Legion of Doom: a comic After Action Report

  

“Why don’t you Germans do the fighting General, and let us Italians build the roads?”

House of Hengist dig out their Italians.  It’s Borscht versus Bruschetta:

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Renedra’s brand-spanking-new 1/56th or 28mm scale mud-brick house: Give-away!!!

Renedra’s brand-spanking-new 1/56th or 28mm scale mud-brick house: Give-away!!!

  

Following up on our review of Skirmish Sangin, the good folk over at Renedra have sent across their brand new 1/56th or 28mm scale mud brick house. This is so new it’s not even listed on Renedra’s website!

And we’ve got one to give-away. For free! Not only that: we’ve also got the accessory pack as well. And you can have that too. For free! :)

All you have to do is like this video and click on over to the Model Dads blog, introduce yourself under this entry and I’ll pop your name in the Para helmet for the lucky dip next Friday.

If you’ve got a blog and you provide a link back to Model Dads I’ll put your name in the helmet twice!

Good luck and I’ll see you next Friday.

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More Ham than Jam: mapping Operation DEADSTICK

  

Recreating Operation DEADSTICK on the tabletop necessitates a sizeable amount of research of both the historical records as well as manufacturers’ product ranges.  Mine started with a map and a question: if I was going to recreate 6th Airborne’s daring capture of the bridges over the Orne exactly what would we be playing over?

Benouville-environs

The historical Operation necessitated the capture of the bascule bridge (4 – Pegasus Bridge above) over the canal at Bénouville and the swing-bridge (5 – the Pont Tournant above) over the river.  If you’re familiar with the film The Longest Day, then you’ll know that on D-Day  most of the action focuses  on Pegasus Bridge (and I’m not talking Irena Demick!):

Irene Demick at Benouville Bridge

Unsurprisingly, of course,  there were other smaller engagements  at both of the bridges as well as in and around Bénouville’s town hall on the night of the 6th of June and I wanted to be able to incorporate these and the subsequent fighting in parts of Benouville and Le Port on D+1 as the Germans tried to retake the bridge.   Aspirational or biting off more than I can chew?  I’ll let you be the judge of that! :)

The Orne bridges

What would this area look like in 15mm?  Well, if replicated to scale I’d be committed to modelling a huge area so compromises needed to be made.  In terms of relative distance, I decided to make the gap between the 2 bridges narrower that they were in reality and shorten the distance between Le Port and Bénouville to enable parts of both – including the famous church – to feature on a table 4 feet in width:

Le Port church

As most of the action would be in and around Pegasus Bridge this area would be kept broadly to scale but the relative size of many of the 15mm buildings I’d planned to use meant that even if I kept ground distances constant the terrain would be larger than what might reasonably be expected.  It seems scale creep is just as prevalent in miniature architecture as it is in figure sculpting, particularly if wargamers want to put their figures in buildings:

Pegaus Bridge

As this stage, I’m afraid to say it came down to what looked ‘right’ and what was feasible to get in and out of venues.  As it stands the planned playing area is around 10 by 4 ft when the waterways are included, somewhat narrower than is accurate but enabling all aspects of the fighting to be accommodated on a table that still looks presentable and is – hopefully – portable and – essentially – storable!

Well, that was the easy bit.  Making it is another story…

Race to the Wire: a comic After Action Report

  

More Afrika Korps madness for you:

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Model Dads: home of Ham and Jam?

  

When I was about 11 or 12, my local comprehensive sent us on a fieldtrip to Normandy.  I can’t remember why.  I didn’t particularly like French and my best friend kept us up one night being sick because our teachers made him eat his bête noir, rice and fish.  Anyway, it was on this trip that I first visited Pegasus Bridge in Bénouville and met Madame Thérèse Gondrée.  I remember  Madame Gondrée as a sprightly elderly lady who kindly gave us all lemonade something – I subsequently learnt – she did for all British school children visiting her café.

The Original Pegasus Bridge

That was over 30 years ago.  Between now and then things have changed a lot.  I’ve been back at least twice and when I was last there for the 65th anniversary of D-Day it was more like a WWII theme park than a memorial or museum. What hasn’t changed is my passion for military history my original visit awakened or my interest in Operation DEADSTICK in particular:

Major Howard

As the 70th anniversary of D-Day looms this year I thought that it would be a good opportunity to have a go at recreating this Operation in 15mm for a Flames of War demonstration game.  Sure, it’s has been done before and not only for FoW.  Maidstone Wargame Society brilliantly rendered the entire operation in 6mm in 2012 and, most recently, Warlord Games released their impressive 28mm mdf kit cut by Sarissa Precision.

I thought I knew a fair bit about this battle but, like a lot of things, it’s surprising how much history and popular culture intertwine to propel one wargame in to another until you can’t tell fact from fiction.  Recent research like Neil Barber’s ‘The Pegasus and Orne Bridges‘ clarifies much (and puts some popular misconceptions to bed) but there are  still many elements – like the exact composition and layout of the German defences – that just aren’t well understood outside of a few specialists.

So, with this in mind, I’m going to make Model Dads’ the home of Ham and Jam, a 15mm or 1/100th scale demonstration game recreating the initial stages of Operation DEADSTICK namely the coup de main that captured the river crossings over the Orne in the early hours of the 6th June 1944.

Along for the drop we have Battlefront who have kindly agreed to sponsor the table by providing some of the figures and vehicles.  I hope to have everything ready by the end of May 2014 after which I’d like to take the demonstration game to some of the shows around the UK.  In the meantime, expect regular updates on progress as I clean, prime and paint my way through box loads of buildings, paratroopers and scenery.

Up the Ox and Bucks!

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Tankette: a comic After Action Report

  

Been quiet round here lately…too quiet.  Time for a little Tankette on Tankette action me thinks:

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Miniature wargaming, painting, modelling, video reviews and After Action Reports