Tuesday 26 March 2013

Why I Started a Small School

Not me but my wife...

This book has been a big distraction and has taken up a lot of my wife's time over the last year. It is about her struggle with the schooling system 20 years ago and the circumstances that led her down the path to start a small school. The book is being published tomorrow (27th March) as an ebook. For one day only on the publication date it is being offered at the give-away price of £1.99, thereafter it will be £5.99. If it sells well a printed version will be available later this year.
More information can be found on the following links.





Her next book will be 'The Small School Years'. Hopefully there will be more days of distraction when I can concentrate on my hobbies....

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Panzer Reconnaisance battalion 22

As mentioned in the previous posting, over Christmas I'd started the Reconnaissance Battalion for my 21st Panzer Kamfgruppe and it's nearly finished...

1st company

2nd company

3rd company

4th company

5th company
I still need to paint crew for the Sdkfz 250/7 mortar half track of the 4th company and the Sdkfz 250/9 of the 5th company. Then after a little finishing off on the infantry bases, this unit will be completed.

I now need to concentrate on my other interest as I've an exhibition to prepare for, but further progress will be made on this battalion and other units of my 21st Panzer Kampfgruppe. Hopefully a few more postings will be added during this year. Mark and I have already had two games since Christmas and planned a further game during March. So this year should be a more productive...

Tuesday 5 March 2013

An extra piece of hardware

This piece of hardware is something that I thought would fit nicely into the two Heavy Weapons Companies of my 21st Panzer Grenader Regiment. Unfortunately, so far, I've not discovered any firm evidence that the 21st Panzer Heavy Weapons Companies had mortars. I do find this very strange that both battalions did not have any close support 81mm mortars, instead having 20mm Flak 38 and a Pak 40, and relying on the Reihwerfer of the 10th company for mortar support.

8cm schwerer Granatwerfer 34 auf Panzerspahwagen AMR 35(f)
Does anyone know if these half tracks were used in the Grenadier battalions of the 21st Panzer Division or which units they were used in?

Saturday 2 March 2013

A cracking start to the New year

During 2012 wargaming and painting projects were put well on the back burner. To the extent that I only had three games and didn't lift a paint brush. Criminal I know, but my modelling efforts and time were needed elsewhere.

Amazingly at Christmas my enthusiasm was rekindled, partly as a result of a conversation, partly from being ill. The conversation was with Mark, my regular gaming opponent, regarding a discussion he had at an uncle's funeral. His uncle fought in Normandy and some of his old comrades attended. Mark was able to strike up a conversation which resulted in them all recounting their experiences, especially during Operation Goodwood. This, not only resulted in us both committing to gaming a little more regularly during 2013, but also to try and recreate parts of the Goodwood operation as gaming scenarios. At the time of the conversation both my wife and I had cancelled all our Christmas plans due to being ill. My wife more poorly than myself has only just been able to get back to work during the last couple of weeks. The lack of visits to/from friends and family did leave me with time to indulge in some light modelling. Hence the rekindled interest and time to progress my 21st Panzer Kampfgruppe.

Another fillip to wargaming was the acquisition of John Elting's Napoleonic Uniforms Volumes I and II. I've had volumes III and IV for a number of years but hadn't wanted the 2007 reprints of volumes I and II in red cloth covers. I've been trying to purchase the 1993 edition copies in the white dust jackets so that all four books match on the bookshelf. Eventually just before Christmas I was able to purchase these two books which were duly confiscated and wrapped up for a Christmas present. Since being ceremoniously unwrapped I've enjoyed browsing the pages and having thoughts about improving my French Napoleonic collection. There is much to do and my Napoleonic collection will probably have to be thinned down a little first to make room for my growing collection of WWII figures but the Napoleonic era is still of great interest.

So over Christmas and during January I was able to paint two battalions of infantry along with  transport for the second battalion, both heavy weapons companies, 9th and 10th companies, and also finish the half-tracks for the first battalion. I also started the Reconnaissance battalion 22. There will be a post published later to show where I am with this unit.

1st battalion HG u304(f) and 1st company u304(f) 37mm Pak 36

2nd and 3rd companies u304(f)'s

4th (Heavy) Company - u304(f) Flak 38 and S307(f) PAK 40

9th and 10th companies - 150mm sFH auf Lorraine Schepper and S307(f) 8cm Reihwerfer
All the above vehicles and figures are from the Flames of War range.

Selection of lorries for 2nd battalions transport vehicles
The lorries are from QRF, Peter Pig and Quality Castings

1st Battalion HQ

1st Company

6th Company
I've used the figures from the excellent Peter Pig Late War Zeltbahn range along with Skytrex (Command Decision) Panzer Grenadier figures with a few German officers from QRF thrown into the mix. The above photos of the infantry are a little disappointing and I'll try and get some better ones taken which, if successful, I'll post when I next get chance.

I still have the Sturmgeschutz Battalion 200 to complete and a few more Panzer VI's to paint before I start on the Artillery, Anti Tank and Flak battalions but considering I've not produced anything for almost a year it's been an amazing few weeks.
I have been wargaming for 10 years in which time I have finally settled on two eras, Napoleonic and WWII, both in 15mm (1:100). Most of my ramblings will be about gaming in these two eras. An attempt will be made to record my wargaming interests, building of armies, ideas, interests and hopefully some games played.