Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Somewhere to lay our heads


I've had this set of Renedra Ridge Tents hanging around in the spares box for ages. Actually, it is a half set that I shared with either Martin or Tom at some wargames show in the distant past.

Anyway, I was painting up a load of Union Infantry for the new Sharp Practice project and I remembered I had these, so dug them out and gave a quick paint job, they shall now see duty as a Deployment point or two in our Sharp Practice games.




First Drafts - Homage to Catalonia


Chum Martin very kindly sent me the George Orwell figure that was given away at the recent Partizan Wargames show back home in the UK. This chap makes a pair with the Ernest Hemmingway I painted earlier this year.

It's a very nicely sculpted figure, maybe a little on the thin side but it could be during his recuperation from the shot in the throat that invalided him from his service in the Spanish Civil War. Looking back at the paint job now, maybe I was a touch too monochrome in my pallete.

Eric Blair shall join my Ernest Hemmingway in the Spanish Civil War collection, although they never met in Spain, and likely they never met at all they can serve side by side in the fight against Fascism.

If you haven't read Homage to Catalonia I suggest you get a copy.






Sunday, 17 September 2017

American Civil War: Union (2)


This week I finished off the stragglers from the Perry Miniature box that did not make last weeks blog post. These had been blocked in and washed ready for the highlights but sat all week on the painting table and I only did them yesterday. I blame The Walking Dead series seven hitting Netflix this week:)


A few folks have asked what the palette I used was. So, for the majority of the colours; after assembly the figures were primed with Krylon grey primer and then the base colours blocked in:

  • Kepi and sack coat: Dark Prussian Blue
  • Trousers and some water-bottle covers: Medium Blue
  • Musket stocks: Saddle Brown
  • Some water-bottle covers, some knapsacks, some hair, some blanket rolls: Beige Brown
  • Some water-bottle covers, some knapsacks, some blanket rolls: Neutral Grey
  • Boots, belts, straps, slings, some hair, some knapsacks, some blanket rolls: Black
  • Flesh: Medium Fleshtone


The figures where then washed in Sepia Wash and once that was dry the highlights applied:

  • Dark Prussian Blue: re-coated with Dark Prussian Blue and then a couple of highlights adding successively more Intense Blue, final glaze of Intense Blue
  • Medium Blue: re-coated with Medium Blue, highlighted by adding Sky Blue
  • Saddle Brown: re-coated with Saddle Brown then highlighted by adding a touch of Dark Sand
  • Beige Brown: re-coated with Beige Brown then highlighted by adding a touch of Dark Sand
  • Neutral Grey: re-coated with Neutral Grey then highlighted by adding a touch of Light Grey
  • Black: re-coated with Black then highlighted with Black Grey
  • Medium Fleshtone: re-coated with Medium Fleshtone and then highlighted by adding a touch of Ivory.

The bayonets were painted Gunmetal Grey as were the musket fittings and water-bottle caps. The buttons, belt buckles, kepi fixings, cartridge box plates, etc. were painted Bronze. Note all colours are from the Vallejo Model Colour range.


Once all was dried the detail was brown-lined using Windsor and Newton Peat Brown inks. After the bases were complete a matt varnish was applied, although as you can see from the pictures it's come out much more satin than I hoped!



I've got another box and a load more Renedra bases on order from Arcane Scenery in the UK and hope to receive them shortly so I can start sticking them together.



Saturday, 16 September 2017

21 Squadron RAF - 14th July 1940


Instinctively Harry pressed the fire button, the 109 before him was engulfed in a fireball as the fuel caught fire and the Messerschmidt exploded. After suffering from many jams in the previous days sortie the armourer had really done his job overnight and the Brownings were operating like clockwork, Archie would be bought a pint tonight!

Thursday evening saw another chapter in the ongoing Battle of Britain campaign, this time 'B' Flight led by Pilot Officer Darren White intercepted a flight of three He111 inbound over the south Kent coast.

Drew and new pilot Seth took the part of the RAF while Bruce and son Sasha were the Luftwaffe. I had play tested this scenario before so forewarned the players that the escorting Messerschmidts would almost certainly turn up so not to get too carried away with a turkey shoot.

If the bombers could complete two lengths of the table they would have accomplished their mission, if not it would be a RAF victory.



The RAF were soon laying about the Heinkels, but heedful of my earlier warnings were ever cautious for the arrival of the Luftwaffe fighters. The He111 is a tough old bird and can take a lot of cumulative damage without being shot down, but it wasn't long before P.O. White had claimed his first kill of the day as his rounds walked up the port wing and entered the bomb bay where the munitions exploded in a fireball.

Our squadron hero Sgt. Pilot Harry McWalters soon claimed another Heinkel, with flames licking around the cockpit door four Hun exited the plane to parachute into the arms of the local home guard patrol while the stricken beast crashed in woodland just outside Lyminge.



Summoned by the frantic radio calls of the bombers a schwarm of four Me109 made their appearance over the battlefield and were soon swooping in to the fray. The Hurricanes forewent their attack on the final He111 and attempted to gain altitude. The first casualty was P.O. White, the schwarm-fuhrer on his tail unleashed a burst of 20mm cannon fire and the Hurricane exploded in a fireball. However, it was certainly Whites day, thrown clear of the explosion he safely parachuted, sustaining only light injuries as he crashed through a greenhouse roof on landing.


Sgt. Pilot Harry McWalters certainly had his dander up and was swiftly into the Messerschmidts, he seemed to be everywhere and his expedient use of the ammunition remaining after attacking the Heinkels will be used in pilot training for years to come.

He first got onto the tail of the schwarm-fuhrer and a short burst of fire saw the Messerschmidt almost cut in half with a catastrophic structural failure, sweeping back in for the kill another Messerschmidt exploded in a massive fireball. With a run of cards and fantastic shooting rolls that will become legend another Messserschmidt was dispatched as the pilot slumped in his seat and the final one exploded scattering debris over the Kent countryside as McWalters emptied his final rounds into it.




McWalters had accounted for all four of the Bosche fighters in short order. Drews firing rolls were truly magnificent and for several rounds of shooting he expended non noticeable quantities of ammunition at all. He'll certainly be getting another bar added to that DFC!



After bailing out the previous day, Charles Morris had another run of bad luck, fire from one of the Messerschmidt had ruptured his fuel line and his plane caught fire on landing at Hendon and was a total write off, the burns suffered will keep him out of action for a good few days.

 As the fitters were putting out the fire 'A' Flight was scrambled to intercept a new raid inbound over the English Channel.

Squadron Roster Sheet

Basic Details
Aircraft (11)
Pilots (15)
Date: 13th July 1940 (Phase I)
Unit: 21 Squadron (11 Group)
Airfield: Hendon
Aircraft: Hurricane MK1
Aircraft under repair b/fwd

Pilots absent b/fwd
1
Back from workshop today

Pilots returning today

Serviceable aircraft b/fwd
11
Active pilots b/fwd
14
New aircraft received



Serviceable next sortie
11
Available for Sortie
14


Events scheduled for today
This Sortie




‘B’ Flight is vectored onto a trio of HE-111

“A” Flight
Red Section



Kills on t/off
Sortie Log
Red 1
F.O. Damien Townsend (Veteran)

3

Red 2
Sgt. Pilot James Phillips (Regular)

0

Red 3
Sgt. Pilot Kerry O’Malley (Veteran)

2

Yellow Section



Kills on t/off
Sortie Log
Yellow 1
F.O. Stephen Hines (Regular)

2

Yellow 2
Sgt. Pilot Mark Wilson (Regular)

2

Yellow 3
P.O. Adrian Jacobs (Regular)

1


“B” Flight
Blue Section



Kills on t/off
Sortie Log
Blue 1
P.O. Darren Wright (Regular)

3
Claim HE-111, Hurricane exploded, thrown clear, available 15th July.
Blue 2
Sgt. Pilot Peter Lewis (Regular)

4
Returns safely with minor damage.
Blue 3
Sgt. Pilot Charles Morris (Regular)

0
Crash landed, aircraft destroyed, out of action until 23rd July.
Green Section



Kills on t/off
Sortie Log
Green 1
Sgt. Pilot Harry McWalters DFC & bar (Top Ace)

15
Claim HE-111, four ME-109
Green 2
P.O. Terry Smith (Regular)

2
Returned safely
Green 3
P.O. Clement Bates (Sprog)

0
Returned safely

Pilots not assigned to flying duties this Sortie

Aircraft

Name

Kills

Aircraft available pre sortie
11
Sgt. Pilot Archie Spencer (Sprog)

0

Aircraft lost this sortie
1
P.O. Francis Clinton (Sprog)

0

Aircraft damaged (to workshop)
2
Sqdn Ldr Terry Deakin (Veteran) Wounded back on 16th July

4

Other post sortie adjustments

F.0. Simon Barrington (Regular) KIA
Flt. Lt. Matthew Palmer (Veteran) KIA


0

2

Number of aircraft c/fwd next sortie
8












Other post sortie events

Pilots





No of pilots pre sortie
14




Pilots killed this sortie
0




Pilots missing this sortie
1




Pilots new wounded/sick
1




Other post sortie adjustments





Active pilots c/fwd next sortie
12

Notes
Harry gets another bar to his DFC.
Another mission:
‘A’ flight scrambled to intercept an enemy raid of three Ju87 Stuka escorted by two schwarm of Me109.





















Monday, 11 September 2017

21 Squadron RAF - 13th July 1940 (2)


"B Flight shall proceed directly to intercept an enemy raid on the Chain Home station at Bawdsley"
"Roger that Control"
"All pilots climb to eighteen thousand feet and keep your eyes peeled"
"Blue leader, we have many Stukas at fourteen thousand feet, with fighters ahead at seventeen thousand feet"
"Green leader, this is Blue leader, engage the fighters, we shall get into the bombers"
"Roger that Blue leader, Green section follow me and stay tight"



I decided to solo play the next mission in the campaign, being card driven with random movement, Bag the Hun are perfect for this.

The mission description was ‘B’ Flight is about to bounce 12 Ju87 Stukas at band 3 escorted by one schwarm of Bf110.

With such a large game it's difficult to write an accurate blog report but from the start the RAF were on their top game, With a "Tally Ho" Blue section were swooping into the rear of the Stukas and before three cards had been turned P.O. Darren Wright had shot down a Stuka, his first kill of the campaign.


I'll give a brief resume of each pilots actions:

Pilot Officer Darren Wright: As already mentioned got a very early kill on a Stuka, and was soon on the tail of another, pouring rounds into that until that also went down in flames. With his blood up he got on the tail of a third Stuka but was driven off by excellent marksmanship from the tail gunner. Undeterred, he got onto the tail of a fourth Stuka and was really unlucky not to shoot that down before running out of ammo. P.O. Wright arrived safely back at Hendon.

Sergeant Pilot Peter Lewis: Following his leader he let a belt off into his first Stuka that exploded with no chutes seen, another Stuka soon followed its companion. Following P.O. Wrights hard evade from the tail gunner fire the formation was broken so seeking a target of opportunity Lewis latched onto one of the escorting Bf110, rounds splattered into that cockpit and the Messerschmidt turned for home with shattered control panels. Another Bf110 had manoeuvred onto his tail, but a well executed tight chandelle soon threw it off. Lewis was soon onto the tail of another Ju87, the Stuka was soon trailing fuel and a well placed burst saw a third Hun go down in a trail of smoke. Before his ammo was expended Lewis had damaged a fourth Stuka, three kills and two Hun limping home was an excellent tally.

Sergeant Pilot Charles Morris: Morris was not as fortunate as his colleagues, he tailed one Stuka pouring round after round into it, bits flew off the JU87 and the rear gunner was obviously either dead or very seriously wounded but with his ammo expended Morris was furious that the Stuka managed to limp away. Looking over his shoulder he noted a Messerschmidt on his tail, pulling hard on his stick he was unable to break the tail, the first cannon rounds tore into the fuselage and fuel spilled everywhere, more rounds caused the Hurricane to break up completely. Morris bailed out safely and was soon picked up by the local police and driven back to Hendon.


Sergeant Pilot Harry McWalters: Our man of the moment was heavily engaged in this action. As instructed by Blue One, McWalters engaged the Messerschmidts immediately downing the flight leader before turning to face the Stukas. In an uncharacteristic loss of concentration McWalters managed to jam his guns and lose his tail, breaking contact to free the jam he was soon back into the action and badly damaging three Stukas and causing a fourth to explode. McWalters expended his final ammunition attempting to take out one of the Messerschmidts but it was able to evade and break for home.

Pilot Officer Terry Smith: Early in the action the tail gunner of the Stuka that he was menacing managed to crack the engine block of the Merlin and Smith had to head for home crash landing at Martlesham Heath.

Pilot Officer Clement Bates: Bates acted as an excellent wing-man for McWalters but was unable to contribute much as his Brownings jammed early on in the action. Two Stukas suffered damage from his fire but he was unable to get his first kill of the campaign.

As can be seen of the 'dead box' at the end of this game it was rather a stunning victory for the RAF, one Hurricane had been shot down and another had been written off in a crash landing, but no pilots were lost. The Luftwaffe had suffered the loss of six Stukas and another four damaged, one Bf110 was lost and another badly damaged. The loss of pilots and air gunners was severe.


 A few more shots of the action

 

 Squadron Roster Sheet

Basic Details
Aircraft (13)
Pilots (15)
Date: 13th July 1940 (Phase I)
Unit: 21 Squadron (11 Group)
Airfield: Hendon
Aircraft: Hurricane MK1
Aircraft under repair b/fwd
1
Pilots absent b/fwd
1
Back from workshop today

Pilots returning today

Serviceable aircraft b/fwd
12
Active pilots b/fwd
14
New aircraft received



Serviceable next sortie
12
Available for Sortie
14


Events scheduled for today
This Sortie




‘B’ Flight is about to bounce 12 Ju87 Stukas at band 3 escorted by one schwarm of Bf110

“A” Flight
Red Section



Kills on t/off
Sortie Log
Red 1
F.O. Damien Townsend (Veteran)

3

Red 2
Sgt. Pilot James Phillips (Regular)

0

Red 3
Sgt. Pilot Kerry O’Malley (Veteran)

2

Yellow Section



Kills on t/off
Sortie Log
Yellow 1
F.O. Stephen Hines (Regular)

2

Yellow 2
Sgt. Pilot Mark Wilson (Regular)

2

Yellow 3
P.O. Adrian Jacobs (Regular)

1


“B” Flight
Blue Section



Kills on t/off
Sortie Log
Blue 1
P.O. Darren Wright (Regular)

1
2 Kills – promoted to Veteran
Blue 2
Sgt. Pilot Peter Lewis (Regular)

1
3 Kills – promoted to Veteran
Blue 3
Sgt. Pilot Charles Morris (Regular)

0
Bailed out, back 14th July
Green Section



Kills on t/off
Sortie Log
Green 1
Sgt. Pilot Harry McWalters DFC (Top Ace)

13
2 Kills
Green 2
P.O. Terry Smith (Regular)

2
Crash landed – pilot OK
Green 3
P.O. Clement Bates (Sprog)

0
Home OK

Pilots not assigned to flying duties this Sortie

Aircraft

Name

Kills

Aircraft available pre sortie
12
Sgt. Pilot Archie Spencer (Sprog)

0

Aircraft lost this sortie
2
P.O. Francis Clinton (Sprog)

0

Aircraft damaged (to workshop)
0
Sqdn Ldr Terry Deakin (Veteran) Wounded back on 16th July

4

Other post sortie adjustments

Sgt. Pilot Charles Morris (Regular) bailed out available 14th July

0



F.0. Simon Barrington (Regular) KIA
Flt. Lt. Matthew Palmer (Veteran) KIA


0

2

Number of aircraft c/fwd next sortie
10












Other post sortie events

Pilots





No of pilots pre sortie
14




Pilots killed this sortie
0




Pilots missing this sortie





Pilots new wounded/sick
1




Other post sortie adjustments





Active pilots c/fwd next sortie
13

Notes
No other events