Thursday, 12 May 2011

46 Recce Bren Carrier photo update

I've been lucky enough to access some fairly detailed unit history for 46 Recce on the WWIItalk forum. According to an extract from the Reconnaisance Journal (the Corps' own journal), the regiment concentrated near Udine in northern Italy after the German collapse in 1945. they were ordered into Austria to link up with the Russians and it appears they entered Judenburg in Styria. There is even reference to the units' White scout cars making it over the mountain passes, despite being obsolete (this corresponds nicely with the White scout car in the background in my grandad's pic). Apparently, there was much drinking with the Russians - of Schnapps mixed with Petrol - and plenty of hangovers!

So there we have it, the pic is almost certainly taken in Austria.

Here are the Divisional vehicle markings for 46 recce. The reconnaissance sign is on the left, and 46th Division emblem is on the right. These can be seen on front wings of the bren carrier in the picture (earlier post). Grandad's carrier also has a spare stowage box bolted along the front, and on top of this appears to be a pyrene fire extinguisher. A little converting is needed when I come to model the carrier.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


I have been nominated for the Stylish Blogger Award by Matt whose great little blog Waterloo to Mons I often have a gander at. A peer to peer award, i've noticed the SBA has been popping up over the last few weeks on some of my favourite blogs, and it has arrived at my humble little home of lead.

The award has a few little rules. Thank and link to the person giving you the award; Share 7 things about yourself and Select 10-15 blogs who you think deserve the award as well.

So, thanks to Matt for nominating me, it's really nice to know that people are interested in my 'stuff'. There are lots of blogs about our hobby and it's nice to feel part of a friendly, supportive and informative band.

Se7en things it was impossible to know about me in here:

1. I'm married to Katherine, who is Scottish and lovely, and she's a doctor which is great and would have helped with point 2. below, if i'd met her at the age of 10, which I didn't

2. I once bled profusely in a Italian supermarket when a toothpick flipped up on my flip flop and stuck deep into my foot.

3. As someone has stated on my blog, and I have to agree, my two little girls Isla and Ava are by far the best mini's i've created.

4. A long time ago, I scored a brilliant left foot drive in the dying seconds (from a long way out, according to witnesses) to rescue a cup tie when at school. Sadly, we lost the return leg, badly. Memories fade and get misty, but I still rememebr the team all jumping on me in a bundle and treating me like a hero for a bit.

5. I have been published in this particular hobby, (said without arrogance, just proud to have been asked to contribute a chapter in a book).

6. I love beards, I've had a beard for years now, (I keep it in fairly good order, it's not like an old victorian or something like that) and am scared of what would happen if I shaved it off.

7. I am trapped in the eighties musically. Though this isn't a bad thing to me.

Here are my nominations, and in no real order, though some are probably award holders already, and they are all very very good blogs (click on the link to see 'em.

Kings Minis
Take the high ground
Vintage wargaming
Grand Duchy of Stollen
Tarleton's Quarter
Russ Nicholson's Blog
Carmen's Fun Painty Time!
Saxon Dog
Iron Mitten

Friday, 6 May 2011

WIP (May 2011). The pranged bayonet

After my 3 month hiatus, I plunged straight back into painting and tackled these chaps. It was quite pleasant getting stuck back in. I'll have these finished soon, honest!

Foundry boys, and that second chap will be in trouble with the NCO, should lose the 'tasche, cos it's not allowed in the regs!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

46 Recce Bren Carrier (A snoop at my Grandad's unit)

I painted a haversack last night and that's it! Still, better than nothing.

I am hatching a simple new little WWII diorama. I've been thinking of making a little piece for ages for my dad. There's a photo of my Grandad driving his 46 Recce Rgt universal carrier, though where it may be is impossible to plot exactly. I bought a carrier at Salute this year with intentions to start the project. I know the general history of his unit (46 Division), he landed at Salerno, fought on in the Italian campaign, and then they were sent to Greece during the disturbances there.

Every picture tells a story. A few of things about the pic help me.
1. I know that the Recce Corps Khaki beret was officially changed to the Tank corps Black beret in early 1944, (but as always, there is variation, as some men continued to wear the khaki beret until 45). I can't be sure of the beret colour of the chaps, but they appear to be black.

2. The vehicle appears to be one colour, and displays the correct formation signs for 46 Recce, 46 Div. I know vehicles started the campaign in disruptive camo (specific to the Sicilian campaign), but it stuck out like a sore thumb apparently and was requested to be changed around in the latter months of 1943. Finally orders to change to a suitable darker green shade were issued in early 44.

3. What appears to be a M3 scout car is following the carrier round a corner, whether it is part of grandads formation I don't know, but this scout car was being phased out by the Americans in late 1943 and being replaced by the Greyhound. Grandad spoke of his unit having Greyhounds later in the war. Maybe the M3 soldiered on a limited capacity. Incidentally, it looks like summer in the pic.

4. I showed the pic to a friend at work who is German. We came to the conclusion the buildings look very France/German borderlike, maybe alpine. The Division was sent to Austria in April 1945 until August that year, to advance as east as possible to intercept the Russians, and I have read from a veteran of 46 Div that his unit ended up near Graz. Interestingly, the flag on what could be the town hall at right could be an Austrian civil flag. I'm assuming the Division would have entered Austria from Italy and could be white and green if it is the state of Styria, or white and red meaning it could be one of several states including the Tyrol. Carinthia's state flag is yellow over red, though it appears that the flag in the pic has a white upper. Finally, the little girl is blonde which would suggest a more northern european theatre.

It seems practical for me to come to the conclusion that this is near the end of the war, and to assume the carrier is somewhere in Austria, and is a shade of olive green.

I'll be converting the driver in the carrier kit (from Bolt Action, and its a very nice little resin kit), to a likeness of grandad in his sun glasses, along with his two companions. I'll get some pics up soon to make all this clearer and hope to do work-in-progress updates.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Figometer Annual Tally Report

Here is the sorry looking 'total figures painted chart' for the last year, 19. It's better than the last year's review but still a poor show.

The move is over and we are settling in to a new house. The move kind of spoiled Easter and Isla's 2nd birthday as we couldn't relax and enjoy stuff, and it was made more of a stressful week by both my little daughters being ill, one with chicken pox and one with a vomiting virus!

But, now the dust is settling, I actually painted something over the bank holiday weekend - I almost finished two (Prussian Nap) figures, and after three months without picking up a brush, I was glad to get the 'feel' of it all back. I will be redoubling my efforts this year and really attempt to finish some units. Itching to start the new Perry Prussian plastics I picked up at Salute 2011, but determined to finish my 2 metal battalions of Foundry figures first.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Absence and Salute 2011

Apologies for my absence in here, real life has been getting in the way of all military miniature endeavours recently. I have not lifted a paint brush since second daughter Ava was born in January. Add to this the stresses of having to find another house to live in and it's clear my time has been severely limited of late. I'm moving over the Easter break and after that it's just possible things might settle down and I can get some painting time in.

I did however, make it to Salute this year with my friend Dave. Looking over all the games and products has fired me up again. I had a modest shopping list (austere times) but managed to get the stuff I wanted, mainly the brand new Perry Plastic Prussian Napoleonics (which look lovely), and Dr Stephen Summerfields first volume on the Prussian Infantry 1808-1840, and finally a Warlord games universal carrier for a future diorama project. Oh, and I got the Salute free figure too, a fine Alan Perry ACW cavalryman.

It was very busy this year, as the London Marathon had some kind of registration thing going on at the venue too. The DLR was working normally which made a pleasant change in getting there. The weather was good outside, but as usual, Excel's lighting isn't the best for snapping pics of tiny miniatures without a tripod - Dave had a monstrous lens and his pics were a lot better than mine, so here's a little selection of his handywork. Some great looking games caught our eye, as did a few pints after the 'battle'.

Finally, something I totally missed when actually stood at the Perry's stand purchasing the plastic Prussians, was the three up masters of the latest figures they're working on. They're going to release the Austrians, bless them. I'll be buying a box or two, happy days.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Figometer Update (January 2010)

Two miniatures just about completed in January, both of which were Napoleonic Dutch Militamen (this project is so tantalisingly close to being finished). I did also manage to complete the rebase of the FPW Prussians. Unfortunately I have no pics to post up at the moment.

Most of my attention is being channelled into the two young uns right now, changing nappies, spending time with Isla and soothing 5 week old Ava after her feeds. We have to move house in April too, so there's lots going on that have curtailed painting time, not to mention not much sleep.

I have been buying rather more OOP mini's from ebay recently than I would normally do. I've noticed that this is a habit I get into when I can't paint, it would appear to be like some kind of quick fix - if I can't paint em, just buy some more and look at them in their unpainted glory!

Normal painting service will resume, at some point (hopefully) in the not too distant future!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Little Sis Big Sis

Painting ground to a halt on the Saturday afternoon of the 15th of January. Ava Margaret Ward was born at 10.26pm that evening after a relatively short labour. She weighed almost 9llbs and has a full head of black hair at the moment. Here's Isla chumming it up with new sister.

Mum and Daughter were home by the Sunday afternoon and all are doing well.

Isla has been great with little Ava, no signs of jealousy (though this may be because Ava got Isla some presents when she arrived, namely a little washing machine and a basket of play fruit n' veg to go with Isla'a play kitchen).

Going to Salute this year is hanging in the balance..

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Slotta Skeleton with Spear

A miniature from my favourite Citadel range ever, an old skeleton rises from the grave (in glorious gloss varnish, 'cos I haven't got round to matting him yet). Went back to my old recipe for the bones, but as GWs Bleached Bone has changed over the years i've had to modify. Base coat for the bones is now Foundry Boneyard B mixed with (old) GW Swamp Brown - a match for this would possibly be Foundry Spearshaft A- then added more Boneyard B to lighten, finally adding some white for the most raised parts.

I just looked at the last post again. I thought those two goblins were complete, but I see the scabbard is a bit damaged at the end on one and i've totally missed painting the bangles on the musician. Ha ha, paint blindness!

I've added a few new links to the blog. King's Minis is a great blog about old school Citadel stuff, by Dave King, who is a pretty damn good painter too. Lots of eye candy in there and some tutorials on his painting style too.

Also, probably my favourite pen and ink illustrator Russ Nicholson now has a blog. He is one of the artists whose illustrations inspired me on my creative career path. Most people would remember his work from the early Fighting Fantasy books. I spent a long time in my earlier years at college trying to emulate his style with my Rotring pen. I never tire of looking over his detailed creations, if you get some time go and have a look.

We're still waiting for daughter number two to arrive, she is now 4 days overdue..

Slotta Goblins

Here's some pics of the two Goblins from the 'Golden Age' of GW that I recently finished. I think I originally painted the flesh on these greenskins back in the early 90's. (Who said I was slow with a brush!). They we're fun to finish, and a pleasant change from all that Napoleonic bumf. Lots of little sculpting detail on these beauties, gemstones, tiny skulls etc. I aimed for a homage to old John Blanche with the shield on the menacing sword-pulling figure. The other figure is the musician from the Goblin Command blisters, circa 1987.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Figometer Update (December 2010)

Happy New Year to all, and thanks to everyone who follows and reads the blog. As ever I have lots of grand plans in my head for painting projects in 2011, and that's where most of them will stay i'm sure!

Looking back at 2010, I didn't get much painted again, but I did see some fruits of my labour in print in Kevin Dallimore's 2nd volume on painting miniatures (Foundry's Masterclass painting guide). I was pleased to be asked by the man to contribute to such a tome, and to see it all in print was a happy sight indeed.

Back to 2011, and in the short to medium term this is the plan:
1. Finish and re-base and varnishing of IR Nr66 - (Franco-Prussian War) 2. Complete painting of last few Napoleonic Dutch Militia, then base all 24 figures 3. Complete the Napoleonic Dutch artillery piece and crew, then base + varnish it.

I don't see much painting getting done over the next couple of months as the new baby is due any day now. Progress with the rebase of IR Nr66 is all but complete and my Dutch Militia battalion is 4 figures from the finish line. I purchased a Dremel over the Xmas period and am now thinking of ways i can use it. Probably drilling out arms for conversions is about it. I thought I could use it for getting rid of flash on models  but am unsure if this will work with mini's being so small.

New purchases this year will definitely be the new plastic Prussians from the Perry twins at some point, and probably their plastic Hussars too. I am hoping to get to Salute this year as it doesn't coincide with Isla's birthday, so I look forward to that.

So, to the recent painting. The Citadel old school Goblins and solitary Skeleton bring December's Figometer total of painted figs to 3. Pics to follow.