiat 308 radio car, cyclist, motorcycle.

Supply Coy
4 figs horse drawn cooks wagon, horse drawn supply wagon.

Medical platoon

2 figs horse drawn medical wagon

AA platoon
3 figs MMG wz30 AA with wz 36 Tatchanka horse drawn cart,

Scout Company
4 figs horses, 4 cyclists 1 AT rifle UR/WZ 35

Artillery coy
3 men 1 x 75mm wz.02 / 26 cannon horse drawn

Anti Tank platoon
3 men 1 x Wz 37mm Bofors AT gun, horse drawn

1st Battalion
OC + 12, 2 horses , 1 horse drawn supply wagon, 1 radio car, 47mm mortar coy + cart, 1 AT rifle UR/WZ 35

1st Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
2nd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
3rd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
4th Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
Heavy weapons coy
6 men 2 x MMG WZ 30 browning horse drawn cart

2nd Battalion
OC + 11, 2 horses , 1 horse drawn supply wagon, 1 radio car, 1 47mm mortar coy + cart, 1 AT rifle UR/WZ 35

1st Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
2nd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
3rd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
4th Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
Heavy weapons coy
6 men 2 x MMG WZ 30 browning, horse drawn cart

3rd Battalion
OC + 11, 2 horses , 1 horse drawn supply wagon, 1 radio car,
47mm mortar coy + cart, 1 AT rifle UR/WZ 35

1st Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
2nd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
3rd coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
4th Coy
13 men, lmg wz 1928
Heavy weapons coy
2 x MMG WZ 30 browning 6 OR horse drawn cart

Regiment Support
OC + 1, observers x 2 ORs

MMG coy
6 men 2 x MMG WZ 30 browning 6 OR horse cart

Mortar coy
12 men 3 x 81mm mortar horse cart

Next Article will cover my cavalry and armour, followed by painting guides and then aircraft.

cheers
Matt


References

Polish army structure 1939, by far the best reference I have found is here
Andrew Mollo, The Armed Forces of ww2
Steve Zaloga The Polish Army 1939-45
David Higgins German Soldier vs Polish Soldier 1939.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Belgian Army 1940 part 1

 

Belgian Army 1940



This year I want to complete some more of my 1940 armies. I have decided to add some more units to my Belgian army, cyclist infantry, artillery elements, armour, aircraft and complete my Ardennes Chasseurs regiment. My main focus will be infantry and cyclists. I also need to paint my armour T13 and T 15, plus some artillery pieces, tractors and trucks. All units will be built for Rapid Fire.

Division de Chasseurs Ardennais

1st Regiment Chasseur Ardennes

I have completed my first battalion, I do however require to paint my 2 x T15, 1 x Vickers Carden Llyod 47mm complete my tow for the towed 47mm, and some support elements, heavy mortar and crew, heavy MG and crew, cars (including a scratch built Alvis), AT gun,  some trucks, tractors, medical and sapper coy.

Regiment Karabiniers-Wielrijders

I have purchased the HAT cyclists to paint as my cyclist karabiniers on bikes, I will need to change the heads to french adrians though. The cars are from a diecast company, trucks are plastic and resin kits (minarion and Retrokit) and telephone trailer is SHQ, resin medical truck from Minarion. Guns from SHQ and EWM.

  I need to find some of the old Battlefield Blitz range (if you have some please contact me) or pick up the new EWM figures to complete the three battalions. 

BHQ

Co + 7 Alder 2 staff car, Ford supply truck, large car and telephone trailer, Ford medical truck

RHQ

Co + 5 staff car, truck and telephone trailer



1st battalion 

HQ. 

OC + 6 cycles, mortar cart

1st company 8 figures on cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

2nd company 8 figures on cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)


2nd battalion

HQ 

OC + 6 cycles, mortar and mortar cart


3rd Company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

4th Company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)


3rd battalion 

HQ 

OC + 6 cycles, mortar and mortar cart


5th Company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

6th company 8 figures cycles (plus 8 dismounted figures and pile of bikes)

MG coy 

3 figs MMG FN tricar

AT coy 1 x47mm towed + tractor



Armoured coy

2 x T15

1 x Vickers Carden-Llyod Mark VI 47mm



Artillery

1 x schneider 155mm M17 howitzer motorised tow

1 x schneider 105mm M13 gun motorised tow



2nd Motorised Cavalry Division
The cars are from a diecast company, truck are plastic and resin kits and telephone trailer is SHQ, resin medical truck from Minarion. Figures from EWM and motorbikes printed models. Guns SHQ and EWM.


Division HQ
Co + 7 Alder 2 staff car, supply truck, heavy car and telephone trailer, medical truck


RHQ
Co + 5 staff car, truck and telephone trailer, motorcycle AA



1 battalion motorised Infantry

HQ Co + 3 car and motorbike

3 coys 8 figures truck

2nd battalion motorcyclist Infantry



BHQ CO + 3 car and motorbike

3 coys motorbike (plus dismounted figures)

Support coy

MG coy 3 figs MMG FN tricar

Mortar Coy 3 figs plus car



1 armoured car company

3 x T13 tanks



Artillery

1 x schneider 155mm M17 howitzer and tow

1 x schneider 105mm M13 gun and tow



Belgian Armour


ACG1
I want to build the ACG1 although in RF this is only two models. Most of my force is built around the southern component of the front. A short history for you to whet the appetite...

The 10 Belgian ACG1 (AMC 35, 9 with the altered belgian turret) were formed into two platoons for the invasion and was attached to the Corps de Cavalerie T13 2nd Division. The unit initially were based in Brussels but in the first week were moved to defend the bridges between Willebroek and Vilvoorde. The Squadron was commanded by Kapitein R.Hullebroeck , and divided into two platoons of 4 tanks with two in reserve.

HQ and Company

2 x ACG1 tanks




The Belgian Air Component

The Belgian Air Component was small but had a good training system so a number of pilots were well qualified but most the the air component was mostly destroyed on the ground in the opening day of the war.

On the early morning of May 10, the alarm was sounded, and the pilots at Schaffen Air Base went to their planes, thinking it was an exercise. A few minutes later, 50 unidentified aircraft flew over the airfield. Despite his orders, Captaine Max Guisgand, the commander of 1/1/2 Gladiators flew his planes into the air at 0420 hrs while the Hurricanes started their engines. 12 minutes later, three Heinkel 111s were spotted, not troubled by AA fire. The planes in the air were not there when the 111s came, and the 111s strafed the airfield several times. The planes tried to take off through the explosions and fires. A bullet punctured the main wheel of Lt. Wilmonts Gladiator and he rammed a Hurricane. Minutes later 110s and Dornier Do 17 strafed and bombed the airfield. Four Hurricanes were set on fire, and 6 others were damaged. The roof of the hangar fell in and the planes in it were destroyed. Sgt. Libert was burned badly when the fuel tank of his Hurricane exploded. Captaine Van den Hove d'Ertsenrijick and Caparol Jacobs managed to escape from Schaffen. They encountered some bombers but didn't manage to shoot down any, even though helped by Gladiator pilot Sgt. Van den Broecke. The third section of Gladiators from 1/1/2 almost collided with the three 111s and had to break away.

The second section (Cpt. Gerard (G-27), Sgt. Henri Winand (G-32) and Sgt. Henri Clinquart (G-34) spotted a formation of enemy bombers and broke it up. During the bombing, other gladiators left Schaffen for Beauvechain. Hurricane pilots Siroux, Lelarge and a lt.) flew three of them. Other reported engagements were when at 0900 10 109s ran in to two Gladiators over Tirlemont. Both were shot down and one pilot bailed out. At 1000 hrs, three Gladiators were shot down by 1/JG27 while trying to intercept escorted Ju87s.

A few missions were completed by the Belgians bombing three bridges on the Albert Canal on the of 11th May. The bombing was done by Fairey Battles of the 5/III/3Aé, the fighter escort was provided by 1/I/2Aé Gloster Gladiators. On the 11th May out of fifteen Battles that attacked pontoons bridge across the Maastricht, Veldwezelt, Vroenhoven and Briegden, only five aircraft survived.

The 9th and 11th squadron flying R31s still had aircraft in the sky when the surrender was announced on the 28th.

Aircraft in Service 1940

As I love building aircraft I have gone overboard for my Belgians.....

Renard R-31 21 in service reconnaissance (purchased)

Fiat CR.42 Falco 23 in service 3éme (destroyed on the ground) and 4th éme squadrons (one completed)

Gloster Gladiator 15 in service 1/1/2Aé (Model built, needs paint)

Fairy fox VI biplane 98 in service (Part built, need to complete)

Hawker Hurricane mk1 11 in service (only two survived the bombing of the airfield on the 10th of May, they were lost on the 11th) (completed)

Fairy Battle light Bomber 14 in Service 5éme squadron (purchased not built)



next up another 1940 project

Cheers

Matt

Saturday, April 30, 2022

30 day kit build challenge part 4

 30 day kit build challenge part 4 


Last kits all sherman M4a1, will mix in my sherman allied units



total kits part 4 = 6

total kit count for April 30

Cheers

Matt

30 Day Kit Build Challenge part 3

 #30daykitbuildchallenge

The final week of the challenge I finally had some time to sit down and complete a lot of kits, all PSC which are simple, some I will revisit to add finer details and stowage when I return home to France. Again focusing on allied kit, but three german Styers also slipped in. For the first time I have not built a aircraft in the build although did pick up a box then put it back...... 

M1a1 Shermans for my yanks



British artillery, cabins left open until crew and vehicle painted

British trucks, like these a lot

Steyr heavy cars for my germans 


total week three 15

total count 24

cheers
Matt


Thursday, April 28, 2022

30 day Kit build Challenge update 2

 

 30 Day Kit build Challenge update 2

An update for last week another 3 kits from PSC, simple builds for my French 2DB. quite a bit behind my target at the moment though!





count week 2 = 3
total for build = 9

cheers
Matt 

Thursday, April 7, 2022

30 day Kit Build Challenge week 1

 

 #30daykitbuildchallenge

Ok off to a crackings start but that is easy with PSC kits, although sometimes not the most accurate 1/72 kits on the market with actual scale off sometimes (a lot) and parts that are not correct (shermans) they do make kits that are really simple to put together, I purchased a lot of them last year on sale and they have been sitting in my kit cupboard ever since. I have elected to try to concentrate on Allied kit in this build, first up some british kit , stuarts, bren gun carriers, some trucks and a battery of 25lb guns, plus limbers, tractors. Then some shermans for my Free French, then onto some other bits I think, I have a bunch of Panzer IV to assemble Fijimi......purchased a long time ago.

Week 1 total 6 kits

Bren carriers, an easy simple build




Stuarts, love these, really like them




cheers 
Matt



Thursday, March 31, 2022

30 day Kit build challenge 2022

  

April 30 day Kit challenge!

So what is the 30 day kit challenge? Well, something I shamelessly copied from Gunbird and his blog "20mm and then some" back in 2017 when we chatted about doing something about our piles of shame.

When I moved to France I found I had a lot of unbuilt kits, particularly modern and ww2, plus some ww1 aircraft make up the majority. I also suffer from half built kit syndrome, as I like to paint the interiors, the pilots or drivers then assemble the kit. So with that in mind I'm starting the 30 day kit build, if you like join me and blog about it, steal the picture below if you like

Join me if you wish on Facebook, Blog and Instagram using the tag 

#30daykitchallenge 

Or join the fun on the 

The Wargamers Forum

RULES

Goals are simple, you will build your part built and new kits during the 30 day challenge:
  • Any material (plastic, resin, metal, wood).
  • New in the box or partially built, it matters not.
  • Gun, tank, truck, aircraft, ship, figure animal? Your call.
  • Kit must be basically finished, based if you prefer that, to qualify as a build.
  • The completed kit must be ready for primer.
  • Resin and metal upgradesets can be applied after the build.....the goal is to get kits built and ready for primer, not to finish them with paint and varnish etc.
  • You decide how many kits/models you want to build in the 30 day period.
  • You set the penalty for not meeting your goal (and after that it is the honor system)
Anything beyond that is up to you

My goal is the period from 1/4/2022 up to 30/4/22, each day I plan to work on a kit until I have completed my goal.  My goal is grand total of 30 kits, If I can build more kits n the month, then bonus.

My penalty is that if I don't make my target, is not to buy another kit for the rest of the year :(.

So, starting with Day #1 (1st April 2022), I'm starting with some Allied /72 PST kits first then onto some more tanks and aircraft.

Cheers
Matt

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Firepower 21cm GRW 69 Wefer Wurfmörser

 21cm GRW 69 Wurfmörser (Elephant)

My first post this year and nearly time to return to Europe after our three month holiday in Australia. It has been a very restful break with not much modelling at all occurring even though I had good intentions, I did manage to get a few games in though with my Aussie mates which was great.

Exciting news on the 20mm front for those who like unusual kit for their miniature armies SHQ miniatures have released a 21cm GRW 69 mortar. In 28mm I am not aware of any manufacturer... :( What is this beast you say,……

21cm GRW 69 Wefer Wurfmörser 

21cm GRW 69 Wefer Wurfmörser 

21cm GRW 69 Wefer Wurfmörser 

21cm GRW 69 Wefer Wurfmörser 

SHQ 21cm GRW69


Developed by Skoda in late 1943 originally in 22cm, it was changed to fit the 21cm round for production saving and use of the 21cm rounds already in production for the other wefers.  The idea of a breech loading mortar was not new, but a little ambitious with either a 85kg or 110kg projectile, making it a difficult man handling exercise for loading, harking back to a ww1 type round that required a platform or winch system to load. The mortar could deliver a 110kg 21cm round 5400m and a 85kg round 6400m......cleary the design had city or fixed defensive position fighting in mind as it weighed 2800kg the same as a 122mm howitzer. Elevation 40-70 degrees verticale and 60 degrees traverse using a track on which the wheels were mounted. It also had a slow rate of fire of 1-2 rounds per minute because of the cartridge weight and had to be brought back to level for the loading procedure. 

The following rounds could be fired:

- the 21 cm grenade 5004 HE demolition round
- the 21 cm grenade 5021 anti personnel with a high fragmentation 85kg
- the 21 cm grenade 5031 (cast iron) HE anti personnel and penetrating defensive positions 87kg.

By November 1944 the first 30 werfers were issued and by the end of the war 129 werfers were issued. The werfer was also planned to be mounted on the chassis of the Panzer III and on the chassis of the Hummel as close support weapons.

Like all my toys I like them to be assigned to units and I have found two units that were issued them. The 410th Volks artillery Corps who were issued 9 units in November 1944 and by December had 27 units and were used in the Ardennes offensive. SS Wefer battery 500, in March 1945, I am not 100% certain however I have read that SS Werfer group Kreischer were issued some to a training replacement group in Feb 45 on the eastern front, and issued with only 90 rounds. (all from Lexicon wehrmacht).

Images from Waffen magazine



A Russian Magazine 


I will be adding a unit to my 20mm Volksgrenadier units for the fall of the Reich scenarios, and using the Rapid Fire template and rules for nebelwerfers I think for firing and reload (every other turn). 

410th Volks Artillery Regiment Rapid Fire organisation

HQ Reg staff battery with supply, communications and administration zug
CO +7 VW car, RSO ammunition supply, horse drawn comms van, M/C combo, 

Observer +1 kubelwagen

1st battery 2 x wefers, 2 x sdkfz11 and 8 crew 


Next week we start the 30 kits in 30 days challenge come and join in the fun here!


cheers
Matt


Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Wrap up 2021

 Wrap up 2021




2021 is done and dusted, and with the pandemic continuing a very strange year. and tough for our inbound tourist model at French Wargame Holidays.

We completed the year fulfilling 12% of our normal budget with Wargame Holidays and regular B & B, thankfully the Macron Government helped keep us afloat again............we are still here, and looking forward and currently planning for a prosperous 2022 fingers crossed. 

A big thank you to our customers that did manage to attend and play a wargame this year. A big thank you for  your continued support here on my blog, on Facebook, Instagram and the various Forums I haunt. A major change as we have started to attract european guests, French, German and Dutch who managed to travel during Summer.

We are taking Bookings for holidays from now, commencing in late March please contact us via the website to discuss your needs for a tailor made holiday for you and your partner or with your friends here at French Wargame Holidays and L'hotel de Hercé for a relaxing stay in the Loire.

     ______________________________________________________________________________

Totals

Summing up my Wargame painting and terrain progress this year on my goals I achieved about 75% with a few minimal diversions. I may of completed more looking back, but motivation was up and down depending upon the external stresses of this strange year. On the positive side a lot of my stash completed with very few purchases of new lead or plastic. Medievals were again my main focus as I added to my collections to fill them out to match our "Walk the Battlefield in the morning, Wargame in the afternoon" tour and wargames.

2021 Goals achieved

Salon de Guerre redecoration
100% complete, curtains completed and artwork, swords and lances hung, a new Louis XIV cabinet for display for large models and three new chairs.


28mm miniatures painting 
Completed 28mm Infantry 216
Completed 28mm Cavalry 144
Completed Artillery 1
Baggage Animals 9

WW2 and Modern 20mm  

20mm Infantry 99
72 x 20mm vehicles
6 Aircraft
artillery x 9

WW1 Miniatures
4 WW1 1/72 aircraft

Other Science Fiction
1 Imperial Space ship 
12 Space marines ......for my Sons birthday present

Miniatures rebased and touched up

Large scale Figures
1 x 54mm figure

Total Terrain System For Now (TTSFN) Goals achieved
Château board (1500x1200), includes Gaulois fort, dark ages Motte and bailey, and 100 YW castle under construction ATM 40% complete
Standard boards x 6
Roman Fort 
Ploughed fields 
Maize /corn Crop fields 
Harvested crop fields 
20mm buildings x 8 
Dark Age Buildings x 6 
Medieval buildings x 10
20mm ww2 buildings x 6
Bocage mark V 12m
Stone walls 3m
27 pine trees
6 garden trees
8 dead trees
27 palm trees
8 28mm trees

Board game played
19 games, mostly online.

Wargames played
Ancient games x 7
Medieval games x 8
Renaissance Wargames 0
Napoleonic games x 4
Ww1 games x 4
WW2 games x 16
Modern games x 5
Naval games x 4
Fantasy 0
Science fiction x 2


Completing bits from my project drawers was the focus on terrain has helped me a lot this year, as now I have space to plan 2022 which is well underway. I will continue to try to post every week or two as it helps me keep track of what has been completed. 

I will be on holidays in Australia from January to mid March, but I have taken some toys with me to complete!

Let us all hope this pandemic can be over finally so we can socialise and share all of our new painted goodies, and watch our recently painted units flee off the table once again!

"walk the battlefield in the morning, wargame in the afternoon"™ 

From Caesar to World War Two


cheers
Matt

 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Happy New Year! 2022

  


A big Happy New Year to our family and friends across the world! 

Wishing all of you a happy and successful 2022. I am enjoying the sunshine and warm weather back in Australia for a number of weeks before we return to kick off the 2022 season. Over the next few days I will do a sum up of 2021 and what we have planned for French Wargame Holidays in 2022. 


Cheers

Mattk