Category Archives: Mad Bob Miniatures

Forthcoming new WW2 Dutch releases

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May ’40 Miniatures have released pictures of some of their forthcoming WW2 Dutch models, including two anti-tank guns, an armoured car, and a massive building.

The first model is the Böhler 47mm anti-tank gun (above). Böhler guns would prove effective during the intensive fighting in 1940. The 9th Panzer Division lost about 25 tanks, including Pz.III and Pz.IV medium tanks, due to Dutch anti-tank guns at Rotterdam and Dordrecht. 2

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Next is the Solothurn S18-1000 20mm anti-tank rifle (above). It was a variant of the Solothurn S-18/100, featuring a larger cartridge and higher muzzle velocity for better armour penetration. Its firepower was adequate against light tanks and other soft-skinned vehicles when it was first introduced, but it was insufficient to deal with newer and heavier tanks by 1940.

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willemsbrug w Maas Hotel ann

In collaboration with Paul Deeming from WOW Buildings comes the National Life Insurance building in Rotterdam.

During the attack on Rotterdam in May 1940 this building was occupied by 40-50 Germans who had become isolated from the rest of the German forces. All Dutch attempts to seize the building failed, but so did all German attempts to resupply or reinforce the occupants.

The model measures 27x17x40 centimetres, not including the chimneys. So, as Trump would say, it’s huge!

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Finally, there is the Landsverk armoured car, which I’ve described more fully in this previous posting. I understand that Mad Bob Miniatures will be moulding the resin parts and doing the initial casting run.

Sources for info in this article: War Over Holland and ASL BattleSchool SitRep.

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Filed under Mad Bob Miniatures, May 40, Uncategorized, WW2

Completed my WW2 colonial French army

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Well, that’s it, I’ve finished painting my 28mm WW2 colonial French army  for Bolt Action wargaming (click picture to enlarge).

In the picture above, you can see in the front row:

  • an infantry squad of 6 men (4 rifles, 1 sub-machine gun, 1 VB grenade launcher)
  • a prone 2-man light machine gun crew
  • the commanding officer and his aide
  • an advancing 2-man light machine gun crew
  • another 6-man infantry squad as per the first one.

These are all Perry Miniatures figures.

In the background are:

  • a 75mm artillery piece with four crew (Perry Miniatures)
  • an R35 tank (Neucaft Models)
  • a Laffly AMD50 armoured car (Mad Bob Miniatures)
  • a Dodge Tanake armoured truck (Perry Miniatures)
  • two Berliet VUDB personnel carriers (Mad Bob Miniatures).

At the back is my desert terrain. After buying the wooden 4Ground model on the right, I later bought the two plastic kitsets on the left by Renadra to compare it with, intending to choose one manufacturer and sell off the other.  But I feel they actually go together quite well, so I’ve to decided to keep them all!

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Here’s the commanding officer of my detachment. He’s a brisk looking chap with his dapper beard and jaunty kepi, his neck wrapped in the local scarf favoured by Legionnaires.

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On the left is the advancing light machine gun crew. Beside them is one of the six-man infantry squads, including a Legionnaire firing a sub-machine gun on the far right. One of the obscured men in the back row is armed with a rifle grenade.

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Here’s the other infantry squad. The third man from the left is armed with the VB rifle-grenade launcher, whilst the fifth man carries a sub-machine gun at his hip.

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A closer look at the Perry 75mm artillery piece. I have left four areas of the base clear of texturing, so that I can simply glue-tac the figures on. This means they can be easily removed as casualties. It also allows me to replace the gun crew – for example, some of these gunners wear French helmets for Vichy or pre-war colonial action, but I could replace them with figures wearing British-style helmets for Free French.

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The Dodge Tanake now has a crew. It looks hot work on that open back under the burning desert sun.

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So that’s it – the French are ready for action. No doubt in the best traditions of wargaming, as an newly-painted army they’ll suffer a crashing defeat!

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Filed under 4Ground, Mad Bob Miniatures, Neucraft Models, Perry Miniatures, Uncategorized, WW2

A business shirt for a Laffly AMD 50 armoured car

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Desert patrol! The boxy shape of my newly painted Laffly AMD 50 armoured car leads a couple of Berliet VUDB personnel carriers into the far reaches of Morocco.

Doing justice to Mad Bob Miniatures’ wonderful model of the Laffly, was (as I thought it was going to be) quite a challenge, as I’ve never pained a camouflage pattern before. This is only the third-ever ‘modern’ vehicle I’ve even painted, generally being a dyed in the wool horse-and-musket wargamer.

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I had quite a number of different real-life colour-schemes to select from. I liked this particular one, not only because of the complex pattern of wavy lines, but also the colourful insignia.

I painted the model overall dark green first, then added the black and tan camouflage colours. This was followed with an ink wash, then numerous dabs of paint with some foam packing material.

I used an AK-Interactive WW1 French paint set, but must say I was pretty disappointed with the poor coverage of these paints, even if shaken for ages. On a black background, it took many coats for the colour to really show, and on a light background even multiple coats still looked translucent.

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I wanted my finished armoured car to look faded and battered, as if it had done many long patrols under the harsh desert sun and biting sandstorms of North Africa. Hopefully I’ve succeeded – though I’m not 100% sure if it does actually look like a real care-worn  vehicle, or just like a badly painted model?!

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Also, I learned a valuable lesson – never squeeze an AK-Interactive bottle too hard if the paint won’t come out … because eventually it will, explosively! My armoured car’s paint job might have cost me a good business shirt!

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WW2 colonial French Berliet VUDBs

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As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve started painting my WW2 colonial French vehicles.  Over the weekend, I got all the prep work completed. So today after work, I couldn’t resist getting out my paint-brushes and finishing two of the models – the two Berliet VUDB armoured personnel carriers by Mad Bob Miniatures (click on the pictures to see them larger).

As described by Martin Windrow in Military Modelling March 1981 (see, saving old those old MM magazines from my teenage years has paid off!), the VUDB was ‘a four-wheel drive car bearing a strong resemblance to a hearse … guns could be mounted in any of four ports at front, back and sides. With a crew of three and a box of grenades, these underpowered but reliable old buses proved their worth many times over’.

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I’ve never painted WW2 vehicles before, so this was a novel exercise for me. I checked out some painting sites on the internet, and in the end went for a technique which uses old foam packing sponge to dab different colours on top of each other. Combined with ink washes, this worked out really well for these rather plain drab-coloured vehicles (though I wonder if it’ll work as well when I get more ambitious with my next vehicles and paint them with camouflage patterns).

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I painted the commander with the colourful sky-blue and red kepi of the 1er Chasseurs d’Afrique. The badges on the sides of the VUDBs aren’t actually from this unit, as the French decal set I bought from Gaso-line didn’t include them – but the 16e Dragoons ‘pegasus’ isn’t too far from the Chasseurs d’Afrique centaur, so will have to do for now.

I just can’t decide if I’ll attach my vehicles onto desert-terrained bases.  There are advantages of durability to do so, and off the table I think vehicles look good on bases.  But on the wargaming table, they can look a bit silly, especially if the bases don’t match the terrain being fought over.  Anyway, that’s a decision that can wait for now …

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By the way, the apparent desert ‘terrain’ in these photos isn’t.  It’s just my kitchen bench!

 

 

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WW2 colonial French vehicles under way

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I’ve finally started work on the vehicles for my WW2 colonial French army. These are resin and metal models by Perry Miniatures, Mad Bob Miniatures and Neucraft Models, designed to go with 28mm figures.

I’m relatively new to resin tank models. So my first problem was how to go about prepping resin kits before assembling and painting. I  had read somewhere that the usual wash with soapy water that I give my metal models isn’t enough to remove the release agent used in the resin-casting process. And that to prevent paint peeling off resin, you need to use white spirits or similar.

However, asking around on several forums, I found that most people do in fact just use a soapy wash and a good scrub with a toothbrush, followed by automotive primer. In other words, the exact same technique I use for all my miniatures anyway.  So that’s going to be easy!

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First step was assembly.  In some cases, I had to look closely at pictures of the real thing on the internet to find out how the models go together. The Perry Miniatures 75mm gun was a particular puzzle, but I think it came out OK. Full marks to Mad Bob Miniatures for having excellent assembly instructions on their website. And the Mad Bob Models were a cinch, having a minimal numbers of parts.

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I added some miscellaneous baggage items onto some of the vehicles. I also added figures, using the French tank commanders set by Warlord Games. It’s a shame that one figure in this set is pretty well useless (a full figure lounging awkwardly and waving a bottle in his hand). However, the other three figures were perfect, albeit some needed cutting down to fit into the hatches of one of the Berliet VUDB armoured personnel carriers and the Laffly AM50 armoured car. Neucraft Models again get good marks for having an opening hatch on their R35 tank, in which the commander figure sits perfectly!

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Once assembled, the automotive primer was applied. This needed two coats to ensure both the top and underneath of each model was completely covered. I always use black, which gives good depth to the final model. When sprayed, all the metal and resin components come together, and the models start looking complete.

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The next step is one I use on all my miniatures, whether figures or vehicles.  I find a straight black undercoat makes it difficult to see the detail when painting. So I dry-brush the black undercoat with light grey.  This is one of favourite steps in painting miniatures, as it makes the detail really pop (click on the above photo to enlarge it and see what I mean). It also adds another level of highlighting when it is covered by the final paint colours, as the grey background is more translucent than the black.

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Actually, I love the final effect of this dry-brushing so much, that I sometimes think I shouldn’t bother painting the models any further at all, they look so good! But of course, I do intend to paint them further … that’s in my next posting.

 

 

 

 

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WW2 Colonial French force for Bolt Action

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As I mentioned a fortnight ago, I’m making my first foray into WW2 gaming, with a French Colonial force for use with the Bolt Action rules.

Over the last few days, the troops and vehicles from various manufacturers have been dropping into my mailbox.  They’ve now all arrived.  So, with my last horse-and-musket era project completed yesterday, I’m all set to go.

So here they are, lined up and ready for cleaning, assembly and painting. Having never done WW2 vehicles (well, since I was a teenager, which is close enough to never!), this will be a learn-as-I-go project. You can enlarge the pic to see them better.

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And here’s a close-up of the vehicles (though minus a lot of the details that have to be glued on, such as guns and hatches). From left to right, they are the Dodge Tanake, the R35 tank, one of my two Berliet VUDBs, and the AMD-Laffly 50AM armoured car.  In front is the 75mm gun.

All the vehicles are resin, which will be a challenge to my modelling skills. The only resin vehicle I’ve done up till now was a Napoleonic supply wagon!

To whet my appetite for the period, I’ve been reading Tomorrow to be Brave the biography of Susan Travers, an Englishwoman who served with the French Foreign Legion during WW2. 9780743200028

Travers signed up with the Free French in 1940 and sailed to Africa where she traveled the country fighting the war, eventually becoming a driver to General Marie-Pierre Koenig of the Foreign Legion. He was to become her lover and the man for whom she would risk everything. He was also the man who helped change the face of Rommel’s North African campaign.

At the great siege of Bir Hakeim , the general’s troops were surrounded for fifteen days by Rommel’s Afrika Korps. Susan refused to leave the general’s side and eventually, at the wheel of his car, led the convoy of vehicles and men across the minefields as part of a daring mass breakout. When the column entered British lines, Travers’ vehicle had been hit by eleven bullets. Hailed as the heroine of the night, Susan was rewarded with the love and loyalty of the Legion.

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Filed under Mad Bob Miniatures, Neucraft Models, Perry Miniatures, Uncategorized, WW2

Sacré bleu, a horse-and-musket gamer goes WW2

Who would’ve thought it … me, wargaming WW2?! Why, I haven’t collected WW2 since I was a spotty teenager infuriating my club by building up a wildly inaccurate Dutch Marines army converted from plastic Airfix figures! Since then, I’ve been a died-in-the-wool ‘horse and musket’ wargamer, and wouldn’t touch any period with khaki uniforms.

But now something has grabbed me and is pulling me into this period, which I could never have imagined happening. Partly it was a WW2 history paperback I was given for my birthday by a relative who thought that because I was a wargamer, I must enjoy reading about WW2. I felt obliged to at least give it a few pages out of politeness, but much to my surprise I soon found I was totally engrossed in Max Hastings’ All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945.

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That book alone, though, wouldn’t have been enough to pull me into wargaming WW2. The next drawcard was finding out that several fellow gamers were getting into the period with 28mm miniatures, using the Bolt Action rules from Warlord Games. I’d seen plenty of Flames of Wars games being played over the years. But 15mm fugures never really do it for me. The beauty of Bolt Action, however, was  not only that they were figures in a scale I liked, but also the entry-level armies in this skirmish game aren’t too big. So cost and painting time wouldn’t be too exorbitant.

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Of course, having decided to make the jump into WW2, the next question was which army? That Dutch Marines army I had as a teenager denotes one of my gaming peculiarities – I always prefer going for something a bit esoteric whichever period I play, rather than the stock-standard big armies. So I certainly wouldn’t be doing British, German, American or Russian.

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Dutch was always a possibility. After all, my father was in the Dutch army in Holland at the start of WW2. But there aren’t any good 28mm figures or vehicles available for this minor player … not yet, anyway. So Dutch has to go on hold till someone produces the figures. Hmm, what else then?

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And then I saw one of the latest offerings from the Perry twins: a wonderfully eccentric Dodge ‘Tanake’ armoured truck used by both Vichy French and Free French Forces. And  I recalled that when reading Max Hastings’ book, I was surprised at the amount of fighting that took place between the Allies and the Vichy French in North Africa and the Middle East, something I never knew about. Zut alors, there was my army choice – French who could fight on either side!

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Of course, having decided to collect French, who could resist going for the famous French Foreign Legion? There was even a personal factor in this choice, in that one of my car-pool buddies is a Kiwi ex-French Foreign Legionnaire (though of course he didn’t fight in WW2, unlike the chap portrayed below!).

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I’ve decided to be a little ahistorical with collecting my French desert army. I don’t want to be bound by any specific year or theatre – if it fought for either French side at any point during the desert war, it’s game for my army!

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I’ve started by ordering a few miniatures to make up a 1000-point Bolt Action force themed on a mobile column patrolling in the dessert. It’ll have a couple of sections of Legionnaires transported in two boxy Berliet VUDB armoured personnnel carriers. As described by Martin Windrow in Military Modelling March 1981 (see, saving old those old MM magazines from my teenage years has paid off!), the VUDB was ‘a four-wheel drive car bearing a strong resemblance to a hearse … guns could be mounted in any of four ports at front, back and sides. With a crew of three and a box of grenades, these underpowered but reliable old buses proved their worth many times over’.

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My two VUDBs will be escorted by the crotchety old AMD White-Laffly armoured car armed with a machine gun and a paltry 37mm cannon. Both this and the two VUDBs wll be models by Mad Bob Miniatures.

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I’ve also added one of the ubiquitous French 75mm guns to give at least some relatively effective firepower. To keep costs down, I haven’t got a towing vehicle for it yet – I imagine it won’t move too much in an actual game.

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And of course there’ll be that curious Dodge Tanake, also armed with a 37mm cannon.

So, on order tonight:

  • 2 x Berliet VUDBs (Mad Bob Miniatures)
  • 1 x AMD White-Laffly armoured car (Mad Bob Miniatures)
  • 1 x Dodge Tanake armoured truck (Perry Miniatures)
  • 1 x 75mm light artillery piece (Perry Miniatures)
  • 2 x sections of FFL infantry in kepis, including a couple of light machine guns and some anti-tank grenades (Perry Miniatures)

 

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Filed under Books, Family history, Mad Bob Miniatures, Perry Miniatures, Uncategorized, WW2