Sunday, November 22, 2020

Polish Post Office Danzig (Polski Urzad Pocztowy Gdansk)

 The central feature of the first scenario of the Bolt Action campaign book, 'Germany Strikes - Early War in Europe' is the Polish Post Office in the Free City of Danzig. Constructed in the mid-19th century, the building was originally a Prussian military hospital (Garnison-Lazareth) until 1920 when it became the primary Polish post office with a direct telephone line to Poland. It was a target of Nazi vandalism leading up to the war, and was ultimately attacked by German paramilitary groups in the early morning of 1 September 1939.


The building is described in the scenario as follows: 

"The Post Office is a substantial building in the centre of the table. .... The ground floor of the Post Office consists of six 'small buildings'; rooms, tacked together in two rows of three. A first floor consists of six more rooms on top. All the rooms have windows to the outside, one per exterior wall. Ground floor windows and doors are barred so the only room that can be assaulted from outside is the centre front room where there is a main entrance. Alternatively sappers may be used to blow a hole into the ground floor room, allowing an assault from outside.

The ground around the Post Office should be clear for at least 12" in all directions. The rest of the area on the table is built up with buildings, streets, trees, walls and so on."

This description varies a bit from the historical layout. The original building had a long wing extending off the southwest corner, and it had a brick and wrought iron fence across the front of the building. Also there were a number of adjacent buildings that were situated quite close to the Post Office. Obviosuly, some compromises had to be made in the name of playability.

 Originally I had thought about making the structure so that the roof and the upper floor were separate pieces that could be lifted off, but eventually decided that it would be easier to have the room layout of the different floors off board and build the Post Office as a single piece. I looked for some good colour photographs of the Post Office online, and I was able to do some photo editing to create two files that could be printed off and glued to a structure made of foam core. For the roof detail, I scanned a sheet of Faller embossed cardboard with a red tile pattern that was left over from a project I did decades ago.  The roof itself was made of cardboard from cases of Lipton Iced Tea, and some 3D detail added to the front of the building using 3mm thick cardboard which also supported the dormer above the main entrance. The final features were the chimneys and the downspouts located either side of the main entrance. 

Here are some pics of the construction in progress.

Here is the end result. The final dimensions are L 56cm x W 15cm x H 23cm. I also made two additional terrain bits to mark where the sappers had successfully breached the outer walls of the building.

With the main terrain feature now complete, it's time to work on some early war Germans, especially the support weapons that were used in the attack. More to follow.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Encore Avec Les 10mm French

Another small batch of 10mm reinforcements for the French of 1870.

Nothing too original or surprising in this post - here are yet more 10mm French infantry for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. The castings are from Pendraken. There are three bases of regular line infantry, and a single base of Chasseurs. 

Lovely castings from Pendraken, as always.

While these figures could work for a wide assortment of rules, I am currently working with 1 base = 1 battalion in mind for these 10mm figures, so this post includes enough figures to add another full line regiment and chasseur battalion to my French collection for the period. With that said, many rules are flexible when it comes to their unit scales, so this could just as easily be said to represent a line infantry battalion and a couple of companies of chasseurs...all depending of your flavour of game and scenario.

Chasseurs to the front!

Each division in the French Imperial Army of the era (before everything fell apart after Sedan) included a single battalion of Chasseurs, along with two brigades of infantry, each with (usually) two regiments of line infantry. 

The French Chasseur uniform - blue, trimmed with yellow - not as flashy, but still sharp!

The Chasseurs had different uniforms from their colleagues in the line regiments - no red baggy pants for them. Instead, they wore closer fitting blue trousers, matching the blue on their tunic and their kepi. The uniforms were piped in yellow, and they had green epaulets. Not quite as striking as the regulation uniform of the line troops, but still sharp, in my opinion!

View from the rear, showing the excellent detail on the packs of the French line infantry.

Ready to defend the Empire! Vive l'Empereur!

My 10mm French collection is growing at a slow-but-steady up to six regiments of infantry and two battalions of Chasseurs. Watch for more as the long winter of COVID looms...I may need a short break from the recent run of 10mm work, but overall, there are some big battles I would love to play with the group one day, and that will call for a lot more posts like this. Thanks for reading, I hope you are staying safe and sane, wherever you are!   

Friday, November 20, 2020

Steyr Armoured Cars of the SS Heimwehr Danzig 1939

 A project that developed out of the Bolt Action scenario for the attack on the Polish Post Office in Danzig is the Steyr ADGZ armoured cars used by the SS Heimwehr Danzig. I have come across a few blogs and videos on YouTube where gamers have just substituted some other German armoured car for the Steyrs, but that just doesn't cut it in the Conscripts.

The Steyr armoured car was developed in Austria in 1934 and used by their army and police force prior to Anschluss, They had a very distinctive look in that they are almost symmetrical front to rear. In fact, they had two drivers, one facing forward and the other rearward, so the vehicle can drive in either direction at full speed. The SS bought a number of them, some of which were used in Danzig. Later in the war, they were used in anti-partisan operations in the Balkans.

At the moment the only sources of Steyrs in 1/56 scale are on 3D sites like Shapeways, but those can be rather pricey once shipping is included. As luck would have it, a friend of mine had recently acquired a 3D printer, and he was interested in trying something different. He purchased a file for printing the armoured car online and, after some necessary modifications, printed off two for me for the total cost of $15, which included the cost of the file.

They assembled fairly easily, with some sanding here and there, and drilling out the holes in the wheels a bit larger so they would fit on the axles. 

 They were painted a basic early war Panzer grey, which was straightforward enough, but then came the problem of finding appropriate decals. The Steyr armoured cars used by the SS Heimwehr Danzig bore rather unique markings such as SS runes and skulls, but also names of various German territories that were viewed by the Nazis as 'belonging to the Reich' such as 'Ostmark', 'Sudetenland', and 'Memelland'. Again, while kits and decal sets for the Steyr exist in 1/72 and 1/35, they do not in 1/56.

Not having the ability of print water transfer decals, I resorted to printing them on paper with a laser printer. I started with the image above, changed the colour of the background to match the grey of the vehicles, and printed it off. I then cut out the parts that I wanted, sanded the backs to make the paper thinner, and glued them on the model with PVA. I am pretty pleased with how they turned out. 

If you are interested in more information of the Steyr ADGZ, follow the link below.

The next step is the construction of the Polish Post Office that will take center stage on the wargames table. More to follow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Star Wars Legion: General Veers




General Veers, a 1/47 scale figure for Star Wars Legion, from FFG. I started with zenithal highlights and spotlighting with an airbrush, acrylic glazes, then details and blending with oils.




I used FFG’s Imperial Uniform as the base for the clothing, and Vallejo German Camouflage Dark Green (which I originally bought for WWII German helmets) for the helmet and armour.






For the game Star Wars Legion, points-wise Veers is a cheaper commander than, say, Darth Vader. His rules also make him good for coordinating vehicles with his troops and such. Fitting for someone who is, arguably, the most successful ground commander in Star Wars lore.


Polish Army of 1939 - Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna (God, Honor, Fatherland)

 A while ago I picked up an early war Polish force from the Warlord Games 28mm Bolt Action range. The original plan was to have it ready for the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. It got based and primed, but then stagnated until recently. So here is the final result.

1 7TP tank - A development of the British Vickers 6-ton light tank the Polish 7TP saw combat in the Defence of Poland in 1939.  Although significantly better armed than the German Panzer I and Panzer II, the 7TP was never fielded in enough numbers to change the outcome of the war. This is an early version of Warlord Games resin kit which did not come with the exhaust at the back, so I scratch built one.


2 TKS tankettes, one equipped with a 20mm cannon. Here is a link to a video featuring a full-size replica of the TKS.


1 HQ consisting of an officer, NCO, medic, and radio man

 3 x 10 man infantry sections (two with Browning Automatic Rifles)


1 Anti-tank rifle team, and 1 MMG team with wz. 30 machine gun


1 Bofors 37mm Anti-tank gun 

1 French 75 mm field gun Mle 1897, designated in Poland as 75 mm armata wz. 1897-17


These were all painted using the Flames of War Polish Early War Paint Set and the Army Painter Strong Tone Quick Shade.

With the completion of my Poles, fellow Conscript Dallas and I have been looking at doing some Poland 1939 scenarios from the Bolt Action campaign book, 'Germany Strikes - Early War in Europe'. The first of these involves the defence of the Polish Post Office in Danzig (Gdansk) on 1 September 1939. We have both been working on more early war Germans, as well as some unique support weapons, vehicles, and buildings required for the scenario. More to follow.

On an interesting note, a number of the figure options and sculpts have changed since I first purchased my Poles.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Minotaur Chapter Terminators

 Back to my Space Marine Chapter repaint! This batch includes two squads of Terminators. One squad has Thunder hammers and Storm Shields and the other is standard with storm bolters and power fists. I also painted up a Cataphractii Terminator to represent the captain. The model used is from the Calth box I think and pretty common. I think I have at least two others. I added a helmet from an old Chapterhouse head and cut off the face/neck protector thingy. Finally, I added a few Minotaur Chapter insignia to the belt and shoulders. I was going to keep working on the Minotaur's, but I'm out of black spray primer and getting more is a bit more complicated in Manitoba at the moment. I guess I'll have to move on to something already primed.

For when every problem is a nail.

Shoulder insignia from Pop goes the monkey! Strange name, but nice product.

Though I'm happy I actually got him looking at where he's shooting, I think the severity of the angle means his neck is probably broken. Oh well, The future!

Another look at the Minotaur badge.